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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: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ - Buying Guide for 2014

This is a list of current models (by October 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 Outdated and really bad quality digital pianos will not be included.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 listed here 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 almost the 100% of the time, 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 minimal polyphony number for piano alone is 240.
  • 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 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 good speakers" it only means is good 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.






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 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 are on a tight budged. 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 the 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: No
  • 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/PX-A100
  • 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 average.

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: No
  • 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 the 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: 16 steps pedal (0,7,15,20,31,36,47,52,57,68,79,89,95,105,121,127 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 good, a bit lighter that the Casio's PX models but heavier than Yamaha's GHS, and have a much quieter key action compare to the Casios. Key side-play (movement on the sides) is 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.






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: 1000 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 (and heavier) key action, better speakers, more features and better piano sound. Very popular digital piano but definitely not perfect. Some like it's heavier action, some don't; some likes the sound, others find it too artificial. At this price range is worth considering. It was replace by the P-255 at higher price, so is getting harder to find this model.

Recommendation: Top contenders from under 1000 US$ are Yamaha P-155 and Kawai ES100. Both are great, but since Kawai ES100 is 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 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 (10/26/14 01:17 PM)
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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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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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
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$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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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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Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
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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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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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 Offline
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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
Posts: 183
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$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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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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Posts: 82
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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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
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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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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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: 183
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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Posts: 257
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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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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
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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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2167617 - 10/17/13 08:56 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
anotherscott Offline
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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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Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 234
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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Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 9
Loc: Lansing, Michigan, USA
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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Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
Loc: Western MA, USA
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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Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 82
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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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
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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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
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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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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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
Posts: 82
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
Posts: 183
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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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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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
Posts: 82
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 Offline
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5527
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
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 48
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
Posts: 183
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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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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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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Registered: 06/19/13
Posts: 179
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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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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#2168316 - 10/19/13 12:50 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Charles Cohen Online   content
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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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#2168344 - 10/19/13 03:52 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
spanishbuddha Offline
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I think the DPBSD calls the two main resonance features pedal and key, and their equivalent with some manufacturers is damper and string. As Charles says they are different, and looking in the latest DPBSD updates I see Charles has been testing and reporting on the implementations of key/string resonance. Interesting results. There are other resonances in an acoustic, and some DP's (Roland comes to mind with cabinet sounds) implement them, but hardly likely to be found in this price range of DP's.

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#2168357 - 10/19/13 05:05 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
Daniel Richter Offline
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So basically damper resonance is really a cheap way to give string resonance, but only if pedal is apply before pressing the note. If pedal is press after note there is no effect. Right? Kind of confusing since both are really the sound of string resonance, but in a unrealistic way.

I listen to sample of PX-350 and can't tell the difference with pedal or no pedal. Maybe is because sample give a few seconds to listen one way or the other so is harder to tell difference. But anyway, "damper resonance" is kinda irrelevant. I suppose is just trying to attract buyers.

I agree that maybe the reason is that real resonance most be very expensive to include.

Thanks for the feedback.

One more thing: since you have a Casio PX-350, can you measure the key dip in the front and the rear of a white key, in mm (millimeters)?

Is the only thing missing in that model info. I post was 10mm (front of the key) and 2mm (rear), but I am not sure. Actually was an estimate. I most confirm or fix that info.

Thanks


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/19/13 05:10 AM)
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#2168391 - 10/19/13 08:01 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
MacMacMac Offline
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Good point ...
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Manufactures are using the term "Damper Resonance", confusing people they are talking about "String Resonance".
I might add: they use the term "digital piano" as if these things really sound like a piano! smile

Me too, on this:
Quote:
I am not even sure what they mean when they say "Damper Resonance".
On an acoustic piano, do the dampers resonate??

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#2168410 - 10/19/13 08:52 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
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.

Not exactly.

There are two kinds of sympathetic string resonances in an acoustic piano that DPs may try to simulate (and the terminology is not consistent):

1. Pedal Down sympathetic resonance. Since all strings are undamped when the pedal is down, all strings can vibrate. When you strike a key, other strings will vibrate, with the strings that are most harmonically related to the struck note producing the most sound. A digital simulation may add the same resonance sound regardless of which keys are struck, which is less authentic, but still provides the effect.

2. Pedal Up sympathetic resonance. In this case, without depressing the pedal, the only strings that are undamped are those of other keys that happen to have already been struck and held down prior to the new key being struck. So instead of all strings being able to sympathetically vibrate when you strike a key, the only strings that can vibrate are the ones for the notes that you are holding down. This is more complicated to simulate, since the sound must be different for every combination of played notes. (Nitpicking clarification: since the strings at the top of an acoustic piano are not damped, they always have the potential to generate sympathetic sound, even when the pedal us up.)

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#2168589 - 10/19/13 04:46 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
AZ_Astro Online   content
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What a useful and helpful resource this thread is.

Down the road, a "best digital" under $2000 might be of interest as well.

It's a moving target so this is a tough job but what a great start by analyzing the sub-$1000 market.

Great job!
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#2168681 - 10/19/13 08:56 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Charles Cohen Online   content
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Quote:

One more thing: since you have a Casio PX-350, can you measure the key dip in the front and the rear of a white key, in mm (millimeters)?


10 mm, 2 mm. You estimated very well.

. Charles

PS -- with those numbers, I see why "lever length" -- from the pivot to the front of the key -- is an important number. I wonder what it is for a typical grand piano? a typical upright piano? Is it one of the differences between a "good" DP action, and a "bad" DP action?

PPS -- I do not want to hijack this thread -- sorry . . .

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#2168684 - 10/19/13 08:59 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: anotherscott]
Charles Cohen Online   content
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Quote:
. . . 2. Pedal Up sympathetic resonance. In this case, without depressing the pedal, the only strings that are undamped are those of other keys that happen to have already been struck and held down prior to the new key being struck. So instead of all strings being able to sympathetically vibrate when you strike a key, the only strings that can vibrate are the ones for the notes that you are holding down. This is more complicated to simulate, since the sound must be different for every combination of played notes. (Nitpicking clarification: since the strings at the top of an acoustic piano are not damped, they always have the potential to generate sympathetic sound, even when the pedal us up.) . . .


That's what I (and several others) are calling "string resonance".

I'd never thought about the "high-treble" resonances caused by undamped strings. You're right, they're always present. Maybe that's one of the reasons for the "rich" sound of an acoustic piano, compared to a DP.

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#2168758 - 10/20/13 02:14 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
peterws Offline
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The only reason they`re not damped on an acoustic, is mechanical difficulty to do so. Some pianos have loads of undamped strings at the top end.

It`s not a virtue!
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#2168759 - 10/20/13 02:18 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
peterws Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
Quote:

One more thing: since you have a Casio PX-350, can you measure the key dip in the front and the rear of a white key, in mm (millimeters)?


10 mm, 2 mm. You estimated very well.

. Charles

PS -- with those numbers, I see why "lever length" -- from the pivot to the front of the key -- is an important number. I wonder what it is for a typical grand piano? a typical upright piano? Is it one of the differences between a "good" DP action, and a "bad" DP action?

PPS -- I do not want to hijack this thread -- sorry . . .


That`s similar to GHS Yamaha. A sectional view of both actions verifies this. Although undesireable for obvious reasons, I `m of the opinion other factors are of greater consequence and can result in problems whilst playing certain (fast, awkward) passages.

I`m not a fan of GH.
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#2168766 - 10/20/13 02:38 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
willf Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
Quote:

One more thing: since you have a Casio PX-350, can you measure the key dip in the front and the rear of a white key, in mm (millimeters)?


10 mm, 2 mm. You estimated very well.

. Charles

PS -- with those numbers, I see why "lever length" -- from the pivot to the front of the key -- is an important number. I wonder what it is for a typical grand piano? a typical upright piano? Is it one of the differences between a "good" DP action, and a "bad" DP action?

PPS -- I do not want to hijack this thread -- sorry . . .


You might find this useful/interesting

http://www.randyhoexter.com/?p=520


I estimate that the Key Dip for a Yamaha C3 is 10mm front, 5mm rear.
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#2168800 - 10/20/13 07:00 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Charles Cohen]
bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
Quote:
. . . 2. Pedal Up sympathetic resonance. In this case, without depressing the pedal, the only strings that are undamped are those of other keys that happen to have already been struck and held down prior to the new key being struck. So instead of all strings being able to sympathetically vibrate when you strike a key, the only strings that can vibrate are the ones for the notes that you are holding down. This is more complicated to simulate, since the sound must be different for every combination of played notes. (Nitpicking clarification: since the strings at the top of an acoustic piano are not damped, they always have the potential to generate sympathetic sound, even when the pedal us up.) . . .


That's what I (and several others) are calling "string resonance".

I'd never thought about the "high-treble" resonances caused by undamped strings. You're right, they're always present. Maybe that's one of the reasons for the "rich" sound of an acoustic piano, compared to a DP.

Quite a few people here seem to like so-called 'clear' sounds produced by DPs with poor sustain and no (or hardly any) sympathetic resonances - which you won't find on any acoustic piano. And criticize the 'muddy' sounds of the DPs that make some effort to emulate the real thing. Just like they criticize the DPs that include acoustic 'artefacts' in the key action.

In the end, it all boils down to - are you purely interested in playing DPs (or just your own DP)? Or do you want to play real pianos as well?
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#2168841 - 10/20/13 09:13 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
maurus Offline
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Those who tend to like these 'clear' sounds are, I fear, often misled by a misunderstanding. Not satisfied by the sounds of digitals they think (mistakenly) that artifacts of real pianos such as sympathetic resonances, hammer noises, etc. are the reason for their dislike. In most cases, I think, the opposite is the case: Looped and stretched samples, fake harmonic spectra, i.e. the artifacts of the *digital* world are responsible for unsatisfactory sounds.

So I'd ask: Rather than wanting to play on the real thing, do you actually prefer listening to real pianos? Even under that premise you will like DP's better that emulate as much of the complex sound of acoustic pianos as possible. Whether sampled or modeled.

PS re sympathetic resonances: Don't forget the duplex scale present in many pianos - even more undamped resonances in the mix...

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#2168865 - 10/20/13 10:18 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: peterws]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: peterws
The only reason they`re not damped on an acoustic, is mechanical difficulty to do so. Some pianos have loads of undamped strings at the top end.

It`s not a virtue!

Do you have a reference for that? I have never heard that it was a mechanical limitation, but it was deemed unnecessary as the strings naturally do not sustain enough to interfere with other playing when undamped. I did a bit of googling and did not find any reference to your explanation. I don't think that undamped top strings affect the overall sound much, though. (Except when actually striking those notes, of course.)

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#2168869 - 10/20/13 10:34 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: anotherscott]
maurus Offline
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Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I don't think that undamped top strings affect the overall sound much, though. (Except when actually striking those notes, of course.)


They do. Subtly so, but they change the overtones of mid-range keys quite noticeably. I am sure it's a welcome effect for many piano designs.

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#2168895 - 10/20/13 11:25 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: peterws]
dewster Offline
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Originally Posted By: peterws
The only reason they`re not damped on an acoustic, is mechanical difficulty to do so. Some pianos have loads of undamped strings at the top end.

It`s not a virtue!

I see the undamped upper strings as something of a win-win for everyone:

1. It reduces the moving part count.

2. It gives players / listeners natural sympathetic resonance of a type likely more in-tune and predictable than the duplex scale variety.

Originally Posted By: maurus
Those who tend to like these 'clear' sounds are, I fear, often misled by a misunderstanding. Not satisfied by the sounds of digitals they think (mistakenly) that artifacts of real pianos such as sympathetic resonances, hammer noises, etc. are the reason for their dislike. In most cases, I think, the opposite is the case: Looped and stretched samples, fake harmonic spectra, i.e. the artifacts of the *digital* world are responsible for unsatisfactory sounds.

