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Hello,

a friend of mine recommended me to buy one. I mainly play Piano, but also do like to have other high quality sounds. He stated
Quote

the montage is THE keyboard anyway, it's def. a keeper. The screen is great, you could do anything on it and then so on.
the FM is above and beyond anything else
just do some research on the montage 8, there is nothing better out there
there is no limitation you will have on the montage 8, the roland rd 2000 is a joke compared to it
(meaning the keybed and the functionalities)
If you really do have a budget of EUR 6k, then by all means get the montage, you wouldn't regret it.
The Montage 8 is much better than that MIDI keyboard.


My questions were:

Can I use this instrument for proper piano practice? Does the keybed suffice for really complex pieces?
Why not get a VPC-1 bundled with bunch of VST's, it's way cheaper.

--Now--

Today I will try the Montage 8, if it does appeal to me, I might consider it.

I want to use the instrument for playing Piano mainly, but also like the fact that you have a lot of freedom with the instruments, and you use a real good synth.
I want to use a sustain pedal, and something else to turn pages (Ipad, or PC)
I want to make music with it and make money, for yet another money stream.

What do you guys think?

Best,

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I note that it has a "balanced hammer action" keyboard, so the feel of it should be reasonable enough.


Chris

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It has Yamaha's low/mid range action and it's not graded (BHE is just GH without grading). So it's fine for piano playing but hardly the best option out there for that purpose. Imo it's really on the opposite end of the spectrum from a "headless" piano controller like a VPC-1.

For that much money, you have any number of options for a superior piano experience at 1/3 the price, from any manufacturer, including Yamaha's other DPs. But the value of the Montage isn't in its piano features. Rather, it's for those who can live with having rather limited piano features because their priorities are on the other advanced workstation/arranger capabilities the Montage offers.


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The Montage is fantastic. The sound engine is top-tier and I thought the keybed was superb. It feels like an instrument designed for a professional studio musician or engineer. The interface is fun to noodle on but also gets staggeringly deep.

That said, for classical piano, you may prefer dedicated "digital pianos" with keybeds so designed.

For this amount of money, you really should try out the Montage and some other "digital pianos" and make up your own mind. Make a weekend trip somewhere with your family.

One alternative, is to buy a "digital piano" for classical work, and then do something else for synth sounds based on the type of music you like, such as:

- Yamaha MODX, which has most of the sounds and the beautiful interface of the Montage (keybed, build quality, sound quality are a step down). The MODX is globally recognized as a gift to amateur musicians by Yamaha. EUR 1100-1500 based on number of keys (keybed is better in larger ones). I suppose you could buy the MODX6 and use your 88key digital piano via MIDI to save money.

- Virtual instruments and a DAW. Downsides include: learning curves, endless money pit, mucking around with computer to work out bugs, odd feel of "digital piano" keyboard for synths. . .

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Thanks for all the answers.

Today, I will go and try out some instruments, I will complement my list of pianos I like when I come back.

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I have Kawai VPC1 and Yamaha S90ES (one of Montage predecessors, which AFAIK has the same action), so I can compare the actions. For advanced piano work the action of VPC1 is significantly better. However, if you want a gazillion of other features (thousands of high quality instrument patches, arpeggio buttons, after-touch, function pedals, availability of 16 simultaneous MIDI channels for live playing etc), S90ES (and consequently Montage) is better. It requires some learning curve though. Both VPC1 and Montage are MIDI compatible. However, you can apply Montage as a 16-channel MIDI controller for live playing of 16 VSTi plugins and/or internal patches without stopping the performance session, which is quite difficult to organize using a VPC1 & DAW.

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Originally Posted by Andrew_G
I have Kawai VPC1 and Yamaha S90ES (one of Montage predecessors, which AFAIK has the same action), so I can compare the actions. For advanced piano work the action of VPC1 is significantly better. However, if you want a gazillion of other features (thousands of high quality instrument patches, arpeggio buttons, after-touch, function pedals, availability of 16 simultaneous MIDI channels for live playing etc), S90ES (and consequently Montage) is better. It requires some learning curve though. Both VPC1 and Montage are MIDI compatible. However, you can apply Montage as a 16-channel MIDI controller for live playing of 16 VSTi plugins and/or internal patches without stopping the performance session, which is quite difficult to organize using a VPC1 & DAW.


