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#340391 - 02/20/12 01:33 PM Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4721
Loc: USA
Disclaimer:
Just my own opinion below. grin

A few years ago I use to take regular trips to visit with Frank at Audioworks. Life got busy both at home and on the day job. It's been 18 months or more since my last visit.

Been wanting to demo the Pa3x. This morning on a whim I decided to hop in the car and drive the 100 miles to see Frankieve. Headed out with both my iPhone camera and a Canon point and shoot camera with HD video. Figured I could take some stills and video. I did not!! Got too caught up in the demo.

First Frank is in new quarters since my last trip, he's got a nice new showroom that the old store didn't have.

I walked in thinking well I'll demo the board for an hour or so and be on my way back home . Before I left my wife said "I wish these manufacturers would stop making new arragners. I said, "Worry 'bout nothin my dear, I just have to demo this to see how it sounds".

And demo it I did after Frank gave me a rundown of the new features.

First this board has got to be the best looking arranger on the market today. (Don Mason and Uncle Dave may think so too. ) At first look it's construction like the Pa2xPro screams pro board all the way. The 76 key model was on display and it's compact footprint almost gave the appearance of a 61 key arranger. It's just a little larger from left to right than the Tyros4 that was stacked on top. Great form factor and real quality construction. I love my Tyros4 but I have to say the T4 looked like a toy by comparison. ( even though the sounds of the T4 tell a different story)

I liked what I heard Frank play when he gave a 5 minute or so quick tour of the board thru the attached optional speaker system, it sounded damn good. After his demo he said make yourself at home and play. WOW, this board blew me away. I never expected to demo and think to myself I WANT ONE!! LOL I spent the next 2 hours playing thru a set of Bose headphones. I had a Pa2xPro some time ago, but the quality of the new board is a quantum leap ahead of the old Pax2. Not sure what the folks at Korg did to the guts of the board but it's got a great sound.

The only way that this boards get the justice it needs is to see and play it live. end of story.

What I liked about the Korg PA3x, easy to navigate, took me all of 5 minutes to settle back right in with the touch screen. Improved and much smoother transitions between fills. The list goes on and on. Seems as though more and better DNC sounds than the old Korg Pa2x/800. Still they do fall short of the SA2 sounds on T4.

It's over 4 hours ago I played it, I'm back home and shaking my head in disbelif about the quality of what I heard. Ask Scott Yee about my impression. I told Scott when I finally made the trip to Frank's he'd be the first SZ member I'd call to tell him what I thought. This board is very impressive you tube videos, demos from the Korg site do not give justice this monster deserves.

At the end of 2 hours Frank suggested I A/B the T4 and Pa3x. After doing the A/B I developed a real problem, I'd have to own both boards because they are that good in their own right I couldn't part with the T4 but can I live without Pa3x? Sure I can, do I want to? That remains to be seen.............

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#340392 - 02/20/12 01:43 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Stephenm52]
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 40897
Great review Steven...once it settles in, & its all you think about, & can't sleep at night... and you make your second trip to Franks bring your T4.....I think you'll return home next time with just a PA3x 76... cool2 just sayin' rotfl

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#340394 - 02/20/12 02:11 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Dnj]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 13252
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Nice little road trip, there Steve ...
I guess it's good that I don't spend much time looking at new boards ... crazy ...
I'm sure Deb won't mind another kb in the house ... smile
_________________________
t. cool

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#340395 - 02/20/12 02:16 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Stephenm52]
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15951
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I TOLD you you would like it.
DonM
_________________________
DonM

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#340396 - 02/20/12 02:17 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Stephenm52]
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10596
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
A very informative review, Steve, and very similar to one that a friend of mine sent me on Saturday.

He is also a Tyros user (a T3), and he was also very impressed with the Korg's layout and build quality, as well as the great sounds and styles.

Like you, he wishes he had an instrument combining the best qualities of his Tyros and the PA3X.

It is nice to see the PA3X get the attention it deserves, particularly after such a poor launch, and equally dismal initial demos.

Competition between manufacturers, especially at the top of the range instruments, is tough on the companies, but marvelous for us players...also, hard on the wallet in some cases. wink

Thanks for sharing your unbiased views.

Ian
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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#340409 - 02/20/12 08:40 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Stephenm52]
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Steve,

It was a nice surprise to receive your telephone call today esp because I remember you mentioning last week you still weren't sure if you could make that 100 mile trip to Frank's place by this weekend or not. Great review and consistant with what you told me candidly on the telephone today.
I immediately sensed your excitement and enthusiasm over having just played the Pa3X.

