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New guy here seeking digitial piano advice #2700364
12/29/17 11:22 AM
12/29/17 11:22 AM
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EDSDDS Offline OP
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Hello my name is David and we are looking to get a digital piano for the family. I play guitar, my wife plays drums, and our daughter plays ukulele. Our two kids do have a cheap keyboard that is starting to give out. They don't take lessons but that is something we might consider. They do like to look up songs on youtube and just learn on their own. I have narrowed it down to a few models because I put an ad locally to see if my neighbors might be selling one and I did get two responses right away.

1) Someone locally wants their Yamaha Clavinova to go to a good home. I don't know yet if its a CLP120 or CLP130 as she sent pictures of the manual and piano and the manual shows both models. From the pictures it looks like its in perfect shape. I have read up on these and they get great reviews. However, its not very portable from what I can see on the size and if its older the digital technology worries me. (Unless piano tech doesn't get outdated as much?)

2) Another neighbor is selling a Casio CDP220. This was a Costco package and seems to also get good reviews but seems like it was only sold at Costco and overseas so not much on these. They are asking $250 for the setup on this one.

3) Looking at new the only one that made it easy to think about is the Williams models. Specifically the Williams Allegro 2 Plus. The Allegro caught my attention because they seem to be a very basic and simple. To me the simple approach focuses on the playing vs 1,000 different voices and 500 rhythms that I don't see how the beginner would really benefit from.


So these are the three that I was thinking of and was wondering if I could get your input on them.

Thanks in advance for your time.

David

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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700381
12/29/17 12:28 PM
12/29/17 12:28 PM
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Questions:

. . . How much would you like to spend?

. . . How much are you _willing_ to spend, as an upper limit?

If you search "Williams", here, you'll find almost-universal "Don't!" advice. I haven't played one, myself.

The DP's you mention are among the least-expensive, recent-dated models with 88 weighted keys. You might do better to move up the price scale a bit, and look at Casio PX-150/160 or Yamaha P105/ P115.

There's a review that includes some of your candidates here:

https://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2012/10/review-yamaha-p35-casio-cdp120-digital.html

Evaluating that review is tricky, because Tim Praskins sells DP's, and may be biased. But it's a start.

You might also scan the "Used" listings at GuitarCenter.com/used. That will give you an idea of what prices _should be_ on Craigslist or other private sale.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700385
12/29/17 12:34 PM
12/29/17 12:34 PM
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Buying a used digital piano is sort of like buying a used computer...sure, some were made a little better than others with different components, but they become a bit obsolete. The sound sample technology of those old Yamahas is pretty crude compared with what’s available today, even if they were pretty well made. As you mentioned, the CLP series is definitely not intended to be portable. The Casio was an entry-level model (with low polyphony) from about 5 years ago, if memory serves. Some folks complain that the actions are a little noisy, and it gets worse with use and age. The Williams doesn’t enjoy the same reputation for sound and action as the major name brands, but to be fair I haven’t tried one in a while, and at least it would have a warranty. It’s likely any of these will be a step up from what you’re using now.

If your kids are going to take lessons, (putting on my piano teacher’s hat now) I would recommend a new 88-key hammer action digital piano, weighted + graded, with a minimum polyphony of 128 and a decent sound sample. In addition, you want a sturdy stand at the right height, a bench with some adjustability, and a decent pedal to replace the crappy foot-switch pedals that are provided with low-cost digitals. Starting with a name-brand entry level setup will run somewhere between $600-1,000 and can provide a decade of service with good care and reasonable use.

I would only recommend used gear if it were recently made and higher-spec pianos from one of the premium manufacturers, in good condition where you can try it first.

Hope this is helpful— thanks for supporting your kids’ interest in music!


