This digital piano any good?

General discussion about digital pianos

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Nor
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This digital piano any good?

Post by Nor » 17 Mar 2008, 14:09

Hi all. I play the guitar, but now want to learn the piano. I don't have much of a budget for my first digital piano/keyboard. I was only wanting to spend around £200, but saw this at a local shop and was wondering if someone knew whether it's a bit dodgy.

Intermusic is the make apparently.

http://www.victormorris.com/keyboards.php

If it's shockingly bad, I'd be grateful for any pointers in the right direction regarding what to get.

Thanks in advance.

markymark
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Post by markymark » 17 Mar 2008, 18:14

I can't really say much about the instrument you're looking at as it doesn't seem to have an established brand name or at least one that I've heard of. It looks like an entry level instrument (if even that) but you can't really go by looks when judging or choosing a digital piano.

If you are looking for an instrument to fiddle with, you could look for a second-hand Yamaha DGX520 or DGX620 which have graded hammer action keyboards and a quality piano sounds and a few others thrown in. You could also look into second hand Yamaha P60 models which are now obsolete and have been replaced by the P70. Many retailers will slash the prices of these to shift them before they depreciate any faster.

Are you looking for something to fiddle with or something that will last you a while as you improve musically?

Nor
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Post by Nor » 18 Mar 2008, 04:46

Thanks Mark. I'm looking for something that will enable me to learn to play properly. I want to learn to play the piano, not a synthesizer, so want something that will give me the right feel for that. The Yamaha models you posted above look absolutely perfect, but are a bit expensive. Ultimately, I would like to spend a significant amount of money on a really good piano, but don't have the cash at the moment, and concerned about stretching to a fair amount when I'm a mere beginner.

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Post by markymark » 18 Mar 2008, 23:57

You will find lots of DGX620s around because they are the latest model. You can get DGX520s at a reduced price from local retailers if the stock is ex-demo or if the owner realises that the longer he keeps the instrument, the more money he will lose.

Dolphin music is doing an offer on the DGX520 for less than what you included in your first post.

To be honest, it is easy to recommend a cheap and bored instrument in your price range, allbeit brand new. It may be better to try and track down something like the P60, P120 (now recently obselete) in the secondhand/ex-demo market. These two stage pianos were replaced by the P70 and P140 and so the value of the other two keyboard has greater reduced - or at least it ought to have!

Have a look around you local stores for ex-demo/old stock and see if you can try them.

Nor
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Post by Nor » 19 Mar 2008, 15:06

Cheers Mark. The DGX620 does look great as I like the idea of weighted keys. I spoke to my local music shop today and the guy suggested the Yamaha NP30, as it's cheaper but has weight keys too. Doesn't have the bells and whistles that the DGX has though, but not sure I need all those bells and whistles.

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Post by markymark » 19 Mar 2008, 20:13

I was really thinking that an old stock DGX-520 would have been good because it has most of the features of the 620, but certainly more than the NP30. I know it's pretty new out and I haven't tried it. Just note that the NP30 has only 76 keys as opposed to the full 88 keyboard on most stage pianos/ digital piano. Looking at the Yamaha website, it says that it has "graded touch" but no mention of the standard "graded hammer action" which makes Yamaha keyboards stand out. Other thing to note is that it is very much of an entry level keyboard and as it's new, will probably be slightly over-priced if anything compared to what it will be in another 6-7 months time.

I don't mean to sound cynical about this keyboard as I haven't tried it!

It's just the whole "brand new, reasonably priced entry-;evel keyboard" vs the "secondhand/ex-demo, higher spec, bargain-priced keyboard" argument I alluded to earlier.

Try the keyboard and see what you think. Listen for sound quality; 6W is not that much and can compromise sound output. Does the piano sound sustain well using the pedal? How does the touch compare with something like a P70 or DGX620? Sometimes by doing some comparisons with other instruments of a higher spec can help put things in perspective for you.

Nor
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Post by Nor » 25 Mar 2008, 23:10

I went for the DGX620 in the end. Absolutely loving it. Much appreciate the advice.