My feeling it that it's somewhere in-between. Looping, stretching, etc. bring the sound to its knees. Poor / missing sympathetic resonances deliver the death blow. Perhaps I've listened to too many of them, but I've grown to very much dislike the incredibly fake "clear" sound of most DPs. Sticks out like (and about as desirable as) a sore thumb.

IMO APs are well engineered musical instruments, with good reasons for the multiple strings per key and the presence / lack of damping.
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#2168911 - 10/20/13 12:12 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: dewster]
maurus Offline
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Originally Posted By: dewster
Looping, stretching, etc. bring the sound to its knees. Poor / missing sympathetic resonances deliver the death blow.

That's exactly what I meant. wink

And by the way, yes the duplex scale can create more problems than it solves unless very carefully designed. On my grand I have selectively damped parts of the duplex scale with a felt band for that reason...

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#2169161 - 10/20/13 10:10 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: maurus]
Daniel Richter Offline
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About resonance, I agree with all of you say. Who knows if we ever will see that feature (for real, not only on paper) on digital pianos under 1000 US$. Hard shot, but worth mentioning on the list that no digital piano have it for two reasons: to make clear the damper resonance is not really what most people might think (string resonance). The other reason is like one user mention, I plan eventually include more expensive models, that they might have string resonance. Under 1000 US$ is only entry models. Would be useful include more realistic digital pianos, that obviously are a lot over 1000 US$. For now, I start with 1000 US$ limit because... well... because is the start. Let's see how we do. But I need all of you to keep helping me on this.

About key fulcrum, Casio PX-350 looks average for cheap DP. Less than half compared to real pianos. I would say is too much difference. I think 10mm, 3mm should be the minimum.

Thanks charles. You are not at all hijack this thread. All feedback is very welcome.

About upper keys don't having dampers, I think is for musical reasons, not technical limitations. I think the main reasons is just "it doesn't need to have dampers". Plus maybe add the resonance of those strings all the time.

I don't know if some people prefer artificial advantages from digital pianos, but on this thread I will focus on "pianos simulator" so anything that simulate a acoustic piano is good in my opinion.

Anyone with a Yamaha P-105 and FC3 pedal? Can you test half pedal if is continuous?


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/20/13 10:40 PM)
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#2169183 - 10/20/13 11:12 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
anotherscott Offline
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Casio PX-5S appears to offer both kinds of sympathetic resonance, and defines them with this terminology:

String Resonance: Generates resonance for the strings of keys being pressed

Damper Resonance: Generates string resonance when the damper pedal is pressed


and it's under $1000. But it doesn't include speakers.

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#2169185 - 10/20/13 11:15 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: anotherscott]
Daniel Richter Offline
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I doubt it, even when they say it. Can you provide a sample to the The DPBSD Project? Here: The DPBSD Project
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#2169233 - 10/21/13 02:10 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
helloworld1 Offline
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I tried px 5s in GC. It has string resonance. Press keys down w/o making sound and press another key and release, the down keys will be stimulated and make sound.

The bad thing about it is the pedal can only be on off.


Edited by helloworld1 (10/21/13 02:10 AM)

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#2169308 - 10/21/13 08:14 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
I doubt it, even when they say it.

Why would you doubt the Casio has these features, when they are specifically listed in the manual, with parameters for adjusting them? Maybe you can doubt the quality of the implementation or something, which you wouldn't know from a spec sheet, but that's true of lots of what you're comparing. I see no reason to doubt it has the feature, though, if you're just compiling a feature list.

Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Can you provide a sample to the The DPBSD Project?

Dewster is on hiatus from DPBSD evals. But an interesting debate might prompt the analyst in him out of hibernation. ;-)

Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
So basically damper resonance is really a cheap way to give string resonance, but only if pedal is apply before pressing the note. If pedal is press after note there is no effect. Right? Kind of confusing since both are really the sound of string resonance, but in a unrealistic way.

Why unrealistic? Both of these phenomenon exist on real acoustic pianos... you get certain sympathetic vibrations with the pedal up (i.e. only those from other depressed keys), and other sympathetic vibrations with the pedal down. While it is certainly possible that a manufacturer can implement an effect in an unrealistic way, there's nothing inherently unrealistic about either kind of resonance. Probably either effect can be implemented well, and either effect can be implemented poorly!

Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
But anyway, "damper resonance" is kinda irrelevant. I suppose is just trying to attract buyers.

Why irrelevant, if it adds an element of authenticity to the sound that doesn't exist on models without it? Though again, I'm not saying that simply having the feature on a spec sheet means that it is done well, or that all models that have it sound equally realistic in this respect.

Really, of the two kinds of sympathetic resonances, I would say that the presence of the pedal-down variation would be what you would notice more often. But I guess that depends on your repertoire, whether you play more often with pedal or without.

Getting back to the limitations of a checkmark on a feature list... as has been discussed before, polyphony isn't simply a number either, as voice stealing algorithms alter its effectiveness. I reported a while back that I found a passage that I could play with no audible dropped notes on a model with 32 polyphony, that yielded audible dropped notes on another model with 64! That would have been something else interesting to try to get into the DPBSD test.

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#2169330 - 10/21/13 08:49 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Kawai James Offline
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Scott is definitely one of the smartest chaps on PW! wink

James
x
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#2169495 - 10/21/13 12:53 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Kawai James]
spanishbuddha Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Scott is definitely one of the smartest chaps on PW! wink

James
x

Indeed. But this thread is in danger of becoming 'Daniel Richter's comparison of digital pianos under $1000' with many subjective statements in the original post, and thereon. Nothing wrong with that, but not for me then, and it does devalue the usefulness of the thread, IMHO.

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#2169517 - 10/21/13 01:39 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
anotherscott Offline
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Thanks, guys!

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#2169623 - 10/21/13 04:35 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: anotherscott]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Good for casio then. Happy to know PX-5S have string resonance. Can't tell how good is that resonance because there is no sample yet, but definitely for what you say looks promising (decent). Although that model don't have speakers so for now I can't add it. You think i should include DP that don't have speakers? Maybe I should. I choice add only models with speakers for two reasons: to make my work here easier, especially for the start (the less models the less to worry). 2nd is that the digital pianos with no speakers are more "stage pianos". But anyway, if you guys think is better add DP with no speakers, I will.

I consider that effect important. What i don't consider important is a effect that is not notable nor realistic, like "damper resonance" that many models have but don't really sound realistic.

But anyway, we go far from subject. There is 2 casio's models in the list. Would be great giving me any feedback to fix something about them or a suggestion, opinion, etc. I will consider everything any of you say. I mean, I definitely don't want this thread be the 'Daniel Richter's comparison of digital pianos under $1000' like spanishbuddha say. Not at all. I am open to change anything here. Especially those subjected things. I want to reflect majority opinions about the subjective things, and also add what the minority say if necessary.

Have something I say on the comparison you don't agree, please tell me.

Thanks.


Edited by Daniel Richter (10/21/13 04:36 PM)
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2169647 - 10/21/13 05:17 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Ashley2013 Offline
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Hi Daniel,

If speakers are important to you, you might be disappointed with Casio. I have the PX350 and I love everything about it except for the speakers. Nice to have in a pinch but I wish the PX350 did not have them and drop the price a $100. I cant even begin to explain how bad they really are. I actually think my iPad speaker sounds better - not kidding. The sound through the speakers completely takes away everything this beautiful rich sounding digital piano has to offer. I knew this going in so I am ok about it only because I use a very good pair of headphone 99% of the time to practice when I travel. Also, I would use an amp or PA if I to entertain in a live situation. But if speakers were my priority I would have gone with the Yamaha P105 and sacrifice just a little on the sound and action.
If the Casio PX350 had good speakers, I cant imagine any other choice even coming close in that price range.
Maybe the next PX series will resolve this issue.


Edit: This is just my opinion. Please, many others might vehemently disagree with me. It's what you like is all that matters


Ash


Edited by Ashley2013 (10/21/13 05:24 PM)
Edit Reason: opinion

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#2169686 - 10/21/13 06:08 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Ashley2013]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Personally I don't find built-in speakers that important. But is my personal opinion, not relevant about the general discussion of this thread.

When I choice a digital piano, last thing on my mind is how good the speakers are. But maybe is because I just don't use them very much, like you. I prefer headphones and external amps.

For what you tell me, Casio PX-350 was really a good choice. Casio PX-150 speakers are even worst.

Enjoy your DP.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2169716 - 10/21/13 07:17 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Ashley2013 Offline
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Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 38
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Personally I don't find built-in speakers that important. But is my personal opinion, not relevant about the general discussion of this thread.

When I choice a digital piano, last thing on my mind is how good the speakers are. But maybe is because I just don't use them very much, like you. I prefer headphones and external amps.

For what you tell me, Casio PX-350 was really a good choice. Casio PX-150 speakers are even worst.

Enjoy your DP.



In my opinion there was VERY little difference in sound between the PX150 and 350. There both so bad you cant tell the difference. However, you put on some good headphones and both pianos sound fantastic. I have a very high end digital piano for my primary use and Casio is not too far off from sounding as good.

If we had to do it over again we would probably go with the PX5S. Yes, more features than we need but does it all and then some. Almost seems obsolete proof - kinda like a Nord but with better action and $$2000 cheaper wink

I want to hear and play the ES100 more than anything at the moment. Love Kawai... cant help what my ears tell me.

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#2169945 - 10/22/13 09:42 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
TheodorN Offline
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Would like to add to this discussion, that I have the PX-5S and like it very much, at least through my Sennheiser HD380 Pro headphones. I had Yamaha P85 before and I don't understand why the P85 sounded better through it's internal 6W speakers, than the PX-5S sounds through the bigger 16W Creative standalone T40 speakers.

Is it a question of the right settings? You can play with the PX-5S to set the sounds to whatever you like (almost) but there is a learning curve.


Edited by TheodorN (10/22/13 09:43 AM)
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Casio PX-5S

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#2169956 - 10/22/13 10:05 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: TheodorN]
peterws Offline
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I had some T10 speakers (14W each side I think) and my DGX sounded fine through them as well as through it`s own speakers. Pianoteq did not . . . ! Even cheap headphones sound fine with both of `em . .
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#2169983 - 10/22/13 10:50 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: TheodorN]
anotherscott Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
Would like to add to this discussion, that I have the PX-5S and like it very much, at least through my Sennheiser HD380 Pro headphones. I had Yamaha P85 before and I don't understand why the P85 sounded better through it's internal 6W speakers, than the PX-5S sounds through the bigger 16W Creative standalone T40 speakers.

Assuming that you like the sound of the PX at least as much as the P85 when played through headphones, there are a number of reason why you could still find the PX disappointing though bigger, higher wattage speakers (even apart from the fact that there's no reason a company can't make bigger, higher powered speakers that sound awful, but I assume the T40 don't fall into that category). The enclosure the speakers are in can make a big difference; the efficiency of the chosen speakers can easily make 6 watts louder than 16; the wattage figures themselves may not have been measured the same way; the speaker placement can also make a difference in the sound and overall effect.

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#2178482 - 11/07/13 01:17 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Need people to test a few things on this models:
  • Casio CDP-120
  • Yamaha P-35
  • Yamaha P-105
  • Yamaha DGX-650
  • Yamaha P-155
  • Korg SP170S
  • Korg SP280
  • Kawai ES100
  • Roland F-20

If you own or can test one of those models, please try to get the missing information.

In the main post I say what info is missing. If you can, please help.

If I could I would, but I just can't.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2178684 - 11/07/13 08:22 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
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From a few posts earlier- speakers are VERY important to me- although I am fine playing a workstation through monitors I really enjoy having the sound come out of the piano itself.

I find the Korg SP280's to be fantastic- but I think it even sounds a little better through my Audio Technica ATM 50's.

I would agree the P105 is decent for built in speakers.

Although my P95 was not as clear, it was neat the way the sound came out above and below the piano
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#2178699 - 11/07/13 08:42 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Possum SP280Krome]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Posts: 183
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Is not the first time I hear that Korg SP280 speakers are excellent. I never try that model but looks like is true that model have great speakers.

