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Buying a digital piano - Any advice? #2749649
07/06/18 02:59 AM
07/06/18 02:59 AM
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Belgium
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rudyvdb Offline OP
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Hello,

In my search for a digital piano I came across this site and decided to ask some advice.

My wife and 2 children (6 and 11) want to learn the piano and are starting with lessons in september.

My wife would like something that comes close to the sound of a real piano.
We want to integrate it in our house so we are looking for a console model (or adding one) that doens't take up to much space.
For the kids some extra sounds might come in handy but it's not a priority.

Our budget is 750$. That isn't a lot, I'm aware but it should be enough to get us started. If anyone keeps playing we can always upgrade to something better.
I've found the following piano's within our budget (changed from € to $).

580$: Korg B1sp
650$: Yamaha DGX - 650 (including pedal)
723$: Casio PX-770
725$: Roland FP 30 (including pedal and console)

I've read a few reviews and a few things come back:
the Korg: gets less love then the others because of the sound.
DGX: I read it is a jack of all trades but master of none.
Casio: No styles
Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.

I know we need to play the piano's so we are going to do that but if there are any remarks or advice it would be appreciated.

Last edited by rudyvdb; 07/06/18 03:03 AM.
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Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749657
07/06/18 04:43 AM
07/06/18 04:43 AM
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Sao Paul, Brazil
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EVC2017 Offline
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Originally Posted by rudyvdb

Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.


Sorry but... I pretty much doubt it. Not easy for the grown ups is more likely. smile


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749663
07/06/18 05:19 AM
07/06/18 05:19 AM
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Just outside London UK
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You might like to also look at the Yamaha p125 , and the Kawai ES110, both of which have optional cabinet like stands to fit them on to.

To be honest, all of the pianos at this level are going to have OK sounds through headphones but the speakers are too small to make it sound like a real piano. I will tend to have a more treble (tinny) sound. I suspect you could improve the sound with a top end high fi amp and speakers, but I am not sure what and whether it is really worth it. I have a mid range digital piano (Kawai CA67) and although the headphone sound is wonderful, the sound through the speakers doesn't feel real (I do have access to an acoustic about once a month) - I am pretty sure I will actually end up with an acoustic upright and then either keep my existing piano for headphone use or add a "silent system" to the acoustic

Keyboard actions should be mostly OK, but I would definitely try them as there are differences in weight which may or may not suit you. If possible try them in a place with some acoustic pianos to give you a reference point to compare against.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749667
07/06/18 05:35 AM
07/06/18 05:35 AM
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Denmark
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On a purely psychological level you might want to also try out some much more expensive digital pianos while you're out testing the likely candidates. I (very) recently bought the FP-30, and to me it felt like getting an insanely good deal, because it played as well as instruments costing 6-7 times more (in my subjective experience of course).

I second adding the P-125, and the ES110 to your list of candidates.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28, Pianoteq 6.2
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Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749685
07/06/18 07:45 AM
07/06/18 07:45 AM
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Germany
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Originally Posted by rudyvdb
Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.

That shouldn't be a factor. If the kids are supposed to learn the piano, then all they need to know about the interface is: where is the on/off button, where is the volume control, and where to plug/unplug the headphones?
Everything else (switching to different voices etc.) is not required to learn piano, so using it would be "only for fun". And for that "fun", the kids will figure out the controls quickly enough. smile

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749686
07/06/18 07:55 AM
07/06/18 07:55 AM
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Do any of you have any experience playing the piano?
If not, find someone who does and use him to guide you. (Perhaps your future teacher?)
You'll need to spend time in the shops. The experienced person can play (and judge the keys) while the others listen (and judge the sound).
Such judgement comes only from a live audition, never from printed reviews.

That's why I question this:
Originally Posted by rudyvdb
I've read a few reviews and a few things come back:
Korg: gets less love then the others because of the sound.
DGX: I read it is a jack of all trades but master of none.
Casio: No styles
Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.
There really isn't any meaning in the first two items, is there? And the last two items are not relevant.
So ignore those reviews.

