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#1805942 - 12/14/11 10:08 AM How much less?
jmg3y Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 5
Recent posts suggest that virtual pianos equivalent in sound quality can be assembled for less than recently released high end digital pianos. I'm a rank newbie to this but if so, that isn't the way things work in a lot of competitive markets. Starting from scratch, how much less and what components (computer, sound card, keyboard, speaker system, . . .) are equivalent in sounds, sound quality, and keyboard feel of, say, a Roland FP-7F? Or looking at it another way, what does easy portability or classic looks cost?

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#1805979 - 12/14/11 11:30 AM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
Part of the equation is that you can use a computer for other things. This makes it very cost effective. Buying everything just to make a dedicated piano, not so much. Especially if you don't have one to start with. For example:

Studiologic Numa Nero controller $1299.95
Ivory II grand pianos $319
Mac mini $599

These are Sweetwater's prices. Total: $2297.95
Roland FP-7F -> $1999 Roland wins

Now if you choose a cheaper software package and already have a computer it swings the other way. The controller and the computer can do a lot more than just FP-7F so with additional software you could also have as a host for synths, DAW and create the equivalent of a very high end arranger workstation.

So really the computer wins easily over high end workstations such as the Kronos, PC3K8 & Jupiter 80 each of those are over $3k.


Edited by Kbeaumont (12/14/11 11:41 AM)
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#1806044 - 12/14/11 12:55 PM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
It's very easy and pretty cheap to get software that sounds much better than even high end digital pianos, and the interface and computer to run it. What's not easy is getting a MIDI controller that feels as good or better than a digital piano for a low price. The Numa Nero is considered pretty good, but it's more expensive than many digital pianos that arguably are of similar keyboard quality (like yamaha P155).

For the most part, people who want to go this route end up buying an expensive digital piano and then adding software and a computer to the system to get the improved sounds, so the onboard sounds sort of go to waste. That's certainly true in my case.


Edited by gvfarns (12/14/11 12:55 PM)

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#1806081 - 12/14/11 01:50 PM Re: How much less? [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's very easy and pretty cheap to get software that sounds much better than even high end digital pianos, and the interface and computer to run it.

This is the crux of the present situation/problem IMO. You can flash your big bucks at the DP manufacturers and they will either steer you over to a big piece of looping furniture or completely ignore you. If you want technically the best sound you're on your own and don't let the music shop door hit you on the way out.

Roland SN is currently the only commercial offering in a DP (other than the Korg Kronos) that I'm aware of that isn't looped, though I'm not sure it is entirely in the same category as high end fully sampled PC pianos. If you want a package deal I'd give that a spin if I were you. If you don't need internal speakers the RD-700NX will give you three different pianos (two usable) and a more flexible, arguably easier to understand & navigate internal architecture, along with SN EPs (which everyone says are not authentic sounding), a tonewheel organ (ditto), and a bunch of other sounds. Many like the PHAIII keys, some don't. And you can always plug it into a PC running Ivory or whatever if/when you get tired of the internal sounds. Just a suggestion.


Edited by dewster (12/14/11 01:59 PM)
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#1806200 - 12/14/11 05:10 PM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3837
Loc: North Carolina
Dewster: It seems you're unhappy about the whole situation. But why all the fuss? It's not as though you can't get what you want.

You don't have to mold plastic, design circuits, or write code.

You just hook up computer/amp/speakers/software ... and you're done ... and probably at a lower cost than what you'd pay IF IF IF the YRK folks ever actually sold such a thing.

It seems to me that (piano) life is good.

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#1806267 - 12/14/11 06:59 PM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
Dave Number 4 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/23/11
Posts: 6
I recently purchased a yamaha cp33, galaxy vintage d, and a focusrite audio interface for about $1300, to use with a newish windows laptop that I already had.

I'm pretty happy with it so far. Getting the amplified sound I want for playing live is another story, but that would be the same with an expensive dp.

You'd have to judge the action of whatever cheaper keyboard you were buying for yourself, of course.

