Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module?

Posted by: robobass

Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/07/12 09:47 AM

Hi guys, this is my first post. We have just bought a Korg SP-250 (RH3 action) with which I am pretty happy, but my wife finds the grand piano sounds inadequate. The Kawai and Yamaha DPs she likes cost two to three times that of the Korg, so I was thinking of trying an outboard piano module. This popped up: New Product 2010 and looks like the ticket, but I've found no independent reviews of it so far. It ain't cheap, but if it sounds as good as it claims it seems like a good way to go.

Anyone tried it?

Thanks,
Robobass
Posted by: Amaruk

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/07/12 10:24 AM

I have not tried it so I can't be of any help in that respect. But for the cost of that module ($400) I know that I, any many others on here, would also explore software solutions as I think software pianos will provide the best piano sounds available today. Many have free trial versions so you can try and see if you like them before spending anything.
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/07/12 10:27 AM

I believe voxpops used to have one...

James
x
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/07/12 01:19 PM

I did have one. I didn't keep it. Great size, quite nicely built, but, as for sound, let's say there was quite a gulf between expectation and realization. If I wanted another module, I'd hunt down a GEM RP-X. Otherwise, as Amaruk says, go with software.

The Klavi Pro has one quite nice EP, with a sparkly mid-upper range and a bit of low-end bark. The AP tone is not bad, but I found that my older FP-4 outshone it in all respects. There is absolutely no blending apparent between AP velocity levels. I don't recall any damper resonance or other DSP subtleties, but it was a while ago, so don't treat that as gospel.

Not including a front panel selector knob was a step too far towards cost/size reduction in my opinion, and MIDI control was clunky. Also, the RCA/Phono outputs did not seem very pro, although OK for home use.

Of course, YMMV.
Posted by: voxpops

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/07/12 01:45 PM

Robobass, you might want to consider returning the SP-250, if you can (or reselling it). There is rumor of an SP-250 replacement coming at NAMM in a few days time. If it materializes it will probably be late spring before it arrives in the stores, but it should also be a major advance in terms of sound, as I suspect Korg will filter down its Kronos technology to its DP line.

Otherwise, you might consider looking around for a deal on a Roland FP-4F or FP-7F. I have the FP-7F and it is a major step forward from the SP-250 in both action and AP sound. I used to own the Korg, and so have some experience to draw on here.

If you want to stay in the ballpark of SP-250 plus module, you should consider the Yamaha P155, especially since you say your wife likes the Yamaha sound. However, I'd still suggest waiting until all the NAMM announcements are in, as Yamaha may also have something up their sleeve.

Edit: also check out the Kawai EP3. At $1,099 (US) it's in the same category as the P155, and, like the Korg, includes speakers. Not the latest sound engine/action, but some people really like it.
Posted by: robobass

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/08/12 04:41 AM

Originally Posted By: voxpops
Robobass, you might want to consider returning the SP-250, if you can (or reselling it). There is rumor of an SP-250 replacement coming at NAMM in a few days time. If it materializes it will probably be late spring before it arrives in the stores, but it should also be a major advance in terms of sound, as I suspect Korg will filter down its Kronos technology to its DP line.

Otherwise, you might consider looking around for a deal on a Roland FP-4F or FP-7F. I have the FP-7F and it is a major step forward from the SP-250 in both action and AP sound. I used to own the Korg, and so have some experience to draw on here.

If you want to stay in the ballpark of SP-250 plus module, you should consider the Yamaha P155, especially since you say your wife likes the Yamaha sound. However, I'd still suggest waiting until all the NAMM announcements are in, as Yamaha may also have something up their sleeve.

Edit: also check out the Kawai EP3. At $1,099 (US) it's in the same category as the P155, and, like the Korg, includes speakers. Not the latest sound engine/action, but some people really like it.


