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Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

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Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

Postby Sequencer » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:21 am

Hi there

I was asking about the (lack of) digital outs in the new Kurzweil keyboards - but actually what I'm really trying to evaluate is the wider question of the features available on the new PC4 relative to the older (but not that old) PC3K.

The reason I'm asking is that I really love the Kurzweil workstations - they kind of seem to get the workstation thing correct to me, and the last of the PC3Ks are still available at now bargain basement prices.

So I'm wondering what can't they (the PC3s) do that the PC4 does?

Clearly the PC4 has "more" (voices, ROM, RAM) etc. - color screen (is that a big deal, I think probably not?) - but has there been some major upgrade to the whole package with moving to Kurzweil's OS4 - I'm thinking about the capabilities of VAST - the sequencer etc. etc.
(I know that FM is a big deal - but is that basically it?)

.... and here's the problem - while the PC3K is a beauty - top of the line instrument, the PC4 is down-right ugly .... I'm sure that one could get used to it - but compare the 2 side by side and there is no comparison.

...and yes, I can't actually compare them side by side because music stores don't exist anymore.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

Postby Dave B » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:06 pm

If you are asking is it still worth getting a PC3K series machine, then the answer is yes.

If you are asking if the PC4 (/Forte) is better, then yes also - some people really dig the screen and it has oodles more polyphony and RAM. Remember that the RAM is non-volatile in the Kurzweils so you can load up a bunch of stuff permanently. And the PC4 / Forte loads and saves that ram _much_ faster - the PC3 was a 'go and make a cup of tea' for me as I pretty much filled it.

If you don't need a flashy screen (I am more than happy to navigate on the old screes) and the extra voices, ram and fm engine (and step sequencers - they are quite cool as well), then if you can find a PC3K "at now bargain basement prices" then a) get one and b) tell me where I can find another PC3K8 cheap as I seriously regret selling mine. My 6 ad 7 are out on long term loan these days and I foolishly sold the 8. It was my master keyboard and I shouldn't have let it go...

Would I get a PC4? probably not .. but only because I don't need one. I have a Forte.

And in regards to the extra polyphony, it can make a great deal of sense live - these days, I use a Forte or Kronos and (in both cases) have a 'dumb' midi keyboard connected so that I have 2 physical keyboards (one weighted, one not) but only 1 sound source / set of outputs. Very tasty imho.
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Re: Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:11 pm

I'm the proud, and grateful, loanee of Dave's PC3K7, and it is my main keyboard. There is nothing I would change about it - and I don't say that about many devices of any description.

If it were me I'd grab the PC3K with no hesitation - and tell us where the bargains are! :lol:
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Re: Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

Postby N i g e l » Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:55 pm

Dave B wrote: some people really dig the screen and it has oodles more polyphony and RAM.

care is required when assessing the polyphony - it may 1/2 if you use stereo waveforms and will certainly 1/2 if you double up, say, piano & strings (then theres the 16 track MIDI sequencer !) and what happens if you use the 32 layer/oscillator bass !
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Re: Kurzweil developments over the last 10 years - PC3K to PC4 ??

Postby Sequencer » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:44 pm

Thanks - all interesting, helpful comments!

Actually it only seems to be the PC3K6's that are left - $1395 from Sweetwater (uh, yeh, US).
The PC4-7 (76 key semi-weighted) is 'arriving soon' and is $1799

That's what I'm looking at basically.

I'm not a keyboard player - I'm a techno-synth-experimental-ambient tinkerer - I've always been striving for the 'one box' solution. Needs are basically:
1) functional 'muscle memory' hardware linear sequencer
2) Synth that can basically do everything - deep tinkering (a la VAST and the KDFX) - also 'muscle memory' kinda thing.

Then I have a whole load of 'obsessions':
hard buttons that click (no rubbery crap)
no touchscreens
no rainbow lighting

I'm sure people understand at least some of these kind of obsessions - like 10 years ago I managed to get 5 minutes alone with a Kronos - amazing machine for sure - but 5 mins in I was definitely 'nope'
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