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Which Digital Piano? (Read 2558 times)

Offline zman1974

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Which Digital Piano?
« on: December 30, 2003, 04:06:08 AM »
I am just starting the grand adventure of learning to play the piano.  Some basics:  I am 29 years old.  My previous musical experience is limited to playing the trombone in my high school band.  However, I LOVE the piano (Argerich is my fav), and am planning on putting in the necessary practice time in order to become proficient.  

I live in a one bedroom apartment.  Frankly, I have no room for an acoustic piano.  I have read every post and bit of information from other sites regarding the quality of digital pianos.  Granted, they are not a substitute for a good acoustic, but I don't believe this limitation means I couldn't or shouldn't start on a digital.  Work with what you have, not what you want!  Anyway, here are the digital's I'm considering.  What do you think?

Yamaha P120 or P250
Korg SP300 or SP500
Roland FP-5

Each of these pianos has strengths and weaknesses, but I'm interested in what the members of this board think of them.  This is a major investment, and I don't want to make a mistake.  And for the record:  As soon as I have room, and the means, I will be going acoustic.  But for now, please be kind!

Thanks,

Z
Who Dares, Wins.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #1 on: December 30, 2003, 08:07:10 AM »
Quote
(Argerich is my fav)


;D,
Ed

Offline Eek Lek Tik

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #2 on: December 30, 2003, 08:37:36 AM »
I like the Roland and Yamaha better than the Korg but I prefer the Kawai MP9500 to all others.
Everyone's different. I am the same.

Offline cyberdetective

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #3 on: December 30, 2003, 04:55:57 PM »
To you want to record too ?
Alain STEVENS
cyberpianist

Offline zman1974

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #4 on: December 31, 2003, 04:07:25 AM »
Quote
To you want to record too ?


No, just learn to play the piano; at least for now.  In the future, who knows?  But I don't want to put the cart before the horse.  My priority is the piano.

Z
Who Dares, Wins.

Offline peter_g_moll

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #5 on: March 13, 2004, 08:42:58 PM »
I examined the Yamaha P80, the Yamaha GranTouch, the Kawai, a recent Roland digital, a Clavinova, a Suzuki, a Technics, and several others.  In addition I have a Roland P245.  I played several test pieces -- a vigorous Brahms capriccio for testing big sound, Rachmaninov's Prel. Op. 23:4 for its soft passages, and others.

As far as sound is concerned, I liked the two Rolands the best.  They sounded the least "digital" and closest to acoustic.  Though of course they are still far from being the real thing.  The sound of the Suzuki was awful.  The Yamahas were OK/tolerable, that is, they sounded digital, but accurate.   Most of the others were tolerable.

But the touch of the two Yamahas was by far the best of the lot.  These two instruments get closest to the grand piano action in than when struck, the key instantly springs away from the finger and goes down, and does not have too strong a spring underneath so that the finger has to keep pressing it all the way.  Repetitions are good.  Very soft notes also come out and in this respect the two Yamahas compete well even with my Boesendorfer.  The graded hammer action (viz. heavier keys at the left, gradually becoming lighter towards the right) is well done.   The action of the Yamaha digitals is slightly heavier than the action of my Boesendorfer but slightly lighter than that of a Steinway B.  I reasoned that for practise purposes I need to train my fingers, arms and movements and for this I need the instrument with the best touch, as long as the sound is accurate, even if the sound is not the best.  

Of the two Yamahas, the tactile impression of the GranTouch is better than that of the P80 because it also incorporates a distinct "second step".  When the key is depressed slowly, it goes down smoothly for half the way, then it requires a little additional pressure to get past the next point, and then it goes down all the way.  This is the closest to the grand action I have come across.  It's nice that it has this feature, but I did not consider this to be essential for the learning process, and so I let the price dictate my choice: the GranTouch is over $7000, but the P80 was $900 from Musician's Friend.  I went with the P80.

Whereas the Rolands are inferior in respect of the tactile impression.  The keys are too light, and don't approximate the grand action well.  Repetitions are good.  Soft notes are good.  But you know that you are not playing on a grand piano action.  Control becomes a problem in fast passages.

I hope this helps.
Peter Moll

Offline wes_56

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #6 on: March 21, 2004, 01:49:15 PM »
Hi,
You may like to go to this URL:

www.cvpug.com

It is supported by over 2000 members of Yamaha digital piano users. So, of course it is biased towards Yamaha. You can get some FAQs on digital pianos.

The user group on www.google.com has digital piano in one of the groups. You can go to this site and click on Groups and search for "digital pianos".

Wes

Offline xvimbi

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Re: Which Digital Piano?
«Reply #7 on: March 29, 2004, 11:38:30 PM »
This is partly a repeat of my comments in another recent thread along those lines.

As other posters stated, the Yamaha graded hammer action is excellent. I believe only a real action is better. The Kawai AWA action (as on the MP9500) is actually made of real wood, however the keys wobble very badly. Key-wobble is a big no-no on any decent acoustic, so staying with a Yamaha is not a bad idea as they appear to have the most stable action. Not surprisingly, they feel rather similar to a Yamaha acoustic grand. In addition to the P-250 that you mentioned, I would strongly recommend checking out the PF-500, which is practically identical to the P-250, but doesn't have the keyboard related features, such as myriads of instruments, pitchwheel, sophisticated equalizer, etc. The PF-500 looks good (stand, three pedals, contemporary design, lots of output options - MIDI, USB, etc.). You can find it at any GuitarCenter (provided you live in the US). That said, consider to connect a cheaper verion, such as the P-120, or even P-90 to a computer with high-quality sound samples installed. If you already have a reasonably powerful computer, that might well be the most economic solution that will produce sound much better than on any digital piano, except the Postpiano. However, make sure you can connect all the pedals that you want and that they are read out properly.

Hope that helps.