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#2201648 - 12/22/13 11:30 PM I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help
yolie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 3

Ok I currently own a Yamaha p95 and it's pretty nice, I am a music major at a local college and will be taking secondary lessons on piano this spring. I already took group instruction for piano and did well, I get to play a Steinway or Yamaha grand or baby grand piano at school often. I would like an action and sound that is a little closer to the real thing than what I have.

For a few reasons, I am also taking Ear Training 2 this semester and need really good piano sounds, as I find it easier identifying pitches and taking melodic dictation on the real piano's. Also as I am working on the dexterity and strength of my 4 and 5 fingers on both hands it would be better for me if the action was close to what I have to play on in school.

That being said I would almost surely buy a used unit, I bought my current P95 for $300 used and it was mint, I just looked a while. So I would probably have a budget of around $1000 maybe a bit more or less, so I would really appreciate some recommendations. One last thing I don't have it set up yet but will be putting together a pro tools 11 set up and will need the unit to be my midi input into the midi audio interface, thanks. Jay.

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#2201653 - 12/22/13 11:45 PM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
Sand Tiger Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 993
Loc: Southern California
Another option might be to go software piano for better sounds and hook up a computer to the existing P95. Most of the units that cost under $1000 new might be considered minor upgrades to the P95. The Kawai VPC is a popular choice for touch, but it is currently more like $1500+ new, plus a computer, plus software, plus speakers, could easily reach $2500 to $3500 for a full VPC setup from scratch.

Anyone looking for recommendations on units can find lots of them in the Price Paid Thread at the top of the forum. Many of those buyers used the full resources of the forum before deciding what to buy.

As a piano major your ear is more refined than most of us. Go play the units in the local big box store, and the samples of the software pianos. Your ears and fingers will tell you. You also have a bunch of other piano majors and your instructors to talk to. You can record some of the front runners, or bring them samples from the software pianos.

Your fellow students and instructors will tend to have a much better idea than strangers on the Internet. Many on this forum are beginners like myself, more than a few have an ax to grind. A few are trolls with misinformation and games and nothing else. Like I said, if a person is mostly interested in polling the forum for what folks here are buying, the prices paid thread is the best resource for that.
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#2201679 - 12/23/13 01:22 AM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Or check out the comparison thread for portable DPs under $1000.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...le_Digital.html

If you're willing to get non-portable pianos, there are a few other options. A short list, by no means comprehensive.
  • Yamaha P155.
  • Casio PX-350.
  • Kawai ES100.
  • Casio PX-5S. I have it, can recommend it. Same action as on the PX-350, but more features, like being able to change the sound of the voices. One note, it’s a stage piano, more geared towards those who gig. It has no speakers.
  • Casio PX-850 (not portable.) Said to be a good emulation of acoustic pianos, has a lid that can be opened or closed, thus affecting the sound. Not good if you plan on moving in the near future, as it has a cabinet which then has to be disassembled and assembled again.
Regarding the Casios, some complain about the keys being loud, that is, the sound of the keys themselves, when they are pressed, not the music they produce. Shouldn’t matter if you intend to play at a sufficiently loud volume.
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#2201735 - 12/23/13 07:29 AM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
yolie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 3
Thanks for the recommendations thus far, I need to make one correction though, I am not a piano major but a saxophone major, however in the scheme of things in modern college/university life you need to test in and out at certain levels on piano, and they don't want to hear "but I'm really a sax player" :), c'est la vie.

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#2201773 - 12/23/13 09:18 AM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
guyl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/13
Posts: 95
Loc: Montreal, Canada
I own both a Yamaha P-85 (my portable) and a P-155, as well as an old Chickering grand piano. I would say that the P-155 is a good value for its price with its 4 sampling levels and approximates the touch of a real piano quite well, better then the P-85 (has the same keyboard as your P-95) which is on the lighter side. I love the lightness of the P-85 for what I use it for, but it is not as representative of a real piano if accuracy is what you're looking for.

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#2201961 - 12/23/13 04:21 PM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: yolie

. . . I would like an action and sound that is a little closer to the real thing than what I have.
. . .
. . . Also as I am working on the dexterity and strength of my 4 and 5 fingers on both hands it would be better for me if the action was close to what I have to play on in school.

