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Yamaha P-255 a good choice? #2619748
03/02/17 07:29 PM
03/02/17 07:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
J
Jo Martins Offline OP
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Jo Martins  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
Hi Everybody,

I'm trying to purchase a digital piano for some restaurant and cocktail gigs. As I live in an island, I don't have as much access to many models to try.
I played the Kawai ES8 which I like so much: Excellent sounds, keyboard and loud enough for small gigs (most of my gigs) BUT it's expensive and way too heavy to carry along (I´m short with a small car too...)

My previous E. piano was a Roland FP-4 that serves me well. Had to sell it but I'm looking for something better and newer so, I'm leaning to this pianos:

.- Yamaha P-255 or
.- Roland FP-50

I need internal speakers (loud enough for small gigs), as light as possible, good piano sound, reasonable keyboard and not too expensive (less than US$1,500). Perhaps I asking for too much but seems that the above pianos fill my needs. No, I didn't played neither, just youtube videos. Yamaha P-255 seems like a better choice, what do you think?

Thanks in advance!

Jo Martins


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Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619754
03/02/17 08:05 PM
03/02/17 08:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,625
ElmerJFudd Offline
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ElmerJFudd  Offline
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Tough call. Sure the 255 is a good slab, the ES-8 is very nice too - I like the action better than the one on the 255. I haven't played the FP-50 or 90 yet but would like to check them out. For me, I always prefer a quality little amp over internal speakers on slabs... really liking the Spacestation v3 at the moment. When the amplification is good, you can even get away with a less expensive slab. A PX-560 or an ES-110 even.


Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619762
03/02/17 08:30 PM
03/02/17 08:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
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Jo Martins Offline OP
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Jo Martins  Offline OP
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Posts: 44
Hi Elmer!
I purchased a PX-560 and sold it right away: hate cheap quality of it, and the piano sound wasn't nothing special... Never tried a FP-30 (but sounds too brittle and metallic to me, at least in all youtube videos I heard) or ES110 (seems better than Roland but still looking for something with more quality)

I do own a Yamaha StagePass combo for my amplification (big gigs) and I use a 88 studiologic controller, an iPad Pro with CMP Piano or Ivory on Korg app. They are great but sometimes it's too much mess for a coffee shop, small restaurant, an small church, etc. Too much cables and my patrons gone crazy!!

Once again, my big concern is weight: something above 17 kilos is too much to carry at once, at least for me.

I sometimes play some backing tracks, just for variety (and not feel so alone...). Both the Yamaha P255 and Roland FP50 have audio inputs so I can play along with the internal speakers.

Once again, any comments or suggests are greatly appreciated!

Jo

Last edited by Jo Martins; 03/02/17 08:32 PM.
Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619769
03/02/17 09:17 PM
03/02/17 09:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,625
ElmerJFudd Offline
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ElmerJFudd  Offline
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You just pointed out the conundrum. "Quality" feel of the build vs. weight and convenience and budget. I actually like the Casio Privias like the PX-5S and 560 because they are very light - but I'd never consider using the internal speakers on most slabs that have them. I just can't express how important amplification is - even over all the chatter about looped samples, dragging out a laptop with Ivory or something to improve over the internal sounds on most slabs. Truth be told - live, if you have quality amplification and control over the timbre (ability to EQ to taste for example, brighter darker sample sets for this or that situation, velocity curves, or hammer hardness on the modeled stuff, etc.) even older tech, previous generation digitals can do the job well. What good is any of the latest tech if it doesn't come across in the room for you or the audience?

The Spacestation v3 is small, fairly light. I can carry it with one hand, something like a PX-5S/560 (24.47lbs/26.5lbs) or CP-4 (38.58lbs) in the other. Heavier/larger than these are not fun. And a Nord Piano 3 (40.3lbs) is waaay out of my budget for quick in and out gigs. Then there's Kawai MP7 (46lbs) and ES-110 (26.5lbs), P-255 (38lbs 2oz). As long as you don't expect to get Yamaha Avant Grand action on a $1-1.5k slab... it's just a matter of picking one you like best - if you can get a chance to play a few. I've often wondered if Kawai could get the VPC-1 action into a portable controller and what that might weigh?. I wish I had more experience with the Rolands to comment but I've only played the RD-800, RD-300NX and Juno DS8- the latter two I don't like much at all whichever action Roland uses on those cheaper models. Ivory Feel G or something. Eh.

But yeah... you need to travel light and stay within a budget so there is definitely compromise in your future. Me, I wouldn't skimp on amplification. But that's me. Make sure you like the internal piano sound and can express yourself on the action without mucking up your joints and tendons cause they bottom out hard, or you over work on them because the velocity curve isn't right or volume not delivering what you expect from your energy input.

Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619802
03/03/17 12:03 AM
03/03/17 12:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,505
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Posts: 15,505
Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Jo,

I believe both the P255 and FP-50 will be suitable for your needs. I also wouldn't rule-out the lower priced offerings such as the P115, ES110, and FP-30 also.

As always, it's strongly recommended to play-test all of the models you are considering, rather than relying exclusively on YouTube videos.

Kind regards,
James
x


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

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2619806
03/03/17 12:08 AM
03/03/17 12:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,505
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,505
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
I've often wondered if Kawai could get the VPC-1 action into a portable controller and what that might weigh?.


I expect it would weight around 29.5 kilos - the same as the VPC1. wink
Seriously, after the action, there's not a great deal left over to remove in order to reduce the weight.

Cheers,
James
x


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

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619833
03/03/17 02:46 AM
03/03/17 02:46 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 625
Bay Area CA
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pwl Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 625
Bay Area CA
Jo Martins -

I bought a P-255 shortly after it came out. I found it to be a very solid, high-quality instrument. Built-in speakers were better than pianos in the under $1000 range, no question about it. The piano was extremely well-featured, I thought. Given the criteria you've stated, my personal experience suggests it would meet your needs admirably.

(I eventually sold my P-255 - but that was related to my own evolving desires, not to the piano itself.)

Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619872
03/03/17 06:14 AM
03/03/17 06:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,237
Wales
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voxpops Offline
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Wales
Jo, I had the P-255 for a short time. One of its best features to me, as someone doing similar gigs to yours, was the quality, power, and position of the built-in speakers. Small gigs would be possible without additional amplification. I couldn't say the same for the Rolands and Casios. I didn't think much of the P-255's EPs, and I generally don't like the way Yamaha employs note-stretching, but the AP tone is nice. I didn't keep it long, replacing it with the (lighter) FP-50 - but that was a mistake, as I found the 50's action just too problematic and its speakers too prone to distortion, although it had many other good features.

My personal beef with most of the manufacturers is their refusal to put their best sounds and sound engine in their lightweight models. I would happily pay more for, say, a Kawai ES180 with the same engine and speaker output as the ES8, since the ES8 is just too heavy in a bag/case with peripherals. That's the reason I ended up with the FP-30. Yes, there is a metallic edge if you play too heavily, but it's tameable, and it purrs nicely at pp(!), and its main AP sound is every bit as refined as that in the very well-regarded FP-7F. Ironically, the EPs are as bad as those in the P-255, and its speakers are lower quality (noticeable when splitting with acoustic bass), IMO, but it's also around 5-lbs lighter.

I had a Kawai ES100 (same engine as ES110) for a while. I really liked it as a practice instrument, and found it was much more of an all-round instrument in terms of additional sounds than some of its competitors. However, on gigs, it was noticeably less refined than the MP7 I had at the time. The FP-30 outshines it in that regard, IMO.

Tbh, I wouldn't consider the Yamaha P115 because of its action - the P-255 has an old, but proven action, and its speakers are much better.

The Casios are very good, but I wouldn't want to use one for the type of gig you're doing. I find the area stretched around the C above middle-C to be irritating, and the PX-5S I had connected way better to Pianoteq than it did to its own internal APs. It was excellent as a controller and for some of its EPs, but IIRC it didn't feature half-pedaling, and there was no place (on that model) for a music rest. One good thing about the APs was that they amplified better than some others. Rolands frequently need a bit of EQ tweaking to avoid muddiness.

Overall, I think the P-255 is a good workhorse. I remember listening to Aidan (who contributes to Keyboard Corner) play one for a gig in Seattle. His playing was great (which helps a lot!), and I thought the piano sounded good, although you could tell that it was a more simple, rather "samey" reproduction of samples compared to Roland's SN.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619876
03/03/17 06:44 AM
03/03/17 06:44 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,362
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maurus Offline
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Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,362
Good post, voxpops, I fully agree. I still use a P155 once in a while and "good workhorse" is a fair description. The P255 should be even better. I still have to find a slab piano with a comparably good action in this price range. The Kawai ES8 is just too heavy, and all the more lightweight alternatives (ES100/110, FP30/50, Yamaha P110/115, Casio, Dexibell) don't convince me in terms of their action.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
Re: Yamaha P-255 a good choice? [Re: Jo Martins] #2619916
03/03/17 10:20 AM
03/03/17 10:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
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Jo Martins Offline OP
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Jo Martins  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 44
Thanks People!!

I know it already is an "old" digital piano but so far there's nothing that fits into my needs right now. Yamaha P-255 is the one.

Best Regards,
Jo


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