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#673490 - 02/05/07 01:21 PM Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Hopefully this isn't a rehashing question of the other threads on the board, but I'm looking for a mid-range digital to be "piano #2" in my house:

I'm looking for a mid-line digital to work as the "rough draft" and practice piano at home, along with an acoustic grand. Because of this I need a Very similar piano feel to the action so that it's not a strange transition going from digital to acoustic.

Currently I have a 6 mo. rental on a Clavinova CVP59-S (that goes back a couple of generations of technology.) The feel is good on the keyboard, but the piano samples aren't the best and it has terrible note drop outs (especially in the organ voices) because it only has 32 not polyphany. Fast runs and trillls are Very difficult to play correctly and have all the notes sound.

So the question is: at the end of the rental when it's time to buy, I want to compare three different series:

* Clavinova CLP series (I don't need the bells and whistles of the DVP pianos)

* Kawai Concert Performer series

* Roland KR series


Both the Roland and Kawai have sound samples on their sites and the piano sound is quite good.

Does anybody have any leanings one way or the other, in a $2500-$3000 range?
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673491 - 02/05/07 01:32 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
vitog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 129
Loc: People's Republic of Massachus...
Kawai CP line has AWA Pro keyboard from I believe 137 model, as oppose to CA line, that is entirely with this great wood key board. You should check out this keyboard before making a decission as this one is totally different than anything out there. You can even check out the CA-X or MP8 (same AWA Pro keyboard in portable versions), but it looks like you need a good looking home piano too. It seemed to me that Kawai pays a lot of attention to detail and finish, even the stage piano MP8 has great detail to it.
_________________________
Kawai MP8
Lots of other stuff

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#673492 - 02/05/07 02:32 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
137 was about where I was thinking of looking at the line, too. I'm more interested in the voices and the touch, than with the added accompaniment features of the "flagship" models.

I thought the "Grand Piano Designer" in the Roland line was pretty nifty.

Not sure if it's any more usable than simply choosing "Grand 1" or "Grand 2" voices, though.
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673493 - 02/05/07 02:34 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Double posted - sorry
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673494 - 02/05/07 03:09 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Hey CozyWriter,

you sure don't sound like you need a CP series piano, but I am sure you need that AWA Pro action since Clavinova's latest offerings (the 200 series) will give you no improvement or very marginal improvement, touch-wise, upon the instrument you're already leasing.

I'd be surprised if you liked the Rolands, but you owe it to yourself to try them out. You should probably find their touch marshmellowish, too light, mushy. But no sense in taking anybody's word for it.

Conversely, you can but rave about Kawai's AWA Pro once you try it out, but stay with the CA line, why CP??? All CAs have the wooden keyboard, as does MP8. So there's plenty of choice there to give you the finest practice instrument money can buy, even at a low price if you wish.

Regards,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673495 - 02/05/07 05:36 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
What's the big difference between CA and CP?

Are the two series running the same touch and tone, but CP adds on the extra gee-gaws not needed for a practice piano?


Since the dealer would give me back the rental $ against a new purchase (of any of these three lines,) I'm sure there's not going to be extreme amounts of negotiating room on the retail price.
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673496 - 02/05/07 05:43 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
80sman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 21
Loc: UK
Claude I think we all know by now that your fairly heavily biased towards the Kawai keyboards.

But to say that yamaha's keyboard technology has not improved (or barely improved) in over 10 years is a little un-realistic. cvp59-s release date was 1996 I believe.

I find the feel of the clp240 keyboard to be fantastic, I played on an older clavinova a few days back and found it spongy and very keyboard feeling (rather than piano) by comparison.

My advice to CozyWriter would be to go and play them all. See what you like, some people really like the yamaha sound, others don't but from all I've heard all the keyboards now feel very good and really choice is only a matter of preference.

Greg

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#673497 - 02/05/07 06:07 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Ya Greg, you've got a point that CozyWriter should try the latest from Clavinova also. For myself I have, extensively (and I might add, hence my preference for AWA Pro).

But with all due respect, I don't think Yamaha actions have changed that radically in the past decade. The plastic, end-pivoted key is still there, driving a tucked-under rod-like hammer. I know they've graded the levers (or hammers) in decreasing weight from bass to treble, maybe improved the resolution of the captors, but what else?

