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#942607 - 01/15/05 06:30 PM What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Just when I thought I made my mind up for a digital piano for my 5 year old daughter, another teacher we visited advised against the digital piano. It seems like every piano teacher we speak to, other than young instructors with only 5 or so years teaching experience, always strongly recommend the acoustic.

So I thought I would ask the teachers on this forum what they thought of a 5 year old learning on a Yamaha CLP-170 vs something like a low-end new Yamaha or Kawai acoustic upright? I'm referring to something in the $3000-$3500 price range. My intention is to have this instrument last her 5-10 years.

Thanks for your comments.

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#942608 - 01/15/05 08:05 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ignorant kid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 333
Loc: Poquoson, Virginia
3000-3500 should be fine. I've been workin with a $150 yard sale one all my life lol and it hasn't imo hurt my playing or anything. But yes acoustic is the way to go. That way you can bring out dynamics and it has a more realistis feel.
_________________________
-Carl

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#942609 - 01/15/05 09:07 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13818
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Acoustics are better. The sound and the action make it a more visceral experience.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#942610 - 01/15/05 10:11 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
I feel this is a critical decision and you absolutely should buy an acoustic piano. I've been playing piano for 30 years. I've sold both types of instruments but only the acoustics with joy and conviction. PLEASE don't buy electric. It's the worst mistake you can ever make. They depreciate in value. In 10 years, you'll only get a couple of hundred bucks for it. Your children will quit earlier on an electric piano. Their technique will be sloppy. They will lose interest in the sound they create. And the acoustic piano is the most beautiful instrument in the world.

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#942611 - 01/16/05 01:36 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
animato Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Sydney Australia
Hi David,

I am a teacher with about 50 or so students, and I have found electronic keyboards are good for the first two years of learning. After that, when their technique improves then they would need a weighted keyboard instrument, e.g. acoustic piano.

There is ONLY one advantage of an electronic keyboard, it is MUCH cheaper than an acoustic piano. also it is a safer option especially if its for a 5 year old kid, because alot of kids do give up because they have no interest in it after a couple of months, and if you're going to buy a piano, it would be like a good piece of furniture without ever being used.

My advice is to get the cheapest casio keyboard you can buy, and if the teacher is experienced enough, they would recognised if your kid is a natural in the first couple of weeks/months, THEN you should consider buying an acoustic piano.

Another option is renting a piano for the first year to see if your kid is interested it. Then maybe you can buy a piano after that? Just dont spend alot of money first up, because ALOT of kids DO GIVE up within the first year or so.

Hope this advice helps you.

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#942612 - 01/16/05 07:55 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I agree wholeheartedly with Kreisler and Candyman.

I have taught over 150 students of all ages and abilites over the past 18 years. I will not teach a student who only has access to practice on an electric keyboard.

The keyboard doesn't offer the same experience as an acoustic piano. Your child needs weighted keys and pedal. Having an eletric keyboard as a second instrument for fun is a great addition, but not as the main instrument.

I respectfully disagree with Animato. Your child should learn proper technic from the beginning, not after a couple of years.

charlene
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#942613 - 01/16/05 11:45 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Fan of the Bösendorfer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 176
Loc: NYC
I completely agree with the acoustic piano proponents. Once, when I had both Yamaha and Bösendorfer ~7' grands in my studio, these little students of mine would march right past that Yamaha to play the Bösendorfer. Children recognize quality at an early age. They just don't have the vocabulary to talk about it. My little students know when their pianos are out of tune, or need work. They will appreciate the respect you have both for them and for the job of learning to play. It's a win-win. You can rent, or you can buy, and pianos hold their value for a long time. (So I agree with Charlene--but have been teaching twice as long lol!)
_________________________
Sarah

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#942614 - 01/16/05 12:15 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Xenon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/04
Posts: 138
Quality Digital Pianos nowadays do have very sophisticated hammer driver weighted actions that simulate the feel of an acoustic( albeit not 100% accurately) and have all 3 pedals( with half pedaling capabilites). The higher end digitals even have wooden keys( the CLP-170 being one of them). For a 5 year old, I think a quality digital piano would be one of the better options as the financial commitment is not huge, and a quality digital is much better than a poor acoustic IMHO( I went through the whole acoustic vs digital on a budget thing recently). Plus what you lose in depriciation will be gradually made up by the money you save on maintenence. Perhaps some of the older teachers have written off newer digital pianos without trying them based on their bad experience with older ones. Maybe not though.

Oh, btw, I'm just some piano schmuck. I'm not a teacher. I just went through a similar experience as you is all.

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#942615 - 01/16/05 01:40 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
I almost bought a Yamaha digital piano 7 or 8 years ago. I am so glad that I didn't, and never will. Yes, you can have weighted key action and the sampling of the best Yamaha acoustic piano's sound, however, no matter how many speakers it has, a digital piano will never make the real piano sound.

There are only two advantages I can think of when you buy a digital one:
1) it offers a interface that you can play it with your computer.
2) you don't have to test drive it when you buy, having the convenience of buying on line or through mail order.

I always believe that a good used acoustic piano will be sufficient for a young beginner's needs. But it is going to be a somewhat painful time-consuming experience if you don't have any expertise of pianos. But I know many teachers are willing to screen used pianos for their prospective students.

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#942616 - 01/16/05 03:52 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Thank you and I very much appreciate everyone's comments. My wife and I have really been strugling with this. A decision either way has its advantages and disadvantages. With the higher end digital pianos such as the Yamaha CLP-170, I wish to believe that sound quality and action are not the deciding factors for making the decision of this specific digital piano vs. a low end acoustic.

Some have said the CLP-170 will absolutely sound more like an acoustic grand piano and have better touch than a low-end new upright in the $3500 range. My Yamaha dealer said whe would much prefer playing on the CLP-170 rather than any of their used uprights, and they have several models.

So I feel it comes down to the following:

(1) The CLP-170 still isn't a "real piano", and if we can live with that stigma than so be it.

(2) Digital pianos lose value much more quickly than a good acoustic, but if resale isn't important, than it's a non-issue. However, I've seen some later model low end used uprights that nobody wants (Baldwin, Pearl River for example). And forget the spinets.

(3) My daughter will learn fine with either one. Later in life if she's serious we can spend the money for a decent new or used acoustic that isn't the bottom line model.

(4) With a digital I don't have to deal with twice a year piano tunings, and it's always in tune and always sounding its best.

(5) The CLP-170 has midi, usb, etc. and offers much more flexibility and value for learning and entertainment options. Not to mention my involvement with her with the computer and the piano.

(6) The CLP-170 has many voices, which at this point could be a deterrent to my daughter strictly learning to play the piano rather than play with the sounds as if it were a toy. Maybe there would be a way I could disable some of these extra functions.

(7) An acoustic has a feel, richness or certain authenticity that will be lacking in the CLP-170.

(8) The CLP-170 could easily be moved from her music room to our living room for family "performances".

Would you agree or disagree with my summation? (I know this is subjective because some of you may not be familiar with the CLP-170 but rather digital pianos in general).

Thanks again.
Dave

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#942617 - 01/16/05 05:55 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
newpianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/12/01
Posts: 362
Loc: CANADA
Yamaha have a Disklavier Series which is both an acoustic and an electric piano. Does anyone have any experience with these instruments.
_________________________
Please excuse me. I have to go practice

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#942618 - 01/16/05 07:38 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
It appears you have fallen in love with the CLP 170 despite the reasoned advice of seasoned professionals. That's why you and your wife are struggling with this decision.

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#942619 - 01/16/05 09:26 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Fan of the Bösendorfer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 176
Loc: NYC
I agree with Candyman that you have fallen in love with the CLP 170. In your original post you say you'd like to use this instrument for 5 - 10 years and that your daughter is 5. Does this mean that you only expect her to be able to play well enough for a digital instrument when she's 10? When she's 10 she could easily be playing simpler Chopin and Mozart--not something you'd want to do on any digital piano. (And although I've been teaching for a long time, I'm not too old to have recently played--and owned-- the more sophisticated digital instruments. They're great and all, but they are what they are: not acoustic. Not the instruments for which this music was written.) I assume you will want your daughter to play as well as she has potential to--get her the best acoustic instrument you can afford. Or else get her a less expensive digital for a few months so you can look more exhaustively. Some of my students have started on digital pianos, and somewhere in the middle of the second year we come straight to a grinding halt until they can get some kind of acoustic instrument. And it's not that I'm even remembering that they're practicing on keyboards. It becomes clear that something is holding them back; the parents get called and we hash it out and it turns out they're practicing on a digital. Happens every time. (And the better the acoustic, the better, as well. An adult student of mine, who'd been progressing as well as I thought I could expect of him, recently bought a beautiful new Grotrian and he sounds wonderful. The instrument is bringing out the best he has, musically--what a difference!)
_________________________
Sarah

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#942620 - 01/16/05 10:48 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
David--

 Quote:
It appears you have fallen in love with the CLP 170 despite the reasoned advice of seasoned professionals. That's why you and your wife are struggling with this decision.[/b]
Candyman is again correct.

