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Microphone Month 3

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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Juno G vs. PSR-S500 vs. X50


This is a great forum and thanks to the Sweetwater I am learning a lot.
I love music and have been playing around with Fruity Loops, Reason, for a while now. Own a PSR-240, dont laugh. :D :D
I am a beginner and looking to purchase a keyboard. One that does not exceed $1000 and preferably one with a sequencer.
Eventually I am going to connect the keyboard to my PC and use it with Fruity Loops, Buzz, etc.
I got my mind set on the Juno G so far.
Do you or have owned on of the three keyboards and how do you like it?
Thank you in advance
I have been watching the videos on Juno G from Roland website.
here is the link
How about the Korg PA50 which is also under $1000?
September 5, 2007 @09:32pm

Hi Adixion,
I don't own any of the keyboards you mentioned,but I've been involved with workstations for 20 years & have owned 4 different workstations to date & I have also done alot of research on the next workstation that I plan to own soon,so I thought I could be of some help to you.
Korg PA50: Clearly the worst choice you could make,considering what your looking for.No USB connectivity,floppy disk drive & way overpriced,considering what else is out there for a grand.
KorgX50: Although the price is somewhat reasonable,you can get alot more for another $300 spent.
Yamaha PSR S500: 32 note polyphony & any Yamaha at this price point is frightening.
Roland Juno-G: A infinitely better choice than all of the other keyboards mentioned here! If you have a grand to spend & even if you don't(save your money),because if you do the research & you know what features to look for,the more comparisons you do in this price range,the more you will see that this is a very exceptional keyboard for a grand.
There is one other keyboard I would like to suggest for you to consider,despite how unpopular this keyboard is on this forum and that would be the Alesis Fusion 6HD.
Why it is unpopular to some: Upon the release of this keyboard back in 2005,
Alesis did not fully utilize the keyboard's sound engine capabilities,but instead,came out with some rather weak program presets in the beginning.
Also at that time & for about a year after it's release,there were several tech issues with the keyboard largely due to software mishaps that needed an update.Note: any software-based expansion keyboards will have inherant problems & unfortunately at the time,the Fusion was inundated with them.
Some still state that there are still problems with the Fusion & some do have problems,but it's hard to determine the exact cause of the problem(whether it's a user mishap,or in fact a factory defect).
Regardless,Sweetwater offers plenty of product support on this one & they are especially helpful with product replacements,in the event you run into a factory defect problem of some sort.
Why I think you should consider the Fusion now:
Currently updated software has erradicated the problems & as long as you follow the instructions carefully in all of the software applications such as downloading from your pc-you should be fine,but should you have any problems there is plenty of tech support-not so much from the Alesis site itself,but rather from Sweetwater & the various Fusion forums that have vast amounts of hints,tips & trouble-shooting resolutions from seasoned Fusion users.
Other aspects of the Fusion to consider;
The Fusion has twice as much midi sequencer & audio tracks than the Roland Juno G.
The Fusion has 24 bit recording quality vs. the Juno's 16 bit recording.
The Fusion has a vast library of free sounds,as well as additional software that is cheaper to buy than Roland's.
The Fusion has a built in 40gb hard drive,allowing you to not only store all of your sounds & creations internally,but also giving you the capability to download your storage directly from your drive to your specified location-all within the Fusion itself-a feature not possible on the Juno or any other keyboard at any price.
Also,after having researched all the retailers selling the Fusion,I have found that Sweetwater gives you the largest package of extras(sounds & memory)
for the same money-more so than anyone else.
I myself,was considering the Juno-G,as I love some of thier synth sounds,but overall,I think the Fusion is the best deal out there,as it will definately be my next keyboard.
Truth be told,I was sketchy about getting the Fusion at first,a few months back,but if you look beyond all the negative buzz that still surrounds this keyboard because of it's checkered past-you will find that after having read through & listening to,all the Fusion user experiences & audio demos on various forums,you may want to add the Fusion to your list of keyboards to consider.
I invite you to check out these forums:
www.kara-moon.com (more specifically under the forum section of this site & look for a member called "Emptysound"-this person's songs are all done on the Alesis Fusion-which is partially why I decided to get the Fusion)
His music is definately worth checking out
www.richmenga.com This person has done some pretty amazing stuff on the Fusion as well and you will find some of his demos on the Alesis website as well.
There is another Fusion based forum as well,but I can't think of the url address right now,but if you go to the second page of this keyboard forum,click on the thread that says something like; "need sampling help" and you will find some links there,provided by "Lildave" of this Forum.
Good luck in your quest & I hope my input has helped you some.
September 5, 2007 @11:49pm