I don't think I am that heavily biased. I admit my preference, but I can justify it and I always urge people to try out everything before they decide. My preference is simply out of experience and I'm happy to share that with anyone interested. Isn't that what forums are all about?

Kind regards,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673498 - 02/05/07 06:31 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
80sman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 21
Loc: UK
Agreed Claude, the forums are certainly about expressing personal views.

I meant no offence in my previous post, reading it again it appears a little contrived..... sorry.

I've not looked into the mechanics of the yamaha keyboard very much, but the one I played the other day was awful in comparison. The process maybe similar but the action was vastly different. (IMHO)

My point was only that they are all very good keyboards now, I know you prefer Kawai but I also know that it's not everyone's preference, so I feel a little obligated to provide a counterpoint to your preference simply for balance \:\)

You always make good posts though Claude, which are great reading. \:D

Cheers!
Greg

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#673499 - 02/05/07 06:59 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
fathom39 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 4
For the differences on Kawai CA vs CP, check the specs on www.kawaius.com. Generally, as you go up the ladder in model numbers, at some point you get wooden keys, more speakers, more wattage from the amps, 96 polyphony, 192 polyphony, etc.

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#673500 - 02/05/07 07:04 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
vitog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 129
Loc: People's Republic of Massachus...
Just one thing, CA line is all AWA Pro wood key action, CP not entirely. There may be some differences in sampling (though quite minor), but for the most part it's the "extras" on the CP that make it more expensive.
_________________________
Kawai MP8
Lots of other stuff

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#673501 - 02/05/07 07:59 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Hey Greg,

thanx for your post, I loved it. AND I'm glad, I sincerely am, that other people on the forum (like yourself, for example) take the time and effort to express views that are different from mine. Have I ever acted as if I had a monopoly on truth? Subjectivity plays too large a part in all of this for one person to be always right and the others to bow, lol!!!

Speaking of being right, Witold is correct, here. Kawai's CP line is to their CA line much of what Yamaha's CVPs are to their CLPs. But when it comes to the premium wooden action Kawai offers, then the CA line is the only one that includes it in all models.

Cheers
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673502 - 02/05/07 10:55 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Larraby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 63
Loc: Canada
Bachmaniac is the Kawai God ... he's all knowing, and all powerful ... so leave him alone! \:D

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#673503 - 02/06/07 12:07 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
 Quote:
Originally posted by bachmaniac:
Kawai's CP line is to their CA line much of what Yamaha's CVPs are to their CLPs. [/b]
Excellent! That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for.

Fortunately this is no Rush Job so I've got time to shop... and shop for price between the models.

At least there's only two models to play with on the Yamaha side (270 and 280)
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673504 - 02/07/07 12:27 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
posted by CozyWriter:

"At least there's only two models to play with on the Yamaha side (270 and 280)"[/b]


I know I am again going to be accused of Yamaha bashing, but there's really only one model (not two) on their side: the 270. The 280 is nothing, it's just about cosmetics: here in Canada, it costs $500 more for a ridiculous placebo supposedly "wooden keyboard", when in fact it's the same GH3 plastic keyboard whose WHITE keys only are partly inlayed with wood inserts at the edge, where it's visible; and another $500 for "Polished Ebony" over a pressboard cabinet. Otherwise the 270 and and the 280 are exactly the same. But it's a good piano if you like that sound and that touch.

I know, I know, why don't I shut up? :rolleyes:

Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673505 - 02/07/07 12:42 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
I liked the display on the 270/280 because it had a more "real" digital readout rather than the lower models that just have LED numbers and you need a cheat sheet to see what you're plugging in.

The 280 might be out of my target budget anyway.

I haven't seen any Kawai prices yet so I'll have to dig around some to see where in the CA line I start topping out my $2.5k - $3k budget.
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673506 - 02/07/07 07:12 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
fathom39 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 4


They are over $3K.



Kawai CA7, possibly a CA9 if you can find one and find a store willing to deal.

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#673507 - 02/07/07 08:52 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Greyhound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 81
Cozy Writer:

Have you given any thought to the GEM rp800? Mine cost approx $2100 or $2200 (sorry, I'd have to pull out the receipt to check) in "polished ebony". Check out the GEM USA site, and Dave McMahon is a great guy to talk with. GEM's problem is that they have a limited number of dealers. Anyway, just a thought.

Cathy
_________________________
Enjoy life...this is not a dress rehearsal.

