Unfortunately I'm not among the lucky few who have had the opportunity (yet) to audition and hear the KN7000 in person, but here are my impressions from a design/aesthetic perspective only, based on the latest pictures posted on MusicStudio's website.
Design wise, the KN7000 certainly looks intriguing (with a spaceship like module control panel approach).
My MAJOR concern is whether the panel's angle/position & distance is a bit too far away from the keys, making it rather inconvenient accessing it's buttons, especially when compared to current arrangers like the KN6500, where the buttons are located directly above the key bed. On the KN7000 it seems there's a HUGE gap & distance (wasted space) between the keys and the panel buttons.I still can't figure out what takes up this huge space (panel's hinge area?). Is that a 3 octave wide wide black ribbon cable? Kinda reminds me of a player piano roll (future-retro?)
What is the blue lighted section that takes up the upper octave and a half? Is the blue color just a reflection from somewhere else or?
Another new concept is Technics decision to re-configure the 8 panel memory buttons in a circular fashion rather than across the board in a line. I'm wondering how easy/difficult this will be to select the correct panel memory button while performing.
I applaud Technics for switching to SD Memory Cards for mass storage vs the KN6000/6500 rip off 3rd party proprietary hard drive approach (though I would have prefered they went with Compact Flash (less expensive). I do fully understand & appreciate their decision though as SD Memory cards are a product of Panasonic-Technics. I now wish I could see a good picture of the KN7000 with the lid closed. Anyone know of one?
Without even considering the KN7000's sounds & styles, which I assume will be impressive (based on Technics track record), I still have a lot of mixed feelings about the design. Keyboard demonstrations are great and can provide a lot information as well as the sound & musical potential of the instsrument, but I realize that the ONLY way I'm going to really know if it's design (ergonomics) is gonna work for me or not, is to sit down & play the keyboard myself, testing the keyboard's action, and playing it in auto accomp arranger mode, utilizing all the arranger buttons. No manufacter product demonstration can replace that.
I really look forward to hearing from people who have had the lucky chance to 'sit down' and acutally PLAY the KN7000. I think the KN7000 will be presented at Summer NAMM in Nashville, so hopefully some of you will be able to attend and get a chance to audition the KN7000 in person. Please report how convenient (easy/difficult) it is to actually access/press the arranger buttons when playing LIVE in auto accompaniment mode. What does the keyboard action feel like? Is it similar to the KN6500 or?
Curious to hear 'EVERYONE ELSE'S' thoughts about all this as well.
Thanks, and happy arranger keyboarding to all,