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#1659736 - 04/13/11 09:25 PM Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
My current country of residence is Singapore, so it's cool if I can get some localised advice. But otherwise, just advice from all you guys out there is also good!

Links, specifications, etc
Specifications of both pianos:
Korg SP-170 specifications: http://www.korg.com/product.aspx?pd=565
Casio CDP-100 specifications: http://www.casio.com/products/archi...echnical_Specs/

Demonstration of both pianos:
Korg SP-170 demonstration : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSp2zYUItCg
Casio CDP-100 demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZBb...feature=related

The noisy keys on both pianos:
Casio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M52qu052XUg
Korg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1JR...feature=related
(Though the Korg seems to be an isolated case, because I haven't seen anybody else complaining about this problem. The Casio's seems to be recurring.)

Hello everyone!

I have absolutely no experience with pianos, and I'm looking to get a digital piano that can last me for a long time. This doesn't mean I'm willing to shell out for an expensive one, though. I just need something that emulates an acoustic piano closely.

I'm looking at the cheapest digital pianos I can find. Would love to get an acoustic piano, but they're really expensive (Yes, even the cheapest ones. >.>), require maintenance and I have no space in my home.

I've narrowed it down to the Korg SP-170, which currently is selling for only $730 (~550 USD) where I live, instead of the usual $1000 (~800 USD). It seems like a pretty good deal, but still slightly more than I'm willing to spend. Definitely going to spend the money if it's worth it and I can't find a good used digital piano, though.

Another piano that I've been looking at is the Casio CDP-100, which seems to be the cheapest digital piano one can find in the market right now. It is also going for about the same as the Korg where I live.

The obvious decision would be to just get the Korg SP-170, but I've heard both good and bad things about the two pianos. Which one would you recommend? I'm also open to looking at other digital pianos in the price range. (± 50 USD or so)

I actually have a friend helping me ask her friend's dad about used digital pianos because he owns a music shop, but she can only get back to me on Sunday. I'll update the thread when she gets back to me, so I can make an informed and supervised (!) decision.

Here's what I'm looking for in my purchase:
- Good sound (The Casio CDP-100 seems to have pretty bad built-in speakers. The problem can be overcome by using headphones, but I'd rather not do that, actually.)
- Good action
- Relatively inexpensive

The Korg SP-170 doesn't have MIDI in, only MIDI out, and while other than this, it's more or less like the perfect digital piano for me, I'm kind of on the fence because of this. I roughly understand what MIDI in will allow me to do, and while it may seem kind of pointless, another part of me thinks that it's actually a pretty cool feature to have. Any advice on MIDI in?

(Somebody's actually told me that MIDI in on the Korg would be useless because the Korg has no multi-timbrality, and have limited sounds.)

Last but not least, the two pianos seem to have the problem of noisy keys. The Casio's seems to be a recurring problem, while the Korg's seems to be pretty isolated, because that's the only time I've ever seen someone complain about the Korg's noisy keys.

Do all lower-end digital pianos have this problem, or is it just certain units?

Thanks guys! Sorry for the long post. :P


Edited by triface (04/13/11 09:55 PM)

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#1659748 - 04/13/11 09:58 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Greetings and welcome to the forum.
The three basic pianos that many people consider are:
Casio PX-130
Yamaha P-95
Korg SP-170

The Casio PX-130 is a better bet than the CDP-100. CDP 100 is now discontinued and is in the product archive. PX-130 has better action, better sound, and a better piano sample. Any of the three above is a good choice for someone looking for a basic digital. Korg is the newest entry at this price point. I understand there is a revised edition of the SP-170 called SP-170S, where buttons have been added, the volume control moved, and an upgrade in the sound/speakers. You should plan to try out all three of these to see what you like best. The action is the most important consideration. Picking the one that feels right for you is very important. The quality improves as you go up in price. The Yamaha P-155 is a good choice at $1000.

As for noise, they all will make some as these have weighted hammer action. Most excessive noise is due to worn felt that has been compressed or torn. Just like a real paino, they all eventually need service as they have moving mechanical parts.


