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Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407230 04/06/15 06:32 PM
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The Yamaha CLPs (Clavinova line) are very nice console digital pianos.

Here is a comparison of the 525, 535, 545, 575, and 585.

Any beginner would be very lucky indeed to start with any one of these. But you just jumped price ranges. Quite a bit more than a Casio PX-150+stand+pedals!

If you can't find the 545, check out the 535. And for comparison you can take a look at the Kawai CN-35 .

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Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407241 04/06/15 07:28 PM
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OK. Yeah, I'm putting my foot down at $1000. Probably the PX350 or the ES100 unless I see a lot of votes for the PX850/860. I've seen the PX850 still around for under $1000.

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407243 04/06/15 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvistown
I think I have narrowed down my choices to these:
Low end strategy:
Casio PX150
Mid-low strategy:
Casio PX350
Kawai ES100
Upper low end strategy:
Casio PX850 or 860

Just got back from a quick look at the Kawai ES100. Seems like it felt a bit better to me than the PX350, but not THAT much... but I am inexperienced. The salesman said the key sensitivity (? not the word he used) was superior on the Kawai.. but he didn't sell Casio so I took that with a grain of salt. Of the Casio PX350 and Kawai ES100, which would you prefer? The Kawai salesman said the ES100 had 296 polyphony and I don't think that is true so I didn't find him too reliable for information.
. . .

The PX850/860 is more money, but it has a higher polyphony than the other two and better speakers/amp. Maybe that is not that big a deal as I could run my own speaker/sound system?

SO... last request. Please chime in and let me know a)Casio PX350 or Kawai ES100; b) is the Casio PX850/860 worth the few hundred extra?; finally, c) would you just go low end and see where this all leads as Don suggests? That is a valid and noteworthy suggestion, but I hate to be penny-wise, pound foolish. I am not a poor man. I can do what I want, but I didn't get in this position by tossing money away!


ES100 polyphony is 192, according to this:

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/ES100/es100-specs.html

Don't get confused -- increased polyphony doesn't make a DP sound better, once it's reached the level of "enough". "Enough", I suspect, is anywhere over 100, for the straight "Piano" voice. It might be higher if you're playing late Romantic works with lots of pedal:

. . . Are you ready to play that stuff ?

The PX-350 is "feature-rich" -- something around two hundred voices, auto-accompaniment, lots of rhythms, lots of connectivity on the rear panel, audio recording to a USB "thumb drive". You may, or may not, use any of those features.

The amps and speakers, on the ES100 and PX-350, have similar specs. That doesn't mean they'll sound the same. It _does_ mean that the ES100 (like the PX-350) is underpowered, and under-speakered:

. . . To hear either one properly, use headphones,
. . . or plug some _real_ loudspeakers into the back.

You're asking us to help make a "too-close-to-call" choice. You have a good list of alternatives, and you understand some of the price/performance trade-offs. Meditate for a while, and buy something.

Suggestion:

. . . Get something that you think will last you for two years.

These DP's aren't "lifetime purchases" -- they're consumer electronics, and they'll be replaced by better, cheaper models in a few years. By that time, you'll either be a real piano student, or not.

. Charles



. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407320 04/06/15 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvistown
SO... last request. Please chime in and let me know a)Casio PX350 or Kawai ES100

As I've mentioned, stricty for piano, I see very little reason to get a PX350 over a PX150. But personally, if you're going to be playing its internal sound (as opposed to using it primarily to trigger a software piano), I would take the ES100 over the PX150/PX350.

And polyphony specs aren't generally very important, and not necessarily directly comparable between models, because of different algorithms in how notes are allocated and different polyphony demands of the architecture. For example, if one model is simply playing straight stereo samples, while another model crossfades multiple samples and has separate release samples and resonance samples, that latter model may make more demands of polyphony than the former model playing the same passage. And if a model is more intelligent about how it "steals" notes when needed, a model with less polyphony can exhibit no dropout while a model with higher polyphony does.

The Nord Piano 2 is highly regarded despite only 40 notes of stereo polyphony, and I've not seen complaints about dropped notes.

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407354 04/07/15 02:33 AM
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Let me also whack on polyphony: a friend -- whose Kawai DP is now something like 15 years old -- said, when I asked him for what tech specs to look out for: "you need polyphony with 64, less than that you might hear when you get any good".

