Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Let Your Piano Sing
Let Your Piano Sing
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
91 registered (ambrozy, alwatson, augustm, ando, alerique, acortot, 17 invisible), 1233 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#697837 - 06/06/03 12:41 PM Expansion boards
Ashley Tibbs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/02
Posts: 19
Loc: MS
I am currently familiarizing myself with digital keyboard terms and technology pursuant to buying a digital keyboard sometime in the next 3-4 months. Two questions:

1. What are expansion boards?

2. What kind/level digital keyboard will $3000 get you?


Click Here

#697838 - 06/06/03 09:27 PM Re: Expansion boards
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
1. What are expansion boards?
Hi Ashley,
Expansion Boards are basically an extra bundle of sounds that can be added to a keyboard at a later date. They usually come in the form of a small circuit board that can be popped into a slot in the keyboard. That sounds kind of scary, but it's really not. You don't need to know anything about anything to do this. It literally just "pops" right into the keyboard. The coolest thing about expansion boards is the that a two or three year old keyboard can play new, state-of-the-art sounds by adding an expansion board. This protects your initial keyboard investment and provides extra longevity. As a professional keyboard player, I used to have to buy new keyboards almost every year. Now, i can stretch a keyboard's usefulness by several years. I reguarly use an eight year old keyboard that is loaded with new expansion boards! Although Roland first introduced this, most manufacturers offer this feature on some of their keyboards.

2. What kind/level digital keyboard will $3000 get you?
That's difficult to answer. It really depends on what features you're looking for, as well as personal preference. If you're looking for something that has furniture appeal, that will add to the price. "Touch screens" and other interactive features also add to the price. But if you're just looking for a great feel and great sound, then $3k should be fine (but then again, that's my own personal opinion).
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

#697839 - 06/09/03 10:28 AM Re: Expansion boards
Ashley Tibbs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/02
Posts: 19
Loc: MS

Thanks a lot for the information. It should sharpen my edge while shopping around.

As to your response to my second question, I'm less interested in touch screens and other so-called "bells and whistles", as useful and interesting as they apparently are, and more interested in a good piano/organ/harpsichord sound(s). If I buy a Yamaha CLP 150 (I believe that's the nomenclature) for example, could an expansion board provide a sample of other pianos (Steinway, Baldwin, etc.), or would the variety of sounds available to me be merely expanded, giving me access to sounds not provided on the CLP?

Again, I appreciate the information. These forums are highly interesting and informative.


#697840 - 06/09/03 11:56 AM Re: Expansion boards
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
Ashley, I don't believe any of the "home digital" pianos (Yamaha CLP and CVP, Roland HP and KR, etc.) accomodate expansion boards. Expansion boards are usually available only for "professional" stage keyboards which don't have nice cases, electronic features like styles, etc. - they're just keyboards with built-in sounds. Most often they don't even include built-in speakers. They are substantially less expensive, however,and usually have the same samples and keyboards as the home models.

If you go with a home digital piano (such as the CLP150) you can add sounds with midi sound modules. These are separate hardware boxes that plug into your piano's midi ports. Most of the big electronic music companies make them. At the very top end, you can interface a computer running software like GigaStudio or Kontakt which use huge samples (since they "play" off the hard disk) and provide the very best quality sounds. Such a setup (which is what I use with my Yamaha CVP900) could cost as much as the CLP! Any of this stuff can be added in the future if you want, since it just plugs in.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900

(ad 800)
Yamaha CP Stage Pianos
Yamaha CP Stage Pianos Simply the Best
#697841 - 06/10/03 01:23 PM Re: Expansion boards
Ashley Tibbs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/02
Posts: 19
Loc: MS

Thanks for the information. In fact, I just saw an advert for GigaStudio in "Keyboard" magazine. Some of the samples available include a Bosendorfer Imperial, an Estonia, and a rebuilt 1960 Hamburg Steinway. Unbelievable software. I'm saving $$ for such even as I type...



#697842 - 06/10/03 01:48 PM Re: Expansion boards
JimM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/02
Posts: 200
Loc: Northern California
You're welcome. There are at least a dozen very good pianos available for Gigastudio. Ones that I particularly like include:

Bardstown Bosendorfer. A very versatile piano with lots of variations (www.bardstownaudio.com)

Post Audio Steinway and Bosendorfer. He also has some great harpsichords and fortepianos (www.postaudiomedia.com)

Vintage Audio Yamaha C7 and Steinway/Clinton uprights (www.vintaudio.com)

ArtVista Malmsjo (www.artvista.net) "Grieg's piano"

Bigga Gigga Malmsjo. Very different sound from ArtVista's Malmsjo. He also offers a slightly detuned "Rain Piano" that is just splendid for some kinds of music. (www.biggagiggas.com)

More are coming along all the time, and all of the developers post demos on their sites. There are also a few free ones - a Yamaha comes with the software (GigaPiano) and a few musicians have done their own and put them into the public domain.

All of these pianos have very different characteristics - some are best for classical, some pop, some jazz, etc.

A word about Gigastudio - it is indeed powerful software, and with power comes complexity. You need a very fast computer and two very fast hard disks to run it to full capacity. You'll also need an audio card and midi interface. If you're handy with the technology you can probably assemble the hardware for under $1,500 USD. The software will cost another $400 or so (for the maximum polyphony of 160 voices) and the samples run from $100 to $200 each.

A good place to learn about this is the Northernsounds BBS at www.northernsounds.com
The "samples" forum is the most active. Many of the participants are composers, some very well-known, who use these systems in lieu of live musicians for hearing their compositions. You can also learn about competitors to Gigastudio - Halion, Kontakt, etc.
Mason and Hamlin BB, Clavinova CVP900


Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Some New Piano World STATS

Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Piano Lamps
Piano Lamp by cocoweb - free shipping
New in Piano World's online store PianoSupplies.com, beautiful piano lamps from cocoweb. Free shipping! (continental U.S.).
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Yale School of Music Audition: Bachelors
by I like Piano
10/27/16 09:07 AM
Ervin Nyiregyhazi plays Chopin's Black Key Etude in 1929
by Michael Sayers
10/27/16 01:56 AM
Kawai CS11 MIDI bug? / Quicco Sound mi.1 wireless MIDI
by Stephen Bee
10/26/16 09:17 PM
First Real Piano
by dpkowal
10/26/16 09:09 PM
Sheet Music
by Michael Choe
10/26/16 07:52 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
85,366 Registered Members
44 Forums
175,982 Topics
2,566,127 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2016 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission