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Looking for a compact keyboard #2855959 06/06/19 06:21 AM
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MikeSD Offline OP
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I'm looking for a compact keyboard for fingering practice and exercising. I'm just beginning to learn the piano at 73.

I have a DGX660 and an NP12. But I'm finding it hard to find a lot of time to practice. Both of these are too large for portable use.

I'd like to have a compact keyboard to have with me, most of the time. Something like one of the midi keyboards. But I dont want to have to connect to a computer to hear sound.

Requirements are easy. Finding one, no so.

1) full size piano keys
2) piano sound output
3) minimum 2 octave range
4) maximum 3 octave range

Worst case I guess I could use a midi controller with my tablet computer, but I was hoping there might be something that would allow me to practice without the computer. I need both the full size keys and sound output.

Suggestions?

Last edited by MikeSD; 06/06/19 06:23 AM.
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Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2855972 06/06/19 07:15 AM
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jamiecw Offline
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Hi Mike,

I think at the moment the best compact piano is the Casio PXS1000. Slim and light, has built-in speakers and sound (negating the use of a laptop) and can even be powered up by batteries.

Link below for your perusal:

https://www.casiomusicgear.com/products/privia-series/px-s1000

I think it would be hard to find anything better if your main requirement is portability.

J

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856006 06/06/19 09:21 AM
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anotherscott Online Content
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AFAIK, there is no board with 37 or fewer full size keys and built-in speakers. Could you use headphones? If so, you could look for a used Korg Triton Taktile 25 or Korg Micro-X, both of which should have piano sounds.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: jamiecw] #2856009 06/06/19 09:25 AM
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MikeSD Offline OP
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Nice portable but larger than I'm looking for, for my need. I already have a 61 key Yamaha. I'm trying to find something I can take with me, most of the time. A full size keyboard would remain home most of the time.

Ideally a 25 key DP piano, that I could toss in a backpack would be what I'm after. But everything I see is a midi controller that requires a computer.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856017 06/06/19 10:10 AM
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jamiecw Offline
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Oh I see - assuming then you are not looking for hammer type key action how about the Roland GO?

https://www.roland.com/uk/products/gopiano_go-61p/ it has 61 keys and I think they are close to full size. They are not weighted and will feel synth-like...

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856020 06/06/19 10:35 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Originally Posted by MikeSD
Requirements are easy. Finding one, no so.

1) full size piano keys
2) piano sound output
3) minimum 2 octave range
4) maximum 3 octave range

Yamaha Reface CP is a 3 octave keyboard with full-sized keys. It has speakers and does have an acoustical piano sound output that can be accessed through a special procedure. Keys are not weighted. Here is a thread on this keyboard.


[Linked Image]
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: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2856027 06/06/19 11:04 AM
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anotherscott Online Content
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Originally Posted by jamiecw
Oh I see - assuming then you are not looking for hammer type key action how about the Roland GO?

Still 61 keys, which is what he already has in the NP12. Not the "up to 37 keys" or "fit in a backpack" that he's looking for.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Yamaha Reface CP[/url] is a 3 octave keyboard with full-sized keys.

Those keys are not full-size.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2856050 06/06/19 11:34 AM
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Cheshire Chris Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MikeSD
Requirements are easy. Finding one, no so.

1) full size piano keys
2) piano sound output
3) minimum 2 octave range
4) maximum 3 octave range

Yamaha Reface CP is a 3 octave keyboard with full-sized keys. It has speakers and does have an acoustical piano sound output that can be accessed through a special procedure. Keys are not weighted. Here is a thread on this keyboard.


I’m afraid that’s incorrect; the Reface CP has mini keys, not full-size. It’s easy enough to get used to, and it’s a fabulous instrument, but the key size is something to be aware of.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2856053 06/06/19 11:42 AM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by MikeSD
Requirements are easy. Finding one, no so.

1) full size piano keys
2) piano sound output
3) minimum 2 octave range
4) maximum 3 octave range
Yamaha Reface CP is a 3 octave keyboard with full-sized keys. It has speakers and does have an acoustical piano sound output that can be accessed through a special procedure. Keys are not weighted. Here is a thread on this keyboard.
I’m afraid that’s incorrect; the Reface CP has mini keys, not full-size. It’s easy enough to get used to, and it’s a fabulous instrument, but the key size is something to be aware of.

I've been thinking about this for a travel keyboard. Is it that easy to adapt to the key size? Do you find yourself easily switching back and forth from a real piano keyboard to the Reface?

Since the Reface is 53 x 6 x 18 cm, I was thinking it could go in standard checked luggage which is typical about 27 x 21 x 14 in (68 x 54 x 36 cm). Have you tried taking yours on a plane yet?


[Linked Image]
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: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856097 06/06/19 01:33 PM
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Yes, I find it very easy to switch now. My “muscle memory” has no problem with the two different key sizes. There’s no problem at all carrying it in a suitcase. It’ll easily fit.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Cheshire Chris] #2856103 06/06/19 01:45 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online Content
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris
Yes, I find it very easy to switch now. My “muscle memory” has no problem with the two different key sizes. There’s no problem at all carrying it in a suitcase. It’ll easily fit.

