Synth Site: Oberheim: XK: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 2.5 out of 5
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william santana a professional user writes:
The main reason I was attracted to this unit was for the modulation paddles. I have had all of the OB series in their chronologically successive order and during this period, I have become fond of the paddles in part for their spring-loaded quickness. They're just fun! My main gripe though with the XK is that the keyboard mechanism is an italian design(probably Fatar). This is the same company responsible for their long line of horribly unreliable and just plan cheesy mechanisms.(Is anyone familiar with the rainstick effect you get from turning a worn in Kurzweil/YoungChang keyboard on it's side?) This thing feels pretty spongy. I intend to install a Yamaha assembly in it(DX7&Korg Trinity). Other than that, I do like simplicity of the unit. If I need weighted action I have a Kurzweil MIDIboard for this purpose which has a sort of wheel/paddle combo design also found on most of the pre-YoungChang designs. I did have some problems with the unit staying booted up at one period but I straightened that out. The arpeggiator is kind of a drag for me because of the way it cycles back through the chord without starting from the root note of the chord phrase and because of the fact that it triggers the note as opposed to gating the the note. I am already biased in favor of the very musical Korg POLY61 arpeggiator with its instant relatch upon voicing a new chord. On the up side, it does have release velocity which is cool for those expressionists out there and the mono pressure control as well. The assignable slider on the modulation box is great for quick volume control with little effort in mind and the up direction of the modulation paddle is independently assignable from the down position. There is a simultaneous, 2 button requirement to engage the auto tune request feature but the five point transposition octave controls right above mod box is next to godliness. Master program memory with 3 zone split capability is sufficient for the average and the multi patch verses single patch feature is only useful to oberheim expander owners as far as I know. 2 velocity scale curves and a non-velocity transmission are offered. The MIDI controller access for control change, MSB, LSB and what not is limited by the fact that no continuous control data is able to be defined and sent past control change #63(just on/off info). This unit is just a bit to old to have been able to avoid making that mistake. Despite its misgivings, the XK is still worth having if you like the paddle idea. Wheels are for minimoogs and PPCs(ARP) are for the birds. Paddles are for the funk of it!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-08-2001 at 20:13
earl zamora a part time user from seattle, wa. writes:
I picked up the Xk at a Pawn Shop for a couple of hundred bucks, and although some of its features a re a bit hokie, like the power supply, it is a handy little controller. I do like its arpeggiator. And that's the main reason I intend to hang on to it.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:03
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