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Post by markymark » 25 Mar 2008, 23:35

:wink: Cool! I thought you'd like that! Hope you got a good deal on it?

Nor
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Post by Nor » 26 Mar 2008, 19:06

Paid £430 for it from a local store, with the 2 year warranty. Cheapest I saw it online was about £390 + £35 P&P, but I wasn't too sure about the company, with their 'if anything goes wrong send it back at your own cost' blurb on the website.

Could probably have got it a wee bit cheaper from elsewhere, but I like the peace of mind getting it from a reputable store. Bought by Yamaha guitar from them 11 years ago :)

One thing I'm having trouble with is the MIDI files. It's meant to be able to automatically score MIDI files as a teaching aid, but doesn't seem to do it for ones I download. Hoping it isn't just MIDI files bought from Yamaha which it will score :( Beginning to think that that's the case.

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Post by markymark » 26 Mar 2008, 20:55

It shouldn't be a problem. The whole beauty about MIDI is its universality and transferability between instruments, no matter the brand.

Check your manual and if you are having problems, either e-mail Yamaha directly or go to your local dealer and ask him.

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Post by Nor » 29 Mar 2008, 16:30

Cheers. Do you reckon there's different types of MIDI files? I think the DGX needs MIDI files which have chord fingering added to them, so it can do the lesson.

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Post by markymark » 29 Mar 2008, 20:34

Oh right... there is education software built into the DGX620 isn't there?

As the software is specialised for learning and the MIDI files probably have been altered slightly to co-operate with the software, I'd imagine that the standard MIDI file wouldn't work as well with the educational software if at all but if they did, they would probably be restricted to play back or recording only.

I've never used the software so check this out with your brochure or Yamaha directly.

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Post by Nor » 01 Apr 2008, 21:18

Cheers Mark, that's kinda what I thought - that it had to be special MIDI files.

I love the DGX, but this was one of the main features I bought it for - it being able to score any MIDI file and provide me with the music on board.

I am tempted to swap it for the YDP 131 now that this feature isn't actually much use. Do you know much about that model?

http://www.yamaha-europe.com/yamaha_eur ... index.html

It's the same price in store. The YDP may give me a better piano sound, and I quite like the idea of proper fixed pedals as opposed to the little pedal on a cable arrangement I have at the moment. Any thoughts on that piano?

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Post by Johan » 02 Apr 2008, 20:04

If you are considering a YDP-131 then consider splashing out a further £50 and getting the YDP-151, which is technically the same spec as a Clavinova ClP-220. You get the GH keyboard (YDP-131 has the GHS keyboard), 10 voices rather than 6 and 2x20W output rather than 2x6W. You'll have to be quick because the YDP-151 wasn't imported for long and is soon to be replaced by the YDP-160, but you can pick one up for £470 + delivery. Compare that with the price and spec of the YDP-131.

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Post by markymark » 03 Apr 2008, 16:51

What was this budget again? 200 GBP??? I think you're starting to see for yourself that if you want quality, in an instrument, your going to have to raise the bar a bit, financially speaking.

My concern about the YDP models is that the YDP131 is entry level as an instrument and I wouldn't sure as regards their adaptability with MIDI - you will have to check this. I'm still kind of surprised that the DGX620 does not have any standard MIDI capablities - did you check with your dealer/Yamaha?

As Johan says - in fact it might have been him I was posting to at the time - the YDP-151 is higher spec but was only a short-term import into the country. In fact, Yamaha say that it is very similar to the specs for the CLP220!! Yamaha, however, are not advertising in anymore and they are already working towards the production of the new YDP140 & 160 models due for release any time now. Remember what I also said about finding recently obselete, shopfloor stock? If you can get one of these, I think you'd be onto a bargain!

The YDP131 would have a slightly better piano sound that the DGX, probably owing mainly to the speaker size but the YDP151 would be better than the 131 overall, but check those MIDI features before you buy this time because that seems to have let you down in the DGX620. You certainly won't be able to score music on the YDPs anyway!

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