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#682496 - 05/05/02 08:29 PM Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
kent314 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 6
Loc: Central Florida
I am interested in purchasing a digital piano, and have done extensive research reading this wonderful message board as well as the Digital Home Keyboard buyer's guide. Keyboard feel is important to me, as well as how realistic the piano sounds. Unfortunately, the local retail dealers in my area do not have in stock the following models I would like to try out: Casio AP25 or Suzuki Keyman. The specifications look good, with 64 polyphony each, and value-priced. Has anyone played either of them? I was wondering how satisfied anyone was in trying the actions of these particular Casio or Suzuki, as well as piano sound quality? For comparison purposes, I've tried the Roland KR277, Roland FP3, and Yamaha P120 which have great actions and sound, but cost a small fortune. I also tried the older Casio AP21, which had good feel to me. Another new model is Yamaha's DGX500 due out 3rd quarter 2002, but it remains a mystery to me whether it will be a weighted-hammer keyboard. Nothing specific was mentioned in press releases, but was wondering if anyone has learned anything. I would like to buy a piano soon, but should I wait for this new Yamaha? Thanks for any advice.

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#682497 - 05/06/02 02:09 AM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
Shadorunnr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 125
Loc: Oklahoma City
Kent, I have not tried the pianos you mention, except the Roland FP (which I like a lot) and the Yamaha. 64 voices sounds like a lot but you will be happier with 128. As I have said many times on this forum, get the best action you can, then if you don't like the sounds, get a sound module that you do like. I know it will cost more that way, but you will be happier with an action you like that you can upgrade later. Go back to earlier posts on this forum with replys by me and SteveY for more indepth discussions on this topic. Good luck.
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#682498 - 05/06/02 10:53 AM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
Kent,
Don't waste your time with the Suzuki Keyman......it is TOTAL c**p.
_________________________
Sincerely,
Eldon

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#682499 - 05/06/02 11:23 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
kent314 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 6
Loc: Central Florida
Good keyboard action means a lot to me, as a classical and ragtime pianist. It looks like I'll be crossing the Suzuki Keyman off my list. Thanks Eldon. That leaves me to consider the new Casio AP25, which happens to be in my price range. I would love to read anyone's experience about this new action, advertised as a graded, weighted hammer that feels like a grand piano. Is it really that good? Thanks also Shadorunnr for stressing the importance of good action. Could you imagine how difficult it would be playing on a Yamaha YPP200 for more than an hour, with its smaller keys and lighter touch? I know how bad some keyboards are, and what a difference it makes to play on a well designed keyboard, such as the Yamaha P120 and Roland FP3. But I would like to know how Casio's latest instrument compares.

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#682500 - 05/30/02 06:27 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
RICKMANINOF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 148
Loc: SAN FRANCISCO
Kent: You'll get why you pay for! the Roland KR-277 is great and you should be able to get it for
around $2700.00.
About the 128 notes poly.. is just a numbers game 64 notes is good, unless you do some intensive sequencing in the piano.But to play only 64 notes is plenty, even to sequence.

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#682501 - 05/30/02 09:16 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Rickmaninof is mistaken about polyphony. While at first glance one would never think about needing 128 notes or even 64 for that matter. The problem is that many of the best sounds are actually created out of multiple samples (as many as 4). This creates a polyphony problem in that every time you play a single key, you're actually using more than one tone. Assuming a 4-tone sound or patch, an eight note chord is actually using 32 voices of polyphony. If you're using the sustain pedal and are a little sloppy, you can easily blow by the 64-voice limit. Now if you're going to layer sounds (piano/strings, etc.), that's an additional level of layering. It's entirely possible that a great piano sound and a great string ensemble sound could EACH contain four samples. That means that the very same eight note chord is now using 64 voices. Introduce the pedal and look out!!!!
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#682502 - 05/31/02 07:53 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
RICKMANINOF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 148
Loc: SAN FRANCISCO
Hi! I accepted that some good samples have four
layers and you may use more than 64 notes, your example make sense, but on the piano sample the layers work different, the majority of the samples from acoustic pianos is only one note, that note is edited, once is recorded but not layer. Now the sample has many layers per key and they work based on how much force you put on the key but those layers don't work all at the same time, they only use to give the dynamic range to the digi piano, so if you play an 8 notes chord you are only using 8 notes, unles you press the sustain pedal and play the chord over and over, anyway! I believe that Kent needs only a good afforable digital piano, he is going to play clasical piano and ragtime, so I considered that for him is more important a piano with a good action, good dynamic range and sound,not necessarily 128 notes polyphony without the other features, there are some digital pianos with everything including 128 notes poly.. but not in his price range, so I guess the best deal is the Roland Kr-277. If you know of a digi piano more afforable than the Kr-277 with better piano sound and action with 128 notes let me know.

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#682503 - 05/31/02 08:18 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
You are partially correct. Many high quality piano sounds do indeed utilize velocity switching. However, most high quality piano samples are also sampled in stereo which means that each note played is indeed playing 2 voices. Also, velocity switching is not always an off/on thing. There may be some overlap in the samples at mid velocity thus creating a 4-voice sample. Obviously this would change not only from manufacturer-to-manufacturer but even patch-to-patch.
Again, 64 voices is great. But one may end up wanting more polyphony if layering or sequencing.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#682504 - 05/31/02 08:23 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Rickmaninof said:
 Quote:
I believe that Kent needs only a good afforable digital piano, he is going to play clasical piano and ragtime, so I considered that for him is more important a piano with a good action, good dynamic range and sound,not necessarily 128 notes polyphony without the other features, there are some digital pianos with everything including 128 notes poly.. but not in his price range, so I guess the best deal is the Roland Kr-277.
Roland makes great products. You certainly can't go wrong with such a keyboard. I was just commenting on your statement that 128-note polyphony was not necessary unless sequencing. I don't agree.
But I've played a lot of gigs with 64-note polyphony. I even remember when 16-note (DX-7) was considered a lot!!!
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#682505 - 06/01/02 11:33 PM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
kent314 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/02
Posts: 6
Loc: Central Florida
I should be able to maintain the dexterity I need using a progressive hammer-action keyboard. I understand the potential for better sound with higher polyphony too.

The Roland RD700 has 128 polyphony with a progessive hammer-action keyboard for around $1800. Some pros: price, portablity. Some cons: no speakers, no keyboard or music stand, no disk drive (like on the KR277).

Selecting a digital piano seems like an endless battle compromising cost versus features. Cost becomes a major limiting factor and determines whether the buyer can afford the instument. On the other hand, more features gives additional opportunity for creative expression.

More features generally costs more, and you get what you pay for. I think I would pay for additional features in a piano if it was a better overall value. For example, the KR577 with 128-note polyphony costs almost twice as much as the KR277 with 64-note polyphony. But, I canít afford the KR577 right now. Just hope it goes on sale, and maybe Iíll start playing the lottery... I know where to get my numbers.

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#682506 - 06/02/02 09:41 AM Re: Casio, Suzuki, Yamaha action and sound
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
The RD700 is a professional product and is also made to be extremely durable. It's a great product and I'd recommend it highly. However, you're the one who has to live with it 24/7. If having a separate stand/speaker, etc. bothers you, then by all means go with one of the consomer models.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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