Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

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Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby iphoenix » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:39 pm

Im interested in both of these , mainly for their synthesis/ sound capabilities , but can only afford one at present.

Both are around the same price for me at current prices.

I have no experience with either or indeed any Kurzweil or Ensoniq instruments, but have always wanted to get into the deep sound design & programming abilities of many models of both.

Ive decided that I would like to get one of them & I have been reading reviews of them for years so Im aware of their basic specs which I understand are very variable in their different OSs /revisions

The ASR10 seems less appealing to me right now because as far as Im aware its totally dependent on loading a floppy disc nearly every time you want to do anything programming-wise while the Kurz K2000 comes with internal ROM.

The ASR10 appeals for many reasons not least being the DP2/4 series effects chips & the ability to run signals through the fx.

The Kurzweil synthesis capabilities seems to be huge (vast) , but Im also very interested in the ASR10 as a Transwave synth.

They both look a bit tedious from a programming point of view ,especially the Kurzweil, but I am experienced with programming deep hardware digital synths via their limited parameter access,so that should not be too much of a deterrant.

The fact that the Kurzweil seems to be able to load Roland samples & many other ( 90s)formats is also appealing.

I will probably go for either in rack format , though there seems to be more K2000 s in keyboard format.

Right now its either a fully expanded (RAM) ASR10 rack with SCSI or a Kurzweil VP with 32MB RAM , both come to around the same price as I said, with shipping.

I would be interested to hear some users of both models,; your points of view on which you would prefer & why etc, Thanks

Have a great 2016 & the rest
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby synthroom » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:59 pm

I just bought a K2000VP a couple weeks ago and it seems pretty cool. I've not played with programming it much, but the VAST looks interesting the way it's layer out with the display and the menu buttons. I also like how the units are in real units like Hertz and seconds, not mystery units that range from 0 to 127...

I've no Ensoniq experience so I can't comment on that at all.
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby synthroom » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:05 pm

It looks like the ASR10 maxes out at 16 mb of RAM. The K2000 vp can go to 64 MB and SCSI is standard. I plan on installing a SCSI2SD card in my K2000 vp and that should give it 4 virtual drives of 2 GB each of storage. The Kurzweil certainly wins in the ram side of things.

The K2000 aslo reads pc-dos format disks, whereas the ASR10 uses a proprietary format for floppies. I've got a bunch of zip disks that have K2000 samples and patches on them and they read in my pc with no extra software required.
Last edited by synthroom on Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby iphoenix » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:38 pm

Thanks Kirk, thats useful.

Someone near me was selling an ASR10 keyboard with a huge library on floppy/SD converter chip. It was quite a bit more expensive than my budget requirements, but that would have been the perfect way to go with the ASR ie: no need to load floppies all the time to do anything.
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby abruzzi » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:24 am

A few quick points on the Kurzweil (can't give you info on the ASR10. I've wanted on, but prices seem to be staying higher.)

- the Kurzweil has sampling as an option. If you want to sample from the synth, make sure the option is installed.

- you don't need the sampling option to load samples, just RAM.

- max RAM is I believe 128mb, not 64mb-I haven't owned a K2000 for a while, but that's what I remember. It is also cheap since it uses standard 30 pin SIMMs. The k2500 and k2600 are both definitely 128mb (I still have both of those.)

- if you find a good price on a k2500rs, I'd get that. It has double the polyphony. With the sampler option installed it also has something called live mode, which allows the sample input to pass through the VAST engine. It even does pitch shifting of live audio (albeit glitchy I'm told.)

- another very useful option is PRAM. It's ram to hold programs (as opposed to samples.) there is a guy in Poland that has remade PRAM and sells it for less than $100. It's very worthwhile. His PRAM for the 2500 and 2600 is easy to install (though it involves pulling a bunch of parts to get to.) His PRAM for the K2000 does require a tiny bit of soldering. Non of this matters if you find a unit that has the Kurzweil part.

- I love programming the K series, but a lot of people find it too complex, or don't like the layout. It is an acquired taste. The use of real world values (setting a filter cutoff by choosing the frequency in hz) is something every synth designer should be required by law to copy.

- the effects processor is weak, especially compared to the dp4 which the asr effects are based on. It's just a digitech chip. If you're looking at k2500s, and you find one with the KDFX installed, that is a much better effects processor, very powerful, and very high quality for a built in effects.

- since there is built in sample rom, you can have sounds and programs that use those samples and remain through power cycles. The bit that takes some getting used to is the fact that sample ram is volatile and PRAM is battery backed. So if you edit a program to use a custom sample, then power cycle the machine, the program remains, but makes no sound since the sample is no longer there. There are also two other ROMs, contemporary and orchestral, that are options. To add those after the fact, you also need a object rom chip that matches what ROMs are installed. The K2500 moved to flashable OS and rom.
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby iphoenix » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:45 pm

Thanks very much for the K2xxx details abruzzi ,& also great to know that there is someone out there that actually enjoys programming Vast /K 2k series.

I missed a few K2000s recently at reasonable prices with shipping, but the prices seem to be rising & they are rare (non -existant) in my part of the world.

Yes I would prefer the K2500 or ideally a K2600X , but they are about 3 times more expensive than the K2000 .

Many users seem to prefer the K2000 sound to the K2500/2600 or later models .

I am more interested in using whichever model I get for pure synthesis rather than any sampling, but to be able to process live sound through Vast & the KDFX would be really intertesting .
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Re: Kurzweil K2000 VPR vs Ensoniq ASR10

Postby DoctorSynth » Sun May 22, 2016 12:19 am

synthroom wrote:It looks like the ASR10 maxes out at 16 mb of RAM. The K2000 vp can go to 64 MB and SCSI is standard. I plan on installing a SCSI2SD card in my K2000 vp and that should give it 4 virtual drives of 2 GB each of storage. The Kurzweil certainly wins in the ram side of things.


How did that work for you? I thought I had read online that the K2000 can only see the first bank if you cut the storage into 4x 2gb volumes.
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