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#2081923 - 05/13/13 01:47 PM Where to go from a PC88mx  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
PuffleDunk Offline
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PuffleDunk  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
Hello from Massachusetts, USA!

New member/first post. This looks like one of the best forums I've seen, on any subject! Looking forward to participating.

I have an _old_ Kurzweil PC88mx that I'm looking to put out to pasture and upgrade to a new digital piano. I was wondering if anybody could impart some wisdom about replacements to consider.

After searching the forum and elsewhere and reading similar topics, I think I'm leaning toward a Kawai (ES7 or CN24/34?). I'm purely amateur, i.e. no gigs, so portability not important. I play a mix of jazz, popular and classical. My priorities (based on the experience with PC88mx and a prior Roland) are:

- Expressive keyboard action. I had problems with the PC88mx transitioning between loud and soft. The older Roland was even harder play expressively.
- Good piano sounds, although I don't have much complaint about the PC88mx.
- Ease of use for a casual player. I barely scratched the surface of the PC88mx features, because they required too much time and effort to learn. I'd love to do more advanced things if they are accessible.
- A non-stage configuration, e.g. pedals that don't shift around and a keyboard cover would be nice. I do have external speakers (Alesis Monitor One) and an amplifier, so built-in speakers are not a requirement.
- An ability to do other MIDI things with it, e.g. Band in a Box, Garage Band, or other PC or iPad MIDI software. I'm sure it's possible with all DPs, but it would be great if it was reasonably easy. Do built-in General MIDI voices help?
- Moderate cost (as far below $3000 as possible?). I do intend to keep it for a long time, so I'm willing to stretch if it buys some important quality.

I'm somewhat biased against Kurzweil and Roland based on my past experience, but my mind is basically open.

Enough for now. I hope I've given enough info without overloading your circuits. smile

Thanks!

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#2081943 - 05/13/13 02:40 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Marko in Boston Offline
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Marko in Boston  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Boston, Massachusetts
Welcome to the forum PuffleDunk. Have you had a chance to visit any shops to try some new digital pianos? Not sure what part of MA you are from but Guitar Centers and two Kawai dealers are not too far regardless.

edit; Great Kawai dealer in Salem, NH with many models on display. (tax free !)

Last edited by Marko in Boston; 05/13/13 02:46 PM.

KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2081955 - 05/13/13 03:13 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: May 2011
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maurus Offline
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maurus  Offline
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Lots of possibilities. Concentrate on Kawai (ES7, CA series) and Yamaha (CLP series) if you want a console style piano. If stage pianos without speakers are an option (despite potentially moving pedals...) you might look at Kawai MP6/MP10 and Yamaha CP50/5, and perhaps also have a look at Clavia Nord instruments (Electro, Piano) in your price range. Try as many as possible in person!

#2082000 - 05/13/13 04:58 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: Marko in Boston]  
Joined: May 2013
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PuffleDunk Offline
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PuffleDunk  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
No, I haven't had a chance to visit shops. I was going to head to Londonderry Piano in NH (near Salem). Is that the one? I'm in Concord MA.

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#2082007 - 05/13/13 05:09 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: maurus]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
PuffleDunk Offline
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PuffleDunk  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
Thanks for the advice.

Yep, I'll definitely give them a workout in the store(s) before committing to one.

The stage pianos are an option if I can get a console-like setup where I can attach the pedals to something. I'm in an apartment and I can't get the pedals to stop shifting around. The floor is slippery there. That's the main issue.

Other than portability, are there significant advantages to stage pianos over consoles? Is it mainly that they cost less, or do they have a lot more features?

The CA series does seem a little better on paper than the CN series. Better keys, more sounds, etc.. Is it definitely worth the price difference?

Thanks.

Last edited by PuffleDunk; 05/13/13 05:35 PM.
#2082018 - 05/13/13 05:37 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Marko in Boston Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Marko in Boston  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Boston, Massachusetts
Originally Posted by PuffleDunk
No, I haven't had a chance to visit shops. I was going to head to Londonderry Piano in NH (near Salem). Is that the one? I'm in Concord MA.


