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#692856 - 08/05/04 02:11 PM Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
Genoveva Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 2
Hello,

I am looking for a digital piano to play on in my studentroom. The reason I am looking for a digital one is the fact I canít drag a real piano up the stairs and also Iíll be needing to use headphones to not disturb the other people living there.

I want one that resembles a real piano, and am not that interested in extra options Iíll end up never using. I want full 88 keys and want them to be weighted (hammer) action.

The way it looks isnít a priority either, I just want it to be functional.

I donít want it to be over 50 kg (about 110 pounds I think it is) because it has to be carried up the stairs.

The maximum Iím willing to spend is about 1500 dollars.

Also, I'm not looking to learn how to play on it, I've played piano for many years but would like to be able to still play when I'm forced to stay at my university room.

Iíve spoken to a few people and looked on the internet, and most people say Roland offers the best sound.

Based on this Iíve come across some possibilities:

Roland HP-1
Roland EP-97
Roland F-30
Roland F-50
Roland FP-2
Roland FP-3
Roland RD-150
Roland RD-170

Does anyone have any recommendations (or the opposite) for these?

I realize thereís quite a few posts asking for advice but most of them seem to concern Yamahaís. Are these really considered to be better than the Roland and should I be checking these out instead?
Are there any other digital pianoís I missed that I really should have a look at?

Also, the RD150 has been discontinued and been replaced by the RD170. Does anyone know what the actual differences between the 2 are?

Is it possible to connect these digital pianoís to the computer and record songs using the midi ports?

Thank you for your time \:\)

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#692857 - 08/05/04 03:19 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
Tocca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Sweden
If you have a PC in the same room, i would definately have it connected, there are software programs that will make it sound extremely good and realistic.

So, just go to a store and try them. Try to find one that feels good to play. If you're going with the PC solution, you don't really need to judge how the piano sounds in itself.

Btw, i don't think you can find a digital piano that hasn't got midi today!

The top software programs require quite a good PC to run perfectly though.

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#692858 - 08/05/04 03:41 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
skbpen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 6
I would recommend trying the Kawai ES3. It's award winning sound and weighted, graded hammer action far surpassed the Yamaha and Roland.

Kawai ES3 features MIDI and USB for simpler connecting to a PC. It also boasts 5 song recording, metronome, transposing, 64 note polyphony and 21 different sounds. The instrument easily splits for two separate sounds and two sounds can be played at the same time. The ES3 has built-in speakers, demo songs and allows you to save registrations of different combinations of sounds you like best. It comes with a sustain pedal but a sustain/soft pedal is available.

I would highly recommend you play one before buying a Roland.
_________________________
Passion is doing what you like best!

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#692859 - 08/05/04 05:57 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
It's award winning sound and weighted, graded hammer action far surpassed the Yamaha and Roland.
Spoken like a Kawai salesman. I disagree.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#692860 - 08/18/04 09:09 AM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
Hi,

I'm a full-time piano student. I'm looking for a stage piano which I can put in my apt. It will be used primarily for practising. The most important factors to me are price and touch (something heavy is preferred). It'll be good to have at least 64-note polyphony.

My favourite so far is the Yamaha P90. The Casio Privia PS-100 is really good value at about half the price of the former. I am afraid I'm not impressed by the Kawai ES-3. I didn't think the touch is anywhere close to Yamaha's.

I have not tried any Korgs but the descriptions of those I've seen on the net (of SP200 and SP300) run like this, "Three carefully tuned touch curves allow you to tailor the keyboard to your own playing style". What does this mean?

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#692861 - 08/18/04 09:19 AM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
When I was out looking for a digital I did try out a few that you mention. Better to go one step up from the HP 1 and get the HP 2, but if I remember right it's the HP 3 that has a better key action. Be very careful with checking and comparing the key action and don't get too carried away with the sounds. I started on a Roland EP -70 (76 keys) which sounded very good and claimed to have weighted keys. BIG mistake I realize now because the keys are smaller and too light with little play in them. I'm sure it held me back. (Maybe the EP 97 is OK, I don't know, just be sure to focus on the feel/touch/response of the keys and don't get too carried away by the sounds).

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#692862 - 08/18/04 09:34 AM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Three carefully tuned touch curves allow you to tailor the keyboard to your own playing style". What does this mean?
Good question. This is often misunderstood. Many digital pianos (not just Korg) offer adjustable action. This is a little misleading as it's not really the resistance of the keyboard that changes, but rather the "velocity curve" of the sounds. What's a "velocity curve", you say? I'm glad you asked...

While the volume or "loudness" of a note is a direct result of how hard a key is played, it's not a "linear" curve. In other words, pressing a key 50% harder doesn't necessarily mean exactly 50% louder. It might be 40%, or 60%, or something else. In synth terminology, the expressivness of a keyboard is not measured in "pressure" but rather in "how fast" a key is played. Therefore rather than saying the keyboard is "touch sensitive", it's called "velocity sensitive". Velocity is measured on a scale from 0-127, with 0 being softest and 127 being loudest (this is true for all manufacturers). Each keyboard has a "scale" stored into it's memory that dictates how "loud" each velocity level is. In other words, a velocity of 0 will pretty much always be silent, and 127 will be loudest. But 63 may not be exactly 50% volume. Adjusting this curve gives the player the illusion that the action is lighter or heavier. Although the physical action doesn't change, it feels like it did as it becomes easier or more difficult to coax volume out of the keyboard.

So the simple answer is that the Korg has 3 velocity curves, probably "light, medium, and heavy", which allow the user to adjust the action. It may sound like it wouldn't work. But it's actually quite effective!!!

Some pro synths even allow you to customize the velocity curve to your own specifications.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#692863 - 08/18/04 01:39 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I love my Roland RD-700. I bought it used (3 months old!) at Guitar Center for $1100.
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#692864 - 08/18/04 03:52 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Try the Kawai ES3, unless you want to pop for the Roland Fantom X8
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A

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#692865 - 08/19/04 11:02 AM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
Thank you all for your replies, especially SteveY for explaining the velocity curves.

I tried a number of stage pianos today, from Korg, Kurzweil and Roland, and found them all too light. Just read that the Yamaha P series indeed has a heavier action. See http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/499.html

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#692866 - 08/19/04 03:21 PM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
lesecret,

My first keyboard was too light. I focused on that so much that I now have a very high end digital -- CLP 990 which has very heavy key action, even on the light setting. So, I don't know that it needs to be that heavy. Maybe I was over-correcting! Still, I'm very pleased with my new purchase, but sometimes wish for a little less heavy keys.

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#692867 - 08/20/04 09:04 AM Re: Advice please: Digital piano for studentroom, Roland?
lesecret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/04
Posts: 39
Thanks nan.
I actually want an instrument that is somewhat difficult to play on, so that I'll find it easier when I play on an acoustic grand. The CLP990 isn't quite what I'm looking for though. I do need something that I can bring on a flight.

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