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#494114 - 08/27/01 07:25 PM The verdict is in
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Many of you may remember that I purchased an electronic piano a few weeks ago and I promised to let you know what I thought about it. First, the background: I have a Yamaha acoustic on which I practice during mid-day (from 2-4 hours). I bought the PS-80 thinking I would gain more practice hours since I would be able to play at night with the earphones.

Verdict: An electronic piano is not a piano. Even though it has weighted keys and touch response, it still plays like an organ. It is a sound-reproducing machine not a sound-generating instrument--it's kind of like an elaborate door-bell when you get right down to it: you push a button, you get a canned sound.

I do not forsee much serious practicing on the electronic. HOWEVER, I'm not sorry I purchased it. It is good for studying theory on and that is something I can do at night.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#494115 - 08/27/01 08:04 PM Re: The verdict is in
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17836
Loc: Victoria, BC
Bernard:

Indeed, I do remember your plans to buy the Yamaha electronic keyboard, your hopes that you would be able to use it to do some serious practicing and our suggestion that you inform us of your reactions to it.

I'm sorry to hear that it didn't meet your ultimate expectations, but relieved to hear that you will be able to use it. Yes, there's nothing like an acoustic - may I say - real piano, is there?

Thanks for this post.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#494116 - 08/28/01 12:36 PM Re: The verdict is in
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 808
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
That's interesting Bernard. I've been going through the same dilemma between keeping my acoustic or replacing it with a digital. I'm not familiar with the PS-80. How does it relate to the portables (P-80, and P-200)? I've tried both of those and was particularly impressed with the P-200. The touch sensitivity was pretty good and you had a fair amount of tone/volume control despite the limitations of an electronic instrument.
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#494117 - 08/28/01 01:09 PM Re: The verdict is in
Mark L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 15
Loc: Ohio, USA
I've looked into a digital keyboard not as a replacement for my acoustic but as an addition. I could also take it with me on longer trips and have something to play. I play classical on my acoustic but it s kind of a nice diversion to play jazz on electric piano.

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#494118 - 08/28/01 05:30 PM Re: The verdict is in
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Oh, Vid, it's a P-80... sorry. And I never had any question of replacing my acoustic. I just wanted to augment it (no pun intended!).
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#494119 - 08/28/01 08:00 PM Re: The verdict is in
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
I'm happy with the p80. I've been traveling lately and it's been nice to have it along. To recognize that it's not a piano is, well, a bit like obviating the obvious. In my experience, it does provide a good approximation of the "real" thing, allows me to practice w/headphones late at night/early morning, and work on music at the computer. But, no, I don't expect it to replace my acoustic anytime soon.

I recently came across an interesting essay on the web concering "real piano vs. digital piano". The author argues, among other things, that what sells is not a real piano sound but a "recognizable piano sound". Whatever one of makes of it (I'd be interested in what other folks think), here's the link:
http://members.brabant.chello.nl/~t.vanheelsbergen/opinionE.htm

BTW, here's a link to Bach recordings done using the p80 as a controller, the sounds, however, were produced via Gigasampler.
http://artists.mp3s.com/info/42/john_lewis_grant.html
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#494120 - 08/29/01 12:49 PM Re: The verdict is in
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 808
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Thanks for the links. Its very interesting to get the opinion of someone who has been using these keyboards extensively. He talks about 'lame' keys. Is this a common problem with the Yamaha portable digital pianos?
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#494121 - 08/29/01 05:47 PM Re: The verdict is in
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
netizen wrote:
 Quote:
To recognize that it's not a piano is, well, a bit like obviating the obvious.


