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Topic Options
#2133125 - 08/15/13 01:42 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1374
Loc: The Netherlands
Nobody said here that the piano is a rework. It's just that that one piano sound is the ONLY really new feature, the rest the same meat in a different package (and less). Bit underwhelming after 5 years of waiting for a new KRZ with fresh sounds. Don't care abou the price range; it simply could have been been more interesting , e.g. if it was only 15kg or less, like the other TP100 based boards. Hope they have more in the pipeline soon (not another 3 years off). Anyway for this price it will find its way into a few gigging hands and does its tricks with pride.

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Kawai Superb Stage Piano and Controller

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#2133171 - 08/15/13 06:29 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2580
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I think Kurzweil is being squeezed out by the big boys. Like Korg (but for slightly different reasons).

Kurzweil brings nothing unique to the table. So-so key action. Yes, new piano sample but I'd urge people not to get excited about that. Everything is unremarkable. Support and service is scary because Kurzweil is starting to look like a company on the brink of oblivion (like General Music before it).

The big boys have it sewn-up. Roland's pianos and the Fantom. Kawai's key actions and homely image as upright piano substitutes (CA series). Yamaha's ubiquity (universal accessibility and acceptance).

The only apparently successful manufacturer that is a bit niche is Nord - and they bring a whole load of USPs to the table and so they deserve that success.

I mean, why buy Kurzweil? Why?
Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CP1 | Physis H1

#2133202 - 08/15/13 08:13 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: EssBrace]
pv88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 3152
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I mean, why buy Kurzweil? Why?

+1 - there are many other better choices.

#2134143 - 08/17/13 12:29 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: EssBrace]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 743
Loc: Denton Texas
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I mean, why buy Kurzweil? Why?

I'm not sure on the Digital Piano front, but their VAST workstations kick some major sonic butt - even today. For people who really dive in to the architecture of sound manipulation, there are still plenty of reasons to buy a Kurzweil.
Les C Deal

#2134258 - 08/17/13 09:07 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: LesCharles73]
karlosserio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 27
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
I'll be waiting for some hands-on reviews.
The specs don't make or brake a keyboard, and in the case of Kurzweil I respect the programming that they put into the sounds.
My faithful PC2R still gets a lot of "Wows!" when playing live.

#2134276 - 08/17/13 09:49 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
Big McLargehuge Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 43
Never been so happy with a board as I am with my pc361. I bought it instead of a clonewheel; not saying the organ beats the various clonewheels but it's very good, and it handles all my piano/EP/VA sounds very well. I don't really like the actions on their weighted boards though, right now I drive the pc361 sounds from a weighted Studiologic controller.

I paid $999 used, and I don't think the big guys have anything (used or otherwise) that compare to it in that price bracket. Again organ is the thing that sets it apart. None of the Korg or Yamahas have a decent organ. I do like the Roland Vr700, if I'd seen one at the time for that price I may have gotten one. It can't do the synths or programming of the pc3 though. Also considered a nord electro 3 used, but it only does one sound at a time, I didn't like the action at all, and it was a good 300 more to boot.

#2134304 - 08/17/13 10:55 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: EssBrace]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3799
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I mean, why buy Kurzweil? Why?

Strictly as a piano, you might have a case (at least prior to the Artis, which I haven't heard). But as an overall multi-function keyboard (workstation/rompler), if you can deal with their weight, they are high value boards. Great sounds, very flexible. If you want a rompler with a "virtual analog" component and a "clonewheel" component, Yamaha has none, Korg has nothing below the price of the Kronos. If you want aftertouch, you have to look at a $2500+ model from Korg or Yamaha, they don't put that feature on their lower end workstations, but Kurzweil does. They are also at the top for functionality as a MIDI controller.

#2134438 - 08/17/13 04:49 PM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2580
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I get the synth stuff and orchestral sounds but as a piano.....no.
Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CP1 | Physis H1

#2134456 - 08/17/13 05:41 PM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: EssBrace]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 743
Loc: Denton Texas
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I get the synth stuff and orchestral sounds but as a piano.....no.

