Author Topic: Quick impressions on several keyboards  (Read 808 times)

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Offline SciNote

Quick impressions on several keyboards
« on: July 04, 2018, 04:05:33 AM »
Went back to the music store today.  They STILL don't have the PSR-E463 on display -- even though they now appear to have completely sold out of the E453, as I didn't see that either.  They still just had the E463 bulk-stacked in boxes.  But, I did take a quick look at a few other boards there...

Casio CTX-5000...

Yes, the big kahuna was there now.  Sounds like the CTX-3000, which is to say, very good.  From what I've read, there are significant differences between the 3000 and the 5000, including more reverb and chorus settings, a higher powered amp, and the modulation button, which all go toward justifying its 50% greater price -- $450 instead of $300 US.  And, I played around with the DSP settings to try to edit them, and yes, I could get into some submenus that appeared to be fine-tuning the DSP settings.  And I'm sure that this is the kind of thing an owner would get used to, but in my opinion, this feature is anything but user-friendly or intuitive.  All of the menu controls are shared with a numeric keypad, giving these buttons multiple functions, and nothing was labeled clearly enough for me to determine how the parameter I was adjusting related to the DSP feature.  For example, I got a cool echo-y piano/strings sound, but I have no idea how I really got to that sound.  To me, its a big difference from the PSR-E400's, which all but invite you to play around with the sound with the live-control knobs and the logical way that those knobs' functions are assigned.  The key feel is similar to other recent Casios, which to me is a little spongy, but I did get used to it as I was playing around with it

Yamaha PSR-F51...

This is an extremely basic keyboard.  It is not touch sensitive, and it has a sound-set reminiscent of Yamaha's basic boards of the early 1990's, and also reminiscent of that time period is the basic numeric LED display that indicates your settings.  There is no direct control of reverb or chorus, and the sound, while not bad, is a bit thin.  It seems to me that the only reason to get such a keyboard would be for someone who wants to maybe buy it for a kid to see if they have an interest in learning to play before investing any more money, and that this person would want the absolute cheapest new keyboard available that has a good, well-known name like Yamaha.  Otherwise, it would seem that the PSE-E263, for $20 more than the F51's $100 price, would make more sense.


Yamaha Montage 6...

They finally got this bugger hooked up!  No way did I have the time to figure out how to edit the sounds, but I'm sure all kinds of editing features are there.  As expected, there are just hundreds and hundreds of sounds.  You call up a sound category, like "piano" or "organ", like normal, then a list of sounds appears on a touch screen.  And then you can scroll down for more sounds in that category.  And more.  And more!  It's what you'd expect for $3000.  But honestly, some of the sounds did not sound any better than what I've heard on the PSR-E series, but of course, others were far more intricate.  There was an interesting jazz vocal sound, which played various doo/wop/etc. type of scat sounds as you played the keyboard.  And interestingly, as I played up and down the keyboard, the same key would produce a different scat syllable.  Not sure if it was due to how hard I was playing the key, what notes I played before it, if it was random, or if there was some other guiding parameter.  One important limitation: When I selected a new sound to play and then hit a note or chord, the keyboard did not respond right away.  It took about 1 second for the keyboard to set up the new sound before I could play it.  If this holds true with registration or performance settings, that could be a considerable drawback when playing live.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 04:09:48 AM by SciNote »
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 
The following users thanked this post: SeaGtGruff, Mikk

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 08:03:35 PM »
Nice reviews!
I would like to add my impression about Kurzweil KP110 (which is goes under the name Medeli M361 and Roland X-E20 in different markets) and can be a Yamaha's PSR competitor in price range  ~250$.
While it have a great specs on papper, I'm a bit disappointment when tried it in a store.
First of all, it's rebranded China-made Medeli, the only thing from Kurzweil is "Triple Strike" piano sample and name on case :)
Build quality is more like cheapest line of Casio keyboards with so-so plastic, springy keyboard and "bulky" case design and overall "toy" feeling.
Soundwise it's very mid-emphasis even in headphones with lack of bottom-end. Styles are terrible..
So I've took my PSR-E363 at the end :)
Long-term Yamaha user and synth player since 1999
My music on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PracticalSenses1/videos
 
The following users thanked this post: AnupamEnosh

Offline vbdx66

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 08:44:56 PM »
Hi,

I think there is another drawback with the Kurzweil KP100. If I am not mistaken, it doesnít fulfill the General MIDI standard, which means it wonít even correctly play back standard MIDI files... :P

I canít imagine a keyboard in 2018 which wonít comply to the GM standard... being able to play back a standard MIDI file is such a basic functionality...

