Kurzweil PC3X

Kurzweil PC3X

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PC3X, Workstation from Kurzweil in the PC3 series.

8 user reviews
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Kurzweil PC3X tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Kurzweil
  • Model: PC3X
  • Series: PC3
  • Category: Workstations
  • Added in our database on: 11/23/2007

We have no technical specifications for this product
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Kurzweil PC3X user reviews

Average Score:3.8( 3.8/5 based on 8 reviews )
 4 reviews50 %
 2 reviews25 %
 2 reviews25 %
Audience: Value For Money :

olivier.jalet's review"Kurzweil PC3X"

Kurzweil PC3X
Its main features -at least those that caught my attention- are as follows :

*the heavy touch type keyboard:
-the keyboard is pleasant to use with a quick rebound (quicker than on Yamaha heavy touch keyboards)
-it seems the Fatar mechanical parts (TP40L) are sturdier than the previous generation keyboards used on Kurzweil products such as the PC88 (which is known to be quite fragile)
-the keyboard features aftertouch (which is not the case of Roland’s RD700GX, which keyboard is otherwise very good)

*elaborated MIDI features, including:
-2 midi out plugs
-5 pedal ins
- 1 breath controller
- 9 sliders
-feature allowing (I think) to program your own velocity curves

*the price is neither negligible nor excessive: €2000 to €2300.

*weight is 25kg (compared with the Yamaha Motif XS8 and Roland G8).


As a piano player, I often play duets with my singer using only a few sounds (acoustic piano, electric piano and pads) in a soul/jazz genre.

As I use a laptot computer with very good acoustic ands electric software pianos, I was after a good 88-key control keyboard with heavy touch, a nice look, rather advanced MIDI features and a weight not esceeding 25 kg.

Also, the fact is features internal sounds has to be a real asset.
It’s quite practical in case of a computer crash (never happened to me so far), or if I forget my computer’s cord (this HAS happened to me already…), or when you have very little time to set your gear up.

So, if these internal sounds are good, it can only be better.

By the way, since I have it I tend to play more often as you just turn it on and here you go. This wasn’t the case with my Yamaha KX88 which had to be plugged to my computer for any sound to come out… Plus, its 30 kg weight was growing to be a problem for my back.

All in all, playing the PC3X is more spontaneous. I didn’t believe it at first, but as far as I’m concerned it has proven true.


There are several variations of the acoustic piano sound, all derived from a single sampled piano (three different sample layers).
I wasn’t impressed, even though it sounds quite good. I’ll admit I’m quite demanding as I own Synthology’s Ivory (featuring 10 velocity layers: no sich thing in the hardware world).

Actually, these samples are the same basic ones that Kurzweil has used since the 1980s.
I believe they’re from a Steinway. This is why you always get the same "Kurzweil" sound color, even if the samples are better edited on the PC3X compared with the PC2X for instance. The feelings while playing are better with the PC3X.

Electric piano sounds are better with a lot of expressiveness. I was pleasantly surprised. I own the CEP software from www.scarbee.com (best samples Rhodes sound IMO) and you really get close to it as far as musicality’s concerned, thanks to the possibility yo stack up to 30 different velocity layers for a great sound dynamic.

I play a little funk and also use the following sound types :

Hammond-type organs, but I don’t like the the PC3X’s which sound too synthetic. I prefer by far www.native-instruments.com’s B4.

Still, the Clavinet sounds are quite varied and can be used with an auto-wah or wah pedal : what a sound !

Classical synth sounds (basses, leads, pads) are great, especially those using the integrated VA module that simulates the warmth of analog sounds.

to conclude :

The sounds that imitate real life instruments are nice, but they’re not my kind.
I prefer a good analog brass sound to a sampled brass section that is bound to be under par compared with real instruments.
The same goes for strings such as violins.
So I prefer not to spend too much time detailing these.

The multi-effect section seems powerful but I haven’t got into it yet.


I hesitated before choosing this keyboard, as the following choice were offered to those seeking a quality midi keyboard with good piano sounds:

- Roland RD700GX : features nice acoustic piano sounds, though a little too electric-sounding to my taste. Electric pianos are nice but nothing exceptional. Very good touch again. Too bad it lacks aftertouch… Price is correct, around €2000.

