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#235753 - 06/09/08 06:57 PM Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
vagro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Argentina
Hi.I need some help from you people that have been able to try these keyboards. I am an amateur musician who spends a lot of time with the music hobby. I live in Argentina and I come from an organ playing background. I like playing live occidental kind of music, mainly ballads, pop and soft rock. I discovered arrangers in 2006 when I bought a PSR 1500 (the highest end arranger available here by that time). Later I intended to buy a Korg Pa800 but it didn't arrive to my country so I bought a Korg Tr synthesizer to use it basically as a sound module (wonderfull drums and overall sounds)and also to take advantage of its aftertouch keyboard. I always wanted to upgrade my arranger to the Tyros2 but it never arrived to my country and they asked 6000 Us$ for importing one for me. Finally a PSR s900 will arrive this month at 2,788 Us$. I love the Super Articulation and Mega voices of Yamaha but other than that and about other 52 sweet, cool and live voices most of the functions on this keyboard are the same than in the PSR 1500 (I don't need the vocal harmonizer). I will have to pay 2,000 Us$ for trading my old PSR (a lot of money!)On the other hand Korg has very affordable prices here. It arrived the Pa500 at 1,595Us$ almost the same price than in USA(the Pa800 will be at 3,700Us$ if it arrives). I could have a new arranger for 400 Us$ less instead of trading my PSR 1500 for a PSR s900. I will be able to try the new Yamaha but the Pa500 is not available in music stores to listen to it. Believe it or not I have to buy it first to the importer before I try it. The questions are: 1)are the Pa500 sounds similar to my Korg Tr synth?, what are Rx voices? are they like super articulation or Mega voices? 2)Is it worth paying 2000Us$ for only 90 extra voices in the PSR s900? 3)would it be better to have also a Korg Pa500 arranger which is a better controller and more flexible keyboard in relation to its overall functions? I will also be able to play other styles. The disadvantage of course is I will pile up three keyboards and it will be quite difficult to control them all at the same time playing live. Another problem is the Korg does not have the bass recognition function which allows me to play with my Roland midi foot pedalboard controlling the bass lines independently. I appreciate any opinion. Thank you.
_________________________
Victor

Korg Pa3x 61 - Mediastation X76 - Yamaha Psr s900 - Korg Tr61 - Roland PK5A - NanoKontrol - Ensoniq SQ1 - Yamaha D85 organ

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#235754 - 06/09/08 07:45 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
mdorantes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 1161
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Hello Vagro:
I have the Tyros2 and the Pa800, there are wonderful keyboards, so, are the ones you are considering.
I also came from an organ background(Hammond X66, B3, Yamaha Electones, etc).
It is possible to use the PK5, PK7 Roland or any midi pedal board for bass. (I did use the Studiologic/Fatar MP17.
You Just need to assign the proper midi channel in either of your choices.
The RX technology Korg came out when the PA1X/PA1X Pro where unveil, at the time the Tyros1 had only the Mega sounds that are suitable for style or midi file playing, also had the Live, Cool and Sweet sounds, but to MY ears, THEN, the Korg sounded better.
When the Tyros2 came out, and I play with the new S.A. I knew that I will have to have one, and I did, and I am very happy with it.
To me, RX sounds are more like the S.A. sounds, because you can play live with those, you can not with the "Mega" sounds in the Yamaha.
Only You can weight the Pros and Cons upon the desired use of it. THere are LOTS more styles available for the Yamaha than the Korg, yes, will take more time to get those...also is VERY different the way you load them, there are NOT individual items, in the Korg there are group together in a User Bank that may contain 8-16 or more styles,
I know it for my own experience having both brands. Also the learning curve in the Korg it may take sometime to get used to, even more if you are already familiar with the PSR user interface. ALL the user interfaces can be EASY when you KNOW them, is just matter of time and the effort you put into it.
THe Tone generation on the PA500 it contains many RX sounds of the PA800, besides the TR sounds that you are familiar.
Some features that are NOT available in one or the other are:
Score view in the PSR if you think you need it. This feature is NOT available in the Korg.
If playing a midi file in the PSR, if you don't like the drum track, you just select the style that has the drum pattern you may want, and just press start in the Arranger section and it will be Synch, the benefit of this is also you can put the Fills, breaks change variation, etc.
Since the PA500 is a tad smaller than the 800 and I do not have one, I did notice when I went to the store to see it, it does have a LARGER screen than the 800, larger Icons, only that is monochromatic, not in colors. But is EASIER to see it.
So, depends if you plan to use in the future USER styles, there is also the PSR S900 has the Audio recording feature that is not available in the PA500, and in the PA800
only if you add the MP3 encoder option card that is around $250.00 dls. or perhaps a little more since Korg did announce an increase in the price in the PA800 and PA2X. since these models are made in Italy, I do not know if this will affect the PA500 since is made in China.
I also have as backup the S900, to bad you are so far, I am selling it, I do not use it at all.
Che !!, the PA800 has a wonderful New Tango, it actually has several. THe Korg is excellent for Pop and contemporary music too, it has a little more "punch" (live), than the Yamaha, since is a more polish sound, more like a CD.
Good luck in your decision, for your peace of mind, BOTH units are Incredible, so there is not a such thing as a bad choice. ;o)

