Still Deciding.......ugh..

Posted by: Kingfrog

Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 11:04 AM

I have read and reread different forums and still am not close to making a decision on an arranger. Perhaps if the US had the E80 I would lean in that direction. I like the G70 and they can be had refurb for less than $2000. However I believe the G70 is old news and he E80 is the current TOTL Roland. None in the US..

The Korg is nice but the S900 sounds better to me and has MUCH more support and styles for far less money. I do like the pads better on the Korg. I was reqady t drop $3600 on a Pa@x becasue its the newest keyboard.

I keep coming back to Yamaha for the sounds and styles. The G70's 76 keys layout and OS is nice but I cannot find enough demos to really judge the sounds. If I buy the S900 I will have to buy an 88 key P-85 with it.

I guess that is the way to go. for $2k. although there is "something about the G70" that keeps me coming back.

My requienments
Posted by: Fran Carango

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 11:26 AM

The E-80 has a couple features that the G70 does not..features I do not need[text and BMP screens..not to be confused with lyrics read from SMF's]..
They have the same sound engines, and can read data from each other..

The E-80 has speakers, and considered more of a home unit..

The G70 has a better key bed, and 76 keys compared to the E-80.

Another important feature on the G70 are separate outputs..not available on the E-80..

For me ..the G70 is the easy choice..and I consider the G70 more designed and built for "pro" use..

If you do not need a mic input and harmonizer..Roland has the 76 key mid price E-60..with decent key feel[similar to E-80]..

My vote is for the used $2,000 G70..

Great board..right price...

Make sure you update the OS to 3.0..
Posted by: Diki

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 12:01 PM

Yep, two thumbs up for a used G70.

You are paying nearly half what I payed for my brand new one, they are built (and weigh!) like tanks, so I would be very surprised if it isn't still in good shape...

There are a FEW things that have been improved, soundwise, on an E80, and a couple of OS improvements, but blindfolded, you might be hard pressed to tell the difference. The 'pro' connections on the G70 make a big difference if you gig, with separate outputs for the vocal section and the arranger (and four outputs for the arranger alone).

But I still stand by my opinion that this keyboard is the best compromise between an arranger and a full 'live band' keyboard, and has been my #1 go to keyboard for ALL my live playing, whether band or solo, and has started to get the call for quite a few sessions, lately (the piano sits quite nicely in a lot of mixes)...

It's heavy, sure (but strangely, the E80 weighs more!), but nowhere near the back-breaking weight of my K2500!
Posted by: ianmcnll

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 12:43 PM

Well, Kingfrog, if it was me, I'd first be thinking of warranty, so anything used would be out.

I am planning on using the same setup as you suggested...a PSR-S900 and a P85 digital piano...both weigh around 25 lbs, the latter has MIDI and a lovely Graded Hammer 88 note keyboard.

The G70 and E-80 are fine instruments, I must agree, but with the S900 and P85 you will have far more flexibility (and lots of 3rd party support)PLUS a warranty.

I give them THREE thumbs up!


[This message has been edited by ianmcnll (edited 04-07-2008).]
Posted by: Fran Carango

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 01:07 PM

I have never run into a warranty issue with a Roland board......and I was a Roland dealer..

Buy the G70..

and you will have a decent[make that the best] harmonizer too..
Posted by: ianmcnll

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 01:20 PM

Kingfrog, you really should try the instruments before you buy, no matter what brand you decide on.

Don't just go on other people's opinions, including mine...let YOUR ears, and YOUR fingers be your guide...too many on this forum have been led into buying something they have regretted.

If you must buy used, be sure there is a dealer where you can get the instrument fixed if there is a problem.

Good luck.

Posted by: Fran Carango

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 01:30 PM

I agree
Posted by: John DiLeo

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 02:05 PM

Have you considered the Wersi Abacus?
Posted by: Stephenm52

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 02:17 PM

Originally posted by ianmcnll:
Kingfrog, you really should try the instruments before you buy, no matter what brand you decide on.

