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#687283 - 02/07/09 04:23 PM Help needed please..
Chotu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Hello Guys n Gals,

I want to gift a digital piano/ keyboard to my husband on valentines. I have no knowledge about the same. I was browsing internet and read that Krog SP 250 tops in this category. When I read thru some of the postings on the forum, I came across some Yamaha and Casio models. My husband is still a beginner but I do want to buy something which he can use long term. I prefer not to exceed $1000.

Can someone advise me which piano I should buy? Any pointers are greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much in advance!!
_________________________
Thanks

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#687284 - 02/07/09 04:51 PM Re: Help needed please..
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
One view, is to give him a card saying you'll go shopping to choose one out together.
More questions to consider - would he want a portable one or a console type that has a stand?
What about a decent pair of headphones?
What about speakers - would you want to connect to your home's stereo system, or prefer to have built in speakers in the digital piano?

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#687285 - 02/07/09 05:03 PM Re: Help needed please..
Chotu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
We live in an apartment currently hence I wanted something which is portable (however I thought poratble ones also come with stand?) The Krog SP 250 I was looking at was coming with Stand, headphones etc. However on the forum there is lot more discusion about Yamaha 85 and Casio 320. I have no idea. And to tell you the truth, my husband does not have any either. He has been saying since long that he wants to learn/ play keyboard hence I though it is a good opportunity to surprise him. Even if I take him to the store (though it will not be a surprise anymore) we almost have no knowledge. Hence any help/ pointers much appreciated!
_________________________
Thanks

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#687286 - 02/07/09 05:07 PM Re: Help needed please..
7even Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 151
How about the Casio PX120? It's relatively cheap and feels good. If he really gets into it, he can upgrade later \:\) If he doesn't like it or wants something better, well, you can go back together and pick out something he does like.
_________________________
Now: RD-700NX
Someday: Steinway concert grand :|

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#687287 - 02/07/09 05:13 PM Re: Help needed please..
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Not to make assumptions, but did you read First thread in digital forum

If you buy a portable / stage digital piano, then you have a choice of stands, and the cost is extra.
Some sellers, whether Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc., or online, will sell "bundled" sets - for either home or gigging uses.
If you want a decent pedal, you will want to upgrade from the barebones one provided by either Casio or Yamaha.
I would think you can't go wrong with either Casio Privia models or the Yamaha P - series, or the DGX 630 (something like that, or 635) at your budget, but you will have the option of considering the accessories to stay in your budget.

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#687288 - 02/07/09 05:31 PM Re: Help needed please..
Chotu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Thanks for your reply and the reference to the thread. I had not read it. Just to confirm my understanding, the post references optional 3 set pedals. This is something I can buy at an additional cost but is available for all the main models that have been discussed? I read on the forum that Casio has lot more features than Yamaha but Casio is more toy like? No offense to anyone, as I have no knowledge about it, I am just asking what I read. Most of the posts say that you shoulg go and try..but if we have never played piano before will we understand any difference? And which are the stores that sell DPs? I read Best Buy and I am thinking of going there in the eve. So I should try the following? Also why there is no discussion about Korg? They do not fall into good Piano category?

Yamahan P85
Casio PX120
Korg SP250
Yamaha 635

Anything else? If you think I should prefer one over other, please let me know that too. Thank you very much! Appreciate your help.
_________________________
Thanks

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#687289 - 02/07/09 06:33 PM Re: Help needed please..
LesCharles73 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 739
Loc: Denton Texas
The Korg SP-250 is a good piano. Of course, this is just hearsay, as I've never played one myself, but Korg makes good instruments. They don't specialize in digital pianos though, more in the range of synthesizers and workstations, so that's probably why you haven't heard much about it. The SP-250 is their only stage piano, unlike Yamaha, Casio, Roland, etc.
Korg just doesn't fall into the "big 3" category (Yamaha, Roland, Kawai).

