Which piano should I buy?

General discussion about digital pianos

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sunnycharlie
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Which piano should I buy?

Post by sunnycharlie » 02 Nov 2008, 15:49

Hi there!
I'm rather new to the world of digital pianos and I don't want to make a costly mistake!
I would like to buy a budget digital piano and have £500. After a lot of internet searching, I have come up with the following.

Kawai cl25
Yamaha ydp140
Casio ap45
Classenti cdp1

I have read good and bad about them all and am very confused!! Does anyone have any advice?
I have seen the Kawai but not any of the others.

Also, does spending £200 more make a huge difference to what you get?
Any help greatly appreciated.
Thankyou!

markymark
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Post by markymark » 03 Nov 2008, 00:58

Spending an additional 200GBP could get you something better in terms of either or both sound quality and keyboard quality/ranking within a model range. Comparing prices between models is hard to compare using that piece of information alone.

Personally I am unfamiliar with the Kawai CL25 - in fact, in my circles, Kawai are only known for their acoustic uprights and grands which are getting better and better. I listened to the sound sample of the grand piano on the website. You can't always get an accurate picture of what the instrument could sound like when amplified correctly, but the sample elements sound lacking in some way. Personally, if you can't try it, don't buy it!

I'd go for the YDP140. What were you thinking of spending 200GBP more on just out of interest?

sunnycharlie
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Post by sunnycharlie » 03 Nov 2008, 17:16

Good question!
I hadn't looked too hard at the more expensive ones. I didn't want to be too envious of what I couldn't have....
If I put in the extra money, I would have to do a few more months saving first.
However, I suppose the better range of Yamahas or the Kawais would be the obvious choice. My local music shop says the Kawai have the best sound and are really enthusiastic about them. But they would since they sell them!!
This is the problem- everyone has a different opinion...

markymark
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Post by markymark » 03 Nov 2008, 19:34

This is the problem. Most music retailers will opt to specialise in a brand so that they can stock as much of the full range but dabble with some of the others. This sounds like what is happening here. Try and get to someone who sells Yamaha digitals. Although they could end up being guilty of the same thing, at least you will be able to make your own mind up. The YDP140 is becoming extremely common now so I don't see why you can't get to try one. Ideally, if they are in the same shop, try them out with the same acoustics. If not, try and compare on the same day as soon after each other as possible.

sunnycharlie
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Post by sunnycharlie » 05 Nov 2008, 12:35

Well, yesterday I managed to get to another music shop. This one doesn't sell one brand above another and stocked all the makes I was looking at. I tried a Casio, a Yamaha, a Roland and a Kawai and it was very interesting. Surprisingly I found I liked the sound and feel of the Casio most of all. It was the ap200 rather than the ap45 but still just about in my price range.
I thought the Yamaha had a very bright, hard sound which didn't appeal. The Casio had a richer, fuller yet gentler sound.
So, I think I may buy a Casio.
Next issue is which one. This shop was selling the ap200 for £599 but would inclue a good stool in the price. I have seen the ap500 for £705 at Rocking Rooster which is a really good price for a better spec piano but no stool. Do you think it is worth the extra money for the better spec?

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Post by markymark » 09 Nov 2008, 14:59

I'm not all that familiar with the Celviano range from Casio so I had a look on the website. The hard sound of Yamaha may have more to do with the limitations of the speakers as opposed to the keyboard tone itself. The one thing about both keyboards is that they only have "touch sensitive keys" which means that they will not have the realism of touch that the Yamaha and even Roland will have as standard. Most stage/digital pianos secure their credibility against their hammer action which replicates the keyboard action of a piano. Of course there are levels of this.

It is also noticeable that the Casio is considerably cheaper than a Yamaha and in digital technology, among new items, you get what you pay for. However, if you prefer the sound, that's your call - you're writing the cheque. As far as I see, you are paying for more fancy, twiddly bits in the AP500 like more effects, sequencer, USB and MIDI ports. There isn't an improved type of keyboard action which is what I was expecting. One thing that may make a big difference in terms of playability is that the AP500 has 6 speakers whereas the AP200 only has two. This will definitely have an impact on the sound quality you are receiving.

sunnycharlie
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Post by sunnycharlie » 30 Nov 2008, 13:59

Thanks for your reply but you are quite wrong about the Casio not having a hammer action. They do!!
I have spoken to lots of different music shops now and they all say really good things about these 2 Casio models....
Well, I have now ordered the AP500 but I may have to wait until after Christmas to let you know the outcome!!

markymark
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Post by markymark » 30 Nov 2008, 15:33

sunnycharlie wrote:Thanks for your reply but you are quite wrong about the Casio not having a hammer action. They do!!
Well I don't think I said anything bad about Casios, did I??

As I said at the beginning of this thread, I'm not familiar with Casio's Celviano range and am not reflecting personal experience. However, I did have check the website before I finished that post because I never post anything off the top-of-my-head - I just wonder what I was looking at on the Casio website? I have just checked again, and can't find what I was looking at. :? It certainly wasn't the AP200 or AP500 which do have hammer action keyboards. Sorry about that mistake; one dud piece of info in 500-odd posts is not a bad record, really! I wonder will you be able to do the same by the time you get to 500-odd posts? :)

sunnycharlie
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Post by sunnycharlie » 01 Dec 2008, 14:23

Forgive me. I didn't mean to sound rude! I am very grateful for your advice. I just didn't want other people reading the bit about the lack of hammer action and getting put off what I hope is a very good piano!! There is a review on 'youtube' which is informative. Just search for casio ap500 and you should find it.
Many thanks again and I'll post again after Christmas with my verdict!

markymark
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Post by markymark » 01 Dec 2008, 17:51

Well I have to say that I may go out and try to get a demo on one of these models, if for no other reason than to inform my opinions on this forum! Problem is, in Northern Ireland, I really wouldn't know who would definitely stock them! :(

By the way, I checked the Youtube videos and found two or three demos on an AP500 and another on an AP200. Although you can't really suss out the exact nuances of an online sample, I can hear enough to get the jist of the core of the tone and honestly, though pleasantly surprised, I'm still not won over. It has a safe and rather bland sound for my liking. Yamahas have the rumbling soundboard simulation in their notes but I know what you mean about the piano sounding tinny - the bottom of the range digital pianos from any range can be guilty of that. Still, if Casio sounds good to your ears, that's the most important thing. I'll look forward to hearing your feelings about it when you get it into your home. Maybe by then, I will have had a chance to go out and try one!

sunnycharlie
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Post by sunnycharlie » 05 Dec 2008, 10:31

I hope you manage to find one to play. It will be interesting to hear what you think.
I am not expecting perfection- it is still a fairly budget piano. But I did manage to get the piano and a stool for sum of 686 pounds, which is a pretty good price!! It also has lots of extras on it- not that I'll ever use them- but it will appeal to my children and, hopefully, encourage them to learn.

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