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Joined: Feb 2011
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rednut Offline OP
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Hi guys, wondering if you can help me in my search for DP.

My budget is under $1500 if I can.

I play mostly for enjoyment at home on an acoustic, and occasionally play in a alternative rock band but I have a cheap keyboard that's adequate for that for now.

I want something that has a pretty good acoustic piano sound (doesn’t need to be 100% perfect – close enough is ok but it has to be close), and a good weighted action that is responsive. I particularly want to start exploring some of the more blues organ sounds, rotary speaker effects etc and some basic synth sounds/effects but am not accomplished at this yet. I particularly also like the idea of being able to play with some effects on the fly – drawbars, dual voices, delay, filters etc, but without having to dive through menus, I want physical knobs that I can turn.

I don’t need multitudes of other “instruments” or rhythm beats etc.

Does something like this exist in my price range, or do I need to consider some of the more expensive options? I live in a remote area so can’t easily try units in a store unfortunately.


Thanks in advance for any opinions.

Last edited by rednut; 02/18/11 09:33 PM.
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Closest thing I can think of is the Korg SV-1, although it is a bit out of your budget. Sweetwater has the 73 key version for $2k. Check out some youtube videos on it and see if you think it is worth the extra money.

Good luck!

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Sounds like the Kawai ES6 would suit your needs.

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definitely acoustic.

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Originally Posted by rednut
Hi guys, wondering if you can help me in my search for DP.

My budget is under $1500 if I can.

...

I want something that has a pretty good acoustic piano sound (doesn’t need to be 100% perfect – close enough is ok but it has to be close), and a good weighted action that is responsive. I particularly want to start exploring some of the more blues organ sounds, rotary speaker effects etc and some basic synth sounds/effects but am not accomplished at this yet. I particularly also like the idea of being able to play with some effects on the fly – drawbars, dual voices, delay, filters etc, but without having to dive through menus, I want physical knobs that I can turn.


I think the best option would be a Nord Stage EX 76 or 88, but they are out of your price range. Good piano, nice weighted action that is still okay for organ, rotary speaker effect, synth sounds, on-the-fly controls for their version of drawbars and their synth controls (filter, etc) with plenty of physical knobs without menu diving, dual voices (and then some).

In a lower price range, you'll have to decide which of those things you're willing to lose.

In your price range, I think I'd look at the Kawai MP6. In fact, in your price range, I think it's the only weighted action board that has drawbar organ controls... if those are your priorities.

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Yamaha CP33 $999


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Adjustable drawbar organs are not a standard feature on weighted-key stage pianos, nor is the ability to manipulate synth sounds. This is why the Nord Stage is such a flexible 'do everything' instrument, and perhaps why it commands are slightly higher price.

The Kawai ES6 features a selection of organ sounds, however does not allow their drawbar positions to be adjusted. I believe the same is true of the Korg SV-1, although this may be possible using the Korg sound editing software (perhaps an SV-1 owner can confirm this?).

I believe the Rolaand FP-7F feature adjustable drawbar organ sounds, but you will probably find the effects/synth capabilities to be rather limited.

The Kawai MP6 does offer adjustable drawbar organ sounds (although some would argue that the implementation is a little fiddly), and a very nice weighted-key action. It has a good selection of synth/pad sounds and realtime controls/effects, and probably ranks just a little behind the Nord Stage in terms overall 'do everything' capabilities.

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I believe the Rolaand FP-7F feature adjustable drawbar organ sounds

Ah, yes, that's another one, though also a bit above his price range. Also their RD-700NX. And for completeness' sake, I'll mention Kurzweil's PC3 series.

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How about the RD-300NX? Does this/will this board allow drawbar positions to be adjusted?

Cheers,
James
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Yamaha CP33 $999


Sorry, I skipped over the 'drawbars' part of the original post.


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rednut Offline OP
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Thankyou all for your replies.
The drawbars but was just something I thought would be fun to play with as I got into more organ styles, but by the sounds of it, I need to compromise somewhere.
The Stage Ex looks totally amazing and I'd love to try one, but i definitely can't justify that price tag at this stage.

I'm considering the SV-1, it just looks like it would be fun and has most of the things I want at my fingertips, despite it being slightly out of my price range.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't regret the money 2-3 years down the track, so it looks like that's where I might be headed if I can get a good price online.
Cheers!

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Considering your price limitations, I'd wait for the Roland FP-4F.

It should have great acoustic pianos (great in both action and sound), as well as (sorry, menu-driven) tone wheel organs, etc. Also, built-in speakers which should be adequate for noncritical uses. Portability? TBD.

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rednut Offline OP
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Actually, can anyone comment on the Kawai MP6?
Its more in my price range but all the youtube demos I can find are in German! I can see that some of the effects are menu driven, but there are what looks to be assignable controls etc. Can anyone comment on how user friendly this is to edit in real time? The German demo guy looked like he had to press a couple of things at the same time to change an effect. And just any other info would be great from people who've tried this.

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I have owned one since October. Everything can be controlled from the Menu. It has 256 setups that you can configure to your taste. Then save them. For example I configured the rotary effect for my footswitch with the drawbar setting i Like. I have about 8 setup for organ with varying effects such as percussion, overdrive or drawbar settings. You can name each setting and can scroll through them. Althought you can directly access the setting by pressing one of the top rows, 8 buttons, then the second row 8 buttons then the third row 4 buttons. so 8 X 8 X 4 = 256 setups. I have had Rhodes, Hammonds and Moog keyboards. I have played live and in the studio. I find it pretty nice to quickly go from a Rhodes to a Hammond in three button pushes. The only limitation I found was changing the drawbars live. You can but it is cumbersome. But use the Setups and it works great. the drum setups cannot be saved using the setups. But I have a Roland RD Rhythm DR -880 to solve that problem. The price point of $1500.00 US is pretty good. I played the SV1 and liked it. I really liked it but the organs were not strong and to really adjust required hooking up to a computer. That may be a plus or minus depending on your style. It was my second choice. I plan to use my MP6 as a midi controller in the future so that plus four zones, which two can control an external device plus the 256 sounds were enticing with a lower price. I do a lot layering sounds and the four zones is great for that. That translates into both layering and spliting of the keyborad. Also I would advice you to listen to the pianos through a stereo amp or headphones. The MP6 sounds like a Kawai piano which I love. You may prefer the SV1 since it has more of a Steinway sound. I just found the MP6 more flexible over the SV1. I use my MP6 in several different venues that all the sounds are helpful in my gigging. The SV1 is really a live gigging instrument with I think about 36 solid sounds.

I find that using the menus is fine once you get used to it. It will not be like a Hammond with drawbars or a Moog Mini-Moog.

I hope this helps

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Kawai James
I believe the Rolaand FP-7F feature adjustable drawbar organ sounds

Ah, yes, that's another one, though also a bit above his price range. Also their RD-700NX. And for completeness' sake, I'll mention Kurzweil's PC3 series.


You can get the FP7F with the stand for about $1600, I'm not sure how much without the stand.


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