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#697208 - 10/05/08 06:20 PM Traditional piano styling but digital
Ryan Dale Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston
I’m currently in the market for a new DP. I was forced to play the piano (Spinet) as a youth for approximately 3 consecutive years. Now, 20yrs later, I have this strong urge to start learning again.

I did some reading about the DPs vs. uprights and have concluded that the DP will integrate well with my space and budget. I have no real reference except the spinet I learned on 23 years ago so I am basically staring with a clean slate. I know most will recommend shopping around and trying select models but I do not want to spend my time traveling or wasting the sales person’s time when I will probably order online anyway. Besides, I’m sure any modern DP will more than surprise my senses compared to the spinet.

My wife has placed a constraint on this purchase. It has to fit well with our décor; therefore it has to be black including the base and of course look like a piano (FP-4 did not meet here criteria). I would like to stay below $1600 but I will spend more, in moderation, if required.

I don’t know if this makes a difference but, if needed, I have some audiophile amplification and speakers (Usher S-520’s).

I found plenty of recommendations throughout the forum but in most cases the color or the styling seems to get in the way. Based on experience can anyone suggest a DP that may meet the above requirements?
_________________________
Common sense is not so common.

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#697209 - 10/05/08 07:00 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
JeffBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 120
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Speaking stylistically, not budgetarilly I'd suggest:

Kawai CN31: http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/CN_07/cn_31.html

Yamaha CLP Series ( http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...D203500,00.html )

Yamaha Modus F01: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...D600150,00.html

Yamaha Modus H01: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...D600150,00.html )

If you were to find a good used one (a few years old) I'd think you'd hit the jackpot!

Good luck... see if you can talk her into a Yamaha C1S ( http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/Cont...D202900,00.html ) ;-)

_________________________
Kawai MP5 / Ivory Italian Grand
C.C. Harvey 52" Upright Grand
Yamaha M202 Console

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#697210 - 10/06/08 02:36 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I think you'd have to spend more than $1600
for the type of digital piano you're describing.
Dp's in that price range tend to be compact, boxy
designs implemented for ease of manufacture. The
spinet-type design is rare, because it
requires special cabinetry work that
most people aren't interested in paying
for. The only one like this that I'm aware of is
the Suzuki ST-7 spinet digital piano (now
being replaced by the identical-looking ST-9):

http://www.suzukipianos.com/st-7

This comes in black only and can apparently
be ordered direct at: 1 800 854 1594,
ext. 122. The cost, including shipping,
would be around $2800.

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#697211 - 10/06/08 11:00 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Ryan Dale Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston
Thanks Jeff but unfortunately she turned down all suggestions. I thought the CN31 looked acceptable.

Gyro, the ST-7 is cool. I think at 3k I maybe able to find a deal on an decent acoustic.

For the living area it looks like I will be shopping the used market for a full or studio upright. If the noise becomes an issue I will get a digital for the study.
_________________________
Common sense is not so common.

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#697212 - 10/07/08 02:50 AM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9346
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
It is perhaps a little out of your price range, however the KAWAI CA111 is effectively a digital piano inside an acoustic piano cabinet. There is more information in the following thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/4691.html

Alternatively, rather than buy both an acoustic for the lounge and digital for the study, you may also wish to look into the Yamaha Silent or KAWAI AnyTime pianos. These acoustic instruments include a mechanism that mutes the strings, while also enabling a digital tone generator to play the piano using headphones.

Yamaha Silent brochure: http://www.pianoplus.co.uk/pdf/silent-pianos-brochure-2002.pdf

KAWAI AnyTimeX brochure: http://www.kawai.de/service/atx_catalog.pdf

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#697213 - 10/07/08 07:11 AM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
The CA111 are really beautiful.
Some Yamaha dealers are also offering a digital in an "upright acoustic piano" looking case.

If you could get over the budget constraints, James suggestion for a Silent or Anytime is great. It gives you a chance to practice privately with headphones but enjoy playing on a real acoustic piano for your own enjoyment (and to entertian your wife and friends soon!)