I'm going to our Amsterdam flat in a few weeks as the launching point of a vacation. I'm thinking of picking up either a Reface or a GO-61P before I leave, to bring with me. The issue with the GO-61P is that because of its larger keys, I would need to put it in a duffle bag and also I should arrange some padding since it won't be a hard case, which means that unless I want to pay additional baggage charges, I should also put all my clothing in that duffel bag too. The Reface seems a bit more luggage-friendly.


[Linked Image]
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: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856114 06/06/19 02:38 PM
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Mobert Offline
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I have a Yamaha Reface CP. I really like it for learning songs that I can try on my Steinway Grand M or my Yamaha P-121. I have no problem switching between instruments. The Reface is great for playing in the car, on the sofa in front of the TV or in bed smile

The Reface works well with learning programs like Piano Marvel and I can switch octaves while playing so I am not limited to the three octaves.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856119 06/06/19 02:58 PM
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CyberGene Online Content
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The reface CP is great. It has mini keys but I have no problems switching between it and my N1X. But it needs getting used to.


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856233 06/07/19 01:42 AM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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One possibility:

. . . A synth with full-size keys, and a short keyboard.

They're available, used and new, in both 25- and 37-key versions.

If you're practicing finger exercises and such, anything _approaching_ a "piano sound" will be good enough. Any synth will have that, or let you make it up.

Two disadvantages:

a) they cost more than "keyboard-only" controllers;

b) Most of them are larger than "keyboard-only" controllers.

c) Most of them have no speakers, so it's "headphones only".

The size increase is front-to-back. Side-to-side, the number of keys determines the width, for most models.

I'm not going to suggest anything specific, there are too many possibilities.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856244 06/07/19 02:45 AM
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spanishbuddha Offline
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Numa Compact? But this won’t meet OP requirements if compact refers to length, and is a bit similar in form to the NP12.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856245 06/07/19 02:46 AM
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Cheshire Chris Offline
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I bought a Roland GO:PIANO 61-key keyboard thinking that it would be good for travel, but I returned it after a few days. It's very lightweight, but that's the problem with it. It feels like (and is) cheap plastic and the key action I found to be just awful.

The GO:PIANO looks like a proper piano but feels like a toy. The Reface CP looks like a toy, but is a solid and beautifully-built "serious" instrument. Given a choice I'd get the Reface CP any day.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Charles Cohen] #2856248 06/07/19 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
One possibility:

. . . A synth with full-size keys, and a short keyboard.

They're available, used and new, in both 25- and 37-key versions.

If you're practicing finger exercises and such, anything _approaching_ a "piano sound" will be good enough. Any synth will have that, or let you make it up.

Two disadvantages:

a) they cost more than "keyboard-only" controllers;

b) Most of them are larger than "keyboard-only" controllers.

c) Most of them have no speakers, so it's "headphones only".

The size increase is front-to-back. Side-to-side, the number of keys determines the width, for most models.

I'm not going to suggest anything specific, there are too many possibilities.



One thing to watch with the small synths is that many are analogue synths and have very limited polyphony, which restricts their utility for piano-style music. If you do go for a synth, make sure it's a "digital" synth with full polyphonic capabilities.


Chris

Yamaha P-515, Yamaha Reface CP.
Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: anotherscott] #2856257 06/07/19 04:01 AM
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MikeSD Offline OP
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Sure, I can use headphones. probably would prefer that.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: Charles Cohen] #2856258 06/07/19 04:08 AM
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MikeSD Offline OP
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Yeah, I agree. True piano isnt required for what I want it for. I just need sound as a gauge that I"m doing the exercises properly, and it helps check timing. A synthesizer might do the trick.

Re: Looking for a compact keyboard [Re: MikeSD] #2856322 06/07/19 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Numa Compact? But this won’t meet OP requirements if compact refers to length, and is a bit similar in form to the NP12.
Right, he already has a compact 61 and it's too big. He's looking for "maximum 3 octave range." Up to 37 keys. Something that could go in a backpack.

Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
One possibility:

. . . A synth with full-size keys, and a short keyboard.

They're available, used and new, in both 25- and 37-key versions.
...
c) Most of them have no speakers, so it's "headphones only".
Originally Posted by MikeSD
Sure, I can use headphones. probably would prefer that.


Looks like both of you missed my earlier post:

Quote
AFAIK, there is no board with 37 or fewer full size keys and built-in speakers. Could you use headphones? If so, you could look for a used Korg Triton Taktile 25 or Korg Micro-X, both of which should have piano sounds.


Originally Posted by MikeSD
Yeah, I agree. True piano isnt required for what I want it for. I just need sound as a gauge that I"m doing the exercises properly, and it helps check timing. A synthesizer might do the trick.

If you don't need a piano sound, then you can get 37 full-size keys in a Korg R3 or Alesis Micron... Alesis is a bit smaller, Korg is a bit lighter.

Those are the ones that come to mind... all discontinued, so you'd probably have to look for a used one on eBay or Reverb.

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