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#31262 - 02/09/04 10:26 PM Is it time to look for another brand ?
Denis007 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 182
Loc: Ottawa,ONT,CANADA
Hello everybody,

As you know,Ketron was quite popular due to its high responsiveness to customer needs and wants which was demonstrated in SD series. At the time, we believed that this characteristics was not "model specific" but the general company policy of taking care of their customers. I am sure many of us kept our X series hopping that we will get a slice of their attention.
Unfortunately, it looks that this perceived affection, which gave Ketron a competitive advantage over other brands, was just a promotional trick focusing on new models. Ketron had focused on improvement of new models forgetting about their loyal customers and promises given to them.
A year ago we were told that an improved OS for X1 is in testing phase and that we can expect to see results in few months. As you all know, we still didn't see anything.
The worst thing is, Ketron guys don't even bother explaining what is going on. I think that we, as loyal customers, should at least be informed about current development which is taking so long.
One of the last responses from Ketron people to the question of X1 upgrade was "...when I get confirmation on a date, I will let you all know."
Maybe I am wrong, but this doesn't sound very professional, especially knowing that we have had similar responses for a year now.
I would like to hear from other Ketron users what they think about this whole issue. Is it time to look for another favorite brand ?

Thanks,
Dennis

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#31263 - 02/10/04 02:21 AM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Calypso Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Switzerland, Europe
Dennis,

I understand your frustration.

As an X1 owner, I too have been waiting for news of a software upgrade.

I remember when I first bought my X1 some years ago, I was struggling with my French manual (I live in Switzerland). I sent a message to Ketron through their site and was delighted to find an English manual in my mailbox a few days later.

I think that what is annoying most people is no so much the lack of support but the fact that no annoucements are made one way or the other and everyone is kept left guessing.

Great hardware, excellent support but lousy PR in my opinion.

John



[This message has been edited by Calypso (edited 02-10-2004).]
_________________________
John
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#31264 - 02/10/04 05:32 AM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Calypso Offline
Member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 59
Loc: Switzerland, Europe
Ketron brochure quote.

"NON-OBSOLESCENCE

Electronic musical instruments are often overshadowed or made obsolete by new technology, they are not designed to be updated, especially with regard to sounds. The X1, however, is an exception to the rule.

Even the entire operating system can be updated thanks to the X1's simple, yet elegant update function. This permits all the very latest X1 developments to be added as they become available by inserting a new system floppy disk (which can even be downloaded via the internet)."

It's been three years since the last software update.

Enough said!

[This message has been edited by Calypso (edited 02-10-2004).]
_________________________
John
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#31265 - 02/10/04 08:26 AM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
asafar Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 374
Loc: New York
Quote:
Originally posted by Calypso:
Ketron brochure quote.

NON-OBSOLESCENCE


Electronic musical instruments are often overshadowed or made obsolete by new technology, they are not designed to be updated, especially with regard to sounds.
The X1, however, is an exception to the rule.

I think what they mean here is that because the X1 is a sampler you can always have new sounds in it not like other arrangers.
But that 8 location sample loading is a joke and Ketron should now release the program that lets us make our own .SND banks so that we can put life back into the X1.

[This message has been edited by asafar (edited 02-10-2004).]

[This message has been edited by asafar (edited 02-10-2004).]

[This message has been edited by asafar (edited 02-10-2004).]

[This message has been edited by asafar (edited 02-10-2004).]
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#31266 - 02/11/04 02:18 PM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Ketron User Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 212
Hey Ketronplayers,

I don't know why the X-series need to be updated, i am still very happy with mine as it is.

The Ketron's are build around the SAM9407 (newer version SAM 9707) sound-chip.

Please see this link
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/general/tech doc.asp?doc id=8359

especially chapter 2.5.2 for more information around SND-format sounds. (just a tip)

Greetings from Belgium !

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#31267 - 02/11/04 02:23 PM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Ketron User Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 212
Sorry, the link is not working.

