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#686339 - 03/01/02 01:48 PM buying a digital piano
Kim Gase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 6
Loc: home
I am so confused! I have been trying to research digital pianos to find the best quality one for the money but am getting nowhere. Can anybody help?


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#686340 - 03/01/02 03:39 PM Re: buying a digital piano
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA

What research have you done to date (brands, touch and feel, voices, etc.) And what kind of help do you need (brand/model recommendations, etc.)?


#686341 - 03/01/02 07:03 PM Re: buying a digital piano
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
A quote from Jan 23, 2002
Author Topic: Anyone Looking To Buy A Digital Piano?
Junior Member
Member # 1177
Rate Member
posted January 23, 2002 04:52 PM
Pick up a copy of Electronic Musician's 2002 Digital Home Keyboard Guide in the magazine section of your local bookstore. It compares 190 digital pianos and home keyboards. For a newbie, like myself , it's got tons of valuable info.
Just thought I'd share.
Posts: 3 | From: Alexandria, VA | Registered: Jan 2002 | IP: Logged
All times are Eastern Standard

In addition to MusicLovers message from the archives, I've also recently discovered that Sieler piano makes a "DurVox" Electronic piano with what they say is an excellent keyboard right out of their top grand pianos. I know NOTHING about its price, availability, number of voices, etc., cause I just stumbled on it recently, but it might be of interest. Its called the Elite Trainer and does have MIDI ports, headphone jacks, and a weight of about 200 pounds. I doubt that it has 130 voices, nor did the webpage say whether it had 32 or 64 or 128 simultaneous tones, but heres the link anyway.


#686342 - 03/03/02 02:36 PM Re: buying a digital piano
Kim Gase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 6
Loc: home
I have gone to 2 piano stores that mostly have roland brands and I have searched the web for digital piano reviews for any model. The only one I could find a review for was for the Kawai ESX portable. It had a favorable review. I want to make sure that I get the best one I can for the money. I hope this helps a little. I would appreciate any advice that you could give.


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#686343 - 03/03/02 08:23 PM Re: buying a digital piano
Diarmuid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 219
Hi Kim,

We really do need to know your price range on this and any other info/preferences.

#686344 - 03/04/02 09:13 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Kim Gase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 6
Loc: home
Price range is somewhere around $1800 to $2500. The closer to an accoustic keyboard feel the better,(prefer heavy touch type) with at least classic grand,modern piano, electic piano,strings and tone layering. Weight doesn't really matter. Also, basic record/playback capabilities, reverb controls and transpose and tuning control. A key cover would be nice.

#686345 - 03/05/02 09:16 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA

Before I bore you with my reply, you might want to check out the new thread that just got started under Any Input for Roland Digital Pianos? on this same forum. Seems like its a parallel thread to this one. This may provide you with some additional info . You also may want to re-post your question under that thread as well. If you care not to, then let me know and I'll continue to shower you with some of my very-limited knowledge


[ March 05, 2002: Message edited by: Mike Pappadakis ]

#686346 - 03/05/02 10:08 PM Re: buying a digital piano
Kim Gase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 6
Loc: home
Go ahead and bore me. I'm sure you have more Knowledge than I do.

#686347 - 03/06/02 09:47 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA

Well okay. Here goes:

When I evaluated digital pianos, the first requirement was touch/feel. In other words: weighted keys as opposed to spring-action switches. The touch had to be as close to an acoustic as possible. If you don't have much playing time on acoustic pianos, this can be rather hard to determine. Although, even the touch and feel on acoustics vary from one brand to another. You stated that you wanted a rather heavy touch so you should probably compare the touch of the different digitals that you evaluate against each other, rather than against an acoustic. Keep in mind that the touch/feel can be "adjusted" on most digitals. However, this feature does not necessarily increase the actual resistance of the keys. While it is true that as the setting is increased, you do have to press harder to get a corresponding increase in volume; however, what you are actually doing is increasing the key velocity. The piano's circuitry senses this higher velocity and increases the volume accordingly.

Sound was the second criteria. I wanted the piano voices on the digital to duplicate as closely as possible the sound of an acoustic. This is extremely subjective, as what sounds good to me just might not sound good to you. So let your ears be your guide on this one.

Like you, I wanted a "transpose" function. My son plays the clarinet, so I wanted the ability to easily transpose a piece to Bb when playing a duet with my son.

Since I don't play professionally and don't require portablility, I didn't look at portable keyboards. Although for the funds that you have budgeted, you can certainly purchase a great portable system, as others more knowledgeble than I can comment on.

The brands that I looked at were Technics, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg. There were others, but these were the ones I had narrowed it down to. I believe as far as features, reliability, reputation, etc, you can't go wrong with any of these. If you're interested in the console variety, Roland makes an HP and a KR series Yamaha has their CLP series, Technics has their SX series. There are models from all these brands that are certainly in your price range. I haven't looked at Korg lately, so I don't know what models they have.

It really comes down to what you like, and what will fit into your budget. Just as in purchasing an acoustic, you need to really take your time and play as many different brands and models that have the features you want for the money your willing to spend.

You can use the following links to review the model lineup of Roland, Technics, and Yamaha.

Yamaha CLP Series

Roland Digital Pianos

Technics Digital Pianos

Hope this helps.


