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#1644904 - 03/20/11 09:13 PM dorm digital
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
What's a good choice for a college dorm room?
Need: good/excellent piano sound (other sounds not important), good to excellent key feel (weighted at a minimum)MIDI and perhaps USB , ability to record into MIDI, easy to put onto collapsing stand, and not too fragile. Smaller is good - it will go into the closet or under the bed.
Price range - you tell me! I'm guessing over 500, I'm hoping under 1500.


Edited by NE_Geek_Girl (03/20/11 09:16 PM)

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#1644909 - 03/20/11 09:25 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: NE_Geek_Girl
What's a good choice for a college dorm room?
Need: good/excellent piano sound (other sounds not important)


Maybe more important then good sound is good key action. It would help to know your budget. But as you say "dorm" I assume you are looking to spend the minimum. There are three pianos that "everyone" recomends they all sell for about $500 more or less. These would be the Casio PX130, Yamaha P95 and Korg SP170. I prefer them in that order. Normally I'd prefer Yamaha but in this one case I like the PX130 over the p95. Others would go the other way so you have to try them yourself. Neither is "best". If you can spend $1000 the Yamaha P155 is very popular at that price point. If you can go $2K there are many. Get some good headphones. I like my AKG K240 headphones but headphones are another big feild and your needs may be different then mine. The K240 does not block sound in either direction.

If you are in the US near any big city there will be both Guitar Center and Sam Ash music stores. Go there with headphones in hand and try ou the three or four above pianos.

If you are concerned about weight that is a problem with all weighted action piano type keyboards. 88 little weights add up and pianos can weigh in from 30 pounds up to double that so if you will be moving it on and off a stand do check that you can handle the weight. My P155 is 50+ pounds but has a much nicer key action than the P95. A lot depends on if you have room to leave it perminently set up on the stand


Edited by ChrisA (03/20/11 09:33 PM)

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#1644935 - 03/20/11 10:42 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
I prowled around GC a bit today to get a sense of prices and availability. I'm assuming we'd spend at least 500, I'd like to keep it not too far over $1000. (This is a hs graduation present to son.) I liked the P155 and the Korg SP250. My son will be the one hauling it, so he could handle some weight, but I don't think there will be room to have it permanently set up. (Well - we won't know until room assigments come out, but based on the rooms I saw, it will have to go into the closet or under the bed at least some of the time. )Given all that, I liked the P95 a lot.
Didn't think to bring headphones, but we'll do that next time around.

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#1644948 - 03/20/11 11:12 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
The number one most important feature of a digital piano is the quality of the key action. That is one of the big differences between the P155 and the P95 the other difference is the doubling of the price. Be sure to play each of them for at least 20 minutes or so,

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#1644966 - 03/20/11 11:42 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: ChrisA]
dewar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/11
Posts: 139
well if it's a dorm space is the game at hand. Meaning you don't want a big ol bulky cabinet. So take the guts out of that cabinet and slap it in a portable keyboard.

Under 1500 You can nab any of the big 3. But not quite. For example a kawai mp6 is 1500, slap a pair of headphones on there and your good to go.

The roland is iffy. Now you can get an fp7f roland for 1500 but it's gotta be blemished. Otherwise its 18 or 1900.

Yamaha on the other hand is pretty cheap. The p155 is a cool grand online.

All 3 have great things going for them. The kawai's key action is nice even though it's not the rm3 (heck between the cn and the ca they both have nice keys)

Roland fp7f is basically like owning an hp307. Only drawback is rolands having a lil breakdown as far as manufacturing goes right now. But is you sweep that aside it's got a nice livid piano sound. The keys feel nice as well. (Course then that breakdown comes into play again)

Yamaha is to me sort of like this middle ground. If you like their feel and sound then you've found your piano, if not then it's back to the boards. Yama's keyboard (depending on which one you get) has a certain feel to it, it's unlike the other 2, sort of a mix, and the sound is like a bright and deep tone. The 155 has GH action. It's not as light as the standard but it's not as heavy as the GH3, It's this comfy ground between the 2.

Which one you like is up to you. Personally im in a dilemma between them. I dig the action of the kawai but not the sound. I dig the sound of the Yamaha but the keys are just ok. I like both the crisp sound of the Roland, and the keys are decent, but Roland really needs to get it's act together in the form of creating working as intended keyboards.

