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#1941172 - 08/12/12 01:44 AM Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500?
drmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Switzerland
Greetings! It is my first post here and I will give a little background.

I am looking for a digital piano for my 8 year old daughter who will start lessons this school year. We are based in Switzerland and I have found a CL 35 that is just over a year old for sale for 500 Swiss Francs (approx $500). I know this is a discontinued model and I haven't been able to find out a ton about it (owner's reviews)as it doesn't seem like this model was sold in the US?

I was looking for opinions on if this is a decent piano (at this price point) and will fulfill our needs. I was previously considering a Yamaha YDP 161 and Casio AP 620 which can both be bought for around $1200 here, although I think I would have to get the Casio from Germany which adds a layer of effort since Switzerland is not EU and there are then customs involved, etc.

I don't want to spend too much just yet on a digital piano, as who knows if my daughter will enjoy it or not (based on my history, lessons lasted something like 1 month, although who knows, maybe I can try and pick it up a little bit now :))

Of course this model might not be available as the auction it has mysteriously ended yesterday when I thought it ended on the 14th...so it might be a moot point, but I wanted to ask the experts here before proceeding!

Thanks in advance!

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#1941221 - 08/12/12 05:03 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: drmom

I don't want to spend too much just yet on a digital piano, as who knows if my daughter will enjoy it or not


Well, that's kinda the problem here: the less you spend - the less she will enjoy it smile But that's the ultimate dilemma parents face in those situations: most people don't want to buy an upright in fear of a kid abandoning the studies, thus leaving them with an object which is very heavy, takes up a lot of room and not easy to get rid of. On the other hand, bying a digital (especially the low-end one), while much more convenient, increases the chance of kid dropping the studies even greater.
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#1941234 - 08/12/12 06:40 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: Kos]
drmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Kos
Originally Posted By: drmom

I don't want to spend too much just yet on a digital piano, as who knows if my daughter will enjoy it or not


Well, that's kinda the problem here: the less you spend - the less she will enjoy it smile But that's the ultimate dilemma parents face in those situations: most people don't want to buy an upright in fear of a kid abandoning the studies, thus leaving them with an object which is very heavy, takes up a lot of room and not easy to get rid of. On the other hand, bying a digital (especially the low-end one), while much more convenient, increases the chance of kid dropping the studies even greater.


Well, if you are suggesting that a DP is not acceptable and acoustic is the way to go, I am afraid that is out of our budget!

But if you do have DP that you would recommend, I would appreciate suggestions!

I have looked around a bit and we could also get a Yamaha CLP 430 @ $1700-2000; is this a much better choice, or do you need to go to an even higher level? I know the CLP 430 was highly rated in a test done in Germany, but one salesperson I talked to wondered how it was rated so high, compared to other machines like a Roland. Where again comes another dilemma, it seems like all of this is really down to personal choice/preference, but when you really are a novice, it is hard to know what you do or don't like! We are really total novices, so I am not sure at this point what differences we can see between different key actions, etc. I have plunked around on a few different models, and like I said, I can't really tell a difference!

Renting is another option, but when you pay rent for a year, you may as well have bought a low(er) end DP as that costs around $1000...

What we figure is we would upgrade if she got serious, but you imply that sub-par equipment might be the reason for her not being interested? We do have 2 other (younger) children who may possibly take up piano as well. However, having 3 children also means that spending lots of $$ on something is not an easy decision!

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#1941242 - 08/12/12 07:48 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3782
Loc: North Carolina
Since you're concerned about capital commitment, just get the best piano you can, but find one that omits the features that add unnecessary cost.

So ... choose a slab keyboard rather than a console. Example: The Yamaha P155 keyboard sells for around $1000. It has no stand so you'll have to spend a bit more for one. But it compares quite well with the CLP430. The latter is a console/cabinet piano, and you pay a great deal more for that. It also has more instrument voices and a nice control panel, and you pay a great deal for those, too.

So if you can live without those features, you can cut your cost dramatically. When you get right down to pure piano, and ignore the peripheral fluff, there's not much difference between the P155 and CLP430.

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#1941244 - 08/12/12 07:53 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: drmom

Well, if you are suggesting that a DP is not acceptable and acoustic is the way to go, I am afraid that is out of our budget!

