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#1779309 - 10/29/11 11:01 AM A trip to the piano shop (another one)
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Every time you experiment with digital pianos in a store, your impressions change quite radically - that's been my experience.

I want a digital piano because (although I have a keyboard synth and midi synth/ rompler modules) I want a permanent fixture in the house where we can just lift the lid and play - in the living room, without having to mess about with patch leads and cables etc. Plus the fact that since I tried to move over to PC (as opposed to Cubase/Atari) to do sequencing/ digital audio, I've been bedevilled with latency problems (and yes, I've tried ASIO and hosts of other solutions but still have problems).

Also, I'm planning to do teaching - both classical piano, some jazz, blues and modern music arranging and some recording technology. So a cabinet style piano would be an ideal focal point, as it were, to have lessons, practice sessions, especially for young pupils.

Pianos in my range I've been most impressed with are:
Yamaha YDP 161 - great for the price - nice all round solid DP. GH action pretty good. (about €930)
Roland F 110 - very impressive sound and features in a beautiful compact form. Crap keyboard feel (PHA alpha II)(about €1000)
Korg SP250. Really good - ok key feel, ok sounds - good deal but not what I'm looking for. (about €650)
Roland HP - 305. Beautiful detailed piano sound, reasonable amplifiers and speakers, very good PHA II keyboard action. Great stock of extra sounds & others features. My favourite but really quite expensive.

This was my first trip to the store with headphones. I tried the Roland HP 305 first. Basically, I was a bit disappointed - there was definitely an intrusive resonance (like a strong overtone component but too much) in a group of notes around A4 - D5). There is not 'piano designer' or even EQ on this piano, so looks like you're stuck with it.

Also, I thought the first (steeper) decay phase sounded unnatural - or certainly NOT Super Natural, at any rate. There is a lot of detail in the sound, but it's far from realistic IMO.

Then the HP 307 - the action of PHA III is definately a little better - freer flying key down - but pretty similar to HP 305's PHA II. There was the same intrusive ringing on the octave C4 - C5 but a couple of semi-tones lower down! (I'm only reporting what I heard - repeatedly, folks!) I experimented with piano designer (but not the 'duplex' setting, unfortunately - dunno if that would have helped).

Although the HP307 amp and speakers are better, the bass end was too boomey. This is a problem I found with the Yamaha CLP 470 - it was very evident and veery unsatisfactory (IMO!) - so preferred the HP 305 in that respect.

Also, with all of these models, there is a very restricted response when it comes to ff+ velocities - it's almost as if you're playing everything going through a compressor or limiter......looks like I'm expecting too much??

...Then I went to a Yamaha dealer round the corner - old style, rather expensive type of establishment. I tried YDP 161 again - no change of opinion - good DP but not a very exciting prospect, quite frankly.

The shop man pointed out a CLP 330 (a model I'd never considered before - bit of an expensive inbetweeny) but he says, since it's a discontinued line, he'd do a 25% discount - but the price tag is high, for such old technology (c. 1760).

Having said that, I found the overall experience good - reasonably substantial balanced sound (despite mere 20watt rating) and good feel from GH3 keyboard. But limited features and recording. His 'discount price' would work out about €1325). This would certainly take care of the classical piano teaching aspect (though no twin keys option, I don't think - pity!). But it's hardly state of the art stuff - far from it. But the piano sound was overall very good.

What to do???...I would love to try these legendary Kawai actions - CN33 and CA13 in particular would be within my range. They sound good on line - but then again, the Roland HPs sound fantastic online (!!). And they look absolutely beautiful in terms of design. But I do not find any Kawai DP dealers in Portugal. Again: pity!
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1779336 - 10/29/11 11:45 AM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yeah I really hate it when online demos are uninformative or misleading. Nothing like trying out the piano yourself. The only problem is that it seems so hard to be able to do that with Kawai, almost regardless of where you live.

Best of luck to you!

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#1779349 - 10/29/11 12:19 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Thanks gvfarns. One thing it's forced me to do is dust down my midi stuff and try out the sequencing/ multitracking systems on those again because if I can get a satisfactory system up and running and easy to use and demo for other people (learners) - then the recording/ sound bank extras on the DP I get will be even less important - I already have them - just not so convenient as they would be direct from the DP.

