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#673227 - 10/07/08 06:31 PM Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India
Hello my fellow Music lovers,
I am from India and a brand new member (just like the yamaha clp-3xx.. lol) on this forum!

well, I am a Singer and a composer (popular music).
I am new to Piano and a beginner student.

I am very confused these days because I am on a lookout for a Piano. and I am very particular about the tone.

now there are various options like Yamaha, kawai or old accoustic uprights in similar range. but new ones (DP's and Accoustics) cost more than double here in my country compared to US or anywhere else!

I tried a yamaha clp-230 (costing $2000 US here) sometime back and I quite liked it. the tone was pretty bright and brilliant. then I saw a video on youtube where some guy, peter baartsman, played clp-230 and then clp-280.. and man I was bowled over by the sound of the 280. but it is not available anywhere because a) it is outdated and b) out here in my country it costs about US $5600 so people rather buy uprights. the new clp-3xx series will be available soon. the clp-340 costing $3650, clp-370 costing $5150! and the flagship clp-380 costing $9000!!! and all these in rosewood or mahogany. not even ebony polished!!! the most basic yamaha accoustic uprights (JU109 made in Indonesia) starts at about $4000!

I play on a kawai cn-21 (I think) where I learn at present but I don't quite enjoy the sound. also tried a CE200 (US $2800), which I was not impressed at all because the tone, though good as sampled from a 9ft. grand, was quite thin sounding compared to yamaha clavinovas or even other basic kawai DP's. and if I see kawai accoustic uprights, the very basic ones starts from $3350.

1) now I wanna know that is the clp-270 the new 340 & 280 the new 370?? because they have similar specs like 4 level dynamic stereo sampling and so on.

2) is the clp-370 worth over the clp-340. the difference being $1500 almost! because I think the only difference should be the NW keys on 370 and GH3 in 340.

3) should I look at any model which is similar sounding to clp-340 in kawai??

4) also heard a Roland HP-207 on youtube but again sounded similar to clp-230. should I look at any other model by roland which would be better? but felt that clp-270/340/280/370 are on another level tone wise. sounds very close to a grand. where as Roland sounds like a good upright maybe.

5) should I try at any old german or english uprights costing similar. and I am asking this because people generally advice to go for an accoustic over a DP anyday. but I thought that since I am a beginner so a good DP would be ok for now and maybe later on I can go for a very good upright after a couple of years. I did saw an old gebruder knake for $3000, which sounded pretty good, but it was sold before I could even think about it. but also I have noticed one thing, that the old good German or English uprights sound better than new kawai k5's or similar type and brand. the tone is more brilliant and rounded. and there is a very good resonance which the new ones generally lack. but the feel of keys is not good. its mostly gone yellow and is generally hard and not smooth at all like new ones. and also what about the maintenance part? and again If I do find some upright in reasonable condition, it would be mostly used for a few years max before going for a good accoustic.

So, knowing the scenario, which one should I go for and why and what should I look for and stuff. my beginner budget is about $3000-3500. and one more option is I can wait for a nice and reasonable sounding upright and take it on monthly rental (about $50 only!) for a couple of years. but its difficult to find and I am lacking behind because I have no piano to practice at home and get to lay my hands on one only once a week mostly. someone did tell me they might find a Russian upright for me on rental to practice on. but I am skeptical about Russian.

So, Please help me out here. all your suggestions and recommendations will be highly appreciated. Thanks a lot!

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#673228 - 10/07/08 08:26 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
RodDaunoravicius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 57
Loc: Paris, France
1. I don't agree at all with what you've been told. A bad upright is worse for practicing than a modern top-of-the-line digital. I have trouble playing my korean-made Samick -- a 118cm upright I was always fond of -- now that I have a Roland HP-207. The Roland is much more expressive. An acoustic will generally have a more satisfying sound, but that is less important for practice than expressiveness. A good[/b] acoustic, of course, is always better.

2. For earlier repertory -- Bach, Scarlatti, maybe Haydn and Mozart -- which are less demanding on the dynamic range, I prefer the Samick.

