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My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos #1700877
06/23/11 10:41 PM
06/23/11 10:41 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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I just started posting the first of many videos detailing my
trip down Guitar Center aisles with camcorder this morning. It was an ear opener to be sure.

Part one was just posted and I will be uploading a bunch more segments this evening that relate to each digital I detailed. I covered all the hammer weighted pianos available at Guitar Center, Fresno. (makes me want to know what else is out there)

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/0...ation-at-guitar-center-fresno-ca-videos/


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
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Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1700923
06/24/11 12:15 AM
06/24/11 12:15 AM
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lol that sound from the 33 would drive me nuts. It's like a swish swash sound.

Thanks for the on site reviews.

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701002
06/24/11 05:18 AM
06/24/11 05:18 AM
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Aaa, this is so cool! I was always curios about how piano teachers would evaluate digital pianos and being recorded inside the store [I didn't know they allowed that!], you captured your genuine, on the spot reaction. I've read reviews of piano teachers on this forum, but it's always the conclusion they reached and not the actual tests they performed. And I remember when I shopped for my DP, it's a different feeling you have in the shop vs coming home, trying to remember the experience, analyzing some more and then writing your opinion on a forum.

It's a pity the camera/sound is not HD, like in some youtube video reviews, but those unfortunately are made by shop assistants and they never reveal any bad parts or things they don't like about the DP.

Keep'em coming!


old Gaveau upright & Kawai CA63; previously Korg SP250
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701010
06/24/11 05:48 AM
06/24/11 05:48 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Any Kawai love at Guitar Center?
Will you be visiting any pianos stores in the future?

Cheers,
James
x



Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
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Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701095
06/24/11 09:28 AM
06/24/11 09:28 AM
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KJ: I've never seen a Kawai at Guitar Center. Not one.

The closest thing they have is a small display box with the sample, one-key Kawai action mechanism. Impressive action ... but no pianos! frown

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701105
06/24/11 09:41 AM
06/24/11 09:41 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Yes, it's a shame. I'd love to see Kawai DPs in more of the larger high-street music retailers (as opposed to being sold exclusively through acoustic piano dealers), however that's obviously not my decision to make.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701126
06/24/11 10:25 AM
06/24/11 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by music32
I just started posting the first of many videos detailing my trip down Guitar Center aisles with camcorder this morning. It was an ear opener to be sure.

Thanks, very interesting to see your interaction with and response to the various digital pianos!

Please don't think that I'm trying to detract from your efforts, but I'd like to make a couple of points:

1. One should do a factory reset before trusting anything on almost any keyboard, synth, DP, etc. Most manuals are on-line, and a bit of studying beforehand can go a long way.
2. Internal / external speakers can have as much or more to do with the sound than the internal sound generator itself. I'd suggest you use a single pair of high quality headphones that you are very familiar with (own, use a lot, and so are familiar with their sonic coloring) for all tests, and judge any internal speakers separately.
3. Hammer action keyboards placed at an angle could behave differently than when they are placed horizontally as the designers intended. The angle might make the keys feel lighter / more sluggish to return to the top.
4. Not having a pedal is a problem. To me, sympathetic resonance is perhaps the main thing that makes the piano sound so beautiful. Almost none of the low end DPs like those you have tested have good sympathetic resonance. Kawai and Roland generally do this well, I'd be interested in your response to any Kawai, and to the Roland RD-700NX (you may have to increase the effect and turn off the reverb in order to fully evaluate it on any DP).
5. IMO, a lot of what you are perceiving as bad regulation is transition between stretch groups.
6. Long sustain isn't necessarily good sustain (I can hear the looping in the P155) though it is better than short sustain.
7. I'd suggest you turn off any reverb when evaluating the piano sound. It is often poorly done and can mask any sympathetic resonance effects / sampling issues.

If you can find a Roland RD-300NX or FP-7F (same keys and sound generator) I'd be interested in your reactions, particularly the key feel compared to the RD-700NX.

Again, thanks for your videos, they are quite interesting!