Hey. Thanks! I've got it on trial until Wednesday. I think I'll definately keep shopping. Again, though, that FP-7f is almost triple the Korg's price over here in Europe!
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/08/12 04:51 AM

That's because it's three times better. wink
Posted by: robobass

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 01/08/12 10:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
That's because it's three times better. wink

I'll check it out. Still, I find the Korg's keyboard first rate, and I would think that good action is where the bulk of the cost goes. It surprises me that you still have to pay so much more to get really good sound samples in this era of super low cost electronics.
Posted by: Steveyxyz

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 11/27/13 04:43 PM

Thank goodness someone is making a dedicated piano module at a reasonable price (Thomanns sell it about 75 cheaper than anyone else when I last looked). I have excellent quality sounds from my other sound modules but the only piano sounds I have are from my Kurzweil PC2r. Most of the sounds are superb but the acoustic piano has an odd resonant, boxy, unrealistic sound. I don't care how many strikes they call it!
I like using sound modules for my keyboard rig and I wanted a really good piano sound from a module but the only way to get one was from an expensive Roland or Yamaha module that also had hundreds of other sounds I did not need.
The KlaviPro has many different types of Piano and electric piano. I love number 10 upright. This is a mono sample and has a beautiful strong, pure tone similar to the Roland natural piano sound. To me worth 200 on its own. Also the Fender Rhodes piano is stunningly good. It tinkles, growles and has a sweet strong sound as good if not better than any I have heard. It can also be enhanced by the excellent stereo chorus (marvelous!) Possibly worth buying for this sound alone too.

BUT
Two of the acoustic piano samples are out of tune. I do not know if this is to deliberately impersonate pianos in the real world and add more 'characture' to the sound or if Ketron had sampling or tuning problems. Fortunately my fav. piano is bang in tune. I emailed Ketron twice about this issue and got no reply. I also told Thomann and they sent me another unit in case the original one was faulty but the replacement was exactly the same so I conclude they're all like it.

Also
One of my pet hates is when manufacturers add effects to samples by default. I can hear the bosses saying 'slap plenty of effects on chaps, make the sound bigger and sell more boxes!' Effects can be added but anything from easy to impossible to remove depending on the other gear used. Some people like myself want to choose whether we want effects and I don't want reverb on any sound. There is a small amount of reverb on all the sounds which can be removed by midi commands (perhaps a fader on a controller with CC91 assigned to it). As soon as another sound is selected the reverb comes back on as the module has no internal storage. I can customise the settings by chaining the PC2r by a midi cable to the KlaviPro and controller keyboard so that way I just press one button from the controller keyboard and get as much or little effects as I want. I have asked several controller keyboard manufacturers and music shops if they sell keyboards with the ability to send customised effect settings with the press of one button but none said they do. So if using the KlaviPro with just a controller keyboard one would have to adjust effect setting with every program change.

To sum up
Very happy with this dinky module. I have found a work around for getting the right amount of effects and it adds amazing piano and Fender Rhodes piano to my set up. Strap it to a 5 octave controller keyboard and you could have an excellent portable piano that weighed at least 7Kg less and cost 300-400 than a Roland RD64.

The service from Thomann was excellent and they sent a new model out as soon as I sent the first back. Also responded to my emails the same day so great comm. They did say on their website that there was no shipping charge to the UK and also say 10 shipping so contradict themselves. They charged 10 for shipping as it turned out so something to bear in mind for the final cost.

The KlaviPro sounds great but if you have a technical query and email Ketron in Italy don't expect a reply any time soon (if ever!)

From Steve email sutte@btinternet.com
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 11/27/13 06:52 PM

Thanks for the review Steve!

Is there any chance you could post some samples? I'd be interested to hear this great Rhodes!

Cheers,
James
x
Posted by: Steveyxyz

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 12/03/13 03:11 AM

Not me playing (not that good!)


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=KlaviPro+electric&sm=3
Posted by: Steveyxyz

Re: Ketron Klavi-Pro expansion module? - 12/03/13 03:14 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diCgr_hUQlo

This one of the KlaviPro E.P.