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#1854782 - 03/02/12 08:47 AM General prices of popular DPs
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 89
The popular brands for DPs are: Roland, Kawai, Yamaha and Korg.

Roland and Kawai and generally very good in terms of sounds and key action. But prices are considered to be quite high.

Yamaha sells DPs for everyone. They have entry levels at very affordable prices and the very luxurious for the exclusive few.

Korg products are considered the least expensive compared to the usual popular brands. Many performing artistes also use Korg. Sounds and action are quite good too.

Above are general observations. Any comments?

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#1854809 - 03/02/12 09:24 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1320
Loc: Portugal
Opening salvos -

-Perhaps the original list should have included Casio digital pianos, whose home keyboards are world beaters in terms of quality and price (along with Yamaha)

- Kawai and Yamaha are the only ones who are also manufacturers of top quality upright and grand pianos.

- They are all Japanese. But a couple of other serious players: Nord by Clavia (Swedish) and Kurzweil (US/ Korean) are not.

- Both Korg and Roland are highly innovative synth and electronic music instrument makers of phenomenal success. Both grew up the shadow of Moog and ARP, in a sense.

- There are several other brands such as Williams and Classenti about whom it is difficult to find much useful information....Suzuki too. But these are all enticingly but suspiciously cheap.

- Yamaha is king of the castle, and rightly so: quality of build, range and variety, equally as innovative as Roland and Korg - especially in the digital domain (DX7/RX7 etc etc), astonishing output of traditional keyboard and orchestral musical instruments (instruments of choice for many pro musicians) and electronic musical instruments. Glenn Gould famously ditched his Steinway in favour of a Yamaha concert piano. they also do motorbikes and outboard motors of great beauty.


Edited by toddy (03/02/12 09:48 AM)

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#1854827 - 03/02/12 10:08 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3669
Loc: North Carolina
In sales, perhaps Yamaha is king.

But I just cannot agree with this part ...
... "Yamaha is king of the castle ... equally as innovative as Roland ..."

I would re-phrase it as ...
... "Yamaha is the dunce of the dump ... about as innovative as an ice cube ..."
... "Innovation means nothing to us. We sell the same stuff year after year after year, and people buy it!"

Roland makes improvements ... supernatural piano, etc.
Kawai makes improvements ... soundboard resonator, all-wood keys, etc.
Yamaha makes ... mostly the same pianos in 2012 that it made in 2000, with just of bit of cabinet re-shaping.

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#1854840 - 03/02/12 10:21 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1320
Loc: Portugal
Well, if you say so Mac. From a personal standpoint, I'm in the Roland camp fair and square - the mix of features, especially SN, swings it for me. And I agree that Kawai possibly make the most attractive proposition for the serious DP market minus the very top end. Their keyboards have been improved to the point that many people say they're the best of the lot, and their design and cabinetry is excellent.

However, over the total range, and taking the long view (not just a snap shot) I'd still say Yamaha are an innovative bunch. Could do better on the CLP front, in this respect, certainly.
_________________________
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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#1854946 - 03/02/12 02:12 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yamaha has just owned so much of the digital piano market for a long time that their brand adds more value than innovation does. They did a lot of innovation in the past and got their pianos to where they have a good action and sound good. Then they sort of stopped. They have tons of models, and their sounds in top models are very good indeed. I do agree that they haven't innovated much lately--still using the same old actions and small modifications of the same tones that they have been using for years. Doesn't mean their pianos aren't good, just that they haven't changed.

Kawai has always been a much smaller player in the digital market. They don't offer as many models and don't have as many retailers. They have innovated in the sense that they have come up with several newer and better actions--and they started with very good actions. Their sounds have improved only in the same sense that Yamahas have. Newer versions sound better but their character hasn't changed much. HI -> PHI -> UPHI, the newer ones just sound like better versions of the older ones. There's no radical departure here. I applaud their innovations, but I wouldn't say they innovate at the rate we expect of manufacturers of electronics. For example, where are the three-sensor actions?

Both Kawai and Yamaha will always be limited in their sounds because for their acoustic piano voices they are only willing to sample from their own instruments.

Roland has been a big player in electronic music for a long time. Acoustic people are less likely to know the brand, but every electronic musician knows them. They've made some real innovations soundwise with the V piano and to a lesser degree the SN sounds. And they started out with winning sounds. So that's good innovation. They have come up with several actions in recent years, so I guess that counts as innovation as well. In my opinion this was necessary because some of their older actions were horrible. Actually I don't care for their latest and greatest actions personally, but many people here do.

