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#1433241 - 05/09/10 10:15 PM Anything piano major worthy around $1000?
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
I just won $1000 from my landlord company in a lease renewal contest, and I am considering buying a digital piano with it.

I am a piano major and it's very frustrating living off campus as my practice times are very restricted and regimented due to piano availability, weather (university is closed for snow often in the winter), and time (sometimes I need a 2am practice session).

My question is simple as I know virtually nothing about digital instrumets:

Can I get a serious digital instrument for $1000? I need it to be as close to an acoustic grand as possible. The action is more critical than the sound - I need to be able to practice pretty much anything on it without thinking "Ugh I can't play this passage because the notes don't repeat fast enough on the piano".

I plan on going to a guitar center and trying out a few, but if I could be directed specifically what to look for I'd greatly appreciate it.

If there's nothing great around $1000 (or within $100 or $200 of it) I'll just invest the money instead.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I'm not sure if this matters (I've seen several posts that refer to using a computer to get better sound somehow?), but the piano will be right next to a powerful 3.6ghz core i5 system with SSD hard drives and 8GB of memory.


Edited by computerpro3 (05/09/10 10:17 PM)

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#1433247 - 05/09/10 10:31 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Yamaha P155. And in 5 years if you want a different sound you can purchase Ivory 3.0 or Pianoteq 6.0 and plug your p155 into your computer too.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1433275 - 05/09/10 11:49 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
I just won $1000 from my landlord company in a lease renewal contest, and I am considering buying a digital piano with it.

I am a piano major and it's very frustrating living off campus as my practice times are very restricted and regimented due to piano availability, weather (university is closed for snow often in the winter), and time (sometimes I need a 2am practice session).

My question is simple as I know virtually nothing about digital instrumets:

Can I get a serious digital instrument for $1000? I need it to be as close to an acoustic grand as possible. The action is more critical than the sound - I need to be able to practice pretty much anything on it without thinking "Ugh I can't play this passage because the notes don't repeat fast enough on the piano".

I plan on going to a guitar center and trying out a few, but if I could be directed specifically what to look for I'd greatly appreciate it.

If there's nothing great around $1000 (or within $100 or $200 of it) I'll just invest the money instead.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I'm not sure if this matters (I've seen several posts that refer to using a computer to get better sound somehow?), but the piano will be right next to a powerful 3.6ghz core i5 system with SSD hard drives and 8GB of memory.


For $1,000 I'd suggest any Yamaha with the "GH" key action. As you know all acoustic pianos are different the digital piano can't match them all. The "GH" keys are in the range of what youo'd find in acoustics. The CP33, P155 and YDP160 all use the same GH keys but the case, stands and features differ. The CP33 is a stage piano and lacks speakers, the YDP is a home piano it comes with a wood-look stand and case. The P155 is a practice piano and has it's own small built-in speakers. The CP33 is exactly $1,000 at Guitar canter the others cost more.

Try a Roland RD700GX and/or Roland FP7 while you are there. You might like the key action of those more so than Yamaha GH. But the Rolands cost at least doube yur budget. Bothe Rolland and Yamaaha make low cost pianos then the ones I listed above but you said key action is important.

The P155 has the best sound generation technology of the GH based Yamahas and it does sound like a Yamaha grand, slightly bright. Roland sounds more American/European. The P155's weal link is it's speakers but you can add external speakers later if you want more volume and power in the bass.

Yes you can use the computer for sound. A MIDI cable transfers the key presses to the computer, software converts that to sound and then you need good speakers for the computer to play the sound. You could spend $700, plus or minus $300 for the software, audio/midi interface and speakers. Just use the internal sound, at least at first.


Edited by ChrisA (05/09/10 11:57 PM)

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#1433329 - 05/10/10 02:20 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: ChrisA]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Because you're a piano major, you might want to look at "home" pianos. They have pedals built into their cabinets. Yamaha's P85 is c.$700, including stand and three-pedal unit. (The sustain pedal - damper on an acousitc - has what in the digital world is often called "half pedaling". That should mean that it's a continuous controller, rather than an on-off switch.) This model is fitted with the GHS - graded hammer standard - action. It's a little noisy when rebounding quickly, but it has a decent touch. Yamaha's actions have a good reputation for durability and quality control.

