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Nord Electro 2 or Kurzweil SP4-7?

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  • Nord Electro 2 or Kurzweil SP4-7?

    I have a line on a used NE2 73 key local to me. I plan on checking it out tomorrow.

    I've been considering picking up the new Kurz SP4-7 which is a 76 key semi-weighted.

    This is an attempt to give me a lighter single board option for rehearsals and some gigs.

    I prefer a fully weighted board for piano, but one of my more regular bands these days is a UFO cover band where I am doing primarily wurly and B3. The other bands I play with I can typically get by with EP, piano and B3, although strings and synth are needed from time to time as well.

    So in comparing the NE2 vs. the Kurz, here is my initial take:

    - EP's should be about a wash
    - B3 is likely a bit better on the NE2 with more organ oriented keyboard
    - acoustic pianos are better on the Kurz without a doubt
    - kurz should be better keyboard action for piano / EP

    Seems the SP4 is more versatile, but the NE2 is nearly double the price new, so it could be a better value and generally a higher quality unit.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    one of my more regular bands these days is a UFO cover band where I am doing primarily wurly and B3. The other bands I play with I can typically get by with EP, piano and B3, although strings and synth are needed from time to time as well.

    So in comparing the NE2 vs. the Kurz, here is my initial take:

    - EP's should be about a wash
    - B3 is likely a bit better on the NE2 with more organ oriented keyboard
    - acoustic pianos are better on the Kurz without a doubt
    - kurz should be better keyboard action for piano / EP


    Personally, I think Kurz has the better EPs.

    I'm not sure which organ sounds better... the NE2 definitely didn't sound as good as the NE3, and I haven't heard the new KB3 sounds just made available for the SP4. I didn't much like the NE2 organ... too clean (no "leakage"), no "thunk" to the percussion, wimpy low end, unrealistic Leslie effect... I'd be surprised if the SP4 can't at least match if not exceed the NE2 in the organ department, since I think that bar is set pretty low by 2011 standards. However, the Nord has the advantage of a kind of drawbar control; you'd have to add a MIDI fader box to the SP4 to get that kind of control, if you're looking for it. Doable, but a nuisance.

    Since you want strings and synth sounds, that pretty much makes the decision for you... the NE2 has none. So the Kurz is the choice there.

    Another big difference is that the Kurz can split and layer to play more than one sound at a time. The NE2 strictly plays one sound at a time. And for synth use, of course, the Kurz also has pitch bend and modulation wheels.

    In terms of the keyboard actions, I'd say the Nord is only a little better than the Kurz for organ, the Kurz is quite a bit better than the Nord for piano, though still far short of a weighted 88.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Electro THREE is nearly double the price new, the TWO is long discontinued.




      Personally, I think Kurz has the better EPs.

      I'm not sure which organ sounds better... the NE2 definitely didn't sound as good as the NE3, and I haven't heard the new KB3 sounds just made available for the SP4. I didn't much like the NE2 organ... too clean (no "leakage"), no "thunk" to the percussion, wimpy low end, unrealistic Leslie effect... I'd be surprised if the SP4 can't at least match if not exceed the NE2 in the organ department, since I think that bar is set pretty low by 2011 standards. However, the Nord has the advantage of a kind of drawbar control; you'd have to add a MIDI fader box to the SP4 to get that kind of control, if you're looking for it. Doable, but a nuisance.

      Since you want strings and synth sounds, that pretty much makes the decision for you... the NE2 has none. So the Kurz is the choice there.

      Another big difference is that the Kurz can split and layer to play more than one sound at a time. The NE2 strictly plays one sound at a time. And for synth use, of course, the Kurz also has pitch bend and modulation wheels.

      In terms of the keyboard actions, I'd say the Nord is only a little better than the Kurz for organ, the Kurz is quite a bit better than the Nord for piano, though still far short of a weighted 88.


      Ya - my weighted 88 board is a Yamaha S90ES, which I just love the action on even more than on my acoustic Yamaha upright or my Mom's Yamaha grand (although that one sounds better than any digital sample I must say). But I want an easier to lug option at least for rehearsals - something that fits in a 76 bag and is about half the weight of that Yamaha is what I'm after for this board. It won't replace my S90ES by any stretch - not the intention.

      Seems like the SP4-7 is the way to go for me. I can't find one locally to play, so I guess I am going to have to just order one on faith and if I hate it sell it for a small loss.

      I have played quite a bit on an older Kurz PC88X, which has fully weighted action, but still was quite light compared to the old MIDI battle-axe I played on back then or the S90ES.