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#697214 - 10/07/08 01:36 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Ryan, if you haven't played since you were
a child, then you never had to deal with
the realities of owning an acoustic
piano. Back then, your parents took care
of that, and all you did was play. But
there are some definite hassles to owning
an acoustic piano: they need to be tuned at
least twice a yr., and tunings today can
run around $150 each; they are loud, capable
of being heard a block away, and more
than capable of driving the people in
the house to distraction if you're practicing
several hrs. a day; they weigh a ton and
you'll need movers just to get it into,
or out of, your house; tuners can be
difficult to deal with--a significant
number of them are rude and/or incompetent,
which is why you often see used acoustic pianos
for sale with an ad that says "used piano,
in great condition but hasn't been tuned
in yrs." (the owners got fed up with dealing
with tuners and let the piano go untuned
to the point where it was no longer
playable); repairs for things like stuck
keys and buzzing strings are common;
the design is archaic, not having changed
significantly in 150 yrs., for example,
the tuning pins are held by friction only
in a wood pin block, and if the pins
start to slip in their holes, that's
big trouble.

This situation where you buy an acoustic
for the living room and a digital for
the den makes zero sense. The acoustic
becomes an unusable piece of furniture
after you give up on playing it because
of the noise, so what's the point of
getting it in the first place? The
argument that you should get an upright
because you can get one for $2800, the
same price as a digital spinet, makes
no sense at all.

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#697215 - 10/07/08 03:19 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
derekp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Chicago Area
One thing to consider. If you are good with woodworking, or know someone who is (or for hire), get a portable stage digital and build a stand for it that looks like a traditional piano. I'm currently working on one for my Casio Privia, which includes a double-hinged fallboard (the kind that folds into the back of the piano). Of course my design is a bit boxy, as I'm trying to do it out of a $25 sheet of MDF, but spend maybe $150 or so in lumber and you can get something that looks very nice, and that your wife would approve of. If you have someone else build it for you then it might cost another hundred or so for labor (if you find a retiree who is into woodworking).

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#697216 - 10/07/08 03:27 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Check out these new Yammies. They look lovely but are still digital, and are cheaper than the Modus range.

http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/link/1001250

http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/link/1001251

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#697217 - 10/07/08 03:28 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Gyro:
... makes
no sense at all. [/b]
:D
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#697218 - 10/09/08 01:05 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Absolut Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1
Gyro, whats the deal with your crusade against acoustic pianos?
It is some of the worst misguided tripe i have read on this forum.
I could apply your exact same meaningless lopsided argument to cars. Using your own words here with a few changes...

-----
there are some definite hassles to owning
an car: they need to be serviced at least once a yr. can
run around $150 each; they are loud,...........machanics can be
difficult to deal with--a significant
number of them are rude and/or incompetent,
which is why you often see used cars
for sale with an ad that says "used car,
in great condition but hasn't been tuned
in yrs." (the owners got fed up with dealing
with mechanics and let the car go untuned
to the point where it was no longer
drivable); repairs for things like stuck
pedals and buzzing engines are common;
the design is archaic, not having changed
significantly in 50 yrs., for example,
the wheels are held by friction only
in a metal block, and if the pins
start to slip in their holes, that's
big trouble.

......

So gyro, in conclusion in your own language ...dont buy cars. Get a sinclair C1.

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#697219 - 10/09/08 03:56 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
ohitpro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 104
Loc: Columbus, Ohio, USA
_________________________
Whatever you do, do it from the heart...

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#697220 - 10/09/08 04:43 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Dale:
My wife has placed a constraint on this purchase. It has to fit well with our décor; therefore it has to be black including the base and of course look like a piano (FP-4 did not meet here criteria). I would like to stay below $1600 but I will spend more, in moderation, if required.
In short you are looking for something you will enjoy playing AND that will be acceptable furniture.

That means paying more money for something that won't (necessarily) sound or play better. \:\)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#697221 - 10/09/08 11:42 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Johnny X Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 13
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Dale:
she turned down all suggestions.[/b]
_________________________
http://www.johnnybrooks.com

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#697222 - 10/11/08 08:54 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Johnny X Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 13
 Quote:
Originally posted by Absolut:
Gyro, whats the deal with your crusade against acoustic pianos?
It is some of the worst misguided tripe i have read on this forum.
I could apply your exact same meaningless lopsided argument to cars. Using your own words here with a few changes...

