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Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000... (Read 7602 times)

Offline larapool

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Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
« on: February 08, 2012, 05:30:31 PM »
I'm finally in the market for a new digital piano.  I have spent the last 2 hours looking through threads on this site looking for advice...  I want something no greater than $1000, but I really do need a new digital piano.  This is the one I currently have, and I received it as a gift about 5-6 years ago.

http://www.casio.com/products/archive/Digital_Pianos_%26_Keyboards/Privia_Digital_Pianos/PX-555R/

It gets the job done and is actually not bad, although the speakers crackle when you play it loud, which is a downside - can't remember if it's always been like that or just developed with age - and aesthetically it's starting to get very unpleasing (stains around the specially covered speakers, finger marks etc.), so I need a new one.  The sounds other than the piano are not all that great, however, even the harpsichord, and although the keys are weighted, the action is still lighter than other digital pianos I've tried.

I've read that the following models are good:

Yamaha CP50
Yamaha P-155
Casio Celviano AP-220

I've looked up videos and demonstrations and testimonials on numerous websites and all three have praise.  I just need something with a heavier action and better piano sound than this Casio Privia I got years ago.  Also, a headphone jack and built-in speakers are a plus, I'm not sure if the models listed above have both of those or not.  Built-in speakers are much more important to me, actually.

Any advice?  At this point I'm dying for a new keyboard, the action and feel of the keys is of the utmost importance, and if I could even connect them through USB to my laptop and run a VST through it for better piano sounds, that's even better.

Offline starstruck5

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 06:51:43 PM »
I guess you could buy a decent pair of powered monitors -KRK Rokit8's have pretty good bass extension -then you wouldn't need to change your piano at all -
When a search is in progress, something will be found.

Offline larapool

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 07:55:23 PM »
Like I said, the action on this one is too light.  When I go to a real piano, there is a stark contrast in the action.  The keys are weighted on both but it's still too easy to push down on the digital piano I have now, and the difference between its touch and an acoustic is more than enough to warrant getting a new digital piano.

I played an Arius at the music shop yesterday -- it was just over my price limit, about 1100, which was fair, and it looked lovely, but the sound was a little thin.  Maybe I will go back and try it again, because there was another piano sound on it that sounded nice, and the action was better than my Casio.

Offline gvfarns

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 01:39:49 AM »
Yamaha P-155 fits the bill almost perfectly.  It has speakers of a sort and can be had cheaply.   Yamaha has two actions, the good one (called, GH, GH3, or GHE) and the less good one (GHS).  The cheapest pianos with GH are the P-155 and CP-33.  The former lacks USB-to-Host, while the latter lacks speakers.  Of course, you can get a MIDI-to-USB converter and use the P-155 with VST's as well.  It's just a hair less convenient.  The CP-50 is newer and better, but you will not be able to get it for 1000.

I haven't liked any Casio actions I've played.  I don't think they make any that are as good as GH, so I would avoid Casio if you can.  If you can't afford one of the above then you are moving into semi-weighted keyboards that call themselves fully weighted, and Casio comes back to the table as an attractive option.

Other options to consider: Kawai EP3, Yamaha YDP161.  Avoid the YDP141, as it uses GHS.

Good external speakers make a big difference.  Studio monitors are an option, also a good Hi Fi set  easily outperforms onboard speakers.   I had the KRK RP8's that have been mentioned and they were ok.  Not amazing.  I'd recommend a studio sub and KRK RP6's instead.  Better, but I think a really good hi fi set would still be better.

A good VST piano like Galaxy, Galaxy Vintage D, or Ivory will easily outperform the onboard sounds, but unless you have good speakers or headphones to listen with, you won't notice the difference much.  My advice is first get a good action, then good speakers and headphones, then worry about the sounds if you are yet unsatisfied.

Offline larapool

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 03:30:27 AM »
Thank you so much, gvfarns.  I think I will go with the P-155 after all and get a MIDI to USB cable for the VST use.

EDIT -- Scratch that, just looked up the Kawai EP3, and it's only $100 more expensive... I think THAT is the one for me!

Offline gvfarns

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 03:27:57 PM »
Disclaimer: I have never played the EP3 personally.  I just know people who said they liked it.  It is a bit older so its sounds may not be as good as the Yamaha (I personally like Yamaha's sounds a bit better than Kawai, though I own a Kawai because I prefer the action).  If possible, give it a try first.

Good luck and enjoy!

Offline starstruck5

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 02:01:22 PM »
You can always upgrade the sound of a digital piano - so the action surely has to be the most important factor?  There are a few virtual software pianos out there -lie the Quantum East West and Synthogy -and the Garritan Steinway -which I think are way better than most out of the box Roland, Kawai or Yamaha digitals.  I also love the idea that you can choose between different concert grands and not only that, have a lot of control over damper response, string resonance and so on -

Also these software pianos evolve with time and are upgraeable -which sadly is lacking in off the shelf digitals -they would rather bring an entire new model out -and tell us the one we bought two years ago is now pretty much crap -
When a search is in progress, something will be found.

Offline skierdude

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000... (make that $1200)
«Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 10:00:54 AM »
I'm resurrecting this thread to see if the answers would be the same. I know several new models came out since this post was last used. My interest is realistic touch and feel (responsive to attack) and sensitive to pedaling, if it's possible to get that in this price range. I could go up a little more than $1000.

Let me know your thoughts!

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 02:11:18 PM »
kindly see my post under "increasing multi-track recording..."
Ian

Offline kingston2013

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 04:09:31 PM »
If you're looking for a digital piano under 1000 dollars you might want to visit BestDigitalPiano. You will fin top reviews of the best digital pianos and great deals.

Offline jackbandel

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Re: Looking for a new digital piano, under $1000...
«Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 09:17:38 AM »
I don't think very many piano that cost under $ 1000, some brands like yamaha, casio also have cheap prices. last I was looking on the internet there are several websites that are often reviewed the piano under $ 1000, this website http://pianoguitarreview.com and http://colorinmypiano.com/