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entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? #1991582 11/27/12 04:11 PM
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Adam.137 Offline OP
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I am a re-learner after 20 years' pause. I learned about 10 months when I was 12, so basically I'm completely novice. I'm learning on really magnificent acoustics, and would need a DP for home practice.

I've been looking at entry-level DPs around the 1000 USD price mark (note: I'm in Switzerland, but the currency is about 1:1). I would like to keep the unit for longer (5+ yrs), so I rather pay more than switch in 2 yrs time. I'm looking at some computer-aided learning as well, although I'm a complete newby with handling MIDI equipment.

What I looked at are the
Yamaha P105
- has a lot of fancy stuff (accompaniment, USB, etc) and the unit itself is very affordable (650CHF)
- lacking every accessory (a stand and pedals are quite an investment)
- GHS. I played this for 5 minutes in a local shop and quite like the mechanics
- has Pure CF sound engine (yeah, right)

Yamaha YDP-S31
- looks like the P105 with a cover and built in stand+pedals. Not sure why even this product exists?
- GHS

Yamaha YDP141
- cheaper than the P105 altogether, has more of a "piano-look".
- not sure about anything I'd really miss in terms of features? - has MIDI instead of (over MIDI) USB.
- again GHS. Are all GHS mechanics the same feel (=> so the individual models have actually just design difference)?

Yamaha YDP161
- still around the magical 1000 CHF mark
- has GH, which should be one level up - is it that significant? Couldn't locate any store with this one on display yet. Will do, however.

Yamaha YDP-S51
- seems to combine all good features of YDP161 and P105
- GH, PureCF engine, minimalist stand, pedals, USB out

Anything else I should look at? Based on solely YouTube videos I was keen on getting a Roland FP7F, but I didn't quite like the action on that unit for the first 2 minutes in the store. Being a novice, I'm not quite sure I can judge what I really need in 1-2 years' time in terms of features/action.

Second hand? I read in guides that anything older than 5 yrs is too obsolete in terms of technology/action. I never owned any instrument so pricey, so pls bear with my excitement. crazy

Last edited by Adam.137; 11/27/12 04:23 PM.
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Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991587 11/27/12 04:25 PM
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GH is fairly heavier than GHS, it's really a matter of personal preference. The YDP-161 and the P155 both have a GH action, so I'd suggest to try a P155 and see how does it compare to the GHS. That's the touch and feel you'd get with the YDP-161. Many users prefer GHS to GH and vice versa, so don't let the price tag be a determinant factor -- you should buy basing on your preference.

If you don't need portability, I'd avoid portable DPs and focus on console DPs.

Be sure to choose the action you like as you won't be able to change it. On the other hand, a computer with proper sample libraries attached to the DP allows for far richer sound quality.

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Mark NM] #1991594 11/27/12 04:33 PM
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Adam.137 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mark NM
If you don't need portability, I'd avoid portable DPs and focus on console DPs.


the question bugs me: why? it's more difficult to move around, it takes up more space, and it has the same action and sound (pretty much), which is also indifferent over headphones.

I also tend to like the piano-look more, however I fail to see the advantages f

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991598 11/27/12 04:42 PM
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I also tend to shy away from suggesting consoles unless you simply desire the aesthetics, or in some cases, the sound system they may contain if you will largely playing out into the room rather than though headphones. Otherwise, you tend to pay more for comparable action and sound, plus you end up with something that will be more difficult to move with if need be, and more difficult to sell, since it's not reasonably shippable, limiting you to local buyers, and further, local buyers with the means (or willingness to pay) to have it moved.

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991603 11/27/12 04:56 PM
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I prefer console because I feel more like playing real piano. I just can't get the same feeling with portable box in front of me.


Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
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Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991604 11/27/12 04:58 PM
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Consoles tend to come with the pedals and also a keybed cover. Apart from that it tends to come down to personal use preference.

If your budget stretches into it, I'd aim to look at the models with GH keyboard. It's heavier and considered more authentic to acoustic pianos than the GHS. In weight it's also heavier, which is mainly relevant to portable keyboards. In playability I'd consider GH vs GHS to be the biggest difference between the DPs you have listed.

The YDP-S51 is newer than the YDP-161 or P-155, and so may have some sound technology improvements, but I haven't heard it in person.

I wouldn't worry too much between MIDI or USB connectors unless you have specific needs there. Each have their advantages. MIDI is more flexible and future-proof, while USB saves having to get an adapter.

Kawai and Casio also have good options too.

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: 1John] #1991607 11/27/12 05:05 PM
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I wouldn't go for any of them:

Buy a Casio PX-350 instead a no brainer to me :

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991648 11/27/12 06:50 PM
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Among Yamahas, by all means go for a GH action rather than GHS if you can afford to do so.

