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Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
#1668268 04/28/11 10:15 PM
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soojung Offline OP
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Hi everyone, I'm a new user here and I've lurked among these forums for a while but never got to making an account. Well, the time has come for me to ask for all of your opinions.

First, a little bit about my current situation. I am a university student who used to take lessons as a child for around 7 years or so. I quit around the time I was preparing for RCM examinations for grade 10 piano, so I guess I'm at an intermediate-advanced level. I play piano as a hobby now (currently attempting Chopin's famous winter wind etude... wish me luck haha. My family has had an upright Samick for years. It's about 15 years old or so and my parents aren't so into tuning/taking care of it now that I don't take lessons.

As you can imagine, it is not in tip top shape anymore and I suggested a digital piano as a replacement since they don't need tuning. My parents haven't given me a strict maximum price point, so I would say 1500-2500 depending on how generous they feel. I realize this is a very varied price range so it would be great if you guys could throw me some options on both the lower and higher end of this range.

I will be the sole user of this piano. I want it to feel/sound as realistic to an acoustic as possible. I would also like it to have 3 pedals attached... and I am looking for more of a compact/furniture type design because it will most likely go in my tiny room. USB is also a plus, but not necessary.

I was considering Roland F110 or DP990 (is there really a huge difference between supernatural and no supernatural..?)... or even Kawai CN33 but really, I'm clueless. Also, I live in Vancouver BC, Canada and I can't seem to find these models here to try out.. if anyone can direct me to a great store to try out some DPs that would be fantastic as well!

Whew, that's a long post... applause and much thanks to those who get through it all. :^)

Last edited by soojung; 04/28/11 10:16 PM.
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668294 04/28/11 11:03 PM
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People frequently post that Kawai's wooden-keys actions provide the most realistic touch. That company's CA63, whic has the newest wooden keys action, would be at or a little above your preferred budget limit here in the states. (Prices seem to be higher in Canada.) The CN33 has Kawai's newest graded hammer action.

Yamaha's graded hammer actions have a good reputation for durability and quality control. Some people find their touch to be even heavier than that of acoustic verticals that they've played. The GHS - Graded Hammer Standard - action would probably be a little light for you, so you should probably look for models with the GHE - Graded Hammer Effect (sometimes called simply "Graded Hammer") - or the GH3 action. The latter has a third sensor which facilitates faster repetition of a single note. Yamaha's CLP-340 has the GH3 action, as well as key off and stereo sustain samples. Based on its price on Thomann.de, it should be at your preferred budget limit.

There's no substitute for auditioning DP's. If you can't find Kawai or Roland locally, Prosser Piano & Organ in Seattle carries both. It's always a good idea to call, to learn what's in stock.

No matter which DP you choose, it'd be good to budget for the best heasdphones that you can afford. 'Phones are great for silent practicing and will also let you hear the full quality of a DP's included sounds.

Patience and persistence.


Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668307 04/28/11 11:38 PM
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Dealer information for Vancouver, BC.

Piano House, also known as Lowewen Piano House, is the authorized dealer of Kawai Digital Series piano in Vancouver, BC. I only got a chance to visit their richmond location but I didn't see they have CN33 in store, you may have to try their location on the Main Street. I believe there is another dealer in Surrey also carry the Kawai Digital but I can't remember the name.

I recommend you to visit Tom Lee and try the Yamaha Series, they have nearly the whole products of Yamaha CLP, CVP, Avant-grand series, in both downtown and Richmond store, since the new CLP 4XX series is coming they are selling the CLP3XX series at a discount price. Have a try of 300 series, I am also working on RCM grade 10 and Harmony, I used to own the CLP380, I think the CLP3xx series should be enough for the RCM exam practicing.

Long and Mcquade carry some ROLAND products and lower end Yamaha, like YDP. I may you have to go to the location near Scenic world skytrain station to have a try.

Roland Canada has a big office near Richmond Automall, but I don't know if they sell the product directly.

I can't remember the price of CLP340 at Tom Lee, but you should be able to get it at 2500 with sale talk.

Hope my post may help you on finding the dealers ^_^

Let me know if you need more info.

James QI



Last edited by James Q; 04/28/11 11:52 PM.

Let's enjoy playing the piano.
Yamaha Avant-grand N2
Galaxy Vintage D + Vienna Grand
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668349 04/29/11 02:23 AM
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I've been happy wioth my Casio Celviano 620, especially through good headphones or a decent set of external monitors. You might want to find one to try.


