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Opinions: XP30 Vs 76 Key Fantom


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Hello all... I've browsed through this forum in the past without posting before. Now I finally have a topic worthy of posting.


Less than two weeks after selling my PK6 for an XP30 I fall right into an opportunity to buy a used Roland 76 key Fantom for $660 including shipping!!! With 30 seconds to decide and my sales bonus just cashed, do I walk away? Absolutely not!


My question is how do these two synths compare in sounds? I can't afford to keep both ( not to mention it's a little redundant)so I will likely sell the XP 30 if I like the Fantom or vice versa... I'd like a few opinions on how they match up. I'm using the XP30 to gig with in a cover band with a Triton LE. For two gigs it was a beautiful fit I'm sure I'll like the Fantom but I'm actually growing quite attached to the XP 30 (so many sounds, Vox, JV strings) and I feel guilty for not having the chance to dig into the editing capability of the XP30 if I sell it. I paid $650 for the XP30 so whichever I sell it won't be an issue. Why, why, why do I do this... ugh.


Anyone gigging with the original 76 Key Fantom? Are the features and sounds accessible on the fly during a gig?

Someone please help before buyers remorse sets in. :D

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I haven't heard or toyed with the XV sounds yet. I'm hoping the XV 24 bit DAC's makes a different for playing live. The XP30 has some great sounds, however live, I have the same challenge as I did with the PK6 I just got rid of. The Presets sound like they are being played under a pillow next the the Triton LE. The LE's 1 insert effect and DAC aren't the best quality either but the ROM samples sound so crisp and alive next to any synth I pair it with. For instance I've tweaked Combi preset B 50 Kromatica in the Triton for the intro to Kid Rock's 'Bawdidaba' and it slays any sound I've tried to come up with on the XP30. Where the XP 30 shines is with strings, pianos (not great but a notch above the LE)and vox pads.... so much depth. I'm hoping that I can find the same and more in the Fantom.
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I have an XP-30 and a Triton and I understand what you mean when talkin about it being anemic in live situations. The Fantom is very much a step above with the typical Roland programming slant. I haven't had a chance to dig too deeply into it, but when I have, I have been happy. Pick up the Orchestra and Session sound cards for the Fantom and you won't have anything to regret....

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32


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I like my XP30 for the gig because it fits in an open acoustic piano, where my XP80 or Kurz 2600 won't. Don't know the Korg box, but here's my take on the XP30:


As a jazz gig supplement, I give it 2 out of 5 - the electric jazz guitar and acoustic guitars are OK, but with all the tons of sounds available, I still have performance patches left over (I use about 8 patches, plus I use it to control a Ham-Suz XP1 module. So for sounds, so-so for sounds.


As a controller, I give it 3.5 out of 5 - the sliders are programmable, and it has one feature I like a lot - when you use the keypad, you can call up a new patch and wait, still playing the previous one, till you press enter. OTOH, to call up the patch, you have to hit enter, an extra keystroke...


It's light. As I get older, I appreciate this.


It's expandable - add any expansion card you need. As long as they're still available...


It has the Roland pitch bend/mod combo, which I hate - I like the pitch bend, but you can't hold a mod setting (use a slider instead...)


I get a lot more mileage out of the performance mode by setting up sounds I can blend together: the original patch calls up an active electric jazz guitar, but I can also select acoustic steel string, nylon and 12-string, or mute guitar, or any combination. Jazz guitar with nylon is an interesting Eart Klugh-ish experience. Plus each patch has a split, so I have bass on the last octave-good for ballad endings.



It's all about the music. Really. I just keep telling myself that...

The Soundsmith

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