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewar] #1701158
06/24/11 11:02 AM
06/24/11 11:02 AM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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You're right on the money describing the "swash" sound of that CP33 stage piano.. The word stage puts the digital into better perspective, and gives it a status of its own based on genre.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Bogs] #1701160
06/24/11 11:06 AM
06/24/11 11:06 AM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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Thanks for your comments. I got permission from Guitar Center corporate to do the reviews and bring the camcorder. Luckily, there wasn't much consumer traffic yesterday morning in Fresno GC and the one fellow holding the fort helped me connect two digitals that weren't plugged in. The truth be known, more and more piano students own digitals even if we as teachers favor acoustic pianos. It's just a fact of life, and where some students would never be able to take lessons, otherwise, having a digital makes it possible. Hopefully the choice of digital will include research, and side by side performance comparison.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #1701162
06/24/11 11:08 AM
06/24/11 11:08 AM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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There were no Kawai digitals and this was a bit disappointing as I wanted to sample some. I think they might have the bell and whistle, attenuated keyboard variety, but no hammer weighted.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewster] #1701165
06/24/11 11:12 AM
06/24/11 11:12 AM
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Thanks for this input. I will do more quality controlling next time around. I really should post all the out-takes where I was banging my head, looking for plugs, and overstepping cartons and tripping with the tripod.. Lots of extraneous noise from the hardware. I felt like I was on rocky terrain, being one of those photographers braving and avoiding a few land mines. Any puns welcomed.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701198
06/24/11 11:58 AM
06/24/11 11:58 AM
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Shirley,
Enjoy hearing your perspective on the pianos you are testing. I suspect your opinion could change on the characteristics of some of these listening through a good pair of headphones. On board speakers don't do some of these any justice. I'm surprised Guitar Center is allowing you to record footage of your impressions.

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701212
06/24/11 12:41 PM
06/24/11 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by music32
There were no Kawai digitals and this was a bit disappointing as I wanted to sample some. I think they might have the bell and whistle, attenuated keyboard variety, but no hammer weighted.


All Kawai DP actions use weighted hammers.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701241
06/24/11 01:34 PM
06/24/11 01:34 PM
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Any chance when you embed youtube videos in your blog, you could do so using the following

http://apiblog.youtube.com/2010/07/new-way-to-embed-youtube-videos.html

It would make it possible to view the videos on computers that don't have flash installed (such as iPad) as well as those that do.


[Linked Image] XIX, XIV, XII, XI
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: galaxy4t] #1701244
06/24/11 01:38 PM
06/24/11 01:38 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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Yes, the headphone perspective is another universe, and would be hard to share on video.
Re: Guitar Center, I think they knew that the El Cerrito branch had no way to sample their keyboards because of fear of stolen transformer, and I was not happy about not having a way to try some out for a student over there who was interested in buying one. So it was a redemption to let me scope out ones here in Fresno, where there has never been a problem with access.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #1701246
06/24/11 01:40 PM
06/24/11 01:40 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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Then maybe they were just the 61 key models, and I am not sure of playing those, though I think along the line I have over there.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Gary001] #1701248
06/24/11 01:42 PM
06/24/11 01:42 PM
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I am so new to this technology it's a wonder I have been able to get anything up. My daughter used to do all my videos. Now I'm on my own, crawling along the ground to my destination.
Thanks for the link.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Kawai James] #1701271
06/24/11 02:39 PM
06/24/11 02:39 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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If anyone has any connections to getting into stores with Kawais, and other Yamahas, and more, let me know.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701292
06/24/11 03:20 PM
06/24/11 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by music32
Yes, the headphone perspective is another universe, and would be hard to share on video.

You might try plugging one of those inexpensive audio recorders into the line-out or headphone jack, and do a bit of audio mixing later. That's the only way anyone watching your videos will be able to hear what you hear through headphones.

Originally Posted by music32
Re: Guitar Center, I think they knew that the El Cerrito branch had no way to sample their keyboards because of fear of stolen transformer, and I was not happy about not having a way to try some out for a student over there who was interested in buying one.

Is the El Cerrito GC by any chance managed by Nigel Tufnel?

Nigel Tufnel: Don't touch it!
Marty DiBergi: We'll I wasn't going to touch it, I was just pointing at it.
Nigel Tufnel: Well... don't point! It can't be played.
Marty DiBergi: Don't point, okay. Can I look at it?
Nigel Tufnel: No. no. That's it, you've seen enough of that one.


[video:youtube]g7-5io1muSQ[/video]

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewster] #1701305
06/24/11 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dewster


Nigel Tufnel: Don't touch it!
Marty DiBergi: We'll I wasn't going to touch it, I was just pointing at it.
Nigel Tufnel: Well... don't point! It can't be played.
Marty DiBergi: Don't point, okay. Can I look at it?
Nigel Tufnel: No. no. That's it, you've seen enough of that one.


[video:youtube]g7-5io1muSQ[/video]


It's famous for it's sustain. You could go and have a bite and you'd still be hearing that one.

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewster] #1701402
06/24/11 06:10 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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That name doesn't sound familiar. The manager was absent on the day I requested to try out the keyboards, and sadly the replacement manager couldn't find the transformer, so I had no manager to appeal to.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewster] #1701406
06/24/11 06:15 PM
06/24/11 06:15 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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is that ever a riot! "Don't point!" ROFL


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701459
06/24/11 07:44 PM
06/24/11 07:44 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by music32
Then maybe they were just the 61 key models, and I am not sure of playing those, though I think along the line I have over there.


All modern Kawai DPs are 88-key models. I don't believe there has been a Kawai 61-key instrument in over 15 years.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701462
06/24/11 07:47 PM
06/24/11 07:47 PM
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Hi music32

To echo dewster, a set of headphones would at least put all the sound from the different models on an equal playing field. The way you're doing it right now is that you're at the mercy of the GC's either low end studio monitors, really bad keyboard amps (there really isn't anything as a good keyboard amp, at least for piano) or Radio Shack quality internal speakers of the DPs.

Not to detour too much but I use the AKG 240 headphones. They can be had for $99.
They are very true to the source and an industry standard. In all my 43 years of buying electronic gear, it's one of the best if not the best $99 I've ever spent.

Back to DPs--not sure of your budget or if internal speakers are preferred but again to echo dewster, I would definitely listen to the newer Roland offerings.
The 300NX or with internal speakers, the FP7-f or FP4-f. It seems Classical players are more drawn to Roland's sound. They can (depending on the speakers or headphones) have a less harsh and more sustaining quality then the Yamahas. Their flagship model 700NX is very impressive, just not sure of your budget or if weight/moving it around is a concern.

A lot of real pianists like the Kawais too. The MP6 is excellent and the flagship MP10 might be unrivaled in the action department for a stage piano.

Again can't stress how important the speaker source is when checking all this stuff out.

Good luck with it all, it can be confusing even if you know what you're looking or listening for.

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701463
06/24/11 07:48 PM
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Great scene from an excellent film. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: Dave Ferris] #1701496
06/24/11 08:53 PM
06/24/11 08:53 PM
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shirlkirsten Offline OP
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Thanks for the information. I'm not personally in the market but there are students and other inquirers asking about the latest models and grand piano sound.


Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701739
06/25/11 09:53 AM
06/25/11 09:53 AM
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I'm going to head over to Best Buys in a few hours here in Fresno to try out Casio PX830BP, Roland F-110 and Yamaha YDP141. I hope they have these models on display, and not just packed in boxes. IF there are any others of interest, I will check on.



Piano blog: Performances, Instruction, Interviews
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and Baldwin165, Yamaha Arius141
MTAC Alameda
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: dewster] #1701767
06/25/11 10:50 AM
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,675
Northern NJ
I just rewatched your Yamaha CP33 video again and have a couple of comments:

1. I haven't tested the CP33 over on the DPBSD thread, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it had the same main piano voice and key action as the P120 we once owned. You could probably find one or more console type Yamahas from this era (this is ~10 year old technology) with the exact same keys and exact same piano sound. So IMO the only thing that really places the CP33 firmly in the "stage piano" category is the external form factor (case and lack of internal amps / speakers) and not the piano sound or keys.

2. The key down "clunk" sound is often quite noticeable when doing chromatic runs on the upper keys of many DPs. And IMO Yamaha's sympathetic resonance effect is often rather poorly done - kind of a crude reverb sound - and it may have be interacting with the reverb itself (which is why I recommend people turn reverb off when performing listening tests). Whatever speaker system was hooked up to the CP33 was probably overly accentuating both of these.

Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: shirlkirsten] #1701769
06/25/11 10:53 AM
06/25/11 10:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 867
Lakewood, CA
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galaxy4t Offline
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galaxy4t  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 867
Lakewood, CA
All the models you mentioned should be on the floor for you to try. They should also have the Yahama Arius 141, and DGX-640. Just curious, do you plan to venture to Sam Ash eventually?

Last edited by galaxy4t; 06/25/11 10:55 AM.
Re: My Journey to Guitar Center to Scope out Digital pianos [Re: galaxy4t] #1701876
06/25/11 02:27 PM
06/25/11 02:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,608
Berkeley, California
S
shirlkirsten Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
shirlkirsten  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,608
Berkeley, California
I don't think we have a Sam Ash over this way.


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