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#1306938 - 11/16/09 11:30 PM Raw beginner's first piano
Mazeppa47 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Southwest
Hi all,

I'm new here and am among the ranks of raw beginning pianist hopefuls. I have spent many hours pouring over DP specifications and posts in this forum trying to garner a speck of informed buying acumen for the purchase of my first piano to learn with. I live in an apartment which limits my type to digital. That was the easy choice. With dozens of DP specifications careening through my noggin and regarding the many suggestions offered by members of this forum to those in similar predicaments, I've settled on a home model mounted in a cabinet with the traditional three pedals as being best for my learning experience. On the basis of the forgoing I am attracted by the Korg LP-350. I have found one for 899.99 delivered. So what do you think? Good choice thumb or reevaluate?

Thanks for your opinions.

Hank

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#1306948 - 11/17/09 12:06 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Mazeppa47]
Passion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 70
Do you live nearby a showroom or music store where you can try out some digital pianos? Or have you already? Buying something like this on videos/reviews alone is kind of iffy.

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#1306950 - 11/17/09 12:14 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Mazeppa47]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Mazeppa47
On the basis of the forgoing I am attracted by the Korg LP-350. I have found one for 899.99 delivered. So what do you think? Good choice thumb or reevaluate?


On paper the Korg SP-250 looks great and the LP-350 is identical to it except for for case.

But I've tried to find one that I could play. I even wrote the Korg USA sales people and asked how I could find one to demo and they wrote back a very un-helpfull suggestion to just try calling a few dealers in my area. (as If I'd not already tried that)

I was able to try a much more expensive Korg that has the same key mechanism but it was mounted near eye level on a wall, again who hires these salesmen?

So I doubt I will get the chance to try one. But on paper they look good.


Edited by ChrisA (11/17/09 12:15 AM)

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#1307066 - 11/17/09 08:43 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: ChrisA]
gerardo1000 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 129
If you type "Korg sp-250" on you tube you will find some videos and demos.

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#1307070 - 11/17/09 08:50 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: ChrisA]
Mazeppa47 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Southwest
Thanks,

I have contacted several music stores in my area and Guitar Center is the only store that carry any Korg products. Unfortunately, not this model. One salesmen actually tried to steer me away from digital. I suspect he is a piano teacher. But as I said, an acoustic piano, as much as I would love to have one, is not practical for me. But I do need a digital that will emulate an acoustic keyboard as closely as my budget allows because I plan to seek instructions on an acoustic. I suppose this is a dilemma many apartment dwellers experience. Also, since I have never played a piano, my evaluation of any keyboard is of dubious value. I'm 0 for 2 on the instructors I have talked with thus far regarding digitals. They were very negative towards them and unwilling to recommend any. So yes, I'm in a pig-in-poke buying dilemma. And it is iffy to base a buying decision on adds and You Tube vids, darn scary actually, but when you lack a personal acquaintance with expertise to guide you, the cyber community becomes a valuable asset. So the more experiential input I can solicit from the like minded, such as you folks, the better my chances to formulate sound buying buying decision. so I do appreciate and thank you for that.

Keep em' coming.

Hank

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#1307175 - 11/17/09 12:04 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Mazeppa47]
Vid_w Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 188
Loc: Slovenia
^What exactly is your max budget?

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#1307188 - 11/17/09 12:26 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Mazeppa47]
Passion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 70
Originally Posted By: Mazeppa47
Also, since I have never played a piano, my evaluation of any keyboard is of dubious value. I'm 0 for 2 on the instructors I have talked with thus far regarding digitals. They were very negative towards them and unwilling to recommend any.


That's the problem with a lot of instructors, they think everyone is able to have an acoustic. Some can't for one reason or another, my reason is living at college so it's next to impossible. Without digitals we'd be unable to practice between lessons in these situations, so this haughty attitude bothers me.

Fortunately my cello instructor of many years never had a problem with the times I had to use an electric cello. I'll certainly be looking for the same understanding when it comes time to take piano lessons.

I can tell you many people here rave about the SP 250 for the price range so I'm sure the console model would be a fine decision. The best model I personally tried around the ~$1000 mark was the P155 but it's a bit more expensive.

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#1307226 - 11/17/09 01:30 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Mazeppa47]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Just two comments.,..

