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Viewing topic "Upgrading to ??"

   
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Posted on: February 24, 2021 @ 09:46 AM
USER876
Total Posts:  327
Joined  04-09-2007
status: Enthusiast

I’ve had an ES8 for 15 years and the key’s are starting to miss notes.  I don’t know if it’s feasible to get it fixed so I am looking to upgrade.  My initial thought was to find a used XS8, but the newer models seem to be a big step up in features.  I was disappointed to learn that the motif line has been discontinued.  What would be the logical step up from the ES8 that is still readily available?  I don’t want to give up any features and definitely don’t want a cheaper keyboard feel.

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Posted on: February 25, 2021 @ 02:49 PM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

I went from an ES7 to an XS6 recently. I use mine mostly for the sequencer. It was a significant step up mostly because of the big color screen. Instead of going thru multiple pages on the ES, much info is on the same page with the XS. Also more effects and way more arps with the XS. While most voices are basically the same, there is a better clarity of sound with the XS. Not major, but enough to notice. 2 user voice banks vs 3 if that’s important.

The ES keybed is a better quality in my opinion. They eliminated the lead weights in the keys going from the ES to the XS. This was for ecological reasons. Not sure if the XS8’s keybed is different from the ES8.

I would say it really depends on what you need the keyboard for. Price will be different as well.

The XF sequencer is the same as the XS as well as the screen. There are more voices, effects and arps plus 4 voice user banks. The jump in voices, arps and effects is not as significant going from the XS to the XF as compared to going from the ES to the XS.

Not owning an XF, I’m sure who owns one can give you more details regarding the jump from the XS to the XF.

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Posted on: February 25, 2021 @ 05:19 PM
USER876
Total Posts:  327
Joined  04-09-2007
status: Enthusiast

Thank you for the insight.  Still considering an XS8, but they seem to be hard to find.

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Posted on: February 25, 2021 @ 06:54 PM
Xeraser
Total Posts:  23
Joined  01-28-2021
status: Regular
PeteParsons - 25 February 2021 02:49 PM

The ES keybed is a better quality in my opinion. They eliminated the lead weights in the keys going from the ES to the XS. This was for ecological reasons. Not sure if the XS8’s keybed is different from the ES8.

As far as I know FS and FSX mechanisms are the same except for the material of the weights. Manufacturers probably decided to switch to lead-free weights for all markets (probably doesn’t make sense to have two production lines) when the EU decided to ban lead in electronics back in 2006 (so a year before the XS got released) for environmental reasons masquerading as “safety reasons” in their signature alarmist fashion.

I don’t have one of Yamaha’s FS keyboards but I do have a Korg M1 that uses the same mechanism. I’m curious to find out if and how it differs from the XF I’m gonna get next month. (woohoo, neverending lockdowns)

USER876 - 25 February 2021 05:19 PM

Thank you for the insight.  Still considering an XS8, but they seem to be hard to find.

Why not an XF8? If you’re going to upgrade you might as well get all the bells and whistles instead of regretting it later. XF8s seem to be more common than XS8s here as well. I only saw like one XS8 for sale in like two months vs at least 4 XF8s.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 07:38 AM
USER876
Total Posts:  327
Joined  04-09-2007
status: Enthusiast

That is a good point.  The most readily available seems to be the MOXF8.  What would I be giving up if I went that route?  I do likd the idea of buying new.  Most of the used board I am seeing are still $$$ and look beat up, scratched up, etc.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 07:54 AM
Xeraser
Total Posts:  23
Joined  01-28-2021
status: Regular
USER876 - 26 February 2021 07:38 AM

That is a good point.  The most readily available seems to be the MOXF8.  What would I be giving up if I went that route?  I do likd the idea of buying new.  Most of the used board I am seeing are still $$$ and look beat up, scratched up, etc.

Try to wait and look for the white boards. They’ve got less use on average due to being newer and from a few ads I’ve seen the scratches on them tend to show up as black so they’re easier to spot.

MOXF as far as I know has less storage for user presets, half the number of performances, no sampling capabilities, no firewire card (probably not a huge deal), only one slot for the flash memory (kind of a big deal assuming the MOXF has the same waveform/sample limits as the XF)

AD/DA converters are also worse but I can’t comment on that.

