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M-Audio Keystation vs. Nektar Impact (88-Key Controller)

BenG

Senior Member
So, I've officially given up trying to fix my old Keystation 88es Pro and wanted to get some opinions on a new, budget controller for my workstation. I'm deciding between the Keystation 88es and the Nektar LX88 and haven't been able to find either of them in my area to try them out. Any recommendations?
 

reids

Member
I personally think the keystation 88 is great value and works well if you just need a controller with 88 keys without all the other fancy features found in more expensive models. The more your willing to spend, the more features a keyboard will have.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
I currently have the Keystation 88es (semi weighted) and have owned a Nektar LX61 in the past.
Whilst I've never placed my grubby hands on the LX88 version, I can say that the velocity response on the 61 key version was far better than the Keystation. So, there's that.

Also, FWIT, the m-audio support is pretty rubbish. Nektar on the otherhand is great.
 

jtnyc

Senior Member
I bought an LX88 after my Keystation crapped out a couple of years ago. That thing had uneven velocity response issues and felt pretty cheap. I like the LX88. It's not the end all feel wise, but it is an improvement over the Keystation. Velocity response is better than the KS, could be better IMO, but ok. There are 3 curves you can choose from. I have the first generation of the LX, so maybe the newer ones have improved.
 
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BenG

BenG

Senior Member
I currently have the Keystation 88es (semi weighted) and have owned a Nektar LX61 in the past.
Whilst I've never placed my grubby hands on the LX88 version, I can say that the velocity response on the 61 key version was far better than the Keystation. So, there's that.

Also, FWIT, the m-audio support is pretty rubbish. Nektar on the otherhand is great.
M-Audio support/product quality is the main reason I am considering spending more/moving on.

Also, interesting to hear about the difference in action between the LX and Keystation. Which would you say feels 'heavier' or more weighted?
 
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BenG

BenG

Senior Member
I currently have the Keystation 88es (semi weighted) and have owned a Nektar LX61 in the past.
Whilst I've never placed my grubby hands on the LX88 version, I can say that the velocity response on the 61 key version was far better than the Keystation. So, there's that.

Also, FWIT, the m-audio support is pretty rubbish. Nektar on the otherhand is great.
Tbh, the extra features are not neccesary and I'm looking more at the keyboard feel.

Also, would love to just fix my Keystation Pro but M-Audio support has been no help and said it is unrepairable.
 

reids

Member
Keystations are very popular. I know of many musicians and working industry composers who use them. Even Daniel James, John Carpenter, and sample developers use the keystation controllers. They are priced well. I've read lots of issues with the Nektar models and their 88-key versions as well. Keep in mind Nektar has a bit of an edge here as i mentioned with some additional features since it is around an additional $100.00 more.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
M-Audio support/product quality is the main reason I am considering spending more/moving on.

Also, interesting to hear about the difference in action between the LX and Keystation. Which would you say feels 'heavier' or more weighted?
Hard to say. The LX61 is featherlight, but I understand the LX88 has semi-weighted keys. Sorry I can't help further on that!

Edit: Also, M-Audio have just released new versions of the Keystation, albeit in 49 and 61 key versions. No sign of an 88. M-Audio didn't respond to my request for info on that..

The Keystation is...OK. It's fine for the price and fine as a programming tool. Not so much for complex playing. You get what you pay for etc etc.
 
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BenG

BenG

Senior Member
Keystations are very popular. I know of many musicians and working industry composers who use them. Even Daniel James, John Carpenter, and sample developers use the keystation controllers. They are priced well. I've read lots of issues with the Nektar models and their 88-key versions as well. Keep in mind Nektar has a bit of an edge here as i mentioned with some additional features since it is around an additional $100.00 more.
Yes, definitely. I've been using the K88esPro for years and never had any major issues, but it seems the new models are not weighted as heavily. Really trying to determine which controller has the better, heavier action.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
Keystations are very popular. I know of many musicians and working industry composers who use them. Even Daniel James, John Carpenter, and sample developers use the keystation controllers. They are priced well. I've read lots of issues with the Nektar models and their 88-key versions as well. Keep in mind Nektar has a bit of an edge here as i mentioned with some additional features since it is around an additional $100.00 more.
Yeah, the Keystations do one job well at a cheap price. I even have a spare here behind the filing cabinet.
 

reids

Member
I love the Keystation. And frankly anyone who has major problems with Keystation also has major problems against the master that is John Carpenter. Carpenter is a major fan, user, and supporter for the Keystation. It works exceptionally well for what it is in the studio and live gigs. I dont have to worry about being gentle with it since it is very affordable and can do most of what i need it to. If you need something more, then consider the pro models. Go John Carpenter!!!

 

jtnyc

Senior Member
M-Audio support/product quality is the main reason I am considering spending more/moving on.

Also, interesting to hear about the difference in action between the LX and Keystation. Which would you say feels 'heavier' or more weighted?
It's been a long time since I had the KS, but I remember feeling an overall improved solid feel with the LX. For what it's worth I haven't had a single issue with the LX in the 2 plus years I've had it. I'd still love an 88 key semi weighted keyboard with superior action and better overall velocity response... I don't know of one...
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
I have both the Nektar Impact LX88+ and Keystation 88. I bought the Nektar because I wanted to have a controller than integrated nicely with Logic and Cubase (transport controls, mixer, CC's), and it does a wonderful job at that. IMO, it's a much better controller, and I prefer the action over M-Audio (feels smoother to me). Aside from the goofy old school LCD display, it's a great controller and a great price and also has some cool pads that can be assigned to anything you want. Not long after, I got an awesome deal on a brand new NI S88which is now my primary controller. However, I still have the Nektar set up because I use it for playing parts that need faster response (synths, fast strings, etc).
 
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