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€700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in #2421698
05/17/15 06:45 PM
05/17/15 06:45 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Howdy folks,

In short, I've always wanted to learn to play but never happened due to the lack of a piano in family circles. I'm a hobbyist musician and producer. As a musician I'm most familiar with strin instruments and right now I feel that it's finally time to go for the omnipresent piano.

For those not in the EU, the €700 budget lives right around the Casio Privia PX-350 and the new Yamaha P-115. I've played the P-115 in a store yesterday and it seemed really nice.

But what do I know, right? I've never played real pianos for longer than a few hours at a time. most likely once a year.

What I want is this:
  • Feel should be as much like a real piano as possible (although half-pedaling is perhaps overkill)
  • Sound should be sufficient for a reasonable (kind of standard rock/pop mix) to sparse mix (i.e. some other string instruments and perhaps percussion or sampled drums)
  • Piano sound is most important, any other sounds are fun but not required
  • On-board speakers are not important, I have an interface and studio monitors I can plug into
  • On-board recording is unnecessary as I've spent plenty of time in DAWs
  • MIDI I/O or by USB would be much appreciated


At first it may seem like I want a studio tool more than a piano, but I honestly want to learn to play piano. Once I can do that a little bit, I can start working it into something like say covers (which I haven't done in a while) or productions.

Like with any instrument of course, one should go out and try, but I need your guidance since I just don't know what a good keyboard feels like. Neither do I know what a good set of samples sound like. I mean right now, to me, everything sounds like a piano.

Please mind that if you're sufficiently far away from where I am, availability of certain products may become an issue.

I hope this is enough information for you to help me through and join this piano world for real. wink

Thanks in advance.

CZ


Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
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Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421706
05/17/15 07:11 PM
05/17/15 07:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 21
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NighhhT Offline
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You should try out the Kawai ES100, it costs more than the PX350 and the P115 but it comes with a pretty good pedal.

The PX350 and the ES100 have a more "realistic" and heavier action than the P115. When it comes to samples it's up to you I really like the Kawai and Yamaha piano samples not so much the casio ones, but you can always use a VST.

If you ask me, the choice would be between Casio and Kawai. But try them all and buy the one that suits you best.

Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421854
05/18/15 04:26 AM
05/18/15 04:26 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Thank you. I was set ont he PX-150 before, but if I lose the bundled stand and pedals I can afford a PX-350. The Kawai is actually slightly cheaper than the 350.

I'll ask the store if they can get an ES100 in. They only have the MP7 according to their website, but if they carry the brand in the first place, they might get one for me.

Having a VST as back-up was indeed my plan, kind of why I need MIDI I/O or MIDI over USB.


Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421871
05/18/15 05:13 AM
05/18/15 05:13 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 153
Germany
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Upright Offline
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I agree to NighhhT. The Kawai ES-100 has a better and quieter action compared to the P115 and the great pedal is already included in the basic package.


Pianos and Service - www.martinwidmannklaviere.de
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Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421881
05/18/15 06:10 AM
05/18/15 06:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 640
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Lester Burnham Offline
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From what you've said so far, and budget, I'd say the PX-350 was the best fit.

Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421882
05/18/15 06:13 AM
05/18/15 06:13 AM
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Bachus Offline
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With some luck you will find a used PX-5s from Casio, or you spend €800 for a new one, but its the best you can get at that pricerange

Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421952
05/18/15 09:16 AM
05/18/15 09:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
Hernando, MS
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fizikisto Offline
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Hernando, MS
Bachus,
I agree that the PX-5s is an excellent piano, and in many ways superior to the PX350, however it lacks speakers. So if the OP went that route he (or she) would have to buy a good set of speakers/monitors (or at the very least a good set of headphones). While that might be something for them to consider, it may take them out of their budget.


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421956
05/18/15 09:28 AM
05/18/15 09:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,865
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by fizikisto
Bachus,
I agree that the PX-5s is an excellent piano, and in many ways superior to the PX350, however it lacks speakers. So if the OP went that route he (or she) would have to buy a good set of speakers/monitors (or at the very least a good set of headphones). While that might be something for them to consider, it may take them out of their budget.


The OP did mention they already have good studio monitors, so on-board speakers aren't necessary.

