Yes, it is very good. Here is a cut and paste from what I wrote about it on Korg Forums.
Just thought I would pass by and say I have purchased a Montage 7 to replace my Yamaha EX5 as my lower tier keyboard for live use, and I think it nicely complements my Kronos X61 on the top tier.
Experience so far is very positive.
I was quite critical of Yamaha when I saw the Montage on paper, as whilst I applauded the return of FM, I would have loved to see them go further with AN and VL engines for example. And it is criminal that FDSP only ever appeared on the EX5. I was hoping with the Kronos as the competition that Yamaha would do the EX5 as it should have been done. As much as I am now a Korg fan with the Kronos, I still love the Yamaha sound.
I was disappointed when I saw that the Montage “only” had AWM2 and FM-X, and whilst I have been a vocal “paper critic”, I always knew one day I would have to replace my EX5 and that I would go and demo the Montage to hear it for myself, once I had the budget ready to replace the EX5.
So, why did I pull the trigger on it?
Simple, it sounds fantastic, and the performance focus is well thought out, and gives you lots of inspiration. I never use a Workstation sequencer for any recording work, so the fact it does not have a full blown sequencer is not an issue for me personally. All my studio recording is done in Cubase and if I need a backing track on stage I use Cantabile (more later), or I have the Kronos Sequencer.
I think Yamaha score a bit of an own goal when they refer to AWM as AWM2, which has been the name since the SY series. AWM-X might be a more appropriate name, and a more powerful beast compared to the four element AWM in my EX5 and Motif Rack ES.
In fact (RCM notwithstanding) the Montage reminds me of my SY in that here we have a digital workstation that can sound very analog. Its AWM engine has some really good analog sounds and it even does sync lead sounds pretty well (need to dig in and understand how!)
After years of the Korg and the SSD, sample streaming and ease of file transfer via network, I am now back in the world of USB Thumb drives, Yamaha quirkiness and a 1.8GB FLASH limit. It does show that Korg made the right move on the OASYS/Kronos to remove such restrictions, but that does not bother me that the Montage is capped, as I have the Kronos for when I need to do sample streaming.
The MIDI limitation mentioned above is still dumb, but it doesn’t bother me as I am redoing my keyboard rig so that Cantabile has more use. It will be a MIDI hub for the keyboards, so will be my MIDI router/merger/processor. I needed to do something as no board I have on stage can now act as a merger (my EX5 and Novation Remote61 could, which meant no external MIDI boxes required). Cantabile used to sit on the end of a MIDI Chain, but I am now making it the hub, which means that any MIDI limitations in the Montage are moot.
Cantabile is also why I am more relaxed about lack of engines on the Montage (as well has having 9 in the Kronos!). I will soon have an embedded computer in my gig rack (to replace my current aging laptop) with plenty of horse power and memory, and Cantabile will host my arsenal of soft synths, even resource hungry ones like UH-E DIVA, Omnisphere, etc. Oh, I still have my Nord G2 Engine in the rack as well Smile
So with the combination of Kronos, Montage, Nord G2 Engine and Cantabile host (with any VSTi I wish to use), I think that will see me through for a while. Smile
But back to the Montage, it really does sound great, and two weeks in I am glad I purchased it. I’ve had a lot of fun checking out the presets, I got some of the EasySound packs as well for even more fun, and it is now time to get it integrated in my rig.