Good luck.


There's a lot to be said for trying. Despite my trying and buying a PSR3000, Tyros2, G70, Pa800, I wound up with a PA2xPro. That's keeping me happy now. The G70 is a great board, despite the weight for $2000, you can't go wrong. I think the Roland has the best Bossa Nova styles in the business. I'd almost bet you could even get a better price on the G70. But at $2000 you're doing fine.

[This message has been edited by Stephenm52 (edited 04-07-2008).]
Posted by: Kingfrog

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 02:53 PM

Wow GREAT unemtionsl responses. Yeh the G70s on Ebay right now are less than $2000. it is version 3 wih a warranty. Im not really concerned about warranties though. to save $2000 from the get go I will gladly forego a warranty. LOL
I am nearly convinced the G70 is a better choice then the s900 for shear flexibility. I thought mistakenly the E80 was the replacement for the aged G70. The Korg is nice too but there are apparently not as many styles for it from some of the complaints I read on the Korg Forum.
Thanks guys....S900 vs G70....Hmmm...

Unfortunately I cannot play the G70 anywhere close. I play the Yamahas everyday in the store,

Posted by: Fran Carango

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/07/08 02:59 PM

Richard Shiflet lives in your neck of the woods..He owns a G70..

Maybe he will volunteer..
Posted by: Kingfrog

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 01:21 AM

Im giving the Pa2x a second look. reason being is I am used to a workstation and the Korg is a workstation AND arranger. I am used to recording all the parts myself. In this case I can add just a bass styles or replace any part with instruments from different styles.

I really want 76 keys so I don't have to buy two keyboards. After download the Korg demos (not Mp3) and putting them up on my sound system I have to say the Korg equals the Tyros in many areas.

The S900 is a great "sound module" but the lack of sliders and controllers turn me off..
There are some things that need not be imbedded deep in the non touch screen.

I just read the Korg has digital out. Thats a great feature and a good match for my Prosonus Firebox. I will ask a few questions of the Korg Pa2X and PA800 owners in another thread if you guys don't mind.
Posted by: Ensnareyou

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 03:10 AM

I quite like the sound and layout of the PA2X Pro but am disappointed by the recent shift in Korg's build quality, or lack thereof. Many manufacturers have taken a downward turn and have decided to use cheaper materials to make their instruments. Yamaha has been notorious for doing so for many years (PSR and Tyros for example) and now Korg has taken Yamaha's queue. The new Korg M3 workstation and PA2X arranger are departures from their previous instruments and while they may look cool, they certainly don't pass my quality/materials test. The PA2X Pro is definitely better built than say an M3 or Tyros II but compare either one of these to the build quality of a Korg Oasys and you'll be sickened by it all.

Perhaps I'm different than many other players who don't seem to care if a keyboard is built with cheap plastic parts, has a poor key action, or buttons that seem so flimsy that they'll snap off, but I think any keyboard that costs more than $2,000.00 should look like it's worth $2,000.00+, not $200! I've seen cheap toys at Wal-Mart that have better materials than many of these new arrangers. There's definitely something wrong with that picture!
Posted by: Bernie9

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 03:39 AM

I agree that build quality is important. Eventhough it may not be most important, it goes a long way in instilling pride in owning a quality keyboard, not to mention longevity.

That was a major reason I traded my PA800 for a G-70
Posted by: John DiLeo

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 06:45 AM

After reading past posts, It seems people care more about weight vs quality build which is heavier to carry. I've never had an issue with my PSR3000 regarding construction, so who's right or wrong?
Posted by: ianmcnll

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 06:49 AM

Common misconception...size and weight equal quality and performance.

Don't be fooled.
Posted by: zuki

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 07:07 AM

Originally posted by Bernie9:
I agree that build quality is important. Eventhough it may not be most important, it goes a long way in instilling pride in owning a quality keyboard, not to mention longevity.

