digital baby grand?

Posted by: do-re-me

digital baby grand? - 06/23/08 06:59 PM

I am a "former" piano player. I say "former" because it's been a while - but I'm anxious to get my groove back...
I want a digital piano because I live in a townhouse.I can put on headphones and nobody can hear me. Want a baby grand because it's going to go in my living room. No offence to anyone here but I've been told that piano salespeople can be like used car salesmen, so I have questions before I go to the piano store and try one out...

What is reasonable price range and a good name brand for a decent digital baby grand?

Since it is digital, what can I expect in terms of built-in obsolescence? Like computers, I realize these things can become out of date.

What is up with the case? If there are no strings, is there any accoustic reason at all for the case on a baby grand digital or is it just for show?

Would I be better off using the gizmo that silences the sound when you want it to on a regular piano? I am interested in composing,recording, and playing around with CDs etc but is it really worth it?

As a final note...as much as I wish I did, I don't have eleven grand to spend on a piano or I'd probably opt for a real baby grand! HELP!
Thanks in advance for your help!
Posted by: tenders

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/23/08 08:42 PM

You don't REALLY want a digital baby grand. It isn't the money...it's the space they take up, and the slightly dorky look they impart to a room. May I suggest that you look into cabinet digital pianos. They still look like furniture, use the space efficiently, and don't scream "poseur."
Posted by: do-re-me

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/23/08 09:27 PM

Thank you tenders but I wasn't asking for your approval. I was asking for your advice. I have plenty of room to be a "poseur"and I do not fancy an upright, sorry. I am not a beginning player. (Geesh! I thought a piano forum would be a gentle place to seek assistance....!)
Posted by: BeowulfX

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/23/08 10:33 PM

@do-re-me:

Try the following links:

ROLAND Digital Grands

Yamaha CVP 309GP

Yamaha CLP-295 GP

Kawai CP 207 Digital Grand

I would assume that the half-open lid in these digital grands are more for aesthetic/design purposes to truly make it look like an acoustic grand (although we know it isn't of course). But I would also think that the stereo speakers are "housed" in what normally would be the area for the soundboard and strings in a real-acoustic grand.

Generally speaking, the more features (e.g. additional instrument tones, built-in track sequencers, larger LCD screens, storage capability, use of actual wood parts for the white keys, etc.), the more expensive these digitals would become.

I'd say any of the Big Three: Kawai, Roland or Yamaha digital grands would be a good choice.

Lastly, before you guys start arguing, I think tenders was referring to the digital grand piano as "poseur" not you do-re-me...so...

Keep the peace
Posted by: do-re-me

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 07:41 AM

Appreciate the constructive advice Beo. I realize, of course, that it is preferable to be a purist but circumstances dictate that a digital version is probably the best option for me. Plus, I have a few tunes of my own going on in this old head and I play a lot by ear. Don't want anyone to hear it! I'll look into the models you've quoted here and try 'em out.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 08:07 AM

The higher end Yamaha digital in the grand case (GCP1000) has an actual soundboard (driven by speakers of course), but that's the only model I know of that really takes advantage of the additional space afforded by the grand case (i.e. the case is for aesthetics only).

Obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder. While it's certainly true that every year more features are added and they generally trend towards being more "acoustic like", there is no reason why a decent digital purchased today should not last you for a significant number of years depending on your abilities and your "pickiness". But it's like anything else, you have to find your sweet spot of price vs performance (i.e. you purchase a higher end model with the wooden keys and fancy sound effects and it will theoretically last "longer" than a cheaper model whose action is already a couple of generations behind). You might be perfectly happy with how the piano sounds and feels for quite a while.

Is a silent upright better? Only you can decide if that's the case (some folks like having a real piano feel but you still have the extra weight and the tunings, etc of an acoustic). Same goes for Yamaha vs Kawai vs Roland, only you can tell which sound/action suits your particular taste (you'll get lovers/detractors of all models here).

Don't know about price as I've never seriously looked at any of the models in the grand cabinets. Again, you'll have to decide what features/capabilities you are willing to give up to have the cabinet. You should simply go try as many as you can out and start narrowing it down to which brands/models/features/price that you are most interested in. You can then start doing more specific price related searching.