. . . That being said I would almost surely buy a used unit, I bought my current P95 for $300 used and it was mint, I just looked a while. So I would probably have a budget of around $1000 maybe a bit more or less, so I would really appreciate some recommendations. One last thing I don't have it set up yet but will be putting together a pro tools 11 set up and will need the unit to be my midi input into the midi audio interface, thanks. Jay.


FWIW:

Either a Casio PX-350 (MIDI in/out, Line In/Out, USB-to-host-computer) or a Yamaha P155 will be closer to an acoustic piano, in feel and sound, than what you have.

They're within your budget, especially used. The P155 has been out for several years; the PX-350 came on the market about a year ago.

Neither one has really good built-in loudspeakers, but they're good with headphones (or outboard speakers).

I _think_ the P95 has a "GH-S" action, which is the same as the newer P105. It's rather light -- not what I would use for finger-strengthening exercise.

If you were going to be _playing_ digipianos publicly, it might be worth breaking the budget and getting something substantially better -- e.g. a Roland FP-7F (out of production) or FP-80. When I was looking a year ago, there was a real jump up, in price, from about $1000 (PX-350 / P155) to about $2000 for anything substantially better.

. Charles

PS -- bias -- I own a PX-350.

PPS -- you could just wait for a while, and keep using the P95.

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#2202061 - 12/23/13 10:42 PM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
yolie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 3
I am not adverse to spending more money, I will just keep playing what I have until I find a deal on what I want. So
with that in mind what would you say is the best all around digital piano under $2000 and I am talking new or used, thanks
so much for all of your help. Jay.

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#2202334 - 12/24/13 11:50 AM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Well, you just doubled the budget!<g>

I was very impressed with the high-end Roland "slab pianos" -- RD-700NX and FP-7F -- that I played. The FP-7F has been replaced by the RD-80.

They had a sense of realism in their sound and feel that was missing from most others. [You can search for "string resonance" in this Forum, for some speculation about why I thought that.]

. . . But some people just don't like the "Supernatural" sound.

I'm reasonably happy with my PX-350, but I'd trade for one of those without a second thought. You might be able to find one for less than $2000, used.

. Charles

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#2202544 - 12/24/13 08:32 PM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: guyl]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 951
Originally Posted By: guyl
I own both a Yamaha P-85 (my portable) and a P-155, as well as an old Chickering grand piano. I would say that the P-155 is a good value for its price with its 4 sampling levels and approximates the touch of a real piano quite well, better then the P-85 (has the same keyboard as your P-95) which is on the lighter side. I love the lightness of the P-85 for what I use it for, but it is not as representative of a real piano if accuracy is what you're looking for.
I think this is dead on. I often go through a music store and try out the different keybeds. I remember being surprised at how heavy of an action the P-155 had. I like a heavier action. Great sound and feel for the price. And if you already like your P-95, it'll be like an upgrade.
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 21+ year teacher and touring musician
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#2202622 - 12/25/13 12:36 AM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: Charles Cohen]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1183
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
. . . But some people just don't like the "Supernatural" sound.

I'm reasonably happy with my PX-350, but I'd trade for one of those without a second thought. You might be able to find one for less than $2000, used.

. Charles
Do you mean with or without paying extra? If by not paying extra or not much, I agree with you. I have the PX-5S which is basically the same as PX-350 plus a few extra features and the ability to tweak the voices to your liking.

I'm actually one of those who don't like the Supernatural sound. The name shouldn't contain the substantive natural, as it is quite synthetic and rather harsh to my ears. However that non-looping long sustain rather appeals to me and the sound might grow on me.

I'm also reasonably happy with my Casio, but would trade it for a good Roland or Kawai at the cost of a few hundred dollars more and if my financial situation, which is not good right now, were substantially better.


Edited by TheodorN (12/25/13 01:05 AM)
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#2202944 - 12/25/13 10:57 PM Re: I want to buy a new digital piano, need some help [Re: yolie]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1172
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . Do you mean with or without paying extra? . . .


I meant _without_ paying anything.

. Charles

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