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Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) #1585927
12/28/10 06:13 PM
12/28/10 06:13 PM
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jasburbak Offline OP
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Hi, i'm new to the forums, although i have been lurking for a while now. Simply put, i'm a beginner who has just started playing, and now am in the market for my first DP.

Shortly put: I'm losing my mind. I have compared and cross examined all my options, and yet am still stuck, so i thought I'd ask the advice of those in the know.

I am looking at : Casio AP 620
Roland HP302
Kawaii CN 23 / CN 33
Yamaha CLP 320

I live in Istanbul, so the prices of the above are all around $2000 with the exception of the Roland and CN 33 being $300 more.

I am really leaning towards the Casio AP 620, it is jam packed with features, much more than it's rivals, and seems to be the better deal amongst the rest. However, i have read here that the action used on the AP 620 is the same as the low cost models, and that users have had issues with sticking keys and side to side play...so build quality here is an issue.

On the other hand, i have always known Roland to have really good quality build, and last years....it also is comparable in specs to the AP 620, however with a weaker speaker wattage.

The Kawai's features are not up to par with the rest, but had favorable reviews, and the Yamaha seems to be void of many features as well, although with good reviews on action, etc..

I have played each, and being an amateur could not tell the difference between them to a discerning degree.. Although the Roland did feel a tad lighter..

I have read so many conflicting reviews here, that i can't make up my mind, Rolands tone vs it's weak action vs. Yamaha's action vs. it's tone..etc...

Like i said, i'm leaning towards the Casio, but its reputation for build quality is putting me off a bit, making me consider alternatives...The most important aspect for me is action, and then voices, rythms, etc... any ideas or advice would help a lot!..
Thanks!


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Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1585959
12/28/10 07:07 PM
12/28/10 07:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 501
pacific nw, usa
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leemax Offline
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Hi there,
I've had a 620 for a couple of weeks now and I'm very happy with it. i got it for about half price (about 600.00)because it had been a floor demo, I would guess, and had a couple of minor imperfections. The only problem i had with the action was that about 8 or 9 of the keys would tap against each other when I was doing a fast trill. I fixed that by putting a small piece of white medical tape on the edge of one of the tapping keys. It's virtually invisible and fixed the problem completely. I really like the action now. Better than my old acoustic.
The sound is great through my Bose QC15 headphones, and not so marvelous through the speakers. I got some M Audio BX5a monitors which make a huge difference. I'm very happy with it now. Good luck with your decision.


Lee
Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1585986
12/28/10 07:42 PM
12/28/10 07:42 PM
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PianoMath Offline
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I dont know on your country, but on mine Casio has a terrible support.

I will never buy one anymore.

Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: PianoMath] #1586095
12/28/10 11:24 PM
12/28/10 11:24 PM
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jasburbak Offline OP
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jasburbak  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by leemax
Hi there,
I've had a 620 for a couple of weeks now and I'm very happy with it. i got it for about half price (about 600.00)because it had been a floor demo, I would guess, and had a couple of minor imperfections. The only problem i had with the action was that about 8 or 9 of the keys would tap against each other when I was doing a fast trill. I fixed that by putting a small piece of white medical tape on the edge of one of the tapping keys. It's virtually invisible and fixed the problem completely. I really like the action now. Better than my old acoustic.
The sound is great through my Bose QC15 headphones, and not so marvelous through the speakers. I got some M Audio BX5a monitors which make a huge difference. I'm very happy with it now. Good luck with your decision.


Thanks for the input! If i was able to get mine for $600 i would bite the bullet, but for $2000 i kind of need to be really sure, you know? =) The issue is, everyone seems to be happy for the trial runs, and i'm afraid it starts breaking down along the way towards the 1 year mark...i need to go back with my studio headphones and try'em out again...

Originally Posted by PianoMath
I dont know on your country, but on mine Casio has a terrible support.

I will never buy one anymore.