That's the only reason DP market exists smile

Originally Posted By: drmom
I have looked around a bit and we could also get a Yamaha CLP 430 @ $1700-2000

I own one, and it's a much better choice than CL35. This is the level where digitals begin to resemble the real thing. I would also suggest a Kawai CA63 if you can find one with a discount (should be around 1700 euros).

Originally Posted By: drmom
What we figure is we would upgrade if she got serious, but you imply that sub-par equipment might be the reason for her not being interested?

I'm not aware of the teaching methods of music students in Switzerland, but from what I can remember - in my first years of study I was being taught to "extract" the sound the right way, proper hand motorics and other basics. Digital piano is useless in that department: all it can do is play a note louder or quieter depending on a data it has received from a velocity sensor. No matter how you play it - the sound remains the same.
So, what I'm trying to say: she might just not advance enough to become serious in the first place. She will learn to push the keys at the right time at the right speed and the right volume, but that's not really playing.
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#1941255 - 08/12/12 08:29 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: Kos]
Vectistim Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 315
Loc: Reading, UK
Originally Posted By: Kos

I'm not aware of the teaching methods of music students in Switzerland, but from what I can remember - in my first years of study I was being taught to "extract" the sound the right way, proper hand motorics and other basics. Digital piano is useless in that department: all it can do is play a note louder or quieter depending on a data it has received from a velocity sensor. No matter how you play it - the sound remains the same.

That's not true - even the Casios, which you really don't seem to like, sample the main piano sound at four different levels to get the different timbre as well as just the volume change. Then there are the software pianos that can be plugged in and can provide more variation.
Quote:

So, what I'm trying to say: she might just not advance enough to become serious in the first place. She will learn to push the keys at the right time at the right speed and the right volume, but that's not really playing.

Its a long way towards it and there are the obvious advantages meaning the practice time can be longer with a digital than an acoustic in a typical sized family home.
Personally I'd say any of the current crop of digital pianos from the main four would be sufficient as the main practice machine to get up to first diploma level, and at any price point (except the stupidly expensive ones)I'd say the digital will be more 'realistic'[1] than a similar priced acoustic.

[1] If you're looking at an acoustic for 'only' a few thousand then a digital at the same price is likely to have a more responsive action.

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#1941266 - 08/12/12 08:57 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: Vectistim]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
there's not much difference between the P155 and CLP430

It's funny, in another thread you had a different opinion:
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
It was my understanding that the YDP-181 has a GH action, which should be the same, lacking only the third sensor. Wrong! The YDP action was FAR lighter than my CLP.





Originally Posted By: Vectistim

That's not true - even the Casios, which you really don't seem to like, sample the main piano sound at four different levels to get the different timbre as well as just the volume change.

That was absolutely not what I was talking about, but that's a topic for another forum, let's not go there smile

Originally Posted By: Vectistim

Its a long way towards it

It is, but if you'll keep stumbling at first step you might not get very far.


Edited by Kos (08/12/12 08:58 AM)
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#1941273 - 08/12/12 09:07 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: MacMacMac]
drmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Since you're concerned about capital commitment, just get the best piano you can, but find one that omits the features that add unnecessary cost.

So ... choose a slab keyboard rather than a console. Example: The Yamaha P155 keyboard sells for around $1000. It has no stand so you'll have to spend a bit more for one. But it compares quite well with the CLP430. The latter is a console/cabinet piano, and you pay a great deal more for that. It also has more instrument voices and a nice control panel, and you pay a great deal for those, too.

So if you can live without those features, you can cut your cost dramatically. When you get right down to pure piano, and ignore the peripheral fluff, there's not much difference between the P155 and CLP430.


Thanks for this suggestion. Unfortunately, the 155 costs more here in Europe than in the US (1300 CHF without stand or any other extras) and I do think the looks make a difference and that would seem like taking keyboard vs. piano (my daughter, much to my dismay, has already expressed interest in the lighter color DPs...).

Does anyone have any comments specifically regarding the Kawai CL 35?

Think I will head back to the music store the next few days (kids start school tomorrow, mixture of "yippe" and "OMG" rolled into one!) so I can go and look around a little more!

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#1941336 - 08/12/12 11:00 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
Marco Quanta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 28
I think the P155 would be a good choice. I had a P120 (very similar and identical aesthetics) while I was learning 8 years ago and I was happy with it. What about the CE220 for more money? I have a CE200 and I find it very nice for the price.