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#1806269 - 12/14/11 07:04 PM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
@Dave4, nice combo. Pretty much the gear I would recommend to someone looking to get a lot of great piano for not too much $$. Hope your headphones are great, too.

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#1806279 - 12/14/11 07:25 PM Re: How much less? [Re: MacMacMac]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Dewster: It seems you're unhappy about the whole situation. But why all the fuss? It's not as though you can't get what you want.

You don't have to mold plastic, design circuits, or write code.

You just hook up computer/amp/speakers/software ... and you're done ... and probably at a lower cost than what you'd pay IF IF IF the YRK folks ever actually sold such a thing.

It seems to me that (piano) life is good.

For our studio, for the church my wife plays at, and for her students, a highly integrated and simple turnkey solution is pretty much required. Most people (no criticism intended) can't operate a small mixer without getting into trouble, lord knows what they'd do with a MIDI controller hooked to a PC running Pianoteq piped into powered monitors. It's just asking too much of them.

I don't mean to sound cranky but, except for private healthcare insurance in the US, this is probably the most disappointing market I've ever shopped for anything in. Which is weird because the consumers driving it on the high end are incredibly discerning folk with sky high expectations from their APs.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1806282 - 12/14/11 07:33 PM Re: How much less? [Re: dewster]
Dave Number 4 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/23/11
Posts: 6
Gvfarns: yeah, the vintage d is really nice (as I'm sure other libraries are too). I did a lot of lurking here and elsewhere to figure out what to get , and your reviews helped sell me on galaxy. The trysound website is pretty interesting too, if you can cope with the latency.

I need better headphones, but my rig is primarily for gigging (I have a good AP at home for practicing), so I'm tweaking the sound with a powered speaker mostly at the moment.

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#1806283 - 12/14/11 07:39 PM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
gvfarns Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Let us know if you find speakers that really sound good (though a gigging speaker is possibly quite different from a home setup). The search for good speakers seems a lot more complicated and interminable than the search for good piano action or sound.

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#1806401 - 12/15/11 01:35 AM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: jmg3y
Recent posts suggest that virtual pianos equivalent in sound quality can be assembled for less than recently released high end digital pianos. I'm a rank newbie to this but if so, that isn't the way things work in a lot of competitive markets. Starting from scratch, how much less and what components (computer, sound card, keyboard, speaker system, . . .) are equivalent in sounds, sound quality, and keyboard feel of, say, a Roland FP-7F? Or looking at it another way, what does easy portability or classic looks cost?


They are different things. You can't compare. When you buy a MIDI controller keyboard and if you want one with keys as good as the Roland FP7-F then the cheapest keyboard like that is the Roland FP7-F. No kidding. Same goes if you want keys as good as a Kawai MP10, you have to buy the MP10 to get that.

Yes you can buy a cheaper MIDI controller but that is not what you asked for, you wanted a setup as goods the FP7.


Had you come at this another way and asked for something with keys as good as the Roland but better sound, then you have a good reason to buy the software.

Minimum cost for a reasonable decent setup might be
1) Yamaha CP33 piano and controller $1,000
2) computer and DAW/Recording software, Mac Mini $600
3) Piano software (assuming you don't like the one that comes with the Mac) Let's say $150 for a Sampletekk library in ESX24 format
4) Studio monitors, $250
We are bing cheap so we use the audio interface in the Mac, it is pretty good.. The total is about $2,000. Not a bargain compared to mu $999 Yamaha P155.

The whole reason for going with the software is because you want something better or different, certainly NOT to save money

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#1806409 - 12/15/11 01:57 AM Re: How much less? [Re: jmg3y]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Say a Mac with logic or whatever and Komplete plus your preferred piano library, a reasonable interface , a controller keyboard (88 weighted controllers are expensive) and decent monitors ...well you can forget cheap. Software pianos aren't cheap compared to a DP , they may be a practical solution and cheaper for someone wanting a workstation (Kronos, Motif etc) but I have found them to be in addition to having specific boards not a replacement.
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Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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