For me, the disappointment comes from discovering just recently that the Montage has no Performances similar to the Motif at all.
Let me explain: on the Motif, a Performance is typically made up of Drums, Bass, and Guitar, forming a sort of band. With your right hand, you have a main sound, like Piano. Well, I asked a few Yamaha demonstrators, and it was confirmed to me that there's nothing like that on the Montage.
The problem for me about the Motif's Performances was that you can only have 3 arpeggios running at once. The Montage can have up to 7. The eighth part you can use for a right-hand sound (main melody). I was excited about having that many arps, and thought it would get close to an arranger's 8 parts per style - until I found out.
So, not only does the Montage not have a full sequencer, it also doesn't have Motif-like Performances. In my case, if I get the Montage, it will only be for its acoustic and some orchestral sounds, like Woodwinds, Brass and Choir. The strings don't sound that realistic, unfortunately.
I didn't know that. I knew that the former performance mode and song mode have been put together to a different performance mode with (at least) 8 live parts. But what's different about the arps that you can't use them like you could in the Motif? Can you explain in detail?
And your opinion about the strings: I had the impression you liked them very much first. Has your opinion changed due to some video demos, or did you play the Montage in a store?
First of all, I'm sorry I could not answer your questions. I was on a 3 week vacation in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Unforgettable Rocky Mountains and beaches (in Tofino, Vancouver Island)! Just got back last night.
Concerning the arps, I've read you cannot create your own as on the Motif. I can't go into detail, because I've never actually played one.
As far as the strings go, I've mentioned to you in another post that Montage (and other Yamaha keyboards, in general) have a kind of artificial "sheen" to them that preclude them from sounding very realistic. I'll take the Roland SRX-06 and SRX-04 strings any day. Again, this is based on more and more online videos, not from having played one in a store. Demos of woodwinds and brass sound top-notch, though.
I'd love to find a keyboard/module with rich, full-sounding strings, like Mantovani's. Do you know of any gear that offers this?