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Need help digital vs acoustic piano #2834267
04/02/19 11:42 AM
04/02/19 11:42 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
K
KL NY Offline OP
Full Member
KL NY  Offline OP
Full Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
Hi,
Need some opinion from teachers here.
My daughter is taking piano lesson and have been using a DP (model YDP-140) at home. It does have weight keys. She is about grade 2-3 level i think. Just have a recital playing Clementi Sonatina Op 36 No3. ( i think that is grade 3 piece?).

I am thinking to upgrade the piano. To be honest, I am not even know if it is necessary now. I know a acoustic piano should be the choice but we live in an apartment , an acoustic piano is unlikely for now.

My question is, how long can we stay with DP if we give her better DP, like Clavinova series or hybrid piano (yamaha NU1X).

Thanks
KL

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Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2834385
04/02/19 02:50 PM
04/02/19 02:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,209
Toronto, Ontario
P
Peter K. Mose Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Peter K. Mose  Offline
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P

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,209
Toronto, Ontario
Hi KL, welcome to our discussion board. A good digital piano will last most piano students throughout their studies, unless they get to a very advanced level. Or unless they or their parents simply decide they prefer the sound or feel of an acoustic piano. In short, there is no need for you to be thinking of an acoustic piano, imo, or feeling that you are holding your daughter back musically.

You might ask your question again in several years - but in the meantime keep monitoring the world of good digital pianos.

Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2834568
04/02/19 10:02 PM
04/02/19 10:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,759
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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The YDP-140 is entry-level, and definitely at that point she should have something a bit better feeling. I've heard great things about the Yamaha N1X (which is the latest model of their hybrid DPs). There's also the Kawai CA or CS series as well as the NN10 to check out.

Have a budget, and let your daughter try each of them out that are close to that price and see what she likes best. Many dealers can bend on price, so stick to your guns.

There is also the Digital Piano Forum on this site, where there is a Prices Paid sticky thread so you can see what people in different areas of the world paid for their instrument. Might give you an idea of what you can finagle with the dealer.

But such an upgrade would probably last her for a very long time - a decade or so? Or perhaps until she's old enough and moved out and wanting to buy an acoustic. smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2834598
04/03/19 12:25 AM
04/03/19 12:25 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 604
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Online content
500 Post Club Member
thepianoplayer416  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 604
Toronto, Canada
I don't have any issue playing with a DP as long as the key is weighed and touch-sensitive. Once I practiced the first movement of the Bach Italian Concerto in F on the DP at home and played it at a Christmas party on an upright without any issue.

The only issue is the sound quality out of a DP is not 100% imitation of an acoustic equivalent. Some DPs like the Casio Celviano GP 300 & 500 was developed in collaboration with the C. Bechstein Piano Co. It's a hybrid with 88 hammers and the sound is not nearly as good as an authentic Bechstein grand.

So far the only group of teachers I came across who insisted students must practice on an acoustic (upright or grand) are associated with Suzuki. Acoustic pianos give a natural sound and there is no substitute for it. When it comes to touch, I must say the last DP I played in a music store which is a Yamaha YDP series feels very close to an acoustic piano.The keys have an acoustic feel and the texture of the keys feel like you're playing on old ivory keys. What makes an acoustic piano sound so difficult to replicate on a DP? Last year I read an ad on the Yamaha website for their new P-500 series DP which would replace their P-200 series. Yamaha admitted their earlier models couldn't produce a very realistic piano sound is because of the vibration of the strings. The way DPs produce sound is to take sound samples of each key from an acoustic piano and programmed it to each individual key on a DP. You get a relatively realistic acoustic sound but... according to the ad for the new P-500 series DP, every time you press an acoustic piano key, you are not only sounding the strings attached to that 1 key. The adjacent strings also vibrate but at a much more subdued way causing additional echoes in the sound.