(1) When you buy a digital piano it is NOT a lifetime investment. It is more like buying a computer. You use it until you get a better one. So don't over-think this. Figure that the cost of a keyboard is part of the cost of learning. For a beginner a $500 Casio PX130 would be fine as would the Korg SP250, Any Kawai or a Yamaha YDP, P85, p155 or any of the 88key Rolands. It is a reasonable plan to buy a mid range keyboard for between $500 and $800 and plan to upgrade in a couple years. Figure on selling it for 1/2 what you paid. So the cost of ownership is about 75 cents per day. All of the name brand weighted, hammer action 88 key DPs are pretty good. Some are better.

(2) Many Piano teachers seem to be isolated from the real world. How many of them regularly perform in public?

On the other hand the people teaching guitar or drums don't teach in the evenings because that's when they are playing in their band some place. These teachers are always inviting their students to come out an see them perform.

There must be piano/keyboard teachers who actually get out and see that most of the music being made to day in bars, clubs and for TV/movie production is not done on acoustic piano. You'd think if they saw this they see it as a business opportunity and start telling students that they can help them learn about analog synths, sampling, drum and bass loops and computers.

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#1307245 - 11/17/09 02:07 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: ChrisA]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
You cannot play an acoustic
piano in an apt. building.
An acoustic piano can be
heard a block away, and you
will have the neighbors at
your throat.

Most new acoustic uprights
today have a middle
practice pedal that shifts
a strip of felt across the
strings so that the sound is
muffled, but playing in that
silenced mode is very unnatural
and unsatisfying. And this
makes no sense really, because
you can't play the acoustic
at normal volume in an apt., and
so you're paying for an
instrument that you cannot
use.

Furthermore, an acoustic piano
weighs a ton, and you'll need
to hire movers just to get it
into, or out of, your house.
It will need to be tuned
twice a yr., at ~$90-$150 per
tuning. Repairs for sticking
keys and buzzing strings are
common, at ~$100 per service
call. Why bother with all
that.

The LP 350 would be very good,
but it apparently does not
have record and playback.
This is not absolutely necessary--
even a $100,000 concert
grand doesn't have it--but it's
a useful feature for a player.

We are now 20 yrs. into
the Digital Piano Era, and
yet there are still many
piano teachers who have never
played one. Ignore what
they say about digital pianos.
Digitals are the best thing
for developing technique.
They are similar in principle
to the old silent keyboards
that first appeared in the
late 19th century. A silent
keyboard is like a digital
piano with the power turned
off. They enabled a concert
pianist to play anytime and
anywhere an not disturb people,
and it allowed him to save
his ears and nerves at the
same time. They used to be
very popular with concert pianists
in the 1930's. Claudio Arrau
used one all his life. In
any case, it has been pointed
out on this forum that big-time
concert pianists today like Andre
Watts and Valentina Lisitsa
use digitals.

The technology to emulate an
acoustic piano has been around
since at least the 1970's, and
by the 1980's the digitals
already played like an
acoustic piano. Today, 20
yrs. later, digital piano
technology is well-established
and widespread, and basically
any weighted-key digital will
play like an acoustic. You
can get good digitals for
less than $1000, for example,
the Casio PX 800 and the
M-Audio DCP 200, both $900
from amazon.com.






Edited by Gyro (11/17/09 02:11 PM)

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#1307250 - 11/17/09 02:20 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: Gyro]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Mazeppa, Korg may be getting their RH3 actions from Yamaha, which would be a good thing. You could settle the issue by contacting Korg's tech support and asking if the RH3 action has three sensors.

From an earlier thread:

Originally Posted By FogVilleLad

Approximately six years ago there was a rumor that Korg was going bankrupt and that Yamaha had begun supplying actions to Korg. The rumor included the information that Yamaha, which of course was by far the largest manufacturer of digital pianos, was doing this because of anti-trust laws in Japan. (By helping Korg to survive, Yamaha was heading off any accusations of their having a monopoly.)

As far as I know, this rumor was never proven to be true. What I can tell you is that when I went to Korg's site, the description of their action was almost exactly the same - almost word for word - as Yamaha's description of its action.

