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#695314 - 03/05/03 09:04 AM Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
WKS70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 186
Loc: GA
I have lurked on PianoWorld for a long, long time, and finally registered so that I could get some advice from you all. I am a piano teacher and a student with an older, reconditioned Baldwin grand. I feel like my grand will eventually be worked into the ground at this rate from all the traffic it sees every day. Purchasing a good digital seems like an excellent way to relieve some of the stress. Being able to practice with headphones at all hours without disturbing anyone else is very attractive to my family.

Budget is around $4,000. I might change my mind later on, but right now, I don't really care about all the extra buttons and the ability to have/combine XXX number of sounds. Although nothing, in my opinion, can compare to a good acoustic grand (sorry guys!) what would come the closest of the digitals and what kind of price range? I've looked at the Kawai CA970 so far. They were running a sale, and if I dropped the money right then, it would be mine for $3,380. Otherwise, retail was $4,795.

What about action, etc? Which models/brands would you consider to be the best for my situation?

Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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#695315 - 03/05/03 10:55 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
snake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 65
Loc: uk
also do the pro pianos compare with the best home ones?
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#695316 - 03/05/03 11:10 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
fr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/14/01
Posts: 110
Loc: illinois
If you're a piano teacher, then you no doubt by now have developed a sophisticated sense of piano touch and tone. Selecting a digital piano is similar to selecting an accoustical piano. Let your fingers and ears tell you what you like best in touch and tone.

Visit this web site for a list of all the digital piano manufacturers:
www.iaekm.org/p15.html
You can click on each manufacturer's name, visit their web site and check out their current digital offerings. Think twice about Alesis; the last I heard about them was that they had filed for bankruptcy.

Regarding polyphony which is not a concern with accoustical pianos: get one with 64+ polyphony; 128 is the current benchmark but more expensive; anything with less than 64 is outdated and yesterday's technology. Scroll down and read the recent conversation topic titled "Polyphony - How much is enough?" for polyphony information and issues.

Visit this web site for more digital piano information: www.ptg.org/rmmp/digital.FAQ.html
(the link to this site appears to alternate between being "up" and "down").

Make sure you get a dust cover to prevent dust and dirt particles from settling into the gaps between the keys and fouling up the key action mechanisms.

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#695317 - 03/15/03 09:15 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
Wow, a $4,000 spending limit. Nice! Have you thought about simply buying a quality upright?

But since you asked about digitals, here's some general comments. $4,000 should get you quite a bit! I haven't tried out the Kawai, but people say good things about them. For $4,000, you should also look at the high-end Yamaha Clavinovas. There's the CLP-170, which many people (who can afford them) rave about. I'm not sure how much the 170 costs, but it should be in your budget. Me, I have the CLP-150, a sort of mid- to high-range model. I'm very happy with it. No, it can't pass 100% as an acoustic (no digital can), but as a 2nd piano for practicing, I'm sure it would do fine. There are also the Yamaha CVP models, but these come with lots of bells and whistles. The high-range CVPs are knock-out instruments, but if you're not interested in extra sounds, fancy recording features, etc., they might not be for you.

I also played around with Roland models during my digital piano search, but I simply preferred the Yamahas. Some people, however, will tell you the exact opposite. To me, the Rolands didn't feel like pianos. I could be dead wrong, but I find that piano enthusiasts tend ro prefer non-Roland models. General music fans (especially in the pop-rock crowd) tend to favor Roland.

Hope this helps

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#695318 - 03/15/03 09:48 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Think twice about Alesis; the last I heard about them was that they had filed for bankruptcy.
True, but they've since been bought out by Numark. They've always had a reputation of providing a lot of bang-for-the-buck, but I've never been impressed with their keyboard technology.
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#695319 - 03/15/03 09:50 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
I find that piano enthusiasts tend ro prefer non-Roland models.
I'm a card-carrying piano snob and I prefer Roland tone/touch to anything else out there at the moment.
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#695320 - 03/15/03 10:02 AM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
also do the pro pianos compare with the best home ones?
They're different as they're built for different audiences:

Home digital pianos usually have a stand and speakers built-in. They're built to be a piece of furniture that will fit into a living room. As you progress up the ladder, the higher-end products will not only have better sound/action, but they'll have features like that families are likely to value (teaching tutorials, auto-accompaniment, etc.).

Pro keyboards are built to sound great, feel great and be portable. They dont' have built-in speakers or stands and wouldn't fit into most people's living room decor. Pedals and speakers must be connect with a cable, so you'll have hanging cables visible. They also tend to have a greater emphasis on variety, expandability and fidelity. While most manufacturers make pro digital pianos, the best piano sounds are often found in high-end workstations as the demand from pros is higher for workstations.

This will surprise some, but pro keyboards are usually a little cheaper than their consumer counterparts. There are many reasons for this. It's partly due to the addition of stand/speakers/aesthetics on the consumer keyboard. But I personally believe that consumers who shop in a piano store will simply pay more than educated pros will (some dealers may disagree).

It sounds overly simple, but your best bet is matching your needs to the keyboard (pro or consumer) that fits best.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#695321 - 03/15/03 12:05 PM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
 Quote:
I'm a card-carrying piano snob and I prefer Roland tone/touch to anything else out there at the moment
Steve, what kind of Roland do you own? Maybe I hadn't tried out a decent-enough model.

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#695322 - 03/15/03 02:58 PM Re: Digitals -- Unfamiliar Territory
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I have several -- but my favorite piano sound from Roland is found on the Concert Grand expansion board for the XV series keyboards. Therefore it's not available as a factory preset. I use it on my XV88 and on my XV5080. But I believe it can also be used on the RD700 which is more of a true digital piano.
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