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#2211562 - 01/09/14 03:00 PM From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Sorry to raise this issue for the umpteenth time, but I'd really appreciate your help because I'm a complete newbie and cannot try these keyboards. I play guitar and am used to having decent gear.

My criteria are (in order of importance and with a budget of $1500 tops):

1. Piano action.
2. Sound - good piano, but other _quality_ sounds too (rules out Yamaha P155 I believe).
3. Proper line out and MIDI connections (rules out ES100).
4. Internal speakers are preferable, but not required.
5. Good mono sound (I have an Acoustic Image Corus amp).
6. Portable but with furniture stand preferred.

Basically, I want something for home piano practice but that is also useable as a portable sound module (drums, brass, etc.).

The PX-350 covers most of these criteria, but I'm concerned about the quality of non-piano sounds and don't know if it'll sound good in mono.

The MP6 has better action (according to some) and presumably better sounds, but lacks speakers (and sequencer), lacks furniture stand, and has many features I won't use.

The PX-5S I've almost ruled out because it's more expensive than PX-350 and presumably doesn't sound as good as the MP6.

What do you guys / gals think? Are there other options? Do I need to raise my budget to reasonably meet my criteria?

Thanks for your Help!

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#2211564 - 01/09/14 03:04 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
carkar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 64
I am in the same boat as you. Unless you NEED it now, here is my suggestion:

BUY NONE.

WAIT.

NAMM 2014 JAN 23-26 .

*cue epic music*
_________________________
"The more I play, the more I am thoroughly convinced that the pedal is the soul of the piano. There are cases where the pedal is everything"
-Anton Rubinstein

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#2211573 - 01/09/14 03:13 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
2726 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/13
Posts: 15
Originally Posted By: rvela
Sorry to raise this issue for the umpteenth time, but I'd really appreciate your help because I'm a complete newbie and cannot try these keyboards. I play guitar and am used to having decent gear.


I'm right there with you. Hard as it is for me (I'm leaning towards the MP6), I'm going to wait and see what's introduced at NAMM in a few weeks. Part of me says to go ahead and buy now, but don't want to have regrets. I am also primarily a guitar player who likes to dabble on piano/keyboard.

I am likely going to get powered monitors to go along if I get something w/o speakers like the MP6.

Jim

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#2211597 - 01/09/14 03:38 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: rvela
The PX-5S I've almost ruled out because it's more expensive than PX-350 and presumably doesn't sound as good as the MP6.

What do you guys / gals think? Are there other options? Do I need to raise my budget to reasonably meet my criteria?

I think the PX-5S is better than the PX-350 for your purposes.

If you do raise budget, I would look at (in order of increasing price) Yamaha CP40, Kurzweil PC3LE8, Roland FP-7F, Yamaha CP4.

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#2211602 - 01/09/14 03:42 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
I was afraid folks would say wait! That's definitely an option, but I have several reasons for wishing to make a decision asap. Still, it's good to hear that I'm not the only one in this situation.

Thnaks!
Ramón

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#2211605 - 01/09/14 03:44 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: rvela
I was afraid folks would say wait! That's definitely an option, but I have several reasons for wishing to make a decision asap. Still, it's good to hear that I'm not the only one in this situation.

Thnaks!
Ramón
Do what I did - I had to spend money before the end of the year so I bought a Kawai VPC1 from an online store with a good return policy, but if something better comes out at NAMM I'll return the VPC1 for it.
_________________________
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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#2211606 - 01/09/14 03:46 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: anotherscott]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Can you elaborate as to why PX-5s is better than PX-350? Are the non-piano sounds better?

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#2211633 - 01/09/14 04:16 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: rvela
Can you elaborate as to why PX-5s is better than PX-350? Are the non-piano sounds better?

Yes. Much.

Also, even the piano sound is better. It uses the same samples, but there is more variation and customizability, and string resonance.

Also, you mentioned wanting a standard MIDI jack. If you do intend to attach other devices, the PX-350 basically can do nothing more than trigger them, whereas the PX-5S can provide extensive control, through its knobs/sliders, mod wheel, and ability to create custom presets that allow you to mix and match internal and external sounds, split/layered over the keyboard, complete with program change commands, octave shifts, volume settings, etc. I don't know if you need to do that, but it is another significant differentiating feature.

For the relatively small cost difference, the PX-5S gives you a lot more, if you can get by without the speakers.

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#2211718 - 01/09/14 06:21 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Mike_Martin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/09
Posts: 381
The PX-5S is a completely different product than the PX-350.

Here are some audio demos that will give you an idea of the range of the instrument:

https://soundcloud.com/casiomusicgear/sets/privia-pro-px-5s

The piano sounds are superb in mono.

There are many videos of the PX-5S on Youtube, but this is a new one that I found interesting.