I live in an apartment with neighbors on all sides my only option is a keyboard on low volume even though I don't usually put on headphones. I do have a choice. There is 1 public library in my area you can borrow an acoustic piano for up to 2h/day. As a student at a local conservatory, I have the option of renting an acoustic piano in 1 of their studios for up to 2h/day for a small fee. This is mainly for recording purposes that I get a better sound out of an acoustic than the DP at home. There is a community center I can rent a Yamaha upright for an hour for a small fee. I am enrolled in a piano group class with adults. The class are full of Yamaha Clavinova DPs which allow students to plug in headphones.

I met several Suzuki teachers who have acoustic pianos in their music studio. Some may insist students buy only acoustic instruments but I don't think they would object to people having a Yamaha or Roland keyboard at home as long as they can play the assigned pieces properly in front of a teacher. Of course students would go to a Suzuki recital playing an acoustic piano. Besides performing in public, students can usually get away with practicing on a DP with weighed keys.

Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2834788
04/03/19 12:06 PM
04/03/19 12:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
K
KL NY Offline OP
Full Member
KL NY  Offline OP
Full Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
Thanks for the comments !

It looks like i have no worry for now, I Clavinova or similar class DP should give us decent improvement vs the YDP-140. The problem is need to try as many as we can, it is very hard to do since many of these DP not available in the same store, hard to compare them. So far, CLP-645 is my choice, will try to find some Kawai CA series to test out.

Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2834852
04/03/19 01:31 PM
04/03/19 01:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,236
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
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JohnSprung  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,236
Reseda, California

Also consider Kawai's MP11SE and Yamaha's P-515. Stage pianos are a lot more versatile, and the actions are the same as in equivalent cabinet models. You can stash them on end in a closet when you need the room.


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Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2834942
04/03/19 05:40 PM
04/03/19 05:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Cheshire Chris Offline
Full Member
Cheshire Chris  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Originally Posted by KL NY
Thanks for the comments !

It looks like i have no worry for now, I Clavinova or similar class DP should give us decent improvement vs the YDP-140. The problem is need to try as many as we can, it is very hard to do since many of these DP not available in the same store, hard to compare them. So far, CLP-645 is my choice, will try to find some Kawai CA series to test out.


I have the Yamaha P-515, which is essentially the same instrument as the Clavinova CLP-645, but in a stage piano format, so it’s significantly cheaper and requires less space. It has wooden keys and a very nice keyboard action - I have piano lessons on a Steinway grand and have no difficulty switching between the two instruments. I highly recommend it.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2835011
04/03/19 09:01 PM
04/03/19 09:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
K
KL NY Offline OP
Full Member
KL NY  Offline OP
Full Member
K

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
New York
Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Originally Posted by KL NY
Thanks for the comments !

It looks like i have no worry for now, I Clavinova or similar class DP should give us decent improvement vs the YDP-140. The problem is need to try as many as we can, it is very hard to do since many of these DP not available in the same store, hard to compare them. So far, CLP-645 is my choice, will try to find some Kawai CA series to test out.


I have the Yamaha P-515, which is essentially the same instrument as the Clavinova CLP-645, but in a stage piano format, so it’s significantly cheaper and requires less space. It has wooden keys and a very nice keyboard action - I have piano lessons on a Steinway grand and have no difficulty switching between the two instruments. I highly recommend it.


Chris,
How the key action feel like? I read many reviews saying the NWX key are very heavy and not feel like real piano. How does it compare to the Steinway grand ?

I will prefer clp-645 because speaker should be better and it fit better in my living room. add decent sound system also cost more money.

Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2835080
04/04/19 03:17 AM
04/04/19 03:17 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 604
Toronto, Canada
T
thepianoplayer416 Online content
500 Post Club Member
thepianoplayer416  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 604
Toronto, Canada
Today I went to a piano store and the last few minutes before closing the salesman told me to try a Yamaha P-515. The label says the DP on display is sold. It has a different sound than the P-255 that it is replacing.

