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Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? #1476549
07/18/10 12:35 PM
07/18/10 12:35 PM
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Posts: 45
Calgary, Canada
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kungfuthug Offline OP
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Hi.

I am to purchase my first digital piano. I am wondering a couple things. I have found the following used and mint. All prices in Canadian Dollars

Yamaha Clavinova CLP 840 for $1000
Yamaha Clavinova CLP 360 for $750
Yamaha YDP 213 for $1000
Yamaha Clavinova CLP 411 for $1000

At my local music store I can purchase new the following.

Yamaha Arius YDP 140 for $1000
Yamaha Arius YDP 160 for $1250


MY QUESTIONS :


1. Should I buy any of these used ones listed above over the new ones from above?

2. Are the digital piano's of the late 1990's still worth purchasing used over buying a cheaper new?

3. Are the samples far more superior these days?

I am only considering the older models because the wattage on the amplifiers is much more to my liking than a 6 watt x 2.

Thanks for the responses in advance.



Spend your time, don't waste it.
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Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476576
07/18/10 02:12 PM
07/18/10 02:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,388
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Online content
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1. Should I buy any of these used ones listed above over the new ones from above?

If after extensive playing (of many makes and models) you like the used one, buy one. You're the one playing, the decision is yours, right?


2. Are the digital piano's of the late 1990's still worth purchasing used over buying a cheaper new?

All things being equal, no. Since technology plays an important role in these pianos, ask yourself, would you buy a used computer from the late 90's?



3. Are the samples far more superior these days?

Yes.



I am only considering the older models because the wattage on the amplifiers is much more to my liking than a 6 watt x 2.

I mostly use headphones when playing a digital piano so the power of the amplifier is not an issue for me. Headphones usually always sound better than speakers.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: Dave Horne] #1476579
07/18/10 02:20 PM
07/18/10 02:20 PM
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Bob Newbie Offline
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any running car is worth $500..such is not the case however for digital pianos ... frown

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: Dave Horne] #1476581
07/18/10 02:27 PM
07/18/10 02:27 PM
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Gyro Offline
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I bought my very first digital piano in 1989, and even back then
the digitals played like an acoustic piano. The technology to
emulate an acoustic piano, in fact, has been around since at least
the 1970's.

Digital pianos are essentially a computer with a keyboard and
speakers, and, like pc's, used ones lose value fast. A ten yr. old
dp, like a 10 yr. old pc, will be worth little, maybe a couple of
hundred dollars (US). However, a 10 yr. old dp will play not much
differently from a brand new one.

Used digital pianos are the best value around. It's a buyer's market
when you shop for a used piano. All pianos are difficult to sell,
since the number of players in the population is small. There's
no warranty, and you can get good new dp's with full warranty
for the same price. Used digital pianos lose value fast because
of their computer-like nature. There's no place the seller
can unload it fast, since a piano dealer won't buy it and a pawn
shop will give him almost nothing for it. No one is going to line
up to buy a used dp, and the seller is lucky to get any offer.

Test all 88 keys, with and without the rt. pedal, on a used digital
piano. If it's in perfect condition, offer half price or less, and
the seller should grab for that, because he probably won't get
any other offer. The five used ones you listed would be just
as playable as the two new ones, but the price it too high on
all of them. Offer less than half price on all of them, and the
the seller is lucky to get that.




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Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476608
07/18/10 03:09 PM
07/18/10 03:09 PM
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UK
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robdean Offline
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I can't comment about the specific models (I'm a Kawai junkie). Whether each is worth the money is down to how well the model might suit you, and to your liklihood of recouping your money if you decide to sell it any time soon.

1. I absolutely wouldn't buy a piano I didn't have the chance to play at leisure beforehand.

2. Consider your priorities: for a given cost, a quality 'old' model may have a much better action (since it was originally a more expensively constructed instrument). On the other hand it may have an inferior sound to a brand new instrument since sample memory and computing power will tend to be greater in a new product, since these tend to become ever cheaper per unit year on year.

3. The bottom line is: play 'em all and buy the one which overall feels and sounds rightest to you!

And by the way...