Guitar Center carries this model, but I don't know if they have the stand and pedal unit. Kraft Music does.

Re using a computer to get a better sound, basically what you'd do is connect your DP to a computer using MIDI or MIDI/USB. The DP then becomes a controller, i.e., you're using it to control a software piano which is stored on your computer. (The computer specs you listed should let you use any software piano whose tone appeals to you.) The sound would be routed back to your DP via audio cables.

The quality that you hear depends on the quality of your soundcard. E-mu's 1212M has outstanding audio quality for the price - c.$140. The card requires one free PCI slot *and* a second, free bay. That's because there's a second card which includes the MIDI and audio connectors. MIDI In/Out and audio In/Out is a great way to connect a DP to a computer.

The dinky speakers fitted to entry level DP's will not let you experience the true quality of a software piano, so you'll have to budget for the best headphones that you can afford. Sennheiser's HD 600's, or whatever is the current equivalent, are recording studio quality 'phones. Others can suggest less expensive alternatives.

Also, the P85 doesn't have the big audio connectors. Normal audio cables will connect directly to the 1212M, but you'll have to buy connectors which screw on to the audio cables and plug them into the little connectors on the P85. (Some audio cables have big connectors which can be removed, to reveal the little ones.) I don't think that there would be any problem with using the big connector/small connector combo, but if you don't get informed opinion in this thread, just start a new one.

Most software pianos can be loaded in "standalone mode". That means that you don't need a host application. Hosts are required when you want to record.

The P85, soundcard, and quality 'phones will probably shoot your budget, so a software piano would be extra.





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#1433421 - 05/10/10 07:33 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
The action is more critical than the sound - I need to be able to practice pretty much anything on it without thinking "Ugh I can't play this passage because the notes don't repeat fast enough on the piano".


Then you'll want to get a three-sensor action (for fast repetition) like the Yamaha GH/GHE/GH3 actions. But that almost certainly means you will have to spend more than $1,000 on the piano if you buy new.
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1433482 - 05/10/10 09:58 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
Thank you all so much for the help.

Luckily, I already have Grado RS1 and Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones and amplifier for them, a Marantz SR5003 Reciever, Dantax Vision Two speakers, and several quality DAC's.

A quick question about the actions and sound before I leave:

You say that the YDP-160 uses the same action as P155 but that the P155 sounds better? Why would the cheaper piano sound better?

The YDP-160 is squarely in my budget since I don't mind getting it on ebay. Plus, I wouldn't have to buy a stand with it.

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#1433487 - 05/10/10 10:05 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
IMO, go out and try every DP in your price range. What makes a digital feel like an acoustic piano is very individual.

Also, as far as I know, only Casio make a three sensor action in the sub $1000 price range.

Rich
_________________________

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#1433511 - 05/10/10 10:42 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
aDino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 30
Loc: US
Doesnt Kawai have 2 models at roughly 1000$$??

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#1433651 - 05/10/10 02:50 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: aDino]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
Okay I just got back from guitar Center and had an interesting experience.

I couldn't find anything around $1000 that I thought was even remotely close to an acoustic. The action was extremely light on the models I tried (they didn't have a 160 though) and the notes wouldn't repeat fast enough for me to play the Beethoven C Minor Variations or Rhapsody in Blue properly. The action felt "plasticy" for lack of a better word.

I am now open to the idea of financing a bit more, but I REALLY don't want to go above $1600.

I played on a YDP-V240 that was much better than the YDP-223. It really was in a different league in both sound through the headphone jack and the action. The MSRP was around $1800 but they said they would give it to me for $1588. Is this is a good deal or am I getting yanked around? Also, am I correct in assuming that the YDP-160 has a BETTER action than this, despite being cheaper (GH is better than GHS)? That seems to make no sense, but if true I will have to seek one out to try. The V240 seemed rather acceptable though.

Also, what other alternatives should I look at in the $1500-600 range ($1600 being the absolute limit).


Edited by computerpro3 (05/10/10 03:00 PM)

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#1433661 - 05/10/10 03:02 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
You say that the YDP-160 uses the same action as P155 but that the P155 sounds better? Why would the cheaper piano sound better?
This is not unusual for Yamaha. Like other companies, they continually upgrade their models. New specs are sometimes introduced in lower priced ones. I don't follow their marketing closely enough to hazard a guess as to why, but it's normal for this company.