Sounds like both are excellent choices. Combining the Montage 8 with the VPC1 is an option, too.

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Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
Sounds like both are excellent choices. Combining the Montage 8 with the VPC1 is an option, too.
Yes, I apply VPC1 + S90ES, both placed on a 2-tier stand, for improvising, sometimes involving sustain pedals and arpeggios for creating a polyphony of 3-4 or more instrument patches on the fly. Yamaha Motif (and consequently Montage) is a highly inspiring environment for experimenting and improvising. You can assign VPC1 to one of 16 MIDI channels for playing piano patch and combine this with other patches in a live situation. In this case you even do not need VSTi plugins.

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Today I was testing all the mentioned instruments (and more). I was only happy with the RD2000. And I will stay by it. There was no other action that has convinced me. Not even the so-expensive kawai n3x.

Last edited by nicknameTaken; 04/05/19 12:23 PM.
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Purely as a matter of interest, how do you intend to make money from it? Paid gigs?


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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Purely as a matter of interest, how do you intend to make money from it? Paid gigs?


I think a good starting point is to share through one of the big streaming portals. Twitch, YouTube and sorta.
Selling Albums at a certain point. But only as a side-job.

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The RD2000 is an excellent instrument, but I’d think twice if the prime reason for the purchase is to make money. The probability of recovering the purchase price using the methods you describe is probably rather low!


Chris

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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
The RD2000 is an excellent instrument, but I’d think twice if the prime reason for the purchase is to make money. The probability of recovering the purchase price using the methods you describe is probably rather low!


You know, my job pays well smile
By the way, I did a mistake. I tested the Montage 7 instead of the Montage 8. Tomorrow I will test the Montage 8 to really get a decision.

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Don't forget to test a Kronos 88 if the piano/keyboard store has one. A few years ago, I tested the Montage 8 along with several top products from other brands before I decided on the Kronos, because I preferred its action and also the piano sounds. Speaking just of piano sounds, Korg recently added a new one in the libraries, this time a Fazioli, along with the stock Steinway, Bechstein, Yamaha and optional Bôsendorfer. Of course, YMMV.

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Originally Posted by Bosendorff
Don't forget to test a Kronos 88 if the piano/keyboard store has one. A few years ago, I tested the Montage 8 along with several top products from other brands before I decided on the Kronos, because I preferred its action and also the piano sounds. Speaking just of piano sounds, Korg recently added a new one in the libraries, this time a Fazioli, along with the stock Steinway, Bechstein, Yamaha and optional Bôsendorfer. Of course, YMMV.


I had a Korg D1 before. They have the same keybed. I didn't like it.

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Update -

Today I was in the music store again.

Korg Kronos 88 felt best. For some odd reason, even if it has the same keybed, the keys felt better. The salesman told me the same story so I felt confirmed.
The Yamaha Montage 8 wasn't there for demo. They told me the CP88 has around the same action as the Montage 8. Heavy.
It was too heavy for me and I can't imagine practice on this for hours.

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What are you playing at the moment? Pianos do have heavier keyboard actions than synths. Your fingers soon get used to it!


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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
What are you playing at the moment? Pianos do have heavier keyboard actions than synths. Your fingers soon get used to it!


I don't play anything at the moment. I had the Yamaha P45 before and the Korg D1 and both were not good enough.
I can play on the HEAVY Yamaha CP88, but it is too straining thinking of playing a lot on it. I don't want that strain.

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Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
Hello,

a friend of mine recommended me to buy one. I mainly play Piano, but also do like to have other high quality sounds. He stated
Quote

the montage is THE keyboard anyway, it's def. a keeper. The screen is great, you could do anything on it and then so on.
the FM is above and beyond anything else
just do some research on the montage 8, there is nothing better out there
there is no limitation you will have on the montage 8, the roland rd 2000 is a joke compared to it
(meaning the keybed and the functionalities)
If you really do have a budget of EUR 6k, then by all means get the montage, you wouldn't regret it.
The Montage 8 is much better than that MIDI keyboard.


My questions were:

Can I use this instrument for proper piano practice? Does the keybed suffice for really complex pieces?
Why not get a VPC-1 bundled with bunch of VST's, it's way cheaper.

--Now--

Today I will try the Montage 8, if it does appeal to me, I might consider it.

