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#2167459 - 10/17/13 01:28 AM Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 151
Loc: Venezuela
Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ - Buying Guide for 2014

This is a list of current models (by May 2014) of portable digital pianos (up to 25 kg or 55.11 lbs.) under 1000 US$, and the summary of most relevant characteristics to help you choose which one is the right for you.

This will be focus mostly on piano simulation, not in optional features. Outdated and really bad quality digital pianos will not be included.

I will keep this post updated so you can help me expanding or improving it.

The statements shown here are based on my experience, reading others opinions, watching YouTube videos, reading reviews (mostly on AZPianoNews), reading results from The DPBSD Project, etc. I understand a lot is about taste, but this is my humble attempt to help anyone trying to choice which one to buy.


All models have:
  • Weighted 88 keys scaled key action keyboard, with lower notes play relatively heavier than higher notes, just like the keys on a grand piano.
  • Velocity sensitive keys.
  • MIDI or USB connectivity, so can be used with software (MIDI to USB cables are very cheap and easy to find).
  • Built-in speakers.
  • Headphones plug.


Characteristic I am focusing:
  • Key action: Is the most subjective, taste driven, characteristic of digital pianos, after the sound itself. There are many models of key actions. I recommend trying them in person (example: in a music store). Some feel heavier than others. Some produce more noise than others because of the action mechanism. Some feel too bouncy, or just don't feel right for you. But I will try to reflect what most people say about them. We use some terms to describe the feel of a key action, so if you want to know what those words means, go to this article.
  • Keytops: A good standard that most acoustic and digital pianos have is glassy white keys and matte finish on black keys. But some digital pianos have plastic keys that are mold with texture to make an ivory feel on white keys, and even an ebony feel on black keys. Some like it, some don't, so you have to try it.
  • Key fulcrum: The distance between the key and the fulcrum (pivot point) affects the dip difference from the tip to the rear of the key. Acoustic pianos generally have 10mm on the front and 5mm on the rear of the white keys, and the black keys have the fulcrum further than white keys. The greater the difference between these two measurements, the more force it takes to press the keys farther back, and the more unpleasant the action because affects the dynamics too much depending on what part of the key you press. So the further the fulcrum, the better.
  • Number of sensors per key: 2 vs. 3. Most digital pianos at lower price range have the basic 2 sensors per key that measure the key velocity. The bests are the ones that have 3 sensors per key because they allow more repetitions per second, and supports half-key effect (you can press the key again without the note damper go over the strings).
  • Maximum polyphony: Is the maximum amount of notes that can sound at the same time. Low number of polyphony can cause notes to stop abruptly when limit is reach at certain moment (particularly when using sustain pedal). The higher the number of polyphony, the better. With piano sound alone, a typical song that use sustain pedal a lot could use maximum 50 of polyphony, but complex songs with many notes and sustain pedal could reach 120 of maximum polyphony. More than 120 is not really necessary for most songs, except when playing with 2 sounds at the same time (example: piano + strings). Also, is very common that digital pianos use double polyphony for each note for stereo effect, so actually the ideal polyphony number for piano alone is 240 or above.
  • Maximum number of pedals: Although the sustain pedal is the only one considered essential, some pianist like to use the other 2 pedals (sostenuto and soft), or even is required by some particular pieces, so having the option to have the 3 pedals is good.
  • Repedalling: If the sustain pedal is release a very short time after is depress, then the strings will be still vibrating a little because there was not enough time to stop the vibration. Same happen when the key is lifted a split second before the pedal is depressed ("late pedal"). This effect is more notable on lower notes since strings have more mass and takes longer time to stop. Any digital piano that worth the tittle most have this feature.
  • Half-pedal: If you depress the sustain pedal only partially on an acoustic piano, the dampers will stay partially in contact with the strings. The vibrations are then partially damped. The best digital pianos have pedals that support 128 steps (known as continuous/progressive/linear), but at lower price is common having much fewer steps. 9 steps is fairly enough. The worst are the ones that don't support half pedal (ON-OFF switch). Many advanced players find this feature important, not only for intentionally trying to partially damp sound, but also because allows to control how fast the damp is apply depending on how fast the pedal is release. Also, half-pedal allows more realistic damper noise effect.
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: When the sustain pedal is depress, all strings are free to vibrate so when you press a note the rest of string will also vibrate in sympathetic resonance. The sound produce is much rich and quite distinctive from real acoustic pianos. The best digital pianos reproduce this effect. Is not easy to emulate realistically so even when most digital pianos have this feature, most of them don't get near as the real thing.
  • Key sympathetic resonance: Is practically the same as pedal sympathetic resonance, but is implemented more realistically note by note, even if pedal is not press.
