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Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:29 am Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Hi.
Could anyone share their opinion about the Samson Graphite line of midi controllers.
http://www.samsontech.com/samson/produc ... raphite25/
I'm mostly interested to know how the keys feel in comparison to something like the semi-weighted Axiom M-Audio controllers.
I've already had to replace my m-audio axiom controller 3 times within the last 10 months, due to keys dying and similar.
I'm trying to see if the Samson Graphite is a better replacement.
I would like to get a Novation impulse controller, but simply can't afford it.
The Samson is a low cost alternative at 129usd atm.
Thanks for any help.
edit: I'm not interested in the automation, midi sending, drum pad stuff that I never use.
I'm just interested in the feel of the keys, and whether they (the keys/and associated velocity, aftertouch, and key sensors) last long, from heavy usage.
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:16 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Let me help you with this :)

I'm reading this review right now:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec12/a ... 49.htm#Top

Seems to tell it as it is :)
I bought the Samson Graphite this week and I can say I'm pleased.
It has some flaws (as stated in the review), mostly not so live oriented selections.
But overall it's a recommended piece of hardware.

Pro:
- Keys feel very nice, not to noisy and sturdy (not semi-weighted as they say though)
- I like the aftertouch ! Very effective and useful. It was another reason for buying
- Good built, decent sturdy pitch and modulation wheels, faders, sliders,...
- Usb powered, so no extra power adapter needed

Con:
- Programming software not extensive enough, does the job though.
- Not live oriented selections: Switching between channels, presets, or program changes, you need to press to many buttons or press enter every time. It should be selectable with 1 click.
- Soft buttons not responsive enough (I like hard ones where you feel the click)

But you can't complain for that price. :)
I got mine in B-stock at thomann for only 129€!!! http://www.thomann.de/be/samson_graphite_49.htm

I got mine to replace my M-Audio Venom synth and controller. I like the synth very much, built in audio card with several inputs (I used it for my vst's), good controller matrix, good price, nice futuristic looks... But sad to say the build is toy quality. Input jacks are after 1 year of use already worn and giving problems. they are becoming loose, plus don't hold the jacks, they jump out ! Also the rotators are toyisch quality.
I was even thinking of putting new jacks in the machine, but it will cost more than the synth...
I'll miss my Venom !
I don't think I will buy M-Audio again in the future.
Image
Last edited by godly on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:20 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:43 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Thanks for your posts, and helpful review of it.
I just bought it yesterday. It's like 3-5 days US shipping here though.
I should have just went to the SamAsh store in nyc, which is close by, instead of buying on the net, as it's shipped from their warehouse 3000 miles away.
I can only get the 25 key version, as size is a problem with my current available desk space.
Just hope it doesn't have keyboard issues as bad as my Axiom did.
Thanks again.
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:58 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Axiom, M-Audio, ah yes, now I see ;-)
What keyboard issues were there?
KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:54 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

godly wrote:Axiom, M-Audio, ah yes, now I see ;-)
What keyboard issues were there?

From this other thread where I explained the m-audio nightmare.
viewtopic.php?f=102&t=409187
mcnoone wrote:I got an Axiom last May.
It took sometime until I posted about an audio issue in the U-he forums, that led to finding out it was my Axiom controller sending midi data out, without any intentional sending of it.
Luckily the warranty was still available.
The replacement had a key die on me within a month.
Replaced that. A few months later and the new one had two keys velocity sensors die.
The first two replacements were mailed out after only a few days.
This last time, they received it on March 25th, and they still haven't sent it back.
I called and they say there's nothing they can do to send the replacement faster.
Just bought a new Samson Graphite25 today. I'll just sell the Axiom replacement when it gets mailed out.
In short...M-Audio sucks.
Love the size and the feel of the keys, but it's not worth it with all those issues.


