I live in NYC, and I've usually gone to guitar center to try out digital pianos. I thought they had a decent selection, but not anymore. I went to the Sam Ash center today on 34th street. I was amazed at how many they had, probably 50 digital pianos and other 20-30 regular keyboards. Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Kurzweil, Casio, Nord, Korg...
I recently purchased a Yamaha P155. I'm happy with it, but now that I have some playing time, I wanted to compare some other models. I was interested on comparing action and piano sounds.
Well I must say I think every DP I tried seemed to have 'lighter' action then my P155. I had read it was on the heavier side, but to me all of a sudden it felt huge when playing some of the other models. I guess this is good because I've been building good finger strength, and I really do like the solid feel, but comparing it now to other DPs, I think it's a little overdone.
There was good pianist rocking away on a DP and it sounded great. I went to look and it was the Casio PX-150. I was amazed he was making one of the cheaper DPs sound so good. It took me back a little. I did find the action on the Casio models to be a little wobbly.
I tried the P255. I liked it had more piano sounds and a built in EQ, but I didn't think it was much better overall then the P155. The display was nicer too. The ability to record Wav files was nice, but I enjoy recording MIDI from my P155 as I find it's more versatile and I can change the sounds or fix small mistakes.
The Roland's I tried sounded really good, but I felt the keys were a little plasticky and light. The FP-80 sounded and felt pretty good.
I tried a few Kawai models, I liked that they had a nice selection of them. They didn't have the ES100 unfortunately and I really wanted to try that model. They definitely have unique action. (All the brand seemed to have their own different actions). My first reaction when playing the MP6 and MP10 was that they felt springy, but as I played them more they grew on me. All the features on them and the Nords were a little overwhelming at first and took me a few minutes to figure out how to just get the basic piano sound.
I could definitely feel and hear the difference in the higher end models. It was nice to compare now that I've gotten a good feel for my P155. I still like my DP very much, but if I ever upgrade years down the line, I might go with a different brand. I felt the piano sounds on the Yamaha's were less piano like then other brands. It definitely has it's own unique signature.
I was a little disappointed with some of the console Yamaha's I played. I thought they would be nice but the action felt cheaper. I think they were GHS models on the YDP line.
I've only been playing a short while so my experience overall is limited, but these were my impressions today. I was going to stop by B&H Photo across the street but the were closed for religious observation. I'd like to go back as I get even better and compare again to see if my thinking has changed as I improve technically. I also haven't played on a real acoustic since I was 12, so I completely forgot what that was like. I was thinking of stopping by a real piano store, but thought I was just get evil looks and asked to leave as soon as I started playing hah.
This pic only shows a small section of the room, I didn't want to get any people in the shot. There's a wall of digital pianos to the left and right, and a bunch behind me. I was in heaven for a short while today.