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I'm buying a keyboard

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Hey folks,


I'm looking to buy a fairly decent keyboard/synth but I'm on a budget - $2000 Australian (roughly $1500 US). I'm looking for:


- Authentic acoustic piano sounds

- Weighted keys

- believable Hammond type/B3 sounds


Does such a thing exist for this money? When it comes down to it, the acoustic piano sounds would take precedence but it'd be great to have the organ sounds in there as a bonus.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Nord Electro is about $1200 US and has all that.


The Nord Electro is a very good piece of hardware (I love mine, but my new austerity program might force me to sell it) but it fails to meet the conditions on two counts:


(1) It does not have weighted keys

(2) Its acoustic piano sound is subpar


I'm guessing that when you say weighted keys you mean hammer-action keys because of the primacy of the acoustic piano sounds.


You might have a bit of a problem getting hammer-action keys and a decent B3 clone in one package (that's why Mikal and Pat each have at least three keyboards on stage) especially at your price point without getting used equipment. The Nord Stage (not the Electro) by all accounts (I've not played one) is excellent with a superb, fully functional B3 clone plus a much improved acoustic piano sound and hammer-action keys. Unfortunately it retails for close to $3,000 USD. Kurzweil's K2600XS is also reportedly very good but it's closer to $3,900 USD.


I suppose a lot depends on the kind of Hammond sounds you want -- do you want "it'll do in a pinch" stuff or do you want full Hammond functionality with drawbars, percussion, chorus/vibrato? The more you lean towards full funtionality, the more it will cost you. Also, the action for each keyboard is different and that is very important but also very subject to individual taste.


I really like the action and the piano sound from the Yamaha P120 (about $1,100 USD). It's a bit heavier touch than most other boards but I find that it makes me more expressive. The hammond sound (singular) is not great (though a usable 888000000 sound) and is closer to the "it'll do in a pinch" range.


The Yamaha S90 has a wider selection of sounds and pretty good organs (or, at least, more of them). It used to go for around $1,800 USD but since it was succeeded by the S90ES you might be able to find one within your price range.


Another option is to buy each piece individually. You can buy a hammer-action keyboard with a decent piano sound (like the Casio PX310 or M-Audio ProKeys 88 -- around $600 USD) and then add a module like the Roland VK-8M (around $900 USD) which can sit on top of your board and can be controlled with midi when need be. A fully functional Hammond clone (moreso than any all-in-one board in your price range) plus a hammer action board with a decent acoustic piano sound all within your price range.


Still, you should look around and see what you like. A good place to start doing research is Keyboard Magazine's Keyboard Corner. Everyone there is very friendly and very knowledgeable.


I hope this helps (I have to get back to work). Feel free to ask questions!



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I stand corrected - serves me right for posting without actually playing the thing. The description on the Calvia site said semiweighted keys, so maybe I'm only half wrong ;)

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I stand corrected - serves me right for posting without actually playing the thing. The description on the Calvia site said semiweighted keys, so maybe I'm only half wrong ;)


Hee hee. Yeah, they're semiweighted in that they are heavier than synth keys and original Hammond waterfall keys but not as heavy as a piano. I find that it is an uncomfortable compromise -- too heavy for organ, not heavy enough for electric piano -- but some people love them. Again, it's all about personal preference. I just miss the swinging hammer which makes a piano feel like a piano.


Cheers, :cheers

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Hey thanks, people for your advice. I'm really tempted to follow ginandcigarettes' idea and buy each piece separately. Guess I've got my work cut out for me.


Thanks again for the responses. I really appreciate it.

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