Yamaha makes lots of (good) digital pianos, so you will come across more Yamaha owners than any other. Here, many people are fond of Roland also, but even the lowest-end model may exceed your budget.

Casio HAD been considered more toy-like in the past, but they have stepped it up in the last few years and we now consider it a perfectly good digital piano.

Good places to go "test drive" a digital piano are Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Best Buy or other music stores. Don't count on Best Buy having one you want though. Mine never has any, and the only time they did, it was the lowest-end model. You want to see several options before buying so you can atleast get the best looking one.
_________________________
Les C Deal





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#687290 - 02/07/09 08:00 PM Re: Help needed please..
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
 Quote:
Originally posted by LesCharles73:
The Korg SP-250 ...
Yamaha makes lots ...
Many people are fond of Roland ...
Casio HAD been considered ...[/b]
All good advice.

 Quote:
Good places to go "test drive" a digital piano are Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Best Buy or other music stores. Don't count on Best Buy having one you want though. Mine never has any, and the only time they did, it was the lowest-end model. You want to see several options before buying so you can atleast get the best looking one.[/b]
Mostly good advice. I'm very down on Best Buy. Selection-wise and policy-wise, I don't like them. YMMV.

Since we're talking DPs, a music store would be a better place to look. Better selection. Sam Ash people have been very helpful to me. Guitar Center seems more inclined to help you into a guitar, less so with DPs.

The selection at my local GC is limited and not set up well for trying/playing, while the selection at Sam Ash was huge ... at least 12 different DP models, and, in the band section, another 8 or so stage pianos. Benches everywhere.

But I suppose each store may differ ... I'd still suggest trying them both, if possible.

Final note ... try before you buy. Even a beginner will discover reasons to prefer one DP over another.

BTW, I've posted a feature comparison spreadsheet at http://www.box.net/shared/brckjxid33
It's not a substitute for trying, touching, and listening. But it might help you narrow your choices.

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#687291 - 02/07/09 08:26 PM Re: Help needed please..
voxpops Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 2910
Loc: Oregon
Here's my take on the Korg SP-250 and the Casio PX-320 (same as Px-120 but with more bells and whistles).

The Korg feels great. It has a smooth and pretty realistic action that I found a pleasure to play. It's rebound speed could have been slightly better, but few lower-end digitals achieve perfection in that area. It is very simple to operate and the piano sounds rich and full but has sparkle and clarity to it. It has a "darker" tone to it than either Casio or Yamaha. If I were to criticize it at all, it would be to suggest that the dynamic range could be a touch wider. The other sounds range from very good to cheesy. The in-built speakers are about the best you'll find at that level, although some people have had problems with them. The well thought-out stand and pedal combination is a nice bonus. If you need soft and sostenuto pedals, you'll need to purchase a midi pedal unit. The piano is housed in a plastic body but is nevertheless robust and well made. Polyphony is 60.

The Casio is very lightweight. It has a bright and very playable grand piano sound with quite a wide dynamic range. The action is fairly heavy but quite playable. At the price, I really don't think it gets much better than this. However, I preferred to play the Korg. Secondary sounds are OK but a bit lifeless with crude velocity switching. It has a lot of additional features that the Korg does not have. The speakers are adequate but nowhere near as good as the Korg's. Polyphony is 128. You can plug in a soft or sostenuto pedal in the PX-320 as well as the damper pedal (the supplied one is a joke BTW), and you can purchase a three-pedal unit which plugs in underneath the board. You'd need to purchase a stand.

I don't like Yamaha's low-end pianos so much and haven't owned one - although the PX-140 (now at just under 1k) piqued my interest.