For every action there is usually an opposite reaction. So without getting into the whole Fusion debate again here, I invite to follow the link placed below. This link goes to keyboard magazine's forum and a thread specifically on the Alesis Fusion. It specifically addresses issues that people continue to have with the Fusion. These are people who Alesis is ignoring by saying all the issues have been addressed.
P.S. I would recommend the Juno G of the keyboards you mentioned. if you could find a used Yamaha S90 at about the same price, you'd be wise to do it IMO.
September 6, 2007 @12:52am

Well,ShadowCompany has every right to air his grievances about the Fusion,especially so,considering WHEN he bought his Fusion & WHERE he bought his Fusion.
Yes,even in the latter part of 2006,it was still a bad time to buy a Fusion and several people that had bought the Fusion at that time are still having problems BECAUSE of WHEN they bought thiers.
Believe it or not,there have been improvements since then & there have been few to no problems with the Fusion with users who have bought thier Fusions this year.
Another thing to consider is that buying from GuitarCenter is a contributing factor to the problems that alot of people have had because G.C. has little to none customer service & product support and yes,at one time in the past,they discontinued the item & that occurance alone,gave the Fusion a really bad rep.Guess what,you can still find Fusions for sale at G.C. online to this day.
Consider this also; if the Fusion is still such a train wreck of a keyboard,then why has Sweetwater decided to get behind this keyboard & sell it at thier store?
I've been keeping tabs on the availability of this keyboard at Sweetwater & they continue to empty out thier stock of thier Fusion's on a regular basis.
You will not see the Fusion in every retail music store showroom across the country,but there are still a decent amount of retailers that continue to carry this keyboard and some will claim that in fact,stores are just emptying out thier remaining surplus stock,but if that were the case, then places like Samash must have a stockroom the size of an airplane hangar,because where are all these Fusions coming from if they are not being manufactured any longer?
Some people like to spew alot of s**t about the Fusion despite the current improvements,just because they are still so pissed off that they bought it at a time when alot of the issues where still not ironed out,coupled with the fact that the staff of Alesis upset them even more because-yes,indeed-Alesis tech support is a joke,as they are nothing but a bunch of ignorant,minimum-wage,telemarketing douche-bags(that part is true & I agree)
It is very sad that alot of people had gotten a raw deal by buying the Fusion at an unfortunate time & by buying from places like Guitar Center,as I sympathize with thier past ordeals & thier current problems tied to the past,but that just isn't the case if you had bought one recently this year and if you had bought it at Sweetwater.
More people need to be aware also,that hardware-based synth workstations like the Roland Juno-G are completely reliable because when you expand your library of sounds-you are doing so,by adding more pcm data via a sound card,so of course,your not going to have the inherant problems of a computer.
The inherant drawbacks of a vastly expandable and flexible keyboard like the Fusion-which operates under some of the same principales as a computer,has alot of the same problems such as bugs & corrupted data-especially so if you do not have enough knowledge about your operating system.
As I've mention this in an earlier thread a few weeks back,Daniel Fisher had stated in an article that if the download procedure of software from a pc to the Fusion is not accurately executed,that user mishap could result in the Fusion being sent in for repairs.
I'm not saying that there are absolutely no factory defects still present,as I'm sure that there are,but some people are claiming that the Fusion has not improved since it came out.
I have had hardware synths all of my adult life & I have NEVER had a single problem with ANY of them,but I have grown tired of the limitations of such keyboards and the ridiculous cost of purchasing new sounds for them,so I am willing to take a chance on the Fusion.
If it turns out that I end up buying and returning two Fusions from Sweetwater because of factory defects,then at that point I would probably go another route,but until that happens,if it ever happens,I am going to give the Fusion a go around.
If a person can't be bothered with any problems to work out and want 100 % reliablity,100 % of the time then,I would suggest they buy nothing but hardware synths-or even safer yet,just spend at least $2500 on a plug & play keyboard.
If you want to go to the extreme,just spend $8500 on a Korg Oasys and you'll be worry free and have a complete studio all in one and you'll never have a need for anything else to be able perform,record,produce,mix and master.
There you go,all problems solved,all in one fell swoop.
September 6, 2007 @05:03am

