Kurzweil PC88mx Resources: Downloads, Links, Forums, Email support

Manufacturer Official Resources

Kurzweil - homepage

Kurzweil official FTP site - Manual and "PC88MX Made Easy"

If the site is not working, here are some files that may be helpful (if you are the copyright owner of these, let me know and I will remove them):

PC88_MusiciansGuide.pdf - PC88 Musician's Guide, main manual
PC88MadeEasy.pdf - tutorial
PC88 Service Manual and Schematics.zip
pc88mx.ins - 1997 CakeWalk instrument definition for PC88 or PC88MX, for all four banks of the PC88MX, including note names for the drum kits and General MIDI (right click, select "Save Target As").
pc88mx_old.ins - older 1996 CakeWalk instrument definition, no General MIDI (right click, select "Save Target As").

Email Kurzweil Operational Tech Support


Harmony-Central - reviews

SonicState - reviews and additional info


Sonikmatter - pcxx Forum. Also you might want to search the whole forum for "pc88mx"


Battery Replacement:

1) Turn the PC88 upside down (keys on bottom).

2) Remove all the screws on the bottom (which is now the top) of the keyboard.

3) Remove the screws on the back which are all in a line on the back (seven of them).

4) Remove the screws which hold the end caps to the bottom. There are some on the bottom (which you removed) and two on the back.

5) Lift the bottom of the keyboard up slightly. If you accidently remove a ribbon connector which has very little play (controls the bottom range of keys on the keyboard) you can plug this back in later.

6) Gently pull the CR-2032 battery out and pop in a new one (the positive side of the battery will be facing away from the battery holder, only partially obscured).

7) If the ribbon cable popped out, lower the bottom of the keyboard closer to the assembly, and gently plug it back in.

8) Put the bottom back on, aligning all the screw holes with their mates. You may have to align the controller wheels a bit so the holes are realigned.

Also, it is recommended to do a HARD RESET after replacing the battery or when they are experiencing strange behavior.

1) Turn the unit on.
2) Press the “GLOBAL” button.
3) Press and hold the right arrow button until the screen stops scrolling.
4) Press the left arrow button twice.
5) Press the “ENTER” button twice.
6) Your keyboard should be reset and ready to go.

If the keyboard still won't come up:
1) Turn the keyboard off.
2) Hold down buttons 1, 2 & 3 on the far right hand side.
3) Turn keyboard on and wait about a 1/4 second and release the three buttons.
4) Select “HARD RESET” and follow the instructions.

To run diagnostics:
1) Turn the keyboard off.
2) Hold down buttons 1, 2 & 3 on the far right hand side.
3) Turn keyboard on and wait about a 1/4 second and release the three buttons.
4) Select “DIAGS”
5) In DIAGNOSTIC MODE, press the “+” or “-“ button to advance through the different tests.
6) Press the “ENTER” button to run the desired test.
7) Pressing “ZONE 2” will put into BURNIN mode.

Keyboard Assembly Issues

If you are experiencing triggering problems you may just need to clean the rubber contact strips. I recommend using Isopropyl alcohol and a Q-tip. Do not rub too hard as the conductive material can come off.

Squeaking keys are usually caused by the key rubbing on the counter-weight's red felt. I recommend lubricating the felt with a small amount of Vasoline.

The keyboard assembly can shift causing the keys to become uneven and/or the black felt to curl up over the black keys. The front of the keys can also hit the front rail causing a clacking sound. These problems may be fixed by loosening the screws that attach the keyboard assembly to the bottom enclosure, realigning the keyboard assembly and retightening the screws.

Broken/cracked counterweights: If you are unable to get replacements, you can use "AMBROID PROWELD" to reseal the plastic housing.

Keys that are initially hard to press and then "break free" allowing you to easily press the key until it sits for a while is usually caused by the glue on the key weight brackets rubber strip. This rubber strip helps dampen the sound when the counterweight goes back to its normal resting position. The excess glue will have to be removed. I remove the counter weight assembly, rub talcum powder into the rubber strip and then remove the talcum powder using a vacuum and brushes. I also wash the bottom of the counterweights.

--- Duane Garvin


DG Audio


Instrumental Parts

PC88 History

Released in July 94. This is an 88 note weighted keyboard controller with built in sounds. As a master MIDI keyboard controller, it is extremely full featured. Though it shares many features from the MIDIBOARD, including the arpeggiator, it features a vastly improved user interface. It is also much better suited for carrying around - at only 50 lbs, it is about half the weight of the MIDIBOARD! It has four zones which can be split or layered, and a large variety of fully programmable physical controllers including: 4 sliders, 2 switch pedals, 4 continuous pedals, 3 front panel switches, pitch wheel, mod wheel, and mono pressure.

In addition, unlike the MIDIBOARD, it contains built in sounds. The 32 voice sound engine features 64 preset sounds including: Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, FM type electric piano, strings, Hammond B-3, Harpsichord, Clavinet, Vibes, Marimba, Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass (with and without layered Ride Cymbal), Acoustic Guitar, and Synth Pads. It also includes a stereo digital effects processor with 40 effects algorithms for reverb, chorus and delay.

An optional VGM expansion board offers an additional 32 voices of polyphony with 224 programs including: the General MIDI soundset (128 programs), 77 additional programs, and 19 programs which are a duplicate of some in the base unit (this allows you to create a 64 voice patch). This board also has its own independent effects processor.

An additional model is the PC88MX, which is a PC88 that comes with the VGM board already installed.

The PC88 won the TEC Award from Mix Magazine in October 1995.

The PC88 was discontinued in the summer of 2000.

If you have additions or comments, please email: