Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) The Best of Both Worlds
Yamaha Hybrid the Best of Both Worlds
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
117 registered (ando, 36251, anamnesis, accordeur, Albunea, 35 invisible), 1236 Guests and 17 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 2 < 1 2
Topic Options
#1985018 - 11/10/12 11:44 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: Nomadness]
whitfit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I agree that you could pull off the modular piano. For a mechanically competent person it is a pretty trivial matter, and given your other projects I have no doubt about that.

One thing I thought I'd mention is that the MP6 might actually be a better candidate for this hack. The action is more compact and self contained, and it is also very good, if not quite the MP10. It is also all plastic which might help in the marine environment. One of the online retailer stocks and sells damaged MP10s, which might be a good way to go, if a little risky.

By the way, my other hobbies are sailing and bicycles (and woodworking and "mechaniking"), so I am very intrigued by your projects. I am less of a computer hacker, but definitely a bicycle/machine hacker, so I love to see all of this stuff.

(ads) Sweetwater / Roland
Kawai Superb Stage Piano and Controller

Click Here

#1985238 - 11/11/12 04:34 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: Nomadness]
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
Whitfit - interesting data point on the MP6; thanks! I look forward to seeing how this project unfolds... I appreciate the encouragement.

And yes, it's really the combination of passions, isn't it? That's always what has driven me on these crazy quests; I have the most fun when everything I love is all blended into a lifestyle. Here's the final version of my bike, about 21 years ago (I think I may have linked to a page with this photo earlier in the thread, but an inline photo is more fun). I carried my flute 17,000 miles, and it was an essential part of the adventure... I feel the same way now about the piano on the sailboat.

Fair winds!

Edited by Nomadness (11/11/12 02:54 PM)
Nomadic Research Labs

#1989643 - 11/22/12 02:00 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: Nomadness]
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA

Question for y'all... has anyone seen the innards of a PX-350?

I've been continuing to refine the design here, and have pretty well decided that sound generation should be handed off to a Mac Mini Server that's only about 4 feet away and lightly loaded. No rack synth needed, and it would be overkill anyway. I like the sound of the Galaxy Vintage D and a few others of the ilk... and having internal sounds as well is not a bad thing either... quick turn-key playing when I don't want to mess with the setup of the Mac with VNC on the iPad, etc.

This gets me back to the controller question, and my dimensional constraints are severe enough that it looks like I almost certainly need to do the hack I mentioned earlier (repackaging the keybed to a minimal drawer that can be pushed well under the boat's lab desk, past my knees... then pulled out enough to clear the keys for playing, with no control-panel overhead). If I have to do that anyway, I am no longer limited to the svelte slabs... so I might as well stop looking for something that may not exist, find an acceptable keyboard in whatever form, buy the thing, extract the innards, and toss the cabinet.

So it's down to this: Doepfer looks interesting, if a bit unknown, but they seem to have the best of the Fatar actions. Studiologic has enough detractors here that I'm wary. What about getting one of the new Casios? The 350 is $799 at the moment, and I'd be much less nervous tearing into one than, say, a Nord (which wins on pure techno-lust terms, but is honestly more than I need or want to risk). Given the environment, and the resale-destroying hack, I should be looking at cost:performance ratio... so I'm wondering about the internal "modularity" of the PX-350 board layout. As cleanly hackable as the MP10 as revealed in the nekkid pictures thread from a while back?

(This is worth asking, because manufacturing cost-minimization often makes things highly unhackable... separate boards with open harnesses are very nice.)

I have considered just tearing apart my existing RD-700SX. I'm not in love with the sounds, though, and it feels a bit dated overall... but I suppose I should ask how a PX-350 would compare, given the age difference (what, about 8 years?). When I'm using software pianos, of course, the sounds don't matter, so maybe that's the best choice, even with the somewhat ancient USB interface and cryptic user interface... though I suspect I'd use on-board voices quite a lot if they are nice, and a generational update is very appealing here.

Cheers, and thanks again for the patient and enthusiastic brainstorming help... it has really made a difference!