I took the time to look at the thread posted at keyboard magazine. There were posts by people who own the Fusion who still have issues. I went to the Fusion zone forums and read threads which confirmed these issues. The same bugs and issues which are still present concerns are still being discussed at both forums and here in previous threads. It seems pretty obvious to me these people have current bugs, have current problems and have current issues that have been replicated by other Fusion Owners. Alesis stated they are unaware of any bugs, problems or issues at present time? What? There were at least 2 bugs that I read about in multiple posts, and multiple problems and issues. Even moderators on the keyboard magazine forums are questioning the Fusion's current state. Why take the chance when better more reliable options are available.
September 7, 2007 @12:20am

Well,it seems I have to reiterate once again,the current situation with the Fusion-meaning that, if say,you were to buy the Fusion at present & you chose to buy it from Sweetwater,you would not only get the latest software update,you would also get the best product support that's out there from a RETAILER,not from the jackasses from Alesis.
Anyone who buys the Fusion from Sweetwater,the sales engineers will address any problems that may come up,which is a great deal easier & effective than dealing with Alesis directly.
I cannot stand the people at Alesis,because every inquiry that I have ever submitted to them gets answered with vague,yes & no responses.
There is no tech support with those people,much less in the way of product info either,as what you are actually dealing with is telemarketers that are reading you back literature.
Let me make two things perfectly clear,most of the problems that Fusion users are still having is largely due to when they bought it,which in most cases from what I've read,was last year.You might want to take the time to read the dates of when these people bought thier Fusions,vs. whatever problems people may be having that have bought thier Fusions recently.
Also,if it was not for Sweetwater's edition & support of the Fusion,I would not have even considered purchasing the Fusion-ever,not ever.
Why do I want to take a chance on the Fusion?
For one,I already have my flagship keyboard which is the Korg Triton Extreme.
I want the Fusion because I have been looking for an audio recorder & I cannot not pass up the oppurtunity to get a 8 track recorder,a 32 track sequencer,a 40gb hard drive,unlimited creation potential,several hundred free sounds,free memory upgrade & free monitors,all for a grand.
Like I had said in my earlier post,if I run into problems that cannot be resloved
even after two product replacements,then I will take that $1000 and invest into something else & I will have lost nothing.
On the slim chance I run into a catastrophic problem years down the road with the Fusion,well,it won't be such a terrible loss,as it's only a thousand dollars,as compared to it's original sticker price of $1699.
Since Adixion is a beginner,maybe the best way for him to go is with the Roland Juno-G & I am totally behind that decision,as the Fusion was just a mere suggestion for him-just something else to consider.
It's always useful to do as much feature vs. price comparisons as possible,especially for someone who is a novice like Adixion.
September 7, 2007 @01:53am

I purchased my Fusion at sweetwater and can attest to their helpfulness. I have the most current operating system installed and I did it correctly. According to the links I followed on this thread, I have two bugs that other Fusion owners stated on both the keyboard magzine forum and the Alesis Fusion zone forum. Sweetwater tech support was unable to resolve my issues. Alesis has been unable to resolve my issues and no one on either forums has provided a solution to my bugs or other troubles I'm having. What I did receive was confirmation of my issues and bugs and I was basically told I was going to have deal with my Fusion the way it is. I think this is crap. Alesis refused to even aknowledge it and has flat out lied to users. I think iamironman is correct. Why would you want to go through the hassles that come with the Fusion? If you do a search on this forum, the keyboard magazine forum and the fusion forum its very clear to see that there are many users like me still having issues with the Fusion. The second hand music store down the street from me won't even take my Fusion for resale. They have small portable crappy casios. The Manager said to me too many people bring them in for resale and too many people return the Fusions once they are purchased. I listed it on Ebay and the high bid was under half what I paid for it on two separate auctions. I'm keeping it since I don't want to lose money on it but I can't use things like the sequencer, sampler and certain sound banks.
adixion I really think you should get something else besides the fusion. Do your own research and see and read everything for yourself. I wished I would have listened to what people told me before I purchased one.
September 7, 2007 @03:27am

Rather than entertain the comments made by Elwood, I will instead offer a much more viable option to the original poster of this thread. Borrowing a line from Gdrone, I believe this is the best thing you could do:
"Do your own research and see and read everything for yourself."
I also believe the second part of his statement is something you should strongly consider as well:
"I wished I would have listened to what people told me before I purchased one."
This type of story is all over the place on the internet. Pay close attention to places like Keyboard magazine, a non fusion place with no biases to any brand. Look at the dates of those posts. All fairly recent. Look at how many of those users and others still own a Fusion, have the most current OS and still have problems. Look at the all the users who responded to Alesis's comments with disbelief. Look at the moderators who work for keyboard magazine who themselves are questioning the current, not past, but current situation with the Fusion. But again remember to do your own research and things will become very clear.
September 7, 2007 @03:44am

