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#700978 - 09/28/04 02:34 PM Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
We have two daughters (ages 7 and 9) taking piano lessons. We started them on a an inexpensive 61 key keyboard last year. Their teacher now says they need at least 76 keys and a pedal. Since they have done their part and practiced, we want to get them something that they can really learn on. I grew up with a Baldwin baby grand, that my father still plays and one day will be ours (but hopefully not too soon). We looked into renting, but that doesn't seem to make sense for more than one year. We don't want to buy another acoustic piano for the family. Digital pianos seem the best bet on the basis of price, size, and maintenance. I gave up on lessons when I was 12, so I am no longer able to demo the keyboards myself.

From reading this message board and talking to friends, I consider the following important:

1. A real piano feel with 88 keys
2. At least 64 note polyphony
3. Good piano sound from built-in speakers, since that is how it will be used most often.

We started with a budget of $1,000, but it looks like we need to go to $1,500. We'd rather spend more now than get something the kids will outgrow quickly. Based on this criteria, the Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 and Yamaha YDP223 seem to be our top choices.

Does anyone have opinions on these choices?
How do the F-50 and P-120 compare (on paper they look the same)?
Does the difference in sound from the bigger speakers on the YDP223 justify the extra price? We like the portability of the P-120, but we like the three pedals on the YDP223. Looks aren't particularly important, but my wife doesn't want us to get a portable keyboard like the P-120 and add external speakers because she doesn't want the extra boxes and wires in the room.

We look forward to your collective wisdom.

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#700979 - 09/28/04 07:30 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
mark2048 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 48
If you can stretch your budget a bit, take a look at the p250. It has the portability of the p120, with the heavier, higher watt speakers of the ydp 223. It's heavier than the p120 (70lbs vs 40lbs), but you can still move it around much more easily than the ydp223. It also has hundreds of sounds which can be fun for kids to play with. It doesn't include a metronome (except when you use the recording function), but it has audio inputs for connecting one.

When I was looking, I didn't care about the sound of the speakers. I would have bought the p120, but decided to spend the extra $ for the p250 to get the hundreds of sounds and a 16 track sequencer so I could do some composing with the kids. Now that I have the bigger more powerful speakers, I really like them.

Also, consider that the p120 doesn't come with a stand or bench, so add you should add on the cost of those $100+ (if you don't already have them) when comparing price with the ydp223.

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#700980 - 09/28/04 09:52 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Hi Digiguy,
Well, I'm gonna throw my vote in for the Roland F-50. It has all the features you were looking for.
88 keys (Progressive Hammer Action)
64 Note Polyphony
Built in speakers.
I gotta admit that the speaker system on the F-50 isnt quite as powerful as that on the YDP or the P120. Having said that I much prefer the key action and piano tone of the Rolands. You could always hook the piano up to your home stereo speakers and enjoy a more full range sound.
Anyways the end decision IS up to you.
Either way giving the gift of music lasts a lifetime. AND MAKING MUSIC MAKES 'EM SMARTER!

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#700981 - 09/29/04 10:11 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
Thanks for the advice. Your comments raise two other questions:

1. I notice the P-250 has 128 voice polyphony. What is the meaning of a polyphony number over 88?

2. Is there a wireless adapter on the market that would plug into the back of the piano on one end and my home audio system on the other?

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#700982 - 09/29/04 10:18 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
see this thread, where SteveY explained polyphony:

another thread

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#700983 - 09/29/04 10:27 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
Oops. I didn't see your post before I started a new topic. So it looks like you can use more than 88 voices if a keyboard allocates more than one voice per note while playing "piano". But does anyone know if the P-120, P-250 or F-50?

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#700984 - 09/29/04 10:47 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
Just stumbled across the Roland MP60, which seems comparable to the Yamaha YDP223 in price and features. Anyone have a view between the two?

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#700985 - 09/29/04 11:46 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
alfredo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/26/04
Posts: 10
Get the Roland, the Yamaha is stiff, doesn't do legato and is hard hammered sounding.

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#700986 - 09/29/04 07:12 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Digiguy,
Sennheiser makes wireless adapters for several audio applications. So does Shure. Google them both and you should get some info. However, these systems are not inexpensive. By the time you have invested in a system such as this, you may as well invest in a better digital piano. Have you investigated the Roland F-100 or DP-900 (if you like the cherrywood finish)both are pianos with more substantial (still compact) cabinets and attached pedalboards. Each has a bigger speaker system. Wont need external speakers at all. Again I am a BIG Roland fan, but I grew up playing a Yamaha G3 grand piano. Since I left home I havent had the opportnity to own a grand of my own. I personally think that Roland pianos feel most like acoustics after nuch research and playing time. And, I like the sound too. I havent played an MP60 yet, but if it is like any of the other Rolands I have tried you wont be disappointed. Best sound, key touch and features for the money. Hope this helps.

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#700987 - 09/30/04 09:01 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
Do you think you lose sound quality in the wireless connection as compared to cables?

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#700988 - 09/30/04 05:35 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
The amount of sound quality you lose depends on the quality of your wireless unit. Live performances regularly use wireless units, but virutally all studio performances use cables. That ought to tell you something. But ProPianoGuy is right -- these units can be as much or more money than the digital pianos you're looking at!!!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#700989 - 09/30/04 09:30 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
Will this work?: http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid=15-2572

It's a 2.4GHz Wireless Receiver/Sender for $79.99. I've seen a comparable item from Terk (a brand I trust more) on the web for the same price.

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#700990 - 09/30/04 10:07 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
Looks good digiguy!
As long as your microwave isnt going at the same time. I have a 2.4 ghz wireless phone and can't use it at the same time as I have my microwave on. It can be frustrating.

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#700991 - 10/01/04 08:58 AM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
digiguy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 17
We've got two 2.4 GHz phone systems from different manufacturers and never had a problem with either and the microwave (or our 802.11b network, either).

I noticed the Yamaha website for the P-120 describes their "Dynamic Stereo Sampling" where different samples are used for different volume levels. Does anyone know if the Roland F-50 uses a similar system?

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#700992 - 10/02/04 10:14 PM Re: Roland F-50, Yamaha P-120 or YDP223?
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
The F-50 uses a similar system for the piano sound except for the fact that Roland tends not to market this heavily. When I was retailing Roland gear in the UK I asked the same questions of some of the Roland guys. The answer was this:
Samples are taken using many different velocities, mic positions etc... The samples are then analyzed and optimized to make them ideal to come out of a digital piano speaker system.

One thing to remember though....I don't know if you have ever thought about it this way...but Yamaha makes a HUGE chunk of their money each year on ACOUSTIC pianos....Not digitals...

Roland is the ONLY manufacturer left (since the unfortunate demise of Technics) that strictly makes digital pianos.....Therefore there is no reason for Roland (unlike yamaha)to limit the level to which they develop their digital piano as they have no acoustic sales to worry about hurting by making their digitals the best they can be. Food for thought....

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