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Info on Nord Stage 2 #1604621
01/24/11 01:26 PM
01/24/11 01:26 PM
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Mr Romance Offline OP
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Sweetwater has listed the Nord Stage 2 on their website for $4,199.

Any thoughts/opinions on this price?



Kawai MP8II, Logic Studio 9, Alicia's Keys, AKG 240.
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Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1604642
01/24/11 01:58 PM
01/24/11 01:58 PM
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Nashville, Tennessee
PianoZac Offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Romance
Sweetwater has listed the Nord Stage 2 on their website for $4,199.

Any thoughts/opinions on this price?



I think it should be around $3699. Although for what it is, and what it can do vs comparable products (are there any??) it's probably worth the price. It's basically the Nord Piano with the addition of 380MB of RAM for organ/synth sounds, you're get all that flexibility with Nord's Piano and Synth libraries in one stage piano. If I had more money, I'd go for that instead of the Nord Piano.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1604655
01/24/11 02:12 PM
01/24/11 02:12 PM
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I know this is not helpful, but man that is a lot of money.


Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605163
01/25/11 08:54 AM
01/25/11 08:54 AM
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I have to say this upgrade is mighty unimpressive. It's the same thing only more expensive. I like the Nords for what they are but I rather buy two Nord Pianos than one of these. Most expensive ram upgrade I ever seen.


RD-700NX (25 nov 2010)
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Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605212
01/25/11 10:38 AM
01/25/11 10:38 AM
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USA
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Mr Romance Offline OP
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Well the Nord Stage 2 is an upgrade with Nord's latest piano, organ, and synthesizer sounds; Piano features string resonance; dynamic pedal noise; and completely user-replaceable sample memory.

Organ section features 3rd generation organ modeling derived from the Nord C2 Organ

LFO, arpeggiator, and delay-based effects.

I think it's not a bad price for what you get.


Kawai MP8II, Logic Studio 9, Alicia's Keys, AKG 240.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605222
01/25/11 10:50 AM
01/25/11 10:50 AM
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I was under the impression the Nords used downloadable patches which makes those new sounds available to everyone with the ram requirement (which is what, $1000 extra, hmm).

Got to love the Nord rotary knobs though. Definitely got those right. Then again they've had them for years.

/edit
I should add I am unimpressed with the upgrade, the Nord Stage was and is already a damn fine instrument and my second in line after the RD700NX I currently have (no well maybe third after Kawai MP10, undecided competition there).

Last edited by FredFabulous; 01/25/11 10:58 AM.

RD-700NX (25 nov 2010)
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: FredFabulous] #1605241
01/25/11 11:18 AM
01/25/11 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FredFabulous
I was under the impression the Nords used downloadable patches which makes those new sounds available to everyone with the ram requirement (which is what, $1000 extra, hmm).

Got to love the Nord rotary knobs though. Definitely got those right. Then again they've had them for years.

/edit
I should add I am unimpressed with the upgrade, the Nord Stage was and is already a damn fine instrument and my second in line after the RD700NX I currently have (no well maybe third after Kawai MP10, undecided competition there).


The $600 (not $1000) difference from a Stage EX to a Stage 2 isn't just for an increase in RAM (about triple, all told). It's also adds Sample Library support and the ability to load in your own samples (previously only available to the Electro 3 and the Wave), the improved piano features of the Nord Piano, the improved organ features of the Electro 3/C2 (except for pipes), and assorted other improvements. See http://www.nordkeyboards.com/home/namm2011/Stage2vsStageEXcomparison.pdf But if you don't need the improvements, at least for now, you can still buy the EX model too.

As for comparing the Stage 2 to the Nord Piano, as a piano alone, the price jump is not justifiable, but if you can also use the organ, the VA synthesizer, the sample functions, the MIDI controller functions, etc., that's a different situation.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: anotherscott] #1605290
01/25/11 12:48 PM
01/25/11 12:48 PM
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Nashville, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by anotherscott

As for comparing the Stage 2 to the Nord Piano, as a piano alone, the price jump is not justifiable, but if you can also use the organ, the VA synthesizer, the sample functions, the MIDI controller functions, etc., that's a different situation.

