i will be at the namm show in anaheim friday 1/14/2011.

if any of you would like me to check out or critique any gear, etc. i will be happy to do so.

please specify make, model, manufacturer and booth number (if you go to the manufacturer's website they usually have their namm booth number displayed prominently on their homepage).

i only go there to hang out with my buddies, so it's nice to actually have a mission while i'm there too.
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hi 7!

please may you check about this for me? last korg synthesizer release and the new korg pa3x arranger and about any new digital piano the one you like much whoever the manufacturer.

mercp bcp!
funny, kurzweil has pc3x - very nice machine.  check it out if you get a chance.
roland rd-700nx digital piano with new "natutral piano".
roland fp7f also with new"natural piano" technology.


i'm on it ...
thanks 7!  that new roland sounds interesting
already in the stores:

roland rd-700nx digital piano with new "natutral piano".
roland fp7f also with new"natural piano" technology.
7!

thanks, how about kronos?
i walked in to convention center and found myself right in front of the korg exhibit.

malcolm demo’d the pa3x for me one-on-one (~ 17 min). because there are no hands-on units avaliable to the public.

lotta big sounds in that baby.

but the piano could’ve been more convincing. not that it’s unpleasant, but it’s nice to have the choice of a truly outstanding piano sound as well in the pallette.

the largest size it currently comes in is 76, which also tells you something of korg’s intended target market.

great grooves though …

two sequencers on-board. mp3 and midi.

for harmonic accompaniment, the software detects the chords on the mp3. amazing! can this be true?

the onboard monitor is the most logical invention for keyboard players yet!!!

it hooks right onto the board behind the stand and there is nothing to plug in, and it does not detract from the visual. but it’s optional. hopefully more keyboards will be built by them that have this feature.

i can scan the specs for you and post them here if you ask.


kkorg kkronos

next i went pretty much straight into a sit down demo of kronos  - korg’s latest keyboard [half hour].

once again there were no hands-on versions. but it is a “game changer”. talk about big sounds. and the pianos was killer too. only $5k.

nine synthesizers on-board. graded hammer action (maybe next year they’ll let me put one through the paces to verify and quantify, ftr – c’mon guys, it’s me …).

the piano sound is no loops and 8 velocity samples per key.

it’ll make you a believer.


then the kronos’ rhodes. very ambient sounds. you can chain in fx pedals too.

700 rhythms

hammond organ. with drawbar control in real-time. leslie pure heaven.

classic analog synths.
all programmable. the past is now the future.
you can switch cables around and fool with all those filters, lfos and such.

they’re not done yet: fm synthesis too. you want dx7? and beyond …

16 channels of midi sequencers. 16 channels of audio sequencers. mix and match.

midi lives

combis (what a cute name) :
16 – but all 9 onboard synthesizers may be included.
16 seems to be the magic number, because there are 16 fx too you can put on any of these patches.

and then after the guy finished his demo, a guest artist joe lovato got up and did about 7 minutes of terrific keyboard (both the kronos and some other little board with a b3) playing. there were about a dozen of us in the room.

it was great. these guys both rocked, rich and joe. got some fingers those boys.

the keybed and action are currently identical to the sv-1 (which i reviewed last year). the 88 keyboard of the sv-1 (if memory serves) had an upright style of action (not the style of a true grand piano gravity action) which made one-note trills on that bed to sluggish to keep up with “triple tonguing technique”.

but rich said that the next keybeds were going to be an upgrade.

ojala


(scan of spec sheets available from me on request)


vintage vibe – re-creation of a rhodes
these guys were situated directly neighboring the official rhodes booth. coincidence?

it sounds like a rhodes, sure, but if you hit it way too hard, it never overdrives. back in the days of my 1976 88-key round top, if you gave that sucker a good hard whack it would complain, you know it.

i used to think of that distortion as a negative, but it has come to my attention than many see “rhodes overdrive” as a desirable effect nowadays.  

this rhodes clone does not do that. i don’t get it, but maybe it’s a plus.

it had tremolo fx and stuff like that of course. but the model i played only had three knobs on the front and they wouldn’t let me see the innards.

i didn’t ask the price, but they’re very light.

(scan of spec sheets available from me on request)


kurzweil pc3k8
according to the rep, this is the upgrade from the pc3x i was requested to review.

this is on the second floor, so you go out of the main area, get your bag searched on the way out, get stopped at the bottom of the escalator, picture id’d and they shoot this scanner directly at your heart. maybe i’ll wear a lead apron next time.

downstairs there are long lines to get a beer, upstairs on the second floor, there’s never a line. there’s even an outdoor patio with food up there.

it was a beautiful day btw in anaheim, mid to high 70’s, not windy. no clouds.  

i found it to contain digital grit in the middle c to treble c area. i had a hell of a time trying to get my benchmark one-note trills to keep up. overall, the tone sounds digital rather than sampled.  

i only tried 3 sounds: #1, #2 and nyc grand.

maybe it was the headphones, but if that were the case, you’d think that someone would audition the headphones in the morning to insure that those keyboards sound great!

i apologize, because i was expecting so much more out of one of my all time favorite brands.

