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#681415 - 05/22/02 03:47 PM interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
hello all this is my first post. im a student in college and i use to take piano lessons before i moved away to go to school so i had to leave my piano back home since i live in an apartment and i miss having my piano. Since i wont have any place for a piano anytime soon im looking at getting a digital piano.

i have looked around and played with a few different ones yamahas(ydp212, and a few of the clavinovas cant remember the numbers), casio ap 40, and a whole bunch of the rolands from the kr and the hp series( the kr277, kr377, kr577, hp237, hp337)

in particular i came to like the roland kr 577. until i found out the price was close to 8500. seems a bit much for a oversized computer \:\) as im a computer programmer.

just wondering if you guys have any input on these pros or cons of any of these models what you like dislike about them

also i was searching around on the net for prices as the prices at the few stores i went to seemed incredibly high and i came across a website that sells all this stuff at a much lower prices and wondering if you guys have any info about this place too as there are plenty of shady businesses on the net. www.keyboardshop.com or www.synthplanet.com if i purchased from them it would be overseas shipping however even after shipping costs it seems it would still be significantly cheaper to purchase from them. any input on this? and oh yea my budget is about 3-4 thousand.

thanks
-neal

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#681416 - 05/22/02 11:56 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Hi! Welcome to the piano forums. Its too bad that your first post had to be here, becuase hardly anybody posts on this particular forum. Anyway, I prefer Yamaha digital pianos myself. They seem to have a more realistic tone than a Casio. I've never played on any other brands, so I'm sorry that I can't help you there, but hopefully others will chime in and give their two cents as well.
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#681417 - 05/22/02 11:57 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Hi! Welcome to the piano forums. Its too bad that your first post had to be here, becuase hardly anybody posts on this particular forum. Anyway, I prefer Yamaha digital pianos myself. They seem to have a more realistic tone than a Casio. I've never played on any other brands, so I'm sorry that I can't help you there, but hopefully others will chime in and give their two cents as well.
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#681418 - 05/22/02 11:57 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Oops. Sorry for double post.
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#681419 - 05/23/02 02:07 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
jgoo, you can erase posts that you wrote (go to edit - the button with the paper and the pencil- and hit erase)
\:\)
Hi geistATL
We are about in the same situation. I am a college student moving out to a dorm soon, I will need a digital piano. I am not a piano major. But piano is my passion. I need to have a piano around all the time or else I get sad.
I did some research about digital pianos and although I havent tried any yet what I have found in most cases is that people seem to like Yamahas for their bright sound, Roland for the touch. The Rolands are really expensive though, maybe its worth it I dunno, I'd have to try. I will go out shopping for a digi piano this summer after my finals.
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"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

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#681420 - 05/23/02 08:26 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
Welcome to PW.
Heres another site to check out for prices. They are usually pretty competitive. Based in SouthBend Indiana.
http://www.woodwindbrasswind.com/home.jsp

The other sites you mentioned I'm not familiar with.
Seiler makes an "Elite Trainer" whose main selling point is not a thousand voices, but what they say is a more piano-like keyboard than electronic pianos have. Its about 6000 Euros or (at .75) about $4500 US. I've never found one of these to play and I think they're made on order so a few months lead time applies. This isn't a recommendation, just another piece of info. web address is (I think) seiler-pianos.com

I have a Technics SX-PX226 which I'm pretty happy with, though when I get on my teachers Baldwin I have to make some pretty major adjustments. I got this one mainly due to a big price break. Korg and Kurzweil are two names you did not mention that also make good instruments.
Good luck.
Bob

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#681421 - 05/23/02 08:44 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
thanks for the replys so far guys.

i know how you feel stanless, i have been without a piano for almost 3 years now and everytime i hear a sweet piece of piano music i get depressed. i took lessons for about 4 years before i moved away from home. im trying to get my parents to sell my old kurtmann baby grand so that i can put that towards a digital.

hey rkvs1, i dont think i can wait a few more months im going crazy hehe. i have actually tried korg and kurzweil but did not like the feel of there keys.

i really did like the feel of the rolands too and im pretty sure sounds can always be upgraded through midi.

so does anyone know about that website i asked about? there prices seem to good to be true. like the roland kr577 i saw that at a store for about $8500 dollars but on this website they are selling it for about $3600. even after about $400 dollars in shipping and then like 5.7% import tax(if im looking at the correct import duty rate) it still comes out to be significantly less than $8500. so then whats the deal with this place.

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#681422 - 05/23/02 09:17 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Hi, geistASTL!
Did you try others Roland pianos (like FP and RD series)?
Regards.

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#681423 - 05/23/02 09:41 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
hey german yea i did look at those and altough i did like the feel on it i dont really want something portable and that doesnt have speakers built into it already.

