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#1301749 - 11/08/09 07:08 PM Digital Piano Predicament  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
Recalcitrantron Offline
Junior Member
Recalcitrantron  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
United States
Hi. I started this post in the general piano forum, but since we decided to go with a digital, I thought it most appropriate to post here. We are in the Sacramento area. I don't play piano. My wife used to play many years ago. Our daughter, age 14 plays flute, sings and would like to play piano. Our twin sons age 10 will be starting piano in the next two months or so. I may even give it a try as it would provide with an opportunity to fail at a fourth instrument (drums, guitar, harmonica) blush

Problem with the digital is the piano will be in our front living room and my wife hates the way the affordable ones look. The only remotely affordable one with what looks like a nice cabinet is a Suzuki sold at Costco of all places. The Yamaha and Kawais with nicer cabinets are far too expensive. The Suzuki only has a 1 year warranty compared to the Yamaha Clavinovas and since 2008 the Kawai CN series which have 5 years which to me sends a strong message which company believes it makes a solid product.

The Suzuki makes me very nervous. At $2,700 it certainly isn't cheap and we could get a Kawai CN32 or Yamaha CLP 330 for significantly less. There are quite a few posts scattered over the web about flakey power supplies and other problems and, at least to me, the one year warranty, lack of any dealer support and the fact that I would have to buy the Suzuki sight unseen are all significant concerns.

Any thoughts or ideas?

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#1301752 - 11/08/09 07:15 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Recalcitrantron]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 129
gerardo1000 Offline
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gerardo1000  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 129
I would have no doubt: buy either a Kawai CN32 ( by the way, great dp) or
a Yamaha CLP 330, save several hundred dollars, and live with the peace of mind that you did not spend $ 2700 on a low quality digital piano as Suzuki.

#1301785 - 11/08/09 08:40 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: gerardo1000]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
For a little extra you can get the Yamaha Clavinova CLP330 in the PE (polished ebony) finish option. Nicer looking.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
#1302044 - 11/09/09 11:22 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Marty Flinn]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Gyro  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
There is a tremendous bias
against the Suzuki brand on
these forums. People who have
never even seen one, let
alone played one, post all
kinds of malicious lies about
the performance and quality
of Suzuki pianos. I've
actually contacted Suzuki
about this, and they said that
they are aware of this, but
that they sell so many pianos
and have so many satisfied customers,
that they don't bother
addressing it. Suzukis are
capable digital pianos that
offer great value.




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#1302054 - 11/09/09 11:39 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Gyro]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 66
shw123 Offline
Full Member
shw123  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 66
Calgary, Canada
I certainly can't comment on Suzuki, but I can comment on Yamaha. Personally, I think you can get into the lower priced Yamaha (likely the 330) for $2700. They are a fine piano, depending on your level. I just upgraded my CLP-240 on the weekend to a 370. The Yamaha dealer tels me that he'll be able to sell it for a few hundred dollars more than the $1500 trade in that he gave me as a result of putting a 1 year warranty on it. He figures I could have gotten $1500 on Craig's list. These are Canadian prices so I suspect 10% less in the US.

Getting a good Yamaha that's a couple of years old might be a good alternative. With the new technology that Yamaha has introduced lately I suspect a lot of folks like me will be trading up.


Pianist and Computer Nerd
Kawai GE-30
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-370
#1302061 - 11/09/09 11:44 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Gyro]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
Blue Jakester Offline
Full Member
Blue Jakester  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
Denver, CO
Does it have to be digital? That's a lot of money and could buy you a really beautiful "used" acoustic piano. Check your local Craig's List. A nice gloss ebony upright or natural wood spinet perhaps?

If your set on a digital that doesn't look great with the other furniture, buy a custom made cover for it. I have several custom made guitar amp covers that look great.

#1302073 - 11/09/09 11:58 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Blue Jakester]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 550
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member
AlphaTerminus  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 550
Iowa, USA
Geez Blue, don't you know
that acoustics are
antiquated and there
is absolutely no reason
to get one in
today's modern
society wink


Acoustic: Yamaha C6.
Digital: Kawai VPC1 with Pianoteq
#1302085 - 11/09/09 12:16 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Recalcitrantron]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,239
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
guest1013  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,239
Originally Posted by Recalcitrantron

The Suzuki makes me very nervous. At $2,700 it certainly isn't cheap and we could get a Kawai CN32 or Yamaha CLP 330 for significantly less. There are quite a few posts scattered over the web about flakey power supplies and other problems and, at least to me, the one year warranty, lack of any dealer support and the fact that I would have to buy the Suzuki sight unseen are all significant concerns.

Any thoughts or ideas?

The idea of buying sight unseen without trying is an anathema to many.

Have your wife play the various Kawai or Yamaha models in your budget and see what she thinks of the touch. On your thread in the technician's forum, the important point that touch cannot be changed on a digital was made.

Last edited by guest1013; 11/09/09 12:17 PM.
#1302104 - 11/09/09 12:46 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Recalcitrantron]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,842
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member
ChrisA  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,842
Redondo Beach, California
There are a LOT of options. I'd suggest thinking about all of them. DPs are not like a Steinway grand. The DP is not something you buy once and keep forever. It's more like buying a computer. They become dated quickly and owning one is a process where the one in the living room goes to the bedroom when you buy the new one and then out to the garage sale later.

