One Fine Keyboard
Cut my teeth with portable keyboards on the Kurzweil PC1X. Great entry for me to this world. I play keys for a great worship band. And after seven years with the 1X I really needed something more. Something with quicker program editing on the fly (on stage). Something with newer and more accurate acoustic piano samples. Something with better and broader editing capability. Something with a fuller B3 sound. Something with a more piano-like keyboard feel. Something built like a tank for the frequent trips to practice and weekend services Something for under $2000. Enter the PC3LE8. I read all the reviews and chose this model. My prior experience with Kurzweil had been excellent, and I wanted more of the same.
Out of the box this board fulfilled my needs and then some. First the keybed is far more genuine for a piano guy than the 1X. It has a marvelous rate and end of stroke range of voice dynamics. Not a perfect match to a Steinway but good enough to get the benefits of real feel sound production yet still light enough for the fast finger action needed for some of the synth stuff I like to do. The piano sounds are excellent and with the improved keyboard feel after about three weeks on this instrument my playing (especially my fingering) has improved remarkably. This is the instrument that lures me back to it in the evening to work those sweet romantic melodies for my wife's enjoyment. It amazes me the emotion I can put on the touch of these keys - the dynamic range of sound output based on touch of my hands is impressive.
Editing on the fly is far easier with an excellent LCD display with applicable edit info for each sound selected. Also that display shows you what's on the list before and after the program (sound) you are playing which eases changing from one program to another. Having a panel of buttons with the program categories (Piano, Organ, Pads, Strings, etc.) selectable in an instant is a big plus. And you can program each category button for your favorite to come up at the touch of that button. This feature will work very well for those between song transitions on stage.
The ability to record (using the sequencer) any song you play is of huge benefit to me. I especially like the tempo adjustable metronome feature with tap tempo control. This gives me the ability to critically listen to what I'm doing and my rhythms and then make corrections.
Now there is a ton of stuff in this board. The excellent musician's handbook tells all, but it will take years for me to plumb the depths of what can be done with this keyboard. This is where an online tutorial by Kurzweil would be of great benefit.
Last, it is solidly built. Absolutely no plastic where plastic should not be. The built-in power supply is a nice feature. Weight - at 54 lbs. it's still manageable even for an old guy like me.
In sum, nice job, Kurzweil, to put all this capability into a board for this price. I will get years of enjoyment with this instrument plus the benefit of more growth in my playing ability. Absolutely no complaints. To be totally fair I could not give it a 5 stars. Maybe the new Kurzweil Artis would get a 5 from me, but for the money the PC3LE8 perfectly fulfills my needs. Keep more like this coming Kurzweil.