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#1442613 - 05/24/10 10:06 AM Upgrading my Digital Piano  
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keynote26 Offline
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Hello, everyone. I'm wanting to upgrade from my Yamaha YDP121 to a newer digital piano. I want a digital with wooden keys, and a good speaker syestem, as well as, realistic touch/sound. I live in the USA, and teach piano out of my home. I've been looking (online) at the newest digital home pianos: Roland HP-307 & Kawai CA 93. I'm an early advanced pianist myself, and want a nice digital; something that will last (if taken good care of). I've thought of purchasing an acoustic piano, but our house is small, and so I want something that can be turned down when the kids nap (I have toddler), and I'm due in December with baby #2. My husband is a pastor of a rurul church, so we don't have a ton of money to spend (I'm hoping only $3,000 max). I'm not sure what most dealers would ask for these models. I've read a lot of the posts about the Roland HP-307/305, and Kawai CA93, and it's been helpful in learning about each other's opinions/critiques of these pianos. My family and I are going on vacation in June, and there are 2 piano stores that I want to visit, one carries Roland & Kawai, the other carries Yamaha. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

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#1442630 - 05/24/10 10:45 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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dewster Offline
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If you are considering the HP-307 you might also want to look at the Roland LX-10F. It has a better speaker system than the HP-307.

But I don't believe either the HP or LX has wooden keys.

#1442640 - 05/24/10 10:57 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: dewster]  
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Johan B Offline
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Perhaps Kawai CA18....cheap < $2000......and near to the Yamaha-sound.

When you like the Yammie-sound.....do not purchase a Roland.....You will be disappointed.....

Goodluck, keep us informed.

Best regards,
Johan B


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#1442647 - 05/24/10 11:11 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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The two you picked out are great. But they have very different feel to the key action. You will have to try each of them. You don't need to try an actual HP307, any Roland with the same kay action inside will do. Like the RD700GX which is at any Guitar Center. Same for the Kawai, try a Kawai with same keys. If you are teaching, yo'd have to think about which action is best for students.

About the built-in speakers. None of then are great, but at your price range they are good. But you can add external speakers to any piano and make it very much better. So, before you spend extra to get a model with good internal speakers think about just using external speakers.

If you like the keys on the presenr piano you could go with a virtual instrument running on a computer. The sound you get this way is better then what you'd get in a self-contained digital piano. You would use the present piano as a MIDI controller only. But if you don't like the key action you are best to replace the piano.

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#1442651 - 05/24/10 11:18 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: Johan B]  
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keynote26 Offline
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Thanks for the replies. I actually like the Roland sound better than the Yamaha (at least for how my YDP121 sounds). I'm not fond of the cabinet in the Roland LX 10F (and it's out of my price range, I'm sure). On Roland's website, the HP307 (along with the 305) have wooden key sides at least - you can see it in the videos. Does anyone know how much one of these would cost from a dealer, or what would be the "best deal" I could get? Also, how does the HP207, compare to the HP307? The cabinet styles look very similar (except for the SuperNATURAL sound engine in the 300 models), what's the difference?

#1442663 - 05/24/10 11:35 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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keynote26 Offline
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ChrisA, I was replying to previous posts at the same time you were posting. I'm not fond on my YDP121 key action. It just doesn't feel as "real" as I'd like, though it has lasted me for almost 10 years with only 1 problem - a sticking key, but that was easy to fix, and not too expensive. I've played a Kawai CA32, I think, and loved the wooden keys compared to my YDP121 graded hammer action. I have also played a Roland HP1800 (years ago, but I'm sure that key action is much better now on Rolands). I've always been impressed with the Roland sound, and I've watched their online videos (SuperNATURAL sound engine, how rolands are produced, etc.), and have been very impressed. I just want to get the best digital for my money. Would the HP300 series be in $3,000 range? I looked online and the HP307 price was $4,199. The Kawai CA93 price was $4,650. Though I couldn't find any online dealers. I'm willing to look at lower Roland models (HP305, 302, 207), as long as it is a giant leap forward from the YDP121.

#1442709 - 05/24/10 12:40 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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ChrisA Offline
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Originally Posted by keynote26
ChrisA, I was replying to previous posts at the same time you were posting. I'm not fond on my YDP121 key action. It just doesn't feel as "real" as I'd like


OK, that's a reasonable opinion. Even Yamaha has decided that those old keys need to be replaced. The new Yamaha DPs use difference actions now.

I agree about the Kawai action too. Both their plastic and wood keys are good. Lighter feel then Yamaha. And I like the Roland sound too. when I was shopping for a DP last year I liked both the Yamaha "GH" action and the "PHA-II" action on the Roland RD700GX. I bought the Yamaha P155 as it was 1/2 the price.

I didn't even look at any of the home pianos. They were not cost effective for me. For example the HP307 and RD700 are almost the same but the RD700 is now $2,000. You pay over $1000 for the simulated-wood stand. For your business you need the cosmetics of a wood grain finish stand and case.

#1442725 - 05/24/10 01:03 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: ChrisA]  
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GasGuzz Offline
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KN26:
Saturday we’re going to get my 9yo daughter a digital, or so I thought. We checked out the CLP340 and HP305, so the CA63 was the last to see. Per the forum, the CA93 has the edge with the sound/board (at least tech-wise) but several went with the CA63 ‘all things considered’. Do a search, comparisons abound the CA63/CA93 action/sound/tech.

