Looking for purchase advice for synth/piano


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Hello! I'm in the market for a new keyboard. I play in indie pop/indie rock bands and am looking for something that has a wide selection of synth tones, realistic piano and organ, and plenty of effects and options to edit the patches. Weighted keys would be best! The Nord Stage is pretty much exactly what I want but its out of my price range... My budget currently is somewhere around $2000CAD (~$1600USD). Any suggestions would be awesome! Thanks :)
 

happyrat1

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Greetings Fellow Canuk!! I'm in Mississauga. Whereabouts are you at?

For Canadians on a budget I recommend visiting Kijiji and Craigslist.

An older Nord Stage, Yamaha Motif, Kurzweil PC3K, Roland Fantom or even an older Korg M3 or Kronos can be had for about half their original retail cost.

The technologies haven't all changed that much in the past 5 or 6 years and those can be had for about half their original prices.

If you insist on buying new in that price range your best bet is the Roland Juno DS88 or FA-08 these days.

Great sounds and with taxes and shipping in you'd squeeze in around about 2 grand CDN or so. The main difference between the two is the onboard sequencer depending on whether or not you needed one.

Gary ;)
 
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Greetings Fellow Canuk!! I'm in Mississauga. Whereabouts are you at?

For Canadians on a budget I recommend visiting Kijiji and Craigslist.

An older Nord Stage, Yamaha Motif, Kurzweil PC3K, Roland Fantom or even an older Korg M3 or Kronos can be had for about half their original retail cost.

The technologies haven't all changed that much in the past 5 or 6 years and those can be had for about half their original prices.

If you insist on buying new in that price range your best bet is the Roland Juno DS88 or FA-08 these days.

Great sounds and with taxes and shipping in you'd squeeze in around about 2 grand CDN or so. The main difference between the two is the onboard sequencer depending on whether or not you needed one.

Gary ;)
Hey Gary thanks for the advice!!! I managed to find a Nord Stage 88 Revision C 2008 at $2000CAD which seems like a good deal to me - I'm just unsure if the fact that its a 2008 or that its not in perfect condition would make it sketchy to buy? I'm unfamiliar to buying used instruments and am unsure of what their general lifespan is. Let me know if you have and more insight :)
 

SeaGtGruff

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Buying a used instrument will always carry a certain amount of risk, and if you're looking to buy a recent model then it's always better to buy new so it's under warranty-- but it's certainly less expensive to buy used, and it's usually the only way to buy anything that's no longer produced or still stocked in a warehouse. I've bought only one keyboard used-- a YPT-400 from 2006-- but it was at a great price and is still in great shape. Don't be afraid to buy used, just make sure to be cautious and check it out as thoroughly as you can before you hand over your money.
 

happyrat1

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Off the top of my head these are a few things I check for when buying used gear.

1) Was the unit used to gig with or was it studio or home gear? Look for nicks and dings and other blemishes that will tip you off if the roadies abused it.

2) Is every single key, switch, knob, slider, and jack fully functional and were any of them recently replaced?

3) How honest and straightforward is the seller in answering your questions? Was he the first owner or did he buy it used from someone else.

4) Asking price is never the final price unless it's an absolutely decent deal. Be prepared to walk away if anything smells fishy. There are new deals appearing on the boards on a weekly even daily basis.

5) Ultimately it comes down to trust, and good homework. Being a good horse trader comes with experience but sometimes even an expert can be fooled. This is the risk we all take and remember all sales are final. Never run crying to momma if a gem of a deal turns out to be a turd ;)

Good luck with the Nord. I wish I could give you some specifics to look for but I've never really been in the market for one.

All the best,

Gary ;)

PS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!

ALWAYS make sure you have a valid phone number for the vendor in your contact info. With some of the weird shit and ripoffs that have gone down on those boards in the past few years it pays to make certain that you know who you're dealing with. Especially when 2 Grand in cash is changing hands!!

It also doesn't hurt to bring along a strong buddy while you go to close the deal.
 

happyrat1

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BTW, if it is indeed an 8 year old Nord, ask the guy if it has an internal battery or not and whether or not it's been recently replaced.

Likewise, make sure you get all the accessories if the guy has them, including docs, disks, a case or gig bag if he's throwing it in for the price.

Then again you don't have to get them if he's specified he's selling it without, but lack of original docs is a red flag that he may not be the first owner.

You could also ask to see the original receipt but that may be a crap shoot on an 8 year old keyboard.

Gary ;)
 
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Older Nords don't have internal batteries. The sounds are written to fan EEPROM. The only thing a battery would power is a internal clock (like on a Kurz PC3 series) which older Nord's don't have.
 
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happyrat1

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Good to know Dave.

Thanks for the info.

Gary ;)
 
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You can also look into a Sound Module/Midi controller type of set up. Something like Roland Integra plus a midi controller of your choice.
 

happyrat1

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Integra 7 is a pricey unit in Canada. Even in used condition you can't find one for less than $1200 CDN. Add to that the logistics of setting up modules and the price of a decent controller like a Studiologic it's still a 2 grand affair.

Gary ;)
 
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Not if OP owns an existing keyboard/controller already. There's also a wide range of cheaper controllers available. All in all there's no wrong or right answer for this. Every case is different and every set up has its pros and cons. It all depends...Speaking of "suggestions", this is a valid option indeed. Most companies stopped making Sound Modules though, so there aren't many options available in this category for sure.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I think Roland Integra was suggested as an example, not necessarily a recommendation per se. While I have no personal experience with hardware sound modules, I occasionally see used sound modules of various brands and models for sale on Craigslist and eBay. Some are rather pricey, especially the later and more sought-after models with higher polyphony, more parts (i.e., multiple MIDI ports), etc. But others are pretty cheap.
 
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Exactly! That's why I said "Something like Roland Integra plus a midi controller of your choice". I'm sure affordable combos are available in Canada too.
 
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happyrat1

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I wasn't looking for an argument. I simply pointed out the fact that decent modules are hellaciously expensive in Canada as well and in a touring situation it's two pieces of gear to futz with instead of one.

Ease off on the hair trigger there Obi Wan. We're all trying to help each other out here. :)

Gary ;)
 

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