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#1968963 - 10/05/12 01:46 AM Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys.  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 7
AMC58 Offline
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AMC58  Offline
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I have a PF-500 and I like the way it plays and sounds, especially through headphones. I recently started playing at a place where I have to bring a piano. I'm not a seasoned pro - I read most of my repertoire from printed music and use the music stand. The PF-500 weighs 66 pounds - I have a hard case for it that weighs even more and I'm getting old and it's hard for me to wrestle the thing in and out of my Suburban. When I looked on here for lightweight stage pianos, many of them weighed as much or more as the PF-500! I also have a P-85 - which is very lightweight, but doesn't sound or play as good as the PF-500 and worse of all, doesn't sit stably on an "X" stand. I can probably justify spending $1500 - $2000 if I could find a piano that weighed, like 30-40 pounds but played and sounds like the PF-500. Any suggestions? (I know there are many similar posts to this one, and I've read a lot but the info is often out of date or applies to people who are vastly more demanding/experienced than me. I can just manage Carole King.)
Thanks!

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#1968994 - 10/05/12 06:36 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
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bfb Offline
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Atlanta GA USA
before you spend more than you have to, read the thread about the new Casio Privia line of DP's. Tht PX-150 and the PX 350 both weigh under 30 lbs and the demos you can listen to are pretty convincing. The 150 is $599 and the 350 is $799. Hard to beat that at the moment.

you may not find the action convincing enough, but if you want to keep the weight under 40 lbs you are going to have to make a tradeoff.

People are also saying good things about the new Yamaha P-105.

I believe the Korg Krome- which has the very nice sounding Kronos acoustic piano samples - will be right at $2000 and is very lightweight. I can't speak to its action nor to its build-quality since Korg gets whacked quite a bit over that..

Last edited by bfb; 10/05/12 06:37 AM.

Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
#1969007 - 10/05/12 07:40 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Feb 2010
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by AMC58
I can probably justify spending $1500 - $2000 if I could find a piano that weighed, like 30-40 pounds but played and sounds like the PF-500. !

You can find the same action in a $1000 model... Yamaha CP-33, or the slightly heavier P-155 if you want speakers. The CP-33 uses a 3-layer sample, so it might be the same sound as the PF-500. The P-155 uses a 4-layer sample.

#1969010 - 10/05/12 07:41 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: bfb]  
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anotherscott Offline
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Originally Posted by bfb
People are also saying good things about the new Yamaha P-105.

Action will be like the P85 that he doesn't like the feel of.

Originally Posted by bfb
I believe the Korg Krome- which has the very nice sounding Kronos acoustic piano samples - will be right at $2000

$1600

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#1969038 - 10/05/12 08:55 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,232
voxpops Offline
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Wales
I gave my old PF-500 to my daughter in the UK, and when I was in Britain recently, got to play it again. It is still a very respectable DP, and as the OP says, plays very nicely. IIRC, it has the same engine as the Yamaha CLP-150 and P-250 - in fact it's almost identical to the latter, minus the P-250's EQ section.

The CP300 and CP33 share many of the same characteristics with the P-250 but have improved sample sizes (40MB in the CP versus 22MB in the PF etc.). The CP33 lacks some of the features of its bigger brother but, as Scott points out, probably does not sound or feel too much different from the PF-500. At a hair under 40lbs (and $1k), it's probably the closest you're going to get to the PF in a lightweight form factor - but of course, you lose the internal speakers.

If it were me, I'd follow bfb's advice and check out the new Casios - particularly the PX-350 as it has better speakers and line-outs. Seems like a large bang for your buck.

Both the Roland FP-4F and the Korg Krome come in at around the same price - double the Casio PX-350! - and weight (upper 30s in lbs). They both have a very nice acoustic piano sound, but you really would need to play them to see whether they're going to work for you in terms of the action. I'm not sure, but I don't think the Krome 88 has a music rest, or provision for one.

One other slightly oddball offering is the Numa Piano. At 25lbs, it's about the lightest weighted 88-key piano out there. The sound/action connection isn't fabulous, although the action itself isn't bad, and the sounds are high-quality. You can find the Numa discounted for around $1250. It includes a music rest.

The other consideration is your X-stand. If it is a single-X it is not going to support any DP stably. You need at least a double-X or, preferably, a more solid alternative. A search on this forum should bring up discussion of the best stands.


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

mabraman, 2015
#1969456 - 10/06/12 12:38 PM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Mar 2007
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voxpops Offline
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Wales
OK, here's another thought.

A lot of people, particularly some of the jazz specialists on this forum, have opted for the Nord Piano as the most convincing all-round acoustic substitute, although a few tolerate rather than wholeheartedly endorse it. Having owned one, I understand the criticisms.

