Bottom Board replacement for gigging (76 or 88 key) cheap used - controller

Discussion in 'Keyboard Purchase Recommendations' started by mark urquhart, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. mark urquhart

    mark urquhart

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    My SP-88 finally quit and looking for replacement. I just used the SP-88 for key controller using sounds from my PC361 upper board. Play in rock cover band and also like B3/piano/EP jazz/blues work. My SP88 likes were semi-weighted square keys for either organ or piano and moderate unit weight for 88 metal casing. Trying to get cheap and biggest bang for buck used/cheap with budget limit of about $500 from what I have seen. Even though basic need is just piano controller I have ruled out new cheap $250 SP's over durability.

    Tough for me to guess on action for brands I have not played. The feel is important to me and I don't want fully weighted but at least semi-weighted (liked SP88 for that) - I saw some old SP88 but want to get something not quite as old. I don't mind shopping different brands to also expand sound palate over Kurz (although Kurz would be good “backup during gig) but nervous about getting too heavy a touch. That is probably what lead me initially to some used Kurz SP and Pc models.

    Looking for advice on used Kurz or other brands. So far inquired on SP4-7 for $479 at GC and saw SP88s there for $299 to $399. Ebay tracking PC3LE7 at $222 + SH but who knows where that will end up in 2 days. Liked the low weight of SP4-7 [24 lbs] and could load my PC361 sounds but that unit had damage issues. Not crazy about unit weight of PC3 LE7 [38 lbs] but doable (would hope to get 88 out of that weight - my SP was only 30 lbs).

    Are there any other used rigs that are semi-weighted or similar playing boards that might work well as a midi controller with my PC361 and also as a backup if the PC361 decided to die during a gig (my cover setups now include mix of organ/piano/sax/horns/EP/synth)? I have played Yamaha and Casio DP at Guitar Center and did not like the feel for organ work and even felt the Casio was too heavy for my piano rock blues work (must be too used to SP88 LOL).

    Any thoughts on older models that compare to what I am looking at are appreciated – even thoughts on the Kurz models (that PC3LE7 only has 2 more days on EBAY). I have to admit that I might miss 88 but need to consider 76 given I don’t want a board that weighs over 40 on limited budget (I already have a couple of other 61s I can use in interim)
     
    mark urquhart, Apr 14, 2018
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  2. mark urquhart

    CowboyNQ

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    I used to own one of these. I really liked the action. It was a semi-weighted Medeli - both organ and piano were very playable on it. As you said, it's nice and light too.
     
    CowboyNQ, Apr 15, 2018
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  3. mark urquhart

    mark urquhart

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    Yes - comparing the SP4-7 and PC3 LE7 I like the unit weight of the SP4 a lot. I am thinking that the action of both would be similar as both SW but not sure if Medeli SP4 is much different than PC3LE7 (Fatar Vs Medeli or same?).

    The bidding closes soon on PC3-7LE and I am Thinking might be worth the extra unit weight if I can get it for good price rather than seeing about another SP4. From my crash research it appears that the PC3LE would have better sound processor capability and load my PC361 setups more easily (possibily more sound drop-off with SP4?), also better real time controls for gigs. Hmm. and it might even have some built drum loops that my PC361 does not have ?? (fun for jamming with my son on bass when he visits rather than dragging out my old casio for that)
     
    mark urquhart, Apr 15, 2018
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  4. mark urquhart

    CowboyNQ

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    The PC3LE7 has a lot more bells and whistles than the SP4-7 so if all other things were equal, I'd probably go for the former.

    I've never used the PC3LE7 so can't comment on its action. However if you Google Fatar TP/8 you can no doubt get some opinions on it. Fatar actions are generally well regarded.
     
    CowboyNQ, Apr 16, 2018
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  5. mark urquhart

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Be warned the PC3LE line has the worst reputation of any Kurzweil ever produced.

    They suffer from the "blinking lights of death" where MANY units start flashing lights on powerup and lock up permanently requiring being sent to the factory for repair.

    http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2608294/Kurzweil_pc3_le7_Died

    http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2693417/Re_Kurzweil_PC3LE7_shut_down_l

    http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2607106/Kurzweil_pc3le7_kept_crashing_

    Kurzweil claims to have fixed the problem but I'm still seeing reports on Kurzweil forums of this problem recurring with new units.

    For a lightweight semi weighted board the SP4-7 is probably a much safer and cheaper bet.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Apr 16, 2018
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  6. mark urquhart

    mark urquhart

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    I had busy day researching board and following that PC3LE7 on ebay, and buying it. I did not see last post about about problems with LE line until after that (did find one thread tho) so I hope it works out. The SP4 seems to have better opinions on Keybed for piano so I hope LE7 is at least pretty good in that dept. I ended up paying $460 + $60 S&H and seller (consignment) with "top h rated plus" emailed if it does not work he will prepay return shipping and full refund. - seemed like a good price so I went with it.. Seeing above on gremlins I might opt for the square trade warranty avail for about $60?? I must also say that my PC361 has had a pitch bend issue [out of tune] that was warranted and went bad again after that so I just disabled in software (did not want to send away while gigging).... So I am a bit leery of Kurz reliability issues and need to fix that somehow myself.

