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Ref.: Roland A80 -> How much good are the Yamaha KX8 and the Studiologic SL990-PRO ?
Old 7th March 2009
  #1
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🎧 15 years
Ref.: Roland A80 -> How much good are the Yamaha KX8 and the Studiologic SL990-PRO ?

Hello

I have read some interesting 3ds but before to buy I need some extra input from real pianist about these master keyboards.

1st of all:
I'm a pianist from conservatory and the things most importants are the keyboard's feeling and action, the very close to real piano.

2nd:
I don't need all these midi controls, programming, storing or usb connection.

3th:
I need a good masterkey with good piano action and feeling for composing and tracking with Ivory vst. Some years ago I have used a Roland A80 and I was fully satisfied of it. (Unfortunately it's very hard to find in good conditions).

4th:
I don't want to pay much for something that I don't use.
(for example the Yamaha ES90S keys seems quite good but I don't need his sounds)

5th:
I live at 200Km from the store for try them.

6th:
it's my budget... I know that Kawai is the best



Say that, I have see these two masterkeys that they seems what I look for: the Yamaha KX8 and the Fatar Studiologic SL990-PRO (here have the same price: €410).

Is there someone, possibly a pianist, that have tried these masterkeys and can make a comparison with the A80 or the S90ES or Korg TR88 ?

Thank you





Please don't suggest me toys like CME, M-Audio & Co. and don't say that the action is hard because you aren't a pianist and your fingers aren't strong








Old 8th March 2009
  #2
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🎧 15 years
anybody?
Old 8th March 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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🎧 10 years
i still have my roland a-80. love the action but there are a few issues with the unit.

i hear that doepfer pianos are really good. that's the next thing on my list!
Old 8th March 2009 | Show parent
  #4
N88
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🎧 15 years
Don't remember that particular Yamaha, but when I was looking tried everything around. The StudioLogic has a very nice feel.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Thank you for the reply.

My fear purchasing an used A80 are the problems of old age that it could have and that the owner hidden to me... (this is at 1000Km from my house and therefore the owner should send me the keyboard)

The only Fatar that I tried was an old model (maybe a Studio88) with velocity issue and a soft action like a broken hammer piano keys.

I fear that the Yamaha is too much economic to have a good keyboard, but this is only my impression... not having tried it.

More feedback ?
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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12 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
well... the yamaha kx88 has got the best piano action i've ever seen... i have one and it's great to play... the midi implementation isn't too great, since it's an old keyboard, and it does weight a lot! (the good side is that it's built like a tank and it's very easy to fix and mantain.

i would very much suggest you to get one... it's a classic.

edit:oh! there's an actual KX8!... i thought it was a typo, if it's anything like the old one go for it... or try to get an old kx88, you won't regret it.
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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I have found that the KX8 share the same keybed as the P85 digital piano and some pianists don't like it... Too soft and with bad action...
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
I just got a yamaha kx8 controller about a month ago.I have not played the studio logic cont. but have played many others.
I would call the kx8's action light.Feels pretty good.I'm not quite sure how to describe the various keys i have played but overall nothing plays like my yamaha c7 7ft 6in conservatory grand in my living room.I also like kawai pianos but do find there action heavy,some may like this.
Being a piano player i like using an 88 key controller for most stuff but for some synth lines your smaller key controllers can do the job and there are more choices.
Overall i like the kx8 and back in the 90's i used a kx88 for many years at another studio.I would say it is similar to the kx88 which most people like for a controller.
Here is a partiallist of controllers i have used along the way:
kx8
Kx88
kurzweil pc88
Kurzweil 2600x
Korg T1
Yamaha motif

Good Luck!

Dan P
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p ➑️
I just got a yamaha kx8 controller about a month ago.I have not played the studio logic cont. but have played many others.
I would call the kx8's action light.Feels pretty good.I'm not quite sure how to describe the various keys i have played but overall nothing plays like my yamaha c7 7ft 6in conservatory grand in my living room.I also like kawai pianos but do find there action heavy,some may like this.
Being a piano player i like using an 88 key controller for most stuff but for some synth lines your smaller key controllers can do the job and there are more choices.
Overall i like the kx8 and back in the 90's i used a kx88 for many years at another studio.I would say it is similar to the kx88 which most people like for a controller.
Here is a partiallist of controllers i have used along the way:
kx8
Kx88
kurzweil pc88
Kurzweil 2600x
Korg T1
Yamaha motif

Good Luck!

Dan P
Thank you !