I have taught with the Yamaha disclavier as well as on a clavinova when I was teaching adjunct with a university 4 years ago. Both do a fine job, but are not the best choices for daily practice unless the models have changed significantly in the past 4 years.

It appears that you have made your choice regarding the piano as well as what age is best appropriate to begin lessons (although that is beside the point at the moment)and you just want validation for your choices. I can't with clear conscience give you what you want.

You would be wise to listen to what seasoned teachers say regarding this as opposed to a sales rep. No one here has anything to gain by suggesting you purchase the acoustic, for what it's worth.

Good luck,

Charlene \:D
_________________________
www.tcwresources.com

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#942621 - 01/17/05 12:35 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
animato Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Sydney Australia
Hi all \:\)

I think we as teachers are all missing the point here. If finances is not an issue, then I would definately get an acoustic piano. However the child in question is only 5 YEARS OLD!

Of all the students that you have taught at 5 years old, how many have actually stay? From my experiences I have had about 10 or so 5 year olds and under, and I can only think of only two who actually are stilled with me.

The others have given up or their mind wasnt mature enough to grasped the concept of music. So i told them to come back when their 7 or 8 years old. By that time, they have lost interest in it all together.

Parents like to romanticised about their kids being the next Mozart. But not all of us have an iq of over 180. Reality is alot of 5 years old are too young to learn music.

So to suggest a parent to go out and buy an acoustic piano for a beginning student who is 5 years old in my opinion is a very risky investment.

On the other side of the coin you can say that your kid is the 2/10 five year olds who are intelligent enough to understand music at such an early age and therefore would get a better start. Sure, but then again 2/10 isnt a very high percentage.

Im not a fan of electronic keyboards either, but Im not a fan of parents wasting a lot of money on an instrument that isnt going to get used.

So David, be wise about your decision. If money isnt an issue get an acoustic, but if money is an issue then invest in a cheap electronic keyboard, and upgrade later when your child gets better \:\)

Good luck

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#942622 - 01/17/05 05:39 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Once again, thanks for your feedback. After I made my post last night I realized I favored the digital. The funny thing is that before I began writing the summation, I thought I was truly neutral. So I'm guilty as charged for favoring the digital.

I really appreciate everyone's comments and I'm considering everything that was said. Either way, I need to decide soon because my daughter already started her first piano class last week and she really loves it.

Dave

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#942623 - 01/17/05 06:01 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Fan of the Bösendorfer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 176
Loc: NYC
Animato--My experience with 5 year olds has been the exact opposite of yours--I've had wonderful success with them, and most of them have stayed with the instrument for many years. This is in no way a reflection on either of our teaching abilities, just different experiences--I don't mean to criticise your teaching--I have been teaching longer than you, and it's just a matter of numbers LOL! (I've been teaching twice as long as some of you have been alive!) So, let's assume that David's daughter is one of those.
_________________________
Sarah

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#942624 - 01/17/05 07:02 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Groggy60 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 69
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I am not a piano teacher or a sales rep, but I am a piano player and a fan of digital pianos. I have played both and I love grand pianos. One advantage not mentioned is volume control and headphones.

I only post because my personal opinion is that Yamaha digital pianos have a very stiff key action and an incredibly hard bottom when you press firmly. I warn against them. I would recommend looking at Roland and Kawai pianos.

There is a night a day difference between inexpensive and more expensive digital pianos. I think you need to spend at least $2500 for one that feels like you are playing a real piano. I expect that most of the digital pianos that parents buy for children are cheap ones, unless the parent plays the piano. The comments about weighted keys not being weighted imply this. I feel that my Roland HPi-7 has a nicer keyboard action than any upright.

Associated Board of the Royal Shools of Music, the Australian Music Examination Board and Converatory Canada have all approved the use of Roland Digital pianos for examination purposes.
Perhaps they have gotten better.
_________________________
George

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#942625 - 01/17/05 09:57 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I am definately not a teacher but I do have the oportunity to play several different types of acoustic and digital pianos on a regular basis (I personally have both). I have to say that some of the above ressponses are clearly uninformed to downright laughable.

Modern (less than 2 years old) high quality (no not casio keyboards for children to play with as toys) digital pianos (not portable synthesizers with synth action keyboards) are truely remarkable instruments that are as good or better than most upright pianos in terms of quality of tone and action. Their actions are remarkable, and unlike many acoustics, actually consistant.

The specific model that DavidPJ mentions is Yamaha's top of the line (current) digital that is truely a remarkable instrument, and not some 10 year old keyboard based on obsolete technology.

Go to your the local Yamaha/Roland/Kawai dealer and try their CURRENT top models. I suspect tham many of you might actually change your opinions of digitals.

Sorry for the rant and it isn't my intention to offend anyone but it just appears that many posters opinions are uninformed or out of date.

Rodney

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#942626 - 01/17/05 11:35 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
Just here to second Rodney's post, some people's outright dismissal of digital pianos really is laughable, to be frank.
I play the piano myself to beyond Grade 8 standard, I've played most types of acoustic piano, as well as most models in the current digital ranges. These instruments aren't to be snuffed. For the budget mentioned of $3000, I have NEVER encountered an acoustic piano for this price that is as good as the digital for the same price. In my experience, being that the digital is sampled from a $100,000+ piano, combined with a reliable, consistent and responsive action, the digital wins hands down every time.

This isn't just my view, my father is a piano teacher and concert pianist, and had the same view as some of you, until a couple of years ago when I showed him what today's digitals can do. He (reluctantly... :p ) agreed with me!

I also know many other teachers/professional pianists who share a positive view on digitals.

My point is, I don't mind individuals not liking digital pianos, but it annoys me when someone asks for advice and then is mocked for his choice of a digital.

" It appears you have fallen in love with the CLP 170 despite the reasoned advice of seasoned professionals. That's why you and your wife are struggling with this decision."

Also, as Rodney said, you cannot give a useful opinion on this subject unless you have tried the latest models. I suggest you try some of:
Yamaha CLP170/175, Kawai CA-9, Roland HP107, Yamaha GT2/GT20/GT7, and then give us your opinions.
_________________________
A proud employee of Yamaha-Kemble Music

(please scan all posts with bias scanner...)

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#942627 - 01/17/05 11:41 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by cranky woman:

I have taught with the Yamaha disclavier as well as on a clavinova when I was teaching adjunct with a university 4 years ago. Both do a fine job, but are not the best choices for daily practice unless the models have changed significantly in the past 4 years.
But the Yamaha Disklavier is an acoustic piano?
_________________________
A proud employee of Yamaha-Kemble Music

(please scan all posts with bias scanner...)

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#942628 - 01/17/05 01:00 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Robert J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 88
Loc: west of Toronto, Ontario
I worked in a music store that sold digitals and acoustic pianos. A fine piano player who owns and performs on Bosendorfer pianos bought a digital from us. His name? jazz legend Oscar Peterson.
_________________________
RJ

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#942629 - 01/17/05 01:22 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
It's very reassuring to read the very positive comments on current model digital pianos. I've ordered the Clarinova CLP-170 earlier today from our local Yamaha dealer.

Thanks again folks.

Dave

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#942630 - 01/17/05 01:40 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
I fell in love with digital pianos when I was studying a multimedia course at university 7 or 8 years ago. And I almost placed an order to buy one which I believe was one of the Yamaha CLP series costed over $3000 then.

The idea of a digital piano is to play out through 4 or more speakers a sampling of an exellent acoustic piano. Has the technology of a digital piano advanced so dramatically recent years and it can produce a true piano sound? Absolutely not. The idea remains the same. About a month ago, I happened to have the chance to play some of the digital pianos when I visited a local Yamaha store with my daugter. As long as the sound is concerned, I do not see much improvement from a few years ago. And I noticed that Yamaha has not introduced a new series besides CLP and CVP.

Digital vs acoustic is like listening to recording at home vs live performances. I believe a five year old can appreciate the difference. And one of my five year old daughter's two biggest dreams is to have a piano with a great sound. Sure not all live performances are great, so are (used) acoustic pianos. But we know how to screen them, or with the help from a piano teacher.

Are digital pianos less expensive compared to acoustic ones? They are definitely costy considering the sound quality you get. If financial issue is a concern, a used acoustic piano serves well for young beginners. With $3000, you can get a 5-6 year U1 Yamaha.

I found an article published on Keyboard Companion Magazine. It was written in 1996 but the points stand still.

http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~vhouser/keyboard.htm

More updated information can be found at:
http://www.concertpitchpiano.com/DigitalVsAcoustic.html

I hope David can read them before making his decison.

