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#2205428 - 12/31/13 12:36 AM Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices!
hendricks15 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 2
Hello everyone! I'm a middle-aged professional clarinet player who hasn't really played piano since college. I'm starting a Music Therapy certification program in the fall and I need to brush up on my piano skills. A digital piano appeals to me because I have a crappy upright that will not stay in tune and being able to practice with earphones is a plus. I'd like to keep all of the sour notes and clunkers to myself!

I need to keep it under 2K. I tried the Kawai CN24 and CN34. I really liked the sound and feel of the 24, but I thought some of the features on the 34 would come in handy, especially as I try to learn new styles. Maybe it was due to the settings in the store, but I thought the 34 didn't feel as good as the 24 and I wasn't too thrilled about the $800 price difference. There was a CE220 in the store, but the salesman steered me away from it saying it had outdated technology.I did more research online and found the price was in-between the 24 & 34, but with a different action. Has anyone made a direct comparison between the CN24 and CE220? Also, is there a very big difference in feel and sound between those and the KDP90? Can I get away with spending 1k or am I better off spending more? Is there that much difference in the sound?

I also went to the Yamaha store and tried the YPD-162 and the CLP-440. They were both very solid, but again, there was about an 1K difference in price. Clarinets are so much easier! I'll never be a concert pianist, but I've played enough and played with so may pianists over the years that I know just enough/yet not enough to be totally wracked with indecision! Thanks for any suggestions and Happy New Year!

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#2205482 - 12/31/13 02:04 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3697
Loc: Northern England.
There`s so much choice theses days maybe because folk use these pianos for different things. I like to do simple recording, using lots of instruments, so I need a decent easy access recorder/sequencer and also a regtistration for those voices, set up with reverb and volume levels accordingly ready for use.

Best to download the user`s manual on any piano having these features to ascertain how user friendly they are. Many pianos now have their buttons hidden for aesthetic purposes, so on first encounter, you`d hardly know what they could do or how easily they`d do it . . .

Kawai keyboards are excellent for playing. IMO . . .

Happy fishing!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2205569 - 12/31/13 07:24 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
slipperykeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 379
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: hendricks15


There was a CE220 in the store, but the salesman steered me away from it saying it had outdated technology.


That could be a euphemism for low commission!

Why not try it anyway?

You're the one paying for it and you may love it, then you could, "offer to take it off their hands for a good price."

Is the salesman expecting the CE220 to stay there forever?

If you aren't going to want it who else is?

His mate perhaps? Or is the shop owner going to reduce it which will make it a real bargain if the "salesman" buys it with his staff discount?

I worked in shops for years and am deeply suspicious of all "salespersons".

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#2206003 - 12/31/13 09:11 PM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Have you considered a "slab piano" / "stage piano" ?

Something like a Kawai ES-7, or a Roland RD-80, fits your budget (I think). They might be better, for your purposes, than what you've mentioned so far.

Those two both have built-in loudspeakers.

. Charles

PS -- bias -- I own a Casio PX-350. Depending on how _good_ your piano playing has to be, that might be another choice, and save a fair amount of money.

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#2206029 - 12/31/13 09:57 PM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1888
Loc: Pennsylvania
You won't go wrong with the Kawai ES7.
_________________________
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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#2206084 - 12/31/13 11:29 PM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
hendricks15 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone! I thought about a slab piano, but this was my experience today. I tried Kawais last a few days ago, then Yamahas, so I wanted to try the Kawais again. I drove to a different Kawai dealer, because I wanted a better selection and I didn't want to be steered. Well, the selection was better, but these salesmen will not let you just sit down and play! He talked the whole time. I was trying a slab when he launched into the history of Kawai. It drove me crazy! I was so distracted I can't tell you what I thought. Buying a car isn't this bad!

When I tried Kawai on the first day, I thought, wow, these are amazing! Then I tried the Yamahas and those were good too. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get some chops back so I've been practicing Hanon, and various pieces I used to play on my upright out of tune Wuriltzer. After playing the Yamahas and going back to the Kawais, the Kawais didn't feel as substantial somehow. I can't explain it, but I think it was the action. There was a used Casio and I tried it as well. (even though the sales guy was studiously ignoring it) I can see why people like it, but I thought, "I'm getting the heck out of here and going back to the Yamaha dealer to get a back to back comparison!"

I made it to the Yamaha dealer at 5 and the door was open. It's a big space and there was no one at the front to greet me. Perfect! I ran over to the YPD-162 to try and the lights started going off in the store. Damn. I turned down the volume and played a few notes and ran out of the store before I could be cornered. Am I crazy?

Anyway, after my digital piano shopping fiasco, I think I'm going with Yamaha.
It felt more substantial, maybe more like I'm used to.I also like they way the keys felt. My next hurdle is; get the YDP 162 or fork over more money for the Clavinova 440?

Also; I'd like a compelling reason as to why I should fork over more money to one of these dealers for the models I can't buy on line? My experience was that irritating!

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#2206180 - 01/01/14 02:40 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
Charles Cohen Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . Can I get away with spending 1k or am I better off spending more? Is there that much difference in the sound?


Only _your_ ears and fingers can answer that question.

Quote:
. . . Am I crazy? . . .


Perfectly normal -- among the people here.<g>

. Charles

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#2206183 - 01/01/14 03:14 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
xorbe Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/12
Posts: 573
Loc: Mt View, CA
Originally Posted By: hendricks15
Also; I'd like a compelling reason as to why I should fork over more money to one of these dealers for the models I can't buy on line? My experience was that irritating!

It's just the business model. Everyone needs a paycheck. (I also discovered last week that furniture salespeople are very irritating. Can't have 3 seconds to oneself to ponder anything without them yapping endlessly, and they will not go away.)

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#2206237 - 01/01/14 08:07 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: xorbe]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 541
Loc: Spanish living in UK
I simply say from the start that I want to try different models before deciding and that I'm a very slow decision maker. If you see that they don't store a particular brand, simply say that you want to try that one too.

They will soon see that you are not going to buy anything straight away and without this pressure they will leave you alone and look for somebody else.

I've never felt any pressure into buying once I let the salesperson know that I am not going to buy anything whatever the time they spend on me.

The "just looking, thanks" line works a treat.

But, because I have also spent some time working in a shop, I know how important commissions and stats are, so I always buy from the guy who approached me first (If I'm buying from that place, that is)
_________________________
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted



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#2206277 - 01/01/14 10:05 AM Re: Purchasing first digital piano; so many choices! [Re: hendricks15]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12043
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: hendricks15
My next hurdle is; get the YDP 162 or fork over more money for the Clavinova 440?

Also; I'd like a compelling reason as to why I should fork over more money to one of these dealers for the models I can't buy on line? My experience was that irritating!
It really all depends on what features you want. If you want a more realistic/customizable piano sound & feel, the 440 is the way to go. Much better action, higher polyphony, many more effects to help achieve the acoustic piano sound. You're getting your money's worth, if you have it to spend.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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