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#2409930 04/13/15 06:15 PM
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"The Nord Stage 2 EX updates our award-winning Nord Stage 2 instrument line with 1 GB memory for the Nord Piano Library and a new ultra lightweight Hammer Action Portable HP76 model.

NEW DOUBLED MEMORY FOR NORD PIANO LIBRARY The Nord Stage 2 EX features 1 GB memory for the Nord Piano Library allowing you to bring even more of our unique sampled acoustic and electric pianos on stage.

NEW ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT 76-KEY MODEL The Nord Stage 2 EX HP76 sports an ultra lightweight Hammer Action Portable keybed (E-G) as found in the Electro 3/4/5 HP and Piano 2 HP models. Weighing only 12 kg (27,3 lb), this makes the Nord Stage 2 EX HP76 the most portable Hammer Action Stage instrument ever.

NEW IMPROVED FACTORY SOUND BANK The Nord Stage 2 EX features a brand new Factory Sound Bank with both new sounds in the Piano Library as well as a completely updated and refined selection of sounds from the Nord Sample Library. We've also optimized our sounds allowing you to fit even more sounds without comprising playability."

Most intrigued by the "improved factory sound bank"..


Nord Stage 2, Nord Lead 4, Rhodes MkII, Yamaha MOX6, Novation SL MkII
Auver #2409959 04/13/15 07:50 PM
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New EPs please.


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Auver #2410219 04/14/15 11:53 AM
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Bleh, what a disappointment. The new sounds are Yamaha DX piano sounds (hardly useful), and some strings and ethnic stuff. What about new/improved Clavinet and Rhodes samples? That's what we really need. There is NO hardware or firmware upgrade in the Nord Stage 2 EX, except for doubling the piano memory - now 1GB. A wasted opportunity IMO. Nord Stage 2 EX doesn't even have the latest organ+leslie model from the 3 years old C2D (and Electro 4+5). Even the 6 years old C2 got the lastest hammond+leslie sounds.

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Originally Posted by Karnevil
There is NO hardware or firmware upgrade in the Nord Stage 2 EX, except for doubling the piano memory

Also, the low E on the 73-key model, very valuable for people who play LH bass. Also, lighter weight version of the 76-key model. They just completely revamped the Electro, I imagine they are working on the Stage 3, and this is a nice (albeit minor) enhancement to the Stage line in the interim. Though drawbars on the 73 would have been nice! I don't care so much about the "updated" organ engine, because the biggest difference is the Leslie sim, and you can just put a Ventilator on this, which I think is better anyway.

Auver #2410266 04/14/15 02:36 PM
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Yes, I agree on those two other additions - the low E is a smart choice for the 73-key model. For myself, I could never imagine playing a stage piano with less than 88 keys, so I was referring to the "normal" full version of the Nord Stage 2.

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Originally Posted by Karnevil
The new sounds are Yamaha DX piano sounds (hardly useful)...


Well, it's not really my cup of tea either, but I accept that these new samples will be useful to folks who enjoy playing the DX sound. I wonder if Nord will go for an '80's Whitney Houston ballad' vibe in the next product demonstration video?

Originally Posted by Karnevil
What about new/improved Clavinet and Rhodes samples? That's what we really need.


Yes, a fatter Clav and more expressive 'XL' sized Rhodes (unamped, please...) samples would certainly hit the spot. Oh well, the current sounds we do have are still pretty damn good. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Auver #2410516 04/15/15 09:19 AM
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I agree, would love new Rhodes samples. Strings will be good though, have yet to find a good string sound for my NS2.

I can't see any reason to upgrade to the EX from the original 2. NS2 EX seems like a pretty weird release to me to be honest.


Nord Stage 2, Nord Lead 4, Rhodes MkII, Yamaha MOX6, Novation SL MkII
Auver #2410573 04/15/15 11:03 AM
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Auver,
I think the only reason for the EX upgrade is to communicate to people that the NS3 is not going to come out for at least a year or two. If I needed a NS2, but was waiting in hopes that the NS3 release was imminent (after all the electro just got a huge upgrade) then now I know that the big update isn't coming so I might as well buy now. One hopes, that this means that the NS3 upgrade will be significant. Maybe multilayer samples in the synth section, a big LED screen, XL sized EP samples, the pipe organ and all the C2D, updates, maybe some things we aren't even guessing. This is clearly not an update for us current NS2 owners, there's nothing there at all that would entice me to upgrade. Of course, my current NS2 still works awesomely. smile

Also, this is purely subjective, but am I the only one who hates the new brighter accent colors? Seems a bit gaudy to me, but probably others disagree. smile


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Originally Posted by fizikisto


Also, this is purely subjective, but am I the only one who hates the new brighter accent colors? Seems a bit gaudy to me, but probably others disagree. smile


You mean that orange colour that surrounds some buttons? Yes, I find it gaudy indeed. The original colour was better. On the other hand, the whole red keyboard thing is already a bit gaudy, so I don't think it will upset too many Nord buyers!

Auver #2410627 04/15/15 01:39 PM
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Yes, the orange color around the buttons. Previously it was a much more subdued, pale color. The new, brighter orange looks garish in my opinion. I never thought the red was gaudy, and I felt that the other colors blended well. Maybe having it be gaudy is part of the point though. Certainly that distinctive red color makes for some very smart marketing.


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Auver #2410650 04/15/15 02:55 PM
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I don't mind to be the one to say it... Clavia/Nord is one stingy keyboard dealer when it comes to RAM.

The Stage is a premium priced board. $4500 street price. That sort of pricing was true for the Stage, the Stage 2, and now the EX. And the specs on this board only now include 1gb of RAM?

NOR flash RAM has been around since 1988. In small quantities, 512mb chips go for just over $7 apiece, 1gb chips for around $10 and if you're Yamaha or Nord, you order thousands.

For comparison, Yamaha allows you to install proprietary flash RAM boards for Yamaha Motif XF and MOXF boards. 512mb goes for $150 and 1gb for $300.

You can't swap out the 512mb RAM in the Stage 2 for a 1gb card. You have to buy a stage EX. Which means you have to sell your Stage 2. Hopefully you can get $3000-3700 depending which one you own. That's an awful lot of hassle plus $800-$1500 out of pocket for an additional 512mb of Flash RAM.

Don't get me started on $500 for Nord branded soft case.


Auver #2410754 04/15/15 08:27 PM
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ElmerJFudd,
Yes, Nord's products and accessories are quite pricey. But, not too long ago they actually raised prices in the US on the NS2, so apparently they're only charging what the market will bear. Also, I think they make all their instruments in the factory there, they don't contract it out to some intermediate vendor. And they don't really make enough (I assume) to benefit much from economies of scale.

I will note that their optional music rest is quite pricey too, but in my opinion it was worth the expense. (Though I wouldn't have complained if it had been less expensive!)


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Auver #2410770 04/15/15 09:13 PM
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Nice collection of intellectual property, mainly the organ model and related fx. Keen eye for simple user interface design. Light weight a design priority. Marketing Geniuses.


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