  • Note sample: To reduce cost, most digital pianos have samples of a small percentage of notes that are stretched to sound in different pitch to reproduce nearby notes. Mild stretching might use one note, say C4, stretched up one half step to play the note C#4, with the next real sample being D4, which is stretched up for D#4, and so on, which reduces sample memory requirements to roughly one-half of full sampling. The problem with stretching is that there are tones in real acoustic instruments that are fixed (sympathetic strings, soundboard, resonant cavities, etc.) whose pitches are also stretched when the note is stretched, which can sound unnatural, particularly with excessive stretching. Best digital pianos have samples of each note (88).
  • Attack and loop sample: To produce the sound, digital pianos plays a recording of a real piano. But to cut cost, most models only store the initial attack sample of a given note, and chopped off to be replaced with a loop (short sound clip which is played over and over) with a decay envelope applied. Since the loop is cyclic in nature, it can't easily reproduce multiple strings slowly interbeating, harmonics with complex decay rates, longitudinal modes, etc. so there are timbre differences between the real decay and the looped decay. Better looping is accomplished with a relatively long attack sample followed by a loop sufficiently long to support a realistically slow "wobbly" string decay sound where the looping period isn't too obvious. Bad looping is when it sound unrealistically static, like an organ would sound. Ideal is a full sample of each note but that takes a lot more of memory space so is considerably more expensive.
  • Note decay: When you hold a key, sound decays naturally until you can't hear it anymore. For lower notes decays are a lot longer than higher notes. Is often that in some digital pianos the notes decay too fast. The longer the decays time (inside the reasonable), the better.
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: The harder you press a key, not only sound louder but also timbre change. This dynamic is simulated on digital pianos using several samples of the same note pressed at different velocities, and play them accordantly to how hard you press the keys. The ideal is having a smooth timbre transition from low-to-high velocities (pianissimo-to-fortissimo). This is actually very important part of playing piano because is all about expression, and this timbre variation plays a big role on that.
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: If pressing the pedal, press a key, release the key, press the key again very softly to not make a sound, and then releasing the pedal. If the digital piano is realistic, the pedal release should not silence the sound from the first time that key was press. If a DP is not realistic in this aspect, could be annoying in very specific situations.
  • Silent soft key: When a key is pressed on a real acoustic piano, the hammer is flung at the string with a velocity proportional to how hard the key is pressed. If the key is pressed very lightly, the hammer velocity will be so low that it will not reach the string before falling back to rest, and no sound will be made. Also, if that note was already playing from a previous stroke, the sound of that note should not be affected for the same reason. Is not essential having this characteristic on a digital piano, but is a realistic effect that is appreciated mostly to prevent acquiring the bad habit of pressing the keys too softly.
  • Damper pedal noise effect: When dampers touch the strings it produce a noise. Same happen when dampers leave the strings, although noise is very different when touching or leaving strings. The faster you press or release the pedal, the louder the noise. This effect is not really desirable but is inevitable on acoustic pianos so implementing this on a digital piano helps getting used to press/release the pedal gently to prevent this noise get excessively too loud. This can be only implemented realistically if the digital piano supports several steps on half-pedal positions (ideally continuous 128 steps) because is essential measure the pedal velocity and exact position at all time to change the volume of the noise accordantly on how fast you press or release the pedal.
  • Key-up noise effect: When a key is release on an acoustic piano, the action and damper mechanism make a little noise. Noise is slightly different for keys that don't have dampers (right-side keys) since noise on those keys is made only by the action mechanism. This feature is not really necessary since noise is very subtle and doesn't change anything on the way is play, but still is a good touch of authenticity when a digital piano have it.
  • Highest keys has no dampers: On a real piano, highest keys have no damper mechanism because the decay time for these notes is so short that a damper probably wouldn't affect playing much, and undamped strings are sympathetic resonant elements that can add richness to the sound of other played notes. The transition point between dampered and undampered is somewhere between D6 and A6. So notes played above this point should not damp at key up (and obviously the damper pedal should have no influence over these notes either). Almost all digital pianos mimic this behavior.
  • Built-in speakers: Speaker quality on portable digital pianos generally are not that great so even if is said that "X model have great speakers" it only means is great for been portable, compare to other models. A decent external amplifier will always sound better than any built-in sound system.
  • Weight of the digital piano: Very important if you need to travel with the digital piano often (example: doing gigs).
  • Warranty: A really good indicator of build quality and durability. I will post the warranty period for US, but you may want to check warranty coverage for your country since it may differ.
  • Country where is made: Some people judge quality from where (country) the product was made, but try to not pay too much attention to this because lately manufactures are making excellent quality products, regardless of where they put the factories.