Edited by galaxy4t (04/13/11 10:20 PM)

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#1659752 - 04/13/11 10:10 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
Hey, thanks for the reply!

I notice that the Casio CDP-100 isn't really recommended. Is it honestly a mediocre piece of instrument?

Will definitely take a look at the Casio PX-130, but if I remember correctly, it's going for about the same price as the Yamaha P-155. It could be another, though. I'll call up the local shops and check with them again!

So far, I haven't seen the SP-170S being sold in any of the stores here. It's just the SP-170 or the SP-250. I think I like the revised edition better, because to be honest, the lack of any buttons on the SP-170 kind of worries me a little. I'm not much of a minimalist.

Will definitely try out different keyboards when I start hunting.

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#1659754 - 04/13/11 10:13 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
If you could get a Yamaha P-155 for the same price as a Casio PX-130 the Yamaha would be the better choice.

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#1659755 - 04/13/11 10:18 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: galaxy4t]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
I'm actually pretty sure I mixed up the prices. :P

Will get back to here when I call them up again.

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#1659822 - 04/14/11 01:35 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Triface,
The CDP-100 shows up in the Celviano group. It uses an older sound source--HL which isn't very good by today's standards. All new Casios use the AIF sound source with 128 voice polyphony. It is good but in my opinion, the Casio products with the ZPI chip had even better sound than the current line up. The action on the CDP-100 is older and heavier. It also tended to be noisier as Casio used metal hammers. Not sure what is used in the new models but they seem quieter. However, some of their new pianos seem to have wobbly keys with too much side to side play so pay attention to that when you start shopping. I think Casio made some trade offs to make their new keyboards more responsive.

If you play a Korg SP-170 you might think that the keyboard isn't weighted. At least to me it didn't feel like hammer action. I think the Korg SP-250 is a better bet than the SP-170. I considered this one a couple years back. I just didn't like the way it looked. The Yamaha P-95 has a very light action. Some people like it, some don't.

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#1659876 - 04/14/11 04:18 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
Hm. So in terms of the action, the CDP-100 actually is heavier, but tends to be noisier, followed by the SP-170 and the P95?

Actually, should I be really worried about light action, or at least, 'unreal' action? I know that transitioning from keyboards that are found on...well, keyboards, and synthesizers to an acoustic piano is really hard, but how hard is it when going from, say, a weighted, but light action to an acoustic piano?

I think the only time I might be playing an acoustic would be when I start taking lessons. Would it be disconcerting to move from a light to a heavy action and back constantly, or would the difference just go away after awhile? If it does go away after awhile, I might start to look at action with a slightly lower priority.

I've actually heard about the wobbly keys thing, so I'll definitely look out for that. Do I just try shifting the keys laterally to see if they actually touch adjacent keys?



Edited by triface (04/14/11 04:22 AM)

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#1660001 - 04/14/11 10:50 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Well all actions are different. This is true even on an acoustic. There is no wrong or right action. It is a subjective thing. You want to find one that is agreeable with you that suits you. Most players don't have any trouble going from a digital to an acoustic. It's a little harder when you are a beginner since you have limited experience and haven't developed your technique, but you will develope a preference for what kind of action you prefer. Don't be afraid to play some expensive pianos so you can compare actions and sound. Take a good pair of headphones to compare sound.

The keys will have some side to side motion on all pianos. The newer Casios just seem to have more.


Edited by galaxy4t (04/14/11 10:51 AM)

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#1660317 - 04/14/11 09:56 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
Ah, okay. That's good to hear!

Will definitely be playing a wide range of pianos to compare. I'll also make sure to look out for the lateral motion. Thanks! You've been really, really helpful!