_________________________
-Mike Martin
Casio America

Casio Music Forums
Privia Pro PX-5S Audio Demos

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#2211733 - 01/09/14 06:48 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: Mike_Martin]
carkar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 64
Originally Posted By: Mike_Martin
The PX-5S is a completely different product than the PX-350.

Here are some audio demos that will give you an idea of the range of the instrument:

https://soundcloud.com/casiomusicgear/sets/privia-pro-px-5s

The piano sounds are superb in mono.

There are many videos of the PX-5S on Youtube, but this is a new one that I found interesting.



....but can it half-pedal?
_________________________
"The more I play, the more I am thoroughly convinced that the pedal is the soul of the piano. There are cases where the pedal is everything"
-Anton Rubinstein

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#2211773 - 01/09/14 08:08 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: carkar]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Thanks for all the replies!

Could someone comment on the percussion as between PX-5S and MP6. Seems like the former is more flexible whereas MP6 just has preset patterns. Is that right?

Cheers,
Ramón

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#2211815 - 01/09/14 09:11 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 531
I'm not that familiar with the MP6, but I can speak to the PX-5S. It helps to think of the PX-5S as a sound "sandbox"... using the phrase recorder, aprpeggiators, zones and layers it is possible to make just about anything you can think up. It is not as "plug-and-play" as the PX-350, but there are plenty of preset "stage settings" included that have drum beats... also lots free downloads on the Casio Forums.

You can edit the heck out of the drum sounds and then build your own beats using the phrase recorder and/or arpeggiators.

Another cool thing I like about the PX-5S are the audio inputs (2x1/4" and 1/8" stereo). I put my iphone, ipad mini or Android tablet running a drum machine app on the rubber pad and run the audio into the back of the PX-5S.

Hope this helps you... smile
_________________________
http://DulceLabs.com
Sound, Video, Design

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#2211839 - 01/09/14 10:24 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
Regarding the PX-350, you should be aware that when you plug in external amplification, the audio level out is quite low unless there's something plugged into the headphone socket, which of course cuts the internal speakers.

Given your amplification, I'm guessing you may be looking to use the internal speakers to give you a personal stereo image while using the main amp for reinforcement around the room. I've done this with a Casio PX-320 and it works superbly, but I needed to add a mixer to the output chain from the PX-350 to get the external level loud enough to achieve the same effect - which added another thing to carry and set up.

Waiting for NAAM sounds like good advice, but if nothing else shows up there, I'd take a look at the PX-5S.
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#2211964 - 01/10/14 03:50 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
lolatu Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 232
Loc: UK
The PX-5S is what Casio came up with in response to the community's request for a lightweight stage piano, with the best possible sound.

It's a great effort by Casio and hits most of the right spots.

I don't own one, but have tried one out, and here are the things that put me off buying, and hopefully they'll fix in Mk II...

1) No half pedalling. (Apparently not important on stage. But would be nice when practicing classical pieces at home.)

2) No music rest

3) Unattractive appearance - subjective, obviously - some people seem to like it, but to me the extensive plastic and white with clashing ivory on the keys makes it look like a Lego block that's been left in the sun too long. How about a luxury black version with brushed aluminium? smile Get an artist to design it, rather than an engineer (or maybe both).

4) UI is unintuitive. I spent 10 minutes in the shop trying just to play a simple piano sound, and failed, because it kept applying flangers and other weird effects, and none of the sliders and knobs have labels. Turning it off and on, it came back in the same state. Obviously this is because I had no clue what I was doing, but it's certainly much more complex than a normal piano that you can just turn on and play.

5) The ivory / ebony texturing on the keys is just weird. It's like a wood grain moulded into the plastic. Nothing like the matte ivory effects on the Rolands / Kawais.

6) I have some concerns about the key length and depth of travel at the back of the keys. According to the "best pianos under $1000" thread, the PX-350 has only 2mm of travel at the back of the keys (am presuming PX-5S has same keyboard). My acoustic and also my FP-3 has around 4mm. Not sure how much of a problem this will be when playing pieces in Db, where I hit most of the keys (that I'm not playing with my thumb) at the very back.

7) No drum rhythms.

Hopefully it'll be the first in a series. A good start with a few rough edges.

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#2211987 - 01/10/14 06:00 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: lolatu]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Scott: So, is it practical to create drum patterns and save them permanently, or is it just a set of sounds to be triggered on the fly by another device?

Aidan: Thanks for raising the line-out issue with PX-350, because I feel that a keyboard without this basic functionality is just too inflexible when one isn't absolutely certain about how it will be used.

Lolatu: Thanks for your thoughts -- particularly the lack of a music rest.

Thanks!

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#2211994 - 01/10/14 06:20 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3147
Loc: Northern England.
Originally Posted By: rvela
Scott: So, is it practical to create drum patterns and save them permanently, or is it just a set of sounds to be triggered on the fly by another device?

