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Kurzweil

Kurzweil Piano Reviews

KurzweilRaymond Kurzweil, Bruce Cichowlas, and Stevie Wonder developed the first Kurzweil instruments in the early 1980s. Kurzweil designed reading machines for the blind and, when he met Stevie Wonder, they adapted the technology for musical instruments in an effort to merge the acoustic and digital worlds through music. Their goal was to merge “extraordinarily flexible computer control methods” with acoustic music without compromising sound quality.

Kurzwail Music Systems continue to produce high quality digital keyboards and customers continue to appreciate its quality sound and durability over time. But don’t take our word for it. Here are some real reviews that real Kurzweil users have posted online.

“Powerful synthesizer, stage piano, and performance controller”

“T” from Philadelphia is a professional musician who loves the Kurzweil Forte. He is impressed with the piano and electric piano sounds and the Forte’s performance mode that allows you to configure 16 keyboard zones and run them all at the same time. Add the 3.3 GB of user samples and “T” says, “Unreal! …the best Kurzweil keyboard to date.”

“Kurzweil does it again! While I would not consider this to be the next ‘K’ series synthesizer, it does come very close. The Forte is being marketed as a stage piano. This is an unfortunate over-simplification of this beast. I am loving the Forte and here is why:

  • Kurzweil’s legendary VAST synthesizer engine: Thanks to updates by the Kurzweil’s team, the Forte can now be fully programmed from its local interface. If you are not familiar with the power of VAST, do your homework. 
  • Larger color display: This is much better than the older Kurzweil screens. This is a major improvement.
  • Faster envelopes! I have heard complaints about how slow Kurzweil’s envelopes are. I recently updated the firmware and along with this came some new options for faster envelopes.
  • Powerful effects engine: I used to feel so limited by the number of effects I could use with my old K2600. I am quite happy with the quality and number of effects I can use on the Forte.
  • Sixteen step, programmable arpeggiators.
  • Multi Mode: The Forte has a performance mode that allows you to configure 16 different keyboard zones. Each zone can have a program (patch) assigned to it. Each zone can be programmed to react differently based on many control options. Each zone can be programmed to use a different arpeggio… That is 16 different arpeggios, all capable of running at the same time! I am only scratching the surface when it comes to the power Multi Mode.
  • 3.3 GB of user samples! Let me say it again… This is a hardware synthesizer and it allows for 3.3 GB of user samples. Unreal!
  • THE SOUND!!!!! The Forte has incredible piano and electric piano samples that need to be heard to be believed. On top of this, the VA engine is top notch and sounds great.”

“No wonder Kurzweil is one of the most common keyboards to see in Broadway pits.”

Vsyevolod says though he owns keyboards from other companies like Yamaha, Roland, and Nord, the Kurzweil is one of the best for sound, feel, and to use as a master controller. He credits Kurzweil with one of the better sounding acoustic pianos on the market. He also points out how easy it is to learn your way around the Kurzweil keyboard. The reviewer goes on to assert that no other master controller can do quite what his Kurzweil keyboard can.

“I’m a long time Kurzweil user, though I also own keyboards by Roland, Yamaha, Nord etc. Kurzweil has always been at the top of the heap in terms of sounds, feel, and use as a Master Controller. For starters, the Programs that come stock in the board are of higher overall quality than any other manufacturer, hands down. While other companies may give you hundreds if not thousands of sounds, if 80% of them are unusable, it’s both a waste of time and space to include them. With the PC3, roughly 80% of the Programs are such high quality that they are readily usable in most circumstances. Some of the ePianos for instance are so well modeled, I sometimes find myself looking under the keybed for the squeaky key only to find that it’s been programmed in that way.”

Click here to read more of Vsyevold’s review.

“The best sound for under a grand.”

A customer from Zzounds gave five stars for overall sound, quality, and value and 4.5 stars for manufacturer support. They gave 3.5 stars for features but gave high praise for the overall experience, quality, and sound. This musician says he uses his Kurzweil for over 100 gigs a year and it’s held up splendidly under 5 years of heavy use.

“Sound: The best piano sound available for under a grand. Some decent FM, Rhodes, organ, and string sounds as well. 

Feature: I play most of my gigs with it–a hundred a year. It’s durable, and so light that I can carry piano, stand, and amp in a single trip and without help! The biggest disappointment is the lack of bass sounds and inability to split the keyboard. I tried it as a midi controller, but it’s fussy, time-consuming, not worth the hassle. The tuned and untuned strings business is a waste. 

Quality: It’s held up better than my Kurzweil PC-2. 5 years of continuous use. The biggest potential problem is the thin wire on the adaptor. Trip on it and the gig’s over. Better get another, even though Kurzweil charges an exhorbitant price for this little sucker. 

Value: For $500-600 nothing is close. Sounds better than the PC2. 

Manufacturer Support: Good. Kurzweil doesn’t have the many customers, so the rep at the site will answer personally. 

Overall: I’ve gotten my money back many times over on this one because of the heavy use I make of it.”

“Lots of cool features!”

PianoManChuck” gives the Kurzweil Forte two thumbs up overall for being solid, well-built, and easy-to-read board in poorly-lit areas. He loves the cool little “extra” features like LED lights on the sliders that show the position the faders should be. Chuck says one of the best things about this board is the KB3 mode. Transposing is easy with the transpose button!

Kurzweil Reviews In Summary

In summary, Kurzweil customers give high marks to this digital piano for the overall quality, value, and durability. Many users find the myriad of features intuitive and easy to learn across almost all of Kurzweil’s piano models.

Some reviewers gave lower marks to Kurzweil for poor key action , particularly in the MP-10 model, but that didn’t seem to be a major sticking point for very many people. And even those who didn’t love Kurzweil’s key action agree the sound is good and the digital features are quality.