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#1298742 - 11/03/09 09:13 AM Tried out digital pianos at the local store
zxczxc12345 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 17
My local piano shop has a pretty good selection of digital pianos, and I fiddled around with them all. However, because I dont know pianos well or how to play any piano at all I cannot seem to tell the difference between them. I tried the Yamaha YDP140, CLP330, Roland F110, HP201, RP101.... to me all the keys felt pretty piano-ish to me when I compared them to a real acoustic piano. So my question is, as I am a total beginner at piano, will I need to worry about the differences in feel/sound between models that accomplished players can sense? I was going to get the HP201, but Im wondering whether I will actually notice a difference between that and the YDP140.... any help appreciated.

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#1298767 - 11/03/09 09:51 AM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: zxczxc12345]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
If you open up any digital piano,
no matter how expensive or
inexpensive, all you'll see
inside is a few computer chips
and other electronic components,
connected to the keyboard and
speakers with wires. That is,
a digital piano is essentially
a computer with a keyboard
and speakers. And just as
you can now buy a good, no-name
brand pc for around $500, you
can also buy good, lesser-known-
brand dp's in a similar price
range.

The technology to emulate an
acoustic piano has been around
since at least the 1970's, and
by the 1980's there were already
good dp's that performed
similarly to today's best.
So digital piano technology
is now widespread and well-
established, and, like pc's,
they can be assembled from
largely snap-together-type
components: computer chips,
electronic components, weighted
keyboard, and speakers. So
today any small company can
buy the components of a dp
and literally snap them together
and make a good dp.

Today you would actually have
a hard time buying a bad weighted-
key digital piano, and so
buying less expensive and/or
lesser know brands sight-unseen
online is no problem at all,
as long as you buy from an
established online dealer,
like, for example, zzounds.com
or amazon.com, as such dealers
will stock only good-quality
dp's and even lesser known
and/or less expensive brands
they sell will be okay.

I'm an experienced player
who grew up with classical lessons
and acoustic pianos only, as
there were no digitals back then.
But since 1989 I've been playing
digitals only, and I like them
better than acoustic pianos--
acoustic pianos in my view
are essentially obsolescent
in a digital world and are going
the way of the harpsichord and
clavichord.

I quit piano in high school
and didn't play for 20 yrs.
Since restarting as an adult,
I've bought 5 pianos, the
first acoustic, and the rest
digital, as follows: a top
quality acoustic upright,
bought in the early 1980's
for ~$6000 (A similar model
today would be in the ~$20,000
price range. I put it into
storage in the early 1980's
and it has remained there
till this day. It is obsolete
in my view and digitals can
do it much better); a Korg
C-800, bought in a store in
1989 for $1700, my first digital;
a Casio AP-24, bought sight-unseen
online in 2005 for $700; a
Korg SP-250, bought sight-unseen
online in 2006 for $900;
and my current piano, a Williams
Overture, bought sight-unseen
onine in 2009 for $600.

You can see from the above
that the trend with me has
been towards less and less
expensive pianos, even as
I've gained more experience
and improved as a player:
~$20,000(~$6000) --> $1700 -->
$700 --> $900 --> $600.
Even the $600 Williams is
okay for playing anything,
from jazz improvisation to
big-time concertos like the
Chopin op. 14.

So you don't have to spend a lot
to get a good dp. You can
get many good digitals for
less than $1000, for example,
the Casio PX 800 and the M-Audio
DCP 200, both $900 at amazon.com.
You couldn't go wrong with
either.

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#1298795 - 11/03/09 10:42 AM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: Gyro]
limavady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 379
Loc: California
sometimes the little differences can mean alot depending on your preferences of course. So to me it's like that first time i heard the click of a VW door as opposed to the thud of a ford. To me the casio you mention for 900 may be like getting a hundai sonata; a very nice car and trying to hit the higher end market to a point and then comparing that to a toyota for about the same price. The toyota would not be so fancy at that same price but the quality would be a tad better, in my opinion anyway. What i'm saying, using the car analogy is that a yamaha p155 is likely a better quality piano than a casio px800, but of course that's just my 2 cents as i don't imagine Gyro meant for his opinion to be any more than his.

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#1298859 - 11/03/09 12:09 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: zxczxc12345]
Hummingbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/08
Posts: 57
I'm just a beginner, but I play at home on an RP101 and I take lessons on a grand. The difference is definitely noticeable, and slightly annoying. I don't really know how to describe the difference, though. The feel of pressing the keys does not quite match.
It's close enough that I suspect my RP101 will last me a few years, though.
I tried tons of digitals over the course of a few months before I bought my Roland. I think for the most part the feel is similar between them; the differences probably aren't noticeable to the beginner. I ended up going with the one that had the sound I liked best.