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: Charles Cohen] #2700387
12/29/17 12:35 PM
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EDSDDS Offline OP
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I think keeping it under $400 would be preferred. And after reading more about Williams here and quality issues I think that one is out. I honestly think new or as new as possible is going to be the option here. I agree that its like buying an old cell phone, computer, etc. Unlike my old guitars and guitar amps or acoustic instruments these digital pianos don't get better with age. I kind of new this was going to be the way to go but needed some input from experienced players/users/owners. Am I thinking right that I should get a simpler-ish featured piano? I think 10 voices or less and useful features are good enough vs the 100s of voices that some have? I assume you benefit more from a piano that has the most natural sound and feel in our price range vs the one that has 75 different Bossa Nova beats? I think that pianos that have sampled music, percussion, rhythms, built in lessons, etc are cool and all but I can't see us really using that. My kids are going to want to get to jamming as soon as soon as possible

Last edited by EDSDDS; 12/29/17 12:46 PM.
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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700392
12/29/17 12:46 PM
12/29/17 12:46 PM
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clothearednincompo Online content
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Both Yamahas are/were pretty basic models. The CLP120 has no resonances at all and the CLP130 has what's generally known as "damper resonance" i.e. it works when the sustain pedal is down. Any new Yamaha model from Arius YDP-S52 or YDP-163 upwards is "better" and with the other cheap models it's a matter of taste. (I.e. does one prioritize sound or touch.)

Both models were apparently released in 2002, so they are old and there has been improvements in digital piano technology. Of course either one may be "perfectly usable" for the intended purpose.

The Casio CDP220 has been sold outside Costco at least in other countries around the world. It's a much newer device, but there has already been CDP-230 and CDP-235 models apparently. The main selling point would be the versatility as it has a lot of features. But it's not that great as a piano replacement. Again, it may be "perfectly usable" for the intended purpose. Casio key actions have a tendency to be noisy and to get noisier over time in use, so that's one of the downsides. Fixing it is either difficult or impossible. Labor intensive in any case. I've tried.

Of course an old Yamaha can also be noisy, but I've understood that fixing that is relatively straightforward by opening the device up and replacing the shock absorbing felt strips. Requires some disassembly of course.

Williams isn't one of the "quality brands", but I don't really know anything about them, so I'll refrain from commenting and calling it a "toy". smile

You are likely to find both positive and negative comments. Here's somebody who is happy with the playing feel (but not with the sound):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBZgZbUnrwk

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700437
12/29/17 02:48 PM
12/29/17 02:48 PM
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MacMacMac Offline
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Hey, quit the smack talk concerning the Williams pianos!
Gyro used to recommend them, giving them great praise.
Don't you agree with Gyro?
(Oh, wait a sec ...) smile

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700440
12/29/17 02:58 PM
12/29/17 02:58 PM
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Regarding the CLP120/130 ... those are from 2002. Too old. And they were bottom-of-the-line. I wouldn't think of it ... unless it were a freebie/giveaway.

The Williams is a no-name loss-leader from Guitar Center. Forget it. Really.

Others have spoken to the Casio CDP220. I cannot add anything about it.

You said that you'd like to keep it under $400. At that price a new keyboard will be junk quality.
I wouldn't subject your family to such a keyboard.
I think you were on the right track looking for a used keyboard.

I'd stick with the name brands.
And I'd spend lots of time looking and waiting ... and looking and waiting.
Sellers fail to realize that their "beloved ten-year-old piano in pristine condition" just won't sell for a mere 20% off the original list price.
They often have crazy expectations, and Craigs List items sit for weeks or months with no buyer.
Patience is your virtue!
For $400 you might get a five-year-old $1000 piano, if you're a diligent shopper.

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700446
12/29/17 03:17 PM
12/29/17 03:17 PM
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Have a look at the Casio Px-160, $499

The whole Privia (PX) range seems to use the same weighted 3 sensors keyboard (160 being the cheapest and great deal) and it has USB midi

Last edited by Deck; 12/29/17 03:20 PM.
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700460
12/29/17 04:22 PM
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EDSDDS Offline OP
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Yep sounds like Casio PX and Yamaha P series are nice looking options. Anything good or bad about the speakers facing away on the Casio? I think the new budget now is about $500ish and I think I am going to look into new. If I lived in Los Angeles still I would be able to find more used options. In Minnesota the used gear market is stupid with pricing. If I was buying a guitar, guitar amp, percussion etc I wouldn't care about buying old and used but with pianos I am noticing that 7 years back is like 70 years. So I guess the digital piano years are about the same as dog years.