Please try :
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/general/tech_doc.asp?doc_id=8359

Greetings.



[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 02-13-2004).]

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#31268 - 02/11/04 08:10 PM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Organizer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/99
Posts: 23
Loc: Maplewood, NJ, USA
Apparently a number of us have been and continue to be users and somewhat satisfied with our X1/X4....but the point is that a number of Ketron customers have asked for and continue to ask for specific enhancements. Approximately 1 year ago an upgrade was stated to be in the process of being tested. Since that time the communications has been sparse to say the least and recently not at all. It's not necessarily the failure to provide the upgrade (which is an irritant), but the failure to communicate which helps to make the buying decision for another vendor's equipment easier than it should be.

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#31269 - 02/11/04 09:09 PM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Denis007 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 182
Loc: Ottawa,ONT,CANADA
Ketron User,

There are may things that need improvement in X series. A year ago, when Ketron was "pretending" to care, there was an extensive list of things that the Ketron users were not happy with. The list included features that are already implemented in SDs. For example, advance cord recognition, which supports jazzy type of playing; more location for samples or capability of making .snd files; ..etc.
But the most important thing is that many "heavy" users noticed some bugs in the OS. For example, the usage of Flash card is not very reliable; there are "hung-ups" when using aftertouch ... Those are just few that I can recall right now but I remember that there was quite few things on that list. The list was distributed to AJ hopping that something would be done about it.
It looks like the Keton has listened X users but forgot to implement the features into X series. All current improvements are focusing on SD, XD series ...which means we should buy new equipment if we want to see some of our suggestions implemented.

D.

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#31270 - 02/12/04 04:00 AM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
nedsolaud Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/03/02
Posts: 5
Loc: Germany
To be honest:
You cant endlessly require new O.S. versions for your old keyboard.
Just take a look at the instruments which were presented the same time like the X1!
Is there a new O.S. for the Yamaha PSR8000? Or even the PSR9000? Or the GEM WK8?
Or the Korg i30?
Even the O.S. 4.0 for the SD1 is big exception in keyboard industry and this updateeven was free of charge!
And, by the way: Are you shure, that you have discovered all the possibilities of your
current keyboard?(Doesnt matter if it`s a Ketron or Yamaha or...)
I even know a lot of MS50 owners and they are very satisfied with their instrument.
No one expects KETRON to burn new chips with new features.
It`s our destiny that we are playing a kind of instrument which is always in technological progress, so we have to take care, that we buy an instrument that satisfies us longer then only 1 or 2 years.

But... always better then to play guitar...

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#31271 - 02/12/04 07:55 AM Re: Is it time to look for another brand ?
Denis007 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 182
Loc: Ottawa,ONT,CANADA
Nedsolaud,

..."You cant endlessly require new O.S."..
How many OS versions were created for X1 series? As far as I know there was only one minor early upgrade which didn't solve issues that X1's has.Far from the "endless" my friend

I think that Ketron mistake was to came up too early with upgrades when consumers didn't explore the keyboard properly. Or maybe it was just a strategy to avoid real heavy improvements and excuse themselves with one early upgrade.

I am not sure how much you are familiar with the keyboard industry but OS upgrades became
a regular feature for all professional products. 9000pro, pa80, motif, triton are just few of the models that have continuous OS upgrades. So the SD series are far from "exception in keyboard industry" as you characterized. The reason that companies do the upgrades is because the time of releasing of a new product has shrink down and the products that are coming on the market are not fully tested. But at the same time, in return for customer's loyalty, companies promise to upgrade the products regularly.As Calypso mentioned earlier, one of the key characteristics of X series was the NON-OBSOLESCENCE. It doesn't matter if i30 or GEM does it, because they didn't promise non-obsolescence when introducing their keyboards.Every company has it own strategy. Ketron should not promise something if it didn't plan to realize it.

Finally, the discovery of keyboard capabilities doesn't have anything with current deficiencies. Usually the users who explore keyboards the most, are the ones to discover the problems.

Cheers,
007

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