[ March 06, 2002: Message edited by: Mike Pappadakis ]

#686348 - 03/06/02 02:38 PM Re: buying a digital piano
fr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/01
Posts: 110
Loc: illinois
Kim Gase:

I'll try to keep it brief:

1. Visit this web site: www.iaekm.org/p15.html for a display of all the digital piano manufacturers. Think twice about Alesis; the last I heard they had filed for bankruptcy.

2. The main decisions to be made in selecting a digital piano are the same as accoustical pianos. Let your ears and fingers tell you which ones you like best. Tip: Close your eyes when playing and sense the feedback from your fingers.

3. Get one with weighted, velocity sensitive keys.

4. The more voices, the better, but if you're a pianist then the most important voice is the grand piano.

5. Polyphony is the number of sounds that can be heard simultaneously usually expressed as a power of 2. The higher, the better; 64 is the current benchmark.

6. Some models have an built-in internal amplifier and speakers with a port to optionally connect it to an external amplifier and speakers which are more expensive and add weight. If it lacks a built-in internal amplifier and speakers, then you have to play with headphones or connect a cable to an external stereo receiver and speakers.

7. Some models are permanently mounted into cabinets which limits portability but provides more stability. Models that are not mounted into cabinets are portable and can be placed on height adjustable double-x stands. However, the keyboard and pedal may shift in position. I have to tape my pedal to the floor to prevent it from moving.

8. Make sure that you get a keyboard dust cover to prevent dust and dirt from settling into the cracks between the keys and fouling up the action mechanism.

9. Good digital pianos start at around $1000 and depreciate rapidly due to advancing electronic and computer technology.

10. Visit this web site for more digital piano information: www.ptg.org/rmmp/digital.FAQ.html

Have fun checking them out; it shouldn't be drudgery. Hope this helps and good luck.

#686349 - 03/06/02 03:02 PM Re: buying a digital piano
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
You're getting good advice from the guys here. A couple of additional thoughts:

If you dont care about the "cabinetry", then take a serious look at the professional lines. Consumer digital pianos are often more expensive than the pro pianos due to aesthetics and a few extra bells and whistles.

Also, look for polyphony in the 128-voice range. That is the current benchmark.
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

#686350 - 03/06/02 09:27 PM Re: buying a digital piano
Kim Gase Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/02
Posts: 6
Loc: home
I want to thank everyone for their great advice. I never expected to get so many replies so soon. If anyone has anything to add, I'm still all ears. Thanks again,

#686351 - 03/07/02 01:07 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
Well, you asked for more. Others have probably heard me say this before. But, IMO,
for MY ears, Kurzweil has the very best piano sound. However, EVERY (Kurzweil) that I've ever played has developed noisy actions. On the other hand, I love the actions of the Rolands and Yamahas. Just my $.02 \:\)

#686352 - 03/07/02 11:29 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA

Keep us posted.


I plum forgot about Kurzweil. When I was in the market for mine, I did play some Kurzweils, and you're right: they do have an excellent sound.


#686353 - 04/16/02 08:10 PM Re: buying a digital piano
pinkbubblegum89 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 1
Dear Kim,

I am also looking at digital pianos. We are currently looking at the CLP Yamaha pianos. I didn't like the touch as much as the Technics one I looked at. They're both in reasonable price range. Plus- Yamaha's are supposedly used in more schools.

#686354 - 04/17/02 02:56 AM Re: buying a digital piano
Shadorunnr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 125
Loc: Oklahoma City
Pink, as I have said many times in this forum, get the piano with the ACTION you like best. Because of MIDI, you can upgrade to the SOUNDS you like best, with a MIDI tone module, even if the tone module is made by a different manufacturer. For example, if you like the action of a Roland Fp series piano, but prefer the sound of the Korg, you can buy the Roland with a Korg sound module. Later, if you deside you like the sound of a Yamaha better, you buy a Yamaha sound module for a lot less than buying a whole new keyboard. You of course keep the Roland which has the action you like. Some companys specialize in piano modules, putting all their effort in creating better piano sounds, and avoid producing keyboards. It's like the furnature in your house. You buy the bed frame you like, but the bedding you buy from another company that specializes in mattresses. When you buy a better mattress, you keep the bed frame you have and like. Be sure to check out all the threads in this forum, as there are several discussions about a number of different digitals. Good luck in your search and let us know what you get.
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#686355 - 04/17/02 02:06 PM Re: buying a digital piano
German Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 107
Loc: Argentina
What aobut Yamaha CLP 990. Did anyone play this piano?
According to Yamaha web site, it seems to be the perfect digital piano (new hammer action, wooden keys, sample sound for each key at different level,...).

#686356 - 04/17/02 08:42 PM Re: buying a digital piano
CCiD Company Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 12
I own a Kawai MP9500 and really, really like it. It's keyboard action is quite authentic, and graded like a grand piano. It is a stage piano, and thus requires an external amp/speaker/stand. I use mine with headphones for practicing. I have a Petrof III grand that's a bit too loud for midnight practice sessions. You can see the specs on the MP9500 at www.kawaius.com I bought it because I felt it had the most authentic keyboard feel, but the sound is quite good too. As it is sampled off a Kawai RX concert grand, it has that "Asian" sound , that, I personally, am not in love with. Anyway, if super keyboard feel is what you are after, I think the MP9500 is well worth your consideration.




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