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#1224432 - 06/29/09 11:57 AM Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120?
Bothrops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Israel
Hi, I'm rather new to this forum and to the keyboards as well.
Some months ago I bought my first keyboard, a Casio CTK-4000 and I've been happy with it so far.
Nevertheless, I'm really interested in buying my first digital piano soon, and I already started to find out the models available here.
I live in Israel, and here there aren't a lot of music shops nor possibilites.
Today I went to a shop and I found that they only sell Yamahas. They were all very expensive to me, but the Yamaha P85 that wasn't TOO expensive (although it was more than what I wanted to pay in a first instance).
Until now I was thinking in buying a Casio Privia PX-120, that I read nothing but good opinions about it, and the price here is quite cheaper than the Yamaha P85.
What I would like to know is a comparision between those two. Which one would you buy and why?


Thanks a lot in advance,
Martin

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#1224499 - 06/29/09 02:03 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Bothrops]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Hi Martin!

I just posted my opinion here yesterday: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1224252

Martin smile
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1224608 - 06/29/09 04:57 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
sercretchamberman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Florida, USA
The keys didn't feel at all like rubber, there was nothing wrong the it, I think the PX-120 is an excellent choice for any beginner.

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#1224640 - 06/29/09 05:52 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: sercretchamberman]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Well, maybe the gloss had come off off that demo instrument. smile At any rate the keys looked extremely dull and felt uncomfortable to me. Not that I'm endorsing the extra-shiny keys you see on some of the cheapest models.

But I still don't like the fact that the keys on the PX-120 take so long to move back up. I even tried bouncing them (hit them hard in the hope they'd return sooner), but that didn't really work either. How anyone would play a decent trill on this thing without applying superhuman force is beyond me. Seems like a good way to get tendinitis...

All in all I think the PX-120 is a bit overrated on these forums. But of course personal taste decides in the end, and some people might love the PX-120 for exactly the same reasons for which I could not warm up to the instrument.

That's why you can't trust reviews, you simply have to try for yourself. If I had decided based on reviews only, I'd have purchased the PX-320. Thankfully I didn't...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1224669 - 06/29/09 06:59 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: sercretchamberman]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: sercretchamberman
The keys didn't feel at all like rubber


...or maybe they used the wrong kind of cleaning solution and that messed up the finish. The salesman of Guitar Center didn't know a thing about digital pianos himself, so who knows what kind of cleaning methods he thinks are fit for a DP.

I always just wipe down the keys of my P-85 with a dry microfiber cloth after practice, and so far it looks as good as new.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1224758 - 06/29/09 09:35 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
It's best if you can actually try both of them yourself in a shop somewhere. In my opinion, though, I don't think the P-85 is a better instrument than the PX-120. It's not worth paying extra for, anyway.

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#1225010 - 06/30/09 11:20 AM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Geoffk]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Price is probably about the same ($500-600).

I suppose it also depends on the kind of music one intends to play -- for faster notes, a lighter touch such as on the Yamaha seems more appropriate, as opposed to the key-shaped bricks on the Casio.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225071 - 06/30/09 01:06 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Bothrops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Israel
Thanks for the answers!
I haven't had the possibility to try the Casio PX-120.
On the other hand, I liked the Yamaha quite a lot. As I said, I don't understand about pianos, but I found the ''feel'' of that Yamaha very nice, and I loved the tone.
I'm looking for something similar (in sound an feel) to a real acoustic piano. I don't care if it has a lot of options and toys on it, because for that I have my portable keyboard.

I'm just doubting because of the price. I can get the Casio quite cheaper than the Yamaha, but if the latter one is really better and worth it, I may choose to save some more money and go for it...

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#1225176 - 06/30/09 04:16 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Bothrops]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Here are some pretty impressive videos showcasing the P-85. Much better than the official product demonstrations by Yamaha...

http://www.youtube.com/user/AGcristal
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225185 - 06/30/09 04:32 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
J_N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Newcastle, UK
I own a P-85(Silver) and for the price I love it... I don't think you can get closer to a piano for that price... obviously it's NOT exactly like an acoustic, but I personally find i sufficient for what I need... what you could look at is to get a used one or a used earlier model... the predecessor was the P70... and there is also a version without speakers, the p90 (the speakers on the p85 are not breathtaking, but ok) which has been discontinued, though...
_________________________
“The piano has been drinking, not me.”

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#1225186 - 06/30/09 04:33 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Here are some pretty impressive videos showcasing the P-85. Much better than the official product demonstrations by Yamaha...

http://www.youtube.com/user/AGcristal


That little waltz he composed is definitely my favorite. Sounds a bit like something from the movie "Ratatouille"...

