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Only took a year to choose a DP! #2892939
09/22/19 07:24 AM
09/22/19 07:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
C
CoJac Offline OP
Full Member
CoJac  Offline OP
Full Member
C

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
Hi everyone,

I set out this time last year to choose a DP and finally placed an order yesterday! I really knew nothing at the time but this site gas given me loads of great info and ideas of what to try.

To give some background, I would say I play to a reasonably advanced standard, although certainly not a professional level, and I have owned a grand piano for the last 10 years. I now have a beautiful 2yr old daughter and the piano hasn't had much playing in that time. I work full time and the only spare time I really have now is when she is sleeping! We are also moving house and finding something that can accommodate a grand was difficult. I therefore decided to sell the grand and get a good digital that will take up less space and allow me to play with headphones.

I managed to try everything on my list except the novus which I couldn't find anywhere locally. So in the end I tried the following:

Casio - GP300 and GP500
Kawai - CS11 and CA98
Roland - LX17, LX706 and LX708
Yamaha - CLP685, NU1X and N1X

Before I started out I thought Kawai would be my favorite. This was based on the fact I like Kawai acoustic pianos and listening to demos online. I think the main thing I have realised is listening to a recording is somehow nothing like playing the piano yourself! The one's that sounded best on YouTube etc were actually my least favorite to play.

I loved the GF2 action of the Kawais. It felt very easy switching between this and my grand. I tried the CS11 first and I liked it but was aware it had the old sound engine. I particularly like the concealed control panel. It really looked like an acoustic with that! I then went back when they got the CA98 in and i didn't like it as much! I found the pianist mode too over he top with the resonance. I also found the way the notes sustained to sound unnatural. Especially loud bass notes. Hard to describe but I couldn't shake the feeling when playing.

Next I tried the Casio. I was really impressed with the action. I think its fair to put this in the same class as the GF2 but I really thought this felt a bit more realistic. Didn't have the same mushy feeling. The sounds here were better in person that the recordings I'd heard. It kinda had the opposite problem from the kawai in that it decayed a bit too quickly. I didn't really notice it in normal playing though. It did also take a bit of fiddling with scene settings to get it how I liked. I would recommend the Debussy setting for anyone trying it!

Next was the Roland LX17. To be honest I didn't really like anything about it. The keys felt a bit springy. I know many people love the PHA50 but I really couldn't get used to it at all. I also really didn't like the sound. It was probably my least favorite of everything I tried. I went back when the LX700 series came out and I'm glad I did! I actually can't believe how much they changed here. IMO the new action easily competes with the GF2 and Casio. I think the Casio still edges it but I would be happy any of the three. I also think the sound here was improved. I agree with people's description's of the sound being 'far away'. I managed to fix it a bit with lid settings. Over all I was impressed but there was something about the sound that wasn't quite right to me. I also felt the speakers weren't up to the task. They were fine up to about 60 but over this they didn't sound good to me.

The first yamaha i tried was the CLP685. Again I wasn't impressed. To me the keys don't feel like any piano I have ever played. Again i loved the sound of this on YouTube but felt a total disconnect when playing. Next was the nu1x. The action felt very realistic but I could definitely tell it was an upright action. I think if I didn't have a grand I would have loved this but I just couldn't quite get comfortable on it. I know its the same cfx sound as the clp685 but I preferred it on this for some reason. I did come across the loud note issue but this was before the fix so can't comment if it is better now. Last was the
n1x. The action was great. Could feel the whole mechanism working. My only criticism is it felt a bit sluggish. I also wasn't keen on the cfx here either! That said the bosendorfer was beautiful! I could play that all day. I also tried headphones here to hear the famous binaural sample. I put it the bosendorfer first and was quite happy. I then switched to cfx and i agree the difference is huge. You couldn't go back to the bosendorfer after the cfx. The only other thing that could have been better is the speakers. I had it up full and still wanted a bit more. This could be how it was positioned in store. It also sounded a bit distant in a way the nu1x didn't.

If everything was the same price I would probably have went for the n1x. It really is great but it wasn't perfect. It was also 2 or 3 tines the price of the others. So I narrowed my list to the Roland LX708 and the Casio GP500. Before I started out i wouldn't have believed these were my final two!