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#673508 - 02/09/07 06:59 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
I went back to see the digital guy today (was in the store to pick up a sheet music order) and we talked about the pianos.

I tried out the Roland and did find the action to be pretty mooshy. I ruled that one out. It's about one step up from my oldie Clavinova I have now.

The Kawai was VERY nice indeed but the action was very heavy. I'll have to see what it's like vs. the accoustic when that shows up. It seems to be a lot "tighter" feeling than any acoustic piano I've ever played.

We talked price and models and it seems that the 7s and 9s aren't around any more and he can only get 5s, because Kawai announced the new lines at the show, and the new model numbers will be 51 71 and 91. The only diff that he told me about is that the new ones will have a wooden sound board in the back to more closely give an acoustic piano sound.

That seems a little odd in a digital piano that's sending sound out through speakers, though.


Anyway, for the budget I had in mind, he said I could easily get out with one of the CA5 pianos for around $2500. Downside (a BIG one!) is that the case seems to be only in the E-word (Ebony) which I will not allow in my house. \:\)

I'll have to wait and see what the 51 71 and 91 have in store. I think he was saying that a CA9(assuming there was one to be found) would land in my house for $3000-$3500.

That's TONS less than the CP series


And that's the way it is... Friday, February 9.... etc. etc.
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673509 - 02/09/07 09:28 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Agent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 405
Hey Claude,

I just wanted to pipe in with 80sman. No offense but your posts are starting to sound a little one-sided and hyped up. I agree that the AWA Pro keyboards are outstanding but I also think the other manufacturers you mentioned have their good keyboards too and may be more suited for certain pianists.

For example, I've heard it said that the piano samples for the Roland RD700SX are superior to the Kawai MP8's. From listening to the mp3s on the Shootout Site I am inclined to agree. So if a person was more interested in a better sample with a lighter weighted keyboard then they may want to consider the RD700SX instead (after testing both keyboards themselves of course).

Anyway, I hope I didn't offend you with this post. You have been a big help to me in the past with awesome information on Kawai keyboards that I couldn't get anywhere else........hmmmmmm. Are you a vendor? :p

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#673510 - 02/09/07 10:44 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
Agent,

be reassured, you don't offend me at all; but you do sound like you have been reading only those of my posts which reinforce your thesis that I am one-sided. I know you got better things to do than scan my 150 or so posts to date and I can't blame you, but if you did you would realize just how often I have been telling people to try out pianos for themselves and also highlighting some good points in instruments that are not necessarily my favorite. This is a forum, and I believe one is allowed to outline one's preferences, even with a little enthusiasm, especially when such preferences are based upon actual trial and error and general experience in the field. I am fortunate enough to own a good acoustic, and I have tried Yams, Kawais and Rolands rather extensively, plus I have been playing piano for more than half a century. If some people enjoy reading what I have to say, then fine. My chief advice, albeit my own choices, has always been to try out things for yourself as this is all very subjective business. Sorry if that sounds "one-sided and hyped up", as you suggest. Also, there are times when simple, straight facts need to be stated or cleared up, which brings a little reassuring objectiveness into some of the debates. There are both objective and subjective aspects to opting for digital instruments in general and then choosing one in particular...

Regards,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673511 - 02/10/07 12:10 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
vitog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 129
Loc: People's Republic of Massachus...
True to the bone.

Bachmaniac has been a great advisor on this forum and always fair in his assesments. It was his enthusiastic Kawai comments, that made me try harder than I ever thought I needed, to find a Kawai dealer and see for myself what they felt like. Needless to say, I'm now an extatic owner of the MP8. Sound and touch is forever going to be a very personal choice, stated by most on here time and again (including bachmaniac).

I think that a key to being happy with the very tough purchase of a digital piano, is that one has got to believe in the choice he made. The only way to reach that point is to compare and compare and ... well, compare. Some of us don't have time to shop endlessly, so we seek advise/opinions from those who've been through it before.

I personally think that strong opinions (like bachmaniac's about Kawai) are far more helpful than those "make you all happy" style. At least when you read his posts, you have no reservations as to what he likes (and why). Whether you agree with it or not is a completely another matter.

I have become a believer in Kawai for one simple reason:

... they put out a top notch product at a super competitive price ...

