Yamaha PSR-EW410 or Casio WK-7600 ?


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I’d like to rekindle an old flame of mine, namely music. A long, long time ago, I went to the local music academy (Belgium) for four years, and learned how to play the piano.
Used to own an acoustic Yamaha piano, and two synths, a Yamaha DX21 and a Yamaha V50 (told you it was a long time ago ;) ). However, for some reason, at one point in time, I lost interest in playing music and ended up selling everything.

I used to play everything, from classic on the piano, to Hammond organ style pieces and more modern music on the synths. I’m 48 years old now, and I recently stumbled upon some footage of people playing keyboards while I was watching some youtube over the past few weeks. And it brought everything back.

So I’ve decided to buy a new keyboard and see how rusty I really have become :eek:
I’ve been looking at some models from Yamaha and Casio, and because I don’t want to spend too much money straight away, I’ve more or less narrowed it down to two affordable models.

One is the Casio WK-7600 :
the other is the Yamaha PSR-EW410

They’re both the so-called flagship models in the ‘portable keyboard’ range, so they should be equally matched. Plus they both feature 76 keys, which is what I prefer over a 61 key model.
I’ve always used Yamaha and been very happy with every instrument I’ve owned. However, I’ve heard, read and watched some very positive comments on the Casio WK-7600 (like the organ registers). But I’m drawn to the Yamaha as well, probably because there’s this little voice in my head that my much loved brand might just offer the better quality.
On the other hand, some reviews state that Casio offers the same quality as Yamaha, but at a lower price point. One negative about the WK-7600 is that some people have had issues with loud key clunking, while others didn’t have the problem.
And of course, the Yamaha came out last year, while the Casio has been around since 2014,s so there might be an update in the works for the WK-7600. Last but not least, it seems there's a larger community offering better advice and support on the Yamaha side. True or not ?

Also, I would like to be able to throw my iPad Pro into the equation and use Garageband (I also have a Macbook Pro but I'd prefer using the iPad as it's even more portable).

In short, any advice ?
 
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Welcome.

The Casio range now has the X series so please check them out.

The Yamaha E series are aimed at the beginner/improver market segment with the S series probably being more in your skill range after a little practice on your part.

Whilst it is a fair but more expensive check out the Roland Juno DS 88 which may be a keyboard that you will grow into and its MIDI capabilities are vastly superior to Yamaha and Casio models.

Another Roland keyboard to check out is the Go Piano 88 which personally I would prefer to either of the keyboards you quote.

If you can visit a music store and check out different keyboards you no doubt will soon decide upon a suitable keyboard for you.
 
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Thanks. The Yamaha S-series seem to have been discontinued. Looking at other models now as you suggested, from Yamaha but also the the Roland Juno DS88 (love the 88 keys), but keeping the aforementioned Yamaha and Casio models in mind (although the Casio X-series you suggest are limited to 61 keys, if I'm not mistaken).

I don't consider myself to be 'good' at music, certainly not after all that time, but I can see why investing in a beginner's instrument might be a bit foolish.
However, are the 2 models from Yamaha and Casio I suggested that limited ? I imagine they're chockful of features, and I don't really need professional level audio in and out since I'm not planning on performing or anything like that, but I've got a feeling that most of the price difference might be in the quality of the actual keys and the 'feel' of them. I have to say, that Roland looks appealing. It looks a lot more 'old skool' than the others but maybe that's a good thing.

Of course, it's twice the price as well, but it may be worth it. Can you tell me anything about iPad/Garageband compatibility for the Juno DS88 (or can you suggest an alternative to Garageband for either iOS or MacOS) ?
 
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The S series are available, they are Arrangers like the E series, it is just that they have better instrument sounds and features. The downside of Arranger keyboards is that generally they are limited in the number of keys unless you pay a fair amount of money for one.

Whilst a keyboard like the Juno DS 88 does not have the Arranger ACMP feature no does it have inbuilt amp and speakers, a pair of monitor speakers is usually used for home playing or simply use headphones.

