Don't know which keyboard to buy...


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Hello everyone. I'm a piano student and I also play the organ for my church. So sometimes/commonly I do music performances in my school using my keyboard. I own a Casio CTK 800 which aint that good for performances, but good for beginners. This Casio keyboard has very weak voices which the voices of this keyboard (strings, organ, piano) does not sound good at all, and totally not suitable for performances, it does not even have bass chord. I was using it for 13 years (since i was 3. So I have decided to buy a YAMAHA/ROLAND/KORG/Any Good keyboard/synthesizer/arranger workstation. The thing is there are too many models with different features,
I want a keyboard that is very suitable to be used for music performances with rich sound voices.
The requirements for the keyboard I want:
  1. YAMAHA/ROLAND/KORG Branded (or any good keyboard brand)
  2. 88 key keyboard/synthesizer/arranger workstation
  3. Alot of instruments/voices (around 1000) with rich voices and sound quality that is really made for performances
  4. Has Bass Chord (play bass at the left hand, commonly known as ABC) with different type of bass voices (contra bass, organ bass, elec. bass, etc)
  5. A lot of voice options/buttons
  6. Around 1000 USD
  7. Professional
I need it urgently because Im gonna have a performance soon. Hopefully you guys help me list down a number of keyboards reaching these requirements. Thanks In Advance!
 
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Welcome.

Quite a task you have there.

Arrangers, these fail on your 88 keys criteria the nearest quality one has 76 but that blows the budget 3x.

A workstation/synth is what you seek but your budget limits the numbers.

Bass chord, well with any keyboard it is or rather should be possible to easily split the keybed to have one or more instrument voices above the split and one or more below the split. I have Korg Kross 2 where a single instrument or group of instruments are sounded over the whole keybed (these instruments are called Programs) and if I press the Combi button the instrument Programs sounding only then function above the split, with a Bass sounding below the split.

Roland operate in a similar manner, now this is where I state that I am not a Yamaha fan at all, in fact I have just been to my local music store where I have played a Roland Juno DS, a Korg Kronos and a Yamaha Modx which I found very bad at navigating and the sound quality was better by far with the other keyboards that I have just played.

So I would suggest that you undertake further research and watch not just the Review Videos but the Tutorial Videos that you will find on the Youtube Channels of Roland and Korg.

Models on possible shortlist:-
Roland Juno DS 88 $1000
Korg Kross 2 88 $1080

The models below blow your budget but will give you an idea of what else is available
Korg Krome 88 $1650
Yamaha MODX 88 $1900
Roland FA 08 $1800

Prices from Sweetwater website.

Finally if you could manage with 61 keys and would prefer an Arranger then take a look at the Korg PA700, it has a built in 25W amp/speakers and 1700 instrument voices, and 350 different types of Styles, it fully expandable and best of all I have one and love it. Check out the Korg channel on Youtube for their Video Manual series which will show you each of the main features via a series of short videos.
 
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Bass chord, well with any keyboard it is or rather should be possible to easily split the keybed to have one or more instrument voices above the split and one or more below the split.
I had to google to find out what Bass Chord or ABC was... it's a Yamaha term for "single finger accompaniment." That may narrow things a bit...

This Casio keyboard has very weak voices which the voices of this keyboard (strings, organ, piano) does not sound good at all, and totally not suitable for performances, it does not even have bass chord.
...
The requirements for the keyboard I want:
  1. YAMAHA/ROLAND/KORG Branded (or any good keyboard brand)
  2. 88 key keyboard/synthesizer/arranger workstation
  3. Alot of instruments/voices (around 1000) with rich voices and sound quality that is really made for performances
  4. Has Bass Chord (play bass at the left hand, commonly known as ABC) with different type of bass voices (contra bass, organ bass, elec. bass, etc)
  5. A lot of voice options/buttons
  6. Around 1000 USD
  7. Professional
For best quality piano+organ+strings in an 88-key board near $1,000 I'd probably go with the Kurzweil SP6. It has arpeggiators, I don't know if that's close enough to ABC for you (I don't use those kinds of features). Note that you'll also have to budget for an amp if you don't have one, since unlike your Casio, there are no built-in speakers.

For more of an auto-accompaniment approach, I'd look at the Casio PX560 (or PX360) but it won't have the piano/organ/strings quality of the Kurzweil (though they may still be "good enough" and it can be somewhat subjective too). Yamaha DGX660 could be a possibility here too, but it's on the heavy side for something it sounds like you'd be looking to move around, and lacks some more "professional" features like 5-pin MIDI jacks or 1/4" outputs.

The Juno DS and Kross 2 mentioned above are nice boards, but I don't think they're as strong for piano/organ as the Kurz, nor as suited for auto-accompaniment as the Yamaha or Casio. As mentioned, there are more choices if you are willing to go for less than 88 keys, or if you increase budget, but within the parameters given, I think this is your list.
 
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Hello, thank you very much for your reply. I respect your decency and hardwork on finding the right models for me. Ill review staight away the keyboards you listed above. If i enjoy the keyboard I buy one day, that would be because of you, thank you. If i need to know a few things/questions, ill reply back in this forum
 
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Hi, go have a look at he new Casio CDP-S350. It has 88 keys, is very light-weight, has the new AiX sound engine of the CT-X line, 700 very realistic sounds, 200 rhythms, an arpegiattor, like almost all Casio keyboards it understand On-Bass chords or you can even use the full-range mode were you play the piano “normally” with both hands and the keyboard will recognise the harmony of the song you’re playing. You can split and layer the keyboard. It can also accommodate an optional three-pedals pedal stand. Costs about 600 USD.

 
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I didn't know this one was shipping yet. It could be a possibility, though not as "professional" a board as the PX360/PX560 (no 1/4" outputs, no standard DIN MIDI connectors), and I believe a lesser piano sound, and lower polyphony (though polyphony is usually not as big an issue as some think it is). A higher end version, the PX-S3000, is expected to ship in April, I believe.
 
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Hi, beware that unfortunately, the PX-S3000 will not upload external rhythms so if you need to upload a custom rhythm you made for a specific song you can’t do that on the PX-S3000.
You might want to give a look at the older but more professional and fully editable Privia PX-560. I think it has all the features you’re looking for and then some. There is also the cheaper version PX-360.
 

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