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#1477037 - 07/19/10 10:37 AM Help! new to digital pianos  
Joined: Jul 2010
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memarie Offline
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memarie  Offline
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Switzerland
I have been strictly an acoustic player . . . however, I now need to purchase a digital practice piano.

I would like to have a real action with weighted ivory feel keys, 128 polyphony and a good sound.

I do not need anything else . . . . any suggestions?

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#1477044 - 07/19/10 10:53 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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MacMacMac Offline
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Do you want console piano or just a keyboard?
Do you require drums and accompaniment features?
Do you want to spend up to $500? Up to $1000? Up to $2000? Up to $5000? (Not sure what would be the Swiss monetary equivalents.)

You'll find MANY pianos on the market, each tailored to a different set of needs.

Suggestions:

Have a look at http://www.pianobuyer.com/publication.html Larry Fine has a complete listing of acoustic pianos (for which he's been famous for over 20 years), and now includes a list of digital pianos. He offers selection guides and a list of many models. This will help you narrow the field to a set of pianos that are suitable for you.

To evaluate pianos, visit a music store or piano dealer. Try out as many pianos as you can. The speakers on most pianos aren't very good, so you might want to bring headphones.

#1477059 - 07/19/10 11:10 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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Dave Horne Online content
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Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted by memarie
I have been strictly an acoustic player . . . however, I now need to purchase a digital practice piano.

I would like to have a real action with weighted ivory feel keys, 128 polyphony and a good sound.

I do not need anything else . . . . any suggestions?


If you want a real acoustic piano action there are really only two keyboards for you but they're not cheap.

http://www.avant-grand.com/ [Linked Image]

[Linked Image]




website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
#1477060 - 07/19/10 11:10 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: MacMacMac]  
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memarie Offline
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memarie  Offline
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Switzerland
The furniture aspect of the piano is not important.

I require no extra features.

Under $3,000.

I am not near any piano stores where I could sample the pianos. I would like to narrow down the search before traveling 100+miles.

I am a professional classical pianist, my regular instrument is a Bosendorfer.

I have read many reviews . . . . what I need is the best practice digital practice piano possible.

Thank you for your response!

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#1477119 - 07/19/10 12:50 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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robdean Offline
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The three strongest manufacturers are, I guess, Roland, Yamaha and Kawai. If there was general agreement about one of them being clearly best, then the other two would likely have gone out of business by now!

As a professional classical pianist you will have refined elements to your technique which will be a tough test for any digital piano. You may find the strong and weak points of digital surprisingly different to those of acoustic pianos. Which piano meets your requirements best will be a personal choice.

There are commonalities running through the product line of each major manufacturer, so often (though not inevitably) you'll become certain of your preferred manufacturer before knowing the exact model (which is often determined by budget!). However, the only way to know what's right for you is to play the instruments. Once you've played a couple of Roland, of Yamaha and of Kawai (and maybe others!) you'll have an idea of the character of each, as one does with makes of acoustic piano. Kawai are the least widely sold, so you need to plan your shopping trip to ensure you'll find a stockist.

Personally, I adore Kawai. I find them superior in every significant respect. But there will be other folks here who disagree and if they have different priorities and tastes to me they may well have been wise to choose something else!

I'm particularly impressed by how adjustable the response to touch of Kawai pianos is - they can be tweaked to fit your feel and style - and my only absolute advice is not to buy a digital piano without personally trying a Kawai!


Kawai MP4 - Roland TD-6KV - Reeve 4-string - 1973 Gibson SG
#1477178 - 07/19/10 02:39 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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ChrisA Offline
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The first thing you have to do is understand that a digital piano is NOT and acoustic piano. The sound is not the same and the keyaction will be different.

If you go shopping thinking you want a digital that sounds just like your grand then you will never find it. What you do instead is find a digital piano that has a musical sound you like.

Also if your target, performance instrument is and acoustic grand piano then there are some things you just can't practice on a digital, fine control of the tone will be different. For many keyboard players the digital keyboard is their performance instrument so this is a non-issue for them. The digital piano will likey play better than an older upright piano.

You might want to look at a Roland RD700GW with roland's new "supernatural" sound upgrade. Price will be about $2,500. Roland offer enough adjustabilty of the sound that you can find something you like.

