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#1975692 - 10/19/12 12:29 PM Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home?
Neon Scribe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 2
We don't have any pianists here, but we sometimes host chamber music rehearsals at home. I would like to set up a compact but high quality digital piano that would be "good enough" for a visiting classical pianist working with a few string and/or woodwind players. I'm budgeting around $1000 for a piano and allowing for another $1000 to bring the audio up to a reasonable standard. I'm leaning towards the Casio PX-350 with the furniture stand and pedal unit for the piano. I'm just guessing that the built-in speakers will not be sufficient for this application. Does anyone think otherwise? Can anyone recommend a monitor system that would be noticeably better? It should be very compact, not too ugly (looks like furniture, not an appliance) and readily usable by a visitor. A home stereo system or powered speakers might work. Any opinions on home audio monitoring setups for digital pianos?

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#1975697 - 10/19/12 12:39 PM Re: Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home? [Re: Neon Scribe]
RafaPolit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 263
Loc: Quito, Ecuador
I do myself mostly classical, and I believe its really hard to fuse your DP budget with your requirements. I'm not sure any classical pianist would be at ease playing for an ensemble with a 1K setup. I believe on the AMP front you will fare much better with a 1K budget.

The lowest I'd try for are the Roland FP-4F or the Kawai MP6, but they are more on the $1500 range frown . Perhaps a used older option that has a better keyboard? Because, as I see it, you have to account for both a very decent keybed and a more than adequate sound. That, IMHO, is VERY difficult on the 1K range.

Also, I would not recommend home audio monitoring setups, as they are made for, precisely, monitoring. They assume you are sitting in an exact, fixed position to work best. When I hosted such a venue and brought my own monitors, sound was either aimed at the other musicians so they could hear me or towards me so I could hear what I was doing smile . Not to both at once, so it has to be a different type of amplification.

Perhaps I'm way off here,
Rafa.


Edited by RafaPolit (10/19/12 12:48 PM)
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

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#1975989 - 10/19/12 10:23 PM Re: Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home? [Re: Neon Scribe]
susanmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 124
Well, how fussy are the pianists? How demanding is the repertoire? Do you have some more-or-less regular visiting pianists whom you could consult?

Personally, for a chamber rehearsal in the home of folks who don't play piano, I'd be happy to play a Casio PX-350.

Would you be playing some Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven pieces? Those works were written for pianos that sound much different than today's acoustics. Who's to say the composers wouldn't have liked a PX-350?

Because I play for free, I do a fair amount of accompanying in my area and I play on a lot of different pianos. Believe me, you could do a lot worse than a PX-350. (I'm basing this statement on my experience with my own PX-330 plus listening to PX-350 demos online.)

Since your total budget is $2000, have you considered getting a DP with more powerful speakers and forgetting about external audio? As an example, I think my Kawia CE200 with two 20 watt speakers could hold its own against a few strings or winds. The obvious contender for you is the PX-850 but there are lots of choices in this price range.

For many folks, a slab piano like the PX-350 combined with good speakers would be just the ticket, especially if they need portability. For the situation you describe, I think a console with a total of 40 watts or more in speaker power is worth considering.
_________________________
Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.

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#1976083 - 10/20/12 04:52 AM Re: Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home? [Re: Neon Scribe]
RafaPolit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 263
Loc: Quito, Ecuador
Yes, the idea of a 'console piano' is really the best solution I can think of: you spend your $2000 on the piano. You serve the purpose of it being a nice 'furniture' instead of an appliance as well. The pianist feels as if he is playing a real classical piano.

The only issue is the amount of sound... I'm sure a Steinway D can blow out the glass of windows in a home, but perhaps for small ensembles (as opposed to an orchestra/piano concert) they *could* be enough?

Perhaps James can provide the best Kawai instrument that fits the bill of powerful amplification, good keybed and sounds for this situation?

Best regards,
Rafa.
_________________________
Roland FP-7F

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#1976164 - 10/20/12 09:56 AM Re: Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home? [Re: Neon Scribe]
Neon Scribe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 2
I was hoping to find a solution that could be moved easily from room to room, or stored away when not in use. That's why I'm looking more at the slab style keyboards with furniture stands. A console-style piano is a more permanent fixture that I would like to avoid.

The question of "how good is good enough?" is difficult. I think most pianists, like any musician, would prefer to rehearse on *the exact instance* of the instrument they will perform on. Second choice would be another copy of the same model. What I am offering them is inevitably a long drop from either of those! I guess what I am seeking is something that is recognizably a piano and loud enough to blend with a group. When I say "recognizably a piano" I mean that the keys and pedals do what is expected by a player, without requiring more than a minute or two to adapt. Would it be better or worse than a good used spinet piano from Craigslist that gets tuned twice a year? Not that I'm really considering that option, but it seems like a fair point of comparison.

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#1976299 - 10/20/12 02:04 PM Re: Digital piano audio for chamber music rehearsal at home? [Re: Neon Scribe]
susanmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 124
Whatever you do, be sure to think about pedals. A visiting pianist will NOT be happy with a pedal that moves around.

Something like the Casio furniture stand plus pedal unit will do the trick.
_________________________
Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.

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