In my opinion, few digi piano speakers sound very good. They tend to be especially weak in the bass, and somewhat weak in the high frequencies which are needed for subtlety in harmonics and reverb. A cheap 2.1 speaker system (that's to say with a 'sub' bass speaker) will tend to sound much better than the speakers in many quite expensive pianos. I use an old 'Creative' mid-price PC speaker set with my Kawai MP4 and it's an improvement on most built-in speakers I've heard. And as someone else commented, headphones are a good option in many situations. Thus, choosing a $1000 piano for the sake of liking its $50 worth of built-in speakers is something I'd personally not recommend!



Kawai MP4 - Roland TD-6KV - Reeve 4-string - 1973 Gibson SG
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476641
07/18/10 04:21 PM
07/18/10 04:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 6,801
North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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I've added the US dollar equivalents, and the year in which Yamaha released the piano:
CLP-360...$ 750 CAD...$ 710 USD...1990
YDP-213...$1000 CAD...$ 947 USD...2005
CLP-411...$1000 CAD...$ 947 USD...1996
CLP-840...$1000 CAD...$ 947 USD...1998

My opinions:
CLP-360: No dice. From 1990 ... it's a bit long in the tooth. I wouldn't consider it.

YDP-213: No dice. This is 1-level sampled with the GHS keyboard. Nothing wrong with that, for the right price. But that isn't the right price, IMO. You could pay about the same amount for brand-new YDP-140 ... same keyboard action, but 3-level sampled, not 1-level. So I'd eliminate the YDP-213.

CLP-411: I can't find specs for this, other than "it's old".

CLP-840: Same comments as above for the YDP-213. This one looks nicer, IMO, and it has a more powerful sound system. But I think it's too much money for a 12-year-old.

If you like the sound and touch of any of these, I'd suggest you offer half the stated price. If not, buy a YDP-160 (or the newer YDP-161).

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1476652
07/18/10 04:55 PM
07/18/10 04:55 PM
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Ohio, USA
signa Offline
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you may check the product history here:

http://www.yamaha.co.jp/manual/english/chron.php

i wouldn't buy anything more than 10 years old, unless given for free or really cheap. but for those old models, the prices are too high.

you'd be better off getting a new one, such as a YDP160/161.

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: Gyro] #1476658
07/18/10 05:17 PM
07/18/10 05:17 PM
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Tweedpipe Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro
I bought my very first digital piano in 1989, and even back then
the digitals played like an acoustic piano.
The technology to
emulate an acoustic piano, in fact, has been around since at least
the 1970's.

Digital pianos are essentially a computer with a keyboard and
speakers, and, like pc's, used ones lose value fast. A ten yr. old
dp, like a 10 yr. old pc, will be worth little, maybe a couple of
hundred dollars (US). However, a 10 yr. old dp will play not much
differently from a brand new one.

Used digital pianos are the best value around. It's a buyer's market
when you shop for a used piano. All pianos are difficult to sell,
since the number of players in the population is small. There's
no warranty, and you can get good new dp's with full warranty
for the same price. Used digital pianos lose value fast because
of their computer-like nature. There's no place the seller
can unload it fast, since a piano dealer won't buy it and a pawn
shop will give him almost nothing for it. No one is going to line
up to buy a used dp, and the seller is lucky to get any offer.

Test all 88 keys, with and without the rt. pedal, on a used digital
piano. If it's in perfect condition, offer half price or less, and
the seller should grab for that, because he probably won't get
any other offer. The five used ones you listed would be just
as playable as the two new ones, but the price it too high on
all of them. Offer less than half price on all of them, and the
the seller is lucky to get that.