Color meaning:
  • Worst
  • Bad
  • Medium
  • Good
  • Excellent



Models of Digital Pianos (from low to high price):

Casio CDP-120
  • Price: 400 US$
  • Key action: Scaled Key action Keyboard
  • Keytops: Glossy finish on white and black keys
  • Key fulcrum: (need someone to get this info)
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Dual-element AHL
  • Maximum polyphony: 48
  • Maximum number of pedals: 1
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: No
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: No
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Attack sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Loops: (need someone to test this)
  • Note decay: Very short
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: (need someone to test this)
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: (need someone to test this)
  • Silent soft key: (need someone to test this)
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes
  • Built-in speakers: Poor with no bass - 12cm/6cm x 2 Oval Speakers; 8W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 11.4 kg (25.13 lbs.)
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Country where is made: (need someone to get this info)

Summary: The cheapest "good" alternative. Very basic key action, but "good enough" for the cheapest price. Piano sound is very poor with quite short sustain/decay time, but adequate enough for beginners or people that just can't pay for better sound and feel.

Recommendation: Buy this over the Yamaha P-35 if you value more the polyphony (48 vs 32) over the half-pedal. Although overall I think going for step-up Casio PX-150 is considerably a better option if you can get it for 500 US$.






Yamaha P-35
  • Price: 450 US$
  • Key action: Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: 40% of real Piano - Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 2mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: AWM Stereo Sampling
  • Maximum polyphony: 32
  • Maximum number of pedals: 1
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: Yes, but don't know how many steps (need someone to get this info)
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: No
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 29 stretch groups - Stretch is audible over the entire range
  • Attack sample: Fairly short
  • Loops: Fairly short
  • Note decay: Medium - Long over the low end, rather short over the rest of the range
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Very bad - 1 sample with very little timbre variation
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: Yes
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on G6
  • Built-in speakers: 12cm x 2 Speakers; 6W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 11.5 kg (25.35 lbs.)
  • Warranty: 3 years (US)
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Country where is made: (need someone to get this info)

Summary: Very cheap. Basic key action but decent, a little better than Casio CDP-120. Low quality sound generator, short sustain/decay time and very low polyphony, so overall the piano sound experience is poor, but adequate enough for beginners or people that just can't pay for better sound. Key action is less noisy than Casio's PX models, but if press a little hard produce a clicking sound, so even when is less noisier than Casio, is not silent at all.

Recommendation: In my opinion is very similar to CDP-120. Buy this instead of the Casio CDP-120 if you value more the half-pedal over the polyphony (32 vs 48).






Korg SP-170S
  • Price: 500 US$
  • Key action: Natural Weighted Key action (NH)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: (need someone to get this info)
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Not specified
  • Maximum polyphony: 120 / 60 (Stereo)
  • Maximum number of pedals: 1
  • Repedalling: (need someone to test this)
  • Half-pedal: Yes, but don't know how many steps (need someone to get this info)
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: No
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Attack sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Loops: (need someone to test this)
  • Note decay: (need someone to test this)
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: (need someone to test this)
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: (need someone to test this)
  • Silent soft key: (need someone to test this)
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes
  • Built-in speakers: 10cm/5cm x 2 Oval Speakers; Bass Reflex Housing; 9W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 12 kg (26.45 lbs.)
  • Warranty: 1 year (2 years if you register the product within 90 days of purchase in the US)
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Country where is made: (need someone to get this info)

Summary: Cheap alternative, when sound quality is not very relevant. Key action feels light comparable to Yamaha's GHS key action, but considered by many as inferior in feel, mostly on soft touch.

Recommendation: Is not necessarily a bad DP, but there are better options at this price range, mostly regarding key action feel (Casio and Yamaha key action are better). But if you try it and like the key action, consider buying it.






Casio PX-150
  • Price: 500 US$
  • Key action: Tri-sensor Scaled Key action Keyboard II
  • Keytops: Plastic with Ivory and Ebony texture
  • Key fulcrum: 40% of real Piano - Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 2mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 3
  • Sound source: AiR (Acoustic & intelligent Resonator)
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 3 steps pedal (OFF, HALF, ON) for sustain pedal only, and only supported using 3 pedal unit
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, though the effect is very subtle
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 34 stretch groups - Transitions are audible over the low and mid note ranges
  • Attack sample: Medium - The longest compared to all DP at this price range
  • Loops: Fairly short, but well implemented
  • Note decay: Long
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Very good - 4 samples smoothly blended and good timbre variation
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: No
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on E6
  • Built-in speakers: Poor with no bass - 13cm/6cm x 2 Oval Speakers; 8W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 11 kg (24.25 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Warranty: 1 year (3 years if you register the product within 30 days of purchase in the US)
  • Country where is made: China

Summary: A step up alternative from cheaper DPs, with better sound and key action feel. Most people agree the Casio PX-150 have the best key action at the lowest price you can get, if you don't mind is a little noisier than the Yamaha P-35 and P-105.

Recommendation: Buy this over the Yamaha P-105 if you value more the realistic key action over the 9 steps half-pedal.






Yamaha P-105
  • Price: 600 US$
  • Key action: Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: 60% of a real Piano - Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 3mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Pure CF Sound Engine
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 9 steps pedal (0, 16, 32, 30, 64, 80, 96, 112, 127 values) using FC3 pedal
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, though the effect is subtle and very unrealistic
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 29 stretch groups - Stretch group transitions are audible over most of the range due to timbre variation and some moderate L&R pan inconsistencies
  • Attack sample: Fairly short
  • Loops: Fairly short
  • Note decay: Medium - Long over the low end, rather short over the rest of the range
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Fairly good - 3 samples, mostly well blended but not that great timbre variation on fortissimo
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: Yes
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on G6
  • Built-in speakers: Good - 12cm x 2 + 5cm x 2 Speakers; 7W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 11.7 kg (25.79 lb)
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Warranty: 3 years (US)
  • Country where is made: China

Summary: A step up from Yamaha P-35 with a further fulcrum on the keys, better piano sound, better built-in speakers and a little more features. This model is overall comparable to the Casio PX-150, but with lighter key action, further fulcrum, better speakers and a 9 steps half-pedal support.

Recommendation: Buy this instead of the Casio PX-150 if you value more the 9 steps half-pedal over the realism of the key action.