- Clavia Nordstage 88 :
+ : good acoustic and electric piano sounds,
When you play you can feel the lack of velocity layers but to the audience it all sounds natural.
For such types of sounds, this was undoubtedly the best haredware available.
+ : warm organ sounds (better than the PC3X’s)
+ : same reactive touch as the Kurzweil PC3X, also with aftertouch,
+ : perfect weight (18 kg), as little cumbersome as an 88-key can be.
- : its price (2600 € taxes in vs 2000 € for the PC3X)
- : polyphony for piano sounds : 40 notes… for such a price, it’s a bit hard to accept,
- : synthetic sounds are less elaborated than the PC3X’s.
- : interesting midi control functionalities, yet inferior to the PC3X’s.

Had the Nordstage 88 been available around 2000 € I might have opted for it for its weight.

- last possible configuration I considered :
A VMK 188 plus (with TP40H) Fatar keyboard : approx. 600 € (don’t like its look too much but hey, at this price, you don’t get too picky) associated to a Macbook computer with 4GB RAM ; approx. 1200 €, a good sound interface : 300 € at least, and finally a good external hard drive (200 € at least). Ivory licence : around 250 €. Total : a good 2500 € overall price, that is almost the same as a Clavia Norstage 88, for a really excellent acoustic piano sound but also a lot of cables to plug...

I finally opted for the PC3X as :

- engineer Dave Weiser from Kurzweil is a really nice guy and easy to reach. You feel this instrument cas conceived by people with a real passion for what they do.

- synth sounds are warm and have a real character, making it a great complement to my software sounds (Ivory’s Steinway and Scarbee’s Rhodes). Also, that kind of devices with an important synthesis capacity keep up to a certain price on the used market, which is not the case with those involving classic sampled sounds (especially piano sounds) which quality gets outdated quite soon by software sampled sounds.

A few regrets (but you can’t get everything) :

- no audio in that would have allowed getting a voice through the multi-effect section,

- the memory card reader only uses xD format, which is not the most common. An SD card reader or USB port would have been a real must, but it seems that it would have been more expensive to include according to Kurzweil.

Hopefully my opinion will be helpful.

Nancy, France.

Micky201's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Impressive"

Kurzweil PC3X
The characterisic onet ette repeatedly stipulated by the review here + Kurzweil.


The use is quite intuitive in my opinion, even if the docs are not sufficient. Kurzweil has online tutorials that can get into the heart of the matter quickly. But this is all the same not enough, there is a lot of non-Documented points and must go to trial. Eg for the simulation parameters Leslie, block-function different algorithms ...
However, the main functions are treated all the same, so it is not a disaster.

Touch is between a heavy keyboard (piano) and a synthesizer. It allows all the expressiveness for all instruments. Keyboard master point of view, it is very complete, so you can really adjust very precisely the sensitivity to touch.


Then the sound ...
This is simply excellent. Initially, I bought this to replace a keyboard synthesizer master who was beginning to be defective, to control a DAW (now I do everything in the virtual). After having reviewed all that is done, I realized that everyone was problems in existing products after some time. So I decided to find a second hand synth ca. Well since I PC3X this, I do not decolle. I found the pleasure of hardware. It integrates perfectly into my DAW and unpaired at all, instead, it has an exceptional musicality. When you play it, it is more stops. Everything sounds, even when it is a difficult instrument to imitate as a classical guitar (the above, it is clearly a good sampler below), I see that ca time base construction sounds and interesting mixtures in part of the synthesis. So there is nothing for me to throw.
The work is extremely powerful sound, you can simply do it all, all forms of sound processing can be entangled.
In short, that's good.


