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New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos

Posted By: 10fingers

New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 01/10/11 06:48 AM

On the same Music Trades press release that details the new Yamaha N1, is some (lavish) blurb about this new Kurzweill. Does anyone have any idea of the technology involved or the sample size? Whilst the weight, at 39 lbs, sounds interesting, the thought of another Fatar action doesn't.
Posted By: Hemppa

Re: New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 01/10/11 07:16 AM

...features Kurzweil's best sounds taken from the PC3...

I don't think it's any different, than the SP4-7, soundwise. Some Kurzweil employee described it as SP4-7 with more keys and heavier hammer-action. Kinda nice, but I think the SP4-7 may be nicer gigger's tool, while the 8 will have to compete with a lot of cheaper stage pianos, and Kurzweil isn't the most known name, and the Fatar action isn't the most liked action, as well as the sounds are bit old.
Posted By: SRatz

Re: New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 04/24/12 12:45 PM

What about sound for live performance?
Any feedback from owner?
Posted By: dumbo

Re: New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 04/24/12 01:43 PM

sp4-8 new ??
where u sleep last 5 years ???
Posted By: voxpops

Re: New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 04/24/12 02:38 PM

I owned the SP4-7 for a while (same electronics/sounds, different size/action). The action is a compromise, semi-weighted feel. It's not a Fatar action on the SP4-7, but a Chinese-sourced keybed. It's OK, as long as you get one with a recent serial number, as the older ones were prone to stickiness. However, it certainly isn't best suited to sensitive piano-playing.

I haven't tried the SP4-8, but I believe it uses the same Fatar action as in my Numa Piano, and also the Nord Electro 3HP. It's not my favorite action, but I don't mind it too much in a 25lbs board where the weight is a key selling point. However the SP4-8 weighs almost 40lbs.

Generally, Kurzweil sounds are very good. Although the SP pianos use patches drawn from the PC3 series boards, I'm not convinced that the electronics are as sophisticated. Certainly, the effects engine is less capable, but the digital-to-analog converters may possibly be built to a lower spec. The sound isn't quite as pristine as the PC3, in my opinion.

The acoustic pianos sound quite nice, but compared to the latest offerings from Roland, Kawai and Yamaha, they don't really compete. Stretching, looping and velocity layering are all quite evident. However, there's a good variety of them available, and the additional sounds available with the recent OS update have one or two really rather nice APs.

EPs are very good, and stand comparison with those in most other boards. However, effects are pretty much fixed, so don't expect to be able to dial in the exact sound you want a la Nord.

Organs are also good, and can be controlled via an external MIDI drawbar unit. Lots of variety from gospel to grungy, distorted rock organs. I particularly like the REAL ABC patch.

The synth patches are great, but they aren't tweakable, and so you may find, as I did, that they don't necessarily quite fit the music you want to perform.

Orchestral sounds etc. are what Kurzweil excels at, and you'll find lots of great stuff in the boards.

Operation is a breeze. These are definitely boards aimed at live players. They really are very easily controlled, and MIDI functionality is excellent.

Lastly, they're built to last. Very robust case and good finish.
Posted By: pv88

Re: New Kurzweil SP4-8 with new 'exquisite' pianos - 04/25/12 09:49 AM

Originally Posted by 10fingers
Whilst the weight, at 39 lbs, sounds interesting, the thought of another Fatar action doesn't.

Sold my Kurzweil Mark-Pro THREEi ($1,800 brand new) one summer ago for only $500 to a local high school music director, after having loose pedal issues, a fall board cover that went off track due to shipping, and, unresponsive keys with the Fatar action.

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