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Kurzweil Midiboard - Taking stock Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
Kurzweil Midiboard - Taking stock

Ok when I first started coming to GS it was partly because I was googling "midi controller" and then after some more googling I was googling "physis K4" and then I found out about the midiboard and other older controllers that were *so* good.

My philosophy right now is that until I reach some arbitrary level of skill playing piano, I don't deserve to spend large amounts on single pieces of gear. So Korg kronos, Deckhardts Dream, Baloran River Dance, nw Kurzweil Forte, I cannot own these yet. Same goes for the Physis, it's too much to bite off until I wear out my Roland A70.

So I have now a lot of things that costs several hundred dollars.

I started making moves on Midiboards on eBay and Reverb, and even did searches over all of craigslist in the US. I called Three Wave Muisc, and asked if they had a midi board, even though none is listed on their website. They said yes they do, it just came in yesterday. Fate! I thought. I said I am super interested, send pics, tell me about shipping, how much do you want. But even though they sent pics they stopped responding and I felt like they didn't really care if they sold it.

Using my all-of-craiglist search I found a midiboard in Orange County CA. The seller was surprised how I found him. The board looked in amazing cosmetic shape. He said he didn't think there was anything wrong with it but hadn't really played it, probably because it makes no noise. I had him ship it to me.

Simultaneously I found one on eBay that was part of a find at an estate sale. Not as pretty looking, but at the time these were the only two I knew about.

That same week I found one at a music shop in western Massachusetts on a link that was three pages deep in google search results. I called the shop, the guy said yeah the board is here but the guy that knows about it is not in yet, I said I want to buy it, he said ok and they never called back, and when I called the next day the other guy was still "out."

So I did end up with two midiboards and I felt weird about it. they were not expensive in the grand scheme of things but one of them cost way too much to ship, and the other cost a reasonable amount to ship. I spent almost as much on shipping as on the terms but of course GS people know this is not uncommon.

I took the perfect looking midiboard and played it through my Yamaha MU-2000EX with the PLG150-VL (sorry I have to plug this obscure gear) - all was ok, except a warbling pitch sound in the lower register. I thought maybe it's the pitch wheel is broken or something.

I put it in my hatchback and took it to a very experience synth tech guy nearby who I have never dealt with before because I am new to all this. A couple of weeks later he calls and says you have a bad main board. That sucks because the keyboard on this board is basically perfect, and the keyboard on the not so pretty one is very loose and clackity, and I was not happy about having to use that as the main board because where do I get the keys worked on?

I said I have another board, and I also have this version 3.21 eprom that I bought off of reverb ( some of you have probably seen it when you search for "midiboard" on Reverb) . I said how about you marry the two boards, swap the main board from the not as pretty one into the pretty one, and upgrade the Eprom. Ok. Three weeks later the work is done.

Now I have a working, cosmetically superior midiboard on my desk, and a spare with a broken main board on the shelf next to it. I have an extra v 3 eprom, because the tech said the not as pretty one was already upgraded as high as you can go.

And, another story is that I have now another midi board on the way.

Playing the midiboard, is great. It has a really nice feel and is reasonably fast for synth parts, and is passable for piano-ish stuff, but not really compared to my digital piano.

But is it *that* great? When I am playing Arturia cs-80 patches I am thinking sure. When I am playing with the note off velocity on the CZ1 Arturia synth, that is nice.

But these things are ticking time bombs and my very first experience - the board that arrived being basically dead with a bad main board - shows that plainly.

So TLDR I am not sure it is worth it, and I might sell all of it, altogether it would add up to enough Reverb bucks to put a huge dent in a Forte or a KORG Kronos.

peace
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