Anyway, that would point me more in the direction of Yamahas and (yes, the highly elusive) Kawais, rather than the Rolands which I had thought I was sold on!
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1779359 - 10/29/11 12:46 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
bbent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 95
Loc: CA, USA
Toddy,

I found that it is crucial to use your own headphones to audition a new DP and be able to compare 'apples to apples' when comparing the sound you hear to other DPs using the same headphones. Even then, it is often problematic to get a fair test because of the high noise level often present in the store. The most important information I was able to get from auditioning new DP candidates was how the action was, the 'look and feel' of the DP, and a first-order guess at the sound. Luckily, there are generally many sources to audition for how the DP can sound besides the retailer. Don't forget that the DP's sound will be different in your listening environment than whatever you hear in the store (here I'm referring to the sound from the speakers, not the headphones) because of the interaction of the DP's sound with the acoustics of the space you put it in.

So, to sum up, plan on getting information you need to help you choose the best action and user interface by auditioning the DP in the retail store. Use the various online sources for auditioning the DP's sound to complete the information necessary to complete the selection process.

One last note, if you find a DP that fits your needs for the budget, action and user interface, but you're not too impressed with the sound, don't forget that you can always use the DP as a MIDI controller for a software piano (like Ivory II) that will almost certainly be better than most DP's sounds.

Good luck.
_________________________
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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#1779371 - 10/29/11 01:20 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
DazedAndConfused Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Greenwich, London, United King...
Toddy,

If you could live with the compact form of the F110, could you live with an FP7-F with the dedicated stand?

You would get a keyboard as good (if not better) than that on the HP307, superNATURAL sound and the Piano Designer for less than the cost of an HP305.

I agree with you on the default sound C4-C5 being the weakest octave but I have had some success using stretch tuning in this area to tweak the sound to my taste.
_________________________
Currently working on:
Poulenc, Mouvements Perpetuels
Shostakovich, Prelude & Fugue no. 5
Beethoven, Sonata in F Op. 10 No. 2

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#1779388 - 10/29/11 01:55 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Hi, Bob,

Thanks for the advice - I'll certainly look into Ivory II et al. Again, the information I'm getting is pushing me back in the direction of Yamaha where I started off - YDPs, low end or older CLPs. And making me even more curious about the Kawais - especially CA13 which has an action people here say is second to none. That would be the main reason for having a DP over sticking with lighter weight keyboards and workstations.

Will make another headphone sortie next week. It's quite fun, anyway.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1779391 - 10/29/11 02:01 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Dazed and Confused - yes, I could live with the stage piano plus solid stand (though on this occasion would prefer the convenience of the imitation mini piano - fixed pedals, music stand, lounge furniture - all these are little but significant points)....but the trouble is, in Portugal, the F7 is more expensive than the HP 305, at least where I've asked for quotes - so I don't think it's the solution. Though I very much appreciate where you're coming from with the increased quality and programmability with the FP 7f
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1779916 - 10/30/11 01:30 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
....the Roland FP 7F is a temptation but we'd spending be around the €2000 mark with that: simply too much. So to go back to the other extreme, still thinking about the Yamaha CLP 330. Pros and Cons:

Cons:Boring, outdated technology.
Limited number of sounds and recording possibilities
No split mode
Discontinued line

Pros:
Discount because discontinued. Can attempt to bargain.
Yamaha clp build quality
Has the very good GH3 keyboard action
Sounded good(need to listen more carefully before I make offer)

So, for this not very exciting outdated, but new Clavinova (with GH3), what should I offer? Price tag was around 1760 euro ($2500!!, and) with 25% discount would be about €1320 or $1868.

I think this is too much, but the shop man was talking as if it was a chance of a lifetime - he didn't even want to write it down on his calling card because it's a 'special deal' not to be publicised!


Edited by toddy (10/30/11 10:21 PM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1779936 - 10/30/11 02:05 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
moleskincrusher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 169
Is it impractical to suggest the Yamaha P155? Priced under $1,000 in the US, much recommended on this forum as among the best DP values, and has available I believe it's own dedicated stand a la Roland's FP range.

It's my favorite Yamaha (for piano sound and action) until you get to the AGs.

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#1780057 - 10/30/11 06:33 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Toddy,

I suggest to try the Kawai CL-36 or CN-33, don't know for the sound, but I personnaly liked the action. I guess cheaper than the CA 13, no ?

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#1780065 - 10/30/11 06:44 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Hi Zack. You know I'm just checking some more online reviews of the CN33 - I'm very impressed with this piano from all I've read, seen and heard online. The big problem is I can't audition it here (I'm in Porto, Portugal) because there aren't any dealers here at all. But I'm almost tempted to order it from a good online dealer (Thomann, probably) and take the enormous risk of buying it without actually trying it.

