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I am an absolute beginner, 28 years old. I recently fell in love with the piano and I don't see myself doing anything else in the near future. That being said, my choices were immediately down to digital pianos, since I could only spend about 1500 euros (maximum). But I really hope I can find a digital piano that sounds (and especially feels) as close to a real piano as possible. I intend to practice daily and need an instrument I won't have any complaints about.
I searched (and researched) the internet to find something nice and got to the Yamaha Clavinova CLP 330. I would really like to hear other people's opinion about it... is it the best choice in this price range? Is the 330 much better than the 320? I know some people recommend Roland or Kawai... and would love to hear their opinion also.
I have to say I leave in Romania and in my home town I only have one musical shop and I can't find any model to try it... it is especially difficult to invest your money on something you didn't try at first, but eventually I will probably buy it based on reviews and people's opinion on forums.
Also, I want to know how safe it is to order it online (let's say from thomann.de), since if I want to order it from the Yamaha shop in Bucharest (they also bring them only on costumer's request as they are not available for testing) it would cost me 200 euros more (not to mention the difficulty of carrying it 250 km from there).
I hope those of you who have been playing piano for years and know the differences can help me on this.
Firstly, I would suggest that only the really high-end digitals approach an acoustic for sound and especially feel. The best piano to emulate the sound and feel of an acoustic is an acoustic, and you should be able to buy a second-hand one well within your budget if you are able to go that way.
On the assumption that that is not an option for you, you will have to compromise on sound and feel, but it may not matter as much as you may think, especially as you're not an experienced player.
I had an acoustic, but had to sell it when we moved house, in order to spare the neighbours. At the same time I also had a very basic digital (Yamaha P85) which I used to play quite happily even though the sound and feel were far from the acoustic. And I imagine the CLP 330 will be much better than the P85. Bear in mind also that good headphones will give you a very good sound even though the speakers may not.
On your final point, I bought my P85 from Gear4Music (in the UK) and had it delivered to my home in Italy without any problem whatsoever. The CLP 330 is probably delivered flat-packed even though it's much bigger. (I recently bought a CLP 470 which came flat-packed even though it's a really big lump!).
I should imagine that Thomann and others will be just as efficient, though obviously don't know whether it's the same for Romania.
Let us know what you decide to do.