Since you own that model, can you give me more info about it? My post about that model have many holes (no info). If you can help with that would be great.

Thanks
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2179379 - 11/08/13 10:04 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Coondog Offline
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Registered: 11/04/13
Posts: 76
I just recently tried the SP280. The speakers are loud, but sound was not necessarily great. Also beware the action is disappointing. Focus more on action and sound. You can always buy speakers that are WAY better than built in ones on any digital piano.
_________________________
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--------------------
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#2183189 - 11/16/13 02:15 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Razor Offline
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Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 17
Youtube videos can only tell you so much, but when I was watching videos of Yamaha and Casio's various cheaper DPs, the PX-130 wound up being one of my favorites and it's cheaper than most of these.

Really want to try one in person.

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#2183190 - 11/16/13 02:23 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Razor]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Casio PX-130 is the previous version of the Casio PX-150. Almost in every way PX-150 improve over previous version, so if you like PX-130, then you would like PX-150 even better. Although your point about is cheaper is right. Is up to you if PX-150 improvements worth the extra money compare to PX-130.

If you try it in person, let us know your thoughts.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2183266 - 11/16/13 08:42 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
khaledAF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 5
Hi,
I intend to buy a Casio PX-150, for practice purpose only (Piano keys action), and intend to connect it to Korg PA 600 (which has both Midi and USB ports) in order to use the sounds and styles of the Korg PA600 from the casio px150,
Does the Casio PX-150 support this?

It would be highly appreciated if someone could help on this matter,
Thanks

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#2183273 - 11/16/13 09:06 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
khaledAF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 5
Dears,
Can I connect Casio PX-150 to a keyboard (Korg PA600) to play sounds of Korg Keybord from this Casio PX-150?

Thanks,

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#2183275 - 11/16/13 09:08 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: khaledAF]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
You can't because PX-150 have USB only. You need a real MIDI port
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2183278 - 11/16/13 09:14 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
khaledAF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 5
Thanks for the quick response ,
Also the Korg PA600 has 2 USB ports, type A and Type B, does it make any difference ?
What about the USB to MIDI cables?
Thanks,

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#2183280 - 11/16/13 09:21 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: khaledAF]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
problem with USB is drivers. are made for computers, as far i know. That is why professionals that connect devices use keyboard with real MIDI ports.

You can try connect two keyboard by USB but as far I know will not work.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2183286 - 11/16/13 09:44 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: khaledAF]
anotherscott Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: khaledAF
the Korg PA600 has 2 USB ports, type A and Type B, does it make any difference ?

AFAIK, even with having the right port, the only keyboard that supports direct connection to another class-compliant keyboard over USB is the Kronos.

Originally Posted By: khaledAF
What about the USB to MIDI cables?

No, but a device like this should work: http://www.kentonuk.com/products/items/utilities/usb-host.shtml

It would be simpler and more foolproof to simply get a piano that has the correct connector in the first place. i.e. Casio PX-350, Yamaha P-35.

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#2183293 - 11/16/13 10:18 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
khaledAF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 5
Kronos is my next step , I must practice for at least a year or so before investing in $4000 Kronos,
The problem with Yamaha is that it's over praised here (P105 = $900) and so on,
casio is less over priced (pX-150= $ 700),
All what I care about is the Piano action and MIDI connection,
Any suggestions please?

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#2183296 - 11/16/13 10:28 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: khaledAF]
anotherscott Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3442
Originally Posted By: khaledAF
The problem with Yamaha is that it's over praised here (P105 = $900) and so on,
casio is less over priced (pX-150= $ 700)

P105 has the same problem as the PX-150, no standard MIDI port. From Yamaha, you actually want the cheaper P35, how much would that be? About the lowest cost recent model that would work well would be the Casio CDP-100, but that's gotten scarce since they replaced it with the CDP-120 which doesn't have the MIDI jack. You could also check into the Korg SP-170, sometimes they seem to have gone pretty cheaply, don't know about where you are.

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#2184428 - 11/18/13 10:22 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: khaledAF]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
If you only care about piano action and MIDI connection for the less money I would suggest Yamaha P-35. Have same action as Yamaha P-105 and have real MIDI ports.

But as you may know, Casio have better key action feel so if that matters a lot to you, go for Casio PX-350, because is the cheapest Privia that have real MIDI ports.

Other option is like anotherscott suggest buying a converter: http://www.kentonuk.com/products/items/utilities/usb-host.shtml

Last option is Kawai ES100, but is maybe overkill for your purpose.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2189213 - 11/27/13 01:17 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Alekhan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 5
Just ordered the Roland F-20. Some say that the key action on the Kawai and Casio are better; but hopefully, the SNS for the Roland will compensate this shortcoming. Also, the wooden cabinet was probably the deciding factor for me.

Sure- I'll update when I get it.


Edited by Alekhan (11/27/13 01:56 PM)

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#2189219 - 11/27/13 01:21 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Alekhan]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
When you get it, tell us what you think about it. Also, would be great if you can give some of the information missing about the Roland F-20 on the main page of this project.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2189272 - 11/27/13 03:22 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
dewster Offline
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4358
Loc: Northern NJ
Congrats on your sticky, Daniel!
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#2189273 - 11/27/13 03:24 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: dewster]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: dewster
Congrats on your sticky, Daniel!

Thanks. Hope is at least a fraction of helpful as your DPBSD Project
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2190420 - 11/30/13 06:12 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
khaledAF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 5
Dears,
It took me some time to look at other available alternatives,
1st, casio px350 not available, only via special order (8 weeks ) and will cost around US$1200 (exclusive Dist.)
yamaha P35 available and priced at $725, same as korg 170s, (also exclusive Dist.)

I look at used DPs (not many available) I found today Casio PX320 at $500,
Those are my available option (living in U.A.E, Abu Dhabi),
I might negotiate the Casio PX320 , as all what am concern about is Piano Action Keys and MIDI connection (to another Keyboard),

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#2190801 - 12/01/13 01:32 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Just for a good laugh.

PX-150

Yes, it's incredible. People around here are that stupid.
_________________________
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Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2191446 - 12/02/13 01:12 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
digipianocompare Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 22
Thank you so much Daniel Richter for this excellent post! I've written some individual product reviews here for digitalpianocompare that people might also find useful!

http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/category/price/digital-pianos-under-1000/

Please note "under 1000" on digitalpianocompare is in pounds-sterling (so depending on the exchange rate, probably slightly more than under 1000 dollars).

By way of recommendation, I'd suggest going for the Yamaha P-155: mainly because you get the Yamaha sound engine. The Kawai ES100 is good but when it comes down to tone quality the Yamaha pips it to the post.

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#2191469 - 12/02/13 01:53 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: digipianocompare]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Great reviews of yours too. I will take a good look in the following days and see what can I add or change to my post using your reviews.

My post is more a information page than a review, so your reviews are very welcome.

Although as far I hear from others opinions, P-155 sound is not that great. I have to look more in to it, but in the DPBSD project P-155 don't have that great results in piano sound, mostly for not very good looping and obvious 28 stretched groups. I will try to search more about in the following days, including reading your review. I didn't try the P-155 so everything I mention on that model is from listening what others say about it.

Thanks for the reply. Hope you can help me on this project more in the future.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2191564 - 12/02/13 06:50 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: digipianocompare]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9675
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: digipianocompare
Thank you so much Daniel Richter for this excellent post! I've written some individual product reviews here for digitalpianocompare that people might also find useful!

http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/category/price/digital-pianos-under-1000/


May I ask why you feel the need to hide affiliate ID links embedded within your reviews using an URL shortener? I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt, however directing PianoWorld forum members to your website smells a little fishy. Bumping older threads to recommend one brand exclusively over any other doesn't help your cause a great deal either.

Originally Posted By: digipianocompare
By way of recommendation, I'd suggest going for the Yamaha P-155: mainly because you get the Yamaha sound engine. The Kawai ES100 is good but when it comes down to tone quality the Yamaha pips it to the post.


May I ask you to explain why you believe the 'Yamaha sound engine' of the P155 to be superior to that of the ES100? Moreover, I'm somewhat curious as to how you can make such an assessment, given that the ES100 has yet to be released in the UK. Have you played this particular Kawai model? Indeed, have you played the Yamaha?

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
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#2191752 - 12/03/13 06:20 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Great reviews of yours too. I will take a good look in the following days and see what can I add or change to my post using your reviews.


Hopefully you will only stick to the facts?

The source of these reviews is unclear, and anyway as we know from the opinions expressed on the forum, one man's meat is another's poison.

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#2191871 - 12/03/13 12:03 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: spanishbuddha]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Of course I stick to the facts. DPBSD is my main source since have real data, as objectively as possible.
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2192162 - 12/03/13 10:10 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
therightmoment Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/13
Posts: 24
Loc: WA, USA
Hello I am a 1yr player upgrading from yamaha 235 over 10 years old to a DP. I borrowed a yamaha p 155 and that was great just heavy and could sometimes hear the sound of the keys. I am looking at kawai es100 and casio px350 can't decide. Was told that casio had more features to keep me interested in practicing with the midi feature and ability to upload songs and adjust. It seems like the reviews of the sound for kawai is better. I wont be able to try before I buy. Can anyone give advice? Thanks!
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DeColores!
mid-level beginner pianist (again) serious as of Dec 2013!

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#2192174 - 12/03/13 10:32 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: therightmoment]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: therightmoment
Hello I am a 1yr player upgrading from yamaha 235 over 10 years old to a DP. I borrowed a yamaha p 155 and that was great just heavy and could sometimes hear the sound of the keys. I am looking at kawai es100 and casio px350 can't decide. Was told that casio had more features to keep me interested in practicing with the midi feature and ability to upload songs and adjust. It seems like the reviews of the sound for kawai is better. I wont be able to try before I buy. Can anyone give advice? Thanks!

I think what you hear is right. Casio PX-350 have a lot of more features and voices and all that kind of stuffs. If you like those things that are not really about "piano simulation", then go for the PX-350.

With Kawai ES100 is more like a better key action, with a lot less noise when pressing and releasing the keys. Also better build-in speakers. Piano sound, I think Casio and Kawai are great so I would not say one is better than the other. Maybe except that Kawai have 88 sample keys, compare to casio that have 34 stretch groups. But overall I think both sound great.

So, if you want those extra features, go for Casio. Want more silent key action, go Kawai. I did go for kawai because I don't care about those extra features. I only care about piano. But for you, sounds you may take more advantage of the extra features on the Casio PX-350.

So ask yourself: Those features are really important to you?

One thing I most add is that Kawai ES100 include F-10H pedal that supports half pedal, very good quality pedal. If you buy Casio, you need to buy a decent pedal because the one is included is...hmm...garbage.

Is hard decision, most of the time, to choice a digital piano. Hope this project make things easier.

Good luck.
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2192182 - 12/03/13 10:49 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
therightmoment Offline
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Registered: 12/03/13
Posts: 24
Loc: WA, USA
Thank you for your reply! Do you also have any thoughts about the midi feature on the casio? Or with the kawai.... how would you use it to help beginners play better? Any features or programs that would work with the kawai. I know it doesn't have usb.... although I've never used that in a DP.
_________________________
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DeColores!
mid-level beginner pianist (again) serious as of Dec 2013!

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#2192187 - 12/03/13 11:06 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: therightmoment]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Depends on what you mean about "midi feature". Kawai and Casio, both have MIDI ports. Casio can be connected to a computer by USB too. The kawai need to buy a cheap MIDI-USB adapter (I have one) to connect to the computer.

I am not sure what extra learning features the Casio PX-350 have, but I am quite sure nothing is better than learning with Synthesia. Synthesia is a program/software that is compatible to windows and mac, that allows you to watch notes you need to play. Free version works just fine, but you can pay for full version that have more features. Anyway, the idea is connect the keyboard to the computer and use Synthesia. You better check that out yourself: http://www.synthesiagame.com/

Of course, that works with any digital piano with MIDI or USB-to-host ports.

If learning features is what you want, I can't think a better option than that.


Edited by Daniel Richter (12/07/13 09:03 PM)
_________________________
Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2192190 - 12/03/13 11:13 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
therightmoment Offline
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Registered: 12/03/13
Posts: 24
Loc: WA, USA
Thankyou I will check that out and thankyou for the clarification!
_________________________
-SY
DeColores!
mid-level beginner pianist (again) serious as of Dec 2013!

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#2193904 - 12/07/13 10:48 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Alekhan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 5
The Roland F-20, haven't have a chance to test all functions. So far my impression:
- key action - "sluggish" probably correct, however the noise not bother me. I can set the key sensitivity to high so less chance of missing a note, however the default is quite heavy. I like the ivory feel, it's like a "real" piano.
- sound - low and high notes is great I can hear the sympathetic resonance, escapement feature...etc., middle-low is average or "digital".
- it's made in Indonesia.
- pedal is continuous (can't tell how many steps)

I think this is a DP good for beginner - like me. I'll have a more details after I play a bit more.

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#2193964 - 12/07/13 01:21 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Alekhan]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Thank you very much Alekhan. I was hoping someone give me details about that model, since I can't access to one. So your feedback is very useful.

I will edit the main post with what you say, but have a few questions:

  • Really have ivory keytops? But similar to casio or how is? I ask because on photos don't look like having ivory texture. Maybe is less obvious?
  • Can you measure the key dip on the front and rear of any white key? Millimeters (mm) is more accurate. This is to know the fulcrum distance.
  • What pedal you have?
  • Please consider record a file for the DPBSD project, if is not too much trouble for you. If you need help with that, I can for sure help you. Is actually not that complicated. Here is the link: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1365103.html

Thank you very much
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2193988 - 12/07/13 01:53 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Alekhan Offline
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Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 5
- Yes, I can see and feel the ivory grain.
- I don't know how accurate but I measured about 8.75mm front 2.75mm back slightly pressed.
- pedal roland DP-10. Half pedaling works.

Sure, I'll look into DPDSD later.

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#2194023 - 12/07/13 03:04 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Alekhan]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Loc: Venezuela
Slightly pressed? You need to press the key all the way down.

You could also test steps on half pedal, if you have connected your DP to the computer. After that is super easy. Download free version of pianoteq and see "Audio/MIDI Setup" section. MIDI messages will show. After that is just note how much values give when pressing slowly the pedal. If is too much values, maybe you could give first few values (Example:0,10,20,30,40,50) and I figure out how much steps will be after that, following pattern.

Didn't know that model have ivory feel on keytops. From what you say sounds great.

Thanks again. Hope you keep helping providing info about that model. Not for me, but for anyone that may want that info.
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

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#2194204 - 12/07/13 09:00 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Coondog Offline
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Registered: 11/04/13
Posts: 76
This is why one would buy a Yamaha CP33. Yes, it's under $1,000 and even under $900US if you shop it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8JwLG2jyKo&feature=c4-overview&list=LLn2ElYnNNAVPwsnBaZZl8gQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9Oda_YqtKs
_________________________
Kawai MP7
Yamaha CP4 (sold and happy it's gone)
Yamaha CP33 (sold and wish I never did)
Young Chang Y118 (sold)
--------------------
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#2194447 - 12/08/13 10:40 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Alekhan Offline
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Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 5
I downloaded pianoeq4 per your instruction: I got 0,1,2,3...-..125,126,127 down, 127,126,125,..-...,3,2,1,0 up, so I guess it has 128 steps.

I said "slightly" press meant I did pressed all the way down, but just enough force.



Edited by Alekhan (12/08/13 10:42 AM)

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#2194527 - 12/08/13 02:28 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Alekhan]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Ah ok. Great info. Will post that on main page.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2196281 - 12/11/13 08:42 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
TecFlip Offline
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Loc: Kansas City, MO
For the Yamaha P35, I have a tear down of the action and of the keys with the fulcrum. The half pedal is only 2 layers.

http://tecflip.tumblr.com/post/69277158118/yamaha-p35b-teardown

Hope that helps.

BTW, The fulcrum on the Casio CDP-120 Is in the almos the exact place as the Yamaha P35.
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YouTube Channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/JleewSongs
Yamaha P-35b

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#2196294 - 12/11/13 09:05 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: TecFlip]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Wow. Nice photos. I love inside photos of devices.

You could measure the key dip on front and rear? mm is more accurate, if you can
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2196326 - 12/11/13 10:28 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Squall21 Offline
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Registered: 12/06/13
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Thank you very much Alekhan. I was hoping someone give me details about that model, since I can't access to one. So your feedback is very useful.

I will edit the main post with what you say, but have a few questions:

[list]
[*]Really have ivory keytops? But similar to casio or how is? I ask because on photos don't look like having ivory texture. Maybe is less obvious?


I just got the chance to try the F-20 at the store. The ivory texture is much more subtle than the casio, but still noticeable. Feels nice actually. I would love to know what this 'sluggish' action is. Even though I've tried it, it was brief.

Thanks Daniel btw for this thread. It really narrowed down my search. smile

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#2196365 - 12/12/13 12:44 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Squall21]
Alekhan Offline
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Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 5
"Sluggish" action I perceive that the keys do not bounce back as fast as an average digital piano or keyboard. Right now it doesn't bother me, however, I could see this can be an issue for advanced players. I think the key action is quite realistic compare to an acoustic piano. The sound of the F-20 is top notch. I hook it up to an external amp/speakers. I haven't try the IPad option yet, but the instruments sound excellent.

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#2196630 - 12/12/13 04:49 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
TecFlip Offline
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Registered: 09/16/12
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Loc: Kansas City, MO
p35 10mm in the front 2mm in the back.
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Yamaha P-35b

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#2196656 - 12/12/13 06:11 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: TecFlip]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Loc: Venezuela
Thanks
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2196914 - 12/13/13 08:43 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: TecFlip]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Where the P-35 is made? China?
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2196975 - 12/13/13 10:52 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
dje31 Offline
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Posts: 220
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
Where the P-35 is made? China?


These days, what isn't?
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Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30

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#2196978 - 12/13/13 10:52 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Coondog]
dje31 Offline
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Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 220
Originally Posted By: Coondog
This is why one would buy a Yamaha CP33. Yes, it's under $1,000 and even under $900US if you shop it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8JwLG2jyKo&feature=c4-overview&list=LLn2ElYnNNAVPwsnBaZZl8gQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9Oda_YqtKs


Were either or both of these you? Regardless, great playing!
_________________________
Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30

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#2199307 - 12/17/13 05:39 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
peterws Offline
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Posts: 3868
Loc: Northern England.
"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."

You just dropped yerself in it! Home pianos HAVE to include console models! Arius, and many others fit this bill. . . slab pianos are almost designated "stage pianos" by their design methinks . .

We`ll help ya, man! Starting with the entire Celviano range, we have . . . (you can always reference the stage equivalent - have fun!)
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#2199547 - 12/18/13 06:36 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: peterws]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
You mean you want me to include on the list consoles and digital pianos with no speakers?

I can't because each post have a limit on characters number. I most limit number of models I can add, so that is one of the reasons I narrow the list to: portable, current models, with speakers, and below 1000 US$. Other reason is that takes more time for me.

I could post a similar list but about consoles, or with higher price range, or without speakers, etc. But I will not do it because it takes time to keep updated the list and pay attention to new models, research, review for mistakes, etc. I think I invest enough time on this.

Would be cool someone else do that other lists, though.
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

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#2208511 - 01/05/14 06:44 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
peterws Offline
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It was just a thought at the time, not to be taken too seriously. It`d be almost a full time job keeping up with latest stuff. Would suit somebody retired . . .
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#2209560 - 01/06/14 04:46 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
peterws Offline
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DGX 650 has three stages of pedal operation, according to Pianoteq. Like, on, off and half . . . .

White key depresses only 2.5mm, not 3 at the console end.

It also records audio easily (wav.) and takes an audio input through a minijack. Software pianos can feed into it`s speakers by this method straight from the computer.


Edited by peterws (01/06/14 04:51 PM)
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#2209684 - 01/06/14 06:53 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: peterws]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
Thanks. Is great info about the DGX650. I included on the post.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2209956 - 01/07/14 02:25 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Lelax Offline
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Registered: 03/29/12
Posts: 42
Thank you for compiling this useful compendium of affordable digital pianos.

I agree with your conclusions to the best of my knowledge. In particular the MODARTT PIANOTEQ physics simulation software based on MATLAB scientific programming platform is capable and preferable to the onboard piano sampling system used in these digital pianos.

So ... MIDI USB keyboard with great action goes to PC running Pianoteq with Bluthner player or the standard D4 player seems to give truly satisfactory and sufficient piano sound for classical practice.

I would add the analog amplifier and speaker system needs to be optimized along with a ton of settings in the software to get optimal sound. That is, the system as a whole needs the user to do the optimization to get best results. That being stated, the Pianoteq Bluther and D4 players are pretty good at the default settings. I avoid fancy room acoustics settings and stick to plain Jane flat room acoustics simulation settings. Comments and feedback most welcome on this sidebar.

Again TY for putting all this stuff together. Nice work!

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#2209989 - 01/07/14 05:15 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
p.elvis Offline
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Registered: 07/02/13
Posts: 7
Yamaha GHS is crappy







Edited by pelvis (01/07/14 05:28 AM)

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#2209990 - 01/07/14 05:19 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
p.elvis Offline
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Registered: 07/02/13
Posts: 7
Korg NH (SP170 SP280) have most longer fulcrum




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#2210212 - 01/07/14 01:09 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: p.elvis]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Not all GHS keybeds are the same. For example the P-35 have a shorter fulcrum than P-105. Also P-35 use the plastic as a pivot; the P-105 use real axis for each key. P-35 have several keys join in one mold; P-105 keys are individual.

Although I do agree GHS action is kinda "crappy". At least compare to other technologies and brands.


About Korg NH (SP170 and SP280), I didn't know was that far fulcrum. Maybe a winner in that aspect, in their category. But I need confirmation on the measurements to publish it. Can someone measure key dip on front and rear of the white key on those models?
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

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#2210339 - 01/07/14 03:53 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
p.elvis Offline
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Registered: 07/02/13
Posts: 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_DcljpKnIM

all GHS (P, DGX, YDP series) uses octave blocks with small fulcrum

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#2210343 - 01/07/14 04:03 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Lelax]
peterws Offline
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Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3868
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: Lelax
Thank you for compiling this useful compendium of affordable digital pianos.

I agree with your conclusions to the best of my knowledge. In particular the MODARTT PIANOTEQ physics simulation software based on MATLAB scientific programming platform is capable and preferable to the onboard piano sampling system used in these digital pianos.

So ... MIDI USB keyboard with great action goes to PC running Pianoteq with Bluthner player or the standard D4 player seems to give truly satisfactory and sufficient piano sound for classical practice.

I would add the analog amplifier and speaker system needs to be optimized along with a ton of settings in the software to get optimal sound. That is, the system as a whole needs the user to do the optimization to get best results. That being stated, the Pianoteq Bluther and D4 players are pretty good at the default settings. I avoid fancy room acoustics settings and stick to plain Jane flat room acoustics simulation settings. Comments and feedback most welcome on this sidebar.

Again TY for putting all this stuff together. Nice work!


Personal choice for most but I prefer the onboard piano sound on the DGX, knocked slightly out of tune, (which you can do in the functions menu) for most stuff. But I`ve still work to do on Pianoteq. . . it is good.
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#2210347 - 01/07/14 04:06 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: p.elvis]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Not sure where I saw the key action of P-105, but I remember was individual keys.

Also, one person measure the key dip on P-105 and was:
Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 3mm

Other person measure the P-35 and was:
Key dip: Front 10mm, Rear 2mm

Only 1mm difference, but if you where right should be the same.

