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#699497 - 05/24/04 02:39 AM Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
Frungy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Hi everyone. I've recently moved to Japan, and I'm looking for a digital piano to keep my fingers in shape. I've previously played for 20 years on acoustic pianos, but decided that due to cost and room size, digital was the way to go.

That said, I'd like some help in selecting a piano. My concerns:

1. Cost preferably around $1000, less is better
2. The usual weighted keys, heavier on lower registers, but I would also like the keys to be VERY weighted. The acoustic piano I used before was a heavy Steinway, so my fingers got a workout, but I was also able to play quiet dolce sounds much better. I've found a lot of digital pianos to be too sensitive on the quieter tones, making it hard for me to be more expressive.
3. Same goes for the pedal- a lot of digital pedals I've used seem to be either "on" or "off". Are there "weighted pedals" as well?
4. Sound isn't that important- I mostly want the touch to be as realistic as possible.

Also, is there a significant difference in the sound quality between the portable stage pianos and the furniture type models, assuming I am using earphones? I imagine the stage ones have smaller speakers, or no speakers, but is there a difference?

If I'm expecting too much out of a digital piano, please let me know.

Thanks!
-Dan

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#699498 - 05/24/04 03:50 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
Zymtil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 433
Loc: CS, Texas
Your probably asking for to much out of a digital. That said:

1. I'd suggest looking at a Yamaha P90 or Roland FP-2 to start out.

2. You'll really need to try-before-you-buy to make a good decision (based on your personal preference), also keep in mind that many (if not most) digitals have multiple "weight" settings, so try them at the different settings.

3. Some digitals (or is it pedals? I must be tired...yeah, I am...and half out of it too) have half pedal capability, I'm not entirely sure exactly how this works, maybe someone else will chime in.

Also, the sound produced via the earphone jack, the internal speakers (if applicable), and the external output can differ. Many stage pianos do not have internal speakers and are generally pro grade, as opposed to the non-stage ones (or consumer grade). Typically the best sound are found at the pro level, although this can vary at price increments. Your best bet is to try as many as possible and for your own opinions on weight/sound and see if they're offerings are good enough for your needs (with 20 years experience you shouldn't have to much of a problem).

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#699499 - 05/24/04 10:36 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Also, at $1000, you're looking at entry-level products. You can't expect to get Steinway-type performance out of any digital piano -- but you're much more likely to be disappointed at that price point.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#699500 - 05/24/04 11:42 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Steve is absolutely right. I think you would be much more happy with something in the $2k and $3k range. For example, I was extremely impressed with my 5 minutes on the Yamaha P250.

"Sound isn't that important- I mostly want the touch to be as realistic as possible."

This sounds reasonable on the surface, but actually it turns out that sound greatly influences your perception of touch. A piano with a dull, mellow tone will feel a lot more heavy than the same exact piano with a bright tone. The brighter piano feels easier to play. Also, the better tone quality and more dynamic and responsive the sound the better the action will feel to you. Not to mention the fact that you will play a good sounding piano so much more than a poor sounding piano. So I would advise not to skimp on sound quality - it's a big part of the whole picture.

Ryan

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#699501 - 05/24/04 07:56 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
mark2048 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 48
Take a look at the yamaha p120. Yamahas in general have the heaviest action of all the digitals I've tried (except for casio). It also is able to recognize half-pedaling. Haven't tried the pedal on it, but it looks like it comes with a metallic piano-style pedal, not a plastic footswitch.

Sells for $1199 on most web sites, music stores.

-mark

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#699502 - 05/25/04 01:31 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
Frungy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 283
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Thanks for the responses. Yamaha seems to be the name that's cropping up most often... are Korg and Roland more for sound mixers/professional band musician types? And whenever I think of Casio, I think of toys and not serious products...

When pianos from a similar brand, like Yamaha P60, 90, 120, 250 increase in price, is it mostly due to improvement in speaker quality, or internal sound generation? When I'm practicing, I'll probably use earphones, but I'd also like some kind of speaker so that I can play for friends and not have to lug around a speaker system.

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#699503 - 05/25/04 02:22 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
Zymtil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 433
Loc: CS, Texas
The Yamaha P90 does not have internal speakers the p120 does (although the p90 is newer and has updated samples)

The Roland FP-2 and FP-5 have built in speakers, the FP-3 (which was recently discontinued) does not.

The increase in price can be due to many factors such as: polyphony, sample quality, number of voices, whether or not it has built in speakers, and all the other bells and whistles.

Don't limit yourself to only trying out only Yamaha and Roland models (if nothing else to help you guage what's available), if you get the chance try out some Kawai, Technics, Korg, Kurtzweil models. Casio still has that stigmatism for being considered as toys, but their new PX series is supposed to be pretty nice (I still haven't had a chance to try any of them out yet, so...).

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#699504 - 05/25/04 05:14 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
p120Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/04
Posts: 57
Loc: USA
Save up and buy the p120. It is absolutely superb. If you cannot afford the p120, then go with its little brother, the p90, which is ok, but not the same superb quality of the p120.

But save up for the p120, you will absolutely love it.

Regards,
p120dUdE
_________________________
www.newenglandmusic.biz.ly

The Yamaha P120 is da bomb! It rocks! It is superb, fantastic, awesome!

*Yamaha P120 Stage Piano*Yamaha CS1X Synthesizer

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#699505 - 05/26/04 10:47 AM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by p120mAn:
the p90, which is ok, but not the same superb quality of the p120.[/b]
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
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#699506 - 05/26/04 12:09 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
Zymtil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 433
Loc: CS, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by gryphon:
 Quote:
Originally posted by p120mAn:
the p90, which is ok, but not the same superb quality of the p120.[/b]
[/b]
I'm with gryphon on this one.

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#699507 - 05/26/04 08:37 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
Nobody should have to pay more than $950-1000 for a new P120, dealers get them for about $750 or less. The advertised price of $1,199 is the MAP or an industry agreement not to advertise less than that so as to avoid a price war. It does not limit any dealer from selling the P120 for far less if you ask them to sell it for less. Some will oblige in order to make the sale, others will be stubborn and stingy and refuse.
_________________________
Gear owned: Yamaha P250, P120 and P90. Stand: Quik-Lok WS-550
EV SXa360 powered speakers

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#699508 - 05/27/04 02:29 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
p120Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/04
Posts: 57
Loc: USA
Rintincop, the retail price is $1,495. They sell around $1,100.

Regards,
p120dUdE
_________________________
www.newenglandmusic.biz.ly

The Yamaha P120 is da bomb! It rocks! It is superb, fantastic, awesome!

*Yamaha P120 Stage Piano*Yamaha CS1X Synthesizer

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#699509 - 05/27/04 02:41 PM Re: Digital piano for longtime acoustic player
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I highly doubt dealers get them for $750 or less. With a list of $1495, dealer cost would be just under $900.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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