Korg SP-280
  • Price: 700 US$
  • Key action: Natural Weighted Key action (NH)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: (need someone to get this info)
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Stereo PCM System
  • Maximum polyphony: 120 / 60 (Stereo)
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: (need someone to test this)
  • Half-pedal: Yes, but don't know how many steps (need someone to get this info)
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: No
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Attack sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Loops: (need someone to test this)
  • Note decay: (need someone to test this)
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: (need someone to test this)
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: (need someone to test this)
  • Silent soft key: (need someone to test this)
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes
  • Built-in speakers: Good and very loud - 12cm/8cm x 2 Oval Speakers; 22W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 19 kg (41.88 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Warranty: 1 year (2 years if you register the product within 90 days of purchase in the US)
  • Country where is made: (need someone to get this info)

Summary: Same key action as the Korg SP-170S, so feels light similar to Yahama's GHS but considered by many as inferior, mostly on soft touch. The built-in speakers sound quite good for a portable DP and is the loudest of all DP listed here. Something unique about the Korg SP-280 is that comes with 4 detachable legs, so don't need external stand.

Recommendation: I think is comparable overall to Yamaha P-105 and Casio PX-150, but with better speakers, 4 detachable legs and inferior key action feel. If those two extra features are important to you, and after trying the key action you find it acceptable, go for it.






Casio PX-350
  • Price: 700 US$
  • Key action: Tri-sensor Scaled Key action Keyboard II
  • Keytops: Plastic with Ivory and Ebony texture
  • Key fulcrum: 40% of real Piano - Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 2mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 3
  • Sound source: AiR (Acoustic & intelligent Resonator)
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 3 steps pedal (OFF, HALF, ON) for sustain pedal only, and only supported using 3 pedal unit
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, though the effect is very subtle
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 34 stretch groups - Transitions are audible over the low and mid note ranges
  • Attack sample: Medium - The longest compared to all DP at this price range
  • Loops: Fairly short, but well implemented
  • Note decay: Long
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Very good - 4 samples smoothly blended and good timbre variation
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: No
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on E6
  • Built-in speakers: Bad - A little better than Casio PX-150 but worst than Yamaha P-105 - 13cm/6cm x 2 (Rectangular) + 5cm x 2 Speakers; 8W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 11.52 kg (25.4 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Warranty: 1 year (3 years if you register the product within 30 days of purchase in the US)
  • Country where is made: China

Summary: Is like the Casio PX-150 with same key action and piano sound, but with more features and voices, a display, and a little better build-in speakers (although still inferior to Yamaha's P-105 speakers).

Recommendation: Is the competition of the Yamaha DGX-650, that also is design to have a lot of more features than simpler models. You would consider any of this two if you care about a lot of features.






Yamaha DGX-650
  • Price: 800 US$
  • Key action: Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: 50% of a real Piano - Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 2.5mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Pure CF Sound Engine
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 3 steps pedal (OFF, HALF, ON)
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, though the effect is subtle and very unrealistic
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 29 stretch groups - Stretch group transitions are audible over most of the range due to timbre variation and some moderate L&R pan inconsistencies
  • Attack sample: Fairly short
  • Loops: Fairly short
  • Note decay: Medium - Long over the low end, rather short over the rest of the range
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Fairly good - 3 samples, mostly well blended but not that great timbre variation on fortissimo
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: Yes
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on G6
  • Built-in speakers: 12cm x 2 + 5cm x 2 Speakers; 6W x 2 Amplifier
  • Weight: 22.5 kg (49.1 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Warranty: 3 years (US)
  • Country where is made: Indonesia

Summary: Is like the Yamaha P-105 with the same key action and piano sound, but with more voices, a display, and a lot more features in general.

Recommendation: It competes to the Casio PX-350. Both have a lot of features, but something very clear is that the Yamaha DGX-650 have a lot better screen.






Kawai ES100
  • Price: 800 US$
  • Key action: Advanced Key action IV-F
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: 72.5% of a real Piano - Key dip: Front 12mm, Rear 4.35mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: Sound source Harmonic Imaging (HI)
  • Maximum polyphony: 192
  • Maximum number of pedals: 3
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 6 steps pedal (0, 16, 38, 64, 94, 127 values) using F-10H pedal
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, somewhat audible on default; much more audible on high setting. Fairly good quality of the effect for the price, and reacts realistically when repedalling
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 87 note sampling - Except for a stretch group of 2, all notes are sampled
  • Attack sample: Fairly short - Very short on low notes; average on mid-to-high notes
  • Loops: Fairly short, but well implemented
  • Note decay: Medium - The initial decay is a little fast, and overall the decay is a little shorter than Pianoteq
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Very good - No layer switching and good timbre variation
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: No
  • Silent soft key: Yes
  • Damper pedal noise effect: Yes, and is velocity sensitive so the faster the pedal is press or release, the louder is the noise
  • Key-up noise effect: Yes, and noise is a little different with keys that don't have dampers
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes - Starting on G6
  • Built-in speakers: Good - 8cm x 2 Speakers; 7W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 15 kg (33.06 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Warranty: 3 years (US)
  • Country where is made: China

Summary: Sound and key action is comparable, and maybe better, than the Yamaha P-155, but with lower price and weights a little less. Key action feel realistic like Casio's PX models, but produce a lot less noise when pressing and releasing the keys. Key side-play (movement on the sides) is very good; very tight as it should be.

Recommendation: I, and many others, think Kawai ES100 is the best portable option as piano-simulator below 1000 US$ at the present moment. But, problem is that first group of unit produce have a defect were the pedal have considerably delay (around 0.1 seconds). If you want to buy, make sure you get one of the last models where they fix this issue. Don't know how know that, though.






