Synth Site: Technics: Technics WSA1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Embi a part-time user from England writes:
A WSA1 user review in 2011? Why not.

Bought mine in early 1998. It has the hardware expansion (double the audio and midi output with added digi-out, like the rack) and the dance-card expansion. So it's a happy beast.

Took 1½ weeks to get used to the keyboard action, worryingly. But once I got the velocity curve right I found it to be the best action on any keyboard non-weighted I've used. Solid, but with a couple of millimetres 'give' for the aftertouch. It's almost semi-weighted but doesn't hinder speed or natural expression. An achievement!

Sounds are overall thin and weak though, had to program up the volume on my regular sounds. My SY85 was in your face, the WSA1 sat back. Some EPs, raspy brass, strings and guitars were useable. Drum sounds were lively and bright. Sequencer could be pushed out of time with anything beyond simple arrangements. Pianos were very poor, with a distinct synthetic-ness in certain ranges, beyond remedy despite my programming efforts.

Lots of parameters to program or tweak, though many of them did little or nothing useful unless you knew what you were doing, or wanted weird experimental sounds.

No stage-cred now, and a little redundant alongside today's gear but I can't sell it, though 2nd-hand they now go for a little more than you'd expect. It's now rare as do-do's feathers and has a product story that lends to it being a rare classic. And you can still eek some great sounds out of it, which will sound like nothing before or since.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-02-2011 at 17:31
k-boarding Synthesizer a professional user from US writes:
*ENGLISH - As far as I'm concerned, is a terrific keyboard, considering their physical and electronic architecture, I am happy either way according to my expectations or needs. (Sound-escape - Ambient - Electronic) About of the library of basic sounds, I find many of them outdated for this season, which is not relevant for me since. I have 15 synthesizers, but about of the library of the compounds sounds and effects, is really impressive. To add functionality, we need to note that have three modulators wheels and a ball that works in conjunction with a vector system, similar to the Roland D-50 that allow you mix and play with both, the modulation and with the variation of the sounds of the filters. The possibilities are endless, and that from the same sound can be generated other wave in real-time. Another notable advantage is the ease of edit and gets access to changes in live performances, considering it is a digital synthesizer, making it doubly interesting because of its polyphony as its versatility. Thirdly and finally, have double midi board, allowing you, to control two different and independent work groups. More information, please find me on facebook: k-boarding Synthesizer.

*ESPAÑOL - En lo que a mi concierne, es un tremendo teclado, considerando su arquitectura tanto física como electrónica, en ambos sentidos me satisface conforme a mis expectativas o necesidades. (SoundEscapes - Ambiental - Electronica) En la librería de sonidos básicos, encuentro muchos de ellos desactualizados para esta época, lo cual para mi no es relevante ya que tengo 15 Sintetizadores, pero en la librería de sonidos compuestos y efectos, es realmente impresionante. Para agregar funcionalidad, debemos notar que consta de tres moduladores de rueda y uno de bola que trabaja conjuntamente con un sistema vectorial similar al Roland D-50 que permite mezclar y jugar tanto con la modulación como con la variación de los sonidos de los filtros. las posibilidades son ilimitadas, ya que a partir de un mismo sonido pueden generarse otros tipos de onda y a tiempo real. Otra ventaja destacable es la facilidad de edición y acceso a funciones en vivo, considerando que es un sintetizador digital, lo que lo convierte doblemente interesante tanto por su polifonía como por su versatilidad. Lo tercero y para concluir, posee doble placa midi, que le permite controlar dos grupos diferentes e independientes de trabajo. Más información. Encuéntreme en facebook como k-boarding Synthesizer.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-29-2010 at 22:59
Les Scott a hobbyist user from UK writes:
I bought my WSA just as it reached the end of its production and its price had dropped to £600. However many years ago that was, I'm afraid I don't remember.

This synth is formed - through an act of what some might say was questionable design sense - from a very robust, heavy body and far less robust plastic end panels of the brittle variety. You can probably see where this is going now... As a result of this weakness (and quite possibly barbaric handling) the first two WSA1s that I received had their ends smashed well beyond repair by couriers. The third had a non-functioning disk drive and the fourth, which I still have today, has minor intermittent disk drive problems - sometimes refusing to format disks and killing 6 or so before a good format.

I personally find most of the sounds very thin - though - as argued elsewhere here - this need not always be a bad thing. The output seems very weak compared to my Supernova, Virus and Akai - and I have to sacrifice a little signal to noise quality to use it. I find (with a few exceptions) the sounds to be on the plastic side - and evolving sounds can - without considerable care - sound very badly dated - like something of the M1 era.

It very occasionally works for me in a mix but most of the time I find that it is really not worth the effort. The drum kits, in the main, tend towards very realistic, bright metallic percussion - and, whereas I can see that they could be good for some musical styles - they're useless to me.

Some surprising quality can occasionally be found on sub bass - as per comments on the sine elsewhere here. The weighted keyboard feels great and I use it as my master keyboard - more often than not ignoring the internal sounds (other than one outstanding subby bass drum in one of the kits). Having said that - it has a sound called "adult contemporary piano" which I personally find to be an exceptionally good piano for a dark 20th century classical sound (though a piano was probably the last thing in the world I had bought the synth for.)

All in all I felt that this was a poor buy - to me it sounds much closer to a home keyboard than a real synth.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-27-2007 at 14:41
Greg Niven a professional user from London, UK writes:
I use to have a WSA1 and i have to say that Dave M's review is spot on and the guy I was stupid enough to sell mine to got an amazing deal at £250 (approx $450). It does sound different and it is very much a work station but it complments any studio.

I worked for Roland UK at the time and my studio was full of JV's etc but the WSA always got used the most. The cards are impossible to get, i went as far as contacting Panasonic in Japan through a very reliable contact and they'd gotton rid of them in a panicked sell out to a US retailer when they discovered the synth was not selling and they thought they were going to get dumped with a load of useless add-ons.

If you want something different but still very useful in a workhorse way then get it, i wish i still had mine, software just isn't the same....;0(

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-17-2004 at 08:49
Mr. Ron a hobbyist user from UK writes:
A great synth with bags of potential. Forget the presets and start digging, any user will find there is a lot of milage in the WSA1.

Good Sound quality (better than my 38kHz Morpheus), good keyboard action, and a sequencer that makes more sense than most software-based suites (although it is a lot more simplified).

I love it, still use it and would recomend it to anyone who takes the time to get to know what their latest purchase is truly capable of.


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Oct-20-2004 at 23:11
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