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Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
#1744439 09/01/11 11:36 AM
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So we are getting ready to buy a digital piano for our 10-yr-old son who is displaying some talent in piano. He's been taking lessons for about 3-4 years, on and off, and has been practicing on a 61-key entry-level Yamaha keyboard - the kind you get at Sam Ash. So we went to a local Yamaha Clavinova dealer and got sticker shock - the CVP 403 model we looked at (floor model, last one, polished ebony) is $3700. Hubby thinks it's a good idea to get the CVP model because Son is into electronics/tech/gadgets and he is really drawn to the piano by all the bells and whistles and he's learned to play some songs independently using the 'learn to play' feature on his cheapo keyboard. He loves to play the piano, but Hubby reasons that anything extra that will draw him in to the piano, is money worth spending.

So my questions are:

1. Can a good digital piano with the bells and whistles be had for under $3000 in the US? My preferred price range is $2500.

2. We didn't look at the Rolands at all - is that a good option for us?

3. The CVP 403 is an older model. Is it worth paying more for the most recent model? (CVP 503).

4. Also found on craigslist, is a seller selling his 1-yr-old CVP 405 in Polished Ebony for just around $4000. Would this be a better buy, even though I won't have the 5 year warranty offered by Yamaha?

I feel it's so much money for something that's "not even a real piano" - even though an acoustic piano is absolutely not an option for us right now.

Thanks for any input!

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1744464 09/01/11 12:19 PM
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Regarding the sticker shock ... There's a big difference in the way different pianos are sold.

The low-end units sold at Sam Ash (or online) are sold at a fixed price (with occasional, advertised sale-price reductions).

The high-priced units (including the Yamaha Clavinovas, and Rolands, and Kawai high-end units) are sold only at piano dealers. Their sticker price is just an asking price. It's like a car dealership. You have to negotiate the deal.

You might look at the prices-paid thread on this board to see how much other people paid for the models you're interested in.

You could also look at the piano buyer's supplement at pianobuyer.com
The appendix shows the putative list-price and the so-called street-price.
The list-price is ridiculously high.
The street-price is merely "very" high.
Expect to pay less. But you have to do own wheeling and dealing.

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1744592 09/01/11 03:50 PM
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Thanks MacMacMac. I did look up pianobuyer.com but they don't have the prices for the older model. (At least I couldn't find it anywhere).

So, is it better to buy a new CVP-403 with full 5 year warranty, or a 1-year-old CVP-405 with no warranty, if they are both the same price?

How important is it to have the warranty? DO LCD screens go out? Other components break down within the 5-year period? I'd hate to spend $4000 on a piano with no warranty, only to have to replace costly electronic parts a few years later.


Thanks.

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1744659 09/01/11 05:26 PM
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Quote
1. Can a good digital piano with the bells and whistles be had for under $3000 in the US? My preferred price range is $2500.


Yes. When you buy a Clavinova most of what you are paying for is the case the the large dealer markup. Look at a Yamaha P155. it has the same "feel" in the key action and about the same sound engine inside but costs $1,000. Yamaha's best sound and keys are in theior new CP1, CP5 and CP50. All of these cost less then your budget but have more advanced stuff inside. That said many people LIKE the wood-look case an will pay and extra $1,000 to get it.

Quote
2. We didn't look at the Rolands at all - is that a good option for us?


Roland's and Yamaha's key actions are at different ends of a spectum. Neather is best but I bet if you like one you will not like the other. Be sure to play both. I woud decide on the brand based on which key action you like.

Like Yamaha Roland sells their pianos two ways (1) With wood-like cases thrugh high margin dealers and (2) in metal/plastic stage piano cases through mass market retailers who offer better discounts. Mostly it's the same piano The two Roland stage pianos to look at are the FP7-F and RD700NX.


Quote
I feel it's so much money for something that's "not even a real piano" - even though an acoustic piano is absolutely not an option for us right now.


