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Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: MacMacMac] #2834639
04/03/19 04:02 AM
04/03/19 04:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 305
Cheshire, UK
Cheshire Chris Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Chris, the problem with Yamaha is that they hide the differences.

The samples on the CLP635 / CLP645 / CLP675 / CLP685 / CLP665 / CLP695 / P515 seem to be the same according to the manual.

But the sample memory size will differ by product tier.
The only way to (possibly) see the differences is to read the service manual.
Given Yamaha's Clav history I'd gamble that those seven models exhibit between three and five different sample memory sizes.


I'm sure you're right, Mac. I spent a long time in the piano showroom before buying my P-515, playing both it and the CLP-645, and to me they felt and sounded identical, hence my decision to buy the P-515 at £1200 rather than the CLP-645 at £1900. The CLP-635 had a distinctly inferior feel (the same GHA action as my DGX660), and I didn't like the feel of the CLP-675 at all (too heavy). The CLP-685 was out of my price range.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
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Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2834652
04/03/19 04:51 AM
04/03/19 04:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,757
Europe
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Sample memory tells us nothing about the qualities of an instrument. I own 50 GBs of samples recorded from a not-that-great Steinway grand. Pianoteq OTOH barely has any samples, because it's based on physical modeling - with mixed results as well.

Both my digital pianos sound great. The Kawai ES100 achieves this with dozens of MBs, instead of GBs. I don't know how much memory the Yamaha P-515 has, but the CFX, Binaural CFX and the Bösendorfer provide very convincing results. So how does the service manual help me assessing the sound?


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2834657
04/03/19 05:24 AM
04/03/19 05:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,159
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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We're not comparing disparate sample sets here.
In this case we're comparing the samples taken from the SAME source, but cut down differently to fit the various price points of a series of pianos.
So the difference in sample size is indeed meaningful.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2834659
04/03/19 05:29 AM
04/03/19 05:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
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Europe
JoeT Offline
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Meaningful in what way? It isn't the case that I play the CFX to stop in the middle and think: "At this measure a 100 MB extra memory would have done better."

So what are we looking for?


Yamaha P-515 | Kawai ES100 | Steinberg UR22 | Sony MDR-7506
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Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Charles Cohen] #2834707
04/03/19 08:25 AM
04/03/19 08:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
IMHO, learning to play better -- with lessons or coaching -- would be better than a MIDI velocity filter.

I found that velocity control on a spring-loaded keyboard was difficult, compared to a weighted keyboard. But I grew up with an acoustic piano.


Undoubtedly.

If I look at velocity numbers in the DAW during/after playing, they are all over the place. So, while a good player can definitely use an un- or semi- weighted keyboard as a piano, they are not really a good substitute for the weighted action of a piano keyboard.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2835195
04/04/19 09:57 AM
04/04/19 09:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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I had stopped considering Roland because I could not find any instruments to test in the couple of stores I visited. However, today, I called up the Roland India distributor asking about a demo. I was told that the RP300 series instruments with the Ivory Feel G action are possibly available at the local Music Shack. For the PHA 4 action, an FP10 can probably be tested at Shalu Music (Fort, Mumbai).

What's interesting is that I spent an hour, a couple of weeks back, at the Yamaha Music Station run by Music Shack literally next door to their regular store and was never told about it. Perhaps the distributor is operating on the basis of outdated information.

Now, I have been unable to come up with a preference, action-wise, across all the instruments I have played. So, I doubt if two more actions will make a difference. However, the biggest single issue with Roland might be their servicing policy. While I was told that they haven't received a single faulty FP30 to date, if something does go wrong within the warranty period, I will have to arrange for the pickup and delivery of the instrument to Mumbai and that isn't something I am willing to do.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2835582
04/05/19 08:30 AM
04/05/19 08:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
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Vishal Pant Offline
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Originally Posted by kj85
I had stopped considering Roland because I could not find any instruments to test in the couple of stores I visited. However, today, I called up the Roland India distributor asking about a demo. I was told that the RP300 series instruments with the Ivory Feel G action are possibly available at the local Music Shack. For the PHA 4 action, an FP10 can probably be tested at Shalu Music (Fort, Mumbai).

