Purchasing Kurzweil Forte SE from Thomann online?


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Has anybody out there in the US purchased a KURZWEIL keyboard from Thommann. I was concerned about power requirements but Thomann assures me it will run on US ac power ok. How was you experience purchasing a Keyboard through Thomann. All replies are appreciated. I received this reply from a Sweetwater sales rep when i ran it by him:

"Thomann?

That is a low price, they would lose money if they
sold it to you at that price.

Are you sure it's new?

They are in Europe and are not able to sell
anything in to the US per Kurzweil's dealer
agreement, the same way we can not sell/ship
products internationally.

That is how manufactures protect their dealers
across various regions.

Kurzweil will not honor the warranty in the US
should anything happen to it, you would have
to ship it to Germany for repair.

Also, the power configuration on it would be European
so you'd need a power converter.

That is a low price, but it may not be the in your
best interest to ever buy gear internationally.

There maybe hidden costs as well, customs fees,
VAT fees, taxes. I'm not familiar with all that since
we don't do business internationally, but just mentioning
it since you brought them up.

Let me know what you decide, and I look forward to being
of service to you."
 
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happyrat1

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As a Canadian I'm often aware of "gray market" deals where items can be bought in the US for about 40% less than Canadian prices.

Likewise there's all the warnings about lack of warranty support yadda yadda but sometimes the deal is so good it's worthwhile to take the chance and worst case scenario, just eat the local repair costs if something does go wrong with it during the warranty period.

You don't mention what model Kurzweil, but my own PC3K has a switchable power supply built in to the unit which can handle 120/240V no problem just by flipping a switch and swapping out the standard three pronged computer style power cord.

Also, Kurzweil is far more popular in Europe than it is here and it's entirely possible a brand new unit is being phased out and the closeout deals, while sounding too good to be true, actually are that good.

For instance I bought my PC3K8 about 7 years ago when the CA dollar was trading at $1.10 US and got a floor demo model with full warranty for $1500 below list price.

So do your homework, but the deal may be worth it.

Even if the power supply is an external power brick on the European unit, it could easily be swapped out for an American unit at nominal cost.

And as for Kurzweil not honoring the warranty? Sweetwater may be blowing smoke there too. Lots of major bands tour the world with their gear and expect and get warranty support anywhere on the globe.

I wouldn't let FUD keep you from a great deal if you've found one.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks for your reply. The model I am interested in is the Forte SE 88. I inquired about the power compatibility and received a reply from Thomann:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email and confidense in our Products.

Kurzweil Forte SE work with 100 - 240 Volt / 250 mA.

So it will work for you.

Kind regards

Thai Nguyen, Studio - Synthesizer - Computer department
Tel: +49 9546 9223-30 | Fax: +49 9546 9223 28 | E-Mail: (e-mail address removed)
 
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I am in the EU, well until the 31st October, and have bought kit from Thomann without anissue.

Not sure how much cheaper they will be for a buyer over the Pond.
 

happyrat1

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They're right about the power supply. Just plug in a standard three pronged computer cord and you should be good to go. It seems to be an autosensing design that automatically adjusts to the line voltage but double check the manual before you plug it in just to be sure,

On my PC3K there's a switch for manually selecting voltage but mine is a much older design.



Gary ;)
 
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As far as I can see, the Forte SE is 1979 euros at Thomann, and 1695 dollars US at Sweetwater...
 
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I recently purchased my Forte SE for $1775 from a large scale music distributor (Alto) which has a store that is less than an hour from where I live. I purchased a factory repack (which is basically a brand new unopened blemish free unit). I was able to get an additional $50 dollar off because when I powered up the unit it came up with a Blue screen. What it was, was the OS was not loaded. I loaded the most recent os and its up and fully operational and has worked perfectly since I purchased it. Sweetwater does not have the units in stock and it may be doubtful that a purchaser will get one because they have to order it. It looks to me like Kurzweil is blowing out the units, I suspect that they are discontinuing it. There new Forte 4 is a big disappointment build wise. A lot of plastic and no internal power supply resulting in a wallwart for power. Apparently they did this to get a under $2000 unit to compete with the rest of the plastic junk from Roland and Korg to be competitive. I only have 3 keyboards now - KORG Triton, NORD Electro 5D and the Forte SE. I sold my Roland VR-09 which is another overpriced piece of junk. I'm sticking with the boards I have. The only other board that appeals to me is the KRONOS.
 