That's may opinion too. People buy the "home" pianos because of the way they look. But really even the better ones like the Clavinova range lie like "ikea pianos" and screen "fake" across the room. While on the other hand no one would say the Roland RD700 looks "fake" because it does not even try to hide what it is. I think you get better dealss going with a stage piano than with a home piano. Others disagree and thing the stage piano look ugly and woud not have such a thing in their living room and are willing to pay the extra $1,000

All that said, you son if he has been playing this long will have an opinion on which key action he likes. Choose between Yamaha, Roland Kawai Based on the key action.

Also for those who rely do want the console type design but don't want to pay $2,000 Yamaha has the YDP series. These are much less expensive. The upper range of the YDP series (YDP161 and up) over lap the Clavinova range. The finish is not as nice but the price about about half.

One more thing. At this age, soon, in a few years yor sin will develop his own taste in music and just might get into playing electric bass guitar or who knows what? Such a difference from an 11 year old and a 14 year old.

Other than playing the instruments you find if he likes the key action you should download and read the user manuals. All of them are on-line for example go to the links below and click "suport" and find links to PDF manuals. Yamaha has the same kind of thing on their web site as does Kawai


http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=1128

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=1055&ParentId=40

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1744694 09/01/11 06:06 PM
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The warranty might be valuable. I've had my 3-year-old Clavinova repaired twice. No, it's not the display that will fail. It's the keyboard action. It's mechanical and that's where the wear takes place.

As for comparing the prices: Have you made an offer to the dealer for either of these pianos? If not, there's no way to compare prices. You really need to negotiate the selling price. Never pay the dealer's asking price, not even on a used piano.

And don't forget to look at Kawai pianos, if possible. I think it's important to try as many pianos as possible before you buy.

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
MacMacMac #1745351 09/02/11 10:21 PM
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I would also suggest that your decision should be based pretty heavily on the piano action. Try to get something that feels as close to an acoustic piano action as you can at your budget point (the Clavinova action's get better and better as their price increases). I say this because after a year or so you will grow to dislike the sound of whatever DP you buy, but you can continue to use the DP for years as a midi keyboard with computer based virtual pianos (which sound dramatically better) for very little additional cost. Your son will likely be into computers by then anyway, if he isn't already. I'd also pay attention to getting a piano that has a good damper pedal (i.e. one that produces proportional pedaling, rather than just an on/off signal). That is important to actually emulate playing an acoustic piano.





Macy

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Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1745356 09/02/11 10:28 PM
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i would look at the Yamaha CP300 and get a furniture stand for it - you can get that at Kraft Music for 2,000

or look at the Roland FP-7F if you want a lighter feel



Yamaha P-250 | Galaxy II Pianos | Galaxy Vintage D | The GIANT | Ravenscroft 275
Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1745360 09/02/11 10:31 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful replies. I went to a Sam Ash store today to look at the Yamaha YDP V240 - their Arius ensemble digital piano. The sale price was $1899, so almost $2000 cheaper than the CVP 403 Clavinova. I read the specs and it said it has the GHS action, while the CVP 403 has the GH3 action, which is supposedly better. Is this super important? Is it better to buy a more expensive digital piano right off the bat so he can learn the right techniques etc, or is it just as fine to go at it slowly by getting the lower end model and move up from there? His teacher and our relatives said he has a lot of talent, so it's definitely a good investment to get a good DP. It's just a matter of now or later? Any advice?

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1745395 09/02/11 11:52 PM
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The YDPV240 is not a good choice. If you're willing to spend $1900, forget about any piano with the GHS action!

The YDP181 or YDP161 are better choices. These have the GH action, which feels like the GH3, but lacks the third (repetition) sensor.

Or you could get a CLP330, which has the GH3 keyboard, but it likely costs a bit more.

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1745437 09/03/11 02:10 AM
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I should strongly recommend the Roland FP-7F with the furniture stand. A great sounding and playing digital piano that had plenty of the bells and whistles. Also, if you go that route look to get Roland's RPU-3 pedal unit to give you the same 3 pedals (soft, sustenuto, sustain) that acoustic pianos have. If your son is serious about piano, good pedal technique is part of it. The FP-7F with furniture and RPU-3 pedals can be had for well below $2,500.