    Even though I started with idea for looking maybe another brand for variance in sounds I was nervous about playability on small budget (since mainly controller) and went with Kurz because I figured solid in that dept - and as controller playing my PC361 setups it serves as a great backup. I think I can load my setups into the LE, maybe with some mods if different programs are referenced in LE (program list looked similar). There was a lot of griping about lack of programability with LE but OS updates appear to have solved much of that... AND I am so rudimentary at programming ---So we shall see.. maybe some interesting use of control knobs between the 2 midi'ed (KB3 reverb on fly?)

    Thanks much for the feedback above....
     
    mark urquhart, Apr 17, 2018
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  7. mark urquhart

    CowboyNQ

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    Good luck and enjoy your new purchase!
     
    CowboyNQ, Apr 17, 2018
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  8. mark urquhart

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    $520 shipped and taxed is a great price for the unit.

    By all means, DO opt for the extended warranty for as many years as you can get it.

    Even so, at that price you could easily afford to have it repaired and still have a pretty good deal in your hands.

    I feel, however, for the people who spent $1500 on a new unit and discovered the bug the hard way.

    At least you know what the bug is and if you google it there is a hardware fix for it involving the replacement of a capacitor in the power supply.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Apr 17, 2018
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  9. mark urquhart

    mark urquhart

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    GOT A BAD ONE-

    Well Gary/Happyrat1 ---you were right on as I received the unit packed well in gig bag and bubble wrap and tried to start it 4 times and received flashing lights and rebooting loop. I felt rather betrayed as EBAY store seller had good rating but did claim he could not test thoroughly but unit appeared to boot for him.

    Huge disappointment as the more I thought about it PC3LE7 would have been great lower board with my PC361 to give some redundancy as backup. I decided no way I was going to jerk around with getting repaired as I did not trust it in general and probably need to strike the LE series off my list. That problem may be more common than one would expect. I have been through the send away for warranty repair dance before (pitch bend wheel/tuning issue) that [put me out of instrument for almost couple months and repair only lasted a few months].

    My gut feel is that even though EBAY seller was quick to refund and filed a "damage claim" with Fedex given it was packed to well and outwardly great looking that he did not test properly and maybe the consignor knew there was an issue... who knows-- I did not want to deal with the issue.. and unknowns

    After doing research on that LE comping to PC361 and others I did come away with new respect for my existing PC361 capabilities and sounds that I have not even tapped. Has me wanting to research fixing pitch bend wheel on my own (after old warranty fix did not work) --- given software programming disabling pitch bend wheel workaround I have used is not perfect if I hit the wrong setup number in hurry during a dark gig like I did recently and the tuning sounds like a crazy oscilioscope when the rest of the band is charging away with rebel yell....

    PS- Man - I am snake bit --- as I had important gig coming up so I found a cheap ($299) SP88 at GC colorado and figured worth it just for piano keys controller as I used my old one -- when that arrived they had barely bubble wrapped it and one end in box had end cap smashed - did not even pull out and another return... Still looking and using my old XP-30 61 key Roland for now...Geez..
     
    mark urquhart, May 2, 2018
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  10. mark urquhart

    CowboyNQ

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    So disappointing to hear.
     
    CowboyNQ, May 2, 2018
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  11. mark urquhart

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Sorry to hear it man. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that the seller is scamming the insurance company too.

    Replacing a pitch wheel on a PC361 is not all that difficult.

    You can buy an assembly from one of these guys.

    https://www.instrumentalparts.com/kurzweil-parts.html

    https://syntaur.com/kurzweil_pc.html

    http://www.fullcompass.com/brand/KUR.html?page=1&query=&categoryOrder=Bestselling&view=&ipp=24


    There's a service manual for the PC3X here

    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1114872/Kurzweil-Pc3x.html

    And there's a few youtubes showing how to disassemble and reassemble the PC3 line of keyboards as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kurzweil+pc361+repair

    Good luck with your gig.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, May 2, 2018
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  12. mark urquhart

    mark urquhart

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    Thanks for links Gary. I already have found the manual and have opened the unit once to clean connector contacts (solved slow boot issues - per recommendation of Delaware Dave) and more recently removed end plate and unscrewed the pitch Mod assembly to view how easy it will be to replace.

    Do you have any idea if I could just disconnect the pitch bend connector (keeping good functioning mod wheel in-place) to see if that would solve the problem or would that cause boot/check problems or other problems (my SP 88 midi's to PC 361 with bad wheel used to pitch bend fine without causing the tuning issue with PC361)
     
    mark urquhart, May 3, 2018
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  13. mark urquhart

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    You should be able to disable the pitch wheel globally in the MASTER settings menus.

    It probably would screw up the POST at bootup and keep it from booting if you removed it outright from the circuit.

    I think if you need more detailed advice you should visit these two forums where all the Kurz geeks hang out

    http://forums.godlike.com.au/

    http://www.ksetlist.com/

    Factory reps hang out there and lots of people who've dealt with the problems you're having now.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, May 3, 2018
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