Strange thing is. I had an older Axiom version for 3 years before that, which I never had a problem with. Just couldn't take it with me from moving overseas. Wish I had taken it with me now though.
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:20 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Haha, thx I replied. Incredibly they are selling China quality for big bucks. Pitty because M-Audio has nice features.
KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:58 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

godly wrote:Haha, thx I replied. Incredibly they are selling China quality for big bucks. Pitty because M-Audio has nice features.

The irony is that I bought the reliable Axiom in China, where I lived for years.
Went back to the US, and I got 3 lemons in a row.
I'm a glutton for punishment though, and I'm considering getting the m-audio Venom to use as synth and controller in the future. :clown:
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:34 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Why would you consider that? :D
The jack inputs are low quality and almost broken after a year on stage (20 concerts).
And then the controller quality problems...

It's a nice concept though, on board audio card with mixing features and many inputs. Even better than most usb audio cards. But not stage proof unfortunate or I would be still using it.
I like the Samson already, hope it holds for some years ;-)
KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:16 pm Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

I just got my Samson Graphite 25 from fedex a couple hours ago.
It's key action is more synthy kind than Axioms great semi-weighted action.
I can live with it.
The worst thing about it is the default velocity, aftertouch, and pad velocity settings.
Thanks to the online manual, which has more pages than the included paper manual.
I was able to change the velocity curves to a harder, and more suitable setting.
(press setup-press-KB Vel-set number from 0-9-press enter)
The after touch adjustment did not go so easy though.
It's settings aren't 0 to 9, but 0-127.
Now it's default was at 134 or something, which was too easy too soft on sending data with AT. So I tried a lesser value of 88. Pressed enter. Now no aftertouch at all.
Then I tried different values but couldn't get the aftertouch to work again.
I'm now going to try it with a different synth and daw, to make sure it wasn't my Live setting, or Korg synths causing it.
The velocity feels good to me now on setting 3. But it's default setting of 0 is horrible.
It's aftertouch default is not good either.
If I work this AT problem out though. It's a keeper. I like it. The key feel is acceptable, and I can get used to it.
Thanks again for your input here.

btw...I just do sound design work, so a stage worthy controller isn't necessary.
I played around with the Venom in a shop recently, and thought it would be a good controller, plus okay sounding synth. I'd rather get the Microkorg here. If it wasn't for those tiny keys, I would have.
http://www.vintagesynth.com/korg/microkorg.php
KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:05 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Sending the Samson graphite back for refund.
Buying a Novation Impulse 25 instead, with a $50 mail in rebate included!
KVRist
 
245 posts since 22 May, 2013, from Gent, Belgium

Postby godly; Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:59 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Let us know how you find the Novation
User avatar
KVRist
 
182 posts since 20 Jul, 2009

Postby KTlin; Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:05 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

mcnoone wrote:If I work this AT problem out though. It's a keeper. I like it.

mcnoone wrote:Sending the Samson graphite back for refund.


So, i suppose you didn't work out the aftertouch problem. Looks like another lemon.
KVRAF
 
5423 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:42 am Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

KTlin wrote:
mcnoone wrote:If I work this AT problem out though. It's a keeper. I like it.

mcnoone wrote:Sending the Samson graphite back for refund.


So, i suppose you didn't work out the aftertouch problem. Looks like another lemon.

Yea I called the Samson support and they said they'd call back but didn't.
Called them back, then the guy said his boss hadn't responded to an email he sent him about it. Said he'd call back, but the place was closed when I tried calling back a thrid time. All this means bad support imo.
I also felt the action was too synthy spongy like, and I'm trying to get something more responsive and immediate like the Axiom style action.
The Impulse has that. I tried it out in a store.
It's a bit large but I made measurements and know now that it will fit sitting slightly under my desk on a stool. So it'll work. Thing is, it cost more.
Hope the release of my new Korg analog edition soundset tomorrow will help pay for it. :)
User avatar
KVRist
 
182 posts since 20 Jul, 2009

Postby KTlin; Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:25 pm Re: Opinion on Samson Graphite midi keyboard?

Let's hope you'll have more luck with the Impulse. :wink:
Do share some thoughts about it after you play with it.
Cheers
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