I would love to have a picture of P-105 insides. Can't find one. If you find one, let me know. Remember, must be P-105. Other models don't apply.

GHS refers to the key action with hammer, not the actually keys. At least that is from what I've seen.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2210351 - 01/07/14 04:08 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: p.elvis]
peterws Offline
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Elvis, they have changed the design somewhat. They no longer break for instance. Not the best action, by far. But adequate for mosrt stuff. Of note, is this. The black keys are much lighter to press than the white ones which is of benefit when playing near the console as you do quite a lot of the time.

Good for the money, methinks.
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#2210700 - 01/08/14 02:12 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
lolatu Offline
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Registered: 11/01/13
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Loc: UK
Small correction required since bolded text is contradictory:

Yamaha DGX-650

Half-pedal: 3 steps pedal (OFF, HALF, ON)

Recommendation: Buy this instead of the Casio PX-350 if you value more the 9 steps half-pedal over the realism of the key action and light weight.
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#2210705 - 01/08/14 02:31 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: lolatu]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
oops. You are right. I fix it.

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

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#2214559 - 01/14/14 12:30 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tzache Offline
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Registered: 01/14/14
Posts: 7
Hi.
Im a newbie who is looking for a good piano to start learning, and im not willing to change it after a year or two if i progress a little. I've decided at Casio PX 350 / Kawai ES 100. Im more inclined toward kawai because of the fulcrum (i have really large hands and i tend to play with my fingers between the black keys) Also kawai seems to have better key action and i found a really good deal (1000$ shipped to my country while PX350 cheapest option was 1300$)

The only thing that im afraid of is the output of the kawai as it doesnt seem to have line out and i dont know how the headphones output will behave for a normal amplifier (Marantz 6003 -> Monitor audio BX2)
(integrated amplifiers need really small voltage otherwise they clip and they give overall bad quality sound)

So the question :
Will i miss any of the PX 350 features (TRI-Sensor, line out etc) if i go with kawai es 100 ?
Will i still be able to use Educational software using those two midi -> USB to my pc ?


Edited by Tzache (01/14/14 12:33 PM)

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#2214568 - 01/14/14 12:56 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Marcos Daniel Offline
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Registered: 06/07/13
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Loc: Punta Alta, Buenos Aires, Arge...
I haven't played ES100, but I played ES6 and CL35, both of them with the same action. The keys are shorter than ideal...
I think that at a low volume, headphone output works well as line out, and I'm sure that you will be able to use the midi to USB adapter without any problem. I own this one: http://www.esi-audio.com/products/midimate2/ It does not require installation under windows/linux and automatically detects the incoming and outgoing MIDI signals, so you don't have to care about which DIN conector is output or input.

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#2214569 - 01/14/14 12:56 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
gvfarns Offline
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Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Lack of a line-out is indeed quite a flaw. It means you can't use external speakers. Personally I wag my finger at Kawai for this. Some people have had good luck using headphone jacks with speakers but normally it's not the preferred option. Were you planning on using external speakers, though? Many people just use headphones and built-in speakers. The built-in speakers are nothing to write home about but they get the basic job done.

The three-level sensor may or may not be an issue. Normally it is not. It's an enhancement, but not one that comes up all the frequently...definitely not in your first few years of playing. If you are an inexperienced player I would say it's not a big concern.

Both pianos should work the same with respect to MIDI, so educational software (with which I have no experience) should work equally well with either (or not all all, with either).

Whether the key action in the ES100 or PX350 is better is not clear. Very much in the eye of the beholder and there are people who will argue both ways.


Edited by gvfarns (01/14/14 12:57 PM)

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#2214593 - 01/14/14 01:34 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tzache Offline
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Registered: 01/14/14
Posts: 7
Uhmm ... What do you mean keys are shorter than ideal ? Keys are shorter than PX350 ?
I'm planning to use mostly my audio setup as it is an audiophile quality stereo setup so i prefer it over the built in speakers. I played at home a P95 and you couldnt even compare the sound coming from onboard audio with the sound from my stereo setup smile

The key action sadly i can't compare because in my country i have acces only to the PX350, P95 wich i didnt like and the memory of my upright acustic piano.

So ... i dont neccesary need the USB and tri-sensor is not something that i should worry yet.

Then Kawai is still the winner. I've made the order (30 days money back guarantee). If i don't like it i will send it back and take the pricier PX 350.

P.S. Weird thing here in Eu kawai is way cheaper than PX 350.


Edited by Tzache (01/14/14 01:35 PM)

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#2214603 - 01/14/14 01:59 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Tzache]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Tzache
Hi.
. . .
The only thing that im afraid of is the output of the kawai as it doesnt seem to have line out and i dont know how the headphones output will behave for a normal amplifier (Marantz 6003 -> Monitor audio BX2)
(integrated amplifiers need really small voltage otherwise they clip and they give overall bad quality sound) . . .



I have run hi-fi systems from "headphone" outputs on portable electronics -- no trouble at all. Just use a "line-level" input (e.g. "Aux Input") to the Marantz. And keep the volume on the digital piano set fairly low.

. Charles

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#2214713 - 01/14/14 05:06 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Tzache]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
USB to MIDI adapter, not an issue. Are cheap and work just fine.

Line-out, none-issue. The ES100 have 2 headphone ports that works exactly as a line out. You can change volume to have the power you want to the amp. You can even enable internal speakers while you have an amp plug in, to use the internal speakers as a monitor.

Keys, the ES100 have further fulcrum than Casio. No doubt about it. Also the keys of the ES100 is considerably less noisy than Casio.

Problem of the Kawai ES100 is pedal latency. First produced units are defective, and not yet sure if that is really fix or how know if you buy a fix unit. For that reason I recommend not buy an ES100 until this issue is clear and everyone can be sure they will not get a defective unit.

More info here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2213541/1.html
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2214725 - 01/14/14 05:23 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tzache Offline
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Registered: 01/14/14
Posts: 7
Thanks for the heads up. I already raised this issue with the online retailer from wich i bought it, and they assured me that if i will get a defective unit i can send it to manufacturer for replacement.

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#2214776 - 01/14/14 07:18 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Bigsam Offline
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Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 7

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#2217488 - 01/20/14 05:01 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Tzache]
blackspaven Offline
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Registered: 11/27/13
Posts: 98
Originally Posted By: Tzache
Thanks for the heads up. I already raised this issue with the online retailer from wich i bought it, and they assured me that if i will get a defective unit i can send it to manufacturer for replacement.


According to Kawai Europe, as far as they're aware, NO UK units sold have been the ones with this problem.

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#2217531 - 01/20/14 09:00 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tzache Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/14/14
Posts: 7
Uhmm Ok so the piano finnaly arrived this morning smile
Preety happy with it. The headphones out is acting perfect as a line out, but still It has a problem, the female connectors seem loose. The don't make a sturdy contact and you get a lot of stereo balance problems and cracking noises. Now im looking for a way to contact kawai to see how can i fix this issue
I tryied to see if i can test the casio PX 350 but .. sadly they dont have it on stock so i cant compare, to see wich piano fits me better.

If you have infos regarding contacting the Kawai please let me know. Thanks

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#2221744 - 01/28/14 03:22 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: AZ_Astro]
willf Offline
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Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 95
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro


Down the road, a "best digital" under $2000 might be of interest as well.



+1.
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#2222572 - 01/29/14 01:41 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
briansaddleback Offline
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Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Irvine CA
Had the yamaha p-35 for a few days didnt like how the GHS action played on it. It was extremely difficult to play the black keys solidly when going quicker as the fulcrum was too close to the action.
I tested out the p-105 and although same action it didnt have the same problem. Why would yamaha use different fulcrum distances on two models that use the same action? Is a further fulcrum really justified in having the price higher and only on higher models?
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#2222673 - 01/29/14 04:36 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: briansaddleback]
peterws Offline
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Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3868
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: briansaddleback
Had the yamaha p-35 for a few days didnt like how the GHS action played on it. It was extremely difficult to play the black keys solidly when going quicker as the fulcrum was too close to the action.
I tested out the p-105 and although same action it didnt have the same problem. Why would yamaha use different fulcrum distances on two models that use the same action? Is a further fulcrum really justified in having the price higher and only on higher models?


Sometimes the keys feel different simply because the velocity curve of the piano is different. This difference can be pronounced. But if the GHS keys are different model to model, somebody here will know . . .
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#2222691 - 01/29/14 04:57 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: briansaddleback]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
Originally Posted By: briansaddleback
Had the yamaha p-35 for a few days didnt like how the GHS action played on it. It was extremely difficult to play the black keys solidly when going quicker as the fulcrum was too close to the action.
I tested out the p-105 and although same action it didnt have the same problem. Why would yamaha use different fulcrum distances on two models that use the same action? Is a further fulcrum really justified in having the price higher and only on higher models?

They refer the GHS as the action, not the key molds and all that. So yes, as far I know P-105 have further fulcrum than P-35.

Cheap models are cheap for a reason. The higher the cost, everything is better. But not only in one thing, but many. So the higher cost from P-35 to P-105 is not only for further fulcrum, but also more polyphony, better sound generator, recorder, etc.

Would be cool to have a cheap great key action with only piano sound. I never use features. I just want to play. Also for those who use a computer to make the piano sound. But apparently this good key actions always comes with a lot of features so cost a lot of money.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2224031 - 02/01/14 07:00 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
compianist1 Offline
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Registered: 12/13/13
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Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
[size:17pt]
[b]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.



Yeah. In theory. In practice is a LOT more complicated than you'd think. I own some excellent piano sampling libraries and I know how to set it all up with a usb keyboard. After years of frustration, I just bought a Roland F20 last week and it blows everything else I used out of the window. The problems with sampling libraries and VST software can be many, here's some (other than the basic problems like latency and setting up a soundcard etc, which is basica stuff) :

1. the keyboard you have, if it's a budget one, even though it might have hammer-action etc, is unlikely to be able to give the full dynamic levels from ppp to fff. Very unlikely, unless you have an excellent stage piano from Roland like the rd700 or similar from other companies. Which will defeat the purpose (cost) for having a sampling library or piano vst software.

2. the sampling library or vst software are very likely to have notes that 'jump out'. From ppp to fff, on a real piano, there's hundreds of gradations. When someone samples a piano, it will take as low as 8 gradations. If one gradation sounds a little brighter or darker, the note will 'stand out'. So for example, if you are playing the F # minor fast passage in the pp section in Mozart's Alla Turca, the RH run might have some notes that 'stick out' even though on a real piano you are able to play it very evenly. This one problem especially has given me tons of headaches. It's a playability problem.

After YEARS of crap problems like that, I just gave up and bought myself a Roland F20 a few days ago. In my experience, it blows every sample library and vst I have tried, out of the window. Not because the sound is better. It sounds great, although a bit behind my sampling libraries ( I have excellent pianos in my Eastwest Goliath software, also a Steinway library from Imperfect Samples, plus I tried Pianoteq too).

But the PLAYABILITY on the Roland blows them all out of the window. If I want to play fff, I can get it as I normally would on a piano. With sampling libraries I never achieved that, and this latter problem, unlike the 'sticking out notes in an even passage) is NOT a fault of the sampling libraries, but of the master keyboards itself. This is explained well in a pdf from SupremePianos.

A good digital piano like the F20 has NONE of these problems, although on the cheap ones like the Casio CDP it's impossible to play fff and really hard to play ff. (I am not bashing it, it's a good cheap piano for a beginner) Funny that even with some of the best sampling libraries, I play 'badly' but on a real piano or on a quality instrument like the F20, I play really well.

I have had the F20 for about 5 days and it made an amazing difference to my practicing life. Not only I have none of the problems I had before, I can turn off the goddamn computer and do some serious practice. I didn't even read anyone's thoughts about the F20 here, for I am fully satisfied with this quality instrument. I don't need an opinion about it as my own experience is more than enough. It sounds really good, it has the dynamic range I wanted for a long time, the keybed feels great to me. It's even enclosed in a real mahogany cabinet, which is unheard of at this price. In short, I think it's awesome.

