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#2321948 - Today at 05:24 PM Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch.
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1164
I'm looking to get a keyboard, possibly, that I can keep at our beach house during the summer and bring it home for silent practicing during the winter when it's not feasible to play my piano.

Last summer, I needed a keyboard to let me practice while abroad, and was warned against renting a keyboard that required me to use a computer to generate the sound. At the time, this made sense. I had no time to figure that out, and I just needed a plug-and-play solution. I rented a Roland V-Piano and it did the job.

But that thing is expensive. I probably would have gotten a keyboard ages ago if the V-Piano weren't so darn expensive! My sense is, however, is that quite a lot of its cost is that you're paying for a top-notch keyboard as well as the top notch software to drive it, all in one very clearly easy-to-use, standalone package.

Now that I have the time to figure everything out, I don't need to buy something that is entirely standalone. Not that I would argue with it if it were, but I don't need to pay a premium for it. In fact, I kind of wonder if divorcing the physical keyboard from the computer that runs it is a terrific way to future-proof myself... Of course, it's going to be a pretty steep learning curve at first, but I do like the challenge and am in no rush whatsoever.

Somebody want to give me a quick education on what I want and what's out there? To review, here are the priorities I have so far identified:

1) Acoustic feel and touch. Critical. My ideal digital keyboard is simply an actual grand piano action, minus, well, everything that extends out beyond that and that a computer processor can replicate.

2) Slab-style. Now, I don't care if it's impractical to move, but I don't need or want a console. It would be convenient if it had on-board speakers, but I'd be just as happy striking those entirely if it saves me space and/or money. I'm going to use this almost exclusively with headphones (that's the main point: if I could make noise, I'd use the acoustic), and I'm happy to buy a speaker or two at some later point if in the future I need it for some reason. Point is, this thing should only be as big as necessary to house the physical things I cannot compromise on and/or separate out in a modular fashion.

3) Price matters. I will spend what it takes to acquire a keyboard that physically replicates an acoustic instrument. In fact, the perfect keyboard would divorce EVERYTHING non-physically critical from it, and assign that role to the computer. This way, it seems to me, it makes it almost infinitely future-proofed. Everything else is optional, and ideally upgradeable. Did the v-Piano make me happy? Sure, but isn't that technically possible in a keyboard that a computer can run?

That's why my initial suspicion is that I'm going to be most happy with a keyboard that is intended to work with a computer. I can improve things as technology improves. I can tweak what I want without having to rely on some kind of firmware update on the keyboard itself. Sampled? Modeled? My choice now, right? Plus, I'm not paying a premium for those things already inside the keyboard. I know I will have to spend money on software, but I can also buy only what I want, right?

If I can save ANYTHING by simply being willing to figure out how to get a computer to do it for me, I am all for it. I can save money AND end up with a cool software project to figure out? Yes, please.

So...school me. What do I want?


Edited by TwoSnowflakes (Today at 05:27 PM)
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2321955 - 51 minutes 22 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2341
Loc: UK
Starting point is Kawai VPC1, hook it up to PC/MAC. Or Kawai MP11 or Roland RD800 for built in sounds.

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#2321968 - 19 minutes 40 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1164
What about Yamaha CP4?
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2321969 - 19 minutes 22 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Hernando, MS
I concur with SpanishBuddha.

If you're willing to spend the money to get their top of the line pianos, Kawai and Roland have the most realistic piano action of the major brands. If you prefer a heavier, more substantial feeling action, than the Kawai pianos probably have the edge. If you prefer a lighter, more nimble action, then the Roland probably has the edge.

Kawai
The VPC1 is a piano controller. it has no onboard sounds. It needs to be connected to a sound source (like a computer running a virtual piano instrument) to generate sounds. If you already have a computer and don't mind going that route, it's probably the most economical choice (depending on what sound libraries you purchase)


The MP11 has their very best action, and their latest, best piano sounds (and quite a few others as well). Note: Best is a relative term though. while the MP11's action is their most advanced action to date, some people prefer the MP7/ES7. The feel of the piano is a very subjective thing. Also, the MP11 is really heavy for a modern digital piano. If portability is a concern the MP7/ES7, or the RD800 might be a better fit.

---------------

The Roland RD800 is roland's flagship stage piano. I'm possibly biased because I have one (I prefer a lighter action, and I adore their piano sounds). The RD800 has Roland's very best Supernatural pianos, electric pianos, and tone wheel organs. It has the largest library of on board sounds. And the action feels incredible.

You should note that any of those pianos can be hooked up to a computer for playing software instruments (only the VPC1 requires that). The ES7 is the only one I mentioned with its own speakers. The others will require either external speakers or a good set of headphones.

Listen to demos, and if you can, try to get your hands on them to play for yourself. But any of those choices would make for an excellent piano.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2321970 - 12 minutes 57 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
fizikisto Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Hernando, MS
TwoSnowflakes
The CP4 is another good possibility. I've read some mixed opinions about its action, but it's yamaha's best action to date, and some people really love it. It's probably worth trying just for the comparison, plus you might be one of the people who really loves it. I've not actually played a CP4 yet, but my impression from reviews that I've read is that like kawai, it tends to the heavier side of things.

Warm Regards.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2321971 - 7 minutes 43 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: fizikisto]
Possum SP280Krome Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 620
Does anyone have any opinions of the F20? I played it and liked some things about; I thought the action was very good for the price ($900 before any potential coupons) and I enjoyed some of the piano variations as well as the rhodes sound.

However, i did not find a line out on it and found the volume okay, but am going to check what were the options if any besides the headphone jack
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#2321973 - 30 seconds ago Re: Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch. [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1164
Wow, the MP11 is 70 lbs! Good lord that's big.

On the other hand, it's still almost 15 pounds lighter than the V-Piano and that wasn't so bad.

They're all nothing compared to my 6ft grand piano, after all! smile
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top

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