3. You can not find anything by Roland better than the HP-207 right now. I find it vastly superior to the CLP 230/240. It's comparable to the CLP-370, and at that level it's a matter of taste.

4. Don't trust youtube, the sound is highly compressed and deformed and will depend much more on the recording setup than the piano sound. Also sound is not everything. The playing experience will be much more influenced by the action (touch) and by the expressiveness/reactiveness than by what you perceive as a listener. If possible, find a store and play the models you're evaluating.

5. The prices you're mentioning are outrageous!

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#673229 - 10/08/08 03:33 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India
Thankx RodDaunoravicius. I totally agree with you. instead going for an entry level upright I thought it would be wise to go for a very good DP. coz I believe you should get the best stuff in whichever category you can. if getting a DP, buy the best you can. and right now in my beginners budget I might not get a good upright (considering the rediculous pricing in my country) so i thought it makes sense to get a very good DP instead. and so maybe in future when and if I become a more accomplised pianist, then will get a good upright. and by good I mean really good. you can even say maybe the best. coz I have kept a few brands and their flagships in my mind. would love to choose a good german like C. Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Bluthner or Steinway. coz that will probably be a keeps for life.

and I did not quite get your 2nd point.. are you talking about intial lessons to take of classical pieces by bach, mozart etc.?

I agree on not trusting youtube for exact tone quality but I saw clp-230 and clp-280 on the same video and comparing those on the same video I found the 280 way ahead than 230.

and Roland also sounded good. actually maybe better than yamaha clp-230 (which I already tried sometime back)It sounded more warmer than clp-230 maybe. 230 was more brighter and brilliant. but I think 280 was far superior than any DP i have heard. and the main problem is that I cannot get to try Roland here. can get it ordered but cannot try and test it anywhere. so I am more skeptical about it. the only 2 good brands I can try is Yamaha and Kawai. and besides somehow i think maybe its better to trust Yamaha for a Piano coz they are also into accoustics and sample from their on grands. and not just that. they make one of the best Grands so they have a good piano technology. and Roland don't make accoustics. so maybe it would be better to go for a Yamaha for Pianos. but I love Roland for their keyboards. their keyboards are better sounding than any other. better than Yamahas too. more richer sound. so Yamahas for Pianos and Roland for keyboards.

and I did not like kawai CE200 which I did try. it sounded way to thinner compared to yamahas. in fact way to thinner compared to any DP. does'nt sound realistic.

and I would like some more feedback people please. coz I know there are people here on this forum with amazing Piano knowledge and experiences.

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#673230 - 10/08/08 06:21 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
RodDaunoravicius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 57
Loc: Paris, France
Point number 2 meant that for earlier repertory, as in up to mid-18th century, I still prefer my acoustic Samick to my digital Roland. That's because this repertory was written for instruments that are much less expressive than modern grands, and so the lack of dynamic range in the Samick becomes a less obvious fault, and the advantages of an acoustic in terms of sound and physical sensation shine through. Actually, I included Haydn and Mozart but on second though, much of Haydn and all of the late Mozart I'd rather play in the Roland... From Beethoven on, clearly the Roland.

For us to be able to help, I think you should be a little more specific. Exactly what models of big three brands (Kawai, Yamaha and Roland) are available in your region within the 3000-3500$ price bracket you're aiming at?

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#673231 - 10/11/08 05:49 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India
Hey RodDaunoravicius, well what you said about preferring accoustic over digital for Haydn and Mozart or similar, doesnt make any difference to me. coz I am a very beginner player and it might take a few years to reach there and also I have less interest in typical western classical music as I am more into indian classical and even more into Pop, rock and country.

ok well according to yamaha india pricing, the latest clp-340 will be 3650 USD and clp-370 will be 5150 USD. and the Roland HP-207 is available at around 3650 USD (same as clp-340) and the kawai CE200 is available at around 2800 USD.

I have tried the yamaha clp-230, which I quite liked.. so I think that clp-340 will be superb with level 4 dynamic sound sampling and all.

