DP for Amateur

Posted by: Hygot

DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 09:22 AM

OK, so my head is spinning and I was hoping to spin it some more with an opinion or two from here.

This is my brief history... I have had a Yamaha PSR-620 for maybe 15 years, and it is long overdue to upgrade (don't know how I survived with 61 keys for this long). I play as a hobby to relax after work and am a total amateur, nothing professional. Almost all of what I play is classical (Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, etc).

The main thing I care about is purchasing a DP with as close to a feel and sound as an acoustic piano. Don't care about any "bells and whistles". It will never be hooked up to a computer, don't care about how many instruments it has, don't care about recording music. Only thing I care about is having a piano that I don't have to tune.

In the past month or so, I've tried a number of DP's. Some of which are the Casio PX-130, the Yamaha P105, the Kawai CN23, and the Yamaha YDP-161 "Arius". I've also tried a Roland, but forget the model.

Here are some of my very random thoughts, sorry if it's a bit long...

I had my heart set on the Yamaha P105, and was all set to buy it, then someone introduced me to the Kawai CN23, and I loved it (the look and the feel were much better). After doing some more research, I discovered that the CN24 was released quite recently, and I'm actually waiting for the dealer to get one in so I can try it. I'm thinking I can get a much better deal on the CN23, but don't know if the 92 note polyphony will affect me at all. Also I've read CN24 is using different (better?) hammer action, and has 192 note polyphony. Again, don't know if it even makes a difference to me regarding the 92 vs 192 note polyphony.

The YDP-161 was nice too, but personally I liked the sound and feel on the Kawai better. Plus, the new YDP-162 is coming out in the next month or two as well, and didn't know if I should wait. I just am unsure if I should spend the $1500-$2000 on the Kawai or Arius for a hobby, or just spend the $800 or so on the P105 (with accessories), and probably still be perfectly happy. Or even if someone like me who knows nothing about DP's would be happy with a $400 PX-130 (although it did feel awfully "plastic" to me). I know that model is about 3 years old, and I haven't tried the upgraded PX-150 yet, and didn't know if I should get my hands on one of them.

Well, that's about it, again sorry if it was a bit long winded.

Thanks!
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 10:16 AM

Since you just play for fun, and are not bothered too much about bells and whistles, or the plethora of features, functions, and confusing specifications, then you should go with something you 'fall in love' with in a store, within budget. So the Kawai is a good starter. The Yamaha P105 is also decent, but already you have to choose style - a slab like the Yamaha or a console like the Kawai.

The minimum is I think a decent hammer action, and nice piano sound. Decent and nice can be defined by you, but if you hang around here too long you will get lots of different and confusing opinions, and your head will fall off. smile
Posted by: scorpio

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 10:18 AM

... and your wallet will get thinner. wink
Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 11:04 AM

I tried the P105, and the Casio PX-150 / PX-350 (they have the same keyboard mechanism), and preferred the Casio's.

But that's _my_ fingers, not yours.

Most important, get something with a sound you can live with. Second most important, don't break the budget too much.

. Charles
Posted by: scorpio

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 11:17 AM

Yes, I agree. You should try the samples several times; over the course of several days. I believe it's important that you are comfortable with the feel AND sound (which includes the onboard speakers). As an example, for me, I did not like the Casio digital pianos at all (to the point that I question myself since so many are quite fond of Casio, it baffles me).

What is critical is that you want something that will draw you to it each and every day!
Posted by: Hygot

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 12:43 PM

Thanks for the info so far everyone. Yes, I've been doing my own research by reading forums and watching YouTube reviews. So much to consider. Been reading about tri-sensors, and how the YDP apparently doesn't have that feature, etc. I really did like the CN23, but like I mentioned, I was concerned that the 92 polyphony would not be enough, but I think that is a concern only if layering many instruments. I don't think, that would be a factor if playing a classical piece. However, not sure because that's what the salesperson told me, and I have a habit of not believing anything that they say.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 04:22 PM

I don't think 92 polyphony will be a problem if you are just or mostly using piano sound. You could try playing one of the classical pieces in your repertoire where there are lots of chords and the pedal held down, or phrasing across lots of notes with the pedal down.

Unless you are an advanced player I also don't think the 2 or 3 sensor keyboard is going to make that much of a difference. Again, play a piece with lots of trills or mordants, or repeated fast notes and see how you feel it responds.

Posted by: Charles Cohen

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/15/13 07:29 PM

Quote:
. . . I just am unsure if I should spend the $1500-$2000 on the Kawai or Arius for a hobby, or just spend the $800 or so on the P105 (with accessories), and probably still be perfectly happy. . .


That's a question only you can answer. And you can only answer it _after_ you've tried some DP's at the top end of your range -- a Roland FP-7F, or something like it.

Leave your checkbook home, the day you do that.<g>

. Charles
Posted by: Hygot

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/18/13 09:27 AM

Thanks for all your responses, and thanks for this forum in general...lots of nice information on it.

One more question about another DP I tried, if anyone can tell me what they know about it. I tried another Arius, the YDP-S51 which for some reason I liked more so than the YDP-161. I don't know why, because they seem to use the same keyboard technology. I really liked the slim look of it too.

My question is, why does there seem to be such limited information about the YDP-S51 online? The salesperson told me that it's a model that Yamaha only lets piano stores sell. I didn't know if he was putting one over on me or what, but I can't find any online, so maybe not. There is very little information on these forums about it, and I find only a small number of video demonstrations of it. Is it a new model, or one that is older and something was wrong with it. Just making sure I don't get "taken" if I decide to get this one.
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/18/13 11:40 AM

Originally Posted By: scorpio
As an example, for me, I did not like the Casio digital pianos at all (to the point that I question myself since so many are quite fond of Casio, it baffles me).

Which models did you try? Did you dislike the feel, the sound, or both? They really do differ quite a bit. I've liked some Casios quite a lot, and others not at all.
Posted by: warlock214

Re: DP for Amateur - 02/18/13 12:36 PM

I tried the Yamaha P95/P105 and Casio PX-130/PX-150. I preferred the action of the Casio PX-150 and bought it. The Yamahas sounded good but I just couldn't get over the feel and action they lacked. Go try some of the keyboards in your area. Take or borrow dealer headphones and just try a few slabs.