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#2445934 - Yesterday at 03:30 PM Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music
Margo1967 Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 2
Hi --

I'm a (amateur but pretty good) violist, not a pianist. I play quite a bit of chamber music, usually in the Mozart to Shostakovitch periods. I'd really like to have a keyboard at home that is good enough that reasonably picky pianists would be ok coming over to play a piano quartet or the like. But I'm not myself a good enough pianist to test instruments out very effectively. I won't be moving it around or anything; this is just for my own group music playing. I'd be grateful for suggestions or guidance about how to pick something.

Thanks!

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#2445945 - Yesterday at 04:02 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12923
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Margo1967
Hi --

I'm a (amateur but pretty good) violist, not a pianist. I play quite a bit of chamber music, usually in the Mozart to Shostakovitch periods. I'd really like to have a keyboard at home that is good enough that reasonably picky pianists would be ok coming over to play a piano quartet or the like. But I'm not myself a good enough pianist to test instruments out very effectively. I won't be moving it around or anything; this is just for my own group music playing. I'd be grateful for suggestions or guidance about how to pick something.

Thanks!


A couple of things:

1) What is your budget? This will determine the level of quality you can get, but certainly in each price point there are good options to choose from

2) You want a digital piano, not a keyboard. A picky pianist won't even touch a keyboard to play classical chamber music. This means it will have 88 weighted, graded, full-sized keys
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2445946 - Yesterday at 04:03 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
ColoRodney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/14
Posts: 89
I'd say, for your purposes, get something that you just turn on and it works: in other words, no separate computers for "software pianos." And I'd prefer built-in speakers rather than separate monitor speakers, That way your visiting pianists don't have to figure out anything technical other than a power button and volume knob.

Then, you also want good on-board sounds and good keyboard action. Most pianists like Kawai, Roland, and Yamaha; some like Korg and Casio. Possibly after you whittle down the choices, bring one of your pianists along to the shop to play (along with you on viola) to get some useful input. I find that a piano I like for solo work is not necessarily the one I find best for accompanying or playing in chamber groups. You need to be able to play background yet bring out solo lines when called on.

Each of the makers has some good cabinet-style pianos, but I know very little about them. For me, portability was important; it's probably less-so for you.

I like my Kawai ES7 (which is portable), since I can take it to venues that lack a decent real piano. I use it in rehearsal and performance with my chamber group (The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra) and it works fine. I'd worry whether the ES100 speakers are powerful enough. The new Korg Havian 30 has nice specs, but I've never tried it. On the older Korg SP280 I loved the speakers but hated the keybed. The Yamaha P255 was also quite good, but played side-by-side with the Kawai ES7 there was no comparison in touch and sound (it was quite a bit cheaper, though, and would probably have been fine as a rehearsal piano).

Hope that helps...

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#2445957 - Yesterday at 04:32 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
Margo1967 Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 2
This site is amazing.

I'd like to spend under $1000 -- Ideally, maybe $500-$700. But if I would do WAY better, I'd go up to $1500.

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#2445964 - Yesterday at 04:58 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
dmd Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2167
Loc: Pennsylvania
I would suggest this ....

Kawai ES100

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/E...ts&device=c

Purchasing the stand and pedals separately brings everything delivered to just over $1000.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2445966 - Yesterday at 05:00 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: ColoRodney]
Fer De Armas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/15
Posts: 20
Kawai ES7 has best hollow key plastic action available, are you agree?, how compared against Roland FP80 or RD800?... Thanks!

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#2445981 - Yesterday at 05:25 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
dmd Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2167
Loc: Pennsylvania
Oh ... the ES7 would be better but that one is a bit over her budget.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2446109 - Yesterday at 11:44 PM Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
ColoRodney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/14
Posts: 89
And keep in mind that this is for rehearsing in a group. If she gets an RD800, she'll have to spend another 500 bucks on speakers.

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#2446193 - 54 minutes 13 seconds ago Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: ColoRodney]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12923
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By ColoRodney
And keep in mind that this is for rehearsing in a group. If she gets an RD800, she'll have to spend another 500 bucks on speakers.


Not to mention the fact that the RD800 is way over the OP's budget.

If you are able to take your pianist with you, that would be ideal as ColoRodney suggested. Here are models to check out:

-The afore-mentioned Kawai ES100
-Casio PX-360 (you can also check out the PX-160, but the speakers are not as good, but still may be sufficient)
-Yamaha P255 (a little over budget, but worth checking out)

While all of the above have on-board speakers, my one concern is that they are powerful enough to be sufficient for chamber music. It's one thing to have speakers for solo playing, and another when you have 1-4 other acoustic instruments playing along. So just a warning that even with on-board speakers, you may need to supplement them with bigger monitors (powered speakers) that will be able to support the other instruments. That's something you'll just have to test.

All of the above are slab-style digital pianos, which means that they don't come with a stand and bench unless you get a package deal with them included. I highly recommend that you go with either a table stand or sturdy Z-stand rather than get a X-stand. The latter just wobbles too much and will drive a pianist crazy.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2446200 - 32 minutes 59 seconds ago Re: Best keyboard/digital piano for chamber music [Re: Margo1967]
ElmerJFudd Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 642
+1

Kawai ES100
Casio PX-360
Yamaha P-115

You should always mention budget first! smile

Get the matching stand, triple pedal, and bench if you intend to sit and work in classical music for hours.



Edited by ElmerJFudd (31 minutes 6 seconds ago)

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