I want to use the instrument for playing Piano mainly, but also like the fact that you have a lot of freedom with the instruments, and you use a real good synth.
I want to use a sustain pedal, and something else to turn pages (Ipad, or PC)
I want to make music with it and make money, for yet another money stream.

What do you guys think?

Best,


Hi Nickname Taken,

In my way of thinking, there are some questions we are missing answers for :
1) What will you use the digital instrument for primarily?
2) Is it for home, studio, or gig use or variety of these?
3) Are you doing music production with it?

Frankly, your friend seems rather fond of hyperbole.
The RD2000 has a much better piano action. With a VST such as Garritan CFX grand, the RD2000 will have a better Yamaha piano sound than the montage along with the 3rd best digital piano action after the Grand Feel (MP11) and the VPC1 action.

For playing piano, there is no contest because the RD2000 has better piano sounds (I'm including non-modelled pianos in there too) than the Yamaha by a country mile. The Yamaha has about 5 decent piano voices. The Roland Rd stage series are packed with tonnes of piano sounds, which gives you more choice.

The RD2000 has many sounds and is easily a match in sound quality and quantity to the Montage. The Montage has the FM tone generator, and the knob that mixes FM and non FM sounds. The Montage is a synth, not really a full workstation.

A person wishing to buy the best workstation would need to test the Korg Kronos (latest version). The Kronos has 5 sound engines to the Montages 2. Also, the music production tools on the Kronos are superior. It also has a big screen!

The Kronos and Montage are both really good instruments, but... for solo piano---if that is your purpose---then the stage, portable and cabinet digital pianos offer a much better range of piano actions.

Anybody kidding themselves that the montage is so superior to the RD2000 has to have their ears checked. Both are superb instruments that suit very different purposes. The Kawai instruments should not be overlooked if you are serious about piano.

Kind regards

Doug.

Last edited by Doug M.; 04/06/19 08:47 AM.

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Quote

In my way of thinking, there are some questions we are missing answers for :
1) What will you use the digital instrument for primarily?
2) Is it for home, studio, or gig use or variety of these?
3) Are you doing music production with it?


1) Video Game Arrangements, Piano Practice
2) Home Studio
3) In planning

Quote

Frankly, your friend seems rather fond of hyperbole.
The RD2000 has a much better piano action. With a VST such as Garritan CFX grand,
the RD2000 will have a better Yamaha piano sound than the montage along with the 3rd best digital piano action after the Grand Feel (MP11) and the VPC1 action.


The Garritan CFX Grand sucks. I hate the Kawai and Yamaha actions. I dislike even the one from the Yamaha N3X / Kawai Novus.
Too heavy.
I like PianoTeq and Native Instruments Noir

Quote

For playing piano, there is no contest because the RD2000 has better piano sounds (I'm including non-modelled pianos in there too)
than the Yamaha by a country mile. The Yamaha has about 5 decent piano voices.
The Roland Rd stage series are packed with tonnes of piano sounds, which gives you more choice.


While I can live with the RD2000 Piano sounds, I do also like the Korg Kronos ones

Quote

The RD2000 has many sounds and is easily a match in sound quality and quantity to the Montage.
The Montage has the FM tone generator, and the knob that mixes FM and non FM sounds.
The Montage is a synth, not really a full workstation.


Agree.

Quote

A person wishing to buy the best workstation would need to test the Korg Kronos
(latest version).
The Kronos has 5 sound engines to the Montages 2.
Also, the music production tools on the Kronos are superior. It also has a big screen!


Okay.

Quote

The Kronos and Montage are both really good instruments,
but... for solo piano---if that is your purpose---then the stage,
portable and cabinet digital pianos offer a much better range of piano actions.


You can not say piano actions are objectively superior as it is subjective.
So far, only the RD-2000 action and the Korg Kronos action did make it into the race.
While the Korg D1 is meant to have exactly the same action, it is hugely worse.
Same with FP90 vs RD-2000. RD-2000 excels.
Korg Kronos RH3 feels better.

Quote

Anybody kidding themselves that the montage is so superior to the RD2000 has to have their ears checked.
Both are superb instruments that suit very different purposes. The Kawai instruments should not be overlooked if you are serious about piano.


So far Korg Kronos is #1 for me. I don't like the heavy Yamaha action.

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