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#701788 - 12/16/07 02:17 PM Yamaha CVP, Roland, or Studiologic 990 plus Sound Box
FlatsSharpsChords Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Maryland
I currently use a Fatar Studio 90 midi controller and a sound module from Proformance. The keyboard is 88 key and weighted, but not graduated. This cost me about 1k ten years ago.

I am considering the Yamaha CVP 305. The CVP 303 has the Graded Hammer keys, but not GH3. The 305 also has larger speakers and video interface. The CVP 305 is retailing for about 4,700 which seems expensive. I noticed with the CVP 303 some of the electric guitar sounds became worthless with higher notes. The salesman was honest to point that out to me. I'll have to double check the CVP 305.

I could build another midi controller and module that fits with my stereo system. I am happy with my current configuration, but would like a better action and better sounds. It seems that if I got a Studiologic 990XP or 990PRO (this is a midi controller) and a sound module (contains the voices) I got get this done for about 1,300.

I'm also looking at Rolands and Kawai's but not a lot of dealers have them. I am going to try Jason's music center in Baltimore and Chuck Levins in DC.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I play classical, blues and want other voices. I don't record. I'm also looking for good sheet music to explore voices, sounds and effects.

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#701789 - 12/16/07 04:22 PM Re: Yamaha CVP, Roland, or Studiologic 990 plus Sound Box
vladn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 65
Loc: NJ, USA
I have 990XP in my office but it was a easy decision since I had a server that runs 24/7 and adding software synth to it was a no-brainer. Besides I managed to get new 990XP for USD299 including shipping last year. As far as I know 990Pro is not graded and has lighter hammer action than 990XP.
If you are not into PC software synthesis then look at other options, USD1300 that you've mentioned can get you a decent keyboard with a synth from Yamaha, Roland or Kawai. If you can stretch your budget closer to 2k you can have top notch action and synth - take a look at Kawai MP8II for example. Much better action than 990XP.

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#701790 - 12/18/07 01:59 PM Re: Yamaha CVP, Roland, or Studiologic 990 plus Sound Box
FlatsSharpsChords Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Maryland
Thanks. I think I can spend 3k or so.

I tried the Kawai CP 117 and 137. The wood action on the 137 was great I thought (I'm no expert). But the sounds/voices were not great. Some of the Yamaha voices were excellent: Japanese instruments, guitar. They advertize them as mega sounds, etc. The piano sound on the Kawai was excellent. Both had the feature of "panning" left to right source of sound for lower and higher notes.

So, best action with Kawai, but better voices with Yahama, even granting how the electric guitar whimped out.

They didn't have the Kawai CA91 or MP8II or Rolands. I may try Levin's in Wheaton (DC).

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#701791 - 01/03/08 10:55 AM Re: Yamaha CVP, Roland, or Studiologic 990 plus Sound Box
FlatsSharpsChords Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Maryland
Thanks to everyone in the forum.

From the forum there is universal acclaim for Kawai action. I tried them and liked them. The Kawai CE200 ($1,700) seems a great deal for a dp. The Kawai MP8II ($1,900) is more portable, has more sounds and 192 polyphony. (It may also have a slightly newer action than the CE200). Both of these have to be special ordered as they are not in showrooms around here.

I found the printouts from Sam Ash's site a good way to get info about keyboards.

I tried many of the Yamaha CLP and CVP (Clavinova) series. They range from 1,500-5,000. Many of the sounds/voices are great. They call them Mega voices. Some are poor. I think a lot of people see these in showrooms and buy and don't look at the following models:

Yamaha S90ES (2k) is portable and has the Motif Sound box sounds. The Yamaha CP300 (2,200) is a contender. I have a hard time figuring out the diff between these.

Roland Fantom X8 Workstation (2,999) has a lot of features for recording, drum pad, color LED. The 76 key version saves $500. The drum pad delivered a punchy sound. It has a nice band fill in feature. You play notes/chords the chip backs up your crazy progressions!

Similar to above is the Yamaha Motif XS7 at 2,800 and 76 keys. The Motif sounds get good reviews. It would be great to have the arpeggio functions to try some guitar.

I haven't tried the Kurzweil PC2X yet. (2,200).

I tried the Roland dps, but did not like the sound. I think connecting a dp or workstation to a stereo system is the way to go. Without the sound system the piano sounds anemic.

I have found lots of dps and wss under 3k. It all depends upon whether I need the esotic sounds or not.

Also, I will have to decide whether the Kawai action is more important than the Yamaha Motif sounds.

It seems there are fewer sound modules as the technology is going to PC software.

Yes a digital piano is not equally to a great grand. I played a 40k Yamaha -- great, but not as flexible an instrument.

My top choices are Kawai MP8II, Yamaha S90ES or CP300 or Motif XS7, Roland Fantom.

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#701792 - 01/06/08 09:32 AM Re: Yamaha CVP, Roland, or Studiologic 990 plus Sound Box
SPOFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Derry NH
Actually you don't have to decide between Kawai action and Motif sounds. For your $3K budget, the MP8ii (256 voices) is $1,900 and a Yamaha MOTIF Rack ES sound module (another 1152 voices!) is $1,100. The MP8ii is a solid MIDI controller with pitch and modulation wheels that can be split into four zones, which all can programmed to play internal voices, external voices or both.

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