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#165802 - 05/17/00 04:33 PM Who can compare a GEM WK6 (or WK8) and a Yamaha PSR9000
Steel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/00
Posts: 5
Loc: Belgium

I have a GEM WK6. I'm planning to buy a new keyboard, maybe the Yamaha PSR9000. Is there anyone who knows the world of "Generalmusic" a bit, and can give me a comparison between the GEM WK6 (or WK8) and the Yamaha PSR9000? When I read your comments, I hear about "the 4 greats" (KN6000, X1, G1000/VA-7, PSR9000), but you never mention GEM. So do I have to conclude, that the WK6 is out of date? I would like to read a response from someone who has played the WK6/8 and the YamahaPSR9000. Thanks a lot!

#165803 - 05/17/00 09:04 PM Re: Who can compare a GEM WK6 (or WK8) and a Yamaha PSR9000
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
I own a music store in California and I am a Gem dealer, Yamaha, Korg, Solton, and Roland. I wish I could know exactly what you want to know as a comparison, but I will do my best comparing the major differences.
One of the biggest differences is in the way you can find and play songs and styles on the Yamaha vs the WK6. You must load them into the WK6 and you can just "point" to them on the disk or hard drive on the PSR9000 and play them without actually spending the time to load them.
I think the styles on the WK6 are better generally, but the sounds are better on the PSR9000. The sequencer on the WK6 in my opinion is the best in the industry. 32 tracks with complete editing and a large 250,000 event memory makes the WK6 hard to beat. The Yamaha sequencer is 16 tracks and has very little editing compared to the WK. I love the digital mixer on the WK6 with seperate faders for each track. The Yamaha uses up and down buttons to do the same thing and is not capable of overdubbing volume changes like the Wk6 can using the faders after you record a song in real time. (By the way, most of the customers I talk to who purchase WK 6's from other dealers don't know the WK can do as much as it can do. This is a real shame). The effects are better and there are more of them on the Yamaha keyboard, and although you can load samples into the WK, you can't sample directly into it like the Yamaha. There is no draw bar organ on the WK series like on the Yamaha and Solton X1. The WK is the only keyboard that can show music on the screen not just lyrics.
In 1997 and 1998, the Gem WK4 and later the WK6 and WK8 were my best selling high end arranger keyboards. Then in May of 1999 the Solton X1 came along and knocked the WK series out of first place. Earlier this year the PSR 9000 came along, but has stilled not knocked the X1 off it's throne. In my store, the X1 is still regarded as the best sounding arranger keyboard, and I know not everyone will agree with me but I think it is the easiest to move around on. Once you've spent a few "quality" hours with someone who really understands it, it is so much more intuitive to operate. Again, these are just my opinions.
If there is anything you would especially like to know about either the Yamaha or the Generalmusic models, please let me know.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, Ca.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California

#165804 - 05/18/00 03:45 AM Re: Who can compare a GEM WK6 (or WK8) and a Yamaha PSR9000
Steel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/17/00
Posts: 5
Loc: Belgium
Thanks George. I appreciate your answer!
-What do you mean with "the WK is the only keyboard that can show music on the screen, not just lyrics"? You can follow the notes and chords on the display on the WK, but you see this also on the PSR9000, isn't it?
-You say that the styles on the GEM WK6 are better than on the PSR9000. This is my point of interest. Can you tell something more about this?

Thanks a lot!

#165805 - 05/19/00 10:57 AM Re: Who can compare a GEM WK6 (or WK8) and a Yamaha PSR9000
sk880user Offline

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 1255
Loc: United States

I have not listened to the styles of PSR9000 but I played with the styles of PSR8000. However, many are telling me that they are close. If this is correct, here is my comparison.

The quality of GEM styles are better than Yamaha. When I recorded some sections of GEM styles in the studio, it is difficult to tell they are coming from arranger keyboard. However, I can always point to Yamaha styles in a recording even when I never heard the keyboard before. *S* However, the styles of Yamaha are very pretty, they are melodic and nice... so the artist who created them for Yamaha is more artistic than the artist who created them for GEM.

I am basically repeating what Danny(UK) explained previously: do not confuse the quality of the style with the melodic composition of the style. The former speaks of the quality of the keyboard; the latter speaks of the artist.

So If you are the kind of person who loves to create sequences and styles, loves to spend the time programming and adjusting, considers full programmability a must, I might not recommend PSR9000 from what George Kay has said. If you want a second keyboard that matches that other than GEM, maybe X1 will be the one.

However, if you are the kind of person who does not have the time to do all of this work, depends solely or mostly on the factory styles, and considers ease of use more important than programmability, maybe PSR9000 will do the work.

#165806 - 05/19/00 12:35 PM Re: Who can compare a GEM WK6 (or WK8) and a Yamaha PSR9000
DannyUK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 1045
Hi there Steel!

I've had good experience with GEM, Yamaha & Solton so I'd just briefly like to make some points.

The bulk of the advice given here has already been excellently and accurately given by George & SK880user.

You seem a little confused when George mentioned that the WK series has a music display, well, what he means is that you basically have a 'score sheet' in your display, which has lyrics, chords, notes & everything else associated with a professional music sheet. When I first saw this on my WK8, I was breathtaken.

In my opinion, the sounds on the PSR are generally better because they are 'sweeter' and 'fuller' sounding, I think its the effects personally that make it sound like they do, but they are good. The styles, however, I think are generally better on the GEM, though the PSR has some usefull styles. However, I think they are better arranged on the GEM, the sound quality also is generally more professional on the GEM as well. You can tell that the GEM keyboard was built with the studio recorder in mind! My father has recorded some lovely songs on the WK8 and has recorded them in a studio and I tell you they sound so realistic. With Yamaha, I really personally think that its not as natural sounding and you can tell they are a little 'electronic'.

But my biggest dissapointment with the PSR9000 is that its very similar to my old PSR8000, a lot of the styles are the same for instance. I also think that Yamaha's playback of midi files is pretty hopeless, unlike GEM where its a joy to 'play' around and its so easy to experiment with sounds with absolutely staggering results without any real effort.

My favouriate keyboard though is the X1, however, I still own 2 GEM keyboards (one lent out and the other I use (WX2), and I think GEM keyboards are very professional and have a lot of potential indeed.

If I were you, I would personally not trade the WK6 over a PSR, otherwise look for something like the X1 over the GEM. If you really want a PSR, then I would recommend you have a PSR as a second keyboard for the 'little thats missing' from your first keyboard.

I hope this helps.
Good Luck

Ketron SD7, Pa1000, Tyros4, SX900


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