Then we found out that in 2015, you basically can not buy anything under 128 :-)


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407408 04/07/15 07:20 AM
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Elvistown,

I guess it will not so easy, but it is worth to find out what is more important for you: having a decent sound, have it portable, have its own sound system included.
Once you have clear priorities here, those priorities could guide you to something like 3-4 models in your price range.

If you are not only looking for portable ones I would also consider Roland F-130R, Kawai KDP-90 or CN-14 and it might worth to have a look at some Yamaha, for example YDP-142 (these all have cabinets).

I would like to mention that prices can pretty differ around the globe. As far as I know there is a much bigger price gap between KDP-90 and CN-25 in Europe than in the Americas. I have heard some similar differences around Roland F-130R vs. RP401R as well etc.

One more comment about polyphony: resonance and using the damper pedal is behind the need of more. Without resonance simulation you will not need much of it. With resonance simulation the sound is richer but you use more polyphony for it.

Last edited by Jasper E.; 04/07/15 07:27 AM. Reason: rephrasing for clarity

Kawai KDP-90
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
anotherscott #2407423 04/07/15 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Elvistown
SO... last request. Please chime in and let me know a)Casio PX350 or Kawai ES100

As I've mentioned, stricty for piano, I see very little reason to get a PX350 over a PX150. But personally, if you're going to be playing its internal sound (as opposed to using it primarily to trigger a software piano), I would take the ES100 over the PX150/PX350.


If you're not going to add external speakers the bigger/better speakers in the PX-350 might be worth it.

It's all a little confusing as the speakers/amps are all different but the PX-350 does appear (and sounds to me) like it has more volume than the PX-150 even though they both list 2x8W amplifiers.

We talk a lot here about getting an appropriate volume for a given force on the keys, APs are loud and if you want to approach that you need some decent speakers. Personally I feel like I need the volume at 100% on my CN24 if I'm using the speakers and that's 2x20W. The DPs being discussed in this thread are 2x7W or 2x8W.

If you've got a nice stereo though you can set up in front of the stereo. When I had a P-80 I used to set it up in front of my 85W/Channel stereo I had at the time with floor standing loudspeakers. It sounded great.

Last edited by Ben Boule; 04/07/15 08:40 AM.
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407446 04/07/15 09:33 AM
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So here we are. Sub-$1000 DP consoles. Weighted actions, amp and speakers built in.

Casio PX-350 / PX-150
Kawai ES-100
Yamaha P35

Stand and pedals if you want to learn how to play the "piano". The matching stand is sturdier than an X stand and will take guess work out of getting the keys to the right height for correct shoulder/elbow/wrist position as you learn correct technique. The pedals are part of learning to play the piano. You will use the right one within the first 6 months of lessons if you study and you'll add the others as you get more skilled.

Lastly you'll want an adjustable seat. On the cheap,

Roland BNC

More comfortable and expensive adjustable benches can be had at pianoworld.com.

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407494 04/07/15 10:41 AM
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The px150 is more than adequate. The px350 gives you slightly better sound, but not that much of a jump. Lots more "play" sounds which don't matter much to me.

Couple of benefits of the px350 over the px150:

- Line out with the px350 that allows you to play through both an amp and your internal speakers at the same time (I think). That's a good thing to have if playing through a PA.
- Direct record to USB stick. Convenient for on the fly composition work, something my daughter seems to excel at.

I bought a px150 to play duets with my daughter who's on the yamaha upright. Yesterday I was playing around with plugging the headphone out into a kustom pa50 chained with an ampeg ba108 amp. Not a bad sounding combination, better than the 500w genz benz bass amp I had been using. I'll need to mess more with the pa50's eq to tame the high end. Maybe a tube preamp eq pedal might do the trick.

Last edited by bnolsen; 04/07/15 10:42 AM.
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407564 04/07/15 01:12 PM
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Here's my 2 cents for what it is worth. Two years ago I bought a Yamaha P105 - which was IMHO a great learning tool, and just both headphones and a set of computer speakers with a sub. I started just thinking about wantiang a little more and was looking at the PX-350, when I found a factory refurb of the PX-5S. I added a set of Presonus 4.5" monitors - all for about the same price as a PX-350 (all this happened at Christmas time). The one thing it lacks is a mentronome (but the programs I use and my phone have one so no big deal) unless you are recording.

For a beginner, all you have to do is lean to lock the settings and leave it on the piano of your choice. A year or so later and you will appreciate the tools that this machine has. Learning with headphones. Yes, I had luck in finding a refurb when I wasn't even looking anything but a 350) but I got Both the monitors and Px-5s for less than $750. You can get a stand and seat of your choice for less than $100 that works. But even at full price (had I actually paid full price for both items) I'd still be a happy player.