That's my main concern. Customer Support and Customer Satisfaction in Turkey is practically non existent. They say you get a 1 year or 5 year warranty (i.e.) but when it breaks down, you're the one who has to lunk the behemoth to the repair center, get told "you'll get it when it's done", and almost always receive it worse off then it is, with internal parts missing...i always feel like i'm dealing with Jawa's from Star Wars you know? wink That's why i'm trying to get something that won't break on me...

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Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586136
12/29/10 12:19 AM
12/29/10 12:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 870
Lakewood, CA
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galaxy4t Offline
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Well if you don't need the fancy cabinet, the PX-330 is the same thing as the AP-620 save for the fancy cabinet, higher wattage amp, and maybe slightly better speakers. Of course if you want the stand and pedal bar, those are extra but should not cost $2000. As far as build quality, I think Yamaha, Roland, and Kawaii have better keybeds, assuming you like their action vs the Casio. Action is the most important consideration. As for the sound, which piano do you like best? As far as extra sounds go, you can plug into a computer and use software which tends to be better than the onboard sounds in the pianos. In that case, you could consider just buying the PX-130 because the action is the same as the Celviano and you could save some serious cash.

Last edited by galaxy4t; 12/29/10 12:22 AM.
Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586221
12/29/10 04:27 AM
12/29/10 04:27 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
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FogVilleLad Offline
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FogVilleLad  Offline
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Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
Originally Posted by jasburbak
Customer Support and Customer Satisfaction in Turkey is practically non existent. That's why i'm trying to get something that won't break on me...
Don't get a Casio. We can buy them here, but we can also return them easily.

It'd be great to find a DP whose touch and tone you like. If you have to choose one or the other, I think that it's best to choose based on touch. You can change tone by connecting your DP to a computer on which you've loaded a software piano, but you're stuck with the touch. (The touch settings are essentially filters, the actual touch weight never changes.)

Yamaha's graded hammer actions have achieved a good reputation for durability and quality control. The problem with their DP's - I've owned two of them - is that they sample their own pianos;-) Their tone is clear and bright. That tone will definitely cut thru a mix - with "mix" referring to the presence of other instruments.

Kawai's tone is more mellow, tho people have posted about it being a little metallic. The CN33 has a unique capability: you can layer pianos. So if you wanted to, you could combine the default grand with their mellow grand, which would be set at a lower volume. TADutchman has a long thread about doing this with a CA63 or 93. The CN33 has lessor capablities for customizing, but it is possible. spanishbuddha owns a 33 and knows how to use the layering capability. You could send him a Private Message, for directions. (If you layer pianos in the shop, you should, as a courtesy to others, do a factory reset. Directions for doing that will be in the owners manual, which should be downloadable from Kawai's U.S. site.)

Roland is a hot ticket on PianoWorld at the moment, particularly for its Supernatural pianos. People who don't like the tone have found it to sound too processed.

Auditioning DP's can be tedious and confusing. If you need a break, just take a break. It'd be a good thing to make a decision based on being enthusiastic about your choice, it'd be a bad thing to choose based on being tired of auditioning. Ultimately you'll have to trust your fingers and your ears. Patience and persistence.


Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: FogVilleLad] #1586287
12/29/10 08:33 AM
12/29/10 08:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
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jasburbak Offline OP
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jasburbak  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by galaxy4t
Well if you don't need the fancy cabinet, the PX-330 is the same thing as the AP-620 save for the fancy cabinet, higher wattage amp, and maybe slightly better speakers. Of course if you want the stand and pedal bar, those are extra but should not cost $2000. As far as build quality, I think Yamaha, Roland, and Kawaii have better keybeds, assuming you like their action vs the Casio. Action is the most important consideration. As for the sound, which piano do you like best? As far as extra sounds go, you can plug into a computer and use software which tends to be better than the onboard sounds in the pianos. In that case, you could consider just buying the PX-130 because the action is the same as the Celviano and you could save some serious cash.


