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#1327068 - 12/16/09 10:10 PM adult re-learning on a budget
pandamonium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 21
I took a couple of years of private lessons about 15 years ago. I was okay, but the dedication wasn't there so I didn't practice more than a few hours a week. I had an acoustic upright at home and played on an acoustic grand at my teacher's house.

I'm now interested in learning for myself instead of for my parents/family. The problems are that I live in a small apartment, I'll be moving at least twice in the next 7 years, and I have an unrealistically low budget. I tentatively set a limit of $400, but I'm willing to budge if its worthwhile. I have a hard limit of $1000. So that range doesn't do much for narrowing down my options. I want to learn a bit of classical, but honestly, the fun for me will be playing Beatles tunes and The Doobie Brothers - China Grove. (China Grove has been stuck in my head for the past two months...)

Since it's been so long, I doubt that I'll be able to really remember the feel of the keys. I really only want something that will tide me over until I have the space, stability, and finances to buy an acoustic grand. I don't care for the sound because I'll probably be connected to my computer or wearing headphones. Besides, the samples would have to be *really* bad for me to care at my level of practice. So here's what I care about: keys that play like an acoustic (grand or upright, doesn't matter to me), portability, and weight (lighter is better). I did the measuring, and if I put the keyboard on my computer desk keyboard tray, the keys will be pretty much at the right height (give or take half an inch).

So here's what I've been able to glean from these forums, google, and manufacturer websites. Please let me know if I'm glossing over stuff.

Casio:
I should be able to pick up a PX-130 for around $400-$450, so it's within my target price range. The PX-130 seems to have the same mechanism as its pricier PX-330 cousin, and I consider the PX-130 a "no-frills" variant of the PX-330. Some say Casio sampling is bad; I probably won't mind. What concerns me is that many people say the key action degrades after a few months, and Casio doesn't do much in the way of repairs/servicing. For these reasons, if I get a Casio, it'll be the PX-130.

Yamaha:
The P85 is pushing my comfort zone for price. I think I'll be able to track one down for about $600 after cash back. It seems like Yamaha takes care of its customers, the sampling should be better than any of the Casios, and the key action is supposedly a little better. (GHS I believe) I'm not sure that this is worth the $200 over a Casio. If I want to move up, I'd consider the P-140 (GH I think). I'm going to have a really difficult time finding the P-140 for less than $900. This is basically the only other keyboard I've researched that seems like it would work for me.

Roland:
The only other manufacturer that came up on my radar as a serious option to consider. The problem is that they are priced out of my range.

Buying in general:
Honestly, I don't really have a problem buying second hand. The problem is that I don't see many DPs selling secondhand, and the ones that I see listed on eBay can be beaten by shopping around online and applying some coupons here & there.

So I ask you guys, what would you recommend? And is my understanding of what's on the market pretty accurate?

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#1327171 - 12/17/09 12:53 AM Re: adult re-learning on a budget [Re: pandamonium]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Do you live in the US? If so prices are better than you have found. Search this forum for the 20% off deal at Music123. Others will match that price if you ask. This means the Yamaha P140 and even the P155 is within your budget.

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#1327182 - 12/17/09 01:29 AM Re: adult re-learning on a budget [Re: ChrisA]
ptnaidu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 10
Chris,

Can you please point me to the thread on 20% deal at Music123? I can't find the thread, and they only said about 15% off digital dollars that I can spend in their online store next year. How do I get 20% off now?

Thanks

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#1327188 - 12/17/09 01:37 AM Re: adult re-learning on a budget [Re: ptnaidu]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Enter a coupon code "DEALTAKE" at checkout. Codes are available at dealtaker.com

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#1327208 - 12/17/09 02:31 AM Re: adult re-learning on a budget [Re: ChrisA]
pandamonium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 21
Awesome- thanks for the heads up ChrisA!

Do you have any recommendations for other keyboards to consider or are the ones I wrote about pretty much what I should be looking for?

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#1327541 - 12/17/09 02:38 PM Re: adult re-learning on a budget [Re: pandamonium]
Huygens Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 217
Loc: Sweden
Some possible ordinary priced DPs:
  • Korg LP350 Extremely strong key action for the price. Some people says the sound is a bit weak outside the mid-range. Several voices. Has 2-level sampling. 3-pedal console.
  • Korg SP250 Extremely strong key action for the price. Some people says the sound is a bit weak outside the mid-range. Several voices. Has 2-level sampling. 1-pedal keyboard.
  • Casio AP-620 Good key action, close to the Korg SP250. Lots of synth voices & accompaniments. 4-level sampling. More expensive. 3-pedal console.
  • Casio PX-830 Good key action, close to the Korg SP250. Some people think the sound is a little too thin. 4-level sampling. 3-pedal console.
  • Kurzweil SP2SX Lots of sounds & voices of decent quality. Good key action. 2-pedal stand.
  • Kurzweil PC3X Abundance of sounds & voices. Good key action. No speakers. Clearly better than SP2SX. 3-pedal keyboard.
  • (no link) Yamaha YDP-223 Legendary digital piano. Very good 1-level sampled sound, outperforming 3-level DPs like YDP-160. Regular key action. 3-pedal console.
  • Yamaha P-155 Very good sound considering the speakers. Regular key action. 4-level sampling. 1-pedal keyboard.
  • Kawai ES6 Very good key action. Nice sounds. Lots of accompaniments! Several voices. 3-pedal console.
  • Kawai CN42 Very good key action. Extremely (?) good sound. Several voices. Expensive. 3-pedal console. (see also the Kawai CN32)
  • Roland HP203 Extremely good key action. Expensive compared to the others. Lots of extra voices. 3-pedal console.
  • Casio CDP-200R Low price. Lots of synth sounds & accompaniments. Graded Hammer key action of light quality. 1-pedal stand.

In order to decide if you ─║ike a digital piano or not, pay attention to two things when you compare them in the shop:
  • Do you like the faked Graded Hammer action of the keyboard?
  • Do you like the sound of the Grand Piano voices?
Some 1-pedal keyboards can be upgraded by buying a 3-pedal unit.
_________________________
P-85 cheap plastic imitation; not because of sound, but weight.

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