------------------
mdorantes
_________________________
mdorantes

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#235755 - 06/09/08 08:14 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
hitman Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 325
Loc: VA/ USA
Just for reference, the PA500 is a much better sound source than the TR. It allows you to create combinations out of 16 oscilators vs. TR's 4 oscilators.

In my opinion, the pa500 is a better choice for the money according to the prices that you gave us!

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#235756 - 06/09/08 09:55 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Bachus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 6428
Very nice write up Dorantes...
_________________________
Yamaha Genos and Modx 8, MFC10, Ipad pro.

http://keyszone.boards.net

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#235757 - 06/10/08 06:10 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
rolandfan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 918
Loc: South Africa
I chose the s900 over the pa800

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#235758 - 06/10/08 06:21 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 38289
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by rolandfan:
I chose the s900 over the pa800



Why dont you elaborate a bit & tell us why? Both have many strenghts that the other doesnt have. Have you owned both? On top[ of that he is asking about the PA500



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 06-10-2008).]

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#235759 - 06/10/08 06:45 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
frankieve Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 1653
Loc: Milford, CT, USA
I have both in-stock and on display.

It first depends on the type of music and situations you'll be using it for.

they both have pluses and minuses,

the 500 is a couple of hundreds less expensive, so there are a few features it does not have.
_________________________
www.AudioworksCT.com

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#235760 - 06/10/08 09:04 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Maintech Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Hi Vagro,

I rented the PSR S900 and initially loved the styles, super articulation and mega voices, but after a month I found the styles seemed a bit like playing a midi file. i finally bought the pa500. Although it lacks the sheer number of styles, its style sounds always always seem more real, to me and my family, and my son who is a performer. However you must be aware that importing new styles, and especially transferring styles from say Yamaha, is a very difficult process. Third party pc based importing software has struck a brick wall due to Korg's slow response to the request for releasing the compression/uncompression coding. To see more on this issue visit http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=34700

If you wish to create play lists for performing, you may wish to ask the members there how they make out.

regards and best wishes in choosing the better board,

David
_________________________
David

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#235761 - 06/10/08 09:20 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 38289
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Maintech:
However you must be aware that importing new styles, and especially transferring styles from say Yamaha, is a very difficult process. Third party pc based importing software has struck a brick wall due to Korg's slow response to the request for releasing the compression/uncompression coding. To see more on this issue visit http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=34700

David


David that is exactly why I decided to remove the KORG Pa800 from my performance arsenal.....there were many things that I loved......VH, Navigation, Sliders, Song-list, etc, etc, ....but the meat & potatoes of any arranger is the access to hundreds of styles factory & conversion & this is where Yamaha trumps the competition through their availability & supported conversions. Choices have to made, workarounds have to be dealth with, weighing whats good FOR YOU & not what someone else expresses is a major concern.
Ive been duped by hype, Ive been happy by choice, Ive been disappointed after my purchases in live performance, but I keep dredging on in my search for the "Perfect Arranger " for me, & hey, who knows? I might even be as happy as Diki one day & keep a KB for more then a year or so I surly hope so....we're getting close for sure.



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 06-10-2008).]

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#235762 - 06/10/08 11:06 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
vagro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Argentina
Thanks guys for your answers so far, they are very important to me.
If I lived in USA I would have bought a Tyros2, no doubt. Here in my country the decision should be taken considering the most suitable for me and if it is worth the price of the arranger available.
If I buy the Korg Pa500 I am afraid I could find quite similar sounds to the Korg Tr I already have. I know I won't have many extra styles but I would keep the PSR 1500 with thousands of styles and I could use the Pa as a module or vice versa. But are those Rx sounds so amazing? Are they articulated sounds like the S.A. of Yamaha? Is it the Korg Pa EDS sound engine different from the Korg Tr HI synthesis?. If I trade my PSR 1500 paying 2,000$ extra dollars for the PSR s900, instead of keeping my PSR 1500 and buying the Pa500 (1,595$), I would only get 90 high quality voices (I am not interested in all the extra functions nor polyphony) but I would also have ONE arranger not TWO one on top of the other what is harder to control.
I know it all depends on personal preferences but I need the listen to those who know these keyboards.

