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#182096 - 11/03/02 05:48 PM My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
I recently had the opportunity to FINALLY spend some considerable time (over 4 hours on 3 separate occasions) auditioning BOTH the Ketron SD1 and Ketron XD9. I was immediately impressed by how smooth the SD1 & XD9 styles sounded, as well as how realisticly LIVE sounding the drum patterns were. Many of the SD1 instruments, particularly the Sax (esp Night Sax), organs (lots of presence & guts), and Grand Piano (though darker in color than I expected) are outstanding. I have to agree with Andrea (Dreamer) that the electric pianos & guitars overall were less than impressive and even noticed the annoying DSP noise he had previously reported. The XD9 sounds (in my opinion) pale in comparision to the SD1 sounds. In fact, the XD9 acoustic piano does not even approach the terrific sounding one in the SD1. The XD9 omits many of the best sounds of the SD1, including the SD1's Night Sax. On the otherhand, the XD9 has a far better improved OS navigation system than the SD1. I found that navigating the identically sized buttons on the SD1 confusing and frustrating and wonder if I could ever feel comfortable pressing the correct buttons on a LIVE gig, especially because you have to go into sub menus to reach even the basic functions. Thankfully the XD9 corrected some of these problems, though I felt even its LCD selection buttons to the right and left sides of the LCD screen located poorly, NOT directly to the actual parameters they are intended to control. The Yamaha (and Technics) arrangers on the other hand have their LCD function buttons all located directed NEXT to the window parameter section they are meant to control.I found both the SD1 & XD9 key feel to be very good and responsive. The SD1 keyboard cosmetic design I do not like at all (1970's). It looks more like a proto-type kb than a finished product, but the XD9 in contrast, looks very stylish and sleek with built in speakers too. The speakers sound is also very impressive. There is also a bass boost feature which allows you to easily increase the bass response.

Ok, it seems the Ketron boards have a lot to offer to arranger players. The SD1 has many features which are just not available in other arranger keyboard brands, such as drum remix, an auto accomp bass mute feature which allows you to play YOUR OWN bass lines, dedicated rootless chord recognition option,, more right & left part voices (presenting added layering possiblities than other arrangers), etc. Ok, some of you may think now that I've decided to upgrade to a Ketron SD1 or XD9 , right? Unfortunately there is ANOTHER issue that is keeping me from currently considering going with Ketron route: this issue is reliability. I've heard privately from several people on this forum that they have experienced repeated problems with their SD1's. This has included reports that their keyboards have frozen up unexpectedly, and have even required repeated (3) lengthy visits to the repair shop. In addition, when I visited my local music store to audition the XD9 & SD1, somebody had just dropped off their SD1 to be repaired. To add to this, while I was auditioning the XD9, I noticed that the LCD screen would, every once in a while, momentarily freeze & shimmer, before changing to a newly selected style or sound. As a gigging musician I can't afford to risk the possibility of my keyboard failing on the gig, or having to be without it for any length of time (short or long) because of failures. I'm sure there are many Ketron owners out there that have never had any problems with their Ketron boards, but from the percentage of reports of Ketron keyboard related problems I've heard, the odds are too high for me right now, no matter how wonderful the Ketron keyboards sound. I only hope that Ketron will be able to improve their reliability and their OS navigation approach in the near future because I feel Ketron arrangers are truly special boards which offer something special for arranger keyboard players. Keep in mind that my review is only MY personal opinion and others may disagree. - Scott
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#182097 - 11/03/02 07:04 PM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
Scott,
Good fair review, thanks for the info.
Terry
_________________________
jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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#182098 - 11/03/02 07:29 PM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
lukitoh Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/00
Posts: 550
Loc: Hayward, CA, USA
Thanks Scott for the great review.

Pls kindly tell me where you tried the Ketron kybds - Is it in Bay Area (SF) or nearby ???

Thanks

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#182099 - 11/03/02 08:41 PM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Lukitoh: Looks like we're fairly close neighbors. What a coincidence. I was just in your area (Fremont) earlier today.

I auditioned both the SD1 & XD9 at Bronstein Music located in So SF. It would be interesting to hear feedback from you and others after you've auditioned these keyboards yourself.

Scott
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#182100 - 11/03/02 10:28 PM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
riv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/15/02
Posts: 11
Loc: UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Scottyee:
I recently had the opportunity to FINALLY spend some considerable time (over 4 hours on 3 separate occasions) auditioning BOTH the Ketron SD1 and Ketron XD9. I was immediately impressed by how smooth the SD1 & XD9 styles sounded, as well as how realisticly LIVE sounding the drum patterns were. Many of the SD1 instruments, particularly the Sax (esp Night Sax), organs (lots of presence & guts), and Grand Piano (though darker in color than I expected) are outstanding. I have to agree with Andrea (Dreamer) that the electric pianos & guitars overall were less than impressive and even noticed the annoying DSP noise he had previously reported. The XD9 sounds (in my opinion) pale in comparision to the SD1 sounds. In fact, the XD9 acoustic piano does not even approach the terrific sounding one in the SD1. The XD9 omits many of the best sounds of the SD1, including the SD1's Night Sax. On the otherhand, the XD9 has a far better improved OS navigation system than the SD1. I found that navigating the identically sized buttons on the SD1 confusing and frustrating and wonder if I could ever feel comfortable pressing the correct buttons on a LIVE gig, especially because you have to go into sub menus to reach even the basic functions. Thankfully the XD9 corrected some of these problems, though I felt even its LCD selection buttons to the right and left sides of the LCD screen located poorly, NOT directly to the actual parameters they are intended to control. The Yamaha (and Technics) arrangers on the other hand have their LCD function buttons all located directed NEXT to the window parameter section they are meant to control.I found both the SD1 & XD9 key feel to be very good and responsive. The SD1 keyboard cosmetic design I do not like at all (1970's). It looks more like a proto-type kb than a finished product, but the XD9 in contrast, looks very stylish and sleek with built in speakers too. The speakers sound is also very impressive. There is also a bass boost feature which allows you to easily increase the bass response.

