Synth Site: Alesis: QS8.1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
page 1 of 3:        1  2  3  >>>
S Martin a hobbyist user from USA writes:
In my opinion this was the last "built to last" quality synth Alesis made with the possible exception of the Andromeda. I have always loved Alesis products and bought the original QuadraSynth when it first came out. I have since owned The QS 7.1 , two Alesis Fusions 6HD's and the QS 8.2 and now the QS 8.1 The Fusions were a great concept and could have bested them all but that's another topic, in short it was not ready for prime time. I finally decided it was time to retire my trusty Fatar Studio 900 88 key controller board after many faithful years and went shopping i didn't want to spend a ton and this time wanted better splitting and after touch as well as a few good meat and potato sounds which the Fatar lacked , after shopping around a bit I decided on the QS 8.1 , excellent build quality features and sounds for the price, the organs are very very good. Many other useful sounds is a bonus . Nice Pianos! The action is very good about as good as the Fatar for which they are noted. I almost didnt look at the 8.1 after owning the 8.2 i figured well thats a step down right?, WRONG! The 8.2 is a huge step down in every way. The action is not as good as on the 8.1 not even close, The build quality is laughable prone to breakage and component failure, cheap silver plastic end caps the 8.1 are solid oak black and look the 8.2 they even did way with 1 of the card slots and aux outputs as well as digital out and BNC Clock connector which the 8.1 has. Ok so they gave the 8.2 24bit dacs , i A/B'd the 8.1 & 8.2 and there is no audible difference. possible because its the same exact sample set which should have been updated. Alesis really went downhill after the 8.1 and now are pretty much out of the synth game with the Micron their only remaining synth. Its really to bad because they had built a reputation for quality and value faster than anyone else in the industry. Now they are owned by Newmark (Cheapo DJ gear) and will never recover from the insult of their last two offerings the QS 8.2 and the Fusion. The only hope we have to ever see Alesis emerge from the ashes again is for a new owner with the same vision that once made Alesis a great company. As for the QS 8.1 well you will be hard pressed to find a finer value for the money these are going for these days. I cant fault this unit on anything. Its just a great piece of kit.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-12-2011 at 21:17
Graeme Harper a part-time user from England writes:
Hi from a weekend warrior,

It's good to hear people still talking affectionatly about the QS8 series. I've used a QS8.1 as the centre of my rig for 5 years now and I also agree that it still stacks up against the newer market leaders such as the Tritons and the Motifs. Sure they have higher rate samples etc but put your QS8.1 through a small stereo PA as I do and I'd challenge anyone to find fault with the sounds in a live band situation. The main stereo piano sound though groundbreaking for it's day, lacks the subtlety and dynamics for a solo ballad style piano but sounds fine as a cutting stage piano for rock, pop and blues, and the keyboard action has always been one of the best around. Incidently the keyboard on the QS8.2 not only lacks aftertouch (criminal to take it off) but I think Alesis also changed the manufacturer. My brother has a QS8.2 and it has much looser and slacker feel to it. The 8.2 became available for a much cheaper price than the 8.2 so the changes were made to capitalise on the limited remaining market life of the keyboard. It's still got the same great sounds though. The master keyboard facilities are great once you take time understand them fully and I drive other keyboards, modules, lights,laptop VSTi's and also have several splits going on at the same time on the QS8.1 itself. I genrally midi up the piano sounds on one of my Roland boards when I want a solo grand piano these days such as my VR760 combo, or use a VSTi piano.

A second hand 8.1 is the keyboard to go for if you can find one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-16-2007 at 04:42
Glen Stegner a professional user from USA writes:
Well, there hasn't been much written about this synth in a long time. I thought I would chime in with some comments about the QS8.2 that I own. (There's no category here for QS8.2, so I am posting this on the QS8.1 page. Both synths are essentially the same).

The QS8.2 doesn't get a lot of respect, being that they didn't update the system at all since 8.1, and in fact they stripped down on the hardware a little (esp. with regards to outputs and expansions on the back of the synth). They did increase the effects to 24-bit and have 24-bit DACs. This gives it a slightly crisper sound than the 8.1. And they also re-wrote the User bank. Otherwise, this review would apply to QS8.1 as well.

It is still a very useful board for gigging and for bread + butter keyboard sounds. It still holds up to newer offerings with regard to the actual quality of its sound and its diverse sample-set. Newer machines like the big 3 workstations have more memory, a resonant filter, and that's about it. I play the newest offerings of the big 3 companies all the time at Sam Ash, and the QS8.2 can still compete with them. It is only ROMpler technology, which matured back in the mid 90s and hasn't really changed much since then.

So you really get a lot of sounds and a quality, sturdy board for your money here. A much better choice IMHO than plastic crap like X-50, Juno-D, MM6, etc. Here you get a good feeling 88-key weighted board with tons of great organs, EPs, pianos, synth sweeps and basses, gorgeous pads -- all for under $800. Holds up to gigging, it's been road-tested by yours truly. The 8.2 is still metal (with a silver finish) but with plastic endcaps. It's pretty solidly built to withstand the rigors of the road. Can you say that about Yamaha's MM6? No.

If you can do without the resonant filter and just want great sounds to take out on the road, get this board, or get a used QS8.1 if you need the extra outputs and extra expansion slot. Also the Q-Cards for these things really open up a new world of sound.... even better samples of Rhodes, Acoustic Grands, vintage synths, and whatever else you can ask for. The library of sounds is almost endless. Great performance mode too, including layers and splits! Can import sequences onto an expansion card if you need to have them.

In addition, the QS series of synths are also expandible via the Soundbridge software.... you can put your own samples in there!! I've done this. It's amazing.... you've got the capability of the top-end workstations right there at a fraction of the cost.

Great synth! I have lots of other stuff including analog gear that I use in the studio but would never think about taking to gigs. This one does the job for me for gigs, sometimes it's the only board I take out.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-13-2007 at 13:30
Brian Morrison from Fayetteville NC writes:
I've been playing the Roland RD-300s for about 8 years now. The fully weighted keys and piano sounds are great! Just like the regular piano. I just bought the Alesis Qs7.1 and I am disappointed. It does not sound right to me. And does not feel right either. DOES THE QS8.1 SOUND DIFFERENTLY THAN THE QS7.1? I should have known I would not be happy until I play a fully weighted keyboard again. Thank you for your help. Brian Morrison

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-11-2005 at 20:25
wooster a hobbyist user from dover, de USA writes:
I bought the ALesis 8.1 two years ago and let me tell you, this was almost a match made in heaven! The piano sounds are realistic. I could barely tell the difference between a professional piano sound and the sound on an alesis 8.1. I feel the piano sounds and the feel of the keyboard will definitely step-up your creative juices up many notches. The string orchestra, cello, and violins however are more synthesized as you pass a certain range, up or down, though they are adequate for background parts.

The only drawback in my case is the durability. After 2 months of owning, the backlit led would flicker and the wood at the keyboard ends chipped, maybe it's caused from heavy use.

If you can still find the alesis 8.1, go for it! Overall I would give it a perfect score!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-23-2003 at 14:26
page 1 of 3:        1  2  3  >>>