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#1724443 - 08/01/11 10:14 AM Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp
mplsearl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/11
Posts: 2
I just bought a simple Casio keyboard Privia PX-330 and Roland KC-150 amp. I need to use both for an outdoor gig, but the location will NOT have power.

I'm looking for a recommendation on a generator which would be suitable to power a Keyboard and Amp which is ultra quiet, for the obvious reason that I do not want generator noise to overpower the music.

I do not need the generator for other purposes (like powering an RV, campsite, my house, etc.). So I do not need "extra" power. Just the minimum to work my keyboard.

The keyboard's power supply says 1.5amps / 12 volts, so I calculate that to be 18 watts. The Roland says it's rated to draw 55 watts. So the total wattage draw is pretty LOW.

Anyone have experience with a generator or battery power system which might work well? The system would need to provide continous power for at least 2 hours. smile

Thanks!
-Earl

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#1724455 - 08/01/11 10:46 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
Vectistim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 317
Loc: Reading, UK
There's a chap on youtube using a Privia out and about, maybe its possible to work out what he uses.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxzkPoVX5YI

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#1724464 - 08/01/11 11:01 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
What will be your energy source?

If you have a nearby car/truck, you can use its battery directly to provide 12 volts. You could plug into the car's cigar lighter or accessory jack. (Cheap.)

Or you can get a power inverter that converts the car's 12 VDC to 120 VAC. Power the keyboard from that. (Not as cheap.)

Searching Google for "car power inverter" ... here are several of the latter for $25 to $35 ...
Peak
Die-Hard
Duracell
XOvision
Whistler

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#1724467 - 08/01/11 11:08 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
+1 for MacMacMac's answer, its what I was going to suggest.

You could also use a motorcycle or boat 12v battery. Or you cold also use 1 or 2 12volt alarm system batteries in parallel.

Make sure you install a fuse at the battery end though! if there is a short circuit on the line or a failure in the keyboard, it will all go up in smoke very quickly because a car battery can deliver a lot of amperage!

If your power source like a car is far away (more than 25 feet), use heavy gauge wire to run from the power source to the keyboard. Why? Resistance! a long wire acts like a resistor and the longer it is, the more resistance, the less voltage and amps (thus watts) at the other end. in a worse case, you would start out with 12 volts and by the time it reached the keyboard it would be down to 10 or 9. The keyboard might still run at this low voltage though!

Last thing: you'll likely need to find the exact coaxial plug to match the socket on the keyboard. A good electronics store would have it, otherwise you would need to chop off the one on your current power adapter. Be sure to observe the proper polarity when wiring the power source!!!

John


Edited by John_In_Montreal (08/01/11 11:12 AM)
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1724586 - 08/01/11 02:41 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: John_In_Montreal]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: John_In_Montreal
Make sure you install a fuse at the battery end though!

If your power source like a car is far away (more than 25 feet), use heavy gauge wire to run from the power source to the keyboard.

You'll likely need to find the exact coaxial plug to match the socket on the keyboard. A good electronics store would have it, otherwise you would need to chop off the one on your current power adapter.
For all that trouble, it's probably cheaper and definitely easier to just buy the inverter. Plug, play, done.

(For those who have the skill and the parts, your advice is entirely valid.)

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#1724919 - 08/02/11 12:31 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: MacMacMac]
mplsearl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/31/11
Posts: 2
Yes, actually - the power inverter solution should work just fine for my needs. I'll give it a trial run before the actual event just to be sure.

Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone. Absolutely brilliant!

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#1724942 - 08/02/11 01:28 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4201
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I wouldn't bother with the inverter. The inverter uses energy itself and I don't see the point in converting from 12VDC to 120VAC back to 12VDC. It wouldn't be hard to rig up something that's easy to attach to a car electrical system. You could probably even pay a local technician to custom make it for you for the price of an inverter.

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#1725015 - 08/02/11 06:43 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2190
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I would definitely get a marine battery. Even if you replace your car battery with one. The reason is the marine battery is a "deep cycle" battery. It is made to provide power, then be recharged. A car battery isn't worth much in providing power. It is designed to provide a quick short burst of power. That's all.
Seems to me. Ideal? A marine battery you carry in the back. Use it with an inverter, if you need 120AC. You can use the car system to recharge the battery.