It's just the action of the keys - I cannot be sure that I would like it, but from the reviews and owners comments, I'm almost sure I would....
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

Top
#1780070 - 10/30/11 06:50 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
moleskincrusher. No - it's not at all impractical. Certainly seems it has a lot of fans here, and I picked it out as one of the better sounds from various youtube clips.
I've looked into it, and it would cost at least 1100 euro plus the costs for solid stand and fixed pedalboard. Unless the sound is significantly better than the lower CLPs, it probably would not be worth it. I’m really looking for a console type piano, I’ve decided.

I'm considering which would be better: Yamaha CLP 330 with the advantage of good GH3 action that I have actually tried, or the Kawai CN33 with a very high reputation and basically everything I want from a DP, plus very elegant design. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Kawai CN33 or Yamaha CLP330? (with the Yamaha CLP 330 working out a little cheaper, but not much)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1780073 - 10/30/11 06:56 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
zack! Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 239
Loc: france
Hum, difficult to buy without a try...

My feeling, on CL-36, is that keys are very "stable" and precise (seem robust), but at the same time the touch is lighter and more responsive than P155 for example (but heavier than casio for example). The ivory touch is "good looking" and give extra "confort". I read you can "tune" the "weight" of keys. I also know ther is an "echappement" (don't know the english term), just at raise up of the key on CN33, which is supposed to mimic hammer "release" motion or something. Seems more realistic in term of dynamic, but I could live without on CL-36.

But, I am beginner my advice has little value... What other are saying ?

Edit : i did a mistake, actually CN33 has double escapment (to mimic piano grand, at half raise/release for quick repetition). Actually, you feel a light bump at mid strocke... Sorry for unaccuracy...


Edited by zack! (10/30/11 09:53 PM)

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#1780097 - 10/30/11 07:25 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
I own a CN33 and am very satisfied with it, BUT I really don't recommend spending this amount of money without trying it. There may be some nuance about it that you regret. Perhaps if it was half the price you could take the risk depending on the size of your wallet...

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#1780133 - 10/30/11 08:33 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
don't feel bad. I've probably been like 30 times since august. although I can't really pick the best one for you. i am getting closer to getting the yamaha 141 for now. it suits my needs
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1780173 - 10/30/11 09:33 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
toddy, I have asked one of my colleagues working in the European sales section, and he recommends that you contact Kawai's Portuguese distributor 'CUSTÓDIO CARDOSO PEREIRA' for information regarding the pricing/availability of Kawai digital pianos in Portgual.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1780183 - 10/30/11 09:49 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
Rostosky Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 3339
Loc: Lost in cyberspace.in the UK.
Small point "discontinued" so are the parts as well... if anything goes astray?
worth checking out and asking about..
_________________________


Rise like lions after slumber,in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew
which in sleep has fallen on you. Ye are many,they are few. Shelley

Founder and creator ofRostoskys 13th crystal skull project

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#1780190 - 10/30/11 10:00 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Thanks for the contact James, I'll see what I can find from them. There are Kawai acoustics in some shops here but not digitals.

Rostosky, the CLP 330 is recently discontinued and I think Yamaha will support owners of these for a few years yet. Model ranges are typically turned around about every 3-5 years anyway, I reckon. But I'll check that out if I decide to go for that piano, yes.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1780198 - 10/30/11 10:12 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3788
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: toddy
... thinking about the Yamaha CLP 330.
Con: Boring, outdated technology.
You don't play technology. You play a piano. So let your ears and fingers evaluate the piano, and don't worry about the technology.
Quote:
Con: Discontinued line
Any piano you buy will be discontinued, perhaps in a year but surely within three. Anyway, the next generation piano will be virtually the same, with minor cabinet restyling. That's all! No worries.
Quote:
What should I offer? Price tag was around €1760 ($2500) ... with 25% discount would be about €1320 ($1868). I think this is too much, but the shop man was talking as if it was a chance of a lifetime.
Was the €1760 figure the list price, or was it the dealer's asking price?
If it were list price, I'd take 40% off, and make that the offer. If this were a current model, I'd allow the dealer to pull me up to just 35% off list, or maybe 30% off. But not in this case ... not for a discontinued model. The prices paid thread includes six sales of the CLP330 in the US:
$2195
$1875
$2390
$1599
$1700
$1700
So $1868 is nothing special. Even less so for a discontinued model.
Caveat: Not sure how European pricing compares to US.
Suggestion: The ukpianos.com online dealer will ship to many places in Europe. Do they have this model available? At what price?

