Kurzweil PC3A8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation

88-key Performance Keyboard with Fatar Hammer-action Keybed, Artis German D Grand Piano, 1453 Factory Presets, Onboard Sequencer, and Dynamic VAST Synthesis Engine
Kurzweil PC3A8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation image 1
Kurzweil PC3A8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation image 1
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Kurzweil PC3A8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation
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Powerful 88-key Performance Controller

Combining the power of the PC3 performance keyboard with the Artis German D Grand Piano sounds, the Kurzweil PC3A8 offers performing keyboardists and pianists a powerful instrument that covers all the bases live. If you enjoy weighted keys then you'll love the way its sounds spring to life under the control of the Fatar TP/40L hammer-action keybed. Cascading DSP engines on top of the dynamic VAST architecture makes dialing in sounds flexible and fun. And if you're looking for inspiration, there are 1453 factory programs onboard, so you'll never run out of creative energy with the Kurzweil PC3A8 under your command.

Kurzweil PC3A8 Professional Stage Piano at a Glance:
  • Loaded with awesome instrument sounds right out of the box
  • Fatar TP/40L keybed delivers the right touch for piano and more
  • Customize your setup the way only Kurzweil keyboards let you
Loaded with awesome instrument sounds right out of the box

Among the 1453 factory presets onboard the Kurzweil PC3A8, you'll find classic modeled organs, strings, vintage electric pianos, clavinets, synths, drums, and, of course, acoustic pianos. The star of the show is the Artis German 9' D grand piano, whose rich and lush acoustic sound springs to life with every note you play. We're talking about the full power of Kurzweil's famous V.A.S.T. PC3 sound engine applied to providing you with the most realistic grand piano sound available, and it's all right there inside the Kurzweil PC3A8.

Fatar TP/40L keybed delivers the right touch for piano and more

Amazing sounds like the Artis German 9' D grand piano demand the perfect touch to play to the full extent of their expression. That's why Kurzweil equipped their PC3A8 digital stage piano with one of the finest keybeds ever made, the Fatar TP/40L. Much revered by the keyboard players here at Sweetwater, the TP/40L utilizes a revolutionary hammer and return-spring design to make each key depression feel right. This light-touch version of the TP/40 allows the PC3A8 to respond to a mere 75 grams of pressure, so even though it's exceptional for piano performance, you'll also enjoy playing other instrument sounds.

Customize your setup the way only Kurzweil keyboards let you

If you're ready to take a peek under the hood of the PC3A8 and start customizing your own patches, then you're in for a treat. Onboard you'll find the full capabilities of the PC3's cascading DSP engines and dynamic VAST architecture. With 16 independent zones, hundreds of effects, plus pattern-based riffs and arpeggiators galore, you're not going to run out of creative juice. And when it comes to physical controllers, you're welcome to assign parameters to 29 physical controllers, opening up a world of live performance options.

Kurzweil PC3A8 Professional Stage Piano Features:
  • A powerful performance keyboard based on the acclaimed PC3 engine
  • Comes equipped with the sound of the Artis German D Grand Piano
  • Cascading DSP engines and VAST architecture lets you dig into your sounds
  • Onboard sequencer offers deep editing functions
  • MIDI over USB loads/saves data directly to/from Mac/PC; perform OS updates
Rule stage and studio with the Kurzweil PC3A8!

Tech Specs

Number of Keys 88
Type of Keys Weighted
Other Controllers 1 x Pitchbend, 1 x Mod Wheel
Polyphony 128 Notes
Number of Presets 1453
Number of Effects 16
Effects Types Reverbs, Delays, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, EQs, Distortions, Leslie Simulators, Compressors
Arpeggiator Yes
Sequencer 16-track
Audio Outputs 2 x 1/4" (Main), 2 x 1/4" (Aux), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
Digital Inputs 1 x Coax
Digital Outputs 1 x Coax
MIDI I/O In/Out/Thru/USB
Pedal Inputs 3 x 1/4" (Switch), 2 x 1/4" (CC)
Height 4.33"
Width 54.33"
Depth 13.98"
Weight 54 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number AMS-PC3A8

