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CME VX8


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I'm waiting on this now for almost a year :-). I sold my UF8 prematurely in April based on the original release date of February for the VX8 :-).

 

It is supposedly now in stock and available at various e-Stores here, but as I have yet to see one for real in an actual store, I would be afraid to order one in case the action is different.

 

Probably I'll have to wait until Winter NAMM and try it out there (unless they have some at AES next week). It is unlikely that it will be carried in many stores.

 

Recently I have heard that the UF series has a horrible track record of amage in shipment, which makes me nervous. Maybe I was lucky with mine (I ordered mine from Grandma's Music in Albuquerque NM). It was double-boxed and the outer box was completely ripped to shreds when it arrived.

 

For that reason, if no other, I really would prefer to buy mine the old-fashioned way -- at a store.

 

This month's Electronic Musician and Leyboard both have prominent ads for the VX, with more details than before. Previous ads have also looked rather prototype-ish, so I'm guessing this thing is now finally in its real production run.

 

I am intrigued by some of the partial close-ups in the ad copy. The motorised faders all seem to have some default assignments that could come in quite handy. I'm also hoping the twelve pads are responsive, as I simply can't afford to replace my stolen E-Mu XL-7 which I had bought over the Proteus 2500 rack primarily to have a good drum controller.

 

The knobs probably all default to Yamaha-friendly assignments, which will also be nicce. I like that the data wheel is as on the Motif vs. the old UF8, and that overall the construction quality of the VX8 looks like a high-end workstation. The UF8 was great, but wasn't a lifetime purchase by any stretch. The VX8 might just be the best thing since the old Yamaha KX88, if not even better.

 

I especially like having four MIDI outputs. I sold my Edirol MIDI patchbay (again, prematurely :-)) as soon as the VX8 was announced. I hate hate hate hate having to deal with MIDI patching on stage, as something always goes wrong in the heat of the moment (or in the complete darkness of most stages during setup time).

 

Having four parallel MIDI outs means you can hook up everything from the VX8, and not worry if you need a few MIDI THRU's to additional modules as you won't be doing excessive daisy-chaining so shouldn't have problems with MIDI clock sync.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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The issue that was raised with the UF series was specific to the semi-weighted UF7 model. The speculation was that it got less quality control attention than the others, as that is the least favourite size for a keyboard (which is why vendors so infrequently make that size available when they release new synths and workstations).

 

There is no way that the VX8 could have the same action as the Motif ES 8, as it has graded hammer action as opposed to the balanced hammer action of the Motif ES 8.

 

I do have to admit that the UF8 feels slightly wiggly when playing it with no sound module attached and just listening to the noise of the keybed is a bit disconcerting (it's loud and clacky!). But once it is hooked up, there is no other keyboard that has responded as quickly to the types of playing styles that most weighted digital keybeds fail on (multi-strike, glissandos, etc.).

 

As I detest synth action, I haven't even tried the others in the series, so cannot speak to their quality in comparison to E-Mu, Novation, Korg, or Alesis (the M-Audio stuff feels like a toy to me -- even their so-called higher-end stuff). I just wish CME would switch their 73 key model to have waterfall keys with organ action, as that is a much-needed solution for Native Instruments B4 II players.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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The CME's are made in the same factory as Yamaha Motif keybeds, which may be where the confusion arose about them being the same. Nevertheless, no one has said categorically whether Yamaha actually makes the CME keybeds and they do the rest, or whether this is indeed a "designed in China" keybed/action, making them a new player (vs. a repackager of existing technology).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Originally posted by Mark Schmieder:

The CME's are made in the same factory as Yamaha Motif keybeds, which may be where the confusion arose about them being the same. Nevertheless, no one has said categorically whether Yamaha actually makes the CME keybeds and they do the rest, or whether this is indeed a "designed in China" keybed/action, making them a new player (vs. a repackager of existing technology).

Where do you get your information? I remember reading an article written by Craig Anderton where he detailed the manufacture of CME keyboards. He went to China and toured the factory where they were made. Yamaha US is the distributor of CME in the USA. I can find no other details of a more extensive relationship.

 

I played a CME UF7 a while back and thought the feel of the keyboard action was just like that on the cheapest controllers. The QC was so bad on the action and the rest of the unit, the dealer end up sending it back.

 

Busch.

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The CME UF7 is not a weighted action like the UF8. I'm not sure why someone would judge a company's entire line by one product type. Different decisions are made for each market. The customer base for 88 key controllers is different. The comkmonality is in the feature set, which is identical across the UF line. I see no reason to draw conclusions about one action from another, without trying them separately.

 

The information regarding the manufacturing is right there on CME's website and has been for over a year, unless they have taken it down recently (it's been almost two weeks since I last visited their site). They proudly announced their manufacturing relationship with Yamaha (if not the details) the very day their website was launched, and this predates the marketing agreement by quite a long time.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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