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#2007809 - 01/02/13 05:24 AM need help with a plan of action...
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
I’m in a bit of a bind just now, and probably for at least another year, where my time is split between two places. In one I’ve a so-so Kawai ES1 digital I bought around 10 years ago, in the other an indifferent mini upright but also a 61-note spring-loaded controller + samples to spare Mrs DT the agonies of my practising. All are unsatisfactory but the truncated spring jobby is driving me bonkers and I’m thinking of buying a second digital in its place; the hop between the two places is gruelling and carting the ES1 to and fro is impractical. I’d probably use the new (or S/H, see below) digital with samples so its internal piano sound doesn’t need to be the best. Other considerations:

A half-decent weighted action.

Frills (other sounds/accompaniment) absolutely not needed.

Space at a premium so needs to be a ‘stage’ type and not too heavy to drop onto and lift off an x-stand without help. I’m aging but pre-crumbly so circa 20kilos max but prefer the privia line's 10-11 kilos.

Would prefer usb rather than midi connection to the laptop’s samples.

When/if I finally get settled into one spot I’ll certainly be slimming down so at least one of the digitals will go. With that in mind and the poor s/h value of digitals, maybe it would be best to buy s/h to begin with just to limit my loss on an instrument I’ll only be hanging onto for a year or two?

OR

I splash out on a better more expensive new digital with the intention of ditching the ES1 when the time comes. At the moment this is my preferred option although I can dither from one minute to the next.

OR

Just a controller with a decent action - but preferably not too heavy.

OR

(this idea occurred to me only yesterday when I started to look at ebay) an expensive S/H digital. There’s a roland V-piano up for grabs at the moment around £1800 (it would be just my luck to trigger a competitive bid from within this very forum!!). I like what I hear about the piano but with the risk of buying an out-of-warranty lemon not to mention trying to move something that weighs more than Mrs dt’s mum….

And perhaps whatever I do, I should wait until after NAMM 2013?

If anyone has any thoughts or insights I'd appreciate any advice or help in clarifying my objectives.

Cheers and all the best for 2013!


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#2007827 - 01/02/13 07:24 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I believe £1800 for the V-Piano is actually a pretty good deal, even if it is something of a one trick pony... well more of shire horse, but you get the point.

On the other hand, the Casio PX-150 is very light and compact, with a good action and sound at a great price.

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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#2007833 - 01/02/13 07:51 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: Kawai James]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
I believe £1800 for the V-Piano is actually a pretty good deal, even if it is something of a one trick pony... well more of shire horse, but you get the point.

On the other hand, the Casio PX-150 is very light and compact, with a good action and sound at a great price.

Cheers,
James
x


Thanks, James. In fact the PX-150 was my starting point when I began to look into all this and it may well end up as my final choice if I can escape from my do-this-or-that-or-then-again type loop. It's driving me mad!

And it's not as if money is no object - I'd prefer to spend as little as poss. The V-piano - even if I were to win the auction - can only be a remote possibility

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#2007835 - 01/02/13 07:55 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3612
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
The V-piano - even if I were to win the auction - can only be a remote possibility



Actually, if you were to win the auction, it would be a binding contract to buy it! You'd better not bid if you are doubtful about being able to complete the deal.

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#2007837 - 01/02/13 08:01 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: ando]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
- quite right. I meant only that there are other hurdles...

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#2007840 - 01/02/13 08:07 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Ah, while the current bid may well be £1800, I wouldn't be surprised if this increases considerably in the final few hours...especially if EssBrace finds out about the auction!

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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#2007843 - 01/02/13 08:24 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: Kawai James]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
- my immediate fears are confirmed then.

I'd be interested in his thoughts about it (although in his shoes, with the risk of competing bids from me, I'd be inclined to talk it down...)

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#2007852 - 01/02/13 08:52 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
- my immediate fears are confirmed then.

I'd be interested in his thoughts about it (although in his shoes, with the risk of competing bids from me, I'd be inclined to talk it down...)


Before he gets in on the act, let me get a head start to dissuade you from buying it wink .

It really is just a piano: there's no other sound you can get out of it - no EP, organ, synth etc whatsoever. But from its 28 presets you can customize any of several parameters to almost infinite permutations, from soundboard resonance to hammer hardness to tone colour to the tuning of individual strings, etc., and store up to 100 of your own customizations to play with at any time. It's just that they're all variations on piano sounds, though you can really go to town on the extent you can push that definition...

If all you want is an acoustic piano substitute, it has no equal among current DPs in its ability to emulate the behaviour of the real thing (response to touch, tonal variation, timbre, colour, dynamics, articulation etc). But if you want it as a replacement for a 'normal' DP with all its non-piano sounds, it's next to useless.

I'm a happy owner of one, but unlike most others here, I play almost exclusively classical music, and have no interest in electronic geekery of any sort. I treat my V-Piano like a real piano (and hit it just as hard when I need to, but after nearly three years, it still feels like new).
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2007866 - 01/02/13 09:17 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: bennevis]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
- thanks for the post.

I'm not looking for extra sounds/bells/whistles. While my interest in playing the piano has been revived (I honestly don't know if it can endure!) I've already had enough of a taste of the merrygoround of tuning and maintenance on an unsatisfactory piano, so £2k - if I could afford it - wouldn't seem excessive for an instrument that remains stable and maintenance free. I'm not a classical player, but I would still enjoy playing an instrument that rewarded my ears.

