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How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
#2832362 03/28/19 01:36 PM
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Hi all, yet another beginner overwhelmed with buying first piano here. Curious to know about everyone's experience with their first piano, digital piano, keyboard, or what have you and how quickly you outgrew it. Or maybe Santa bestowed upon you a Steinway grand outright and you never felt the need to upgrade.

What was your first piano and what did you upgrade to? How soon? What are some features you couldn't pick up when you were a beginner and you can now appreciate it as you advanced? Conversely, what are some features that were touted as important or that you thought would be essential but you don't really think it mattered much to you or in general?

/Interrogation

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832369 03/28/19 01:46 PM
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My first piano was a Yamaha P45. I spent just enough money not to buy something that wasn't going to be so bad as to destroy my potential enjoyment. It had been 40 years since I last played.

The Yamaha P45 did its job. I new I wanted to continue doing this and I replaced it after about 3 months of use.

I am hoping I will now last 2 years with the current piano. If I am still going strong then, I will have saved some money for another significant upgrade and have proof I am committed to this.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832373 03/28/19 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadkill
What was your first piano and what did you upgrade to? How soon?

My first real digital piano (not keyboard) was a Kawai ES100 and it lasted over fours years, before the action broke down due to wear.

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What are some features you couldn't pick up when you were a beginner and you can now appreciate it as you advanced?

Built-in piano tone.

Quote
Conversely, what are some features that were touted as important or that you thought would be essential but you don't really think it mattered much to you or in general?

VST and DAW integration, "computer stuff".


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832376 03/28/19 01:59 PM
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I bought in 1998 a sub-$200 Casio keyboard ... 61-keys, not weighted, not touch sensitive. On such a crude instrument I could not learn dynamics.

Eight years later I bought a full-sized Kawai upright ... used, $3600. Dynamics at last.

Twelve years later I bought a Clavinova ... new, $2400. No more out-of-tune madness.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832380 03/28/19 02:24 PM
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My first piano (Yamaha YDP-163) was delivered to my home in July 2017 and I planned to stay by it for as long as possible. However after few months of lots of 3h a day selft teaching sessions I developed joints injury (now I sigh at those tries to forcefuly speed up C Major scale). Then I tried teachers (and realised I should've been started that way from the day 1), but damage was done and I had to go through doctors and piano ban till body heals. So my poor Yamaha spent 7 months covered by some green drape (to not break my heart by looking at it) in the middle of my piano hype period.
Hands somewhat healed, and I came back slowly to YDP-163 with new teacher in May 2018. I kind of blamed its action for my joints issues from that point so when pain came back after few months I took another month free of piano (and doctors visits) during which I looked for piano with better action. PW kinda helped with the choice and YDP-163 was replaced by Kawai CA78 in September 2018.

So I replaced first DP after 14 months, but I only played it for 6 months in total.

Upgrade is always nice and noticable, but providing your keyboard has 88 weighted keys, some decent piano voice and ability to attach sustain pedal (I still haven't started using one within my repertoire) it should be sufficient for at least first 2 beginner years.


Looking back for my current level of playing YDP-163 would've probably be more than sufficient. I also think that the action wasn't the main issue causing my injury (I guess it was convenient to blame it).
I've been actively playing for nearly 13 months now and I guess that would be the time for me to start thinking about the upgrade next year haven't I upgraded already wink


And that green drape is still triggering piano PTSD when I look at it, so it's hidden deep in the closet smile

.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Purrblast #2832390 03/28/19 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Purrblast
However after few months of lots of 3h a day selft teaching sessions I developed joints injury (now I sigh at those tries to forcefuly speed up C Major scale).

On the adult beginner forum, I've had someone outright say to me that piano injuries are overblown. Yet few beginners who overtrain have good results.


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Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832394 03/28/19 03:07 PM
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My first piano was the Yamaha P-115 and it lasted for 17 months before upgrading to the CLP-645. Likely to get a hybrid next, although that will be a few years down the road.


My instrument: Yamaha AvantGrand N1X
My VST: Synchron Bösendorfer Imperial / Garritan CFX Concert Grand
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832452 03/28/19 06:23 PM
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Had a Roland F140 for half a year or so - then sold it and rented a K300 with silent system which is awesome.
I really enjoyed the F140 but wanted to try having an acoustic instrument as well to find out what I’m into.
Love the sound and action - hardly ever use the silent function though.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832456 03/28/19 06:40 PM
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I actually went and played a bunch of digitals today because I may end up going back to one for a year or two to save up enough to buy a K300 or K500 instead of continuing to “waste” money renting one.

