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Buying a DP, would like advice #2390971
02/25/15 09:04 PM
02/25/15 09:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
1
173me Offline OP
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173me  Offline OP
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Posts: 4
Hello Pianoworld! I'm buying a digital piano in the near future after taking lessons for almost a year and found PianoWorld in my research of various brands and models. Basically, I have a vague idea of what I'd like, but I may have missed some aspects and/or models. I'm going to visit a piano dealer on Saturday and I want to know what to look for to try out personally.

Some info:
  • Budget of $1450
  • Mainly looked at Yamaha, Kawai, and Casio
  • Primary use will be learning piano
    • 88 fully weighted keys required
    • Most important feature is the action
    • Minimum of 128 polyphony
    • Will also need to get pedal, piano stand, music stand, and headphones (stool too if reasonable)
  • May have secondary use for composition (using a DAW like Reason)
  • Prefer speakers over none, but will use headphones mostly
  • Lots of connectivity is great
  • Want weight around 30-35 lbs.
  • Prefer non-cabinet stand (like X or Z stand)
  • If there's a better fit, I'd prefer it to "upgrading" down the line

EDIT: Realized my previous list had inconsistencies in it, reworked it

From this and reading around, I came up with the following list of potentials.
  • Kawai ES100
    • + Seems to be the favorite low end piano
    • - Might be a "waste" if I can purchase a better model now instead of later
  • Kawai MP6
    • + Great Stage piano (keys, action, etc.)
    • - May have too many features I'll never use
    • - No speakers
    • - Heavy at ~47 lbs
  • Yamaha P255
    • + Improved from discontinued P155
    • + Manageable 38 lbs
    • - Won't ever use app (don't have iPad)
  • Casio PX780
    • + Great Stage piano (keys, action, etc.)
    • - Cabinet style only
    • - Very heavy due to cabinet (70 lbs)
  • Casio PX5S
    • + Great stage piano
    • + LCD screen
    • + Very light 25 lbs
    • - No speakers
    • - Don't like the look

(Where I could I linked to bundles, both because I'd like to purchase everything together and also to get feedback from you guys to see if the stools/stands/headphones being included are any good.)

These are the ones I looked at, but I'm wondering if there are any other possibilities I should be looking at? Are there certain aspects of these pianos I'm overlooking or overvaluing? Is it worth spending the extra money (~$200-500) to get a better action? Would it be worthwhile to consider stretching my budget to get another model?

Any and all responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

Last edited by 173me; 02/25/15 11:29 PM.
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Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2390975
02/25/15 09:19 PM
02/25/15 09:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 106
Brahms88 Offline
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Brahms88  Offline
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Your weight of 30-35 lbs might be somewhat unrealistic, but my personal suggestions, in order of preference:

Casio PX-5S (only 24 lbs !)
Kawai MP7 (slightly over budget)
Kawai ES7 (slightly over budget)

Do not buy the Kawai MP6, as it has been completely superseded by the MP7.

The Kawai MP7's biggest drawback is that it has only a one-year warranty, which frankly, is a deal-killer for many.

The Casio PX-5S, together will all the free enhancements and add-ons available online render this DP somewhat of a "holy grail" of stage pianos. This would be my recommendation.


Casio PX-5S
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2390976
02/25/15 09:22 PM
02/25/15 09:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,625
ElmerJFudd Offline
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ElmerJFudd  Offline
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Definitely need to decide if on board speakers are important here.

Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: Brahms88] #2390991
02/25/15 10:12 PM
02/25/15 10:12 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 70
Sydney, Australia
Musical Dan Offline
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Musical Dan  Offline
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Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted by Brahms88

The Kawai MP7's biggest drawback is that it has only a one-year warranty, which frankly, is a deal-killer for many.