I tend to agree with that. Hopefully the Artis is only the beginning of new things for Kurz.
Les C Deal

#2134470 - 08/17/13 05:59 PM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2580
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Yes I agree. More choice is good. Nord does niche and does it very well. I hope Kurzweil can do the same.
Roland RD-1000 | Yamaha CP1 | Physis H1

#2135134 - 08/19/13 12:35 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: JFP]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: JFP
Originally Posted By: Dave B
I'm hoping it interfaces with computers etc.

Until now they always did. The PC3 series quite well actually (USB); with a nice editor as a bonus.

Yep! I love my PC3X that I got last spring although I still enjoy the ole faithful K2500XS too :), but not necessarily for its piano sounds anymore eek

"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

#2135185 - 08/19/13 05:15 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: JFP]
BeowulfX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 265
Originally Posted By: JFP
What I dont understand is why they didn't bring out another PC3 model, keeping all the good stuff, throwing in the new grand preset, replace the heavy TP40 with the TP100 and be done with it. No stripping down of features required...

Who knows though?...they might just be planning on doing that for the next incarnation of their workstation boards or "PC4K" (or however they would like to call 'em).

Regarding my 1st ever encounter with an actual Kurzweil Artis unit:

I was able to try out recently the Kurzweil Artis at a recent business/electronics expo here in Southeast Asia (Philippines) - albeit only for roughly 10-15 minutes. However, the Kurzweil booth was placed near other electronics-audio booths which were playing loud background hip-hop music I could hardly appreciate the new piano sound of the Artis mad I was literally almost bending my knees and crouching a bit while playing just so I'd be able to hear the sound of the piano from the monitors below. While there were a few seconds of silence and respite from the loud music from the surrounding booths, I was able top play the PC3K8 located right next to the Artis. I can only "generically" say that the piano sound of the Artis did sound "fuller"/"richer" than the PC3K8...I forgot the presets but these were either the default 1st preset of the piano category button. I may need to have a second try once the lone demo unit is brought back to their showroom-shop here one of these days.

As if to make matters worse, the rather worn-out "monitor speakers" placed below the Artis were badly distorting the sounds and were rattling when I was playing some passages (Un Sospiro) at the higher registers of the stage piano...I couldn't quite make out the brand of these molded loudspeakers (used as monitors) as the brand label had almost faded. Add to that they only have a Kurzweil footswitch (a KP3 I think) which didn't give me the chance to check the half-damper pedalling (not that I'd probably be able to appreciate it fully with the noise from the other booths).

Regarding the TP100 key-mechanism of the Artis:

I could have sworn that the "feel" was slightly heavier than the PC3K8. I wouldn't say they're sluggish or slow but the "heavy" feel of the TP100 reminded me of my PX-320 when I first got and played it brand new (back when the keys were still "tight"/heavy...now the keys of my PX-320 are a little loose). And I thought the higher registers/keys of the Artis were almost of the same weight/feel as the lower registers/keys. I could be wrong but I really would need a longer time to try it out again. The finish of the keys are not "shiny" plastic but slightly dull -- but definitely not like the Ivory-feel keys of the Roland RD-700NX nor the texture of the keys of the PX-350.

Regarding some of the build, features and physical attributes of the Artis:

At 46 lbs, these are still relatively on the heavier side. There's an aluminum (I think...but I may be wrong) accent on top of the keybed (brushed aluminum or chrome plated?). The side panels aren't wooden like the PC3K. I was feeling the sides and couldn't determine whether it was high-impact black plastic with a brushed texture (or perhaps it can also be brush aluminum?). Build quality though is sturdy and good. Didn't encounter any flimsy keys (side-to-side movement), the knobs weren't wobbly, sliders felt same as the PC3/K series.

Only MIDI In and OUT and no THRU. No ribbon controller input like the PC3/K series.

