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#1287749 - 10/15/09 05:41 PM Suggestions please
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
This sounds impossible but I am looking for a fairly decent digital piano between £250 and £450 - preferable towards the latter end/middle of that.

I am a composer that has recently returned to working at the keyboard with currently no access to one. I am looking to purchase at the end of the month once I have been paid.

I am not looking for anything too complex - just a simple piano which will be able to sit on my desk and allow me to work on my music. The speakers don't have to be great because I won't be gigging with it and I will likely end up using headphones the majority of the time because of the hours I work and my neighbors.

Original plan was to get a Yamaha NP-30 but I have heard the hammer action isn't great and I spent 13 years learning on a lovely upright as a kid so I don't want something worlds apart from that (though for my price I know I won't get bells and whistles.)

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#1287845 - 10/15/09 08:45 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
The NP-30 has no action at all. It's just sprung like a cheap organ. I don't find it playable myself.

There is a very limited selection in your price range. The cheapest decent new instruments would be the Casio PX-130 or Korg SP-250. The Yamaha P-85 is also a possibility although I don't like the 1-level piano sample or cheap GHS action on it. Frankly, neither of these is a patch on your upright, but they are solid, playable digitals. If you can find a Yamaha P-140 (they've been discontinued), that would be a good choice also. The Yamaha P-155 is great, but may be out of your price range.

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#1287847 - 10/15/09 08:48 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8369
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
The least expensive digital piano with a reasonably good weighted-key action and sound is the Casio Privia PX-130, however this is approximately £100 more expensive than your maximum budget. (Thomann.de).

The alternatives would be to consider purchasing an instrument second hand, however I would suggest waiting a little longer, saving the money, and buying a new Casio.

Cheers,
James
x

_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1287856 - 10/15/09 09:02 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Kawai James]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
How about the Casio WK 500 or CP 200?

Check them out on U-tube.

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#1288033 - 10/16/09 04:49 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Nikalette]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
I'm in a very similar position to you budget wise and have done quite a bit of research into what's available in this price range and it comes down to two instruments, the Casio CDP100 and the Yamaha P85. The P85 should be out of your price range but is on offer at several shops (Rocking Rooster for one) at just over £450. The others people have suggested (PX130, SP250) are over £500.

I've tried and like both the P85 and CDP100 but I'd probably go for the Yamaha as it seems better quality.

I'd agree the Yamaha NP-30 is nothing like a piano keyboard and has a very light touch and only 76 keys but it's quite playable and has a decent piano sound. It's really cheap too! Try one, you might find it's OK for your needs but it won't feel anything like your upright.

This next suggestion will be unpopular with the forum but what the hell! Another DP I'm considering is the M-Audio Prokeys 88SX. Now M-Audio has a very mixed reputation but I think some of their products are OK if your expectations aren't too high! The Prokeys 88sx has a semi weighted keyboard which I assume will be similar to my M-Audio Keystation 61es which, for a semi weighted board feels very good, much better than the Yamaha NP-30! In fact I'd say it almost, almost feels weighted. The Prokeys 88sx has some decent sounds too but no speakers so you need to use headphones or add some external speakers/powered monitors. It's about the same price as the NP-30 (ie VERY cheap!) so I'd say it's worth considering if you can find one to try out.

One word of warning M-Audio also make the Prokeys 88 which does have a proper weighted keyboard but it feels horrible and isn't even that cheap so make sure it's the sx model.

James - I'm curious about your statement that the PX130 is the cheapest board with a decent action and sound? I've tried the CDP100 and P85 and both felt pretty good to me, hardly any different to the PX120 (haven't tried a 130) but then I'm almost a complete beginner and possibly not a very good judge! I haven't really listened to them properly yet though. What do you think is wrong with the CDP100 and P85?
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1288039 - 10/16/09 05:43 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: BazC]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
The P-85 has a weighted, but very light action, which is Yamaha's cheapest (GHS). Since it's much lighter than the Casio action, you might actually prefer it, but it compares very poorly with the Korg or more expensive Yamahas in terms of realism and touch. The sound is fine, but the sample is only 1-level (Korg and Casio are multi-level), which means that as you play louder, mostly only the volume changes. The quality of the tone doesn't change realistically, as on an acoustic piano.

So I don't care for the P-85 personally and I don't usually recommend it. However, it's well-made and there are some people here who do think it's worthwhile, so if you play it and you like it, than that's fine. Be sure to listen to the dynamics very carefully, though.