I pretty much hate computers, even though I can set really well soundcards, sampling libraries, virtual recording studios etc. But I prefer real instruments and paper, as oppose as VST and ipad of whatever you have today.

With a sampling library or Pianoteq, you only have half of what you really need. You still need a keyboard that gives the correct dynamic range. Funnily enough, I have also tried the F20 with Pianoteq, and I still can't get the fff that I can get on the F20 with it's own sound.

For me, the F20 wins hands down. And that's supposedly a 'first piano for your child'. A bit of an understatement. I am a player who played guitar for 15 years and started to practice piano more and more consistently about 3 years ago, I am about grade 6-7 classical and grade 8 jazz, and I have grade 7 in music theory, and the F20 is the best instrument I bought in the last 7 years. I tried the Casio PX350. Good piano too, no doubt, but I preferred the Roland.




Edited by compianist1 (02/01/14 08:57 AM)

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#2224034 - 02/01/14 07:43 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: compianist1]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
compianist1, you ever try Pianoteq?

I can't say is perfect, but I think is better than any sample-base-software. And for sure have great dynamics.

Can you supply a recording to The DPBSD Project?
Here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1365103.html

You download a midi and play it form the digital piano and record the audio in MP3. That would help a lot.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2224054 - 02/01/14 08:48 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
compianist1 Offline
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as I wrote in the post, I have indeed tried Pianoteq. I have done it again last night using the F20, and once again, the fff with the F20 internal sound is very easy to achieve, something I can't do with Pianoteq. Keep in mind that with the F20 pianoteq will still have better dynamics than using, say, a casio CDP with pianoteq. The cheap keyboards just have a lacking dynamic range.

With the F20 and Pianoteq, I can get somewhat better ppp, but getting ff or fff takes too much effort, and overall the F20 on it's own still wins hands down. It just feels more natural to play on. It plays and feels really good right out of the box, and saves time and headaches.

I will have a look at the midi file and probably post by tomorrow.

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#2224074 - 02/01/14 09:23 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
compianist1 Offline
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I agree with you about Pianoteq, though....even though it doesn't sound as 'real' as sampled libraries, as for example my Imperfect Samples library, it doesn't have that frigging annoying 'unevenness' in passage playing. It's really excellent software, the Stage version doesn't cost a lot, and it fits in an incredible 20 mb of space. The best modelling piano software for sure.

I think on the link you provided the fault is called, 'audible velocity layer switch'.

I loathe that one problem. I can live with the sound, within reason. I am not a nitpick and I never use una corda etc, I play mainly music from the classical period and other modern non-classical genres. But that 'audible velocity layer switch' used to drive me crazy. It basically destroys passages where random notes seem to get accents you didn't give. Man I hate that, makes me sound like a noob. I actually have a solid technique (not my words but words of my tutor, who's a really good Japanese concert pianist) , although it will be at least another two years of considerable practice to make me think I am satisfied with my playing. But regardless, the F20 is a breath of fresh air. I really like it and contrary to what I believed, it's worth spending money on a digital piano rather than software.

The resonance and attack on my Imperfect Samples library is really amazing, and in my opinion the most realistic sampled library anywhere, but it doesn't work on classical music, where you have to be precise with the details


Edited by compianist1 (02/01/14 09:27 AM)

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#2225268 - 02/03/14 03:22 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Mohannad Offline
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Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 79
I own a Casio CDP-120. It has repedalling.

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#2225271 - 02/03/14 03:36 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
daviel Offline
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Registered: 11/14/07
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Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Have you considered renting a real practice piano?
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David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#2225350 - 02/03/14 07:03 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
monkeybusiness Offline
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Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 4
anotherscott where are you? i need your help and all of you wonderful people on this forum. i would like to know which of this two yamaha digital pianos has a better piano tone? yamaha np31 or yamaha npv60. please do respond and thank you

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#2225594 - 02/04/14 05:18 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: daviel]
compianist1 Offline
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Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 121
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: daviel
Have you considered renting a real practice piano?


No, never did. The thought 'oh man, if I only had a real piano' never crossed my mind

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#2225611 - 02/04/14 06:36 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: monkeybusiness]
spanishbuddha Offline
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Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: monkeybusiness
anotherscott where are you? i need your help and all of you wonderful people on this forum. i would like to know which of this two yamaha digital pianos has a better piano tone? yamaha np31 or yamaha npv60. please do respond and thank you

I think the Piaggero series use the same tone generators. The V have far more functions for accompaniment, arpeggios, single finger chords and so on, and also options to connect to a PC/iPad. Neither have hammer action keys so are not really for serious piano players, but useful perhaps for getting into keyboards, and their main benefit is they are lightweight, portable and run on batteries. If you are a budding serious piano player on this budget, look at the Casio's, PX150 and similar, maybe even used PX130.

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#2226165 - 02/05/14 06:22 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
oivavoi Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 48
Loc: Norway
Hi folks, sorry if this already has been covered in the thread (just read it through quickly), but has anyone here tried out the privia px150 with vintage D or other software pianos? What's the verdict?

I have a Kawai CS10 at home which I adore to the point of madness, but recently I got a new job which will involve a lot of moving for the next two or three years (doing field work for a doctoral thesis). So I'm considering buying something portable and cheap that I can take with me (that will still feel reasonably good to play), in addition to the CS10 that will cover the home base. I'm wondering if PX150+Vintage D might do the trick.
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#2226167 - 02/05/14 06:38 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: oivavoi]
peterws Offline
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Registered: 07/21/12
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Loc: Northern England.
Somebody on Adult Beginners used one on a Mendelssohn recital. Sounded wonderful. I`ll try and fish it out . . .

Here is one of quite a few . . PX150 and Vintage D comin` up, SIR!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCT5GfpMryY&list=PLFqE-iKuazj5HCYWkqlncU44MXiYRPYIv&index=12


Edited by peterws (02/05/14 07:55 AM)
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#2226871 - 02/06/14 10:08 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
oivavoi Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
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Loc: Norway
Thanks, Peterws! Sounds good indeed:)
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#2227450 - 02/07/14 01:04 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Blitzn Offline
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Registered: 10/13/04
Posts: 28
Loc: United Kingdom
I've been on a mission to replace my RD-300SX (I sold it a while back and never got round to buying a new unit).

I was on the verge of going for the Kawai ES7 but then I found out about the ES100 an PX-350. I've played them all this week.

In my opinion the Kawai ES100 is much better in terms of action than the Casio PX-350. The PX-350 also has a very noisy action!

The bells and whistles of the Casio wouldn't be enough to sway me as the touch is paramount for me. I plan to get a sound module if I ever play somewhere.

Both speakers were adequate for home use.

Other pianos I tried:
Korg SP280 - Awful keybed (think mashed potatoes and seaweed)
Korg SP250 - Surprised this felt better as it's an earlier model!

I would take the PX-350 over the two Korg models though.
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#2228165 - 02/08/14 10:44 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Cristian88 Offline
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Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 25
Dumb question: Does the P35 refer to the P35B or are those two separate pianos. If they are not the same, what is the difference between them?

Edit: Thank you Daniel


Edited by Cristian88 (02/08/14 11:14 PM)

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#2228171 - 02/08/14 10:48 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Cristian88]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
The last letter is color. B for Black, W for White. So all of those are the same internally. Same thing for other brands like Casio (example PX-150B, PX-150W)
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2229365 - 02/11/14 02:40 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
connor Offline
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Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arizona
I would like to know what your guy's thoughts are on a p-155. I was looking at grabbing one for about 899. The p-255 is tempting at a deal for 999. Also a guy down my street is selling a p-95 with a stand and pedal for 400. So basically should i grab a 155,255, MP6, or a FP7


Edited by connor (02/11/14 03:46 AM)

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#2229386 - 02/11/14 04:02 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: connor]
pwl Offline
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Registered: 05/31/13
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Loc: Bay Area CA
How/where do you get a P-255 for $999?

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#2229390 - 02/11/14 04:17 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
connor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arizona
Ebay smile. But honestly i keep reading so many forums that say ones good and then i look and another forum says it not so good. I have literally read about 10 positive and ten negative reviews comparing the 155,mp6, and fp7. Its kind of frustrating to keep getting so many mixed reviews. I am looking for something to resemble the closest to a real piano in terms of 88 fully weighted keys and the hammer action.

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#2229402 - 02/11/14 05:50 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: connor]
peterws Offline
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Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3868
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: connor
Ebay smile. But honestly i keep reading so many forums that say ones good and then i look and another forum says it not so good. I have literally read about 10 positive and ten negative reviews comparing the 155,mp6, and fp7. Its kind of frustrating to keep getting so many mixed reviews. I am looking for something to resemble the closest to a real piano in terms of 88 fully weighted keys and the hammer action.


How difficult when you don`t have access to play them all! Even when you do, they sound crap because - they need setting up. By the player, not the shop.
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#2229517 - 02/11/14 10:56 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: connor]
MacMacMac Offline
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Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3899
Loc: North Carolina
The only review that matters is YOUR review.
Originally Posted By: connor
I keep reading so many forums that say ones good and then i look and another forum says it not so good.

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#2229551 - 02/11/14 11:44 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: MacMacMac]
Psychonaut Offline
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Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 234
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
The only review that matters is YOUR review.
Originally Posted By: connor
I keep reading so many forums that say ones good and then i look and another forum says it not so good.


And therein lies the rub. There are clearly a whole bunch of people here, myself included, who hound this forum in vain, searching for definitive answers about which DP will provide the best "piano" experience for a certain amount of money. But of course, the critical subjective component cannot be disseminated over the internet. So what to do if we don't have physical access to the various models being talked about?

If I were buying a DP today and had a $1000 cap, I would get the Yamaha P155 for sure (or even another P120) because at that price point the hammer action is IMHO quite good. I've never regretted my P120 purchase for even one second.

At under $1000 dollars, I have been able to find locally a Yamaha P80, P105, Casio Privia PX150 and PX350 as well as a 76 key Yamaha Piaggero and a Williams thing. I wouldn't not want to buy any of these, and see them all as a significant step down from what I have. I have no access to Kawai products at all, which is a drag...
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#2230096 - 02/12/14 01:34 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
connor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arizona
if you had 1000 you would grab a p-155? Over a f-120? or a MP6? or the Fp-7F? You could score a new p-255 for 1,000. Everyone was saying to wait for NAMM and now that it has past i see no one including the newer model products. I mean sure, a lot of us havent gotten to test them out but i see a lot of people reviewing and asking about products they have not actually played on.


Edited by connor (02/12/14 01:39 AM)

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#2230234 - 02/12/14 09:43 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: connor]
Turnabout Offline
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Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 130
Originally Posted By: connor
You could score a new p-255 for 1,000.


Where?


Edited by Turnabout (02/12/14 09:44 AM)

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#2230373 - 02/12/14 01:24 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Turnabout]
briansaddleback Offline
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Registered: 01/27/14
Posts: 220
Loc: Irvine CA
Yeah where? I'm interested too. I look through eBay and see no such 999 p255. Sometimes the seller can place a hefty ship charge on it or may be mistaken w the model number or it may be slightly defective or used.


Anyways I would still get a p155 if it fell anywhere less than a 999
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#2230518 - 02/12/14 05:08 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Turnabout Offline
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Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 130
Next Monday is Presidents Day. For the last few years MusiciansFriend.com has posted a Presidents Day coupon-code for 15% off a single item of $199 or more with free shipping. That would bring the P155 down to $849 shipped. (Which you also could have gotten last Thanksgiving/Black Friday.)

