A Question For All The Arranger Experts Out There???


happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
4,329
Location
GTA, Canada
Everytime anyone comes here looking for an arranger the same recommendations come up over and over.

Korg and Yamaha are good and apparently Roland makes crappy arrangers and Casio rarely even gets an honorable mention.

I may be wrong but what about Ketron Arrangers? What about Orla?

They may not be common in North America and the UK but shouldn't they at least be tested by someone before they dismiss them outright?

Has anyone test driven any of these units?










Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
2,223
Location
Lancashire, UK.
Gary
Yamaha make about 12 starter Arrangers and they have various designators up to the E series with the top of that range being the 463. Next they have the S models and newer SX. With the Genos being the top of their Arranger range at a cost way above that of a Roland Fantom.

Casio have a good range of starter arrangers headed up by the X5000.

Korg has zero arrangers in the low cost end, their entry model is the EK50. Then they have the older PA models before their real entry model in the PA700.

Roland have their EA models, none of which I have ever seen yet alone played. Over here they are available but not widely and they do get good reviews but not so good support. With Korg and Yamaha there are a lot off free or low cost add ons available plus Korg have their free Webinar tutorials every month where they use their Arrangers. What are Roland’s entry level keyboards? Check out tge Roland Go Keys and Go Piano, you will probably then find that a Casiotone is way cheaper and more likely to be a first buy by parents for their kid.

Yamaha have the beginner market sewed up, it is the way it is and those who start off with an E series are more likely to move on to another Yamaha despite the dire menu systems accessible only by button push after button push.

Ketron and Orla! well I would bet that if someone go into a Music Store anywhere in the world and there will be low end Yamaha’s available that will undercut Ketron and Orla.

The Ketron Audya does have the look about it of a Yamaha from 15 years ago but it is hard to suggest a model that has very limited market penetration, unknown pedigree and even more unknown support.

At the end of the day up from a beginner Arranger there are only the models I quoted in another thread as viable all in one Arranger keyboards.
 
Last edited:

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
4,329
Location
GTA, Canada
Cheaper prices are NOT always better.

Besides which I am seeing a lot of suggestions of Montage and PA series.

If people are shopping in those price ranges they should at least be informed that Ketron fits in their budgets as an option.

Gary
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
2,223
Location
Lancashire, UK.
The Ketron is an expensive keyboard being between the cost of a Korg PA4X and a Yamaha Genos.

Other models are available at c£2000.

I have never seen one in a music store nor heard one.

Yes, any potential buyer does need to be made aware of their existence.

I wonder if anyone on the forum has hands on experience of them.

Ketron do have a UK base, but no outlets as such other than their own which is 150 miles away from where I live.

Is anyone aware of any Ketron dealerships in their Country?

Similar re Orla, fantastic kit but highly specialised and the unit you quote dates back 12 years when they were pretty expensive and they did not catch on.

I go into Rimmers Music 15 minutes away and they have Yamaha, Korg and Casio Arrangers. Plenty of acoustic pianos, plenty of workstations and DP’s but no other make. Same thing with PMT who are massive in the UK, but only Korg, Roland and Yamaha Arrangers.

Moving over the English Channel and into Germany, Thomann who are the biggest Music Store in Europe go with the same big three.

Hence is there really any point in quoting a manufacturer with no or limited presence?
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
4,329
Location
GTA, Canada
My point is that these manufacturers offer modules as well as keyboard arrangers.

These are characteristics that some shoppers might find highly attractive.

These should at least be mentioned when spouting the usual stream of Yamaha PSR and Korg PA.

Ketron does make some affordable modules btw with some apparently brilliant tech.

Apparently the second video I posted is of a module that can even function with an electric guitar instead of a keyboard.

Face it. It's a module that sells in Canada for only about $1200CAD. It's cheaper than Juno DS 88.

And who needs to physically test drive a module? Reviews, manuals and specs pretty much give the whole picture. If there's no keyboard to test then what sort of "hands on" reviews are people looking for?

How many people dropped the same money on a crappy Yamaha SX-XXX when by the looks of it, a Ketron can play rings around them?

You don't need to fondle a module with your greasy fingers in a store to get one either. Ketron seems to have authorised dealers in most of the world. Action is probably Fatar on most of their keyboards anyway, so you can judge feel by comparing to a different board using a similar or identical keybed. And with a module there is simply no keyboard to test...

Honestly, half the time I feel like Mike is a Yamaha salesman, and you are a Korg salesman in those threads. I thought Keyboard forums was supposed to be brand agnostic.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
4,329
Location
GTA, Canada
My interest in arrangers is growing and I just made an offer to a local guy who's selling off a used Roland BK-7M. If I can get it for around $550 CDN I would be interested to add it to my arsenal.

That's as much as I would be willing to spend on a 10 year old piece of hardware.

Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
3,544
Reaction score
2,223
Location
Lancashire, UK.
I do not know what it is like in other countries but Arrangers do broadly fall into two categories.

1 - cheap Casio and Yamaha’s that parents buy for their fickle kids who want to learn an instrument.

2 - retired folk who want an all in one instrument which an Arranger does vastly better than any workstation.

When I talked with the Sales guy in my favourite Music Store I asked about how the new Yamaha’s were going, his response was very quickly. In particular the £3000+ Yamaha Genos was being bought by long time retired folk.

So yes a module may be a good product but so far they have not caught on in terms of popularity and certainly adding a box and the connection pitfalls that may very well ensue would put off the vast majority of arranger players.

To each their own and good luck if you follow up on the BK.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
4,329
Location
GTA, Canada
Well the guy rejected my offer but I offered him a fair price given that as of this march it is ten year old technology and originally sold for $899 CDN.

Maybe he'll change his mind in a few days.

You're correct in that it was not a very popular option when it came out but the SD40 and the MidJay from Ketron are hella expensive and if I want to get my feet wet with arrangers, a used BK unit is probably my best option.

Besides, once I hook it up to the Juno I'll have the best of two worlds. Arranger and Workstation all in one.

Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
143
Reaction score
64
Location
phoenix
I hear what you are saying about how everyone gravitates towards the more familiar brands and that obviously stands to reason. At the end of the day, it is all about product marketing and customer confidence.

I have made many mistakes or maybe I should say blunders and uneducated decisions when buying arrangers and keyboards in general but I have found out what I like through making those mistakes.


I had the Yamaha Genos and Montage both incredible boards but something was just missing for me.. more with the Montage than the Genos. Yamaha is great for professional production but most of the sounds are very bright and "sterile" sounding.

It's a shame but we don't all have the ability to go to a music store where we can try all these different brands out and we rely on Youtuber suggestions which is not always the best way to go lol

I have my Kawai MP11se and I am going to take my time and rebuild my rig from there!

As far as an arranger goes I am looking at the KORG PA4X and maybe a Nautalis. As you said in your OP Gary, Ketron is maybe something worth looking at too!! it's all fun and game!

:)

Chris
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top