In your stated price range you won't get anything close to a real piano, but you should still make judgements about each piano you try.
Others here, above, have recommended specific models to try. So try them out. For each one ...
- Does it feel good?
- Does it sound good?
Eliminate those that you don't like and see which models remain.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749688
07/06/18 07:56 AM
07/06/18 07:56 AM
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I can't comment on the Korg, but tried the others last year and bought the Yamaha DGX-660. I was not looking for an ensemble piano (many voices and rhythms), but got a great deal on the DGX and happily took it.

The DGX-660 has a brilliantly designed user interface so that its many functions can be easily controlled without referring to the manual. For example, it has a 4.6" (11.75 cm) screen that even shows the music score as a piece is being played. Nothing in its class comes close to this, e.g., the Roland and Casio have no screen at all, so setting changes require more work.

Its key action may not be the best but has been adequate for me, a returning pianist trying to get back to classical music at the intermediate level. I did prefer the Roland's key action, and even some aspects of the Casio's, but the overall Yamaha package was unbeatable for me.

The DGX-660 has a great selection of 100 built-in pieces to learn, several with orchestral accompaniment for which you have to perfect timing. They range from very simple to intermediate level and inspire one to practice and improve. Some of the pieces use other voices (non-piano) which is fun, and the accompaniment certainly uses a range of other instruments.

It has great connectivity (USB to Device, Auxiliary In, Microphone In, etc.) that many pianos in this class lack, and Yamaha offers excellent free apps to help with learning.

You might want to read my detailed review of it here: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ck-to-yamaha-on-dgx-660.html#Post2699714

Last edited by Lotus1; 07/06/18 08:03 AM.
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749693
07/06/18 08:11 AM
07/06/18 08:11 AM
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North Carolina
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I don't think I'd recommend a piano based on the features, especially not the frilly, non-piano features, and especially not to a trio of new piano students.

Features are a distraction ... perhaps most especially to the six- and eleven-year-old.

A real piano has 88 "features" (or 91 counting the pedals). A digital piano need have no more. Any other temptations might become distractions.

I don't mean to find fault with the DGX line.
I do mean to say that there are other, relevant criteria by which to judge a piano.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749694
07/06/18 08:36 AM
07/06/18 08:36 AM
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Belgium
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rudyvdb Offline OP
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Thanks for the feedback.

None of us have any experience and neither does anyone close to us. I am aware that the budget we have now is not ideal. But that's it for the moment.
I looked at the Kawai and Yamahai but their not in our budget with a console.

We can always rent a piano wich gives you a better piano or rent one (but use the rent to pay of the piano, in wich case the piano is yours after 4 years)

Are those better options then to go in with a small budget?

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749699
07/06/18 09:06 AM
07/06/18 09:06 AM
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Rentals are okay for the very short-term. But rent-to-own is a ripoff, meant to distract you from getting a good deal.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749702
07/06/18 09:27 AM
07/06/18 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rudyvdb
650$: Yamaha DGX - 650 (including pedal)
723$: Casio PX-770
725$: Roland FP 30 (including pedal and console)



I would choose the Roland just because of the brand.


Other than that …. they all would be fine.


Just make sure you get a bench, pedal(s), and headphones.


And ….,. it must have a furniture-like stand (not a portable stand).


Then …. start putting $50 per month away for your next piano purchase 3-4 years from now.


Good Luck


Don

Current: ES8, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: EVC2017] #2749704
07/06/18 09:37 AM
07/06/18 09:37 AM
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England
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Originally Posted by rudyvdb

Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.


Sorry but... I pretty much doubt it. Not easy for the grown ups is more likely. smile


Forget the buttons. The Roland is brilliant with just the few buttons it has. You use the Roland App Piano Partner 2 via bluetooth to set the piano up any way you want, and save as default settings. So all you need is the on/off switch.

Unless you're gigging and changing stuff all, the time, home pianists tend to keep the same settings and all the displays and buttons you end up not using on other pianos get right on yr nerves.

+1 for the FP30 plus stand and pedal board, in white smile


God's own county smile
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749737
07/06/18 11:24 AM
07/06/18 11:24 AM
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Rudyvdb, your budget is fine to get started. I don't think that long-term renting, especially rent-to-own, is worth it.