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700646
12/30/17 11:39 AM
12/30/17 11:39 AM
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EDSDDS Offline OP
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Casio PX160 home package for $499 at Kraft Music. We can't go wrong with that right? Lets say we keep it for the next 5 years and we all use it and love. Worse case scenario nobody is using it at all and its just sitting there I sell it on craigslist in a year for $250? Not that I plan on selling it already but at least I am not spending $2,000

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700654
12/30/17 12:00 PM
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Within that price range, and for your given purpose. that's a sensible option. The PX-160 has a good reputation as an entry-level model. The other one in that price range to seriously consider is the Roland FP-30; personally I would prefer that out of the two, but you'll get varying opinions on that.


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700689
12/30/17 03:19 PM
12/30/17 03:19 PM
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+1 for macmacmac’s excellant advice.

I nearly bought a casio 160 based on azpianonews reviews, but couldn’t get my hands on one to try so I stuck with yamaha because of my excellant past experience with their products and local dealer support. Wish I could have put my hands on a Casio, they sound like awesome value in that range.

Good luck making the best choice for your family! (Awesome resources and great people here to help you with your ‘education’)

Last edited by Notime; 12/30/17 03:39 PM.

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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700704
12/30/17 03:46 PM
12/30/17 03:46 PM
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The bundle deals online are often a good way to go, but you didn’t provide a link to that specific one. Just for informational purposes, single X stands are the least stable arrangement for use on carpeting and for enthusiastic players, though they are the most portable and lightweight. Double X stands are better, and platform stands are better still, with the trade off being greater weight, cost, and slightly less portability. Otherwise, reread my first post for what to look for in a starter setup.


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700718
12/30/17 04:27 PM
12/30/17 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by EDSDDS
Casio PX160 home package for $499 at Kraft Music. We can't go wrong with that right? Lets say we keep it for the next 5 years and we all use it and love. Worse case scenario nobody is using it at all and its just sitting there I sell it on craigslist in a year for $250? Not that I plan on selling it already but at least I am not spending $2,000


Good deal!

If it comes with single-X stand, upgrade to double-X stand for about $25, if you can.

Enjoy!


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700719
12/30/17 04:33 PM
12/30/17 04:33 PM
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I don't think the PX160 can be beat for the price. I think you would be very happy with it. But at the risk of making the price creep up even more, I would suggest getting Kraft's "complete home bundle" version of the PX160 (which as of my typing is $575). This comes with a piano bench, a pair of headphones, and most importantly the "furniture style stand" with triple pedal unit. The base model of the casio comes with a foot switch instead of a proper sustain pedal. It's horrible to use, so at least get a proper foot/sustain pedal. The bundle includes a lot of things you're probably going to have to buy anyway and you get it all at a nice package.

Btw...The keyboard easily detaches from the furniture style stand so if your kids want to take it to a party or on a family vacation or something it's very portable.

The real expense, should you pursue it, will be lessons for your two kids. If they show a real interest in piano, it's a worthwhile investment if you can find a good teacher and can afford it. In any case, the PX160 will be an excellent instrument for them to learn on over the next several years.


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700894
12/31/17 09:13 AM
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EDSDDS Offline OP
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Once again thanks for the great input. Here is the link to the bundle I was speaking about. https://www.kraftmusic.com/casio-privia-px-160-digital-piano-black-home-essentials-bundle.html

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700897
12/31/17 09:27 AM
12/31/17 09:27 AM
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Now we’re talking! The bundle looks fine, just upgrade the pedal for something like this and you’re good to go:
https://www.kraftmusic.com/on-stage-ksp100-piano-style-sustain-pedal.html


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700908
12/31/17 09:55 AM
12/31/17 09:55 AM
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EDSDDS
On a piano, the rightmost pedal is called the sustain pedal, it's the most important of the usual three pedals. On an acoustic piano the sustain pedal lifts the dampers off the strings which lets the strings continue to ring even after you let off the keyboard keys. You can get away with just that, though as terminal degree suggests you'll probably want to upgrade to a real pedal (not the footswitch that comes with your casio) at a minimum. If finances are really tight it's probably the best option with what you are planning to get.