Roland has faily light key action but it is a expressive. Yamaha has heavier that many people like. You might like the new CP50. It's abut $1,800.

Kawia was the reputation ofr good kay action and may be what you want. But untill recent models their sound was not great at all. You have to get one of their newer home type "furnature" type pianos

There is no way out of it. You WILL have to play each of them. But I'd look at those three to start.

That is the real reason you'd want a digital piano, An acoustic piano can do only one thing, there is no button to brighten the sound or to tune it away from A=440. equal temperament.

#1477271 - 07/19/10 04:53 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: ChrisA]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Some suggestions:

Yamaha CLP-380
Kawai CA63/CA93
Roland HP-307

You may also like to consider searching for a second-hand Roland V-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.
#1477458 - 07/19/10 09:29 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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memarie Offline
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memarie  Offline
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Switzerland
Thank you everyone for your insights! My location is listed for Switzerland, however, this piano would be for the time I spend in the U.S., which is about 2 months a year. I have already looked at the reviews of most of the pianos that were suggested.

I was hoping to find a piano that has a great action, tone and response, however, without the price of buying a piece of furniture and all the gadgets. I am not expecting to have an instrument equal to a grand. I need something to keep my hands in good shape.

Thanks again!
Mary Eileen

#1477593 - 07/20/10 02:05 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
You may also like to consider searching for a second-hand Roland V-Piano.


To find a second hand Roland V-Piano, the implicit assumption is that there were Roland V-Pianos sold first hand. I see little evidence for this, at least in my locale.

Last edited by theJourney; 07/20/10 02:06 AM.
#1477594 - 07/20/10 02:08 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: robdean]  
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theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted by robdean
The three strongest manufacturers are, I guess, Roland, Yamaha and Kawai. If there was general agreement about one of them being clearly best, then the other two would likely have gone out of business by now!

As a professional classical pianist you will have refined elements to your technique which will be a tough test for any digital piano. You may find the strong and weak points of digital surpisingly different to those of acoustic pianos. Which piano meets your requirements best will be a personal choice.

There are commonalities running through the product line of each major manufacturer, so often (though not inevitably) you'll become certain of your preferred manufacturer before knowing the exact model (which is often determined by budget!). However, the only way to know what's right for you is to play the instruments. Once you've played a couple of Roland, of Yamaha and of Kawai (and maybe others!) you'll have an idea of the character of each, as one does with makes of acoustic piano. Kawai are the least widely sold, so you need to plan your shopping trip to ensure you'll find a stockist.

Personally, I adore Kawai. I find them superior in every significant respect. But there will be other folks here who disagree and if they have different priorities and tastes to me they may well have been wise to choose something else!

I'm particularly impressed by how adjustable the response to touch of Kawai pianos is - they can be tweaked to fit your feel and style - and my only absolute advice is not to buy a digital piano without personally trying a Kawai!


This post, especially the bolded part, deserves repeating.

#1477620 - 07/20/10 03:24 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: theJourney]  
Joined: Mar 2010
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TADutchman Offline
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TADutchman  Offline
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Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted by robdean
The three strongest manufacturers are, I guess, Roland, Yamaha and Kawai. If there was general agreement about one of them being clearly best, then the other two would likely have gone out of business by now!

As a professional classical pianist you will have refined elements to your technique which will be a tough test for any digital piano. You may find the strong and weak points of digital surprisingly different to those of acoustic pianos. Which piano meets your requirements best will be a personal choice.

There are commonalities running through the product line of each major manufacturer, so often (though not inevitably) you'll become certain of your preferred manufacturer before knowing the exact model (which is often determined by budget!). However, the only way to know what's right for you is to play the instruments. Once you've played a couple of Roland, of Yamaha and of Kawai (and maybe others!) you'll have an idea of the character of each, as one does with makes of acoustic piano. Kawai are the least widely sold, so you need to plan your shopping trip to ensure you'll find a stockist.

Personally, I adore Kawai. I find them superior in every significant respect. But there will be other folks here who disagree and if they have different priorities and tastes to me they may well have been wise to choose something else!

I'm particularly impressed by how adjustable the response to touch of Kawai pianos is - they can be tweaked to fit your feel and style - and my only absolute advice is not to buy a digital piano without personally trying a Kawai!


