Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local Gigs

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Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local Gigs

Postby vsis » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:23 pm

Hi!

I recently picked back up playing and am interested in purchasing a keyboard or two to play classic rock, hard rock, pink floyd, elton john for use at home, maybe occasional small local-ish gigs.

I used to play (mostly) professionally, what feels like a lifetime ago - 80's through '94, mostly at bars intermixed with up-to moderate sized shows regularly and occasional studio time. Main gear back then was a Korg DW-6000, Korg Poly-800, Oberheim Matrix 6R, and a Yamaha that I haven't looked up yet.

I currently have a fairly decent digital piano that has a few good sounds that was already in the family so to speak. I have no idea what to purchase - would like to end up with a couple of keyboards for $500 to $600 total but more would be ok if the quality rises fairly quickly above that amount... no preference between new/used as long as reliable.

I appreciate any advise / suggestions, thanks for reading!

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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:41 pm

what kind of sounds do you need?
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:56 am

Sounds:

Medium strings, fat strings, subtle brass: comfortably numb / kashmir

Heavy synth: Jump;

Medium synth: Working for the Weekend;

Grand Piano: Bohemian Rhapsody;

Rhodes Piano: Just the Way You Are, I love You;

Hammond Emulation w/ Leslie control: Whiter Shade of Pale / Magic Carpet Ride;

Jazz organ, flute, wurlitizer, Aldo Nova - Fantasy;

Pretty much anything from Rush, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, 70's & 80's type sounds;

Thanks!
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby Ashe37 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:03 am

On a $500 budget? a Korg Triton with the EXB-01 ROM

The keyboard version of a JV-1080 with the appropriate ROM
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:20 am

Would increasing my budget be worthwhile, say up to maybe $800? Or would it be better spent on misc other items? I have amplification/input/output covered.

Thanks!
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby Ashe37 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:22 am

Really either of those will fit your needs
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:03 pm

I will check both of those out.

Thanks!
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby madtheory » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:44 pm

I agree with Ashe37, a ROMpler is a great option. Spend more money, get a Kurzweil.

You would definitely find the Pink Floyd patches for a Kurzweil, I've seen/ heard them and he used one himself. You'd certainly get a K2000 v3 rack fully expanded with your budget. Not a keyboard though.

Korg ROMplers from that era tends to be characterful and inconsistent (e.g. strings can be a bit meh, brass and keys vary from meh to amazing), Roland more bright and cutting, very clean, more consistent and probably less characterful. Roland usually packed more samples into the PCM memory than Korg, who tend to go for character. Both are great. Over here the Korgs were more popular than the Rolands with cover bands. But you'd always see Kurzweil's in the pit at musicals- those players were on more money, and the Kurz was just the best.

If you don't mind carrying a digital piano to gigs, you can MIDI it to a Roland JV-1080 (or better, JV-2080 same thing but easier to use) which is cheap, reliable and expandable. Also there are thousands of free patches available online. You'll probably find someone somewhere who has programmed up the exact patches you need.

The keyboard versions of those JV modules is the XP-60, XP-50 and XP-80. All very nice genuinely semi-weighted actions.

Finally, if you own a Mac, try MainStage. MIDI from your digital piano. It is awesome.
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:28 pm

I was coming back with a couple of questions which you have answered. I will take a look at the K2000 v3, It turns out that the digital piano (Kawai PN80) that I have been recently stumbling around on has midi in/out connectors. With that being the case, I am thinking I could use it as a basic controller / workstation if I did go with the k2000 rackmount or JV-1080 rackmount.

The Kawai's keyboard and chassis is nice while the particleboard stand is a bit lacking and too short (I prefer to stand) so if I could / did go that route the stand and I would have to sort out our differences :-)

Posting from my macbook pro at this time, will definitely check out Mainstage!
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby madtheory » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:08 pm

Whoa, that Kawai is impractical for gigging! If you're adventurous, the Alesis Fusion 88 had superb action. It's a very very powerful synth, but you'll need to do a bit of work to get your sounds.

Or, get Mainstage and buy a new Akai MPK88. Gorgeous action on that, and it is very solidly built.
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby Z » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:42 am

Sounds like a 2000s model ROMpler is what you need. I've got a couple of Roland Fantom X6s (one at home and one at my office). I like them. They have a few hundred preset sounds and all your bread-and-butter needs taken care of. Excellent grand piano, Rhodes, strings and pretty decent vintage analog sounds. You can even assign several "favorites" for quick recall when playing live.

One of my buddies is in a Pink Floyd cover band and he uses a Fantom X6 and a F08. You can pick up an X6 for under $800 these days.

In addition to all the great sounds, there's a 16 track MIDI sequencer, tons of built-in drum rhythms, programmable arpeggiator, SAMPLING capability (my buddy has all the traffic sounds when they play "On The Run") and if you get an X6 with audio expansion, it adds 8 STEREO audio tracks making the keyboard a mini DAW. I also like running external gear through the X6's built-in multi-fx processor.
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:19 pm

Sorry to completely change direction... I checked to see what's available locally / used and found a few Korgs, Kurzweils, and Rolands. btw madtheory, thanks for my new obsession with Kurzweil, especially as a Richard Wright fan :-)

I am going to try and pay all/some a visit and see how they feel and then report back for additional feedback.
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby madtheory » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:51 am

Go Kurz! :)
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Ha, you know it.... After listening to a Kurzweil 2600 I was sold, well on sound / features, not price as much but.. maybe.... So, now for my dilemma... There is a Kurzweil 2500XS available, it seems to be functionally solid and also probably a bit more than typically expected cosmetic damage. The molding has a small piece broken away just beyond the top C. The metal ridge that exists under the molding is undamaged. It has a floppy with it that is labeled with DEMO25, FARM25, VIDEO.

I have read about some of the additional features on the K2600, such as triple strike and KDFX, some of which can be retrofitted into the K2500 and some of which cannot. I have also noticed a few references to instability / crashes but would assume these are isolated instances?

Any thoughts on should / shouldn't go ahead with the K2500XS, hold out for a K2600XS, or should I be looking in a different direction in a used Kurzweil? I feel like I can hear differences but maybe it's a mind trick.
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Re: Questions - Purchasing Pair of Keyboards - Home/ Local G

Postby vsis » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:02 am

Comparing the K6XX series and the PCI3X...
Please add/ correct the list below and which you would prefer / recommend and thoughts regarding sounds on each. I believe I have read the PCI3X includes some/all? of the 26XX stock sounds and sounds from expansion cards?

- Both have full 88 keys, weighted. The K26XX is both heavier and a bit larger.

- K26XX has an onboard sequencer, the PCI3X does not.

- PCI3X has easier storage hardware than the K26XX;

- PCI3X is more.


Finally, trying to compare the 2500XS to the 2600XS but it becomes a bit confusing, especially since some of the 2600 features can be added into the 2500. What would I be missing if I went with the 2500XS?

Thanks!
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