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#661575 - 08/06/04 05:55 PM controller keyboard
three-sixteen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 3
Loc: eureka CA
hi folks!

This is my first time here. I play at church every week with the Worship Team. I currently use a Fatar/Studiologic VMK-88 keyboard. But i dont like the action on it. I use my computer and Kontakt and sampled pianos (Steinway B, Bardstown Bosendorfer)so the keyboard does not have to have the best onboard sounds. Ive realized there are no great Midi Controllers with great hammer action, so i will have to spend a bit more to get a keyboard with onboard sounds and great action. So far i am thinking of the Yamaha P120 or the Kawai ES3. I dont need the P250 if it has the same action as the P120. Basically, i would some opinions of folks who have tried both the Kawai ES3 and the Yamaha P-series. Which action is better? Also, just for the heck of it, which of the two has a better Grand Piano sound (in case my computer breaks.)

Thanks in advance!!!!

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#661576 - 08/06/04 06:11 PM Re: controller keyboard
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
The Roland A90, which is no longer a current model is a stand-alone MIDI controller with hammer action. You could pick one up used for under $1000. Also, M-Audio just announced a new MIDI controller with hammer action. Haven't tried it yet.

If you're looking for a keyboard with great piano sounds, consider the Roland RD700 with the Grand Piano expansion upgrade card. I'd take it over the options you listed. Or of course, you could try the new Fantom X8.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#661577 - 08/06/04 06:26 PM Re: controller keyboard
Tocca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Sweden
I haven't tested any of theese, sorry. But i'm thinking about getting something to use with my PC.
I have a digital (a Kawai CA950) but it's a big heavy thing, so i'm considering something in the line of the Yamaha P120.

But from what i can tell, all the Yamaha Pxxx models have the same action?
The P60,P90,P120,P250...
The P60 might be just what i'm looking for myself, can be had for around $700! No need for lots of bells and whistles when i'll be using it with midi anyway.

The only thing missing on the Yamahas, in my view, is modwheels. But i found a great (free) software that can map joystick axes to modwheels! \:\)

BTW, which sampled pianosound do you like best?

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#661578 - 08/06/04 06:39 PM Re: controller keyboard
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by three-sixteen:
hi folks!

This is my first time here. I play at church every week with the Worship Team. I currently use a Fatar/Studiologic VMK-88 keyboard. But i dont like the action on it. I use my computer and Kontakt and sampled pianos (Steinway B, Bardstown Bosendorfer)so the keyboard does not have to have the best onboard sounds. Ive realized there are no great Midi Controllers with great hammer action, so i will have to spend a bit more to get a keyboard with onboard sounds and great action. So far i am thinking of the Yamaha P120 or the Kawai ES3. I dont need the P250 if it has the same action as the P120. Basically, i would some opinions of folks who have tried both the Kawai ES3 and the Yamaha P-series. Which action is better? Also, just for the heck of it, which of the two has a better Grand Piano sound (in case my computer breaks.)

Thanks in advance!!!! [/b]
You might want to think about the Yamaha S08 and S80.

For knobs and slider and such you might think about the Evolution UC33e
link

I like it alot.

N.
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#661579 - 08/18/04 09:17 AM Re: controller keyboard
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
Hi, I've tried both the Yamaha P series and the Kawai ES3. I definitely prefer the Yamaha action over the Kawai ES3 in terms of touch. Can't comment on the sound as I wasn't listening hard enough (the touch ranks higher on my priority list).
I tried Yamaha P-60, P-90, P-120 and P-250. They feel slightly different. The touch which I like best is P-90s. Soundwise, P-250 wins hands down; it has the sort of rich, sustained and inspiring sound you get from an acoustic concert grand, if not the range of color.

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#661580 - 08/18/04 06:59 PM Re: controller keyboard
TheVibeRAIDER Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 80
Loc: SF Bay Area
3:16

FYI, the Yamaha P-120 only has I/O MIDI, instead of I/O/THRU MIDI.
_________________________
1973 Baldwin Acrosonic (TRADED)
Kurzweil PC88-MX (SOLD)
Yamaha P-120
2013 Charles Walter 1520 QA.

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#661581 - 08/19/04 08:49 AM Re: controller keyboard
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
The Yamaha P actions are heavier than a real action, their downweight at middle C is around 74 grams and can be a problem for those who need to play very fast often and those with tendonitis. The Roland FP3, FP5 and RD700 all use a lighter and faster PA5 action. The FP8, FP1, RD600 and RD500 use a slightly bouncier PA4 action. I consider the Roland actions more similar to an acoustic piano action.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#661582 - 08/19/04 08:54 AM Re: controller keyboard
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
Can you comment on how much of a legato phrasing the Bardstown Bosendorfer allows without pedal?
Do the notes have enough sustain to produce slurred phrasing? In ther words, is the sustain portion of each note loud and long enough so as to not be overshadowed by the volume attack of the note? Is there a mellow legato piano in the Bardstown?
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#661583 - 08/19/04 09:36 AM Re: controller keyboard
three-sixteen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 3
Loc: eureka CA
hey thanks guys for the feedback!

rintincop,
the bardstown is very realistic. It contains four velocity layers for each of the 88 notes, all recorded with the best equipment, and not altered with any compression, eq, etc---the raw samples. So the sustains as well are very realistic. It comes with one mellow piano variant that has been altered with a high pass filter i think.

Is the action of the Yamaha S80 a little lighter than the action of the P series?

I will look into the Rolands.

thanks again!

3:16

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#661584 - 08/19/04 10:54 AM Re: controller keyboard
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
Thank you all for your replies.

I have the chance to try several Korg, Kurzweil and Roland keyboards today. Of the Korg I like the touch of SP300 best, though a Kurzweil fared better. Also tried a Roland. Overall, I found all the keyboards too light. I don't remember the Yamaha P series being that light.

I'm going to use the keyboard as a practice instrument and would prefer a heavier keyboard with greater resistance - better workout for the fingers.

Thanks for the information, Ritincop. Looks like I should be making a beeline for one of the Yamaha. I'll test the S series pianos again.

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#661585 - 08/19/04 12:16 PM Re: controller keyboard
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
I am switching to a Roland PA5 action (FP3, FP5, RD700). I am required to improvise at very fast tempos for long periods of time and the Yamaha actions are too stressfull on my hands because they require so much pressure to play. The down weight at middle C on the Yamaha P action is aboyt 74 grams. My acoustic piano with the pedal depress is about 45 grams and 58 grams without pedal.

If you never suffer from tendonitis and don't have to play fast for long eriods then the Yamaha actions offer the best dynamic control. I am going to sacrfaice some dynamic control for the health of my tendons.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#661586 - 08/20/04 09:00 AM Re: controller keyboard
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
I see.
Just out of curiosity, what make is your acoustic piano?
I've yet to experience tendonitis and I'm quite obsessed with developing finger strength. LOL If I have a difficult piano to practise on, then I'll find it easy when I have to play an acoustic grand.

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