I would not expect any problems with Garage Band and the Roland, but I would be less confident with the Yamaha and Casio models. Alternatives for use only on a Mac is Apples own app Logic which has excellent reviews, if you have a PC then Band Lab have Cakewalk which is totally free and it is used by many of us here. Whilst on about MIDI a dedicated controller keyboard can be used instead of a Yamaha/Casio/Roland etc. I use an Arturia Keylab Essential but other makes are available.
 
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The S series are available, they are Arrangers like the E series, it is just that they have better instrument sounds and features. The downside of Arranger keyboards is that generally they are limited in the number of keys unless you pay a fair amount of money for one.
I assume you mean something like the PSR-S775 ? My bad, I was looking at the S90XS which has been discontinued...
About the Roland Juno DS88 : both the DS88 and DS61 were released in 2015, if I'm not mistaken. The DS76 came out in 2018. I assume that hardware wise, it's the same as the DS61 and DS88, but with updated software (which was also released for the DS61 and Ds88) ?
The absense of ACMP is unfortunate, but can be remedied with third party software on a computer and/or iPad, I guess.
Still, very drawn to this Roland. Just goes to show how quickly one can chuck one's budget out the window ;)

Also comparing to the Yamaha MX88 BK, about the same price range.
This guy seems to prefer the weighted keys of the Roland, though:

And this seems like a nice read, too :
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I don’t know anything about the screen and menu navigation on the JUNO-DS, but the MX has a small screen with rather awkward menu navigation, such that it’s easier to edit the voices and performances using computer apps.

Of the two models that you originally asked about, they have different types of keys— box-shaped piano-style keys on the WK, and diving-board synth-style keys on the PSR-E.

In general, a lot of people think Yamaha’s voices sound better than Casio’s voices.

But the PSR-E has only XGlite compatibility (versus full XG compatibility), so it’s limited to only one element per voice (versus up to— I think— eight elements per voice on certain PSR-S models), and it doesn’t have all of the DSP options that the PSR-S line does, not to mention much lower polyphony, fewer style variations (two versus up to four), half as many Registration buttons (four versus eight) and a limited number of Registration banks (eight versus unlimited), the inability to save User Voices, plus it lacks the song-editing and style-editing features found on the PSR-S models, not to mention the inability to set OTS (One Touch Setting) voices for songs and styles, as well as the inability to create your own Music Finder database entries.

On the other hand, I think the WK is a bit closer to the PSR-S models in comparison. And as for the sound of its voices— or tones, as Casio calls them— I’ve read that they sound better if you spend a bit of time tweaking them with the tone-editing and DSP-editing features, as well as if you play the WK through external studio monitors.

My best suggestion is to see if you can find a store where you can spend some time trying any particular make and model you’re interested in, to help you decide if it will be adequate to your wants and needs.
 
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I will definitely visit a store to get the feel of several keyboards. This said, though, I think I'm going to forget about the aforementioned Casio and Yamaha. I kind of have my heart set on a keyboard with 88 keys to get that piano feel.
Been Googling a bit more and I believe it's wiser to invest a bit more.

The Juno DS88 has caught my eye and have also been comparing it to Yamaha's MX88. And then there's the Roland FA-08...
I just don't want to feel limited a couple of months down the road when I get 'back into the game' again, if you know what I mean.
 
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Roland have many tutorial videos on YouTube with each tutorial specifically on a feature of the keyboard, the common factor is that they are labeled as Product Support.

Korg have a similar more recently issued model to the Juno DS which is the Kross 2 88, like Roland Korg has Youtube videos on the Kross 2 and theirs are labeled as Video Manual.

Looking at these will set you up nicely before you visit a store, I watched each video in the series for the Juno and the Kross 2 about 3 times before I went into a music store to play them back to back. I only choose the Kross 2 because it was much smaller and considerably lighter than the Juno so it was and is ideal for me transporting it to jam sessions.

There should be other tutorial videos available online for keyboards on your short list, I find that the general Review vids on YouTube to be limited as they do not go into things like editing sounds, sequencing, producing performances etc.
 
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Weight or portability is not really an issue for me, not going to take it gigs or rehearsals or anything like that, I'm just an enthusiastic hobbyist ;)
 
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Ultimately, I opted for the Roland FA-08 (blew my initial budget out of the water, but what the hell :D ). I think it will serve me for many years to come. Got a good deal on it, with a Innox KB Fold stand, a Roland carrying case and a Roland sustain pedal. Haven't bought an amplifier yet, so will just use headphones to start with.
In any case, thanks for the suggestions !
Very excited to try it out at home, will pick it up on Tuesday !
 