I will leave it to you to decide whether the DGX-660's features I described will distract or help sustain your kids' interest. Yamaha seems to have put a great deal of thought into educational aids (built-in and through apps) and I commend them for this.

It is a good idea to read owner's manuals of competing models online before any purchase. This gives a sense of the instrument's capabilities and ease of use. Good luck!

Last edited by Lotus1; 07/06/18 11:26 AM.
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749744
07/06/18 11:42 AM
07/06/18 11:42 AM
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Rudyvdb,

I started playing the piano this past December and ended up with the Roland FP-30. As it was my initial purchase, I didn't want to break the bank if I ended up not playing.

It really is a great piano, and I'm glad I bought it. I agree with others about the "features" of a digital: The only sounds I use are the piano sounds, and I occasionally make use of the metronome and sometimes tweak the sound using the Roland app.

As others have said, it is nice to be able to try out different ones to see what action you like better. Also, you might check with your local piano shop (if you have one) to see about a used digital, or a "rent to own" option. The place near me lets you do that and then will take whatever you paid during the rental period off the purchase price. Might be a way to get into a "nicer" piano more quickly.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749769
07/06/18 01:01 PM
07/06/18 01:01 PM
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I was surprised how "light" the Yamaha graded hammer action is when i visited a Yamaha dealer today. I tried pretty much every CLP and Ydp they had on display and they all didn't feel even remotely close to what i expected. The CLP- 480 R was better than the rest but still not my cup of tea in terms of touch.

But on the bright side, i had the pleasure to jam on a C7X they had on display. Sigh ....if only i can win the lottery.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: JoBert] #2749803
07/06/18 03:28 PM
07/06/18 03:28 PM
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If you want to learn to play piano, "styles" aren't going to help much. So I wouldn't eliminate the PX-770.

If you _do_ think that "styles" and lots of voices are important features, consider getting a PX-350 (around $600), with a "furniture stand" and triple-pedal.

The market is quite competitive. A Casio PX-770 or PX-150/160 (with furniture stand), Roland FP-30, Yamaha DGX-6xx or P-105/115 -- any of those will work fine.

I'll second the warning earlier:

. . . None of those DP's has an adequate built-in sound system.

They'll sound much better through headphones, than through their own amps and loudspeakers. You can add better amps and speakers ("powered monitor" is what to look for), but from my experience:

. . . Making the piano louder, will not improve your playing.<g>

Finding a good teacher -- _that_ can be a real challenge.

Enjoy the journey, and keep in touch . . .



Last edited by Charles Cohen; 07/06/18 03:30 PM.

. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749918
07/07/18 05:07 AM
07/07/18 05:07 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by rudyvdb
Hello,

In my search for a digital piano I came across this site and decided to ask some advice.

My wife and 2 children (6 and 11) want to learn the piano and are starting with lessons in september.

My wife would like something that comes close to the sound of a real piano.
We want to integrate it in our house so we are looking for a console model (or adding one) that doens't take up to much space.
For the kids some extra sounds might come in handy but it's not a priority.

Our budget is 750$. That isn't a lot, I'm aware but it should be enough to get us started. If anyone keeps playing we can always upgrade to something better.
I've found the following piano's within our budget (changed from € to $).

580$: Korg B1sp
650$: Yamaha DGX - 650 (including pedal)
723$: Casio PX-770
725$: Roland FP 30 (including pedal and console)

I've read a few reviews and a few things come back:
the Korg: gets less love then the others because of the sound.
DGX: I read it is a jack of all trades but master of none.
Casio: No styles
Roland: The menu is not easy because of the limited amount of buttons. Not so easy for the kids.

I know we need to play the piano's so we are going to do that but if there are any remarks or advice it would be appreciated.



Perfect for you: Kawai KDP90


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2749963
07/07/18 09:48 AM
07/07/18 09:48 AM
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North Carolina
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Nice piano, Doug. But I think we should take care regarding that seller: music123.