Roland F-20
  • Price: 900 US$
  • Key action: Ivory Feel-G keyboard
  • Keytops: Ivory texture on white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: 62.8% of a real Piano - Key dip: Front 8.75mm, Rear 2.75mm
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: SuperNATURAL Piano Sound
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 1
  • Repedalling: (need someone to test this)
  • Half-pedal: 128 steps (continuous) (0, 1, 2, 3...127 values) using DP-10 pedal
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes
  • Key sympathetic resonance: (need someone to test this)
  • Note sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Attack sample: (need someone to test this)
  • Loops: (need someone to test this)
  • Note decay: (need someone to test this)
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: (need someone to test this)
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: (need someone to test this)
  • Silent soft key: (need someone to test this)
  • Damper pedal noise effect: (need someone to test this)
  • Key-up noise effect: (need someone to test this)
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes
  • Built-in speakers: 12cm/8cm x 2 Speakers; 6W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 20 kg (44.02 lbs.)
  • Warranty: 2 years labor; 5 years parts (US)
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Country where is made: Indonesia

Summary: Key action feels a little sluggish and a bit unbalanced. The ivory texture is much more subtle than the Casio, but still noticeable. Even when it doesn't have the best key action (to say the least), is a good digital piano. I most add that Roland do make excellent key action, but only at higher priced models. This model have a unique feature where can be connected wirelessly with an iPad which allows you to use it as a learning tool, change voices, navigate through settings, and control basically anything on the digital piano using Piano Partner iOS free app, but you need to buy a especial USB-WiFi adapter sold by Roland separately.

Recommendation: To be honest I think the weakness of this digital piano (key action) make me recommend Kawai ES100 over Roland F-20. And even is a little cheaper. But if you want a particular feature that others don't have, and find the key action acceptable in your experience testing it on the store, then you should really consider buying it.






Yamaha P-155
  • Price: 900 US$
  • Key action: Graded Hammer (GH)
  • Keytops: Glossy white keys and matte black keys
  • Key fulcrum: (need someone to get this info)
  • Number of sensors per key: 2
  • Sound source: AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling
  • Maximum polyphony: 128
  • Maximum number of pedals: 2
  • Repedalling: Yes
  • Half-pedal: 6 steps pedal (0, 24, 48, 72, 100, 127 values) support for one pedal, and aux pedal only supports ON-OFF switch
  • Pedal sympathetic resonance: Yes, but very unrealistic
  • Key sympathetic resonance: No
  • Note sample: 28 stretch groups - Stretching is obvious, even in the higher registers
  • Attack sample: Fairly short
  • Loops: Short and static
  • Note decay: Fairly long
  • Dynamic velocity timbre: Medium - All layers are smoothly blended, but not much timbre variation over lower 1/2 range
  • Realistic key-pedal damper interaction: Yes
  • Silent soft key: (need someone to test this)
  • Damper pedal noise effect: No
  • Key-up noise effect: No
  • Highest keys has no dampers: Yes
  • Built-in speakers: Good - 12cm/6cm x 2 Speakers; 12W x 2 Amplifiers
  • Weight: 18.6 kg (41 lbs.)
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Warranty: 3 years (US)
  • Country where is made: Japan

Summary: A step up from Yamaha's P-105 with better key action and sound. Very popular digital piano, but definitely not perfect. At this price range is worth considering.

Recommendation: Top contenders from under 1000 US$ are Yamaha P-155 and Kawai ES100. Both are great, but since Kawai ES100 is 100 US$ cheaper and have a few characteristics in its favor, I think is the best choice. Which ever feels better for you, go for it. You can't go wrong with ether two regarding to overall piano simulation.






There are better models from the listed here, but they are at higher price. Also, the necessity of making them portable force manufactures to make the key action less realistic compare to a console digital piano where weight is not an issue.


Using with software
I have to add that a the best "bang for the buck" option is to buy a cheap digital piano, or MIDI controller, with a good key action, and connect it to a computer (a cheap new laptop should be enough) to let a great software produce the piano sound. The drawback of this alternative is that can get a little complicated to set it up to work well.

My favorite software is Modartt Pianoteq that uses virtual modeling so is quite realistic replicating complicated harmonics. But choosing the best software is an entirely another subject.


Hope is helpful.


Edited by Daniel Richter (Yesterday at 11:48 PM)
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#2167460 - 10/17/13 01:36 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
helloworld1 Offline
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Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 82
Casio pc 350 should be full progressive damper pedal.
Yamaha p155 doesn't have full progressive damper pedal, it supports only 0 24 48 72 100 127 values.

p155 doesn't have sympathetic resonance.

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#2167461 - 10/17/13 01:46 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Thanks for the feedback. I really need it.

But I am quite sure Casio PX-350 don't have progressive half pedal. The 3 pedal unit that supports "half pedal" is a 3 states switch, like previous model. I read many people on this forum confirm it gives 3 values. If you really thing is progressive, please give me some kind of reference or something were I can see.

About Yamaha p155, I will take your worth for it and fix the post.

Thanks
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167462 - 10/17/13 01:47 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
4evrBeginR Offline
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The Yamaha DGX-650 I tested showed "Made in Indonesia" on the label.
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#2167463 - 10/17/13 01:49 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
The Yamaha DGX-650 I tested showed "Made in Indonesia" on the label.

