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#1353690 - 01/19/10 09:12 PM Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600
polandbear193 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 2
My Requirements:
*$1600 including "accessories" (i.e. music stand/pedals if the piano doesn't include it, chair... and I guess that's it)
*Must have pedals, or must be included in the price
*Good quality sound for "my tastes"; I play classical music, like Debussy, Chopin, etc., and not jazz
*I don't care what the default middle pedal is (i.e. on upright it's to soften where as on a grand piano it's to hold the note), as long as it does one of the either
*Please note: This is for personal enjoyment; no music writing, so no need for Midi or any cheap effects (i.e. "comes with 400 sounds!")


I did some research and I found out about Kawai CE200. This seems to be the one that fits all my requirements (I have yet to physically play it), but is very slightly outside of my budget. I could afford to spend an extra $200 on it, but am wondering if I should (i.e. are there better alternatives for my $1600 requirement).

*EDIT*
I'm watching some videos on YouTube regarding the CE200, as well as the Yamaha YDP223, and they both still sound so "digital" smirk. Is it always like this at this price range, or is it just the recording?


Thank you very much =).




P.S.
About Me (you can skip):
I played piano for all my life, since I can remember. In Long Island, I went through a whole "guild", and achieved a High School Diploma in piano performance, did level 6 NYSSMA since elementary school, and regularly performed concerts. I also did violin, and achieved higher honors with the violin (including All-Eastern Honors Orchestra). I wanted to be a music performance major, but alas... I chose to be an engineering major, giving up music.

I still play in the universities/local orchestras for violin, but I have yet to ever touch the piano again. Ever since I moved out from my parents house, I haven't touched the piano. I figured it's time now, that I start playing for enjoyment, and not for any competition (which is why I want a relatively cheap digital piano as compared to an expensive upright piano; my parents bought a ~$13,000 Yamaha upright piano for me since childhood, which is going to waste in their house right now Q.Q. For reasons unknown to me, they are not allowing me to take it.).

Once again, thank you.


Edited by polandbear193 (01/19/10 09:39 PM)

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#1353850 - 01/20/10 01:49 AM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: polandbear193]
AnotherSchmoe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Arkansas
I just got a Yamaha P-155 today and it's pretty great. I'd recommend it over the YDP-223 or Kawai CE200 because it has newer and better sound technology, it just came out in Summer of 2009, whereas the CE200 and YDP-223 are starting to get old and are due for a replacement, not to mention the P-155 is also cheaper than either of those.

The keyboard itself goes for $1,200 but KraftMusic.com has bundle packs with stands, bench, headphones, dust cover etc. which can save you some money in the long run. That's where I ordered mine from, came loaded with accessories for $1,350.

The only thing that's worse about the P-155 is that the built-in speakers aren't very powerful (it's enough for a small room it just won't sound amazing), and it doesn't have a sliding key cover and it's not quite as pretty as a YDP-223 or Kawai CE200, but it's my opinion that the music you get out of it is more important than how it looks.

If the speakers on the P-155 prove too small for you, you can always just hook up a good set of headphones or a better speaker system, and that'll solve your problem. Anyways, if it's possible I recommend you try everything out in person, if it's not possible then you need to do a lot of research online before you buy something. I didn't get to try the P-155 out in person because I live in a rural area and it was too far to the nearest showroom, so I ordered without ever seeing one in person. But I did a lot of research prior to making a decision and I'm very happy with my purchase. Hope I could be of some help.
_________________________

http://www.youtube.com/user/AnotherSchmoe

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#1353854 - 01/20/10 02:03 AM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: polandbear193]
meep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 62
I wouldn't use YouTube clips to judge sound quality. The process is simply too unreliable (some microphone -> audio/video compression -> potential video conversion -> your computer speakers). You really ought to head down to a brick and mortar instrument store (Guitar Center, Sam Ash, local outfit, whatever) and try out a bunch of the digital pianos. There are a variety of digital pianos in the $1,000 to $1,500 range that are intended to be what you're looking for. The Yamaha models (the YDP223 you mentioned as well as the 140, 160 or P155) are generally pretty well regarded; again, I wouldn't write anything off based on YouTube.

