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Why Kurzweil will slowly die (terrible customer service story)

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  • Why Kurzweil will slowly die (terrible customer service story)

    I'm mostly a reader here but have to get this off my chest.

    I've always liked the Kurz sound. When my wife said she wanted a digital piano, the new "X-Pro" models were coming out -- so there were great prices on the discontinued Mark Pro 3i (which basically has the PC2 soundset, *with* Orchestra board!).

    So I found one of the clearance units from an online retailer and bought it. (BTW, I live in Munich.)

    Problem 1: They sent me the shipping confirmation, and there was only one box weighing 38kg. The specs say 70+kg, and I know DPs usually ship in two big boxes (one for the stand, the other for the keyboard unit). I asked them about this. Whoops, they forgot to send the keyboard box.

    So for a almost 2 weeks, I had a lovely polished ebony digital piano stand, with no piano. And *I* was the one to notice the error before the first box even arrived.

    Problem 2: Just that would have been OK, but when I finally received the piano box, and opened it... it was the wrong color. There are only 2 colors - polished ebony and satin rosewood. And they sent the wrong one. It took a week before they picked up the wrong box (the monster was sitting my hallway taking up a copious amount of space). Of course, they did not bring the right unit at this time -- just picked up the wrong one. It took another week for the right color to arrive.

    At this point, either my wife or I have taken time either to come home from work to meet DHL, or worked from home (not ideal) to make sure we were there FOUR TIMES.
    - receive shipment of the stand
    - receive shipment of the wrong piano unit
    - give the wrong piano unit back to DHL
    - receive the right piano unit

    3) Unfortunately, it gets worse. When I finally put the dp on the stand, the unit would not initialize. I made a video and posted it to YouTube to confirm with the retailer and Kurzweil. It's a boring few minutes of nothing happening.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etVVwqEGTxg&context=C4cb90f1ADvjVQa1PpcFN5 WsGqX0oEp8MGHvvoupI5wwevUd4_zqM=

    So I asked for yet another replacement, and what did Kurzweil say? "We no longer trust the remaining units in stock. But you could send it in for repair and we'll fix the one you have."

    I'm an engineer, and know that originally faulty units fail a LOT more. The admitted crappy quality, and did not even offer a discount. PLUS, I had already recycled the big box with for the stand, so I have to spend 2 hours this Sunday disassembling the pieces and trying to wrap it.

    In the end, NO compensation was offered to me. I spend many hours of my time and was basically a warehouse for defective products for almost 2 months.

    Ironically, if they had said "we're really sorry.... we know that new models are almost 2x the price, but how about 250 Euro off the X-Pro Upright?)... I might had tried it. (It has the PC3 engine, so pretty tempting with a discount proportional to my pain.)


    At this point, Kurzweil is in a tough competitive position. This is NOT how you gain and keep customers.

    End rant. Have a nice Sunday.

  • #2
    they don't really care any more. they don't care to innovate, and they don't care to take care of their customers.

    at NAMM they trotted out a photo of Ray to try to borrow credibility from him. it was preposterous.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    me, jerking my knee.
    main: http://suitandtieguy.com
    Lawrence Miles style rants: http://suitandtieguy.livejournal.com
    handbuilt boutique synthesiser modules: http://stgsoundlabs.com
    my digital albums: http://suitandtieguy.bandcamp.com

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    • #3
      Kurzweil has done this to themselves. However in the meantime they have somehow managed to release very popular products proving how amazing VAST truly is. It is hard to watch the self destruction and the complete disregard for their customers.
      They are as bad as Roland. But I still adore the instruments these 2 companies provide.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm sorry for your poor experience OP, I can imagine how frustrating it must be.

        I too own a Kurzweil product, a PC3x and my experiences with the company have been positive.
        The first issue I noticed was a certain note wouldnt play when you had a variation of a few other keys depressed at the same time. I cant remember exactly, but it was some bug that if I didnt read about on the forums, I wouldve never noticed.

        Fixed, no BS.

        Then I found Dave on this forum and the guy goes out of his way to help Kurzweil owners. I remember telling him how my PC3 was a store demo, last one and it didnt come with a hardcopy owners manual, Dave took my address and sent me one to my home. No charge.

        It's little things like that which make a difference to me when judging a big company, like anything, it's always the people who make the difference with your experience and not the company per se.

        I'm sorry for what you went through and hope they will take care of you.

        I'll tell you my biggest 'like' about Kurzweil...for me the interface is difficult but there's so many smart peopl and helpful forums, anytime you have any question, there's always someone who will help you get where you need to go.
        i like palin.
        i think she would rattle some cages and that's what america needs.
        ~ yumpy

        Comment


        • #5
          Never had any negative experiences dealing with Kurzweil. Sorry, cannot confirm they're as bad as it has happened to you. An unfortunate isolated incident, perhaps yes, but the way they usually care about their customers? Absolutely not true!


          Complete disregard for their customers? You watch your mouth, mister, because that is not correct, by and large.



          STG, it is not true they don't care to care for their customers. Virtually any company out there will have cases like these. Should they be considered as the norm in their operation? No, unless it is repeated far too often. And sorry, but Kurzweil doesn't have it repeating THAT often. Kronos went through much more issues, in comparison, and as far as I continue lurking on KorgForums, it continues to have problems.
          If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

          Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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          • #6
            Didn't Kurzweil go under once already? If they go down once again, I won't be surprised. This company rests on its past achievements, like V.A.S.T., for example, and just re-hashs that same tired early 90s' technology over and over. Reminds me a lot of Roland.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ed, everybody rehashes. Motif? Come on. Rehash upon rehash. Korg? "AI synthesis" is still there, since their workstations still follow 2 osc paradigm set on M1.