I recommend this to anyone who enjoys synthesizer music. It is true that does not contain gigabytes of sounds, but in fact, what a musician demand an instrument - to be enjoyable to play, inspiring and sound good. Who cares a priori computer technical data /. The PC3X covers all these carateristiques. There are things like the pleasure of playing an instrument it is impossible to quantify. It is the spirit of this synthesizer.

olivier.jalet's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Kurzweil PC3X
The main features that caught my attention are:

. The keyboard layout used heavy:
- The keyboard is quite nice with a rapid rebound (faster than the heavy keyboards yamaha)
- Apparently this mechanism Fatar (TP40L) would also be more resistant than previous generations used also in other keyboards with Kurzweil PC88 (known as fragile in terms of mechanics)
- The keyboard has aftertouch (unlike the new Roland keyboard RD700GX whose top other than that)

. The MIDI functions are highly developed including:
- 5 footswitch inputs,
- A breath controller,
- 9 sliders.
- I think the possibility to program its own velocity curves

. The price is not cheap but not crazy either: between 2000 and 2300 €.

. Its weight is 25 kg (unlike the Yamaha Motif XS8 and Roland G8).


I am a pianist and often plays in duet with my singing with just a few sounds (acoustic piano, electric piano and pad sounds): directory soul / jazz.

Since I use a laptop with very good software pianos (acoustic and electric), I wanted above all a good controller keyboard 88-key hammer at a nice look and more advanced MIDI features and a weight not exceeding 25 kg.

Moreover, the possession of internal sounds is necessarily a plus.
This is very useful in case of computer crash (never happened) or an oversight of the power supply cable to my computer (... ever ...) or when you finally have really little time to install its stuff.

So if the internal sounds are good, is necessarily better.

Moreover, since I have, I play much more often than before because you turn and it works. It was not the case with my Yamaha KX88 which must always be connected to my laptop to get a sound ... In addition, its weight of 30 kg limit for becoming my back.

Finally, play with the PC3X becomes more spontaneous. I did not believe it but it's true in my case.


The sound of acoustic piano is declined in several variants, but he comes from a single sampled piano (with 3 layers of different samples).
I have not been reversed even though it sounds good. I must say that I am demanding this level because I have home Synthogy Ivory (with 10 velocity layers: no equivalent in the world hardware).

In fact, these core samples are those used by Kurzweil since the 80's.
I think it is a Steinway. This is why we always find the same color "Kurzweil" even if these samples are best worked on PC3X PC2X compared to, for example. The feeling when the game is more enjoyable with the PC3X.

The sounds of electric pianos are most successful with much expression, I was pleasantly surprised. I have the CEP software www.scarbee.com home (the best sound sampled Rhodes in the world in my opinion) and it comes close in musicality. Thanks to the ability to stack up to 30 different velocity layers for a very good dynamic.

I play a little funk and also uses the following types of sounds:

The Hammond organ sounds but those of type PC3X are not to my taste, they sound a little synthetic. I much prefer the home www.native B4-instruments.com.

As against the Clavinet sounds are varied and can benefit from auto-wah pedal or a wah-wah: there, nothing to say, it sounds!

Conventional synthetic sounds (basses, leads, ground) are very successful especially those using the integrated module will imitate the warmth of analog sound.


Sounds imitating real instruments are nice but not my thing.
I prefer a good brass analog rather than a sampled horn section that will inevitably be below the real instruments.
Ditto for the strings violin type ..
So I'd rather not go on, and at this level.

The multi effect appears powerful but I do not have plunged.


I hesitated before buying this keyboard for people looking for a midi keyboard to control quality with good piano sounds, there are also:

- The Roland RD700GX: with acoustic piano sounds nice but a bit "electric" for my taste. The electric pianos are cute but not transcendent. Again very good touch.
Too bad for the lack of aftertouch ... The price is right: about € 2000.

- The keyboard Nordstage 88:
+: Good sounds of acoustic and electric pianos,
By playing, you can feel the lack of velocity layers, but in terms of listening to the public, the sounds sound natural.
For this type of sound hardware version is the best current keyboard, there is no photo.
+: Warm organ sounds (the most successful PC3X)
+: Even touch reactive than Kurzweil PC3X also with aftertouch,
+: Ideal weight (18 kg), small footprint for a 88 notes.
- Its price (2600 € 2000 € TTC against the Belgian site PC3X www.prosl.com)
-: Polyphony piano sounds for approximately 40 notes ... given the price of the keyboard, I have a little trouble to myself,
-: The synthetic sounds are less developed than the PC3X.
-: Control functions, but below the twelve o'clock interesting PC3X.

