Technics SX-K450
electronic keyboard

The Technics sx-K450 is a classic accompaniment keyboard produced in 1986.  At the time it came out, this was the top-of-the-line Technics accompaniment keyboard.  There were also the SX-K300 and the SX-K350, that had less features than the 450.

Especially for the time, I am impressed with the overall quality of the 450.  It features polyphonic (synthesized) and monophonic (sampled) patches, suitable respectively for accompaniment and soloing.  The on-board effects include Chorus (control that expands one voice of the poly presets to sound like many voices), Tremolo (when pressed, gradually adds a full theatrical tremolo effect), and Celeste (creates a colorful new dimension, simulating the spaciousness of a huge concert hall or arena), and these really add sparkle and movement to the sounds.  Other features include sustain, controllable both from pedal or from a front-panel slider.

The PCM solo presets are really good considering this board is from 1986.  Compared to my old Gem DSK-8 Stereo, which came out the same year, the sounds are in less number but more realistic, more "present"... they were sampled better, I suppose.

Transpose is a cool feature that every keyboardist can use when he/she doesn't know how to play a tune in a different key: just move a slider up or down and get a new base-pitch.  "Techni-Chord" is an automatic "harmony generator" - basically you play one note and the sound engine adds the right chords that go with the automated bassline.  This was (and still is) typical of accompaniment keyboard of that era.  The drum machine is fairly realistic, and the drum sounds are punchy in a lo-fi, compressed early PCM kind of way :-). 

The "Program Chord Computer" is a Technics exclusive, that makes it possible to program the chord accompaniment of an entire song and store it.  An optional cartridge can also be used to store songs, effects, rhythms.

There's also a "Play Sequencer", an early digital sequencer that you can use to make "real time" recordings of your performances.  A non-backlit LCD display keeps track of tempo, banks, sequences etc.  There are also plenty of options with MIDI.



Technics SX-K450 audio demos

Technics SX-K450 factory songs

Here are the 8 on-board songs:


1 When The Saints Go Marching In  - the classic jazz number
2 Sur Le Pont D'Avignon - famous French song
3 Marianne - cool melody
4 The Yellow Roses Of Texas - typical American folk song
5 Jamaica Farewell - beautiful Jamaican classic
6 The Nutcracker - cool disco version of the classical piece by Tchaikovsky
7 Greensleeves - the classic, beautiful song
8 The Entertainer - classic ragtime by Joplin


Poly Presets

These were obtained by standard analog synthesis.  Demos show sounds first without effects, then with the celeste effect.
1 string ensemble Incredibly beautiful analog synth strings, similar to Solina
2 jazz organ Classic Hammond organ sound with key click
3 full organ Nice church organ
4 brass Soft and classy analog brass.
5 accordion Warm and realistic
6 piano Typical analog piano.  Beautiful tone!
7 harpsichord Synthy good.
8 guitar Different variation of guitar sound.


PCM Solo Presets These are monophonic patches obtained by PCM sampling.
1 trombone Superbly expressive trombone patch!
2 saxophone Very realistic considering the early technology.
3 trumpet Not as good as the trombone but holds its own.
4 clarinet Nice liquid tone.
5 panflute Surprising to find this sample in a keyboard from 1986.
6 flute Nice flute
7 cosmic Probably sampled from a mono analog synth.
8 synthe chopper Useful synth sound


Voice Combinations Obtained mixing the internal poly presets.
I church organ Majestic, chorused pipe organ
II classical strings Nice flutes/strings combination, medieval.
III big band brass Curiously analog brass
IV funk rock Nice funky tone
V new wave Poly synth
VI mix combo I Mixed voices 1
VII mix combo II Mixed voices 2


Automatic Rhythms The factory accompaniment patterns.
01 march Happy march pattern
02 shuffle Nice swing pattern
03 swing Classic jazz
04 ballad Beautiful '60s 6/8 ballad
05 8beat Incredible '80s style...
06 16beat Charming and groovy 16th pattern
07 discoI Typical 1980s disco pop
08 discoII The 1980s
09 bossa nova Classy
10 rhumba Goes perfectly with the trumpet PCM preset
11 samba Classic samba style
12 cha-cha More Latin goodness.
13 tango Nice!
14 jazz waltz Jazzy and nice
15 waltz Good


Features at a glance
Year of release: 1986
Presets: yes
Rhythms: yes
Keyboard: 61 keys
Responds to velocity: no
Sound generation method: analog + PCM
MIDI: in, out
Sound expansion capabilities: cartridge for seq. memory only
Effects: chorus, tremolo, celeste
Controls: sustain, expression, techni-chord
Outputs: stereo line out (RCA)
Display: yes, LCD non-backlit


Technics SX-K450 pictures (click on thumbnails to enlarge)



Technics SX-K450 manual




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