Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#657691 - 04/24/03 10:10 AM test drive
specialk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 49
Loc: Michigan
Just curious....Assuming that you think you've found a digital piano with all the features you want is there anything special you should do to "test drive" it before purchasing. Kinda like kicking the tires on a potential new car. Should you play certain keys, or melodies etc. to really get the feel of the piano's tone and quality etc. How about warranties and service etc. Again, just wondering.

Top
(ads) Sweetwater / PR /Roland
Special Financing on Digital Keyboards

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano

Click Here


#657692 - 05/06/03 10:22 PM Re: test drive
LorenzoGonzalez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Michigan, USA
Hm - are you talking about choosing between various new digitals? Or just making sure you don't get a used lemon? Some of this will apply to both situations.

Number one most important tool - great headphones. If you don't have a pair, you should - and if you do, you shouldn't go keyboard shopping without them. I recommend a closed-back model. Sony 7509 are my fav, but there are plenty of other good ones.

So - evaluating sound quality... aside from playing the heck out of all your favorite pieces, into the built-in sequencer, then listening to them played back and thinking about the "whole tonal package"...

I pick a couple of important notes, and play them somewhat rapidly, de/crescendoing up and down, looking for the switching points. Once I find them, I try to toggle back and forth between two samples reliably. If I can't, or better yet, am having a very hard time telling where the velocity layers change - but can still tell the tone is changing from ppp to fff - that's a good thing.

Then I go up and down the keyboard looking for the switch points there, and looking for any notes that sound goofy due to stretching, or for any abrupt transitions. And of course remember that real pianos have transitions too - you just are very hard pressed to be bothered by them in a good one. I cheap digital will have a LOT of transitions, and in some, they're obvious, and grating.

Also test the sustain, and whether you like the way it brings in (or doesn't) some kind of resonance. Some (Yamaha) have separate samples for the sustain, and switch/crossfade them in according to your pedaling. Others (Roland) use a digital effect to simulate the additional harmonics. They both have their advantages, the Roland can be faded in and out in various levels. The Yamaha sounds better to me in general.

There are still a few out there that will produce a tone no matter how slowly/softly you hit the key. Ridiculous! (even though I sometimes hear people complain to the contrary!)

Lastly (or at least for this post) - try the keyboard with the piano OFF. Look for goofy keys or just the feel in general. All will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the tone generator to your inputs at the keyboard, some more finely than others. But unlike a real one, you can never change the way those keys actually drop... be sure you really like it.

Good luck!
Lorenzo

Top
#657693 - 05/06/03 11:20 PM Re: test drive
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Some (Yamaha) have separate samples for the sustain, and switch/crossfade them in according to your pedaling. Others (Roland) use a digital effect to simulate the additional harmonics.
Good points Lorenzo, but this is not quite true. Some Roland keyboards do indeed have different samples for the sustain/hold pedal.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#657694 - 05/07/03 12:40 AM Re: test drive
LorenzoGonzalez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Michigan, USA
 Quote:
Good points Lorenzo, but this is not quite true. Some Roland keyboards do indeed have different samples for the sustain/hold pedal.
Ah - and a good point from you Steve. Sadly, my Roland doesn't. \:\( But it's only an FP3 - $1100...

-Lorenzo

Top
#657695 - 05/07/03 07:38 PM Re: test drive
specialk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 49
Loc: Michigan
Lorenzo,

Thanks for your comprehensive advice. I was thinking of new digitals vs used digitals. I'm going to print out a copy of your response and refer to it as I shop. Thanks

specialk

Top
#657696 - 05/11/03 08:08 AM Re: test drive
eDust Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/26/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Sydney
specialk, just play the piano a lot, preferrably with good headphones. When I bought mine i sat there in the shop with headphones for about 2 hrs just playing on the models I liked. The salesman was happy to let me play to my heart's content, and the headphones let me listen very closely to the sounds. I played things I thought only a traditional piano could do well, like stacato's, fast repetitive notes, etc, and just played for enjoyment, and picked the digital piano i liked the most. Without headphones there's going to be too much background noise in a shop, and you won't be able to pick out the details. Also, headphones bypass the builtin speakers (if any), which are never good. So definitely use headphones \:\)

As for testing a digital piano to make sure it's not a dud, i guess you should just play every note and make sure they all work and feel consistent, nothing sticks or feels odd. Digitals seem to be fairly consistent, I don't think there's much to worry about (this was my first digital piano, I come from a real piano background). And I picked the Yamaha P120 in the end, very happy with it.

