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#171354 - 04/07/05 09:43 AM Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
e-pondlife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5
OK, here's the problem: Many years ago I learned to play piano. My Parents and Grandparents chipped in and bought me a gorgeous upright piano (Zender, if anyone's interested!). Trouble is, although I enjoy playing the piano, it never captured me in the way that guitar now does. Therefore, I think it's probably wasteful to have such a good piano sitting there getting played only briefly once a fortnight or so.

What I would like to do is sell it and by some form of electronic device (I'm careful not to use the word keyboard, as I may be talking about an arranger, a workstation, a synth - who knows!).

My requirements for this would be as follows:


1) An amazingly good piano sound. This is my main requirement.

2) Good drums.

3) The ability to 'do' many music styles i.e. rock, dance, trance, drum 'n' bass, hip-hop etc.

I would also like the following, but they are not essential:

Weighted keys.
A sampler.

I'm really not sure what I need. When I first started looking, I thought 'Yamaha' and gravitated toward the PSR3000 (with it's 'Live! Grand Piano'). However, I worried that this may be limiting as it revolves around built-in styles. I then had a look at a combination of the Motif ES Rack and an M-Audio Keystation 88ES. My problem with that is that it would be lacking control surfaces, being a module.

Finally, I've been looking at the Roland Fantom-XA and the Korg Triton Le. I found the Fantom easier to use, but I seemed to make nicer noises with the Triton.

Anyways, I'm confused, so any help much appreciated!!!

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#171355 - 04/07/05 10:04 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
If you're wanting sampling, good acoustic sounds, good drums, ect. I'd suggest you go with a synth such as:

Yamaha Motif (original) or ES
Korg Triton (Extreme) or Le
Roland Fantom

All these models come in an 88 weighted key version.

Good Luck,
Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#171356 - 04/07/05 10:59 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
e-pondlife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5
Thanks Squeak. Would you reccommend any one out of the 3, or is it purely a matter of personal taste? Also I heard that the Triton Le 88 has a Bosendorfer Grand piano sample. Do you know if this is features on the shorter (cheaper) ones?

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#171357 - 04/07/05 11:15 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Dreamer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/23/01
Posts: 3849
Loc: Rome - Italy
As far as I know, the best acoustic pianos among all the workstations are on the Yamaha Motif ES and the Fantom X, while Korg is more geared towards synth stuff (I am leaving aside Kurzweil because it's more expensive).
Maybe you should check out the Music Player Forum; there are a lot of threads dealing with questions like the one you asked here.
Good luck!
http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=18
_________________________
Korg Kronos 61 and PA3X-Pro76, Roland G-70, BK7-m and Integra 7, Casio PX-5S, Fender Stratocaster with Fralin pickups, Fender Stratocaster with Kinman pickups, vintage Gibson SG standard.

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#171358 - 04/07/05 11:59 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2161
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
E-

As a former Korg Triton Pro-X-88 owner, please stay away from Korg's if a quality piano sound is important to you.

I tried the stock pianos, the misc. for sale enhanced piano cards, even auditioned a 3rd party piano sound...NONE sounded as good as a Yamaha piano.

Specifically, the bottom and mid ranges sounded very acceptable, but the upper octaves were so thin they were unusable.

I play a variety of styles within my work ranging from jazz, standards, country, oldies and some pop.

Good luck,

Bill in Dayton
_________________________
Bill in Dayton

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#171359 - 04/07/05 12:03 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
I have to agree with Bill about Korg pianos. They leave a bit to be desired.

As Dreamer stated you're going to get a great quality piano sample on a Yamaha Motif ES or a Roland Fantom.

Also you may want to wait until Alesis cleans all the bugs out of the OS of their new Fusion synth comging out soon. It too comes in 88 weighted keys. This models is supposed to have the acclaimed "HOLY GRAIL" piano sample. It's supposed to be really good.

Kurzweil makes some nice ones but they will put a HUGE dent in your wallet.

Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#171360 - 04/07/05 01:17 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
FAEbGBD Offline
Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 847
Loc: Nashvville TN
Yamaha Motif ES8 or Roland Fantom X8. Korg has sucky acoustic piano sounds. Just terrible. Korg has good drums, organs, and synthes, but piano, no.

Fantom X piano. It's nice and acoustic sounding. It doesn't have as much low end as I wish, but some EQ can fix that.
Yamaha ES. A little more processed sounding. Like a piano you'd hear on a pop recording. Brighter than roland, and maybe a bit more compressed sounding. Good for country or rock, not classical.

I heard the Alesis Fusion at Namm, and quite frankly, I was not overjoyed with that Holy Grail piano. I don't know why, it just seemed odd somehow.

Drums, Yamaha has good out of the box drum sounds. Roland Fantom has bad acoustic drum sounds. Good electric drum sounds. The SRX-01 expansion really helps Roland out in the acoustic drums department. With expansion Roland surpasses Yamaha in almost every respect IMO, but straight out of the box unexpanded, Yamaha might have the edge.

I own theRoland Fantom X because of the expansion. But I was close to getting a Yamaha Motif ES.

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#171361 - 04/07/05 01:18 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
harosha Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 193
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
I also agree about the Piano sounds of a Korg keyboard, not good compared to Yamaha or Roland. In currently available models I would (and have) pick Roland Fantom X8. Excellent piano sounds, good drums (especially with Dynamic drums expansion board), excellent key feel, most powerful sampler out of any workstation in the market today. With the recent software version 2.0 upgrade it has 8 track digital audio recording capability. It's all done on a compact flash card.

[This message has been edited by harosha (edited 04-07-2005).]

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#171362 - 04/07/05 03:27 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
e-pondlife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5
Unless anyone knows a good way of getting lots of money for an acoustic piano, then things like the Fantom-XA will be nudging the top end of my budget.

For our American friends, exchamge rates do not really work between US and UK prices. In other words if something is $1000 in the US, chances are it'll be near enough 1000 over here. Obviously this is more money (of which I always seem to be short)

I discovered this when I was last guitar shopping. I managed to get an Ibanez Jem 777 from Arizona for $900, and they go for well over 1000 over here.

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#171363 - 04/07/05 03:30 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
e-pondlife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5
I meant to add to that a question: Does the Fantom-XA include the good piano you all speak of? I tried one in a shop and the man (who didn't seem particularly knowledgable) set it up for a patch called "so true" which he said was Roland's top piano sound.

...It sounded a bit weak to me!

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#171364 - 04/07/05 05:49 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Pennywizz6 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 434
Loc: Shakopee, MN, USA
Hi,

The Triton LE does not have a sampler and the Fantom XA does not have weighted keys. The Triton LE needs an extra board, which is about 200 something. My vote is 110% with the Fantom X8 Or much cheaper the Fantom-S8. Both have everything you want and more. Supposedly the "So True" is their best, they have several other great piano patches, each tweakable in hundreds of different parameters, you cant find a sound you wont love. Did he show you the virtual grand?

Phil

[This message has been edited by Pennywizz6 (edited 04-07-2005).]

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#171365 - 04/07/05 06:48 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
FAEbGBD Offline
Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 847
Loc: Nashvville TN
So True is not at all Roland's top piano. The So true patch is old technology from the Fantom S series and found on the XA as well. The XA has the same 64 MB ssample rom as Fantom S. The X has those 64 MB, plus another 64 MB, most of which is used with what they are calling "ultimate Grand". Each of the 88 keys is sampled at 4 velocities in stereo. This piano is not to be found on the fantom S or XA. But, if you did buy a Fantom S, which i'd recommend above the new XA, you could buy the SRX-11 Superior Grand expansion board which uses the same sampling techniques as the X's Ultimate Grand, only supposedly even better.

