Should I buy a Technics WSA1?

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
KVRAF
2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:23 am

Hey guys. I'm considering a new master keyboard and a guy in town is selling his supposedly mint WSA1. I don't know much about this keyboard... A quick google search reveals its semi-weighted, aftertouch (all stuff I want) etc. And the synth engine behind it is an interesting version of physical modelling. Sounds cool! Does anyone own/used to own this keyboard? Your experiences would be helpful. As well, can anyone help me with:

-approx value of a WSA1? (he wants offers)
-anywhere I can hear mp3s of this synth in action?

Very much appreciated if you can help :)

KVRian
581 posts since 15 Dec, 2003 from Hangin' out with my 5 year old

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:30 am

Awesome, awesome, awesome keyboard. One of the few geuine classics from the late 90'. Works great as a master controller too, and the PM synth is something that is not yet touched in software. Basically it uses short samples for the attack phase of the instruments which is routed into a PM engine for further treatment. , and you can mix and match instrument attack samples with various resonators (run an acoustic bass impulse through a saxophone resonator, for instance).

Anyway, its a great piece. I think they go for about $400 on ebay, but are hard to find.

I'm sure Ugo will come along and fill in some more info for you (I'm pretty sure he has one).

Mark
And all life's fears
Can invade my ears
I can handle it

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:45 am

$400 US eh? That would be well within my budget :)
This guy said he originally paid $3000 in '95 for it though, so it probably won't be easy to get him down to that price...

Thanks for the info Secondskin, the more I learn about this keyboard the more unique it sounds. Also the pictures I've seen of the LCD and onboard sequencer look MUCH better than I expected!

Other impressions, from Ugo or otherwise, welcome :)

ugo
KVRAF
5016 posts since 6 Jan, 2003

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:50 am

I'm sure Ugo will come along and fill in some more info for you (I'm pretty sure he has one).
indeed. :D

the WSA1's keyboard is excellent. it actually took the job of master controller away from my kawai K5000. the realtime controls on it are great too. (3 wheels and 2 vector balls). the synth is built like a tank too. very solid.

the synth engine is very cool too. its essentially a rompler that gets run through physically modeled resonance types (string, plate, tube, membrane, etc.). also, unlike most other physical modeling synths...on the WSA1, you can chain the types together. so you can do stuff like take a piano sample and run it through a tube, then into a plate, then into a string, and then a membrane. and while you're at it, you can assign various parameters of the models to the real time controls. (in multiple different sets, accessable through buttons.) although im sure its great at creating more acurate emulations instruments, i prefer to tweak the sounds into more new/broken/found-object/tribal type stuff...and achieving that is as easy as messing with the vector balls for a few minutes. 8)

the WSA1 was a brilliant idea and pre dated a lot of other PM stuff, but it was expensive and terribly marketed. apparently technics pushed it through their organ dealers instead of properly pushing it through the synth market...big mistake. as far as i know, the WSA1 was technics' one and only attempt at the serious synth market. too bad they got discourraged because its an excellent and unique piece of gear.

btw, i've got a yahoo group email list setup for WSA1 owners too. its a very quiet list but we've got some files available for download. eventually, whenever the hell i finally find myself with the time, i'll probably build a new site for the WSA1.

oh, and as far as price goes...$400-$500 really is all they go for these days.

EDIT: i forgot, here's a little WSA1 demo track i put together a while ago. its probably not the greatest representation of its abilities, but i get a kick out of it. :wink:

-ugo

KVRian
668 posts since 11 Mar, 2002 from Vienna, Austria

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:09 pm

yep, the wsa1 is a nice instrument and it´s great as a controller, too.. 8)
peace, Image

KVRAF
2140 posts since 14 Feb, 2003

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:35 pm


ugo
KVRAF
5016 posts since 6 Jan, 2003

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:50 pm

here are some SOS reviews of the keys and rack.

-ugo

KVRAF
2140 posts since 14 Feb, 2003

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:58 pm

There's one on Ebay for sale in Canada. There are 2 days to go and the price is $550 (don't know if its CAD or USD)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... eName=WDVW

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:18 pm

ugo wrote: the WSA1's keyboard is excellent. it actually took the job of master controller away from my kawai K5000. the realtime controls on it are great too. (3 wheels and 2 vector balls). the synth is built like a tank too. very solid.

the synth engine is very cool too. its essentially a rompler that gets run through physically modeled resonance types (string, plate, tube, membrane, etc.). also, unlike most other physical modeling synths...on the WSA1, you can chain the types together. so you can do stuff like take a piano sample and run it through a tube, then into a plate, then into a string, and then a membrane. and while you're at it, you can assign various parameters of the models to the real time controls. (in multiple different sets, accessable through buttons.) although im sure its great at creating more acurate emulations instruments, i prefer to tweak the sounds into more new/broken/found-object/tribal type stuff...and achieving that is as easy as messing with the vector balls for a few minutes. 8)
Thanks alot Ugo! Exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. And the mp3 is very cool as well - that string section 'morphing' or whatever sounds great!

Ugo, do you have the wave expansion board for the WSA1? Any good? Also I guess there is a SPDIF expansion, which is pretty surprising considering the WSA1's age...

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:19 pm

mjones4th wrote:There's one on Ebay for sale in Canada. There are 2 days to go and the price is $550 (don't know if its CAD or USD)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... eName=WDVW
Yeah, I saw that. I'd prefer to buy locally, but if we can't come to a deal perhaps I'll bid on that one. Shipping will be very pricey from BC though. Thanks though :)

ugo
KVRAF
5016 posts since 6 Jan, 2003

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:53 pm

floyd wrote:Thanks alot Ugo! Exactly the kind of info I'm looking for.
glad to be of assistance. :)
that string section 'morphing' or whatever sounds great!
that was done just by taking a string patch and doing some vector tweaking. its easy, fun, and sounds cool. 8)

btw, the vector balls do transmit midi, so you can sequence them...but as far as i can tell, their CC numbers can not be reassigned. so to use them to control softsynths, you'll need to work with synths that have midi learn functions.

im amazed that other rompler makers havent picked up on the idea of running samples through physical models. this technique allows you to warp the sound far beyond what most other romplers are capable of. so with the WSA1, your end result doesnt have to sound like the sample you started from, only with filtering and effects. instead it can sound totally different and you can shift the sound around at will.
Ugo, do you have the wave expansion board for the WSA1? Any good? Also I guess there is a SPDIF expansion, which is pretty surprising considering the WSA1's age...
i do have the wave expansion (dance board), but not the output expansion. the wave expansion isnt the greatest, but its nice to have some additional sample material to mangle. so if you can find it for a cheep price, i think its probably worth picking up.

the one place where technics missed the mark on this was that they should have allowed users to import their own samples. that would have amazingly cool.

-ugo

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:47 pm

Hmm, thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm going to go visit this guy and check out the WSA1. If its in good condition I think I'll take it :)

KVRer
2 posts since 16 Oct, 2021

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 11:10 am

Hope I’m doing this the correct way but I have my fathers technic sx-wsa1 he only used it in the studio he never put it on the road it’s in very good condition and I have the manuals I’m asking $600

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