Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

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Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

No intention of triggering a brand focused flame war (is that even in the lexicon anymore?) but I find myself heavily GASing for a Nord Piano 5 whilst simultaneously screaming:

"How f :headbang::protest::blush::frown: ing much £££ do you want for it?! Say that again!"

Any trusted insight would be of interest. I could ask on certain other forums but I know you lot are grown-ups (kinda) and the thread won't pitch swiftly into a cataclysm of nonsense.

I can rattle off half a dozen boards with better features for half the price and yet ... still I lust for the Nord.

So what gives?

Am I in fact making unfair comparisons? The Roland RD88 has 3,000 sounds. Maybe that's a terrible feature in a stage piano? Maybe I only want the sounds I want. The Nord only has 2Gb piano memory. Maybe the truth is, in reality, you don't need more than that for a convincing piano?

Or is it a case of, of course Nord make the greatest pianos in the world. Their detractors are all just driven by sour grapes. Or, no Nord's a massive rip-off. They must be having a laugh, move on for the love of God.

Or is only a perceived expense?!

And so on.

I suppose I'm asking: why is Nord so freaking expensive for the features and is the expense justified?

Nord/cost ... help me understand!

As an interesting side note (comparing cost and performance): I much preferred the piano sound and action on my old Roland FP30 compared to my current Yamaha MODX8 (though obvs the FP30 wasn't a synth)

Jim
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by BobTheDog »

I can't comment on the piano but I do have a G1 and a G2 and neither of them has ever had a single problem, and the red colour is nice.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by N i g e l »

jellyjim wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:23 am I much preferred the piano sound and action on my old Roland FP30 compared to my current Yamaha MODX8

the standard MODX preset pianos or the Bosendorfer variants ?
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

I don't own a Nord so can't comment on the sounds but this raised a question:

jellyjim wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:23 am I can rattle off half a dozen boards with better features for half the price and yet ... still I lust for the Nord.

Not that there's anything wrong with them but why do you lust for a Nord?

If it's because you just want one, then you'll have to make that decision for yourself. It's almost as if you're asking us to talk you out of it :D
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

N i g e l wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:52 pm
jellyjim wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:23 am I much preferred the piano sound and action on my old Roland FP30 compared to my current Yamaha MODX8

the standard MODX preset pianos or the Bosendorfer variants ?

The standard. I do like the Bosendorfer library.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by jellyjim »

Eddy Deegan wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 3:10 pm I don't own a Nord so can't comment on the sounds but this raised a question:

jellyjim wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:23 am I can rattle off half a dozen boards with better features for half the price and yet ... still I lust for the Nord.

Not that there's anything wrong with them but why do you lust for a Nord?

If it's because you just want one, then you'll have to make that decision for yourself. It's almost as if you're asking us to talk you out of it :D

haha. Well kinda ... I can't really afford it right now.

Nord seems to be one those brands that attracts attention for cost and 'outdated features' and yet is also revered/loved. Just curious about that really.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by tomas »

Part of the reason might be that a not insignificant portion of the manufacturing is done in Sweden, where a strict balance between work and what you think is important in life is enforced. If the quality of the instruments they produce there meets your expectations, then the right price is what you’re willing to pay. As always.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by The Elf »

I'll add the upcoming Kurzweil K2700 as one potential reason to not opt for the Nord...
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by paulreso1 »

I recently purchased a Nord Electro 6HP 73 after a lot of thought and even some good old fashioned trying things out in real shops. I tried the RD88, the Korg SV2, the Yamaha’s…I went for the Nord because the 73 note keyboard size suited my studio better, the pianos (acoustic and electric) sound super good, I like the control layout, the keybed is ok (it’s not piano like in the HP version - more Rhodes like)….and the electronic tone bars are for me an acceptable compromise as I use piano and electric piano much more than organ. I tried lots of nice options and couldn’t be happier with the Nord….I will say this, if the action of the keybed is important to you, try the top end Kawai stage pianos….I have a CA digital Kawai as the family piano and the action on that is fantastic…I believe the Nord Grand uses a nice Kawai action ….in any case good luck with the “will I won’t I” tussle…cheers, Paul
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