              Everybody rehashes.



              Oh, and to get your facts straight - Kurzweil's bankrupcy was a forced one, an aftermath of hostile takeover, it was not a result of bad sales.
              If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

              Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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              • #8
                So the Korg Kronos is nothing but a hopped-up M1, huh?

                Comment


                • #9
                  When Korg creates a synthesis method for their workstations with multi-layered programs the same way Kurzweil has had for years already, that would be considered an improvement from my perspective (hint - their arrangers already have this, so why not transfer that to workstations, duh?!). Currently Kronos is still just TWO layers of either HD-1 or EXi and not more than that. Real modularity between different EXi would also be more awesome (say, using MOD-7 oscillators with AL-1 filters, going BACK to MOD-7 waveshaping, all of that used as an input to MS-20's ringmod or whatever, and all of that used as exciter for STR-1. Just a random example given here. )
                  If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                  Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                  • #10
                    Isn't the (very) basic subtractive structure that every one else uses even older? Where do you get from VAST, I mean else than keep vastly expanding it? Its so far ahead, that it seems that no one even bother to pursue its vastnes. Even those, like Clavia, who has had that kind of power are hesitating to touch it ever again.
                    I am wanting, I am thinking
                    To arise and go forth singing,
                    Sing my songs and say my sayings,
                    Hymns ancestral harmonizing,
                    Lore of kindred lyricking.
                    In my mouth the words are melting;
                    Utterances overflowing
                    To my tongue are hurrying,
                    Even against my teeth they burst.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To be completely fair to Kurzweil, a lot of the errors in my post were on the retailer side. But it is partially their responsibility to ensure quality retailers, and 100% their responsibility to NOT get to a quality issue where "we don't trust the rest of the keyboards in stock".

                      Kurz is in a funny place competitively. They have a relatively unique capability in V.A.S.T. and get a lot of great sound from it... but haven't been able to make the interface significantly more user friendly (SoundTower software the only option?). They don't have the economies of scale to put larger screens on their boards (would be neat to have the PC3 with a large touchscreen for both VAST and the sequencer), nor have the R&D to add bells & whistles that can make the different to many buyers, even if the value to them is questionable:
                      - Korg Karma / Yamaha's arpeggios
                      - new ROM samples/waves and more memory... more velocity layers, more drum options, or just more starting points for DIY sounds
                      - performance mode / set lists not quite as well implemented
                      - etc.

                      Lower scale also means that there are fewer 3rd party add-ons (e.g., I'm dying to hear the Garrritan soundset for Motif flash memory...)

                      They still have "that sound" (piano, cello, & strings are especially legendary) but I'm not sure that is enough. I wanted to "support the little guy" that, at least in my past experience (I owned the K2000 rack, and a friend the K2500 board) just sounded great.

                      Not sure what my next move is... anyway, THANKS for the empathy and hopefully I sucked all bad energy from here and all your next purchases go great.

                      Cheers,
                      Jeff

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                      • #12
                        If larger screens raise the costs of hardware synths too much, I wouldn't mind getting iPad for expanding the interface.
                        I am wanting, I am thinking
                        To arise and go forth singing,
                        Sing my songs and say my sayings,
                        Hymns ancestral harmonizing,
                        Lore of kindred lyricking.
                        In my mouth the words are melting;
                        Utterances overflowing
                        To my tongue are hurrying,
                        Even against my teeth they burst.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They don't have the economies of scale to put larger screens on their boards (would be neat to have the PC3 with a large touchscreen for both VAST and the sequencer)


                          Correction - they did not have the funds to do so with PC3 series. They do have funds now to do so on the K-series successor board.
                          If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                          Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The iPad would seem like a great interface for Kurz... but to write a well designed, fast, stable app requires software dev capital that I'm guessing is in short supply over there. Ironically, at least right now, making the current VAST architecture more accessible would probably make more sense that to further enhance it.

                            The other thing I was thinking about: Kurzweil should drop the do-it-all workstation concept. They really only need a couple boards to focus laser-like on different market segments:

                            1) A live performance board focused on the gigging musician. The *keyboard* interface should have a totally different menu structure and button/slider layout. Eliminate all references to sampling, in-depth VAST programming, sequencer editing, etc. It would allow these with the computer (not a lot of deep VAST programming is done on stage anyway), but the keyboard would have larger, lit buttons that are focused on program/set lists (access to those great K sounds), and common stage controls (direct controls for common effects, etc.)

                            2) A synthesists dream. Again, stop with the deep menus and multi-lavel and multi-function buttons. Give people access to the lesser-used functions through a PC, but focus the keyboard control real estate on VAST programming. The menus should be different, the buttons and sliders different. They don't need or want a button for every category of woodwind (sarcasm there) but would rather have a better interface for routing all that crazy sh*t that EvilDragon describes.

                            Of course, these would take R&D too, which was the whole point from the start that they don't have that luxury... but I can dream about keyboard design anyway.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So the Korg Kronos is nothing but a hopped-up M1, huh?
                              No less than a Fantom-G is a hopped-up JV-80.

                              Kurzweil doesn't have the R&D budget of other larger companies, but what they come up with always sounds great.

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