If you want the complete set of three pedals, you can buy it separately here:

https://www.kraftmusic.com/casio-sp-33-triple-pedal-board-for-casio-privia-digital-pianos.html

If you buy it with your bundle, you can probably talk the kraft people into knocking a few bucks off the price. Worth a shot anyway. You don't really need all three pedals (especially for a beginner) but it doesn't hurt to have them. Why I like the triple pedal board is that it keeps the pedals in a fixed (and correct) position. If you buy the single pedal they sometimes tend to wander as you depress them with your foot. It's an annoyance. That's why I like the triple pedal option personally.


On most grand pianos, the other two pedals are generally the una corda (or soft) pedal and the sostenuto pedal. When the hammer strikes the strings in an acoustic piano, it generally is striking multiple strings. The una corda (means one string) pedal shifts the hammers over so that they don't strike all the strings they normally would. this makes the piano ring more softly, and also can change some of the tonal colors that you're playing. I don't think the casio has real una corda samples so it probably just decreases the volume of the notes when you depress it. The middle, or sostenuto pedal acts like the sustain pedal, but it only sustains the notes you're currently pressing. If you hold down the sustain pedal, every note you play gets held, and if you continue to play all the notes ring out and overlap and become a big mess (unless you let it up). With the sostenuto pedal you could, for example, play and sustain a chord in the lower register of the piano and have it continue to ring out as you play unsustained notes on the higher end of the piano. The una corda and sostenuto pedal are pretty rarely used in most piano music. I've never seen beginner level music that uses them, so you really don't need them. But, I think the triple pedal board is still a good idea just for its convenience (also in my opinion it looks a lot nicer, but that's really subjective).


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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: terminaldegree] #2700931
12/31/17 11:18 AM
12/31/17 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Now we’re talking! The bundle looks fine, just upgrade the pedal for something like this and you’re good to go:
https://www.kraftmusic.com/on-stage-ksp100-piano-style-sustain-pedal.html


Absolutely !

That was the first thing I noticed was that little square pedal that comes with it.

Upgrade to the one suggested by TerminalDegree.



As far as getting the 3-pedal unit ....

As was stated ... you will probably never use anything except the sustain pedal so there is no real need for a 3-pedal unit.

It may look nicer but I found (with my ES8) that the 3-pedal unit that attaches to the furniture stand can put the pedal at distance that you are not comfortable with.

I would just get the single sustain pedal and you can put it wherever you like.


Enjoy


Don

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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: dmd] #2700935
12/31/17 11:28 AM
12/31/17 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dmd
It may look nicer but I found (with my ES8) that the 3-pedal unit that attaches to the furniture stand can put the pedal at distance that you are not comfortable with.


I guess that could be fixed, if you are brave enough to drill some new holes to the pedal box. wink

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2700966
12/31/17 01:36 PM
12/31/17 01:36 PM
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Are you sure you want that bundle? Can you buy the piano for less, without bench/headphones/pedal?
Originally Posted by EDSDDS
Once again thanks for the great input. Here is the link to the bundle I was speaking about. https://www.kraftmusic.com/casio-privia-px-160-digital-piano-black-home-essentials-bundle.html
I ask because that bench is crap. That pedal is uber-crap (as has already been noted). And the headphones might be crap.
If you can buy the piano alone, spend the difference on a better pedal, a better bench, and better phones.

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: dmd] #2701016
12/31/17 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
[quote=terminaldegree].......As far as getting the 3-pedal unit ....

As was stated ... you will probably never use anything except the sustain pedal so there is no real need for a 3-pedal unit.

It may look nicer but I found (with my ES8) that the 3-pedal unit that attaches to the furniture stand can put the pedal at distance that you are not comfortable with.

I would just get the single sustain pedal and you can put it wherever you like.


Enjoy





While these are all good points, the counterargument is that a single pedal unit tends to slide around on the floor. Unfortunately, there's no one perfect answer for all.


