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Numa Compact keyboard #2414997
04/28/15 02:41 PM
04/28/15 02:41 PM
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Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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I recently got the Numa Compact and I like it a lot so far. I'll include a brief review and I'd appreciate anyone else's opinions and experiences. I was mostly interested in the acoustic piano sound, so that's what I'll address.

Even though it's hard to find published details, I think the acoustic piano sounds are the same as those on the Numa Piano. If they're not, they're pretty close, and the main piano sound is excellent. There's plenty of sustain and a nice resonant character. Tonally it's pretty bright, but with a fullness to the bottom end. It doesn't have a lot of fullness in the midrange, but it works for me. The first Numa Compact demo on the Studiologic webpage is a good representation of how it sounds.

I think I read somewhere that the main piano patch of the Numa Piano (which to me sounds identical) is a Steinway D, but the brightness makes me think of a Yamaha C7 instead. The Hammond Suzuki SK series has a Yamaha C7 that sounds similar in character, but it's not nearly as good.

In my opinion, where many digital pianos fail is in the lifelessness of their sound when played solo. However, the Numa Compact sounds quite good, and authentic, for solo piano.

Unlike what the literature says, the keyboard action is not a real weighted action. It's closer to a synth-weighted, but it's less springy, so it works decently well for piano playing, especially in a band situation. IMO this is as good as a non-weighted gets for playing piano. Moderate tempo solo jazz can be enjoyable on this action, an occasional ballad maybe, classical forgetaboutit..

As with anything Fatar/Studiologic puts out, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. But so far this instrument has exceeded my expectations and i'm very happy with it. (I've had mostly nice things to say about this instrument, but I'm not affiliated with Fatar in any way).

EDIT: there's one negative so far: the Hall Reverb adds a LOT of hiss to the sound. Turning it off, lowering it substantially, or using the Room Reverb gets rid of the hiss.



2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
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Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2415113
04/28/15 09:20 PM
04/28/15 09:20 PM
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gracegren Offline
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Thanks for posting your review, Michael. I have watched videos and read other reviews, and I am strongly considering the Numa Compact as something easy to take to a jazz rehearsal, jam, or gig. You answered the one question that had not been yet answered, and that is regarding the key action. I was concerned about semi or non-weighted keys, and I am glad to hear they are not really springy, like what I experienced trying out some Korg instruments, and are working for you. Also glad to hear it is working well for you in both solo and band situations!


Kawaii ES-110, Kurzweil MPS-20
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: gracegren] #2415123
04/28/15 09:39 PM
04/28/15 09:39 PM
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Michael H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gracegren
Thanks for posting your review, Michael. I have watched videos and read other reviews, and I am strongly considering the Numa Compact as something easy to take to a jazz rehearsal, jam, or gig. You answered the one question that had not been yet answered, and that is regarding the key action. I was concerned about semi or non-weighted keys, and I am glad to hear they are not really springy, like what I experienced trying out some Korg instruments, and are working for you. Also glad to hear it is working well for you in both solo and band situations!


I've got a Nord Piano also, and in some cases I'll bring that, but it's pretty heavy. For me, for the current price of $399 it was a no brainer since I was looking for a jamming keyboard, something easy. If I'm doing sensitive dynamic stuff or intricate piano stuff, I'd much prefer the Nord.

Good luck with your choice!


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2415462
04/29/15 07:57 PM
04/29/15 07:57 PM
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gracegren Offline
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Thanks, Michael, and the price is right!


Kawaii ES-110, Kurzweil MPS-20
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2415604
04/30/15 08:02 AM
04/30/15 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael H
Even though it's hard to find published details, I think the acoustic piano sounds are the same as those on the Numa Piano. If they're not, they're pretty close

I wish they had kept the Split/LHB and EQ functions from the Numa Piano, even if it would have been, say, $100 higher. The piano benefits from some bass rolloff, the EPs benefit from some treble rolloff, and those adjustments aren't available on the Compact. And besides useful left hand bass, the nice MIDI controller functions are even more useful when you can enable a split. I guess they wanted to keep more product differentiation between the Piano and the Compact, but I think the action alone would have been enough there. Speaking of which, I do find the action surprisingly playable for a non weighted action. As for the sound overall, I find it quite usable for live work. There is some odd stereo imaging (like notes that shift position depending on how hard you strike them, or are "out of place" compared to surrounding notes), but you'll never notice that live. Besides, I usually gig in mono. ;-) I do wish that the preset select buttons could double as patch recall buttons when using it as a MIDI controller, instead of having to scroll through presets. Basically, I'd say that it's a really nice board, and a bargain at its new price, though it could have been better with just some minor tweaks.

