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#1620037 - 02/14/11 07:03 PM So many questions.
dewar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 139
Up until now Ive practiced on an old Kimball upright. Out of tune, strings are long since toast. (Not the best upkeep having a piano outside in the elements) Anyway so I decided id buy another piano and I ended up deciding on digital.

I wanted one that sounded close to an acoustic. And narrowed it down to 2 brands. Yamaha and kawai. Tried asking dealerships but of course they're only interested in selling what they've got. Including one that declared without a doubt that Roland was THE best their was hands down and the other two sucked compared to them.

So here's one question. Ive tried a Kawai CA63. I liked the tone of it and the feel wasn't to bad either. However I also noticed that online they sell the CE200. I couldn't find it in any piano store around me to test it. How do the two compare? Do they have the same feel of keys? Hows the sound between the 2? The dealer also said they stocked CA 93's but they didn't have any in so I couldn't try that one.

Next question, while visiting a Yamaha store they mostly carried some p series and clp. As I had seen mostly the YDP arius series sold online I asked if they stocked any and they said that that series was pretty much obsolete and they were moving into the clp series. Any truth to that or was the guy just trying to push what he had?

Also it seems like the clp series is recommended more then the ydp, is their a great difference between the 2? Do any on the YDP match up to the clp?

Next question. When I look at pricing for digital piano's online all I seem to be able to find is pretty much the arius from Yamaha and the CE200 from kawai. Anywhere I can price check their other home consol piano's?

And lastly player piano wise. Im not entirely sure but is it possible to equip one of those devices to a digital and have the keys move on their own and play songs? I know it can be done with an acoustic with a bit of work, but not sure on a digital.

And so those are my questions. Most anyway. Id appreciate any light into em.

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#1620060 - 02/14/11 07:33 PM Re: So many questions. [Re: dewar]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Trent Woods, NC
Yamaha has more than one sales channel - the traditional piano stores sell the Clavinova (CLP & CLV) lines, whereas the web-based vendors sell the Arius and some other lines. So, you are not likely to find anywhere that sells both in one location. All I can suggest is to read the specifications closely (a lot of the models are quite similar between the Clavinova and the Arius -- but will have different visuals and trim) - try to compare specifications for very similar specs, then see what kind of pricing you can get.

On-line vendors typically will show the same "MAP" which stands for minimum advertised price. Some will go below that price. Traditional stores pricing is more nebulous - there doesn't seem to really be any published retail price, and most of the time, it is like buying an acoustic piano - they won't get serious on pricing until they feel like you are ready to buy a specific model and right then.

Best of luck in the whole process. As far as which is better between Yamaha, Kawail, and Roland - I used to run an Authorized Service Center for Yamaha, I do know they take care of their customers. I don't know on the other two. My own personal electronic keyboards are all Kurzweil (except for the Nord Electro).

Almost forgot: there is no reason for an electronic keyboard to have the keys actually move. Just about all of them nowadays can have MIDI information fed into them, some have sequencers built in for the purpose, and the sounds will be played, without the need for the keys to move.
Jim Cason
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Howard C171 Grand, Kurzweil PC3X, PC3, PC361, PC2X, PC2.
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Formerly in electronic keyboard repair trade - semi-retired

#1620070 - 02/14/11 07:49 PM Re: So many questions. [Re: dewar]
leemax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 501
Loc: pacific nw, usa
Hi there. have you looked at the Casio ap series? I have a 620, and I understand that the 420 is the same except for fewer voices/rhythms, recording tracks. I have had it for a couple of months and have enjoyed it, but didn't have much to compare it to, so earlier today I went to a store and played several of the Yamahas and Rolands, (both through the onboard speakers and through my own headphones). As far as the sound goes, I like my Casio far better than either the Yamahas or the Rolands. (I don't remember which models I played, but I know one was the V-piano, and the others were in the 4-6k price range. I think I like the touch best on the Yamahas, then the Rolands, but the sound, IMHO, is not even close to the Casio. I found the bass notes on the Rolands to be very muddy, especially when playing big, low chords, such as in Chopin's prelude 20 in c minor. I also played the Avant-Grand, which is pretty cool, but I was not "blown away" by it and I would definitely not shell out 17k for it! I hope you find something that you really like.

#1620118 - 02/14/11 09:01 PM Re: So many questions. [Re: dewar]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: dewar

Next question. When I look at pricing for digital piano's online all I seem to be able to find is pretty much the arius from Yamaha and the CE200 from kawai. Anywhere I can price check their other home consol piano's?

And lastly player piano wise. Im not entirely sure but is it possible to equip one of those devices to a digital and have the keys move on their own and play songs? I know it can be done with an acoustic with a bit of work, but not sure on a digital.

The three brands, Roland, Kawai and Yamaha each make two classes of piano, one class they allow to be sold on-line and in mass market, big box retailers. The other class they reserve for their dealers who have protected markets and little competition. (You can guess which line sells for the most money) The idea is that a piano dealer can't possibly compete with the likes of Guitar Center or Sam Ash so they make two lines. You will not find advertised prices for the dealer-only models. This is intentional to prevent you from price shopping. On the other side, wit the big retailers, they all will price match so on-line and in store pricing for the mass market lines tend to be to the penny the same.

Now to your question, the CE200 is sold in the big stores. It uses some nice wooden keys but the sound generation technology is old and not competitive with Kawai's newer models.

About making a "player piano". Nearly all digital pianos can accept MIDI input and play music while being controlled by a computer but why would you care if the keys move? And then even that seems odd. Currently the best sound generation technology is done in computer software, virtual instruments that are controlled from a piano keyboard but run on the computer. So why have the computer control a digital piano, You'd get better sound doing the entire job on the computer. OK you might argue that the piano's speakers are good. But no, in almost all cases the monitors you'd connect to a computer outperform those built-into a piano, unless you are talking about very expensive pianos. The concept makes sense if you are wanting hear what you just played or if you are composing

That said, yes there are a few models with moving keys. You can't retrofit this. You have to select a model with the feature from the start, not cheap.


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#1620249 - 02/14/11 10:34 PM Re: So many questions. [Re: dewar]
dewar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 139
Well player piano wise, their was no real reason behind it, I just thought id look neat. I remember an uncle having a player piano as a kid, all the keys moving.

That answers most of my questions. Kawai wise go for the newer models, Id still like to track down a 93 and try that out.

Yamaha's gonna be a pain finding a few arius to try though. They seem very nice on the video's but ya never know until you can feel the piano.

One other question though. How are the two brands maintenance wise? I know kawai boasts they use real wood in the keys. Are they in danger of warping or swelling with humidity?

How about yamaha's keys, any sticking problems with the springs?

#1620319 - 02/15/11 12:14 AM Re: So many questions. [Re: dewar]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4606
Loc: North Carolina
Roland makes a few high-end models whose keys move when used as a player piano. But you pay a LOT for that.

You didn't say where you live. In the US it's easy to find the Arius YDP models at just about any music store, large or small.

There are no problems with the springs ... because there are no springs.

#1620818 - 02/15/11 03:51 PM Re: So many questions. [Re: MacMacMac]
dewar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 139
I tried out a 340 and 330. Gotta say the 340 sounded pretty nice (Im guessing it was the extra 20 watts in each speaker)
Then I found another store and played a ydp 240. It felt and sounded just like the 240 but with a few more fun options. And a bit cheaper as the 340 was selling at 2800

Edited by dewar (02/15/11 07:57 PM)


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