I don't think you/he should worry about a DP around $1K vs an acoustic with respect to losing your/his children interests. They will love playing a decent DP, too. If then they make progress and are serious about it, one can think about an investment, as learning on an acoustic is probably recommended.

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#1941347 - 08/12/12 11:25 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: Kos]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kos
I'm not aware of the teaching methods of music students in Switzerland, but from what I can remember - in my first years of study I was being taught to "extract" the sound the right way, proper hand motorics and other basics. Digital piano is useless in that department: all it can do is play a note louder or quieter depending on a data it has received from a velocity sensor. No matter how you play it - the sound remains the same.
So, what I'm trying to say: she might just not advance enough to become serious in the first place. She will learn to push the keys at the right time at the right speed and the right volume, but that's not really playing.


Kos, you say a lot of unfounded B.S. from what I've seen, and I wish you wouldn't. This is not true in any respect. Acoustic pianos are just like digitals in the sense that the only determining factor in the sound is the velocity of the hammer at the time of impact. All this talk of extracting the sound is just a way for the pianist to visualize different ways of producing that velocity, and works the same on a digital as an acoustic. There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time (and associated pedaling and correct timing of key lifting). Let's not start inserting apocryphal piano dogma into a reasonable discussion of which digital piano to buy.

By the way, Vectistim's comment gave you the benefit of the doubt by correctly addressing the only reasonable interpretation of your comment: that you were confused about whether digitals produce different timbres with different velocities. Back in the day they did not, but they do now, just as acoustics. In both the digital and acoustic case the same velocity produces the same timbre and other sound qualities, regardless of what kind of hand motion produced that velocity. You replying that he misunderstood you only clarifies that your original comment was stupider than his interpretation.

It's also not true that digitals exist only because of budget reasons. That's one of their many advantages. Another we just discussed is that you can actually play them and have young children at the same time (as we discussed in another thread). There are others, but most people in the forum are well aware of them. Digitals do have some limitations--none of which have been mentioned here--but that's not a reason for boneheads like you to try and put the whole concept down at every opportunity. If you dislike digitals, there is an acoustic piano forum on this same site you can hang out in and not get in the way on threads like this, where your comments are wholly out of place.

To the OP, the CL35 is an ok piano. Remember that in digital pianos, action is king. We don't talk much about the lower end Kawais much in this forum, so the AHA IV-F action doesn't get as much chatter as the higher end Kawai actions. And it's not common to see these pianos in the US, so I haven't tried one personally. However, I have heard good things about some other Kawai AHA IV-F pianos, such as the EP3, which competes with the P155. In the US the latter is cheaper and more popular, but they are in the same ballpark. Therefore for $500 it seems like a reasonable/good buy--very likely a better buy than an equivalently priced newer model.

It will use an older tone generator, so give it a good listen and make sure it sounds good enough to you before buying. Action may be king, but it's not the whole enchilada.


Edited by gvfarns (08/12/12 12:28 PM)

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#1941395 - 08/12/12 12:52 PM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: gvfarns]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: gvfarns

There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time (and associated pedaling and correct timing of key lifting).

Your teacher never gave you a chance, didn't s/he?
Anyway, you know what they say about arguing on the Internet, so let's drop it...


Edited by Kos (08/12/12 12:56 PM)
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#1941474 - 08/12/12 03:15 PM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: gvfarns]
KLSinCT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 148
Loc: Stonington, CT USA
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Kos
I'm not aware of the teaching methods of music students in Switzerland, but from what I can remember - in my first years of study I was being taught to "extract" the sound the right way, proper hand motorics and other basics. Digital piano is useless in that department: all it can do is play a note louder or quieter depending on a data it has received from a velocity sensor. No matter how you play it - the sound remains the same.
So, what I'm trying to say: she might just not advance enough to become serious in the first place. She will learn to push the keys at the right time at the right speed and the right volume, but that's not really playing.


Kos, you say a lot of unfounded B.S. from what I've seen, and I wish you wouldn't. This is not true in any respect. Acoustic pianos are just like digitals in the sense that the only determining factor in the sound is the velocity of the hammer at the time of impact. All this talk of extracting the sound is just a way for the pianist to visualize different ways of producing that velocity, and works the same on a digital as an acoustic. There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time (and associated pedaling and correct timing of key lifting). Let's not start inserting apocryphal piano dogma into a reasonable discussion of which digital piano to buy.