Will be updating this thread when my friend gets back to me a few days later on the used pianos. Will be doing more research in the meantime. smile

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#1661569 - 04/16/11 10:55 PM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
How does the Suzuki SE-200 hold up to other keyboards in the price range? Here are the specifications: http://www.suzukieurope.com/piano/html/portablepiano.htm

The piano does seem to have more features than would otherwise be commonly available for something in such a price range (currently selling for $999 or 800 USD at Cristofori), but I'm not so sure the action and sound is good. Haven't heard anybody talking about Suzuki at all when it comes to pianos. Are they a good brand to patronise? Or should I just stick to Yamaha, Casio and Korg? smirk

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#1670426 - 05/03/11 04:57 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore] [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
Hm. After doing even more research, I've come to the conclusion that in the event of not being able to find a used one, I'll be getting a Yamaha P95 or the Korg SP-250. Both are selling at about 800 USD (~SGD 1000). The Yamaha comes with a tri-pedal system, while the Korg comes with only a damper pedal as far as I know. Both supports half-pedaling.

Not sure if I've said this, but I'm looking for one that feels as close to an acoustic as possible. Korg does seem to resonate when the bass notes are played. Does the Yamaha also do this? The Korg seems to be using the RH3 action mechanism, which is also on their higher-end pianos as far as I know, while the Yamaha's isn't as good as their high-end. Is the Yamaha's action still better? Yamaha does seem to have better sound, too.

Which one would be recommended? At the end of the day, is the resonation really important? It seems pretty cool, but if the action and sound are superior on the Yamaha, then the resonation is probably the least of my worries, no?

The Yamaha also will hold its value longer, so that's also one of my considerations because I might be selling it in the future (Probably in 4-6 years.).

Does the fact that the SP-250 is a 2005 model put it behind the Yamaha?

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#1670543 - 05/03/11 10:24 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore] [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Well now that you've narrowed it down, you should go with the one you like best. No one can tell which action feels better to you or which piano sounds better. It's all subjective. Two things I dislike about the Yamaha is the action and the single layer piano sample. However, that is my opinion and yours may be different. If I were picking between these two, I would choose the Korg.


Edited by galaxy4t (05/03/11 10:58 AM)

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#1672421 - 05/06/11 08:07 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore] [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
I'm trying my best not to come off as being extremely fickle-minded.

It has come to my attention that the Casio PX-130 is only 80 USD (~SGD 100) more than the Yamaha P95. It's better than the Casio CDP-100, but how would it compare to the Yamaha P95?

I understand that either way it all comes down to my preferences when I test them out for real, but I'd like to see how others think about these pianos before I go out trying them, so at least I have some opinion already formed.


Edited by triface (05/06/11 08:08 AM)

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#1672462 - 05/06/11 10:03 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore] [Re: triface]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
The Casio PX-130 is comparable to the Yahama P-95. It is Casio's entry level model which is a step above the CDP-100. It has more voices (16) than the Yamaha. I think it has better key action and a better piano sample than the Yamaha. If the Korg is still in the running, I would still pick it over these two.

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#1673321 - 05/08/11 12:49 AM Re: Recommendations for digital piano [Country: Singapore] [Re: triface]
triface Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Singapore
Once again...another new piano. smirk

I just found out that one of my local music stores is selling the Kurzweil SP2XS at 30% off. The RRP used to be 1300 USD (~1650 SGD), but it's selling 930 USD (~1155 SGD). I can't fathom why that would be. It might be an old model or whatever. But if it's a good piano, why not?

Here are the specs: http://www.kurzweilmusicsystems.com/Product.php?product=193

I've heard good things about Kurzweil pianos, though I'm pretty sure they were aimed at their acoustics, rather than their digitals. Does anyone have any advice on their digital pianos?

I believe it means that it can't support 3 pedals when it says 1 switch-pedal input and 1 continuous-pedal input, but if it sounds and feels closer than the other pianos mentioned above, that's a worthy trade-off, IMO.

Edit: Just came home from a visit to the music store. Ordered the Yamaha P-95 because my sister (who happened to have experience with acoustic pianos) decided that it felt more similar to the action on an acoustic as compared to the Korg and Casio.

Thanks everyone for the input! Really appreciate it.


Edited by triface (05/17/11 07:02 AM)

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