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#942631 - 01/17/05 02:36 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
 Quote:
Originally posted by DavidPJ:
It's very reassuring to read the very positive comments on current model digital pianos. I've ordered the Clarinova CLP-170 earlier today from our local Yamaha dealer.

Thanks again folks.

Dave [/b]
Good luck with it and your daughter's music! Stick around and let us know how she's doing.

Nina

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#942632 - 01/17/05 02:56 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Quote "Has the technology of a digital piano advanced so dramatically recent years and it can produce a true piano sound? Absolutely not."

More nonesense......

The only resonable advice is to go and try for yourself. This reminds me of the arguments between CD recording and vinal. A CD will never sound as good/warm/realistic/ as an LP (even with all that noise/pops). NONSENSE!!!

QUOTE: "As long as the sound is concerned, I do not see much improvement from a few years ago. And I noticed that Yamaha has not introduced a new series besides CLP and CVP."

CLP and CVP are the model designations for the Clavinova line of digital pianos.

CLP - Without accompinament features
CVP - With accompinament features

The difference lies in the model numbers. Yamaha recently relesed the 30x series in the CVP model lineup to the north american market. I expect that we will see some additional models in the CLP lineup soon. The improvements that you do not see are: new/larger samples, addition key-off samples, string and body resonance, new and better effects and voices, etc...

The latest high ends from Roland have new keybeds with escapement features that are a dream to play. If there could be one better it might be from Kawai but that is just a matter of taste.

BTW:

How can any article written 9 years ago be as true today as it was then (and who says it was true then). 9 years is an extremely long time in the digital world.

An informed opinion is worth ists weight in gold but an opinion based on conjecture, heresay and out of date information is just NOISE!!!

Rodney

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#942633 - 01/17/05 03:32 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
My previous post speaks for itself.

As I pointed our there, I played some of the digital pianos just a month ago. Some of the teachers here also said they played it before and they do not have to play it every month to keep up with the "new" technology.

As long as it uses a couple of speakers to be fitted in the digital piano to play back from a recording or a sampling, I see no breakthrough in its technology.

I pointed out the first article was published in 1996. If you do not like it, please read my second link with an UPDATED opinion. And let me quote:

--- beginning of quoted message ---
The problem with digital pianos is that they can't really duplicate the tone and touch of a real piano. Even with today's sampling technology individual notes may be quite accurately reproduced, but the tone of notes sounding together, as in an acoustic piano - with complex harmonics mixing and resonating against a flexible wooden soundboard - cannot be matched. As a result, most music sounds rather sterile played on a digital piano.

Digital pianos don't feel like real pianos. "Touch Sensitivity" and "Weighted Action" is not the same thing as the sophisticated inner mechanism, or "action", of an acoustic piano. Digital pianos merely simulate the touch of pianos. They don't provide the same feedback or responsiveness to your playing, so your performance range is limited.

If you are considering buying a piano for your child, consider this: many piano teachers will not teach students who have reached a certain level on anything other than an acoustic piano. Digital pianos are counter-productive when it comes to technique and dynamic performance. These skills cannot be practised on a digital keyboard and then applied to a real piano action. It's not the same thing. A piano also represents a stronger commitment to a student, as a opposed to a digital keyboard that may represent the same thing to a child as a computer, an electronic game-station or a CD player.

Something else to consider is that an acoustic piano will hold its value far better than a digital. An acoustic piano can last 100 years, while a digital may be obsolete in 5 years and might be hard to even give away by then.
--- end of quoted message ---

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#942634 - 01/17/05 10:21 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Xenon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/04
Posts: 138
The model in question( CLP-170) actually has microphones built in to process the outputted sound to simluate soundboard and spatial effects. Plus, it has samples for string resonance. So its not just 2 speakers spitting out simple recordings.

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#942635 - 01/18/05 02:39 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
How many piano teachers who "will not teach" if all the student has is a digital, also will not teach if the student has a spinet? Has a cheaper upright? Has a high quality upright that has not been maintained?

I would bet there is more difference between bad and good acoustics than there is between good digitals and good acoustics.

But there's something you might not have thought of.

Bach didn't have anything remotely as good as a cheap digital. Neither did Mozart or Scarlatti. The list goes on and on. It does not seem to have hindered their music much.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#942636 - 01/18/05 08:12 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
ken070749,

I didn't look at your first link because of the old published date. However, I was curious to see what the update had to say, which for the most part is covered in your most recent comments.

An important point regarding the source of this article (Concert Pitch Piano Services) was that this company is not an independent or unbiased source of information. They are in the business of servicing acoustic pianos. They offer a full range of services including moving, refinishing, restoration, inspections, repair, pitch raises, and tunings.

Of course they are going to have a strong bias towards acoustic pianos. It is in their best interest to recommend acoustic pianos to continue their services business.

As I don't own any piano yet, I can't comment about the article specifically. However, I will say that this article by itself provides little value given its source.

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#942637 - 01/18/05 09:53 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
DavidPJ,

Digital pianos are loved exactly as they were 7 or 8 years ago. They definitely have served a purpose. As you said, not everyone owned an acoustic before. Digital pianos are on the market, and people are buying. Maybe my ears are biased, but I think we need to put an end on the debate now.

Finally, let quote from a previous post
 Quote:
Good luck with it and your daughter's music! Stick around and let us know how she's doing.

Nina
Ken070749

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#942638 - 01/22/05 11:06 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
This message is for cobs (the fellow with the concert pianist father): please email me when your father gives a classical piano concert on an electric piano.

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#942639 - 01/22/05 11:39 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 857
For David,

There's a disturbing trend these days that discounts anybody's advice if he is entrenched in a certain business (ie. is knowledgeable) and not "independent". Of course we should always analyze sources critically.

But if your surgeon told you you needed to have your gallbladder removed, would you be so cynical as to say, " Yeah. You would say that. You're only after my money, and besides that you're not independent"? Did you ever consider that she may have gone into surgery precisely because she knows a lot and cares a lot? It's good to get second and third opinions, but at a certain point, you have to yield to authority. It's a strength to do so.

I care so much about you and your daughter that I have waded through all these posts. I have no ulterior motives. I just want your daughter to have a real piano. If she asked for a bicycle, would you provide her with a stationary exercise bike?

O.K. ken you win. I'm through.

Toodles

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#942640 - 01/23/05 06:53 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ishldbpracticing88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 103
Loc: SC
Hi David,

I am a teacher with about 50 or so students, and I have found electronic keyboards are good for the first two years of learning. After that, when their technique improves then they would need a weighted keyboard instrument, e.g. acoustic piano.

There is ONLY one advantage of an electronic keyboard, it is MUCH cheaper than an acoustic piano. also it is a safer option especially if its for a 5 year old kid, because alot of kids do give up because they have no interest in it after a couple of months, and if you're going to buy a piano, it would be like a good piece of furniture without ever being used.

My advice is to get the cheapest casio keyboard you can buy, and if the teacher is experienced enough, they would recognised if your kid is a natural in the first couple of weeks/months, THEN you should consider buying an acoustic piano.

Another option is renting a piano for the first year to see if your kid is interested it. Then maybe you can buy a piano after that? Just dont spend alot of money first up, because ALOT of kids DO GIVE up within the first year or so.

Hope this advice helps you.


I think that parents should exercise alot of care in seeing "if the your child is interested in it." Piano is almost always fun for kids for the first few months or a year. And then it gets a little harder. It requires more practice time, and it's just not new anymore. I went through that stage when I was about 12. I had been playing for two years. I hated piano. I wanted to quit. My mom told me to stick with it for a few more months and see what happened. I'm so glad a stayed with it. I could't imagine what would have happened if I would have quit in those few months of discouragement. I wouldn't be playing piano today, for one thing. Anyways, that's my opinion.
_________________________
"The aim and the final reason of all music should be nothing else but the glory of God and the refreshment of the human spirit."
-Johann Sebastian Bach

P.S. Rach rocks

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#942641 - 01/23/05 01:40 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
a cheap electronic keyboard is not the same thing as a digital piano though. unless you know the difference, you could hardly make a judgement on this.

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#942642 - 01/23/05 04:23 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
I own both a full digital and an acoustic and I know the differences. I also shopped the new digitals when I bought my acoustic. I am not a dealer, teacher, or otherwise in the business, but I do love piano music.

There are a LOT of advantages the digital has over the acoustic. Yes, the most obvious is cost, but also portability and ease of moving the instrument, use of midi/computers, use of headphones during practice any hours of the day or night, no tuning or regulation required, no DamppChaser or environmental worries, I could go on... it's almost all upside on the digital side and almost all downside on the acoustic side. The acoustic piano has one main thing going for it: it is an acoustic piano, and the digital is not.