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There new Forte 4 is a big disappointment build wise. A lot of plastic and no internal power supply resulting in a wallwart for power. Apparently they did this to get a under $2000 unit to compete with the rest of the plastic junk from Roland and Korg to be competitive. I only have 3 keyboards now - KORG Triton, NORD Electro 5D and the Forte SE. I sold my Roland VR-09 which is another overpriced piece of junk. I'm sticking with the boards I have. The only other board that appeals to me is the KRONOS.
What are you calling plastic junk from Roland and Korg ? Perhaps Kurzweil is trying to reach a bigger audience by lowering the price and using different materials. I have a Korg Kross 2 88, Korg Krome EX 88, Korg PA700 and PA1000 and none of these boards can be qualified as junk. They're all plastic, apart from the Krome EX, which has an aluminium finish and some metal inlays on the PA1000.
Not everyone can afford, or should I say, feels the need to splash out over 3000 euros (sorry, I'm European) on a single board. I'm sure Nord has fabulous boards, but they're not for everyone, nor is a Kronos, Montage or what have you.
I happen to have owned a Roland FA-08 and a VR-730, and although I have sold them because they didn't suit my particular needs, they were far from being junk, on the contrary.

You mention the Forte 4. You mean the PC4, I assume ? How do you know it's junk ? It's not out in the shops, so unless you have had a VIP presentation of a prototype somewhere and have tested it thoroughly, you cannot call it junk.

Sorry, nothing personal, but I have a problem with people calling things 'junk' without ever having seen or touched said item, here or on any other forum.
Roland RD-2000 junk ? Korg Grandstage junk ? Kurzweil SP6 junk because it's lighter plastic instead of metal ?
Don't think so.
 
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Good grief.

For once you guys in the USA get screwed.

Looking at USA prices and found that a Korg PA4X from Sweetwater is £800 more expensive from my local small family run Music Store ( A & C Hamilton ).

Found the Kurzweil Fore SE in the UK at the equivalent of $1650.

BTW Kurzweil are not that popular over here in the UK, I hardly see any in the many Music Stores that I frequent and cannot remember seeing any on stage.
 
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My thoughts:

1. Shouldn’t be any drama buying from overseas. If you live in Australia you have to do it all the time. I bought my mixer direct from the US, zero power issues they just provided me with the correct plug.

2. Plastic does not equal poor build quality. That is the most common myth I see written in forums. Manufacturers use plastic because it is lightweight, versatile and inexpensive. I have three all-plastic keyboards that are constantly loaded in and out of gigs and rehearsals and between them have clocked up approximately 100,000km in travel. The things are built like tanks.
 
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Lighten up Gertrudes!! My comments were my personal opinion and not a comment on what anybody else thinks.
 
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Lighten up Gertrudes!! My comments were my personal opinion and not a comment on what anybody else thinks.
All good and I don’t think you’ve caused anyone to be “un-light”. But your opinion was presented as fact, with no supporting evidence.

You should respect and welcome a challenge on that basis. It’s all valuable discussion and helpful for anyone reading the thread, methinks!
 
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Lighten up Gertrudes!! My comments were my personal opinion and not a comment on what anybody else thinks.
No problem.

For me and no doubt many others qualifying an adverse comment with the reasons why would help in our understanding.

For me you can feel free to comment supportively or adversely as you wish.

I have no experience with a Roland VR 09 and you call it an overpriced piece of junk, I would have been interested to know of your owner experience with the keyboard.

Plastic Junk from Roland and Korg, well I am glad my Korg Junk is plastic since I have a very light and easily transportable keyboard in my Korg Kross 2, perish the thought of humping around a 60 lb keyboard at my advancing age, yep plastic Junk works for me.