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#687292 - 02/07/09 11:38 PM Re: Help needed please..
Chotu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Thank you very much everyone. This is very helpful. I did visit Best Buy today and as some of you have suggested I could not find much variety there. The highest end and the most expensive piano they had was Casio PX-120! I plan to visit GC and Sam-Ash tomorrow. I can not thank you all enough for your help. Also, thanks for tolerating my silly questions, because of my zero knowledge of pianos. Appreciate your help!
_________________________
Thanks

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#687293 - 02/08/09 12:31 AM Re: Help needed please..
jscomposer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 537
Loc: The Boogie Down
How do you plan on giving it to him? I mean, it's not the sort of thing you hide behind your back, or take out of your bag at dinner. ;\)

If he's just learning, I really don't think it matters all that much what you get, as long as it's from a reputable company that stands behind their products. I would just recommend the following minimum specs:

-Graded (or scaled, or progressive, etc.) hammer action. I.e., the low notes feel a bit heavier than the high notes, as on a real piano.

-Support for 3 pedals, including "half-damper," a.k.a. "continuous sustain." 99% of music can be played with just the simple on-off sustain pedal that all digitals come with. But since the technology is fairly primitive and more budget-priced digital pianos have it, there's no reason to settle for less than full 3-pedal functionality. As he progresses, the other 2 pedals will likely come in handy.

The following are optional:

-Built-in speakers. It's nice not to have to wear headphones all the time. If you don't get one with built-in speakers, he'll probably wind up buying separate amp and speakers at some point.

-Line outs. They're not needed, but if he ever wants to record or play through loudspeakers, they're much easier to work with than the headphone outs.

Finally, I wouldn't purchase any "extended warranty" (salesman-speak for insurance) unless you got wild kids or he intends to do a lot of gigging. Most manufacturer warranties are perfectly adequate.

Damn, this is some Valentine's Day gift. How are you going to top this on his birthday? \:D
_________________________
Joshua Seth plays Joshua Seth

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#687294 - 02/08/09 04:54 PM Re: Help needed please..
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
If I was buying today, I'd get the Williams
Encore. This is about $500 online for the
keyboard unit with pedal, and about $100 for the
factory stand and a bench, and maybe $50-
$100 for shipping, so about $700 total--
and it might be on sale now, so the
total might be around $600.

This would be delivered right to your
door and will be complete and ready to play
right out of the box. This is an inexpensive,
but grand piano-like instrument, that
you can play anything on, including the
biggest concertos. The economy pricing
is because of the no-frills design--
and yet it still comes loaded with a
lot of features despite the low price.

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#687295 - 02/08/09 05:07 PM Re: Help needed please..
crusadar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 670
Loc: Middle England
Perhaps it's because Kawai dealers are few and far between, which makes trying out their pianos difficult, but no one seems to recommend them. I've just completed a piano buying hunt on behalf of my granddaughter and finally settled for the Kawai CL-35, if you get the chance to try one you will be pleasantly surprised, I presently own a Roland HP-101 and a Korg SP-250 and the Kawai CL-35 and the less expensive CL-25 are better instruments, I tried out all of the Casio and Yamaha offerings in the same price range but was unimpressed...the Kawai is a quality instrument, IMO.

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#687296 - 02/08/09 05:35 PM Re: Help needed please..
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Crusador,

Judging by the website, I don't believe the CL-35 is sold in the US. That would definitely influence the recommendations of people here in the US.

Rich

Update - I did see the CL-25 on the US Kawai site.
_________________________

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#687297 - 02/08/09 09:09 PM Re: Help needed please..
Chotu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 5
Loc: USA
Thanks all for the updates. Until I became member of this website, my plan was to order a Piano online and get it delivered to our address, which would have certainly surprised my husband! However, after listening to you all, I took my husband to GC and Sam Ash today. He was certainly surprised and happy!! So that made my day! We tried few Pianos, liked the YPG 635 better considering the options being offerred. However my husband thought it was little on the bulky side, will be diffiult to trasport or carry anywhere. So we are still thinking. We mainly tried Yamaha and Casio. Yamaha P140 was another option but it offerred less options and was not portable. With the optional pedals and other accessories Yamaha YPG 635 will go to nay be little above $1000. So hope that is a correct choice? I want to thank everyone for your help. It would not have been possible without it. Greatly appreciated!!
_________________________
Thanks

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