Stage piano. That usually means one thing: back-breaking pain. If you want 88 keys but don’t want a keyboard that weighs 50 or 65 pounds, your choices are generally limited.
This week, you have one more choice: M-Audio’s new ProKeys 88sx keyboard. It’s semi-weighted, since full hammer action would add weight, but it still feels quite nice to play based on a quick try at NAMM. (It feels a lot better, notably, than the cheaper feel of the previous 88ES — this is meant for more serious players.) And it’s got features usually only found on more expensive (and heavier) keyboards: dual headphone jacks, sustain and sostenuto pedal jacks, volume/expression jack, assignable controllers, and built-in keyboard sounds with audio out. And, of course, it’s an M-Audio board, so USB connection and software editing are standard.
Here’s the important part:
Weight: 17 lbs. (yes, I can lift that)
It’s great to see more options for keyboardists. M-Audio did a good job of filling a niche with its previous, fully-weighted ProKeys 88, and this could be another hit for them. There are higher-end options, but virtually nothing at this price point.