I went back yesterday for a final try. I had seen some setting to try or the Roland to improve the sound. I tried these but still couldn't get it how I like. I then went and tried the Casio. It sounded weird at first but i realised the promotional stuff on top was to blame! It was blocking the speakers and it was much better when I moved it. I like all 3 sounds but IMO the hamburg is the weakest. Nice when played at volume but lacking below mf. Each are definitely suited to different pieces. I know the new models are coming but there doesn't look like much improvement and there is a big price hike.

So, I took plunge and ordered the Casio GP500! I think its a great instrument and I got it for a great price.

Thanks again to everyone here for all the great info and sorry for the long post!!

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Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2892949
09/22/19 07:52 AM
09/22/19 07:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,305
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
2000 Post Club Member
johnstaf  Online Crying
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,305
Dublin
All of the pianos on your list are great, so you couldn't really go wrong. I'm glad you found your favourite.

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2892961
09/22/19 08:20 AM
09/22/19 08:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,198
Sofia, Bulgaria
CyberGene Offline
4000 Post Club Member
CyberGene  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,198
Sofia, Bulgaria
You did exactly the right thing: tested many pianos patiently. And you described their cons and pros in a very unbiased way. Ultimately you made the best choice. Congrats!


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: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2892963
09/22/19 08:29 AM
09/22/19 08:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,861
P
Pete14 Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Pete14  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,861
I noticed the mushy feel in the GF1 (never tried the GF2). I also felt it was unrealistically easy and light to play. I much preferred the PHA-50, but now having the P-515, I prefer its ‘heavier’ action overall.
I felt the slight ‘sluggishness’ attributed to the AvantGrands, but then again, my sluggish might be another person’s swift. Obviously, this applies to all my preferences; including drenching my hotdogs in peanut butter.
The Casio GP has taken a beating ‘round here, but this seems to be associated more with the ‘hybrid’ denomination than the overall quality of the instrument. All in all people seem to be generally happy with this instrument, not to mention all the money they save over something like the N1X.

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2892969
09/22/19 08:41 AM
09/22/19 08:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
London
P Twamley Offline
Junior Member
P Twamley  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
London
Well done you! It does not surprise me at all that it took you a year to decide ,on as it has taken me even longer and I still have not decided ,I was very biased towards to 685 but did not like the noisy action, however I did not try the Casio, probably I should not have just missed it ,I shall try and next time I go into this store.
The search is still ongoing.

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: P Twamley] #2893127
09/22/19 03:04 PM
09/22/19 03:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
C
CoJac Offline OP
Full Member
CoJac  Offline OP
Full Member
C

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
Thanks for the replies!

Originally Posted by P Twamley
Well done you! It does not surprise me at all that it took you a year to decide ,on as it has taken me even longer and I still have not decided ,I was very biased towards to 685 but did not like the noisy action, however I did not try the Casio, probably I should not have just missed it ,I shall try and next time I go into this store.
The search is still ongoing.


Take your time and try them more than once! I went back a few times to try each and my choice changed along the way!

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2893280
09/23/19 03:12 AM
09/23/19 03:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 100
I
iLogic Offline
Full Member
iLogic  Offline
Full Member
I

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 100
Congratulations! That’s a great piano you’ve chosen.

I did something similar and tried all of the above for at least a year as well. Then I bought the CA98 and replaced it with the NU1X three weeks later haha. Even though I love the NU1X, the limitation of not being able to play trills fast enough due to the upright action is somewhat bothersome to me, but expected of course.

Have fun!

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2893306
09/23/19 06:49 AM
09/23/19 06:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 9
Slovenia
5penguins Offline
Junior Member
5penguins  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 9
Slovenia
Congratulations and enjoy it! Now what about the headphones? Which ones do you have?

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2893483
09/23/19 05:56 PM
09/23/19 05:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
C
CoJac Offline OP
Full Member
CoJac  Offline OP
Full Member
C

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 58
Glasgow, Scotland
I've not got as far as headphones yet! In store they gave me AKG K175 to try. Liked the sound but prefer over ear to on ear. Also wanted to open back ones. I've not tried open ones but like the idea. Been searching on here for suggestions but not got too far yet. Anything you would recommend?

Re: Only took a year to choose a DP! [Re: CoJac] #2893542
09/23/19 09:58 PM
09/23/19 09:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,599
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,599
Hamamatsu, Japan
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these pianos CoJac, congrats on your new Casio!

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019

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