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#2051255 - 03/20/13 08:31 AM Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or P-35, tips?  
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raikkU Offline
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Hello. A total beginner here looking to buy for my first digital piano. I've been looking for used but there don't seem to be many of them moving around here so I'll probably have to get a new one. I'm probably going for Casio CDP-120 or Yamaha P-35 because they're in a comfortable price range. I'm really interested in starting piano as a hobby, but at this point I can't tell if I'll still be playing in a year so I'd rather not invest too much money.

I went to a local music shop this week to get a feel on the pianos but as a newbie it's hard to tell anything about the action. Casio and Yamaha action seems to a thing that people have different opinions on. The salesperson helping me at the shop said that the best advice he can give me is that I should come back with headphones and try the pianos out and go for the one that I like most action and sound wise.

Something I'm slightly concerned about is the 32 note polyphony of the Yamaha, but the way I understand, if it ever becomes a problem you can deal with that by using a computer with the piano via USB/MIDI.

Here are the pianos I've been looking at:

- Casio CDP-120 385€
- Yamaha P-35 440€
- Casio CDP-220R 479€ (Apparently CDP-120 + more features)
- Casio Privia PX-135 550€ (Probably over my budget)
- Casio Privia PX-320 545€ ^

Thanks in advance, any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by raikkU; 03/20/13 09:21 AM.

yamaha p-35. a piano neophyte since 04/13. my piano links
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#2051261 - 03/20/13 08:46 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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From what Ive been reading the CDP120-follow up to the previous CDP100-, is quite a good choice, keyboard action and tone wise. Speakers may be a weak issue but then again maybe not. Personally if I had the money I would opt for the slightly higher priced Privia range, PX320 and 350.
Good luck, Im in the same boat except at the moment I have zero budget!

Last edited by LarryShone; 03/20/13 08:47 AM.

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#2051264 - 03/20/13 08:55 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Hi raikkU, welcome to Piano World!

I agree with the salesman, you need to go back with headphones and listen and play as much as you can before you decide.

What about the Yamaha P-105? This one has 128 polyphony. It might be over your budget.

Best of luck to you...



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#2051304 - 03/20/13 10:22 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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I'm happy about my Privia PX-135, that's all I can tell you. As far as I know the 350 is the same piano, just with more functions (accompaniment, recording, stuff like that).


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
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#2051319 - 03/20/13 11:01 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or P-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Try the Digital Forum for tons of info.

#2051326 - 03/20/13 11:10 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: scorpio]  
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LarryShone Offline
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Originally Posted by scorpio
Hi raikkU, welcome to Piano World!

I agree with the salesman, you need to go back with headphones and listen and play as much as you can before you decide.
What about the Yamaha P-105? This one has 128 polyphony. It might be over your budget.

Best of luck to you...

A question, why 128 note poly? Polyphony is how many notes can be played at once. High amounts are great if youre connecting other devices via MIDI of course but for general playing?

Last edited by LarryShone; 03/20/13 11:12 AM.

If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
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#2051333 - 03/20/13 11:26 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: LarryShone]  
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I was just responding to the OP's concern that the P-35 had 32 polyphony. The next Yamaha model up is the P-105 with 128 polyphony (I guess the P-95 is still available with 64 polyphony); I mentioned it as an alternative.

It is important to purchase a digital piano that suits individual needs and not necessarily the greatest or biggest. However, anyone that purchases a digital piano should think about long term use and growth. It really comes down to what the user requires and can afford.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Willy Wonka


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#2051337 - 03/20/13 11:33 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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True I guess. After all if youre gonna spend a lot of money on something you want the best for the money.