Bert
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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2701035
12/31/17 06:23 PM
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Hi Newbert.

Speaking of the Kawai ES8 triple pedal (F-301) furniture unit, take a close look at this video:

https://youtu.be/4wuFM-YcGHo

You'll see that it is perfectly possible to drill 2 new holes on each side of the pedals box, so the two pillars attach in a more forward position thus moving the pedals themselves further away from your feet !!

Great and very simple mod to make the use of the triple pedals much more comfortable. Particularly to guys with longer legs.

Last edited by Vadesriux; 12/31/17 06:27 PM.

Eduardo
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: newbert] #2701037
12/31/17 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert
While these are all good points, the counterargument is that a single pedal unit tends to slide around on the floor.


And ... it absolutely will do that.

I put something behind it so it does not move. Problem solved.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: Vadesriux] #2701038
12/31/17 06:39 PM
12/31/17 06:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,912
Pennsylvania
D
dmd Offline
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dmd  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,912
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Vadesriux
Hi Newbert.

Speaking of the Kawai ES8 triple pedal (F-301) furniture unit, take a close look at this video:

https://youtu.be/4wuFM-YcGHo

You'll see that it is perfectly possible to drill 2 new holes on each side of the pedals box, so the two pillars attach in a more forward position thus moving the pedals themselves further away from your feet !!

Great and very simple mod to make the use of the triple pedals much more comfortable. Particularly to guys with longer legs.


This does look possible.

I might try it since my 3-pedal unit just lays in the garage with no apparent use.

I am not particularly handy with that sort of thing so if I can do it .... anyone can.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2701053
12/31/17 08:02 PM
12/31/17 08:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 93
V
Vadesriux Offline
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Vadesriux  Offline
Full Member
V

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 93
Hi Dmd

Start drilling with a thin drill and only afterwards with a drill with the right size (thickness).
This way you wont shatter the wood black vinyl coating when making the holes.
Good luck!


Eduardo
Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2701070
12/31/17 09:16 PM
12/31/17 09:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 155
Massachussets, Florida
cphollis Offline
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cphollis  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 155
Massachussets, Florida
Yeah, well, what's missing from this thread is passion. How much are you willing to spend? How much do you care about the nascent family situation?

I could recommend all sorts of super serious boards -- digital or otherwise -- but a bit more life context would help.

Me? I always go big smile

So far, so good ...

Last edited by cphollis; 12/31/17 09:17 PM.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Practice: Bosie 200, Yamaha G3, AG N3
Live: Nord Piano 2, NE5D, Stage 2
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Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: MacMacMac] #2701078
01/01/18 12:00 AM
01/01/18 12:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 9
E
EDSDDS Offline OP
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EDSDDS  Offline OP
Junior Member
E

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 9
[quote
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Are you sure you want that bundle? Can you buy the piano for less, without bench/headphones/pedal?
Originally Posted by EDSDDS
Once again thanks for the great input. Here is the link to the bundle I was speaking about. https://www.kraftmusic.com/casio-privia-px-160-digital-piano-black-home-essentials-bundle.html
I ask because that bench is crap. That pedal is uber-crap (as has already been noted). And the headphones might be crap.
If you can buy the piano alone, spend the difference on a better pedal, a better bench, and better phones.



Not really I have searched everywhere and the piano alone is the same price. I agree on upgrading the pedal and bench and stand but if ts basically free to start why not.

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2701082
01/01/18 12:50 AM
01/01/18 12:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 87
K
kickthetiger Offline
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kickthetiger  Offline
Full Member
K

Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 87
https://8thstreet.com/Search?q=casio+px160

18% off with their current coupon. ~$410 with the furniture stand, $450 if you want the triple pedal bar. You can ask other retailers to match the price if you prefer ordering elsewhere. Zzounds has matched 8thstreet for me in the past.

Re: New guy here seeking digitial piano advice [Re: EDSDDS] #2701084
01/01/18 12:56 AM
01/01/18 12:56 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 87
K
kickthetiger Offline
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kickthetiger  Offline
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K

Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 87
Amazon may be cheaper depending on the shipping charge from 8thstreet

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077QHYVTK/

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