A quick tinkering showed the menu-driven UI with the familiar tabs-pages similar to the PC3/K series...and yup, only 4 zones on the Artis (and just as was stated in its specs in their website). MIDI controls are extensive just as their PC3/K series. Now there are buttons through which you can assign your favorite programs (presets) right below the panel screen.

Tinkering with the category buttons and the rotary wheel, there's only 256 programs (presets) but the bread n butter sounds are covered (like strings, brass, pads, EPs).

Now if only the Kurzweil booth and personnel weren't preparing for the upcoming jam with a local band that will be using the PC3K7 (as 2nd tier) over the Kurzweil Artis to showcase the new stage piano -- I would have been able to tinker and play/try the KB3 and other preset/programs longer.

Regarding the local price of the Kurzweil Artis here:

I'll give this board another try before I decide whether I'd go for it (or the RD-700NX and even the PX-5S). Local price of the Kurzweil Artis here is currently set at P125,000 which converts to $2,906 (USD)...this local retail price is actually higher than what Dave Weiser in another forum mentioned a couple of months ago(which I believe was $2,195? USD) For comparison, the RD-700NX here costs P129,950 which converts to $3022 (USD). Both the RD-700NX and Kurzweil Artis are thus priced closely here so I'm gonna need to try out the Artis longer the 2nd time around and revisit the RD-700NX and hope I could also try out a PX-5S before pulling the trigger on a new weighted 88-key keyboard/stage-piano.

I suspect that if the Artis would really be priced at $2195 here (and not at the higher converted price of $2,906), local professional musicians might consider/adapt the Artis over the RD-700NX. For further comparison, the PX-5S here actually costs P67,995 which converts to $1,581 shocked this means the local price here has a $500 mark up than the current $999 (USD) pricing in the U.S. That's within the vicinity of the U.S. price of the RD-300NX already. confused

Regarding availability of Kurzweil Artis units:

I was told that the first few stocks of the Artis would be locally available sometime in October though. The sales rep was suggesting I make an early reservation but I told him I'm gonna need to try out the board again one of these days after the expo so I can hear all the other presets and FX in their product showroom which will be a lot quieter than the venue of the expo.

Edited by BeowulfX (08/19/13 06:43 AM)
Keyboards: PX-5S PX-320 FA-06 Graphite 49 VST (PC & laptop): Pianoteq 5.3+Bluethner EWQL-SO AAS GS-2 LL EP4 + other virtual instruments DAW-PC: AMD PhIIx4 16GB DDR3 SSD HDD Delta 1010LT XMIDI 2x2 Sonar X3e Studio; MSI Laptop (live use): i7 4710 16GB RAM 250GB SSDx2 Forte Scarlett 6i6 TS110A x2

#2140136 - 08/28/13 09:37 AM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: BeowulfX]
Marko in Boston Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 1076
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts

Kurzweil Artis - Full Demonstration Video


#2140325 - 08/28/13 04:24 PM Re: Kurzweil Artis... [Re: HwyStar]
JFP Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1374
Loc: The Netherlands
Thanks. For the price of around € 1100 (with regular discounts) , it's a versatile board with a lot of very usable sounds. Yes , most sounds are the usual Kurzweil suspects , but they simply work in a live setup. Especially now that one of the major 'over-aged' culprits has been taken out: the AP. Only drawbacks are: TP100 - how playable is it really and the weight ; really expected it to be lighter with a TP100 for a choice. The Casio's rule in that respect with their good keybed in a 11kg package. Soundwise the Kurz seems to deliver better basic sounds however old some of them are. And a more sturdy construction; wheels , knobs and sliders and even display - it all looks a bit more professional. Missing factors compared to the PX5 are arpeggiators and stuff like that, in case you need them. Price is roughly the same € 999 vs € 1100.

Now , let the race begin. Full featured lightweight package with good and fast keyed and reasonable to good sounds (PX5) vs bit more simplistic stage piano with good basic sounds and an inferior (?) keybed in a much heavier , but more sturdy/pro casing. It's just where your priorities are.

In other countries prices may be different, making the match less equal.

Edited by JFP (08/28/13 04:25 PM)

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