Yamaha is touting a new sampling technology - Dynamic Stereo Sampling - for the 155, plus an additional sampling layer - four instead of three. That should mean that, especially when listening thru 'phones, you may detect four different timbres. I haven't auditioned either model, do don't know what you may hear.

If possible, audition both the 155 and the 160. The 155 has twice the polyphony - 128 vs 64. Polyphony affects how many notes can be played simultaneously before note dropping occurs. Each stereo note uses two units of polyphony. I *think* that using the sustain pedal doubles the polyphony units used. So each stereo note, when sounded while the pedal is depressed, would use 4 units.

It's been years since I tried to hear note dropping, but I think that with Yamaha, it's more a matter of notes being sounded in mono when the polyphony limit is exceeded, rather than being dropped. Your playing level could make this a consideration.

It'd be a good idea to include using the sustain pedal, when auditioning. When I was using a P80 on wood floors, I had to chase the sustain pedal around the floor;-) The pedal can be more securely located, but IMO having it built in to the cabinet is preferable.

The GHE action, which is sometimes listed as just GH, is supposed to be quieter than the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard), as well as facilitating faster repetiion. I glossed over the repetition aspect, when reading your initial post.

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#1433664 - 05/10/10 03:07 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
...
Also, what other alternatives should I look at in the $1500-600 range ($1600 being the absolute limit).


If you liked the action on the YDP-V240 you are one of the lucky few who prefer the lower priced GHS key action. So if you liked the GHS on this piano you'd like the same keys on the YDP140 or even the P85.

I would have guessed that you'd go for the P155. But that is why everyone says that you have to try the pianos. Few would have recommended a GHS based Yamaha for a piano major.

About key actions, the lighter keys are easy to play. People who play non-piano sounds on synthesisers many times like un-weighted kays because they are faster than weighted keys. Pianists however normally prefer the weighted action. But if your main criteria is "fast" you'd want lighter keys.

If you liked the GHS key you might want to try a Roland FP4. I think Roland might have an arguably better sound than Yamaha and the Rolland "Alpha" key action is even more "GHS-Like" than the Yamaha GHS key. Meaning even lighter and maybe faster. Worth a try, and the FP4 is (I think) in your new budget.


Edited by ChrisA (05/10/10 03:07 PM)

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#1433674 - 05/10/10 03:17 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: ChrisA]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
TO be fair I didn't audition the P155 for very long as they had it up on a tilted shelf above my idea level and I couldn't sit down and try it properly, so I will try to re-evaluate it at a better shop where it's set up for playing.

The GHS was good, but it wasn't perfect. I'm going to take my time and audition as much as possible; a Willit music near me said they are getting a 161 in next week that I plan on trying.

Also to be clear, I prefer a heavier action. Everything I've tried is a bit light for my liking, but the 240 was much heavier than the 223 for example (which I really didn't like either in sound or action). The problem with note repetition to me is because the notes don't spring back up fast enough - I feel like they are almost "too light" and I can't get the same kind of control that I have on a nicely weighted acoustic grand. I'm used to practicing on a 9ft Steinway after all :p The keys on the 223 felt "plasticky" in much the same way that my old radio shack unweighted keyboard did. The 240 was significantly better, but I really want to try the 160 or 155 again since everyone is saying they feel heavier. To be honest I got a different impression, but it could have been that particular abused floor model and it wasn't ideal circumstances.

EDIT: Also, the 161 seems appealing because it seems to contain the same sound improvements as the 155 had (128 polyphony) with the form factor benefits such as built in pedals as the YDP series. It's just impossible to find one to demo right now!


Edited by computerpro3 (05/10/10 03:29 PM)

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#1433680 - 05/10/10 03:25 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
computerpro3,

Based on your preference for a heavier action, have you tried the Casio PX130/PX330? I definitely prefer the heavier action of the Casio models to Yamaha models.

Rich
_________________________

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#1433704 - 05/10/10 03:52 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
TO be fair I didn't audition the P155 for very long as they had it up on a tilted shelf above my idea level and I couldn't sit down and try it properly, so I will try to re-evaluate it at a better shop where it's set up for playing.