Where did you get this information? This doesn't seem to be true - at least not in the Australian Market. From the Kawai Australian Website: http://www.kawai.net.au/digital.html

Quote

KAWAI FIVE YEAR WARRANTY

Kawai digital pianos are made to the most exacting standards on the market today. Every piano is the culmination of world-class electrical and mechanical engineering, software design and, of course, our 85 years of experience in building our magnificent acoustic pianos.

Every Kawai digital piano comes with a five year warranty, for the ultimate peace of mind. Whether it's a small portable instrument or a full digital grand, rest assured that your investment is protected.



Last edited by Musical Dan; 02/25/15 10:13 PM.

Kawai MP7
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Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2390996
02/25/15 10:25 PM
02/25/15 10:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,797
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
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Hamamatsu, Japan
The exact duration may vary from one market to the next.

In the US, the MP11/MP7 and VPC1 are backed by a 3 year parts, 1 year labour warranty.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: Musical Dan] #2390999
02/25/15 10:29 PM
02/25/15 10:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 106
Brahms88 Offline
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Brahms88  Offline
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Originally Posted by Musical Dan
Originally Posted by Brahms88

The Kawai MP7's biggest drawback is that it has only a one-year warranty, which frankly, is a deal-killer for many.


Where did you get this information? This doesn't seem to be true - at least not in the Australian Market. From the Kawai Australian Website: http://www.kawai.net.au/digital.html

Quote

KAWAI FIVE YEAR WARRANTY

Kawai digital pianos are made to the most exacting standards on the market today. Every piano is the culmination of world-class electrical and mechanical engineering, software design and, of course, our 85 years of experience in building our magnificent acoustic pianos.

Every Kawai digital piano comes with a five year warranty, for the ultimate peace of mind. Whether it's a small portable instrument or a full digital grand, rest assured that your investment is protected.




Dan, Kawai has 3-tiers of warranties for its DP's:

5YR LABOR and PARTS: Kawai CP, CA, CS and CN series products:

3YR LABOR & PARTS: Kawai CL, ES, EP, CE series and KDP products:

1YR LABOR, 3YR PARTS: Kawai MP7, MP11 (and all other MP series), VPC1

For the source, follow the warranty link on this MP7 page.

Quote
The world's finest line of digital pianos now has the industry's best warranties to back them up.

Kawai CP, CA, CS and CN series products:
5 Years Parts and Labor - Click here to download

Kawai CL, ES, EP, CE series and KDP products:
3 Years Parts and Labor - Click here to download

Kawai MP series and VPC1:
3 Years Parts and 1 Year Labor - Click here to download


It should be pointed out that the "LABOR" component of a "PARTS AND LABOR" warranty is by far the most expensive for a highly complex electronic product like a DP (just ask anyone who's taken one apart!).




Casio PX-5S
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391000
02/25/15 10:35 PM
02/25/15 10:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,887
A
anotherscott Offline
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anotherscott  Offline
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A

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,887
A few thoughts...

All of them can be connected to a computer, regardless of whether they have USB ports or standard MIDI ports.

The quality of the action is a "try it and see what you think" factor, so putting a plus or minus for it on a list like this, if you haven't tried it, is something you probably shouldn't assign much weight to. For example, ES100 has great action for a low cost, lightweight board, but so do Casios. I'd say neither has as good as action as, say, a Kawai MP7, though. But again, there is a lot of subjectivity to this.

Polyphony isn't that big a deal, any current DP is probably fine, at least when playing the piano sound alone (not layered with something else).

You consider the small display on the P255 to be a negative, but say you would never use the app, which gives you *much* more functionality than a typical larger DP display... though of course, only if you own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. (BTW, the ES100 has no display at all!)

There are other differences that matter to some people, like support for multiple pedals, and triple sensor keys. For most people, I don't think they have to be deal breakers, but it is a difference to be aware of.

How much interest, if any, do you have in sounds other than acoustic piano?

Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: Musical Dan] #2391001
02/25/15 10:38 PM
02/25/15 10:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 106
Brahms88 Offline
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Brahms88  Offline
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Posts: 106
Originally Posted by Musical Dan
[quote=Brahms88]
This doesn't seem to be true - at least not in the Australian Market. From the Kawai Australian Website: http://www.kawai.net.au/digital.html

Quote
Every Kawai digital piano comes with a five year warranty, for the ultimate peace of mind. Whether it's a small portable instrument or a full digital grand, rest assured that your investment is protected.


That Australian website is clearly at odds with the main Kawai website. I would bet that the Australian website is in error, and will be changed once the error is pointed out. Moreover, the warranty contained in the MP7's Owner's Manual and other documentation in the original packaging would trump any generalized warranty on a website.


Casio PX-5S
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391009
02/25/15 10:46 PM
02/25/15 10:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,797
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,797
Hamamatsu, Japan
Brahms88, as noted above, the warranty terms differ from one market to the next.

The Kawai Australia website provides the correct warranty information for instruments distributed and sold by Kawai Australia, while the Kawai America website provides the correct warranty information for instruments distributed and sold by Kawai America.

As a result, there is no warranty information written in the owner's manual.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391025
02/25/15 11:18 PM
02/25/15 11:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,743
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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C

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,743
Richmond, BC, Canada
Casio PX-350 ?

It's a PX-780 without a cabinet. 25 lbs. Excellent connectivity.

. Charles


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: Brahms88] #2391027
02/25/15 11:18 PM
02/25/15 11:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
1
173me Offline OP
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173me  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Brahms88
Your weight of 30-35 lbs might be somewhat unrealistic

What would a standard weight to expect be? More around 40? Or 50-60? Most I saw researching were around 30-40, which I is why I thought 30-35 would be a good weight to shoot for.

Originally Posted by Brahms88
The Casio PX-5S, together will all the free enhancements and add-ons available online render this DP somewhat of a "holy grail" of stage pianos. This would be my recommendation.

I do like the 5S. The only things I have against it are no speakers and the look of it, which are both minor complaints.

Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Definitely need to decide if on board speakers are important here.

I consider speakers first on the "not essential, but nice to have" list. I'm not against buying an amp down the line, though I'd highly prefer speakers.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
How much interest, if any, do you have in sounds other than acoustic piano?

Very little, if any. I'd use the acoustic piano sounds almost entirely - anything over 4-5 standard sounds would be superfluous.

Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Casio PX-350 ?

It's a PX-780 without a cabinet. 25 lbs. Excellent connectivity.

I did look at it, but I got the impression the action and speaker quality was generally worse than other pianos, such as the Yamaha P105 and Kawai ES100.

Last edited by 173me; 02/25/15 11:21 PM.
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391036
02/25/15 11:39 PM
02/25/15 11:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,887
A
anotherscott Offline
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anotherscott  Offline
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A

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,887
Originally Posted by 173me
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Casio PX-350 ?

It's a PX-780 without a cabinet. 25 lbs. Excellent connectivity.

I did look at it, but I got the impression the action and speaker quality was generally worse than other pianos, such as the Yamaha P105 and Kawai ES100.

Action of PX-350, PX-780, PX-5S are identical. General consensus seems to be that the ES100 and Casio actions are better than the P105, though there is less agreement about ES100 vs. Casio. My own opinion is that, of the two, the Casio action is probably better for controlling a software piano, but the ES100 action does a better job at connecting to the board's own internal sound.

Also, check the thread at http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2386815/1.html for a bunch of other relevant info.

Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391039
02/25/15 11:43 PM
02/25/15 11:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 106
Brahms88 Offline
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Brahms88  Offline
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Posts: 106
Originally Posted by 173me
Originally Posted by Brahms88
Your weight of 30-35 lbs might be somewhat unrealistic

What would a standard weight to expect be? More around 40? Or 50-60? Most I saw researching were around 30-40, which I is why I thought 30-35 would be a good weight to shoot for.