Last edited by anotherscott; 04/30/15 08:08 AM.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2415791
04/30/15 05:55 PM
04/30/15 05:55 PM
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Northern NJ
dewster Offline
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I wonder if one could "saw off" the top octave of that thing? Unlike many other keyboards, there doesn't seem to be a lot going on up there in terms of controls, I/O, etc.

The Numa Piano didn't have pedal sympathetic resonance when DPBSD tested, does the compact?

Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: dewster] #2416051
05/01/15 10:16 AM
05/01/15 10:16 AM
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Posts: 138
Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dewster
I wonder if one could "saw off" the top octave of that thing? Unlike many other keyboards, there doesn't seem to be a lot going on up there in terms of controls, I/O, etc.

The Numa Piano didn't have pedal sympathetic resonance when DPBSD tested, does the compact?


I suspect the upper octave could be removed but depending on how the circuit boards beneath the keys are wired it might be quite a job. The thing weighs less than 14 pounds and has as small a footprint as is possible for an 88er, so I'm happy to leave it alone.

I don't know about pedal sympathetic resonance, perhaps anotherscott could answer that. By comparison, my Yamaha P105 and MOX6 and Casio PX330 all sounded pretty dull and lifeless, so whatever is going on tonally, it's well done.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2416053
05/01/15 10:27 AM
05/01/15 10:27 AM
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Posts: 138
Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
I wish they had kept the Split/LHB and EQ functions from the Numa Piano, even if it would have been, say, $100 higher. The piano benefits from some bass rolloff, the EPs benefit from some treble rolloff, and those adjustments aren't available on the Compact. And besides useful left hand bass, the nice MIDI controller functions are even more useful when you can enable a split. I guess they wanted to keep more product differentiation between the Piano and the Compact, but I think the action alone would have been enough there. Speaking of which, I do find the action surprisingly playable for a non weighted action. As for the sound overall, I find it quite usable for live work. There is some odd stereo imaging (like notes that shift position depending on how hard you strike them, or are "out of place" compared to surrounding notes), but you'll never notice that live. Besides, I usually gig in mono. ;-) I do wish that the preset select buttons could double as patch recall buttons when using it as a MIDI controller, instead of having to scroll through presets. Basically, I'd say that it's a really nice board, and a bargain at its new price, though it could have been better with just some minor tweaks.


I totally agree. Incidentally, I found that turning the soundbank button off functions as local off, which can be useful when sequencing and otherwise. For instance, Cantabile midi-ed back in can give splits, better velocity curves etc..


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: dewster] #2416226
05/01/15 06:17 PM
05/01/15 06:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 138
Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by dewster
The Numa Piano didn't have pedal sympathetic resonance when DPBSD tested, does the compact?


Thinking about that some more, I seriously doubt the Numa Compact would have it if the Numa Piano didn't.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2416972
05/04/15 03:32 AM
05/04/15 03:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 167
Copenhagen, Denmark
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thomsurf Offline
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Thanks for starting this thread, Michael. It actually inspired me to finally place an order for the Compact. Been thinking about it for a while, since it seems like a great lightweight board for lugging around to rehearsals and gigs with limited space.
I used to own the Numa Piano and totally fell for it's organic and wonderful piano sound, but decided to let it go since I hated the keybed. I'm glad to hear that people find the action to be quite good for what it is.
I have an RD800 which I love, but in still makes sense to me to have a Compact as a second board.


Roland RD800, EV ZXA-1.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2417209
05/04/15 09:23 PM
05/04/15 09:23 PM
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Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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thomsurf,

Congrats! I hope you like it! And please let us know what you think.

Just this past weekend I took the Numa to a rehearsal for the first time and enjoyed it a lot! I was surprised to find that besides the main acoustic piano, the Wurlitzer electric piano is excellent in a band context- we did 'Breakdown' by Tom Petty, and the strings were quite useable, although far from the best, on 'Nights In White Satin'.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2418690
05/09/15 01:24 PM
05/09/15 01:24 PM
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Posts: 167
Copenhagen, Denmark
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Got mine yesterday and gigged it the same night. First of all I really like the build quality. The chassis is made of some kind of plastic that gives a really solid, stiff feel. I think this will prove to be very reliable.
The sounds are still pretty good. It's been a while since I owned the Numa Piano and in the meantime I bought a Roland RD800 which is an unfair comparison to the Compact. While I love the Roland's sound and keys, it's a beast to move around so it makes sense to me to have the Compact as a second piano.

The gig I did was with a trio in a coffee house type of setting. The Compact played through a set of EV ZXa1 which also did the job as PA. Sounded great except for one time when we played 'The Scientist' by Coldplay which made the lower notes drop out constantly. I thought it was for lack of polyphony, but when I tested it today with my headphones it sounded fine. Guess it must have been my speakers that couldn't handle the many low notes...
The keys are the best I've come across for a non-weighted action. It's a bit difficult to really dig in or play expressive passages/solos, but didn't really expect that. For EP the keys are wonderful. I actually found myself playing the EP sounds a lot more and I would normally do and I really think they do great in a band setting.