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#681424 - 05/23/02 12:52 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I also would have suggested the RD series from Roland with some powered speakers and a stand. It doesn't look like home furniture, but it plays/sounds great and doesn't cost as much.

As for the Elite Trainer, I have to admit I'm fairly skeptical. There's more to making a digital piano "feel" right than throwing a piano action inside. Since there are no strings to strike, there is going to be a difference in resistance that will have to be compensated for elsewhere. Why haven't companies like Kawai or Yamaha put their piano actions in their digital pianos? If the action in the Elite Trainer was so great, I would think that the high-end professional keyboard manufacturers would purchase their keyboard/actions from Seiler. Or better yet, maybe Roland/Yamaha/Korg, etc. should purchase Renner actions and modify them for their own products. I just don't think it's as easy as advertised to take an acoustic piano's action and adapt it to a digital context.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#681425 - 05/23/02 01:51 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
Which of the Roland series are the better?
The KR, the RD or the FP?
The KR are the ones that look like real pianos, right?
_________________________
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

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#681426 - 05/23/02 01:58 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
geistATL,
I ve never bought a piano online so I don't know if those websites you mentioned are good or not.

But I found another one called
www.pianodepot.com
They sell digital pianos for almost half price!!
I wonder if there is a catch. Does anyone know?
Overall I'd feel quite uncomfortable ordering a piano online, I d rather get it from a local store so I know what I am getting.
But half price!!! hmm? I really don't know anymore
_________________________
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

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#681427 - 05/23/02 02:08 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
hey stansteel that website you found and the 2 i mentioned are actually all the same company based out of belgium. its some big music shop there and the individual websites are just seperate for the different brands they carry. like keyboardshop.com is for there rolands i dont know what the other ones are for.

as far as which of the rolands are better im assuming you equate increasing price with an increasing product line and the price seems to top out with the kr series then the hp series coming in next and for home type console pianos they have there professional stage piano series the fp and rd.

im about to run out to the store and give the kr and hp series ones a another try and then maybe go try the yamaha clavinovas again.

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#681428 - 05/23/02 02:09 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
does anyone know what country roland is originally based in?

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#681429 - 05/23/02 04:23 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
StanSteel, I think they have different targets. KR serie is for home and RD/FP are professional.
I think the KR serie has the best action because it has progressive hammer action with escapment. According to Roland's website, "escapment" makes you feel the "click" you feel with an acoustic.
It also has a lot of features and it looks like a furniture.
Again, accordign to Roland's website, RD-700 has the best piano sound because you can add an extra expansion board that has 64mb of piano sound (only one piano was sampled).

GeistATL, I'd try Clavinova CLP990. It has wood keys and every note was sampled at five different levels. It should sound great.

SteveY, if I'm not wrong, Yamaha diskclavier grand touch has real keyboard and real action.

Regards.

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#681430 - 05/23/02 05:27 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
To answer a few questions:

Roland is based in Japan. Roland US is the american subsidiary.

The KR series is consumer, the FP series is often called "pro-sumer" and the RD series is pro. As to the differences, I was under the impression that the action in the RD series is similar to the KR. I'd imagine that it would be a little better constructed in order to withstand all the use a portable keyboard would have to endure.

The best sounds I have heard however are from an expansion board for Roland's XV series. The processors in the XV are more advanced and thus capable of 128-note polyphony as well as 64 bit processing. The sampling rate on these sounds is also considerably higher.

As for the action in the Yamaha digitals, it's not exactly the same. It can't be since there is no hammer, etc. I'm not a technician, but think about it. The resistance has to be adjusted through other means (weighting?) since striking a key does not result in striking a string.

Another, more technical reason that I'm skeptical is found in the MIDI implementation of the Yamaha Disklaviers. I've played more than a few of these pianos in concert or studio situations and I've noticed that the velocity curve seemed to be radically different than what I'm used to. In other words, I'd bring a rack of MIDI gear loaded with my own patches and find that I couldn't get the sounds out of the keyboard that I wanted. I finally put it to the test and connected my laptop to a $70k disklavier. I played middle C as loud as I could and found that the velocity would only register at around 110 (instead of 127 which is the maximum). I don't know about the newest models being produced currently, but I know that Yamaha has had difficulty creating an effective marriage between their piano action and digital implementation.

BTW - I solved the problem to some degree of success by adjusting the velocity curves in my MIDI gear (which was a huge hassle).
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#681431 - 05/23/02 07:24 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Steve, what's the difference beetween pro-sumer and pro?