-----
there are some definite hassles to owning
an car: they need to be serviced at least once a yr. can
run around $150 each; they are loud,...........machanics can be
difficult to deal with--a significant
number of them are rude and/or incompetent,
which is why you often see used cars
for sale with an ad that says "used car,
in great condition but hasn't been tuned
in yrs." (the owners got fed up with dealing
with mechanics and let the car go untuned
to the point where it was no longer
drivable); repairs for things like stuck
pedals and buzzing engines are common;
the design is archaic, not having changed
significantly in 50 yrs., for example,
the wheels are held by friction only
in a metal block, and if the pins
start to slip in their holes, that's
big trouble.

......

So gyro, in conclusion in your own language ...dont buy cars. Get a sinclair C1. [/b]
I agree with much of what gyro is saying.

APs are great but are too tone limited for my needs.

I enjoy the portability/versatility of DPs.

Have a good day! :3hearts:
_________________________
http://www.johnnybrooks.com

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#697223 - 10/13/08 05:14 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Ryan Dale Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston
It's the low profile design on these digitals that she cannot get over. She does like the ST-7 but I'm apprehensive at $2800.

Every now and then I come across some reasonable deals. I found a Howard baby grand for $1500 that was in good condition, 2 yrs since last tuning. The owner was looking for someone that would appreciate it. By the time I convinced my self it's possible to get it into the house someone else purchased it. Investment wise it's difficult to settle on spending $2800 on a digital when I could have a grand. Am I alone on this line of thought?
_________________________
Common sense is not so common.

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#697224 - 10/13/08 07:23 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 1011
$2800 is awfully little for a decent upright, let alone a grand. At that price you're likely to get junk.

Pianos are subject to wear over the years, and need maintenance. Low-priced pianos are usually the ones that have been given little maintenance. Beware.

Gyro mentioned the possibility of loose tuning pins. That's just one possible problem (but a big, expensive one). There are many more.

Even salvageable pianos may need work ... loose hammers, hammers in need of voicing, cabinet buzzes, stuck keys, action regulation. All of these can be fixed, but be prepared to pay.

The usual recommendation ... read Larry Fine's Piano Book.

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#697225 - 10/13/08 07:32 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
tenders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Westchester, NY
> Investment wise it's difficult to settle on
> spending $2800 on a digital when I could have a
> grand. Am I alone on this line of thought?

Well, no, but I'm on the other side of your line of thought. A $2800 digital piano is going to be a great instrument. A $2800 baby grand is going to be close to bottom-of-the-line.

This idea about fabricating a cabinet for a stage digital piano is an interesting idea. Not that I have time or skills for it, but does anybody have plans for this?

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#697226 - 10/13/08 08:13 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Three things:

1 - agreed about spending $2800 on a grand. Unless you get real lucky (which is certainly possible, esp considering the number of people desperate for money these days), the odds of finding a grand in that price range that is actually decent is not too high.

2 - given 1, you can probably find a decent upright in that price range. Something like a used Yamaha U series. I assume this meets your wife's goal of having a piano looking piano. Since you're considering a grand, I assume you're not looking for a digital for headphone use.

3 - OK, this might be somewhat controversial. Have you considered having a sit down with your wife and explaining to her that her demand, while seemingly quite reasonable on her part, is going to force you to have to seriously compromise on the piano. Does she _really_ want to spend 2x the cost of a piano that would functionally satisfy your needs but doesn't look as "piano like" as she wants? OK, all the married guys can stop laughing. I too am married and have a similar issue with the wife over my stereo speakers, so I completely understand his predicament. A piano however, is no stereo. Now that you've done some shopping and researching, it may be time for a reality check with the wife. If she is still insistent, then fine, she's bought off on spending more money and assuming it's not going to strain your budget, go for it. I know that you are trying to keep everyone happy and prevent strain on the relationship. However, if you buy some compromised piano that you don't like to play or listen to (regardless of how purty it is), it will put far more stress on yourself and your relationship (esp. if it kills your enthusiasm to get back into playing). Try to find a good balance and consider that while it may be just a piece of furniture to her, it means a lot more to you. OK, really, husbands can stop laughing now.

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#697227 - 10/14/08 01:08 PM Re: Traditional piano styling but digital
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3214
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by derekp:
One thing to consider. If you are good with woodworking, or know someone who is (or for hire), get a portable stage digital and build a stand for it that looks like a traditional piano. [/b]
My woodworking skills would not be up to creating a piano shell from scratch.

But I'll bet I could find a decent looking but bad sounding acoustic for about $150, rip the guts out, and insert a stage piano keyboard. I think that would cost you about 1/3 of what a real piano styled digital would cost.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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