I was at our local music Store and played a Nord stage 2ex there for about 4 hours...
And it was one of those times that the musician in me won from the engineer... first off, the Nord cant compete to the Kronos where it comes to options and posibilities.. soemething that normally makes my decisions tick... but i must say, sound quallity was very very much comparable... often times even better as i really love the more organic sound of the Nord piano's and organs and synth to the more sterile and abstract sound of the Kronos..
But what cought me, was the workflow... where on todays arrangers and workstations we create a sound and then play with it, maybe having some articulations and/or a modulation to play with in real time... but everything is done preprepared ahead of time..
On the Nord stage, however, you are continously edditing your sound, much much more then on other instruments the interface encourages you to do so, much like a B3 player, that continously plays with switches drawbars and the rotary speaker to make his sound more dynamic... this does not only work well on the organ part of the Nord Stage, but also on the synth oart as well as on the effects..
This looks to be a perfect instrument to combine with a Ketron SD9 desktop version.. for when just the music counts....
I love the feeling it gives me.. when programming setups, i feel like a musician an not like a programmer (as i do with my kronos). The keybed action is not better nor worse then my Kronos, tough i recenly fell in love with the latest Roland action.. which is really incredible
But back to my experience with the Nord stage, i just love the feel, as i said.. and i can see it work as my main controller, adding a ketron arranger module (or even Varranger) and my macbook/mainstage would make a very pleasant setup.. much lighter and more mobile then my other setups (kronos/pa4x)
I think a nord stage will cover about 80% of my needs, fun thing is, i think the 2EX might just as well cover just about the same.. and with everyone buying a new stage 3, i might try and buy a used 2ex.. since i will be using mainstage anyway.. I am in no hurry tough to decide
To make a final statement, i think yesterday the musician defeated the engineer in my ever ongoing internal struggle