This I can agree on. I just picked up my NP88 about 30 mins ago :), but most certainly would've loved to have the new Stage 2 for the increased flexibility, but at the same time, I paid $2150 for my NP88 vs the $4199 of the Stage 2. I don't have that kind of money. I think the Stage is the finest all in one stage piano, but at the price, I guess it should be.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: PianoZac] #1605297
01/25/11 12:55 PM
01/25/11 12:55 PM
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Glendale, Ca.
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2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Dave Ferris] #1605397
01/25/11 03:04 PM
01/25/11 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris

Agree, that's a LOTTA dough for that keyboard. I guess to an organ/synth/rock guy it could be worth it. Not to me though.

Yeah it is. I suppose for those who need an all-in-one the Stage 2 is about as good as they get.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605557
01/25/11 07:42 PM
01/25/11 07:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,355
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Congrats PianoZac!

Originally Posted by anotherscott
...the improved organ features of the Electro...3/C2


Do the Electro3 and C2 use the same generation organ technology?
I thought the Electro3 was on par with the C1, but that the newer C2 featured more advanced tonewheel/rotary speaker simulation which is not available in the Stage2.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Kawai James] #1605575
01/25/11 08:10 PM
01/25/11 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by anotherscott
...the improved organ features of the Electro...3/C2


Do the Electro3 and C2 use the same generation organ technology?
I thought the Electro3 was on par with the C1, but that the newer C2 featured more advanced tonewheel/rotary speaker simulation which is not available in the Stage2.


The best info I found was at:

http://keyboard.eskildsen.dk/images/activeedit/_upload/Nord%20Electro_Stage%20Comparison.pdf

where it shows that the Electro 3 is actually a generation beyond the C1.

However, I did err in lumping the E3 and C2 together, the C2 is a generation newer... the only difference I am aware of it in the tonewheel modeling is it now gives you a choice of two different Leslie cabinet emulations (I believe they are 122 and 145), but I couldn't swear there aren't other differences.

The Stage 2 should have the same tonewheel organ emulation as the C2, based on this page:

http://www.nordkeyboards.com/home/namm2011/Stage2vsStageEXcomparison.pdf

Last edited by anotherscott; 01/25/11 09:15 PM.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605602
01/25/11 09:04 PM
01/25/11 09:04 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Thanks for the info.

I recently saw a great clip of the C1 on YouTube that made my older Electro2 sound rather ordinary. Obviously I knew the C1's organ/rotary sim was superior to the Electro2's, however hearing was definitely believing!

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: PianoZac] #1605822
01/26/11 08:03 AM
01/26/11 08:03 AM
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France
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Hi PianoZac: are you happy with your new NordPiano?
Could you make a review in another thread in the future?

Thank you.

I'm still hesitating between RD700NX, CP5 and NordPiano, with a slight preference for the 700NX...

Benoît


Nord Piano 88
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605867
01/26/11 09:47 AM
01/26/11 09:47 AM
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Alabama
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Yea, I just don't get it. Hate to use the word greedy but Nord, as much as I like them seem to be out of touch. Or maybe they just don't care about selling many keyboards.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1605882
01/26/11 10:13 AM
01/26/11 10:13 AM
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I don't think it's a matter of greed. Their products are handmade in Sweden...just a guess, but I'd bet that the cost of labor is higher in Sweden than China.

Further, the user-replaceable sounds and free library counts for a lot, in my mind, at least. So the cost of that library is front-loaded. As long as they maintain backwards compatibility for a reasonable amount of time, the amortization of its cost is reasonable, if not better, than a lot of what else is out there.


Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Speedy] #1605901
01/26/11 10:48 AM
01/26/11 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedy
Yea, I just don't get it. Hate to use the word greedy but Nord, as much as I like them seem to be out of touch. Or maybe they just don't care about selling many keyboards.