It's a fun little piano for what it is. Mind you it's only like 350 dollars over here (Italian made).



Roland RD800, EV ZXA-1.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: thomsurf] #2418708
05/09/15 02:36 PM
05/09/15 02:36 PM
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Long Island, NY
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Michael H Offline OP
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Sounds like you're enjoying it! Cool!

You may be correct that those small EV's couldn't handle the bass. The Compact has VERY heavy bass.

I think it's a steal for 399, or in your case 350. The low end Yamaha's and Casio's have a better action, but don't sound nearly as good in my opinion. It's always a tradeoff smile


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2424255
05/24/15 12:29 PM
05/24/15 12:29 PM
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California
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Placing a pre-order on the Numa today. It is out of stock at Kraft, so may as well get the order in. I just watched another video of the Numa, sounds great to me for jams and jazz gigs. I would rather be taking a 14, vs. 24 lb piano out the door any day. Will be looking forward to this showing up at the door!

Only thing is it does not appear to have a split, despite the specs on Kraft listing it as having this. When I get to the point of being competent in left-hand bass, will consider something else. That is fine.



Kawaii ES-110, Kurzweil MPS-20
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2424308
05/24/15 02:11 PM
05/24/15 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael H
Incidentally, I found that turning the soundbank button off functions as local off, which can be useful when sequencing and otherwise. For instance, Cantabile midi-ed back in can give splits, better velocity curves etc..

Good to know. They messed that up on the Numa Organ, where the "local off" mode not only stops the action from directly triggering the internal sound (as it should) but also stops the internal sound from triggering via MIDI (which it shouldn't).

Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2424640
05/25/15 12:57 PM
05/25/15 12:57 PM
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Michael H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Michael H
Incidentally, I found that turning the soundbank button off functions as local off, which can be useful when sequencing and otherwise. For instance, Cantabile midi-ed back in can give splits, better velocity curves etc..

Good to know. They messed that up on the Numa Organ, where the "local off" mode not only stops the action from directly triggering the internal sound (as it should) but also stops the internal sound from triggering via MIDI (which it shouldn't).


Studiologic/Fatar never ceases to amaze me.

Starting with my Fatar Studio 2001 controller many years ago, which had four MIDI ins, and four MIDI outs, and was designed to address 64 MIDI channels (16 on each output), but instead addressed 52 MIDI channels (13 on each output), there have been surprises. Very vexing.

But the Numa Compact is a pleasant surprise. The more I use it in a band, the more I like the main piano (great), the Wurly, and the strings. Additionally, the expression pedal input is set up for a Yamaha FC7, which is arguably the best expression pedal available these days.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: gracegren] #2424642
05/25/15 01:06 PM
05/25/15 01:06 PM
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Michael H Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gracegren
Placing a pre-order on the Numa today.


Congrats! If you have time once you get it, please let us know how you like it.


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2424775
05/25/15 07:34 PM
05/25/15 07:34 PM
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gracegren Offline
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Absolutely, Michael, but do not know yet when it will arrive. Just a pre-order. Glad to hear the Numa continues to be a 'pleasant surprise' for you!


Kawaii ES-110, Kurzweil MPS-20
Jazz, blues, Latin, and a touch of classical and new age.
Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: thomsurf] #2427144
05/31/15 10:14 AM
05/31/15 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by thomsurf
The Compact played through a set of EV ZXa1 which also did the job as PA. Sounded great except for one time when we played 'The Scientist' by Coldplay which made the lower notes drop out constantly. I thought it was for lack of polyphony, but when I tested it today with my headphones it sounded fine. Guess it must have been my speakers that couldn't handle the many low notes...

That's weird. *Just* the low notes dropped out? Or, when you hit big low notes, did *everything* momentarily drop out?

Re: Numa Compact keyboard [Re: Michael H] #2427227
05/31/15 01:45 PM
05/31/15 01:45 PM
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Michael H Offline OP
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I thought I'd mention one idiosyncrasy, not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.

The Numa Compact is one of the few instruments with onboard sounds that can be powered by USB. You get a decent signal with headphones, but you do need the AC adapter when using the line outputs.

If you're using the Numa with a computer for additional sounds so that you have the AC adapter plugged in and a USB cable going to your computer, the Numa for some reason looks for USB power first, not AC. This means that until you power up your computer the Numa won't power up. This scared the crap out of me when it happened, but it doesn't mean there's anything wrong. It's just Fatar being Fatar smile


2012 Solo Piano CD of original pieces, entitled 'Journeys'. You can listen to samples at:
https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michaelhagglund/from/greatindiemusic
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