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Looking for Digital Piano / Keyboard for Classical Piano--Any help appreciated!! (Read 8478 times)

Offline robpina

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I've read a few other threads that talk about digital pianos / keyboards but I just wanted to get a more recent take on the subject. As much as I love playing the acoustic piano it can become very difficult to practice when living with other people. I think purchasing a digital piano / keyboard would give me more flexability to practice more.

I play classical music so I am not looking for something that is all that portable or something with lots of bells and whistles to play gigs. What I want is the most piano like feel and sound available.

"Musts" Include:
- 88 keys obviously
- hammer grade weighted action keys
- realistic grand piano sound with overtones
- use of all 3 peddles
- the ability to record and upload my playing to the computer / internet
- built in speaker system and sounds

Price wise I really just want to hear of all the options. If there is nothing in the more reasonable (1,000-2,000) range I would consider going up in price. However, I'd like to try to stay as cost effective as possible.

I really appreciate the help.

Offline countrymath

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Check the Kawai MP series.
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Offline jimbo320

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All I can really go by is what I have.
Try a Yamaha DGX640. You probably can get one for around $800 or so and it plays and feels so much like a grand it would amaze you. I also got a CP50 you might like but you don't want bells and whistles. The DGX has headphone capability that can keep your practicing to yourself too...
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Offline lhorwinkle

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"use of all 3 peddles" ...
Keyboards generally have one pedal. You can add more, but they just slide around on the floor. So get a console. They all have three pedals.

"realistic grand piano sound with overtones" ...
"built in speaker system and sounds" ...
Here's where most digital pianos fall flat. They are very disappointing. Their tone generators are terrible, and their built-in speaker systems are inadequate. Your requirements rule out any piano console under $7500 (or any keyboard under $6000).

One way to get around that is to use a computer to generate the piano sounds. A laptop computer, sound module, amplifier, speakers, and software will cost anywhere from $900 (used equipment) to $1600 (new). Maybe less if you already have a laptop (or desktop) computer.

Add that to a low-cost ($1200) console digital and you're done ... for $2000 - $3000. The computer can generate sounds better than ANY digital piano ... until you get up to the $6000 V-Piano or $7500 to $15000 Avant Grand.

Offline kippler

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"Musts" Include:
- 88 keys obviously
- hammer grade weighted action keys
- realistic grand piano sound with overtones
- use of all 3 peddles
- the ability to record and upload my playing to the computer / internet
- built in speaker system and sounds

Do have a look at the Roland FP-4, or the newer model, FP-4F. This has jacks for all 3 pedals, the damper, sustain and una corda, but you have to buy the pedals extra. I personally like the sound better than the Yamaha instruments, which are, to my ear, a bit brighter sounding, and harder to listen to during extended practice sessions. It doesn't have a lot in the way of bells and whistles, and I even like it better than the more elaborate model, the FP-7/F.

Offline countrymath

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Question is: Do you really need do have the 3 pedals?
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Offline john90

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I'm in a similar position. I have an acoustic I am happy with, but want all the grand like features you mention in an electronic keyboard as well. An upright acoustic with a factory silent system seems the only sensible/cheapest way to go. I am very happy with sound from a Mac & Midi keyboard. The only way to get the presence, feeling of space under the piano, solidity of the keys and keybed of a grand, forgetting touch, weight, sense of rebound, is to get a grand, a real one, and fit a silent system.

You are probably going to want to rebush the keyboard and work on the action. Strings, soundboard, pinblock, frame, not really an issue playing in silent mode. I plan on 2K for a silent system, 5K for the piano and work on keyboard. I am looking for a suitable grand at the moment, ideally a C1920s Boesendorfer, that is inexpensive.

Offline pianoplayjl

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most Yamaha keyboards should be Ok.
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Offline 49410enrique

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if you can afford it, as stated above, go with one of the Kawai digital pianos.