The argument about acoustics holding their value is fallacious. Let's say I buy a new Yamaha C3 acoustic for $28,000. Right now, a ten year old Yamaha C3 in great shape is worth $13,000 (see eBay) so over ten years it's a proposition that loses fifteen grand. If I bought a digital for $4,000 and it was WORTHLESS ten years later, then financially I would have been better off with the digital, only losing four grand instead of fifteen.

I do love the acoustic and it's practically all I play. I get to feel like a bigshot behind such a beautiful piano. But I should add that the reason I bought it was for my boy -- the piano teacher suggested an acoustic.

Congratulations DavidPJ on your new piano. Perhaps someday you will decide to buy a grand piano, but by that time your daughter may be able to voice preferences when you go shopping...

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#942643 - 01/25/05 04:24 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Piana Justice Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 299
Loc: Greenville, NC
well, many may mean well when they say that the acoustic piano is better than the electronic or Clavinova [Yamaha], but my question is, what if you don't, like me, have the circumstantial means of owning an acoustic piano, as much as i want one? well, for example, i live in government housing, and don't have the room, enviromental factors, [dry natural gas heat during the winter, no central air, and therefore a very hot, humid house during the summer]nor the financial means to own an acoustic piano? if i do get a paino, then i'll probably rent one, from what i've been hearing up here.
to be honest, i think the acoustic grand piano owners on this forum have acted a little bigshot lately by posting threads like this. don't you know that threads like these [although i know that ignorance when it comes to which piano is best isn't bliss] make those of us who own digital, clavinova, whatever, feel bad and inadequete, even though it's not intentional. it's like you're telling us [those of us who are serious pianists at least] that we NEED an acoustic, never mind the fact that not all of us can have the means of getting one.
but don't think i'm feeling sorry for myself, but i've just got something to say. i do and can understand by experience that there's nothing like the feel of an acoustic piano, but do i really NEED one right now? besides, there's a time and place for everything. and you can do things with digitals that you can't do with acoustics. \:\)
_________________________

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#942644 - 01/25/05 08:14 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
The original question was:

 Quote:
So I thought I would ask the teachers on this forum what they thought of a 5 year old learning on a Yamaha CLP-170 vs something like a low-end new Yamaha or Kawai acoustic upright? I'm referring to something in the $3000-$3500 price range. My intention is to have this instrument last her 5-10 years.[/b]
I don't believe there has been any intent on the part of these reponses to be a "bigshot". This question was posed to PIANO TEACHERS[/b] ......and how we feel a child should best learn, on an acoustic or digital. I, for one, taught on an acoustic upright for ten years before purchasing my acoustic grand, and my students have been successful on both. ( \:\) They do play better on the grand \:\) )

This question was not posed to just anyone who plays the piano. Several of those who answered this post were not qualified to do so,IMHO, as the question was directly related to TEACHING the piano to a young child and how that relates to their development as a pianist.

Your comment:

 Quote:
it's like you're telling us [those of us who are serious pianists at least] that we NEED an acoustic, never mind the fact that not all of us can have the means of getting one.[/b]
Is not relevant to this particular thread. The original question was regarding which instrument would be better for his budget, not if he had the means at all.

Yes, there is a time and place for everything. I think you have taken offense where none was intended. Besides, no one can make you "feel" anything but you \:D
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#942645 - 01/26/05 07:41 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by cranky woman:
I don't believe there has been any intent on the part of these reponses to be a "bigshot". This question was posed to PIANO TEACHERS[/b] ......and how we feel a child should best learn, on an acoustic or digital. I, for one, taught on an acoustic upright for ten years before purchasing my acoustic grand, and my students have been successful on both. ( \:\) They do play better on the grand \:\) )
[/b]
I don't think the original poster complained that badly, nor did I think the teachers were being "bigshot" (perhaps a little overly conservative, maybe.)

I did think the suggestion that a teacher refuse to teach a child who has only a digital was a bit on the highhanded side, though, wouldn't you agree? The opinion that it is preferable to buy an acoustic seems quite reasonable coming from a professional teacher. The refusal to teach does not. Scarlatti, after all, could never afford an acoustic piano and as far as is known never played one once, but still produced a good bit of music. Maybe his teacher should have refused to work with him.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#942646 - 01/26/05 03:24 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
 Quote:
I did think the suggestion that a teacher refuse to teach a child who has only a digital was a bit on the highhanded side[/b] , though, wouldn't you agree? The opinion that it is preferable to buy an acoustic seems quite reasonable coming from a professional teacher. The refusal to teach does not.[/b]
Where did you get that impression from? TimR?

Cranky Woman only said she would not teach a kid with access to an electric keyboard[/b] when Animato suggested a cheapest casio keyboard from a previous message.

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#942647 - 01/26/05 03:47 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
JazzP120 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 136

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#942648 - 01/26/05 05:44 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cranky woman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 282
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for the clarification Ken!

I love teaching and have taught for several years, all types of students with many types of instruments. In my early days of teaching I did teach a few students with electric keyboards. What a disaster.

I have a great student retention rate ,the only ones who quit are students who move away, or high school seniors who get too busy. When I was taking students that practiced on a keyboard, I was lucky to get them to continue past a few months. It is too difficult for them to make the transition between electric keyboard and acoustic.

This is why I specify in my policy letter to prospective students this:

"The parent is to provide a piano in the best possible condition (keyboards and organs are not appropriate), a metronome, and a place allowing quiet and uninterrupted practice. Be helpful, interested and supportive!"

I also let parents know that I may not be the best teacher for everyone. If their goal is for their child to become a proficient pianist, then I may be the right choice for them. If their goal is for their child to "try it out and see if they like music", I may not be the best choice for their goals.

Back to the point at hand....if the parent has $3,000 to spend on an instrument, from a teachers perspective, I believe that the money is best spent on a quality acoustic. And yes, you can find a good acoustic for that amount of money.
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www.tcwresources.com

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#942649 - 01/26/05 07:19 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I guess it all comes down to your definition of a keyboard as the following could all be considered in that category:

The Yamaha lineup

PSR line (49-76 key synth action arranger)

DGX-50x Portable Grand (basiclly a PSR but with 88 semi-weighted keys)

Pxxx series digital stage piano (a working musicians keyboard with 88 key weighted GH Piano action)

S08/S80/S90/Motif ES8: Portable Syth/Workstation with Balanced 88 key weighted action.

CLP/CVP Clavinova: RCM certified digital pianos with weighted GH/GH3 piano actions in an upright or mini grand cabinet (3 pedals).

Clearly these instruments are all intended for different audiences and some are intended for piano playing/practice while others are not.

I would assume that no teacher would recommend a piano student work with a PSR or DGX keyboard, and would only recommend an Sxx series as a starter. While a Pxxx series would suite a new student for a few years, it really is intended for a working musician and not a budding concert pianist. The Clavinaova line is directly intended and designed for piano study, and while you get what you pay for (lower/cheaper models sacrifice some realism in sound and touch) the best models are truely remarkable in their acoustic piano like qualities and should last a student (or any non-concert pianist) for many years.

Rodney

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#942650 - 01/27/05 09:49 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by Candyman:
This message is for cobs (the fellow with the concert pianist father): please email me when your father gives a classical piano concert on an electric piano. [/b]
He did a piano and violin recital on a Roland digital piano last year, actually. :p
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A proud employee of Yamaha-Kemble Music

(please scan all posts with bias scanner...)

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#942651 - 01/27/05 11:32 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
My two cents on Digital. I've a Roland Classical Digital with Hammer action....etc.... (I do have daily access to an acoustic though)

The biggest advantage to me is to be able to use head phones to practice ANYTIME I choose without disturbing the rest of my household. If I owned an acoustic (which I would love to have also), my practice time would be limited to....hmm.....when no one was home or for short periods of time when practicing the same few bars of my current piece or study could be tolerated.......
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It's the journey not the destination..

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#942652 - 01/27/05 01:51 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Groggy60 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 69
Loc: Ontario, Canada
 Quote:
I am a teacher with about 50 or so students, and I have found electronic keyboards are good for the first two years of learning. After that, when their technique improves then they would need a weighted keyboard instrument, e.g. acoustic piano.
Such misinformation is not helpful to anyone trying to make a decision on digital verses acoustic. Digital pianos do have have weighted keyboards. The nicer ones have better actions then any upright. Most even have 3 different weightings top, middle and bottom just like a grand piano does. The original question was about a digital piano, not a spring action synthesizer type keyboard.

Comparing spring action keyboards with weighted ones is meaningless, like comparing a grand piano with a harpsichord. There both mechanical with strings therefore they must be the same.
_________________________
George

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#942653 - 01/28/05 10:20 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
This question is for Rodney [/b] and Cobs[/b].

Why are top-of-the-line digital pianos approved only for level 1 examinations by AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board)?