If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.
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#2051346 - 03/20/13 11:44 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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P-95 does not seem to be available anymore, and the P-105 is 200€ more expensive than the P-35. As a beginner who literally can't play at all (yet) it's impossible to tell if the 200€ would be a worthwhile investment. I just went to the shop again, this time with my headphones and I think I prefer the Yamaha P-35 over the Casio alternative in that price range.


yamaha p-35. a piano neophyte since 04/13. my piano links
#2051360 - 03/20/13 12:07 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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sinophilia Offline

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When I was shopping for a digital piano, the dealer had Yamahas and Casios at about the same price, and said that in the end it just comes down to personal preference. He put it like this: Some people love the Yamaha sound and some hate it. So choose the one you like best! But be aware that headphones can change everything on a digital. I have nice headphones that make a completely different sound from the piano's own speakers. And the sound changes a lot depending on where you put the piano! Even if it's just a digital.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2051361 - 03/20/13 12:09 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: LarryShone]  
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Originally Posted by LarryShone
True I guess. After all if youre gonna spend a lot of money on something you want the best for the money.


Without disputing that for most people, 64 voices would suffice, it's worth noting that - depending on the complexity of the instrument - additional voices are used for overtones and stereo. So you can't just assume that if you have 88 note polyphony (e.g. one per physical piano key) you couldn't possibly get any better ...


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#2051372 - 03/20/13 12:30 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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I have never seen p35 but own a p105. thought they are amazing for the price.


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#2051406 - 03/20/13 01:31 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Personally, I think Yamaha has better sounds, which it seems you agree based on what you've heard. The upgrade to the P105 gives you a slightly better feel (in my opinion) and another set of speakers (4 total vs. 2) giving it a broader sound if you're using the speakers. If the store you went to has both, turn up both speakers and compare them. I don't think you'll notice the difference much with headphones.

As far as polyphony, it's one of the things that gets chopped at the lower price range. I all you're playing is one instrument and no MIDI hookup, the only time you'll really notice it is when you are holding the pedal and playing a bunch of notes. Once you hit the max, every new note will cancel one out (usually the first note you played). The average player won't notice it too much.

If you get into heavy arrangements on the computer later on, you can still use the keyboard, just start using virtual instruments. Then you're just using your keyboard as a controller. That would get you over the polyphony max.


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#2051451 - 03/20/13 03:22 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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The CDP120 uses the CDP200 chip and has 48 polyphony.

Which might actually be 24 because it is split into two channels.

The other day I used a PAD instrument, played a note. Stood on the sustain, switched to a piano and struck the keys one by one. The PAD instrument abruptly vanished after pressing 23 keys.

However personally I'm of the biker boss rule. I.e. only when YOU exceed the capabilities of the device you are using should you get something better....


Though of course there is always the argument that if you practice on a better instrument you'll be encouraged to keep at it longer. As evidenced by 1000s if not millions of cheap £30 go out of tune daily guitars I see in everybody's homes.

#2051469 - 03/20/13 03:59 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: justpin]  
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raikkU Offline
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Originally Posted by justpin

However personally I'm of the biker boss rule. I.e. only when YOU exceed the capabilities of the device you are using should you get something better....

Though of course there is always the argument that if you practice on a better instrument you'll be encouraged to keep at it longer. As evidenced by 1000s if not millions of cheap £30 go out of tune daily guitars I see in everybody's homes.

If you had asked me a week ago my plan was to get a relatively cheap 61-key MIDI keyboard and see if I retain interest in the idea of playing piano and maybe play around with some electronic music production tools. From there it went to buying a used DP, as after some research it was obvious that 61 keys wouldn't suffice and the action wouldn't be something you'd like to learn piano on.

And finally now it looks like I'll be buying a new one. It just doesn't seem like a good trade-off to save one or two hundred euros for waiting a few months to find a decent deal while you could be practicing.

That said, I seriously have no idea if I'll be playing in a year from now. Right now the idea of picking up piano as a hobby interests me a lot and I've spent probably 20 hours doing research on what I should buy and how to start practicing.

