Recommend a sub-£500 digital for me please!

General discussion about digital pianos

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Recommend a sub-£500 digital for me please!

Post by georgecrawford » 28 Jul 2009, 18:43

Hi all,

I'm a first time poster to this forum, but I'm already impressed with the quality of the advice, so I have high hopes!

I'm a professional violinist, and also avid user of software like Sibelius and Logic for all things musical. I have a crappy MIDI-controller keyboard, but have recently been thinking about getting my piano playing back up to scratch, which will require a proper digital piano. I play whenever I go back to my parents' house, but that's just not often enough (and it's a bit antisocial when I've gone to visit them!)

I have a limited budget, but if I find something fantastic it can be flexible. I'm certainly thinking sub-£500 for the time being. My flat is not suitable for a real piano, unfortunately.

I'll list my requirements, in order of preference:
  • the touch of the keyboard is most important by far - I want to get in shape for playing real pianos!
  • Good quality piano sounds are important, but I'm not too precious about them (I can't see myself using it in public very often)
  • Portability would be nice - I'd prefer to supply my own X-stand and pedal, and certainly don't want one of the 'furniture' pianos
  • As I'm a Baroque violinist, I'm particularly interested in practising harpsichord continuo. While it's not a deal-breaker, a piano with a good harpsichord sound and some historical temperaments would be a real bonus. I can, however, always use Logic for that (I have a nice harpsichord sample already) - provided the piano comes with USB/MIDI out. (Perhaps they all do nowadays? I don't know)
The model which seems to crop up a lot on these forums from my brief research is the Yamaha P85. However, at £515 minimum (unless someone can provide a link to a cheaper online sale) it's just a bit too much, although I will go and try one at Chappells when I have a chance. I'm more keen to get a better, older model second hand. I just don't know which to consider, and what prices are sensible to pay. Are there sites other than Ebay, Gumtree and Craigslist which I should have a look at?

Many thanks for any advice you can offer me!


George Crawford

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Re: Recommend a sub-£500 digital for me please!

Post by markymark » 08 Aug 2009, 12:49

Yamaha would be the best option. I was thinking of some others like Roland and Kawai but they tend to be more expensive.

I have played the P85 and it is a good all-rounder as you say.

You could look into its predecessors in the second hand market, namely the P60 and P70.

A Casio PX-120 may also be a consideration as it falls under the £500 limit you mentioned. Casio have wised up a bit since they started into digital pianos. The piano sound is more mellow than Yamaha and lacks some realism, however, the keyboard action is comparable with something like the P70 or P85. Didn't try the harpsichord mind you!

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