What's interesting is that I spent an hour, a couple of weeks back, at the Yamaha Music Station run by Music Shack literally next door to their regular store and was never told about it. Perhaps the distributor is operating on the basis of outdated information.

Now, I have been unable to come up with a preference, action-wise, across all the instruments I have played. So, I doubt if two more actions will make a difference. However, the biggest single issue with Roland might be their servicing policy. While I was told that they haven't received a single faulty FP30 to date, if something does go wrong within the warranty period, I will have to arrange for the pickup and delivery of the instrument to Mumbai and that isn't something I am willing to do.


Hey Kj85, may I ask, which city you are based in? I am having a really tough time here in Bangalore. First thing, almost no store had FP-30 here for demo. Eventually, I did find one, but unfortunately, that was the only piece they had. And their price was also ridiculous, INR 77K. Then I called around 5-6 stores here, and finally found one dealer who was willing to offer it at INR 61K. I placed the order a week ago, but it seems the FP-30 did not want this to happen :p. Yesterday, the owner called me and told that they received a damaged piece, most likely due to shipping (it was shipped from Mumbai), and that they have returned it. He also mentioned that it will take another six months before they can arrange for another piece.

So, you see, there is something seriously weird with the way Roland works in India. Models are not available for demo, overwhelming pricing of the products, and taking forever to stock.
I am now planning to go with P-125, as Yamaha has a dedicated showroom here, and have the products for demo as well.

Last edited by Vishal Pant; 04/05/19 08:31 AM. Reason: Typo
Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Vishal Pant] #2835649
04/05/19 10:34 AM
04/05/19 10:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Vishal Pant
Hey Kj85, may I ask, which city you are based in?


Pune. And, like I said, I am wary of Roland due to their servicing policy.

Originally Posted by Vishal Pant
taking forever to stock.


Yeah. The distributor's rep told me that it would be another month before the FP30 is restocked.

Originally Posted by Vishal Pant
I am now planning to go with P-125, as Yamaha has a dedicated showroom here, and have the products for demo as well.


Yamaha and Casio seem like safe choices to me because both have service centers in Pune. For the Kawai, the rep in Mumbai told me that the technician comes to the site to fix issues, if any. But I will confirm this with them if I decide to go with a Kawai instrument.

Did you visit the Kawai showroom in Bangalore to check out the ES110? One problem with Kawai is that they are priced 15-20% above UK prices.

(I responded to your comment in the FP30 thread, in case you missed it).

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2836197
04/06/19 06:10 PM
04/06/19 06:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 605
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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When I got an older model Yamaha P-95 a while ago and is not looking to upgrade unless the keyboard breaks down. It has reasonable 88 weighed keys. I had a few keyboards before including a Yamaha PSR-500 with 61 and a Roland with 76 keys soft touch keys.

The Roland was breaking down and at some point got myself a P-95 and never looked back. It's not the highest model in the Yamaha line but an 88 with an affordable price is the main consideration. I am not a professional musician and play regularly as a hobby. Having at least 76 keys was a consideration but very few 76 keyboards have weighed keys. Whether you get into technical pieces or Classical music, having a keyboard with weighed keys is an plus when you can switch easily switch from a DP to an acoustic piano because the touch is similar.

My first PSR keyboard had the label "Concert Grand" on it but the sound is nowhere like a concert grand. The Yamaha Nu-1 hybrid has the hammer action of an acoustic piano but the sound is still a bit off. Don't expect a DP to sound like an acoustic and be happy I can practice late at night living in an apartment with the volume down or headphones. If I want a good acoustic sound, I can go to a few places in the city and borrow or rent an acoustic for a few hours for a small fee. For the rest don't expect a perfect sound as long as I can practice at home.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2848730
05/16/19 10:11 AM
05/16/19 10:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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Talked to the Kawai distributor today to get some clarifications.