Yes, Londonderry Piano. Ask for John, the owner. Very nice guy and will show you everything or let you do your own thing. I was looking at CA65 and 95 but bought the ES7. At the end of the day it is exactly what i needed and absolutely love it.

BTW is this your the old dog for sale? http://capecod.craigslist.org/msg/3782458023.html


KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2082022 - 05/13/13 05:46 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 100
willf Offline
Full Member
willf  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 100
UK
How about the Roland RD700NX? I think the keyboard action is one of the best I have played and it sounds good. If it wasn't for the weight I would have bought one!


willf
#2082023 - 05/13/13 05:48 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: Marko in Boston]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
PuffleDunk Offline
Junior Member
PuffleDunk  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
Thanks for the tip about John.

Out of curiosity, what swayed it for the ES7? I'm imagining that it's significantly less expensive ($2000 vs $3000+), but has similar capabilities? Or is it the portability?

Nope, that's not mine. I'll wait until the new one arrives to sell the old. Seeing the price is useful though. Thanks for that. smile

#2082049 - 05/13/13 06:53 PM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Marko in Boston Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Marko in Boston  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Boston, Massachusetts
Originally I thought I wanted a console DP. I was so hyper focused on the CA65 that I didn't care to look any further. The CA65 & 95 sound amazing and the action is probably the best available. However, when I was hanging in the Londonderry showroom I noticed the ES7 and thought I would give it a shot. Wow, I immediately bonded with the size, action, incredible sound, size, and features. I could not pull myself away from it as it was just such a pleasure in every way. So, I left the store after ready to buy the CA65, but now indecisive. So , I researched the specs on the ES7 and it is almost untouchable for the price, features, and quality. I had to but it and went back and bought it next day. I must be honest and say that I the one I bought was a bit defective and had to return it. This is where the awesome service of Londonderry Piano comes in. John the owner swapped it out without hesitation. He just wanted me to be happy (imagine that). All is perfect now. I am especially happy with the portability of the ES7 now that I am doing some unexpected gigs. This would have never happened if I bought the CA65.

Keep in mind that this my opinion only. You HAVE to try as many DPs as you can. I looked at Yamaha, Korg, Casio, and Roland, but the sound and touch of Kawai is most pleasing to me by far. I know you are a bit disconnected from Roland and Kurzweil, however they just released some awesome new boards that are worth a close look. Check as many out as possible. Your price range is dead on to some great DPs

Last edited by Marko in Boston; 05/13/13 07:02 PM.

KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
#2082988 - 05/15/13 08:47 AM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
PuffleDunk Offline
Junior Member
PuffleDunk  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 10
This has given me a good start in knowing what to look for. I appreciate the help. One last question...

I've been fairly content playing the PC88mx through the Alesis amp and Monitor One's. Are they likely to be better or worse than the built-in speakers of the ES7, or even a console DP? How much better or worse? That will help me decide how much to favor consoles over stage pianos, or not.

This is the newer version of what I have:

http://www.alesis.com/monitoronemkii

Thanks again.

#2084006 - 05/17/13 05:29 AM Re: Where to go from a PC88mx [Re: PuffleDunk]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Marko in Boston Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Marko in Boston  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,352
Boston, Massachusetts
The ES7 speakers are very good, however, you can still use your Alesis in combination with the onboard speakers of the ES7. I set up studio monitors and subwoofer with my ES7 and it sounds incredible when I want to rock the house. But for the most part I just use the onboard speakers set at mid volume for daily practice. Headphones for late night.

Did you get a chance to see Kawai dealer (below)? If not, I assure you it's worth the trip to either one.

http://www.londonderrypiano.com/
http://www.pianomill.com/


Last edited by Marko in Boston; 05/17/13 08:57 AM.

KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA

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