Too early to upgrade?

Posted by: Physics

Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 01:50 PM

Hiya,

I've only been playing piano for about two and a half months and I've only had 5 lessons so far. I own a Yamaha YDP-140, which is probably on the lowest end of the low end piano's. Because I wasn't sure I was really going to enjoy playing, it seemed good enough to start out with. However, I'm already growing frustrated with it, partly due to playing on my teacher's grand piano. She teaches me things I can not replicate on my digital, which makes playing it not as enjoyable as I think it could be. It doesn't do dynamics nearly as well for instance and the touch is just way too light. Would it be a good idea to upgrade already (I have my eye on the CLP-330 or 340) or should I stick with it untill I have some more experience under my belt?
Posted by: signa

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 02:14 PM

i wonder if you could take it back to the store and replace it with a YDP160 instead, which would certainly have a better action GH than GHS on 140.

there's nothing wrong with upgrading if you don't like the DP you have, as long as you could afford it. this is a common mistake some beginners would make: buying a cheap DP and soon finding themselves wanting for the better.
Posted by: Physics

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 02:23 PM

Yeah, I was actually aware of that problem when I bought it, but I had not realized it would come so soon. I will ask the store, but it seems unlikely they'll take it back, I've been playing it for 2.5 months already. Perhaps if I trade it in and buy a new one they will give me a decent price for it though, that would save me the hassle of having to sell it myself.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 06:57 PM

Be sure to actually spend good face time with the 330/340 (or whatever else you have your eyes on). It's possible that you may find that after spending a lot of time of your teachers grand that even those units won't satisfy you. I'm not saying this WILL happen, just that it would be a good idea to really work any unit you have interest in to avoid having the same problem crop up again. You may find that a nicer unit will feel nice at first because you're comparing it to your YDP, but after purchase, and comparing to your teachers grand, it may feel lacking again.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 09:15 PM

Is it too early to upgrade?

Absolutely not!!

There is a good chance the store will let you trade it in for in store credit.

And now you at least have an idea of what you're looking for concerning the action (feel/touch), which IMHO is one of the hardest things to assess as a beginner.

Let us know what you end up with!
Posted by: setchman

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/17/09 09:38 PM

If you are already frustrated with what you are playing then I would say it's definitely time to upgrade, even if it's only been a few months. It's only going to be that much more enjoyable for you once you find an instrument that you know you won't outgrow in only a few months. You've already figured out how important a good action is so that, in and of itself, is justification enough to upgrade.

The very first digital piano I ever owned I sold within a few months for all the reasons you've described. If you spend enough time doing your research, you will be able to find one that will satisfy you for a long time to come.
Posted by: Gyro

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/18/09 01:42 PM

Physics, I grew up with nine
yrs. of classical lessons and
acoustic pianos only, as there
were no digitals back then.
I played an upright at home
and uprights and grands in the
teachers' studios and at recitals.
One of my first teachers, when
I was about 7, had a big grand
in the studio, and I never noticed
anything unusual about it as
compared to the upright at home.

I quit in high school and
didn't play a note for 20 yrs.
Since restarting as an adult
I've bought five pianos, the
first acoustic and the rest
digital, as follows: a high-
quality acoustic upright,
bought in the early 1980's for
around $6000 US--a similar
model today would be
in the ~$20,000 price
range; a digital bought in
1989 from a piano dealer for
$1700; a digital bought online
in 2005 for $700; a digital
bought online in 2006 for $900;
and my current digital bought
online in 2009 for $600.

You can see from the above that
the trend with me has been
toward less and less expensive
pianos, even as I've gained
in experience and playing
ability: ~$20,000(~$6000) --->
$1700 ---> $700 ---> $900 --->
$600. I personally see no
real difference between an
economy $600 digital and a
$20,000 upright for practical
everyday playing--you've got
to hit the right notes in the
right time at tempo (never mind
the "dynamics" and "nuances"),
and you can practice doing that on
anything with keys, even
a $150 unweighted 61-key
portable keyboard. It is
not uncommon in the US for
students to take several yrs.
of classical lessons using
a 61-key portable to practice on.

