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#2007386 - 01/01/13 08:56 AM Beginner's Questions
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Hey guys,

I am a total beginner and i am about to buy a digital piano. Either Casio Cdp-100 or Cdp-120.

What i heard is Cdp-120 is a newer model but i saw something on this forum:

They say "Cdp-100 has Midi In/Out jacks instead of USB midi" and "Cdp-120 only has USB midi".

Unfortunately i don't have a clue what advantages and disadvantages these features will give me and i am unable to make a choice.

Can you please give me a hand ? smile

Bonus question: Is a keyboard with weighted keys the same thing as a digital piano? Would you suggest me to buy a keyboard with weighted keys instead of a digital piano? I really love the features a keyboard offers but since i want to learn piano, i haven't considered buying a keyboard yet.


TY guys. smile

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#2007392 - 01/01/13 09:36 AM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 653
Loc: Hernando, MS
Hi Faith,
Welcome to the forum. smile Between the two, I'd go with the newer CDP 120. It seems to be a very nice budget keyboard (although you might also want to look at the Yamaha P95 which is similar in price). As to your question, USB midi is probably the better way to go. MIDI is a method of interfacing a digital instrument (like a digital piano/keyboard) with a computer or with other digital musical instruments (for example you can use MIDI to play the sounds of one keyboard by using the keys of a second keyboard). For interfacing a keyboard with a computer, USB is better imo. If you ever need to connect a USB-midi only keyboard to an instrument that only has the older style midi connections, you can just get an inexpensive adapter. They work great.

So between the two, go with the CDP 120, or possibly the yamaha. Those are probably the best choices in that price range.


Bonus answer: If you go with either the yamaha or the Casio, they will be fine for learning the piano. They have weighted keys that simulate the weight of the hammers on a acoustic piano. What you want to avoid is keyboards that have unweighted keys (often called "synth action keyboards").

Just curious, are you planning to get a teacher or go with some self learning route? If you're planning to get a teacher (recommended if you can afford the cost/time), it might be advisable to find the teacher first, then get their advice. They may have some suggestions, or even be willing to go to a music store to help you pick out the best option that fits your budget.

Hope that helps,
Warm Regards
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2007418 - 01/01/13 10:45 AM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
fizikisto, thank you very much for your help smile .

I guess CDP-120 looks better for me in terms of connections. And if a simple adapter will do the job for me, i don't need to buy the older version i think.

I am absolutely a Yamaha fan but in Turkey P95 is much more expensive than CDP-120, so, right now i need to go with CDP-120.

I started to take private lessons a couple days ago but my teacher is a little bit old and she doesn't know much about today's electronic stuff smile .

fizikisto are there any keyboard models you would suggest me instead of a piano in that price range? All models i checked in Turkish websites were "Semi-weighted buttons" .
smile
Ty very much.



Edited by Fatih (01/01/13 10:45 AM)

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#2007493 - 01/01/13 02:31 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 653
Loc: Hernando, MS
Faith,
You're very welcome. Wow you're the first person I've met from Turkey. I love the internet; one gets to meet people from all over *grin*. To answer your question, I would say that the CDP-120 is probably the best choice for you then. It has fully weighted keys (and the key weighting is scaled so that the keys get lighter as you move up the keyboard, just like on a real piano). It also has a surprisingly good piano sound for the price. I think it will be a fine keyboard for you to learn on.

Warm Regards


Edited by fizikisto (01/01/13 02:32 PM)
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2007624 - 01/01/13 06:59 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: fizikisto]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
Originally Posted By: fizikisto
If you ever need to connect a USB-midi only keyboard to an instrument that only has the older style midi connections, you can just get an inexpensive adapter. They work great.

No, no, no, that's backwards!!

If you have a keyboard with the OLD style adapter, and want to connect to a computer via USB, all that needs is an inexpensive adapter. ($30-$40 for name brand, or about $5 for no-name ones on amazon and ebay that most people seem to find work fine.)

But if you have a keyboard with only USB and you want to hook it up to another non-computer MIDI device (a second keyboard, sound module, pedal accessory, etc.), the adapter that goes in THAT direction is expensive... there's one for about $180, and there's one from a British company that goes for £70 + shipping, so either way, well over $100... here, though I don't know about Turkey. But really, if you think you might ever want to connect your piano to another non-computer MIDI device, IMO you'd be better off buying one that has the right connector in the first place, since adapting the other direction is so much easier.

As an aside... I think the Rhodes EP sound in the CDP-100 is much better than the one in the CDP-120.

Anyway, personally, I'd take the CDP-100. If there's more in the budget, I'd also look at the Yamaha P-35.

As for the other question, yes, any low cost keyboard with a weighted action is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as a digital piano, even though it may have some other sounds and functions built in. Semantics, really.