Just for info. The alternator on a car, generates 120AC. It has a "bridge" on the back which converts it to 12DC. Why? AC generators are much more efficient. Also physically smaller.

Also would have to consider how much power the inverter uses in converting.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#1725022 - 08/02/11 07:18 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
No need for a marine battery. Yes, a car battery can provide hundreds of amps for that short, start up burst. But the piano needs less than 2 amps. The car battery can run for hours under those conditions. There's no need for a deep cycle battery.

Car generators do NOT generate 120 volts AC. They generate a bit more than 12 volts AC. That "converter" on the back is just a bridge rectifier. It converts the power to DC.

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#1725570 - 08/02/11 11:58 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: MacMacMac]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2190
Loc: Rocky Mountains
I hate to argue. I also hate to see people who don't know. End up finding out the hard way.
I have no argument that a typical car battery can deliver a couple amps for hours. But! You will ruin it quickly trying to do that. It won't do that many times. A car battery is closer to a capacitor than a battery. It just ain't designed to do that. You may even ruin it the first time you do that.
The guy could even just replace his car battery with a deep cycle battery. I would rather have a separate one.

The original poster indicated 55 watts for the amp. Then he is closer to pulling 6+ amps from the original DC supply with both the amp and keyboard. That doesn't include wasted power..ie...RVA. Also include further what the inverter actually wastes. Simply talking about an inverter suggests AC. Due to the higher current draw. I would much rather go with a larger deep cycle (marine) battery. They are built to do this and start a motor.
Otherwise....this guy is actually going to have a car supplying background noise the whole time he plays? In other words. Leave the car running? Would be better off with a small Honda generator. They are known for being quiet. Still I wouldn't tolerate any background noise.

On the alternator. I don't need to argue.



Edited by rnaple (08/03/11 12:39 AM)
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#1725655 - 08/03/11 02:47 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: mplsearl
I just bought a simple Casio keyboard Privia PX-330 and Roland KC-150 amp. I need to use both for an outdoor gig, but the location will NOT have power...



A battery can power and AC inverter but as a rule of thumb you need 10 DC amps and ever AC amp. So if your gear needs 2 amps at 120 volts the inverter will pull 20 amps from the battery. That is a moderate load. I just guessed at the 2 amp number. It mostly depends on your PA system as the piano draws nearly nothing. Just look at the back of the amp and there should be a placard. Or look at the fuse and figure it draws less then that.

20 amps times 2 hours is "40 amp hours". Pulling that from a standard car battery would kill it. Buy a deep discharge battery rated for at the very least twice the number of amp hours you need. place the inverter physically near the battery and run extension cord from inverter to your PA and piano.

If you must use a generator buy a Honda. It is the ONLY way to go and yes even the quiet running Honda makes nice so (no kidding) buy a 200 foot #10 extension cord (They sell these to construction workers, check the local lumber yards.) and place the Honda on the other side of a building FAR away from the event.

The deep cycle battery will cost between $100 and $200 and then another like amount for a good SINE WAVE" inverter. Yes, do get the sine wave type if powering audio gear. I thing the best deal in deep cycle batts are golf cart batteries. They are 6 volts so buy two. You wil need a box to put them in and a fuse inside the box.

You will also need a small battery charger to use between gigs and a hand truck to move all this gear. A 200 food #10 extension cord is maybe 50 or 60 pounds

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#1725708 - 08/03/11 07:31 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: ChrisA]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
So if your gear needs 2 amps at 120 volts the inverter will pull 20 amps from the battery.
For 2 amps at 120 volts (240 watts), that's true. He'd pull 20 amps from the battery ... plus a bit more since the inverter can't be 100% efficient.

But the OP doesn't need 2 amps at 120 volts.

He said the piano's supply is rated 18 watts max (1.5 A at 12 V). The piano probably uses a bit less than 18 watts.

The amp says 55 watts (around 0.5 A at 120 V).

So he'll only pull 73 watts total ... or around 0.6 A at 120 V from the inverter.

That translates to 6 amps from the car battery (plus a bit more for the inverter's losses).