Oh no, now I'm starting to talk to myself. smile
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225428 - 07/01/09 04:26 AM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Vincent L. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 349
Loc: Austin, TX
Hi Martin,

The piece played by the kid is from the movie Amelie Poulain. It was composed by Yann Tiersenn.
Here is a link to the Valse D'Amelie ... played on a Casio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnybrK8FLz0

Regarding the quickness of the Casio action vs. Yamaha low end, I own a PX-320 and I do not suffer from any latency when I play my preferred Chopin pieces, some of them with pretty fast trills.
Note that I pass them as well on the YDP-625 a friend owns - it shares the same keyboard (GHS) with the P-85.

My point is that, most of the time, with decent equipment, it's the indian and not the arrow. And to me both the Yamaha and Casio latest DP are in the decent category.

The PX X20 series have 3 dynamic steps piano voices and this is to me a big plus as it enables more expressive play. Some might not care as they use piano rendition software.

I consider in this price range the Casio action better than the Yamaha GHS and I have no difficulty to practice on the Casio and get back to our Yamaha acoustic Grand.
BTW, Digital Pianos are easier to play than even well maintained acoustics as DPs are not rendering all our mistakes.

As it is a matter of taste as well, nobody should buy a music instrument without playing it ... as much as possible.

Customer support at Yamaha is top notch anywhere you are in the world - I owned Yamaha instruments for the last 30+ years and they have been there when I needed them. It is an unknown for the Casio - so far I did not have to call them, not even about the SP-30 that I dare to use with my feet (based on another post of yours, I know you consider I take crazy risks here! Hopefully no spring will jump and come poke an eye or two - lol).

Friendly,

Vincent


Edited by Vincent L. (07/01/09 04:29 AM)

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#1225612 - 07/01/09 01:26 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Vincent L.]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Hi Vincent!

Originally Posted By: Vincent L.

The piece played by the kid is from the movie Amelie Poulain. It was composed by Yann Tiersenn.
Here is a link to the Valse D'Amelie ... played on a Casio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnybrK8FLz0


I think he called it his "compo perso" in the description, so I assumed it was by him. But anyway, it's quite beautiful and I think reasonably expressive for the two velocity layers I think the P-85 has.

Originally Posted By: Vincent L.

Regarding the quickness of the Casio action vs. Yamaha low end, I own a PX-320 and I do not suffer from any latency when I play my preferred Chopin pieces, some of them with pretty fast trills.
Note that I pass them as well on the YDP-625 a friend owns - it shares the same keyboard (GHS) with the P-85.

My point is that, most of the time, with decent equipment, it's the indian and not the arrow. And to me both the Yamaha and Casio latest DP are in the decent category.


No question, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I don't like the blanket recommendation for the PX-120 I so often read on these forums. The PX-120 definitely requires much stronger fingers than the P-85, so that has to be taken into account when different models are recommended. I suppose over time one wants to upgrade to heavier actions as one gets more comfortable with weighted keys. But I've just re-read Josef Hofmann's books yesterday, and he seems to recommend a lighter touch, as long as the keys can still be controlled accurately enough.

I'd love to see a video of a trill on the PX-120. When I tried to trill in the store, the first (white) key was still depressed a lot when you came back to it, so getting another tone out of it was a challenge. I think it's better for a trill if the key follows the hand more closely, as you would presumably find it on a harpsichord or church organ.

Perhaps I could go back to the store and try the PX-120 again. Might also be interesting to test drive the P-155, if they have it.

Originally Posted By: Vincent L.

The PX X20 series have 3 dynamic steps piano voices and this is to me a big plus as it enables more expressive play. Some might not care as they use piano rendition software.


Yes, software pianos are all the rage right now, so that's why I think the action is more important than the sound. But I did not like the piano sound too much on the PX-120. More like Grand Piano 2 on the P-85, a bit of a vintage warbler. Of course over speakers it's hard to judge, but I like a somewhat brighter sound.

Do you notice a humming/hissing (or whatever it is) sound on the PX-120 when you use headphones? There are several forum complaints about it.

Originally Posted By: Vincent L.

Customer support at Yamaha is top notch anywhere you are in the world - I owned Yamaha instruments for the last 30+ years and they have been there when I needed them. It is an unknown for the Casio - so far I did not have to call them, not even about the SP-30 that I dare to use with my feet (based on another post of yours, I know you consider I take crazy risks here! Hopefully no spring will jump and come poke an eye or two - lol).


I have to admit the Casio 3-pedal unit looks much better and a litte more sturdy than the Yamaha equivalent! Still trash, but slightly better-looking trash. But I love my M-Gear sustain pedal.