The big three differ in how much they have innovated, but I don't think they differ a lot in terms of quality at a given price point. If anything, the best innovator (Roland) loses the quality/price battle because they tend to cost a lot. I think of both Kawai and Yamaha as being better at delivering budget products.

Casio has made low-end products from the beginning. They are sort of expanding their line up into real digital pianos, but I have yet to encounter one I think of as on par with the $1000+ pianos from the big three. It's hard to compare their price/quality with the big three because most of their models are below almost all of the big three models. When they make a piano that competes with the flagships of the other three, I will take them more seriously. Their nicer pianos compete very well with, for example, the Yamaha P95, but that's not the place where you earn respect as a DP manufacturer.


Edited by gvfarns (03/02/12 02:19 PM)

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#1854978 - 03/02/12 03:15 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1320
Loc: Portugal
Does that include the Casio Celvianos? Because they certainly look like attempts to compete with the CLPs, HPs and CNs from the big three.

I ask because the only Casio pianos I've actually tried were a CDP 120, which held up very well against the Yamaha P95 - in fact, I think they keyboard action was better - and the PX (800 ??) which was truly awful - felt like a joke keyboard - so I really don't have much to go on here. Same with the Kawai range, sadly.

But Casio is potentially very good value because of 1. their relatively down market reputation and 2. their possibly greater economies of scale than manufacturers like Roland and Kawai.


Edited by toddy (03/02/12 03:17 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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#1854981 - 03/02/12 03:20 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
You know, I'm not an expert on Casio--I'm most familiar with their Privia range. So take my Casio comments with a grain of salt.

To me, Casio in the DP world is kind of like when Sony came in to the dSLR world. At first it seemed like the entrenched players had the market tied up, but Sony keeps bringing new innovations, though it still has a small market share. I sort of see Casio doing the same thing. Most of their pianos feature a three sensor action, and their sound is apparently pretty good, though lots of people say their sustain is too short (as it is in many digitals).

My issue with Casio is that even as they expand to a higher range with better cabinetry, speakers, and features, my understanding is that they use basically the same action in all their pianos, and it compares with Yamaha's GHS, not their nicer GH/GH3 action. But I haven't actually played any higher-end Casios recently, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. Unfortunately Casio doesn't have a presence in any nearby piano store.

As I look at the tech specs, I have a hard time seeing how the Celviano line has anything significant over the Privias. I kind of think they are just higher priced and nicer looking, but I could be wrong.


Edited by gvfarns (03/02/12 03:30 PM)

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#1854995 - 03/02/12 03:37 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: gvfarns]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3669
Loc: North Carolina
I really don't see this as the major limitation ...
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Both Kawai and Yamaha will always be limited in their sounds because for their acoustic piano voices they are only willing to sample from their own instruments.
If only Yamaha could make their digital pianos sound even a little bit like a Yamaha acoustic piano!

But no! They sound like crap ... from the low-end P-series to the top-level CLPs and CVPs.

The limitation is not in their choosing just one piano.
It lies in their poor quality sampling.

When I speak of their lack of innovation, I mean to say that today's line of Yamahas is scarcely different from those sold over ten years ago. That's NOT innovation.

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#1855018 - 03/02/12 04:08 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 563
Originally Posted By: motifmm6
Above are general observations. Any comments?
I'll let everyone else argue about innovation and sound quality. I've owned Yamaha and other brands. I'll just add that Yamaha support has been extraordinary for me. Beyond what I thought could still exist in today's business world.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, Ravenscroft 275, True Keys American D, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1855118 - 03/02/12 06:14 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: MacMacMac]
Bogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 132
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I really don't see this as the major limitation ...
If only Yamaha could make their digital pianos sound even a little bit like a Yamaha acoustic piano!But no! They sound like crap ...

When I speak of their lack of innovation, I mean to say that today's line of Yamahas is scarcely different from those sold over ten years ago. That's NOT innovation.


1. I have never owned a Yamaha DP to 'get tired of the sound', just played some in the shop. To me it sounded very realistic! Definitely better than the default SN piano from Roland, which seems unnatural/overprocessed/too damn sharp (precise)! I can see why some people say it's everything they wished for...but definitely not my kind of thing!

2. Yamaha continues to innovate: the action in AvantGrand [although Kawai had a similar product, don't know who was first, but I'm sure that the AvantGrand sells better, so kudos to them for marketing such a product better] and the other way around: putting a sampled piano on an upright[the silent uprights which I heard are best of the class]

P.S: I'm not a Yamaha fan-boy. I own a Korg and plan on upgrading to a Kawai
_________________________
old Gaveau upright & Kawai CA63; previously Korg SP250

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#1855124 - 03/02/12 06:20 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: MacMacMac]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
But no! They sound like crap ... from the low-end P-series to the top-level CLPs and CVPs.