I saw their Ebay listings a few years ago and I wondered how they can do business online. Information here on the board seemed to say that such sales were in violation of Yamaha retail policies (and similar policies for the other brands). The implication is that they're not an authorized dealer and that you get no manufacturer's warranty ... which is a big step down from Yamaha's standard five-year warranty.

So I inquired about the warranty. I specifically asked about the YAMAHA warranty. The reply was mealy-mouthed and evasive. They claimed to offer a warranty, but avoided any mention of Yamaha.

Has the situation for music123 changed since I inquired about six years ago? I do not know. But I'm still feeling uneasy about them.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750010
07/07/18 12:19 PM
07/07/18 12:19 PM
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It wouldn't make sense to ship it from Canada to Belgium anyway. And they are not even offering that option.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750325
07/09/18 05:49 AM
07/09/18 05:49 AM
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Belgium
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rudyvdb Offline OP
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Thank you all for the advice. Next week I'll visit a local shop which has all of the piano's mentioned above.

I'll let you know what we decided on.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750330
07/09/18 06:22 AM
07/09/18 06:22 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by rudyvdb
Thank you all for the advice. Next week I'll visit a local shop which has all of the piano's mentioned above.

I'll let you know what we decided on.


Testing advice:
1) Take some good headphones --- ones you intend to use at home
2) Test each piano with headphones first (to compare the sound), then through the speakers (to get an idea which you would buy for sound only in contrast to which you think sounds best amplified.
3) In comparing digital piano actions, test the pianos switched off so you can tell the comparative weights of the actions regardless of initial touch settings.
4) Test the most expensive pianos first---this helps put the cheaper pianos you're testing in perspective (stops you raving about small differences in action, sound, etc that you might notice and helps gain a balanced perspective).
5) Write down your subjective and objective observations as you make them.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: Doug M.] #2750393
07/09/18 10:58 AM
07/09/18 10:58 AM
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Belgium
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rudyvdb Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by rudyvdb
Thank you all for the advice. Next week I'll visit a local shop which has all of the piano's mentioned above.

I'll let you know what we decided on.


Testing advice:
1) Take some good headphones --- ones you intend to use at home
2) Test each piano with headphones first (to compare the sound), then through the speakers (to get an idea which you would buy for sound only in contrast to which you think sounds best amplified.
3) In comparing digital piano actions, test the pianos switched off so you can tell the comparative weights of the actions regardless of initial touch settings.
4) Test the most expensive pianos first---this helps put the cheaper pianos you're testing in perspective (stops you raving about small differences in action, sound, etc that you might notice and helps gain a balanced perspective).
5) Write down your subjective and objective observations as you make them.


Very usefull advice. Thanks

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750394
07/09/18 11:05 AM
07/09/18 11:05 AM
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Pennsylvania
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my take away IE. your priorities versus the practical realities.


- comes close to the sound of a real piano.

- budget is 750$.

- My wife and 2 children (6 and 11)

- integrate it in our house so we are looking for a console model

- some extra sounds might come in hand

- enough to get us started. If anyone keeps playing .....

1- like 'beauty" in the eye of the beholder, "comes close to sound of real piano" is in the ear of beholder. For instance, an experienced player may believe that no DP in your budget comes close whereas a beginner or novice may say that the Roland, or Kawai or ... or ..... or various other makes comes close enough.

4-you want sonething that will be a nice-looking piece of furniture that does not get in the way too much with your existing furnishings.

5- unless you buy something used more than 20 years old, its not easy to get a modern DP without some extra sounds. You are going to get extra (non acoustic piano) sounds regardless of your priorities BUT your priority generally means you will get 5 or 10 or 20 extra sounds instead of 100 or 200 or 1000 extra sounds and other unwanted features ..... go with it.

2 , 3 , & 6 - your budget is enough to get started with a DP to be primarily used and shared by 1 adult and 2 young children. In my opinion its also enough to get one that sounds close enough to a real piano AND its likely to be a model that is not really a genuine console but will come with a kit that includes nicely-finished pieces of relatively cheap material that, once assembled, resembles a shiny, nice-looking console piece of furniture.

