All my ex-keyfriends, part two
1996: Roland E-14
That year I’ve sold my PSR-210 to some kid who had just begun taking lessons, so for the first time since I was without an arranger keyboard at hand. My father had then introduced me to his colleague from work who was a part-time musician and who had just bought Roland E-14. I’ve liked the keyboard from the first sight. It was very compact and easy to transport and its sounds and styles were more modern and diverse than the ones on my PSR-210. Since our only local music store back then didn’t had E-14 in stock at the time, I’ve bought an used one in mint condition through a newspaper ad.
In 1996. I’ve also started playing on Sunday service at the local church. Soon I’ve realized that I need more sonic power for this than E-14’s built-in speakers. And the only PA system I’ve had at my disposal back then was heavy and cumbersome guitar amp from Slovenian company “Melodija Mengeš”. Our priest at the time felt sorry to see me lugging all that stuff every Sunday, so he offered to buy both the keyboard and an amp on the behalf of the Parish. Although I’ve stopped playing in church back in 2003. and four more priests have changed since, my former equipment still stands there today.
1997: Korg M1
From the beginning of the 90’s, I’ve seen this keyboard everywhere, especially on TV. Though it was somewhat dated back in 1997., I was still determined to get one myself. Since it wasn’t possible to purchase a new one anymore, I’ve tried to find it through newspaper ads. After some time, I’ve got the call from a man who offered to take my Yamaha V50 in the exchange for his Korg M1 without additional money involved. I was so excited that I didn’t think about the possible “side effects” of this transaction. When I look back now, this was likely one of the worst purchases I’ve made over the years. The man who was selling M1 was a Gipsy who was playing in every tavern in Slavonija and Baranja and his keyboard, while in working order, was terribly neglected. That had started to bother me pretty soon, since I was used to having only new or like new musical instruments before. So, one afternoon, my father and I had armed ourselves with a few spray paint cans and we dolled up M1 pretty good. I even managed to get a good price for it later. :)
1998: Roland E-68
After I’ve sold my E-14 to the priest, I was on a prowl looking for a new arranger workstation. Since I’ve grown to like arrangers from Roland, I’ve decided to try another one. Of course, I’ve fancied the flagship model of the time (E-96) but due to the "usual restrictions", I’ve gone with E-68 instead. Sound-wise, this wasn’t vastly superior to E-14, but it had several improvements, including a built-in floppy drive. I was using E-68 in combination with M1 when I’ve started playing professionally in a band a year later. In 2000. I’ve sold it to the local musician who was looking a keyboard for his daughter.
2000: Roland EM-2000
For the first time ever (until then), I’ve had a flagship keyboard! It happened almost completely by accident. After I’ve sold the E-68, I’ve decided to try yet another Roland arranger. This time however I’ve had a bigger budget on hand, so I’ve got my eye on E-500. During a summer holiday on an island of Vis, I’ve phoned a dealer in Zagreb to check if they have the mentioned model in stock. They’ve said that they only have the E-600 at the moment. It was a bit more expensive, but my parents said they would help me out financially. So I couldn’t wait for our return home and a stop in Zagreb so I could realize the purchase. However, yet another turn took place there... The salesman at the store said it would be a shame to miss the special opportunity. They’ve also had EM-2000 at the store, which was then the absolute pinnacle of Roland arranger keyboards, and they were selling it at lower price because it was a presentation model. Still, the price was quite out of my reach, and frankly I’ve didn’t even think about getting the EM-2000. However, even my parents thought it would be a shame to miss this deal so they’ve helped me out to buy the keyboard. :)
Our return home was quite eventful, as the huge keyboard wouldn't fit in a half-full trunk of our Opel Vectra, so it was unpacked, covered with sheet and then jammed in between the front seats. To my parents and sister, this was probably the most unpleasant trip home from holidays, but it was worth it. ;)
2001: Yamaha PSR-1000
Although Roland EM-2000 was a real powerhouse, it was also large and cumbersome instrument that was not easy to carry around. So I’ve begun to look for a more portable alternative that would be more fit to transport. At the time, a new music shop had just been opened in Osijek that had dealership for Yamaha instruments among the others. Since I didn’t had a keyboard from Yamaha for several years, I was intrigued so I went to the store to look around. I’ve immediately spotted two arranger keyboards: PSR-2000 and the more affordable PSR-1000. I went with the latter (for obvious reasons), but I was more than happy with the purchase. Not only this was a very convenient instrument, it was even in many ways superior to EM-2000. This purchase had also convinced me for good that Yamaha was always the true king of this territory.