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15k Budget for Digital Piano
#2563812 08/17/16 07:55 AM
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Hello everyone on this forum and thanks in advance for any responses. I find the info and members here to be fantastic for an adult beginner.

One quick inquiry. As I have now been working very hard on building technique for a few months, I am in the market for a top quality digital piano as I am practicing on a Casio Priva (not bad) but the action is just terrible. I am able to practice on a good acoustic upright in a studio once a week and after those sessions the Casio is just not cutting it.

I live in an apartment so an acoustic is not workable as well as a digital grand (it is just too big) but it "seems" that high quality upright digitals are getting close to the action of a real acoustic and that is the most important criteria. I am not concerned about the various sounds of the digital as well as the various nuances of the sounds.

The ONLY criteria and most important is the key action. Given my budget what are the general thoughts on the most realistic key actions. It seems there are a few that most members like: Avantgrands (n2 especially) and Kawai CA67. I also read about the Casio GP500. As I have a large budget and given my criteria any thoughts would greatly appreciated.

Thx



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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563814 08/17/16 08:09 AM
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I have a CS8 (CA67 in a nicer cabinet) and I love it, but the AvantGrand is in another class. If money was no object but I wanted to stay digital only I would get one.
Personally with your budget I would prefer a good upright + silent system though.


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563817 08/17/16 08:20 AM
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I haven't had a chance to try a the Yamaha or Kawai, but I did play the GP-500 at the Summer NAMM show last month in Nashville. I can tell you the keyboard action was great. It was developed in a partnership with C Bechstein and it's top-notch. It has hammers and wooden keys.. really feels nice.

But here's the rub: Liking or not liking any given piano's action is highly personal. You say the action on the Privia is "terrible", but many people love it! So.....

If the piano's action is your ONLY criteria then you really need to try out the candidates yourself. If there aren't any where you are, drive or fly to where you can get your hands on one. This will be a big investment so don't rely on other peoples opinion because what they hate you may love and vice-versa.

Good luck!

Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563819 08/17/16 08:38 AM
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I have tried the GP500, very nice, but comparable to other digital piano (CLP575, LX7), the N1 was in other class.

The N2 has the same keyboard of the N1, but has TRS (tactical response system), which reproduce the vibration of the keyboard. I have tried it on a N3. As someone which is used to digital piano, it was surprising.


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563829 08/17/16 09:17 AM
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What about acoustic/digital hybrid pianos with transducers?


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
barbaram #2563832 08/17/16 09:21 AM
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I second the opinion for a silent system. I live in an apartment myself. While I certainly do not play the acoustic at night or in the early morning, I practice during normal daytime hours without headphones, but I understand that this depends on the building and the neighbours :-)

For 15k you can get really nice instruments like a Bechstein upright + Vario System or the Yamaha U1 TA with the TransAcoustic Technology.

IMHO, no digital will come even close to these kind of instruments...

Best regards,
Thomas

Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
Thomas B #2563837 08/17/16 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas B
I second the opinion for a silent system. I live in an apartment myself. While I certainly do not play the acoustic at night or in the early morning, I practice during normal daytime hours without headphones, but I understand that this depends on the building and the neighbours :-)

For 15k you can get really nice instruments like a Bechstein upright + Vario System or the Yamaha U1 TA with the TransAcoustic Technology.

IMHO, no digital will come even close to these kind of instruments...

Best regards,
Thomas


This is very true, and probably the ideal setup, assuming the OP can fit an upright in their apartment.


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563840 08/17/16 09:53 AM
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If I am not mistaken, there is a silent Kawai upright with transducers similar to the Yamaha TA. James can confirm (or deny).

Last edited by CyberGene; 08/17/16 09:53 AM.

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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563847 08/17/16 10:21 AM
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Yes the K500 (and upper models) can come with ATX2-f which is similar to Yamaha TransAcoustic See http://www.kawai-global.com/product/atx2-f/


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563855 08/17/16 11:05 AM
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Thx for all the responses. It is much appreciated. Unfortunately I can only practice between 7:30pm to 10:00pm and 5:00am to 6:30am. I work a ton and if I read some of the posts correctly, the silent function changes the dynamics of the key action significantly and that would defeat the purpose. Clearly we all agree a transacoustic would be the ultimate but I would not be able to play it; I should have specified that in my original post but now that criteria is know, any further thoughts on the best key action for digital would be much appreciated.

I am taking a really close look at the N2 and am probably heading down the purchase path on that instrument.

Thanks again for any responses.

Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563873 08/17/16 12:08 PM
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The TransAcoustic can be used with the soundboard at a low volume, you should be able to use it. (I admit it would be a pitty to not use it as an acoustic piano). If you intend to play only with headphones, the amplification of the N2 will not be used and a N1 would be sufficient. (You will only lack TRS).


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563885 08/17/16 01:06 PM
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I would also consider ravenscoft setup with modified vpc1.
but for that budget, why don't you want to take real acoustic piano?

Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563898 08/17/16 02:11 PM
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Both the Yamaha TransAcoustic and the Kawai ATX2-f (available on models as low as K-300, see e.g. Thomann) can be played with digital silent enabled, output via the soundboard.

With a 15k budget I'd think very, very long and hard about that option. But yes, the action is a bit different from a standard upright. And it's still an upright action, not a grand.


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2563959 08/17/16 07:28 PM
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You are right... Thomann sells a K300 ATX2-f.

On a french Page - http://www.kawaifr.com/modelesatx.html - there is no tick on the K300 line and the ATX2-f column. An error ? Or the model is not sold in France ?

Anyway, with 15k, there are multiple options, and the best way to find the best is to try by oneself the different options in a shop. I hope you are close to a big enough city and can find these models. (Yamaha N2, Transacoustic and ATX2-f pianos may be rare)

Last edited by Frédéric L; 08/17/16 07:53 PM.

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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2564016 08/18/16 04:45 AM
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To those recommending an upright 'silent' or similar, I disagree. AvantGrand N2 every time for the OP's requirements.

Yes, a silent, trans or anytime acoustic is great but in every case we are comparing an upright action with the N2 - which has a grand action. This is far superior to any upright action in my view. And in any event the OP can't accommodate an acoustic due to their living circumstances.

It's a no brainer given all the circumstances and the OP's budget.

One final strong recommendation to the OP - despite the N2 ticking all your boxes do please try it first, before making a decision!

Good luck,

Steve


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2564035 08/18/16 06:51 AM
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Yes, an upright is always an upright with its limitations. Also, silent uprights or grands create more noise than DPs because of the action mechanics.

So with the OPs requirements, those are out.

OP should probably spend 1kUSD on the best ever headphones alone :-)

Then, coming from the top, you have Roland V-Piano Grand, Yamaha N-3, N-2, N-1, but I would also look at Roland LX-17, because of the fully modeled sound engine and Kawai CS11 and Casio GP500 just because they are their top of the line models.

Take the rest of the money and spend it on piano lessons or for saving towards a home without neighbors :-)


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
Hendrik42 #2564066 08/18/16 09:56 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I am planning on testing out the N2 this weekend and will probably purchase at that time. The dealer said there is nothing on the horizon from Yamaha so the technology looks solid for the immediate future.

Thx to all for the advice.

Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2564067 08/18/16 09:56 AM
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Grand action is better than an upright one, but then the silent upright is a real piano when you need it. And since we'd be probably talking about one of the most loved uprights such as Kawai K300, you can be sure it's a great real acoustic piano so the choice between a real upright or digital piano with real grand action is a tough one. I'd probably go for the silent despite it being "only" an upright smile


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
CyberGene #2564073 08/18/16 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Grand action is better than an upright one, but then the silent upright is a real piano when you need it. And since we'd be probably talking about one of the most loved uprights such as Kawai K300, you can be sure it's a great real acoustic piano so the choice between a real upright or digital piano with real grand action is a tough one. I'd probably go for the silent despite it being "only" an upright smile


Ya, this is really a tough call, because no matter how good of a DP you get, the sound will never quite match an acoustic. But it sounds to me like the OP really can't handle the space of an acoustic and sound bleeding into the next apartment is a real concern. So a DP seems to be the best, in which case and N1 or N2 might be the best option for them.

Personally, the feel of a grand action vs and upright just can't be beat, and so for me, that would win out. The exception is for teaching, sound is more important to accompany singers on, and so I'd choose an acoustic upright even one that isn't as nice as the K300 over a DP. So it all depends on what the person needs it for. smile


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Re: 15k Budget for Digital Piano
mbpress01 #2564079 08/18/16 10:50 AM
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I faced the same dilemma a few months ago and after much exploration, went with the Yamaha N2. I'm perhaps in a different position in that I'm a part time church music director. I've also had digital keyboards since the 1980s so I'm comfortable with them. I have a Baldwin console upright in my choir room, so I can play that anytime I want, which I do. I can't say that the experience is musically rewarding. The action is sluggish and playing repeated notes is hit or miss.

The Yamaha N2 is an altogether different kind of animal. My church has an old Kurzweil Mark 152 and I also have two Kurzweil piano modules. None of them can compare with the sound and piano replication from the Yamaha N2. I think it's as close as one can get to replicating a real piano through speakers.

To be honest, most of the music one hears today is through speakers, so playing a digital piano and hearing it through speakers has become part of the culture of the 21st century. I rather enjoy the sound of a 9 foot grand even if it is a reproduced sound. The thing that was starling for me with the Yamaha is that when I play it, it rings and assaults me just like the Baldwin console in my choir room. I've never played another digital piano that's been able to do that. I have not played the Kawai CS 11 however, so maybe it does the same thing. Anyway, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the Yamaha. Good luck in your quest.

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