The limitation is not in their choosing just one piano.
It lies in their poor quality sampling.


I'm a little surprised to hear you say this. No accounting for taste, I guess. I like Yamaha digital piano sounds. More than Kawai, for example. In fact, in many ways I like them as well as Roland's sounds, even the newest SuperNatural sounds. The biggest advantage of Roland's sounds, to my ears, is that they are sampled from better pianos: Steinways probably.

That's why I say the fact the Yamaha and Kawai only sample from their own pianos is a major limitation: it limits the quality and the diversity of their samples.

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
When I speak of their lack of innovation, I mean to say that today's line of Yamahas is scarcely different from those sold over ten years ago. That's NOT innovation.


Agreed. Though they did good innovation to get to where they were 10 years ago, I guess.


Edited by gvfarns (03/02/12 06:23 PM)

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#1855206 - 03/02/12 08:18 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: gvfarns]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3669
Loc: North Carolina
I'm surprised that you're surprised! smile
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm a little surprised to hear you say this.
You seem to regularly use piano libraries, including some of the same ones that I use.
After listening to Ivory and Galaxy, my ears just won't tolerate the native Yamaha sounds.

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#1855232 - 03/02/12 09:06 PM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: MacMacMac]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 591
Korg was my first love; although I have only ever owned a Triton LE and Korg SG Rack.
But, in terms of pianos, they are defintely almost extinct in the console piano department.
True, they do have the SV1, LP350, SP250, and SP170(S) but that it is it at the moment. Not that it is a bad thing but the LP350 is essentailly the same as the SP250; they have been focusing their product emphasis elsewhere.

I find Rolands to be overpriced, but not in a bad way. Its just that the most portable piano they have is triple the price of their competitors

I think Casio has made great strides the last several years. I am very impressed with the PX830 and AP620. The ivory touch being the main thing

Overall, although I like a Steinway sound a little better than a Yamaha one, I find that Yamaha provides the most options, and an experience that feels more natural than the others.

18 months ago when i was sitting and trying instruments I found sitting at a YDP140 to be more authentic than other boards at the time. In addition, I find the decay on the Yamaha's to be more realistic than Casio for example.
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
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#1855310 - 03/03/12 12:32 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: MacMacMac]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I'm surprised that you're surprised! smile
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I'm a little surprised to hear you say this.
You seem to regularly use piano libraries, including some of the same ones that I use.
After listening to Ivory and Galaxy, my ears just won't tolerate the native Yamaha sounds.


Actually you are right that only piano libraries can satisfy me now, but I don't consider Yamaha's sounds noticeably behind other brands. Onboard sounds are just limited, regardless of which brand makes them.

I'd rather play a clavinova than the main upright I regularly play. I'd also rather play a clavinova than any Roland I've played.


Edited by gvfarns (03/03/12 12:33 AM)

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#1855434 - 03/03/12 09:45 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
On topic: I would agree with your general observations but I'd exclude Korg from the other three. They just aren't a big enough player yet for my liking.

Continuing on from gvfarns: I sold both my acoustics back in the nineties because they didn't give me the response and satisfaction that I get from the Clavinova.
I used to have regular, if infrequent, access to a well maintained Bluthner concert grand (up to five hours a week, two or three weeks a year). I've been playing piano since I was nine (I'm 57) so I know what a good piano sounds like.

The Clavinova sounds as good on tape as a real piano. It sounds better in Beyer DT100's than any upright I've ever played. It sounds as good when someone else is playing it (i.e. listening from a distance) as a real piano.

It doesn't have the sustain of modern DP's, and it has a poor damper pedal effect and the action isn't graded. But it still gives me pleasure and it's saved me more in tuning costs than I originally paid for it. It was repaired quickly and easily (and cheaply) back in 2007 after a drink was spilled in it (careless visitor!) and I had the contact strip replaced. It sounds as good now as the day I bought it.

It's a CLP-500 from 1989.
_________________________
Richard

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#1855458 - 03/03/12 10:31 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 89
One issue with dps. The keys turn "clicky" over time. Not a big issue, but simply a little noiser. The keys need to be changed. Not sure whether this will cost a lot.

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#1855464 - 03/03/12 10:36 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: motifmm6]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3474
Loc: Pennsylvania
That depends on the DP. As a rule clicky-ness I think just means the felt that some pianos use for impact needs replacing. Also some DP's need re-lubing.

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#1855495 - 03/03/12 11:31 AM Re: General prices of popular DPs [Re: gvfarns]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Yes, the lube comes in a little 50g pot (Kanto-Kasei FLOIL)that will last a lifetime and works wonders for clicking keys.

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