Yesterday, at short notice, I was asked to do a jazz standards gig, without vocals, and - as it turned out - without bass player, too. Just drums and keys. I'm not someone with a jazz background, and so it always makes me nervous - doubly so last night in such an exposed environment.

I hummed and hawed for a while over which DP to take, and, in the end, chose the Roland FP-4. (Note: this is NOT the latest "F" version, but the previous incarnation without SN piano sounds.) It doesn't have the best action, the best EPs, or the most sophisticated AP samples of the boards I possess. What it does have is a chassis that weighs only 33lbs, a very crisp and precise AP sample, a very playable main EP patch, an acoustic bass sound that balances well with the piano, and a light but very even action that connects very well with the sounds. The built-in speakers add to the player's immersive experience.

The gig was a blast; the owner was happy; the audience was very appreciative; I enjoyed myself, and didn't feel I was fighting the piano to get the response I wanted. A lot of people find the PHA alpha action to be poor; no, it isn't the best, but given the weight of the piano, it actually works surprisingly well.

So, the conclusion is that new isn't always better in every situation. I had been thinking about selling the FP-4, as new DPs with larger samples and more sophisticated actions are coming on the market, but I've changed my mind. This was a heck of a well implemented DP for its weight. The new Casios may prove to be better, but that's not a given. If you can snag a good condition FP-4, I'd seriously think about it.


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

mabraman, 2015
#1969654 - 10/07/12 12:46 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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AMC58 Offline
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Thanks for all the info. This is a great resource. I looked around and it seems that a platform atand might work well for the P-85, so as a first step, I ordered one of those. As a second step, I might get a keyboard amp for the p-85 (suggestions welcome!) and, then, maybe try to live with the p-85, until I can't. I will try to get to a store that stocks the various models above and do some checking out. The CP33 sound like one I want to compare to the p-85. Anybody know if the keys on it are wood? (wooden?) Are the keys on a PF-500 wooden? The p-85 is definitely plastic. I wrestled the PF-500 out of the Suburban today and it's sitting in it's coffin downstairs. Will need to practice on it when I finish my acoustic gig tomorrow to readjust. (It's still quite heavy!) I hope I'm not too old to get over some of this stuff.

#1969704 - 10/07/12 06:40 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Feb 2010
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anotherscott Offline
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Yes, the cheapest solution is to get a stand that works with the P85. (Well, I guess the very cheapest would be to put a plank of wood under your piano!) For a lightweight, well-priced, decent sounding amp, look at the ElectroVoice ZXa1.

#1970028 - 10/07/12 07:55 PM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Aug 2010
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dje31 Offline
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Originally Posted by AMC58
I will try to get to a store that stocks the various models above and do some checking out. The CP33 sound like one I want to compare to the p-85.


You're likely to have a hard time finding a CP33 to try in the flesh, at least if you're in the US. Seeing as it was released in 2006, most brick & mortar stores won't have one in stock...they can order you one, which means you'll probably be on the hook for buying it, whether you like it or not, or pay a restocking fee at the very least.

That being said, I bought mine "blind," and haven't regretted it. I sold a Roland RD-700SX to get the CP33, and have been very pleased. No regrets or buyer's remorse.

The action is a bit firmer than the Roland, but either it's loosened up / broken in, or I've just gotten used to it. Far fewer bells and whistles, but that's exactly what I was going for. My Roland synth has all that other stuff covered if I want / need it.

Good luck in your search, and as always, this is all IMHO, YMMV, LMNOP.

Last edited by dje31; 10/07/12 07:56 PM.

Yamaha CP33 | Roland XP-30
#1974404 - 10/17/12 04:18 AM Re: Have PF-500 and P-85 - want lightweight w/weighted keys. [Re: AMC58]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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AMC58 Offline
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This maybe should be in another thread, but, I'll risk it. Shortly after I started this thread, my "G" in the middle octave seemed like it was rubbing against the "F", required a little more effort to play from in between the black keys and, didn't "bounce" back. I did some reserch on the 'net, found a repair place - they determined the key was broken in the back and replaced it. In the course of this, I became aware that Yamaha had replaced entire keyboards and, even though the repair place told me A) the program was over and B) mine was too old, I emailed Yamaha - and they said mine qualified and provided a brand new keyboard - no charge. Had to pay to have in put in (1 hr labor) but now I have a DP that plays like new. If any of you have PF-500, I saw an internal document that indicated the range of serial #'s was roughly 01000-04000 (don't quote me - check with Yamaha.)

With regard to the original topic, I've decided for now to haul the Yamaha around. I've found that if i DON'T put it in the case, I can manage it better. Counter intuitive. I am looking for a suitable keyboard amp for it still.

Thanks for all the info.


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