Great to have another mallet controller on the market...and especially the price! wow! Huge undercut on Alternate Mode (and Buchla... not sure if they still make their mallet instrument). Ive been playing a malletkat since the 90s. Unfortunately they are a bit susceptible to humidity and I'm in a high humidity area. Ive had to send it in to AM a couple times and it's currently not working properly again. Hopefully this model will have better defences against humidity.
I like the extra (optional) bars in the accidental keys. A very cool option to have...though I might color it or mark it to avoid confusion. Would be cool for triggering other sounds or chords while soloing, and lotsa other possibilities. Also the extra controls on the right are a huge plus too.
I kinda dislike the look of using the drum cymbal stands as a stand. I think Pearl should have used that system for mounting, which is great for adding to a rack like the vibes above, but created something a little more aesthetically pleasing and unique that complements this great creation.. of course just my .02$. But it could easily be mounted (I think) on any kind of keyboard stand laying flat..so not a deal buster or anything.
The playing surface will be crucial. Looks like a hard surface. Couldn't imagine it would be though. But at any rate, the feel and action will be a crucial point. Some people mention it didnt have all the midi inputs. I haven't seen the specs. But I personally love the USB option. That's another sweet feature the others don't have.
I think this is going to put a dent on Alternate Mode's malletkat. More competition is a good thing though.