I second the suggestion for the PX-5S. Otherwise, the PX-350 would be best I think. Both will have the same feel and action, but the PX-5S is more of a stage instrument and will probably be better for working with VSTs and DAWs.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2421967
05/18/15 09:49 AM
05/18/15 09:49 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2015
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Eindhoven, Netherlands
I have a set of KRK RP6 G2 monitors. I also have decent headphones (Beyerdynamic DT770). I'm sure either or both are plenty good, right? smile

The PX-5S is definitely way out of my budget. The PX-350 is already pushing it (without stand or pedals). The Kawai would be ideal so I hope the store can get an ES-100 in for me as well as a PX-350 which they should have anyway.

I do wonder though, how is the PX-5S better with MIDI/USB interfacing?

Last edited by Cue Zephyr; 05/18/15 09:51 AM.

Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422024
05/18/15 11:45 AM
05/18/15 11:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,918
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Richmond, BC, Canada
You are already using VSTs. So built-in sounds are not crucial.

. . . Perhaps PX-150 with Pianoteq?

Same action as PX5S, MIDI over USB. Probably lowest-cost option.

. Charles




. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422043
05/18/15 12:22 PM
05/18/15 12:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 578
Virginia, USA
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Kbeaumont Offline
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Virginia, USA
+1 For VST instruments, the PX-150 would most likely be the lowest cost option and it has the same key bed as the PX-5S & PX-350.

Also you eventually will probably want to add monitors later. I highly recommend the JBL LSR305!
Excellent sound and at $149USD ea, they are an awesome deal. But as the OP is in the Netherlands, price and availability may be much different.

Last edited by Kbeaumont; 05/18/15 12:22 PM.

A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422084
05/18/15 02:16 PM
05/18/15 02:16 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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You may be right. The 150 may be sufficient to spend practice time on and when it's time to track, use a VST (I looked at Galaxy Vintage D and have used Pianoteq sometimes). I don't even need or want many of the features that are on most boards, including the 350. The board and piano tone are most important, as I don't really wnat to be stuck to a computer when I want to play it.

On another note, there's a PX-160 to be released very soon. Less bells and whistles, could it be an option?

Last edited by Cue Zephyr; 05/18/15 02:17 PM.

Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422102
05/18/15 03:02 PM
05/18/15 03:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 578
Virginia, USA
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Kbeaumont Offline
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As long as it doesn't cause you to wait too long it might be better to wait. Casio has always continued to improve their privia's each iteration. The PX-160 has better on board speakers and newer electric piano and string sounds taken from the PX-5s. So if you might want these features then yes, wait a little. But if they don't interest you at all because you want to play vst instruments then there isn't any reason to wait.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422105
05/18/15 03:11 PM
05/18/15 03:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
Hernando, MS
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fizikisto Offline
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Yes, the PX-160 has the improvements you mentioned, but not an improved action and no new and/or improved piano samples. It also has new dedicated stereo line outs that can be run to a pair of monitors or PA system for a better sound than is available from the onboard speakers. To me that's the one thing that makes it an improvement worth having (you know, if you're going the casio route smile.

The other real reason to wait imo, is the resale value. Once the P160 is available, the resale value of the older models is going to take a big hit. So if the OP might want to sell the casio in a couple of years and upgrade to a more substantial or feature rich DP, I suspect they'll be able to get a lot more from the used PX160 than the PX150. Of course, if they end up keeping it (and hopefully using it) for 5-10 years that won't really make a difference. But, it might be worth considering in any case.


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Kbeaumont] #2422110
05/18/15 03:23 PM
05/18/15 03:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,092
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anotherscott Online content
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Originally Posted by Kbeaumont
Casio has always continued to improve their privia's each iteration.

Personally, I think that's debatable. I found the PX-330 disappointing in both sound and action compared to some of its predecessors. The PX-350 was an improvement, but still lagged earlier models in some ways, like EP sounds. I know, these things can be subjective, but I just wouldn't assume that each new model can only be a step up.

Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422292
05/19/15 04:28 AM
05/19/15 04:28 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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Eindhoven, Netherlands
So if I want the best possible key aciton (at the price point) and a good core piano sound and don't care much for more than 20 sounds and other functionalities like on-board recording or the internal speakers, I should be OK with a PX-150 or PX-160 (mind you, the 160 is at the same price point as the 350)?