It wasn't obvious to me. With the advance in electronics and computers in the last 15 years, I imaged an electronic keyboard that could very closely mimic response of a real piano. (Albiet, I have a healthy imagination!)
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#494122 - 08/29/01 05:56 PM Re: The verdict is in
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
I have a Yamaha PSR-240 portable keyboard. I get frustrated with it because it doesn't play like a real piano. But until I get a real job (post-doctoral stints are not real jobs) then it's only something that's in my dreams for the moment. I did get a chance to play a real piano yesterday, and the difference in touch and response is like night and day. My real piano is at home (San Diego) so at least I have something to look forward to when I make my annual trip home in December.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#494123 - 08/29/01 06:39 PM Re: The verdict is in
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Bernard, sorry if my comment seemed snide --certainly no derision was intended towards you--just my feeble attempt at a joke.

I imagine the PSR-240 would be a pretty disappointing beast as it's pretty much a 61 key synth. I was using an Ensoniq, until I picked up the yamaha, it drove me nuts (useless apart from the Midi). The switch was a big improvement.
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#494124 - 08/31/01 12:22 PM Re: The verdict is in
Rick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 559
Loc: Chicago
I haven't made any posts since the new website format, but I did write once a few months ago. I read this forum all the time though. I just want to say that I've made tremendous progress with my digital piano (an expensive Technics model). I only started playing in January 1999 (at 33 y.o.), but I have come a very long way. I do have a good teacher (at least I think he's good, have nothing to compare him to). I play more Chopin than anything, although lately I've gotten on a serious Scarlatti kick.
Last weekend I stayed two nights at the Marriott on Michigan Avenue (Chicago). I found four pianos near the meeting rooms. I sat down and started playing (with sheet music of course), and it felt great. I can play just as well, maybe better, on this baby grand as on my digital. I must admit that I enjoyed it more than my digital (from a sound standpoint mostly). But, I'm playing some pretty good stuff after only 30 months of playing. And so far, this progress has been on the back of my digital piano.
BTW, there is another Scarlatti sonata that I want to learn. I believe it is K. 87 (L. 33). Apparently, there are different versions of this piece, or maybe some mistakes in the originals? Can anyone recommend a publisher/publication for this piece? It could be in a book format (i.e., with other pieces), or just the individual sheet music. Thanks.

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#494125 - 08/31/01 12:37 PM Re: The verdict is in
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Rick,

You should be able to get the info and stuff you're interested at harpsichordist John Sankey's site:
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Studio/1714/harpsichord.html


An additional site where you can listen to quality sound clips of many of Scarlatti's delightful sonatas:
http://www.classicalarchives.com/scarlatt.html

Hoep you find them useful and enjoyable.

Rgds,
AndrewG

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#494126 - 09/02/01 12:15 AM Re: The verdict is in
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
Rick, congratulations on the progress you've made. If you're looking for an interesting recording of Scarlatti played on the piano, I recommend one of my favorites: Ivo Pogorelich's recording on DG (it has the K87 on it).

[AndrewG, those are great links. Thanks for posting them.]
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#494127 - 09/04/01 11:53 AM Re: The verdict is in
Rick Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/01
Posts: 559
Loc: Chicago
Yes, thanks Andrew for the references. I never would have found that first (harpsichord) one. And to Netizen, you are right on the money with Pogorelich - I just bought that CD last week! It is very good. Thanks for your support. Over the weekend, I spent several hours working on nothing but a new (new to me anyway) Scarlatti piece: K. 9 "Pastorale". Now I can't get the tune out of my head, but that's okay.

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#494128 - 09/04/01 12:04 PM Re: The verdict is in
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
You're most welcome, Rick. I second Pogorelich's Scarlatti DG disc as one of the most delightful recordings of all times. A while back some one on this forum asked me to come up with a list of 25 of my personal favorite CDs. Pogorelich Scarlatti Sonatas is certainly one of them. As a matter of fact, I prefer his reading over the much admired Horowitz. Just my opinion, of course.

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#494129 - 09/04/01 12:32 PM Re: The verdict is in
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I also currently prefer Pogorelich's Scarlatti to Horowitz. My only complaint is that I wish he would have recorded more of them.