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Write your review

Quest for the Holy Grail is essentially over ;-)

Just kidding about the Holy Grail of course...it's difficult to convey how nice this board is though. I used to have a pc88mx that lasted for years of gigging and then i went through many other keyboards - most purchased here at Sweetwater. I sold my Roland RD800 to get this and I find now that my inspiration level for creativity has expanded exponentially. The sound is like they say - fantastic! Or rather, "it's the sound". And so many great usable patches and multis that it is a little mind boggling at first. The build quality is also top shelf. I considered the Motif xf8 but it is a behemoth. At 54lbs and smaller dimensions this is really the perfect size; and i like the tones better - though that is subjective and motif is nothing to turn your nose up at. Some say the triple strike is a little long in the tooth but that is a moot point since this version of the pc3 is essentially an Artis combined with the pc3k with the sampler removed - the Artis having the 6 strike German grand. Since sampling is not part of my scene this board is simply the best of both worlds. At present, it is my intention to use this as my studio board. I have a light weight board on its way for regular gigs. I am in love with this board and I'm glad i finally got it...its been a long time coming since my pc88mx gave up the ghost and though I had my share of Rolands and Yamahas, Kurzweil is by far my favorite. The TP40L keyboard is also quite nice and responds quickly and evenly to variations in touch. I highly recommend watching the tutorial videos on the Kurzweil website (or YouTube) as they are the gateway to understanding the depth and capabilities of this board. If it seems daunting, don't despair since out of the box, without any tweaking, this board can handle virtually anything. If you like to dig in and create sounds, this is the most powerful synthesizer on the market. Good luck on your search for the perfect keyboard...I've found mine!
Music background: Composer and gigging musician

Quick impression

I don't own one of these but have spent a few hours on one, and since there isn't much feedback here thought I'd post my impressions. Feel free to disregard them as you wish.I've never owned a Kurzweil but have always wanted one going back to the PC2X generation of stuff, for the very musical sampled instruments, in particular electric pianos, acoustic basses, and pianos. This keyboard is sort of a logical progression of those instruments from 10 years ago or however long it was.Sitting down at the PC3A8, you are greeted with very nice, musical piano patches. However, even though I am not an extremely technically picky guy, I quickly felt that I could hear the sample switching with velocity layers, especially in the bass notes. That is, instead of feeling an organic curve following the velocity of my playing, it was more like a switch being flipped that would trigger a "loud" sample at a certain MIDI velocity. Ultimately I found this a distracting and unpleasant sensation.Secondly, owning a Nord Stage 2, I was very aware of how many of the piano patches are the same samples with different effects and EQ applied. In contrast, my Nord has completely unique sample libraries for each piano and if they want the sound of a "honky tonk" piano they sample one, instead of using sophisticated programming to emulate one.Next I tried the electric pianos. This is where the PC3A8 really shines. Again, I felt that for the most part there are few samples onboard, and different patches were relying more on programming, but the bottom line is the programming of the electric piano patches is off the hook. They are musical, soulful and playable patches that might top anything outside of a real Rhodes or Wurly for inspiration. Short version: really, really good stuff.The synth presets: very lame by today's standards. Strings: completely usable even on high end projects. Very nice vibraphone patches, and the same for similar instruments. Excellent stand-up bass. (Kurzweil has always excelled at that instrument in my opinion).In conclusion, I wouldn't trade my Nord Stage for this, but it'd be a fantastic second keyboard if only for the electric piano patches, which might better the already extraordinary Nord electric piano sounds. My main impression is that this Kurzweil is a triumph of programming over limited sample memory, and there's probably a ton to learn in the guts of this thing about how to create sounds.
See also: Work Stations, Kurzweil, Kurzweil Keyboard Workstations, Kurzweil Synthesizers