Got an MS40. Had and gigged, sorry worked
with for almost 8 years. Also an XD3 for 1 month that I will work with when I finally get the hang of it.
MS : Never Failed
XD : Not Failed Yet - Fingers Crossed
MS : This old module is still preferable to me against many of the current arrangers probably due to the realistic GM and alternate voice set it uses for its styles.
XD : The live drums plus even better voicing gives the best styles of all current makes of arranger. Of course this is very subjective and although I have played a lot of different arrangers including Roland, Korg, Yamaha and GEM over the past 10 years, I can only really compare against the KN6000, and 9000 which are reasonably current and I am very familiar with. I have heard the 7000 which is not much different to the 6000 if you close your eyes. I have also heard the Tyros which has some advantages (Mega voices in the accompaniament mostly) but is still only in second place (for me) as it just doesn't kick bum enough for my gigs.
MS : Still very impressive even by today's standards especially the Brass and Reeds
XD : Organs - Great; Brass - Great; Reeds - Very Good; Strings/Choirs - Very Good; Electric Pianos - Very Good; Synths/Pads - Good; Guitars - Good, Accoustic Piano - Fair (This appears to suffer from a very short sample loop. I can only hope that the SD1 piano or similar will be available on the RAM upgrade in future. There are other catagories and these are all pretty good on the whole.
MS : Straight forward
XD : Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh - Probably one of the reasons they don't sell as many as they could. It has a lot more functions than the MS but a lot less buttons. I expect to spend a lot more time before I feel comfortable in a "live" situation. Once I have all my songs set up as Registrations I'll be fine I'm sure.
MS : Disappointing. Supposed to have additional memory for user voices and styles. Never materialised.
XD : OS 2.0 Out already and available as a simple download. This both fixes bugs and adds functionality. Ketron do to be much more responsive of late especially since AJ has been involved.
Ketron are not well known in the UK. There is only one dealer in this country advertising on the web (who ironically is only 10 miles away) and probably only a couple more who don't. (I bought my XD3 from Belgium to get the best price as there is little or no competition in the UK. Like in the US they do not appear to have any active marketing here. I don't read them all but there are several domestic and international keyboard magazines but just try to find an ad for Ketron!! - They would probably tell us that the money they don't spend on this goes towards R&D or keeping the price competitive but If no-one knows these exist then who's gonna buy 'em. If I didnt used to sell Solton/Ketron and other arranger keyboards I probably would never have heard of them.
MS : FD only
XD : I don't need and won't buy one. If I did I would be a bit peeved as Yammie lets you fit any 2.5 inch laptop drive whereas you need to go to Ketron to buy the drive complete with fitting kit.
There you have it, warts n' all.