To compensate it has a few more presets, a few more drum kits (according to the specs) and an USB interface that acts as a MIDI interface and audio interface all at once (not as powerful as firewire but probably good enough?)

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 09:21 AM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

The keybed on the ES just feels better. The materials may be the same, but because of the lead weights, the action seems not as light and more substantial to me. These kind of things are subjective, but to me the keybed on the XS feels a little cheaper. Not that it is, but the lead weights make the keybed feel ..... more robust.... for the lack of a better term. I have both keyboards side by side. Don’t misunderstand me, the keybed on the XS and XF are the top in quality for the industry, it is just a slightly different feel.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 09:28 AM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

As far as price, the XF’s are still pretty expensive from what I’ve seen. The XS’s for the most part seem to be considerably cheaper. Which ever you buy, just wait until you find one in excellent or mint condition. I wish you the best.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 03:30 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11876
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
Xeraser - 25 February 2021 06:54 PM
PeteParsons - 25 February 2021 02:49 PM

The ES keybed is a better quality in my opinion. They eliminated the lead weights in the keys going from the ES to the XS. This was for ecological reasons. Not sure if the XS8’s keybed is different from the ES8.

As far as I know FS and FSX mechanisms are the same except for the material of the weights. Manufacturers probably decided to switch to lead-free weights for all markets (probably doesn’t make sense to have two production lines) when the EU decided to ban lead in electronics back in 2006 (so a year before the XS got released) for environmental reasons masquerading as “safety reasons” in their signature alarmist fashion.

I don’t have one of Yamaha’s FS keyboards but I do have a Korg M1 that uses the same mechanism. I’m curious to find out if and how it differs from the XF I’m gonna get next month. (woohoo, neverending lockdowns)

I’ve never owned an ES, but I have an XS6, an XF6, and a Korg T3. Like the M1, the T3 has the FS keybed. In my opinion there’s minimal difference between the feel of the FS and the FSX actions.

As to the 88-key models, the ES8, XS8, and XF8 all have the BHE (Balanced Hammer Effect) action. I’ve never compared them myself, so I can’t swear that these identically-named keybeds feel identical.

 

Xeraser - 25 February 2021 06:54 PM

USER876 - 25 February 2021 05:19 PM
Thank you for the insight.  Still considering an XS8, but they seem to be hard to find.

Why not an XF8? If you’re going to upgrade you might as well get all the bells and whistles instead of regretting it later. XF8s seem to be more common than XS8s here as well. I only saw like one XS8 for sale in like two months vs at least 4 XF8s.

One consideration is whether a lot of different large sample libraries will be frequently loaded. An XS will load them a lot faster than they can be loaded to an XF’s flash memory module. The XF will retain the data in a flash module when powered down, so it becomes a question of how many sample libraries and how frequently changed as to whether the XS or XF will have an advantage. Sample libraries smaller than 128 MB aren’t an issue, since the XF has that much User SDRAM standard.

If it matters, the XS8 has mLAN(FireWire) audio interface standard. FW is optional on all the XF models.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 03:43 PM
5pinDIN
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Total Posts:  11876
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
USER876 - 26 February 2021 07:38 AM

That is a good point.  The most readily available seems to be the MOXF8.  What would I be giving up if I went that route?  I do likd the idea of buying new.  Most of the used board I am seeing are still $$$ and look beat up, scratched up, etc.

The MOXF8 has the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) key action. Some report liking it, some don’t. I have no experience with it, so also no opinion about it.

If aftertouch is important, then a MOXF probably isn’t the right choice - neither the MOXF6 nor MOXF8 has it.

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Posted on: February 26, 2021 @ 03:56 PM
5pinDIN
Avatar
Total Posts:  11876
Joined  09-16-2010
status: Legend
Xeraser - 26 February 2021 07:54 AM

[...]

AD/DA converters are also worse but I can’t comment on that.

[...]

The difference in how the MOXF sounds versus the XF was debated for a while. You can hear for yourself in a thread I posted several years ago…
http://motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/470507
...which you may have to slog through a bit to get to the meat of things. Or jump to this page…
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/470507/P45/

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Posted on: February 27, 2021 @ 02:36 AM
Xeraser
Total Posts:  23
Joined  01-28-2021
status: Regular
PeteParsons - 26 February 2021 09:21 AM

The keybed on the ES just feels better. The materials may be the same, but because of the lead weights, the action seems not as light and more substantial to me. These kind of things are subjective, but to me the keybed on the XS feels a little cheaper. Not that it is, but the lead weights make the keybed feel ..... more robust.... for the lack of a better term. I have both keyboards side by side. Don’t misunderstand me, the keybed on the XS and XF are the top in quality for the industry, it is just a slightly different feel.

