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What happened to Kurzweil?

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:23 am
by ZeeOne
Back in the 90s/early 2000s these guys were like the Rolls Royce/Bentley of the keyboard world, but now all of their stuff seems dated. They've never used touchscreens and even their website looked like something out of the early to mid 2000s until recently. VAST, to the best of my knowledge, is still the same architecture used on the K2000, a keyboard from almost 30 years ago.

Also, most of their higher end keyboards only come in 88/76-key models. Do they think 61-key workstations aren't professional or something?

Re: What happened to Kurzweil?

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:30 pm
by meatballfulton
Kurzweil was purchased by a Korean piano mfr named Young Chang in 1990. They are very much in business, coming out with new models that are mostly refinements of the K2000 series. The reason for the lack of 61 key models is that from day one with the Kurzweil 250 the big attraction was to pianists. Today, the bulk of their line is digital pianos.

One very famous user (still) of the workstations is Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Re: What happened to Kurzweil?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:08 pm
by madtheory
Arguably they're all dated. I think the Forte 88 competes well with the Korg Kronos or similar offerings from Roland and Yamaha. All of these are basically the same architecture they introduced 15 to 20 years ago, but with more memory, computing power etc. etc. They all have big sampling engines, FM synthesis, VA and some fancy DSP stuff. The USP of the Kurzweil is that you can run each DSP into the next, up to 32 layers deep. That's arguably more synth power, and more flexibility, than the others. Against it is it is harder to understand.

Personally I think touchscreens on synths are too compromised unless it's exactly like an iPad. I found the one on the Kronos a bit slow to respond. The nearest I've tried to the Fantom was one on the V-Synth. It was OK it didn't have as much to display, and nowhere near as good as an iPad.

The Kronos, for me, just about had the edge for action compared to Roland and Yamaha. Haven't used the Kurz but it's apparently a Fatar, I personally disliked their action in the past.

So, ya, Kurzweil is still very much viable. But I do agree it is kind of a shame they don't make a 61 key, or better (for me) a rack version. I would like a K2500R :)

Re: What happened to Kurzweil?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:57 pm
by ZeeOne
madtheory wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:08 pm
But I do agree it is kind of a shame they don't make a 61 key, or better (for me) a rack version. I would like a K2500R :)
To be fair, they do have two versions of the PC3 that have 61-key models. But neither the Forte nor the PC4 have 61-key versions, though the latter is fairly new so maybe a 61-key model might appear down the road.