The conclusion (scroll down the quote window above, also in bold now) of robdean could have saved me some time in the selection process, as I started with Yamaha and Roland, but at least I made the right decision after all (and never had to look back). cool



K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
#1477627 - 07/20/10 03:47 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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mucci Offline
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Munich, Germany
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Some suggestions:

Yamaha CLP-380
Kawai CA63/CA93
Roland HP-307



I would second that. I strongly recommend to test drive all three models (or similar models from the same manufacturer) and decide based on your impression, since they are different enough to get to know your personal preference in the price range you've mentioned.

I personally prefer KAWAI mainly because of the keyboard action and feel. But I have to say, I just suggested a classical pianist to test drive these three models in our local store, and she opted for the Roland mainly because of the keyboard feel. Her preference regarding sound was clearly KAWAI, but keyboard feel was more important to her.

You see, everyone has different preferences, so there is no straight and easy decision.

Good luck!


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
#1477630 - 07/20/10 04:28 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: mucci]  
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theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted by mucci
I personally prefer KAWAI mainly because of the keyboard action and feel. But I have to say, I just suggested a classical pianist to test drive these three models in our local store, and she opted for the Roland mainly because of the keyboard feel. Her preference regarding sound was clearly KAWAI, but keyboard feel was more important to her.

You see, everyone has different preferences, so there is no straight and easy decision.

Good luck!


Indeed. There is no accounting for personal taste.

It is interesting to see how many classical pianists actually prefer the Roland to the Kawai. Based on the technical approach and the wooden keyboard, one would expect intuitively that the Kawai would be preferable...

On the other hand, the responsiveness, the convincing escapement simulation, the three sensors allowing rapid repetition and differentiated articulation and the very pleasing coupling between the PHA-III keyboard and the organic sounding Super Natural Piano sound are, taken together, a very appealing total package.

More background on others selecting the above named top of the line digital pianos may be found here. Please let us know how your search ends!

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1474052/1.html

#1477737 - 07/20/10 09:05 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: theJourney]  
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TADutchman Offline
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Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Let's put some of the above in reverse and see whether it still makes sense (yes, of course I'm joking):

It is interesting to see how many classical pianists actually prefer the Kawai to the Roland. Based on the bad speakers and plastic keyboard, one would expect intuitively that the Roland would be preferable... ???

Something could be wrong here laugh
Possibly because they never had the chance to play a Kawai DP... wink


K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9
#1477744 - 07/20/10 09:21 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: TADutchman]  
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memarie Offline
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memarie  Offline
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Switzerland
Thank you again for all of your insights. I have narrowed it down to the Kawai CA 93 or the Roland 307. However, are they for sale in the U.S.? I have not found either for sale.

My first choice would be the Kawai.

Mary Eileen

#1477760 - 07/20/10 09:45 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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mucci Offline
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That's a very wise choice! :-) But, before buying, you should definitely test both of them! Maybe KawaiJames can help you with finding the right dealer.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
#1477800 - 07/20/10 10:41 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: mucci]  
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robdean Offline
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UK
Kawai USA dealer locator

The above link should help!

The full Kawai USA site is: www.kawaius.com


Kawai MP4 - Roland TD-6KV - Reeve 4-string - 1973 Gibson SG
#1477824 - 07/20/10 11:22 AM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: theJourney]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by theJourney
On the other hand, the responsiveness, the convincing escapement simulation, the three sensors allowing rapid repetition and differentiated articulation and the very pleasing coupling between the PHA-III keyboard and the organic sounding Super Natural Piano sound are, taken together, a very appealing total package.


I agree, the HP-307 is an excellent instrument.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1477880 - 07/20/10 12:37 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: Kawai James]  
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memarie Offline
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memarie  Offline
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Switzerland
Thank you for the Kawai link . . . . however, I have already tried it. There is only one store listed and it sells only acoustic pianos. I also have reviewed the Kawai U.S. site. I am assuming that if a product is listed on the site it is available to purchase.

#1477909 - 07/20/10 01:21 PM Re: Help! new to digital pianos [Re: memarie]  
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robdean Offline
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There's an e-mail address on that Kawai dealer page - hopefully they'll be helpful if you mail them...


Kawai MP4 - Roland TD-6KV - Reeve 4-string - 1973 Gibson SG

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