I also tried the kawai CE200. which I didnt like because it sounds way to thinner compared to all other DP's. so is there any other kawai model better than CE200 which I should try?

and Roland HP-207, its very difficult to try, coz its not readily available here in india and can be only ordered. so you have to trust the dealer and the brand and model blindly!

and so I am more interested in yamaha clp-340 or 370. but again 370 is 1500 USD more than 340 only for NW action over GH3 in 340. so I think it would be wiser to go for 340 if I go for yamaha.

so help me out to make a good buying decision please..

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#673232 - 10/11/08 06:11 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
if you condsider CLP340 or 370, then get 340 because 370 isn't worth that much price difference. the main features on both are about the same, while 380 has huge difference from 340 (or even 370).

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#673233 - 10/13/08 07:04 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India
also.. how about clp-240 instead 340. because again the price difference is about 1000 USD. I know that the 240 has 3 leve dynamic stereo sampling and the 340 has 4. but is the difference so much worth the price. and I'll have to make the decision very quick because the clp-240 is available for a very limited time now. maybe just about 2 weeks or so because the new clp-3xx range will be available then and the clp-2xx range will be discontinued.
so guys please let me know about this as soon as possible..

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#673234 - 10/13/08 07:37 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India
Please help me make a good buying decision soon people. thank you

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#673235 - 10/13/08 07:59 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
muzikman Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 7
Loc: India

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#673236 - 10/13/08 09:27 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Why not get the clp-240 and save the thousand dollars? Can you hear the difference? It is up to you whether it is worth it. But why not save $?

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#673237 - 10/13/08 11:45 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
RodDaunoravicius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 57
Loc: Paris, France
Hi muzikman,

From the models you are talking about, I have only tested:

CLP-240, CLP-370, CLP-380, HP-207

Personally, I prefer, the HP-207 to the CLP-370, that's why I bought it although the CLP-370 was about 600 euros cheaper here in Paris. I liked the action of both models but preferred the Roland's sound. Now, if it is at the same price as the CLP-340[/b] I wouldn't think twice about getting the Roland.

The CLP-380 is indeed much better than CLP-370 and I would have preferred it even to the Roland HP-207, except that it was way too expensive.

I played the CLP-340 briefly but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me. The sound samples are the same as on the CLP-370, so it should be MUCH better than the CLP-240. I don't like the CLP-240 at all, I find the sound jumps from a muffled synthetic sound on the pianissimo to a rash, over-brilliant sound from the mezzo-forte up. I play mostly classic and a bit of jazz, so that might not be a problem for your style of playing. Also, with the CLP-340 you'll get the synthetic Ivory keytops which is a nice extra.
Regarding the Natural Wood keyboard, people say the fact that there's wood in it doesn't make any difference, but I do feel that the action is much better than the GH3, either because of the wood or the different mechanism.


So in your case, I'd probably go for CLP-340[/b]. In alternative, the CLP-270 if you can get one at a good price (you'll get better sound but no synthetic Ivory keytops). If you can put in the extra bucks, the CLP-370 for the Natural Wood action (not as good sound as the CLP-270), or the CLP-280, which has the best sound and action beneath the CLP-380.

Even if I find the Roland is the best deal you have, I wouldn't buy it, or any piano, without being able to try it first. Ultimately the choice is very personal and it would be a shot in the dark. For the same reason, by all means buy the CLP-240 if you were happy with it. You're a better judge at your own taste than I would ever be \:\)

The Kawais that are comparable to Yamaha's CLP and Roland's HP series are the CA series. The action feels marvellous, although many people complain of mechanical problems. The sound, maybe not so great.

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#673238 - 10/13/08 11:53 AM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
my vote is either 340 or 270.

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#673239 - 10/13/08 07:43 PM Re: Initial Problem - HELP!
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
It's hard to "vote" ... the OP didn't set his price range. Also, he says that pricing is very different there than in the US.

And it's even more difficult since he quotes what seem to be list prices. (Or, maybe they're not list ... hard to say.)

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