Several sites are reporting that M-Audio has introduced a new 88-key stage piano, but it’s not new: in fact, Ken “King of Keys Hardware” Hughes from Keyboard Magazine has a great review of the ProKeys88 from Keyboard’s July issue. Ken’s verdict: a great keyboard, an incredible price (street around US$600 from what I can see), and he likes the sound. (There is one clunky EP sound, and the keyboard is still rather large.) If you don’t want the sound, M-Audio also makes the USB/MIDI Keystation Pro 88 controller. Same keyboard action on both.

I’m still fond of my old Alesis QS-8 as a full-size controller, though I wish it were more portable. More reason QS-8s have a different action that I don’t like nearly is much; you can probably get a good deal on the Alesis used. What’s your favorite full-sized, piano-action keyboard? Let us know. We’ve got all these new piano samples to play, after all.

  • jmschnab

    I don't want to kill anyone's excitement for this, but a local Guitar Center has had a floor model of the Keystation Pro 88 out for about the past four months. After taking a beating on the floor, about twelve keys no longer return to their correct height, and the action is significantly uneven across the board. All the knobs and faders seem to be fine still.

    It could be that something extraordinary happened to this particular model, but I'd caution people to try it out first. Personally, I found the action, even on a new model, to be a bit "light", but if you're playing a lot of things other than piano sounds (organs, GM, synth stuff) it might work in your favor.

    I'd wonder a bit how these would hold up for gigs and whatnot, it's certainly no KX-88, but given some care I'm sure either the ProKeys or Pro 88 would work for many. I personally use an old Studiologic 880, and love it (mostly metal, great action) except for the plastic endcaps.

  • asmodean451

    Yeah, I too like the old alesis QS8. I have a plain QS8 that I bought from a friend of mine who works for Alesis (now Numark). I've used it in performance too, its pretty nice. Big heavy mofo though.

  • Guest

    I have mine on backorder from local Sam Ash for a month now, Great review in Keyboard Mag, I hope the wait is worth it.

    (Don't be confused with Keystation 88,its not a synth and does not have after touch. its different)

  • Guest

    what about the korg n1 is this even in the same category? i'm looking for a good piano i can practice on

  • Guest

    I've been waiting to try this out for a while. M-Audio's blurb seems really good, but that's no surprise. What worries me is that having tried a keystation 88, which had IMO an afwul key action (as a piano, fine for a synth), as others thought in these reviews:

    and that the review in Keyboard magazine says that the Pro-Keys has the same action. I'm disappointed if this is true since the features in the Prokeys are great for the price. I think I'm gonna go for a Roland RD-170

  • admin

    M-Audio's product naming scheme is causing understandable confusion. You played the Keystation; these articles are referring to the Keystation PRO 88. The original Keystation had a synth action, not a piano-style hammer action. The Keystation Pro / ProKeys have an all-new hammer action. Still a matter of taste, but it'll feel a WHOLE lot different than the synth action on the original Keystation (which I didn't even like much as a synth action.)

    They should have just given this a new name — the last thing we need is yet another product with the meaningless word "Pro" inserted after it.


  • Guest

    I now have the the Synth, the Keyboard mag review was correct and very fair, This axe is fun to play, on its own, easy to use on a computer. Quick switching on the fly to differnt MIDI channals, two finger same touch switch off / on Local sound. ( Buttons are next to each other)
    If your looking to spend anywhere near this price point for a Synth, you owe it to yourself to do a hands on/ ears on test.

    Yes Keystation pro is not the synth, better naming would avoid confusion.

    I like the hammer action on the unit, its very fun to play.

  • Guest

    I think the market needs more fully weighted midi controllers (no internal sounds)! The only ones I've found so far are Fatar, CME and M-Audio. After some internet research since there are few stores in my area with those models, I opted for the CME-UF8. I'm very happy with it, though sometimes the midi-thru-USB acts up in Reason, which restarting fixes. Overall I think the action is great for the price. I've tried Yamaha and Roland digital pianos in stores and the CME-UF8 is very reminiscent of these. Some have had problems with it being a little too resistent and it's common that one or two keys 'click' due to shipping, but I haven't encountered those problems. Their website has a forum with lots of discussions on the models if anyone is interested:

  • Wireless

    Love the board for the price…but I have four dead sounding keys..only on piano sound so is not the action…d e f and f#…anybody else heard of this..It is definitly the sound..As I put that sound on other parts of the keyboard thru octaving, and is still lame

  • audiofreque

    all i wanted was a full size keyboard with a midi out and a line out. no built in speakers, no built in sounds, just a keyboard. i still can't get over how expensive these things are.

    at my local music shop, the asking price for the prokeys 88 was $599 and i talked him down to $500. i got it home and set it up. it sounds great! the only thing i don't like about it is the weighted action. the keys are too heavy for my liking, but i know for someone else they may seem too light.

  • Whipping boy

    Well, I love my PROKEYS (that is what's on display here, right? NOT the Keystation? get it straight, you clowns). That is, I loved my prokeys (past tense). It was irrepairably damaged when someone came up behind me and slammed my head into the keyboard repeatedly. I couldn't stop screaming.

  • audiovox

    Not a good keyboard. The keys are too heavily weighted, and using the keyboard can lead to long term damage to the hands. Also, after using the keyboard for about a year, some of the keys are now dead. Repairing the keyboard would mean I would have to pay for shipping both ways (very expensive) and pay for the repairs. Would not recommend.