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Rating and Reviews: Fatar SL880Pro

Weighted hammer action keys. Velocity sensitive with aftertouch. Pitchbend and modulation wheel.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Overall an O.K. Product." submitted February 15, 2006

By a customer from rochester.rr.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist probably. Attempting to work towards my goal of operating a music recording studio.
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, a little country, New Age, mostly my own compositions and style.
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Sound: It's an MIDI controller the sound is only as good as what you plug it into. Feature: It has two MIDI out ports and has pitch bend and modulation wheels... It didn't include much, but the manual does have a list of the MIDI instruments and their standard numbers that I find useful. The keys feel pretty solid however. Nice feel to them. Quality: I'm giving it a six. The first one I bought quit after a few days, but my second one seems to be working very well. Though I find myself being extra careful with it. (Ie. Making absolutely sure I do not try to turn it on when the power plug is not in it.) Other then my paranoia from my experience with my first one it seems rather solidly built. There is one issue that I'm not sure if it's the controller or my software. I think it's my software, and that is that GarageBand ('05) won't layer two different instruments at the same time. Value: Is a good value. But the Alesis QS8.2 Synth workstation looks like it has most of the same features plus a built in sound library and better interface for 2x the price of this one. But considering it's rather basic interface I can't quite say this MIDI controller is a great value. Manufacturer Support: I've never need to use support directly. The Wow Factor: It's a practical addition to my setup. But the keys do look rather nice. They look more like piano keys then the little slabs of plastic I've seen on cheap keyboards that are about half the price of this MIDI controller. I would prefer it to be white and silver to match my Mac mini better but other then that it's fine. Overall: It seems to do what it's supposed to. But if I wanted to get another one I would search around for a different one to supplement, due to it's interface, and the general distrust I have of the product because of my first experience with one. I would probably by the Alesis QS8.2 Synth workstation to replace it. Or the M-Audio Keystation Pro 88. But I would never buy anything short of 88 keys unless it was for some strange reason required.
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"Dung with a power cord." submitted March 10, 2006

By a customer from dragonbbs.com
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: Engineer, Musician, Songwriter, Producer
Music Style: Eclectic/Singer/Songwriter
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Sound: It doesn't make sounds Feature: Pretty poor features Ease of Use: Pretty easy before it completely stops working Quality: A total piece of crap Value: Good price, but for something that stopped working after 3 or 4 months Manufacturer Support: Noin existent...the 90 day warranty covers the life of the instrument. It lasted about 90 days The Wow Factor: Looks good, but is no good Overall: I wish I would have believed what I read before I paid anything for this pathetic instrument. It does give me some solace, however, that customer reviews probably are often true. This company should be ashamed.
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"Great keyboard feel but antequated and unreliable electronics" submitted January 4, 2006

By a customer from adelphia.net
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Features
Quality
Value
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz, Classical, Ethnic
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Sound: N/A Feature: It's a keyboard controller with minimal features for integration with your MIDI environment. Awkward to use with a sequencer. The user interface is antequated: 7 buttons and 14 red (off/on) lights. It required to many button presses to make any changes. There is no display of what your current settings are: patch, transposition, keyboard mapping etc. No MIDI Thru. Supports Channel After Touch. Pitch and Modulation wheels have a nice feel to them Quality: I've owned two. Within several weeks, the electronics failed on both. On both, the control buttons stopped working completely. On one, the MIDI NOTE ON messages sent were incorrect when playing a repeated notes at high velocity e.g., I would play 6 notes but only 4 would be sent. I used MIDI-OX to confirm this. Value: Due to lack of reliable of the electronics, this product is not worth buying at any price. Manufacturer Support: I was unable to reach them. The only support appears to be from the reseller. The Wow Factor: As I've said above, the keyboard has a great piano-like feel but the user interface is antequated and unreliable: like something out of an old SciFi movie---not even an LCD. Overall: I returned both controllers and will not buty a Fatar product again. On the first one I bought I gave the company the benefit of the doubt and assumed I got a lemon. But after two defective keyboards, I assume there's a definite pattern.
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"Good basic piano type MIDI controller for the price" submitted October 9, 2006

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: Desktop Musician
Music Style: Old time Folk and Light Rock
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Sound: It has no internal sounds, but has a good piano feel. Not spongy like cheap controllers. Feature: Very spartan as far as controls and user interface. Does not have control parameters to access features in softsynths. But as far as a straight controller, has enough features like splits and zones to be useful. Ease of Use: Setting parameters is not intuitive, you must scroll through many up and down buttons, and it has a simple LED interface. Once set up, all you have to do is play it. Quality: In general it is a well built unit. There is one common problem, the power on reset does not work well on some units, IE you have to turn it on a few times before you can play it. However, there is a simple fix, listed on the web, I performed it on mine and not had the problem since. I did have one key that did not sound (velocity=0), but again fixed it. Mind you, this is a 4 year old keyboard, the new ones probably fixed these issues. Value: At the current price, under 400, I would buy it. Manufacturer Support: I have not contacted them yet The Wow Factor: It is not the sexiest and flashiest piece of gear. But if you want a good piano feel and response for under $500, this would be a good choice. I would not recommend it for heavy gigging, but nice for a studio or living room. Overall: I would also recommend also buying a low end controller with many knobs and sliders as well to use with soft synths. And you need a MIDI interface (this does not have USB). Then you have the best of both worlds. There are some products that are coming out that claim to be piano weighted and have the knobs, but I've heard the key response is not as good as the Fatar.
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"If your thinking of buying a Fatar, think again." submitted November 15, 2004

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Sound: n/a Feature: One of the worst most mickey mouse interfaces I have ever seen. Quality: This unit broke down after 2 mos. of use. The velocity sensing stopped working properly. It is heavy, virtually impossible to move without help or a wheelbarrow!! Manufacturer Support: Horrible, practically non-existant. They expected me to ship or tote this heavy unit to their only repair facility near San Francisco, San Jose!! Overall: I would never buy this product again.
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Fatar SL880Pro Customer Review submitted February 11, 2004

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Feature: not too many features Quality: the key action is simply beautiful!! I dont think it could be any better.. they are fully weighted and play JUST like the real thing
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"It's ok, i can't get it to work with Cubase SX though!" submitted February 2, 2004

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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
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Sound: I rated this a 5 because i can't get the midi to work in my cubase.. plus this thing has no sounds.. but IT FEELS AWSOME 10+++ for the realism of it.. Feature: not too many features for the cost.. has 4 zones, etc.. it doesnt come with any drivers.. and it has no USB out Quality: Seems sturdy to me, plastic but sturdy. Value: could be cheaper.. maybe if i get a chance to use the thing i'll feel better about spending 600 for it Manufacturer Support: I would like to use support if there was a NUMBER IN THE MANUAL.. the manual is in like 5 different languages.. including english.. but there's no number that i found anyways maybe ill look harder. The Wow Factor: I wanted a realistic feeling midi controller.. this is the best feeling keyboard i've felt so far... as far as sex appeal goes.. i give it a 5 because it doesnt even have a digi display.. just a bunch of LEDs that light up Overall: hopefully this will last me for life..
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