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Need a little help with choosing an old school synth


NYKeys

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I currently have an Yamaha S-30 and QS6.1 w/classical q card

 

I have retired my Alesis qs6.1 due to a ground loop issue and want to replace it.

 

I am looking to pick up a new toy and found both of these on sale right now.

 

XP-30 $499 mint condition (Played it last night and it sounds good but getting around the interface seems like a challenge)

 

D-50 $300 Mint Condition (I have not played it yet)

 

I am mainly looking for opinions on what there strengths and weaknesses are?

 

What problems if any you ran into?

 

Are these a good price for these boards?

MY Toys - Kurzweil PC1X, Roland A-90, Yamaha KX88, Yamaha CS1x, Novation 49SL MkII, Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2, JBL PRX615M

 

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The D-50 is a monotimbral device. It has a very distinct soundset...any patches you may make on your own are still going to sound like a D-50. That's not necessarily a bad thing...you just need to be aware of it.

 

The XP-30 is more of an all-around board. The JV soundset is an industry staple even now.

 

The prices seem pretty reasonable, although I personally wouldn't pay that much for a '30.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Yeah, is there a reason you're not looking at a QS6.2? Those should be right around $500 too.

 

I've heard good things about the Emu Vintage Keys synth, if you can find one. They were closing out for $400, IIRC. Well worth it.

 

XP-30 would be a good replacement, I think. I've played an XP-10 and an XP-50 - assuming the 30 splits the diff, it should be a good board.

 

Good luck,

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Without waiting for your answer to Bill H's question, I can try to help with my view of the XP-30:

 

Pros: I like the action (not too heavy, not too plasticky, specially good for organ and lead synth stuff. The factory sounds are still impressive by today's standards, and though many are repetitive and need some tweaking (mostly envelope) their sheer number is worth the synth's price tag. It is rather light and compact for the resources it packs. It is (as most ROLAND stuff is) rugged enough to gig around with no problems. The effects section is good. On a personal remark, I'd say I like the looks of it (and abhor the Fantom and assorted tacky refrigerator-looking recent Roland synths). Oh yes, I must admit I like the Steinway grand piano patch.

 

Cons: Well, they have been already exhausted on the excellent review on SOS (check it out on http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug99/articles/rolandxp30.htm?session=53b01bcf40bf4286c4aab90e00d51811), but I totally agree with them: Ridiculous modulation pitch stick (absolutely useless, even worse than on the XP-50/60/80), lack of anything besides one single stereo pair of outputs, filters that are as limited as digital filters tend to be (compared to any sort of analogic filters) and easily the worst text that anyone ever dared calling a user manual. OK I am an Engineer, and after three years I still cannot figure out how to assign some parameters to the palette sliders. Perhaps it is not that complicated, but I get so angry while trying to read the manual that I always end up putting it aside before getting where I intended to get. And there is simply no such thing as user technical support: They love to answer "it is all in the user's manual", regardless of what the question might be :eek: .

 

Now a word about the expandability: Althought the cards are overpriced, some of them are worthy depending on the music you want to play. I got the Vintage Synth and Keys of the 60s&70s and they widen the song scope dramatically. And sooner or later the old SRJV cards (now replaced by the new SRX series) will become cheaper. However you must bear in mind that the XP series is not compatible with the new SRX cards.

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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I suspect you'd be disappointed with the D-50 as a replacement for the QS6.1. Since the QS series is much more recent, it offers lots of things that the D-50 did not have at the time. Plus the QS6.1 contains many D-50 type sounds.

I recently picked up a D-550 (the rack version of the D-50) and was amazed to discover that my QS6 already offered updated, higher-audio-quality versions of the breathy, synthy, D-50 kinds of sounds.

IMHO, if you're looking to replace the QS6.1, it's much better to look for a lower-end keyboard of mid-late 90s vintage, such as the XP-30 that you mention.

 

Ben

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Originally posted by Bill H.:

What kinds of sounds are you looking for in a new synth? Is there anything in particular that you liked about your QS6 that you want duplicated?