Aidan: Thanks for raising the line-out issue with PX-350, because I feel that a keyboard without this basic functionality is just too inflexible when one isn't absolutely certain about how it will be used.

Lolatu: Thanks for your thoughts -- particularly the lack of a music rest.

Thanks!



You can download the manuals on any of these which will tell you what you need to know. Almost.

By the way, have you considered the DGX 650? (you lot can stop laughing) What you have described is really what I also wanted. There`s a lot in there; good, good instruments all of which can be adjusted, huge reverb capabilities, audio input and drums/accompaniment features which can be looped (I think; haven`t tried this yet) and of course, the infallibility for which Yamaha are famous . . .recording audio or MIDI is simples and the whole caboodle is cheap as chips . . .(triple pedal extra . . )
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2212027 - 01/10/14 08:47 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: peterws]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Thanks for the head-up on the DGX-650. For some reason I thought it was a cabinet model. The only thing it lacks is proper MIDI connectors, so I'll have to consider (again!) whether to give up on that requirement if the sounds are better than PX-350.

Cheers,
Ramón

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#2212063 - 01/10/14 10:13 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
peterws Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3147
Loc: Northern England.
Forgot about them, sorry! I only used it on Pianoteq occasionally . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2212072 - 01/10/14 10:32 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: peterws]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
No problem! My interest in proper MIDI connectors is that I have a Boss looper that accepts MIDI. Don't know exactly how that will be useful to me, but seems odd to purchase something that is incompatkible with gear I already have.

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#2212272 - 01/10/14 04:03 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Charles Cohen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 942
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . Given your amplification, I'm guessing you may be looking to use the internal speakers to give you a personal stereo image while using the main amp for reinforcement around the room. I've done this with a Casio PX-320 and it works superbly, but I needed to add a mixer to the output chain from the PX-350 to get the external level loud enough to achieve the same effect - which added another thing to carry and set up.
. . .


You are ignoring a statement hidden somewhere in the PX-350 manual:

. . . To get the "Line Out" to work right, you must _disable_ the internal speakers by putting a plug into a "Headphone" jack.

Reasons:

a) When the internal speakers are "live", there's some EQ applied to the output of the sound generator to compensate for their problems. When they're disabled, that EQ is removed.

b) I just tested my PX-350. The "Line Out" level is _way_ lower when the internal speakers are "live". It's perfectly OK when they're disabled (by plugging in a headphone). [I'm testing with a EV ZXA1 powered PA speaker. I could measure the voltage levels, if it matters.]

c) Both the "Line Out" and "internal speaker" level is affected by the "Volume" knob. My _guess_ is that -- even with the internal speakers active -- you could get enough "Line Out" voltage to drive a PA, by turning up "Volume" on the PX-350. But the "Volume" setting would be higher than you'd want -- those internal speakers would be bloody loud.

So using the internal speakers as "personal monitors" is _not_ a good idea, with that DP.

. Charles

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#2212292 - 01/10/14 04:21 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: Charles Cohen]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
Charles,

Thanks for the clarification, it's very helpful. What you describe is not ideal but workable. May I ask, are you happy with the line-out sound?

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#2212343 - 01/10/14 05:42 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 531
Originally Posted By: rvela
Scott: So, is it practical to create drum patterns and save them permanently, or is it just a set of sounds to be triggered on the fly by another device?


Both! smile

You can create drum patterns as phrases or "arpeggios" and then save them for use in whatever stage setting you want to use them in.

You can also trigger the drum sounds from an external MIDI source.

Originally Posted By: lolatu
none of the sliders and knobs have labels.


This is because each slider/knob can be assigned to any number of effects or control messages. If you move a knob/slider the LCD will display the parameter it is assigned to. smile

Originally Posted By: lolatu


5) The ivory / ebony texturing on the keys is just weird. It's like a wood grain moulded into the plastic. Nothing like the matte ivory effects on the Rolands / Kawais.


This is something most people love about the PX-5S.. esp. in a live situation when you start to sweat... the texturing prevents finger slippage.


