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#1560905 - 11/19/10 06:19 PM PX-330 vs SP-250
zx629 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 18
I'm buying a DP for the first time and I'm stuck between these two keyboards. The PX-330 wins in terms of portability, polyphony, and sampling layers. The SP-250 has much better non piano voices (those organs are godly, though it may just be the better speakers) to my ears, more realistic feeling keys, and better speakers, but is older technology and over twice the weight. I wouldn't be gigging regularly but the lighter the better for me. The action is a wash. I like the Korg's just a minuscule fraction more, but the Casio's is also just dandy with me so it's not a dealbreaker by any means.

My question is, is there any reason I should go with the Korg over the Casio? I'm leaning more toward the former, but I'm going nuts trying to decide on this. I'd like to hear some experiences from people in either camp or someone with experience with both. Thanks in advance for your help.

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#1560924 - 11/19/10 07:13 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Originally Posted By: zx629
The PX-330 wins in terms of portability, polyphony, and sampling layers. The SP-250 has much better non piano voices (those organs are godly, though it may just be the better speakers) to my ears, more realistic feeling keys, and better speakers, but is older technology


Portability: A big plus, but its importance varies with how much you'll be moving it and how big your muscles are.

Polyphony and sampling layers: Don't confuse "feature" and "benefit" -- these things are only good if you can hear them improve the sound. For piano playing, I think the Korg's 60-note polyphony is plenty. There are only 88 keys. Do you think you'll ever need more than 60 of them to ring out at once? Sampling layers matter only if the piano sounds better as a result. I have heard multi-layer pianos that did not sound as good as someone else's single-layer piano. So play something with dynamics on each, and see if one actually sounds noticeably better in its variation of soft to loud.

As to whether one sounds better than the other because of its speakers, you can eliminate that variable by auditioning them both with the same set of headphones. OTOH, if you expect you will probably be using the piano in a way such that you will mostly be hearing it out of its own speakers, then that's the way you should compare them.

"Older technology" is not a factor IMO. Often, newer is not better. That's why we often covet real Hammond organs and Minimoogs. Even in more modern keyboards, it is not unheard of that a newer model is in some way inferior to its predecessor, with changes sometimes made more to lower cost than to improve quality/features. Whichever piano sounds and feels best to you is the one to go with, regardless of which is older or newer. Five years from now, they will both be old, and the same one that sounds better today will be the one that will continue to sound better then.

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#1560943 - 11/19/10 07:59 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3050
Loc: Oregon
If it's any help, zx629, I would rather have the Korg SP250 in my house than any of the current crop of Privias. That's not to say the Casios are bad - far from it - but despite it's limitations, the Korg has a level of refinement that the PX series has yet to reach. I have owned both Privias and an SP250.

anotherscott is offering excellent advice - the only detail I would revise is that concerning polyphony. In most stereo DPs, one note of polyphony is assigned to each stereo channel - thus 60 notes is equivalent to being able to play a maximum of 30 before notes are dropped. Very often an additional handful of notes of polyphony are assigned to other functions within the effects processor. Thus, the general rule is: the more polyphony the better - although it also needs to be coupled with a good note-allocation algorithm. FWIW, I experienced no problem with regard to polyphony in either the Korg or the Casio.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1560957 - 11/19/10 08:31 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
quantum81 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 7
I can vouch that the SP-250 is a solid piano for the money. I've owned it for about a year now, and will be selling it to my sister. AP sound is decent, as are the EPs, organs and strings. Only time I've noticed notes cutting off is in certain pieces, when I layer AP with strings and am heavily using the pedal. The max reverb isn't that much either. Otherwise it records well through the headphone jack, key action is very good for the price, speakers are decent (though headphones much better), simple to use and solidly built all around.

I've never tried the PX-330, so I don't know how the two would compare.

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#1561759 - 11/21/10 01:40 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
Vectistim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 317
Loc: Reading, UK
This may not be a consideration for you, but can you change temperament with the Korg?