1. Digital pianos have a ONE year warranty. Beyond that, you need to pay for repairs.
2. A Kawai-trained technician comes to your place to service the instrument. I am not sure if this is applicable only to people living in places where Theme Piano World has a presence (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Calcutta, Goa) or applies India-wide. But it works for me.

I was considering the VPC1, MP7SE and the MP11SE as the "furniture" is somewhat optional for me. Unfortunately, these are not "standard" models that people tend to buy, which means they have to be specially ordered. And this means they are priced at a significant premium. The VPC1 is priced like a CA48 while the MPs are priced like entry-level uprights. That's a 50+% markup over UK prices.

They make the CLP645 with a $2500 list price look like an attractive option.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2848858
05/16/19 02:37 PM
05/16/19 02:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 567
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Jethro Offline
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Originally Posted by kj85
Talked to the Kawai distributor today to get some clarifications.

1. Digital pianos have a ONE year warranty. Beyond that, you need to pay for repairs.
2. A Kawai-trained technician comes to your place to service the instrument. I am not sure if this is applicable only to people living in places where Theme Piano World has a presence (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Calcutta, Goa) or applies India-wide. But it works for me.

I was considering the VPC1, MP7SE and the MP11SE as the "furniture" is somewhat optional for me. Unfortunately, these are not "standard" models that people tend to buy, which means they have to be specially ordered. And this means they are priced at a significant premium. The VPC1 is priced like a CA48 while the MPs are priced like entry-level uprights. That's a 50+% markup over UK prices.

They make the CLP645 with a $2500 list price look like an attractive option.


Wow with those prices especially on the slabs. I am a hobbyist and I work on advanced piano pieces. I have to say I have found the VPC-1 an absolute godsend and one of the best digital piano purchases I have made to go along with my acoustic grand. It is a joy to play and any half decent hobbyist will find the VPC-1 meets their needs as an acoustic piano substitute. My playing has actually improved because of the extra time I get to practice with the headphones on and the ability to stay 100% focused rather than worried about what another listener may hear as I iron out difficult passages. Hopefully you will find a DP that meets your need. As far as the OP question, yes the action of a DP would/should matter to any serious hobbyist.

Last edited by Jethro; 05/16/19 02:38 PM.
Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Jethro] #2848882
05/16/19 03:10 PM
05/16/19 03:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 121
Danmark
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Morten Olsson Offline
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by kj85
Talked to the Kawai distributor today to get some clarifications.

1. Digital pianos have a ONE year warranty. Beyond that, you need to pay for repairs.
2. A Kawai-trained technician comes to your place to service the instrument. I am not sure if this is applicable only to people living in places where Theme Piano World has a presence (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Calcutta, Goa) or applies India-wide. But it works for me.

I was considering the VPC1, MP7SE and the MP11SE as the "furniture" is somewhat optional for me. Unfortunately, these are not "standard" models that people tend to buy, which means they have to be specially ordered. And this means they are priced at a significant premium. The VPC1 is priced like a CA48 while the MPs are priced like entry-level uprights. That's a 50+% markup over UK prices.

They make the CLP645 with a $2500 list price look like an attractive option.


Wow with those prices especially on the slabs. I am a hobbyist and I work on advanced piano pieces. I have to say I have found the VPC-1 an absolute godsend and one of the best digital piano purchases I have made to go along with my acoustic grand. It is a joy to play and any half decent hobbyist will find the VPC-1 meets their needs as an acoustic piano substitute. My playing has actually improved because of the extra time I get to practice with the headphones on and the ability to stay 100% focused rather than worried about what another listener may hear as I iron out difficult passages. Hopefully you will find a DP that meets your need. As far as the OP question, yes the action of a DP would/should matter to any serious hobbyist.


