How to Improve on QS8 Sounds and Keyboard Action at Good Price?

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Posted by Paul on August 23, 2001 at 14:50:00:

I have a QS, which I like (pretty much). I got it because I wanted an 88 key
weighted keyboard/MIDI controller with a good set of base sounds.
When I saw the QS8 at a price I couldn't pass, I ponied up.

I'm not real knowlegeable about the synthesisor market as a whole (except
I know good stuff is real expensive). I'm trying to figure out how
to significantly improve my rig at minimal cost.

Ultimately I would like to add to and improve the sounds, and the keyboard action.
Which I dofirst, depends on cost, timing, and availability.

(1) How can I best arrive at MIDI keyboard with excellent weighted key
action? (It I already have a QS8, which is very close
to what I want, and acceptable, but not "ideal". I am considering
trying to find a way to adjust mine).

I know not all QS8 keyboards are not all created equal, as I learned when I was
in a music store once, and discovered that the QS8 on display had
better action than my own, by my personal standards (notably the
one in the store had a lighter touch).

It made me wonder if there was something I could adjust on mine.
So, after the warranty expired, I opened mine up, and looked at
it to explore what I could the keyboard mechanics. I didn't
see any obvious ways to adjust it, and, unfortunately most of it
is enshrouded in enough metal that I didn't want to damaging it
by dismantling it further.

I asked the synthesiser maven at Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA,
once, if there was something I could do to lighten the touch on
the keys of my own QS8, of if I could send the QS8 into service to
have it adjusted, and he said there wasn't any way.

Is that true? Has anything changed since a few years ago, regarding

Is there no place I can send my QS8 for a nominal fee to lighten
the touch on the keyboard a bit?

(2) What other weighted-action MIDI-controller keyboards are available?
Are there any other MIDI keyboard controllers at a good price
(equal or less than the cost of the QS8)? I'm just talking about
the controller part now, not the sounds.

My ideal weighted-key MIDI controller would need to have 88 keys,
good action, and be able to send an acceptable/superior set of SYSEX
and MIDI information (velocity sense, pitch bend, after touch, etc...).
It seems to be common knowledge that the QS8 keyboard is a bit noisy
while hitting the keys; something quieter would be nice.

(3) People often mention that other keyboards have better sounds than
the QS8. I know that is very subjective, but I also realize that
technology enhancements and the highly competitive nature of the
synthesiser trade have produced boards with real good reputations.

I certainly don't want a QSR module, since I have QS sounds already.

What are some good keyboardless units (or keyboards) with really
good sounds that I could add to my MIDI rig (and control from the
QS8) to augment my sound base?

Among those, which are the best price deals?


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