Why can't third-party manufacturers create a decent 3-pedal unit, if possible one that works for both Yamaha and Casio DP's? I'd rather spend a little more if I can get better quality for the price. You might go through several synths and DP's in a short time, but the pedal unit could stay the same then.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1225947 - 07/01/09 11:59 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: sercretchamberman]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: sercretchamberman
The keys didn't feel at all like rubber, there was nothing wrong the it, I think the PX-120 is an excellent choice for any beginner.


Went back to the store today to check out what was up with the keys on the PX-120 demo unit I saw. Turns out that instead of cleaning them wrong they apparently never cleaned them. Disgusting grime all over. Plus it was on the top shelf, where the keys didn't reflect the store lights as much due to the angle. Therefore my previous impression dull keys. Maybe on a new PX-120 they look much better.

But I still think the weight is a bit excessive, especially for a beginner. The initial resistance of the key really seems to be the biggest difference to the P-85, once you do repetition (key stays at least half-pressed) the weight difference is much less noticeable.

Tried the Roland FP-7, which is indeed a little noisy when you hit the keybed. Alas, they had no P-155 (not to mention V-Piano) to play with in the store. In fact the sales guy had never even heard of the P-155! Ah, Guitar Center -- where the customer has to explain the digital pianos to the salesperson... grin
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226419 - 07/02/09 10:25 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
'
My comment on the P85 would be this - (I had it's predecessor P70)

The built-in speakers are not too good, and if you want to go through better quality speakers...

there's no standard 1/4" jack output on the rear of the keyboard as is the case with almost every other keyboard on the planet!

(unbelievable, really - even the store I bought it from were scratching their heads as to why this is not a feature).

You have to use the flimsy headphone jack socket on the front panel - which can be an inconveience because it protrudes so much, and is easily knocked.

This proved to be a problem for me because this meant that I kept getting either 'crackling' or no sound at all.

I ended up returning it.
.
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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#1226728 - 07/03/09 05:05 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: jpscoey]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: jpscoey

You have to use the flimsy headphone jack socket on the front panel - which can be an inconveience because it protrudes so much, and is easily knocked.
.


Well, it wouldn't protrude if you used a plug with a 90-degree angle to it.

A lot of gigging artists became very interested in the P-85, and wisely Yamaha decided to force them to buy something more expensive by leaving out a Line Out, etc. For playing at home the duo headphone jack at the front is extremely convenient. I'm always angry when e.g. computer manufacturers put their headphone out in some place at the back of the device just because it's the easiest spot for them to put it.

But I think you could definitely stage-proof this thing with lots of gaffer tape if you had to. It's not that crippled. Tape down the volume slider for a constant level, use an angled audio adapter, pad out the whole headphone jack area and tape everything firmly in place there, perhaps with the cable going around the side towards the back. But understandably Yamaha would much prefer you to get a P-155... smile

Of course you could mention what you got yourself instead.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226729 - 07/03/09 05:07 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Vincent L.]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Vincent L.
Hi Martin,

The piece played by the kid is from the movie Amelie Poulain. It was composed by Yann Tiersenn.


I just realized we were talking about different pieces. I meant this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n9m9kpwipM
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226751 - 07/03/09 06:01 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege




I think you could definitely stage-proof this thing with lots of gaffer tape...

Tape down the volume slider for a constant level, use an angled audio adapter, pad out the whole headphone jack area and tape everything firmly in place there, perhaps with the cable going around the side towards the back.

Of course you could mention what you got yourself instead.



Hi Martin - do you think going through all that palaver with gaffer tape two/three times a week (inc rehearsals etc) is a satisfactory solution -
when a simple line out would solve the problem???

I should have mentioned in my previous post that the crackling & complete lack of sound was not necessarily caused by knocking the jack. This often happened when the music got a bit 'rocky', and my keyboard(s) where swaying with the movement of the stand!

The 2mm (or whatever it is) jack-plug is simply too flimsy.

As for what I got instead... I wanted a weighted 88-note keyboard - and by fortunate timing
Korg had just brought out the M50.

So that's what I got, & I'll tell you I've not lived to regret it for one moment - it's simply a superb keyboard,
with a lovely action.

I actually prefer it over my Yamaha Motif XS7 - which cost nearly twice as much!

.



Edited by jpscoey (07/03/09 06:14 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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#1226762 - 07/03/09 06:19 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: jpscoey]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: jpscoey

Hi Martin - do you think going through all that palaver with gaffer tape two/three times a week (inc rehearsals etc) is a satisfactory solution -
when a simple line out would solve the problem???

As for what I got instead... I wanted a weighted 88-note keyboard - and by fortunate timing
Korg had just brought out the M50.

So that's what I got, & I'll tell you I've not lived to regret it for one moment - it's simply a superb keyboard,
with a lovely action.

I actually prefer it over my Yamaha Motif XS7 - which cost nearly twice as much!