Coincidentally, from today's Financial Times:

"The Swedish krona hit a two-year high against the dollar on Wednesday"

If the dollar is worth less relative to the krona, then it takes more dollars to buy something from Sweden. At least that much is out of Nord's control.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Benoit N] #1606030
01/26/11 01:37 PM
01/26/11 01:37 PM
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@ Kawai James
Thanks James! I got some good advice, and spent some considerable time behind the RD700NX, CP5/50, NP88 and for my needs the Nord was the way to go. I've not seen or heard many complaints at all with Nords, and thanks to guys like Steve (Essbrace), Dave Ferris, and you, who own/owned Nords and were able to give me useful advice, I picked the Nord Piano. smile

Originally Posted by Benoit.N
Hi PianoZac: are you happy with your new NordPiano?
Could you make a review in another thread in the future?

Thank you.

I'm still hesitating between RD700NX, CP5 and NordPiano, with a slight preference for the 700NX...

Benoît


Well, it really depends on what your needs are. If I was keeping a stage piano style DP for home use, I would have gone with the MP10 or RD700NX. But I need something that is lightweight, sounds great, plays well, and is flexible. The only thing out there really is the Nord. I'd strongly suggest you go play the 3 boards you like, determine what your needs are, then go from there. You can't go wrong with any of the three you said for home use, but for gigging, IMHO, the Nord is the way to go.

I picked it my NP88 yesterday morning, got home, installed the latest OS update from vs. 1.16 to vs. 1.28, then de-installed 9 sounds to make room for the XL sized Bosendorfer Imperial sample, and WOW, that baby has guts. I am very used to Roland's darker smoother grand sounds, especially the SN stuff, so the brighter, more stringy sounding Nord samples are a huge change, but I love them. They're very expressive and organic. I write more on what I love, and there's quite a bit! smile It'd be very very difficult for me to now go back to an all-in-one non-updatable stage piano. Just so many unique things to love about Nords.

Getting back on the subject, I find that Nord is actually listening to their users. They've made a series of stage pianos/synths/organs that are light weight, durable, flexible, and sound great. The Stage 2 is the best all-in-one DP out there IMHO.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606132
01/26/11 04:22 PM
01/26/11 04:22 PM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Congrats again Zachary - it sounds like you're very happy with your new NP88!

Regarding memory, after the XL-sized Bosie is loaded, how much memory remains for other sounds? Could you still fit a couple of top quality Rhodes and Wurly patches in there? If so, I expect that'd be absolutely fine for most gigging musicians. Just as long as they plan their setlist and organise the sounds accordingly.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Kawai James] #1606164
01/26/11 04:57 PM
01/26/11 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Regarding memory, after the XL-sized Bosie is loaded, how much memory remains for other sounds? Could you still fit a couple of top quality Rhodes and Wurly patches in there? If so, I expect that'd be absolutely fine for most gigging musicians. Just as long as they plan their setlist and organise the sounds accordingly.

Nord is doing almost everything right except for bulk Flash space, which IMO severely limits their sample set sizes. We will definitely consider a Nord DP when they put at least 10x the Flash in there (or better yet, have a USB3 memory stick slot) and when they are offering free downloadable 4GB pianos.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dewster] #1606191
01/26/11 05:20 PM
01/26/11 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Congrats again Zachary - it sounds like you're very happy with your new NP88!

Regarding memory, after the XL-sized Bosie is loaded, how much memory remains for other sounds? Could you still fit a couple of top quality Rhodes and Wurly patches in there?
Cheers,
James
x

Thanks again James! It's really a fine piece of equipment. The Bosie takes up 196.8MB of the 500MB available. So right now I have:
Grand Lady D (Steinway Model D) - LG size
Studio Grand 2 (Yamaha C7) - LG size
Imperial Grand (Bosendorfer Imperial) - XL size
Queen Upright (Bosendorfer) - Med size
Romantic Upright (Schimmel) - Med size
Sparkletop Vintage Rhodes
Warlitzer
Clavinet
French Harpsichord

I'm pretty much maxed out right now on space...I think I'm around 496MB, but these are the sounds I only ever use, and really I never use many Clav/Harp sounds so those will go to make room for another Rhodes. It's so cool to put what I want on it when I want it! smile
Originally Posted by dewster

Nord is doing almost everything right except for bulk Flash space, which IMO severely limits their sample set sizes. We will definitely consider a Nord DP when they put at least 10x the Flash in there (or better yet, have a USB3 memory stick slot) and when they are offering free downloadable 4GB pianos.