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#2230664 - 02/12/14 09:24 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
connor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 13
Loc: Arizona
how does the sound compare to the p155 and es100 also what about the kurzweil sp4


Edited by connor (02/12/14 11:59 PM)

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#2244493 - 03/10/14 10:30 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: connor]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: connor
. . . So basically should i grab a 155,255, MP6, or a FP7


PMFJI --

I've tested the P155 and FP-7F, and I own a PX-350. My opinion, for what it's worth:

. . . The FP-7F (different from the FP-7) is in a better
. . . class of DP's than the P155 and PX-350.

It is closer to an acoustic piano than either of them. Now, you have to accept the "SuperNatural Sound" from the Roland. Some people don't like that; I think it's OK. And the nice keyboard action, and lush resonances, coming out of the FP-7F, make up for any "artificiality" of individual notes. [That's if there _is_ any "artificiality", which is open to debate.]

It's tough to describe the differences in words. You have to put on headphones, close your eyes, hit the keys, and ask:

. . . Does it feel like I'm playing an acoustic piano?

. . . If not, how far off is it?

The judgement isn't mystical, but it _is_ subjective.

. Charles

PS -- I don't know if that was helpful, or not.

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#2245804 - 03/13/14 08:57 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
digipianocompare Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 22
Hi Daniel, thanks for this. Wow, must have taken you a while to review these. For what it's worth, I've reviewed some of these on digitalpianocompare, specifically:

Casio
- Casio CDP-120: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/casio-cdp-120-digital-piano-review/
- Casio PX-150: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/casio-px-150-digital-piano-review/
- Casio PX-350: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/casio-px-350-digital-piano-review/

Yamaha
- Yamaha P-35: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/yamaha-p-35-digital-piano-review/
- Yamaha P-105: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/yamaha-p-105-digital-piano-review/
- Yamaha P-155: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/yamaha-p-155-digital-piano-review/
- Yamaha DGX-650: http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk/yamaha-dgx-650-digital-piano-review/

Don't know whether these are helpful but thought I'd share.

Thanks, digitalpianocompare
http://www.digitalpianocompare.co.uk

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#2245954 - 03/13/14 01:22 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Daniel Richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 183
Loc: Venezuela
I need is people giving specific information that is missing. Has been a few months and practically noone has summit useful information.

If you have a digital piano of the list, and you see parts of information that are missing (are colored red), please consider posting the info.

Thanks
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Long time piano player, with 7 years experience working in restaurants and doing gigs in random places.

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

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2246141 - 03/13/14 07:43 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: digipianocompare]
Kawai James Offline
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Posts: 9675
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: digipianocompare
Thanks, digitalpianocompare


What was the website URL again?

I can appreciate that you wish to direct people toward your affiliate sponsored site, but a little subtlety wouldn't hurt.
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#2246255 - 03/13/14 10:50 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Kawai James]
dewster Offline
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Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: digipianocompare
Thanks, digitalpianocompare


What was the website URL again?

I can appreciate that you wish to direct people toward your affiliate sponsored site, but a little subtlety wouldn't hurt.

I just read one of the "reviews". Not seeing a lot of value add over promo material straight from the manufacturer. What is the point of these sites? Certainly not to ruffle feathers or call a spade a spade. I don't get the sense that the reviewer ever set eyes on the DP under review, or cracked the manual for that matter.
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#2246259 - 03/13/14 10:59 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: dewster]
Kawai James Offline
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Registered: 09/06/07
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Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: dewster
What is the point of these sites?


Visitors read their favourable reviews, then click the 'Buy' links. The website receives revenue for every link clicked from the online store (the URLs are purposely shortened to hide their affiliateID info).

Cheers,
James
x
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#2246265 - 03/13/14 11:16 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
ShiverMeTimbres Offline
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Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: Daniel Richter
I need is people giving specific information that is missing. Has been a few months and practically noone has summit useful information.


http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2245537/Re:_Jay_from_Roland_saying_Hi!.html#Post2245537 smile

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#2251556 - 03/24/14 07:22 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: ShiverMeTimbres]
splendorlex Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 2
This is ALMOST the perfect thread for me. The only problem is I'm looking for a good, sub $1,000 console digital. Is there a similar thread for console digitals?

If not, maybe I could just sneak a few console recs. I'd like it to look as much like an acoustic piano as possible. (My wife wants one half for the aesthetics, the other half to try to get our kids interested.)

I like what I've seen in Yamahas, but the ones at that price point seem to be sort of "gutted" compared to the ones $1500 and up. I just today heard about the Casio PX-780, and though I was at first avoiding the Casio name, this one has what looks like mid-range DP features at an entry DP price.

Any specific recommendations for a good CONSOLE digital close to $1000? I could go a teensy over for the right instrument.

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#2251563 - 03/24/14 07:31 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: splendorlex]
pwl Offline
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Registered: 05/31/13
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Loc: Bay Area CA
Originally Posted By: splendorlex
Any specific recommendations for a good CONSOLE digital close to $1000? I could go a teensy over for the right instrument.

Casio PX-850 or Kawai KDP90.

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#2254785 - 03/31/14 11:11 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
nd73 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
Apologies if this has been specifically asked before (I'm sure it has....)

My 6yo is in the early stages of learning so looking for a DP. My wife and I both played to a reasonable standard when younger so hopefully we can pick it up again as well.

Budget up to c600. It's going to be in the living room so needs to look ok. Emphasis on something that is as piano-like as possible in terms of feel plus a reasonable sound. Gadgets and gizmos far less important.

Three options (ok, maybe four) in mind and my interpretation of various reviews:

Casio PX150 - good feel to keyboard, let down by sound.
Yamaha P105 - 70 more than PX150. Sounds better but suggestion that feel of keys not quite as good.
Casio PX750 - 40 more than P105, more 'piano-like', good sound, includes lid so might look a bit tidier.

The fourth option - 70 more than the PX750 is the PX850. Looks like a better machine but not much more money due to Casio offering 100 cashback at the moment. Is it beyond what we would need? Aware that it is easy to get caught in a 'just 50 more' upwards spiral and going even futher beyond my ideal budget!

Please feel free to correct my impressions and add any other thoughts!

Thank you

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#2254813 - 03/31/14 12:21 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: nd73]
Lester Burnham Offline
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Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 364
Originally Posted By: nd73
Apologies if this has been specifically asked before (I'm sure it has....)

My 6yo is in the early stages of learning so looking for a DP. My wife and I both played to a reasonable standard when younger so hopefully we can pick it up again as well.

Budget up to c600. It's going to be in the living room so needs to look ok. Emphasis on something that is as piano-like as possible in terms of feel plus a reasonable sound. Gadgets and gizmos far less important.

Three options (ok, maybe four) in mind and my interpretation of various reviews:

Casio PX150 - good feel to keyboard, let down by sound.
Yamaha P105 - 70 more than PX150. Sounds better but suggestion that feel of keys not quite as good.
Casio PX750 - 40 more than P105, more 'piano-like', good sound, includes lid so might look a bit tidier.

The fourth option - 70 more than the PX750 is the PX850. Looks like a better machine but not much more money due to Casio offering 100 cashback at the moment. Is it beyond what we would need? Aware that it is easy to get caught in a 'just 50 more' upwards spiral and going even futher beyond my ideal budget!

Please feel free to correct my impressions and add any other thoughts!

Thank you

I've got a Casio AP-245 which was on sale / special offer, but probably no longer available - it was 499 when it was being sold, and was / is the AP-250 rebadged to be sold for a limited time at a discount.

It's effectively the same as the PX-750, except is more the traditional looking digital piano, being part of the Celviano range, rather than the Privia range.

I've been very happy with it - especially the action. I've played some of the Yamaha models in music shops since buying mine, and the models around those prices, the keyboards seem to feel too light / soft in comparison - at least to me.

The PX-850 is a reasonable jump in spec (same action as the PX-750, same sound generation, just better polyphony, features and some enhancements). If you can stretch to the 850, that's what I'd get, if it's not that much more than your budget (with the cashback offer).

Truth be told, I was only going to by a basic / entry-level slab type digital piano and an X-frame stand for silent practice (I have an acoustic, upright piano already), but the AP-245 when it was being sold was too much digital piano for me to refuse for the price. The additional features of the PX-850 / AP-450 over the 750 / 250, weren't important to me, so unless the difference was quite close, I wouldn't have gone up a model.

If you get chance, though, play one of them. edit: just noticed your post suggests you've played the 750... The action should be common from the 750 and 850 (common throughout the x50 range), so if you get to play one, it's then going to come down to what you feel is important in spec. The 750 / 250 have 128 note polyphony, and a modest number of sounds / voices, whereas the 850 / 450 has 256 note polyphony, more sounds / voices, things like lid simulator, and some better recording / storing facilities, I think.

I suppose what matters is what you think you may make use of - if you've played the 750 and you're happy with the action, the 850 should be the same. Same with the fundamentals of the sound, although the 850 has more bells / whistles. If it's not a lot more extra, I'd go with it, if it's already stretching your upper limit on budget as is, you'd probably be happy with the 750.

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#2254900 - 03/31/14 04:20 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
nd73 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
Cheers. AP-245 currently available at 479 . The shop selling it describes it as not being very good and that all Casio range is way behind the Yamahas! The conflicting views of retailers only emphasises the value of forum such as this.


Edited by nd73 (03/31/14 04:26 PM)

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#2254908 - 03/31/14 04:33 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: nd73]
Lester Burnham Offline
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Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 364
Originally Posted By: nd73
Cheers. AP-245 currently available at 479 . The shop selling it describes it as not being very good and that all Casio range is way behind the Yamahas! The conflicting views of retailers only emphasises the value of forum such as this.


Well the AP-245 == AP-250, which is the same keyboard as the PX-750, just with a different stand and surround.

PX-850 == AP-450, so it depends on how they're all stacking up price wise, what your ceiling is on budget, and what features are of importance / likely to be important.

The action is common amongst all the current Celviano and Privia pianos.

I paid 519 for my AP-245 bundled with a Stagg adjustable piano stool, at the turn of 2013 / 2014. I've been delighted with it. I stretched my budget a little for it and am glad I did. Since I've seen some very good deals for PX-850s on occasion - but I don't regret stretching myself that bit more, because at the time, they weren't as cheap, and the AP-245 / AP-250 was well worth it at the 500 price.

What's your ideal budget and what price can you get the PX-850 for? If the AP-245 is a fair bit cheaper than the PX-750, then it's a no brainer - assuming it's not a well-used demonstration model - it's the same digital piano, just packaged up a bit more traditionally.

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#2254929 - 03/31/14 05:05 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
nd73 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
AP-245 is new and 479 (with stool)
Equivalent PX-750 bundle is 629
Equivalent PX-850 bundle is 699 (after cash back)

Had a budget of 600 in mind but there is some flexibility in that if it's worthwhile.

AP-245 sounds a good deal though.

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#2254932 - 03/31/14 05:08 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Lester Burnham]
Charles Cohen Online   content
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Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . .
The PX-850 is a reasonable jump in spec (same action as the PX-750, same sound generation, just better polyphony, features and some enhancements). If you can stretch to the 850, that's what I'd get, if it's not that much more than your budget (with the cashback offer). . . .


+1.

The PX-850 has a better sound-generator than the PX-750, I think. The keyboard mechanism is identical.

. Charles

PS -- I own a PX-350, the "slab version" of the PX-780 ( I think!).

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#2255001 - 03/31/14 07:51 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: nd73]
Lester Burnham Offline
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Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 364
Originally Posted By: nd73
AP-245 is new and 479 (with stool)
Equivalent PX-750 bundle is 629
Equivalent PX-850 bundle is 699 (after cash back)

Had a budget of 600 in mind but there is some flexibility in that if it's worthwhile.

AP-245 sounds a good deal though.


Tricky one, really. The AP-245 is an absolute bargain at that price, especially as it includes a stool.

+220 for an 850, after cash-back? Tricky really. I think the 850 and 450 are truly excellent at their price point, but that 245 is bargain-tastic at that price.

