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#1464930 - 06/29/10 09:46 AM Help needed in looking for digital piano!
photo-pro-123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 10
Hello everybody,

I am new to this forum. My wife and I decided we will purchase a digital piano as opposed to a grand piano for the time being. I just started looking today and I HAD NO IDEA there were so many to choose from.

Could somebody give me an idea of a good piano up to $5K? The most important feature is to have a good, natural feel for the keys. It is important for us to try to replicate a grand as close as possible. Secondly it is the sound replication.

I have a Yamaha P3, but it just doesn't seem to cut it anymore.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

Joe

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#1465154 - 06/29/10 04:35 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: photo-pro-123]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Welcome to the pianoworld forum, Joe!

Given your budget, you could narrow down your search to some top of the range digital piano's (in random order):

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...amp;CTID=203500

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/CA_2010/ca_93-info.html

http://www.roland.com/products/en/HP307/index.html

By using the search function of this forum you can find a lot of both objective and subjective information on these models and directly related cheaper models. Most importantly, don't rely on smooth marketing or sales pitches, but just try them out yourself before making a decision!
_________________________
K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1465200 - 06/29/10 06:31 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: photo-pro-123]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: photo-pro-123
...
Could somebody give me an idea of a good piano up to $5K? The most important feature is to have a good, natural feel for the keys. It is important for us to try to replicate a grand as close as possible. Secondly it is the sound replication....


Speakers will always be the weak link in any DP. Even with your $5K budget which is very generous for a DP you will find the speakers will be weak.

If you were even considering a grand piano then you must have a large room it will require a large sized audio system to fill the room with a sound to match the power of an acoustic grand piano. So,... when you shop for a DP just assume you will use a good external sound system and don't pay a lot for big built-in spekaers.

The next question is what kind of grand piano sound you like. If you had unlimited fundes which would you have? An American/European or one of the Japanese pianos? One has a brighter kind of sound. Roland tries to make an Americal sound while Kawai and Yamaha each sample their own brand of grand piano. So if you have a preference for one grand over the others you know to look at Roland. Yamaha or Kawai DPs.

Next after selecting a brand or two. start at the low end and run up the line until yopu find a key action you like. Each company only makes a few (2 or 3) different key actions so you don't need to test to many. Buy the lowest priced DP with the keys you like. Spend the extra budget on good speakers and an amp to drive them.

If you are very fussy about sound, the best sound generation is done with computer software. But this adds complexity you may not want.

The best thing to do is just play many brands and models of DP and keep good notes. Then lookup on the web to see with DP uses which keys action. A place like Guitar Center is good for this because they have many different pianos. Even if you don't like what they cary you get to try out many different key actions and learn about which you like and don't like. Bring headphones as the place is typically very noisy.

All that said, with $5K you can afford one of the top of the line Rolands with with the new 'super natural" piano sounds, PHA-II keys with escapement and ivory and a good sound system and have change left over.

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#1465293 - 06/29/10 08:49 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: photo-pro-123]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3864
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: photo-pro-123
My wife and I decided we will purchase a digital piano as opposed to a grand piano for the time being. I just started looking today and I HAD NO IDEA there were so many to choose from.
You didn't say where you were looking. With your budget, I'd recommend a piano dealer, rather than a music store. The latter sell the low-priced goods. In America, only piano dealers are authorized to sell the top-end pianos.

For $5000, I recall seeing a Roland mini-grand. Very good sound, and it gave a nice appearance, too. (I can't remember the model number, sorry.) It was easily the best sounding digital I've ever laid hands on. These high-end units have good sound systems, and that makes all the difference. (But I wasn't prepared to spend that much, so I bought a Clavinova instead.)

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#1465348 - 06/29/10 10:30 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: MacMacMac]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
It's daunting, photo-pro. I just went through the same thing. The only way is to try them until you find one that plays right and sounds right. Many makers offer the manuals as downloads from their own websites, and that can be a big help when you're trying to sort out features.

I hope you'll let us know how it goes.
_________________________
Clef


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#1465379 - 06/29/10 11:35 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: Jeff Clef]
Art A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 145
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Really take your time, and when you think if you've taken enough time just remember what you read in this post.. take your time ! I bought the Roland 307. Its a great dp overall but if I was to do this all over again I would buy the much more basic RP 201 and saved thousands. The reason being as much as the 307 is a finer piece of equipment, its still unmistakably a digital piano. You will listen to them side by side in the showroom as I did and think well the 307 is so much nicer its worth the extra money. Then 3 months later you are kicking yourself thinking I paid how much for a digital piano ?! My humble 2 cents, don't spend 5 g's, save for a real grand, and get something less expensive. http://www.roland.com/piano/HP.html

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#1465387 - 06/29/10 11:49 PM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: Art A.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned

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#1465580 - 06/30/10 10:08 AM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: theJourney]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
..."The most important feature is to have a good, natural feel for the keys. It is important for us to try to replicate a grand as close as possible. Secondly it is the sound replication..."

When he tried my MP8ii, my piano teacher laughed at it, saying, "Well, that will be all right for you." Just a little au haut. "I," he continued," have a 15-year-old Korg that has a better piano action. I just use it to practice when I can't play the acoustic."

Since I happened to be over at at GC one day, I heard someone trying out a Korg (which didn't sound so bad over the amp), and pressed a few keys. It did seem that the action was more grand-like.

Later I looked up the two Korg pianos that are on the market (not sure which one I tried) and realized why I didn't consider it, because the MIDI and audio implementation are very basic (I'm looking for something to grow into), and the price range was around the same as the Casio models. Also, it seems to me that I have heard that the company is not what it once was (or am I thinking of Kurtzweil). My brother has one of those "other K" keyboards that is one of the worst I've ever touched.

This comparison may be somewhat unfair, and you might like to check the Korgs out. For that matter, Casio is moving up in the world, and even back in the days of their "toy piano" models I had one that had some very interesting sounds that were pretty good for fattening up a mix. Anyway, one factor I looked for was the maker's reputation for reliability and service. Maybe I should have looked a little further past Yamaha, Kawai, and Roland, but frankly most of the springy keyboards I tried, even the 'top models,' I couldn't have lived with.

So... I have a nicer real piano and a nicer DP than my teacher, but he is still a far better player. Truth to tell, he really doesn't want to look at a piano that's shorter than nine feet anyway.
_________________________
Clef


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#1466185 - 07/01/10 06:35 AM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: ChrisA]
photo-pro-123 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 10
Thank you so much for your insight as well as for everybody here! After doing some research, I think I would like to get a CA63 or CA93. However, searching the net, there does not seem to be a lot of places in the US that have them!

Joe

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#1466205 - 07/01/10 08:10 AM Re: Help needed in looking for digital piano! [Re: photo-pro-123]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9528
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Joe, most Kawai digital pianos are sold through Kawai piano dealers, rather than the big high street/internet retailers such as Musician's Friend etc.

Assuming that you are based in the US, may I recommend that you the online dealer locator on the Kawai US website below:

http://www.kawaius.com/nav_links/dealer_locator2010.html

Kind regards,
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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