Plus if you don't like to play, you'll have folks standing in line to buy a used PX-5S I think. Maybe not so with a PX-350.

Just remember you can make it just a piano but it will be a long time before you outgrow a PX-5S IMHO.


Jeff
Casio PX-5S Pro - my new adventure
Yamaha p105 - gone but not forgotten
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407566 04/07/15 01:21 PM
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D7K, do you know of Brad's metronome package?

http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?/files/file/68-metronome-for-piano-practice/

Very convenient, simply play the phrase and set zone 1 to the first drumset (just remember to set it to off) and move the piano voice to zone 2.


Me on YouTube

Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX, Production Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand LE, AcousticSamples C7, NI Giant, Sampletekk White Grand, Choc. Audio Steinbach, and a few more. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407777 04/08/15 12:01 AM
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Thanks all. I think I'm decided. The local dealer has a price of $929 for the PX350, furniture style stand, 3-pedal unit, and bench. That is $100 more than the best internet price I found and I'll have to pay $90 in local sales tax. But I get $100 off of the beginner lessons that I'm signing up for so I'm only paying $90 more than intenet price in the long run and they will deliver it and set it up and I'll have a local warranty/repair. So I'm going for it.

I could just order the PX150 for $629 internet price and really save, but in the end, I prefer the PX350. I almost want to go for the PX5s but I'll save that for another time if I actually learn how to play piano. Thanks for all the good advice. I'll ask again when I know how to play and want an acoustic or higher end DP.

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407837 04/08/15 03:52 AM
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Sounds great, if you've tried the PX-350 and like the feel and sound of it, I don't think you can go wrong with it. As an owner of a PX-5S, I can second the opinions here that the latter offers a few advantages over it's predecessor, the PX-350, but nothing of a great importance to you, I think.

Besides, with this bundle deal you're getting, you're good to go (or play.) The PX-5S is deaf and dumb, until you bring speakers to it, or at least headphones. Like Charles says, if you outgrow the PX-350 piano voices, you can always turn to software pianos, for not such a huge extra cost.

Last edited by TheodorN; 04/08/15 03:53 AM.

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Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Ben Boule #2407867 04/08/15 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ben Boule
It's all a little confusing as the speakers/amps are all different but the PX-350 does appear (and sounds to me) like it has more volume than the PX-150 even though they both list 2x8W amplifiers.

As I mentioned earlier, strictly as a piano, the advantage of the PX-350 over the PX-150 is pretty much the speakers. The amplifiers are the same. The difference in the speakers is that the PX-150 use a pair of single speakers, the PX-350 uses a pair of 2-way speakers (i.e. adding tweeters). (And even this advantage is negated if you use headphones or external amp/speakers.)

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407897 04/08/15 08:48 AM
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In the end, I wanted a digital piano that at least looks and acts like an acoustic piano to a degree. I wanted the three pedal set up just to learn on it. I want the appearance and stability of the furniture style stand. If I could get that in the PX5S I'd probably go for it. As a musician, I have speakers, PA's, amps at hand.

Also, the PX350 has the better input/outputs and real USB connection over the PX150.

Last edited by Elvistown; 04/08/15 08:50 AM.
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2407905 04/08/15 09:13 AM
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Good choice


Don

Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
dmd #2407945 04/08/15 10:52 AM
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Quote
. . . As a musician, I have speakers, PA's, amps at hand.


Then the PX-350 will do fine. You're getting a good "brick-and-mortar" price.

Have fun!

. Charles


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2408151 04/08/15 08:40 PM
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Dang! The Kawai dealer just sent me a price of $879 plus tax for an ES100 with furniture stand, pedal units (unsure if 3 pedal), and bench.

Now I'm back to deciding equivalent set ups for ES100 ($879) vs Privia PX350 ($929). The Casio dealer is closer and more likely the place I'd find a piano teacher. They sell many, many more piano units than the Kawai dealer. I'm still leaning PX350 with all the features, but am I making a mistake not to take the Kawai ES100 over the Casio? I'm sending word to either one on the purchase tomorrow.

In otherwords, last call!

Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2408154 04/08/15 08:54 PM
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Try them both, go for the one you enjoy playing the most. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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Re: Help a true beginner decide what matters choosing a DP
Elvistown #2408254 04/09/15 03:01 AM
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What James said.

. Charles


. Charles
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