As the OP is a newbie looking to buy his first DP, he is entitled to correct facts. I believe the following comments address these issues more fairly:-

i)Back in 1989 top of the range DP's did quite a reasonable job of emulating acoustic pianos. Cheap and cheerful DP's however sounded poor, and the touch was equally bad, and this is still very much the case today with many (but not all) cheaper models.

ii) All pianos are NOT difficult to sell! Used, top of the range (and some medium range models) if priced realistically will and do find buyers. I monitor nationally in my country, sales of used DP's and synthesizers on a regular basis.

iii) Whether the seller gets any offers is largely dependent on the location and of course the price. In the larger cities in many countries, if suitably priced the seller should be able to find a buyer. In smaller towns or cities, patience is keyword.

iv) If the used DP is in perfect condition, offering half or less of the asking price is an insult if the seller has priced it realistically. I admit many owners do over-estimate the value of their DP's, but a little research weeks or months beforehand by the buyer should be able to determine what is a reasonable price, what is a rip-off, or if the owner is prepared to accept an offer acceptable to you both.

I admit I'm unaware of the position of the s/h market for DP's in Canada, however regarding the prices seen on the units by the OP, I believe them to be too high, especially compared to the average s/h price in Europe;
CLP-360 400 euros = $CAN545
CLP 840 550 euros = $CAN750
No data for the other models.

Incidently, imho 'ROBDEAN' gives good advise in his post above.




Currently working on:-
C Major scale (r/h only - starting with the pinkie finger)......

Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: signa] #1476660
07/18/10 05:18 PM
07/18/10 05:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
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San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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No, no, and yes (to your questions).

I would not do it. Save a little more and get something better. And those price offers are way too high for the age of the equipment.


Clef

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: Jeff Clef] #1476716
07/18/10 07:51 PM
07/18/10 07:51 PM
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Calgary, Canada
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kungfuthug Offline OP
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I thank all of you for your input thus far. Great forum!!


Spend your time, don't waste it.
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476718
07/18/10 07:56 PM
07/18/10 07:56 PM
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Calgary, Canada
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kungfuthug Offline OP
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I looked at a new Yamaha YDP 140 for $1000 Canadian locally. It has a mere 6Wx2 amp and speaker config. I have a little home studio and studio monitor speakers etc. I'd hate to purchase something and get it home and find out that it is too quiet or under-powered. I am buying a digital piano to get freedom from mixers, monitors, wires, etc.

What wattage would be suffice enough?

That is what I liked about the older CLP 840 it has a powerful amp section in comparison. I know this is personal preference, but is anyone out there happy with 6W x 2?



Spend your time, don't waste it.
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476721
07/18/10 08:01 PM
07/18/10 08:01 PM
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Denton Texas
LesCharles73 Offline
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For those prices, I wouldn't touch a used digital piano. Now, while some high-end synthesizers and workstations from the same era can still fetch a lot of money (the Kurzweil K series come to mind - the early 90's K2000 can still make a seller the better half of a thousand bucks, and they DO sell), this is not the case here. Now, I wouldn't go looking at digital pianos like I would a computer. A computer from the 1990's will very likely turn on and function as it was designed, but that doesn't mean it will be usable. A digital piano of the same age will still be usable as long as it turns on and plays correctly. However, these days a low-end $600 Yamaha is at about the same level as a high-end Yamaha of ten years ago, all things considered. If given the choice, I would buy the new low-end version over the decade-old high-end model.

Last edited by LesCharles73; 07/18/10 08:03 PM.

Les C Deal




Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1476742
07/18/10 08:38 PM
07/18/10 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kungfuthug
That is what I liked about the older CLP 840 it has a powerful amp section in comparison. I know this is personal preference, but is anyone out there happy with 6W x 2?
Among the pianos I've tried ... other than the VERY expensive digital pianos, the piano internal sound systems are mediocre. So, if you're not buying one of those $5000+ pianos, odds are that you'll be better off with an external sound system. Don't sweat the built in amps/speakers.

My thinking is ... consider the touch of the piano. And consider it's tone while listening with headphones. Don't pay much heed to the amplifier power specs.

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1476844
07/19/10 02:14 AM
07/19/10 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Originally Posted by kungfuthug
That is what I liked about the older CLP 840 it has a powerful amp section in comparison. I know this is personal preference, but is anyone out there happy with 6W x 2?
Among the pianos I've tried ... other than the VERY expensive digital pianos, the piano internal sound systems are mediocre. So, if you're not buying one of those $5000+ pianos, odds are that you'll be better off with an external sound system. Don't sweat the built in amps/speakers.