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#1288044 - 10/16/09 05:59 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Geoffk]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
I would agree with Geoffk. If you can stretch your budget to around £550 then the Korg SP-250 and Casio PX-130 are both within reach. The best place I found for price is:

www.bonnersmusic.co.uk

They have the Casio at £539 which looks like a good deal. They also offer 0% finance over 6 months and free delivery. That gives you 6 months to come up with the extra £100! I do appreciate it's your money at the end of the day though.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1288117 - 10/16/09 10:05 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
BazC,

The CDP100 is a much older model. It is comparable in action to the Casio Privia PX100. The sound samples are much closer to the ones on their unweighted keyboards, IMO. It also only supports one pedal. It will work fine for a beginner, IMO. The Privias, especially the PX130 / 330, will take you farther due to the higher polyphony and support for 2 pedals (3 with the Casio Pedal Bar).

Rich
_________________________

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#1288129 - 10/16/09 10:18 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
At this price point is it really worth buying older technology?

I haven't played any of the Casio pianos so I don't know how different the PX-130 is over the PX-120 but the spec certainly seems far superior. I did play the Korg though and thought it was very good quality for the money.

When you do the math.....

The PX-130 costs £539 and for that you get free delivery and a 3 year warranty. Not only that but you don't have to pay a penny for 6 months with no interest added. If you keep it for 3 years until the warranty runs out it will have cost you £15 per month! After that you could pretty much dispose of it and get a new one. Even better, keep it another year or so if nothing is wrong with it or sell it on ebay for £100. I just don't see how you can lose. If it were me I wouldn't even consider buying the older PX-120 just to save £140.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1288160 - 10/16/09 11:10 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
CDP100 is just too old, and its replacement CDP200 is already on the market which you might want to check out. otherwise, choose either P85 or Casio PX130 if that's affordable for you.

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#1288167 - 10/16/09 11:20 AM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
Thanks for the info Geoff and Rich, if they're old models it makes sense, seems to me that they're both a little over priced in that case especially the Yamaha RRP £656! Still, I think either would probably do for my needs, if the sounds/polyphony isn't good enough I can always put them through Pianoteq.

Signa - The CDP200 doesn't seem to be available in the UK yet so I haven't been able to find a price for it, I'll be keeping an eye out for it though!


Edited by BazC (10/16/09 11:28 AM)
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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#1288320 - 10/16/09 03:51 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: BazC]
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
I'd like to thank everyone for their suggestions - I never suspected I'd get so many replies and I am working through the replies and check out the models suggested.

Just to clarify a couple of things though from the quick glance I've had.

- I can't go over £450. I was given £250 to purchase a NP-30 from family and the additional £200 would come from overtime I managed to get at my new job. However, from next month any extra I get with be eaten by my bank to pay off my overdraft (btw that would also make get credit for a piano harder) and my overtime is being eaten up too at the same time.

- I will be ordering on the 28/29th this month. I am very behind on a current piece that I am writing and while it sounds risky to just buy a piano - I need to get back to work at composing. I work pretty much full time at present and I have no shops around here which actually sell digital pianos .. I have searched and I would have to travel much further than I am able to try these out.

- My upright went to piano heaven 7 years ago and I had a digital piano (I think it was an Yamaha and the touch was much light) so I don't mind something not as real as the upright since I spent 3 years on a digital before.

So I am relying heavily on the current users of these instruments to point me away from the rotten eggs. But as long as the piano has 88 keys, an OK sound quality and at least something there in the action, I will be happy with that. If I HAVE to go beyond the £450 mark, it would have to last way beyond the 3 year mark because I won't have that sort of money to invest in a new one for a good time so it would need to HAVE a longer warranty.

If this helps limit the previous suggestions down a little then hopefully that's a good thing but like I say, I am overwhelmed at the moment with the number of suggestions so I'll be working my way through them now.


Edited by applecharlie (10/16/09 04:29 PM)

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#1288348 - 10/16/09 04:36 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
I'd say in terms of tone Yamaha always tends to have a slight edge over Casio, especially for the older Casio models like the PX-110/120. The NP-30 and P-85 use the same piano sample (which is pretty good I would say). The SP-250 uses a very mellow sample compared to a Yamaha.

I think the difference in touch between the Casio, Yamahas, Korgs, etc. comes down to (a) the key surface material used and (b) the relationship between how much you feel he hammer action vs how much you feel the keys. So e.g. on the P-85, the keys themselves are lighter, but you feel the hammer swinging into motion more distinctly, whereas on e.g. the Casio PX-120, the keys seem to be quite heavy and take a longer time to return to their rest positions, and therefore the hammer action -- to me at least -- is more difficult to notice.

