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Roland VA-7
3 months 4 days ago
trebleclef
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Roland VA-7 #378
The build quality of the BK3 is quite good. The keys don't feel cheap, they feel quite solid for a BOTL model. The buttons feel the same and the overall feel is good.

If I compere the VA7 and the BK3, a lot of the individual instruments on the BK3 do sound better and the styles do seem a little more polished. However, I seem to get more satisfaction from playing the VA7. Not sure why this is though, being 12 year older than the BK3. That being said, I want to persevere with the BK3.

You mentioned going into my amp via a DI box. Can you please clarify what they do, as people don't seem to give me a clear explanation for their use. Are they more suited to guitar signals?

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3 months 4 days ago
Mitzie
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Roland VA-7 #380
As diki says'high quality buttons' for me are to be preferred to touchscreens in other TOTL arrangers. Touch screens are not positive enough -just watch even demonstrators often having to touch the screen more than once to change a registration or something.

With regard to the E-A7 take a look at this:







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3 months 4 days ago
trebleclef
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Roland VA-7 #386
I thought me having to touch the screen twice on my VA7 was because it is old. Touch screens on mobile devices are so much better these days. I thought it would be the same of the newer keyboards.

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3 months 2 days ago
Diki
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Roland VA-7 #388
High quality action is a comparative term... Compared to the VA7, the BK3's action is, to me at least, a bit spongy. And compared to a G800, which had the action that went on to the G1000 and the G70 (and the A70 controller), not even close!

Of all the recent Roland arrangers, I'm afraid the BK9 is the only one to sport an action that compares to the better 90's keyboards. Sadly lacking aftertouch, but nice and crisp, with close to full size keys (I'm not a fan of the shorter length modern keys). A lot of modern cheaper action tend to try to get their stiffness by spring strength, not weight. But spring strength tends to make for an action that is a bit spongy, resistance all the way through the travel, rather than initial resistance, like a piano.

Try playing a PA4X, or a FantomG, maybe an older Triton or even a vintage DX7... You'll notice a distinct difference in the touch.

As to touch screens, there are a couple of different kinds... I can assure you, the G70/E80 had a great one, I never had to touch twice, Mitzie. The VA series, though, the older kind was a bit dodgy. As was the PA3X. But newer touch screens seem to all be the better kind (prices dropped), and should you be lucky enough to try a PA4X or a Genos, you should have no problems. Technology marches on, and fears about touchscreens are a thing of the past. I love them! Shame Roland dropped them, but what do you expect for a grand or more less?!

You can see a lot of demonstrators having issues with screens simply because of unfamiliarity with their placement. Cross two zones accidentally and you'll often get no result or the wrong one!

BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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3 months 2 days ago
trebleclef
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Roland VA-7 #390
I'm not a fan of the shorter length keys on the BK-3 either. Do you think that the quality of the feel of the keys can affect your playing? Do you think that the cheaper ones can spoil your playing and make it sloppy?

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3 months 2 days ago 3 months 2 days ago by Diki.
Diki
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Roland VA-7 #392
I believe you can overcome anything!

But I also believe that how something feels does ultimately affect your enjoyment of playing something, and part of performing well is enjoying doing it...

Part of adjusting from one action to another is enough muscle memory of the action that you don't find your fingers making mistakes because they are still trying to play full length keys. But there's always an adjustment period where you may find yourself clamming a bit more than usual!

I also play accordion from time to time, and generally the first few days is clam city until my fingers adjust. But once they do, I'm good to go. If all you are playing right now is the BK3, your fingers should have adapted by now. But constant swapping between keyboards will always tend to slow that adoption down for a while.

Us older players can always remember the behemoth multi-keyboard rigs we used to have to tote around in the 70's and 80's (in fact, I didn't change to a one keyboard rig until after 2000), and you were constantly having to adjust playing techniques, often while one hand played a different keyboard! But you can adapt to anything, I guess, if you want it bad enough!

But yes, part of enjoyment is tactile. However, a lot of that comes down to budget. My Samick upright at home is no SteinwayD, LOL! But I still enjoy playing it. If I could afford a Steinway, maybe I'd feel differently, but reality takes precedence... :lol:

But when it comes to my gigging keyboard, no, there's a certain level I don't like to drop below. And lightweight highly sprung actions bother me enough for me to be willing to pay the premium to stay with something crisp to the touch.

I have a friend who just bought an FA-07, Roland's almost identically sized workstation to the BK-9. But they didn't use the BK-9's action, for some reason. Maybe because it is priced a grand or so less! The FA's action feels pretty similar to a BK5 (haven't played a BK3, I don't think). Not as good as the BK-9. I guess if stuck with it I'd adjust, but it isn't something I'd look forward to as much as playing the BK-9.

I must admit, I have been spoiled most of my career for good actions. Curiously, just about everything I bought had a pretty decent action compared to today's Chinese springfests. But none matched the G800/1000/70. So what I am playing now IS a bit of a comedown. But I don't let it affect me. I still haven't dropped down below what I consider acceptable, and dropping 25 lbs off the weight I have to tote (far more when you consider the flight case, my G70 in an ATA case was pushing 70 lbs+!) is an acceptable compromise.

In the end, it comes down to you. If the action bothers you enough, can you afford something that doesn't? And if a better action comes at the price of being an older, better built but less capable keyboard, are you prepared to make those compromises? Roland took that decision out of my hands when the dropped the TOTL segment and the BK-9 came out. It wasn't as if I had a choice. Yes, I could have kept playing my G70, but what the BK-9 offered was so far advanced it was a no-brainer. At least the drop in action quality didn't take it below my acceptable minimum!

Your decision is a lot harder...

BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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