My thinking is ... consider the touch of the piano. And consider it's tone while listening with headphones. Don't pay much heed to the amplifier power specs.


Out of curiosity, in your experience, which of the "very expensive digital pianos" do you think have good internal sound systems?

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: theJourney] #1476863
07/19/10 03:11 AM
07/19/10 03:11 AM
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Re '6 Watts x2': it's very hard to give a trustworthy response to the question of whether this is 'enough' because such figures are so inconsistently calibrated. What you really need to know is how much volume and dynamic reponsiveness the instrument will ultimately deliver to you...

My car CD player is rated at 15W RMS x4 and is a bit too quiet for fast driving with the windows down. However a vintage Vox AC30 valve guitar amp (30W RMS x1) would probably shake my old car down to a pile of rusty components. It's partly down to how conservatively the power output is calculated and partly down to how efficiently those watts are turned into decibels.

In the end it comes down to the same old answer: play the instrument you are considering buying, in the manner you intend to use it. If that means cranking the volume up, then get the permission of the store to do so for a while. If it sounds good enough (rich tone, low distortion, low hum/hiss), dynamic enough (punchy attack) and loud enough, all is well...



Kawai MP4 - Roland TD-6KV - Reeve 4-string - 1973 Gibson SG
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: theJourney] #1476901
07/19/10 05:43 AM
07/19/10 05:43 AM
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MacMacMac Offline
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Out of curiosity, in your experience, which of the "very expensive digital pianos" do you think have good internal sound systems?
I wish I could remember the model number ... I know it was a Roland mini-grand digital, and I want to say that it was the N-1 model. But I don't think there is any such model number, is there? I just don't remember the correct model number, sorry. If it helps, the dealer was asking $7000, and this was late in 2008.

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1477382
07/19/10 07:34 PM
07/19/10 07:34 PM
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ekloc Offline
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I just bought brand new Casio AP-620 for $1,100 CAD at Costco.ca. Spec wise it easily beats all of the models you listed. And although not Yamaha, Kawai or Roland it seems to be well regarded digital piano by many members of this great forum.

AP-620 has two 30W amps for all it's worth smile

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1477564
07/20/10 12:49 AM
07/20/10 12:49 AM
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ChrisA Offline
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Those prices are all more than I would pay. Looking only at new and used Yamaha DPs you have to ask "what new piano sells for the asking price of that used piano"?

In the case of the YDP160, why buy a used one when new ones sell for $50 less? It is over priced. A used YDP160 shoud sell for about $800, new ones go for $1200. Asking $1250 is nuts.

I think the only reason to buy a used piano is if you can't afford a new piano. So I don't see any reason at all to spend $1000 on a used piano. If you can spend $1000 you can buy any of several new pianos. OK one exception if you find a used piano that is very under priced. You have not found any.


Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: ChrisA] #1478017
07/20/10 04:40 PM
07/20/10 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Those prices are all more than I would pay. Looking only at new and used Yamaha DPs you have to ask "what new piano sells for the asking price of that used piano"?

In the case of the YDP160, why buy a used one when new ones sell for $50 less? It is over priced. A used YDP160 shoud sell for about $800, new ones go for $1200. Asking $1250 is nuts.

I think the only reason to buy a used piano is if you can't afford a new piano. So I don't see any reason at all to spend $1000 on a used piano. If you can spend $1000 you can buy any of several new pianos. OK one exception if you find a used piano that is very under priced. You have not found any.
All true ... except for two things:

1. When referring to the YDP-160 and 140, he mentioned his local music store. Those are prices for NEW units.

2. The OP is quoting Canadian dollars. Take off about 4% to get US equivalents. So $1250 CAD is $1198 USD. That's right there with your $1200 quote for the YDP-160.

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1478049
07/20/10 05:45 PM
07/20/10 05:45 PM
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Calgary, Canada
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kungfuthug Offline OP
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Correct Mac...

I am referring to new prices for YDP 160 and YDP 140

I am leaning to the YDP 160 and likely will pick up this weekend.
I like how this played and sounded. However, I am not too certain what my next model up would be and how much more it would cost.