 Quote:
Candidates should consult the local AMEB office regarding the use of digital pianos for examination as there may be certain requirements to be considered. The AMEB will not[/b] provide digital pianos for examination, but studio teachers who offer their studios for examination may make use of their own approved digital piano for Level 1 (Preliminary to Fourth Grade)[/b] examinations.
Please visit their web site for details:

http://www.ameb.edu.au/exam/digital.html

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#942654 - 01/28/05 12:48 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Ken070749,

Let's start with the fact that very few of the approved instruments would currently be rated as top-of-the-line, while many of the older models certainly were in their day. Actually some of the most advanced aren't even listed but that's not surprising either as they are so new.

Piano examinations beyond grade 4 (Advanced) should be performed on an acoustic piano since the techniques being reviewed are not necessarily possible with all the approved digital instruments. That said, I do believe that the testing bodies will re-asses these level and instruments in the near future, with fewer being on the approved list, and supporting testing grade being increased.

While they say that "Examinations" for Advenced levels (5-8) must be done on an acoustic, it nowhere states or suggests that lessons and/or practice must/should be done on an acoustic.

Clearly the AMEB feels that a student can learn and practice on the approved digitals up to grade 4 (and likely beyond) even though many of the approved instruments are many years old and lack most of the features, realism and response of the newer models.


Quote from DavidPJ:

"So I thought I would ask the teachers on this forum what they thought of a 5 year old learning on a Yamaha CLP-170 vs something like a low-end new Yamaha or Kawai acoustic upright? I'm referring to something in the $3000-$3500 price range. My intention is to have this instrument last her 5-10 years."

First off the question relates to a new student (grade 0) (in this case VERY young but that really doesn't matter) learning on the latest and one of the most advanced digital pianos made. Clearly the AEMB and RCM both feet this type of instrument is more than appropriate and should be suitable at least until the student graduate from grade 4 (but likely beyond). Do the teachers in this forum disagree with these two well respected music education bodies??

I don't think anyone feels that the current crop of high-end digitals currently duplicate all the very subtle nuances of a well regulated and tuned piano, but for a large group of people (including piano students at or below grade 4 according to the AMEB), this simply doesn't matter. They are good enough!

When recorded music started to be deliverd on CD format, the vast majority of music collectors argued it just didn't sound the same as an LP. Well there are still a few audiophiles that insist on records played through a tube amp on $10k speakers but most of us regard them as eccentric; after all CDs are good enough.

I'm beginning to feel like I work as a salesman for the digital manufacturers (I don't).

Rodney

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#942655 - 01/28/05 01:11 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Paul Y Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1083
Loc: Nashua, NH
Let me add this: The digital piano will NEVER replace the acoustic piano. It wasn't developed to do that! Yamaha came up with the idea in the early 80's as an instrument for "baby boomers" who didn't want to follow in their parent's footsteps by playing the organ (pretty smart, eh?)

Anyway, the digital piano is an instrument that could be construed as an "interim" instrument, certainly FAR better than just a "keyboard" (with no weighted action). The piano teacher's complaint about "electric pianos" is that the "keyboard" does not help develop muscles or strengthen little fingers during the early learning years. They'll allow it for a given time. But the lack of a weighted key combined with no working pedals gives them little hope of properly teaching piano technique!

Regarding loss of investment: While digital cameras change within 6 months (as do computers), digital pianos (at least the Yamaha Clavinova line) usually have a model lifespan of about 2 years. And while there might be just slight changes when the line is reconsidered, major breakthroughs are few and far between in this day and age. Changes are usually made to enable (Yamaha) to remain "ahead of the pack" in popularity and/or market share (of which they are far and away number one)!

Our store will give a digital piano buyer 2 years to trade a digital towards any acoustic during which they will get back the purchase price of their Clavinova.

So don't necessarily consider a digital piano as your last instrument. Approach it as more of an "interim" move. Once you are on your way to Broadway, then you can move into the world of acoustic instruments!
_________________________
Retired Industry Professional

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#942656 - 01/28/05 01:57 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
You make an interesting point Paul, but I would change Broadway to the Symphony Hall. Every time I go to a live musical production (at least for the last few years), the pianist are playing digitals. So far, I haven't seen anyone walk out of a show yet or complain that the piano sound in the music wasn't good enough.

Given the the vast majority of us adults or our children will NEVER achieve concert pianist skills or status, do we really need (I didn't say want) an acoustic piano. The best most of us could hope for is to be a working musician, and most of them use digitals today.

Again, my point is: it's just possible that the digitals have become "Good Enough" (at least for the masses and working musicians).

Rodney

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#942657 - 01/29/05 03:51 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
Apparently the electronic syllabuses are not available on the AMEB web site. Could someone shed some light on this? What is in Grade 4 and the higher grades? I have found the experience of playing on a good digital piano to be on par with a good acoustic piano for pieces such as Clair de Lune and Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum. What grade are these in the AMEB syllabuses?

Rodney wrote,
>I'm beginning to feel like I work as a salesman for the digital manufacturers (I don't).

If it is starting to feel that way, let me tell you that, from my standpoint, you certainly are not presenting an overly positive pitch to make a sale. I have read a lot of pro and con posts in this thread from various people, and your comments seem even-handed, not "gushing" about digital pianos.

Rodney wrote:
>Piano examinations beyond grade 4 (Advanced) should be performed on an acoustic piano since the techniques being reviewed are not necessarily possible with all the approved digital instruments.

If you discarded the approved digital instruments that are no longer top-of-the-line and just kept those that are (in my experience this would be something like a Roland model with escapement), then, what techniques being reviewed could not be performed on the digital instruments?

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#942658 - 01/29/05 10:46 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
Rodney,

I never said all of the digital pianos on AMEB's list are top of the line. But the one DavidPJ just bought, Yamaha CLP-170 was Yamaha's top of the line (current) from your opinion on January 17. CLP-170 is currently on AMEB's list.

posted by you on January 17, 2005 12:57 PM
 Quote:
I am definately not a teacher but I do have the oportunity to play several different types of acoustic and digital pianos on a regular basis (I personally have both). I have to say that some of the above ressponses are clearly uninformed to downright lauphable.

Modern (less than 2 years old) high quality (no not casio keyboards for children to play with as toys) digital pianos (not portable synthesizers with synth action keyboards) are truely remarkable instruments that are as good or better than most upright pianos in terms of quality of tone and action. Their actions are remarkable, and unlike many acoustics, actually consistant.

The specific model that DavidPJ mentions is Yamaha's top of the line (current) digital that is truely a remarkable instrument, and not some 10 year old keyboard based on obsolete technology.

Go to your the local Yamaha/Roland/Kawai dealer and try their CURRENT top models. I suspect tham many of you might actually change your opinions of digitals.

Sorry for the rant and it isn't my intention to offend anyone but it just appears that many posters opinions are uninformed or out of date.

Rodney
I was curious to know how you came to the conclusion that high quality digital pianos are as good or better than most upright pianos in terms of quality of tone and action if you rate AMEB grade 5 (above level 1) as advanced and you only like live musical productions (suppose there was one) played on digitals.

People have been coming to the Internet hype digital pianos for quite some years now. It has never stopped. You are laughable if you are not one of them.

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#942659 - 01/29/05 11:02 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
BTW, CD (recording) vs LD (recording) is a not a good analogy when it comes to real sound and recording.

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#942660 - 01/29/05 11:15 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
tl91pink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 134
Loc: Midwest
I had worked really hard on a beautiful song to play for a choir to sing at a basketball tournament. I was going to play as the choir walked up and for their song. The piano they had set up for me to play was a digital piano. Well, I started to play when they walked up, and the piano got unplugged!! It stopped dead cold, and the girls were walking up in dead silence. By the time the cord was found that got unplugged (There were several extension cords around.), then when I started to play, there was no sustain, and this was a song with a lot of legato and needed sustain desperately. It sounded awful, like I was playing a cheap little casio keyboard with no sustain. I told the choir leader that next time I want a REAL piano!! (With a real (acoustical) piano, it could not just stop by getting unplugged, and the sustain would not just go off like that.)

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#942661 - 01/29/05 11:25 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
JazzP120 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 136
 Quote:
Originally posted by tl91pink:
I had worked really hard on a beautiful song to play for a choir to sing at a basketball tournament. I was going to play as the choir walked up and for their song. The piano they had set up for me to play was a digital piano. Well, I started to play when they walked up, and the piano got unplugged!! It stopped dead cold, and the girls were walking up in dead silence. By the time the cord was found that got unplugged (There were several extension cords around.), then when I started to play, there was no sustain, and this was a song with a lot of legato and needed sustain desperately. It sounded awful, like I was playing a cheap little casio keyboard with no sustain. I told the choir leader that next time I want a REAL piano!! (With a real (acoustical) piano, it could not just stop by getting unplugged, and the sustain would not just go off like that.) [/b]
So why does that make a digital piano horrible? What basically happened is when it got unplugged, you were probably using the damper pedal, and it reversed the polarity. That is why there was no sustain.