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#1780216 - 10/30/11 10:33 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Thanks for the research there, Mac. I've checked around and the 330 doesn't seem to be available any more from UK Pianos or Gear4 Music or Thomann. The 320 is still going but not the other glp 3xx models. The €1760 price was the shop's original asking price and was on a printed card on the piano. Bargaining is not normal in Portugal afaics, but there would be room for manoeuvre with an old model, perhaps - but I don't hold my breath.

But I agree with you that the age of the technology and relative pricing elsewhere is of secondary importance. Fact is, the piano seems a fairly good option for me. Even so,I'm going to try to find out more about the Kawai CN33 which would cost roughly the same, first.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1780524 - 10/31/11 01:47 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
James, I have been trying to contact CUSTÓDIO CARDOSO PEREIRA as you suggested and have phoned their chief sales rep twice, but both times it seems he terminated the call for some inexplicable reason when I said I was looking for a distributor for Kawai DPs.

I then wrote using their email message portal outlining the problem but this facility doesn't work (send button leads to 'The page cannot be displayed' message). So that looks like a non starter.

The Yamaha CLP 330 is looking more and more like the best choice - but the price the fellow is asking is too high in my opinion - higher than most of the prices paid (on the Prices Paid thread here, as Mac has listed above) for the piano even when it was a newer (and certainly not discontinued) model.

Fact is, the shop which has them is stock operates at very high asking prices - whether these are the actual list prices (which are unrealistically high by all accounts) or genuine asking prices or bargaining positions, I'm not sure, but I think they are actual asking prices - probably with no more than free delivery and a stool thrown in.

Perhaps I should just go there and offer what I think is a fair price: €1150 - 1220, and stick to that. If it doesn't work, I can always walk away and wait for another deal to come up.

By the way, the UK Pianos price for the new CLP 430 is €1576 - considerably less than this local shop was asking for the older CLP330.


Edited by toddy (10/31/11 01:49 PM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1780643 - 10/31/11 04:48 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3510
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: toddy


The Yamaha CLP 330 is looking more and more like the best choice - but the price the fellow is asking is too high in my opinion - higher than most of the prices paid (on the Prices Paid thread here, as Mac has listed above) for the piano even when it was a newer (and certainly not discontinued) model.


As the buyer and given the 330 is a superseded model, you hold the power. Tell him the price you are prepared to pay and stick by it. Chances are he will back down. The problem with salespeople is that they generally like to have the upper hand all the time. They want to be in control of the information, and they create the myths about why this 330 is so special and unique, and also why it's such a bargain. This type of stuff is usually baloney. You have to see through all the games and decide if it's the keyboard you want. If you decide it is, forget concerns about what the dealer thinks, how the deal is "once in a lifetime" or how this deal is "bleeding him dry", just decide what you are prepared to pay and make him an offer. Tell him you will have to walk if he can't take the deal. You'd be amazed at what a dealer will accept once you take back to power. Believe me, as a buyer in today's market, you have the power. Anything that is 5-10% over his cost price will get the deal done - especially on a superseded model that very few customers have shown an interest in.

This approach may not be in your natural personality so you may have to psych yourself up or bring somebody along for moral support. I think you will get the DP you want for a lot less than you thought was possible. So, get out there and make it happen. It'll change your purchasing life once you learn to talk tough because you'll never pay full price for anything ever again. I certainly haven't in the last 20 years.

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#1780673 - 10/31/11 05:13 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Ando - I think you're right cool . As I say, I've got what I think is a reasonable price in mind: €1200. It's not exactly the sort of bargain I'd be looking for 2nd hand - just a fair price.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1780686 - 10/31/11 05:36 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
toddy, thank you for the information - I will pass this on to my European sales colleagues.

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1780700 - 10/31/11 06:05 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
James, it would be good if Kawai could have their products more widely distributed for local demonstration and sale - especially as the considered opinion of contributors to this forum is that a piano buyer must try it personally before making a commitment to buy.

I don't know what happened with the phone call - maybe we were cut off (twice?), but I didn't feel like ringing for a third time. As for the email window - yes, that was very poor. That sort of failure on a web site - especially one of a large company which boasts of a proud history on its home page - is very annoying!

Thanks for your efforts, anyway.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1783417 - 11/04/11 10:41 PM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1589
Loc: Portugal
Got a puncture yesterday going to work. It was bucketing down so I got wet, too. Coming home, I had to walk again, since I don't go around with a puncture repair outfit and pump. Took a different route home and passed a music shop I'd never bothered with before: grimy old place, off the beaten track, no information on-line at all. I thought it must be a specialist shop of some sort.