I've managed to get the Chapel Organ sound on the Privia reasonably OK by turning up the reverb to 4 and the chorus to 1.

Electronic pianos and Hammond type organs do nothing for me so I can't comment on what tweaking might get them to sound more realistic.

Do you need, and does the Korg have a full set of connectors?

What sort of music will you be playing? Which one plays to the strengths of that type of music better? As a conventional piano I find I can get rather more control than from many acoustics (given the choice between a Privia and an acousitc for the same money I'd go with the Privia)

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#1561781 - 11/21/10 02:15 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
zx629 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 18
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Vectistim: I don't think I'd be using them a great deal, but the Korg does have Kirnberger and Werckmeister tunings in addition to equal temperament. It also has MIDI in and out and stereo line out connections.

I'm still a beginner with keyboard instruments but my musical interests are wide-ranging. I'd be playing primarily pop but plenty of jazz and classical too.

The hammond and church organ sounds are important to me because I'm a fan of both Prog Rock and Baroque music. The action of a piano is different than organs, but I had no problem playing organ stuff on hammer action keys.

I think I'll take some headphones next time I head out to guitar center to compare. I won't be making a purchase until December, so I'd welcome and appreciate any other advice or suggestions.

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#1561909 - 11/21/10 06:25 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
PhilzPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 113
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: zx629
The hammond and church organ sounds are important to me because I'm a fan of both Prog Rock and Baroque music. The action of a piano is different than organs, but I had no problem playing organ stuff on hammer action keys.


Buy a keyboard because you like the key action rather than the sounds embedded in it. You can always hook a laptop onto the midi / USB and run external software. I use Pianoteq with my Casio PX-110 if e.g. I want a decent harpsichord sound.

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#1561936 - 11/21/10 07:47 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Originally Posted By: zx629
The hammond and church organ sounds are important to me because I'm a fan of both Prog Rock and Baroque music.

Besides the PX-330, you should look at the PX-3. It has some better sounds, including better organ sounds. It also weighs a bit less (but has no internal speakers). And it has extensive MIDI control features, so if you want to upgrade its sounds, you can easily attach some other sound module to it directly... no need to bring a computer to gigs to get other sounds... and you can easily call up different external module sounds right from the PX-3's front panel, and easily split and layer them with the internal Casio sounds. I consider the PX-3 the gem of the line, because it is a light, inexpensive multizone 88-key weighted MIDI controller... the internal sounds are almost a bonus!

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#1562060 - 11/21/10 11:27 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 853
Loc: Lakewood, CA
It's a good idea to take headphones, but make sure you pay more attention to the keyboard action. That is the most important consideration. You can't change the touch. The sound is secondary in that you can plug into a computer and use software for sounds. You can also use sound mods and rack modules to expand sound. FWIW, I also liked the Korg SP-250 when I was looking a couple of years ago, I just didn't like the way it looked.

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#1562084 - 11/22/10 12:16 AM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
zx629 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 18
Yeah, the action is certainly the most important thing. Like I said in my original post, gun to my head, I'd pick the Korg as it feels preferable to the Casio's which I could still live with.

The PX3 is really nice, but I'd have to shell out for an amp or some speakers and it's also a bit more which puts it out of my budget. If I were a gigging musician, it'd be a great choice.

Using software for sounds is definitely an option but sometimes you'd rather just have the voices right at your fingers rather than setting up everything. I have a Yamaha PSR that I use to record things in FLstudio and Garageband but I don't have a dedicated computer for it.

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#1562227 - 11/22/10 09:18 AM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
Have you also tried the Yamaha P95? It has the low weight of the PX-330 and, IMO, better feeling keyboard and better piano sound. It falls down in being weak on other sounds, but if it does also have the virtue of being less expensive, and you could put the difference toward some kind of add-on module for more/better sounds. You could pick up a used Roland JV-1010 for example, that should keep you in budget. I don't know specifically how its non-piano sounds compare to the SP250 which I haven't played, but it is far better than the PX330 IMO. So the combination might give you everything you want.

