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Roland AX-EDGE Keytar Synthesizer

Roland AX-EDGE Keytar Synthesizer

Give your performance an edge! Roland's AX-EDGE keytar is loaded with killer on-board sounds and effects, and style to burn.

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Submitted June 30, 2020 by Charles D in Navarre, FL
"Truly Phenomenal..."
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Keytarists nowadays really don't have that many options to pick from when we get the urge to expand our arsenal. A sad fact, sure, however Roland really softened the blow with this latest addition to the group. And as always, zZounds sweetens the deal even more with their fantastic financing options; allowing those of us on a budget to make our dreams become reality without dwindling our funds into oblivion.I just got my new AX-Edge in the mail this morning. An entire day ahead of schedule, I might add. zZounds had this beauty shipped on a Sunday just to ensure that I'd be able to take advantage of their free 2-day shipping. It's so nice for once to be treated as a valued customer - they really run a tight ship on their end to make sure we all get what we need within a reasonable amount of time. More companies really should follow their example...This keytar instantly felt familiar the second I unboxed it and strapped it on. The weight is very agreeable when worn, I'd say it's more than likely lighter than the AX-Synth I used to have. Which is fantastic news for someone like me who has suffered neck and back injuries due to an automotive accident a couple of years ago. I was concerned how I'd feel after a solid hour of wearing and playing it but I'd say it's certainly not too heavy - the weight distribution is surprisingly even when worn which really makes a big difference.The keys and controls are all spread about in a fairly decent manner. However it's a bit of a stretch reaching for the assignable control knob near the master volume on the neck if you're trying not to shy away too far from the ribbon control and the modulation bar while playing... but with a little practice you can turn it fairly well with your left thumb, just be sure to attach the little foam piece to the assignable control knob to assist with the reach and ease of turning it. Apart from that, I love the layout of the neck controls.The pitch bend ribbon controller is pressure-reactive as opposed to thermal reactive. Over the years I've gotten used to the RK-100S and the AX-Synth's thermal activated ribbon controller. I'm not sure yet if there's a way to modify the sensitivity on that at all because you have to press pretty firmly on it to maintain a consistent pitch bend while playing. I'm so used to being as gentle as possible with these things since they're often really expensive and hard to come by; but it appears Roland wants you to hold nothing back when you're using the ribbon controller and also taking advantage of the aftertouch effects in the keys. I'm assuming the AX-Edge must be structurally reinforced somehow to handle such an aggressive way of operation. I'm hoping so, at least. It feels pretty sturdy when you're wearing and playing it.Speaking of sturdiness, that brings me to my final point of this review: The military-grade SKB hard case that came with the bundle I got here on zZounds. I've never seen, had or used an SKB case before but after just a small amount of research I knew there were simply no better options out there. When I unboxed it this morning I could easily imagine a rocket launcher or some other form of heavy ballistics being safely transported in this rock-hard reinforced carrying case. I can't possibly think of a better way to sleep soundly at night knowing my precious instrument is safely locked up in a custom-fitted, waterproof hard case that meets military standards. I mean, wow... I've never seen anything like it.The SKB case has six big latches, two of which can be locked with an included set of keys. An o-ring lines the inside near the opening to ensure no water or dust gets in and there's even an automatic pressure valve built in that regulates internal pressure to compensate for altitude changes. The custom cutout of the padding inside fits the AX-Edge to perfection; if you happen to drop the SKB case with the keytar inside the only thing you'll have to worry about getting damaged is the floor or whatever it ends up hitting on the way to the ground. Yikes.Now I'm not going to lie - the hard case with the keytar inside ends up being quite a heavy piece of luggage. Thankfully there's a couple of solid fold-able handles to choose from as well as a set of wheels on one of the ends if you need to pull it behind you. They honestly thought of everything...I've had my eye on this wonderful instrument for over a year now and I'm eternally grateful to finally wield an 'Edge of my own. It wouldn't be possible were it not for the outstanding financing options found on this site here, though. I've been fortunate enough to collect a few pieces of gear from zZounds over the years but this one has to take the cake for sure. I'm bound to have many years of enjoyment ahead of me as I pursue my aspirations to make music now that I have the ultimate keytar available. I hope this long-winded review helps anyone out there who is trying to decide upon ordering this instrument. I know I certainly do not regret it.
Musical Background:
I've been a keytarist and samplist for about eight years now. AX-Edge, RK-100S, Roland SP-808.
Musical Style:
Underground Metal/Industrial Metal.
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