One thing that Steve mentioned to me on the phone, but got overlooked mentioning by him in this review is the fact that the length of the 76 note version of the Pa3X is a barely noticable tiny bit longer than the length of the 61 note Tyros 4, and only 6-8 lbs heavier than the Tyros 4, which will give many potential Pa3x buyers a good reason to buy the 76 (vs 61) note model without having to sacrifice much weight gain or size.

Originally Posted By: Stephenm52

At the end of 2 hours Frank suggested I A/B the T4 and Pa3x. After doing the A/B I developed a real problem, I'd have to own both boards because they are that good in their own right I couldn't part with the T4 but can I live without Pa3x? Sure I can, do I want to? That remains to be seen.............

As a Yam. Tyros 4 owner and now a Korg microARRANGER owner too, I can easily appreciate the benefit of owning both brands. They both satisfy uniquely different desires. My personal feeling is that the Yamaha Tyros 4 leads far and away with its SA instrument voices and delivering a beautiful studio polished sound. On the other hand, Korg wins for live performance when you want to sound like a live combo, with a more impressively live rhythm section presence. Though both keyboards will certainly fullfill both tasks, imho the difficult choice between a Tyros 4 or PA3X comes down to whether you plan to utilize your arranger more for live gigging or studio production work. Another consideration is the repertoire and type of gigs you do. To cover the type of background music and traditional genres appealing to more mature audiences, the more Studio produced sound may be preferred, and for a more contemporary punchier sound, yet covering older trad genres nicely as well, the Pa3X is perhaps the better choice. That said, though I remain very happy and content with my current Yam Tyros 4 and Korg microARRANGER setup, I am seriously comdering adding a Pa3X later in the year. Would I then sell the Tyros 4? I seriously doubt that I would want to do that. shocked

Scott smile

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#340414 - 02/20/12 10:05 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Stephenm52]
Tony Hughes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/30/06
Posts: 3930
Originally Posted By: Stephenm52
Disclaimer:
Just my own opinion below. grin





First this board has got to be the best looking arranger on the market today.


Stephen,

I have said this all alone,you need to go and see, touch, feel, its an engineering job that blows all other AKB away, makes the Audya look like something out of a scrapyard, a lot of thought has gone into it, but like you say the old T4 will take some beating for overall star quality and content, you will end up with both I have no double, I know DonM says he still loves the Audya, but not enough to get rid of the Pa3x. Overall the Audya is just not worth all the fuss and the extra money, weight and that nagging feeling in the back of your head that the engine won't fire when you hit the starter, if something goes wrong with it which trash can does it go in etc etc. I still keep going to look at the KRONOS but as Al says you need a life time to get around it, when you hear what Telmo gets out of the T4 makes you think do you need and extra KB, perhaps a Pa3x double stacked with the T4 will do, the Pa3x has some nice synth sounds, its not if stephen its when, I think the Korg range are way ahead of the game.


Regards

Tony

BTW did you Doris say you could have a Pa3x and still keep the T4, Jasper do a nice double or even treble stand, how high are the ceilings in your house?.. rotf2
_________________________
Tyros 4/Pair SR 350/ PC with a i8 intel chip, XENYX 802, Ford Focus 2 litre/Tascam DR07/Brother printer/Designjet 500/ our Doris/5 Grandchildren/ white boxers short Kymart shipped over and Typhoo Tea Earl Grey

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#340415 - 02/20/12 10:11 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Scottyee]
Tony Hughes Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/30/06
Posts: 3930
Originally Posted By: Scottyee
Hi Steve,

It was a nice surprise to receive your telephone call today esp because I remember you mentioning last week you still weren't sure if you could make that 100 mile trip to Frank's place by this weekend or not. Great review and consistant with what you told me candidly on the telephone today.
I immediately sensed your excitement and enthusiasm over having just played the Pa3X.

One thing that Steve mentioned to me on the phone, but got overlooked mentioning by him in this review is the fact that the length of the 76 note version of the Pa3X is a barely noticeable tiny bit longer than the length of the 61 note Tyros 4, and only 6-8 lbs heavier than the Tyros 4, which will give many potential Pa3x buyers a good reason to buy the 76 (vs 61) note model without having to sacrifice much weight gain or size.