Thanks you. I will put that on the post.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167465 - 10/17/13 01:52 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Kawai James Online   content
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Great post!
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#2167467 - 10/17/13 01:57 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Kawai James]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Great post!

Thanks. I hope it turns like a project where all people help to improve it, and simplify the work of searching "what digital piano to buy" thing that is so common around here. At least at this price range.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167481 - 10/17/13 02:54 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
helloworld1 Offline
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You are right. I was mistaken for 850.

reference, midi implementation chart

http://support.casio.com/pdf/008/nil%20(PX150-1200_AP250-650_MIDI_E_121101).pdf
page 46

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#2167485 - 10/17/13 03:05 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Originally Posted By: helloworld1
You are right. I was mistaken for 850.

reference, midi implementation chart

http://support.casio.com/pdf/008/nil%20(PX150-1200_AP250-650_MIDI_E_121101).pdf
page 46

That chart shows what the instrument support as a midi player. If you send the MIDI message to the Casio PX-150 / PX-350 (and I think all models from Casio on that generation) of 0 to 127 values, the instrument will play them correctly. In that way they support full half pedal. But I am focusing on the hardware pedal on the Casio can do. The "half pedal" in the SP33 pedal unit only sends 3 values (ON, HALF, OFF). I read several people saying that.

If you still think I am wrong about this, please prove me so. I only want to reflect the truth, and sadly I can't test this myself

Thanks for the help.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167489 - 10/17/13 03:56 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
xorbe Offline
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two words, excel spreadsheet

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#2167500 - 10/17/13 04:40 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
MacMacMac Offline
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Four words: piano buyer dot com

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#2167511 - 10/17/13 05:46 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: MacMacMac]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 151
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Four words: piano buyer dot com

That is the thing. No reviewer or website give details like if have progressive half pedal or 3 states half pedal, or if have repedalling, or give a summary of what people say about specific things like hammer action. Nor mention where are made, how noisy is the hammer action, etc. They don't even bother to test this things. And it matters. Me, for example, I would not buy a digital piano that don't have full progressive half pedal. Where you find that info? Nowhere. Is only after reading a few costumers here talking about this that I realize things I could never get from other website.

Specifications and price is not enough. A formal review ether. We need a list that is more piano-simulation-oriented specific, made by all of us (the consumers) that can test this things. And simplify enough that people that are going to use it to choice their digital piano don't have to spend hours and hours to get the same info. Many of the info i am trying to give are in no website.

I hope you contribute.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167535 - 10/17/13 06:36 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Doritos Flavoured Offline
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fine list and conclusion. yeah, cheap DPs with good action controlling software pianos via MIDI are a powerful combo.

I wish rear fulcrum got a bit more attention from manufacturers. how much more expensive would it get if they added keys 3 mm larger? and don't tell me you should only find that extra 3 mm on premium models starting at $15k: that's just the elitist BS argument of the piano industry as a whole... I want to know the real price for it.


Edited by Doritos Flavoured (10/17/13 06:37 AM)
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#2167580 - 10/17/13 07:25 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Doritos Flavoured]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Posts: 151
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Originally Posted By: Doritos Flavoured
fine list and conclusion. yeah, cheap DPs with good action controlling software pianos via MIDI are a powerful combo.

I wish rear fulcrum got a bit more attention from manufacturers. how much more expensive would it get if they added keys 3 mm larger? and don't tell me you should only find that extra 3 mm on premium models starting at $15k: that's just the elitist BS argument of the piano industry as a whole... I want to know the real price for it.

I totally agree with you about the fulcrum thing. That is why we most talk more about it and show we do care. No specification mention it, and hardly any reviewer talk about it. That is one of the reasons I post this. To show info normally you can't find any place, and maybe also show to manufactures that we care about these things. Like you say, how hard can it be, or expensive, to add a little more plastic to the key to make fulcrum farder? I think they think we don't care that much. I hope eventually some brand step up about many of these things that are cheap to implement, and see if the rest catch up.

Hope the post help to that. If not, well at least I hope help a few people to choice their digital piano.

Cheers.


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/17/13 07:36 AM)
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#2167617 - 10/17/13 08:56 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
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Yamaha CP33 does not have built in speakers. (It is, however, a much better MIDI controller than the P155.)

Other things that can differentiate these models...

* line outputs in addition to headphone outputs. This allows you to record audio out or connect to a better speaker system, without having to disable the internal speakers.

* audio inputs. This means that if you want to trigger an external piano sound you might prefer, you can still have it fed to you through the internal speakers.

*standard MIDI jacks vs. USB. For people who use the piano in live performance, the standard MIDI jacks are more useful, as they can easily trigger piano (or other) sounds that reside in a second board or module if desired. (If the sound you want to trigger is in a computer, either connection method works fine.)

* mono option, which is often useful for people playing in live performance.

Then there are the subjective things that can't be determined from a feature chart. Like I think that all the Yamahas sound better than the Casio PX... but the latter have the better feel. Ultimately, no one should buy anything without wrapping their fingers and ears around them. To many people, the sound and feel are more important than anything, and you can't tell that from the chart. Which is why, while I think people will find a chart like yours useful, I would quibble about some of the "recommendations."


p.s. -- I would not use the phrase "touch sensitive keys" as it is ambiguous. There are two kinds of touch sensitive keys... velocity sensitive, which is what you care about in a piano (i.e. keys play louder when you strike them with more force), and pressure sensitive, which is desirable for a lot of synth functions, where you can press the key harder after you strike it in order to introduce an effect (aka aftertouch). In modern days it is unlikely, but there have been touch sensitive keyboards in the past that responded to pressure but not velocity.

