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#2183401 - 11/16/13 02:05 PM Help me buy a keyboard
Wolf616 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 15
Hello everyone. Apologies for what must be an endlessly repeating topic in this sub-forum but as I know very little about keyboards lots of the technical stuff in other threads goes way over my head.

Anyway, let's get to the point - I'm moving out of my parent's home to go work in a different city and so won't have access to the piano any more. I've only just started teaching myself in the past few months but I am very keen to keep it going as it's incredibly enjoyable and I don't want to waste all the effort I've put in. Hence the desire to buy a keyboard of some sort.

Preferably I want one that feels like a piano (to the extent that a keyboard possibly can) and is portable (as I'm likely to be moving all over the place for the next few years). I don't really want to spend more than £500 [~ $800] (but spending a lot less would be preferable: cheaper the better, but I still want decent quality).

Any tips of the specifications to look for, or even better some suggestions of models I should take a look at? Going to go to a local shop later this week and talk to them, too, but it's always good to get advice off of strangers on the internet.

I appreciate this is vague - if you need any more information to make a suggestion then let me know. Thanks.

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#2183415 - 11/16/13 02:22 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1815
Loc: Portugal
Hello! Certainly, it would be good to look at the Yamaha P105, the Casio PX 150 and PX 350 - all around the £500 range and, for less than £500, the Casio CDP220 and CDP120 - they all seem to fit the description you give. But try them first because they feel different as piano-type keyboards.

Although Casio is seen as a cheaper brand, at this price band, I think they make the better keyboards in terms of touch. However, that's totally subjective and does not consider either sound of piano, speaker system or durability.

To put it shortly: These are all pretty good pianos, and reasonably portable too, but you should try them out side by side if at all possible.

.....specifications could be endless but polyphony and graded hammer etc etc are fairly similar in this price band - generally Casio offers higher spec for the same price. However, the sound often belies the specification sheet.

At this price, the amp and speakers will be poor, but the sound generator of good quality. This means that by far the best listening experience comes from good headphones (£50 plus) or plugging into a good system - though this can be tricky to get sounding right...phones are easiest and best!


Edited by toddy (11/16/13 02:33 PM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2183421 - 11/16/13 02:34 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: toddy]
Wolf616 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 15
Thanks for the suggestions! I will definitely be buying some headphones to use with it anyway as I'll be moving into a houseshare and I can't imagine the people will take very kindly to me playing falteringly badly on a regular basis...

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#2183435 - 11/16/13 03:04 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
alexh7686 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/26/13
Posts: 13
I'm by no means an expert but I'm a fan of the Yamaha DGX 650. It's a little above the price range but very good keyboard in my opinion. If you go into the store you could see what price you could get it down too. Maybe try some of the other older versions which will be cheaper.

Best advice though is to go into the shop and talk to the staff there. Let them know what your looking for in it(voices, weighted keys etc) and then try them all out. Don't be afraid to tell them that you want to go to the other stores and try different keyboards that they may not have if nothing feels right. Each person is different so what is right for me might not be for you.

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#2183526 - 11/16/13 06:39 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1927
Loc: Pennsylvania
To stay below $800 ... The Casio PX-150


http://www.amazon.com/Casio-PX-150-Furni...ds=casio+px+350


For just a bit more ... The Casio PX-350

http://www.amazon.com/Casio-PX-350-Furni...ds=casio+px+350


The Casio PX-350 will give you just a little bit better speaker system and thus, better sound through those speakers.

If you are going to be using headphones most of the time, it may not matter much.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2183535 - 11/16/13 06:57 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3412
Surprised no one has mentioned the Yamaha P-35 yet. I'd pick the Yamaha for sound, or the PX-150 for action. But try them both and see what you think...

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#2183555 - 11/16/13 07:33 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
At this low end I'd say P105 for sound and speakers, or PX150 for action.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#2183559 - 11/16/13 07:42 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: anotherscott]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Surprised no one has mentioned the Yamaha P-35 yet. I'd pick the Yamaha for sound, or the PX-150 for action. But try them both and see what you think...


In general I'd agree but the single-layer sound on the P-35 isn't up to snuff. In my opinion the P-105 has much better sound for a moderate price increase.

Still, the P-35 is by no means a bad buy for a budget-conscious consumer.

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#2183563 - 11/16/13 07:46 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
If you're definitely stuck in this price range. Go for the action. The PX-150. Great price also.
You can always start using a software piano for sound in the future.

