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Kurzweil PC3K8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation Reviews

4.5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the Kurzweil PC3K8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation?

Questions about the Kurzweil PC3K8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation?

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  • from San Diego February 5, 2016Music Background:
    Composer

    The One

    This review is a long time coming. I bought this six months ago and let me share my story. I had the cash to afford any workstation on the market. I drilled down to the following three which I determined were industry best based off countless other reviews and awards: Yamaha Motif XF8, Korg New Kronos 88, and the Kurzweil PC3K8. I already owned the Motif XS8 and liked it. However I had my eye on this bad boy since Kurz announced in five years ago. I owned a Kurz digital piano back in the day and loved it. Needless to say like most Kurz products it's a preferred taste situation. You will either instantly love or hate their products for the most part. I obviously love them and for good reason. The PC3K8 beyond the XF8 and New Kronos mentioned has build quality that far exceeds those two in my mind. This thing is built like a battle tank. Meaning if you gig with it you have peace of mind. The build is apparent immediately when you touch this thing. The keys are in my opinion the best feel I've experienced. The funny thing is they are not the most realistic. I would accredit the Motif with having a more "life-like" keyboard. However that doesn't matter to me. This is a digital keyboard after all so the assumption is that the player will want action that is suited for playing multiple styles such as rock where you want more give and response. I'm by no means compelled to redundantly write about the sound or overall capabilities of the PC3K8. There has been so many reviews published it would be entirely moot. As a workstation the on-board sequencer is efficient and unlimited in performance.

    In closing I found this to be the workstation for me because it feels right. This is a top quality professional keyboard for true industry pros. It will do whatever you want it to do. I have mine running through an AudioBox 44VSL with Studio One 3 Pro. Everything is in perfect harmony. With Kore 64 I have an outrageous amount of samples and effects to add to any style I choose. Lately I've been big on ambient cinematic scores and this delivers in spades. If you're on the fence please waste no more time and buy this!

  • from Toledo, Ohio March 16, 2014Music Background:
    A half century at the Steinway

    Just buy this and be amazed

    I bought this to replace my 16 year old (never a problem) PC88mx. I shopped other brands. There are a lot of great boards out there. Not one of them even comes close.Stunningly realistic sound reproduction. An endless array of effects. The Hammonds are as good as my B. And then there's the K section. Whoa! It's built like an Abrams tank. You will spend some time with the tutorials on Kurzweil's site. Then the light bulb comes on and there you are. If you are truly a professional buy this and leave the toys for the kids.

  • from McKinney, TX September 17, 2013Music Background:
    Classically trained, weekend rock star, electronic musician.

    Take it to the next level

    I have a K2600XS and a K2661. I recently received my PC3K8 and am seriously blown away by this new generation of K's. Not to mention that I haven't yet had the time to explore the add-ons that came with this deal from Sweetwater, so I'm sure there is more to come.
    As a technically minded person, I am impressed with the SoundTower program editor/librarian. I pride myself as a cover artist being able to replicate sounds from the original recordings as opposed to simply sampling them. To me sampling is no challenge and I thrive on building sounds. In this arena, Kurzweil more than delivers.
    In a nutshell, the PC3 series compared to the K2x predecessors is much more organized, more user friendly and packs a ton of extra horsepower to deliver theater quality sounds from a single instrument.
    As usual, I would recommend this piece of gear to any serious keyboardist.

  • from Campbell River, BC March 14, 2013Music Background:
    Musician

    Kurzweil PC3K8

    The sounds are fabulous. The flexibility and control options are almost limitless. Keyboard action is great. Build quality is excellent, solid.
    You will not be disappointed with this keyboard. It will be the last board you will ever need, (unless you need sampling capability).
    My favourite sounds are the pianos, EP's, organs and pads.

  • from Jacksonville, FL September 29, 2016

    PC3K8 playability and sounds

    I am going to be honest and give both my opinion on pros and cons. I do not give the new KZ a 5 because of several reasons.

    First for the CONS, playing really fast synth parts is not quite the same as a controller or normal synth keyboard only because of the lack of really fast response from the weighted keys. Also, the KB-3 leslie simulator has not really improved much (if at all) from the old K26xx series. It still sounds somewhat phony, very much like a vibrato/LFO vs. a true FM created doppler effect. There are several Leslie simulator fx boxes that do a much better job than the PK, so i would recommend picking one of those up and improve your sound. Another con is the ribbon controller is not included on-board, which rather sucks because the pluggable one just kinda gets in the way both from a placement perspective and the fact that you have the dang cable running over the face of your keyboard. I would have gladly exchanged a little more weight in a slightly bigger frame to accommodate the ribbon.

    With that said, lets move on to the PROS. First and foremost, its a back saver on this model vs the old K26 series. Perhaps close to half the weight so its much easier to carry around from gig to gig. Second, no skimping on any of the original programming features, and in fact they have expanded a bit. Plus there are many improvements to old sounds, addition of new sounds, expansion to user slots, and the KORE expander is quite nice. Programming itself is as easy as it has ever been in the past, and even more so and much more user friendly with the addition of the software. It does take a little time to get used to, but once understood, its a breeze. And the USB port is fantastic for importing sample, programs, setups, etc.

    Overall, the PC3K8 is a great board, although for the price I would have expected a little more in the "improvements department". Unless you really have a need to, or just want to have eye candy for the audience, you can leave all the other keyboards home and just bring one to a gig. For me, I prefer just the PC3K8, with my laptop along for good measure so I can really beef up the sounds with MainStage and/or Logic Pro using Arturua and Spectrasonics products. Sometimes even bringing a simple controller along to expand the use of more sounds needed for more complex material.

    Hope this was helpful to everyone.

  • from Chelmsford, MA February 10, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    It is about the sounds, the SOUNDS.

    A professional Kurzweil user since the K1000 days. I have played K series products since the 1990s, along with several other household brands. The K series always wins for 'USABLE sounds'. The pianos, basses, etc sound fantastic, but more importantly FIT in the mix. Other brands can sound GREAT when you audition the presets, but sound harsh and un-natural in a mix. The PC3K8 is exactly what I need in my work. Best in class instruments (pianos, Rhodes, Hammonds, orchestral, percussion). One negative remark that has been my experience with K series instruments is that they really could use some better brass sections. The solo instruments are great and usable, however. Great instrument, almost unlimited potential.

  • from CA.UAS September 28, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist ( with programming knowledge))

    PC3K8

    Amazing sounds! Sometimes I feel they are better than the original instrument. Please use a good quality monitor to appreciate them.
    And I never thought of using such a complected keyboard! But that's the hidden beauty of this beast. Potential is endless.
    I don't think I would need any other as long as this keeps playing. I wish it had some more common Asian/Indian/Oriental instruments -
    like Tabla, bamboo flute etc. Though I can see that it's possible to do everything that I wish to do; but getting there knowing how
    to do it, will take time. The manual is really a manual and not an easy guide! So you need to ready it thoroughly - unless you get
    lucky finding a related video footage in the tube. I wasn't so lucky, so after a got lot effort, I could Finlay create my own Tabla
    instrument using my own samples! .5 deducted only due to lack of examples in the manual.

  • from Boise City, OK January 22, 2015Music Background:
    retired pro

    Playing several tracks back at once

    I don't look for a salesman to do solos all the time. What can this machine show us when it comes to a full completed sound track?

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