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Instruments

Roland Go:Piano
This is a compact piano with 61 semi-weighted but full piano size keys.
It has
 built-in 
speakers but MIDI is only available on USB (so it connects
directly to 
a computer without the need for an interface). 
This means it
cannot 
be used with standard sound modules but it does have enough
sounds 
on-board to compensate for this.
A 61-key piano loses the bottom and top octaves, which you almost
never 
use, anyway, and starts from note 'C' rather than 'A' but octave
keys can fill this gap, if needed.
Being smaller (especially in length) and lighter, about half the weight of
the Yamaha, it only needs a light frame stand so that the whole system
becomes much more portable
.

Samson Carbon 49 Midi Keyboard Controller
This
 came 
up at 
such 
stupidly 
low price, I couldn't resist it. The key
action 
is a little better than my previous keyboard 
but 
the 
keys are
slightly 
smaller but it will run from USB 
power, 
whereas my previous
keyboard really needed
 a mains PSU. 
As a MIDI 'controller' it needs
computer 
software program or a 
MIDI sound 
module 
for it to make
any sound 
at all
. I partner it with a Casio GZ-50M sound module.
With 49 keys it is light, compact 
and portable although, 
as you would
expect, 
the feel and response
is nowhere near that 
of 
the Yamaha.
It does have a pitch bend controller and a 
modulation wheel 
and can
change programs in the MIDI 
sound module from 
a controller 
knob.
It also has 'octave' 
buttons that can 
shift the
 
octave ranges, to cover
the full 88-key range.

Ibanez S521 Electric Guitar in oiled mahogany
After the modifications.
My best guitar was undoubtably my Fender American Stratocaster Plus
which I sold way back in 1999. It had a delightful neck profile and Lace
Sensor pick-ups together with many other features that made it a very
special instrument. It is almost impossible to buy its like today, at any
price. From the Fender custom shop it would now cost over £2,000
I bought the Ibanez on the day of its availability in the UK. What first
struck me was the look. Elegant and simple, finished in oiled mahogany
with metallic grey hardware and a Stratocaster style outline, it is an
outstandingly attractive guitar. Reminiscent of the Fender it still had
enough originality to make it distinctive. The 24 fret neck profile is as
near to my beloved Fender as I had ever come and this was combined
with less weight and a thinner body than a Fender which makes it much
more comfortable to play when standing up, which I prefer.
It did, however suffer from noisy pots. and pick-up switch. So I decided
to replace the original humbuckers with Lace Sensor Gold pick-ups and
replace the pots. and switch. I also replaced the machine heads with
string clamping, auto-trimming tuners.
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