I basically hated everything except the hybrids smile
The sound even from the top tier consoles seemed muffled and artificial. I’m considering if maybe getting a VPC1 with some really good monitors and pairing it with something like Ravenscroft 275 might be a more satisfying solution than something like a CA58 but I have yet to find somewhere where I can try a setup like that.
Or I could get a CA58 and still have the option of adding VST and monitors later.

PHA50 action was crisp and precise but maybe somehow almost too crisp and precise - a bit machine like. The CA actions seemed more alive and loose and felt more like an instrument.
The NWX is really really nice except for the weird initial resistance which I thought made playing PP quite challenging.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832472 03/28/19 07:23 PM
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My first was a Casio PX-830, had it about 6.5 years before buying my PX-160.


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832488 03/28/19 07:47 PM
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I started with an acoustic grand that was given to me. I had to replace it after a couple years since it needed more work than it was worth. I also got a Kawai FS690 doorbell button digital used for $50. I still have it, but haven't touched it in years. I should pull it out again, it's interesting because it shows you where you're putting weight on keys that you don't mean to play. A couple years after that I got a good deal on a CP-33, which I use for headphone practice. It interchanges well with the acoustic concert grand. I'm thinking about uprgrading the digital again.... P-515? MP11SE?




-- J.S.

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Yamaha CP33
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Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Morten Olsson #2832564 03/29/19 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
Had a Roland F140 for half a year or so - then sold it and rented a K300 with silent system which is awesome.
I really enjoyed the F140 but wanted to try having an acoustic instrument as well to find out what I’m into.
Love the sound and action - hardly ever use the silent function though.



You are basically my clone, but with different pianos!

I begun as a complete adult stranger to piano with a PX-160. When my daughter at 6 started to play the piano more seriously, I switched to an acoustic upright: Schimmel C-160 with factory built silent.

Honestly... there is no match to any digital I tried. I also rarely use silent as it changes a lot the action and it sounds really bad.
I got it because it was already installed in this second hand piano that I acquired.

As I leave all week in another city, I needed another piano for practice and I could not spend too much as the schimmel was still available on the w.e.

So I got a Roland FP-30 that at this price range was my favourite. There I went for a more digital setup I use my Macbook Pro with Pianoteq and Reaper as DAW plus an external screen. I alo got an Arturia MIDI controller.
The idea was that I needed something different if I have to go away from acoustic and this is more digital approach for composing, arranging etc. It has been a lot of fun so far...



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Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832622 03/29/19 07:19 AM
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I've upgraded from Casio PX-160 to Yamaha CLP-645 in 8 months. Initially I wanted something with better speakers than on my Casio PX-160, because those are real shame there (headphone sound was ok though). So I started searching something that's not over $1000, but later realized that trading Privia to some other sub-$1000 piano is not worth the hassle, so I raised the bar to $1300 grin I've visited a few stores and checked various options, like Kawai KDP-110, Casio AP-470, Korg C1, Roland FP-140r, Yamaha Auris series. I thought they all were alright until I accidentally (meaning before I checked the price tag, lol) tried CLP-635, and this thing really sings! All other models suddenly looked pretty bleak in comparison, but the price was high too. Then, just for fun, I tried CLP-645 next to it, and guess what... Yeah, it was even better, even richer sound through speakers and keyboard that feels plain amazing. So I decided to wait a couple months and save more, because I really liked those Clavinovas. And in last December I bought CLP-645 and enjoying the thing even since.
P.S. Never try digital pianos that are substantially higher priced than what are you prepared to spend, it'll get you spoiled!


Casio PX-160 (Previous), Yamaha CLP-645 (Current), Superlux HD-681
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Darkwasp #2832633 03/29/19 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Darkwasp
I thought they all were alright until I accidentally (meaning before I checked the price tag, lol) tried [something I can't afford] All other models suddenly looked pretty bleak in comparison

I "accidentally" tried a Kawai Novus NV10 before recognizing its shape (I simply didn't expect it appearing in a store full of Casio models). After confirming it by looking at the price tag I had a similar experience with various other models including Kawai CA97 and Yamaha CLP-675. I couldn't differentiate their actions anymore and they felt all the same.