Fusion has more features, but some of them don't work well (the so-called 8-track audio recorder, which features so many limitations as to be nearly useless) or don't exist (tempo sync for effects) ...
... the Juno-G has fewer features, but IMO, they more-or-less work together and well ...
Get the Fusion if you want to take a few chances, program and push the sonic envelope with its multiple synth engines, multisampling capability, and more robust construction with a much better keybed (w/aftertouch) ...
IMO, the Juno-G is a safer, better-rounded, more mature product that satisfies more as an all-in-one workstation-ish machine ...
I don't dislike the Fusion ... but I must admit ... I've never bonded with it much in the shadow of my Fantom X (a true powerhouse workstation ... not perfect, but close )... I've never been a big fan of the Fusion's interface ... it's not bad or unintuitive but a little tedious, IMO ... esp. switching patches is a little slower than most and the file system/structure is a big mess, IMO ...
Good luck! I don't think there's a clear winner here for you ... Personally, I'd rather have both ... !!!
September 7, 2007 @05:57pm

adixion, I just bought a juno g the other day for my niece, along with a yorkville kbd amp (50 watts - 2 channel), and I have to say that we never heard a weak patch, for as many sounds as I listened too. My niece is in a few bands, and just got back from playing as a guest with a local band which travelled across Canada, and has had a lot of exposure to different equipment and different musicians, and she couldn't be happier with her new juno g.
We also looked at the korgs, like the x50 and the tr61, but the juno seemed to have everything she wanted, great sounds, 128 note polyphony, d beam, (though the sounds were good also on the korgs), and the other thing is, the juno has a cool retro look, which she wanted. I should also say, that she is a mostly a guitar player and singer, who wants the flexibility of a kbd. with lots of patches, (and effects), to alter or create her own sounds, like I think most musicians do, in short to be creative!
You have to add a compact flash card, and adaptor (to save your settings), and a memory chip if you want to use the sequencer to it's full capacity, all this cost another $150 in Canada.
I don't think you can go wrong with the juno g, and I did a lot of research, on these forums and others, and played the kbd in the store before we made a decision, and I think it is a great sounding keyboard.
As an aside, it seemed that when I did a search on this site for info. on the juno g, it seemed like this elwoodblues character, had hijacked the thread to write some longwinded tirades about the fusion, to the extent of completely ignoring the original question, so I found that somewhat distracting, however my advice is go for the juno, sounds and effects are excellent!
Elwood, you should move out of your mothers basement, and get a life!
September 7, 2007 @08:42pm

thank you augustine, shadowcompany, diametro, gdrone, elwoodblues, iamironman,
You were all very helpful.
So far I have my mind set on the Juno G until something else comes up around that price range.
I did start researching Fusion but thanks to you guys I will stick to Juno G.
September 8, 2007 @10:39pm

I'll give you my opinion on this topic (as it also relates to the Fusion). Off the top.., I'm a "former" Fusion owner. What was Alesis thinking..., and who designed this synth? I can understand the other posters positive view of the Fusion as we all have different needs. However, one thing the Fusion can not be called is a workstation. When the fusion was initially released they "forgot" to add loop recording to the sequencer. It was strictly linear with no looping--what the hell??? There were numersous bugs, which there is still a list present today even with the latest OS. There is a documented issue of inconsistent velocity levels between the black and white keys on the 6HD. There have been many problems with the design of the 8HD's keybed as keys were offset in the case, and the black keys were smacking the upper casing upon return. Just a nightmare of poblems since the Fusion's release.
Also the Fusion's sequencer doesn't have pattern sequencing either. You cannot create patterns, then chain those patterns together as you would on other workstations. The Fusion would have faired much better if Alesis just left all sequencing off the unit from the start. Sonically the Fusion is capable of ripping out some killer sounds with its mutliple synth engines. As a stand alone synth (for sounds only) I think the Fusion is OK, but as a workstation.., well I suggest you look elsewhere. The only thing IMO opinion that saved the Fusion project was Hollow Sun's work in creating free sound sets.
The Juno-G's a great little synth. Good sounds, good features, decent build quality, large screen, and many other good things. There are TWO problems that I know of and ONE has already been fixed. Originally there was a problem with sustaining, and that was later addressed and fixed by Roland. However, there is still a problem that some owners of the G are having. There seems to be a glitch with the transposition. Sometimes the board will randomly transpose itself (I think up by one semi-tone). Users have reported this, but to date I have not seen or heard anything in regards to a future OS update to correct the issue.
September 11, 2007 @12:23pm