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#1307331 - 11/17/09 05:02 PM Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning
ConradA Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Boston MA
I've enjoyed my Roland EP-7 for, gosh, about 18 years, but it is finally dying -- many keys don't make any sound anymore. I tried having it repaired, but $130 later and the problem keeps happening.

What's been very frustrating is that, despite 18 years of technology advances, no keyboard seems to come close to what I need, and that old Roland cost me only $800 in 1991. I could use some advice in finding a DP that meets my requirements:
- minimum 76 full-size keys (I don't *need* 88, in fact I'd prefer 76 for space reasons, but now nearly every DP comes with 88)
- I don't need full weighted action, but I want at least what I call "semi-weighted" action (you know, not the spring-type action on "toy" keyboards)
- damper pedal
- headphone jack
- not too massive in size
- < $1500
- adjustable tuning

It's that last requirement that seems to be my sticking point. The Roland had a little knob in the back that would tune the pitch slightly up or down by nearly a full 1/2 step in both directions. This is very important for me because I listen to existing songs and figure them out; many songs just aren't quite at the exact "normal" pitch, so being able to adjust it is hugely important to me. Maybe I haven't looked long enough, but I can't seem to find it on any keyboard, and I'm surprised and disappointed that it isn't a feature that is in the typical comparison charts or feature spec listings; don't piano musicians want to tune their instrument to the sound of other instruments or pitches?

I don'tt think my price range is unreasonable; many DPs I've tried and liked have been well under $1000, but just haven't had adjustable tuning.

I do NOT need (or want to spend money on) a huge "mixing board" of knobs and sliders and fancy voices. Although if it meant getting adjustable tuning, I'd live with it.

Can anyone please make some recommendations?

Thank you very much!

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#1307344 - 11/17/09 05:22 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: ConradA]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
If the music you are listening to is recorded music then you could adjust the pitch on the playback software and avoid the need to tune the piano.

But I think most digital pianos do have the ability to be tuned over the range of a full tone. They don't typically have a round knob but you'd use some up/down arrow keys.

The Casio Privia is typical and allows you to tune up 99 "cents" upward
and transpose -12 to +12 semi tones Combine those and you get a two full octaves in 1/100th tone steps.

I think the Yamaha P155 is the same, Korg and roland too. Many of then allow for different historic temperaments too. I spot checked a few web sites and tunning seems to be a common feature

But I'd rather just have software adjust the recordings to A=440. Well I'd would do that if my ears where good enough to hear the difference. I'm lost without an electronic tuner.

Edited by ChrisA (11/17/09 05:23 PM)

#1307435 - 11/17/09 08:25 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: ChrisA]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 10264
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
ConradA, the Yamaha NP-30 can be purchased for under $300 and would appear to meet all of your requirements:

- 76 keys
- semi-weighted action
- damper pedal (may not be included)
- headphone jack
- compact and lightweight
- only $300
- transpose and tuning functionality

Certainly, the NP-30 is far from being Yamaha's top of the range digital piano, but it should be perfectly adequate for your needs.

Kind regards,
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

#1309346 - 11/20/09 04:57 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: Kawai James]
ConradA Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/09
Posts: 2
Loc: Boston MA
Thanks for your responses; I have found online specs for some of the models you mentioned, and found that some do have variable tuning (each company calls it something different, so it's hard to tell sometimes). I also think the salesmen at my local music stores were uninformed about this feature -- they gave me the impression that it was not on any of their models. I'll have to go back and investigate various models further.

ChrisA, if I'm listening to something on the radio or my iPod, I can't adjust the pitch of the song I'm hearing! :-)

#1309464 - 11/20/09 08:55 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: ConradA]
Bob M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 208
Loc: North Carolina

I don't believe your EP-7 has a weighted action, so I'd bet you will be happy with an NP-30. I continue to enjoy mine, connected to a 2.1 multi-media speaker system (all in my office). I also have/use an acoustic console piano, and switch between them, depending on who else is in the house. The "action" of the NP-30 is very pleasant compared to the 49-key midi controller I have for travel. The NP-30 is 49" wide--many of the lower priced DP's are only 3" more, so you might want to consider moving to a DP with a piano-like action.

Happy hunting.
Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333

#1309468 - 11/20/09 09:10 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: Bob M]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2456
Loc: Denver, CO
Note that the NP-30 does not have weighted or semi-weighted keys. It does have graded touch, that is the springs on the bass are stiffer than the springs on the treble.

From Yamaha's web site: Piano Style (Non-weighted) Graded SoftTouch


#1309975 - 11/21/09 06:28 PM Re: Need simple digial piano with adjustable tuning [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Bob M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 208
Loc: North Carolina

The NP 30 does not have "springs" at all--rather oval-shaped donuts of elastic material for each key, which is a little firmer at the top of the travel and then softens (I think this is what they market as "graded soft touch). I liked the "heavier" feel of the bottom full octave, so ordered three more one-octave strips from Yamaha, and replaced the lighter ones going up the board. It's not graded anymore, but I like the feel, which is more piano-like, than any other so-called "semi-weighted" action I have put my hand on. See my post on M-Audio and CME 49 key boards.
Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333


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