BTW, I think tenders point is that you are going to pay a premium for the grand cabinet with no real technical/acoustic benefits. A premium that might be better spent on a more capable piano (or even going towards saving for an acoustic later on). Looking forward, you may want to consider if it's easier or harder to sell a digital in a grand cabinet. Or if you decide that you want to keep the digital after purchasing an acoustic (which many folks do), the space considerations of having two grand shaped/sized pianos.

Good luck.
Posted by: Eternal

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 10:46 AM

 Quote:
BTW, I think tenders point is that you are going to pay a premium for the grand cabinet with no real technical/acoustic benefits. A premium that might be better spent on a more capable piano (or even going towards saving for an acoustic later on).
Couldn't have said it better.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 11:03 AM

"Supposedly" the grand cabinet takes advantage of the space by using more powerful speakers and the placement of such in the grand case..so in effect the money spent is for the bigger speakers.. \:\)
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 11:44 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
"Supposedly" the grand cabinet takes advantage of the space by using more powerful speakers and the placement of such in the grand case..so in effect the money spent is for the bigger speakers.. \:\) [/b]
That may be the case on some of the pianos, but you can check for instance the Yamaha CVP line. The CVP309 and CVP309GP (console and grand respectively) have the exact same speaker/amp complement. Now it can certainly be the case that they have different speaker enclosures with the grand taking advantage of the extra space to create more bass, but I would assume if that were the case, they would have mentioned it. One note, if you examine the newer CVP4xx series, you'll notice that the "bottom" of the piano extends down a fair way and that they have speakers placed there. I suspect that that area is specifically designed as a speaker enclosure mitigating any space benefits of a "mini grand" design.

Again, that's just for the Yamaha's, don't know about Roland/Kawai. In either case, I would suspect that any difference would be minimal for the price paid. Bottom line is that the OP needs to go and listen to determine if there is any tangible benefit to the grand cased pianos. If they can hear it and it matters then they should feel free to spend the money. Then again we won't talk about how little it matters if you are spending the majority of time listening through headphones anyway ;\)
Posted by: jjtpiano

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 01:19 PM

I'd look at Yamaha. I played a digital electric grand once at a mall with a big band, and I really liked it.

Of course, I like the way Yamaha makes any piano.

The mall management told me that the Yamaha digital grand I played retailed for ~$10,000.
Posted by: rodmichael

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 01:34 PM

I have the CGP-1000 and really enjoy it. I didn't know am a "poseur." I thought I had opted for the convenience of no twice-annual tuning, no need to humidify, ability to use headphones and not disturb others, ability to record my performances easily (USB thumb drive), a built in player piano function, internet connectivity for lessons at $9.95 per 3 months, internet connectivity for downloading new music for the player piano, and the best (as of March 2008) features available on a digital piano.

While I awaited my CGP-1000 for 6 weeks, the dealer loaned me a brand new (out of the box at my house) CVP-309GP. A bit smaller, and a lot less expensive, digital piano of the generation just preceding the CGP-1000. I enjoyed the heck out of the CVP-309GP and I don't know that these old poseur ears can tell the difference from the CGP-1000. I'll bet you can get the CVP309GP for well under $9,000 these days. I'd recommend it as a good choice.

Sincerely,
Posted by: Gyro

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/24/08 02:04 PM

There are digital baby grands ranging in
price from less than $1000, apparently, to
more than $30,000--the $30,000 one is a player
piano that will apparently take any music
CD or mp3 file and play it, no matter what
kind of music it is.

A digital baby grand is the same as
a console digital--that is, essentially
a computer with a keyboard and speakers--
only the case is different. The grand
case is apparently only for show and doesn't give
an acoustical benefit like on an acoustic
grand.

