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#692148 - 12/28/04 10:55 PM Digital piano comparisons & prices
peacockeyes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 7
Buying big-ticket items are usually sagas chez moi, and a digital piano is no different. I've tried digital ensembles of various brands, and am frankly confused. Here's a run-down of my experiences trying them out...

1. Kawais:
- I loved the CP175, but it's too expensive for me. The piano sound is bright and there are plenty of bells & whistles. I can get a floor-model for about $5500.
- I liked the CP155 less, but it was still quite good. A floor-model available for $3500.
- CP115: I haven't actually tried this out, but I suspect it will be just as good as the CP155. However, the price I'm getting is just no good. Lowest I've been quoted on this is $3100.

2. Yamaha CVP series: In general I'm not terribly impressed with the piano sound of the Yamahas. Not enough brightness, and the sound falls off quickly and suddenly. (Surprisingly, the 202 was brighter than the 204 & 206.) However, I like the fact that most CVP models display the score and play-alongs. Also liked a lot of the accompaniment styles.
- CVP208: I liked this the best (I didn't try the higher models because of the price). The best price I'm getting on a floor model is $4700.
- CVP 204: Obviously not as good as the 208. Best price is a shade under $3000.
- CVP 301/303: Not much difference between the two. Reasonably good pianos. Prices: $3.2K and $3.7K respectively.

3. Roland: The KR series are pretty nice. But comparatively more expensive. Not sure they're worth the extra money.

4. Technics: A local dealer is closing out on them and giving great deals.
- PR903: I like this quite a lot. $4200.
- PR604: Very strangely one of the two floor models they had sounded a lot brighter than the first. But, unfortunately, the brighter one had a cracked cabinet (the wood under the piano is broken). Why is there a difference between in the tonal quality between one piano and the other? Is this common among digital pianos? I think I can get the cracked one for $1500 and the other one in decent shape (but duller in sound) for about $2300.

I'm leaning towards the Technics 604 (the dull one), with additional speakers. Has anybody been able to get a dull-sounding piano to sound much brighter with additional speakers? Would I need to add an amp or equalizier to make a real difference? Any technical or logical reason why I shouldn't consider the Technics?

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#692149 - 12/29/04 07:10 AM Re: Digital piano comparisons & prices
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
The difference between the two floor model Technics likely had to do with the EQ settings. Someone was likely messing around with them and never bothered to reset it back to the factory setting.

Actually, when comparing any floor model digital piano, it is important to reset all the sliders to their default settings and if possible, have the sales person do a factory reset. This will put the piano in its default voicing. These sounds will be a comprimise and are designed to fit a number of different music styles (not necessarily very well). You should then adjust the EQ setting and effects (Reverb & Chorus) to your own tastes. Comparing the factory voices of a digital is a little like comparing acoustic pianos that haven't been voiced and regulated. You get an indication of the quality of voice that can be produced, but not the possible range of voices.

Your comments about the Yamahas not being brite enough is completely contrary to all of the published reviews and my personal experience. Yamaha digitals are samples from Yamaha acoustics which have a reputation of being very brite. I would suggest that the default voice programming on the Kawai digitals pushes the higher frequencies to create the sense of clarity.

Try testing the different models again but this time adjust the EQ and effects to your liking. You may find your evaluation to be very different!

Best of luck with your search,

Rodney

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#692150 - 12/29/04 10:28 PM Re: Digital piano comparisons & prices
peacockeyes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 7
Rodney,

Your response regarding the 'brightness' of sound reassures me. I suppose I should worry less about the brightness and consider other factors. One salesman said I could simply attach a couple of self-powered computer speakers to get additional oomph and range from any of the low end pianos. Anybody ever tried this?

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#692151 - 12/29/04 10:52 PM Re: Digital piano comparisons & prices
RandomThoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Canada
Don't neglect the Rolands! There are some here who are quite the fans of them... and though I own a Yamaha P250, I would still definitely check them out with your budget.

Rodney was actually understating the case - some would argue that Yamahas are TOO bright! (Not me, but hey, good to know all the opinions.)

I'm only familiar with the stage pianos, and it sounds like you want a cabinet setup, so I'm afraid I won't be too much help.

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#692152 - 12/30/04 08:25 AM Re: Digital piano comparisons & prices
Kenpcola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 86
Loc: Pensacola, FL
Kawaii Acoustic Pianos are just sound bright and sweet. I really like them a lot. Hopefully one day I could get a real Kawaii Grand Piano.
Giving your situation, I would rather choose KawaiiCP155. The prices are very nagotiable. Make initial offer at 2/3 of sticker price. If they say just No, give them your phone number and let them call you back later with better deal.
The only thing about Technics is that confusion among dealers regarding its fate eventhough Panasonics(larger subsidery of pa rent company Matsushita Electric) gonna take care of all warranty and repair.

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