Just out of curiosity, what make was the digital piano?

Chris

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#942662 - 01/30/05 03:18 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by ken070749:
 Quote:
I did think the suggestion that a teacher refuse to teach a child who has only a digital was a bit on the highhanded side[/b] , though, wouldn't you agree? The opinion that it is preferable to buy an acoustic seems quite reasonable coming from a professional teacher. The refusal to teach does not.[/b]
Where did you get that impression from? TimR?

Cranky Woman only said she would not teach a kid with access to an electric keyboard[/b] when Animato suggested a cheapest casio keyboard from a previous message. [/b]
If that was her intent then I apologize. I thought she meant any keyboard.

I did not notice that she made any distinction between keyboards. The original question was whether a top of the line $3,000 digital piano would be good enough for a 5 year old.

The answer from most of you seems to be no. (Maybe you really mean a cheap Casio keyboard is not good enough for someone about to enter a conservatory.)

You are entitled to your opinion but I find it less than convincing.

My daughter started taking lessons with only a spring action keyboard to practice on. Her teacher didn't like this, nor did my daughter, because at each lesson she had to get used to a real keyboard. We bought a digital piano with real weighted keys and three real pedals, and her progress has been much faster since, even though it is not the top of the line (not a cheap one either.) There is no detectable difference in feel going to the teacher's piano. On the other hand the teacher does not have a grand. It's a small acoustic, I think you call it a spinet?
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#942663 - 01/30/05 11:26 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by ken070749:
This question is for Rodney [/b] and Cobs[/b].

Why are top-of-the-line digital pianos approved only for level 1 examinations by AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board)?

 Quote:
Candidates should consult the local AMEB office regarding the use of digital pianos for examination as there may be certain requirements to be considered. The AMEB will not[/b] provide digital pianos for examination, but studio teachers who offer their studios for examination may make use of their own approved digital piano for Level 1 (Preliminary to Fourth Grade)[/b] examinations.
Please visit their web site for details:

http://www.ameb.edu.au/exam/digital.html [/b]
Ok. Well I feel it futile to reiterate my own views on the use of digital pianos once again, and it seems like I concur with Rodney's views in this post anyway.

But I'm happy to give a direct argument to your question:

(a) Who says that what the AMEB or any music examination board says about digitals is necessarily good advice? We're talking about personal opinions here.

(b) Or, if you do think that such organisations are in a good position to judge, a view that I can understand perfectly well... Then here are TWO of the largest international examining boards who both say that a digital piano can be used for ALL piano exams up to and including UK Grade 8.

The 'Associated Board'

http://www.abrsm.org/?page=exams/gradedMusicExams/pianoGenRegs.html

Trinity/Guildhall Exams, London

http://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/_downloads/Guildhall/EntryMaterial/Exam_Regulations.pdf

(look at Section 4.4.c)

I cannot find the terms and conditions of the American RCM, but they endorse Yamaha digital/acoustic pianos, so I would guess they agree with the two above.

So in summary, either exam boards don't know what theyre talking about, or if they do: then so far we have found 1 that agrees with using digitals for the first few piano grades, and 2 (or maybe 3) that agree with digitals for ALL piano grades. I look forward to your response, ken070749.
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#942664 - 01/30/05 11:32 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Y:
Let me add this: The digital piano will NEVER replace the acoustic piano. It wasn't developed to do that! Yamaha came up with the idea in the early 80's as an instrument for "baby boomers" who didn't want to follow in their parent's footsteps by playing the organ (pretty smart, eh?)
[/b]
You're right in saying that they werent ORIGINALLY developed to replace real pianos. (although I think it was Roland first not Yamaha?)

That was because the technology at the time would not have allowed a digital to made that could ever replace an acoustic. Times have changed however - 20 years later, the sound is far better, as is the action of the keyboard on digitals. As you can see from this entire thread, some people (not all, obviously) would be of the opinion that the latest and best digital piano models can sometimes be a perfectly good substitute.
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#942665 - 01/30/05 11:34 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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.
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#942666 - 01/30/05 11:35 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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#942667 - 01/30/05 03:07 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
2MP Offline
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Posts: 59
Loc: Hawaii
I'm not a teacher, but have a couple of kids who started playing when they were six years old. Started with a decent digital piano (not a cheap keyboard) and they progressed well for 5 years. Would they have done better on a comparably priced acoustic? Who knows, but their teachers had no problem with them practicing on a digital piano - until recently, when they gently suggested that we should consider an acoustic because of their progress. Advantages of the digital - ability to use headphones to practice early in the morning without bothering anyone, no need for semi-annual or annual tunings, doesn't take much space, decent touch and sound (the kids like the feel of the digital better than several new acoustic pianos we looked at recently). While we're upgrading to a good quality grand, it would have been difficult to justify the investment when they were just starting out. But in answer to the original question, I would not hesitate to start a 5 year old on a digital.

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#942668 - 01/30/05 03:51 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
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Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
Cobs,

Firstly, I don't argue with people about whose opinion to listen to when it comes down to digital vs acoustic.

Secondly, a digital piano simply can not[/b] be as good as or better than most of upright pianos as Rodney claimed in his original message which you have seconded. AMEB review every single model of digital pianos submitted for approval. It might be "laughable" to some people that none of the teachers here played CLP 170. However AMEB's position are quite clear that "top of the line" CLP 170 is not good enough.

Thirdly, ABRSM's allowing digital pianos for exams does not imply that they agree with you that "modern digital pianos are as good as or better than most of upright pianos". Their requirements of an instrument as a piano are actually very lenient:

 Quote:
a clearly recognizable piano tone, a touch-sensitive keyboard with full-size weighted keys, and an action, compass and facilities which match those of an ordinary piano, including a sustaining pedal.
I have no doubt in my mind that a $150 yard sale acoustic (in tune and a technician may say it needs to be regulated or even voiced before use)no matter how horrible the sound is will be accepted by ABRSM for exam purpose, so is a digital piano made 8 years ago.

ABRSM's regulation by no means support the claim that modern (top of the line) digital pianos have made some significant improvements. You have to believe this: sound played back through a few small speakers is not going to be as good as the original (even though it was sampled from a very good acoustic). If a person can not tell the difference with his/her ear, then he/she should respect a professional piano teacher's opinion.

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#942669 - 01/30/05 04:57 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Piana Justice Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 299
Loc: Greenville, NC
-thank you, MP1, Ken, JazzP120, Sandy Moore, and all of the others who think that digitals [or Clavinovas] are just as good as the acoustics. i needed to that point reinforced.
-i'm sure that those kind of pianos will meet my musical needs for years to come. where have some of you been? living under a rock? digital pianos are [from what i've heard so far] more advanced than ever.
-besides, i've always loved the Rhodes piano, and why go out and buy one when you can get 2-in-one with a Clavinova, which has both features? besides, they don't require as much maintainance as acoustics. [just read Larry Fine's book, 'the Piano Book'] there is just so much info in that book, that my brain's scattered. [literally!!!]
-and like i said again, you can do things with a digital that you can't do with an acoustic, like hook headphones to it, so that you won't disturb anyone in your household. it also has several modes to it [Rhodes, vibes, celesta, piano, etc.]
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#942670 - 01/31/05 07:47 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by ken070749:
Cobs,

Firstly, I don't argue with people about whose opinion to listen to when it comes down to digital vs acoustic.

Secondly, a digital piano simply can not[/b] be as good as or better than most of upright pianos as Rodney claimed in his original message which you have seconded. AMEB review every single model of digital pianos submitted for approval. It might be "laughable" to some people that none of the teachers here played CLP 170. However AMEB's position are quite clear that "top of the line" CLP 170 is not good enough.

Thirdly, ABRSM's allowing digital pianos for exams does not imply that they agree with you that "modern digital pianos are as good as or better than most of upright pianos". Their requirements of an instrument as a piano are actually very lenient:

 Quote:
a clearly recognizable piano tone, a touch-sensitive keyboard with full-size weighted keys, and an action, compass and facilities which match those of an ordinary piano, including a sustaining pedal.
I have no doubt in my mind that a $150 yard sale acoustic (in tune and a technician may say it needs to be regulated or even voiced before use)no matter how horrible the sound is will be accepted by ABRSM for exam purpose, so is a digital piano made 8 years ago.

ABRSM's regulation by no means support the claim that modern (top of the line) digital pianos have made some significant improvements. You have to believe this: sound played back through a few small speakers is not going to be as good as the original (even though it was sampled from a very good acoustic). If a person can not tell the difference with his/her ear, then he/she should respect a professional piano teacher's opinion. [/b]
You seem to have ignored my point - that if one is to use the opinion of exam boards to make their decision, then ABRSM, Trinity/Guildhall, and maybe RCM all say that a digital piano is fine for taking any piano exam. Only AMEB disagree. This is fact.

