Urgent assistance needed re which digital piano

General discussion about digital pianos

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lhepburn
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Urgent assistance needed re which digital piano

Post by lhepburn » 17 Nov 2007, 18:27

Help - I've researched so much on the internet my head is spinning! I would like to get my son a digital/stage piano (are they one and the same thing?). I am in total ignorance. I definitely know it needs 88 keys, fully weighted like a normal piano. I thought a Yamaha P70 would be OK but then read that the sound is 'weak'. I can only go up to around £400.
He plays a 'normal' piano in a style I can only describe as Jamie Cullum meets Jerry Lee Lewis but also plays more gentle tunes. He doesnt read music but composes his own stuff in his head and it comes out OK.
I would be so grateful for impartial advice

PianoGuy
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Post by PianoGuy » 17 Nov 2007, 20:32

Stage pianos are (these days) digital, but not all digital pianos are stage pianos.

A domestic digital designed for home use generally has a cabinet styled to fit in with a contemporary decor and built-in amplification and speakers. The better the piano, the better quality the amp and speakers, the heavier the cabinet and the more expensive.

A stage piano is traditionally mute until connected to an amplifier and speaker system, designed for portability and should be fairly rugged. Most have no amplifier and speakers and need that external amp or a set of headphones to be audible. The Yamaha P series features certain models with a built-in low powered monitor amp and cheap speakers, so the sound is weak, but they are a bonus feature and not intended for primary use. They are cheaper than domestic models because they dispense with the expensive and bulky cabinet work and the power-amps and speakers fitted to domestic units.

Quite often the sound of either variety of similar make connected to the same external amp and speakers is comparable if not identical.

If you can get a P70 in your budget, buy one. If you want a 'stronger' sound connect it to the AUX-IN jack of a domestic hi-fi unit.

vre
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Wich Digital Piano to Buy

Post by vre » 23 Nov 2007, 14:42

Hi there.

The Yamaha YDP131 is a brilliant piano and great value for money. Have you tried that?

I also read a great resource about digital piano makes and which ones are good and which are not so good. Here it is: http://ukpianos.co.uk/digital-pianos-wh ... i-buy.html

markymark
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Post by markymark » 23 Nov 2007, 17:55

Hi!

Unfortunately this is a common query with people who are starting out looking for digital pianos. First of all, you need to clarify your terminology. “Fully weighted” and “hammer action” are two totally different things. “Fully weighted” is just what is sounds but “hammer action” will replicate the response and action of an acoustic piano. It really depends on what you want personally. I have always gone for hammer action stage/digital pianos because of the keyboard response. Unfortunately, hammer-action keyboards tend to be more expensive.

In my opinion, the Yamaha CP300 has the best hammer action keyboard out at the moment but it ranges around £1399 although there are some priced around £1100 if you look closely online on in your local retailer. I agree with PianoGuy in that, to an extent, the more expensive the keyboard, the better quality the sound and quality will be – this is not always the case with acoustics by the way. The good thing about Yamahas is that most, if not all, of their stage pianos have built in speakers. This is not the case with brands such as Korg and certainly with Roland which you can find around the good music stores. The sounds are good but you will need an amp.

With a budget of around £400, you could look into secondhand models. Some online music dealers will slash prices on models as a new one appears. Yamaha models I have found to be good would be P250 (now no longer in production but has been greatly reduced by some retailers), CP300, CP33, CLP260. Again most of these are much more expensive but you could find something in a good quality secondhand state. Yamahas are second-to-non as far as piano sounds are concerned. Naturally, the more expensive models have the best quality sound, which is why I’m suggesting a secondhand model in a higher-ranked model.

The YDP131 has the hammer action keyboard (I think! Just check that if it's one of your options) which may be okay but if often bundled in with the entry level instruments. It's alright but may also have the problem with "weak sound" that you mentioned in your message, depending on where it is being played.

PianoGuy’s idea to use an amp will give you some control over the sound ‘strength’ or quality and could work out well with something like the P70. I’m not sure if this is clarifying anything for you, but as with any instrument you buy, you really need to try before you buy.

Harebell
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Buying a digital piano

Post by Harebell » 30 Dec 2007, 16:12

Being a professional pianist I need one with as close a hammer touch to my grand piano and I bought a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-240/230 which I use as a practice instrument in the "popular" hours with my headphones! I'm now getting gigs where I have to accompany singers and often there is no decent instrument available so have decided to trade in/sell my Clavinova for something more portable but with an excellent hammer touch hopefully better than the CLP 240 which was giving me wrist aches (not on my Steinweg though).

Can anyone suggest something suitable that I might look for?
Thanks and best wishes for 2008! :D

markymark
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Post by markymark » 06 Jan 2008, 15:06

Fröhliches neues Jahr!
I knew my A-level German would come in handy some day! LOL!

I love those new CLP models and being a Yamaha fan and a great admirer of the old Yamaha hammer action, this message it right up my street! For gigging, you’ll need quite a powerful instrument. I own a CP300 which has built in speakers but weighs almost 40kg! Not sure if that is portable enough. Its little brother, the CP33 has some of the same features apart from polyphony and choice of voices, BUT is much lighter because it has no speakers on board. At the end of the day, this is the big argument when deciding to buy a stage piano: “Do I need onboard speakers or do I not?” If you are using a PA system and have a monitor, the CP33 would probably be fine - although a CP300 is still superior by comparison. If you’re using the keyboard on standalone, either get a keyboard with onboard speakers or buy an amp that could be connected to the keyboard.

Other keyboards with a good hammer action, although not with speakers, would be a Kurzweil SP2X, Yamaha S90 or the Motif which isn’t too bad either. The other two Yamaha models should be accessible enough and I think Kurzweil is common enough in central Europe too. The SP range in Korg may be worth checking also.

At the end of the day, when it comes to quality piano sound and a realistic feel, Yamaha is hard to beat.

These are only my suggestions, so make sure you try before you buy.

Tschüs!

Harebell
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Post by Harebell » 21 Jan 2008, 14:15

markymark wrote:Fröhliches neues Jahr!
I knew my A-level German would come in handy some day! LOL!

I love those new CLP models and being a Yamaha fan and a great admirer of the old Yamaha hammer action, this message it right up my street! For gigging, you’ll need quite a powerful instrument. I own a CP300 which has built in speakers but weighs almost 40kg! Not sure if that is portable enough. Its little brother, the CP33 has some of the same features apart from polyphony and choice of voices, BUT is much lighter because it has no speakers on board. At the end of the day, this is the big argument when deciding to buy a stage piano: “Do I need onboard speakers or do I not?” If you are using a PA system and have a monitor, the CP33 would probably be fine - although a CP300 is still superior by comparison. If you’re using the keyboard on standalone, either get a keyboard with onboard speakers or buy an amp that could be connected to the keyboard.

Other keyboards with a good hammer action, although not with speakers, would be a Kurzweil SP2X, Yamaha S90 or the Motif which isn’t too bad either. The other two Yamaha models should be accessible enough and I think Kurzweil is common enough in central Europe too. The SP range in Korg may be worth checking also.

At the end of the day, when it comes to quality piano sound and a realistic feel, Yamaha is hard to beat.

These are only my suggestions, so make sure you try before you buy.


Tschüs!
..and a very Happy New Year to you too!
I'm glad you got to practise your German but since we are English (but lived in Germany for 14 years) we still remember how to converse in our native language! lol!
Thanks for all the valuable info and we are indeed going to test a variety of instruments including those suggested. I'll let you know the outcome.
Bis bald und Tchüß

Margaret

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