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junkets 2005-06-24 23:17

Crap hardware of the month: Alesis Photon X25
So I thought this one looked cool, and because I really like my Quadrasynth from Alesis I thought I'd give this neat little controller a try. I ordered from B&H Photo a month a go, which at the time were slightly lower in price than the rest.

So I get it a week later, unpack it, and find that the pitch bend wheel is broken. Crap. Nothing to do but to send it back, and B&H were going to send me a replacement.

Yesterday I got the replacement, unpack it, and....the pitch bend wheel is broken. Double Crap. Not completely broken this time, however - the bending modulation actually works, but it is afflicted with a constant bias, so that when the wheel is in the null position the signal isn't null. You people can probably appreciate how this will really screw you over if you try to use it anyway. I notice that the serial number is different, so it really is a different keyboard they sent me, not the same one.

I have to conclude that Alesis have some serious problems with their quality control, or that the engineering of this Photon X25 model is shite to begin with. Along that line, I also noticed that the noise floor (it has builtin 24-bit audio) seemed really high, you hear a hissing in your headphones if you go through its sound card, basically rendering it useless for audio I/O (although that's not why I was interested in it anyway).

Another minor point, hooking it up to Reason and loading one of the controller presents (e.g. the Subtractor), most of the controller assigments are off (wiht Remote, I thought they should be ok right out of the box?), and I spend a couple of hours reprogramming the Subtractor, Malstrom and NN-XT settings.

All in all, what kind of crap is this?

Worst of all, I don't even need this thing, I have two keyboards already, but I just thought this one looked cool...

Maybe I'm just extremely unlucky, and everybody else are perfecly happy with their Photon X25's. Anybody else have good or bad experiences with this one that they want to share?


qwan 2005-06-25 04:37

tough break
bear in mind, it could be B&H Photo that have the quality control problem. maybe they recieved a batch of them that got banged in shipment but they didn't bother to look at them...either way, hope your situation gets resolved!

DjJerel 2005-08-10 22:15

Re: Novation X-Station
Funny how we all somehow are made to feel unlucky when something that you spend your hard earned money on is broken before you can use it.

I just bought the Novation X-Station, got it last night and hooked it up to my PC to fooo around with Reason. Not 30 minutes went by before a hear this loud pop/glitch sound in my headphones and notice the LED on my X-Station has gone black ... dead! I packed it up and shipped it back first thing this morning. I felt like the unlucky one after reading all these rave reviews about how great it was.

I decided to get the Photon X25 instead ... which will be here tomorrow, and now I read this thread. God I'll be 1 p!ssed off mofo if this untit is broken as well. I hope to atleast get more than 30 minutes out of it. I thought for the $500 bucks I spent on the Novation I was getting a quality controller. After my experience with it I would have a really hard time recommending the X-Station to anyone.

I'll follow up after I get my Photon X25 and let you all know how it turns out.

junkets 2005-08-11 04:41

Re: Novation X-Station
Sorry to hear about your experience with the X-station...crap happens. I regret it a bit that I had to send back the PhotonX25 twice like that, I really wanted to try it out but now didn't really get the chance. I'd be interested to hear what your impression of it is when you've tried it out a bit. I just now noticed that there's a Photon X49 coming up, shipping end of the month. Has almost twice the number of assignable controllers (60 in total!), including a bank of faders that aren't present on the X25. Hmmm....methinks looks interesting :)

AndrewVF 2005-11-15 12:52

Crappy programming of Alesis Photon X25
The Photon X25, like Reason, offers best value for money I could find.

Although I have to say that neither Alesis nor Props should advertise that they support each other. I have to set the controller surface to "Basic MIDI Keyboard" in order for the controllers to work (after reprogramming) properly.

The Photon has a solid build and the 360 degree controllers turn real smooth so that I can turn all ten knobs at the same time... although my multitasking is not so good that I can controll each of my fingers separately...

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