I didn’t make a counter on the $2,700 quote I was given, I expect at least another $200 off this. I would’ve (finally) loaded the van with the CA63, however my daughter is hearing/feeling (and the LOML seeing) something I can’t.

Good luck.

#1442746 - 05/24/10 01:43 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: GasGuzz]  
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I just ordered the RD700GXF after coming very close to getting the CP5. After all of the talk on various forums about the non-graded action, and the fact that the RD700GX has a proven, consistent reaction from people, and that the GXF has the GX1 expansion board included, it was worth the switch. I've been playing Yamaha for a long, long time but this SCM technology sounds peculiarly similar to what the RD's been doing for a while. I bet the Yamama CP5 sounds fine and is a great keyboard, but I trust that the action on the RD will be more logical.

Last edited by Mafew J; 05/24/10 01:44 PM.
#1442767 - 05/24/10 02:36 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: Mafew J]  
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Just a remark on wooden keys: The Roland pianos do NOT have wooden keys. They are brown plastic. But in my opinion wooden keys are irrelevant as long as the keyboard feels fine. Some old keyboards (15 years ago) had wooden but non weighted keys that felt much too light, basically like a children's toy. For some reason Yamaha and Kawai put a lot of marketing into "real wooden keyboard" but to be honest that's just a marketing gag. The Roland keyboard feels just fine and for me close enough to an acoustic.

#1442798 - 05/24/10 03:37 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: goatfreed]  
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keynote26 Offline
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Well, it says on Roland's website, that the HP300's have natural wooden sides... so, it's just plastic? Wouldn't they be dishonest to say that if it's not true? Makes me dissapointed. But maybe the piano feels good. I'll just have to try it out.

#1442800 - 05/24/10 03:39 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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keynote26 Offline
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Also, what's the differences between the HP207 verses the HP307? Is the 207 not as good of a model?

#1442803 - 05/24/10 03:44 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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Melodialworks Music Offline
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The HP-307 has replaced the HP-207. I would agree that the HP-207 is not as good as the HP-307, primarily due to the SuperNatural Piano technology in the HP-307.

#1442847 - 05/24/10 04:59 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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dewster Offline
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Originally Posted by keynote26
On Roland's website, the HP307 (along with the 305) have wooden key sides at least - you can see it in the videos.

I think that's brown plastic, but I could be mistaken. They would make a huge deal about it if it were real wood and I don't see it in the specs.

Originally Posted by keynote26
Also, how does the HP207, compare to the HP307? The cabinet styles look very similar (except for the SuperNATURAL sound engine in the 300 models), what's the difference?

You really, really, really, etc. want the SuperNATURAL sound engine. It's state of the art and quite impressive.

The RD-700GXF is cheaper in a stage piano form factor, no internal speakers, but a much better value.

#1442940 - 05/24/10 07:38 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: dewster]  
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This is from the HP207 Model (from Roland's website): •PHA II Ivory Feel keyboard with Escapement and Natural Key Sides offers enhanced dynamic range of touch response.

I'm assuming the PHAIII would also have the "ivory feel keyboard with Escapement & natural key sides". - I'm also thinking the "natural key sides means - wood". If not, it's misleading, to say the least.

Thanks so much for all the responses so far! I need all the advice I can get on these models.

#1443003 - 05/24/10 09:33 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello keynote26,

As others have suggested, the Roland HP307 is superior to the previous generation HP207 in that it offers the technically impressive 'Super Natural' sound engine and improved PHA-III keyboard action.

The HP207 is still an excellent instrument, and it's certainly worth considering if you can find a great deal. However, if you're buying for the long-term (another ten years for example), I would opt for the latest model.

Quote
I've played a Kawai CA32, I think, and loved the wooden keys compared to my YDP121 graded hammer action.


All Kawai 'CA' instruments feature real wooden keys, however I do not believe we have ever manufactured a CA32 model. Perhaps you were referring to the CN32? This is a very nice instrument, however it utilises a plastic key action.

With the exception of the lovely Avant Grand, I believe Kawai is still the only manufacturer producing digital pianos with real wooden keys, however I don't wish to get too involved in another 'wood vs. plastic' argument.

What I would say, however, is that the mechanism and motion of the key is also very important, and in this respect Kawai's wooden key actions are undoubtedly closer to an acoustic grand than that of any other manufacturer (again with the exception of the Avant Grand).

May I wish you the best of luck with your purchase.

Kind regards,
James
x

Last edited by Kawai James; 05/24/10 09:43 PM.

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1443215 - 05/25/10 07:40 AM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: Kawai James]  
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keynote26 Offline
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Thanks so much everyone for the replies! I'll keep everyone updated as I shop this summer for a piano. How long do most digital pianos last (the latest models)? Does anyone have an acoustic piano that they recommmend? I've looked at some acoustics (uprights for the home) before, but they were so expensive - at least brand new, anyway.

#1500080 - 08/20/10 06:56 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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Thought I'd update my post. I just purchased a Kawai CA93 (Rosewood finish). It should arrive in a few weeks. I'm SO EXCITED! I tried out the Roland HP307 & Roland LX10, and was not as impressed as I thought I would be. To me, the wooden key action and fabulous sound made all the difference! Thank you everyone for your helpful responses! I appreciate it.

#1500132 - 08/20/10 08:35 PM Re: Upgrading my Digital Piano [Re: keynote26]  
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Kawai James Offline
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keynote26, thank you for informing us of your piano purchase - congratulations on buying the CA93.

Please do post a picture or two once you receive the piano.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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