"It was the sound"

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Vasters

Do you have an opinion about Kurzweil strategic moves? I mean , introducing "plastic keyboards" like KP Pratbel arrangers that sound like toys?
I used to be proud owner of Kurzweil PC 361. I believed in the moto "It's the sound"
I don't understand this new strategy - instead of building even better keyboards to compete with Clavia Nord, they are entering 400$ market.

For me Kurzweil "It was the sound"
 
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happyrat1

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The Forte and the SP6 are the current "sounds" of Kurzweil that compete with the Nords and Montages and Kronos.

And there's scuttlebutt on the forums about something new coming out in the PC3 line...

Personally my PC3K8 is almost ten years old now and still holding up strong.

I'm still happy to own it.

And keep an eye out for NAMM 2019 in a couple of weeks to see what the latest ear candy is being brought out by all the synth makers.

There's a thread or two currently on Mastering VAST Forums about the future relevancy of Kurzweil products. I'll say here what I said there. Kurzweil goes far above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to supporting their legacy hardware and their users.

Buy the latest whiz bang from Korg or Yamaha and two years later they don't wanna know you. :p

If you still owned that PC3 today you would still find active users and Kurzweil reps giving aftermarket support and even advice on DIY hardware repairs and mods.

Yamaha robots have only one answer. "Ship it back to them at your expense and we'll fix it for a price." :p

So Kurzweil is playing around with arrangers. So what? Plastics these days are lighter than steel and just as strong if properly designed. Kurzweil always offered home style faux furniture pianos for home users since day one and it never cut into their pro gear business.

Really man. If the Forte is not pro enough for you then just what is?

Gary ;)
 
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OK Guys, let me rephrase my statement:

1) Forte and PC3 A, are perfectly OK. It is strange for “high end manufacturer”, like Kurzweil, whose motto is “it’s the sound” to tap the “low end market”!

2) Sounds of Kurzweil's arrangers KP are simply not what are we used to hear from Kurzweil

3) “Plastic casing” is perfectly OK .I have some plastic keyboards ( CAsio WK 7500. Yamaha MM6) and I enjoy playing them.
“Plastic sounds” are not OK, especially not for Kurzweil


P.S. I’m proud user of PC 361 bought in 2011.


Regards

Mayo
 

happyrat1

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It may seem strange to you but it makes perfect business sense.

For every $5000 Montage or Kronos that Yamaha or Korg sells they sell hundreds if not thousands of low end PSRs and PA Whatevers.

$5000 workstations are nifty beasts to be sure, but it's the bread and butter consumer sales that drive the industry.

Those guys are lucky to sell 10,000 or so of the high end models but it's the multiplier of ten or a hundred or more times sales of the consumer junk that pays for the R&D on the pro gear.

Like I said in my first post, Kurzweil is no stranger to the home market having produced mediocre electronic pianos in furniture style cabinetry for the home market for as long as they've been in business.

The portable arranger market is yet another stream of revenue they wish to pursue and I wish them all the luck that Casio and Yamaha and Korg and Roland have had with them.

Ultimately what's your problem with this? Does it affect your puritan sensibilities that Kurzweil would dare "lower" itself to produce a mass market keyboard?

If so, you need to get off of your high horse.

Even the pope himself needs to pay the electric bill to keep the lights on in the Vatican. :p

Actually this leads me to wonder when, if ever, Nord will get down off of its pedestal and start producing budget priced consumer boards as well :D :D :D

Welcome to Capitalism 101... :D

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Simply to illustrate the point, I'd like to mention that keyboards are not radios or TVs. It takes training and talent to play a keyboard. All it takes to play a radio is fingers, ears and a place to plant your ass.

Realistically maybe 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 play any instrument well enough to want to own one.

Of that number, perhaps 1 in 1000 take up piano or organ or accordion.

Everyone else either plays bass or drums or the ever nauseating guitar.

Some play wind instruments or classical violin or other oddball instruments like the harp.

So when your total potential market is 1 in 1000 adults and young adults out of whom perhaps 1 in another 1000 play professionally, just how many professional instruments do you hope to sell in a market place with thousands of models and brands to compete with?

They're lucky if they sell one montage or kronos or forte per million people in a population and it's not likely any of those will break down and buy all three at once.

It's a business that lives and dies by the numbers and the numbers are grim once you face the facts.

This is why Kurzweil barely survived bankruptcy a couple of times in it's history.

Gary ;)
 
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I went into one of the Music Stores in my City the other day, they sell sheet music and accessories in addition to mid range keyboards in the main ground floor showroom.

Also there are acoustic guitars, banjos and Ukes of low to mid price range but not an amp in sight.

Go upstairs and it changes, plenty of sheet music and instrument specific books plus wind instruments galore.

Lowest price Sax is an eyewatering £4500, which nobody who is considering taking up playing will even handle due to its cost.

Take a look at the low end of the market and for £100 a keyboard newbie can buy an Arranger and can get playing along very quickly, they have zero chance of sounding good on any wind instrument.

Yamaha has something like 12 different starter keyboards and once captured into the world of Yamaha then where are they going to look at first for their next keyboard?

Roland with their Go range, Korg with their EK50 and the KP are there simply to get newbies into the brand so that the next keyboard will be an upgrade by the same manufacturer.

You may not like it but without the newbies buying the market share is of the above manufacturers is not going to be sufficient to maintain product debelopment.
 