Can you tell me about Motif compared to KX8 ?
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
There both made by yamaha and one has sounds the other does not,and the keyboards are very close.I considered a Kawai mp8 with sounds but that was more money and i opted for less on the controller and some additional software for my computer.KX8 also had space for table top synths.Mp8 did not.Nice keyboard feel on the kawai,heavier action,good luck.


Dan P
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan p ➑️
There both made by yamaha and one has sounds the other does not,and the keyboards are very close.I considered a Kawai mp8 with sounds but that was more money and i opted for less on the controller and some additional software for my computer.KX8 also had space for table top synths.Mp8 did not.Nice keyboard feel on the kawai,heavier action,good luck.


Dan P
Thanks,
I'm referring to keyboard action and feeling between Motif, that I have tried, and KX8, that I haven't tried. Can you describe this ?
Old 9th March 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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🎧 15 years
The new kx88 model (which is a reincarnation of the older model) feels alright. I have played with it at the store. Unfortunately, it was not hooked up to anything so I have no idea if the velocity curves on it are good or bad. The action is no where as good as that of Yamaha's Motif, p140, or even the s80. However, it is far better than the other controllers in that price range. Although, I was not able to try the studiologic SL990pro or the xp. I just wrote a few mini reviews on some of the controllers that I recently tried out. You might want to stay away from those.

The Casio Privia px200 feels great for the money but it lacks mod and pitch bend wheels. All in all, my favorite action is that of the yamaha p140, but that baby is over one grand and it also lacks the pitch and mod wheels.
Old 10th March 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
I don't know the KX88...

I can choose only between Fatar Studiologic SL990-PRO and Yamaha KX8......(maybe an used Roland A80)

You can compare they action and feeling with all that I have tried:

- Korg TR88
- Korg Triton Extreme 88
- Motif ES8
- S90ES
- CP33
- RD700GX
- A80 (but isn't hammer action, only weighted)


Any input from pianist ?
(I have also one Yamaha C3 conservatory in my house livingroom)
Old 10th March 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
anyone ?
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Ok man, I was at sam ash today and I was able to try out both the Yamaha kx8 and the studiologic sl990xp. They were not hooked up to anything so I don't know how their velocity curves compare. However, as far as action goes, the studiologic feels better than the yamaha. The studiologic is very similar to the motif xs action (and I am not exaggerating). The yamaha feels more like the action of the korg tr 88, a bit on the spungy side. I'm not saying that the yamaha is a bad keyboard, not at all. In other words, it is not some crapy CME or Keystation. As a matter of fact, It might be easier to play some synth type stuff on the yamaha. I just liked the action of the studiologic better as the keys feel more firm and heavy. Having said that, the studiologic does not feel like the wonderful action of the yamaha p140. Then again, the keyboard is less than $400 bucks.

The only problem with the studiologic is the mixed reviews that I have read. Some people say that theirs broke a few months after purchasing the keyboard. So, if you end up buying the studiologic, as I will, just get a decent warranty...
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvenom ➑️
Ok man, I was at sam ash today and I was able to try out both the Yamaha kx8 and the studiologic sl990xp. They were not hooked up to anything so I don't know how their velocity curves compare. However, as far as action goes, the studiologic feels better than the yamaha. The studiologic is very similar to the motif xs action (and I am not exaggerating). The yamaha feels more like the action of the korg tr 88, a bit on the spungy side....
Great ! Thank you very much !!!
Reading this it seems that Studiologic isn't so soft... I don't love soft action...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drvenom ➑️
The only problem with the studiologic is the mixed reviews that I have read. Some people say that theirs broke a few months after purchasing the keyboard. So, if you end up buying the studiologic, as I will, just get a decent warranty...
GULP! I have read too
I think that maybe it's better that I go to buy the used A80.. I can't stop my studio if Fatar will dye
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Make sure you try the action on the A80. I personally dislike the action on the Roland digital pianos and synths. Roland keys kind of wiggle a bit, that is, they are a bit on the spongy side. For example, I hate the Roland G8 keyboard action. I love the realistic texture of the keys, but the action is just horrible. So far my favorite action is that of the yamaha digital pianos and the motif series.