So I'm a little skeptical about
you wanting to "upgrade" after
only 2.5 months at it. Your
YDP 140 is about $1000, and it's
much better than my $600
digital, but I can play anything
on my economy digital, from
jazz improv to big concertos.

At 2.5 months you're a babe
in the woods at the piano, an
instrument that typically
takes about 10 yrs. just to
get your feet with. I would
suggest waiting a while (a
long while) before "upgrading."
Your YDP 140 is esssentially
an electronic emulation of
a grand piano, and you can't
really outgrow it in my view
because you can't outgrow a
grand piano. Hit the right
notes in the right time at tempo.
If you can't do that, you
can't play, and all the "nuances"
and "dynamics" in the world
aren't going to do you any
good.
Posted by: Huygens

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/18/09 05:06 PM

I would upgrade, if I just could find a 12 pounds CVP-509.
Posted by: dewster

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/19/09 12:10 AM

If the action on your current keyboard is OK, I'd spring for Pianoteq (I wish to god you could buy it in a box) or a very nice sample with some sample playback software (though you might be wandering out in the wilderness for a while and spend a wad on lame samples until you find one you like, or can at least live with). If you really like the rich sound of a real piano, almost all DPs out there will severely let you down.

And before anyone jumps on me: I don't make the rules, this is just the sad DP poor / PC rich reality we all live in.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/19/09 01:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Physics
Hiya,

I've only been playing piano for about two and a half months and I've only had 5 lessons so far. I own a Yamaha YDP-140, which is probably on the lowest end of the low end piano's.


The P155 actually costs less than a YDP140. It would be a great upgrade. But if you like the simulated wood look then I'd go with the YDP223. It has a better sound system and better controls.

Now is a good time to upgrade because of the 20% off deal at Music123.

your YDP is a current model but not a popular one. I'd think you could sell it quickly at 60% to 50% what you paid more if you are willing to wait.

But you really should look at other brands too. The key action of the Roland RD700GX is very good. Better than the Yamaha GH action, I think. Get any Roland that has this set of keys

But wait a little and you can try out Yamaha's new CP1 and CP5. These have just been reviewed but are not yet in stores. They have wooden keys and a new kind of sound engine.
Posted by: ChrisA

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/19/09 02:21 AM

Originally Posted By: dewster
... I'd spring for Pianoteq (I wish to god you could buy it in a box)


I assume by that you mean a turn key system, integrated with a computer and audio/midi interface and a good sound system.

I think the problem is that everyone would want something different. Some would want it in a small notebook size "box" and others would want a rack mount system ready to plug in some PA speakers.

I think there are a number of top tier resellers who'd be happy to sell you a fully configured system to your specs.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/19/09 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA

But you really should look at other brands too. The key action of the Roland RD700GX is very good.

I almost purchased the RD700SX a couple of years ago. I ended up with a Yamaha S90es. Both great boards. Although the S90ex has balanced action.
The Roland seemed a bit more intuitive menu/editing wise at the time.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/19/09 02:37 AM

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: dewster
... I'd spring for Pianoteq (I wish to god you could buy it in a box)


I assume by that you mean a turn key system, integrated with a computer and audio/midi interface and a good sound system.

I think the problem is that everyone would want something different. Some would want it in a small notebook size "box" and others would want a rack mount system ready to plug in some PA speakers.

I think there are a number of top tier resellers who'd be happy to sell you a fully configured system to your specs.

This seems interesting from Open Labs (saw it on a side add)
http://www.openlabs.com/soundslate.html

A standalone VST rackmount / and or DAW sandbox to play in with plenty-o peripherals to boot! ($$ pit)
Knowing what I now, if I were investing in a pro-sumer DAW, I would be giving this a serious look.

Posted by: Physics

Re: Too early to upgrade? - 12/22/09 11:05 AM

Thanks for all your replies. I contacted the store and they'll give me a pretty good price for my YDP-140, around 75% of the price I paid two months ago. I can trade it in for a CLP-330 and I'll have to pay €999 (the actual price is €1600).

The CLP-340 costs €1999 and the Roland HP-203 is €1700. I'm not sure if they'll give me €600 for my old piano if I buy one of those as well, but I assume they will. I'm gonna go try them out thursday and see which one I like best.