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#2328889 - Yesterday at 11:54 PM Help buying digital piano for my son
roomservicetaco Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 09/18/14
Posts: 2
My son is 8 years old and has been taking piano lessons for 2-3 years. At home, he's practiced on a fairly inexpensive synthesizer. He just changed to a new music school and they told us to get him a digital piano.

They recommended 88 keys - weighted keys (though they did not specify if they need to be graded).

Wanted to see if folks could help me select. Here's what I know so far:

-I'd like to "over buy" for him by a bit - in other words, get something that would be good for him not only today but for at least several years.

-Most people I've spoken with have recommended Yamaha, so that's where I've spent most effort so far

-I'm ok with (and probably prefer) buying a used one so that I can get a better one for less money.


Here are the ones I've seen that seem to be pretty good:

CP33
P-95
P-200
P-105B
P-35

The CP33 and P-200 are listed as "stage pianos" and seem to have more inputs and outputs as well as jacks for more pedals. We do have an amplifier if needed for output.

Any thoughts or recommendations? Happy to clarify further if this wasn't clear or if you think I need to spell out more of our objectives.

Thanks.

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#2328894 - Today at 12:31 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
Gerardo Melara Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/29/13
Posts: 7
I really recommend you to stay away from those Yamahas, they all have the horrible GHS or the regular GHE action that is not going to be helpful to your son when switching to a grand piano, I believe that in this moment the best option is the Casio PX750, you can get it on amazon at around $800 and your son is going to have fun for years bur if your budget is over $2000, you can go further and buy a Roland DP90e that is going to be enough for years and years, the important thing heres is your budget...


Edited by Gerardo Melara (Today at 12:31 AM)

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#2328896 - Today at 12:35 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
bnolsen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
go to a kawai authorized dealer and check out their stock as well. i don't think any of those yamahas have triple sensors. For under 2k you have roland and kawai to choose from. if you can wing it the kawai vpc1 should get you the action you want.

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#2328897 - Today at 12:36 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
bnolsen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
oops double post


Edited by bnolsen (Today at 12:36 AM)

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#2328902 - Today at 01:08 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
Kawai James Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9153
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
roomservicetaco, the instruments you list are all 'slab'-type models, meaning that they are portable. Is this important to you? The alternative is a 'console'-type instrument, where the stand, speakers, and pedals are integrated within the piano.

Some portable instruments also offer custom stands with/without triple pedals.

Of the instruments you list, the P105 is the most recent and arguably the best. In this price range, I would also recommend the Roland F-20, Kawai ES100, and Casio PX-150/PX-350/PX-750.

If you're willing to increase your budget, you may consider the higher specification Yamaha P155/P255, Roland FP-40/FP-80, or Kawai ES7.

While it's sometimes possible to find a second-hand bargain, most sellers seem to over-value their piano. Depending on where you live, it may be preferable to buy a brand new, entry-level model (with full warranty) over a second-hand mid-range piano that has been played for several years.

As always, I would recommend visiting a selection of musical instrument and piano stores to see what is available within your budget.

Best of luck!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2328905 - Today at 01:43 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1046
Loc: Southern California
The models mentioned by others are a good list to start with. If you are near a major city, visit some stores. In the U.S., the big box stores, such as Guitar Center or Sam Ash will have several models to try. Someone else mentioned a visit to a Kawai dealer.

At 8 years old with two years of lessons, the young man may have some strong opinions, or may not care very much. All the major companies have their fans and detractors. I wouldn't cross any of them off the list or go with only one based on hearsay. All the models already mentioned might be the right choice.

When I was shopping, I didn't have much luck locating a used unit at a reasonable price. Many local sellers were asking 70% to 80% of what they paid for five year old units, maybe 50% if the unit was 10 years old. I ended up buying a current model, a lightly used demo unit, at 73% of the new unit price. I felt this was a much better deal than most of the used listings that I saw.

On Craigslist, occasionally, a competitively priced used unit might come available, but it was usually gone within a couple of hours. I didn't want to spend all day hitting refresh looking for that potential bargain and then rush into a deal when I didn't know much.

There are also sometimes sales and promotions or coupons, refurbs and demo units. Used with a digital may not mean a good deal because so many sellers ask a high price.

The cost of lessons quickly exceeds the cost of most digital pianos. If a used unit develops a problem, what then? Also when buying a used unit, it is difficult to do comparison shopping. Again, the young man may have some strong likes and dislikes after trying several units.

When buying new, a person can visit a big store and try several units in a short time period. Go to another store and try a few more. Go home and think about it, go back to the store as many times as he wants before deciding.

When shopping for used, there is one unit to try, and a decision is expected right then and there. If a person is asking what used unit to buy, they probably don't know which one they want. What if there are minor issues not disclosed by the seller? Used can become a hornets nest, especially when buying for someone else.


Edited by Sand Tiger (Today at 02:02 AM)
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2328906 - Today at 01:51 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
MossySF Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 31
Horrible is probably overly strong in describing Yamaha's low-end action. Light & fast would be more accurate ... which is how their acoustic pianos are also. I was just at a Yamaha dealer and tried a wide range of acoustics. The keys are FAST -- very short travel distance to the bottom. I think somebody here commented before your fingers can fly on Yamahas but it makes it harder to adjust to non-Yamahas.

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#2328911 - Today at 02:40 AM Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1310
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
The CP33 is a funny case. It's rather old, released in May 2006. But it has a loyal following among stage players -- I think you'll find a thread about it, here. Another thread:

http://www.keyboardforums.com/threads/old-roland-rd700-vs-new-yamaha-cp33.24237/

I own a Casio PX-350 (and therefore may be biased), but IMHO the Casio PX-x50 models would suit your situation. As would many others.

Most DP's in your price range have inadequate amps and speakers. They'll sound better with headphones (or through your own amp, if it's good) than through their own sound systems.

Go out to the stores and try a few with your son. Bring the best headphones you have. You'll learn more, that way, than from what we tell you. It's a matter of touch and sound, not words.

. Charles

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#2328929 - 26 minutes 31 seconds ago Re: Help buying digital piano for my son [Re: roomservicetaco]
roomservicetaco Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 09/18/14
Posts: 2
Great points everyone - many thanks.

To respond to some questions:

Budget: ideally, i'd like to spend less than $1000. If it's necessary and worthwhile to go to $1200 or $1500, can do that.

Stores: we did go to GC and Sam Ash. They both advocated Yamaha and, maybe because my son is so young, pushed the lower end ones (35 and 105). I also knew nothing when going there - they had to tell me about the pedals, graded keys, etc. - so maybe they got a different idea of what I want than what I know now.

Kawai: have not looked at them - will investigate.

Portable: yes, my thought was that a portable one would be best. He could move it within our house, maybe down the road take it to play with friends, etc. Just thought it would be the most versatile option.

A friend just recommended the Casio PX-5S, which he owns. Will check that out too.

Thanks.

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