Man, I was really surprised by the studiologic and how close it feels to the motif. The motif keyboards, while not as realistic as the p140 or cp300, are just a damn pleasure to play. I was going to buy the studiologic yesterday but the guy at sam ash was a complete a hole so I just could not do it. I asked him If I could take the keyboard at $379 out the door (no tax). He said no! I told him that online stores have it for $379 free shipping and no tax. He said, "those are online stores not us." I was a bit upset at this point. I bit my tongue to avoid saying anything rude. Everytime I go to GC (hollywood) or Sam ash to audition gear, I say maybe I'll just buy it at the store this time around. Then someone says something retarted and they manage to lose my business. As always, I went to audition the gear, now I will turn around and buy it online. It is too bad that American Musical does not sell this baby.

edit: I actually like the guitar center in Pasadena but they don't have much gear there.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 15 years
I have owned an A80 four years ago and I love tha heavy action of this keyboard. It isn't hammer action but every key have a little weight internally glued. For me it's a pleasure play the Hammond virtuous pianist exercises

Also, a big BIG pleasure is the S90ES keyboard, better than every Motif.

Drvenom: if you tell me that Studiologic has the same hardness-heaviness of the Motif, then I can go for Fatar... It's italian product and if I'll have any problem... I'll go directly to the factory for stick the keyboard up their ass heh
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
hehe! Yea, I can't believe how difficult it is to find a decent controller keyboard. If you have owned an A80 and like it, you should definitely buy another one. I heard that they are build like tanks. What piano software do you use? I'm debating whether to stick with my EWQL Bosendorfer 290 or upgrade to Ivory, EWQL pianos, or Native Instruments akoustik pianos.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Well... I don't like Akoustik Piano, for me it's too digital and with poor dynamics.
I have only listened the demo of EWQL pianos and I'm impressed... The EW Boesendorfer don't sounds as good as Ivory ones,(I have upgraded my EW to Synthogy) that is my mainly vst piano. I love Boesendorfer, that I have played some times (the real Imperial), and the italian grand by Ivory, of course

Please, let me know about the hardness-heaviness Motif - Studiologic
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Oh yea, where to start... Ok you know how the action on the korg tr is a bit on the spongy side (the keys wiggle a tiny bit). Well the motif xs does not have that. The keys have a nice weight to them with out that wiggle. As a matter of fact, most of the roland stuff and korg stuff have that little wiggle which I hate. On the extreme side of things, the m-audio keystation pro 88 has that huge wiggle that just feels like a broken keybed. Well, the motif series, the s90, the p120, and the p140, don't seem to have that little wiggle. These keybeds are nicely weighted and firm (not stiff but firm). The best way I could put it is this way, when I play a grand piano, I don't feel the keybed mechanism while playing. This is also true of the yamaha p140 and the motif. However, when I play the korg and roland keyboards I can feel the keybed mechanism at work. Sometimes I can even here it on some keyboards.

As a matter of fact, the reason I bought the korg m3 module instead of the keyboard version was because I could feel that little wiggle on the keys. Hence, I just bought the korg m3 module, which has amazing sounds. I know I sound like a picky f*ck, but hey I'm spending my hard earned money. And besides, the piano is like my mistress so I want to give to her good j/k.

Now as you know, some older pianos have a bit of that wiggle so some pianist won't mind it. As a matter of fact, the piano that I learned to play on had that wiggly feeling. Then, one day I went to a piano store. Man, the action on the new pianos was amazing... I felt completely safe when playing them. I knew that there was no way that I could accedently press a key. Untill now, yamaha seems to be the only keyboard maker that provides such action on their digital pianos. The motif xs inherets a bit of that feeling. Finally, the studiologic sl990xp feels quite similar to the motif. The sl990xp even feels better than their vmk 188 plus controller.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Great !

It's curious this fact: I can feel the keybed mechanism while playing a grand piano as the prolongation of my fingers, with a keyboard I can't feel this
I began to study on a 1800 old piano (yes: wiggle) and when I switched to a modern Yamaha C3 I was amazed by his mechanism, action, feeling and playability.

Maybe the market is different in USA and in EU, here I have read that Yamaha Motif and Korg Triton share the same keybed, made by Yamaha. Triton TR88, that I actually own, share the same RH2 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 2) than Triton Extreme 88, that I have had four years ago. To me this keyboards seems quite good but not as good as that of S90ES, that is better than Motif ES8 (yes, I have had all these workstation). Curious that S90ES and Motif share the same keybed. Maybe have different setups. But, again, I have read that some Korg, like P200, use Fatar keybed (TP40GH).

Finally I prefer don't use worstation but real analog synth, sapling instruments and real instruments. For this reason I need a good master keyboard for composing and fun playing Ivory Boesendorfer heh

The only two doubts that I have to purchase Fatar are:
- durability
- light key (reported in some rewiev)

The Roland A80 that I have found is at 1000Km of distance from me and I can only to confide into the honesty of the owner.