Currently, Yamaha's best graded hammer action is the GH3. Korg's best action is the RH3. Korg's description says that there are modifications which facilitate fast repetition. That's exactly what Yamaha's GH3 action is supposed to do. The GH3 has a third sensor. You might want to contact Korg's technical support and learn whether the RH3 also has a third sensor. If it does, it could be a Yamaha action.

Originally Posted By Martin C. Doege

I think there might be something to this rumor: I've played around with one of Korg's weighted-key workstations ($2,300 I believe) at GC, and the action certainly felt suspiciously like a Yamaha to me. When you consider how different in touch the Casio and Roland actions are from a Yamaha, it would be a huge coincidence if Korg just happened to come up with an action that feels indistinguishable from a Yammie...







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#1307262 - 11/17/09 02:37 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: FogVilleLad]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Korg SP250 is one of the 3-4 best in that price range in my opinion.

Some people consider the sound a little weak even when using good speakers. But you get a lot of DP for the money. I say go for it.

Be sure to read the manual to get the most out of it.

And it's portable.
_________________________
P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.

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#1307295 - 11/17/09 03:54 PM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: FogVilleLad]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
I thought the same thing once but it's not true. The Korg RH3 is not the same as the Yamaha GH3. You can look at them and see. Korg seem to make the keys in 1/2 octave units and these in turn are screwed to a base.

That is not to say they don't perform about the same, I don't know but think they might be close. Next time i'm in the local store I'll have the sales guy move a large Korg workstation (that uses RH3 keys) next to a yamaha.


Edited by ChrisA (11/17/09 03:55 PM)

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#1307545 - 11/18/09 12:01 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: ChrisA]
Mazeppa47 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Southwest
Thanks again for all the input.

Your right ChrisA, I was over thinking this. It is just a computer with 88 keys. It's the level of quality of that 88 key interface needed for the purpose of learning from square one I was struggling with as well. At my age of . . . well lets just say I and the Roswell aliens arrived on earth the same year. Anyway I guess I was concerned with developing improper muscle memory on a so-so keyboard and having to retrain for an acoustic. But two conversations I had today has put that concern to rest. I work with a talented musician and she told me not to worry because she plays several different DP keyboards as well as a grand piano with little adjustment needed. The second with an instructor who reinforced that advice and added that the current offerings of weighted keyboards will serve my needs well and I will developed my own preferences soon enough. I was probably over thinking that one as well.

BTW - As you may have gleaned, I did find an instructor, two actually, that embrace the DP. In fact they both use the YPG-635 exclusively for teaching. They work through a small music supply shop a couple miles from my home. I never knew the place existed until my musician co-worker told me about it. The shop is small and doesn't carry acoustic Pianos. The instructors are only available a couple evenings a week, so I suspect they are active musicians.

I usually need a kick of reality when I'm trying to work through purchasing issues like this. I'll keep working at it with a clearer perspective of what will better serve my goals. The Yamaha got my attention when the instructor encouraged me to stroke the keyboard. In my limited experience, it sure felt and sounded like a piano to me, and it's within my budget. Plus it seems to have more input/output choices for inter-connectivity to external devices then the Korg. That may extend its life beyond its student piano duties.

Again, Thank you all, you have been a great help to me.

Hank

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#1307612 - 11/18/09 05:08 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: ChrisA]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
I thought the same thing once but it's not true. The Korg RH3 is not the same as the Yamaha GH3. You can look at them and see. Korg seem to make the keys in 1/2 octave units and these in turn are screwed to a base.

That is not to say they don't perform about the same, I don't know but think they might be close. Next time i'm in the local store I'll have the sales guy move a large Korg workstation (that uses RH3 keys) next to a yamaha.
Six years ago the language that Korg used to describe its actions was almost word for word the same as that used by Yamaha, so I think that back then, Korg was getting its actions from Yamaha.

Yours is the first post I've seen that's posted by someone who's actually examined Korg's current action. I'm looking forward to your next post on this topic. (I've been suggesting that people contact Korg's tech support re a third sensor.)

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#1307650 - 11/18/09 08:45 AM Re: Raw beginner's first piano [Re: FogVilleLad]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: FogVilleLad
Six years ago the language that Korg used to describe its actions was almost word for word the same as that used by Yamaha, so I think that back then, Korg was getting its actions from Yamaha.


Perhaps the two companies used the same agency to create their promotional materials?

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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