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#1257101 08/27/09 10:05 AM
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Given our lack of space and budget for an accoustic piano, we are planning to purchase a digital piano keyboard. It is for family use. We have two children, aged 6 and 9, who will have lessons on it, and two adults who will play very informally.

What recommendations do you all have for brands, models, features, etc.? We want to get an 88-key model with features to approximate an accoustic keyboard, to ease transition if either child excels and progresses in their lessons.

Thank you in advance.


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Without knowing your budget, it is hard to say. I would look on Craigslist for a used Yamaha Clavinova or something similar. Usually they are about 50% or more less than the new price. And Boston has lots of listings.

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Note that the dimensions of all
88-key keyboards are the same, and
so any digital piano or acoustic
upright piano will occupy
approximately the same amount
of floor space, ~2' x 5'.

We are living in the Digital Piano
Age, which has roughly paralleled
the Personal Computer Age
(a digital piano is essentially
a computer with a keyboard
and speakers). And just
as every home can now
have an inexpensive pc with
the kind computing power that
was once reserved for research
labs only, every home can have
an inexpensive, grand piano-like
digital piano. You can get a
good pc for less than $1000,
and similarly, you can get good dp's
for less than $1000, for
example, the Casio PX 800
and the M-Audio DCP 200, both
$900. You couldn't go wrong with
either. And you wouldn't necessarily
have to transition to an acoustic
piano in the future. I believe
a student could do all his
practicing on a digital and
get into a top conservatory.

Last edited by Gyro; 08/27/09 01:45 PM.
Gyro #1257336 08/27/09 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
I believe
a student could do all his
practicing on a digital and
get into a top conservatory.


Depending on the piano, a student could do even better. Most people never tune or maintain their acoustic pianos. Kids that learn on these poorly maintained pianos will be at a disadvantage to kids learning on a good DP. My sister spent a good sum of money on an acoustic piano and her kids gave up within a year. My oldest son has only played on digital pianos since he was seven. He is now 14 and beginning advanced / master level lessons.

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You probably should get a console-type DP (resembling a small upright rather than a stage piano). As another poster said, it is difficult to make a recommendation without knowing your budget. The best new models include:

Roland HP-203 or HP-207
Yamaha CLP-330 or CLP-340
Kawai (various models)

Casio is slightly less desirable, but not bad. Models include the AP series (AP-500, AP-200, etc.)

Used models can be a good alternative, but be careful not to get anything too old. DP technology changes quickly, and a model more than 3 or 4 years old is probably inferior to a new one. Even some fairly recent models from good makers have disappointing specs by modern standards.

Most of the better new models are only sold through piano dealers. You will need to negotiate the price, as if buying a car.

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ammattera,

I saw a Casio CDP-200 at Costco this week for $489 with full 88 weighted keys, integrated stand, and bench. I thought the action was quite good after playing around with it a bit. It's got some deficiencies, but for the price, it's a good starter until you are sure your children will continue to practice.

Digital piano depreciates fast, so spending $2 - $3,000 on one is a bit risky if you are not sure about longevity of your children's interest in piano. If you are certain, then by all means, the Yamaha CLP and Roland HP lines are definitely a better acoustic piano simulation than the Casio.

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Thanks for the feedback. Here's a little more information.

For budget, we are probably in the $1,000 range. I've been looking closely at the Yamaha P155. The portability is attractive, which rules out console type. We don't really need or want furniture type stands or casings.

Regardless of whether our children continue, my wife and I would likely use the keyboard ourselves (we both play other instruments). Thus, the modest investment is worth the improved quality.

Perhaps comparisons to the P155 would be helpful. Are there other brands with comparable models or prices we should be looking at?

Thanks again,

Alex


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Ok, if you don't want a console, than the P-155 is a good choice. You might also look at the Kawai ES-6 and possibly the Roland FP-4 or FP-7 (although, personally I prefer the Kawai and Yamaha to these particular Rolands). You can also look at the Korg SP-250 or Casio PX-130. These are cheaper, but still not too bad, if you like them.

Still, of this bunch, the P-155 and ES-6 are the top picks.


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I agree with Geoffk on the P-155. I played one last night and think it is very nice. Like the overall sound of it. I wish it had some on-board rhythms, but then I guess the price would be higher. The string sounds are very nice on the P-155 also.
I also played a Casio PX-130. Compared to the P-155, the action is stiffer, but I thought the piano sound was reasonably good. Casio has a 4 sample sound on this new model. The keys on this privia felt more solid than on any Privia I have played before. However, I'm not ready to say Casio fixed the action and that it will not loosen up and start clacking. Only time will tell here.
The on board rhythms that the PX-120 had are gone on the 130. There is only a metronome now. I think Casio will sell a lot of these as it is small and light and will appeal to anyone who might want something to gig with. As an entry level DP, it is worth a look.

Last edited by galaxy4t; 08/29/09 11:10 PM.
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http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA...etail.html?CNTID=5015193&CTID=205200

I would go with the Yamaha DGX/YPG-635.

It was a display wich is good in order to play and read notes at the same time using MIDI files. And it has 500 diffrent sounds, wich is a good thing becouse if u get tired of the piano sound, u could go with something else, going with something else will only make it fun to play and u will also develope ur skills in a much wider way.

less is more some people say, not with the dgx...


Yamaha DGX-620
Sennheiser HD215

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