Edited by Scott Hamlin (01/10/14 05:46 PM)
_________________________
http://DulceLabs.com
Sound, Video, Design

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#2212344 - 01/10/14 05:43 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
FrankDaddy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 67
Loc: Louisiana, US
Well I own a Kawai MP6 and I have a PX 350. The PX 350 piano sounds are pretty good for the price point. you mentioned other sounds. I have not been as happy with the other sounds. Also the PX 350 interface is not as clear as I would like it. I have it to use for travel because it weights less than 30 pounds and the action is great. The build quality is very good. Casio has come a long way and they will only get better. The sound through my Peavey KB4 keyboard amp is pretty good. The Kawai sounds are better in MHO. But you may see that different. The Kawai is twice the cost of the PX-350. If you went up to $2000 you would be looking at the Kawai ES7. It has the furniture option you were asking for and it does have decent internal speakers. It only has about 28 sounds compared to 256 sounds on the Kawai. I agree with starting to download the manuals and studying them. Also you really need to spend some time playing and listening to the sounds preferably with headphones. If I had not bought the Kawai MP6 I would be taking a long look at the PX-5s. It is at a great price point for what it contains. The Action is the same action as in the PX-350. And it does have features the MP6 does not have such as a sequencer. I kinda think the case looks fine. An you can solve the music stand problem using a music stand. I do that for my Hammond. Finally wait until NAMM is over. There may be some changes or new models coming out that would fit you better.

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#2212618 - 01/11/14 02:28 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
Charles Cohen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 942
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: rvela
Charles,

Thanks for the clarification, it's very helpful. What you describe is not ideal but workable. May I ask, are you happy with the line-out sound?


Yes, I am. It's quite good through headphones or my PA speaker.

It's not as good as the better Rolands (through headphones). I think, if and when I "upgrade", I'll buy Pianoteq rather than a standalone DP. But that's still in the future.

My "review" (very subjective!) is here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...%20--%20No.html

. Charles

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#2213883 - 01/13/14 09:25 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: Charles Cohen]
rvela Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/14
Posts: 9
I want to thank everyone for their help. Things have taken a different turn. Upon further conversations with The Management, if you know what I mean, it was decided that a cabinet-style DP was more appropriate, and that the focus should be on piano (with other features to be added later via computer). A PX-850 is on its way!

Cheers,
Ramón

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#2213952 - 01/13/14 11:50 AM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: Charles Cohen]
Aidan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 371
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
Quote:
. . . Given your amplification, I'm guessing you may be looking to use the internal speakers to give you a personal stereo image while using the main amp for reinforcement around the room. I've done this with a Casio PX-320 and it works superbly, but I needed to add a mixer to the output chain from the PX-350 to get the external level loud enough to achieve the same effect - which added another thing to carry and set up.
. . .


You are ignoring a statement hidden somewhere in the PX-350 manual:


Well, I wasn't actually ignoring it, to be fair. I was perfectly aware of how this works and flagged it up. It's still a bad decision compared with the earlier models, IMO. For a few dollars more they could have fitted a physical on/off switch for the internal speakers and let people decide for themselves.
_________________________
Yamaha CP40 | Hammond SK1-61 | Kurzweil PC361

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#2213963 - 01/13/14 12:01 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: Aidan]
Charles Cohen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 942
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . It's still a bad decision compared with the earlier models, IMO. For a few dollars more they could have fitted a physical on/off switch for the internal speakers and let people decide for themselves. . . .


No argument, there.

And congratulations to Ramon.

. Charles

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#2217104 - 01/19/14 12:37 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: anotherscott]
Grazzy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 11
Hello,Anotherscott,
do yo think to make PX 5 ep sound as good as Yamaha p120 is possible? This question make a big worries to me , because I will to change my p120 to px5. Nord is fantastic ,but keys is noisy..I always look at lightweight stage pianos what have good ep sound and can't find substitution to my Yamaha p120, because I need more lightweight instrument. EP sounds is more important to me, because when I play at big stages, Acoustic piano is there.Does anybody have some conclusions on that??? Thank you werry much.

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#2217122 - 01/19/14 12:59 PM Re: From the Top...Casio PX-350 v. PX-5S v. Kawai MP6 [Re: rvela]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
I have never played or heard a P120, so I can't tell you how the PX5S EPs compare. However, here's a page with samples of some of the better EP sounds that can be loaded into the PX5S, see what you think...

http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/topic/4725-vintage-keys-set/

The PX-5S is also a nice feeling lightweight controller for triggering external sounds, i.e. if you find some EP sounds you really like that you can run on a laptop or iPad.

Some other possibilities:

Kurzweil SP4-7. I wouldn't suggest it for acoustic piano because it's not a fully weighted action, but you might find it acceptable for EPs (and the shorter 76 key span isn't generally an issue for EP).

Yamaha MOXF8 - esp. since you like Yamaha EP sounds. Plus, with the flash card, there are other EP sounds you can load into it. But, while still light by 88 standards, it's noticeably heavier than the PX5S or SP4-7.

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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Hello + buying my first piano (long post)
by Ben_NZ
04/21/14 08:54 AM
Tunelab alternative partial settings?
by Beemer
04/21/14 04:52 AM
Noodling board
by Maarkr
04/20/14 10:20 PM
New Movement Composed "To Rule" 4/20/2014
by hsheck
04/20/14 10:17 PM
Understanding Sharps
by imustlearn
04/20/14 08:18 PM
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