DonM-SD1-PA80 compare

Posted by: JCkeeys

DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/02/01 09:03 PM

I promise not to use phrases like "better than", "not as good as" or "I wouldn't be caught dead playing this".
I finaly got my hands on an SD1 today, played with it for about an hour. First impression: it looks great and has a very pro quality look. The keyboard action(feel)is very nice. To my touch it is not the same as the X1(a little heavier). As with all the NEW KB's they are an extension of the previous model. The SD1 is very similar to the X1 both in sound and operation. The statement "If you like the X1 you will love the SD1" rings true! The Piano is very good across the whole keyboard! There is a better selection of sounds, in particular the Brass, Guitar and Woodwinds. The drums are very impressive. Nice brush sound, very realistic. The Electric Piano sounds are adequate not as impressive as the others. When selecting a style or Block Registration you can press 1 Touch(like the X1) but the difference is the sounds are displayed along both sides of the screen without covering any of the other info. On the fly you can select any one of the sounds in the 1 Touch memory(8 pages, 80 sounds,more user friendly than the X1)The Vocalist function is nice (a red LED indicates when it is on)and you can edit on the fly. Overall the layout is much better than the X1, although not as easy as the Yamaha, toss up between SD1 and the PA80.
Now for the sound!! It sounds very impressive but then again I liked the X1. What you have in the SD1 is a New and Improved X1, and there is nothing wrong with that!
How does it compare withe the PA80? To make it simple (1)the sounds, to my ears, are more substantial. What does that mean? Not better but fuller,warmer,realistic...etc. This is one man's oppinion!! What I translate as fuller..etc.? Someone else could find unappealing! (2)Styles? I will not compare styles, that is too subjective. (3) It really looks like a pro KB! The PA80 does not, once again one man's oppinion.
For me the SD1 is a better choice.
PLUSES: 3fills/Intros/Endings + break, To end(great feature)LowZ Mic input, Quality keyboard, more usable styles(for what I like to play). The one problem I experienced on the X1 has been resolved on the SD1. This was when you stored, in a Registration, Reverb and Delay levels for the Mic it would not hold, now it does(great feature). The PA80 is a good choice at its current price price. It will be even better if Korg keeps improving it(software/features). That's my two cents worth!!
Posted by: DonM

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/02/01 09:54 PM

Thanks for the comparison. It sounds like the SD1 is for real. I plan to stay with the PA80 for now.
A couple of questions--I believe that the SD1 still does not have manual pads. Is that correct? Also, are the fill-in and variation buttons better located than they were in the X1? They were above the right hand on the X1.
Like almost everyone else, I do not have a place to audition the SD1. The closest dealer (in Dallas, 150 miles away) no longer stocks portable keyboards at all. I would not consider buying a keyboard without playing it first. Of course that's exactly what I did with the Korg, but I fudged a little--I had a buyer waiting for it in case I didn't like it.
I think if I were to get another keyboard right now, it would be the 9000 Pro, because of its superior vocal processing, harmonizer, and "country/western stuff". I'm having to teach the Korg to say "ya'll".
Posted by: JCkeeys

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/03/01 08:51 PM

Don... You are correct no pads...The fill buttons are slightly left of center (C4) on the X1 they were on the right. Just a comment on the pads on the PA80, to me they are not very useful! On the Yamaha they can be triggered by the style, that's cool!! The SD1 is not for everyone but then again no KB is! HA! Not having a large dealer network makes it difficult for Ketron to develope the same loyal following the other majior brands have. Good luck with your PA80, it is a great KB!!
Posted by: Arbaz

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/04/01 11:41 AM

Hello JCkeeys,
I think you own PA-80 right? check out the new O.S. 2.0.1 for PA-80 for the asking price of PA-80 I think it is the best out there just my two cents, like you have said sounds are a subjective issue they are but if it was completly true then why would they (companies) bother for newer sampling methods why would someone buy Giga Studio for a Piano in there computer? I hope you are enjoying your PA-80 I will too, soon.
Posted by: JCkeeys

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/04/01 04:38 PM

Arbaz.... When I say subjective its my way of avoiding an oppinion. When you give an oppinion you always seem to upset someone. I agree with you the PA80 is priced right, a good value.
Posted by: Henry01

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/04/01 09:04 PM


Thanks for your review of the SD1. Based on your comments and my previous experience with the X4, I ordered my SD1 last week. I received my SD1 today, according to the Canadian distributor of Ketron, this is the 10th unit in Canada.

I am very happy with the SD1. I totally agree with your assessment of the SD1 and how it compares with the other KBs. The SD1 is substantially better than the X1. It's long list of standard features (great sound & styles, hard disk, harmonizer with XRL input, sampler, 76 keys, live drums) met my needs perfectly.

Thanks again for your honest & impartial review.


[This message has been edited by Henry01 (edited 07-04-2001).]
Posted by: Bluezplayer

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/04/01 09:16 PM

Of all the arrangers I was able to demo, I like the PA80 the best for what I want to do. I never got a chance to try the VA7 or SD1, so I can't say if I'd have liked them better, but it hardly matters now as my search is over. I can make all kinds of music with the PA80, and at this point that's really all I care about. The next thing I'd like to upgrade is my synth / workstation, as the old M1 just can't keep up any more. So after I part with my 740 and some other gear I'll go demo the Motif and see how I like that. I'd like to go with something other than a Triton based synth engine, just to have a different repertoire of sounds to use. I like Yamaha sounds anyway and the Motif appears at first glance to be a lot of synth for the bucks, so a good demo of it for me could be the deciding factor.

I also agree that the PA80 is a very good value for the money. Sounds are subjective I suppose but I've always liked what I've gotten in sounds from the different Korg and Yamaha boards I've owned and the PA80 is no exception. Not to say I don't like the others either. It's just that I've always had either a Korg or Yamaha or both and have been comfortable with either..

Posted by: JCkeeys

Re: DonM-SD1-PA80 compare - 07/04/01 09:29 PM

BluezPlayer....Your gonna' love the Motif! I would be surprised if you did not. Let's hear from you when you try it...Enjoy the the PA80!!