Is Yamaha NP30 OK for beginners?

General discussion about digital pianos

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hanasime
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Is Yamaha NP30 OK for beginners?

Post by hanasime » 09 Jan 2009, 23:31

Hi,
I am absolutely new in a piano world. I would like to start playing piano and I have a budget 200 pounds (250pounds is a maximum). I have found that Yamaha NP30 is what I can afford.
Would this keyboard be perfectly fine for a beginner like me or do you know about any drawback of it?

Any tips are much appreciated. :) Thanks.

BazC
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Post by BazC » 10 Jan 2009, 10:23

Hi! I'm pretty much a beginner myself (a few months self teaching - I can play a bit) so I don't know how much help I can be but for what it's worth here's my take on your situation (which is very similar to mine)

Ask most people what kind of keyboard to buy if you want to learn to play piano and they will say get an acoustic or a digital with a good weighted piano action and 88 keys. No question in my mind that is good advice! The problem is you can't get those kind of instruments for £250! Not unless you find a second hand bargain anyway.

The cheapest piano action, fully weighted 88 key digital piano I know of is the M-Audio Prokeys 88 which costs around £330 and frankly isn't a great instrument. It sounds pretty good but the piano action feels cheap, for another £100 you can get a Yamaha P85 for instance which is a very nice instrument. Unfortunately that's waaay out of your price range.

So what about the NP30? Well I've played loads of pianos in shops from the cheapest digital instruments to staggeringly expensive acoustics and I'd say at my level (and presumably yours) the cheapest weighted keyboards all feel great (except the m-audio I mentioned) unfortunately the NP30 which I also tried felt dreadful, it's supposed to be a semi weighted board but the one I tried felt unweighted, very light with very little feel. It sounded OK but I wouldn't be happy playing it. On the other hand the 61 key semi weighted controller keyboard I have feels pretty good and was only about £100! (It's an M-Audio keystation 61es) It doesn't have any built in sounds so you have to use it with an external sound source (I use Pianoteq on my computer)

Ultimately it's how you feel about the instruments so I suggest you go out and try some pianos, good acoustics and expensive digitals that you can't afford to get a feel for how a good instrument plays and then try some cheaper boards you can afford. If you like the feel of the NP30 go for it, it's got some good sounds and will certainly get you started. I'd also suggest you try and play some M-Audio keyboards though, they're not as easy to find and they have a bit of a mixed reputation but they are fantastic value.

They do a digital piano that is very similar to the Prokeys 88 that I mentioned i didn't like (and you can't afford anyway) which has semi weighted keys. It's called the Prokeys 88sx. I haven't been able to find one to try but if the keys feel like my Keystation 61es (I'm guessing they'll feel similar) it could be a great buy for you. It has some good sounds, 88semi weighted keys (no speakers - you'll need to use headphones or an external amp) and is only about £210. Alternatively you could get the 88 key version of my controller (called Keystation 88es) at a little over £100, you'd need to use it with a computer or sound module though.

Only you can decide though so get out there and try as many keyboards as you can!

ennjaydee
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Post by ennjaydee » 10 Jan 2009, 23:19

A used Yamaha P70 or P60 will probably hit your budget if you can find one - earlier versions of the current P85.

markymark
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Re: Is Yamaha NP30 OK for beginners?

Post by markymark » 11 Jan 2009, 01:24

hanasime wrote:Hi,
I am absolutely new in a piano world. I would like to start playing piano and I have a budget 200 pounds (250pounds is a maximum). I have found that Yamaha NP30 is what I can afford.
Would this keyboard be perfectly fine for a beginner like me or do you know about any drawback of it?

Any tips are much appreciated. :) Thanks.
Personally I wouldn't bank on this one too much mainly because there is vitually no weighted action this keyboard. Usually, "semi-weighted" keyboard actions can feel like there is no weighted action at all. Besides this, the keyboard has only 76 keys and not the full range of 88 keys.

Your budget is small I understand but you do get what you pay for when it comes to digital equipment. I was going to suggest a M-Audio Prokeys (Hammer-Action model) if money was your main deciding factor. It's not the greatest model but your money won't go far in terms of quality.

On the other hand, you may be able to source older models, either by ex-display models in stores or else by looking at the secondhand market. As someone else mentioned here, P60, P70 or even a DGX may be worth checking out. I'll have a think and see if I can come up with a list of some boards to look into tomorrow, even if it means sourcing them online.

markymark
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Post by markymark » 11 Jan 2009, 19:40

Had a quick look around online and I think your best bet will be to try and find a better model only in the secondhand market. If you invest in something too cheap or simple, you will grow out of it VERY quickly.

You could look into Yamaha DGX520 or 530, Casio Privia range (secondhand) like the PX320 for example. Look also at secondhand Arius range from Yamaha like the YDP140 or the older YDP131.

I also spied a secondhand YDP-s30 on Ebay which is a compact version of the YDP140. See here: http://musical-instruments.shop.ebay.co ... acat=16217

Mind you, if you decide you look into secondhand items, be careful not to go back too far. You can find some digital pianos and keyboards that are going on sale secondhand that were bought new in the late 80s or early 90s. These are generally not worth paying too much attention to as there have been so many strides in development in digital pianos in the last ten years.

I could spend a long time listing other keyboards but it would be a waste of time given that you'd just end up getting confused if you are new to digital pianos. Do your own searches and check back here for some objective advice if you want. Look out for Yamaha YDP 131, 151, CLP220 series (again secondhand), Roland FP4, Korg P250 on secondhand market. You will be hard pushed to find something too hi-spec in your budget tho'. Just thinking, Casios can fall into your price range secondhand!

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