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For those who don't know, "Saisho" was an own-brand of the Dixons
electronics/photography shops, once a common sight on high streets all
over the UK, but now relegated to the Web and some small outlets at
airports and similar locations. The brand was usually used on budget,
low-quality consumer electronics gear, such as radio/cassette players,
VCRs, TVs and stereo systems.
This keyboard was also sold as the "VTech Rhythmic 10" outside the UK
(thanks to Johanes Emmanuelli for this information).
On first looking at this keyboard, I was expecting it to be a full-size
version of the Music Maker MK 800
Rhythmic 8). It seems
to have many of the same features (except for the lack of a pitch bend
wheel), and looks stylistically similar. However, although the
percussion sounds are identical to those of the smaller keyboard, the
main voices and auto accompaniment sounds are not.
The "synthesizer" works in a similar way to the MK 800, using sliding
switches to pick one of five possible waveforms, together one of four
possible envelopes. However, unlike the MK 800, the synthesizer is
either on or off; it cannot be mixed with any of the standard voices.
There are also fewer options for the auto accompaniment - each style
has three pattern variations, and the chord and bass voices each have
Interestingly, as an alternative to the auto accompaniment, there is a
option, so the left-hand part of the keyboard plays a different voice
from the right-hand part. The voice used for the left-hand part is
selected using the same switch as that used for the accompaniment
variation, so is limited to only three possible options.
The Custom Drummer is more versatile than the MK 800's, and can record
a drum loop in real-time.
The keyboard response is slow, but the voices sound quite nice, and the
keyboard gives a nice, warm sound overall when played through external
amplification. As usual, the Stereo effect is just a boring
"Stereo Chorus" effect, with three selectable speeds. There is no
The built-in speakers go quite loud without distorting, but sound
rather 'hollow' with nasty resonances. There are Aux and Headphone
outputs on the back, though.
Overall, the keyboard seems to be fairly well built, but the full-size
keys do feel a little flimsy.