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First piano: confused with choices
#2850760 05/21/19 01:52 PM
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Hi All,

I am getting a piano for my 9 year old son who will start playing it very soon. None of us in the family are piano players. Our town has no decent selection of pianos in one only store. So decision will be based on online reviews. After going through many reviews, we found many good ones which fit our budget: Korg G1 air at the upper end of budget to Casio PX870 to the lower end. I am aware of Yamaha YDP163, Casio AP470, Kawai KDP110, Roland 501. I am looking to get a piano with which my son does not outgrow in 5-6 years. If my son really takes up on piano learning with passion, I am planing to get him an acoustic upright in next few years.

I have some questions, and I would love to hear your feedback.

Which of these pianos will serve my purpose best at present for next few years? Probably all, but should I go with the ones at lower end or at higher end? Which piano would you get in $1500 range as once and all purchase for many years?

Which of these will have the best key action emulating an acoustic piano?

I have read that Korg G1 air has amazing sound. Does this feature matters for beginners? Or the sound of PX870 is equally good for novice ears?

Do pianos such as PX870 has "tinny" sound because of them being comparatively weaker in sound than Korg G1?

Would you advice that I go for a lower end right now and in couple of years get a better digital or acoustic if needed? Or would you recommend that I spend money to get best in my budget?



Thanks!

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850769 05/21/19 02:23 PM
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If you plan on buying an acoustic if it sticks I would not spend to much initially. A Casio PX series will work just fine. Spend $600 and start saving for an acoustic. If he dsn't continue to play you can sell it for little loss.

If he does he will be mostly playing acoustic and use the DP for silent practice.


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Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850775 05/21/19 02:36 PM
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Thanks! What is the model you recommend in $600 range?

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850778 05/21/19 02:59 PM
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If you want cheap and not bad …. Casio PX-160 …. upgrade after 2 years of use.

More expensive but much, much better and will be suitable for 5 years of study …. Kawai ES8.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: First piano: confused with choices
dmd #2850780 05/21/19 03:01 PM
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Thanks. What about Korg G1 air? Will it last 5 years of study? Or will my child outgrow it?

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850787 05/21/19 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger015
Thanks. What about Korg G1 air? Will it last 5 years of study? Or will my child outgrow it?


Never played one.

I have played an ES8 and the PX-160 so those are the ones I know.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850788 05/21/19 03:24 PM
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If you are looking to spend $1500 then I would highly recommend the Yamaha P-515. It’s a relatively new model with the latest technology and has the NWX action (wooden keys) found in the more expensive Clavinova series. The binaural CFX samples are great for headphones.


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Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850791 05/21/19 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger015
Thanks. What about Korg G1 air? Will it last 5 years of study? Or will my child outgrow it?

The RH3 in the Korg G1 Air is graded but only has 4 zones. If you want something your child will not outgrow in 5 years of piano lessons, you might want to pick something else.


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Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850794 05/21/19 03:28 PM
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I would suggest to rent an acoustic right away. Or get a decent 2nd hand (but that's difficult if you have no clue what to look for).

Because a DP is a great way to get bored with their sterile sound within hours.


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Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850816 05/21/19 04:32 PM
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I'm with Learux on this. Get a modest digital piano. If his interest holds and grows, then buy an acoustic.

Digital pianos hold little value, so if you sell the digital in five years to bring in the acoustic ... you cannot lose any more than the purchase price of that digital.
So ... I'd go no higher than that YDP163. Keep it well under $2000.

But that's just me. (If you did NOT plan on buying an acoustic I'd advise a much better digital.)

Re: First piano: confused with choices
MacMacMac #2850827 05/21/19 04:57 PM
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Thanks! If I decide not to buy acoustic at all in future, which digital piano I should get? Then I have budget till $2500 at present.

A problem is that most teachers in my town recommend either acoustic right away (may be they are not aware of new DPs) or getting an acoustic in a year or two.

On the other hand I know young pianists only with a digital piano at home (old Yamaha or Casio models). I am just confused.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I'm with Learux on this. Get a modest digital piano. If his interest holds and grows, then buy an acoustic.

Digital pianos hold little value, so if you sell the digital in five years to bring in the acoustic ... you cannot lose any more than the purchase price of that digital.
So ... I'd go no higher than that YDP163. Keep it well under $2000.