      I should also add that my main gig set up also includes a Korg CX3 which is my main B3 rig, so I'm not all that concerned about getting the best B3 out of this board - just passable enough for rehearsals and the occasional gig when I want to travel light.

      and I am keeping my eyes open for a cool vintage synth - might pick up something 80's or 90's era just to play around with if I find the right thing and cheap enough. But that's just more for fun than any real need I have at this point, although it could come in handy for some gigs I do and it would be kinda cool to have 3 boards when I do the UFO gigs when we have a big stage available.

      Comment


      • #4
        I should also add that my main gig set up also includes a Korg CX3 which is my main B3 rig, so I'm not all that concerned about getting the best B3 out of this board - just passable enough for rehearsals and the occasional gig when I want to travel light.

        Ah, I'm sure either the Kurz or Nord would work fine for that kind of "secondary organ" purpose... the CX3 is great. Weight aside, I think it's a *much* better clonewheel than the NE2, and in fact, I even like it better than the NE3, though I know people have different opinions about that.

        Comment


        • #5
          I actually have an SP4-7 that I've only played for a few hours and never gigged with... and I've decided to pick up a PC361. So maybe we can work something out there... it would save you some money, plus if you hated it, there would probably be little if any loss on resale...

          Ah, I'm sure either the Kurz or Nord would work fine for that kind of "secondary organ" purpose... the CX3 is great. Weight aside, I think it's a *much* better clonewheel than the NE2, and in fact, I even like it better than the NE3, though I know people have different opinions about that.


          Where are you located? I am in SF Bay Area. You can email me at scott_mcclung@pacbell.net and we can chat that up offline

          I don't mind the weight or size of the CX3, it's the S90ES that is the backbreaker at 55+lbs and also requires a 60" case which makes it too big to carry in the back seat of a sedan.

          I have not personally compared my CX3 to the Nords, but I have gigged with it quite a bit and done some recording for several projects and I've been very happy with the results. I've also had nothing but positive feedback from the musicians I know that have a critical ear for tone - in particular the leslie simulation is top notch. And I like the keyboard - it's about as authentic as you can get for an organ. So whenever I need to bring my best game on B3, the CX3 is going to get the call regardless which board I pick up here. There may indeed be a better B3 clonewheel out there, but all I know is the CX3 meets all my needs in that dept. and it's surely a better organ than I am an organist!

          Comment


          • #6
            hmm - just found a Korg T1 on CL local to me for $250. Maybe I should buy that and just leave it at the studio where the UFO band rehearses. I could actually just leave my CX3 at that studio too and then I have my S90ES in my home studio and probably would still pick up a SP4 as a rehearsal board for my other projects. That could save a lot of lugging and set-up time...

            Comment


            • #7
              I have not personally compared my CX3 to the Nords, but I have gigged with it quite a bit and done some recording for several projects and I've been very happy with the results. ... And I like the keyboard - it's about as authentic as you can get for an organ. So whenever I need to bring my best game on B3, the CX3 is going to get the call regardless which board I pick up here.

              Yes... I think the CX3 has a better feeling "organ" keyboard than any Nord. And I agree, as long as you're keeping that on your A list, anything else you're talking about for organ will get you by fine in the less critical scenarios.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you want most of the functionality of an S90ES in a more portable package, you could look at the MOX8. OTOH, the SP4-7 is lighter and cheaper, and all told, you may like having Yamaha and Kurz sounds at your disposal, rather than Yamaha and Yamaha (though the MOX8 is a newer generation of Yam sounds than the ES).


                .


                I rather like the idea of expanding the sounds rather than staying with Yamaha. I also found a roland XP-80 locally for cheap which looks promising. Cheap enough I could add that plus get a SP4.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Seems like the SP4-7 is the way to go for me. I can't find one locally to play, so I guess I am going to have to just order one on faith and if I hate it sell it for a small loss.



                  Keep in mind that most online retailers like Sweetwater give you 30 days to try it out with a hassle-free return policy.

                  Dave Weiser
                  Kurzweil R&D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keep in mind that if you buy a Kurzweil from most online retailers like Sweetwater, Dave Weiser will deliver it to your home, set it up, and even cook you dinner. Or so I heard. There is no return policy on the dinner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would cook the dinner if he showed me all the tricks on how to use it and set it up!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        BTW - I went with the SP4-7. I should be getting it next week! Can't wait to try it out.

                        Comment



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