.



Yes, Korg makes nice instruments. But the 88-key M50 seems to cost between $1,600 and $1,800, while the P-85 is about $600 or less. So it's hardly a fair comparison.

But many companies cripple their less expensive products a bit to differentiate them from their more expensive offerings. And I don't think Yamaha is that evil if they cripple it in a way that can be relatively easily circumvented.

What I think is evil is that the single sustain pedal jack doesn't do half-pedaling. That looks more like crippling to me, unless there is some perfectly logical technical explanation for it.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1226783 - 07/03/09 07:37 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Yes, Korg makes nice instruments. But the 88-key M50 seems to cost between $1,600 and $1,800, while the P-85 is about $600 or less. So it's hardly a fair comparison.


I didn't say it was an exact comparison - but, in effect, I got not only
a piano with a much bigger variety of piano sounds and a finer keybed
(and stereo 1/4" outputs!) -

but also an excellent (and huge) choice of almost everything else you could choose to mention...

strings, brass, choirs, organs, pads, synths, ethnic sounds, guitars & basses,
sound FX, numerous drum patterns, 16-track sequencer, etc etc...

In fact at least two or three keyboards rolled-into-one.

£-for-£ (or $-for-$) it's the best value for money keyboard on the market today.

ps - if you're not concerned about a full-size weighted keybed, the 61-note & 73-note
versions cost considerably less.
.
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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#1227094 - 07/04/09 05:19 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: jpscoey]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: jpscoey

In fact at least two or three keyboards rolled-into-one.

£-for-£ (or $-for-$) it's the best value for money keyboard on the market today.

ps - if you're not concerned about a full-size weighted keybed, the 61-note & 73-note
versions cost considerably less.
.


Well, I've listenend to the demos on the Korg site, and for the money, I can't say I was that impressed with the piano sound. Apparently the M50 is more like the PX-320, jack of all trades, master of none. Of course it's a workstation, so just for playing (as opposed to composing) it's probable a bit too much anyway.

And for classical (19th cent.) piano music, you definitely need 88 keys! Bach might work on 61 keys, but everything later tends to take full advantage of the octave range, particularly in the bass...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1227197 - 07/04/09 10:15 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Well, I've listenend to the demos on the Korg site, and for the money, I can't say I was that impressed with the piano sound.


What you seem to be overlooking here is the fact that the dozens of 'standard' in-built 'factory' piano voices (which, in my opinion, offer a better choice than the limited in-built sounds on the P85) can -along with every other voice on the instrument- be adjusted in every concievable manner - EQ, insert/master effects
(170 in total), velocity sensitivity, filters + ADSR (adjustable 'on the fly') etc etc.

You can make it sound any way you want to suit your personal preference - through 'tweaking', I've been able to match easily the piano voices on my Motif XS, which Yamaha market as their 'flagship' keyboard.
(Don't misread me - I love Yamaha products... & my Motif in particular).

That's just the piano (which, incidentally, also supports half-damping!)

As I said in my earlier post, the range of other possibilities with the M50 is almost endless, and the weighted keyboard 'action' on the 88 is excellent too.

I also said this before, but I'll re-iterate it... for a hardware keyboard (I notice you back up your P85 with a software program), it's a superb piece of kit!

As for 'just playing' (as opposed to composing) - I have yet to use it in it's 'workstation' capacity.

It's served me well for every purpose as a performance instrument in every respect.

And I haven't even got half-way near it's full potential yet!

That's what I mean when I say about value-for-money!

.
.
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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#1227388 - 07/05/09 03:00 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: jpscoey]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Well, sounds good then. But perhaps Korg ought to put some audio demos of these tweaking capabilities onto their site. All I saw was "acoustic piano", and that was it...

Do you happen to have a recording of you playing the thing somewhere, e.g. on YouTube?
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1227411 - 07/05/09 03:53 PM Re: Yamaha P85 or Casio Privia PX120? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted By: Martin C. Doege
Well, sounds good then. But perhaps Korg ought to put some audio demos of these tweaking capabilities onto their site. All I saw was "acoustic piano", and that was it...

Do you happen to have a recording of you playing the thing somewhere, e.g. on YouTube?


Hi Martin, if you click on my myspace link (in my signature) you will find a song

I recently recorded using my M50 for the main piano part.

This was an 'out of the box' (unaltered) voice ('stereo grand', I seem to recall).

Also the youtube link below gives an indication of some of the possibilities on the M50.

There are many more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmuyF15SdCU&feature=channel

This other link is an invaluable source of infromation for all Korg owners -

http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=53

(This relates to the M50 - but if you go to the main forum index
you'll find stuff for all other Korg keyboards)


Hope you find it interesting?

Cheers,

John.
.
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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