The GHS was good, but it wasn't perfect. I'm going to take my time and audition as much as possible; a Willit music near me said they are getting a 161 in next week that I plan on trying.

Also to be clear, I prefer a heavier action. Everything I've tried is a bit light for my liking, but the 240 was much heavier than the 223 for example (which I really didn't like either in sound or action). The problem with note repetition to me is because the notes don't spring back up fast enough - I feel like they are almost "too light" and I can't get the same kind of control that I have on a nicely weighted acoustic grand. I'm used to practicing on a 9ft Steinway after all :p The keys on the 223 felt "plasticky" in much the same way that my old radio shack unweighted keyboard did. The 240 was significantly better, but I really want to try the 160 or 155 again since everyone is saying they feel heavier. To be honest I got a different impression, but it could have been that particular abused floor model and it wasn't ideal circumstances.


So you actually prefer Yamaha's entry-level GHS to GH(E)? I like GHS too (it's also on the P-85), but I thought the 223 had a much heavier action than GHS. I'm confused. Are you sure all those pianos at Guitar Center were labeled correctly? wink
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1433707 - 05/10/10 03:55 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
I'm trying to avoid generalizations like that because what I got to play on were simply beat up store samples (one had broken pedals even) but I can be sure about this:

The 240 that I played on (whichever action it has) is significantly heavier than the 223 I tried (which was the beat up one with broken pedals). It also was much easier to repeat notes accurately on (this is not the same as lightness, it's hard to explain - it's just more solid and controlled).

I am trying to find a 161 locally but might have to wait a week. Also, thanks again for the help - this is really invaluable stuff. They don't even label things like which action it has at the stores.



Edited by computerpro3 (05/10/10 03:56 PM)

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#1433708 - 05/10/10 03:56 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: Martin C. Doege]
snazzyplayer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/09
Posts: 983
Loc: Earth
I'm a fan of the GHS action as well...like Martin, I have a P-85 which I use both as a piano, and a controller.

I don't like a heavy action, either on an acoustic (my Steinway's action is rather light), or electronic piano, so the Yamaha GHS is perfect for my needs.

Snazzy
_________________________
Semper Gumby: Always flexible \:^)

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#1433710 - 05/10/10 03:58 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: FogVilleLad]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3677
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: FogVilleLad
Yamaha is touting a new sampling technology - Dynamic Stereo Sampling - for the 155, plus an additional sampling layer - four instead of three.
Not to be picky, but ... Dynamic Stereo Sampling is not new. It's been around for at least 5 years. Most of the current- and previous-generation YDP series and Clavinova CLP- and CVP-series have this.

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#1433715 - 05/10/10 04:01 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
Martin C. Doege Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/19/09
Posts: 448
Loc: Hamburg, Germany
Doesn't the P-155 have the same action as the YDP-161, i.e. GH? You could therefore try a 155 to get an idea about the 161 action...
_________________________
Yamaha P-85; Pianoteq Pleyel

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#1433719 - 05/10/10 04:07 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
Also to be clear, I prefer a heavier action. Everything I've tried is a bit light for my liking, but the 240 was much heavier than the 223 for example (which I really didn't like either in sound or action). The problem with note repetition to me is because the notes don't spring back up fast enough - I feel like they are almost "too light" and I can't get the same kind of control that I have on a nicely weighted acoustic grand.
OK, it might be time to slow down. Spend more time with each DP that you audition.

Yamaha markets the GHE action as being a cut about the 240's GHS action. Only your fingers can say whether it's better for you. Maybe try to see how far up you have to allow the key to spring, beore you can repeat a note.

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#1433790 - 05/10/10 05:37 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
TO be fair I didn't audition the P155 for very long as they had it up on a tilted shelf above my idea level and I couldn't sit down and try it properly, so I will try to re-evaluate it at a better shop where it's set up for playing.

EDIT: Also, the 161 seems appealing because it seems to contain the same sound improvements as the 155 had (128 polyphony) with the form factor benefits such as built in pedals as the YDP series. It's just impossible to find one to demo right now!



I tried the P155 at Guitar Center too. Just go get a stand and have then take it off the wall for you. Either ask or just do it. They should be able to set it up for you.

The 161 is very new and I'm sure Yamaha is waiting until all the ydp160 are gone before they will ship the 161 out. The CP50 is coming out soon too.

