Next step up from a Roland Juno DS for live use? Looking for better sounds under $1000


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So I got a Juno DS61 earlier this year and I’m finding the sounds in it a little hokey live. Not sure if there’s just something I’m missing to make them sound better? But I’m wondering what else is out there in the $1000 range that has better sounds overall. …or if it’s just not worth it to try to upgrade at that price?

I need 61 keys, light weight and really only need a good piano sound, horns, organ and a few decent synths. I’m borrowing a friends Nord Electro 5D for another project and that just sounds and feels incredible. But I can’t drop that kind of money and it’s so heavy in comparison to the Juno. Thoughts?
 
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happyrat1

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Have you experimented with the onboard FX?

I just mentioned the main difference between a Casio and a MOOG is the quality of the FX in another thread

The DS actually has some decent FX and a little tweaking goes a long way to producing a great sound.

Gary. ;)
 

happyrat1

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If you’re looking at adding a synth take a look at the Sequential Take 5.

Incredible synth sounds at a budget price.

Gary;)
 
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You said your Juno DS sounds a little hokey live. What sound system are you playing through? There will be a huge difference between a USD $500 amp and a USD $20,000 house PA.
 
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So I got a Juno DS61 earlier this year and I’m finding the sounds in it a little hokey live. Not sure if there’s just something I’m missing to make them sound better? But I’m wondering what else is out there in the $1000 range that has better sounds overall. …or if it’s just not worth it to try to upgrade at that price?

I need 61 keys, light weight and really only need a good piano sound, horns, organ and a few decent synths. I’m borrowing a friends Nord Electro 5D for another project and that just sounds and feels incredible. But I can’t drop that kind of money and it’s so heavy in comparison to the Juno. Thoughts?
For the sounds you're most interested in, in the right price and weight range, I'd look at the Yamaha MX61. I'd say piano and horns are better than DS61 (though if you haven't at least checked out the horns in some of the free SRX-based expansion packs for the DS on axial, you should), I'd say organ is somewhat better (some damning with faint praise there), synth is probably comparable (though unlike the DS61, you'll need a computer-based editor if you want to do any significant synth programming).

If my focus were piano, horns, organ, and some basic synth, in a lighter-and-lower-priced board than the Nord, in order of desirability, I think I'd look at Yamaha YC61 (but at $2k, the priciest of everything I'm mentioning), Vox Continental (probably the best action of the bunch for a board where you need to play piano and organ from the same keys, but the 61 appears to be discontinued and the 73 will be pricier/heavier), Kurzweil SP6-7 (strong value here at $1299, if you can deal with 76 keys and 17.5 lbs), Numa Compact 2X (88 keys, 16.5 lbs... bargain-priced, but you'll probably want to add something like a Lester K pedal for better organ rotary/overdrive, and the synth lacks a mono mode with portamento, but that's also a limitation of the Nord you liked so maybe that's not a factor... and if it does what you need, even with the pedal, it's still under $1k). I'm not sure how all the horns compare with the Juno's, but in that category, again, the Nord isn't so hot either.

Though if you found Electro 5D "so heavy in comparison to the Juno" (17.85 vs 11.75 lbs, 61 to 61), some of those may be pushing your weight tolerance, in addition to your budget.

rather than spend money on another keyboard how about a VST's running from an IPAD or a midi module?
Well technically, neither an iPad nor sound modules run VSTs, but I know what you mean. ;-) The idea of connecting an iPad/iPhone is definitely worth considering, since it can be very cost effective if he happens to already own one. The VB3m app will get him a great organ at a bargain price, and there are numerous decent piano apps (like Ravenscroft 275), tons of synth apps, and some additional sources of horns as well.

As for a module (e.g. the Gemini), that could also be an option if he's thinking of keeping the DS61 as well (as opposed to selling it or trading it in to finance his new purchase), otherwise he'd have no keys to play it from, so that's an important variable here!

Have you experimented with the onboard FX?

I just mentioned the main difference between a Casio and a MOOG is the quality of the FX in another thread

The DS actually has some decent FX and a little tweaking goes a long way to producing a great sound.
I don't think fx manipulation can do much to improve the piano or organ on the Juno DS.

But "the main difference between a Casio and a MOOG is the quality of the FX"?? Pretty odd statement, especially considering that (as I mentioned in that other thread) Moogs generally (always?) don't even have effects... (to say nothing of a host of other big differences)
 
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happyrat1

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Ring mod, delay and reverb. Add those to a sawtooth wave or two and some envelope controls and even a crappy Casio can sound like a $2000 instrument.

Gary ;)
 
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What about a step up from the $1000 range maybe? Looking for something substantially better sound wise but I can’t drop $2700 on a Nord. Unless it’s kind of just is what it is haha I’m very aware you get what you pay for, just not knowledgeable in keyboards and didn’t know what hidden gems are out there that sound great in the capacities I’m looking for
 
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What about a step up from the $1000 range maybe? Looking for something substantially better sound wise but I can’t drop $2700 on a Nord. Unless it’s kind of just is what it is haha I’m very aware you get what you pay for, just not knowledgeable in keyboards and didn’t know what hidden gems are out there that sound great in the capacities I’m looking for
As I said in my post #7 above:

If my focus were piano, horns, organ, and some basic synth, in a lighter-and-lower-priced board than the Nord, in order of desirability, I think I'd look at Yamaha YC61 (but at $2k, the priciest of everything I'm mentioning), Vox Continental (probably the best action of the bunch for a board where you need to play piano and organ from the same keys, but the 61 appears to be discontinued and the 73 will be pricier/heavier), Kurzweil SP6-7 (strong value here at $1299, if you can deal with 76 keys and 17.5 lbs),
 
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♂️ thank you hahah the Yamaha seems like the choice if I go used! It seems slimmer than the Vox and I gotta go 61 keys strictly for space on stage. Thanks again!
 
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Being an owner of the DS 88, I’ve found organs and horns the weakest, but for the under £1,000 price range I think it’s pretty incredible.

As mentioned about, have you though about using as a midi controller through an iPad for those particular sounds? There are also sone great expansion packs you can download along with options like the Ferrofish 4000 etc.

I’ve also found that with some time spend really learning the functions to edit performances and built in effects you can can get by pretty well with it.
 

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