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#1954151 - 09/05/12 08:29 AM A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51?
LaurenceN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 3
HI, First time poster - I've enjoyed the insights on the website.

I’m planning on buying my wife a piano for her 40th birthday. She has played since her late teens when she reached grade 7 but is now enthusiastic about re-starting. She’s never played a digital piano but if we were to get a digital piano, the main criteria would be getting as close to the sound and feel of an acoustic upright.

Unfortunately, our other main consideration is space. The piano will have to go in a tight hallway. It can’t really be more than about 136cm wide and about 36cm deep. Height is less of an issue.

My contenders are the new Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 and the new Yamaha YDP-S51. They are all roughly within the same price bracket.

My questions are:
1) Given the criteria, which if any of these is our best choice?
2) Are there other digital pianos that fit the measurement, sound and feel criteria and look broadly like a piano (rather than a keyboard)

Forgot to add,voices and other tech is not important (all have headphone sockets, volume controls and metronomes, which is all she wants). Also, Graham at UKPianos has tried to convince me that the Classenti CDP1 offers a better feel and sound that the three pianos shortlisted - but given the comments on this forum I'm inclined to take that with a pinch of salt.

PS. I know people will say my wife should make the choice - and she will - but she has no background knowledge of DPs and is not interested in learning about them - she just wants something relatively attractive than sounds and feels like an accoustic - and which fits the space available, so I am drawing up a shortlist.


Edited by LaurenceN (09/05/12 08:55 AM)

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#1954162 - 09/05/12 09:11 AM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9364
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
The new Casio is still something of an unknown quantity, however the keyboard action is supposed to have been improved over the previous generation models.

The Kawai action is very highly regarded - arguably the best of the three models you're considering - although I'm a little biased.

The Yamaha is probably the weakest of the three.

One other option to consider is the Roland F-120, which is based largely on the FP-4F portable piano.

Best of luck!

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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#1954188 - 09/05/12 10:38 AM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
LaurenceN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 3
Thanks James.

At this price range, how important are things like polophony? the Kawai has 96, Yamaha 128 and Casio 256. For someone looking only to use the piano function and hoping to resume at grade 7 level, is this an issue?

It's also hard to distinguish between manufacturers' claims about their keyboard actions: the Yamaha says it has a grtaded hammer action with Hard/Medium/Soft/Fixed touch sentivity, the Casio says it has a Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer action while the Kawai has a Responsive Hammer action: in reality how different are these actions?

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#1954200 - 09/05/12 11:20 AM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
emenelton Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/09
Posts: 494
The Kawai ES7 fits your depth criteria but is a slab not a console. It is a nicer more expensive option.

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#1954250 - 09/05/12 01:15 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2726
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I'll second James' suggestions. I wouldn't spend much time on that model from Yamaha - if you wanted to go that route, I'd get the forthcoming P105 with integrated stand and pedals. The GHS action is very good, but on the light side of the actions from your list. Slimline models don't really have room for the flagship actions from the various makers. Given Grade 7, I'd focus on the following:

The Casio PX-850 has huge upside but as with all new models, some things are clear upgrades and others are not so clear - subject to personal preference.

Like James said, the Roland F-120 is the one missing from your original list. I know there are even more variations on the F120 available in the UK.

I've not played the Kawai CL36, but that action consistently wins a lot of people over.

That's a very good short list.

Since you are speaking about console digitals, I'm not including any suggestions of slabs that don't offer integrated stands & pedals like the Kawai ES7 or Yamaha P155 or Roland FP-7F. If your priorities change, the list of recommendations change.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1954254 - 09/05/12 01:28 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
LaurenceN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 3
Thanks Sam.

I was dissuaded from including the Roland F120 in the shortlist largely because of the review on Tim Praskins' blog, where he said it has a "disappointing key action and key tops" but I will investigate it further. The Kawai CL36 is currently my favorite choice from the list (despite not having a keyboard cover) and we will find one to test out shortly.

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#1954285 - 09/05/12 02:09 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2726
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Others have poked holes in the reporting of that blog and the ties to the retail store, so I'll keep it short. I'll say simply that the F-120 is a little less noisy than the Casio Celviano series and certainly no louder than the different Yamaha Arius models. As for the keytops, in 5+ months our floor demo shows no change and smudges are easy to wipe off.

The CL may be your winner, but you are better off knowing after trying the right competitive models.

Good luck!
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1954348 - 09/05/12 03:57 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
PtJaa Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/12
Posts: 193
Loc: Czech Republic
PianoWorksATL, YDP S51 has the GH action, not GHS. YDP S51 is really new, it was launched recently together with P-35 and P-105 (source). Specification of YDP S51 is here .

(I'm not saying that YDP S51 must be a particularly good choice though, my pick would be CL36.)

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#1954357 - 09/05/12 04:14 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2726
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Ahh, thanks for the correction. I was thinking of the S31...the S51 hasn't even been announced here yet. I see the GH but no deeper specs on the dynamic samples of the Pure CF.

That does give it a much better shot in comparison but doesn't change the rest of the lineup. Not having tried it or anything close enough to it, I have no opinion to add just yet.

I wonder which ones will make it across the pond?
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1954376 - 09/05/12 04:44 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9364
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
PtJaa, I too was thinking of the S31.

Thank you for the clarification.

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

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#1954597 - 09/06/12 04:54 AM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
jarosujo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 237
Loc: Slovakia
This new S31 looks very similar to CL36, so it's really up to you, what action you prefer. I like them both (GH and RH), but when I was comparing CL36 to YDP181 at the store, I preferred CL36 slightly (action and sound). It was also 300€ cheaper, so I took CL36 and I am very pleased since then.
_________________________
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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#1992078 - 11/28/12 05:58 PM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
markalien Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/12
Posts: 2
I've played the Roland f 120, Yamaha YDP S51, some Kawai models (in the same price range) and the Casio PX 850 in the last few days.

I must say they are all good quality digital pianos to my ears. However my favorite was the Yamaha.
It seemed to have a slighty richer/ brighter sound across the whole keybed and looked great with a cover that was folding allowing a flat surface on top.

The Roland F-120 I also enjoyed, and I was torn between this and the Yamaha. The key action was heavier and the lower bass notes sounded incredibly realistic. The piano allowed for a very dynamic range -perhaps the greatest on the list. I did think as you moved up the keys there was a loss in brightness (treble), but this could be due to the speaker positioning. Apparently the notes are sampled from a Steinway and the Yamaha - well a Yamaha! and the Yamahas are generally brighter in tone.

The Kawai models I played were also high quality but stylistically (or should I say structurally)seemed half way between an acoustic and a digital piano. I like the fact that the cabinet style pianos don't pretend look like an authentic acoustic!

The Privia PX-850 while having a very decent sound and key action were perhaps let down by the texture of the keys (hard to describe unless you play it) and the plastic control surfaces. Also perhaps the fact that it can be too loud! - I'm not sure that is a negative though.

Having said all that the only way to decide is to play them yourself. In the end it's a personal decision.

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#1993490 - 12/02/12 02:02 AM Re: A tight space - Casio PX850, Kawai CL36 or Yamaha YDP-S51? [Re: LaurenceN]
bluebilly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 439
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: LaurenceN
Unfortunately, our other main consideration is space. The piano will have to go in a tight hallway. It can’t really be more than about 136cm wide and about 36cm deep. Height is less of an issue.

Some compact DPs have to stand around 3" away from any wall to the rear to allow a standard size (A4) piece of sheet music to lay flat on the music stand, thus negating the advantage of the shallower depth.

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