The action is the same, I guess what you need to decide is whether the extra bells and whistles are worth the extra 220 once the cash-back offer applies. Personally I'd go with the 245, but were the 850 only 100 more expensive and I'd stretch for it. The 245 has the new AiR sound generation, just not things like the lid simulator, and has 128 polyphony instead of 256.

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#2255155 - 04/01/14 04:05 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Lester Burnham]
nd73 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
Originally Posted By: nd73
AP-245 is new and 479 (with stool)
Equivalent PX-750 bundle is 629
Equivalent PX-850 bundle is 699 (after cash back)

Had a budget of 600 in mind but there is some flexibility in that if it's worthwhile.

AP-245 sounds a good deal though.


Tricky one, really. The AP-245 is an absolute bargain at that price, especially as it includes a stool.

+220 for an 850, after cash-back? Tricky really. I think the 850 and 450 are truly excellent at their price point, but that 245 is bargain-tastic at that price.

The action is the same, I guess what you need to decide is whether the extra bells and whistles are worth the extra 220 once the cash-back offer applies. Personally I'd go with the 245, but were the 850 only 100 more expensive and I'd stretch for it. The 245 has the new AiR sound generation, just not things like the lid simulator, and has 128 polyphony instead of 256.


If it was between the 750 and 850 I'd definitely upgrade for the sake of 70. A 220 difference (50% near enough) is far more difficult justify when the action is the same.

Thanks for the comments so far.

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#2257049 - 04/05/14 05:54 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
nd73 Offline
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Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
AP-245 bought for 479. Delivery early next week.

Thanks for the advice.

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#2257057 - 04/05/14 06:59 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: nd73]
Lester Burnham Offline
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Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 364
Originally Posted By: nd73
AP-245 bought for 479. Delivery early next week.

Thanks for the advice.

I'd be interested in your thoughts once you've got it and had time to use it.

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#2270103 - 05/02/14 10:05 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Lester Burnham]
nd73 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: Lester Burnham
Originally Posted By: nd73
AP-245 bought for 479. Delivery early next week.

Thanks for the advice.

I'd be interested in your thoughts once you've got it and had time to use it.


A few weeks of ownership under the belt so time for a report.

AP-245 bought from Musicroom.com but at their Hatfield store. Price matched to UK Pianos and got a small discount on a stool. Good service in store, offered free delivery but I decided to collect the following day.

Got the machine home and was easy to assemble despite it being a bit heavier than I expected.

My daughter (beginner level) and wife (returning to playing after a gap of many years) have had most use of it. They've found it good to play with a decent weight to the keys and a good tone. I've played it a bit and was impressed with how it felt. Undoubtedly there are better DPs available but I think it's a good DP considering the price and more than adequate for our needs.

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#2270789 - 05/04/14 01:06 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tuneless Offline
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Registered: 06/17/13
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Loc: AZ, USA
Can anyone confirm the weight of the Yamaha P-105 as 26 lbs? Amazon has one seller saying it is 26 lbs, and another seller saying it is 36 lbs. An extra 10 lbs is a deal breaker. I need something to practice on while my upright is being worked on (by me), and it will be in and out of a closet, so a heavy bulky unit is not a good idea. Seventy six key models would work well, but I hear the feel of the key action is terrible.
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Roland FP-50
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Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
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#2270796 - 05/04/14 01:33 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Charles Cohen Online   content
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Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1535
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I think 26 lbs is right. It's a lightweight board, comparable to PX-150 in weight. Maybe one of them is quoting shipping weight, rather than net weight?

You could check the Yamaha website -- www.yamaha.com -- no guessing, then.

. Charles

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#2271424 - 05/05/14 12:36 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tuneless Offline
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Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 203
Loc: AZ, USA
Thank you. Yes, it is 26 lbs. It looks like 36 pounds is the typical shipping weight, but it is interesting that one seller has it at 36 lbs, and then also gives a shipping weight that is much higher yet, 63 lbs. I see one that says the keyboard is 10 lbs. Don't ever depend on Amazon to give you accurate info, if any info.
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2271632 - 05/05/14 09:47 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Tuneless]
MossySF Offline
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Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 48
Originally Posted By: Tuneless
Thank you. Yes, it is 26 lbs. It looks like 36 pounds is the typical shipping weight, but it is interesting that one seller has it at 36 lbs, and then also gives a shipping weight that is much higher yet, 63 lbs. I see one that says the keyboard is 10 lbs. Don't ever depend on Amazon to give you accurate info, if any info.


It's probably 63lb w/ the wood stand.

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#2271668 - 05/05/14 11:54 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
Tuneless Offline
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Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 203
Loc: AZ, USA
Which means this seller really doesn't know what he is doing, as he is offering only the basic keyboard, at a basic keyboard price. ???
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2273195 - 05/09/14 10:18 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
carojm36 Offline
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Registered: 04/02/14
Posts: 23
As I said in another thread, I got the ES100 this week and the key action is everything Daniel says..but the volume of the built-in speakers seems awfully weak. I could really crank the volume on my old Roland EP6 and my new Yamaha NP31. I think there should always be the option of too-loud.

Has anyone else noticed this? Maybe there's something wrong with this unit.

Also the settings adjustment seem a lot more complicated than the Yamaha.

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#2273196 - 05/09/14 10:25 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: carojm36]
Daniel Richter Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
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Loc: Venezuela
True. The ES100 speakers are not very loud. But for me is enough to annoy the neighbors next door in my building.

About settings, at least can save settings and load them later. So is complicated, but you don't really have to mess with that often. I really don't change settings. I only play with settings when was new. After i like the settings, i save it and i never touch it again.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

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#2273250 - 05/09/14 12:57 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
carojm36 Offline
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THanks...BTW, have you done any adjusting to the temperament?

Dissonant intervals seem unusally jarring. I get a lot of "vibrato" off basic 7th intervals that I haven't noticed in my acoustic. I thought maybe it is a temperament issue.


Edited by carojm36 (05/09/14 01:09 PM)

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#2273375 - 05/09/14 06:17 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: carojm36]
Daniel Richter Offline
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I didn't change temperament nor find any issue about it. I hope you are talking when using the speakers because with headphones I can't find anything wrong or strange. But with speakers, the resonance with the case affect the sound for worst.
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My project: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$

Owner of Kawai ES100

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#2282367 - 05/28/14 04:00 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
macktheknife Offline
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Registered: 05/12/14
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I have a Yamaha P105B, and love it. I take lessons on a Baldwin spinet and can feel the difference, but it is not a hard adjustment in feel. The sound of my Yamaha is excellent.

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#2283692 - 05/31/14 09:57 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
paul abrahams Offline
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Registered: 05/30/14
Posts: 8
Loc: London, UK
I've been using my Roland FP7 for quite a while now. I gig with it and it fits in the back seat of the car. I also teach with it as it has a good split piano/bass sound so I can provide my students with a walking bass. (I teach jazz piano in London).
Paul Abrahams
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#2291603 - 06/18/14 10:21 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
ZikO Offline
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Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 48
I have been using Yamaha P105 for about 8 months. I started from scratch and still am a beginner so I don't know how much my opinion will count. I am currently on the 3rd grade. In overall, I find P105 very good for its price. It served me very well with one exception, key weighting. The comments on that are below. I would recommend it but if someone think of playing piano very seriously, I'd decided to spend more money and buy CLP or CVP.


The speakers.
The speakers are ok but poor in this model but this did not concern me because most of time I have been practising using headphones. Besides, I eventually going to buy good speakers for any piano I'll have.

Slightly noisy when connected to my audio interface.
I have Audio Interface Focusrite Saffire pro 24 connected to MacBookPro and sometimes record myself. The saffire is super noiseless, tested on pro mic Rode, cables are ok. However I found that Yamaha P105 is slightly noisy, not too much but can be of problem.

Only one track to record.
There's only one track to record but Yamaha allows to record hands separately--if this is of any advantage :p

Metronome.
When recording a track with metronome with ding on first note, the piano holds recording until I start. Unfortunately, Yamaha somehow "synchronizes" or shifts the ding sound / first note when I touch keys. Consequently, I have to adapt to metronome smirk. It's annoying because I cannot play the pieces with extra note at the beginning. I have to press/touch any key to start recording and wait for the whole cycle then start to play.

Key weightings.
Because of its softer key weighting than pro pianos, I did not properly learned dynamics such as piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte and forte. I tried more professional pianos like CVP Clavinova and I found hard to express dynamics. We agreed on that with my teacher. I find it difficult to express louder and quieter parts in pieces I play when I play on my teacher's Clavinova CVP. I believe his piano simulates Grad Piano very well.
This should not be a problem for very beginners but later it can be an issue.

No display screen.
It's really annoying when I have to change anything like, metronome volume, or more advanced settings such as MIDI channels. Majority stuff is coded in sequences of buttons and keys. I have to keep manual with me all the time. Perhaps this is normal for other pianos. I don't know. I find it sometimes irritating.

Hope it helps.


Edited by ZikO (06/18/14 10:25 AM)

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#2291925 - 06/19/14 04:20 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: ZikO]
MartasK Offline
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Registered: 04/30/14
Posts: 17
Loc: Czech Republic
ZikO, are you going to replace your P105 by another brand/model soon, or what is your conclusion with the teacher ?
It is interesting for me to watch your progress as I started from scratch 4 monthes ago (on DGX650 which is the same in key action as P105).

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#2292010 - 06/19/14 09:45 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: ZikO]
Ben Boule Offline
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Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 60
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By: ZikO

Key weightings.
Because of its softer key weighting than pro pianos, I did not properly learned dynamics such as piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte and forte. I tried more professional pianos like CVP Clavinova and I found hard to express dynamics. We agreed on that with my teacher. I find it difficult to express louder and quieter parts in pieces I play when I play on my teacher's Clavinova CVP. I believe his piano simulates Grad Piano very well.
This should not be a problem for very beginners but later it can be an issue.


I had this same problem years ago with my P-80.. my teacher would harp on it all the time.

I haven't tried the ES100 but in the < $1000 category IMO the Casio action is considerably better for dynamics.

This kept me away from Yamaha this time and is one of the reasons I elected to go above $1000.

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#2292444 - 06/20/14 04:58 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: MartasK]
ZikO Offline
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Registered: 10/17/13
Posts: 48
Originally Posted By: MartasK
ZikO, are you going to replace your P105 by another brand/model soon, or what is your conclusion with the teacher ?
It is interesting for me to watch your progress as I started from scratch 4 monthes ago (on DGX650 which is the same in key action as P105).

Hi MartaK,

Congratulations on this decision. Piano is great isn't it smile

Yes, I will be replacing this or simply buying a new piano, that is one of the Clavinova CLPs as soon as I can meaning when I can afford it :p . I rely on my teacher's opinion who has great experience and has got CVP at school. He also owns very old Clavinova CLP (don't know the number but it is from 1xx series) that, as he says, served him for ages and he's very happy with it. He suggested to consider one of the CLPs 4xx or above. I was reading a little bit and think of CLP 440, CLP 470, or CLP 575. All of them seem to be around or a bit above 2000. There's also a model of Clavinova CVP 601 in this price range.

I feel like I need to make a separate thread to ask for opinions on these models. I cannot decide which would be the best for me.

EDIT. As addition, I was reading a few posts here and visited Yamaha webpage and I will also be considering CLP-585.I


Edited by ZikO (06/20/14 08:00 AM)

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#2292540 - 06/20/14 12:27 PM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
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Posts: 183
Loc: Colorado
You do need to find some way to compare the yamahas side by side with the GF and RM3ii kawai digitals. Yes I have an older CLP-142 myself and while it's not bad the current higher end digitals are noticeably better. The lower end? I don't feel any improvement.

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#2302986 - 07/16/14 11:21 AM Re: Comparison of Portable Digital Pianos under 1000 US$ [Re: Daniel Richter]
PeterRT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/15/14
Posts: 7
Quote:
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


What are some good options for "a cheap digital piano, or MIDI controller, with a good key action"?

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