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#1433795 - 05/10/10 05:44 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: ChrisA]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
If you prefer a heavier action you'd probably like the CP-33 over the P155. I tried both and went with the CP-33 for that reason. They are supposed to have the same GHE action, but the CP-33 feels heavier to me, having tried out several p155s and cp33s.

In their price range I really do feel they come closest to the feel of a typical Yamaha C-series action.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1433828 - 05/10/10 06:31 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: AlphaTerminus]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3677
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus
If you prefer a heavier action you'd probably like the CP-33 over the P155. I tried both and went with the CP-33 for that reason. They are supposed to have the same GHE action, but the CP-33 feels heavier to me, having tried out several p155s and cp33s.
The CP33 is listed as a GHE keyboard. But the P155 is listed with a GH keyboard.

It's often been stated here that GH and GHE are the same. But I've always wondered.

Perhaps you have found that, in fact, they are not the same?

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#1433906 - 05/10/10 07:55 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
I just won $1000..., and I am considering buying a digital piano with it.

I am a piano major ... my practice times are very restricted and regimented due to piano availability, weather (university is closed for snow often in the winter), and time (sometimes I need a 2am practice session).

Can I get a serious digital instrument for $1000? ... as close to an acoustic grand as possible. The action is more critical than the sound - I need to be able to practice pretty much anything on it....


Your best bet is to try to practice at school as much as possible and save your winnings for something else.

A serious digital instrument designed specifically for concert pianists and conservatory students preparing to become concert pianists is the Yamaha Avant-Grand. They are completely out of your budget.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1433908 - 05/10/10 08:02 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: FogVilleLad]
anhmytran Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Hartford, CT 06106
Originally Posted By: FogVilleLad
Because you're a piano major, you might want to look at "home" pianos. They have pedals built into their cabinets. Yamaha's P85 is c.$700, including stand and three-pedal unit. (The sustain pedal - damper on an acousitc - has what in the digital world is often called "half pedaling". That should mean that it's a continuous controller, rather than an on-off switch.) This model is fitted with the GHS - graded hammer standard - action. It's a little noisy when rebounding quickly, but it has a decent touch. Yamaha's actions have a good reputation for durability and quality control.

Excuse me for some theory questions on an ideal sustain pedal.
1- When the pedal is released, there should be absolute no sound or still some?
How an ideal piano sounds when staccato is played at high speed?
when the chords is changing with speed?
2- Half pedaling (continuous controlling) is better or on-off switch?
What kind of pedal controlling is in the best acoustic piano?
How continuous controlling pedal can be performed on the acoustic?
3- Is the lever (Pedal is a lever) of on-off pedal different than that of a continuous one?
Is it very short, while the continuous one is very long?
4- What is the mechanical principle of the acoustic pedal?
In oher words, how does the acoustic pedal work?
If it is a kind of continuous controlling, how a string sounds with a damper pressed on it with different forces from Zero to Max?
I know the answer for a question with an on-off pedal.
Therefore, I just ask the question on a controlling pedal only.

Thanks in advance.

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#1433987 - 05/10/10 09:50 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: anhmytran]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
I just got back from an extended session with a P155 and I have very mixed feelings.

Sound:

The bass sounds very natural and good. Very nuanced sound; I was able to artistically play some bach busoni preludes which require careful work with both pedals, and it performed quite well. I can't stand the treble though. To my ear it sounds extremely fake and very "digital". It's just not realistic - and this is through my Beyerdynanmic DT770 headphones that I brought along with me.