Anyone shopping for a digital piano should check out Kawai, you can't loose by doing so, you may end up turning away, but at least you know you based your decission on a thorough test process.
_________________________
Kawai MP8
Lots of other stuff

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#673512 - 02/10/07 05:39 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Agent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 405
I hear ya! Glad we can all have a civil debate without stepping on each other's toes.

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#673513 - 02/10/07 09:30 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
CozyWriter,

The three Kawai models you mentioned are already available in Europe. I would like to point out that only the CA91 has the soundboard, which does not replace the loudspeakers, of course, but only resonates in unison with some of them, much like the back speakers do on the top Yamaha CLPs. Also there seem to be certain discrepancies on their present spec sheets: the 51 is said to have 45W x 2 amps, whereas the 71 advertises 40W x 2; that doesn't seem to make sense. Also, at first glance I could find no other difference in specs between CA5 and CA51 than the wattage increase. We'll see..

For the time being, it seems that the best possible deal (should you be looking for a Kawai console, that is!!!) would consist in finding a leftover 5, 7, or 9 model at the dealer's.

Here are the links to a French site offering them:

http://www.francepianos.com/pn/kawai_ca51.htm

http://www.francepianos.com/pn/kawai_ca71.htm

http://www.francepianos.com/pn/kawai_ca91.htm

Kind regards,
Claude
_________________________
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7

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#673514 - 02/10/07 10:18 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
 Quote:
Originally posted by bachmaniac:

For the time being, it seems that the best possible deal (should you be looking for a Kawai console, that is!!!) would consist in finding a leftover 5, 7, or 9 model at the dealer's.

[/b]
That's what the dealer said, too. He could really cut a nice deal on the one 7 he had on the floor, but I'm musically broke now from buying the Pramberger grand, so I can't swap out until early Fall at best.

Who knows - he might have a used Kawai coming in by then.
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673515 - 02/10/07 01:41 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Larraby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 63
Loc: Canada
Kawai's dealer network (at least in my area) is embarrassingly poor.

For this reason, I'm going to be forced to choose either a Yamaha or Roland digital piano, since I can at least take them out for a 'test drive'. With the Kawai MP8 or CA-X, I would have to buy 'blind', and base my purchase simply on the opinions of other forum members.

Any thoughts on the new offerings from Roland ie. FP-4, FP-7 or HP203?

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#673516 - 02/11/07 01:40 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
vladn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 65
Loc: NJ, USA
My friend and I were both comparing exactly these piano options and visiting dealers. We pretty much agreed on these findings:

- Kawai AWA Pro keyboard has by far the best feel and control of the bunch (we tried CP-137 at local dealer, not the model we wanted but it has AWA Pro keys)
- it is also by far the heaviest keyboard I ever tried on any digital or acoustic instrument (never had a chance to play full size concert grand though, only comparing to Kawai / Steinway cabinet grands) which may or may not be a problem to some, I would definitely prefer it to be lighter;
- now this is very subjective - we both disliked the default Kawai CP-137 grand sounds, this may be tweaked by changing response curves / effects / filters but we did not have enough time to play with it's infinite options at the store;
- with default setting we both preferred Roland samples (either RD700SX stage or KR line) to either Kawai or Clavinova;
- for keyboard action we rated it in the order: Kawai, Roland, Clavinova (again with the note that AWA Pro is substantially heavier than others and may not be the best choice to some);

Just to put this opinion in prospective I would probably rate my friend as an entry level advanced player and myself as an entry level intermediate (I returned to playing few months ago after 25yr hiatus).

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#673517 - 02/11/07 02:14 PM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Agent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 405
Thanks for that analysis vladn. It is very helpful.

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#673518 - 02/12/07 08:16 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
CozyWriter Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 789
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
vladin - sounds exactly like what I found but with the CA7 and CA5 for the Kawai
_________________________
Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)

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#673519 - 03/24/07 01:02 AM Re: Clavinova v Kawai v Roland
Devo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/29/06
Posts: 18
Loc: Missouri
Cozy,

Just wanted to second the GEM RP800 or GRP option.

I liked the Kawai the best out of your choices. (Roland action seemed ham-handed and didnt make my top three)

It might take a drive to find a GEM dealer, but I'd hate to see someone drop that kind of cash and not at least test drive a GEM. I had not heard of GEM before I happened upon one, but it stood out amongst the competition and I ended up taking one home.

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