Top
#657697 - 05/12/03 06:32 PM Re: test drive
specialk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 49
Loc: Michigan
Edust & Lorenzo

Playing with the headphones is a great idea. Certainly would make me feel less self-conscious as I am not an accomplished pianist. I hope the store is as gracious to me. I have the Sony V600's. Perhaps not quite as good as the 7509's. Maybe I can put new phones on my wish list too! I use my headphones about 75% of the time. Actually, a "What type of headphones do you use?" might make a good thread. Ooops, I guess there has been a "headphone" thread in the past...sorry! Thanks for the advice.

specialk

Top
#657698 - 05/12/03 07:55 PM Re: test drive
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Auditioning a keyboard with headphones is a great idea. But BE WARNED, there are two on-board preamps on a keyboard: one of the headphones, and one for the main outputs/on-board speakers. They're not always similar in sound quality. Therefore it's possible to love the sound of the headphones on a keyboard, but be less than thrilled when used with speakers (of course, the speakers and headphones are part of the equation here too). My advice is to use headphones as a tool, but be aware of how you'll use the keyboard. If you'll mostly use it with headphones, use the headphones that you'll normally use -- not headphones supplied by the dealer. If you'll mostly use the keyboard with speakers, try and audtion the keyboard that way as well (not always easy to do).

In my opinion, this is where some independent dealers shine. They'll often allow you to come in shortly before closing or opening with your own speakers to play the keyboard in private. To me that's worth something. Even if their price is slightly higher than guitar center, etc, I'd strongly consider buying from them.

Regarding headphones, Sony 7506's are most common in pro situations (among Sony models). They sound great, and they're pretty cheap. But I've heard V600's and they're pretty decent -- nothing to complain about. Of course, you can go nuts with this stuff too. I once heard a pair that cost over $5k!!!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#657699 - 05/13/03 07:08 AM Re: test drive
eDust Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/26/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Sydney
headphones should be a completely new topic, there's so much to talk about \:\) I tried the digital pianos using cheap headphones that the salesman provided. BTW, it was a quiet shop, with very few customers.

I then purchased some expensive headphones (expensive to me). To my surprise, the headphone amp circut in the piano has a small amount of noise - it can be distracting. Also, the headphones are so clear that i can hear imperfections in the piano samples. Again, I'm being very fussy and it's hardly noticable.

My intention always was to use it with headhpones because I play at night and I live in an apartment. Anyway, overall it's really good.

I now know there are things called headphone amps. They plug into a line out, and are meant to make any headphone sound much better. I might try one one day, but they're expensive.

Top
#657700 - 05/13/03 07:26 AM Re: test drive
specialk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 49
Loc: Michigan
eDust

Isn't it funny how one thing leads to another?

Sp.K

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
130 registered (A Guy, Adypiano, AmateurBob, Alex-SapRenovation, ajames, 39 invisible), 1736 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75553 Members
42 Forums
156223 Topics
2294344 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What IS this song? (And yes, I mean "song"!)
by TwoSnowflakes
07/28/14 09:35 AM
Kawai Cp200 repair needed
by Walks
07/28/14 08:52 AM
BALDWIN R vs. STEINWAY M
by Karl Watson
07/28/14 08:11 AM
Best Digital Piano for Touch
by JoeCPiano
07/28/14 04:50 AM
Happy Birthday Cinnamonbear!
by Kuanpiano
07/27/14 11:17 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission