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Portable keyboards #1689662
06/03/11 12:11 AM
06/03/11 12:11 AM
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Elssa Offline OP
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Would appreciate feedback on what's the best light-weight portable (about 12 pounds) keyboard available. I like the rich piano sound of Yamahas, but other light-weight brands might do if they have a similar piano sound. Looking for around 61 keys. I just joined a group, and amps will be provided. Thanks. smile

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Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1689735
06/03/11 06:32 AM
06/03/11 06:32 AM
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anotherscott Online content
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If all you care about is piano, probably the Yamaha NP-30. The feel of the keyboard (for piano playing) is better than most unweighted actions. There is also a newer version, NP-31, and a smaller/lighter version, NP11, which I haven't tried... but from the specs, it sounds like the NP11 doesn't have the same quality keys as the NP-30 and NP-31.

If you want more sounds, maybe the Yamaha MOX6, though it's 15.4 pounds. I also haven't tried its action for piano playing so can't offer an opinion there, but having played the larger MOX8, I can at least vouch for the sounds. The piano sound is not identical to the NP-30, but I think both piano sounds are good.

I would avoid the NP-V60 and NP-V80. I don't think the piano sounds are as good as the NP-30 and MOX; and they don't have MIDI jacks, which I think is very limiting for a gigging musician.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: anotherscott] #1690150
06/03/11 08:51 PM
06/03/11 08:51 PM
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doremi Offline
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I am 'doremi' because I play scales smile
Had I progressed to playing chords,
I would be 'domisol' shocked
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: doremi] #1690190
06/03/11 10:34 PM
06/03/11 10:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
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Hancock Park LA (not again)
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by doremi
Originally Posted by anotherscott
I would avoid the NP-V60 and NP-V80. I don't think the piano sounds are as good as the NP-30...

Did you compare the sounds through headphones? The built-in speakers of the NP-30 are awful in my opinion.


He would have, ALL built in speakers are awful in portable pianos.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
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Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Dr Popper] #1690203
06/03/11 10:52 PM
06/03/11 10:52 PM
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NY
Elssa Offline OP
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Thanks Scott and everyone for your helpful feedback.

Quote
He would have, ALL built in speakers are awful in portable pianos.


I'm really ignorant about these things.. Can some kind of an amp be plugged into the NP-30 to make it sound better/louder?

All in all, on checking it out on line, the NP-30 does sound like what I'm looking for. This is to be used mainly for a group class/jam session, not performing, so it doesn't need to be super-duper. I like the fact it's lightweight and has a nice variety of settings (piano, strings, vibes).

Thanks again.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1690223
06/04/11 12:02 AM
06/04/11 12:02 AM
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dewar Offline
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That's usually why when people buy a keyboard they get a decent set of speakers to go with it. Heck even a home console could sound better with a decent set of speakers then whats inside.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1690238
06/04/11 12:49 AM
06/04/11 12:49 AM
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Redondo Beach, California
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ChrisA Offline
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Originally Posted by Elssa

I'm really ignorant about these things.. Can some kind of an amp be plugged into the NP-30 to make it sound better/louder?


The NP30 lacks a Line-Out jack so you would need to connect an amplifier via the headphone jack. That can work well enough if you adjust volume controls on the piano and amp. For an amp, buy about the same kind of PA a vocalist would use

You do know the keys on the NP30 are un-weighted. Thaey just have springs. Nothing like a piano action.

Last edited by ChrisA; 06/04/11 12:54 AM.
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: doremi] #1690395
06/04/11 11:13 AM
06/04/11 11:13 AM
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anotherscott Online content
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Originally Posted by doremi
Originally Posted by anotherscott
I would avoid the NP-V60 and NP-V80. I don't think the piano sounds are as good as the NP-30...

Did you compare the sounds through headphones? The built-in speakers of the NP-30 are awful in my opinion.

Yes, compared through headphones.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: anotherscott] #1690430
06/04/11 12:11 PM
06/04/11 12:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
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NY
Elssa Offline OP
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Quote
The NP30 lacks a Line-Out jack so you would need to connect an amplifier via the headphone jack.

Oh good, as long as it can take some kind of amp. I have Edirol speakers at home for my Roland FP-5, but the studio I'm playing at said they would supply an amp so that I don't have to lug them over.

BTW, I see it says the NP30 "supports a half damper pedal". I'm not sure what that means.. Would it be okay with most sustain pedals?

I called my local music store and they do have the NP30, so guess I'll go over and try out the action and everything. This "soft touch, graded action" might be good for me because some Yamahas have too heavy a touch for my little hands.

Thanks again for all the helpful feedback.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1691335
06/06/11 10:35 AM
06/06/11 10:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 208
North Carolina
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Bob M Offline
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Elssa, The NP 30 has been described as "very playable", even though it is not a weighted action. Since I have taken mine apart (for the fun of it) I think that the "very playable" come from the rubber ovals which support the keys (and enclose the contacts). There is more resistance at the top of the key travel, than at the bottom, like a piano. There are no metal springs in the NP 30, or for that matter, many of the PSR keyboards that Yamaha markets. The difference between the keybeds with springs is very noticeable to those who are piano oriented. If you play organ or syths, I doubt it matters.

If you really only need 61 keys, the NP 11 is due out in July. I'll bet it has the same sound "chip" and voices as the NP 30/P85--I'm sure it will have the same comfortable keybed as the NP30/31--and at $150......!

Look at the other thread now running on connecting these boards to an amp using the headphone jack.


Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Bob M] #1692673
06/08/11 05:07 PM
06/08/11 05:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
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Elssa Offline OP
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Quote
If you really only need 61 keys, the NP 11 is due out in July. I'll bet it has the same sound "chip" and voices as the NP 30/P85--I'm sure it will have the same comfortable keybed as the NP30/31--and at $150......!

Well, in thinking it over, I would really rather have the 76 keys.. might as well, as it's only 12 pounds. Even though I only need it for a class right now, I might use it to perform sometime (senior centers, etc).

Quote
Look at the other thread now running on connecting these boards to an amp using the headphone jack.

Very interesting. I think as long as the NP30 can take some type of an amp, that'll be good.

Thanks again. smile

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1692690
06/08/11 05:51 PM
06/08/11 05:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
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UK
Sly Cat Offline
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Originally Posted by Elssa
BTW, I see it says the NP30 "supports a half damper pedal". I'm not sure what that means.. Would it be okay with most sustain pedals?


The "half damper" option is a good one. It just means that, if your pedal can do it, the keyboard will support it.

The damper pedal on an acoustic piano (also called a sustain pedal) raises the damper off the keys and lets the notes sustain longer. Many people who learn piano are taught to sometimes only use half the travel of the damper pedal (half damper) for a semi-sustain effect.

It's all about different expression on an acoustic and now many DPs offer the same thing.

So yea, most likely any sustain pedal would work if it has the right connector.

Last edited by Sly Cat; 06/08/11 05:54 PM.

Currently playing an Axus D2.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Bob M] #1692696
06/08/11 06:04 PM
06/08/11 06:04 PM
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anotherscott Online content
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Originally Posted by Bob M
f you really only need 61 keys, the NP 11 is due out in July. I'll bet it has the same sound "chip" and voices as the NP 30/P85--I'm sure it will have the same comfortable keybed as the NP30/31

I wouldn't be so sure. The posted specs at the yamaha web site don't show the NP11 as having the graded soft touch action that the NP30/31 have.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1692865
06/09/11 10:46 AM
06/09/11 10:46 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
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North Carolina
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Bob M Offline
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anotherscott,

Yamaha uses 12-key rubber contact/spring strips (no metal springs), in the NP 30/31, and many of the 61 key PSR "bells and whistles" keyboards they sell. I say this based on taking my NP 30 apart, and the observation that the PSR series feel like my NP 30, and very different that the Casio, M-Audio, and other keybeds that use a coil spring on each key. "Graded Soft Touch" is the marketing lingo for the darker, stiffer contact strips on the lowest 1 1/2 octave on the NP-30, the three middle octave strips are a lighter color and part number, and the last octave a third color and part number. You could be right--they may use the same strips on all 5 octaves of the NP 11--it would then have the nice feel, but not the graded feel. Well, in a month or so we can probably try it at GC.

Looks like Elssa has made a decision, I'm sure she will enjoy the NP 31. Regards till next time.



Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1692882
06/09/11 11:09 AM
06/09/11 11:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
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wilmao Offline
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Can you give me an advice? I need a 49 keys piano with bag to carry it with me when i am away home to stretch my fingers. I don't need weighted keys, but it must play standalone. I only need piano and possibly (but not indispensable) harpsichord sounds. Thank you!

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Bob M] #1692906
06/09/11 11:40 AM
06/09/11 11:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
Elssa Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Bob M


Looks like Elssa has made a decision, I'm sure she will enjoy the NP 31. Regards till next time.


Actually, I was thinking of getting the NP30, from Sweetwater for $269.00. They don't have the NP31 listed there. Is there some advantage with the NP31? I looked elsewhere and see it's slightly more expensive, but it sounds like the same thing as the NP30.

http://www.samash.com/p/Yamaha_NP31%20Portable%20Grand%20Digital%20Piano_-49947375

Thanks again. smile


Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1693078
06/09/11 04:11 PM
06/09/11 04:11 PM
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North Carolina
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Bob M Offline
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Ellsa,

I doubt there is an important difference, buy the NP 30. Ask Sweetwater about the foot switch and power supply, at the $269 price.


Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1693084
06/09/11 04:22 PM
06/09/11 04:22 PM
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anotherscott Online content
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The NP31 has dedicated buttons for switching sounds, instead of having to hold a button while striking a note. It also has an auto-shutoff after 30 minutes of no playing. Those are the only differences I know of.

Re: Portable keyboards [Re: anotherscott] #1693271
06/09/11 11:01 PM
06/09/11 11:01 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
Elssa Offline OP
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
The NP31 has dedicated buttons for switching sounds, instead of having to hold a button while striking a note.


Geez, hope that's not as difficult as it sounds. I already ordered the NP30. frown I've never heard of having to "hold a button while striking a note" to switch sounds.

Last edited by Elssa; 06/10/11 02:09 AM.
Re: Portable keyboards [Re: Elssa] #1693612
06/10/11 02:57 PM
06/10/11 02:57 PM
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North Carolina
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Bob M Offline
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Elssa,
The names of the 10 voices are printed on the case above 10 keys. To select a voice, you simply hold down the "Voice" button and press the piano key under the one you want to use--press 2 keys, and you can layer, or play 2 voices at the same time--I like Grand and Strings together sometimes. It is really simple.

There is an easy reference chart which can sit on the music rest. Use it to transpose, set reverb and chorus effects, set the keys for light or heavy touch, adjusting volumes when you layer, etc., if you need any of these features. Enjoy!


Bob M

Charles Walter Model 1520
Yamaha NP 30, NP 11, PSR E333
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