Best digital piano under $1000?

Posted by: mistigation

Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 04:42 PM

This is my first time posting on this forum so I'll try to be as clear as possible. I know that lots of sounds are subjective but I need some advice. I've played on an acoustic piano for 8 years and I'm buying a digital piano so I could play in my dorm. With that said, I'm looking for an instrument best in piano sound quality and realism compared to a grand piano for under $1000. I've read around and I'm considering the following digital pianos at this point:

Casio Privia PX-830
Yamaha YDPS31
Yamaha CP-33
Yamaha YPG-635


Which is better in terms of sound quality and realism to a grand? I don't care too much for the sound of other instruments. Are there any other digital pianos I should consider?

Finally, thank you for the help!

-The moderator suggested for me to post in this section.-
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 05:34 PM

Some of those models have speakers, some don't. Do you need a model with speakers? Or will you be using headphones or some other amplification?
Posted by: gctKAZ

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 07:16 PM

What I would suggest is to visit a music store and play around on all those pianos you listed. Choose one or two that you would most prefer, and watch your local buy & sell for one to pop up 2nd-hand. I got my YPG-635 this way and while I didn't save a whole lot because stuff costs more in Canada (only saved about $100 against driving across the border to buy a new one in USA plus duties, or $350 against buying a new one locally), I'm pretty happy with what I got. Then again, I buy and sell a lot of stuff on craigslist so I might be more comfortable with that than others. Kind of sucks how things still cost 30% more in Canada even though our dollar is nearly at par with US.

Anyway, if you're still willing to spend up to $1000 on a 2nd-hand model, you can probably even look at some higher-end models while you are in the store.

If you're playing in a dorm room, I am guessing you'll be using headphones most of the time. Bring along your favourite pair when you go testing the pianos.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 07:28 PM

Originally Posted By: mistigation

Casio Privia PX-830
Yamaha YDPS31
Yamaha CP-33
Yamaha YPG-635


The CP-33 is in a class above the others. The others are all entru level pianos. The Cp-33 has Yamah'a better "GH" key action and more sophisticated sound generation. BUT,... All the others have a stand included and built in speakers. The CP33 lacks a stand and speakers.

It would be interresting to know why you don't go for an even lower price. The Caio PX130 and Yamaha P85 are both about $500 And have the same sound and key action as the ones you listed And I suspect that in a dorm you'd hand the partable models the CP33 is portable, it is designed to be a stage piano.
Posted by: glg

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 08:18 PM

We have a PCM Digital Piano PX 201 Technics that I had to move into a church because I got an acoustic piano. It is on loan to the church, but they don't have a real desire to buy it, so it is also for sale. It imitates good grands, and although the sound isn't as perfect as a great acoustic, it is a good practice instrument that does a nice job of imitating technique on the keyboard.
Posted by: mistigation

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/14/10 11:24 PM

First of all, thank you for your responses.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Some of those models have speakers, some don't. Do you need a model with speakers? Or will you be using headphones or some other amplification?

I actually do not have speakers in my dorm. However, I don't really mind if a model doesn't have one as long as it sounds (and feels) similar to a grand. That model must also be superior to the models that include speakers. With that said, obviously I would like to play for friends - and with speakers - it would make this much easier.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: mistigation

Casio Privia PX-830
Yamaha YDPS31
Yamaha CP-33
Yamaha YPG-635


The CP-33 is in a class above the others. The others are all entru level pianos. The Cp-33 has Yamah'a better "GH" key action and more sophisticated sound generation. BUT,... All the others have a stand included and built in speakers. The CP33 lacks a stand and speakers.

It would be interresting to know why you don't go for an even lower price. The Caio PX130 and Yamaha P85 are both about $500 And have the same sound and key action as the ones you listed And I suspect that in a dorm you'd hand the partable models the CP33 is portable, it is designed to be a stage piano.