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#171366 - 04/07/05 07:59 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9227
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
I too thought the Fantom x had the best acoustic piano[maybe as good as the first SRX 02 piano board], but the new SRX11 is even better..None of the other guys [Yamaha,Kurz, Ketron and especially Korg] can beat the newest pianos from Roland..Go to RolandUS and listen to the exspansion board demos and see what I mean...and they are responsive...very playable..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



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#171367 - 04/10/05 03:55 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
e-pondlife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 5
Thanks everyone! I think, unless anyone thinks it's a terrible mistake, that I'll try and get hold of a Fantom-S with an SRX-11 in it. Someone is currently selling both on eBay...

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#171368 - 04/11/05 06:38 AM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Tomcat Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/03
Posts: 178
Loc: Ft Collins Colorado, USA
WARNING! Piano sounds are very, very subjective and the only sure way for you to know what you really want is to go listen to and play all the keyboards you are considering and decide for yourself based on what YOU hear.

I own a Korg Trinity with the Megapiano PBS sound set and I can truthfully say that there is not one single good acoustic piano sound in the whole sound set. I also own a fully expanded Roland Fantom XR and while I like some of the pianos OK I tend to prefer the Concert Grand; I certainly do NOT think that the So True is their best sound. I also own a Tyros and my own personal preference is for the Live! Grand Piano which is a sampled Yamaha C III 9'1" concert grand. I prefer that sound solo or in a mix where I want to hear the piano part up front. If I want a mellower sound that sits in the mix I like the Live! Warm Grand which is the same piano with some of the highs rolled off. If I need a really cutting piano then I like the Live! Bright Piano which is that same piano with the highs boosted.

The point is simply that different people like different sounding pianos. Some people prefer Steinway, some prefer Bosendorfer and some prefer Yamaha but those are ALL good pianos. Go listen in person to each and then make your decision. Do NOT trust mp3's off the web to base your buying decision on.

Tom

------------------
Bigger is not always better
_________________________
Bigger is not always better

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#171369 - 04/15/05 04:45 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi,
I own a Roland VR760, extended with the SRX piano. I also have a Korg PA1xPro. Both piano sounds are acceptable, certainly in a band situation, where the details of the overall pianosound are left out. However, neither Roland or Korg come even close to the piano sound of my Yamaha P90.
This instrument I play at home, when the sound is really important and every detail is "hearable". I tested almost every stagepiano available in the store; this is really the best. Not to mention the true feeling of playing a piano.

But anyway, it's said before. Taste is personal and if your ears tell you otherwise: go for it.

Grtz,

CK

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#171370 - 04/15/05 06:27 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
manic2257 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/05
Posts: 172
Loc: australia
pondlife, head over to the gem website www.generalmusic.us and do yourself a favour and listen to the promega 3 or 2..if you want primarily a piano check out the samples..these a physically modelled pianos not just samples..yes i own a promega 2 (but I also USED to own a fantom X8, and a Korg PA1x-Pro..just have a listen and see what you think.

peace,out

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#171371 - 04/20/05 10:06 PM Re: Here's another "Which one to buy?" post...
Anonymous
Unregistered


The stock pianos in the Fantom and the Motif ES if played very carefully might be of some limited use but they are hardly for professional work. The Fantom suffers from incorrect EQing, dull bass section, hodge podge layers and poor programming that makes smooth velocity shifts impossible. Besides it's a small grand (less than 7'my guess). The Motif ES is too hyped in the bass section but if played only on the soft layers, doesn't sound too bad. It suffers from very unsmooth velocity shifts to the hard layer as well. The Triton piano doesn't count unless you're playing Cuban music (Pakito) where the sound of way too much laquer on the hammers is the effect you like. Lot's of traditional Korg aliasing included.

Third party pianos offer the only hope but all of the above units are pitifully slow in loading data. For example, the Motif ES takes 13 minutes to load a 250 meg piano. Slightly shorter for the Fantom.

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