I agree Dewster. I think there's no reason why Nord couldn't have installed at least a 5GB flash drive. It would have been nice, but I'll take the NP88 as is. It's really terrific. You should hear the string/sympathetic resonance modeling as was as the exceptional pedal modeling. It's stunning.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: PianoZac] #1606232
01/26/11 06:12 PM
01/26/11 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoZac
I think there's no reason why Nord couldn't have installed at least a 5GB flash drive.

The kind of flash memory needed for programs to access the data "in place" (rather than copying it into RAM) is very expensive. It is NOR rather than NAND flash, and is seen as RAM rather than as a drive.

I just happened to be talking about this in another forum. Someone researched it and found that the kind of flash Yamaha uses in their Motif XF (similar technology) goes for $13 for a 1 gigabit chip when purchased in volume. You would need 4 such chips for 512 mb. So the raw component cost of the RAM in the NP88 is probably $52. To increase that to 5 gB would instead make that about $520. Considering the markups all the way through the distribution chain, that would have added noticeably more than that to the final price.

Then there's the question of possibly needing to do additional engineering in the board to be able to support the extra RAM and to be able to transfer much larger amounts of data between the instrument and the computer in a reasonable amount of time.

BTW, Yamaha's 512 mB board, with $52 worth of raw memory chips, sells for $150. Based on that, putting ten times that amount in the Nord Piano could easily have added $1350 to the price. (Based on $1500 for 10x the amount, - $150 for the amount that's already in the Nord Piano.)

The cheaper flash that is used in flash drives can be used, but requires a whole different architecture than what Nord has done so far, involving a virtual memory system and streaming from the flash storage mechanism into RAM. So far, the only keyboard to implement this approach is the forthcoming Linux-based Korg Kronos, itself a $3,000+ keyboard. Computer-based systems use this approach as well. But as many people know, it is often not glitch-free, especially if you're trying to do it on low cost hardware. We're getting there, but the Yamaha, Nord, and Kurzweil engineers who have so far taken the NOR flash approach probably didn't do it just because they felt like buying more expensive RAM than they needed to.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: anotherscott] #1606260
01/26/11 07:03 PM
01/26/11 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
The kind of flash memory needed for programs to access the data "in place" (rather than copying it into RAM) is very expensive. It is NOR rather than NAND flash, and is seen as RAM rather than as a drive.

NAND Flash is designed the way it is (slow random access and fast sequential access) because lightning fast random reads aren't necessary for streaming media. If you have 256KB or so of RAM free then NAND would likely be faster than NOR in a DP, and a single 16 bit wide 4GB NAND chip could easily be used to provide polyphony in excess of 120 stereo notes.

I think the main bandwidth bottleneck in modern DPs are the inexpensive stone age processors they tend to employ, not the memory devices.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606293
01/26/11 08:04 PM
01/26/11 08:04 PM
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True that. Stick your midi cable into a computer and load the 50 gb (albeit exagurated I don't know the exact number) Ivory II patches and they run just fine on a standard harddrive. So why not in a DP?

As for being made in Sweden probably drives the price up a bit yes but I also think it's because they have such a user base among touring musicians they could charge pretty much whatever they want. I do happen to live in Scandinavia but whenever I saw I concert with a piano involved there was the same old Nord Stage 88. Only in recent years/months I've seen other brands pop up. The Nord patches have that little edge to it that makes it a perfect fit with other instruments. On its own I think it's too clinical and soul-less. My opinion smile

I had a gig with the NX two weeks ago and unfortunately it was too messy to fiddle around with settings or the "sound focus" thing but I was indeed drowned in the sea of choir, drums, bass, guitar and vocals. And I used the bright piano sound. The Nords have a nack of just popping up it's head here and there, sound-wise.

Cheers
Fred


RD-700NX (25 nov 2010)
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: FredFabulous] #1606314
01/26/11 08:36 PM
01/26/11 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FredFabulous
True that. Stick your midi cable into a computer and load the 50 gb (albeit exagurated I don't know the exact number) Ivory II patches and they run just fine on a standard harddrive. So why not in a DP?