As for plastic Junk, you made a major error there by omitting Yamaha who are the masters of cheap looking plastic keyboards, yes they may sound very good but the look and feel of the buttons leaves a lot to be desired and as for the OS, not user friendly at all and talking of user friendly Yamaha manuals are written in Japanese, translated into Mandarin, which is then translated into Urdo and that in turn into Farsi, which is translated into Latin which is then translated Gaelic and this then is translated into English by a translator whose only reference to Gaelic is The Dummies Guide to Translating Gaelic.

PS
I do not own any Yamaha keyboards.
 
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@Biggles
Lol about Yamaha...
I can vouch for the MX61, which I have owned as it really was cheap plastic, casing as well as keybed. Fantastic sounds, though, but sent it back anyway. Cannot speak for other models (my DX21 and V50 I used tot own a long time ago were certainly not junk, but that was a different era, they dont’t make them like they used to), but I cannot imagine something like a Montage, Genos or CP88 being junk...

Anyway, back on topic...
 
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@Biggles
Lol about Yamaha...
I can vouch for the MX61, which I have owned as it really was cheap plastic, casing as well as keybed. Fantastic sounds, though, but sent it back anyway. Cannot speak for other models (my DX21 and V50 I used tot own a long time ago were certainly not junk, but that was a different era, they dont’t make them like they used to), but I cannot imagine something like a Montage, Genos or CP88 being junk...

Anyway, back on topic...
Not saying that Yamahas are junk, just saying that they look junk through their choice of inferior looking plastic materials.

That said an S775 sounds junk next to a PA1000 and an S775 sounds junks next to a PA700.

A Yamaha Genos does sound good but so it should, it is £700 more than a Korg PA4X.
 
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I’m not interested in Yamaha, either, anymore. Very happy with Korg and I might consider Roland again in the future, or even Kurzweil, depends on what I’ll be looking for. Or Nord, for that matter. Although, for the price of a Stage 3 88, I’d rather stretch just a little bit further and get a Kronos...
 
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May i retort?

"But your opinion was presented as fact, with no supporting evidence. " - my opinion is based on a history of owning electronic keyboards since 1960, Hammond Porta-B/Leslie 925, UNIVOX Compac Piano, KORG Mini-korg, SS Prophet-600, Farfisa Combo-Compact, VOX Super Continental, Wurly Electronic Piano,,..and the list goes on and on and on...I think its safe to say that the build quality of keyboards back then was far superior to what some of the major vendors are producing today.

"You should respect and welcome a challenge on that basis." - Did any of my comments state that I was being disrespectful or not welcoming a challenge. I Guess by some they were interpreted that way????????

"I have no experience with a Roland VR 09 and you call it an overpriced piece of junk, I would have been interested to know of your owner experience with the keyboard." - IMO very overpriced for what you get. In the USA $1000. Sounds are passable - some good some not so good, don't like the Hammond simulation when compared to some other boards and opinion is based on having played real Hammonds for years, for $1000 should have come with a weighted action. A fair worthwhile price IMO would be 6 or 700. I owned the earlier VR-760, great board, great action, built like a tank.

"Plastic Junk from Roland and Korg, well I am glad my Korg Junk is plastic since I have a very light and easily transportable keyboard in my Korg Kross 2, perish the thought of humping around a 60 lb keyboard at my advancing age, yep plastic Junk works for me." - I personally prefer a heavy board since it factors into the wobble and movement stability on the keyboard stand. Fortunately, If I need help transporting, the guys in the band are happy to help.

"As for plastic Junk, you made a major error there by omitting Yamaha...etc" - love the early yamaha boards...DX7, etc.

formercakid OUT..................With Respect!!
 

happyrat1

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Gentlemen!

May I suggest we settle this over a beer?

It's too fargin HOT for an argument anyway.

Let's just say modern tech and vintage tech both have their merits and leave it at that.

And lemons have been produced in every generation of keyboard and shall proudly be produced again and again until the moon falls from the sky and the sun grows cold :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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formercakid OUT..................With Respect!!
All good brother. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the value and durability of modern keyboards. Didn’t mean to fire you up, just couldn’t and don’t agree with your assertions - nothing personal in it, I’m sure you’re a lovely fellow.

Really the main point I wanted to make is that you’ll be fine buying direct from overseas if you do your homework. Which was what you asked.

Go well!
 
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