Besides having weighed keys with graded hammer, He pointed out the DP has the default Yamaha CFX piano sound. The second selection on the LCD display is the Bösendorfer sound. The salesman pointed out that Yamaha bought Bösendorfer and it is now a subsidiary of Yamaha. Having a Bösendorfer sound sound matters a lot because this Yamaha is trying to market a DP that sounds like an acoustic grand piano at an affordable price. Very few people can afford a Bösendorfer grand at home. If you buy the P-515 with the wooden stand and the foot pedals, it's still very affordable. Yamaha decided this is not going to be a hybrid with 88 hammers to keep the price down. You do get brass looking foot pedals and not plastic.

Next to it is a Korg G!-Air. This DP does have weighed keys but the keys has a smooth finish and a bright white color like cheap plastic.

Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2835084
04/04/19 03:33 AM
04/04/19 03:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,274
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
Tyrone Slothrop  Online Content


Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 4,274
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Today I went to a piano store and the last few minutes before closing the salesman told me to try a Yamaha P-515. The label says the DP on display is sold. It has a different sound than the P-255 that it is replacing.

Besides having weighed keys with graded hammer, He pointed out the DP has the default Yamaha CFX piano sound. The second selection on the LCD display is the Bösendorfer sound. The salesman pointed out that Yamaha bought Bösendorfer and it is now a subsidiary of Yamaha. Having a Bösendorfer sound sound matters a lot because this Yamaha is trying to market a DP that sounds like an acoustic grand piano at an affordable price. Very few people can afford a Bösendorfer grand at home. If you buy the P-515 with the wooden stand and the foot pedals, it's still very affordable. Yamaha decided this is not going to be a hybrid with 88 hammers to keep the price down. You do get brass looking foot pedals and not plastic.

Next to it is a Korg G!-Air. This DP does have weighed keys but the keys has a smooth finish and a bright white color like cheap plastic.

You may want to cross-post this on the digital forum, not because it is inappropriate here, but because over on the digital forum, you'll get a dozen people commenting on these particular pianos P255, P515 and the Korg, in response to your post. In particular, a lot of people want to discuss the P255 and P515 performance over on the digital forum because it is very popular.

BTW, in my opinion, it wouldn't make sense for the P515 to be made into a hybrid. Yamaha already has their hybrid line: NU1X, N1X, N2, and N3X. If the P515 became another Yamaha hybrid, it would cannibalize sales of the lowest end of these: the NU1X and N1X. Also, if you try the N1X, you'll find the action doesn't compare with the P515. The N1X really does feels like one of their Yamaha grands. In December, I tried the older N1, N2, and N3X in a Yamaha store, and found the action to be very similar to the action of the Yamaha grands that were in the store.


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Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: KL NY] #2835088
04/04/19 03:50 AM
04/04/19 03:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Cheshire Chris Offline
Full Member
Cheshire Chris  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Originally Posted by KL NY
Chris,
How the key action feel like? I read many reviews saying the NWX key are very heavy and not feel like real piano. How does it compare to the Steinway grand ?

I will prefer clp-645 because speaker should be better and it fit better in my living room. add decent sound system also cost more money.


The keyboards of the Steinway and the P-515 feel very similar to me. As I said in my previous post, I do all my practice on the P-515, but have my lessons on a Steinway, and have no issues at all switching between the two. It certainly feels "realistic" to me.

The CLP-645 certainly has more powerful speakers, but the P-515 is more than loud enough to play in a typical living room in a house. I've never had mine above half the maximum volume - I'd certainly be getting complaints from my neighbours if I were to play it at maximum volume!


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Need help digital vs acoustic piano [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2835092
04/04/19 04:05 AM
04/04/19 04:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Cheshire Chris Offline
Full Member
Cheshire Chris  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 304
Cheshire, UK
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
BTW, in my opinion, it wouldn't make sense for the P515 to be made into a hybrid. Yamaha already has their hybrid line: NU1X, N1X, N2, and N3X. If the P515 became another Yamaha hybrid, it would cannibalize sales of the lowest end of these: the NU1X and N1X.


It would also probably move it into a price bracket that would be out of the reach of most people, particularly learners. One of the main things that attracted me to the P-515 in the first place was the fact that it was an instrument with wooden keys and a decent action at two thirds the price of an equivalent cabinet piano.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.

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