I must confess. They have a DGX-650 at the store where I take lessons. It ain't bad at all. I can understand why peterws talks highly of it.
_________________________
Ron
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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#2183811 - 11/17/13 09:05 AM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: rnaple]
Wolf616 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 15
Well is the sound quality directly related to the keyboard itself or just the speakers? Basically, I would be willing to buy better speakers/amp if that would improve the sound (and so go for better action instead).

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#2183826 - 11/17/13 09:27 AM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1815
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: Wolf616
Well is the sound quality directly related to the keyboard itself or just the speakers? Basically, I would be willing to buy better speakers/amp if that would improve the sound (and so go for better action instead).


Yes, this is usually the recommended strategy on this forum.

1. Key action
2. Tone generator of piano
3. Amp and speakers.

Especially if you're willing to experiment with 2. (software pianos on computer) and 3. (phones and/or external sound system)

PX-150 seems a good choice in this light - but at least try the Yamaha (and if possible, a Kawai and a Roland too, while you're at it).
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2183827 - 11/17/13 09:27 AM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1927
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Wolf616
Well is the sound quality directly related to the keyboard itself or just the speakers? Basically, I would be willing to buy better speakers/amp if that would improve the sound (and so go for better action instead).


As you are just starting down this road, I would suggest you forget about speakers and amps for the time being because that can add considerable cost to your venture with only marginal improvement in sound quality.

I would suggest you try out a few of the ones mentioned, pick the one you like the best, and use it to learn how to play before worrying about improving sound quality. There will be time later, as in after you learn to play, to get into the sound improvement expense. Then you will be in a much better position to know what sound you like and can better appreciate.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2207537 - 01/03/14 03:15 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
Wolf616 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 15
Sorry just bumping this as I've now had a chance to try out a couple of digital pianos at some local stores. Have to say I quite enjoyed the key action on the Casio PX150, although sometimes the keys felt a little bit heavy?

The Yamaha felt nice to play [although not as good as the Casio], and I think [from what little I was able to hear in a fairly loud shop] it sounded better too.

I mentioned to the salesperson that I was looking in the range of 500ish and he pointed me towards a Kawai ES100 that was on sale for 555. No-one has mentioned this one in here - how good is it? That price seems like a bargain considering everywhere else it appears to be 750. I can probably also get a stand, five year guarantee and headphones thrown in with the Kawai if I use a website that has a price match guarantee.


Edited by Wolf616 (01/03/14 03:19 PM)

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#2207595 - 01/03/14 04:25 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: UK
If you liked the PX150 you will probably like the PX350 with matching black stand. The ES100 has been mentioned on this forum, but alas we have only heard negative experiences, which could well be unbalanced. Compared to the PX150/350, the ES100 is older technology in keys and sound, which is why I refer you to consider your PX150 experience and also look at the 350.


Edited by spanishbuddha (01/03/14 04:27 PM)

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#2207624 - 01/03/14 05:10 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: spanishbuddha]
Wolf616 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 15
Ah that lying bastard said it was a new one!

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#2208040 - 01/04/14 12:33 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2434
Loc: UK
The ES100 is a new model, but the keys and tone generation are based on older technology, perhaps with some tweaks. It competes well with IMHO some recent models from Yamaha (also older technology) but raises questions about comparisons with the Casio's. Having said that, the truth is, when you sit at and play an instrument you possibly should decide for yourself and forget to some extent about the technology marketing blurb. Most of us geekiest types who also play are still at heart geeks, and spend hours on the specs and features to get the latest and best, only to restart with GAS 9-12 months later when there is a technology refresh.

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#2208045 - 01/04/14 12:35 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
D7K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 60
I've used the P105 for a year now and find it up to everything I need. Lots of configure options (like keyboard weight) and I like the fact that line outs on the back don't kill the on board. I hook up a subwoffer and speakers to them and the great p105 sound really comes out. right now a lot of places here in the US have the white model for significantly less than the black. ($540 or so) so the price difference between the Yamaha and Casio is much less (don't know about where you are). I think either would be good choice.
_________________________
Jeff
Yamaha p105

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#2208054 - 01/04/14 12:41 PM Re: Help me buy a keyboard [Re: Wolf616]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1460
Loc: uk south
- just to offer my thumbs up for the px-150 action. It feels real, not too lightweight (although that's a relative appraisal) - and quite fast. A bit noisy but nothing is actually silent and in the heat of playing it shouldn't distract you.

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