Everything posted by Mark-k4.Lz
I bought this keyboard recently because I wanted to move to an 88 note keyboard, and this seemed like too good a deal to pass up. Playing multiple keyboards, bass and guitar and building a recording setup, I have a lot of spending priorities, which makes it difficult for me to allocate huge sums of cash to one keyboard. Of course, cheaper isn't necessarily better, so I was a little worried this would be crap when I bought it. In this regard I was pleasantly surprised. I know there are a lot of these being sold now at prices in the $550-$600 range (I think they were discontinued), but nobody seems to know about them. When I bought mine (over the internet) I had never actually played one, and the only person I knew that owned one was Merl Saunders. I asked him how he liked his, and he was very nice in telling me about its features and giving me his (positive) impression of it before I bought it. So I'm trying to pass on the favor with this review, to let people who also like the price/feature combination but don't know anything about the board. In absolute terms of how it ranks in the competition of 88 key digital pianos, I would place it near (but not at) the bottom. In relative terms, accounting for its price, I think its near the top (of course this depends on how much a dollar is worth to you. If it's the record label's nickel, then buy something nicer. If you are going to be paying for this and your rent with a series $100/night gigs, definitely consider this before you drop 2 grand on some board that will be worth about the same as this one in 3-4 years...!)
The main reason I wrote this review was because I realized that the Voce Spin (and the Spin II, it's successor which I have not tried--but appears to be a stompox with few controls. Boo.) had not been reviewed. And about the same time, I saw a Voce Spin on e-Bay sitting around for about $40 because the seller (and apparently the bidders?) didn't really seem to know anything much about it. I'm sure it went up eventually, but still. . . .it's one of those situations where you wish you didn't have one already, so you could take advantage of such a ridiculously good deal! I bought mine about 4 years ago used for about $275 when I couldn't travel with my Leslie, and I have to say that, given the quality and prices of the competition out there, I would buy it again for that price. I play a Rhodes, Hammond XB-2 and some assorted synths in a funk/jazz ensemble of 4-8 people. The organ is my primary keyboard, and the sound is very important to me. Like many organists, I'm very discriminating about getting "that sound" from my Hammond and leslie simulators -- but I also recognize that trying to do so is a little like trying to sound like an acoustic guitar with an electric guitar and an acoustic simulator pedal. So I'm not going to give any absolutes about whether this effect is good or bad, but my opinions should be clear from my descriptions above: It's no Lesie, but it's about 75% of the sound at 20% the price and 1% the weight, and taken together, those are better stats than all the competitors I can think of. My last comment is that this box is especially nice for guitarists for two reasons: (1) it has a dedicated guitar front input aside from the rear stereo connections; and (2) guitarists don't really need fakey tube pre-amps in their leslie box, because they have the real thing done well in their amps. I would make the same suggestion to keyboard players, by the way -- using a tube preamp into your straight ahead mixer/PA setup is going to sound much more sterile then pumping your leslie signal into a good tube amp (I used my blackface Fender Pro Reverb with good results). But that's another story. . . .
I guess musicians aren't supposed to reveal their secrets anymore than magicians, but I think this is a great site and the more info we exchange the better. I hate people who say "this is better than that" as if it were gospel. All I can say is my opinion: that this is the most UNIQUE wah pedal I've heard, and it is has become a staple in helping me get a really cool, unique sound as a keyboard player that inspires both me and my audience. If you want to sound like Hendrix, get a Crybaby no question. But if you're trying to AVOID sounding like you're trying to sound like Hendrix . . . check this one out.