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Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel #2227218 02/06/14 10:48 PM
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AlexKelleher Offline OP
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Hi all, I've been researching this for sometime, and I'm fully searched-out. I know this product doesn't exist, and I also know there's demand. The idea isn't new:

- Fully portable keyboard for practice
- Portable = fits in overhead cabin luggage, light
- Weighted keys, say 51
- High quality piano sound
- Good enough for practice on travel
- Reasonably priced

I know having read other threads, people have even cut down Yamaha keyboards, the Vax 77 used to exist (too expensive/heavy?) and so on. Clearly we all want similar things

I'm proposing a group of us get together, start a Kickstarter project and get this done. I've started some companies before, so I have a few clues on that, but really (although this could develop into a company), I'm more into it to actually GET the product! I don't want to stop practicing when I travel...

Who's with me?

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227241 02/06/14 11:40 PM
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Lockheart Offline
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You want something with weighted keys and high quality sound that will fit into a carry on bag? It doesn't sound incredibly likely or practical.

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Lockheart] #2227311 02/07/14 04:37 AM
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Marko in Boston Offline
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This seems to come very close to your requirements. maybe?

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Marko in Boston] #2227325 02/07/14 06:51 AM
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Digitalguy Offline
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Originally Posted by Marko in Boston
This seems to come very close to your requirements. maybe?

[Linked Image]


This is far from fitting in overhead cabin luggage....
Anything beyond 49 keys would be too long for a normal suitcase...


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227327 02/07/14 07:16 AM
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I'm in.

The best approach might be to explore feasibility of cutting down a current Yamaha or Casio slab.

Speakers would probably have to go, but for this purpose that wouldn't bother me.


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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Digitalguy] #2227328 02/07/14 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy


This is far from fitting in overhead cabin luggage....
Anything beyond 49 keys would be too long for a normal suitcase...


49 keys is also a very poor substitute for a piano. Whenever I play on a keyboard that short, I end up frustrated and not wanting to play. Also, I can't see any manufacturer putting resources into a 49 key, weighted piano. They are just toys at that size (or synths).

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ando] #2227330 02/07/14 07:26 AM
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I even tried roll-up keyboards! Don't waste your time and money, useless for serious practice and will hurt your hands.

There seems to be quite a lot of practice rooms for hire in cities. It might be an idea to see if these are available in your destination and normally they have long opening hours.

Also I recently spent quite a lot of time playing in a music room after clearly saying that I wasn't buying anything but was away from my instrument. No hurt in asking, they might like people playing to attract beginners or completely understand your need to practice.



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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227331 02/07/14 07:31 AM
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Wouter D'hoye Offline
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Hi,

I too like the idea of a higly portable instrument. But what compromises is one willing to make? 49 keys does sound rather limited. What about a foldable instrument. An istrument that folds in two. The biggest issue is lenght of the piano much more than the thickness. So with a foldable instrument one could reduce the lenght of say a 76 key instrument in half. Off course one needs to see that the instrument when assembled is still rigid enough to take "passionate" playing.

Kind regards,

Wouter.

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227332 02/07/14 07:33 AM
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Wouter D'hoye Offline
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heck.; what I propose seems to exist already.. there goes my fortune to make.. LOL

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2007/10/26/vax-77-folding-music.html

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Wouter D'hoye] #2227340 02/07/14 08:00 AM
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Digitalguy Offline
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Originally Posted by Wouter D'hoye
heck.; what I propose seems to exist already.. there goes my fortune to make.. LOL

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2007/10/26/vax-77-folding-music.html


No longer produced and anyway very expensive...


Roland FP-4F, Korg Kross 61, iRig Keys Pro, HD58X, HD598, Focal Spirit Pro, Shure SRH240A, RME Babyface, M-Track Plus, Roland DuoCapture, Presonus Eris E5, iLoud micro monitors, iPad Pro, HP Elite X2, Ivory II ACD, Korg Module for iPad, Vienna Imperial, Galaxy Vintage D, Ravenscroft, Kawai-Ex Pro
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Digitalguy] #2227343 02/07/14 08:08 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
Originally Posted by Wouter D'hoye
heck.; what I propose seems to exist already.. there goes my fortune to make.. LOL

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2007/10/26/vax-77-folding-music.html


No longer produced and anyway very expensive...


Which is probably what yours would be, very expensive. It probably had to cost a lot to cover production costs. Maybe you could find a used one on ebay?


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Digitalguy] #2227420 02/07/14 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Digitalguy
Originally Posted by Wouter D'hoye
heck.; what I propose seems to exist already.. there goes my fortune to make.. LOL

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2007/10/26/vax-77-folding-music.html


No longer produced and anyway very expensive...


...Also has spring-loaded rather than weighted keys and very expensive.


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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: Wouter D'hoye] #2227497 02/07/14 02:54 PM
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It hinges the wrong way. It should fold bottom out rather than keys out for better protection of the keys.


-- J.S.

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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227571 02/07/14 05:37 PM
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AlexKelleher Offline OP
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Hi all, great responses! To try and respond to everyone so far

- Agree needs to be at least 61 keys
- Needs to proper, weighted keys, completely
- I think the VAX FOLDING keyboard failed because a) was still hefty, and b) was in the thousands of dollars
- I think this needs to come in at $500ish?
- Have often thought of and tried to find practice rooms - but practically speaking very difficult, and don't always have time. usually i'm in the hotel room, wishing i could practice...

Clearly we need an engineer, but I think the first thing might be to collaborate on a Kickstarter style project and get a design, some funding, and then make it happen!

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227587 02/07/14 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexKelleher
I'm more into it to actually GET the product!


Check this thread:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/692966

Nice pictures there of a modified Yamaha. Doing something like that isn't cheap, but is cheaper than starting your own manufacturing company. ;-)

If you really want it to be carry-on size, you'll need to keep it to 49 keys. (Unless you attempt some kind of folding thing.)

If a Casio PX-150 could be adapted, at 25 lbs for 88 keys to start, it has the potential to be pretty light.

Last edited by anotherscott; 02/07/14 08:45 PM. Reason: link correctd
Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227654 02/07/14 08:27 PM
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ClsscLib Offline

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Anotherscott, is that the link you really intended? It seems to be off topic.

I agree, though, that establishing a template for "sawing off" a Casio or Yamaha, and maybe finding a tinkerer willing to do it for a number of traveling pianists, is the likeliest way to get something without having to spend a larger amount than we could ever raise for this project.


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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227657 02/07/14 08:32 PM
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Maybe propose this to Yamaha, Kawai, Casio, etc? I know Kawai has a guy who watches this board.


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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: ClsscLib] #2227663 02/07/14 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Anotherscott, is that the link you really intended? It seems to be off topic.

Thanks for the heads-up, I don't know how that happened! Fixed.

Correct link is:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/692966

Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: anotherscott] #2227790 02/08/14 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Anotherscott, is that the link you really intended? It seems to be off topic.

Thanks for the heads-up, I don't know how that happened! Fixed.

Correct link is:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/692966


So, Alex and Anotherscott -- an obvious first line of inquiry is whether the firm and person who did this job for Peter Moll is still around and might be interested in doing something like it again, but for a number of people, right?


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Re: Truly Portable Piano Keyboard for Travel [Re: AlexKelleher] #2227804 02/08/14 07:05 AM
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How about a "pull apart" implementation instead of folding to get the length down ?
With a little mechanical ingenuity they could snap back together "keys to keys" for protection during transport.

Some small number of keys, say 64, perhaps an optional mid section octave to expand to 76, or 88 with two of them.

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