I Used it mainly for the leads, brass and FX. The piano and organs I found were unusable. The action on it is cool (better than my s30)

and I like the Controllers.

 

This was my 1st real synth and It served it's purpose one thing that I hated about it was every time I would change patches the sound would cut off.

 

Tried the QS6.2 about a year ago and IMHO it has about the same sounds.

 

To Give you an Idea of what I like

 

I like morphing sounds. Fat moog bass, Hard hitting drums almost R&Bish. Fat Brass that does not sound fake, and strings that make you want to cry.

 

My Dream Sounds are those Chick Corea used with the Electric Band.

MY Toys - Kurzweil PC1X, Roland A-90, Yamaha KX88, Yamaha CS1x, Novation 49SL MkII, Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2, JBL PRX615M

 

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Originally posted by DafDuc:

XP-30 would be a good replacement, I think. I've played an XP-10 and an XP-50 - assuming the 30 splits the diff, it should be a good board.

Splitting the difference? The XP-30 has much more in common with the XP-50 minus the sequencer but not skipping on the expansions. The XP-10 is another of those Roland thingies that don't really deserve the moniker but get it anyway. Just FYI :) .

 

And the bender sucks, indeed ;) . Can't wait to have it replaced by a triplet of red-glowing rubber modwheels :D .

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A D-50 in mint condition? Wow!

 

I wouldn't get a Rompler, sampler or a FM synth that is more than 15 years old. I have a Yamaha CP-70 and a Rhodes Stage 73 that are about 25 years old each, but I'm sure they'll last for another 25 and will always sound fresh to me.

 

I would spend my $500 on the newer ones. More sounds, more voices(64-128)and more control.

 

My first choice: E-mu PK or Vintage Pro. I love the sounds and the expansion boards are very inexpensive right now.

 

Second choice would be the XP-30, for the still good recycled sounds.

 

And there's the Kurzweil KME-61. PC2 sounds in a non-expandable non-programmable little keyboard.Um,I don't think I would get that.

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Originally posted by b3player:

I like morphing sounds. Fat moog bass, Hard hitting drums almost R&Bish. Fat Brass that does not sound fake, and strings that make you want to cry.

 

The XP-30 has a good selection of pads that start in one space and end in another. It's not good at analog bass sounds in general, but does TB-303 squelchy bass fairly well. The Vintage Synth expansion board helps some, but the problems with these sounds are mostly in the lowpass filter, which is a perfectly good filter for shaping ROM samples but doesn't have much analog character. I personally like the Precision bass found in all XP's. XP's have a good selection af old school drums, but they're not quite as crisp as Fantoms and Motifs with their higher sampling rates and better reverbs. But you're not in that price range, so...

 

All XP's with the Session board (built into the XP-30) have excellent solo saxes, trumpets, and flutes, but the ensemble patches are not as good. Both sampled and analog strings in XP's are very strong, especially if you bypass the internal reverb (again not the best) and use a high quality outboard unit.

 

Well, that's my take on the sounds you mentioned. Other opinions may differ and are welcome of course...

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While I like the D-50 better (sounds more like a real synth than a rompler), it sounds like the XP is more up your alley.

 

I would suggest you try playing an XP-50 or XP-60 (if I'm not mistaken the keys on the XP-50 and XP-60 might feel better- someone correct me here please)

 

oh- and the XP-60 has some sliders for real time performance doesn't it ?

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Originally posted by Yoozer:

And the bender sucks, indeed ;) . Can't wait to have it replaced by a triplet of red-glowing rubber modwheels :D .[/QB]

Yoozer, do you mean it is actually possible to replace the crappy XP-30 bender by some sort of modulation wheel? I gave it a thought, but dismissed it as too much complicated. Did anybody actually made this customization? Any tips are warmly welcome!
"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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Thanks for all the advise guys. The xp30 looks like more of what I need but I think I might keep looking or just save my money and get a Nord electro/lead and Mo ES7

MY Toys - Kurzweil PC1X, Roland A-90, Yamaha KX88, Yamaha CS1x, Novation 49SL MkII, Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2, JBL PRX615M

 

My Music Page

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