Last edited by raikkU; 03/20/13 04:04 PM.

yamaha p-35. a piano neophyte since 04/13. my piano links
#2051515 - 03/20/13 05:54 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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justpin Offline
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don't worry it took me ages to decide which DP I wanted too.

I still learning and can't outplay it yet.

#2051546 - 03/20/13 06:53 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Sand Tiger Offline
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Hi RaikKU, welcome to the forum. My ears perked up when I read bits of your story. I started with a 61-key Yamaha NP11 a year ago. For someone new to piano, I was able to learn a lot. So for those on a limited budget it isn't the worst thing. Like you, I wasn't sure I was going to stick with piano. I thought my odds were poor (for a variety of reasons), so didn't want to spend a lot. Also space is at a premium.

Anyway, long story shortened, I upgraded to a 88-key Casio PX-150 three months ago. I continue to practice about an hour a day and continue to enjoy it. I am still not near the full potential of the 61-key unit. That said, I make the analogy of the upgrade like being from an old time 3-speed bicycle to a modern bicycle with 18 to 30 gears. There is always the option to spend more, and more and more.

You might also try to find refurbished or demo units. I bought my Casio PX-150 for 25% off street price because it was a demo unit. It looked good as new when I unboxed it, so am glad for the savings.


#2051560 - 03/20/13 07:23 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Originally Posted by raikkU
I think I prefer the Yamaha P-35 over the Casio alternative in that price range.


Then, I would not agonize about it anymore.

Just go and get that one and I would also recommend getting the L-85 furniture stand with it for an extra $99. I think it makes the whole thing feel more like a real piano instead of a keyboard sitting on top of some type of metal rack.

That will be a nice start for you to see if you really wish to do this.

And, don't forget ... you get to be good at playing piano by practicing ... not by buying equipment.


Last edited by dmd; 03/20/13 07:26 PM.

Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2051575 - 03/20/13 07:40 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: dmd]  
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Sand Tiger,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I've been going through sites of local music shops for special offers or second hand pianos without much luck. These entry level digital pianos seem to be quite rare around here, only one or two shops have had those.

But the resale value should be quite OK with these things.

Originally Posted by dmd
Just go and get that one and I would also recommend getting the L-85 furniture stand with it for an extra $99. I think it makes the whole thing feel more like a real piano instead of a keyboard sitting on top of some type of metal rack.


I'm really tight on space so I don't think I can get a fixed stand.

This is the spot where I'm planning to fit the piano somehow, maybe on the table or on an X stand in front of it.




yamaha p-35. a piano neophyte since 04/13. my piano links
#2051607 - 03/20/13 08:59 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by raikkU
I'm really tight on space so I don't think I can get a fixed stand.


The fixed stand is the exact same size as the digital piano, so it takes no extra space.

I strongly suggest you rethink that decision.

On the other hand, if you believe you are going to be using the keyboard in other places than where you reside, then that would be reason to utilize a portable stand. But, otherwise I think it looks "tacky" and is less stable (moves around) while you are playing.





Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors
#2051633 - 03/20/13 09:54 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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I always seem to bump my knees on X stands. If you can find a cheap Z stand it might work better. If you're willing to spend a bit a bit more, I have an On stage KS7150 stand which I really like. It's worth looking into. smile


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#2051680 - 03/20/13 11:46 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Polyphony is more a marketing term than a real concern to ever worry about in limiting your playing or experience. The two things you need to focus on that I also used to base my decision off when getting my Yamaha P-155 were:

1)Sound(s) - Does the piano sound sound realistic - and more importantly (because digital pianos of less than a few thousand dollars generally won't sound realistic several years after buying), do you like it - and, if it's of any concern (shouldn't really be for a [beginning] pianist), do you like the other instrumental sounds offered?