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#681432 - 05/23/02 08:06 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
kent314 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 6
Loc: Central Florida
I'd like to share my findings while shopping around for a digital piano. I noticed a tag on the Roland KR177 that indicate it is made in Italy. The Roland KR277, which is my favorite so far, is made in Japan. With its full sounding, built-in speakers, it was fun playing around with the KR277 which has Jazz voice programs that sound like "Dah" or "Dow" depending on how hard you play the notes. I don't think the KR177 has this feature, nor is its keyboard a progressive hammer action. So the KR277 has the better keyboard. But if you get to try the RD700, it has a great keyboard feel, with 128-note polyphony and expandability. But if only the RD700 had a built-in disk drive so I can record myself. I know I can connect it to a computer, but would rather not have to deal with the cords and hearing the computer fan running, monitor being on, etc - too distracting. The FD3 has a very good keyboard too, but not sure if it has those fun Jazz voices to play around with. Are there any 3rd party disk drives that can attach to keyboards for recording purposes? Or maybe I should just get a cheap laptop with a sequencer/recorder?

As far as pianodepot goes, I was one click away from ordering a KR277, but stopped. I stopped to consider where could I get it serviced if it should break down. I don't think a bench is included with the pianodepot price. But If you purchase it from a local dealer, I would think a bench would be included plus a 3 year Roland warranty (please correct me if I am wrong). In the last week, I noticed the prices have surprizingly gone up slightly at pianodepot, by about $50 - $80, depending on the model. Has anyone noticed the price increases, though slight? I would think the prices of electronics should have gone down. From the testimonials at the pianodepot site, it appears the import duty tarriff (I think 5.4%) will be COD upon UPS delivery. But I can not confirm this. In short, unless you are comfortable dealing with the unknowns involved with importing, I'm not sure if the risks would be worth it. But I would think we have a little protection offered by credit card companies too.

I look forward to reading what you learn and discover while trying out various digital pianos and keyboards, and what would be your favorite one, geistATL. Thanks!

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#681433 - 05/23/02 11:21 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Steve, what's the difference beetween pro-sumer and pro?
"Pro-sumer" is a term used to describe the middle ground between professional and consumer markets. Some pro keyboards lack some of the advanced editing/programming capabilities usually found in professional products. This makes them less expensive and often easier to use. As a result, a whole new market is created as both professionals and amateurs purchase the same keyboard, hence the name "pro-sumer".
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#681434 - 05/24/02 01:33 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
Thanks, Steve!

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#681435 - 05/24/02 04:13 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
well i went back to the store yesterday and i got to try them out a little bit more. i really liked the hp 557r and altought they had a $6200 price tag on it. since it was on sale and only the demo model was left they were willing to go 4600 with tax and delivery. but thats still a bit steep.

i really liked this model it didnt have all the buttons like the kr series does. those are really distracting and just clutter the interface...it just had a single touch screen which i really liked. but 4600 is a lot to pay fro a pretty touch screen. i really enjoyed the feel of it. the feel between the kr577 and hp 557 was the same and could dynamically adjusted to be heavier or lighter.

i emailed pianodepot.com to see why they didnt carry the hp 557(cause i wanted to compare prices with them) and they responded saying that they wont be carrying that model cause its being discontinued.

because of the high price of the hp557 i was considering maybe the 337 however the 337 doesnt have escapement like the 557. however i also foudn out that the hp 7 does, so its action is similiar to the 557. and its much cheaper. i think they had it for 1600 or so.

so after all the searching i think im gonna go with the hp7.

hehe sorry for the longwinded post.

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#681436 - 05/24/02 05:33 PM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
the trick is to find a store that actually has the hp7 so i can give it a whirl and decide if it feels good too.

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#681437 - 05/26/02 01:15 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
G-maw3 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Paducah, Ky
I'm looking at purchasing a digital piano and am considering either a Roland or Kawai. Could someone please give me some pros and cons of these brands. The Roland's I'm considering are the KR377 and KR577. For the person who mentioned the high prices. I have been quoted $3,395 for a Kr377 $3,495 on HP557R and $5,100 on the KR577 in a fruitwood finish. On the Kawais I've looked at the Concert Performer series.

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#681438 - 05/26/02 02:38 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
so far i been quoted 4600 on the hp557r. theyre sticker price was much higher but once you start to talk price they came down a lot.

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#681439 - 06/02/02 11:14 AM Re: interested in getting a digital piano
geistATL Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 12
Loc: atlanta, ga
hey all just wanted to say thanks for all your input and give you an update. i found the hp 557 online for a much better price than i was getting locally 1600 cheaper than the best price i could get locally which was enough to make me decide to go ahead and get it. it should be here within a few days. i really enjoyed the feel and sound of this one plus it had plenty of excellent sounds and a really great interface. only thing stopping me previously was the high price.

so now ill be able to practice again. i just got my scott joplin complete piano rags books now i just need a piano \:D

-Neal

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