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#2559670 - 07/29/16 08:06 PM Digital pianos actions today vs 20+ years ago
ZMaestro Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/16
Posts: 4
Back in the mid-1990s I was renting a digital piano. I can't remember if it was Roland or Korg, but it was high end at the time and had weighted keys.

Fast forward to today. I was browsing a piano store and tried out a bunch of digitals from Yamaha and Kawaii, ranging from $300 to ~$3000. I was expecting them to be much better than 20 years ago. Wow, talk about disappointment. They don't feel any better than the digital from 1994. Their action is the same mushy junk that feels nothing like an acoustic. Seriously, 20 years later and there's no improvement in actions? What the heck have these companies been doing?

The only one that felt even somewhat like an acoustic was the ES100. Everything else there was.. ick. Even the $2700 Kawaii

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#2559688 - 07/29/16 09:32 PM Re: Digital pianos actions today vs 20+ years ago [Re: ZMaestro]
ElmerJFudd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1153
I find the ES100'S keys themselves very plasticy feeling, the action, eh... it's ok, i mean for the price quite good. I found it a little slow on repeated notes. In the same price range you'd compare... Yamaha P-115 or maybe P-255. Casio PX-360 or maybe 560 or 5S.

I'm surprised you didn't find the Kawai MP-11 not at least an improvement over a 90s Roland or Korg. (It had to be a Roland, I can't remember playing any Korg action I thought was stellar - maybe the SG-1d back in the day was impressive for the time). See if you can find an MP-7 or ES8 on the floor someplace to compare to the MP11.

What acoustic piano actions are you used to playing on? You really need to play a Yamaha Avant Grand for the action alone. I play the N3 regularly at two church gigs. I forget I'm playing a digital in the heat of reading some Bach or whatever they happen to be working on. But they have the same action in the N2 and the N1. But these are consoles, not portable digital pianos so really no comparison. Most of the actions you are mentioning are compact designs meant to be lighter and stuck in a smaller case. Kawai makes some nice consoles as well... if you can find a dealer, try the CA67 or CA97.

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#2559727 - Yesterday at 04:16 AM Re: Digital pianos actions today vs 20+ years ago [Re: ElmerJFudd]
willf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/10
Posts: 100
Loc: UK
I am also a little surprised that you do not feel that the actions have improved. I am not sure whether you are referring to 'portable' or 'console' type pianos.

If console then try the Casio GP500 and GP300 and as mentioned above the Yamaha Avant Grand range.

If portable then the Kawai MP-11 (heavy) and Kawai VPC-1 (controller) are, in my opinion, far superior to anything that was available 20 years ago.

For truly portable/stage piano try the Yamaha CP4, Roland RD-800, or Kawai MP-7. Again all, in my opinion, far superior to anything that was available 20 years ago. At a much lower price point the Casio PX-5S also has, at least to me, a pretty reasonable action - far better than a Yamaha P-300 digital piano from the 90s. I chose that model because I sill have one. At the time it was highly regarded but the Casio is far superior in terms of 'piano feel'.
_________________________
willf

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#2559746 - Yesterday at 08:05 AM Re: Digital pianos actions today vs 20+ years ago [Re: ZMaestro]
Nickeldome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/16
Posts: 22
Originally Posted By ZMaestro
Back in the mid-1990s I was renting a digital piano. I can't remember if it was Roland or Korg, but it was high end at the time and had weighted keys.

Fast forward to today. I was browsing a piano store and tried out a bunch of digitals from Yamaha and Kawaii, ranging from $300 to ~$3000. I was expecting them to be much better than 20 years ago. Wow, talk about disappointment. They don't feel any better than the digital from 1994. Their action is the same mushy junk that feels nothing like an acoustic. Seriously, 20 years later and there's no improvement in actions? What the heck have these companies been doing?

The only one that felt even somewhat like an acoustic was the ES100. Everything else there was.. ick. Even the $2700 Kawaii


I have the living proof of a 1996 Kurzweil PC88 and a 2015 Kawai MP11 here at my own home. And I can assure you the difference in touch is tremendous!

You don't really specify what models you tried and what you are used to as in acoustic piano's?

If you've hardly ever played a digital before and are mainly used to playing acoustic, you may have a hard time finding something that resemblances the feel that a real piano has.

You might change your mind when you start to involve these digital instruments with high quality virtual instruments like NI The Grandeur, The Maverick or Galaxy Vintage D?

Touch and sound are an integral experience in playing a piano. You might be amazed when playing an ES-100 or other model in that situation?

Suddenly it might sound and feel like the real thing?!
_________________________
Piano: Kawai MP11 / Kurzweil PC88 / Yamaha upright accoustic
Recording: Cubase 8.5 Pro / Roland Octa-Capture 16x10 / Nektar Panorama P1 / Yamaha PD18
Main VST's: Kontakt 5 / Omnisphere 2 / Trillian / Pad Shop Pro / Halion 5/ Rob Papen Blue II

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#2559926 - 25 minutes 34 seconds ago Re: Digital pianos actions today vs 20+ years ago [Re: ZMaestro]
ZMaestro Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 07/20/16
Posts: 4
I've played acoustics for 25 years. Many different brands, and all 3 types, from expensive to cheap. I have a grand now.

I didn't note any of the models because their action were lousy so I didn't bother, especially after I saw the prices. I noted the ES100 because it was the only one that felt somewhat acceptable. I tried both Kawaii portables and consoles but only Yamaha portables because the store didn't have anything else from Yamaha. The Yamahas were lower end stuff (under $1000), and felt like toy synthesizers for children. Didn't even bother to go to other stores to try Roland, Casio or Korg. I think I've seen enough

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