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#1568894 - 12/02/10 08:03 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
zx629 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 18
I went to Guitar Center today and played around some more. I've ultimately decided on the SP250. The PX330's action is a bit heavy with plasticky feeling keys and the P95's keyboard feels great but the action is a tad light for me so, in the end, the Korg was the Goldilocks piano. All 3 have excellent piano sounds. I also played on the P155 and really liked it, but it's well out of my budget and the action, to my fingers, felt comparable to the Korg's.

Thanks a lot for your advice. It's much appreciated. I'll be sure to stick around and contribute where I can.

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#1569624 - 12/03/10 10:36 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2712
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I went to Guitar Center today to play these 3 (Yam P95, Casio PX330, Korg SP-250) side by side. I was in the area and I had gotten away from the store for awhile.

I wish I was posting as a civilian, but as I continued to try nearly every DP, keyboard & workstation, I noticed that 1 of every 3 had some major malfunction regardless of brand and many others had at least a minor malfunction. I guess what I realized was that if this is a typical experience, no wonder opinions vary so much between these close competitors. The PX-330 didn't even turn on anymore (there were at least 6 units in boxes for sale only 10 feet away), the P95 felt good/sounded good everywhere but the middle where everything was bizarrely muddy (probably a display speaker problem, can't blame this on Yamaha) and the Korg SP250 didn't even play all the notes (don't ask me what was going on in the top octave?!?).

In the acoustic piano world, most consumers form their opinion of a brand based on 1 or 2 touches. I had always assumed that the manufacturing consistency would eliminate this problem for most digitals, but I no longer feel that way. If anyone happens to catch this post, please keep this in mind - good companies like these are not putting out crap, but the floor model you play may be someone's drop-kicked return!

I have a very nice Korg rep who will be calling me any day now, but if I based my decision on today's experience, I wouldn't have a fair and accurate picture of their products and neither will anyone else that visits that store. In our store, our DPs feel good/sound good, or else I raise the question with the manufacturer immediately.

In their defense, I realize how much goes on in our store that we cannot fully control. When the weather changes, every tuned piano shifts, but we're accustomed to prepping our instruments and the ongoing service needs.

If anyone else has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
_________________________
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PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
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www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1569636 - 12/03/10 11:07 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: PianoWorksATL]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3226
I have to say that my experiences have been nothing like that. I don't remember ever finding something at Sam Ash or Guitar Center that just plain didn't work. Not plugged in? Sure. Knobs twiddled to some unusable sound? Of course. Terrible sounding amp? Absolutely. (Another reason to always use headphones.) But I was never ultimately unable to hear what I needed to hear, as far as I can recall.

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#1569647 - 12/03/10 11:31 PM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2712
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Here, several of the products were visually, physically mishandled. Some cabinets were scratched or dinged, workstations were missing knobs, some had keys weren't level or weren't playing, I even got a minor shock from a monitor that was doing double duty between a PX-3 and a CP33. I saw the other things, too, but when I hit the power on an electronic device and then watch it flicker and die...it's discouraging.

There were some really cool things, but I'll have to venture out to more big stores. I had a blast with a Fantom G-6 which we'd never sell in our store. I'm just sayin' if I were average Joe consumer, I'd have left with a mixed impression of the keyboards.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1569789 - 12/04/10 05:38 AM Re: PX-330 vs SP-250 [Re: zx629]
BazC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 711
Loc: Cambridgeshire, UK
I've never experienced anything as extreme as that but certainly instruments vary, possibly because of abuse in the shop maybe even because they're made that way to a degree.

I played a P85 in a big Piano shop in Cambridge many times, I never really liked it, the action was OK but it was very quiet next to every other DP in the shop (including an NP30), it didn't appear to be damaged in any way but just didn't feel right.

The I played another in a shop in Nottingham and it was great! Nice sound, decent volume and nice action. In the same shope they had a Korg SP250 and a Korg SV1 both use the same RH3 action but the SV1 definitely felt better to me, go figure!
_________________________

Korg SP200, Pianoteq

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