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#688606 - 04/30/04 02:17 PM Which (portable) stage piano?
Roxane Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 932
I know this question has been asked many times and recently, no less, but the past threads did not really answer some of my concerns, so please bear with this post.

My church has an outreach preaching point that uses a small cinema theatre early on Sunday mornings. Each time, the band needs to set-up and dismantle quickly before the cinema is used for movie screenings. The band consists of drums, bass and lead guitars, and keyboard, which are all plugged into a mixer and amplified through speakers.

At the moment, the keyboard is actually a fairly old donated Yamaha CLP-something. The main problem with this is that it is furniture-style, weighs a ton and has to be lifted off a dolly with wheels in order to be at the right height for playing; it also takes up a lot of space. Another thing I dislike about the CLP is its very-far-from-acoustic action. Most of the keyboardists who play on this instrument are classically-trained pianists and find the CLP disconcerting.

I would like to donate a new keyboard to replace the CLP, if only to solve the weight problem. I believe that means I should be looking at pro stage pianos. My burning question is: will a stage piano be easy to set-up and dismantle (say on one of those Quik-Lok stands), including a foot pedal?

I have narrowed down my other criteria to the following:
1. MUST be portable (less than 70 pounds would be good); on-board speakers not required.
2. Should have an action close to that of an acoustic piano.
3. Should have a good piano sound, but also capability for other synthesized sounds that can be mixed with the piano for more sustaining effect.
4. MUST have music-desk/stand for sheet music etc.
5. Budget up to US$5K, but can be increased, if justified.

From past threads, the preferred models seem to be Yamaha S-90, Roland RD-700 or Fantom X-80 or Kawai MP9500. I do not really understand many of the terms in their specifications, but I suspect I might not need so many functions. And I do not quite see the differences between a regular stage piano and a work station. Or should I be looking at a synthesizer instead? What is the difference?

There are so many choices out there that I would be every so grateful if someone can shed some light on what I should purchase for my church. Thanks.

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#688607 - 04/30/04 04:42 PM Re: Which (portable) stage piano?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I think you're probably best off with a Stage Piano. And yes, it's relatively easy to set-up/tear-down. My church does it every week!!!

We use a Quik-Lok X-stand that's double-braced for more stability. The stand in my studio is more stable, but it's not very portable. The double-braced X-stand to me is the best of both worlds. But I'm sure there are stands out there that I don't know about.

Here's what I'd do for under $5k:

Roland RD700 stage piano -- approx. $1800

Roland Concert Piano (SRX-02) expansion board. At around $240, it's well worth the cost as it has some incredible piano sounds. It's easy to install (trust me on this), and you'll be very thankful once you hear it!!!

SKB keyboard case WITH WHEELS (very important). $350

Quik-Lok stand: either QL-642 (the one I have) which is about $110, or the "Monolith" stand which is about $125.

Roland KC350 keyboard amplifier $500 This is a great amplifier. It allows the player to listen to him/herself at a volume that's independent of what's being sent to the sound board. In other words, the player can turn themselves up or down without affecting what comes through the sound system -- pretty cool. It also has enough inputs for several keyboards or other devices -- it won't become obsolete!!!

Roland EV-5 expression pedal. $75. Allows the player to adjust volume (or other controller functions) with their feet. Very helpful in a church setting.

As for the music stand/desk, I don't recommend making this a requirement. You'll end up getting an inferior keyboard just to gain a music stand. Just buy an external stand.

I'm partial to Roland because of their sound quality and their commitment to the church market. But there are equivalent products made by other manufacturers such as Korg or Yamaha.

This is a pretty great little set-up for about $3k!!!
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

#688608 - 05/03/04 01:25 PM Re: Which (portable) stage piano?
Roxane Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 932
SteveY, as always, you dispense gems in your replies. Now, if I can only persuade the donor of the Clavinova that it would look better installed permanently in the choir room in church!


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