2)Action - this is pretty much a you-get-what-you-pay-for feature (like most here). Just as you want piano sounds to emulate those of a full-sized grand piano, you want the piano action to do the same. First of all, all the keys need to be weighted (weightless key keyboards are toys) - which with all of these, they are. What I don't know is that all have a graded hammer weighted action,
Originally Posted by http://www.makingmusicmag.com/tunedin/digital-pianos.html
where a system of levers and hammers attached to the keys offer a feel similar to that of an acoustic piano. The weight of the keys also changes from the bass to treble side of the board. Weighted action keyboards are a less expensive alternative to graded hammer weighted action, and simply feature a weight attached to each key. Nonweighted keyboards are the least expensive, yet offer no authentic piano key resistance.
This was a significant factor in choosing the more expensive investment of the P-155.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#2051692 - 03/21/13 12:13 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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I looked at the picture of the location. From that photo, both the X-stand and the console will make for a clumsy arrangement, requiring you to take down the piano to use the computer. So I would think carefully before buying any stand.

My setup is on wood desk that looks similar in size to the table in the picture. I have my TV in front of the Casio PX-150 on an elevated shelf. Sort of how the computer monitor looks in the photo. How much room is there in front of the monitor? I think you need 25 inches (64 cm) to fit the Yamaha P35 in the front section where the mouse pad is. How wide is that table? Does it match the width of the piano? If there is no budget for a larger table or desk, a reclaimed piece of table top, plywood or glass might extend the table.

The keyboard and mouse are going to be issues. I see no room to use the computer no matter which way the piano is set up (x-stand, console or on the desk). One idea is to put something over the piano when it is idle and put the keyboard and mouse pad over the piano. While that is far from ideal, it might be better than having the move the heavy piano each time. An under the table sliding keyboard tray might be another solution to look at.

Think about it. Measure. Visualize some different kinds of set ups. Perhaps even use paper or cardboard mock ups to test various arrangements. Are the keyboard and mouse wireless? If so, a lap desk might work for them. There are lot of pieces. However, it looks like you have more actual space to work with than I do, and I managed to figure it out.

My desk is about twice the depth of the piano. I set up a narrow shelf for the TV and it is about 35 cm above the desk. The difference is that the TV doesn't need a keyboard and a mouse, so I don't have to account for them.

#2051748 - 03/21/13 04:19 AM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: raikkU]  
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Polyphony is not a marketing term at all! Its a musical term referring to how many notes can be played at once. An old moog synthesizer is monophonic-only one note at a time can ever be played on it. Later moogs had polyphony,enough to play chords. Then the digital age came and we needed to layer data from other instruments so the count had to go up to cover that. I think my keyboard is 32 note poly. More than enough for me.


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#2051968 - 03/21/13 12:48 PM Re: Looking to buy my first DP, going for CDP-120 or B-35, tips? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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Originally Posted by Sand Tiger

My setup is on wood desk that looks similar in size to the table in the picture. I have my TV in front of the Casio PX-150 on an elevated shelf. Sort of how the computer monitor looks in the photo. How much room is there in front of the monitor? I think you need 25 inches (64 cm) to fit the Yamaha P35 in the front section where the mouse pad is. How wide is that table? Does it match the width of the piano? If there is no budget for a larger table or desk, a reclaimed piece of table top, plywood or glass might extend the table.

The keyboard and mouse are going to be issues. I see no room to use the computer no matter which way the piano is set up (x-stand, console or on the desk). One idea is to put something over the piano when it is idle and put the keyboard and mouse pad over the piano. While that is far from ideal, it might be better than having the move the heavy piano each time. An under the table sliding keyboard tray might be another solution to look at.


While it's not very practical I don't really mind moving around the piano, it's not that heavy. The table is 5cm wider than the piano and twice as deep.

Thomann has 30-day return policy so I can always return the piano if it doesn't work out.

This stand is just 10€ at Thomann and it looks pretty similar to this one which has got reasonable reviews on Amazon. I could buy it just in case. I don't understand why Thomann doesn't seem to have any review system in place.

Last edited by raikkU; 03/21/13 12:48 PM.

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