(Added note: I know the 350 has internal speakers, but it also seems to be the most feature-rich of the product family and sounds very nice in the demos I've heard. Depending on how they are packaged, the included speakers and amp might make it into the system as "extras" independent of the boat's main audio system... again with the idea of just having a one-switch solution for quick tinkering, which is how I tend to play much of the time. I seem to learn better when keyboard time is sprinkled through the day rather than taken in large chunks, so an easy turnkey system is very appealing if I can shoehorn it in.)

Edited by Nomadness (11/22/12 02:43 PM)
Nomadic Research Labs

#1999230 - 12/14/12 12:38 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: Nomadness]
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
HI folks...

It's been three weeks since my last post in this thread, and I've had a few additional thoughts that simplify the problem. Here's a quick update, followed by a few questions.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm assuming that there will be software pianos when I want maximum quality, but I also find real value in simply being able to switch on one thing and play. These are not mutually incompatible, of course, and the lesson here is that it is probably a lot easier to choose a DP instead of a controller, given the much wider range of options and the economies of scale.

The big change is the realization that I don't have to do the keybed repackaging job I was anticipating/dreading... there are enough projects to keep me busy, and that one would have been fiddly. When seated at the boat's lab desktop, it turns out that I have a little over 13" between my knees and the first obstacle in front of them (a vertical post that supports the center of the desk). Clearance above the knee is about 4" (barely enough for the thinnest slabs) but there is enough room in the other dimension for most of the off-the-shelf stage pianos or home digitals.

Packaging will be a simple drawer, pulling from the locked position under the desk to an extended position that is just enough to clear the controls. This will require a seating hack, since this whole region is on a sort of pedestal and this moves my center of mass past the edge, but that's unavoidable and expected.

So given all that, and removing my earlier constraints about hackability, I'd like to refine the choice based on these observations:

  • Internal speakers are undesirable and redundant in this application (not only adding depth but superfluous with the marine stereo, big-iron amp, excellent speakers, and subwoofer all within arm's reach).
  • Ideal price point is about $1K, though I can nudge it up to $1.5K. This leaves out the NS2, alas... tempting but overkill! There are also a few sweet boards in the $2.5K range (ES7, RD-700NX...) that push this or dimensional limits.
  • Unlike most people, I'd actually prefer the thing to require a wall wart IF (and that's a big "if") the voltage it accepts is unregulated 12, allowing it to hang on the boat's battery bus. Otherwise, I'll live with AC and run the inverter... I'll probably have AC on almost all the time anyway, but hate to keep adding things that require it (like my espresso machine, but what are ya gonna do?).
  • Modern and excellent sounds, of course, though I expect to turn to Galaxy or other software voicing when I want to really optimize it. But for quick practice, it should at least sound nice by itself (huge subjective word there, but you know what I mean... good long decay, lush grand voice, plenty of polyphony, not shrill, no obvious looping, no buzz, etc)
  • Piano-esque touch. I've read the arguments about graded action, and I'm not accustomed to an AP, though I prefer a good piano feel to that of a lightweight synth or organ. I've only been playing about 6 years, and am not trying to replicate any previous experience... and heck, it's a boat. I expect some compromise.
  • Length less than 53" or so… more than that and it will start to interfere with things. Depth 13" or less, and height probably around 5" or less. In all dimensions, less is better!
  • MIDI capability, which is a given… USB at least. I don't have a current need for IN/OUT/THRU connectors.
  • Other voices, other features, gizmos, effects, recording, rhythm sections, layering... the more the merrier, as long as it doesn't start to compromise excellence where it counts.
  • Finally, a good sense of quality. This is the most ephemeral part, but there is an undeniable aesthetic component to this that affects my desire to practice (in addition to good sound). Cheap plasticky feel (of cabinet and keys) does not seduce the fingers.