That was a major reason I traded my PA800 for a G-70

I respectfully disagree with you Bernine. I say the build quality on the PA800 is VERY GOOD. It's not cheap plastic and the keys are good and tight. If you're comparing to an all steel, refrigerator weight product, then best to those who want to haul that around. No money in the world would have me hoist the G70 in and out of a car. It might last 10 years, but I wouldn't!

Posted by: bruno123

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 07:12 AM

Please don’t buy because of another’s opinion, we all have different needs both musically and physically, there lies the criteria for selecting your keyboard. I have seen the G 70 – E 80 – and the Tyros 2, all are very fine keyboards, they all meet your needs but in a different way.
My choice was a S900. Cost, size and weight made my decision. For me, there was not enough of what I wanted in the above keyboards to justify the dollar cost.

John C.
Posted by: richard_shiflet

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 07:33 AM

The G70 is a great keyboard, both in the build quality and in that it is designed more like a "Pro" board and not like one for "home" use. I've never owned a keyboard with speakers built in, and the last 61 key instrument I owned was a Korg I3 (about 20 years ago)and it was midi-ed to an 88 key Roland.

I have taken the G70 out on a few gigs, but it was on the top tier of a 2 tier keyboard stand and midi-ed to the MSX88 Pro Mediastation beneath it. I prefer the fully weighted hammer action and 88 keys. I am now just taking the Mediastation by itself. I have moved anything that I needed over from the G70 and I'm using the G70 at home to take advantage of its styles that the Mediastation doesn't have.

Also I prefer either Giga sounds for my piano or NI Akoustik Piano, but I feel that the Roland is one of the better ROM Piano sounds of any major keyboard brand with the exception of Kurzweil and they don't make a portable arranger.

If you would like to demo the G70, just let me know I am in SC also. I'll send you an email with contact info.

In the end, pick what feels right for you. There are a lot of happy musicians here playing keyboards that I have no interest in, and there are many who would not like the keyboards that I use. That is why we're fortunate to have several choices, everyone has different priorities and requirements.

As long as you can express your music and enjoy doing it then you have made the right choice.
Posted by: Kingfrog

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 09:21 AM

Originally posted by John DiLeo:
After reading past posts, It seems people care more about weight vs quality build which is heavier to carry. I've never had an issue with my PSR3000 regarding construction, so who's right or wrong?

I'm with you. I would rather a lighter board made of plastic then a heavy metal one like my 61 key Triton was. It was all metal. The PSRs are light. I am only concerned with what it does. I would rather "add" the metal at my convenience "as in a case." LOL

I have not read of any build quality issues en mass that affected the sound or operational quality of any of these arrangers.
Posted by: Diki

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 01:15 PM

I think a lot of the build quality issues apply to how you play. For many with a very light touch, the flyweights are perfectly fine. For those with a stronger, maybe more piano-based touch, the muscularity can make topping out the velocity, and a lot of stand 'bounce' quite apparent.

And it's not good enough to say 'well, just adjust your technique'. It takes years to develop a style and touch all your own. It's no easier for a heavier player to dial back their touch as it is for a flyweight player to be able to control a real piano keyboard for any length of time.

Add to that the fact that, just as you play the keys harder, you also have a tendency to hit the buttons harder (it's very hard to dial it back just for the buttons!), and the reliability and durability of the buttons becomes MUCH more important that it would to the lightweights.

So we have two camps, and BOTH their opinions are correct... at least for themselves! But it's nice to see us abandoning the number of keys for a while as a source of conflict. Back to the old classic of weight above all else. Yawn... Is it Groundhog Day again?

BTW, Kingfrog.... the G70's sequencer is as fully featured as the Korg's, just in case you didn't know (it also has Workstation as a panel graphic!). It's all marketing hype, anyway, as neither of them is a 'workstation' in the modern sense of the word... arpeggiators and audio multi-tracking seem to be the LAST thing they want to add to arrangers. Might spell the end of the WS if they did...