Because you already have a lot of experience, you'll know what feels and sounds better to you when you try them out. It's going to be hard for anyone here to tell you what you'll prefer.

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#1353945 - 01/20/10 08:36 AM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: meep]
polandbear193 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 2
Thanks; will check research some of the P155 and other Yamaha models.

And of course, I know not to judge from YouTube. It's just that that's the first place I looked for basic sound quality. I'll be actually going to stores and playing the pianos. Only problem is I can't find a general piano store around here; it's all just specific dealers (I found one for Kawai's official dealer, and found like 30 for Yamaha; doubt they ALL sell pianos though xD).

I was asking for suggestions that I can go play the instruments, since there are quite a few number of these digital pianos =P.

*EDIT*
These pianos ARE pressure sensitive... right? I can't recall if I ever read somewhere that they are; I just naturally assumed they were due to price.


Edited by polandbear193 (01/20/10 12:32 PM)

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#1354177 - 01/20/10 02:42 PM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: polandbear193]
meep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: polandbear193
And of course, I know not to judge from YouTube. It's just that that's the first place I looked for basic sound quality. I'll be actually going to stores and playing the pianos. Only problem is I can't find a general piano store around here; it's all just specific dealers (I found one for Kawai's official dealer, and found like 30 for Yamaha; doubt they ALL sell pianos though xD).

I was asking for suggestions that I can go play the instruments, since there are quite a few number of these digital pianos =P.

Ahhh - I'd assumed you would be able to find a store that carried the range of brands. Your question makes a little more sense now. Based on what folks tend to recommend, both Kawai and Yamaha are definitely worth checking out. Other common suggestions are Korg and Roland.

Originally Posted By: polandbear193
These pianos ARE pressure sensitive... right? I can't recall if I ever read somewhere that they are; I just naturally assumed they were due to price.

Yeah, anything in this price range calling itself a "digital piano" is expected to have weighted keys and pressure sensitivity. (Actually most everything over about $200 has some kind of sensitivity to key velocity.) It ought to feel a lot like playing an acoustic piano.

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#1354204 - 01/20/10 03:09 PM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: meep]
dbruns Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 9
I too just purchased a Yamaha P-155
I love it so far. I paid $915 on musiciansfriend.com. We did not order a bench or Stand with it, but you can easily get a stand for $50 or so if you shop around

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#1354205 - 01/20/10 03:10 PM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: dbruns]
dbruns Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 9
Also, look for a guitar center or something like that. They sell DPs also. I think Musiciansfriend owns guitar center or vice versa.


Edited by dbruns (01/20/10 03:10 PM)

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#1354226 - 01/20/10 03:29 PM Re: Please Recommend me a Digital Piano Under $1600 [Re: polandbear193]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California

Quote:
I did some research and I found out about Kawai CE200. This seems to be the one that fits all my requirements (I have yet to physically play it), but is very slightly outside of my budget. I could afford to spend an extra $200 on it, but am wondering if I should (i.e. are there better alternatives for my $1600 requirement).


The two example you picked both just happen to represent older sound technolgy. Both Yamaha and Kawai have models with newer generation sound. Even at lower prices.

But also both the ce200 and ydp223 have large size "wood like" cases and you pay a lot (maybe an extra $400) for that look as compared to a stage piano with same specs.

When ever you have a limited budget, no mater what the limit you are going to have to prioritize and compromize. So if your bottom line is "$1,600 and absolutely must have three pedals" then you compromise on the sound. If you said "best sound for $1,600 then yo might find yourself with a Roland 300SX stage piano. In may case I wanted "the best key action for about $1K"

What I'm getting at is that you have to know exactly what you want and (as importantly) what you can live without.

For now you should just bring good headphone to a Sam Ash or Guitar Center store and spen an afternoon playing DPs and not look at the prices but do take very good notes. Then later figute out which key actions and sound generation technologies you liked. You might be lucky. One of the people here likes one of the lower priced DPs. If you agree you can save most of your budget.

One more thing: Do not judge sound quality over u-tube. Even in the best case it is badly mangled by the time it gets to you and it's just luck if one DP is more or less baddly messed up in the process. Some of the worst u-tube recording or are of acoustic pianos they can sound thin and digital over u-tube also.

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