Action: Again, a mixed bag. It responds well to both forte and pianissimo playing and I feel like I am able to get different quality sounds out of it just as I could a grand depending on the technique I use - this impressed me. I spent about an hour going back and forth with the P155 and the 240 and I did wind up preferring the P155 action which is a bit heavier (but NOT that much). Unfortunately though, now that I've spent a bit more time on both pianos, my perceptions have taken a slight turn for the worse (I think I was just more excited this morning). After running through the Bach Busoni Chaconne, a few preludes and fugues, rhapsody in blue, a few of the Beethoven c Minor Variations, and some Mozart unfortunately I feel like both actions are rather mediocre. The P155 is certainly a bit more refined and realistic, but it's hardly night and day. I'm not sure I would be happy long term with either instrument. I think I figured out what it is that's bothering me about the action - first, it might not actually be the "lightness" of the action (though I do wish it took more force to depress), but rather it feels as if the keys themselves have no density or mass. I think this is the source of the repetition problems I'm having - I expect the key to behave as an object with a certain density and mass, and when it doesn't, it throws me off. Second, I can't stand how the action of the keys terminate when it reaches the bottom of the keybed. It's like hitting a brick wall; plastic against plastic. There is no slight sense of "spring" or "give" that you have an acoustic. The digital keys just feel dead and lifeless when they reach the end of their stroke. This hugely reduces the playability of the action as you get a "clunk clunk clunk" sensation. When coupled with the lack of mass (feels like the keys are hollow plastic), it just removes all tactile sensation from the instrument.

I'm not sure what this means or where the next step up in quality would be (or the price) but I think I'm going to try to find a used piano that uses the GH3 action somewhere for under $1600. Hopefully it's a bit more what I'm looking for.

Sorry for being so picky - thank you for being patient with me and for the great suggestions. I really do appreciate it.



Edited by computerpro3 (05/10/10 09:54 PM)

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#1434011 - 05/10/10 10:41 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8437
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Doesn't the P155 already utilise the GH3 action?

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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#1434060 - 05/11/10 12:13 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: Kawai James]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
I believe the P155 is the mid-range GH, not the higher end GH3.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to stop by a local Kawai dealer and check out the ES4 and ES6. Worth a try at least.


Edited by computerpro3 (05/11/10 12:16 AM)

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#1434084 - 05/11/10 01:05 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: computerpro3]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: computerpro3
...
You say that the YDP-160 uses the same action as P155 but that the P155 sounds better? Why would the cheaper piano sound better?


The P155 costs less because you are not paying for the simulated wood or the key cover. And it only come with one pedal.

The other major difference between the P155 and YD160 is the controls. The P155 has a row of buttons with labels on them. They are easy to use. The YDP160's controls are not so easy to use.

One trick if you don't like loose pedals and prefer them to be fixed to the stand like on the YDP. Notice the bottom covers on the pedals are held on by four screws. Remove the screws and toss out the covers. Make a new "cover" that is 50 inches wide and attach it using the same four screws. This new wider "cover" can extend all the way to each side of the stand.

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#1434097 - 05/11/10 01:42 AM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: ChrisA]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
I think that none of the Yamahas have GH3 action except their Clavinovas.

I really don't think you're going to get ultra-realistic sounds out of any sub $2500 DP unless you route them through a software piano.

I focus on the action, because the sound can always be upgraded with good monitor speakers and software.

The best DP action by far is the AvantGrand N3. I know the N2 is supposed to use the same action but the N2 I played had some messed up action which I think was a unit defect.

The GH3 action on the $4-5000 clavinovas is the second best.

The $1000 CP-33 action is my third favorite along with high-end rolands and the Kawaii wooden action, though the Kawaii unit I played seemed to have something wrong causing the action to feel ok but to be really loud. I really, really did not like the GHS action at all.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1434399 - 05/11/10 12:32 PM Re: Anything piano major worthy around $1000? [Re: AlphaTerminus]
computerpro3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 367
Loc: Connecticut/Cincinnati
I played on a Kawai CA51 and I'm in love. It's so far beyond anything I've played so far that it makes everything else feel like a toy.

I understand that it doesn't have 128 note polyphony (only 96) but the action is amazing! It uses a real wood keyboard and you can actually feel the vibrations of the sound in the bass keys. It handled all of my rep flawlessley!

I was at the dealer and had a wonderful experience. He offered me a brand new CA51 in the box still for $1950 AFTER sales tax. This seems like a very good deal, and I'm seriously thinking about buying it. The dealer was absolutely fantastic so I would love to give him the business.

Any opinions on the CA51 before I pull the trigger? Keep in mind, I'm not concerned about the outdated sound technology as I can use a software piano.

Basically, what it comes down to is the CA51 seems like the best action $1950 (1830 before sales tax) can buy me. The salesman told me that it is an older model, but honestly that doesn't affect the quality of the action.



Edited by computerpro3 (05/11/10 12:44 PM)

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