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#1999434 - 12/14/12 03:04 PM Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL?  
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eXcelleNt Offline
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First time poster here, so hello everyone!

I'm searching for a keyboard for someone who plays classical (think Beethoven, Mozart). She is picky about the key actions, and I wan't to get her a keyboard that is as close to the "real thing" as possible, but without breaking the bank.

She also doesn't need anything fancy with options like mixing music, creating songs, etc. She's played on a Kurzweil K2500XS and really liked the key action. She'a also tried a Yamaha S90 ES but didn't like that so much.

I've been looking over the Kurzweil series because I know they're quality, and something like $1,500 wouldn't hurt too much. I'd like to know what people on this board recommend, and also importantly which of the (less featured) Kurzweil models come highly recommended.

Thank you.

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#1999458 - 12/14/12 04:03 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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pianoxcape Offline
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You don't mention if your friend is looking for a "portable" piano (based on the K2500XS and S90 ES, I'd have to assume "yes"?) -- if that is the case, she could look at the following Kurzweil model:

Kurzweil MPS20

If, however she's looking for more of a "piano" style cabinet (with pedals), I'd seriously consider this model:

Kurzweil MP10

Both of these models are below the budget you mention and would be excellent choices based on the criteria you describe.

Kind regards,


- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent
#1999461 - 12/14/12 04:12 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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spanishbuddha Offline
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Don't surprise her with the piano (of your choice), instead surprise with 'piano shopping' so she can choose. Seriously.

#1999464 - 12/14/12 04:15 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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EssBrace Offline
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For piano, Kurzweil is not well regarded around here. I've owned them in the past. Their piano samples have been more or less the same for well over 20 years. Frankly, they are rubbish compared with Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Nord and even Korg and Casio. They use Fatar key actions that are light-years behind the best digital piano actions. Put your money elsewhere. How much is the Kawai ES7 in your market? Or Roland FP-4F (or better still, 7F)? Or Yamaha P155 or P105 (cheaper)? Or Casio PX-350? All of these are far far better than Kurzweil FOR PIANO (tone and touch). Kurzweil have their strengths but piano isn't one of them!

Anyway others will chime in I expect...

Good luck,

Steve

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#1999480 - 12/14/12 05:09 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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JFP Offline
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+1 (Chime)

For a piano - get a Digital Piano (Kawai, Roland, Yamaha, Casio)

For a masterkeyboard / allround gigging , a Kurzweil PC3K8, SPS4-8 , or SP5-8 is still worth considering.

#1999652 - 12/15/12 02:29 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: EssBrace]  
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eXcelleNt Offline
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These are the prices I've found for the digital pianos you mentioned. You state that ALL of these are better at being pianos than what Kurzweil has to offer? I'll have to take your word on that.

Kawai ES7 Portable Digital Piano - $1999.00
Roland FP-4F-BK 88-Key Digital Piano - $1699.00
Roland FP-7F Digital Piano - $1999.00
Yamaha P155 Contemporary Piano with Mahogany Top Board - $999.00
Yamaha P105 88 Key Digital Stage Piano - $599.00
Casio PX350 BK 88-Key - $799.00
Touch Sensitive Privia Digital Piano with "AIR" Acoustic and Intelligent Resonation System

She doesn't need a sophisticated synthesizer like the Kurzweil PC3X, plus that's a bit too much for me anyhow.

Are the above models the crème de la crème of digital pianos? She isn't picky: 88 keys that are weighted and play like an actual piano. I'd love to narrow down an excellent pick for her. Any other input or even personal experience with the aforementioned keyboards?

Thanks for the info so far.

#1999667 - 12/15/12 03:45 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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MVshabeer2 Offline
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As everyone says, you cannot choose a piano for someone else. Instead take her to the shopping. You cant decide by youtube videos which one is better. Some may sound good, but when you play, they might be just one layer piano which wont give any dynamics.

#1999696 - 12/15/12 07:26 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: EssBrace]  
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
Frankly, they are rubbish compared with Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Nord and even Korg and Casio.


He's right Kurzweil are 20 year old technology with awful actions. If you want to give her "as close to the real thing as possible" as you said then steer far away from them.
Kawai ES7 or Roland FP-7F ..... the choice is really that simple.


"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.
#1999700 - 12/15/12 07:40 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: Dr Popper]  
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pv88 Offline
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Originally Posted by Dr Popper
Originally Posted by EssBrace
Frankly, they are rubbish compared with Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Nord and even Korg and Casio.


He's right Kurzweil are 20 year old technology with awful actions. If you want to give her "as close to the real thing as possible" as you said then steer far away from them.
Kawai ES7 or Roland FP-7F ..... the choice is really that simple.


I owned one Kurzweil, i.e., the console model Mark Pro 3i, as I didn't keep it since the piano arrived with the heavy keyboard cover off of its track and had to pop it back into place. It also had loose pedals with some sideways motion to them, and, the action was pretty sluggish which felt almost like it had a sponge under the keys. Do I need to elaborate any further?

Took a $1,300 loss (on the $1,800 purchase) as I sold it for a mere $500 pittance to a local piano teacher who was glad to make better use of it.