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Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1748986 09/08/11 04:22 PM
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Thanks!

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1748990 09/08/11 04:30 PM
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+1

What Zachary said!


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
PianoZac #1749123 09/08/11 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ZacharyForbes
I should strongly recommend the Roland FP-7F with the furniture stand. A great sounding and playing digital piano that had plenty of the bells and whistles. Also, if you go that route look to get Roland's RPU-3 pedal unit to give you the same 3 pedals (soft, sustenuto, sustain) that acoustic pianos have. If your son is serious about piano, good pedal technique is part of it. The FP-7F with furniture and RPU-3 pedals can be had for well below $2,500.


I would go this route as well if you are wanting to stay below budget. If you can get a personal loan from a credit union at a low interest, and could have 5 years to pay off the item, then you could get whatever you want. In that case you can't wrong with any of the newer CLP or CVP line from Yamaha, the new Avant Grand series, or even the V-piano. If it was me, I'd stick with the under $2,500 route and get the Roland FP-7F as Zachary has stated.


Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CLP990, Yamaha S90
Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
Kona_V-Piano #1749161 09/08/11 09:20 PM
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Thanks for the input. I'm now looking at the Roland FP-7F online. For those of you who know, can you please tell me if it will do/has the following:

1. USB plug to plug and play MIDI files, .wav files, mp3 (for accompaniments)
2. Record MIDI or .wav files and save to flash drive via USB
3. Is this more strictly piano or will it do some recording with various sounds along with the piano?
4. How does the action compare to the Yamaha Clavinovas? Lighter? Heavier? How does it compare to an acoustic piano?

Thanks for your input!

smile

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
MacMacMac #1749168 09/08/11 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

As for comparing the prices: Have you made an offer to the dealer for either of these pianos? If not, there's no way to compare prices. You really need to negotiate the selling price. Never pay the dealer's asking price, not even on a used piano.


The CVP 403 was offered at $3500 for the regular finish, but since this is PE finish, they supposedly wanted $500 more (standard extra for PE finish). The sales person made a call to the owner and made an offer on my behalf of $3500, and he supposedly counter offered with $3700. If we decide to buy it, (right now we are not 100% in agreement, Hubby and I) what do you think of making another counter offer of $3500 cash including tax? DId I mention this is their last one and it was on display (out of the box)? Sales person all but refused to call it a floor model. Simply said "it was never pre-owned, it's brand new". Uh, it's a floor model. I noticed a little scratch on the PE and some of the keys were not clean (had stuck-on smudges).

Re: Need help with DP buying decision Yamaha Clavinova? Roland?
musicali #1749407 09/09/11 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by musicali
Thanks for the input. I'm now looking at the Roland FP-7F online. For those of you who know, can you please tell me if it will do/has the following:

1. USB plug to plug and play MIDI files, .wav files, mp3 (for accompaniments)
2. Record MIDI or .wav files and save to flash drive via USB
3. Is this more strictly piano or will it do some recording with various sounds along with the piano?
4. How does the action compare to the Yamaha Clavinovas? Lighter? Heavier? How does it compare to an acoustic piano?

I don't own one, but looking at the user manual (most are available on-line):

1 & 2. Will record and play MIDI files, will play WAV files, will record short WAV files via the looper. I believe you can play / save all of the files via USB thumb drive. I don't believe it will render MIDI to WAV (simultaneously play MIDI and record WAV) though.

3. Dunno with respect to playing MIDI files via USB. But it definitely has a bunch of other instrument voices in there, and not strictly acoustic piano. You could probably "play" those voices via MIDI if you use an external sequencer.

4. Subjective, but I believe many here report that the Roland PHAIII action feels lighter than the Yamaha GH2 or GH3 actions, and that DP actions in general are somewhat lighter than AP actions (which can be highly variable). I find DP actions to be less obviously graded (heavier on the left and lighter on the right) than AP actions.


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