P.S. Frankieve I am waiting for you to open a new branch of your business in Buenos Aires.
_________________________
Victor

Korg Pa3x 61 - Mediastation X76 - Yamaha Psr s900 - Korg Tr61 - Roland PK5A - NanoKontrol - Ensoniq SQ1 - Yamaha D85 organ

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#235763 - 06/10/08 11:14 AM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 38289
Loc: NJ
Vagro Have you considered or listen to the Ketron SD5 or Sd1+....they incorporate some of the best sounds I ever heard in an arranger KB.....could be worth a shot!
http://www.ketronus.com/demos.html

[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 06-10-2008).]

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#235764 - 06/10/08 01:44 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
leeboy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 2144
Loc: Columbia City, IN USA
Vagro,
This is really a tough one...
I have a T2 and a PA2XPRO. Both are excellant. Both are also very different.

I kind of see it this way. (not a complete list by far)

Remember I have the T2 and PA2 so that is my experience here. Everything I talk about may not be on the models you are looking at. But in general I think will be applicable.

Yamaha:
Excellant sound overall, all the sounds work nicely together. LOTS of styles available. SA voice are good, but some, including me find a learning curve and also some seem to be a little light in sound unless you play then real stacato (guitars). Sax is super , horns are cool with some nice articulations and expressions. Piano is very good. Yamaha does not make all that much use of aftertouch so most of the other sounds don't really use heavy aftertouch. I don't think the s900 has aftertouch anyways which is a show stopper to me, but the T2 does. I love aftertouch on vibrato and for building sound loudness as you press (this is great on orchestrial sounds). The Yamaha songbook feature is sorely lacking function. Hope they fix that in T3.

To control external sound module with the T2 (assume s900 is same) leaves a lot to be desired for sure. You can't program your own bank/Prohram Change data on a user voice. And you can't set a user voice to external only. I don't think Yamaha thinks that is important and they are wrong. A lot of us like to add sounds to the arranger (modules, VSTi's etc)

If you don't care about that stuff then no big deal.

The sound is excallant but not 'in your face live' like the Korg is. This is not necessarly a negative as some like that.

Yamaha has a very refined arranger function for playing the styles.

T2 can't record MP3 (wav). Sequencer is very poor for detailed editing (message level).

The Yamaha is a very complete, great sounding arranger right out of the box. If you can't find a style for a song you want to play...you haven't looked! I like that.

Korg:
Great sounds overall too. Great styles on oard, some others available but not like the Yamaha has. Also,user third party utlity programs are slim to none, but that will change in the future (Korg is getting bloodyed over this as we speak). SUPERB Piano in the PA2, not sure about the PA500.
The RX voices are very nice and do have some articulation features but it is done differently, more with velocity, aftertouch and mod wheel. I like some voices much better on the Korg and vice versa! I think the Korg is a little better for more mod music (IMHO) just because it is in your face live more. Drums are great. Percussion is great.

As to flexibilty in programing options and functions the Korg has way more. This I like, but some may not need it.
You can easily control the program selections on external sound modules. Superb feature.

Great style creation, full editing PRO sequencer, Full function songbook, dual players, record to MP3 (not sure about PA500)

THe sound engine is a full generation from the TR. It is the same basic one used in the PRO M3.

Don't know if the PA500 has aftertouch, that would be big fo me. But maybe you don't want/need it?

The Korg is great out of the box and is probably more capable of adding to, enhancing it yourself as I think it has better built in tools...BUT the Yamaha has a lot f great aftermarket tools that you can use on a PC.


I said this would be tough... Now I am thinking I left a lot out for each???

Wish you could play both, each for at least a day beacuas all this means nothing if you just like one over the other!

I would suggest you go to the mfg sites and listen to the demos...AND download and read each ones manual. And I mean really READ them. That will give you some good info for sure.

Don't know if I helped or not, hope so.

Maybe now it might be obvious why I have both? Can't decide. Wish I could blend them together! :-)

Lee
_________________________
Lee S.

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#235765 - 06/10/08 01:58 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
vagro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Argentina
Quote:
Originally posted by hitman:
Just for reference, the PA500 is a much better sound source than the TR. It allows you to create combinations out of 16 oscilators vs. TR's 4 oscilators.



