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Digital Piano Recommendations (Read 1606 times)

Offline justgatsby

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Digital Piano Recommendations
« on: April 24, 2020, 03:19:53 AM »
I'm looking for a keyboard for my apartment. I am a classically trained pianist and have played for around 20 years, but always on an acoustic!

Main things I'm looking for:
- realistic key feel
- can record to a computer
- not too bulky
- under $1000

From my research, I'm interested in the Roland FP-30, but not sure how the recording would work since it doesn't have a line out.

Any advice welcome!

Offline andrewuk

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Re: Digital Piano Under $1000
«Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 03:46:05 PM »
James Pavel Shawcross has just done a review of the FP-30 on YouTube.

I think that as a classical player you would find it rather limiting. If you could stretch the budget a little (I assume you're referring to US dollars) then you might find the FP-60 more satisfying. Other possibilities at a similar price to the FP-30 are the Yamaha P45 or P125 and the Kawai ES-110, or at the higher price point the Yamaha P515 and Kawai ES-8. The main recommendation is to try out as many pianos as you can in person, because ultimately it comes down to personal preference.


Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Digital Piano Under $1000
«Reply #2 on: April 25, 2020, 12:09:12 AM »
2 years ago I played 4 <$1k pianos at the Ft. Lauderdale Guitar Center and they all sucked IF you wished to play/practice pianissimos.

I tried some $3k pianos and they sucked too.  However, some had a user adjustable attach curve which might have corrected that issue.

I pretty much gave up hope trying to select among the cheap pianos.  There was one that was not even "marginally" better but I just don't remember.  I know it wasn't a Roland.  It could have been a Kawai but I'm not sure.  Frankly, if you didn't have them side by side, it would be difficult to tell them apart.  I kept forgetting which one I thought was best - every time I played another one, I changed my mind.  It was depressing and frustrating.

Beware that there is a Yamaha that actually doesn't have touch!  It is basically an organ with piano sounds.  So much for any vestige of integrity.

What REALLY PEEVES Me is all the hyper claims how this Steinway or That Bosen was sampled to the utmost of realism and yet, they DO NOT OFFER a keyboard setting/calibration to get the associated keyboard response.

Offline justgatsby

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Re: Digital Piano Recommendations
«Reply #3 on: April 25, 2020, 12:46:39 AM »
That's very disappointing to hear! After doing some further research, I've decided to look more into used keyboards so I can look into some of the more expensive options. The general consensus seemed to be that I would not be happy with any of the keyboards under $1000.

Offline thegrand88

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Re: Digital Piano Under $1000
«Reply #4 on: April 25, 2020, 02:45:58 AM »
I am in the exact same situation! I am a fairly advanced pianist, and am looking for a quality digital under $1000. I can't necessarily give that much help to you, I am still doing research myself. The only thing I can say is that I've played on the Yamaha Arius 103, the Yamaha Clavinova 440, and Clavinova 625. I do not like the Arius's action as an advanced pianist, it is impossible to play repeated notes, and the GHS action does not feel very responsive compared to a real piano, not to mention it feels way too light for my liking.

But I do like the GH3 and GH3X of the 440 and 625. The GH3X is nicer, but I find that it is not all that different from the GH3 and I can still play repeated notes on the GH3. I would recommend a Yamaha with GH3 or higher. The problem is I can't find a nice Yamaha for under $1000, the lowest price is $2000 for the 625. I have been looking for used Yamahas, but it is hard to find good pianos used.

I have a question for anyone who knows. Several other companies produce digitals that also claim to have "hammer action," but I have no idea how their keyboards compare to the GH3. Could someone enlighten me to how the different companies compare, like which keyboard could be a GH3 equivalent, how are they different, how they play repeated notes, how long the keys are, how much dynamic range there is, etc.

Offline davidhe811

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Re: Digital Piano Under $1000
«Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 03:14:24 AM »
James Pavel Shawcross has just done a review of the FP-30 on YouTube.

I think that as a classical player you would find it rather limiting. If you could stretch the budget a little (I assume you're referring to US dollars) then you might find the FP-60 more satisfying. Other possibilities at a similar price to the FP-30 are the Yamaha P45 or P125 and the Kawai ES-110, or at the higher price point the Yamaha P515 and Kawai ES-8. The main recommendation is to try out as many pianos as you can in person, because ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

excellent video one of the best ones without counting that I have learned a lot with it online since it explains very well and is implied thank you very much!

Offline lsallen

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Re: Digital Piano Recommendations
«Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 01:59:01 AM »
Hello, I guess as with everyone else, what I'd have to say is part factual and part opinion...

FACTS: I have owned digital pianos since 1986, I have owned six Yamaha models, one Roland model and one Privia model. For many years I was a resolute, die-hard Yamaha fan. I researched my latest digital piano purchase for approximately eight months.

OPINIONS: Yamahas and Privias are good for work with bands because their sound is generally sharper / more biting. Yamahas can be made to sound reasonably full for solo work with EQ.  Rolands sound fantastic, unless you want it to actually sound like a real piano.  (Some people don't care, so they sell a lot of them.  I respect that.)

Based on what information I could find online, plus my experiences with various Kawai acoustic pianos, plus what I perceived as a reputation of Kawai of being almost fanatic and obnoxious regarding design quality, I chose the Kawai ES110.  Amazingly, I bought the thing online, without ever test-playing one.  That was something that I never dreamt that I would do.  This was because, at least where I live (Northern California), they are pretty much impossible to find by wandering into a store.  (Yes even before COVID-19.)

I think what tipped the scale for me was that I have always liked the Yamaha sound (yes too bright for some) and action, but I felt that Yamaha disappointed for some reason with the action on the P-125.  Seems somewhat synth-y to me.  I was surprised by this as I had owned a CP-33 for many years and had no problem with that board's action.  On the other hand, I absolutely love the Kawai action on their acoustic pianos.  Even the little Kawai uprights that I have happened upon are pretty incredible. So I figured that, with their reputation, they probably would not sell a digital piano unless they could make it feel like a Kawai.   And  - I was not disappointed!

The two strengths of this Kawai model: (1) when played alone, it sounds like there is a real piano in the room; (2) the action is by far the best you are going to find for under $1200. Perhaps also over $1200, until you get to the next Kawai... I don't know because I did not look beyond that price.  Now, although I have used them and owned them, I have been a digital-piano skeptic for 23 years, ("give me an acoustic any time - even a beat-up spinet!") --  but for the first time I can say that the action on this board feels better than the action on some real acoustic pianos that I have used. (NOTE: I said "some")

If you hit the Kawai website, somewhere on there they discuss and illustrate their digital-piano action.  They came up with some kind of action that looks "folded" to fit into the DP casing, and/but provides the same key travel and return as perceived out at the key top.  The result feels great (again in my opinion).

FINAL OBSERVATION: You know how sometimes after buying equipment, you still look at ads for other instruments? I stopped looking, cold, after getting this board.  That was a clear indicator for me that I was happy with the purchase.  Just my $.02

p.s.  I'm a Newbie!  That's because I signed up just so I could post this.  Feel that strongly about it.  Newbie to piano?  Well I started playing during 1961...