I'm gonna see if I can play a 150 and perhaps secure one of the first few 160s. Resale value may become a thing, as there is no doubt that either 1) I stop playong or more likely 2) I want to upgrade to something nicer.

Thanks for not driving me too far out of my budget. Oh, and the excellent advice of course! wink


Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422361
05/19/15 09:14 AM
05/19/15 09:14 AM
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Hernando, MS
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fizikisto Offline
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Cue_Zephyr
It looks like the PX-160 will be available in europe at the end of june, so you won't have too long to wait. As for giving up, most people who try to learn the piano do give up. It's maddeningly hard to learn to play well. it takes a long time to see results, the amount of effort you have to put in is huge, and the level of frustration that you have to deal with is equally high. The thing is, once you get past all that and develop some skills, playing piano can be just about one of the most enjoyable things a human being can do. I think the secret to getting to that point is just to have realistic expectations and really commit to giving it a fair effort. In any case, good luck with your piano endeavors. I hope that your piano adventure brings you much joy and satisfaction. smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422527
05/19/15 05:58 PM
05/19/15 05:58 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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For me, it's not even a matter of 'trying to learn'. It's either learning, or not learning at all. I've struggled through many frustrations with all of my instruments, especially with guitar since that's my first self-taught instrument.

I'm hoping that knowing about and recognizing such struggles will help me through learning piano as well. None of my expectations were ever realistic, but it's what keeps me chasing it even though I know the chance is tiny I'll ever make it beyond closet musician.

I also hope that reminding myself of the beauty of the instrument and the different set of limitations will allow me to explore and express different creative concepts that I may think up. Ever so often I wanted to play so many notes I ran out of strings on the guitar, for example.

I'm already emailing the store but the availability of Casio seems to be an issue. The only store that has Casio DPs is in the neighbor country. But since it's the same store I asked if they're able to get it to where I live if needed to. I'm stuck to this store because of the trade they're willing to do for me. Both Thomann and Bax already have the 160 listed. Then again, if all else fails I may still be able to get a 150 (which are in stock in that store location). It's not that I can't wait, it's just that I don't even know if they'll get them in the first place.


Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: Cue Zephyr] #2422534
05/19/15 06:10 PM
05/19/15 06:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
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Hernando, MS
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fizikisto Offline
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Hernando, MS
Cue Zephyr,
What kind of music do you want to play on piano? Classical? Jazz? Pop? Do you want to learn to read traditional music? or lead sheets/fake books? or just play by ear? It sounds like you intend to go the self-learning route instead of getting teacher? just curious. smile


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: €700 home studio-worthy, no-frills piano stand-in [Re: fizikisto] #2422554
05/19/15 07:17 PM
05/19/15 07:17 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Cue Zephyr Offline OP
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Cue Zephyr  Offline OP
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Posts: 125
Eindhoven, Netherlands
Originally Posted by fizikisto
Cue Zephyr,
What kind of music do you want to play on piano? Classical? Jazz? Pop? Do you want to learn to read traditional music? or lead sheets/fake books? or just play by ear? It sounds like you intend to go the self-learning route instead of getting teacher? just curious. smile

I would like to learn to read, but more to be practical than as a necessity to learn the instrument. In other words, if I end up with sheet music of whatever, I can figure out what's going on.

I've learned about 90% of what I'm capable of now by ear and I'm only getting better at it, so it makes perfect sense to me to jump right in on that. If that fails, I can still take lessons. I do understand the value of lessons, especially for learning correct technique and the pianist's common sense i.e. not doing what just works (a lot more common among guitarists), but actually having a valid reason to do something a particular way. Maybe also for new inspirations, as I sometimes get stuck in a rut and can't find something new to inspire me.

In my original post I explicitly said pop (the production/mix part) but as any self-respecting musician would do is explore other styles as well. This should be a little easier than attempting to like say, play jazz on a five string banjo! :p

ETA: On a more on-topic note: pretty sure I want those stereo outs on the 160, but it seems like they're charging €120 more than the 150 is. frown

Last edited by Cue Zephyr; 05/19/15 08:05 PM.

Casio Privia Pro PX-5S, Focusrite Saffire Pro40, Steinberg UR22, KRK RP6 G2, JBL LSR305
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.
on YouTube
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