Lee
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668394 04/29/11 05:48 AM
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In addition to all the information given here I would take my time and travel to as many piano stores as possible. Taste is a personal thing ... try before you buy.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
FogVilleLad #1668645 04/29/11 04:04 PM
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soojung Offline OP
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FogVilleLad: Yeah, I did quite a bit of reading up on people's opinions regarding Kawai pianos and the realistic touch is the reason why I am considering one from them. I haven't looked too much into Yamaha (I play on a Clavinova during my volunteer work and something about it doesn't sit right with me). I am not sure which model it is, but I would assume it's an older model without GH3 action. Thanks for the clarification between the different graded hammer technology, I will have to test some with the newer action. Also, I do live close to the border and may actually drop by the mentioned location if I go down to Seattle any time soon -- thanks for that! I wasn't aware that headphones make such a huge difference, any recommendations?

James Q: Hey, thanks for all the info about dealers! I have visited Tom Lee a couple of times but unfortunately wasn't there long enough to actually sit down and test some DPs. I will definitely set a day to go around testing pianos -- and will try the 300 series. Good luck on your RCM examination. I am no longer preparing for it since I quit years ago but wish you the best of luck. From what I recall I found Harmony 3 and 4 difficult in comparison to Counterpoint 4 and Analysis 5, but I do think it is all personal preference. Best of luck on both exams. :^)

leemax: Oh I never really thought about Casio (not sure why, I guess it just didn't enter my head) but I will also be on a look out for those! Thanks so much.

Dave Horne: I agree with you, nothing beats trying the real deal. I will need to check out a bunch of locations soon. Thanks very much!

Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668728 04/29/11 07:08 PM
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Regards to the Casio Digital Piano in Vancouver area, I heard the possible reason during my sell talk. Some dealers used to sell Casio digital piano several years ago, when a few customers encounter technique issues with the piano the dealers were unable to reach the manufacture services, ending up with they have to offer the buyers exchange of other brand products. Therefore they no longer carry any CASIO product.

Also a little information on the buying the digital piano from US. I used to consider the US dealer and did some researches when I hold my investment on Avant-grand N2. You need to pay 8% sell taxi in Seattle, then custom will charge 6% brokerage fee, 12% BC HST, and a one time processing fee, which can up to 100 CAD.






Let's enjoy playing the piano.
Yamaha Avant-grand N2
Galaxy Vintage D + Vienna Grand
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668755 04/29/11 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by soojung
My parents haven't given me a strict maximum price point, so I would say 1500-2500 depending on how generous they feel. I realize this is a very varied price range so it would be great if you guys could throw me some options on both the lower and higher end of this range.


You really have to try out the keys actions yourself. There is such a huge range. Yu just have to take you sheet music to the store and be prepared to pend some hours there with headphones. Moore manufacturers have only two or three different key actions and use them in many different pianos. Take for example the Roland F110. It uses Rolands cheaper "Alpha" keys. I think they are to light, somepeople like them. But you can get Rolands top line keys with your budget.

The "home" type pianos that are designed to look like small uprights (like the CN33) are nice looking but you pay for that. If you have a set budget you can spend it one cosmetics, a quality key actin or sound. One comes at the expense of the other (unless you can spend quite a bit.) Stage pianos are generally better values but of course they are made to be portable and so can't look anything like an upright piano.

The Kawai CN33 is a good option But you have to try yhr keys. You might like Roland's PHA-II (non-Alpha) better. I'd decide which to get based on the key action

Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
soojung #1668906 04/30/11 07:23 AM
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As ChrisA suggested, take a good set of headphones with you.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Suggest me some digital pianos, please!
James Q #1669061 04/30/11 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by James Q

Also a little information on the buying the digital piano from US. I used to consider the US dealer and did some researches when I hold my investment on Avant-grand N2. You need to pay 8% sell taxi in Seattle, then custom will charge 6% brokerage fee, 12% BC HST, and a one time processing fee, which can up to 100 CAD.


Although our dollar is stronger than it was in the past, you would need a very good deal to break even if buying south of the border. You cannot avoid the 12% HST and 6% brokerage fee unless you smuggle the piano into Canada. smile Then if you have a problem - you could be on your own. Always deal with a reputable dealer.

There are probably more than 100 piano dealers in Greater Vancouver - let your fingers do the walking and/or do a web search. With Kawai, type in your postal code to find the nearest dealer. Tom Lee Music is Yamaha, and has stores all over GV.

But as the others above have pointed out - you must try the keyboard out, and you must use a set of headphones that you are familiar with. I would never try out a DP using the dealer's headphones - I always take my own.

And don't just try it out once - go back several times.

Glenn


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