A few reasons why may not be that easy...

Your computer is built on an operating system (Mac, Windows, or Linux) and a set of electronics that already supports virtual memory (essentially using disk storage as an extension of RAM), so the infrastructure for doing what you're talking about already exists, before the makers of Ivory write their first line of code. I suspect that most keyboards are using a minimal operating system of the manufacturers' design... and writing a sophisticated operating system with features like virtual memory is not a trivial task, especially when your primary business is not writing operating systems. That's why I'm not surprised that the Kronos, which will do this, is based on Linux. This may be the key to being able to do this kind of thing in a keyboard.

Also, many people find that doing what you describe on a computer is not glitch-free, especially if they are running on less than high-end computers. Most digital pianos probably do not include the equivalent of a $1000 laptop inside.

Also, people have come to expect, put up with, and workaround computer glitches. But if you're a professional going on stage with a piano keyboard, you expect it to work 100% of the time with no glitches, there's a higher quality threshold you need to meet.

I'm not one of those people who typically goes, "if that was such a good idea, they'd have done it already," but in this case, there are enough companies with good engineering talent competing against each other in this market, that I'm sure these kinds of possibilities are not being overlooked. Hopefully Kronos is only the first to start moving in this direction.

Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606327
01/26/11 08:58 PM
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I, for one, am looking forward to Zach's on-going commentary...esp. which APs and EPs he prefers, which work (or don't) for different situations, environs, settings and genres. Obviously it's a matter of taste and preference, but still...

At the risk of sounding like a complete tech nerd (which I am) or a fanboy (which I'm not), this whole user-definable library is just brilliant.

Last edited by dje31; 01/26/11 08:59 PM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606332
01/26/11 09:06 PM
01/26/11 09:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,355
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,355
Hamamatsu, Japan
[quote=PianoZac]So right now I have:
Grand Lady D (Steinway Model D) - LG size
Studio Grand 2 (Yamaha C7) - LG size
Imperial Grand (Bosendorfer Imperial) - XL size
Queen Upright (Bosendorfer) - Med size
Romantic Upright (Schimmel) - Med size
Sparkletop Vintage Rhodes
Warlitzer
Clavinet
French Harpsichord[\quote]

Wow, that's a great selection!

James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: Mr Romance] #1606333
01/26/11 09:10 PM
01/26/11 09:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
D
dje31 Offline
Full Member
dje31  Offline
Full Member
D

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 226
I haven't spent much time using Rhodes sounds...and they have six variations. Granted they're small enough (compared to the various acoustics) that you could delete an AP and load them all, but which would folks in-the-know consider to be the bread-and-butter go-to versions? Say, if you were picking 2-3?

I've listened to the samples, but I guess my ear isn't discerning enough for this type.

They seem to tout the Sparkletop, and it's got the largest sample size, so I'd guess that would make the short list.

Last edited by dje31; 01/26/11 09:11 PM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dje31] #1606763
01/27/11 02:22 PM
01/27/11 02:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member
PianoZac  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,524
Nashville, Tennessee
Originally Posted by dje31
I, for one, am looking forward to Zach's on-going commentary...esp. which APs and EPs he prefers, which work (or don't) for different situations, environs, settings and genres. Obviously it's a matter of taste and preference, but still...

At the risk of sounding like a complete tech nerd (which I am) or a fanboy (which I'm not), this whole user-definable library is just brilliant.

dje31, I posted my review of what I think so far in its own thread. smile

I don't think you sound techy...it really is brilliant what Nord is offering. The Stage 2 looks to be a powerful stage piano, and honestly if I had the money and time to wait, I'd have gotten one. If the NP88 is any indication, the Stage 2 is going to be pretty unbeatable.


Kawai MP7SE
Re: Info on Nord Stage 2 [Re: dje31] #1606778
01/27/11 02:40 PM
01/27/11 02:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,043
Glendale, Ca.
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Dave Ferris Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Dave Ferris  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,043
Glendale, Ca.
.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
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