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Glad you are sorted.

Do watch the Roland FA video tutorials that are on Youtube as I advised earlier
 
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I will definitely do that. Thanks !

Any good amps for home use you can recommend ? Roland has the KC-80, which is more than enough for the home. Bit pricey, though. Any suggestions ? And good, solid headphones ?
 
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I use a pair of old Sennheiser Headphone for quite practice but to strip wallpaper I use a pair of Behringer 208D active speakers, far cheaper than a dedicated Roland amp.

Others here use other types of active speakers like M Audio and Mackie, it depends upon your budget and which gives the sound quality you prefer.
 
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Those Behringer 208D are more expensive as a pair than that Roland KC-80, where I bought my FA-80. Best shop around a bit...
 

happyrat1

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I use a set of these in my living room with my Roland Juno DS88.

https://www.amazon.com/Mackie-Reference-Multimedia-CR4-Pair/dp/B00KVEIY4O/

And I use a set of these in my bedroom studio for my other gear.

https://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-BX5-D3-Powered-Reference/dp/B01J66YEU0/

Along with a powered subwoofer.

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-108248-60-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B009GUTJ34/

I wouldn't recommend anything more powerful for home use unless you want your neighbours calling the cops at night when you're practicing.

The Mackies I generally turn up to half power and the M-Audios and Sub I rarely crank up past 3.

I live in a concrete high rise apartment building so it's fairly soundproof, but I still don't need to disturb my neighbours when I'm playing.

Gary ;)
 
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Been reading a bit on the web and apparently, it's best to get a stereo keyboard amp.

One of the first considerations is whether the amp is going to be the sole source of my instrument’s sound or if there’s also going to be a PA. If all the keyboard sounds are coming only from my amp, then I need it to be powerful, clean, and preferably stereo. Why? Because many of the important bread-and-butter sounds, such as Grand Piano, Organ with rotating Leslie, Electric Piano with stereo tremolo, and Synth sounds with ping-pong delay, lose a lot of their magic if the left and right channels are combined into mono. There are even situations where a sound’s ambience is created by having the left and right channels out of phase with each other. Those sounds get very weird (or completely disappear) when combined to mono.
I'd rather not fiddle with a pair of 'satellite' speakers, as you suggested, but rather opt for a stereo keyboard amp.
The Laney AH150 seems to be a very good stereo amp, as is the more affordable AH80. Anyone have any experience with either of these ?

Also (and this may be a dumb question), what's the best output on the Roland FA-08 to connect the amp to ? According to the manual, you can connect speakers to both the 'Main Balanced Outputs' or the single Sub Ouput (which you can also use for headphones).
I've read about someone who found that the sound was much quieter when connected to the main balanced outputs...
 

SeaGtGruff

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I think a balanced signal will always be inherently “quieter” than an unbalanced signal as far as line noise.
 
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But I assume you'll get better quality sound by using the balanced outputs ?
Or, what's the 'recommended' way of connecting an amp to a keyboard like the FA-08 ?
 

happyrat1

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You'll only see the benefits of a balanced line out if you use TRS cables and feed to a balanced line input. Otherwise it will default to an unbalanced signal anyway.

Otherwise just use ordinary TS cables and feed from the balanced outs to an unbalanced input.

Don't use the headphone out except for actual headphones unless you absolutely have to.

As for a recommended hookup.

Here's how I have my studio hooked up at home.

All connections are unbalanced stereo.

studio-flowchart.jpg


Gary ;)
 
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Errmm... quite a complicated setup. ;)

I suppose these are TRS ?
and

Which cable depends on the amp. The Roland KC-80 has a single stereo jack input on CH2, the Laney for example has a 2 L/R mono, same as the output on the FA-08.
Still, listening to audio samples, the Laney
although stereo, sounds more 'muffled' than the Roland KC-80
which is only 'mono' and frankly sounds great !

How much truth is there in that quote in my previous post, that a stereo amp is more or less a must-have ?

Sorry, all the links are in Dutch, I live in Belgium :)
 

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