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#2167626 - 10/17/13 09:20 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Psychonaut Offline
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I applaud you for taking the time and trouble to put this together. Awesome quick comparison resource. Thanks!
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#2167684 - 10/17/13 12:01 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
rbeltz48 Offline
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How about the Casio Privia PX-780?

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#2167758 - 10/17/13 03:39 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: rbeltz48]
Tritium Offline
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Originally Posted By: rbeltz48
How about the Casio Privia PX-780?


That is a "console" style model...so it wouldn't be portable, at least not in the sense of a traditional stage (slab style) DP.


Edited by Tritium (10/17/13 03:40 PM)

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#2167813 - 10/17/13 06:03 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
helloworld1 Offline
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Sorry I don't myself clear. Casio PX350 only support On/Half and Off from the midi chart I linked. Only 850 / AP 450/650 support continuous pedal.

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#2167826 - 10/17/13 06:42 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: anotherscott]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Yamaha CP33 does not have built in speakers. (It is, however, a much better MIDI controller than the P155.)

Yamaha CP33 don't have speakers? How I miss that? You are right. Then I have to remove it since I want to include models that have speakers. I want it to be oriented to home digital pianos, not stage piano. Thank you for the correction.

And about the advantage of P-155 (real MIDI connector or USB type, real mono line-out, line-in, etc). I didn't include them because I don't want to show too much info about things that are not really that relevant about "piano simulation". That is professionals needs. Although I will think to add them. Maybe worth mentioning, even though is not relevant for piano simulation.

And about your opinion, I agree. Noone should choice a digital piano only by looking charts or reviews. But it helps. Especially if they can't test them in person.

I want to be this more than just specs chart. Not only because I include detailed info about some relevant things that most website don't mention, but also kinda show a summary of opinions of pianist. I think many people do need that, a summary of what "experts" prefer or say about X product. Very simplified, but at the same time informative in regard of piano simulation. And by "experts" I don't mean me. I mean all of you. This post is kind of a project. A wiki if you will. I will add whatever all of you agree. If is divided, i will post both opinions and maybe tell how many people agree with one opinion over other. Besides things can be also clear, like Casio hammer action is heavier than Yamaha's GHS.

But like I say, nothing can replace the experience of trying them out in person.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167828 - 10/17/13 06:48 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Originally Posted By: helloworld1
Sorry I don't myself clear. Casio PX350 only support On/Half and Off from the midi chart I linked. Only 850 / AP 450/650 support continuous pedal.

Really? I don't know how to interpret that midi chart, so I could not really understand what you mean. Now I get it.

Although what I say is true about that if you send the MIDI message to a Casio PX-350 to press half pedal, the DP will play the half pedal in all range. I know this because I hear the sample for that model in The DPBSD Project.

Anyway, bottom line is that we agree. The pedals of Casio PX-150 and PX-350 don't support progressive/continuous half pedal.

Thanks for the feedback
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167866 - 10/17/13 08:55 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
helloworld1 Offline
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Registered: 11/17/12
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Midi chart can reveal this informaiton, on page 46, it has this state that "Continuous receive only" and the graph is like:
Off -- (Continuous receive only) -- Half -- (Continus receive only) -- Full

Casio did a better job revealing the midi. Yamaha didn't so you have to try in order to figure out.

Some more information about P155,
Source of country: Made in Japan

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#2167888 - 10/17/13 10:05 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
I see.

Thanks for the info about P155. I will add that.

I dig about Yamaha P-105 and found this:

1. NOTE ON/OFF
Data format: [9nH] -> [kk] -> [vv]
9nH = Note ON/OFF event (n = channel number)
kk = Note number (Transmit: 09H–78H = A-2–C8 /
Receive: 00H–7FH = C-2–G8)
vv = Velocity (Key ON = 01H–7FH, Key OFF = 00H)
Data format: [8nH] -> [kk] -> [vv] (reception only)
8nH = Note OFF event (n = channel number)
kk = Note number: 00H–7FH = C-2–G8
vv = Velocity
2. CONTROL CHANGE
Data format: [BnH] -> [cc] -> [vv]
BnH = Control change (n = channel number)
cc = Control number
vv = Data Range
(1) Bank Select
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
00H Bank Select MSB 00H:Normal
20H Bank Select LSB 00H...7FH
Bank selection processing does not occur until receipt of next
Program Change message.
(2) Modulation (reception only)
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
01H Modulation 00H...7FH
(3) Main Volume
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
07H Volume MSB 00H...7FH
(4) Panpot (reception only)
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
0AH Panpot 00H...7FH
(5) Expression
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
0BH Expression MSB 00H...7FH
(6) Damper Pedal/Sustain
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
40H Sustain MSB 00H...7FH
(6) Damper Pedal/Sustain
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
40H Sustain MSB 00H...7FH
(7) Sostenuto
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
42H Sostenuto 00H...3FH:off, 40H...7FH:on
(8) Soft Pedal
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
43H Soft Pedal 00H...3FH:off, 40H...7FH:on
(9) Harmonic Content (reception only)
ccH Parameter Data Range (vvH)
47H Harmonic Content 00H...7FH

You understand all this? What it means about the half pedal?