If the proposed Norstage 88 was about € 2000 I can be cracked for this keyboard because of its weight.

- Last possible configuration:
Fatar keyboard type VMK 188 plus (mechanical TP40H): about 600 € (I like the look but not too good for the price, do not do the difficult) coupled to an ordinary type Macbook with 4 gigs of RAM ) € 1200 or so, a good sound card: at least € 300 and finally a good fast external hard drive (at least € 200). Ivory Price: about € 250. Total: € 2500 TTC a good that is to say, about the same price as 88 Clavia Norstage not given but with a piano sound really top but with a lot of cables to connect ...

I finally cracked the PC3X because:

- Engineer Dave Weiser of Kurzweil is frankly very nice and easily reachable. We feel that they are passionate about who designed the instrument.

- The synthetic sounds are warm and have character which makes a good complement to my sound software (Ivory Steinway at home and Scarbee Rhodes). In addition, this type of machine with a large capacity for synthesis keeps a good rating as opposed to machines used mostly with classic sounds sampled (including type piano), the quality quickly becomes obsolete in the face of sampled sounds software.

Some regrets (but you can not have everything):

- The lack of audio input to make a voice of multi-effects processor,

- The memory card reader that uses the xD format that is not the most common and is not compatible yet with the format of 1 or 2 GB are almost the only ones available on the new online stores . The must have been a SD card reader (much more common) or a USB connection but this solution seemed much more expensive to install on the PC3X according to Kurzweil.

FYI, I bought this keyboard on a Belgian site because you can not find a French importer: www.prosl.com.
They do not all brands but the prices are for guns and Kurzweil Keyboard.
In addition, the dealer shall pay the cost of return for some large items that PC3X if a problem occurs during the warranty is 2 years.

In addition, the site offers German www.thomann.de with a price slightly higher but with a 3 year warranty. But I'm not sure they support the cost of return if a problem occurs during the warranty period.

I hope my opinion will enlighten you.

Nancy, France.
John Petrucci07/04/2008

John Petrucci's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Kurzweil PC3X
- 88 keys with touch dynamic (Hammer)
- 128-voice polyphony
- Multi-channel 16 stamps
- 832 preset programs including PC2 Sound ROM
- Set sounds GM
- 128 User programs
- 2 Sound ROM Expansion Slots (64MB and 128MB!)
- Effects
- EQ Global EQ / Compressor Global
- Integrated Arpeggiator
- Wheel pitchbend and modulation
- 9 faders
- 4 analog outputs (the two may be independent for the next OS)
- Headphone Jack
- Digital output S / PDIF 24-bit
- 48/96 kHz possible modes (sampling frequency)
- MIDI In / Out / Thru
- USB port for MIDI connection and data storage
- LCD display with backlight 240 x 64 characters
- Management Program via USB (Mac and PC) available in July
- Integrated Power Supply Switchable 120/240V AC
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 1370 x 3556 x 1046 mm
- Weight: 24.5 kg

I put 9, the screen is a bit limited, even if it's enough. The future management program will greatly improve that. The 4 outputs (L / R hand and L / R in) are a definite asset, we can route an example of a particular sound effect pedal without affecting the main mix, and then replicate the Main Out for monitoring.


For a regular Kurzweil K series, no problem is the same. Otherwise it's harder to get into it and it requires a lot of effort, but it's worth it!
The manual is not yet finalized, it's a bit annoying, but it will be available soon


To be brief, all sounds are excellent, especially the EP, the Clavinet, pianos, synth sounds (thanks to VA-1, a software synthesizer that emulates analog). Only organs are lagging behind, they do not ring up to the other brands at the moment, but the R & D is changing this for the next update.
The expression of the keyboard is very good, it's light enough for a heavy ;-) but I think it's an ideal compromise in relation to the sounds of this synth.


I use it for 2 months
I love his ultra clean look, it does not look like a cheap toy with buttons (korg)
I had one before Pc2x, and K2600
The price is more than adequate for the Kurz is a synth sound and do not go out of style any time soon, plus it changes very quickly.
I take back another next month to use it with my group

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