So after a quick check on the Kawai ES8 I ended up with the Yamaha P-515 as originally planned. smile


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832707 03/29/19 01:18 PM
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I started with a Yamaha P-115 from Guitar Center, figuring it was good enough to get started (or re-started: I had taken lessons more than fifty years earlier!).

At first, it was fun to play around with the various voices (harpsichord! drums!), but after a while I just wanted to play. And I found it challenging to switch back and forth from my digital to my teacher's grand piano. The main feature I appreciated was silent play with headphones: especially important in my first months, when I was very, very self-conscious about being overheard by my condo neighbors!

Six or 8 months later, I wandered through a Yamaha sale and "accidentally" ordered NU1X (expensive digital with internal "upright" action). Then within a month I traded (up, or sideways) for Yamaha N1 (digital with grand piano action inside, more recently updated by Yamaha as N1X). It was great to play, but after some months I felt that I had heard every sound it was ever going to make. I was less and less interested in the bells and whistles, except that I did appreciate being able to play silently with headphones.

After some research and searching, realizing a grand just wouldn't fit, and getting a little bit used to playing when others could hear me in piano showrooms (!!), I upgraded to a very nice acoustic upright, Yamaha YUS5 (bought used). It feels like I now have a real live puppy to love, instead of a stuffed animal. I'm (slowly!) learning nuances of control of dynamics and tone and sound color with this piano (and a different teacher, whose teaching was part of my inspiration for getting an acoustic).

Despite some trepidation about neighbors, it has worked out for me (no complaints so far! Luckily our walls are fairly stout). I enjoy my acoustic more and more. I daydream about moving to a big house with room for a grand piano, but I suspect my upright and I will be a pair until I have to move to the "home" and I am forced to revert to a more portable instrument that I can play silently with headphones (I haven't forgotten you, Yamaha N1X!). Meanwhile I love my acoustic. Excuse me, I'm off to practice the new music my teacher shared at my lesson earlier this week. Good piano and good teacher: I love this.

If I started this journey again, I would probably still start with a somewhat limited investment in a digital, both to limit the cost until I had tested my commitment to continuing to play, and to be able to practice silently. I hope that you, Roadkill, don't worry so much about choosing your first instrument that you delay getting started -- jump right in and enjoy yourself!


Currently at home with Mister Upright.
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832722 03/29/19 01:48 PM
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I’ve upgraded my Yamaha DGX660 to a P515 stage piano today after owning the DGX for only three weeks. I did so because initially I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on a new hobby I might not enjoy, but I quickly realised that I do enjoy it very much, and I wanted a piano with a wooden keyboard and a better action. I upgraded now because I wanted to take advantage of the shop’s 30 day return policy, so I was able to return the DGX for a full refund and get the P515 for just the difference in price between the two instruments. My intention now is that the P515 will last me several years.



Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Cheshire Chris #2832724 03/29/19 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
I’ve upgraded my Yamaha DGX660 to a P515 stage piano today after owning the DGX for only three weeks.


I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dedicated stand, available here for £100: https://www.allegromusic.co.uk/shop/piano-stands/yamaha-l515-black-home-stand-for-p515/

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Roadkill #2832727 03/29/19 02:00 PM
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It’s certainly a nice stand, I agree, and I may well buy it (and the triple pedal unit) at a future date. I don’t really have any more available money at the moment, though, so the X-stand I’ve got the keyboard on at the moment (which the shop gave me free!) will be fine for the time being.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Cheshire Chris #2832731 03/29/19 02:10 PM
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Enjoy your new purchase, I've been very chuffed with mine playing it several times a day since it arrived.

Re: How soon did you upgrade your first piano?
Cheshire Chris #2832737 03/29/19 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
I wanted a piano with a wooden keyboard and a better action.


Do you feel the difference between wooden keys and synthetic keys? That's one feature that I think I would enjoy down the road but it's hard to justify on something I may not be able to pick up on, now or later. But we'll see - I'm going to check out a couple of pianos today.

Serious but cliche contenders:
Kawai ES110
Yamaha P125
Roland FP30

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