I’m still in a similar situation to the OP, I can only go by my experiences of playing a friends Nord Stage 3.
I’m still grappling with the choice, as I need a really good Rhodes, I'm not too worried about the acoustic piano's organ or synth, although they would be a welcome bonus.
My initial impression of this Nord? it was "OK" it sounded, alright, I’m sure I would have got used to it, and liked it, but it didn’t bowl me over, like "wow" I must have it.
But saying that, what do you expect? It’s not a Rhodes, it’s not a Hammond, and it’s not a Bosendorfer, it’s a more than capable imitation of those instruments, in a light, attractive, portable package, that you’d be hard put to tell the difference in a mix or on stage.
What it won’t give you is the feel and experience of playing a real Hammond or a Rhodes, or an acoustic piano, and that’s what gives these instruments their magic, as we all know.
Bottom line, I haven’t bought one, for me, it’s way too expensive for what I need, which is basically just a very good Rhodes, IMO they are a bit over priced, and my friend has had reliability issues, and inconsistent customer service, but these things can happen with anything we buy, they wouldn’t stop me from buying one if I thought it fitted my needs.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Dave B »

jellyjim wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:23 am I suppose I'm asking: why is Nord so freaking expensive for the features and is the expense justified?

Just concentrating on this part, my thoughts about Nord gear are :

1. They are a relatively small manufacturer so price is always going to be on the high side
2. Their way of working is very much geared towards simplicity of use. But you do have to 'think Nord' to a certain degree so I've seen experienced musicians who use them look in horror at something more powerful. Likewise, iirc, both The Elf and I have been left scratching our heads at something as simple as "changing midi channel".
3. What they do, they do well. Players love the features and sound
4. They do seem to be built well - important for gigs and touring
5. They are deemed a premium brand and can charge accordingly
6. Their gear really does hold its second hand value well - several times I've been tempted by the idea of an Electro, but I think that they are a tad overpriced for what they are and the S/H prices are almost as high (I've often seen higher) than the new price
7. People really do seem to love the red colour ;)
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

Dave's point 6 is an interesting one, which I've noticed too. Example right now: the Nord piano 4 is currently listed @ £1,999 on Anderton's and the Nord piano 5 @ £2,549. But if you look up second hand 4s on Ebay, people are STILL asking over two grand! That's despite the fact that the instrument is basically superseded now, and we're just waiting for the 5 to hit the stores. They're basically saying that the only price allowance you get for an instrument with only half as much sample memory, les flexible operating system etc, along with all the risk of buying used as opposed to new with a warranty, is 20% off the price. I can only assume that these people are going to take somewhat lower offers, but still...

This seems to be a general thing. You just don't ever see previous Nord models for the kinds of prices you can pick up a previous Yamaha or Kurzweil. The only reason I can imagine for this is that the instruments really are that good - good enough to justify the prices charged new - so it's just not worth people's while to let them go cheaper. Either there's enough customers willing to pay that sort of money second hand, or sellers just figure they'll find a use for the instrument if they can't get that sort of price.

I've never owned one so I can't say.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Arpangel »

What would a world class touring musician do if he wanted the best possible piano, Rhodes etc? they’d either use the real thing, or probably, a laptop running a top VSTi, along with a pro master keyboard.
I desperately want to buy a hardware Rhodes, but I just can’t bring myself to buy something like a Nord, Korg, Roland etc, they are just chips in a box, like a VSTi, the price isn’t justifiable to me. The world has moved on since these types if keyboard ruled, but they arentill hanging on.
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

You don't have to look hard to find world class musicians performing on Nords... They might not use them when recording the album, possibly preferring hired in vintage instruments, but as practical, reliable, playable stage instruments they are hard to beat.
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Re: Nord, any (trusted) insight on feature to cost ratio?

Post by Wurlitzer »

Arpangel wrote: Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:31 pm What would a world class touring musician do if he wanted the best possible piano, Rhodes etc? they’d either use the real thing, or probably, a laptop running a top VSTi, along with a pro master keyboard.

The real thing mainly when the piano is a major part of the act - theatrically and image-wise as well as musically. Elton John, Tori Amos etc. tour with real pianos. Not sure how many keyboardists in bands do the same, or even use laptops. Most probably just the very best hardware. Subtle differences of sound and expression that seem important when you're scrutinizing a carefully crafted recording of your favourite jazz musician don't tend to come across so much when blasting a power ballad across a stadium.

I desperately want to buy a hardware Rhodes, but I just can’t bring myself to buy something like a Nord, Korg, Roland etc, they are just chips in a box, like a VSTi, the price isn’t justifiable to me. The world has moved on since these types if keyboard ruled, but they arentill hanging on.

Well, a Nord is not a real Rhodes. (Not sure that quite counts as "insight" in the meaning of the thread title :) ). But then neither are any of the products it's competing with, or having its price compared to.

And real Rhodes are a clunky ball-busting PITA, no matter how much one can be tempted to romanticise them.
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