I think 45 to 50 lbs is somewhat more realistic. For example, the MP7 is 46 lbs, and the ES7 is 49 lbs.

Originally Posted by 173me
Originally Posted by Brahms88
The Casio PX-5S, together will all the free enhancements and add-ons available online render this DP somewhat of a "holy grail" of stage pianos. This would be my recommendation.

I do like the 5S. The only things I have against it are no speakers and the look of it, which are both minor complaints.


I agree that the PX5S's appearance is an acquired taste. I personally would prefer a sleek black finish, and I suspect that this option will be available in the future PX-6S.

Since weight is important to you, perhaps you should be prepared to accept a DP without built-in speakers. Personally, I've completely eliminated built-in speakers as an attribute which I'm seeking, mainly because an external speaker system has so much more to offer.


Casio PX-5S
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391085
02/26/15 04:56 AM
02/26/15 04:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 217
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Jasper E. Offline
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Jasper E.  Offline
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Posts: 217
Hello 173me,

I am also looking for a digital piano at the moment, in Europe -- hence prices and warranty terms might differ for us.

I am restarting after a very long break after childhood, my wife played other instruments only (but is involved in music much more than me) and we have children who are eagerly waiting to start learning...

I have talked with friends and read various reviews, and what I found is consistent with my memories from my childhood, learning on an acoustic piano: in addition to the touch, key action and sound, the operation of the damper pedal is also important. In case you are using the damper (which makes a difference in the sound) on digital pianos, polyphony really comes into the picture.

I see 4 qualities which can be distinguished:
no damper
on/off damper (2 states)
on/half/off damper
seamless operation (as far as i understand it usually means at least a dozen of states for the damper considered by the piano)
(no damper can mean optional on/off or optional on/half/off)

With a budget little lower than yours I concluded to go for a seamless damper (my original plan was EUR 850, I have lifted it to something like EUR 1000 to have seamless damper).

I wonder if there is any seamless damper (even optional) for any portable piano in the range.
I guess you need to bite one of your fingers here (either non-portable piano or no better than half-pedaling) at least within the budget frown

For us, an X or Z stand is out of option (my wife had a veto on that idea).
What I would appreciate is a piano having a cabinet like a docker, which could be used as a portable stage piano without the cabinet -- I havent heard of such a feature...

I hope the piano industry reps here on pianoworld can help here with the last two topics...


Kawai KDP-90
Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: 173me] #2391292
02/26/15 04:55 PM
02/26/15 04:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 81
Canada
Tone Deaf Offline
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Canada
173me

I see that you have included for consideration the Casio px-780....

If you happen to live in Canada, may I suggest that you look at the Casio px-860.

Between March 23 - April 5, Costco is reducing the price of the px-860 by $250.CDN.
Instead of $1099.99 it will be $849.99, delivery included, taxes extra.
Granted the px-860 has fewer tones, but polyphony is 256 and it has the open lid function,
and the new "concert play" function. It comes with a 3 year warranty and a bench of sorts thrown in.
For the money, I think this dp could be a good deal.


Re: Buying a DP, would like advice [Re: Tone Deaf] #2391347
02/26/15 06:54 PM
02/26/15 06:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
1
173me Offline OP
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173me  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tone Deaf
173me

I see that you have included for consideration the Casio px-780....

If you happen to live in Canada, may I suggest that you look at the Casio px-860.

Between March 23 - April 5, Costco is reducing the price of the px-860 by $250.CDN.
Instead of $1099.99 it will be $849.99, delivery included, taxes extra.
Granted the px-860 has fewer tones, but polyphony is 256 and it has the open lid function,
and the new "concert play" function. It comes with a 3 year warranty and a bench of sorts thrown in.
For the money, I think this dp could be a good deal.



I'm in the USA unfortunately, though that sounds like a crazy deal that I wish was down here.


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