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  sx-KN920 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1996  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 3.4/5 |  Read reviews (7)
Stig & Rune Foshaug ( writes:
During the spring of 1997, I started looking for a keyboard. I wanted all imaginable possibilities for a keyboard, of course, but my wallet didn't feel that way. So I had to restrict the cost of the keyboard to about 10.000 Norwegian Kroner (NOK), or about £800-850. After looking at brochures for a lot of different types of keyboards, there was no doubt in my mind: I had to buy a Technics sx-KN920. So I did. And I have not ever since had doubts that this was the right thing to do.

This is a keyboard that offers very good value for money. More functions and possibilities than e.g. the Roland E-series keyboards - even those models that cost twice the price of an sx-KN920.

Everything on this keyboard seems to be adjustable, like touch sensitivity, pitch bend range (individual range for each part), effects and reverb. All digital effects are adjustable with a lot of parameters. And of course, everything (sequencer songs, edited sounds and accomp. patterns, effects, panel memories and other settings) can be stored onto the floppy disk.

The keyboard features Technics' own press-and-hold buttons system for fast and easy access to frequently used menus. For example, if you press and hold the reverb on/off button for a few seconds, you'll get right to the reverb adjustment menu.

Sound edit is rather flexible and advanced for this type of keyboard, with volume and pitch envelopes, volume, stereo-panning and brilliance - all of which are individual settings for each of up to 4 parts of a sound. In addition, it is possible to assign digital effects to the sound and so on. Of course, these possibililties are in no way extraordinary in the synthesizer world, but combined with the other features of the KN920, it makes a very nice keyboard in total, compared with other types in the same cost range.

But then to the not-so-bright side. So let's start with the weight of it. With a weight of 8.8 kg (19.4 lbs), it seems more like a locomotive than a keyboard to move around. Its dimensions are impressive, too, which makes the keyboard difficult to transport. But then again, the keyboard has two large speakers (with bass enhancement ports), and is mounted on a thick wooden plate! Which, of course, makes the keyboard very strong (hence the "Excellent" choice in the "Overall Construction Quality" part of the review above).

Other negative aspects are that you can't set individual DSP effects for each part (that would require A LOT of processor, I know), it lacks editable drum kits, and there is no real-time controller for e.g. sound editing or effects. And, a modulation wheel wouldn't hurt.

Of course, if you buy the sx-KN5000, you'll probably get all these features, but then you'll probably also go bankrupt...

But despite these negative sides of the KN920, it is a very nice keyboard with very nice sound. It's heavy weight and large dimensions also makes it a stabile and rugged keyboard, that won't jump around or bend and vibrate much when you play it.

And still, about one year after I purchased my KN920, I haven't found any other keyboard that costs less than 10.000 NOK, that competes when it comes to specs - i.e. possibilities. But when it comes to whether or not other keyboards have better sounds - anybody can have their own opinion.

Comments About the Sounds:
Warm, nice "Technics-sound". With some tuning and tweaking in the "sound edit" menus, and some Flanger/Phaser DSP effect, it is possible to get rather nice Jarre- (1970's) like synth sounds.

(Thanks to Stig & Rune Foshaug for this info.)
and dont mind for the pic

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