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Sound Quality

I like the pianos (both acoustic and electric). They are not overally realistic when soloed but they sit very nicely in a mix. The strings are very cold sounding- they couldn't compare with my Trinity or JV-1080- solo violin and brass- FORGET IT! Saxes are flutes on the other hand are very good. Guitars are average- again whilst not very realistic, they are playable- 'radio guitar' is one of the nioest acoustic guitar sounds I have ever heard! The distorted guitars are not that good but could be improved with editing. I don't like the electric or acoustic bass sounds- not enough kick. Even with added EQ, they sounded wimpy to me. The drum sounds were not bad for the time but couldn't hold up to today's instruments- get one or more of the Q cards with newer drum sounds if you want. Bell and percussive sounds are good, as are many of the pads and hybrid layers. Coming from an organ/piano background, the organ sounds on this lack balls- the shitty sounding leslie effect doesn't help here either.


The big LCD screen decided to temporarily die on me one morning 2 months after I got it- IT WAS THE SAME MORNING THAT I HAD 3 CLIENTS COMING IN TO PICK UP WORK ONE AFTER THE OTHER AND MANY OF THE SOUNDS WERE COMING FROM THIS UNIT!!!!!!! Besides that, it worked flawlessly. NOTE TO ALESIS- PLEASE REFRAIN FROM MAKING UNITS WITH EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLIES- I FUCKING HATE THEM AND SO DOES MOST (IF NOT ALL) OF THE MUSICAL FRATERNITY. As for other views concerning my opinions of these disgusting things, please read my other instrument reviews elsewhere.

General Comments

When I brought this unit, I did not have much gear (just a Korg T3 and Boss DR660). I had used a friends JV1080 for a few months and fell in love with it but it just cost too much for me to afford it at the time. The S4PLUS is a very different sounding beast to the Korgs and Rolands out there. It complemented my T3 very nicely when layered together in a sequence. I would not use the S4PLUS as the only source of sounds in my studio if I could afford just one unit- not that it sounds bad, it simply lacks balls in some important areas- bass, drums, organs, strings, solo brass- and the effects system is hard to grasp. I sold mine, not because I didn't like it but because it was not being used enough anymore to justify keeping it- I have brought much more gear since then. I found the S4PLUS to be a fantastic instrument to layer up with the Korg and Roland gear in my studio- the Japanese instruments sound clean and polished and the Alesis sounded dirtier- A GREAT COMBINATION!! The 4 real time knobs were one of the main reasons why I brought it over the JV1080 (besides the fact that I couldn't afford the latter!) It also has an ADAT didgital output but I never used this. SOME THING I LIKE ABOUT THE S4PLUS- overall gritty sound. 4 outputs, large LCD, 4 control knobs, overall ease of use. THINGS I HATE- external power supply, non resonant lowpass filters, very course pan positions (only 7 positions), confusing effects setup, overall lack of punch in the sounds (bass). Don't let my criticisms and the fact I sold the unit put anyone off the S4PLUS (or Quadrasynthe keyboards). They are very unique sounding. When used in conjunction with other gear from different manufacturers, they really hold their own!

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