But that's just me. (If you did NOT plan on buying an acoustic I'd advise a much better digital.)

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850841 05/21/19 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger015
Thanks! If I decide not to buy acoustic at all in future, which digital piano I should get?


That doesn't change my suggestions ….

Originally Posted by dmd
If you want cheap and not bad …. Casio PX-160 …. upgrade after 2 years of use.

More expensive but much, much better and will be suitable for 5 years of study …. Kawai ES8.



Good Luck


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Mackie MIX 5 Compact Mixer.
Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850856 05/21/19 06:32 PM
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If you were to buy an acoustic ... what type would you be looking for and how much might you want to spend?
Originally Posted by tiger015
Thanks! If I decide not to buy acoustic at all in future, which digital piano I should get? Then I have budget till $2500 at present.
I ask that because you ask about NOT buying an acoustic and ONLY buying a digital.

The cheapest crap acoustic upright sells for around $4,000. And a decent one is a bit over $10,000.

So if you were to NOT buy an acoustic that would leave a LOT of loose change in your pocket. Wouldn't it?
If so I'd raise the $2,500 budget.

In the $3,000 to $4,000 range there's the Kawai CA98.
Not sure how much is a Yamaha CLP695, but likely in the $4,000-ish range. Does anyone know?

I've tried both. I especially liked the Yamaha.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850857 05/21/19 06:34 PM
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When I tested quite a few digital pianos I was very hopeful for the Korg G1 Air but was disappointed by both the sound and action.

I tested pretty much all of the ones you mentioned. I went with Casio AP-470. But I think the decision is too personal. If you really have to go buying without trying then if you want to stay on a low budget then the Casio 160. If you are happy to spend more now then the Yamaha 515 seems to have been well received by members of the forum who have gone for it.

My inclination would be to go cheap and for the Casio 160. Whatever the choice you make in the future you will minimise wasting money.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
MacMacMac #2850867 05/21/19 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

The cheapest crap acoustic upright sells for around $4,000. And a decent one is a bit over $10,000.


The cheapest crap acoustic uprights can be found free or nearly so on Craigslist. Whether they are worth the cost of moving is another question.

$4-5k can get you a 20-30-year-old Yamaha U3 reconditioned in Japan, which wouldn't be crap by any measure.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850980 05/22/19 05:27 AM
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In your situation I'd go for something like a $500 entry level piano like a Casio PX160 / S1000 or Yamaha P125. If your kid is still in business in 12-16 months,, you can upgrade to a Roland FP90, which is the DP in the 1.5k range whose action more closely matches acoustics (Kawai ES8 and Yamaha P515 are also great choices, it's pretty subjective, I just find them less similar to an acoustic in terms of action). If you prefer a "cabinet" piano to a slab, you can instead go for a Kawai CA98.

If you want to go for the FP90 / CA98 right away, go for it, there's nothing wrong with it - even if your kid will lose interest, you can still sell them for a decent amount of cash. There also is nothing wrong if you decide not to ever go acoustic, as these are pretty high end machines capable of giving great results. The only step higher than those are hybrid pianos, i.e. digitals with acoustic actions, but that's something for maybe 3-4 years down the line.

Also, don't believe what you read - go to stores and play pianos. If you can't play, ask the dealer to play something for you. I also recommend taking the teacher with you, so she/he can evaluate piano actions.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2850983 05/22/19 06:06 AM
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I always advice to get the best you can afford, because how good is the piano may and will affect how much satisfaction it will give to the player and for a child this may influence if he or she wants to continue learning. And as Hecarim said- you can always sell it without losing too much money.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2851010 05/22/19 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger015
Thanks! What is the model you recommend in $600 range?


A second hand digital piano released within the last 5 years.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2851230 05/22/19 05:21 PM
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Thanks. I guess I'll go for a low end weighted key one such as FP10.

Re: First piano: confused with choices
tiger015 #2851436 05/23/19 10:56 AM
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There are a LOT of people here who took a year or two of lessons as a child and have come back decades later. At age 9 there is no telling if your son will like music or not. At the beginning I would go with the get something in the low end crowd. He will not out grow it for at least two years unless he is a remarkable prodigy. Use a starter piano to see if he has the interest. If he doesn't you are not out much money. If he sticks it out you can upgrade to something better.


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A lack of talent does not stop you from learning piano. It just takes longer and you have to work harder.

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