But once inside, I was most impressed. The place was chockablock with instruments of all kinds, all rather untidy and with a lot of down at heel, sloppily dressed folks wondering around: my kind of place.

Anyway to my surprise there were dozens of pianos (including some acoustics) stuck along the end of an aisle. Yamaha, Casio, Roland, Kurzwiel and even a Kawai MP6, and not a soul in sight - they just left me too it. So, at last a proper comparative keyboard test!

I did the rounds and found the Yamahas too resistant for my liking including the GHS, GH and GH3 – only that the GH and GH3 felt more defined.

The Casios were a little better, I thought – more transparent feel. But they seemed really quite flimsy compared to all the others.

The Kawai MP6, which I believe has the same keyboard as the CN33 and CN43 that I was on the verge of ordering without trying first was a disappointment. I thought the keyboard good but really rather similar to the Yamaha GH3 but with the escapement notch.

But the clear winner was, for me, the Roland keyboards (apart from the inferior PHA alpha II). The model I was trying was the HP 302 – entry level cabinet design, but with the all important PHA II and SN sound driver. Now this felt much better – defined, nicely weighted but not over-done: as if you’re pushing weights, but in a well balanced machine.

The only piano in the shop with a better piano type keyboard (including the actual acoustics, which were Yamaha uprights) was the Roland LX-10F which has PHA III. For some reason, I noticed a very clear difference between the two this time. But it is well over €3000. However, I do understand why people on this forum advocate the FP 7f as a good option as it has that same keyboard for 2/3 that price.

Another thing that I liked about the HP 302 was the feel of the key tops – not ‘ivory feel’ but certainly with enough friction for me. And the amplifier and speakers, although only 12w, are loud enough for the room I’m going to have the piano, too. The sound is not great, but DPs are generally no more than adequate unless you get the top of the range stuff. Easy solution: hook it up to another system when you want the best sound.

I also noticed that the Yamahas were expensive: €1100 odd for the YDP 161, for example. But the Rolands were actually cheaper than the other shops. The ‘discount’ price is €1580 in three other shops, and even more on-line from Thomann or Gear4 Music. But here it had a 1482 price tag: things were looking good for the Roland 302.

Then a chap with a whiskery face and appeared. He had a pleasant, laid back approach. Turned out to be the owner. I remarked that the Yamaha 161 was expensive: I could get it cheaper in town. So he says we could do a deal. So I said, and this Roland: €1480 – surely he could do better than that, cash deal. (I mentioned my bike puncture problem at one point - thought it might help my case) So he said the Rolands were already heavily discounted but maybe he could arrange something. In the end we finished at €1350, satin black, free delivery and installation, if I wanted.

So that’s it, he brought it round this morning, and I opened up the boxes and set it up with my son this afternoon. It’s better than I hoped. For example, the problem I mentioned above with the HP 307 (same piano but with bigger amp, ivory keys and one or two extra niceties), is now solved. It turns out that the unpleasant resonance was actually the headphones I was using. When I do the same test with my old AKG 240 headphones (bought in 1978) everything sounds fine. Also, I’ve tweaked a few settings and got it sounding even better.
It really sounds as much like a grand piano under my fingers as I can reasonably expect. One very happy customer. And extremely grateful for the advice, tips and information I’ve got from many of you.

- Do try the keyboards yourself: no one else’s opinion is going to do the job: check!
- Use a DECENT pair of headphones: check!
- Bargain with the man. It might work. If it doesn’t, you can always walk out, problem solved: check!
- Never berate a bicycle puncture. It might be the harbinger of something good.

Oh, and thanks to Dewster’s DPBSD, too. Listening very carefully to those audio files also convinced me that the Roland SN sound was, after all, pretty special.


Edited by toddy (11/05/11 05:59 AM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1783509 - 11/05/11 05:24 AM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2323
Loc: UK
Nice story toddy. I think you got the Roland HP302? Good keyboard action, sounds OK with headphones. Congrats.

Your story confirms an important point, you have to try and hear these products for yourself.


Edited by spanishbuddha (11/05/11 05:26 AM)

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#1783545 - 11/05/11 08:06 AM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8869
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Congrats on your new piano toddy, and for stumbling upon that gem of a store!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

Top
#1783555 - 11/05/11 08:36 AM Re: A trip to the piano shop (another one) [Re: toddy]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: toddy
Oh, and thanks to Dewster’s DPBSD, too. Listening very carefully to those audio files also convinced me that the Roland SN sound was, after all, pretty special.

I'm glad it was some use to you - hope you enjoy your shiny new DP!
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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