Synth Site: General Music: S3 Turbo: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Steve Conslaw a hobbyist user from United States writes:
I bought my S3 (used) in the summer of 2009. It is a non-turbo version that appears to be in mint condition. For under $300 (US) it was a real bargain. (I don't think the seller knew what she had.) The natural sounds range from very good to barely usable. The piano especially is subpar. The poly aftertouch is especially useful bringing strings & pads to life. It's a great keyboard on which to play soft sustained passages. On the other hand, the synth sounds are very nice. Some of them sound like the Roland D-50 or Korg Wavestation. There are a few steller Vangelis-type patches.

The polyphonic aftertouch (also known as poly-at or poly-pressure) 76 note keyboard is better than anything else I've encountered and it's worth the price of the board and more. The pitch and mod-wheels are precise, well-balanced and sprung even though the instrument is 18 years old I've been too busy to hook it up to my other instruments, but according to the specs it should make an excellent midi controller. I haven't used the sequencer. It's not that intuitive. Formatted disks are almost impossible to find.

This keyboard merits 5 stars for just the poly-at. Everything else is just a bonus.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-11-2009 at 13:48
Jokeyman a professional user from US writes:
Interesting instrument-quite differently designed than any other I have played. Had a difficult time wrapping my head around the operating system as it is designed to access almost anything from anywhere else-pretty amazing. Mine has the Ramdisk,which allows 512K of memory as permanent flash ram for storing arrangements or a sound library. 2MBs of sample RAM-there is a large library of GEM disks for this with new samples, plus can take wav files and use to build your own with the Sample Translator installed in the turbo version. An Italian website has downloadable disk images with many of these disks available or join the GEM club for an even large database for the S3T. Build quality is real strong-mostly steel case and solid endcaps have taken alot of abuse without cracking or breaking. Mine was beat to h*** bought used and it still worked perfectly. Keyboard (76 keys) is the best spring action I've played-firm but not sluggish-and I've played everything-I keep this one almost for that alone. Sounds-acoustic piano isn't good alone but blends surprisingly well in a multi arrangement-limited electric piano and organ sounds-good rotating speaker emulator but some of these electric pianos remind me of my old Korg DW6000 and 8000. Most powerful sequencer I've ever used-the operating system is unbelievably complex-but what other instrument allows for 10 full multi performances each capable of any combination of splits, layers, external midi access and individual track recording from the same performance! You can even switch entire performances from the sequencer-literally change the entire collection of 16 tracks in real time without a hiccup. Takes a doctorate in music dweeb university to do this, but it can be done. I like the drums-clear sounding, decent variety, very programmable but cymbals and other sustain sounds were not programmed properly-sound gets cut off abruptly. Overall I agree-the S3T can be noisy-have to watch volume levels and certain sounds break into digital distortion if one isn't careful about using filters and effects (actually this is useful if you're into that). Overall-has it's own unique sound-some of the sounds are the most powerful I can get, and I have Ensoniqs, Yamahas, Korgs, have played Kurzweils, Moogs, Rolands, Peaveys, old pianos, spoons, my kneecaps anything to get a good sound. Will be a hard instrument to give up. If it were for better acoustic and electric pianos, would be the most fun keyboard I own.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-12-2008 at 07:31
STan a professional user from Holland writes:
Great synth, best masterkeyboard features ever (2 midi's, 16 zones, slides, etc) but a very fragile keyboard. Broken keys, hangs, etc. I have repaired mine so often, the last 10 times I did it myself, otherwise it would be too expensive.

Besides that it's the perfect master, and very useful for synth sounds

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Oct-09-2002 at 09:55
Petey a professional user from USA writes:
Great synth/controller and awesome looking! Big and heavy, build like a tank. Good sounds for electronic music. Sound is quite like Korg 01/w. Saxes are great as some flutes. Good strings and stuprisingly good drums. I paid $700 of mine and I'll never sell it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-26-2002 at 14:36
matt e. a professional user from USA writes:
Great Controller, not enough support by manufacturer. The BEST controller on the market even now!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-10-2000 at 21:03
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