Ok, it seems the Ketron boards have a lot to offer to arranger players. The SD1 has many features which are just not available in other arranger keyboard brands, such as drum remix, an auto accomp bass mute feature which allows you to play YOUR OWN bass lines, dedicated rootless chord recognition option,, more right & left part voices (presenting added layering possiblities than other arrangers), etc. Ok, some of you may think now that I've decided to upgrade to a Ketron SD1 or XD9 , right? Unfortunately there is ANOTHER issue that is keeping me from currently considering going with Ketron route: this issue is reliability. I've heard privately from several people on this forum that they have experienced repeated problems with their SD1's. This has included reports that their keyboards have frozen up unexpectedly, and have even required repeated (3) lengthy visits to the repair shop. In addition, when I visited my local music store to audition the XD9 & SD1, somebody had just dropped off their SD1 to be repaired. To add to this, while I was auditioning the XD9, I noticed that the LCD screen would, every once in a while, momentarily freeze & shimmer, before changing to a newly selected style or sound. As a gigging musician I can't afford to risk the possibility of my keyboard failing on the gig, or having to be without it for any length of time (short or long) because of failures. I'm sure there are many Ketron owners out there that have never had any problems with their Ketron boards, but from the percentage of reports of Ketron keyboard related problems I've heard, the odds are too high for me right now, no matter how wonderful the Ketron keyboards sound. I only hope that Ketron will be able to improve their reliability and their OS navigation approach in the near future because I feel Ketron arrangers are truly special boards which offer something special for arranger keyboard players. Keep in mind that my review is only MY personal opinion and others may disagree. - Scott


Hi Scottyee,

Enjoyed your report concerning the SD-1.

Agree about the execellent sounds, don't know the reliability record of this instrument, only had mine 4 weeks. Also agree about styling, a bit dated, but I can live with this.

Navigation takes some getting used to and I'm on a learning curve at the moment regarding this.

The SD-1 is, in my opionion, a superb keyboard and only time will tell about the reliability. If it went down I would be very sad, even at this early stage.

Hope to speak to you soon.

Best Wishes

riv

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#182101 - 11/03/02 10:58 PM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by riv:
Navigation takes some getting used to and I'm on a learning curve at the moment regarding this.


Hi Riv,

First of all, congratulations on the purchase of your new SD1. It definitely is a powerful KB with a plethora of features.

Please keep us 'up to date' on your learning curve and just 'how long' it takes to feel at ease navigating & mastering all the features of your new SD1.

Scott
_________________________

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#182102 - 11/04/02 05:48 AM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
frankieve Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 1654
Loc: Milford, CT, USA
Scott,

I have to agree with alot of your OS and layout descriptions, As for the realibilty, you have to think how many yamahas get made to the amount of SD1's that are made, It's like saying Ford produced 1,000,000 ford Taurus and only 20,000 had problems. So if there were 10,000 SD1 made and 200 had problems (aka Ferrari) , it comes out to the same percentage.

Also when you have so much under the hood, it takes a while to get the bugs out.

My SD-1 knock on wood has had no problems, as for the 3 previous Rolands I had, 2 displays and a bad solder joint.

So far, I can't speak for the Genesis but it looks like the smaller arranger companies seem to listen and are trying to do the best they can.

Just think of what you can do with it. Just because you buy a Lexus doesn't mean you are never gonna have to go to the shop for repairs. I know I'm in the mobile electronics business.

Someone also told me to take colored nail polish and paint the different buttons to stand out like red for the sound buttons.

I knew all my nail polish would be useful someday ha ha ha
_________________________
www.AudioworksCT.com

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#182103 - 11/04/02 07:10 AM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
frankieve,
Very valid points and the auto analogy is one I have used often myself...."the mercedes repair facilities are full every day too."
Good point about equal % of defectives as well, if it works that way. However to use your analogy, if Yamaha makes a million boards and only 3% are defective while Ketron makes 100,000 and 10 % are defective then the percentage of defectives is obviously still 7% higher regardless of how many boards that actually represents in numbers, so the chance of having trouble with the Ketron is 7x's as great.

From the small sampling we are seeing here, there are certainly more reported problems with the Ketrons rather than any of the others.
Terry

[This message has been edited by trtjazz (edited 11-04-2002).]
_________________________
jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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#182104 - 11/04/02 08:59 AM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
frankieve Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 1654
Loc: Milford, CT, USA
Completely agree, I'm saying we probably are talking to here in this forum about 90% off all ketron owners, as for Yamaha or Roland we are probably interacting with 40% of owners, so we are not going to see as many problems.

But putting that all aside, when you are on a gig a your keyboard craps out, it doesn't matter how many other people it happened to. Its the worst and there should be no excuses from the manufacture, because they know what the keyboard is going to be treated, so they should be made like tanks, but not weigh as much, ha
_________________________
www.AudioworksCT.com

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#182105 - 11/04/02 09:03 AM Re: My Ketron XD9 and SD1 Review
trtjazz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 2683
frankieve,
I agree 100% with all. And I would add it doesn't matter one bit whose name is on the front at that moment,when it dies, because the verbage one would use to question their ancestory would be the same.
Terry

[This message has been edited by trtjazz (edited 11-04-2002).]
_________________________
jam on,
Terry
http://www.artisans-world.com/

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