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#1727646 - 08/06/11 07:04 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: ChrisA]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2190
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

The deep cycle battery will cost between $100 and $200 and then another like amount for a good SINE WAVE" inverter. Yes, do get the sine wave type if powering audio gear.


That is a good point. A good inverter costs money.

Just food for thought. Instead of going through all this. You could just work with sound proofing a Honda generator. Build a three sided box with a top. Something good for killing sound on the inside surfaces. Something easy to throw together and take apart. Leave one side open because the generator must have air for cooling and breathing. Then also place the generator a good distance behind the stage. Bear in mind. We're talking about a generator that you can stand over it carrying on a conversation without raising your voice. 100 feet away with the sound box around it just might make it tolerable.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#1727683 - 08/06/11 10:10 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2370
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Just a crazy idea if you do end up using a generator and you can't get rid of the sound - try to exploit the sound as a bass drone in your songs, as much as possible. ;^)

Greg.
p.s I have a "silent" generator. A far more accurate word to describe it is "noisy".
_________________________
Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte

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#1727698 - 08/06/11 11:20 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5294
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'll add my voice to the marine\deep discharge batteries as well.
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#1727737 - 08/06/11 12:50 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3771
Another thought... for the cost of a generator, one could buy a battery powered Yamaha or Casio keyboard and a battery powered Roland amp... possibly these can even be rented from a local music store...

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#1727775 - 08/06/11 02:30 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Step 1. Find an amp tech, a local appliance repair store or an electrician.

Step 2. Tell him you want a battery pack for a keyboard for 4 hours of play. Bring the manual and the plug to him or her.

Step 3. Buy a battery powered amp, like the Roland KC-110.

Step 4. Profit. You've got everything you need for outdoor play. You can have everything held together by band-aids and bubblegum, but having simple, professional equipment will pay off in the long run.

On a side note, I have seen a battery powered amp with a 120V plug, but I wasn't able find it with google.
_________________________
Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.

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#1727882 - 08/06/11 05:48 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2370
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I reckon it is probably already possible to power the PX-330 from a 12V battery, because it runs off a 12V power pack. Regardless of how well regulated the power pack is, I'm betting that there would be another regulators inside the PX-330 to drop this down to 5V (or whatever they use these days) for the sensitive digital circuitry.

IF this is true, it'd be cool if Casio could come up with a way to allow battery power to be supported for warranty purposes.

Greg.
_________________________
Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte

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#2430449 - 06/10/15 03:42 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
WRobertP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/25/15
Posts: 1
I have been looking to do the same thing for our Yamaha P-255. On the AC adapter it says input 45W and output 16V 2.4A We really want to play in places where there is no way to plug it into AC.
An electrical engineer friend of mine directed me to a Duracell Powerpack http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-600-Watt-Powerpack-Pro/dp/B009YR00MI
I am wondering if it would supply enough hours of Keyboard use. What do you people think?

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#2430452 - 06/10/15 03:53 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: WRobertP]
David Farley Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 699
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By WRobertP
I have been looking to do the same thing for our Yamaha P-255. On the AC adapter it says input 45W and output 16V 2.4A We really want to play in places where there is no way to plug it into AC.
An electrical engineer friend of mine directed me to a Duracell Powerpack http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-600-Watt-Powerpack-Pro/dp/B009YR00MI
I am wondering if it would supply enough hours of Keyboard use. What do you people think?


That looks pretty cool. I have an older Duracell unit like that but it only gives 200W. I haven't used it to power a piano setup, but it still holds its charge well. They also have a 1,800W unit, although it weighs 58lbs.

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#2430481 - 06/10/15 05:41 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: WRobertP]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
Check the manuals (or the product nameplates) on each piece of equipment. You should find the power consumption specs. Choose a generator that can deliver at least the total power (and more) that your equipment demands.

The power adapter specs (16 V @ 2.4 A out) suggest you need around 40 watts for the piano. But the title/caption of this thread mentions an amplifier, too. You'll need to add that power consumption to come up with a total power requirement.

But remember: power is just the rate at which energy is consumed. It says nothing about how long these portable power products can deliver that power. And, oddly enough, the Duracell web page offers NO pertinent specifications!

One model (the Powerpack 600) sayd that the battery capacity is 26 amp-hours. But we cannot convert that to watt-hours without knowing the battery voltage!

