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Author Topic: Keylab 88 sent back b/c of muddy action  (Read 94 times)


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Keylab 88 sent back b/c of muddy action
« on: June 14, 2016, 10:44:14 pm »
for years now, i've been using an alesis qs8.2 in live performance, purely as a keyboard controller for my virtual instruments in ableton, while using an akai MPD32 for triggering and sending controller data.   to me, the light and snappy action of the alesis beats anything i've played.

i recently went into a local guitar center looking at getting an 88key controller with pads, sliders and knobs like the MPD32 but with better keyboard action than the stiff and heavy MPK88 i keep in my studio.

the in-store floor model of the keylab88 was perfect, it had all the controller ability i wanted and the key action had great spring-back and a surprisingly really light feel compared to all the other muddy USB 88key controllers i tried.  but rather than pay the full price in the store, i went home and ordered online from a retailer i frequently buy from (which was $200 less, no sales tax, and free shipping). 

but sure enough, the unit that arrived feels completely different - the "weighted" action feels stiff, slow, and spongy; very much like what i was not looking for in a 88 key controller, very much like all the other muddy controllers.  i even let other members of the band play the unit and they all agreed that the action was really slow.

so to all the keylab 88 owners out there, my question is, which action is the anomaly?  whats the keyboard action like on your unit, because i dont know which one represents the REAL keylab88.

as it stands, i've sent this unit back and havent decided whether to try ordering another one.  waiting to hear what current owners have to say.


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Re: Keylab 88 sent back b/c of muddy action
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2016, 11:14:18 pm »
I am very interested in this thread.  I also purchased the Keylab 88 online from a trusted vendor back in JUne 2015.  I had never played it in a store and went with the "Fatar" name, reduced weight (like you, I've used an Alesis, but mine is the original QS-8), and others' reviews at the time.

My experience with the Keylab 88 is very similar to yours, except that I decided to not return the unit, instead taking the approach that by playing it, I would build up endurance and strength, which has happened.  But, in all honesty, the action is _very_ dense feeling, and (my guess is that) the aftertouch sensor may have a lot to do with it.  I can "feel" that I am pressing into, and bouncing back from, something at the bottom of the key travel, and I believe the sensor (must be some sort of "strip") is the core - wish it could be removed, if so.

When I first played the action I was concerned about whether I could endure through a set of music, or even execute certain parts with the action.

Now I can, but I think I'd buy another 88 key controller in a minute if I found one that felt better, all bells, whistles, pads, buttons, etc. aside.

I do have to wonder about the demo unit you played - and why that unit felt so much better - a shame they all don't.


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