(A80 keybed is a little more heavy and hard than Motif, not graded and not hammer but, to me, feels very good. The key go down well balanced and I can feel the hammer-mechanism sensation, that in reality it hasn't)
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Save money and buy Kawai.
If you are pianist, that can't be obstacle.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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GYang you are right, I love Kawai MP5 and MP8II but my budget is only for €500 and Kawai go from 1400 to 2100
And I don't like to pay for some that I don't use... The sounds inside the piano...
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
I should be more specific. When I speak of the motif, I really mean the motif xs, which to me, feels completely different than the korg triton extreme, tr, and m3. The kawais feel quite nice. But it seems like you really like the A80 keybed, so your best bet might be to buy one of those babies. Action is something very special to all of us pianist. Hence, you should get a keyboard that has that action that makes you say, damn these keys feel really nice.

Well, good luck on your keyboard hunt.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
Three years ago I went in a big store to purchase a keyboard and I spent the afternoon trying all the 88 keys available in commerce for to choose that I liked as feeling and action.
At the end I was undecided among CP33 + Motif ES rack and the S90ES. Economically the S90ES was the winner: great sounds and good keyboard but I remember that CP33 had a better keybed bat not as good sounds.

Personal hit-parade of all keyboards (not stage piano) that I have tried for better action and feeling:

- CP33 (I consider it a expensive masterkey, I don't like his sounds)
- S90ES (the best from motif sounds and Yamaha keybed)
- A80 (heavy almost as a Boesendorfer)
- Motif ES8
- Triton Extreme 88
- RD700GX
- Triton TR88
- Fantom G8
- Clavia Nord stage
- MO 8
- Kurzweil K2600

I don't consider toys as m-audio, CME & Co.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 15 years
The cp33 has wonderful action. I think it might share the same keybed as the yamaha p140 (they feel identical); I have a boner over the action and the looks of the p140. But you are right, the piano sound on the cp33 is not all that great to say the least. The CP33 would have been killer if it included the piano patches from the s90es.

A few days ago when I went to guitar center and sam ash, I saw the p140 for $799. I would have picked it up if it had the mod and pitch bent wheels. But you are right about the cp33 being expensive for a controller. That is $1,200. You can get a used s90es for a few more bills. It is sad that the studiologic sl990xp (don't know about the pro) is the only controller below the $500 range with nice action.

Well, I also saw the yamaha kx8 for $499, but I feel that the action on the sl990xp is a lot better. I just have to buy a decent warranty so that I can get it fixed or replaced if it poops out on me.

I'm tempted to buy a used korg 88le if I can find it for $600. The keybed is not the best, but some of those patches are just perfection. Besides, I just need a decent keybed to controll the korg m3. I use my motif xs when I play any kind of piano patches.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 15 years
I totally agree with you.

Triton doesn't have the best keyboard but it still usable, I have head the Triton le88: my 1st workstation after many many years of musical inactivity. Some sounds are interestings but others are weaks. The bad things of this keyboard are the DA converter. I suggest, for studio-recording, to by pass ALL FX inside the keyboard and then recording with a very good valve preamp. On recorded track then use hi-end plugins FX for to obtain the same sound, surely better, than original from Triton. Try to use, as last plugin in the chain, a good convolution reverb with some early reflection for simulate a studio-ambient.

I'm very very tempted by Kawai MP8 or at last MP5. I have see the video and the mechanics seems to be amazing. But again, why to pay €2000 for a keyboard that I use only as masterkey ?

In the next days I should go to try a Studiologic SL880 of a guy that wants to sell it... I have read that SL880 has better action than new SL-990PRO (PRO or XP share the same TP40GH keybed as the VMK-188). I am curious
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 15 years
Man, I almost bought the sl990xp last night. Instead I ended up loosing my cool and insulting the sales guy at sam ash. You see, I was passing by sam ash on my way home from dinner. The misses insisted that I just get the keyboard there, even if we have to pay state tax. I tell the guy that I want to purchase the sl990xp. I pay for the keyboard and he says that he is going to go get the keyboard. He goes running around trying to find a power adaptor. I said, I'm sure the power adaptor comes in the box. He says we don't have the box. So I told him what do you mean you don't have the box? To make the story short, they only had the floor model in stock and he was trying to sell it to me for the price of an unopened keyboard. I told him, that I wanted a discount as the keyboard is an open box item, floor model, and it has no box. He said that he could only take $20 off the price. I told him to stick it. I was pissed that he charged me for a new item without telling me that the item is a floor model. What an ass!!!
Old 14th March 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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🎧 15 years
God !! Idiot sales guy !!!
I am sorry to see that these things not only happen in Italy
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