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#319852 - 03/22/11 08:05 AM Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs
Tony Deaf Offline
Member

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 93
Loc: Staffordshire, England
.

Hi folks,

I don't know if you have given this much thought - but why (Oh Why!!) did Panasonic pull the plug on their Keyboard and Organ division in 2004 ??

The usual answer one gets, is that it was too small a market for such a corporate giant, and similar reasons. Well - Yamaha went on and 'cleaned up', didn't they?

Have a think on this .... Did they have to stop, because they were so far ahead at that time (they still give current makes a run for their money now, 8 years later!) that they just couldn't advance far enough from what they had achieved, to be capable (at that time) of producing a better keyboard that would be so different, and to be that much more 'advanced' to sell in high numbers as replacements for the 7000 and 2600.

Having played as well as talked to several friends who have Yamaha Tyros 3 and 4, it costs here over 1,700 Pounds (2,500 dollars) to upgrade from the T3 to the T4. The 'honest' friends, admit it was a very small upgrade in comparison for the high price. Most who have a T4 or any other item, will always say how great it is - because they actually bought one !! There are a lot of Yamaha enthusiast who won't be upgrading to a Tyros 5 in 2 years or so time.

Have arranger keyboards now achieved their maximum potential, and are there are really any earth shattering developments that can be added any more - little tweaks and changes to already existing technology, yes - but not enough to warrant a huge price gap for upgrades.

Are these high end arranger boards going to be scarce and fetch high prices in the future ??

Is this the end, for the arranger keyboard?

In light of the above - in addition to our KN7000, we have just ordered a KN2600 to add to our growing collection !!

The majority of Arranger Keyboard enthusiasts (including myself) are not a long way from going to play that big Keyboard in the sky, so it will also be a shrinking market.

Remember, when it happens - you heard it here first !!

Kindest regards,

John

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#319867 - 03/22/11 10:04 AM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: Tony Deaf]
RMepstead Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 1476
Loc: Wootton Bassett - Wiltshire - ...
Story goes that the MD of Technics had a fascination for keyboards and kept making improvements but when he retired Panasonic accountants looked at the operation and it didn't add up.
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Roger M

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#319868 - 03/22/11 10:32 AM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: RMepstead]
Bill Norrie Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 2275
Loc: Richmond,North Yorkshire, UK
Hi John,

I'm not sure about the authenticity of the following, but the reason I was given is as follows.

As you suggest in your post, the Technics Musical Instrument Division of Panasonic was only a very small part of the giant Matsushita Corporation, which owns - amongst others - Panasonic and Technics, and as such, probably didn't contribute a great deal of profit to the overall organisation.
The Technics M.I.D. was headed by a Japanese gentleman, who was a long standing member of the company. It was 'His Baby' and was kept alive by his continual efforts.
However, when he left the company (either retired or died) there was no one with the same enthusiasm as the former head of the Division and since it was regarded by the 'bean counters' as basically 'small fry' in the overall organisation, the decision wqas made to close the Division - A very sad day.................

As far as I am aware, the only really significant Technics products still being manufactured are the excellent SL Turntables and Headphones.

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#319936 - 03/23/11 07:19 AM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: Tony Deaf]
RMepstead Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 1476
Loc: Wootton Bassett - Wiltshire - ...
A KN2600 eh John...no floppy disk drive; only the SD Card memory facility, so you'll need to get used to transferring files direct to SD Card and its filing system. Anything from the KN2600 will NOT work in the KN7000 because all Technics are not backwards compatible - so for example a KN5000 style file would not work in a KN3000. etc etc.
That having been said it's a much lighter instrument to cart around and material on an SD Card from your KN7000 will work in the KN2600 although it might not sound exactly the same.
Rog
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Roger M

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#319967 - 03/23/11 02:56 PM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: RMepstead]
lahawk Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 2198
Loc: Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Originally Posted By: RMepstead
Anything from the KN2600 will NOT work in the KN7000


Compatabilty between boards was a problem for Technics, and the fact that Technics had their own specific file system instead of the standard midi file system was a downer for many. Yamaha made the right decision to stick with midi in both song save and styles, while for some reason Technics wanted to be different. It's a shame that you can't play a song or a style from a mini 7000(2600) on your 7000. What were they thinking?
_________________________
Larry

" Always Do Whatever's Next "

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#320077 - 03/24/11 05:48 PM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: Tony Deaf]
Audrey Turner Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 1080
Loc: Cambridge, Cambs, England
Whatever the reason, Technics got it right as far as the operating system goes. Yamaha's system is a nightmare. When I bought my T4 I was led to believe that all my Tyros 3 sets would play on the T4. O.K. so the preset T3 styles do play when they can be matched on the T4, otherwise the T4 will compromise with the nearest style thus making my set sound completely different, sometimes even 'rubbish' for that particular song.

Third Party styles are a NO! NO! in the T4 and cannot be played until linked with the relevant on-board styles. e.g. T3 had a lovely Jazz Orch Ballad on it, which was tweaked and put out as a Jazz Ballad on the T4. It isn't anything like the T3's so in order for me to play my ballads saved to this style, I have to link it to the Swing & Jazz on the T4 before it will play. Another thing Yamaha have done, is to add several new voices and styles but it has upset the alphabetical/
numerical listing, so now we're having to delete and rename/number our saved sets as well. And with absolutely everything you do, you must remember to first press the Registration Button, the Style, Voice or Song Button before you can get any life out of it, simply because it saves to these separate positions.