Actually, i'm really not that interested in the cabinets wink a stage piano set up would be fine for me, especially if the more expensive priced DP's are due to the added cabinetry costs. I didn't know that about the PX-130, thanks so much, you opened my eyes to a more economical alternative smile


Originally Posted by FogVilleLad
Originally Posted by jasburbak
Customer Support and Customer Satisfaction in Turkey is practically non existent. That's why i'm trying to get something that won't break on me...
Don't get a Casio. We can buy them here, but we can also return them easily.

It'd be great to find a DP whose touch and tone you like. If you have to choose one or the other, I think that it's best to choose based on touch. You can change tone by connecting your DP to a computer on which you've loaded a software piano, but you're stuck with the touch. (The touch settings are essentially filters, the actual touch weight never changes.)

Yamaha's graded hammer actions have achieved a good reputation for durability and quality control. The problem with their DP's - I've owned two of them - is that they sample their own pianos;-) Their tone is clear and bright. That tone will definitely cut thru a mix - with "mix" referring to the presence of other instruments.

Kawai's tone is more mellow, tho people have posted about it being a little metallic. The CN33 has a unique capability: you can layer pianos. So if you wanted to, you could combine the default grand with their mellow grand, which would be set at a lower volume. TADutchman has a long thread about doing this with a CA63 or 93. The CN33 has lessor capablities for customizing, but it is possible. spanishbuddha owns a 33 and knows how to use the layering capability. You could send him a Private Message, for directions. (If you layer pianos in the shop, you should, as a courtesy to others, do a factory reset. Directions for doing that will be in the owners manual, which should be downloadable from Kawai's U.S. site.)

Roland is a hot ticket on PianoWorld at the moment, particularly for its Supernatural pianos. People who don't like the tone have found it to sound too processed.

Auditioning DP's can be tedious and confusing. If you need a break, just take a break. It'd be a good thing to make a decision based on being enthusiastic about your choice, it'd be a bad thing to choose based on being tired of auditioning. Ultimately you'll have to trust your fingers and your ears. Patience and persistence.



First off, thank you so much for that detailed reply, it really did help me to look at my choices in a more concise manner. When i was at the Yamaha store, there also was the P95, which i did find to have a nice action, and the price was very good as well ($1000), however i dont know how it would fair against the GH action that the CLP320 has (or the P155), any ideas on if the action difference and speakers, etc...would be worth $1000 more? The only difference between the two seems to be speakers and 64 vs 128 polyphony...

I've narrowed it down to the Roland HP302 vs (Yamaha CLP320 or P155) vs Yamaha P95 (i know a different category in price) but considering cabinetry not that important, maybe the more economical alternative (P95) would be just as good?



Last edited by jasburbak; 12/29/10 09:12 AM.
Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586343
12/29/10 10:42 AM
12/29/10 10:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 100
Budapest, Hungary, EU
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hannibal2 Offline
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Budapest, Hungary, EU
Hi jasburbak

Being in the same situation about a quarter year ago, I would definitely recommend you the Yamaha CP33 over the P85/95/P155 models on the stage piano front. Havent tried the Kawai MP8/10 but I would also give them a try if I were you.

Good luck!

/z


Yamaha CP33, Roland XP10, Fatar SL610
Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586445
12/29/10 01:24 PM
12/29/10 01:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,219
UK
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spanishbuddha Online content
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The thing is about all the features - will you use them? If not they should not really be a factor, unless perhaps they're included at the same price.

Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586456
12/29/10 01:34 PM
12/29/10 01:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
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FogVilleLad Offline
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FogVilleLad  Offline
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Originally Posted by jasburbak
First off, thank you so much for that detailed reply...
Thanks for the kind words. I've been helped many times on forums, it's enjoyable to be able to help others.