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OK guys

I'll put in calendar 09/01/2023.

We'll see if

a) Kurzweil is still on the market, and /or b) Nord is still on the market!

One is obviously playing wrong!

cheers
 

SeaGtGruff

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I didn't immediately pick up on the reference to Kurzweil's KP series, otherwise I would have chimed in sooner.

On the PSR Tutorial Forum someone made the claim that the Kurzweil KP110, Medeli M361, and Roland E-X20 are all the same keyboard which is being marketed under different brand names.

I was understandably skeptical of his claim, so I went searching for product photographs and user manuals.

I found that these keyboards are definitely remarkably similar to each other in appearance and features, even down to the information on their LCD screen displays and in their user manuals.

I can't say whether they're identical. Perhaps they're based upon the same keyboard which is then given a unique addition or two as part of being marketed under multiple brand names? For example, the Kurzweil KP110 includes Kurzweil's "Triple Strike Piano" sound from their PC3 series, and presumably the Medeli M361 and Roland E-X20 don't have that specific sound.

I don't know. But I think there's an interesting story there waiting to be discovered for anyone who wants to do some in-depth research and investigation.

http://kurzweil.com/product/kp110/

https://www.medeli.com.hk/m361

http://my.roland.com/products/e-x20/specifications/
 

happyrat1

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a) Kurzweil is still on the market, and /or b) Nord is still on the market!

cheers
Kurzweil is currently owned by Young Chang Musical Instruments in South Korea.

Nord is Owned by Clavia Digital Musical Instruments based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kurzweil has recently shifted its production to China for cheaper labor costs.

Nords are still built by hand in a single factory in Stockholm.

Much as Moog still builds them in the USA.

Both rely on their reputation to carry their marketing and very little else.

Since Clavia is not listed as a public company it is impossible to find production numbers or capitalization market value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavia

Young Chang is a massive conglomerate with more than 2000 employees and one of the world's largest manufacturers of concert pianos.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Chang

Which one do you think is a major player in the music industry and which one do you think latched onto a niche market and has no interest or ability in expanding?

Sweden!!! The country that gave us junk DIY furniture that falls apart the first time you move :p

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Michael. Interesting catch on the similarities of those arrangers. It's really not all that uncommon for large companies to shop from contracted suppliers and simply rebadge the merchandise with their own logos.

Then again, if Roland thought it was good enough to add to their lineup I see no problem with Kurzweil doing the same. :)

Gary ;)
 
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Michael. Interesting catch on the similarities of those arrangers. It's really not all that uncommon for large companies to shop from contracted suppliers and simply rebadge the merchandise with their own logos.
Yes very interesting indeed.

Not related to keyboards but to illustrate your point Gary here in Australia Toyota and General Motors entered into a similar arrangement a few years back, with one particular model of family sedan being something of a collaborative effort. Apart from the badge, the two vehicles were identical for all intents and purposes.
 

happyrat1

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Yep. The auto industry has been doing it for decades. Chrysler and Mitsubishi. Ford and Mazda. GM and Toyota.

This sort of rebadging goes back at least to the early 70's in my memory with the Dodge Colt and the Plymouth Cricket both made by Mitsubishi and sold by Chrysler.

In a global market these sorts of partnerships are essential to remain competitive.

To be perfectly frank about it, Kurzweils have not been all that popular in North America for over a decade, selling instead more in Europe and Latin America.

This ever since a fatal flaw with the PC2 line involved key weights coming loose inside the keyboards more than a decade ago.

The bug was rectified in later models, but the North American market never really recovered after that.

For the past decade or two the main buyers of Kurzweil products in North America have been musical theater artists who appreciate the orchestral sounds and the ability to import their old K2000 sounds.

One thing about Kurzweil is that they have always striven to maintain backward compatibility with their older models as much as they have been able to do so.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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Yes, I was thinking about cars as well. :)

I can't take credit for this "catch," as someone at the PSR Tutorial Forum first made me aware of it.

It's interesting that the Roland E-X20 seems to be marketed exclusively in Indonesia and Malaysia-- at least, those are the only two Roland websites that seem to carry any information about it (but I didn't search every localized site; those are just the two that came up when I searched the web for "Roland E-X20").
 
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Which keyboard company is the number 1 seller of keyboards?




Casio ........

P.S. Kurz will still be around in 2023.
 
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Casio.

That is sort of a surprize, since my money would have gone on Yamaha being the most dominant in the global market.

Take their beginner keyboards, there are a least 12 different models to choose from so capture them young and they will look to upgrade within brand later.

The sad thing is that global sales are not what they were in the last twenty years the statistics that I looked at show piano and keyboard sales volumes to be half what they were.

Yes, there are lies, damn lies and statistics but even with a pinch of salt just take a look at the music industry.

Here in the UK its manufactured Pop, with a sucession of Boy and Girl bands and solo singers who do not play, Ed Sheeran is unique in the industry. Manufactured pop and computer based sampling do not bode well for the long term live music industry since there seems to be less and less of the young learning to play. Our Grandaughters junior school started up Clarinet classes, clarinet how stupid was that, trying to make any sound out of a reed instrument is hard enough and it lasted three months. We cannot schools start them off on keys, strings and recorders?

It may well be us golden oldies who become the lifeblood of instrument sales, once retired time becomes suddenly available to try something new so many start up learning to play an instrument or expanding by learning a new instrument. Now where is my Uke????
 
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