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QC in Studiologic

Discussion in 'GEAR Talk Forum' started by jaketanner, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    Easton, PA
    So in the quest to find a decent below $900 weighted controller, I have been looking at the SL88 by Studiologic. But man, the QC complaints are scary.

    So my big question is: how in the hell does a company that manufactures and supplies many great keyboards with their keybed, not make a decent controller themselves?

    Clicky keys after a while because of worn felt, LCD fades, MIDI issues, stuck keys... then getting parts I heard is a nightmare because they’re out of the country. So what are my alternatives?

    I need triple sensors, light to heavy weight is fine for the keys. Would love high resolution MIDI, and for god sakes, some reliability. Lol

    Anyone? Thanks. New only please, not interested in anything used at the moment.
     
  2. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    I was in the same boat recently. I went with a Roland RD-2000 simply because over the years my Roland gear has held up under the most demanding situations, even after abuse, and anything I had that incorporated Fatar, (StudioLogic, Ensoniq and a Kurzweil) literally fell apart at the seams.

    I was literally one click from ordering the SL-88 Grand and backed out because those memories of gluing hammer weights back together came back to me. I admit I'm biased however my impression of Fatar is like that of most Italian sports cars. They look great on paper but you had better have "Tony" the mechanic on speed dial.

    If cost is a factor, the Casio Privias have nice triple sensor actions and while a little noisy, have a very good feel IMHO. Also support for those controllers is excellent via forums and FB.
     
    jaketanner likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    I feel the same. And god forbid you need a part, gonna wait for months. I’ve Actually had a Privia 350. It was okay, nothing great and yes noisy. I might actually go the PX5s route if I had to. But man, I really wanted get this board. Will see. Lol. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    Interesting you should talk about parts because at the time the US distributor for Fatar was about 2 miles from my house in Little Neck NY and they wouldn't even talk to me. I had to go through my keyboard technician... I'm just soured on their keybeds and despite being tempted by the SL-88 I'm gun shy. And yes, it's probably eons better than the Fatar actions of the 90's but once bitten twice shy for me especially when alternatives exist.
     
  5. chimuelo

    chimuelo Star Of Stage & Screen

    10,279
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    May 14, 2007
    Between 120-150bpm
    You want Piano action you’ll have to treat it like a real Piano.
    Clean it, check out hammers and felt if it’s got moving parts.
    Personally I think it’s a waste of time and I’m a Pianist.
    I even checked out the hyped Dexibell hoping something new.
    Nadda.
    Nice action, nothing like a Piano though.

    The best one I’ve tried is the Physis K4 with graded action and triple sensors whatever that means. Even that just doesn’t offer the control you get with hammers hitting and bouncing off real strings.

    You might want to check out a Casio. I absolutely love their PX-3S and PX-5S.
    It’s semi weighted, but on the PX-5S the built in Piano with action and software is a blast to play.
    I could actually get ppp, p, mf, f, ff and Sfz.
    Pretty impressive for a fake instrument.
     
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  6. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    You make very good points and since these actions are mechanical they are going to wear out. It's only a matter of time. Like you say, things like felt and cleaning are a given. I get that. However things like hammer weights encased in hard, brittle plastic that didn't flow correctly around the weight and thus will fracture are design problems not normal wear and tear. That is a design problem. I got real good at repairing these Fatar keyboards when I was touring. Shit design IMHO.
    Next time I toured I requested Roland keyboards and I'll tell ya, I had zero problems. Even though the management company bought shit flight cases that kept opening and the keyboard falling out, aside from dings and dents, the Roland keyboards just kept working. RD-700's. two of them driving Motif's and Korg rack mounts. They just worked.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    It’s the research that drives me nuts. Lol.
     
    steveo42 likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    The px5 might be back on my radar. It also has high resolution midi, so that might help with the triggering.
     
    steveo42 likes this.
  9. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    One thing to consider is that Sweetwater offers a 2 year warranty on most of the items they sell. Double check with them to make sure but if something is going to break, or a QC issue exists it will probably show up within the first 2 years. Just a thought.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    Easton, PA
    I tried the Roland FP30 today and I liked it. For some reason, however, the action in the rp102 DP from Roland felt better even though it’s exactly the same as the fp.

    I also tried the p125 by Yamaha...not triple sensor but felt good. But then on the same floor we’re two other models with identical keybeds and they had clicks and clacks and noisy keys. Seems over time they go south. But I’ll try and take a chance with the Roland.
     
  11. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    When I was shopping a I too noticed variations in action between keyboards that were different models but same action. I also noticed variations between the same model but in different stores. I think the latter is related to how many kids were banging away on these things and the former might be related to the case design which might be different even though the keybeds are the same.
     
  12. OP
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    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    I know that the same key bed indifferent enclosures produce a completely different feel. And it’s a shame, because people will judge the key bed based on how it feels in one particular model. And example would be the Arturia key lab 88, that has the exact same key bed as the native instruments S 88. But I believe they have two completely different feels and also arturia is a lot noisier.

    What did you end up with?
     
  13. steveo42

    steveo42 Senior Member

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    I ended up with an RD-2000 because I liked the keybed and I have had very good luck with Roland keyboards over the years. My second choice was a Kawai MP-11se. Third on the list was the StudioLogic SL-88 Grand, even though I couldn't locate one to try out. I just couldn't get past my previous experiences with Fatar QC though.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    jaketanner

    jaketanner Senior Member

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    Easton, PA
    Great choice. A bit above my price range but I’m considering the FP30 or the Kawai ES110. Torn between the two. I don’t need the internal sounds, I’m gonna use it as a piano controller for scoring. I know that both of those are the next model down as far as key action, but I am torn between the two solely based on how well they trigger VST pianos. I have not been able to try the Kawai, but I did try the Roland and I did like it. I’ve heard good things with the Kawai, Even though it is two sensors, it has pretty fast action from what I’ve read. But I would like to have the triple sensors for when I need them LOL, but I won’t be doing any major classical repertoire that would require very fast repetitions.
     

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