Originally Posted By: Stephenm52

At the end of 2 hours Frank suggested I A/B the T4 and Pa3x. After doing the A/B I developed a real problem, I'd have to own both boards because they are that good in their own right I couldn't part with the T4 but can I live without Pa3x? Sure I can, do I want to? That remains to be seen.............

As a Yam. Tyros 4 owner and now a Korg microARRANGER owner too, I can easily appreciate the benefit of owning both brands. They both satisfy uniquely different desires. My personal feeling is that the Yamaha Tyros 4 leads far and away with its SA instrument voices and delivering a beautiful studio polished sound. On the other hand, Korg wins for live performance when you want to sound like a live combo, with a more impressively live rhythm section presence. Though both keyboards will certainly fullfill both tasks, imho the difficult choice between a Tyros 4 or PA3X comes down to whether you plan to utilize your arranger more for live gigging or studio production work. Another consideration is the repertoire and type of gigs you do. To cover the type of background music and traditional genres appealing to more mature audiences, the more Studio produced sound may be preferred, and for a more contemporary punchier sound, yet covering older trad genres nicely as well, the Pa3X is perhaps the better choice. That said, though I remain very happy and content with my current Yam Tyros 4 and Korg microARRANGER setup, I am seriously comdering adding a Pa3X later in the year. Would I then sell the Tyros 4? I seriously doubt that I would want to do that. shocked

Scott smile



You see even Scott is thinking of a double stack Pa3x + T4 Mans stuff for Men, Scott did you keep the box for the KMA, I'll give you the link to ebay, I know its a lot of money, but if you got the Pa3x and kept the T4 you would not want anything else, I think you would always turn them both on when your playing, I rarely turn the Audya on these days, still not sold it, I need to find a fool and his money that I can easily separated. heeeee dance2
_________________________
Tyros 4/Pair SR 350/ PC with a i8 intel chip, XENYX 802, Ford Focus 2 litre/Tascam DR07/Brother printer/Designjet 500/ our Doris/5 Grandchildren/ white boxers short Kymart shipped over and Typhoo Tea Earl Grey

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#340418 - 02/20/12 10:58 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Scottyee]
124 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 2075
Originally Posted By: Scottyee
. . . Though both keyboards will certainly fullfill both tasks, imho the difficult choice between a Tyros 4 or PA3X comes down to whether you plan to utilize your arranger more for live gigging or studio production work. Another consideration is the repertoire and type of gigs you do. To cover the type of background music and traditional genres appealing to more mature audiences, the more Studio produced sound may be preferred, and for a more contemporary punchier sound, yet covering older trad genres nicely as well, the Pa3X is perhaps the better choice. Scott smile


Hi Scott,

I guess the conventional thinking does indeed go that way with regard to which keyboard would be more suited to which gigs or audience age groups, yet 99% of our gigs are senior centres, assisted living, etc. and we're out there with a Korg Pa1XPro doing the honours. Exceptions to every rule, I suppose. It does speak to the versatility of TOTL boards, though.

The two tracks done on my old i30 that I posted recently, Mustang Sally and Jambalaya, are regulars in our setlists.

Best regards,
124

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#340420 - 02/20/12 11:21 PM Re: Taken by Surprise Today At Audioworks [Re: Tony Hughes]
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Originally Posted By: Tony Hughes
You see even Scott is thinking of a double stack Pa3x + T4 Mans stuff for Men, Scott did you keep the box for the KMA, I'll give you the link to ebay, I know its a lot of money, but if you got the Pa3x and kept the T4 you would not want anything else, I think you would always turn them both on when your playing, I rarely turn the Audya on these days, still not sold it, I need to find a fool and his money that I can easily separated. heeeee dance2

Hi Tony,
To be honest, I have no interest in taking out a double/ multi stacked Keyboard setup. In general, I prefer to play my keyboard(s) on their own separately.

At this point I have no interest in selling either the KMA or T4 as I call on each alone seperately for different playing venues and situations. If and when I ever purchase a Pa3X, I doubt I'd sell the KMA because it satisfies the ultra portability niche I've quickly grown to appreciate for quick grab and go situations. Having all 3 keyboards to select from would be preferable, but if I had to give up "one" of the three, it might more likely be the Tyros 4, though I'd hope not be put into that kind of a sell off position. Interestingly enough, I think I already got the ideal keyboard setup to meet my personal needs and without having to break the bank either (at least on the economical microArranger end of it). - Scott smile

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