In any case, I suspect this is all academic since bringing an instrument as bulky as this into the house is likely to throw domestic harmony into sharp reverse.

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#2007893 - 01/02/13 10:22 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
I would pass on the V if you don't want something large and heavy and if you don't want to spend a ton of money.

In my opinion, you need to test out the lightish standard reccomendation pianos around here:

* Yamaha P35 (cheapest GHS piano) for use with your laptop
* Yamaha CP33/P155 (cheapest GH)
* Kawai ES3
* Casio PX150
* Roland....something. They don't really have any cheap stuff, so I don't even know what their low end stage piano is.

After testing those, decide which action you like (or take the casio if they all feel fine). Your post doesn't make it exactly clear whether you will be using onboard sounds or a software piano. Since you even mention a midi controller I'm assuming the latter.

By the way, I have no idea what you are referring to when you keep saying S/H. Presumably some words that mean "used"?

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#2007905 - 01/02/13 11:11 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: gvfarns]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5272
Originally Posted By: gvfarns


By the way, I have no idea what you are referring to when you keep saying S/H. Presumably some words that mean "used"?


S/H = second hand = used
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2007907 - 01/02/13 11:17 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: gvfarns]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
I was doing a quick search on ebay for some well-known DPs and spotted the V-piano by chance. Knowing how pricey it is when new, how their owners eulogise them and seeing it at what seems to be a low starting price (of course I’ve no idea how high it will go) set off a chain reaction in my thinking which goes counter to what I should be considering. OTOH, a while back I was thinking of getting the MP10 but cooled my heels because circumstances made it untimely. Now I see a ‘potential’ bargain which has triggered what will probably be no more than a prolonged moment of madness.

I’d like to have onboard for convenience – to quickly switch on and play. We’re 10 years on from my existing digital so I’m optimistic that all the pianos in the budget range will have a tolerable sound at the very least. I use sampled pianos with my dumb controller and I’d like to be able to run those when I need something different to listen to.

S/H – second hand. Any thoughts about buying used? Of course it’s a gamble but I wonder if there are so many sob-stories it’s not worth taking the risk.

Many thanks for your post – assuming I pass on the V-piano, or I’m outbid, I’ll be looking at the alternatives you suggest and I see the PX-150 amongst them.

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#2007997 - 01/02/13 01:59 PM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
The second hand market varies by location and time at what I considered pretty good prices. I used to live in Chicago and you could get or sell anything on criagslist at almost any time. Now I'm kind of out in the country and the used market is completely dry...only people wanting to sell their items for like 5% off the price they originally paid. On the used market there's always the chance of getting something really awesome. On the other hand, one reason you want to upgrade is that you are tired of decade-old technology, and that's largely what you find on the used market.

I've actually been on the market for a new digital for a couple of years now but I haven't found satisfaction yet. I looked at the Casios, the AvantGrands, and everything in between and haven't found a replacement for my current machine that is better enough to warrant a purchase. Sometimes you just have to wait until you find the one that works for you, even if it taxes your patience oh so heavily.


Edited by gvfarns (01/02/13 01:59 PM)

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#2008119 - 01/02/13 05:39 PM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: dire tonic]
10fingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 298
Loc: CA
Hmmm... interesting choices. The V sounds very tempting (after extensive auditioning I felt it offered the best touch/connection response of any DP I've ever played); I liked the sound, but agree with early reviewers on this forum that the mid-range was a tad weak. I ended up buying the RD700NX, and love it. It took some tinkering to get it the way I wanted it, but now I have presets that enable it to cut through a mix in a live situation, one that gets rid of the twang in some higher mid-range notes (think Bluthner mellow), and one that works well overall.

Having said that, nothing beats a real piano, and I still sit down at my U2 20 times for every time I play the RD.

Good luck with your decision,

Jonathan

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#2008481 - 01/03/13 11:18 AM Re: need help with a plan of action... [Re: gvfarns]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1360
Loc: uk south
I take your point about the used market. Supposedly if there’s not much available sellers can set the market as high as they like although at only a 5% discount I’d always prefer to buy new for the small extra outlay. For new, it seems in the uk we pay in sterling more or less nominally what you pay in dollars so we’re being punished here, although that’s nothing new in my experience.

I’m bothered by the bulk of the V-piano so decided not to bid although I’m curious to see what it will go for.

Anyway, I’m learning. I now know I would pay for the GH action or similar rather than the budget GHS option. The CP33 will interface with the laptop through usb whereas the P155 needs midi (hope I’ve got that right).

I’m nowhere near any reputable dealers so it’s going to be difficult to directly compare the Casio px150 with the CP33 which currently have my attention. I’ll do some trawling but if anyone knows of any comparison of these two pianos - in particular the action - I’d be interested. There’s a thread somewhere here in PW comparing the CP33 with the P155. What surprised me here was the CP33 seemed to come out on top for sound even though it’s the earlier of the two so presumably a bit meaner on sample memory and less slick in the software.

Jonathon, I’ve no first-hand experience of the Roland but I may well at some point go and audition that and the MP10 which I think are in the same ball park, weight and price.

In any case, at this stage, still undecided, I think I should wait the few weeks until NAMM is over.

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