Since all digitals pianos are essentially
computers with a keyboard and speakers,
like pc's there is not going to be that
much difference in performance between
inexpensive ones and expensive ones.
Even the least expensive digital pianos
have sound and action modeled after
a concert grand, so they'll be pretty
good. Most people end up buying a digital
in the $1000-5000 price range, but it's
not necessary to go even that high, in
my opinion, because you can get a good
one for less than $1000. My current digital
was $900, bought sight-unseen online, and
I use it to work on the most difficult
classical repertoire, and it serves fine
for that purpose. Thus, I would see no
problem with buying a digital baby
grand for less than $1000. And since
all weighted-key digital pianos give
grand piano-like performance, you cannot
really outgrow even an inexpensive one,
since you can't outgrow a grand piano-like
instrument. As far back as the 1980's
there were already good weighted-key
digital pianos that gave grand piano-like
performance, and if you have one from
that era, it will perform much like
today's digital pianos.

There are acoustic uprights today that
have a middle pedal that shifts a piece
of felt over the strings so that you
can play with a muffled sound, but playing
like that is very unnatural and unsatisfying.
There is also a so-called silent upright
that has the circuitry of a digital piano
stuffed into the interior. When you
want to play silently the hammers are
blocked from hitting the strings and
then operate the digital circuits like
on a regular digital piano--but you
can only play with headphones in this silent
mode. These are also expensive, around
$9000, and what you have is essentially
a digital piano, so one might question
the need for one of these when you can
just buy a digital piano for much less.

Also, since digital pianos are essentially
computers with a keyboard and speakers,
like pc's they are easy to assemble and
thus small companies can produce pianos
that are just as good as those from the
big manfacturers. And buying them sight-
unseen online should not be a problem.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/25/08 06:36 AM

 Quote:
originally posted by Gyro:
And buying them sight-unseen online should not be a problem.[/b]
I agree with some of Gyro's observations but disagree with the above statement, that is exactly what I did when I bought my first DP and it proved to be a nail. If, like me, you are a novice pianist and not accustomed to judging the differences and nuances of DP's, or Acoustic Pianos, my best advice is to choose from the big makes, Yamaha, Roland, Kawai and now Casio, none of those make bad pianos but some models, from each manufacturers range, will be better than others...usually depending on price. Which ever model you are interested in there will usually be a PW Forum member who has first hand knowledge of it, so ask here.
Posted by: do-re-me

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/25/08 06:38 PM

Thank you all, for such good and obviously experienced, advice! I sorely miss my old REAL piano of "yesteryear", sold years ago when the parents moved out of the "family homestead"!

From what I've read here, there probably isn't much advantage to having a "baby grand" configuration on a digital - except for speaker space?... It's all mostly for show then, am I right? ( I was afraid of that!) Oh, well, "poseur" or not, I still like the look! I also like the features you get with this technology and I just don't want to see an upright in my living/dining room area... Does this make me a real neophyte? Oh well...!!!

See, I'm a teacher. Over the years, kids have brought in digital keyboards for presentations etc.. I've tried 'em and, strictly from a piano standpoint,I've found 'em kind of, ah well, forgive me... but cheesy! I don't necessarily need to have the Bosanova or the Cha-cha-cha with my Haydn! I would like, however, to have an instrument I can play in peace without anyone else hearing it. I want to be able to record my ideas before they're gone (or melted into other people's tunes I hear in my head!).

I'm recently hooked on iMac's "Garage Band" and this kind of digital technology is slowly becoming familiar to me. I think what I'm hearing from everyone here is, you have to try it out and decide for yourself, so that's what I'm going to do!

Can I get back to you on it? I'm really stoked about this! Dying to get back to my beloved piano, now that school is out here in the TO. Wish me luck and again...thanks to all of you!
Posted by: hotkeys

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/26/08 10:30 PM

Welcome to the forums Do-re-mi!

I was dead set against a digital piano until I tried the Casio Privia Line of digital pianos . I found the built in speaker was not Hi-fi as you would expect from a stereo. However, I tried a pair of headphones and was very impressed. And given the right sound system, the instrument would sound even better. This will be my piano for a while until I can get a grand and I put that on the back burner for a while.

- Mark
Posted by: DrKoch

Re: digital baby grand? - 06/29/08 03:50 PM

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/3629.html#000000
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/4026.html#000007
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/6/3651.html#000004
Posted by: NEPianoMan

Re: digital baby grand? - 07/23/08 07:36 PM

I am very interested in pricing on the CVP309GP. If anyone has anything to share on this it would be appreciated. Thanks