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#1298916 - 11/03/09 01:36 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: Hummingbird]
Vid_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 188
Loc: Slovenia
I would personally go with one of the Rolands. Yamaha CLP 330 has pretty much the same features as the Roland HP 201, but costs substentially more here. The YDP 140 has a cheap feeling and very light keyboard. I'd maybe even considder the YDP 160, as that one looks like it would be just about in the middle between those two models.

The RP 101 has, IMO, way too light keays, that don't feel quite right to me. Also, the keys seem to be quite a bit shorter than the other Roland keys or yamahas keys, thus making it a bit harder to press at the top of each key.
The HP201 is pretty good, with a very nice keyboard, and plenty connectivity and other features. If I were you, I'd get the mehagony one, becouse it has the newer PHA II keaboard, while the Rosewood and Maple versions still sport the older PHA keaboard.
I haven't played the F110 yet, and since I'm in about the same spot as you are now (also buying a new DP), I'm wondering, whether the keys are more comparable to the HP series or RP 101 in weighth. But otherwise, this one seems like one hell of a deal, featuring many fun features, you might want to play with to keep you interested, like several hundred different voices and so on...

So, yeah, I personally would get one of the Rolands, maybe even a HP 203 if I had enough money. But if the keys of the F110 turned out to be heavyer than the ones of the RP101, I'd get that one, becouse you get quite a lot for a 1000€...

But yeah, that's just my opinion, you make sure you buy what YOU think is best. The most important thing is the touch, since you can't ever change that, so pick the one you like the best.

Oh, also, Gyre, it's not such a hard thing to get a pDP with bad action nowadays... I've tryed a behringer and it was dreadfull...

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#1299185 - 11/03/09 10:31 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: Vid_w]
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
There are a lot of new people around here who may not know this but Gyro shares some of the more 'colorful' opinions here at PW. All DP's are the same right? Just some computer chips and wires. Mmkay...
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#1299367 - 11/04/09 10:50 AM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: LesCharles73]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I've never played a Behringer
digital, but I cannot believe
it is "dreadful." I bought
my first digital in 1989,
and even way back then the
digitals performed like and
acoustic piano, and so, 20
yrs. later, even an economy
model like a Behringer would
have better technology
than 1980's digitals, and
should be more than satisfactory
in performance. Of course
it's not going to be as
sophisticated as a
CLP 380, but it would be
adequate for any kind of
playing. Moreover, Behringer
is an established company
with a name to protect--
they've made a name selling
satifactory gear at bargain
prices--and they are not going to
put it on a bad digital.

I own a budget digital, a $600
Williams Overture, and many
people with expensive digitals
might consider it "dreadful."
But it's adequate for playing
anything, from jazz to big
concertos.

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#1299423 - 11/04/09 12:39 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: Gyro]
UpNorth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 70
I would have been disappointed had Gyro not mentioned "big concertos" - twice.

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#1299560 - 11/04/09 05:12 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: LesCharles73]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: LesCharles73
There are a lot of new people around here who may not know this but Gyro shares some of the more 'colorful' opinions here at PW. All DP's are the same right? Just some computer chips and wires. Mmkay...


Yes.

ANyone who thinks a DP is "just a few chips and wires" missis the most important part of the DP: The software that runs inside.

What next? "A music CD is just a round chuck of plastic with a hole in the center." No you buy recorded music because of the way it sounds.

Even if they were "just keyboard, wire and speakers". There is a HUGE difference between speakers. Some are cheap and some are quite good. Same with keyboards, some are well made and emulate a real piano and others are just plastic paddles with a spring under the key.

Some people are very non-critical about sound. Those people are lucky. They can save a ton of money on music and stereo gear.

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#1299564 - 11/04/09 05:21 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: zxczxc12345]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: zxczxc12345
My local piano shop has a pretty good selection of digital pianos, and I fiddled around with them all. However, because I dont know pianos well or how to play any piano at all I cannot seem to tell the difference between them. I tried the Yamaha YDP140, CLP330, Roland F110, HP201, RP101...


Do they really have a good selection or were they all console style DPs?
You pay a lot of money for the console style pianos. They have built-in wooden stands and tend to look more like a "real piano" but compare specs and prices with the stage pianos. The stage pianos tend to be more potable and need a stand, typically a folding tubular steel stand is used but you get more for the money. Unless you value the look of the console.

Pianostores tend to carry the console type. While music stores like Guitar Center and Sam Ash tend to carry rh stage pianos.

The first thing you have to do is set a budget and/or a "minimum acceptable feature list". For a begiinng student I think the minimum list of features would be a good quality keyboard and decent sound. The casio Privera PX100 get you that for about $499, the nest step of is about $700 and then it jumps to $1200 for a very nice stage piano.

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#1299583 - 11/04/09 05:57 PM Re: Tried out digital pianos at the local store [Re: ChrisA]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
if you are considering a YDP140, then you should also consider YDP160 which is much better. i would however choose CLP330 over these 2 if i were considering Yamaha models.

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