Assuming that it runs from a 12 volt battery (likely, but not certain) ... then 26 amp-hours times 12 volts is 312 watt-hours.

But that's INPUT energy. The DC-to-AC converter efficiency will not be 100%, so you'll get less than 312 watt-hours. How much less? They don't say.

Assuming (guessing) 80% efficiency, it's around 250 watt-hours. That's 250 watts for an hour. Or 125 watts for two hours. Or 50 watts for five hours. (That last figure covers your P155 piano. Is five hours of power long enough to suit?)

Caveat: All of that was built on assumptions:
- 12 volt battery??
- 80% conversion efficiency??
- linear relationship between amp-hours across the range of power consumption??

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#2430500 - 06/10/15 06:36 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
emenelton Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 711
The least expensive option is to get an inverter to connect directly to your car battery and leave your engine run. The cigarette lighter variety will melt down into the cigarette lighter after a short amount of time, you need a higher specked model that connects to your cars battery directly.

The 2 smallest Honda Quiet generators are $799 and $999.

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#2430658 - 06/11/15 09:39 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: emenelton]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3771
Originally Posted By emenelton
The least expensive option is to get an inverter to connect directly to your car battery and leave your engine run.

Not a particularly quiet option, though. Plus you need to be able to get your car reasonably close to where you're playing. And there may also be an issue with the visuals... if you're playing a somewhat elegant affair, a car may not fit the decor.

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#2430688 - 06/11/15 11:15 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: anotherscott]
emenelton Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 711
Originally Posted By anotherscott
Originally Posted By emenelton
The least expensive option is to get an inverter to connect directly to your car battery and leave your engine run.

Not a particularly quiet option, though. Plus you need to be able to get your car reasonably close to where you're playing. And there may also be an issue with the visuals... if you're playing a somewhat elegant affair, a car may not fit the decor.


Your right, but it is quieter than a Honda. The deep power marine batteries are a good way to go but once they run down, you need a day to 'trickle' charge them back up. The other battery alternatives have the same issue.

The Power Bright 1500-Watt Power Inverter is $182.00 plus a 250ft power cord and you have a possible solution.

Appreciate your response.

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#2431124 - 06/12/15 06:30 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: MacMacMac]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2370
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By MacMacMac
And, oddly enough, the Duracell web page offers NO pertinent specifications!


FWIW, in the product description on the Amazon site, it does say:
Quote:

On a full charge a 40W AC appliance can run for approximately 4 hrs


Also, for typical playing, the average power consumption of the P-255 might be significantly lower than 40W, although of course I can't say for sure.

Greg.
_________________________
Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte

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#2431191 - 06/12/15 10:07 PM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
emenelton Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 711
I read the reviews for the Duracell 600 that's linked above there was one musician that reviewed it, very positive.
The musician used it with a vocal speaker, said it lasted 3 hours and was only down 25%.

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#2431217 - 06/13/15 12:31 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: mplsearl]
sullivang Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2370
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Looked up the specs for the P-255 - power consumption is 15W using the supplied power adaptor. Personally, I'd use that for run time estimates rather than the raw maximum rated power of the power supply, and even that could still be conservative.

Greg.
P.S My Casio PX-330 barely registers a reading (when on but not generating any sound) when using a domestic power meter - about 3W,but that's less than the minimum power that can be accurately measured with my meter.


Edited by sullivang (06/13/15 12:33 AM)
_________________________
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#2431297 - 06/13/15 09:19 AM Re: Need Simple, Quiet Generator to power Keyboard and Amp [Re: WRobertP]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12988
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By WRobertP
I have been looking to do the same thing for our Yamaha P-255. On the AC adapter it says input 45W and output 16V 2.4A We really want to play in places where there is no way to plug it into AC.
An electrical engineer friend of mine directed me to a Duracell Powerpack http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-600-Watt-Powerpack-Pro/dp/B009YR00MI
I am wondering if it would supply enough hours of Keyboard use. What do you people think?


If your car doesn't have a DC inverter in it (some later model vehicles have these built-in now), then I second one of these. We own one made by Black & Decker, and it's awesome. We've used it numerous times, and not only can it provide the power you need, but also jump start vehicles, charge phones, and fill tires that are low. So it serves many purposes.
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