Plus the G70 has something they call Makeup Tools, which is BY FAR the easiest way I have ever come across to make Tone, effects, dynamics, EQ and mix adjustments to an existing SMF or Style. A real time saver...

Do yourself a favor, and try to get some quality time on a G70 before you plunk down nearly double on that PA2X. It might float your boat, and save you some cash...
Posted by: Ensnareyou

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 03:26 PM

Why is it that many people on the forum say that they don't care if a keyboard is made of plastic, if the materials aren't on par with other high end arrangers, and that all they care about is if it sounds OK? Is just OK good enough? It's that type of mentality that allows companies like Yamaha to make cheap PSR and Tyros "toys" and still have you pay thousands of dollars for them. If you were buying a home, car, furniture, or major appliance I'll bet you wouldn't accept sub par build materials or quality now would you? Of course not!

Keyboards don't have to be made out of cheap materials to be lightweight, that's a farce. Even in plastics and lightweight metals there are higher grade materials but most companies aren't using them in their keyboards. Not because they can't but because they won't (only wanting to increase their profit margin). If we accept the fact they are using cheap materials and we are still willing to spend multi-thousands of dollars on a plastic toy, then whose being fooled? Not the manufacturer that's for sure.

I'm not one that wants to lug around a heavy keyboard any more than the next guy, I won't however spend my hard earned money on an instrument that I have to question how road worthy it is or if it's going to last me 10 years or more. I have a large array of vintage instruments and not a one of them has ever let me down or have I had to question their build quality. The adage holds true, they just don't build things like they use to. There are exceptions but they are very few and far between.

Use whatever works for you but realize that by accepting and buying a keyboard or any other instrument that uses sub par materials, you are perpetuating the manufacture of sub par instruments from those manufacturers that do so.

Also, I'm not one that believes that just because something is made of plastic it isn't a viable instrument. If a Yamaha PSR or Tyros II sounded like my Wersi Abacus, I'd buy one in a second. Of course that isn't the case and it's not likely Yamaha is going to come out with a keyboard for under $4,000.00 that's going to compete on the same level as the Wersi. For now I am left with buying what's available that's the cutting edge of what arranger and workstation technology should be. It just so happens that Wersi packages the Abacus into an all metal case with wood sides. What the hell were they thinking?
Posted by: Kingfrog

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 07:54 PM

Perhaps I can answer that. I don't view plastic as cheap or automatically a "toy". The Tyros is a serious keyboard and tool for many. They will sell becasue of the features and sound set. Not its ability to withstand a spilled drink or tip over. A Flight case can ore than protect any keyboard.

I also view it as a way to keep the price down for a keyboard that is not universally used as a touring unit. Steel is heavy and for Arranger keyboards in particular not necessary. I think most would agree as long as it sounds great and functions having a light keyboard to carry around is a bonus.

(See Bose Lt1, LOL)not to open a can of worms.
Posted by: Diki

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 08:29 PM

If they made them light with no other compromise, I think the point would be moot, but firstly the lack of a 76 makes regular non-arranger use a bit more difficult if you use a one keyboard rig. The fact that these keyboards include SMF and MP3 players seems to indicate there is quite a demand for non-arranger usage (before the 'it's perfectly fine for ordinary arranger use' camp jumps in, here), and the greater the number of keys, the more flexible your setups can be (ever tried TWO splits on a 61?).

The T2's keyboard, although a little light for me, at least IS built to workstation standards, but it is galling to have to pay $2000 MORE just for a decent keyboard (and little else since the S900 came out), when the Yamaha WS line (Motifs) has the same keyboard on it's LOWEST level offering.