Ryan

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#494130 - 09/08/01 08:07 PM Re: The verdict is in
SethW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 106
First of all,I think that it can be asserted that a digital piano will never be as good as the real thing.However,I have been reading some of these posts, and the impression I get out of it is that some of you are not even talking about a true digital piano.If you can take it with you on trips, or if it only has 61 keys, you are talking about ordinary synthesizers and not a true digital piano(piano sampler).Because I have an interest in composing, which in turn requires a lot of computer work,a digital sampler is required to supplement an acoustic.And let me tell you,the digital piano which I would use for various tasks, is a Kawai-Concert Series-CP-200 5'3'' digital baby grand piano.It, of course, has 88 keys,comes with three pedals,various piano and string sounds for a total of 389 sounds.Has 128 polyphony(this is important for composers who want to use a lot of notes at once),tons of acoustic effects surround sound et cetara,and more electronic gizmos and various features then you could shake a trill at.Plus,you can always update and upgrade it like any piece of hardware.Like I said, this is not the kind of digital piano you would want to take on a trip,however,because it weighs 485 pounds!These pianos actually look very nice with an acoustic.And this digital piano is by no means the pinnacle.

The point being,a digital piano is not going to equal a acoustic and if you are playing something sensitive like the music of Chopin, you definitely want an acoustic.But,if you want a digital piano,you need to get one that is good ,too.Of course,not everyone will have need of one.A digital piano ,like the one I mentioned earlier, is very good for a variety of music ,especially for jazz and more modern styles.Once I heard someone play an excellent piece of christmas jazz on a good digital and let me tell you, it sounded very close to the real thing.You can tell it was sampled but it definitely did not have the overly "electronic" sound.The process of creating the sound, works by recording the sound out of Kawai's best acoustic grand in their reaserch facilities.Their latest technology creates surprisingly incedible tone and dynamic sounds. Anyone who says digitals have not progressed in years has not been up to date.It still is not equal to an acoustic.

A very good digital can still create a good sound.As was stated prevously,if you can take it with you on a trip,you have a keyboard which is not representative of what a complete digital instrument can do.I have played portable keyboards and they sound horrible.There are a few good portable keyboards,however.Of course, if you are not a composer, you proboably would not need a 485 pound monster to supplement your acoustic.To sum it up,a good true digital instrument(sampler)can create a realistic sound,however,always have an acoustic,though.

[ September 08, 2001: Message edited by: SethW ]

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#494131 - 09/09/01 10:13 AM Re: The verdict is in
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
"If you can take it with you on trips, or if it only has 61 keys, you are talking about ordinary synthesizers and not a true digital piano(piano sampler)."

This is not entirely true. However cumbersome, portability is a hallmark of digital pianos. Quite a few excellent digital pianos (88 weighted keys, velocity sensitivity, sampled from a good accoustic) can be carried with you (the P80/200 and several of the Roland pro models). Most of these are midi ready (in/out/through) can can be connected to a laptop --even greater portability \:\)

As has already been pointed out in this thread, the digital piano is a good supplement (and, in some cases, alternative) to an accoustic piano.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/music/piano/digital-pianos-faq/
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#494132 - 09/09/01 03:01 PM Re: The verdict is in
SethW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 106
Netizen,you are correct.The main point I was trying to get at is this, there are digital pianos which sound fairly close to the real thing,however, when people think of digital instruments or keyboards, they usualy think of the classic portable ones.They do not think of digitals which actually look and sound like a true piano.I know of someone,a professor at Southwestern university in George Town Texas,who did a lot of his composing on a portable Kurzwei K-2000 sampler.And all of it,especialy the orchestral parts, sounded great.So,yes there is some portable devices which sound great. If someone was trying to decide between an acoustic and a digital piano,and they decided on the digital,but were not lookinf for a supplementary instrument,they should at least get a digital that one can truly say is a "digital piano" in look, feel, and quality, and not just a general keyboard.Of course, if you already have an acoustic, you probably do not need a non portable digital(unless you do some serious composing or arranging).

[ September 09, 2001: Message edited by: SethW ]

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