Offline Derek

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"use of all 3 peddles" ...
Keyboards generally have one pedal. You can add more, but they just slide around on the floor. So get a console. They all have three pedals.

"realistic grand piano sound with overtones" ...
"built in speaker system and sounds" ...
Here's where most digital pianos fall flat. They are very disappointing. Their tone generators are terrible, and their built-in speaker systems are inadequate. Your requirements rule out any piano console under $7500 (or any keyboard under $6000).

One way to get around that is to use a computer to generate the piano sounds. A laptop computer, sound module, amplifier, speakers, and software will cost anywhere from $900 (used equipment) to $1600 (new). Maybe less if you already have a laptop (or desktop) computer.

Add that to a low-cost ($1200) console digital and you're done ... for $2000 - $3000. The computer can generate sounds better than ANY digital piano ... until you get up to the $6000 V-Piano or $7500 to $15000 Avant Grand.


This may have been true right when the V-Piano came out. However, I think this technology is already getting cheaper. Roland has taken the brain of the V-Piano and made it more "basic" and less customizable, and placed it in more affordable models. See the

Roland FP-4F

Roland HP-302

As examples. These each have Roland's "SuperNATURAL" piano engine, which is based on the V-piano technology. The only real difference is it is not customizable to an extreme degree. (so, no 20 foot long silver strings...I'm so sad...)

I own a Roland HP-302, and I'm very impressed with it. One thing which I've always loved about a real acoustic piano sound is the slightly imperfect sound of unisons. In other words, the three strings vibrate at *almost* the same frequency, producing a very slow "weeeeeoooowwweeee" sound.  Older models of digital piano do not have this very noticably, partly because the sampling is looped so there is not enough time for this effect to take place. With these pianos, the sound is calculated from the ground up in combination with sampling, so there's no looping.

The speakers in the FP-4f are not that great, but in the HP-302 they are more than adequate and are oriented in the cabinet such that you can feel the keyboard vibrate, a sensation usually one only feels when playing an acoustic grand. There's a really nice feeling of "thunk" when you hit the bass notes, it feels almost as though you've thrown a real hammer and hit a real string.

Obviously it isn't *quite* as good as an acoustic, but the technology has come a long way recently and is going down in price.

I forgot to mention the action of the HP-302 is really wonderful as well. It is the closest I've felt, on a digital, to an acoustic grand action. It is so good, that it has made me feel like practicing classical pieces again. For the few years I played my Roland F-100, which had a less than realistic action, it made me quit playing classical pieces for a while because it just didn't feel..I dunno, "bouncy" enough? like an acoustic piano.

Good luck in your search for a good piano....  Oh, there's another Roland I forgot to mention which is like the HP-302 but is cheaper, I think its the DP-990f:

Roland DP-990f.

It's more compact than the HP-302, has the same brain and same action, is smaller, only about 2000$ but possibly has a slightly less good speaker system? I think its possibly the same but the HP-302 has holes in the cabinet to allow higher frequencies to come right out at you. In this model it may sound a bit muffled and "underneath" the cabinet. But, still better than the FP-4f.

Offline pinkpiano1

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Does anyone know the best places to look for a keyboard these days?  I found this site www.ragamuffinmusic.com/best-piano-keyboards-for-the-money which helps but was just wondering.  Looking for the best one with 88 keys that is also pretty portable.

Offline andrew79

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Does anyone know the best places to look for a keyboard these days?  I found this site www.ragamuffinmusic.com/best-piano-keyboards-for-the-money which helps but was just wondering.  Looking for the best one with 88 keys that is also pretty portable.

Not probably the best source of information, if you're looking for an instrument for piano playing with 88 hammer-action keys and realistic sound.

I don't recommend those cheap plasticky keyboards with non-weighted keys. It's definitely worth investing a few hundreds more and buying something like Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-45, which are far more superior in terms of piano playing.

Offline pencilart3

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You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810