Keyboard of my dreams
January 6, 2010 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find the digital keyboard of my dreams!

I'm looking for a keyboard with the following requirements:

1) 76 keys or less
2) Amazingly realistic piano sounds
3) Amazing organ (Hammond) sounds
4) Ability to set up patches/programming
5) Can purchase used for approximately $1000
6) Portable/lightweight

I guess what I'm looking for is a cross between the Nord Electro3 and the discontinued Kurzweil PC1SE

The Nord is most ideal, in that it is lightweight and very customizable, but it's also very expensive and a bit too complex for my needs. I'm impressed with Kurzweil's sound and user-friendliness, but it's pretty heavy and I'm having trouble finding them because they are discontinued. I did find one on ebay, but the auction ends in 3 days and I'm not looking to purchase until next week, at the earliest.

Any suggestions?
posted by chara to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Nord Electro 2? I had one--couldn't be beat for piano and organ--but it was stolen and I immediately replaced it with the 3 (which I love).

They are dead simple to use (despite-nay because-of all the buttons and knobs) as you have no menus (and sub menus) to deal with--everything is right up top! I had mine for months before I ever opened the manual.

Why the 2 over the 3? Because it is more "stripped down" and can be had for much less.
posted by sourwookie at 12:52 PM on January 6, 2010

Had a look around. I can tell you already that the Kurzweil is going to be menu-driven value editing. Yuck.
posted by sourwookie at 12:53 PM on January 6, 2010

Korg has a new keyboard that I really liked, and is at least worth checking out....

the Korg SV1

I'm not so sure about lightweight, and it's slightly over a grand, but the warmth and simplicity of it might be what you are looking for.
posted by djdrue at 2:04 PM on January 6, 2010

While the Electro 3 is rather expensive, the Nord Electro 2 should be found used for cheaper, I'd assume
posted by andrewraff at 2:59 PM on January 6, 2010

I don't know what this means. I assume by your 'yuck' that it's a bad thing...?

posted by chara at 6:52 PM on January 6, 2010

Sourwookie: Had a look around. I can tell you already that the Kurzweil is going to be menu-driven value editing. Yuck.

I don't know what this means...
I assume by your 'yuck' that it's a bad thing.
Could you go into a bit more detail as to what I should avoid and why?
posted by chara at 6:53 PM on January 6, 2010

See, the Nord has a button or dial for everything and that button or dial does just what it says. Say that you want more reverb. On the Nord you make sure that the button labeled "reverb" is on and you turn the reverb knob until you like it.

On menu editing, the same process looks something like this (varies from brand to brand): Push edit button. Advance through menu screens until you get into "effects" Hit enter. Advance through effects until you get to reverb. Hit enter. Select reverb type. Hit enter. Select reverb value 0-127. Hit exit. Confirm change? Y/N? Hit enter. By the time you've made your changes the song is over or the guitarist is jeering you for being a keyboard nerd and wasting time. Ugh.

I like the "turn-the-knob-labeled-what-I-want-until-it-sounds-good" method better. Takes about three seconds.

The Nord will not have nearly as many sounds as other boards. It's not supposed to. It's designed to be the best and easiest to use at six or so. It is.

(However the Nord 3 has a Melotron bank and user installed patches but it will cost you twice what the Nord 2 will)
posted by sourwookie at 7:43 PM on January 6, 2010

I went ahead and shelled out for a Nord Electro 3. I am so freaking in love with it! I got the 73 key instead of the 61, unfortunately, because I didn't know about the octave shift feature. Bummer.

I'm having a hard time finding a gig bag for it. Apparently, the official ones from Nord are on back order for a month or so, even Sweetwater and Amazon are on back order too. Is there anything I can use in the meantime?
posted by chara at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2010

I ended up with Pro Tec hybrid case with wheels and some free foam inserts they (protec) sent me.

Couldn't agree more--the Nord is the greatest thing to happen to my gigging lifestyle. Be sure to check out their website if you need to pick up some synth type patches.
posted by sourwookie at 3:55 PM on February 16, 2010

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