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Topic: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

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  1. #1

    88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Hello to all.
    After reading the thread on weighted controllers ...........

    Who makes an 88 non-weighted controller that feels as good as my Yamaha motif es6 (sold it).
    I think yamaha's have the best synth action of any keyboards and I would love an 88 key version of that feel. Maybe a touch firmer as they call them semi-weighted but would love to have it feel similair to the yamaha actions.

    My tendonitis has really flared up - mostly do to using my fantom X88 all day (my problem is a long time struggle but it certainly does not help playing 88 nicely weighted keys ALL day!)

    So its time to look at non-weighted controllers. But still need 88 keys.
    I am just pounding my hands all day while 90% of my playing is NON piano sounds. (just dumb on my part)

    I am currently living on a wacky/alcoholic - almost carribean island (key west) so I can't demo anything.
    Thus I turn to the collective brain trust here at NS for input.

    I remember Thomas J asking the same questions a long while back and I imagine that we have even more options this year.

    So far it looks like its between :
    Fatar tmk 88
    M-audio keystation 88es

    All input is most welcome and my hands thank you in advance.

    best

    ed

  2. #2

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    m audio es 88 ....it does not have some of the problems the keystation pro does
    ie. the black keys going down too far....$25 street price...no control knobs just a keyboard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    The keyboard person at my local music store told me that Fatar makes the keyboards for Roland, M-Audio, Korg,ect. Yamaha makes their own and they are the best.

  4. #4

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Roland's top models aren't made by Fatar and neither are their cheapest ones. That's what a Fatar guy told me. The Roland and Yamaha "biggens" are made in the Land of the Rising Sun itself. And if I remember correctly, I don't think that the Fantom X6 and X7 are Fatar either (the X8 is most definitely not). Look under the keys of the X6 and X7! Each key has a metal plate. Doesn't look like a Fatar's job to me. Suspect cheaper models like the Roland Fantom XA instead.

    That said, I would go for weighted keys. You get so used to them that after a while unweighted keyboards start to feel awkward and uncontrollable, even for synth work.

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  5. #5

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Since we all seem to agree on the yamaha actions - how do the Fatar tmk 88 and M-audio keystation 88es stack up?
    Even close at all?
    or huge bummer?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Robert Kooijman's Avatar
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    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    The spongy Roland PC-200 MK2 keyboard I have is definetely made by FATAR. It can't get much cheaper then that. Maybe FATAR just doesn't want to admit it...

    My weigthed Fatar SL880 shares virtually the same construction, the key suspension, simple velocity sensors & PCB are e.g. almost identical. The SL880's slightly larger and heavier keys (metal weights glued to plastic keys) still can't compensate for its inherently flawed construction.

    I really think it doesn't make any sense to play non-piano parts on weighted keyboards.
    For years now I'm searching for a good non-weighted 88 key (or more:-) controller. Does one exist???

  7. #7

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    I'm also trying to figure out which of the two to buy. I have the Fatar SL880 and I need a light keyboard that I can carry easily. There are some comments of both in Harmony Central. Here are the links:

    M-Audio Keystation 88es and Fatar TMK-88

    So far it seems that neither is perfect. The Fatar looks cooler and is conciderably lighter but on the other hand the casing might not take abuse well. The Keystation is heavier but sturdier and is USB powered for laptop use. These things are never easy.

  8. #8

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Ed,

    I am not aware of any 88-key controller that is NOT weighted (to simulate the feel of an acoustic piano).

    You would have to go with a 76-key or lower controller to get a "synth" (organ) action.

    Having said the above, there are some differences in 88 key keyboards in terms of quality of their weighted actions. The cheaper ones usually use the term "semi-weighted" because the keys just don't really feel like an acoustic piano (so they don't try to claim they do).

    From M-Audio, they have two 88 key keyboards:

    - Keystation 88es (cheaper quality "semi weighted), $300
    http://www.midiman.net/products/en_u...88es-main.html

    - Keystation Pro 88 (more heavily weighted, good enough quality for them to use the term "hammer action"), $ 600
    http://www.midiman.net/products/en_u...ro88-main.html

  9. #9

    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by janila
    I'm also trying to figure out which of the two to buy.
    M-Audio Keystation 88es and Fatar TMK-88
    Make sure you don't confuse models. M-Audio sells both the Keystation 88es ($300) and the Keystation Pro 88 ($600):
    http://www.midiman.net/index.php?do=...diocontrollers

    Fatar has a number of 88-key models, including their new "VMK-188":
    http://www.studiologic.net/

  10. #10
    Senior Member Robert Kooijman's Avatar
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    Re: 88 NON weighted controllers ??? which is best?

    Martin,

    this thread is about *non* weighted controllers,

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