The NP-30 is certainly playable, but it really only makes sense to get it when you need your DP to be extremely portable. (It can run on batteries.)

P.S. I tried the Yamaha CP33 again yesterday after seeing it being played by a two-man jazz ensemble here in Boulder and liked it a little more this time -- nice material for the key surfaces, although the action is quite heavy and sluggish for a Yamaha. It occurred to me that the P-85 is actually the little brother of the CP33, not so much the P-155. This is also borne out by the statistics on the Amazon page for the CP33: 30% of visitors buy the CP33, but 20% get the P-85. The P-155 is not the P-85's bigger brother but the strange uncle... smile


Edited by Martin C. Doege (10/16/09 04:52 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1288350 - 10/16/09 04:44 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Martin C. Doege]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Well you know your budget and financial position so it would seem sensible to stick to your £450 limit.

Bonnersmusic do have the Casio PX-120 for sale at £399 although as I sad before it's not a piano I have ever played. Perhaps another option is to check ebay for a lightly used piano. I have seen some listed as unwanted gifts which have never been used and they can be less than half the price of new.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1288375 - 10/16/09 05:44 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
I don't know if this is of interest but I just looked on ebay and someone is selling a 2 year old Kawai CL-20 for £230. It has just over a day to go.

I don't know anything about this piano but thought it might be of use to you.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1288401 - 10/16/09 06:34 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
I don't know if this is of interest but I just looked on ebay and someone is selling a 2 year old Kawai CL-20 for £230. It has just over a day to go.

I don't know anything about this piano but thought it might be of use to you.


Thank you for your continued help. I am looking to buy new - simply because I need a nice long warranty. It sounds an interesting prospect but what happens if I have in for a month and it breaks?

Still making my way through the posts and pianos mentioned... you guys sure know a lot of pianos.

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#1288405 - 10/16/09 06:41 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Well I guess that's the risk you take buying used.

Mind you, if something is going to go wrong with a digital piano I would imagine it will happen sooner rather than later. The warranty issue wouldn't bother me too much. If a piano has done 2 or 3 years with no problems then there's no reason why it shouldn't keep going. The warranty is useful if you buy a new piano that turns out to be defective.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1289384 - 10/18/09 05:23 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Chris H.]
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
I made the decision that I would have to up my budget and while I can't jump up a great deal, I also made the choice to rent the instrument before I buy it allowing me to get the rest of the money together.

So some options I found - in no real order (well I am writing this as I browse and adding possibles to the list as a go)

The Casio PX 130, PX 330 and the Yamaha P85 are all comfortably available if I do try it for 6 months and then buy it. I am tempted to go for the Yamaha because I am pretty convinced that that was the make of my previous digital piano.

I have also seen a Roland EP880, which is WAY over budget but if I rent it for longer then the above pianos again it would be possible. I mention it because, while I think I would be uncomfortable investing that much at the moment on an instrument, it sounds an interesting option and the rental price would be affordable BUT I would not be able to replace it in the long term. The pianos in the 1st option could be or part exchanged down the line for a newer model or upgraded.

Anyway, I am looking for comments relating to these particular models.

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#1289419 - 10/18/09 06:22 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
montag Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 29
Loc: Argentina
Originally Posted By: applecharlie

The Casio PX 130, PX 330 and the Yamaha P85 are all comfortably available if I do try it for 6 months and then buy it. I am tempted to go for the Yamaha because I am pretty convinced that that was the make of my previous digital piano.


Within your budget, the DPs you mention are safe choices. You can add the Korg SP250 to that list too. At least in this forum, the suggestions for your price range always include those models.

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#1289424 - 10/18/09 06:33 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: montag]
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
I've only been able to find the Kong for rent with a stand as well which I don't need. Thanks though.


Edited by applecharlie (10/18/09 06:37 PM)

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#1289490 - 10/18/09 09:06 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
The Korg is sold with a stand and pedal. It's part of the package when you buy one new. Even so, the initial price is fairly reasonable--close to the Casios.

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#1293363 - 10/25/09 12:37 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: Geoffk]
applecharlie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 7
I have decided to go with a Casio after reading some reviews so its a toss up between the Px-130 and the Px-330. There is a £50 price difference between them so my question is now for a piano which I am not going to be doing any very serious playing on (e.g giging) and just using for composing, is the 330 worth the extra?

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#1293400 - 10/25/09 01:26 PM Re: Suggestions please [Re: applecharlie]
Vid_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 188
Loc: Slovenia
The PX 330 has more sounds and some arranger possibilities built in, so if you don't need those, I'd go with the PX 330...

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