Good luck and enjoy the collective experience.

- drew



Last edited by drewr; 07/09/18 11:06 AM.

- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750611
07/10/18 02:46 PM
07/10/18 02:46 PM
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Twice in the last 3-4 months Adorama (a reputable US shop, I've bought from them since the 80s) had the FP-30 on sale for $479. Most recently the the 3rd week of June. Deal's over now but if you're not in a rush you might want to periodically check the 'deal' websites like dealnews and slickdeals to see when similar deals arise. For example, on June 8th and July 7th Adorama had a deal on the Roland RP-102 (of which I know nothing, sorry), with bench, furniture stand, and 3-pedal unit, for $699.

(I was thisclose to getting the FP-30 from them myself, by the way.)

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: ottokeys] #2750663
07/10/18 07:33 PM
07/10/18 07:33 PM
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by ottokeys
. . . Deal's over now but if you're not in a rush you might want to periodically check the 'deal' websites like dealnews and slickdeals to see when similar deals arise. . . .


Or you could phone Adorama, and see whether they could cut you a deal _now_.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 07/10/18 07:34 PM.

. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2750881
07/11/18 11:40 PM
07/11/18 11:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 52
H
Hotstrings Offline
Full Member
Hotstrings  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 52
As a guitarist for over 60 years and 72 years old, I fell in love w the piano a year ago . I can only speak of the KAwai ES 110 which I have had over a year. I am blessed to be studying w a master an I practice religiously every day that I eat fo 3- 5 hrs a day. I have to force myself to play guitar cause I harbor no delusions of grandeur to play piano for anything other than my own joy and some playing for friends. But this piano is soooo good to play . Even the Hanon stuff and all is fun.
You will see tons of negative reviews about this or that but the piano should hold up and serve for what you want. It’s forte is simple . Feels like an acoustic upright and sounds like an acoustic grand . Love it. Not a lot of bells and whistles. Truthfully I haven’t tried too much. I realize the more time you play w all the toys effects, record, etc., the less time you have practicing piano.
Good luck. BTW. My teacher who has a 9 foot Kawai concert grand , came over twice and played it and was stunned cause he’s an old purist . He was even more surprised at the price.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2751639
07/15/18 09:20 AM
07/15/18 09:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 900
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Hendrik42  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 900
Germany
Yamaha, Casio, Kawai, Roland, Korg all make good instruments in that price range. Some say Casio is most bang for the buck in that range. But in the end it does not matter too much, because they are all quite good.

It may be more important that your family/children feel part of the purchasing process. For example, I checked first if my daughter would even accept a piano with so many buttons (turns out, the more buttons the better :-)

I second the recommendations above about bringing your own good headphones. Good headphones make so much of a difference!

But what will make the most difference is the piano teacher. The differences are amazing. When we got the first piano teacher we though we were very lucky. Then he left for more studies in a different country and we got the second one and were amazed how much better she interacted with our kid. Then she moved away. Now we're with the third piano teacher for two years now and she is an order of magnitude better than the other two. Gold. So do a few try out hours if at all you can.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: Hendrik42] #2751701
07/15/18 01:42 PM
07/15/18 01:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
Belgium
R
rudyvdb Offline OP
Junior Member
rudyvdb  Offline OP
Junior Member
R
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
Belgium
I came across a second hand piano: Roland f110 sb from 2011 for 350$

Is an old piano like this stil a Good investment or is the new generation a better option?

Last edited by rudyvdb; 07/15/18 01:43 PM.
Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2751717
07/15/18 03:39 PM
07/15/18 03:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Omaha, Nebraska
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Kougeru Offline
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Kougeru  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Omaha, Nebraska
I personally wouldn't spend that much on a used digital piano without a warranty.

Re: Buying a digital piano - Any advice? [Re: rudyvdb] #2751718
07/15/18 03:52 PM
07/15/18 03:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 842
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
500 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 842
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by rudyvdb
I came across a second hand piano: Roland f110 sb from 2011 for 350$

Is an old piano like this stil a Good investment or is the new generation a better option?


My advice is to go no earlier than 2014.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
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