GEM (General Music) RP 910

General discussion about digital pianos

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scrummy-mummy
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GEM (General Music) RP 910

Post by scrummy-mummy » 17 Mar 2008, 22:44

Hi. Does anyone have any idea whether this is a good digital or not. I am looking for our first digital for my kids, the eldest of whom has been playing for a year and loves it. Our old acoustic which was a donation, has really met it's last legs. We are slightly strapped for available space that is not right on top of a radiator so we are in the situation of needing either a small modern piano or a digital. At first I thought that going ditial was sacrilage as sound and action are import, but I tried a GEM RP 910 today which felt and sounded surprisingly good. it had wooden keys and a real vibrating, resonance to it. However, it does not seem popular in this country and therefore I wondered what would happen if it went wrong (service, parts, reliability etc). Does anyone have any experience of these pianos and/or any advice re: which digital piano to buy. I am keen to have one that will be capable of lasting through the grades should my daughters stick with it and something that looks good in the living room.
Many thanks

markymark
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Post by markymark » 18 Mar 2008, 00:09

Don't know anything about the GEM RP 910 - have never heard of it in fact!

What's your budget?

scrummy-mummy
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GEM RP 910

Post by scrummy-mummy » 18 Mar 2008, 09:10

Hi

Our budget is around £1000. The GEM machine is distributed by a firm called Hooters, in the UK. As it is the first digi piano I have ever properly listened to it is hard to know they all compare.

Thanks

Ali

markymark
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Post by markymark » 18 Mar 2008, 23:51

See if you can try some of the models in Yamaha's Clavinova CLP range.
If you're looking for something to last through grades, compare the CLP220, 230 and 240. There are differences between these models but the higher the code, the better quality the piano in relation to touch, keyboard repsonse and sound quality. Downside is that the CLP240 will push your budget to 1100 GBP at best!

Other models worth checking, again in Yamaha, would be YDP160 if it is out and about yet - will be cheaper than the CLP models mentioned but again sacrificing better keyboard action from CLP230 upwards. See if you can try the YDP-S30 from Yamaha too.

I'm trying to give you a variety of dgitals to try in a wide ranging budget. Personally, if you can afford one, the CLP240 is good value and will give you the hammer action keyboard, better quaility piano sound starts with this model as well as more powerful speakers. This would be a longterm purchase if you choose this model; I think you'll get a lot out of it. But remember to try the instruments before making a decision.

scrummy-mummy
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Post by scrummy-mummy » 19 Mar 2008, 16:02

Thanks so much. We have been looking at the Clavinova CLP range and I reckon I can get a 240 for £1000 or under as I am an expert haggler!!! Is the 270 worth the extra money?

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Post by markymark » 19 Mar 2008, 20:33

The CLP240 is a mid-range model in the CLP range, progessing to upper in the 270 and top of the range at 280. The CLP280 is better suited for discerning pianists who are more accustomed to playing quality acoustics and/or grand pianos at an advanced level with its wooden keys and even more realist hammer action.

The CLP270 has the same basic features as the CLP240 but with more voices plus 480 XG voice samples. It also has higher polyphony (128) than the CLP240 (64) and a more powerful set of speakers. It also has a larger recording capacity for recording your performances.

I think you really need to have a look at the model for yourself. I can't really see a huge improvement voice and keyboard response-wise as you compare the models, but if you feel those extra voices and things I mentioned are worth the extra 500 GBP or so, then go for it. Personally, for early learning level and onwards, the CLP240 would probably be enough for what you need.

Try for yourself and fiddle around with the settings and see for yourself. I recently helped a lady from our church get her first digital piano. She was a complete starter but like yourself, wanted something that was a high enough standard to last for some years. I helped her track down a CLP240.

Again, this is your call - you're the one that is going to sign the cheque at the end of the day!

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Post by mdw » 23 Mar 2008, 21:27

If your budget is £1000 and can find the space it would be worth looking around at what you can get as an acoustic ( 2nd hand). Once you go through to the higher grades you will need a proper piano and 3-4 years time the digital will be worthless what ever make you buy. Stretch the budget and buy a real piano and you wont regret it. Acoustics have never been as cheap as they are now. I dont know of may people repairing digitals, they tend to work until they dont then you pop it in the bin.

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Post by markymark » 24 Mar 2008, 19:21

Unfortunately, this is true.

As with all digital equipment (computer, consoles, hi-fis, DVD players, etc.) digital pianos are not great investments after about ten years or so either due to the fast upgrade rate. You can be sure that Yamaha will have something else even better than the CLP range in another 5 years or so if not sooner! If they're looked after they will last you well which is why I'm suggesting a decent quality digital with a good sound and keyboard touch that won't be easily outdated or outdone by upgraded models. If you are seriously thinking about the instrument lasting you for grade exams, particularly Grade 5+, an acoustic may be a better investment. Having said that, a crappy, secondhand acoustic will be a bigger waste of money if you are not careful about what you choose. A good bargain on a secondhand upright can't be measured by the fact that it fits in between the armchair and the standard lamp without overhanging the fireplace! It has to sound good too which may be harder to find in a smaller instrument, though not completely impossible!

Obviously if room is a major factor you can't do much about it! I've been there too! In which case, go for the digital and get the best deal you can.

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