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Synthesizer/Sampler (keyboard)

2/1/2001

Kurzweil K2600Kurzweil earned a reputation for making significant enhancements to its products, and the K2600 is a perfect case in point. At first glance, you'll wonder what makes the new instrument different from its predecessor, the K2500. Indeed, the changes are less dramatic than the differences between the K2000 and K2500, but they are noteworthy nevertheless.

The K2600's circuit boards were redesigned to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and double the Flash ROM, which holds the user-installable operating-system software. The analog outputs are now balanced on 1/4-inch TRS connectors. Kurzweil's KDFX effects and 4 MB stereo-piano ROM are standard in the K2600, and there are now four slots for optional waveform ROM blocks instead of two. The K2600 uses the same basic waveform ROM as the K2500, but it includes entirely new programs and setups - and plenty of them.

Among the new software features is Live Mode, which processes incoming audio through the instrument's V.A.S.T. and KDFX sections. Triple Mode is a cool feature that provides many new V.A.S.T. algorithms and DSP blocks for each of three layers within a program. The layers can be chained in various serial configurations for new worlds of sonic possibilities.

The K2600 is a major upgrade to a powerful keyboard instrument. Giving it this award was one of our easiest choices this year.

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