I guess for many of us, we simply expect the same build quality from arrangers as we get for equivalent cost workstations. If Yamaha can make a WS product at that price, built to THAT standard, why not an arranger? There is little extra in the weight of the 61 (about 30 lbs. total), certainly not enough to put MANY users off it) and anyone who has played one will comment about how solid and well built it is compared to the arranger line.

And PLEASE don't tell me about the needs of the WS users for a more roadworthy product. You can't have it BOTH ways. Either the PSR and Tyros2 ends up in basically the same hands as the Motifs. I would be prepared to say that nearly the same percentage of Motifs end up in homes and studios as does arrangers. Plenty of pros using Yamaha arrangers, despite their build quality (they HAVE to, if they want the features and sounds), and plenty of home users buying Motifs.

So why the apparent freebie (or close to it) of a decent build quality for the WS users, and close to toy-like construction for even the TOTL Yammie arranger? SOMEONE is getting shafted... Is it us (the arranger user), or is the WS user, who has to lug around a tad more weight?

I know how I feel...
Posted by: bruno123

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 08:51 PM

My view may be a bit different. My plastic toys have been earning me many dollars for years, and more than most – and I have had no mishaps for the last 16 years.

If there is a need for strongly built keyboard to do your work that’s good, but it is not necessarily related to the quality of sound, longevity of the keyboard or the amount of dollars you can earn.

Is a 4,500 keyboard better than a $2,000? I would be shocked if it were not. The question is – better in what ways – and then I am I in need of those features.

IMHO, John C.
Posted by: Diki

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 09:41 PM

So why the WS need for better quality, if it makes NO difference?

Why do Yamaha chose to do this ONLY for the WS users? How come their needs are so greater than ours that Yamaha chose to lose profits by providing this?

We are being shafted, and apparently, we LIKE it
Posted by: Kingfrog

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/08/08 10:42 PM

The Yamaha Workstations are routinely used in professional touring situations, being handled by roadies, loaded in and out of trucks on a daily basis. You really cannot compare the Arranger user with a workstation user. Arrangers are still considered home keyboards by many players and the Manufacturers agree.

Name one major band that tours with an Arranger. They don't need them. Again the him user and the demographic are older people. I am retired and work PT in a music store. More young people ask for the Motifs. No one ever asks to play the "arranger" We don't even stock a Tyros. The local Guitar center does not stock one Arranger.

Yamaha knows this and knows they will sell everyone they make because it does not look imposing and "industrial" I think they make it out of plastic frankly to make it look like a "toy" so their market will not be intimidated by it.

You must realize todays arrangers are yesterday's Lowery organ. not yesterday's Prophet 5.
Posted by: bruno123

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/09/08 03:10 AM

You must realize todays arrangers are yesterday's Lowery organ. not yesterday's Prophet 5. Great point Kingfrog.

Disguise the Lowery as a new toy – and then --- make it look like a beautiful black grand piano. Oh how we loved to be fooled.

John C.
Posted by: ianmcnll

Re: Still Deciding.......ugh.. - 04/09/08 05:21 AM

Personally, I'm tickled that Yamaha makes their arrangers so light, compact....and durable.

The sound is excellent, especially with the SA and mega voices, and the OS is a doddle to use.

Remember, these units are made for "home players" first...just because some of us pros like to use them to our advantage (especially as they are so light) for solo gigs, doesn't mean they are "pro".

The advantages of "light and durable" are many, or we would still be using big heavy walkie-talkies instead of tiny and lightweight cell phones.

Computers are lighter and take up less space, but are even more powerful than ever.

Like it or not, lightweight and durable is the future, and woe to those who do not comply.

Alternatives to the Tyros2/S900 fight an uphill battle. In a remarkably broad price range, Yamaha an offers a virtuosity-to-dollar ratio that’s tough to beat.

Some keyboards do other things better: make you feel rich, look fancy, be expensive, etc. but, quite frankly, they aren't even in the same stratosphere.


[This message has been edited by ianmcnll (edited 04-09-2008).]