How does this compare to the original gigKAT?
The original gigKAT's sound engine was developed by Kurzweil Music Systems as a part of their PC-3 series of MIDI synthesizers. Though it was designed for keyboardisists, the engine had very pleasant keyboard percussion and timpani sounds that even improved upon the sounds contained in the PC-2R - a rack-mountable sound module that was very popular among malletKAT owners until it was discontinued. The unit's 256MB of sound memory included dedicated memory for drum sounds that were exclusive to Alternate Mode.
By contrast, the gigKAT 2 was developed with a specific focus on chromatic percussion. It is a 4Gb collection of multi-layered digital samples - over 16 times that of its predecessor - that contains multiple choices of vibraphones, marimbas, and timpani, along with orchestral chimes, bells, xylophones, celeste, crotales and concert percussion as well at Latin Percussion and drum sets.
Of course, it also contains a great sounding assortment of non-percussion instruments, including guitars, basses, pianos, organs, brass and wind instruments, etc. In all, there are over 1500 sounds available on the gigKAT2.
Best of all, the price retails for less money than the original gigKAT. ($579)