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#1307067 - 11/17/09 08:45 AM Buying a piano
mika Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 2
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum and to the music world...My son is 6 and has been playing piano for a year. My teacher suggested we get a real piano for him (he plays keybord now) She also mentioned Yamaha CVP401 is a good piano. Any suggestions? how much does it cost?

Thank you all,



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#1307162 - 11/17/09 11:43 AM Re: Buying a piano [Re: mika]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4934
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, the CVP401 is a good piano. But the CVP line is expensive because these are "ensemble" pianos, with accompaniment features. Lots of good features for someone who needs that and can make use of them.

But I think a beginner/6-year-old won't need those features. So save a lot of money and look at the CLP line instead. For what you'd pay for the bottom-of-the-line CVP401 you could instead get a mid- to high-end model from the CLP line.
Prices Paid spreadsheet online

#1307252 - 11/17/09 02:23 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: mika]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: mika
..She also mentioned Yamaha CVP401 is a good piano. Any suggestions? how much does it cost?

Do you want a car analogy? Ok you get one anyway... You asked the teacher to suggest a car for your teenager and she suggests a entry level BMW.

Yes the CVP is great. But it comes with features that you pay for that maybe you don't need. For example do you really need the saxophone or guitar sounds. Do you need auto-accompaniment and drum rhythms. Do you need the simulated wood stand?

Likely all you need ate good keys and a decent piano sound and maybe a built-in metronome. The other features are fun and maybe worth it.

Even if you could afford the CVP401 you might be better off buying into the high end of a lower priced line.

yamaha makes other lines of digital pianos. The CLP is like the CVP but fewer features, same quality. The Aris (YDP) line is like CLP but slightly less good fit and finsh on the cabinet. And then there are some professional stage pianos that are portable but very high quality. Within each family there is a range of prices.

Then of course there are other companies like Kawai, Korg, Roland who make competing products.

Edited by ChrisA (11/17/09 02:33 PM)

#1307260 - 11/17/09 02:32 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: ChrisA]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
If you buy anything from the CVP-series, it must be the CVP-405 (you get 4 sample instruments + String Resonance) most value for cost, unless you're made out of money and can buy the CVP-509.

Otherwise I would suggest Casio CDP-200R, Yamaha DGX-630 or Korg SP250. They are cheap and the two first have several instruments (Korg has only 30). All has graded keys.
P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.

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#1307261 - 11/17/09 02:35 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: ChrisA]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
This is a good piano, but
a rather unusual choice for a
student who has been playing
on a 61-key portable. It's on the
expensive side, around $2500-
$2700, and it has a lot of
features that he doesn't need.
You can get good digitals for
less than $1000, for example,
the Casio PX 800 and the
M-Audio DCP 200, both $900
at amazon.com.

#1307276 - 11/17/09 03:15 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: Gyro]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Get a real piano. There is no comparison in the playing experience, and for the money you are considering, you could buy a good second-hand upright. (I have always owned a DP for gigging, and a real piano for pleasure)

At the same time, you will be giving your son an aesthetically good experience, compared to the experience of pressing a lot of on/off buttons on a computer, and hearing a recording of a real piano...

(Yes, I know that's a tad harsh, but the boy is six, and there is a choice whether to immerse him in objects found in nature, or in electronics - and I know what I would like for my children)


#1307307 - 11/17/09 04:13 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: 10fingers]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: 10fingers
Get a real piano. There is no comparison in the playing experience, and for the money you are considering,

For a 6 year old, I'd almost agree. Kids at that age are not going to be practising at 11:00pm at night and they will likey stay with piano and not decide they prefer bass guitar (or whatever) until they are closer to 14 or 15 years old. Kids of elementary school age could use a piano.

But I'd not buy an acoustic piano for a 12 year old. At this age they will soon develop their own taste and preference and they WILL be up late and practising while others need to sleep.

My wife did this, In high school she decided a flute was better after taking piano from age 6 I see this with my kids friends too. many of them change direction at 13 to 16 years. They do well too. Piano provides a great foundation in music theory.

No one seems to want to buy used pianos so they are now "dirt cheap". It's a buy's market. Prices start at "free" although most free pianos would cost you at least $500 before it was in your house and playable.

#1307656 - 11/18/09 09:06 AM Re: Buying a piano [Re: ChrisA]
mika Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 2
Thank you for all the suggestions...I guess I should mention that my son's keybord has all the etra fearures like recording and different sounds and he loves it, he doesnt necessary likes to sit down and play from the notes. Sometimes he creates his own music sometimes he looks at the screen when a song is being played and copies it. I guess I thought of getting something similar to his keybord so I wouldn't discourage him from playing. He's only 6 and it is hard to say if he is really going to play. He loves his lessons but is not practicing much at home. I wanted a electrical piano because it is cheeper to maintain no tunning and fairly reall feel of piano (I think). Now when we go to his lesson he plays very soft because his keybord doesn't have weighted keys so I guess it is time for something more real...I'm really puzzled I never played an instrument and Jacob is my first child so of course I want him to have what's best for him.

Thank you all.

#1307820 - 11/18/09 02:12 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: mika]
FAM1953 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 6
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Your teacher was right in your considering an acoustic piano, but if you still feel the need to keep him motivated with a digital, then there are a lot of digital products that will take really good care of his needs and your pocketbook. The Yamaha Clavinova is only one of many offerings...the CVP series is really neat in that it can take him to another level and still entertain him like the keyboard he now has. The only problem with these is that the do cost a lot and that they become obsolete in a short period of time, mostly because the same manufacturer comes out with newer and better instuments every year. Similar to what happens when you buy a new laptop. I would suggest you check out as many offerings as you can to compare so you will be happy with the decision you will make.
I just checked out this website that offers a boatload of instruments, both acoustic and digital, and have a demonstration video with each one that makes it easy to shop. They have Yamaha, Roland, Korg,and other digitals, and several lines of acoustic pianos. The website is Kittsdirect.com and they do offer a better shopping experience than any other I have experienced.

#1307834 - 11/18/09 02:42 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: FAM1953]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
It's great that he likes playing his own music and will try to play things that he sees on the screen. IMO the goal of playing music should be self-expression, and your son is already doing that.

At this point there's no need for an acoustic. He's so young that next year he could be ga-ga for bicycles. (I was on the receiving end of the "wanting the best" that you're feeling. When I became aware of the sacrifices that my mother was making, it became a burden.)

Upgrading to a weighted keyboard is a good idea, because he's already having a problem with the practice pieces. No need to spend a ton - again, because he's so young and is not inclined to practice on his own. (Short guided practice session would also be a good idea.) If there's a mass marketer such as Guitar Center within reasonable traveling distance, you might want to help him audition digitals there.

If you're open to buying used and there's a Craigslist near you, people sometimes sell digitals rather than take them with them when they move.

#1307839 - 11/18/09 02:51 PM Re: Buying a piano [Re: mika]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: mika
. Now when we go to his lesson he plays very soft because his keybord doesn't have weighted keys so I guess it is time for something more real...

I'm a few decades older and had the exact same problem. The first few notes I tried to play on a real grand piano did not make any sound at all. You need the weighted keys.

About the recording ability and extra voices. Any digital keyboard can do that if you connect it to a computer. No need to give up those features. Connecting the computer and piano could be a lot of fun although at 6 year old, maybe to complex.

You can also connect any two digital keyboards and use the sound of one and the keys of the other, just cross over the MIDI in and out cables. So the new DP can play any of the sounds on the current keyboard (assuming they both have MIDI.)


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