Any other brand will do if you are looking for a decent action.

#1999709 - 12/15/12 09:03 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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EssBrace Offline
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"She is picky about the key actions, and I wan't to get her a keyboard that is as close to the "real thing" as possible..."

"She isn't picky: 88 keys that are weighted and play like an actual piano..."

Is she "picky" or not?

If not then the Yamaha actions - P155, which is comparatively heavy, and P105, which is comparatively light - might fit the bill nicely and save you some money. But their tone generation is getting on a bit and these key actions are rarely cited as favourites on this forum. They were very good in their day but the game has moved on a bit.

That said, the users of the standard and widely available Yamaha products mentioned above are very under-represented on the forum. I have no doubt most owners are very satisfied with what they've got. The discussions on here are very much more esoteric and motivated than most digital piano owners would be!

But if you want the best available at or near your budget there's lots of advocates on here for either the Roland PHA-III action (as fitted to FP-7F, but not FP-4F) or the new Kawai action as fitted in the ES7. The Rolands sound the same as one another and have a very advanced sound engine but in my view the Kawai is perhaps the nicer and more rounded overall package.

Good luck,

Steve

edit - by the way, I should have strongly advised what others are saying - DO NOT buy her a piano without her involvement in the selection of it!

Last edited by EssBrace; 12/15/12 09:18 AM.
#1999720 - 12/15/12 09:31 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: EssBrace]  
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kapelli Offline
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Poland
Originally Posted by EssBrace

edit - by the way, I should have strongly advised what others are saying - DO NOT buy her a piano without her involvement in the selection of it!


Absolutely right,
go with her to the pianoshop don't even think of buying it by yourself

#1999895 - 12/15/12 04:51 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: EssBrace]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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eXcelleNt Offline
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eXcelleNt  Offline
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
"She is picky about the key actions, and I wan't to get her a keyboard that is as close to the "real thing" as possible..."

"She isn't picky: 88 keys that are weighted and play like an actual piano..."

Is she "picky" or not?


You did leave a bit out there. I was referring to features, and as long as she gets a proper set of 88 keys with good actions, she'll be very pleased.

Thank you for the great info all the same though.

Is it being narrowed down to the Kawai ES7 or Roland FP-7F? Unsurprisingly the most expenisve of the list I have so far. smile

Is the Roland PHA-III action fitted only to the FP-7F? And is the new Kawaii action only fitted to the ES7? If these modern actions are fitted to other, less expensive models, I would enjoy taking a look at those ones.

#1999925 - 12/15/12 05:51 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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o0Ampy0o Offline
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eXcelleNt,

You sound like a guy who has his mind set on giving his girl a big gift.

Like giving a pet you should allow her to make the choice.

#1999945 - 12/15/12 06:34 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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Kawai James Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by eXcelleNt
Is the Roland PHA-III action fitted only to the FP-7F? And is the new Kawaii action only fitted to the ES7? If these modern actions are fitted to other, less expensive models, I would enjoy taking a look at those ones.


I believe Roland's PHAIII action is also found in the HP505 console piano, however I'm not sure of the price of this model. Kawai's RHII action is also found in the CN24/CN34 - the former model being a little less expensive than the ES7, but lacking many of its features.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#1999991 - 12/15/12 08:41 PM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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PianoWorksATL Offline
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Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted by eXcelleNt
Is it being narrowed down to the Kawai ES7 or Roland FP-7F? Unsurprisingly the most expenisve of the list I have so far. smile

Is the Roland PHA-III action fitted only to the FP-7F? And is the new Kawaii action only fitted to the ES7? If these modern actions are fitted to other, less expensive models, I would enjoy taking a look at those ones.
The FP-7F has been a star in the market since it was introduced and the recently introduced ES7 seems to be its only real competition. From Roland, the FP-7F is the most affordable model with the PHA III. The DP-90 would be the next most affordable in a console version.

The esoteric technical differences between the two do not clearly favor one or the other for use as a piano, so I won't drag them out. I enjoy and prefer my own FP-7F mostly for its sound, but I absolutely respect Kawai's competitive products.

If you are experiencing too much budget creep, then I think Casio's PX-850 is truly exceptional in the same form factor: portable with speakers & optional stand/pedals - for way less money.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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#2000083 - 12/16/12 01:55 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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eXcelleNt Offline
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eXcelleNt  Offline
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Thank you for all the help and insight. I've done some more reading, even visited a piano store and I've made up my mind on this one. She'll be thrilled, and likely as blown away as I was at the piano store when the attendant described and demonstrated how similar the ES7's action was to a grand piano.

#2000093 - 12/16/12 02:27 AM Re: Help me find the perfect Christmas gift - KURZWEIL? [Re: eXcelleNt]  
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by eXcelleNt


Is it being narrowed down to the Kawai ES7 or Roland FP-7F? Unsurprisingly the most expenisve of the list I have so far. smile




Well they are miles ahead of the competition the difference between a $1500 and $2000 DP has never been greater. Both have great sound AND actions. Everything else is going to be a compromise or one or the other.


"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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