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Entry level piano for around €500? #2841947 04/24/19 12:03 PM
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CyberGene Offline OP
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Relatives asked me to recommend a piano for their kid who started learning piano. Price around €500. I’ve not been following latest entry level pianos but I recommended the regular ES110, FP30 which slightly exceed €500. And if really shouldn’t exceed that, then maybe FP10 or P45. Any other new piano on the market that I may be missing? I believe only the FP30 has triple sensor action so it has advantage over the others IMO.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
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Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2841953 04/24/19 12:39 PM
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I have a P115 that I bought specifically because it was a couple hundred dollars less than the FP30. It's not even remotely a bad piano, but I always regretted not going with the FP30 because I really did like it better. However, now that I'm getting ready to upgrade, I'm kind of glad I saved the couple hundred dollars. So, my thoughts are that any of them will needed to be upgraded within a couple years, so I'd go for a cheaper one... probably the P45 (or the P125).

Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2841957 04/24/19 12:49 PM
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A friend got the P125, he loves it. He’s 42 though smile

Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: Mosotti] #2841962 04/24/19 01:16 PM
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CyberGene Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mosotti
A friend got the P125, he loves it. He’s 42 though smile

Thanks. As a long time Yamaha rejecter (but current lover) I totally missed that. I listened to demos and it sounds best of them all. However I’m not sure GHS is very good, I’ve owned a KX8 with GHS and it was barely OK smile

So I’ve shortlisted it to FP-30, P125 and ES110.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2841986 04/24/19 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I believe only the FP30 has triple sensor action so it has advantage over the others IMO.


The FP-10 also has the PH4 Standard action just as the FP-30.

Then there are the new Casio CDP-S models, of course. Apparently the CDP-S100 has a very short decay which isn't such a big deal for a beginner. CDP-S350 might be better in that regard. But more pricey.

And then of course there are the usual Medelis (also as "Thomann", "Classic Cantabile"), Alesisis (Recital Pro), Dynatones (e.g. as "Steinmayer P-60") etc. which none of us have tried(?) and the cheap Korgs (like the B1) which people don't speak too fondly of here.

Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843732 04/30/19 09:50 AM
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CyberGene Offline OP
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I went by a music store today with the idea of testing entry level pianos. I tested Roland FP30, Yamaha P125, Yamaha P121, Yamaha P45, Casio CDP-S100, Casio PX-160. I have played all of these previously, but I never actually had interest so never focused on any real comparison of entry level pianos. (I also tested briefly a P515, CP88, Dexibell P7 and possibly others, can't remember everything).

Long story short: among the strictly entry level pianos FP30 is the best in action by a large margin. It was the only piano that I felt satisfying after having owned a N1X smile Which speaks a lot. And even as sound it was on par with the other best sound, that of the P125. However the Yamaha GHS is barely acceptable which makes the FP30 a winner. Don't get me wrong smile Of course it's amazing that we now have pianos for €500 that are all very convincing and I'm a too picky piano geek. IMO every entry level piano would work great for a beginner. But if I hat to choose one of those entry level pianos, it would be the FP30. It even supported string resonance!

Caveat: there was no ES110 in that store, however I've played ES110 many times in another store and I think FP30 is still the better machine. I'm not sure if FP30 has triple sensor action, I've read conflicting information but my test confirmed I can re-trigger keys without releasing fully, so most probably a triple-sensor action.

Some random observations:
- The key action in the CDP-S100 is pretty good. Indeed, it's almost impossible to play near the end of the keys but I actually never play that close to the fall board. My fingers are not so long though.
- The piano sound in the CDP-S100 is appalling. All Casio pianos there sounded terrible. But there were no PX-S1000/3000 pianos which should be much better in that respect.
- The key action in PX-160 is kind of too clicky or something. Didn't like it at all. The S100 is much better if it wasn't for the disgusting piano sound.
- The Fatar TP/100 action in the Dexibell P7 is great, with high dynamic weight. However I couldn't find the sounds convincing at all. BTW The Rhodes is especially bad which is surprising since there were only a few patches and all of them were weird.
- The P515 was the best of them all but it's not an entry level piano smile
- The CP88 - only tested the keyboard with the piano switched off. Very good action, maybe very close to the one in the P515 (if not the same).

Last edited by CyberGene; 04/30/19 09:52 AM.

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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843750 04/30/19 10:41 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Relatives asked me to recommend a piano for their kid who started learning piano. Price around €500. I’ve not been following latest entry level pianos but I recommended the regular ES110, FP30 which slightly exceed €500. And if really shouldn’t exceed that, then maybe FP10 or P45. Any other new piano on the market that I may be missing? I believe only the FP30 has triple sensor action so it has advantage over the others IMO.


A good solution here is the Casio CDP-S100.
In a blind test, it did surprisingly well:


Retails at £360 which should come under $500.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843752 04/30/19 10:48 AM
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CyberGene Offline OP
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Hmm, in the post just above yours I have dismissed the S100, based on playing it a few hours ago smile The keyboard action is very good but the piano sound is awful. I tested it through its speakers though.


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843785 04/30/19 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I went by a music store today with the idea of testing entry level pianos. I tested Roland FP30, Yamaha P125, Yamaha P121, Yamaha P45, Casio CDP-S100, Casio PX-160. I have played all of these previously, but I never actually had interest so never focused on any real comparison of entry level pianos. (I also tested briefly a P515, CP88, Dexibell P7 and possibly others, can't remember everything).

We have both an FP30 I use in Washington DC and an ES110 my wife uses in Amsterdam. Personally, I think the action of the FP30 is better and the sound of the ES110 is better. In fact, I hate the sound of the FP30, but that discussion belongs in a Pianoteq thread. wink


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"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843931 04/30/19 10:04 PM
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Did you have opportunity to play the FP-10?
While I was testing the P-515 (which I eventually bought, despite being unimpressed the first time I played it), I was really amazed at how good that little barebones keyboard is. I've played the FP-30 quite a bit, and I liked the FP-10 better. Supposedly they both have the same action/sound generator. I really don't think so. Even though the FP10's speakers are lower wattage, I found the first piano sounded better on it vs. the FP-30. Very surprising.

I don't know about other regions, but here in Canada the P-125 and the FP-10 are priced at $750 and $700 respectively. Both represent excellent values. The FP-30 sells for $1,000. While the sound on the P-125 is very good for such an inexpensive DP, the keys are slippery, non-textured, old school plastic. The action (as already noted) is GHS.

I would highly recommend the FP-10 for a beginner. Nice action, good enough piano sound.

Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843996 05/01/19 04:04 AM
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CyberGene Offline OP
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What are the actual differences between FP30 and FP10?


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843997 05/01/19 04:10 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
What are the actual differences between FP30 and FP10?

Here's the comparison table. If you are going to use it for jamming/gigging as previously mentioned, I think you would prefer the FP30 since it isn't that much more expensive. Thomann's only charges 57€ more for the FP30 over the FP10 - only a 10-12% difference.


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Entry level piano for around €500? [Re: CyberGene] #2843998 05/01/19 04:16 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Hmm, in the post just above yours I have dismissed the S100, based on playing it a few hours ago smile The keyboard action is very good but the piano sound is awful. I tested it through its speakers though.


That's the problem you're going to have right there: if you get the FP10 based upon YouTube recordings and your experience of the FP30, you might find the FP10 speakers are awful too.
Probably in that case, a used FP30 or ES100 might be the better option.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand

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