Yamaha vs Roland vs Korg


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Hi all - I'm new to Keyboard Forums. I'm a weekend musician, considering a keyboard purchase in the $1500 range. I'd like 88 weighted keys, good piano and organ sounds, as well as realistic horn and string patches. Ease of portability would be a plus. The Yamaha MOXF08, Korg Krome and Roland FA08 all seem to be in my price range, with used models available on eBay. They're all good brands making quality products. Any preferences? Any other makes / models I should be considering? Thanks in advance.
 
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happyrat1

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They're all good keyboards and any opinions you get regarding the superiority of one over the other will sound like religious arguments.

One thing that to me is a slight edge among the three is that the Krome has a metal housing while the other two are plastic boxes. Also there are multiple reports of premature keybed failure among the MOXF8 crowd.

Then again there's nothing wrong with well designed plastic and if it's gonna stay in a home studio and not be thrown down stairs by roadies then it really doesn't matter.

Two others to look at in that class however are Casio's PX-5S and PX-560.

Right now I own a Kurzweil PC3K8 and I'm seriously considering downgrading to one of the boards you mentioned or one of the Casios. The bloody Kurzweil weighs in at 54 lbs. 80 lbs. with the case. :p

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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I generally see positive comments from professional keyboardists about the sounds on Yamaha's keyboards-- with the notable exception of the organ sounds, which generally elicit criticism. I guess I should probably clarify that to say "drawbar organ sounds," such as a Hammond (especially played through a Leslie speaker). So you should definitely see if you can try out any keyboard (Yamaha or otherwise) at a music store before you decide to buy it, and make a special point to try out any types of voices, or any specific features, etc., that you're especially interested in.
 
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They're all good keyboards and any opinions you get regarding the superiority of one over the other will sound like religious arguments.
Agree 100% with this. You're probably best investigating the different features of each to see what you prefer, and if you get the chance to audition them in a shop, I can highly recommend it. It's the only way you'll know if you like the action/sound, which can be very subjective. Overall though, you can't really go wrong with any of these.
 

Fred Coulter

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If you're going to audition the keyboards in the shop, don't then go online to save a couple of bucks.

Yeah, I know. Keyboards are expensive. So buy the keyboard online, but buy your cables, your pedals, etc., in the store. You've used their floor space and their inventory. You need to pay them for it, or they will cease to exist.
 

Rayblewit

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If you're going to audition the keyboards in the shop, don't then go online to save a couple of bucks.
That is a "rat act"
Sure its okay to haggle price in the shop. Shop v shop to get the best deal. That is honest competition. But to use the shop resources and order on line is a pisser!
 
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happyrat1

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On behalf of rats everywhere I object to that characterization. :p

Secondly it's called "Capitalism and the Free Market System." If brick and mortar stores can't compete with online then they shouldn't be in business.

As it is here in my town the local music shops all have 600 frigging guitars hanging on the wall and one electric piano that some local guy has for sale on consignment.

Seriously, it's nigh on impossible to test drive any keyboard of your choice in the few music stores around town.

Floor space is expensive and they can fit $4000 worth of sh*tty guitars in the space of one $500 Casio.

Not to mention that most beginners would rather buy a starter keyboard from Costco or Walmart than pay music store prices.

I can count the number of serious keyboard shops in the area on half the fingers of one hand and even they are always trying to push two year old stock because it just doesn't move.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Actually keyboard supply here in Mississauga is so bad the last couple of times I had to buy MIDI cables they couldn't even stock a lousy cable.

I ended up ordering them from Amazon :p

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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I bought my PSR-E433 from a local brick-and-mortar store, but I'm too bashful and self-conscious about my playing "skills" (or lack thereof) to try out a keyboard in the store. ;) When the PSR-E443 came out, I looked all over at the local and not-so-local stores, but there were none to be had, so I ended up ordering it online. You might be able to get a better deal online, but I also worry about the possibility of damage occurring during the shipping and handling, not to mention the hassle of having to ship it off if anything's wrong and you need to return it. With a local purchase, it's a lot easier to take the keyboard back to the store if needed while it's still under warranty.
 

happyrat1

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As far as warranty goes with most stores, online and brick and mortar, both only give 30 days in store.

After that you are generally the manufacturer's problem.

Furthermore with every RMA return I've ever made on an online purchase, the vendor ate the return shipping.

Ultimately it's no skin off of my nose to hang on to the box and shipping materials for the first month just in case of infant mortality.

However, I can honestly state that out of literally dozens of online purchases of music gear over the years I've had to deal with returns less than 3 or 4 times.

Quality controls on these things are pretty strict and it's not like a guitar where you won't know if it makes your fingers bleed until you play it.

Online reviews are usually pretty detailed and forums like ours allow you to ask other owners of the same gear the nitty gritty questions.

I mean honestly, if you are buying a Yamaha Motif brand new in a store, do you think a salesman will allow you two or three hours to run it thru its paces?

Keyboards are such complicated pieces of machinery you pretty much have to narrow down your options online long before you even consider pulling the trigger and dropping a few thou on a board.

My Kurzweil had such a heavy keyboard action when I first bought it, as it was my first hammer action board, that if I'd tried it in store I would have probably never bought it. But eventually it grew on me and I adjusted the velocity and now all my other synth style keys feel all cheap and loosey goosey and the Kurz is the only controller I now use.

Brick and Mortar stores may be a necessary evil for stringed instruments, but electronic keyboards are meant for e-commerce :D

Gary ;)
 

Fred Coulter

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Obviously, if the brick and mortar store doesn't have the keyboard you're interested in, you CAN'T try it out in the store, and are therefor under no moral obligation to give the store money.

As for why they stock more guitars than keyboards, it's not just a matter of value per square foot. It's also the question of how long the item sits in inventory. Unfortunately for us keyboard players, apparently there's a lot more demand for guitars than keyboards. That's why a lot of local bands don't have keyboards. And that's why the brick and mortar stores don't bother stocking them.

So we end up buying them from Amazon, from Sweetwater, and hoping that the reviews we read were accurate.
 
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Don't mean to" necropost" (the thread IS a few weeks old) but I like to buy my stuff from one of our local music stores (Long & McQuade - Gary knows them well, I'm sure). This particular store DOES stock a range of keyboards, including one room devoted to synthesizers alone. Nevertheless, they didn't feature or even stock ('natch) any Casio models when I went in search of an XW-P1 a few years ago. But I could order it from them and their price was a C note lower than even the online sources at the time (and that lower price was in Canadian dollars so the difference was even greater). I had a year's warranty through the store and I purchased a couple years of extending warranty for a pittance (the store takes care of shipping it to Casio for repair and handles all associated costs). I haven't needed it, as it turns out: due to the maximum perversity of the universe, buying the extended warranty has protected the synth from malfunction! :D)

Today, as far as I can tell, L&M doesn't carry Casio anymore. The only Casio models available at brick & mortar stores in my local area are the home keyboards, from BestBuy. And even the local L&M doesn't yet have a Yamaha Montage, last time I checked, so I can't try out the Super Nipp...um, sorry, Knob... for myself.
 

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