What you say about the lack of significant improvements (and about sound from 'small speakers') however, is purely subjective. Myself and others disagree completely, we've already explained why WE like digitals, and you've said why you haven't, there is nothing really more to be said on that particular point. I'd rather we just concentrated on the issue of examining boards for the moment, the one which you brought up.
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#942671 - 01/31/05 09:57 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
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Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
WOW.... Let's not turn this discussion into a brawl.

I think it's worth while presenting many different opinions so that the oringinal poster get a broad view of the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of all instrument options.

Ken,

(my opinion) of upright pianos isn't very favorable but again is just (my opinion). Different instruments effect/inspire people differently.
I have tried dozens of uprights of many different makes (both new and used) and haven't found one yet that I like (either feel or sound). This can also be said of several grands and digitals as well (but not all).

There have seen/played some remarkable Grands that if I had won a lottery would be in my home today but sadly I can only afford one (well maybe 2 if I can save a few more pennies). Several digital instruments are already in my home because they also moved me.

FYI

I have a synth, stage piano, keyboard workstation, a tone generator/module, digital piano and an acoustic grand piano, as well as several soft sampled pianos that run on a dedicated computer all in a home studio. I hope you'll understand that I have some small amount of experience with the entire range of instruments we've discussed here.

This discussion seemed to have turned south because some of the responants lumped all of the different digital instruments together with the blanket statement that these are not apporpriate for learning to play piano. This information is VERY misleading and quite frankly un-informed.

Now it is obvious that many well respected testing bodies now accept digital pianos (notice I didn't write synth, stage piano, or workstation)are good enough for performing examinations (yet they may differ on the specific grade level allowed). If one can take an examination at that level then clearly they feel it MUST be good enough to practice on.

Finally let me make a little prediction (just to stir things up a little more). Digital instruments have brought the piano (as well as many other instrument voices) to the masses and will continue to do so at an accelerated pace. Their advantages (price not being the least) makes all of the arguments presented here almost mute, except to the purests who just have to have an original acoustic (I'm also one of those). Perhaps the question will soon be: "Do teachers feel there is any reason I should purchase an acoustic (other than nostalgia)? Everything has its time and eventually is replaced by an evolution of technology. Even the piano was a replacement for the Harpsichord and Clavichord and not to many people own those today. Digitals instruments (here it come...) WILL replace the acoustic piano as the prefered instrument in most households (if they haven't already).

Can a digital piano today faithfully duplicate all the subtle nuances of touch and tone that a high quality acoustic can...

NO!!!

Yet there are literlly thousands of things that can be done with a digital instrument that can't be done by an acoustic. Besides, can a piano today faithfully duplicate the touch and tone of its predecessors.... Obviously not and nor would you want it to.

Now if you or your child were well on their way to concert pianist stardom, then I would be the first to say RUN (don't walk) to your nearest (Your favorite piano brand here) dealer and purchase the biggest/best Grand piano that you can afford. For the rest of us (I suspect 99.9...%) a digital is good enough, and offers many other advantages that just can't be ignored. Besides, in the future, acoustic pianos may become a butique item that only a very few will even want and we'll arguing if the next new thing is good enough to replace our digitals.

I'm stepping off my soapbox now. :-)

Time to go and play something... Will it be on a synth, digital piano or acoustic today?.... tough decision,... I think I'll play on the digital stage piano,... after all I learned on it so I can't be good enough for the Grand. (Sorry, I just had to add a smart#@@ remark)

Rodney

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#942672 - 01/31/05 10:34 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ken070749 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/05
Posts: 18
Cobs and Rodney,

I never said digital pianos are good for nothing. And I sincerely respect your passion for digital pianos.

Peace,

Ken070749

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#942673 - 01/31/05 10:43 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
Well, this forum needed a bit of action!

Now, who wants to discuss politics...? :p
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#942674 - 01/31/05 11:11 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Rodney Offline
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Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Or religion, oh wait.... this was religion.

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#942675 - 02/01/05 12:39 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
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Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
I'm responsible for starting this "lively post" on digital vs. acoustic pianos for my 5 year old daughter. It's been a while since I looked at this thread and today I was surprised to see the discussion still going on. Obviously many people on both sides feel very strongly about their preferences.

First of all, thanks for the many comments, from both teachers and non-teachers. As many have pointed out, there are pros and cons for both kinds of pianos, and I think one has to look at their own particular situation and decide which piano, acoustic or digital, is best for them.

For me, and my 5 year old, the Yamaha Clavinova is an excellent solution. I couldn't be more happy with it. I'm in awe how good the Grand Piano voice sounds with iAFC for spacial reverberations and resonances. The new natural feel GH3 grade weighted keys are remarkable. I like the piano so much that I've also begun learning to play. The many added benefits of this digital make learning very enjoyable. And my dealer thinks highly of the CLP-170 too; they gave me a 3 year 100% trade credit towards any piano, digital or acoustic.

However, I recognize that in 5 years my CLP-170 will be considered old technology. But that's fine. At that time I can re-evaluate pianos, my daughter's interest, and my interest, and decide if we're going to take this any further. Maybe at that time we'll decide to keep the CLP-170 and purchase a good quality baby grand. Or, maybe a new digital will be the solution.

Either way, my daughter and I now have one very fine piano to begin instruction. And this piano gives us incredible flexibility to learn with and enjoy, along with an extremely slim possibility of any maintenance costs. The CLP-170 is warranted for 5 years. And the piano is always in tune.

If she outgrows it at grade 5, so be it. For 5 years we had the pleasure of a fine instrument that is played by professionals. I'll just be happy that she's excelled so well that her skills demand a better piano. I couldn't ask for more.

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#942676 - 02/02/05 09:27 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Vintagefingers Offline
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Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 331
Loc: SE
 Quote:
I like the piano so much that I've also begun learning to play.
David, that is the best testimony for making a wise choice for you. The most important thing is engaging your daughter and as an added benefit, yourself, to the joy of making music. I agree with most of the teachers who concur that anyone who plays long enough will likely end up with an acoustic AND maybe keep a digital for fun as well.

I am a beginner, a little more than one year, so I wouldn't attempt to answer this except for myself. A while back I indicated to my teacher that I was having a vintage Chickering grand rebuilt. He immediately asked what I was going to do with the Kimball console I currently own. It seems many of his students are playing on keyboards and digitals and would rather own an acoustic. I have listened and even played a very expensive Kawai (7,500.00, yikes!!!) It did everthing but dry the dishes, quite impressive, BUT it somehow sounded different than an acoustic piano. YMMV, but that was my impression, I couldn't warm up to it. Playing was fun but there was no justification for the price in my mind. Of course the dealer was trying to push these instruments, higher markups, no set-up costs and the potential for upgrading customers to the latest and greatest. He later confided to me that acoustic pianos don't pay the bills in our market. He also indicated that most people that buy digital units are doing so for the various convenience reasons these instruments offer. For a 5 year old there is plenty of time to consider an acoustic instrument in the future if that is where it goes.


A bit off topic for RODNEY

Your cd vs vinyl analogy is indeed very funny. This topic is a continuing ongoing debate among many audiophiles and it is amusing to me as well. I have both and keep a tt because I won't get rid of my record collection. But I am going to get serious about one of your points, don't dismiss tubes as an amplifying device until you've heard a great Output Transformless (OTL)tube amp. It makes the vast majority of solid state devices sound quite strident and compressed in comparison. It also shows the bandwidth limitations of transformer coupled tube amps. If the objective is reproducing music as close to the recording and performance as possible, I find these amplifiers the very best for that purpose.

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#942677 - 02/02/05 12:25 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Paul Y Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1083
Loc: Nashua, NH
To DavidPJ: As a former Yamaha employee for 20 years, I have been around since the inception of the first digital piano in 1983 by Yamaha (sorry COBS, Yamaha holds the earliest weighted key digital piano, the YP-40?). The CLP 170 has taken the industry by storm because if the built in and active microphone system (thus simulating the acoustics of a grand piano. It is a terrific instrument. By the way, new Clavinovas are warranteed for 5 years parts, 1 year labor (not 3).

I wrote earlier in this discussion that digitals were never meant to replace an acoustic piano! They don't and they never will! However, having said that, they have a certain niche in the industry for those who cannot (for space reasons, financial reasons or those who live in apartments) forsee investing many thousands of dollars for a piano for little Susie who might give it up in 2 years! I said it was a terrific "interim" choice for many. Once parents see that their child is serious and will continue, then they can consider an acoustic for their home.

Years ago, piano teachers chringed at the thoughts of their students playing digital pianos! However, since so many parents purchased "keyboards" (Casio or Yamahas, touch sensitive but NOT weighted keys) which failed to develop their students finger muscles, teachers are finally realizing that digital pianos are alright as the "interim" piano. They are certainly FAR better than the "keyboard" idea!