And luck finding one, ive only ran into the p155, the Roland and kawai are virtually impossible to find stocked. Seems like dealers would rather stack a room with cabinets instead of showing off brand new keyboards worth just as much.

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#1645620 - 03/22/11 02:52 AM Re: dorm digital [Re: dewar]
bbent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 95
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: dewar

Roland fp7f is basically like owning an hp307. Only drawback is rolands having a lil breakdown as far as manufacturing goes right now. But is you sweep that aside it's got a nice livid piano sound. The keys feel nice as well. (Course then that breakdown comes into play again)


dewar,

What is this "breakdown" you're talking about? I haven't heard of it before. We own a FP-7F and have had no problems so far (we've only had it since Jan 22, 2011).
_________________________
Regards,
Bob

NY Steinway A 1907, FP-7F wi RPU-3
HW: GA-X58A-UD3R, i7-930, 6GB & 2ea WD2002FAEX, 1ea WD1001FALS1TB, UA1000, Yamaha 2.1 HSM80M/HS10W, DPA SMK4061, Mackie LM3204
SW: Win7 Pro x64, Sonar PE 8.5.3, NI Komplete 8 Ult, Ivory Grand Pianos II

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#1645665 - 03/22/11 06:09 AM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2328
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
There is no breakdown but maybe he is referring to ivory key surface wear and the note decay drop-offs when playing very heavy layers and/or over .WAV files or mp3s. None of this would deter me from the Roland if you like the sound...and if you do like the sound nothing else will really compare.

Steve
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1645942 - 03/22/11 02:46 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: EssBrace]
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
No matter which 'board you choose, it'd be a good idea to also budget for a good set of headphones. The 'phones facilitate silent practicing and are also good for experiencing the full quality of the included sounds. If you don't get recommendations here, you might want to start another thread.

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#1645945 - 03/22/11 02:54 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: FogVilleLad]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2235
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: FogVilleLad
No matter which 'board you choose, it'd be a good idea to also budget for a good set of headphones. The 'phones facilitate silent practicing and are also good for experiencing the full quality of the included sounds. If you don't get recommendations here, you might want to start another thread.


There's lots of 'the best headphones' threads, like
this and
this and so on.

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#1645948 - 03/22/11 03:01 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
Headphones will definitely matter since it will get played in headphone mode a lot (depending on roommate/dorm tolerance...) So, I think we will pick up a good pair now so that we can use them for all the shopping.
Also any comments on logistics - specifically -
Are there any of these boards that aren't happy on a folding stand?
Are there any that are more easily damaged?
I know there are some Roland FP7s at a local dealer, don't know what else is available. We don't actually want to buy until very late April/May anyway. (Although I'm wondering if the problems in Japan will affect availability.)

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#1645965 - 03/22/11 03:20 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
Coker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 182
Loc: Connecticut,USA
NE-Geek - Just a couple things. When you're deciding on closed vs open headphones, remember that others in the room may hear you, if only a little, through the open-style headphones. Maybe that would bother an ultra-sensitive room-mate. Second, with the introduction of the FP7F, there may be some lightly used FP7's out there on the Boston Craigslist or Ebay.

Good luck!
_________________________
Yamaha CP4, Kawai CA93

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#1645998 - 03/22/11 04:11 PM Re: dorm digital [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: NE_Geek_Girl
Headphones will definitely matter since it will get played in headphone mode a lot (depending on roommate/dorm tolerance...) So, I think we will pick up a good pair now so that we can use them for all the shopping.


Most people end up owning several pairs of headphones. THere are two basic types. Open and closed. Close are baest atisolating sound in both directions. But at any price point the open headphones will have the best sound. Or said the other way, for any given sound quality the closed headphones will cost double the price of open ones.
Prices are all over the map from "free if you buy a piano" to $500 or more. Price is only a very rough guide to quality.

For shopping you'd like the closed kind as those stores are noisy. But overall I think the open K240 I have offer the best sound per dollar.

Also, pianos don't really stress headphones. A DP's sound is easy to reproduce so the exotic "audiophile" grade headphones are wasted on DPs and you'd be best to shop for the type used in recording studios.

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