What is a good keytar?

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What is a good keytar?

Postby Project Resonance » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:22 pm

Hi. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me their opinions on keytars. I apologise if this is a stupid question, but I've looked all over the internet and can't seem to find any actual specs or detailed information on them. For example what others aside from the Yamaha SHS-10 have built-in sounds? Also, are the built-in sounds on the SHS-10 tweakable or are they strictly presets? Does anyone have any advice on what keytar would be the best buy for someone not looking to spend a ridiculous amount of money. (Particularly not on something that's just a midi-controller.) I'm really interested having one because I'd love to have something portable and easier to move with.

I'd really appreciate any advice, thanks.
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Joey » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:44 pm

the shs10 is on the same level as cheap casio keyboards in terms of sounds...

none of the rest outside of the moog liberation have built in sounds

dont buy a keytar
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby rhino » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:48 pm

had a Casio AZ-1 for years. was fun but sat in the case the last 10 years. sold it.
IMHO the Roland AX-7 is the keytar that has the best chance of getting repaired if it dies.
The Korg, Casio and Yamaha items are plastic toys. the Lync was (they say) very good, but good luck finding one...or parts and service.
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby 8bit9bot » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:19 pm

if i was getting one... it'd be the yamaha kx-5 - its a midi controller and a heck of a lot more impressive than the shs-10 you were talking about... tho it has no built in synth - but that wouldnt matter to me... i'd rather use it to control one of the synths i have already
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Pro5 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:42 pm

Firstly I bought an shs-10 for £10 a few months back - only to sell on ebay (at a nice profit)

DO NOT BUY AN SHS-10 is IS and always WAS a toy. I remember it in the 80s being marketed as such, in the same style as the other PSS range (and I was a kid at the time and I wanted one). Now however, it's very very tacky. Some people like them as a fun toy but it's not a serious bit of kit.

Yamaha KX5 was a pro bit of kit, used by Michael Jackson's keyboard player (for one) and many others... that's what I'd look for too. Any keytar is only as good as the rack/soft/synth you plug it into, inc the shs-10 - do NOT even consider it just because it has 'it's own sounds' - those sounds are sub PSS style sounds of which you'd not even use for a joke... trust me. The built in speaker also looks stupid - lastly it's very tiny, it's pitch bend wheel is very low res and it's keys are the cheapest plastic you'll ever feel (and of course non velocity sensitive).

Only ever buy one for £10 or thereabouts, as a joke... or to sell on to someone less clued up.

I've never felt the need for a keytar since I was a kid in the 80s, and prob never will but it would be between the KX5 and the ROLANDs (Duran's John Taylor has recently been using a Roland Keytar live!!)


EDIT > no the sounds are not in any way editable.. it is NOT a synthesizer at all, it is a KIDS home keyboard with a fancy shape, that's it. If you ever played a PSS or Cheap casio KEYBOARD in the 80s it's exactly the same but in a mini keytar shape. It does have some uses (Still) as a controller, esp for females who sometimes actually prefer mini keys (as do some men) but don't ever think of it as a synth or for what it can do itself other than as a midi controller. Also you should realise how SMALL these units are, I mean on a grown man they look absolutely ridiculous... but then I guess even most full sized keytars do ;)
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Joey » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:03 pm

as a side note, why the f**k is john taylor playing keytar live? could it be that nick isnt playing ANYTHING AT ALL with his huge keyboard rig?

why?

why dont they just take nick off stage completely, its emberassing
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Villi » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:09 pm

The new Roland one has built in sounds doesn't it?

EDIT: Yep, http://www.rolandus.com/products/produc ... arentId=83
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Pro5 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:46 pm

Joey wrote:as a side note, why the f**k is john taylor playing keytar live? could it be that nick isnt playing ANYTHING AT ALL with his huge keyboard rig?

why?

why dont they just take nick off stage completely, its emberassing


I think it's just a novelty? Maybe for one or two songs, only seen pics not vid so...

OF course JT belongs on bass... legend. I suppose he's playing synth bass? They started that with the electro set they did on recent tours for RCM (where they ALL had synths).
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Pro5 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:48 pm

Villi wrote:The new Roland one has built in sounds doesn't it?

EDIT: Yep, http://www.rolandus.com/products/produc ... arentId=83



SEXY! :mrgreen:

Yeah to the OP.. GET THIS ONE! It'll cost ya but seems ideal!
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby madtheory » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:53 am

Pro5 wrote:Firstly I bought an shs-10 for £10 a few months back - only to sell on ebay (at a nice profit)

Me too. It is a piece of s**t.

The Roland is very nice. So is the KX-5, but way over priced.
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby synthRodriguez » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:47 am

I used the KX-5 back in the '80's and still have it, although it mostly sits in the corner. I do find it seems to impart that "something special' when reproducing bass lines however, and pull it out occasionally for that. It is pro quality. The only maintenance I've had to do is clean the midi connection contacts which was causing intermittent behavior.

The KX-5 is a very usable unit. The key throw is good although the aftertouch sensitivity is a little stiff and occasionally requires you the squeeze the key between your first finger and thumb on the back of the unit to get to 127. It does take a bit of getting used to the short and narrow keys but eventually it's very natural. DX-100 the same, but takes a little more finesse and less beer. No aftertouch on the DX-100 IIRC.

The pitch bend ribbon on the KX-5 is very usable as well. Rub your left hand index (slide) finger on the side of your nose a couple of times before you use it for the perfect slide friction on the ribbon. Learned that one from a flute player, no kidding.

The countersunk boss on the end of the KX-5 unit is also the perfect size to hold a cigarette (which I don't smoke anymore).

AAh, the old days before that. B-3 on the bottom, CS-40m on the top, CP-30 to the left with a Crumar Orchestrator on that. Probably knocking out Hoedown...

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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Gianni » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:24 am

Usually keytars make you look dumb to a lot of people.
KX5 makes you look funky!



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And yes, he still rocks it:

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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Project Resonance » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:54 pm

Thanks for your input everyone, and when asking about preset sounds I figured they weren't great. I have another synth, so it's not like I would be intending to use the keytar explicity for its sounds; I'd just prefer the ease of not being required to plug it all in for certain situations, like practise. So, I suppose there's really nothing suitable for a younger beginning level player without an excessive amount to spend on an instrument?
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby Pro5 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:21 pm

Project Resonance wrote:a younger beginning level player without an excessive amount to spend


Oh, well that change it a bit. Buy an SHS-10, just don't pay more than.. about £20 for it ;)

About the KX5, I think it's functional/purposeful shape makes it look less 'show offy' compared to the curvy units from others. That and it's 80s retro-ness have a touch of irony to it, doesn't take it self too seriously but packs a punch... THE Roland AXs seem like good all rounders but perhaps are over styled a bit (trying too much to be 'guitar like').

There is also the choice of a Roland SH-101 with ModGrip/Strap attached.. with that you get a cool synth as well (that you don't HAVE to wear around your neck if girls are present :lol: )....
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Re: What is a good keytar?

Postby madtheory » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:21 pm

The Yamaha CS-01 is rather brilliant too. Same key action as the KX5 I guess. Whereas the SHS10 is just a little bit too small. Pretty much unplayable. Just a toy.
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