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#2007706 - 01/01/13 10:14 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 653
Loc: Hernando, MS
Anotherscott,
There's actually a much better way to do it. You can use the cheap $10-ish USB-Midi adapter to connect the legacy hardware to a computer, and use the casio CDP 120 to control it through the computer. You can use something like Musiclab's midi connection center (which is free for download) to route the midi messages.

But you're right, I'm assuming that Faith has a computer. It is possibly a fair assumption for someone posting on an internet forum, but it is not a given (she could have been posting to this forum from a library or a friend's house). If she doesn't already have a computer available, my way is much more expensive indeed. Thank you for the observation!

Faith,

I apologize if I was unclear and my post lead to confusion. After seeing Anotherscott's response I realized that I wasn't clear in what I meant.

But let me say that I stand by my original recommendation and I disagree with Anotherscott's recommendation. First of all, as a beginner, it's unlikely that you'll need to worry about any of these connection issues (and most things made today will support USB connections anyway).

More importantly, It seems more likely that you you just want the best piano you can afford for the purposes of learning to play piano. The Electric Piano sound may be better on the older model, but the acoustic piano sound on the CDP 120 is to my ear significantly better than the piano sound on the CDP 100. It comes from a more advanced sound engine and also has a higher polyphony (it can sustain more notes). If I were you, I'd still get the CDP 120 over the CDP100. However, practically speaking, either choice should be fine. If possible, you might try playing around with both of them to see which one has the best sound to your ears. you're the one who has to play it after all smile

Warm Regards.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2007920 - 01/02/13 11:47 AM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: fizikisto]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
Originally Posted By: fizikisto
But you're right, I'm assuming that Faith has a computer. It is possibly a fair assumption for someone posting on an internet forum, but it is not a given (she could have been posting to this forum from a library or a friend's house). If she doesn't already have a computer available, my way is much more expensive indeed. Thank you for the observation!

To be clear, it's not just simply a matter of "having a computer." There are so many more variables than that. If you have a computer but it's not a laptop, it may be awkward to have the computer located in the same area where the piano will be. If the computer is shared by other members of the household, you may be impacting other people's access to the computer if you need to use it to connect to your piano. If you want a portable piano so that you can take it to a friend's house to play, take it into another room or the backyard to play at a party/gathering, or (for non-beginner players) take it to a gig, then again, easy access to a computer can't be assumed. Then there's the sheer convenience of just turning the rig on and playing, without having to boot a computer and load software to do what you want, and for beginners, the possible complication of first learning how to integrate the computer into the setup as well. There are lots of cool things you can do with the computer, but for things that otherwise would not require a computer, inserting the computer into the project does add complication.

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#2007941 - 01/02/13 12:15 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 653
Loc: Hernando, MS
Anotherscott,
Yes, those are all valid points, and as I said, I shouldn't have assumed the availability of a computer. You know the old joke about assuming things? *grin* Still, I think given the OP's needs and budget, the CDP 120 makes a better fit. Plus, for a complete beginner, I suspect that it's much more likely that they'll need to interface with a computer (if they do any midi at all, another assumption, which they may not ) than with some legacy hardware. Still, I appreciate your clarifying posts, and I assume the OP does as well wink.

Warm Regards smile
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2007954 - 01/02/13 12:37 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Scott, thanks for your concern man . I don't think i will ever play for a band. If i can connect my piano to an Amp, that's pretty sufficient. I am totally ignorant about what you are discussing. So i don't know what to say really. I will learn in time.

I ordered a Cdp-120 today. Hope i won't regret it.

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#2008002 - 01/02/13 02:08 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
Fatih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Guys , would you check that link please http://www.casio-intl.com/asia-mea/en/emi/contemporary/cdp120/spec/

I guess new Cdp-120 s have Midi also. If that's right, this is a great news...

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#2008007 - 01/02/13 02:21 PM Re: Beginner's Questions [Re: Fatih]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
The CDP-100 and CDP-120 both support MIDI. The CDP-100 uses the standard MIDI 5-pin DIN connectors, which is compatible with all the MIDI gear going back 30 years, and for which you need a USB adapter if you want to connect it to a computer. The CDP-120 is the reverse, it uses USB for its MIDI function, and you need an adapter in the other direction if you want to use it with any other MIDI gear other than a computer. My original point was only that the adapter for one can be as little as $5, the adapter for the other is easily over $100, so if I were going to get a keyboard that I might want to connect to a computer as well as directly to other MIDI devices (i.e. I'd have to eventually get an adapter one way or the other), I'd rather get the board that needs the cheap adapter instead of the board that needs the expensive one. But that was really all just by way of explaining what the difference is. For your purposes, it probably makes no difference at all. The CDP-120 should be just fine. The expensive adapter only becomes an issue if you want to connect other non-computer MIDI gear directly to your piano. From what you've said, I doubt that will be a concern for you anyway. If and when you get that sophisticated with what you're doing, you'll probably want to upgrade from the CDP-120 anyway. ;-)

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