By the way, Vectistim's comment gave you the benefit of the doubt by correctly addressing the only reasonable interpretation of your comment: that you were confused about whether digitals produce different timbres with different velocities. Back in the day they did not, but they do now, just as acoustics. In both the digital and acoustic case the same velocity produces the same timbre and other sound qualities, regardless of what kind of hand motion produced that velocity. You replying that he misunderstood you only clarifies that your original comment was stupider than his interpretation.

It's also not true that digitals exist only because of budget reasons. That's one of their many advantages. Another we just discussed is that you can actually play them and have young children at the same time (as we discussed in another thread). There are others, but most people in the forum are well aware of them. Digitals do have some limitations--none of which have been mentioned here--but that's not a reason for boneheads like you to try and put the whole concept down at every opportunity. If you dislike digitals, there is an acoustic piano forum on this same site you can hang out in and not get in the way on threads like this, where your comments are wholly out of place.

To the OP, the CL35 is an ok piano. Remember that in digital pianos, action is king. We don't talk much about the lower end Kawais much in this forum, so the AHA IV-F action doesn't get as much chatter as the higher end Kawai actions. And it's not common to see these pianos in the US, so I haven't tried one personally. However, I have heard good things about some other Kawai AHA IV-F pianos, such as the EP3, which competes with the P155. In the US the latter is cheaper and more popular, but they are in the same ballpark. Therefore for $500 it seems like a reasonable/good buy--very likely a better buy than an equivalently priced newer model.

It will use an older tone generator, so give it a good listen and make sure it sounds good enough to you before buying. Action may be king, but it's not the whole enchilada.


+1 thumb

K.
_________________________
Kevin L. Spindler
Early Keyboard Instruments
Stonington, CT
Harpsichords & Clavichords
Custom Instruments Built to Order
Rebuilding, Repair & Restoration
http://www.facebook.com/kevin.spindler.129

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#1941480 - 08/12/12 03:25 PM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: gvfarns]
ONfrank Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/11
Posts: 98
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Originally Posted By: Kos
I'm not aware of the teaching methods of music students in Switzerland, but from what I can remember - in my first years of study I was being taught to "extract" the sound the right way, proper hand motorics and other basics. Digital piano is useless in that department: all it can do is play a note louder or quieter depending on a data it has received from a velocity sensor. No matter how you play it - the sound remains the same.
So, what I'm trying to say: she might just not advance enough to become serious in the first place. She will learn to push the keys at the right time at the right speed and the right volume, but that's not really playing.


Kos, you say a lot of unfounded B.S. from what I've seen, and I wish you wouldn't. This is not true in any respect. Acoustic pianos are just like digitals in the sense that the only determining factor in the sound is the velocity of the hammer at the time of impact. All this talk of extracting the sound is just a way for the pianist to visualize different ways of producing that velocity, and works the same on a digital as an acoustic. There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time (and associated pedaling and correct timing of key lifting). Let's not start inserting apocryphal piano dogma into a reasonable discussion of which digital piano to buy.


I believe the concept that Kos is referring to is called magic!

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#1941498 - 08/12/12 04:10 PM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
I am not sure about CL35, but I just bought CL36 for 800€ new and I like it very much.
_________________________
Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2

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#1943040 - 08/15/12 07:06 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: jarosujo]
drmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Switzerland
Well, we visited the local music store and I brought hubby along and now it looks like we are going to go full force into it and get a CLP 470...just needed to force him to go with me from the beginning smile

First, the 470 seems to be much "cheaper" here in Switzerland than in the US. We will rent it and in the end if we buy it (rent it long enough) it will cost about 2800 CHF (roughly $2800). This way we end up with a high quality instrument from the get go (rather than buying 1 in 2 years or so) and hopefully my daughter will enjoy it!

So, what do you think?

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#1943041 - 08/15/12 07:18 AM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: drmom]
Vectistim Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 315
Loc: Reading, UK
By all accounts that should be a very good machine.

Hmm, 'cheaper' and 'Switzerland' in the same sentence, that must be a first.

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#1943176 - 08/15/12 12:44 PM Re: Used Kawai CL 35 ~$500? [Re: Vectistim]
drmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Switzerland
Originally Posted By: Vectistim


Hmm, 'cheaper' and 'Switzerland' in the same sentence, that must be a first.


I know, right? That is a very odd sentence, indeed. I'll have to remember that the next time I am paying $8 for a dozen eggs or $Goodness-knows-how-much for a steak smile

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