Thanks for the input. I had actually thoroughly researched the Casio PX130 and Yamaha P85 while browsing the forums. From what I can gather, both are half and half. Casio is known for making "cheaper" items and I've heard that some dislike how the keys could move side to side. On the other hand, while Yamaha is known for making pianos, they have tailored off of the low end of digital pianos allowing newer Casio models to directly compete against them.

However, I welcome everyone's input on this. If you feel the Casio PX130 or Yamaha P85 doesn't have a significant difference (in sound and feel) compared to the higher end models I pointed out, please reply to why you think this. My main reason for choosing the higher end Casio models was due to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBdxgPlZlFw . I encourage everyone to click because you could hear a significant difference in terms of depth.

I am definitely considering Yamaha P85 or Casio PX130 as a contender. Regardless, I'm sure I will buy a Casio or Yamaha.



Posted by: anotherscott

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/15/10 12:09 AM

Quote:
I actually do not have speakers in my dorm. However, I don't really mind if a model doesn't have one as long as it sounds (and feels) similar to a grand. That model must also be superior to the models that include speakers. With that said, obviously I would like to play for friends - and with speakers - it would make this much easier.
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If you feel the Casio PX130 or Yamaha P85 doesn't have a significant difference (in sound and feel) compared to the higher end models I pointed out, please reply to why you think this. My main reason for choosing the higher end Casio models was due to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBdxgPlZlFw . I encourage everyone to click because you could hear a significant difference in terms of depth.


From what I can tell, since you say you don't really mind if a model doesn't have speakers, the PX130 and the PX830 will sound the same, since the only sonic difference is in the speakers (and the amp driving the speakers). So if you use headphones (or some external amplification), they should sound identical, they appear to have the same sound engine. (Though the PX830's "ivory touch" keys have a slightly nicer feel to their surfaces.) Even if you'd like speakers to play with friends, if you use headphones most of the time, I think you'd be basically getting the same piano for much less money if you got the PX130, and the only real sacrifice is that it won't sound as good for your friends (but still not bad).

The Yamaha P-85 has largely been replaced with the P-95. I happen to think it plays better than the PX130 (or, by extension, the PX 830), but people may have different opinions about that. I haven't played a CP-33, but at least on paper (and from what people have said), it is noticeably better than the P-85/P-95 (which means also better than any of the Casios).

I haven't played the YPG-635, but it uses one of their lower end piano technologies, it appears to be the same one that's in the NP-V80 which I have played (though with 64 note polyphony instead of 32)... it's okay but I'd say it's not as good as the P-85/P-95, much less what I would expect from the CP-33.

Essentially, the YPG-635 and the PX-830 are low end piano engines in fancier suits. The CP-33 is a higher end piano engine.
Posted by: mistigation

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/15/10 03:14 AM

Thank you for your help. It looks like I will be considering the Yamaha CP-33 or P-85/95. Anyone else have any suggestions on other Yamaha models?

How would the CP-33 compare to the Yamaha P-155?
Posted by: mistigation

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/15/10 02:14 PM

Actually I'm considering instruments in this order right now: Yamaha CP-33, P-85, P-155

I chose Yamaha because I liked its sound compared to Casio's. In my opinion, Casio's sound is a bit more "digital" probably due to their piano samples while Yamaha's sounds more authentic.

My final question would be how does Yamaha's Arius 140/141 compare to the CP-33?
Posted by: galaxy4t

Re: Best digital piano under $1000? - 10/15/10 07:56 PM

Since you have narrowed the choice down to Yahama and dropped Casio from consideration, I would concentrate on either the CP33 or P155. The P-85 is discontinued and replaced by the P-95. Of the three the P-95 is inferior to either the CP33 or P155 both in action and sound. It uses GHS which is a very light action. It also uses a single layer piano sample with little dynamic range. The P-155 is a very nice digital piano and I think I would go with it over the CP33. It gives you speakers and also a 4 layer piano sample. So it is a bit more advanced over the CP33. You could probably buy it for close to the price of the CP33 if you wheel and deal.