Thanks Hitman for your opinion. The Korg Tr gives me 16 different sounds in 16 tracks in Sequence Mode with 62 voices of polyphony. The real problem is that you can't handle different effects for each sound so they lose their original configuration and the sequence effect is always applied to all with little variations. At present I use its drums and some style instruments together with 2 right hand voices. I reassigned the best sounds of the Tr in one bank which are controlled via midi from the PSR everytime I change the style and voices. But the PSR doesn't allow me to midi off local instruments within the style.
_________________________
Victor

Korg Pa3x 61 - Mediastation X76 - Yamaha Psr s900 - Korg Tr61 - Roland PK5A - NanoKontrol - Ensoniq SQ1 - Yamaha D85 organ

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#235766 - 06/10/08 03:57 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
vagro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Argentina
Quote:
Originally posted by mdorantes:
Hello Vagro:

It is possible to use the PK5, PK7 Roland or any midi pedal board for bass... You Just need to assign the proper midi channel in either of your choices...

... in the Korg there are group together in a User Bank that may contain 8-16 or more styles...

I also have as backup the S900, to bad you are so far, I am selling it, I do not use it at all....
Che !!, the PA800 has a wonderful New Tango, it actually has several.


Thanks for your answer Mdorantes (Tato). I use the arranger as an organ with a lower keyboard I built for it (using an old Dx27 synth) and a Roland Pk5 midi pedalboard (you can see my set up in my You Tube web page that appears in my profile). Not many of you know how amazing it is using the bass recognition function of Yamaha that assigns one or more receiving midi channels to the bass channel to play the bass accomp. When the pedal note matches the fundamental chord played by your left hand it keeps the style's normal bass line, when it doesn't match it keeps sounding rhythmicaly the note you pressed on the pedal. I don't see this function in the manual of any Korg arranger but you can play the bass note and create the pattern with your foot for sure
I was so surprised to see how different was loading sounds from the SD card in the Korg Tr. You can't do it on the fly and it takes so long. I imagine you have to load groups of styles everytime you play the Pa arranger, not very practical.
I don't play many Tango styles but some could be useful. I'm so sorry I live so far away! I would have bought your Psr s900 for 2000Us$!!! Muchas gracias che!

Victor

[This message has been edited by vagro (edited 06-10-2008).]
_________________________
Victor

Korg Pa3x 61 - Mediastation X76 - Yamaha Psr s900 - Korg Tr61 - Roland PK5A - NanoKontrol - Ensoniq SQ1 - Yamaha D85 organ

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#235767 - 06/10/08 07:03 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Look, this whole 'sequencing loses the effects' stuff really doesn't apply, nowadays, because most laptops, let alone towers are easily capable of recording audio with very inexpensive interfaces. So, once you have the part edited, you commit to audio, and voilá! Your full effects (and Mastering) package for your keyboard is ready to be used on the next part.

Does it slow you down a little..? Yes. Does it make editing just a little slower (as you re-do an audio burn)? Yes. You really on THAT tight a timeline..? I didn't think so!

It's the COMBINATION of MIDI and audio recording that can make unbelievable tracks out of quite modest equipment, now. Far better than using a built-in sequencer, and having to share the effects section amongst All the parts...

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#235768 - 06/11/08 08:25 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4442
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi,
I kept my PSR1500 even though I rarely play it anymore. Soundwise & function wise it just doesn't compare to my PA800.
I do miss the odd PSR style, so I either convert it across to PA800 format or, the option of midiing the 2 together is always there.Pa800 for melody voices/ psr for styles.

Haven't heard either the psrs900 or the PA500, so can't really comment.

best wishes
Rikki

[QUOTE]Originally posted by vagro:
[B]
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

Korg PA4x, Korg PA3X, PSR S950, Band in a Box 2018
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#235769 - 06/12/08 07:43 PM Re: Decision help. Psr s900 -Pa500
vagro Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Argentina
Thanks everyone for your answers. Your comments are very helpful. Now IŽll wait for the PSR s900 to arrive to the store and IŽll try it, then IŽll negotiate the price of my PSR 1500 and see how much I have to pay. If I buy the s900, next year IŽll buy a Korg for my collection.
_________________________
Victor

Korg Pa3x 61 - Mediastation X76 - Yamaha Psr s900 - Korg Tr61 - Roland PK5A - NanoKontrol - Ensoniq SQ1 - Yamaha D85 organ

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