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/18/13 04:05 AM)
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#2168162 - 10/18/13 02:57 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
helloworld1 Offline
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Registered: 11/17/12
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The P155's midi implementation also said the same thing, but it turns out to be not continuous. So hopefully somebody else can give out more information. If you don't know how to get it, you can try pianoteq (trial version is OK), and in "Options", it can show all midi events.

Regarding the non-continuos pedal, For build-in sound is totally fine. But it is very noticeable when playing with virtual piano and pedal noise enabled. On P155, I can't avoid the noise no matter how genital I press the pedal. But on NU1, it is truly continuous and I do pedaling much more smoothly.

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#2168166 - 10/18/13 03:01 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: helloworld1]
bennevis Online   content
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Originally Posted By: helloworld1
....no matter how genital I press the pedal.

I hope that's a Freudian slip... wink

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#2168214 - 10/18/13 04:58 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
ZikO Offline
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Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 22
Hi
I have read here:
http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/casio-privia-px-350/150865
that CASIO PX-350 "has sustain resonance, which simulates the sound of all the strings vibrating in sympathy with actually-played notes when the damper pedal is down" (4th paragraph) which sounds to me like "string sympathetic resonance". In your list CASIO PX-350 seems not to have this feature. I don't know, maybe I am wrong but it is worth checking.

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#2168257 - 10/18/13 07:47 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: ZikO]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
Then we have to find someone that have a Yamaha P-105 with FC3 pedal so he can test this continuous half pedal. You know someone that could test this? I don't have that model (at this moment) so I can't.

About the CASIO PX-350 "has sustain resonance" I am quite sure is marketing thing (lie or misleading from manufacturer). I hear the samples from The DPBSD Project from Casio PX-350 and didn't hear any resonance at all. Maybe you can hear it and tell me if you can notes it.

Thanks everybody for the feedback. I think is important we all help each-other giving info that the rest could never get from anywhere else.

Anyone that have one of the models listed here, please do the tests or measurements necessary and post the results.


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/18/13 07:48 PM)
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#2168305 - 10/18/13 11:54 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: ZikO]
Tritium Offline
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Loc: Western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: ZikO
Hi
I have read here:
http://www.keyboardmag.com/article/casio-privia-px-350/150865
that CASIO PX-350 "has sustain resonance, which simulates the sound of all the strings vibrating in sympathy with actually-played notes when the damper pedal is down" (4th paragraph) which sounds to me like "string sympathetic resonance". In your list CASIO PX-350 seems not to have this feature. I don't know, maybe I am wrong but it is worth checking.


That is a mistake...unless Keyboard Magazine is exclusively talking about Damper Resonance. The only Casio Privia PX-X50 model (currently) that features modeled String Resonance is the PX-850. Of the Celviano models, the AP-450 and AP-650 feature modeled string resonance.

For me, that was why the upgrade to the PX-850 was a no-brainer, in comparison to the PX-750 and PX-780. The modeled string resonance algorithm is excellent, and makes a distinct, positive sonic difference, in comparison to the other Privia models. The feedback, string/keyboard interaction and dynamics feels and sounds much more realistic and closer to a true acoustic grand piano sound, IMHO.

This Casio-International Comparison chart of the Privia and Celviano models may be helpful (see middle of page):

Casio International



Edited by Tritium (10/19/13 12:10 AM)

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#2168307 - 10/19/13 12:12 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Tritium]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 151
Loc: Venezuela
Yeah, manufactures are using the term "Damper Resonance", confusing people they are talking about "String Resonance".

I am not even sure what they mean when they say "Damper Resonance".
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2168316 - 10/19/13 12:50 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1179
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Yeah, manufactures are using the term "Damper Resonance", confusing people they are talking about "String Resonance".

I am not even sure what they mean when they say "Damper Resonance".


On the PX-350 (and many other DP's), the sound of a _single keystrike_ (one note) is different, depending on whether the damper pedal is "up" or "down".

With the pedal "up" (virtual dampers down, on the strings), the only sound is from the note associated with the key that was struck.

With the pedal "down" (virtual dampers raised), the note has all the open strings resonating with it. The sound is quite different from the "pedal up" sound. I think that's what "damper resonance" means, in the marketing literature.

This is different from the behavior of a synth. With a synth, "pedal down" means:

. . . "when a key is released, don't stop the
. . . sound -- let the note decay slowly".

There is no "damper resonance" on a synth. Notes sound the same, pedal up, or pedal down, as long as the key is held down. [Now somebody will test a MOX6, and find out that its "Grand piano" sound _does_ have "damper resonance" . . . ]

Yes, "string resonance" and "damper resonance" are _very_ different, and the manufacturers are trying to confuse us!

Daniel -- Thank you for doing this work. It is much appreciated.

. Charles

PS -- edit -- I just tested this on my PX-350. The sound (pedal up versus pedal down) is different, but not _very_ different. There's a lot more richness, pedal down, on an acoustic piano.

PPS -- I did some "string resonance" testing, reported in the "DPBSD" thread. Basically, the Roland "SuperNatural" pianos were pretty good, and everything else was pretty bad. "String resonance" is a tricky feature to add, and I suspect it costs a lot of processing time in the sound generator.


Edited by Charles Cohen (10/19/13 02:09 AM)

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