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991672 11/27/12 07:44 PM
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The Yamaha P105, YDP141, and YDP-S31 are out of the question because of the GHS action. This action is just a small step up from toy. (That's typical of the low-end keyboards.) Not even worth considering.

That leaves only the YDP161 and YDP-S51.

But have you considered any other pianos besides Yamaha?

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: MacMacMac] #1991787 11/28/12 01:49 AM
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thanks for everyone so far.

yes, these are entry-level models, and I have a budget of about 1k USD, that's why I'm looking at these.

Casio does not really sound like a "piano brand", but it's just prejudice. I'm open to suggestions. smile

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991791 11/28/12 01:55 AM
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Well, if you were to consider Kawai:

- CL36 (approx. 900 Euros)
- CN24 (approx. 1200 Euros)

Kind regards,
James
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Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Kawai James] #1991792 11/28/12 01:59 AM
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for casio, the px350 is 990 alone without stander.
CL36 is 1500 CHF here on list price. whistle

I could get my hands on a CN33 for 1200 CHF 2 yrs used. With some bargaining maybe even 1100 would be doable, that's a really sweet deal. Any kawai service/warranty issues? blush


Last edited by Adam.137; 11/28/12 02:00 AM.
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991803 11/28/12 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam.137
for casio, the px350 is 990 alone without stander.
CL36 is 1500 CHF here on list price. whistle


I was using Thomann.de as a reference.
I believe Thomann ship to Switzerland.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991806 11/28/12 02:50 AM
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Having done the same selection only weeks ago, if you are searching primarily for a piano for around EU 1000 that was our short list (we started from almost your same list):

- Used old series Clavinova 3xx. That's what we bought, a used CLP 340 for EUR 1100. You have the better GH3 action with synthetic ivory (that's a good feeling), and many (more expert than me) here agree that the new RGE sound engine of the latest Clavinova series it's marginally better that the AWM included in the old, so you have also a good sound, with 40w speakers.

- evaluated and need to be good or better than Clavinova (unfortunately was not possible to test them) the new Kawai CN24 and Roland RP301

Also better need do be Kawai CN33 but its a bit out of budget.
In my evaluation Kawai CL36 was a bit behind.

PS I will be in Zürich this Friday, nice city!

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991816 11/28/12 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam.137
for casio, the px350 is 990 alone without stander.
CL36 is 1500 CHF here on list price. whistle

I could get my hands on a CN33 for 1200 CHF 2 yrs used. With some bargaining maybe even 1100 would be doable, that's a really sweet deal. Any kawai service/warranty issues? blush



I bought CL-36 for 800€ (100€ discount) right from the dealer, which is 960 CHF. 1500 CHF is way too expensive !
I had a chance to try new Yamaha baby grand (cca. 30 000€ price) and I would say RH action used in CL-36 has very similar touch. It's strange but it is closer than own Yamaha GH action (at least for me).


Yamaha NP-V80 (sold)
Yamaha DGX640 (sold)
Kawai CL-36
Pianoteq Standard + Intel NUC DC3217BY + Sennheiser HD598 + Fostex PM0.4n + NI Audio 2
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: jarosujo] #1991904 11/28/12 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jarosujo

I bought CL-36 for 800€ (100€ discount) right from the dealer, which is 960 CHF. 1500 CHF is way too expensive !


welcome to Switzerland smile things don't convert here currency-to-currency. that's the price of low taxes and being out of the EU.

Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1991989 11/28/12 02:51 PM
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I made it down to 2 choices of new:
New: YDP-161 (1050CHF)
New: YDP-S51 (999CHF)

Used:
Yamaha CLP930? (auction, currently 500CHF)
- has GH action too, was high-end in 2000, but soon 13 yrs old?
- seen also various CVP's from 2000-2003 era with GH
Kawai CN33 (1200CHF)
----

update: ooooh I got a DEAL for 1100CHF for the Kawai CN33 thumb - I guess it's a no-brainer then?! Someone pls confirm quickly!

Last edited by Adam.137; 11/28/12 03:05 PM.
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1993246 12/01/12 02:55 PM
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Well, to close this off, I would have bought the S51 for the compact size and better action for 999CHF, which I found at a local dealer.

But I couldn't leave this deal with a Kawai CN33 (barely) used for 1100CHF, so I ended up buying a larger size DP from another brand than initially planned.

But I gotta tell you, I am absolutely in love with this thing. 3hearts It looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful, I'd love to just look at it all day. Now all that remains is to learn to play it nicely. It will be to my utmost pleasure to learn on this.

Thanks for all your support!

Last edited by Adam.137; 12/01/12 02:57 PM.
Re: entry-level yamaha - which one to choose? [Re: Adam.137] #1993355 12/01/12 06:55 PM
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Congrats!

James
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Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019

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