Sorry to hijack the thread but Jethro - what VST did you end up playing the most and do you use the predefined vst specific velocity curve for it ? My very own VPC1 will be arriving in less than a week smile

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Jethro] #2849150
05/17/19 08:16 AM
05/17/19 08:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Jethro
I have found the VPC-1 an absolute godsend

Could have made it work if not for the absurd pricing. I can easily repurpose one of many PCs around the house to function as a VST host machine.

Originally Posted by Jethro
Hopefully you will find a DP that meets your need.

Frankly, the selection process is turning into a chore.

Another 3-4 months and I should be able to pick up a CLP645/CN27/CN37/CA48 but I am seriously wondering if there is any point in paying for the speakers and furniture if I am going to be using VSTs in any case. That said, the ability to sit at the console and start playing isn't something that can be discounted easily.

It is very tempting to simply pick up an entry level piano with weighted keys such as a Casio CDP 135, Yamaha P45 or even a PX-160, connect it to the computer, get going and revisit the subject in a year or two depending on the progress I have made.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2849157
05/17/19 08:50 AM
05/17/19 08:50 AM
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Posts: 34
New York
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KL NY Offline
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Originally Posted by kj85
Originally Posted by Jethro
I have found the VPC-1 an absolute godsend

Could have made it work if not for the absurd pricing. I can easily repurpose one of many PCs around the house to function as a VST host machine.

Originally Posted by Jethro
Hopefully you will find a DP that meets your need.

Frankly, the selection process is turning into a chore.

Another 3-4 months and I should be able to pick up a CLP645/CN27/CN37/CA48 but I am seriously wondering if there is any point in paying for the speakers and furniture if I am going to be using VSTs in any case. That said, the ability to sit at the console and start playing isn't something that can be discounted easily.

It is very tempting to simply pick up an entry level piano with weighted keys such as a Casio CDP 135, Yamaha P45 or even a PX-160, connect it to the computer, get going and revisit the subject in a year or two depending on the progress I have made.


To me sit at the console and start playing is more important than better sound from VST setup, reason being, it give me a feeling i'm playing on piano instead of "keyboard". Also, the setup is much cleaner and simpler, no extra speaker, speaker, wires, computer, etc..

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: KL NY] #2849186
05/17/19 10:16 AM
05/17/19 10:16 AM
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Posts: 41
India
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kj85 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by KL NY
it give me a feeling i'm playing on piano instead of "keyboard". Also, the setup is much cleaner and simpler, no extra speaker, speaker, wires, computer, etc..


I agree. As long as the action and the sound is satisfactory, you don't have to waste valuable time fiddling with cables and temperamental software.

But... if you were (like me) going to do that in any case, the midi controller aspect becomes important. Not only do I want to play the piano, but I also want to be able to record the performance if I feel like it.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2849194
05/17/19 10:35 AM
05/17/19 10:35 AM
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kj85 Offline OP
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Here are some videos of pianist Evgeniy Rudakov playing classical music pieces on the Casio CDP 130.

1. Chopin Etude op.25 no.11 "Winter Wind"



2. Frédéric Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu - Op.66



3. Shostakovich Prelude op.34 no.2



4. Beethoven, Sonata No. 21


Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2849224
05/17/19 11:46 AM
05/17/19 11:46 AM
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Posts: 21
London, United Kingdom
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The slow part of Fantasie: Impromptu should be attached to every message containing "BUY THE BEST ACTION YOU CAN AFFORD". This is why.

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Hecarim] #2849270
05/17/19 01:23 PM
05/17/19 01:23 PM
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kj85 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hecarim
The slow part of Fantasie: Impromptu should be attached to every message containing "BUY THE BEST ACTION YOU CAN AFFORD". This is why.