(scan of spec sheets available from me on request)


eminence speaker

in their demo room, they had the two different speakers (maverick and reignmaker) already set up with two configurations apiece – attenuated and full.

they plugged me into a guitar and i a/b’d both the speakers and their levels.

they both had the same crunch at either level. mission accomplished.

on the demo units they had on the wall, i twisted the knobs (they are big) and found them to be not very smooth and in fact a bit sticky.

also in order to take advantage of this feature you’ve got to have a cab that’s open in the back so you can get to it.

great idea! (scanned spec sheet available from me on request).



fuchs amps was located right next to coffin cases. coffin’s attitude and style is that it’s halloween all year round. they had hired models to dress like scary schoolgirl sluts whose tight asses were hanging out the bottom of their short dresses, with heavily tattooed pierced guys playing metal riffs on their pointy instruments.

coffin cases and rocky horror skanks are alright by me, but it made it kind of difficult to fully take in the one-on-one demo that mr. andy fuchs (of fuchs amps and pedals) was explaining to me.

andy’s a really nice guy and personable too, who took the time to show me and let me listen to the range of guitar sound possible on his amps along with the pedals he designs.

he’s a pretty darned good player too. he sailed through a great number of styles to exhibit fuchs’ amps strengths. and then it was my turn. andy handed me the guitar and i jammed out a bit on the “vic juris signature sound”. i can see why so many jazz guitarists that he named have chosen this rig.

[center]for more info visit: fuchs audio technology hancrafted boutique amplifier and fx pedals
www.fuchsaudio.com[/center]

two rock amps

the guy at that booth handed me a prs and hooked me up to a “jet” amp. when i said i really wanted to hear the crsig3, he told me that all their amps are basically the same, it’s just a question of how many watts (plus a couple of other bells and whistles).

located near the drum section, there was a hell of a lot of racket going on. to hear the amp, i had to get down on one knee and put my head almost right next to it.

does it sound warm? it sure does! and at all volume levels. i cranked it a bit to get a better listen and within moments the “sound control police” were all over my ass to turn it down.

it sure didn’t sound that loud to me (considering all the rest of the noise going on), but naturally i had to comply with the request (or get my butt kicked to the curb).

if “warm” is what you’re looking for, there is no question that two rock amps fulfills their promise.

(scan of spec sheets available from me on request)



my last stop of the day was at roland. this year they have taken over the entire arena section of the convention center.


my first stop was to test drive the fp-7f keyboard.  

it has a mighty low end, but the rest of the board’s timbre was pretty cheesy. it failed my one-note trill benchmark, and it is obvious that this is a low end digital piano designed for the living room.


next i got my hands on roland’s rd-700nx. granted it can do all kinds of cool things besides sound like a piano, but what i’m interested in is its piano sounds and its action.

the rd-700nx went through the paces like a champ! the piano sounds are as authentic as they come and the action is slick enough to keep up with me on those one-note trills.

this baby’s a winner. five stars! (scan of roland spec sheets available from me on request).


then i got to the truck, and immediately into a two-hour friday evening rush-hour traffic jam. i spent more time with my foot on the brake than i did on the gas before i finally got home.
thanks 7

which digital pianos other than the roland rd-7000nx have passed your one-note trill test?

the roland rd-700nx has the most realistic piano sound i have heard to date.
roland rd-300nx is announced:

january 13th, 2011

https://www.rolandconnect.com/product.php?p=rd-300nx

video demo available at the above link

38 lbs. 10 oz.

"roland raised the stage-piano bar with the rd-700nx. today, the world-famous supernatural sound and expression of the flagship rd is available at a lighter weight and more affordable price … introducing the rd-300nx! this state-of-the-art stage piano boasts an advanced supernatural piano sound engine, e. piano sounds based on supernatural technology, a newly developed ivory feel-g keyboard with escapement, a unique sound focus feature, and more.

* supernatural piano sound engine
* new e. piano sounds based on supernatural technology
* innovative sound focus feature ensures that every note will be heard in the mix without compressing or coloring the sound
* new ivory feel-g keyboard with escapement
* intuitive u/i: new one touch piano feature and graphic lcd
* hundreds of high quality built-in sounds
* optional rpu-3 triple-pedal unit

supernatural sound

the rd-300nx’s acoustic-piano sounds are derived from roland’s acclaimed supernatural piano sound engine. with supernatural piano technology, three essential elements are dramatically improved — velocity response, note decay, and key-range behavior — resulting in smooth, natural sound and response. for ep lovers, the rd-300nx contains an e. piano based on supernatural technology that meticulously models classic vintage eps.
new ivory feel-g keyboard

the newly developed ivory feel-g keyboard incorporates roland’s most advanced sensor, escapement mechanism, and ivory feel features. the keyboard provides the superior touch and sensitivity of roland’s flagship keyboards, in a compact and lightweight design... a great benefit for gigging musicians who want to travel light.
unique sound focus

the innovative sound focus feature ensures that every note will be heard, even subtle pianissimo passages. based on supernatural phase-correction technology, this essential feature ensures that the rd-300nx won’t get lost in the mix, penetrating through walls of sound without compressing or coloring the tone. players can relax and play naturally, achieving presence onstage without sacrificing dynamics and sound quality.
bonus features

the popular one touch piano concept from previous rd-series pianos has been carried over the rd-300nx as well. the handy feature provides instant access to essential piano and e. piano sounds and setups with dedicated one-touch buttons. in addition, the popular and powerful piano designer feature has been included in the rd-300nx feature set, letting you build custom pianos quickly and easily on the graphic lcd. and finally, for keyboardists who desire a true grand-piano pedaling experience onstage, an optional rpu-3 triple-pedal unit can be added.
roland keybed can do it, why shouldn't all others?
. granted it can do all kinds of cool things besides sound like a piano, but what i’m  interested in is its piano sounds and its action.

the rd-700nx went through the paces like a champ! the piano sounds are as authentic as they come and the action is slick enough to keep up with me on those one-note trills.

this baby’s a winner. five stars! (scan of roland spec sheets available from me on request).


then i got to the truck, and immediately into a two-hour friday evening rush-hour traffic jam. i spent more time with my foot on the brake than i did on the gas before i finally got home.
thanks for all the info 7, although i didn't ask you to check anything out, i still enjoy reading your evaluations. as always a great job, done very well.
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