What model is the next best thing to the YDP 160 and is it worth the purchase?


Spend your time, don't waste it.
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1478064
07/20/10 06:02 PM
07/20/10 06:02 PM
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I'm mostly familiar with the Yamahas. In that line, you could get the YDP-161. It's the replacement for the 160. Either push for a bargain/reduction on a 160, or get the 161. They're mostly the same, but it makes sense to get the newer model.

You could move up to the Clavinova CLP-320. Nicer appearance, but probably not worth the extra cost. It's really mostly the same piano, in slightly nicer dressing.

The CLP-330 is a step up in performance, and also in price. These (and all Clavinovas) are only found at piano dealers, not in music stores. And the price is always negotiable. (You really must.) The prices paid thread shows three buyers in the US:
Oct 2008: $2195
Dec 2008: $1875
Jan 2010: $1599

The next step up is a CLP-340. Very fine instrument. Worth the money, if you can afford it. The prices paid thread shows these US buyers:
CLP340
Dec 2008: $2250
Dec 2008: $2450
Mar 2009: $2271
Jun 2009: $2700 incl tax
Mar 2009: $3100 incl tax
Dec 2009: $2400
Jan 2010: $2400
Feb 2010: $2783
Apr 2010: $2350
May 2010: $2699
Jun 2010: $2800

CLP340PE (polished ebony finished usually costs hundreds more)
Dec 2008: $3149
Dec 2008: $2550
Jan 2010: $3200
Feb 2010: $2900 incl tax


Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1478118
07/20/10 08:05 PM
07/20/10 08:05 PM
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Calgary, Canada
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kungfuthug Offline OP
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Thanks so much for the valuable input Mac.

I just left the ONLY Yamaha music store that has the line of home digital pianos in my city of one million people. Kind of sucks. They hold a monopoly!!

I was told the following prices in Canadian Dollars.

YDP 140 last one in the place floor model $998
YDP 160 last one in the place floor model $1298

YDP 141 $1298
YDP 161 $1498
YDP 181 $1900

CLP 320 $1948

All of these seem too high from what I have read. Especially the floor models of discontinued models (140 and 160)

I went in there thinking I wanted to buy a YDP 160 for $1298 and was shocked that was a floor model clearance price ... last one.

This makes the used Clavinova's look better and better (from above) if I got a better price from them. People seem to think that their 20 YR old DP are still worth a premium. Dunno

I had planned on a $1300 kind of purchase.

Now MAC you say there is wiggle room in the prices at the music store?

What type of offer would you make for the YDP 161?

The salesman kind of slipped up and told me that the 161 is equilvalent piano to the CLP320 but $500 cheaper. Dunno

I am not in an incredible rush to buy a DP but since I sold my 88 key midi controller and am now without anything. I think I will borrow a Yamaha KX8 controller from a friend until I can decide what to do.

It is funny, at the store there is always something better just $300 bucks away. That is the trend until you hit the flagship model


Spend your time, don't waste it.
Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: kungfuthug] #1478141
07/20/10 08:28 PM
07/20/10 08:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 6,801
North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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MacMacMac  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 6,801
North Carolina
I'm not clear on how the market plays out in Canada. But in the US, the YDP series pianos are sold in music stores and online. So you don't have to buy locally. You can buy online. Or, in the store you can quote an online price and use that to negotiate a price match. (I don't know much about the Canadian online market. Can you buy from US online sellers?? Someone else will have to comment.)

As for the Clavinovas ... In the US these are only sold at piano dealers. The suggested retail prices are ludicrous. So much so that the dealers usually price the pianos far below that. But those prices are still very high. So you really must negotiate. Don't work the price down from the dealer's asking price. Instead, make a low offer and allow the dealer to work the price up from there. (Be prepared for lots of "If I sell at that price, how am ever gonna feed the kids! Woe is me!", and the like. Nonsense. Ignore it.)

Re: Are older digital piano's still worth the money?? [Re: MacMacMac] #1478270
07/21/10 01:01 AM
07/21/10 01:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
D
Dino C Offline
Junior Member
Dino C  Offline
Junior Member
D

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Someone here is selling a CLP 360 for $250


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