Are you referring to the part after the slowdown around the 80-90 second mark? I have heard Rubinstein play it quite softly whereas Rudakov isn't doing that (it sounds very loud to me). Are you saying this is because the action of the CDP 130 doesn't allow for it?

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: kj85] #2849367
05/17/19 06:06 PM
05/17/19 06:06 PM
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London, United Kingdom
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Hecarim Offline
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Originally Posted by kj85
Originally Posted by Hecarim
The slow part of Fantasie: Impromptu should be attached to every message containing "BUY THE BEST ACTION YOU CAN AFFORD". This is why.


Are you referring to the part after the slowdown around the 80-90 second mark? I have heard Rubinstein play it quite softly whereas Rudakov isn't doing that (it sounds very loud to me). Are you saying this is because the action of the CDP 130 doesn't allow for it?


Yes, the moderato cantabile from around 1:15. This is one of my all-time fav pieces and I've listened to it in so many versions, from the big names to randomers on YT, and the beautiful thing is seeing the different approach and interpretation people give to it, irrespective of their technical level.

It indeed sounds quite loud compared to what you usually hear. The P130 and any other entry level piano do offer the opportunity to play gently, but in **my** opinion it's a lot more difficult compared to a proper acoustic or even an ES8 / FP90. I can imagine the way he plays is partially due to his style, but I also bet it's due to the fact he might not be able to control his touch as well as on the $100k+ pianos he plays day in and day out. Even if we ignore that bit, just the overall effect of the piece is not there, it lacks cohesiveness between the notes, it lacks bass, reverb, sustain. And we're talking about a beast, one that plays piano for a living. Ironically, I think someone who's never played an acoustic and plays digital only could get a better result than that (assuming he gets to that level) because he'll get used to that type of keyboard.

I'll give you a personal example - I found the entry levels especially painful to play stuff like Einaudi, Yiruma, etc., as they often require a soft touch and to really feel dem notes. Can you make people happy by playing those? YES, big time. Can you please yourself? I can't. I was so frustrated when I got my PX160, I was like "why the %&@$ am I not able to voice this the way I want to, whilst yesterday on that upright in the store I was???". For good or for bad I'm used to acoustics and this is the result. I'm not a professional and the quality of my instrument does make a difference in terms of the level of music I can produce. Nor I want to get used to a PX160 because I want to improve my technique on something that gives me more expressive options and it's either an acoustic or feels tremendously like it (hybrid).

Re: Would the action of a DP matter to a hobbyist? + Options [Re: Hecarim] #2849449
05/18/19 12:38 AM
05/18/19 12:38 AM
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Originally Posted by Hecarim
Originally Posted by kj85
Originally Posted by Hecarim
The slow part of Fantasie: Impromptu should be attached to every message containing "BUY THE BEST ACTION YOU CAN AFFORD". This is why.


Are you referring to the part after the slowdown around the 80-90 second mark? I have heard Rubinstein play it quite softly whereas Rudakov isn't doing that (it sounds very loud to me). Are you saying this is because the action of the CDP 130 doesn't allow for it?


Even if we ignore that bit, just the overall effect of the piece is not there, it lacks cohesiveness between the notes, it lacks bass, reverb, sustain. And we're talking about a beast, one that plays piano for a living. Ironically, I think someone who's never played an acoustic and plays digital only could get a better result than that (assuming he gets to that level) because he'll get used to that type of keyboard.


One thing you _can't_ hide on a DP, in slow sections, is too-short sustain. Pedalling will help, but a good player will not make the sound "muddy", and won't use too much reverb. So you can hear the notes dying out, just a little too quickly. I'd call it a problem with the sound generator, not with the action.

This is one place where more-expensive DP's tend to be better than cheaper ones. It's why I got Pianoteq, instead of using my PX-350's built-in voices.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 05/18/19 12:41 AM.

. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
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Do you fall in love a lot?
by Sibylle. 05/21/19 04:42 PM
What's Hot!!
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