Do they take the place of an acoustic? Certainly not! But Yamaha's little idea back in 1983 has led to today's industry dollars totalling nearly $50 million annually.

Finally, I believe that digital pianos have enabled a huge portion of the world to reconsider taking up playing the piano as a hobby! They are easy to find, they're affordable, transportable (somewhat), need no maintenance or tuning and they can practice in private, using headphones! The "piano purists" still turn their noses up at the word "digital". But that's okay! There's a saying perhaps many of you know here in the music industry: "there's an a-- for every bench!" The digital piano is not for eveyone! But for those who like them, there's nothing better!
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#942678 - 02/03/05 06:17 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
DavidPJ Offline
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Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Ohio
Paul Y, thank for the message. It's reassuring to hear the CLP-170 is selling so well.

Thanks for correcting my warranty statement. I was thinking of the Kawai that I looked it briefly, which is warranted for 3 years. For accuracy I corrected my post to show 5 years instead of 3.

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#942679 - 02/03/05 12:50 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
And here in the UK we get 2 years parts, 2 years labour.
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#942680 - 03/01/05 06:58 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
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Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
 Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Y:
I have been around since the inception of the first digital piano in 1983 by Yamaha (sorry COBS, Yamaha holds the earliest weighted key digital piano, the YP-40?). [/b]
Sorry to break it to both of you guys, but 1974 brought the Roland EP-30 to the world. The EP-30 was the first weighted, touch sensitive, electric piano to be made commercially available.

PPBC

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#942681 - 03/06/05 10:57 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ljohnson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 17
Loc: USA
David, Your post mentioning number 7 in your list, regarding the richness, feel and authenticity of the acoustic should be evidence enough that your daughter should have the benefit of a good acoustic. Why else would anyone want an instrument? Having played both digital and acoustic, having taught on digitals and acoustics for several decades ( I am 47!) I know that there is a distinct difference in the two. While digitals have their place, there ain't nothin' like the real thing!
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#942682 - 03/08/05 06:46 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
mxs Offline
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Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Toronto, Canada
It's been kind of shocking to read how much misinformation was presented in this thread by some teachers.

I have a lot of respect for any musical teacher, but if you guys have lost track of the digital piano development or were never interested in the first place you should politely withold your comments as they could create more harm than good, especially if a newbie is looking for an opinion.

DavidPJ, congrats on your new piano. It's funny how you started to play piano because it reminds me so much of my piano story.

Play away

Marek

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#942683 - 03/08/05 06:47 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
mxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Toronto, Canada
It's been kind of shocking to read how much misinformation was presented in this thread by some teachers.

I have a lot of respect for any musical teacher, but if you guys have lost track of the digital piano development or were never interested in the first place you should politely withold your comments as they could create more harm than good, especially if a newbie is looking for an opinion.

DavidPJ, congrats on your new piano. It's funny how you started to play piano because it reminds me so much of my piano story.

Play away and have fun.

Marek

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#942684 - 03/12/05 03:01 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
 Quote:
Originally posted by ljohnson:
David, Your post mentioning number 7 in your list, regarding the richness, feel and authenticity of the acoustic should be evidence enough that your daughter should have the benefit of a good acoustic. Why else would anyone want an instrument? Having played both digital and acoustic, having taught on digitals and acoustics for several decades ( I am 47!) I know that there is a distinct difference in the two. While digitals have their place, there ain't nothin' like the real thing! [/b]
Um, scroll up?
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#942685 - 03/14/05 09:23 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Piana Justice Offline
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Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 299
Loc: Greenville, NC
well, now, after someone cleared up all of the B.S. and misinfo, i can now go out and get a digital piano w/o piece of mind. i just hope someone doesn't give anymore unsound advice or tales about digital pianos, especially if they never owned one or just have an acoustic in their home. i just want the bigshots out there to know that digital pianos have improved since the 80s.
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#942686 - 03/14/05 02:58 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
snake Offline
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Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 65
Loc: uk
unless i missed it in the thread no one has mentioned wether a digital piano is suitable for pop jazz blues etc rather than classical piano pieces which im sure require extreme nuances of touch.
Would some teachers please comment?
thanks
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#942687 - 03/14/05 07:58 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
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Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
snake,

An argument can be made that jazz and pop require as much nuance as any classical music. Only you can decide whether or not the digital is right for you!
IMHO a digital piano is a perfectlty acceptable instrument for almost any purpose!

PPBC

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#942688 - 03/15/05 09:46 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
cobs Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
I agree with PPBC, there's no real difference between playing pop/jazz/blues and classical.

They all require a high level of technique, which a modern digital piano is more than adequate for, IMO.
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#942689 - 03/16/05 12:54 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
musiclady Offline
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Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Hello, been lurking for a while, first-time poster to this forum...

I think a good-quality digital piano is a valid option. I myself would rather play a good digital piano than most acoustic pianos, and, in fact, I love the Yamaha Clavinova.

A digital piano is a great choice for people who live in townhomes or apartment buildings, where there are likely to be noise control restrictions, or space is limited. I know some people really like the fact that with digital pianos you can practice without disturbing anyone.

Meri
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#942690 - 03/16/05 02:51 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
snake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 65
Loc: uk
tried a few new upright painos and one baby grand, the sound was fine but i hated the feel of the action on all of them.
In conclusion I much prefer my cvp 305
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#942691 - 03/30/05 10:33 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
princessclara2005 Offline
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Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by snake:
unless i missed it in the thread no one has mentioned wether a digital piano is suitable for pop jazz blues etc rather than classical piano pieces which im sure require extreme nuances of touch.
Would some teachers please comment?
thanks [/b]
Play jazz/blue, a digital piano is just fine, on top of that, a good one will have a wide range of song-writing and orchestration function, which allows you to record different layers of voices, so much like a one-man band.

However, even with a much improved digital piano, the imitated weight-oriented action, the material is still different when you compare a digital and an acustic.

Digital pianos are programmed and computlized, it records the action of a weight sensitivity, any action on an acustic is completely done by a live person.

Either you like digital, or acustic, that's really a personal choice, to me, I like a heavy action piano on the acustic, all digitals key actions feel way too light for me.

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#942692 - 03/30/05 06:38 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
barganax Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Oakland/Santa Fe
princessclara2005 wrote:
>I like a heavy action piano on the acustic,
>all digitals key actions feel way too light for me

I have never before heard such a complaint in regard to a modern digital piano with a weighted graded hammer action. In fact, I was under the impression that most such digitals have a somewhat heavier downweight than many acoustics. That is the reason that I prefer Roland -- it is the digital with the lightest action among Roland/Yamaha/Kawai, the closest to what I would want in an acoustic. But if a person doesn't like light, I would simply advise to choose Yamaha or Kawai. If a person wants a very heavy action, I suppose one solution is to buy an acoustic and have it adjusted.

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#942693 - 03/31/05 10:46 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by barganax:
If a person wants a very heavy action, I suppose one solution is to buy an acoustic and have it adjusted. [/b]
Yup, I have alway played on a heavy actioned acoustic, my fingers got used to that touch, it's hard to change my preference over years of training with that.

The often happen situtation, my fast running scales sounded out of control over a light-action keys....which always make me mad.

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#942694 - 04/01/05 08:43 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
I've enjoyed following this thread so much I have been moved to throw in my first ever posting.
My wife bought me a Roland 3 years ago, following which I returned to learning the piano after a break of 27 years, hoping to advance beyond the heights of grade 1 (with merit!) that I previously achieved.
For a year or so my sister and piano teacher were encouraging me to get an accoustic so I have just bought a yamaha C2.
I love playing the yamaha, but the missus and kids keep coming up with a pair of headphones and telling me to shut up and go back to the Roland. If any acoustic piano owner has space and money the considerate thing to do is own a digital and pair of headphones to complement their pride and joy.

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#942695 - 04/03/05 09:02 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
it seems this thread never going to die...

anyway, regarding the touch of digital/acoustic, i would say that it depends on what digital/acoustic. i have a Yamaha digital, but when i visited my friend who has a Yamaha acoustic (U1), i actually felt the action on U1 much lighter than my digital's. on the other hand, i played on a Steinway baby grand and an upright before and felt the actions 'heavy'.

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#942696 - 04/04/05 07:42 AM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Apparently the digitals are much more rugged than the acoustics.

People who play the acoustics loudly in church break strings all the time.

See the thread about "Do I need a lawyer" in the Piano Tuner-Technicians forum.

(Of course you don't have to hit a digital hard, you just turn the amp up. I know that. I didn't know that acoustics broke so often.)
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#942697 - 04/12/05 06:55 PM Re: What do teachers think of digital vs. acoustic
princessclara2005 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 429
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Gosh, what are you hitting with it?!

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