The synth workstation market has been really inendated. Keeping up with improvements is a real hastle now of days. I remember starting with my first Moog in the mid seventies. Planned obselencence had me down big time. Taking serious consideration of the Korg Trinity and the Kerzwiels I was about to make a purchasing decission when I remembered a flyer I had on the General Music 'S' series. I played one and thought that they were nice for the price. Then I found the flyer on the Equinox that the sales person had stuffed in with the other flyer. It wasn't out at that time. It was pre-release info. Hitting the internet I couldn't believe the price vs the features of the Equinox (check out their web site but it doesn't do it justice). It was a hard job finding one to play but I did and I was blown away! For the price their is absolutely nothing that comes close to this puppy! It has features that are on units costing 2 to 3 times as much plus some! If you are a composer and love to create then this most definately the machine for you. The designers did a wonderful job on serving to people with various preferrences. For instance... you can either use the 8 sliders to control wave, filter, etc. shape or reeeealllly get in there and work the sound to it's most minute level. Being from the analog days I really appreciated being able to shape from the front panel. Now for the real cool features: You can edit EVERY drum sound, create/edit any and all drum pads and go crazy. But the really neat thing is the 'groove machine'. This baby will blow you away! The creative possibilities are endless and so inspiring. There is even a random 'groove' generator that lets you set parameters (if you wish) and let it create grooves for you! Keep what you like throw out what you don't and keep on building. You will spend endless nights creating and saving your own grooves and patches. Navigation is accomplished through either cursors or a dial. The back lite display is flush with the front panal. Boy how I love this because the display doesn't collect 'gunk and goop' like other's who have their displays recessed. You can program the 8 sliders and two wheel controllers if you want. I reeeaaallly love that they made the pitch and mod wheels out of hard rubber. Fingers don't slip when you are sweating while jamming your head off in front of an audience under the hot lights! (Thanks guys!) The unit is totally complete. You can compose, mix, etc. all within the unit. The sequencer is 16 track AND you can play up to 16 more live ON TOP of those! It is like having two synths in one! While performing live, I had to put the other keyboards on stage so it looked like I was playing more because people could't believe I was getting everything out of that particular keyboard. Also, if you want, if you touch the sliders it will throw you into organ mode. Pretty cool. It lets you work your samples, has a solo button so you can concentrait on 'one' sound if you are getting confused as well as shut the EFX off for the same purpose. The space for saving user libraries of sounds, drums kits, grooves is extensive at best. It has a programable appeggiator, notepad for self notes (like sets, etc.), touch sensitive keyboard and nearly EVERY feature is editable on this thing. All the features are just far to numerous to mention. For the price you just can't beat it. There are a ton of features that the literature/advertising does not cover which are pleasent suprises when you come across them in the manual or by working.
The voices are good. That kind of thing is individually asthetic anyway. The manual is so-so but has the Korg beat hands down. There is practically NO customer support from the main company in Italy but the gentelman in the US office was very friendly and helpful. The internal disk drive is kind of loud sometimes but, that is par for the coarse on all keyboards that I have worked with. It is a little heavy weight wise but appears to be built solidly. The buttons are a little unsensitive or/and slow to respond on the front panal. As I said the biggest problem you are going to have is to find one to play. They don't have a huge part of the market over here. But you legally have 30 days to return it anyway. Believe me, you won't want to! I can honestly say that I haven't felt like money was this well spent in a very very long time. They will be releasing a SCSI kit, Vocal Processor kit too. If you want to work with a PC, not only do they have two MIDI - in, out, thru but a computer port if you don't have a midi card. They really designed the machine for the person who wants it all, for a great price and a good product. They really seemed to know what users wanted and delivered. I can't say that from Roland and Korg who markets products to appear 'cool' to their customers. General Music put together a machine that is very simply... practical.