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#1900160 - 05/20/12 09:55 AM Advice needed for a piano illiterate!
morpis Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 1
Hello all,

My 12 year old has recently started learning the piano. So far he is using a Yamaha keyboard but his teacher tells us we need a piano with weighted keys so that he can develop proper finger habits. So, what would be a good digital piano to buy (used is ok). We're on a limited budget so under $2000 would be best, also in case my son gives up playing the piano we won't be stuck with an expensive neglected piano!

Since I know next to nothing about pianos, any advice is greatly appreciated!



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#1900190 - 05/20/12 11:08 AM Re: Advice needed for a piano illiterate! [Re: morpis]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1542
Loc: Portugal
The teacher is right in highlighting the importance of weighted keys. Kawai, Roland, Casio and Yamaha are known to make good quality weighted keyboards - however, most of them also make 'unweighted' or sprung keyboards for other types of instrument than pianos. So:

Yamaha: any digital piano with GH or GH3 keyboard actions:

YDP 161, YDP 181, P155, CLP 430,CLP440 etc etc.

Roland: any piano with PHA II or PHA III (but not PHA alpha II)

FP7f, HP 302, HP 305, HP 307, HP 503, HP505, HP 507among others

Kawai CN33, CN43, CA13, CA63, CA93 amongst others.

Casios Celviano and PX pianos are also well rated.

You and your son should try them before ordering, if at all possible - they feel different and all have their fans and detractors.
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.

#1900220 - 05/20/12 12:32 PM Re: Advice needed for a piano illiterate! [Re: morpis]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3017
Loc: Oregon
As there are so many models out there, it's difficult to point to one in particular. You will need to decide which features you like, and which suits your needs best. They will all lose value rapidly over the next few years as they are superseded, so it's a good idea to decide how much you're prepared to "lose."

With that in mind, the latest Rolands and Kawais, starting with the FP-7F (which has the PHAIII action as well as the excellent SuperNATURAL piano sound) and the Kawai models with at least RH action (CN23 and up), or one of their wooden actions (such as the CE220), are probably the most piano-like instruments and will be suitable for learning.

The Yamaha actions in their lower end models are what I would describe as "OK," and you could start with something like the P155 at less than $1k and not see much improvement in their line (apart from better speakers, cabinets and more features) until you get above $2k. Avoid anything with a GHS action.

Casio DPs all share pretty much the same action and sound engine, and so again, from $500 up, you will not get much better except in terms of sound delivery systems, cabinet and features. They offer the most bang for the buck, but pale a little against the Rolands and Kawais.
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:


"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

#1900224 - 05/20/12 12:47 PM Re: Advice needed for a piano illiterate! [Re: morpis]
nholur Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/12
Posts: 14
If your budget is $2000, I would suggest Kawai CE220 or a Yamaha CLP 430. Kawai is a little cheaper than Yamaha one, but I have heard that its better than Yamaha CLP. I got the CLP 430 as I like Yamaha in terms of reliability more than Kawai. On top there is a 2 year trade in on yamaha clavinova where you can trade in for a more expensive new piano after 2 years. There might be other models in that range, but I am not aware of them.

#1900432 - 05/20/12 08:20 PM Re: Advice needed for a piano illiterate! [Re: morpis]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014

Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1957
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Another point of view...

Try buying what is adequate. But the most inexpensive... For now...
Keep the pressure off of him. I fear many kids hate piano because of their parents attitude: I paid so and so much for that piano and you're going to learn to play it if it kills you!
A 12 year old might not be that responsible with a nice keyboard.
Let him looky loo. And if he keeps going. He will have his opinion on what he likes in the future.
You can also motivate him by telling him in the future. If he keeps going and "WE" buy a real nice keyboard. Then he can use this one on the second shelf. A two keyboard stand. Looks really cool. Like he really knows what he's doing. smile
You won't have to worry about your 12 year old quitting, or destroying an FP7F or MP6.
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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