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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
.
The Yamaha keys were fully weighted, meaning they feel very much like 
a Grand
Piano so the Roland keys lose the feeling of the Yamaha but this 
is a reasonable
compromise for the saving in weight and size.
Also, let's face it, I was never going to be a concert pianist...

Samson Carbon 49 Midi Keyboard Controller
This
 came 
up at 
such 
stupidly 
low price, I couldn't resist it.
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 action on the keys is rather poor
It does have a pitch bend
controller 
and 
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.
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 muchmore 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 hum-buckers with Lace Sensor Gold pick-ups and replace the pots. and
switch. I also replaced the machine heads with clamping, auto-trimming tuners.
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