Technics on the other hand, allows you to setup and save everything all in one go and gives you three load choices, all simple and un-complicated. It doesn't matter whether they are presets or third party.

The T4 is all button pushing and very little play for me at the moment. Thank goodness I kept my KN7000. At least I can play it for awhile and get rid of my frustration with the T4.

Audrey

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#320082 - 03/24/11 07:13 PM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: Tony Deaf]
lahawk Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 2198
Loc: Lehigh Valley, Pa.
And when I had the KN-7000, I was led to believe I could load KN2600 files into the 7000. Nope can't do it AT ALL! At least your T-4 will accept T-3 files that yes you may need to tweak, but at least you can load and tweak them. In fact no Technics keyboard is back wards compatible, while Yamaha files, for the most part are much more friendly with other Yamaha keyboards, up or down.

I have a Yamaha PSR-3000, and have hundreds of styles on a thumb drive, and maybe a thousand total that load instantly with no problems. True, if not made on a 3000 for the 3000, some tweaking may be needed, but I do have that opportunity to "arrange" styles. After some quick adjustments, I save the new edited style. Simple. No linking to ANY style is necessary.

Also when I record a song on a Yamaha it is saved as a midi file, where ANYONE can listen even if they don't have a keyboard. Where as Technics decided the default song save was a Technics file that is not the standard, and not easily shared. Ever try and record a song on a Technics and save as a midi? Talk about a nightmare!

Your T-3 and T-4 can record to wave with one button recording. The Music Finder on Yamaha PSR's are a quick and easy way to instantly call up a style for a song title, that a user has saved. You can instantly save your current setup to a registration, and it Will be saved for whenever you need it. No need to hit a set button, expand button, or any of those steps needed to save a registration on a Technics.

Sorry Audry, I disagree, the KN-7000 is a great keyboard, and I do miss it, but for me, Yamaha has the easier and correct OS



_________________________
Larry

" Always Do Whatever's Next "

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#320097 - 03/24/11 10:53 PM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: lahawk]
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 5924
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Originally Posted By: lahawk
Yamaha has the easier and correct OS


Well, lol, that depends which Yamaha keyboard you are talking about. My old PSR-550 is great at playing GM midi files .... my classic Motif 6 simply cannot playback GM midifiles correctly at all. It doesn't make sense that a cheap PSR can but one of their pro workstations can't. I'm sure later Motif releases can .... just mine that can't

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#320112 - 03/25/11 06:26 AM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: Nigel]
Tony Deaf Offline
Member

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 93
Loc: Staffordshire, England
.


Good Morning All,

I really appreciate the views and facts in the replies, but I did ask for opinions as well on what I think is of interest to us all as to the future of arranger keyboards, due to the assumption that the technology in these instruments has probably almost reached its peak, and only small tweaks plus adding existing technology used in other makes already, such as a DVD Recorder/Player - etc could be added. Can you think of any major feature not already on any keyboard that could be added to current models ?

Would such minor additions justify musicians upgrading any more, as manufacturers need buyers, or go out of business.
I still believe that the KN7000 in 2003 was at the absolute leading edge of the market at that time, and it would have been difficult then, to make a big enough improvement to justify the production of a new model.

The crux of the matter is that over the last 12 months, the used price of 'older, rarer and more desireable' keyboards on Ebay has risen by about 50% (The KN7000 and 2600, and the Yamaha 9000 Pro), e.g. The 7000 was about 600 GBP (950 USD) a year ago, and they are now selling for over 900 GBP (1400 USD).
The 2600 was being sold in 2004 new for 600 GBP (reduced from RRP of 1400 GBP) .... and 6 years later is selling at up to 400 GBP !!...2/3 of its original price. I am sure that this is an indication of the high esteem that musicians have for these machines.

As to the purchase of the 2600, - it was pointless for both my wife and I to have a 7000 each, she is now the performer, and I am the 'tweaker and sequencer', as my RSI (Carpel Tunnel Syndrome), no longer allows me to play well. We can 'swip and swap' between the two machines, when we both feel the urge at the same time. Most of the time, we will have the choice of which one to use. And as stated above the 2600 will make a better 'gigging' keyboard.

Another big deciding factor was that in all honesty, I couldn't afford another major purchase so soon after the KN7000.

Compatibility is interesting !! I am buying the 2600 off a friend, and have had a 'mess', before I save up the 'necessary'.

I took over three SD cards from the 7000 ....

a) One with songs from Bills 'Willums Pages', that were recorded on his 7000, and they played fine, I noticed no instrument substitution.

b) The second card was a Patterns commercial SD card for the 7000. That too worked well. So having the two keyboards may well not be so bothersome, we will have to see !! I note that many cards Neil Blake has in his catalogue are for both 7000 and 2600.

c) The last card we tried was an SD card that I had loaded some KN6000 styles off a floppy, one at a time on to the SD Card in the 7000, then saved them to SD. They worked OK too.

Thanks for reading my 'Ramblings' - I hope they are of interest.

John

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_________________________
.......... Technics Resources Forum .........
>>>>>> http://Technics.proforums.org <<<<<<


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#320115 - 03/25/11 07:04 AM Re: Why did Panasonic pull out of Keyboards and Organs [Re: lahawk]
RC Online   content
Member

Registered: 04/29/02
Posts: 56
Loc: Pa Usa
Sorry Audry, I disagree, the KN-7000 is a great keyboard, and I do miss it, but for me, Yamaha has the easier and correct OS


Just imagine what Technics keyboards could do today if they were still in business.

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