The relaxation of packaging constraints opens lots of possibilities I had not considered before, and I'm on an island where the only music dealer is a delightfully friendly place with lots of stringed instruments, but only one old acoustic piano. I can't easily just go try a few things, though if it gets narrowed down to a couple of strong candidates I'd find my way to the mainland (or just take a chance). Every time I come to this forum, I spend an hour or so reading comparisons of boards, and I know it's hugely subjective, but given the issues above are there any that absolutely jump out from the pack as obvious best choices?

Many thanks for your thoughts and the collective wisdom of this community,

Edited by Nomadness (12/14/12 12:40 AM)
Edit Reason: the inevitable misspelling
Nomadic Research Labs

#2000513 - 12/17/12 12:23 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: Nomadness]
KHen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 183
Loc: North America
So a 1k-1.5k board with dimensions of >53" L, >13" D, and >5" H.....hmm this is a tough one.

I looked at about 10 boards at the 1k-1.5k mark and only 2 met your dimension requirements. The kawai ES6 (it's 1/2" bigger on all sides than what you want) and the Numa Nano( well under your size tolerances, but good luck reaching studiologic if you have a complaint). I'll try to do some more digging for you, but with those dimensions most boards from the BIG 4 are out( Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg) Even the Nord piano is out dimension wise, plus it's not 1.5k either.

Hope this helps. I'll keep looking for you. Happy sailing!

Edit: Just saw the Numa Compact. It's well within the dimensions, and it's $670. May be worth a look into.

Edited by KHen (12/17/12 12:31 AM)

#2000551 - 12/17/12 03:21 AM Re: Choosing a Sailboat Piano [Re: KHen]
Nomadness Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 145
Loc: Friday Harbor, WA
Thanks, KHen!

Did you mean the Kawai MP6? That's one of the ones on my short list...

Those numbers are not cast in STONE, though they get tight very quickly... the space already exists and has solid objects on all sides (desk support post, slightly movable... iMac to left... tool cabinet to right... knees to front...).

As to the Numa... I keep finding my way to those when searching specs, then get kind of turned off by user comments here and elsewhere. Oh, to not care! *grin*

And I do lust after the NS2 for its UI and overall feature set, though I have never touched one and it's way over-budget anyway.

The most annoying dimension is that 13" one, and I'm exploring work-arounds. It gets SO much easier if I let that creep up to 15" (among other things, the geekily appealing Korg Krome, though there are lots of not-so-complimentary reports on the keybed and it's also annoyingly long... so it is over 2 of the 3 limits). I'm half tempted to just shrug and get the PX-350, based largely on reports of good feel... it's half my price limit in a risky environment, and is within the space constraints.

(I have been tempted to just keep my Roland RD-700SX, but I'm frankly a little tired of it. It is also rather portly, over two of the dimension targets.)

GAS is really insidious, isn't it? Heck, I'm not even remotely pro-level like a good many of you folks, yet I'm spending HOURS in analyzing comments, specs, dimensions, interfaces, and overall subjective cost-performance ratio... without even getting a chance to actually try any of them. I know. I'm overthinking it, but what are ya gonna do? crazy

Cheers, and I'll post as this unfolds!

Edited by Nomadness (12/17/12 03:38 AM)
Nomadic Research Labs

Page 2 of 2 < 1 2

Moderator:  Piano World 
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
(ad) Yamaha Stage Pianos
Yamaha CP4 & CP40 Stage Pianos
Ad (the Piano Store)
the Piano Store - Restored Steinway Pianos
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
Wessell Nickel & Gross
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Recording a tuning
by rysowers
10/09/15 07:33 PM
Roland F-140R or Casio PX-360 as a second DP?
by WarrenY
10/09/15 03:57 PM
Tightly fitting grand piano in small room
by Michiyo-Fir
10/09/15 03:47 PM
Trying to locate a video of one of Liszt's pupils.
by anamnesis
10/09/15 02:48 PM
Yamaha U1 - Serial # starts with R vs Serial # starts with A
by Nicole_B
10/09/15 02:17 PM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
80,987 Registered Members
44 Forums
167,413 Topics
2,453,549 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission