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#2617300 - Yesterday at 12:23 PM CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17
UncleTomCobbly Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 02/23/17
Posts: 1
Loc: UK
We're looking to buy a digital piano at some point in the next 3 months for our family. We'd be using it for my wife and I to get back into playing (after a LONG break - hopefully it's like riding a bike), and for my 6 and 8 year old children to start learning. This will be our first family piano, and we're looking for something which provides a close to realistic upright acoustic piano experience, albeit with the benefit of headphones.

We have a budget around the 1,600 GBP mark and have created the following shortlist:
- Yamaha CLP545
- Roland HP603
- Kawai CA17

I've done as much research as I can on these, to the point where I am now just confused!

I appreciate that we need to try these out to see which we like best, but would be really interested in everyone's views on the differences between these models (especially since my piano skills are VERY rusty and I don't have any set pieces I know, so am not in a position to really put them through their paces).



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#2617302 - Yesterday at 12:30 PM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2983
Loc: UK
All console models, so one criteria is the wife/partner acceptance factor. Another is the sound, although you can extend the sounds with a PC tablet, consideration of the console suggest you might not want to do that. Finally, the keyboard feel, you can always play scales, soft, loud, increasing volume, slow, fast, and this may reveal preferences between the models, not just the feel but the tone changes and responsiveness.

Other factors might be value for the money of your budget in terms of features and functions that you and the family will actually use.

You don't say what is confusing you? A trip or two to some stores might be helpful. You could always start lower, a portable piano perhaps, with a view to upgrading once your musicality provides you with a clearer idea of what you're after.

#2617340 - Yesterday at 02:15 PM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
JoBert Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 601
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By UncleTomCobbly

I've done as much research as I can on these, to the point where I am now just confused!

Honest answer: Stop researching, it will only confuse you more (including the post here - confusing answers incoming about "why not use a laptop with VSTs" or "wait for Musikmesse, new Yamaha models may be announced" or "have you considered the Kawai CN35? Because the CN37 was just released, so the previous model should be available with a discount", etc).

The three models on your list are all fine - all of them have their fans here (and their detractors). Just try them out yourself and pick the one you like most. That one will be the best one for you.

Edited by JoBert (Yesterday at 02:16 PM)
Kawai CA 97 | previously: Yamaha P-115 | years ago: Roland HP-800
My piano recordings on YouTube

#2617363 - Yesterday at 03:18 PM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
bmac.to Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/16
Posts: 11
Loc: Canada
About a year ago, I went through a similar decision as you - first piano in a long time, and also for our kids - plus confused by all the data out there.

We were comparing the CN35 and the HP603 (the CA17 is not available in my market, and the CA67 is/was much more expensive). In the end, we went with the Roland but thought both were very good - the decision came down to some of the smaller things. The Roland had twice the warranty, connectivity was better, and we liked the Roland dealer a bit better.

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#2617397 - Yesterday at 04:43 PM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 1376
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By UncleTomCobbly
We have a budget around the 1,600 GBP mark and have created the following shortlist:
- Yamaha CLP545
- Roland HP603
- Kawai CA17

The Roland HP603 is modeled. It responses and behaves more like a real instrument. It doesn't sound as realistic like an acoustic piano as the Yamaha or Kawai, but it behaves much more like an actual instrument. It exhibits continuous timbre change with dynamic change, continuous tone change similar to a real acoustic instrument. It also has more realistic pedal response than the typical sampled DP. Even so there are things an acoustic could do that the Roland cannot.

Modeled pianos has stronger benefit for learning, but since it sounds more synthetic, over long periods, it could become tiresome to the listener. Daily piano practice on any instrument can be tiresome to the poor parent regardless. If I was the one practicing, I would seriously consider the Roland. If I was the one doing the listening, I would seriously not consider the Roland.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year
and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” - Bill Gates

#2617490 - Yesterday at 09:44 PM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12706
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
UncleTomCobbly, welcome to the forum!

As others have noted, it's strongly recommended to visit some piano dealers in order to play-test these pianos.

The three you have shortlist are all good instruments, it's perhaps worth noting that the CA17 (and recently released CN37) is perhaps closer (in terms of price) to the Yamaha CLP-535 and Roland HP-504.

If you're considering the more expensive Yamaha/Roland models, it may be worthwhile to also take a look at the Kawai CA67. A side-by-side comparison of the CA67, CA17, and CN37 can be found on the Kawai Global website here. I have similar side-by-side comparison charts that include Yamaha and Roland models, however these are provided to Kawai dealers only, and not available to the public, unfortunately.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

#2617550 - Today at 05:16 AM Re: CLP545 vs HP603 vs CA17 [Re: UncleTomCobbly]
Goss Online   happy
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/04/16
Posts: 740
Loc: the Netherlands
I can say unless you are playing the same note for an hour on end or so, the Roland wont sound overly synthetic or tiresome ^^

We chose the Roland HP605 ( paid €2000 for it ) for the other properties 8 Octaves mentioned. The behaviour is just great.
Roland HP605|Senheiser HD558|MSFT Surface Pro 4|coffee


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