First off you have to realise that if you want the console "style" you are paying a lot of money for a few wood veneer boards. It's literally a $1,000 keyboard stand. The same piano with a folding "X stand" costs about $1K less. Tell your wife that when the piano is not in use you will put it into a gig bag case move it to the closet.

As for sound quality, Have you ever, even once see a Clavinova used in a live show? No, you will see either a stage piano or a real grand piano. Just get the black spandex cover and put it over a stage piano, Stge pianos look good -- like a musician lives in the house. That's one of the DPs biggest features: they can be transported and moved.

With so many people (three kids and two adults) all needing to practice every day the piano will be in use 5 hours a day. Soon you will be buying a second instrument. Might as well start with the less expensive portable one. Even if the plan is to get the console type later. Learn what you like and dislike about digital piaos before sending the bucks for the non-portable DP. Save some of your budget for the second piano.

Also for a beginning student you don't need five layered sampels and "string resonances" and so on. A simpler sound will do. The difference between really good (Like the Yamaha P80 and Kawai ce200) and state of th art is lost on most ears. Most people can't hear it.

But it you want a console DP with very good touch and under $2K look at the Kawai CE200. It is better then the Yamahas I've seen (But I've not tried a yahaa with the wood keys) Piano students need a good keyboard feell and not much else. The ce200 has that for about $1700

For less money
Take a look at the Korg lp-350. Your wife may like the look and it sells for about $1K. Korg makes a SP-250 that is identical except for the stand for $700. The sound and keyboard are very good for your purposes. Very comparable to the Yamaha GHE keyboards.

and what about the Yamaha "Arius" series? The YDP223 is verly close to a clavinova but sell for about close to $1k less.

I don't know your situation but most people just starting don't really know where it will go. Kids will likely prefer a stage piano (say the $700 SP-250) If they are like most kids they will be thinking about a band and playing with their buddies and want something they can move. And then they might be thingking about synth sounds and not just classical solo piano.


Last edited by ChrisA; 11/09/09 01:56 PM.
#1302108 - 11/09/09 12:49 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: guest1013]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 188
Vid_w Offline
Full Member
Vid_w  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 188
Slovenia
Have you tryed Roland?
The HP 201 has a very nice cabinet IMO, plus it's quite cheap.

#1302197 - 11/09/09 03:25 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Vid_w]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 129
gerardo1000 Offline
Full Member
gerardo1000  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 129
Gyro, I REALLY Played two Suzuki digital pianos, therefore I am not lying when I say that,in my PERSONAL opinion, they are overpriced for the quality of sound and action that they deliver.

#1302207 - 11/09/09 03:36 PM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: AlphaTerminus]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
Blue Jakester Offline
Full Member
Blue Jakester  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
Denver, CO
Originally Posted by AlphaTerminus
Geez Blue, don't you know
that acoustics are
antiquated and there
is absolutely no reason
to get one in
today's modern
society wink

OOPS! I forgot. wink smile

Last edited by Blue Jakester; 11/09/09 03:37 PM.
#1302600 - 11/10/09 09:06 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Blue Jakester]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 66
shw123 Offline
Full Member
shw123  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 66
Calgary, Canada
Recalcitrantron,

A few more comments:

1. Do NOT ever buy a piano sight unseen. Trust me, you can tell the differences. Go to your local Yamaha dealer and play something with a GH3 keyboard (like a 330), something with natural wood (like a 370/380) and an Avant Grand. Even if you don't play the piano, I'll dare you to tell me that you can't tell the difference between the three actions.

2. Have you ever seen a professional musician play Suzuki? Nope, I thought so - me neither. It's all Yamaha and Roland - the occasional Korg. Personally, I didn't like the Roland. The actions were fabulous but I thought the sound was a bit mushy. You may think otherwise.

Make a couple of trips back and forth between the Yamaha and Roland dealers. I'm lucky, they are a 5 minute drive apart, so I've done this a few times. You'll quickly determine that there's a difference.



Pianist and Computer Nerd
Kawai GE-30
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-370
#1306406 - 11/16/09 02:01 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: shw123]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
Recalcitrantron Offline
Junior Member
Recalcitrantron  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
United States
Well we decided on on a Yamaha CLP 330. Local dealer made us a good deal with free delivery. Thank you all for the comments and assistance.

#1306412 - 11/16/09 02:22 AM Re: Digital Piano Predicament [Re: Recalcitrantron]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 298
10fingers Offline
Full Member
10fingers  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 298
CA
Blue's suggestion is a good one. If you don't have physical or other limitations which prevent you from owning an acoustic piano, then you can certainly get a decent used upright for that kind of dosh. You will be schooling your children in aesthetics as well as music, and there's a yawning chasm between the action of a felt-clad wooden hammer hitting a string, the sound reverberating across the wooden soundboard and reaching your ears - and a recording of that same sequence of events...

Plus, you can play it when the power's out!

P.S. You could probably get a good used Yamaha U1 for $3000


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