Regards,

Vinciane
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650, looking for an affordable hype portable keyboard.
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 11:30:12 PM »
The KP100 and KP110 have a pitch bend wheel like the PSR-E4xx, but they don't have functions or respond to MIDI messages for changing the Attack Time, Release Time, Cutoff Frequency, and Filter Resonance.

On the other hand, they do have 128-note polyphony, as well as the ability to receive MIDI on just a specific channel (as well as on all channels), although they apparently transmit MIDI on just a single channel.

So I wouldn't consider them as possible replacements for a PSR-E4xx, but their polyphony alone does make them attractive as a possible companion to a PSR-E4xx. :)
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
 

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2018, 02:49:05 AM »
Kurzweil KP110 (which is goes under the name Medeli M361 and Roland X-E20 in different markets)

Before you posted this, I was well assured with the originality of this kB, but now as I know the truth, I see how terribly Roland EX20 was marketed in India claiming its voices adopted from Roland's high end synths.
BTW how cheap is this setup, that two different companies rebranded this as their original product ! And Roland even removed the lighting under the jog-dial, to cut down prices ! *facepalm* x2
Anupam
Yamaha PSR-E453, Casio SA 21
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2018, 08:15:15 AM »
Very interesting.  At the music store, I saw a couple Medeli keyboards, and I took a brief look at them, but I forget the model numbers.  One was a cheap keyboard for about, maybe $70-80, and it was clearly a kid's starter keyboard.  But the other was actually pretty decent and even included DSP.  However -- and I could be wrong as I was wrong about my initial reaction to the Casios -- it seems it has a preset DSP effect for certain sounds that can be turned on and off, but not adjusted or customized.  But again, maybe this is possible in some funky submenu.  I'm not sure if it is the same keyboard being discussed here or not -- I'll have to take another look.

I also find it fascinating that Kursweil would put their name on such a product.  I remember when they first came out, they were associated with some of the highest quality keyboards, so if I saw even a lower cost keyboard with the Kursweil name, then I would expect something special.  Then again, if it has 128 note polyphony, then that is pretty impressive for this price range.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline pjd

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2018, 02:53:58 PM »
The Roland web site indicates 391 panel voices plus GM2 voice set (256 voices). When I glanced at the voice list for the Kurzweil, it did look "GM2-ish."

However, nobody bothered to check or get GM2 compliance, so no GM2 logo for you! That makes me wonder if it implements the rest of the GM2 standard?

All in all, it looks overpriced for what you get ($399 USD). They're trolling for parents who want to buy an instrument for their kid.

The re-branding is not that surprising in this day and age...

Hey, hey, all the best -- pj
 
 

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2018, 04:08:34 PM »
An interesting thing that you'll need software "PC Suite", to transfer MIDI and user data files into KP110, but Kurzweil site is not providing it, so you need to go to the Medeli site to get one (and it also have another name "Pootute V2.2") :)
Sounds like a bad joke, you can read details here http://kurzweil.com/knowledgebase/ka110/song_recorder/503/
Their top-synth are also overpriced, taking into account that PC3 still use a slightly improved sound-engine of ancient K2XXX series.

Material from Wiki: "Kurzweil Music Systems is an American company that produces electronic musical instruments.
It was founded in 1982 by Stevie Wonder (musician), Raymond Kurzweil (innovator) and Bruce Cichowlas (software developer).
The company was acquired by Young Chang in 1990. Hyundai acquired Young Chang in 2006"

« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 04:13:02 PM by Practical Senses »
Long-term Yamaha user and synth player since 1999
My music on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PracticalSenses1/videos
 

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 04:58:41 PM »
Here is it :) As well as Medeli M361
Long-term Yamaha user and synth player since 1999
My music on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PracticalSenses1/videos
 

Offline mikf

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 05:49:42 PM »
While people will of course compare and find pros and cons, overall itís pretty amazing how low cost a decent keyboard has become.
I bought a Yamaha digital piano a couple of weeks ago for my granddaughter in the UK when I was over there. It is a solid respectable looking piece of furniture, and it would take a pretty decent acoustic piano to sound and feel better, - cost about $1200 delivered and set up and included a nice stool. And that included sales tax (VAT) of 20%! Looking around the range and pricing of keyboards in the store I have to wonder how they can make a living. Margins must be razor thin.
Mike
 

Re: Quick impressions on several keyboards
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 07:42:30 PM »
Here is it :) As well as Medeli M361
Its voices sound so electronic, that I have put it below Yamaha, I would get myself a Casio CTX anyday, instead of these multi-model duplicated boards :(
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 07:43:38 PM by AnupamEnosh »
Anupam
Yamaha PSR-E453, Casio SA 21