I’m speculating but since the mechanisms are the same and weighting should theoretically be the same the only thing that could affect the key feel could be the density of the lead. Or maybe the lead in your keymech expanded or something.

I genuinely have no idea. As far as I know they only changed the material, not the weight of the action.

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Posted on: February 27, 2021 @ 09:46 AM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

When the XS first came out, there was great debate over the difference in feel in the keybed in this forum. As I recall, most preferred the ES feel over the XS. As I stated earlier, the feel difference is subtle, but definitely there. The only way you can make a determination of preference is playing them side by side. It’s certainly no where near being a deal breaker in either case. I do remember some saying they could play fast leads a little faster on the XS which is great for synth leads. That makes sense if the keys don’t need to respond to the additional weight which is minimal, but nevertheless still there. Others reported when playing piano sounds, that little bit of extra weight in the keys gave it a slightly better feel in the way they responded. I personally tend to agree with these assessments. Again....the differences are subtle, but definitely there.

FYI, I used to own a DX5 which had the same or similar keybed as the ES. Really sorry I sold it but I needed the money to buy the original motif.

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Posted on: February 27, 2021 @ 10:04 AM
PeteParsons
Total Posts:  144
Joined  08-21-2020
status: Pro

One consideration is whether a lot of different large sample libraries will be frequently loaded. An XS will load them a lot faster than they can be loaded to an XF’s flash memory module. The XF will retain the data in a flash module when powered down, so it becomes a question of how many sample libraries and how frequently changed as to whether the XS or XF will have an advantage. Sample libraries smaller than 128 MB aren’t an issue, since the XF has that much User SDRAM standard.

I’m curious, why does the XS load faster? Also how much memory does the XF retain on powerdown? Would it be whatever the size of the memory installed? Or is that different from the memory the XS retains?

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Posted on: February 27, 2021 @ 10:26 AM
Xeraser
Total Posts:  23
Joined  01-28-2021
status: Regular
PeteParsons - 27 February 2021 09:46 AM

When the XS first came out, there was great debate over the difference in feel in the keybed in this forum. As I recall, most preferred the ES feel over the XS. As I stated earlier, the feel difference is subtle, but definitely there. The only way you can make a determination of preference is playing them side by side. It’s certainly no where near being a deal breaker in either case. I do remember some saying they could play fast leads a little faster on the XS which is great for synth leads. That makes sense if the keys don’t need to respond to the additional weight which is minimal, but nevertheless still there. Others reported when playing piano sounds, that little bit of extra weight in the keys gave it a slightly better feel in the way they responded. I personally tend to agree with these assessments. Again....the differences are subtle, but definitely there.

FYI, I used to own a DX5 which had the same or similar keybed as the ES. Really sorry I sold it but I needed the money to buy the original motif.

Maybe it’s how the weight is distributed? Or the size of the weights relative to their density? I’d love to get to the bottom of this, I’m too curious now.

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Posted on: February 27, 2021 @ 10:53 AM
Xeraser
Total Posts:  23
Joined  01-28-2021
status: Regular
PeteParsons - 27 February 2021 10:04 AM

I’m curious, why does the XS load faster? Also how much memory does the XF retain on powerdown? Would it be whatever the size of the memory installed? Or is that different from the memory the XS retains?

As far as I know it’s cause the XS uses SDRAM just like a computer would. RAM is much faster than flash storage but it’s volatile (and static ram is rather expensive) so it needs to be rewritten after each power cycle. XF uses flash memory to store additional libraries. It takes longer but you only have to do it once for every library you need and the data is gonna stay there for good. The amount retained depends on how much memory is filled. As far as I know the XF has 128MB of SDRAM as standard so you can still load small libraries very quickly but you’re gonna lose them after powering down the unit. Or at least I think you can do that? That SDRAM might be only for the sampling features. Can you shine a light on that, 5pinDIN?

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