This is a follow up to my first impression of the Roland BK5, a few months back..
.I purchased a BK5 recently and had a chance to dig deeper into the new board..
The BK5 sells for the same price as the Prelude ..
My initial thoughts, being a fan of the Prelude, that the BK5 did not measure up to the Prelude..
believe me I was wrong.
.sure the BK5 lacks the 16 track sequencer and the D Beam,
but that is where the Prelude edge stops..
The BK5 has the better sound engine (G and E series) compared to the Prelude (Sonic Cell and Juno series)..
.the "Scat" sound says it all..
Other advances over the Prelude...unlimited songs on a USB drive..
The Prelude used the Playlist (software) ..it had great features but limited to 999 total songs..
The BK5 is unlimited ..up to 2 terabyte USB recognition.....
In fact I am using a 32gb Scandisk flash drive, with 50,000 songs on board..
Thankfully the read system uses folders wisely and there is a search feature on board the BK5..
I can actually DJ with the BK5..if it becomes necessary..
The Prelude would read lyrics on 200 max SMF's in the internal ram only (version 2)..
The BK5 reads lyrics limited only by the USB storage..
Prelude will read 100 user styles (internal ram)...The BK5 reads styles direct from USB..
The Prelude has a lower and upper realtime tone..The BK5 adds a upper 2..
The BK5 has dedicated style family group buttons and tone family buttons too..
Some of the common features are easier to use on the BK5, make up tools for one...and uses shortcuts via hold down buttons..
The BK5 has mastering tools...and also records wave files ..easy as a push of a button...
Both units are menu driven, but after getting use to the data wheel on the BK5...
it works better than cursor arrows on the Prelude.
The need to press enter after selection seemed a poor decision, but I found that it actually works well,
and eliminates errors on the gig..
The Prelude was able to save (resave) edits via "Playlist"..
The BK5 has a better system and can save to any location on the USB drive..
The BK5 can playback very large files that the Prelude could not..
The styles that come with the BK5 are better to me than the styles on the Prelude (latin version)..
The one touch settings on the BK5 work great and are editable..
Even without a 16 track sequencer, you can edit via header (make up tools)...with wanted results..on the BK5
All songs ...mid, .kar, MP3, wav..can be transposed in realtime, and also tempo change with out effecting keys..
The speakers on both units are great..the BK5 has a 12 watts a side compared to 11 watts on the Prelude..
The keybeds are similar..the width is about the same as other Roland boards.
.a half inch smaller for 5 octaves on the BK5 compared to 5 octaves on the G70..
The BK5 is 3/4 inch shorter on the black keys and over all than the G70..
The aprox. 3X3 screen is large enough for me, but may be small for other folks to read, but the external out put works great..
One of the best feature on the G and E series is the chord read of all SMF's .
.reading a measure ahead...the BK5 has this great feature..too..
Being able to comp along on any SMF...is a saving grace...
After spending more time with the BK5 and setting it up for my use..
.the BK5 is a no brain-er choice over the Prelude, and the competition in the price range..
For the Korg fans (including me)...the boot up on the BK5 is 3 seconds....
Getting around on the BK5, after a small learning curve is easier than the PA series (touch screen does help the PA series)...
.when compared to the MicroArranger...the BK5 is hands down the winner for a few hundred dollars.more
Yes...my final thoughts..it is a keeper....now 2 or 3 gigs a day seems more do-able, at less than 16 and a half pounds...
Oh BTW...the BK5 is compatible with all edits made on the G70...Styles and SMF's..