Originally Posted by jasburbak
I've narrowed it down to the Roland HP302 vs (Yamaha CLP320 or P155) vs Yamaha P95... maybe the more economical alternative (P95) would be just as good?
To some extent this decision may depend on the resale market in Turkey. The P95 is fitted with Yamaha's GHS - graded hammer standard - action. Its touch is lighter than that of the GH action. (The GH is sometimes also called GHE, for graded hammer effect.) A lighter touch is easier to use at first, but if you continue you'll probably find that a heavier touch makes it easier to control dynamics - volume changes. (In general DP's actions are lighter than those of properly regulated acoustics.) If you can resell a P95 - which wouldn't be too difficult in the States - it's worth considering. If you're not comfortable selling, I'd skip it and go right to the models with a heavier touch.

When you return to auditioning, it might be a good idea to look at DP's from a slight distance and see if stage or console models look better to your eyes. I started with stage pianos, but now play a console, because I got tired of chasing the pedals around the floor. If you enjoy playing the piano, you'll be living with your choice for a long time, so it's to your advantage to think thru issues such as this.

Patience and persistence.






Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586664
12/29/10 05:48 PM
12/29/10 05:48 PM
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Posts: 79
Wisconsin
Gorm Laben Offline
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I had a Casio AP-620. I returned it, spent twice as much on a Kawai. The Kawai generates far more than twice as much enjoyment as the Casio.


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Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586668
12/29/10 05:54 PM
12/29/10 05:54 PM
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I purchased a Casio AP-220 from Amazon for $900. Love it! smile


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Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: jasburbak] #1586704
12/29/10 06:59 PM
12/29/10 06:59 PM
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galaxy4t Offline
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I would recommend taking a good long hard look at the Yamaha P-155. It has GH action which is better than the GHS action on the P-95. Also the piano sample on the P-95 is a single layer which gives it a lot less dynamic range. When you dig into the keys, the sound gets louder, but there aren't any overtones because of the single layer sample. The P-155 has a 4 layer sample and is a lot better. I'm not familiar with the HP-302. While Roland generally makes good stuff, some of the actions on their pianos have shallow key throw and hit the bottom quickly. Some of them also can be quite noisy with a loud thud against the lower damper. You may or may not find this annoying, but be sure to spend the time evaluating. It is helpful to play the piano with the sound turned off to evaluate the action.

Keep in mind that plugging into a computer can give better sound than what comes on board many pianos. This can dramatically reduce the purchase price because you can consider the cheaper pianos if they have an action that feels right for you. Three of the lowest priced pianos are the Casio PX-130, Korg SP-170, and Yamaha P-95. And Yes those fancy cabinets add to the cost of the piano, but you are usually getting three pedals that won't slide around.

Re: Casio Ap 620 vs the Rest (Buyers Query) [Re: galaxy4t] #1586850
12/29/10 11:09 PM
12/29/10 11:09 PM
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Posts: 8
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jasburbak Offline OP
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After hours of deliberation, reading a dozen more reviews and comparing action quality vs price; And, most importantly from the immensely valuable help I got from you guys on this forum; with addition to how long i plan to keep my purchase (5 years +, till i want to get an acoustic), therefore no resale options (i have to thank FogVilleLad for that logical query).

I've decided to go ahead and purchase the Yamaha P155.. The GH action is what i considered to be the most important aspect, along with the build quality; as galaxt4t pointed out, the 4 layer sample would be a great advantage, and all of these points indicate that it should serve me well for a few years till I improve my playing, and then who knows! It also has 128 polyphony vs the 64 the P95 had, and better speaker wattage.. It seems that all this and extra is worth $1000 more dollars...All in all, it seems to be the best buy, and i rather shell out a little extra now, than regret not getting something better down the road in a year or two...

I'm heading out tommorow to play once more the P155 and the CLP320 to get a final feel for my taste, but i'm pretty sure the P155 has my vote....

Thanks to all here that have voiced in, it really made me confident in my choice, cheers!



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