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What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
#2914036 11/20/19 01:49 AM
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Been playing for about 20 years. I’ve had a Yamaha Clavinova for almost that entire time and it’s spoiled the heck out of me. The only thing is the speakers aren’t what they used to be and it doesn’t function as a MIDI controller anymore and I love playing sample based plug ins.

Since I haven’t been in the market for so long I was wondering what some of the best 88 key digital pianos out right now would be.

I also am lost when it comes to the best studio monitors that pair well with digital pianos (and some production) so some insight there would also be appreciated.

Price isn’t too much of a factor as this is gonna be a very long term purchase (hopefully)

Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914051 11/20/19 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by micdes1
. . .

Price isn’t too much of a factor as this is gonna be a very long term purchase (hopefully)


. . . Do you have a budget?

If not, there are a bunch of happy Yamaha N3 / N3X owners here. (I am not one of them.)

. . . "Best" is rarely inexpensive.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 11/20/19 03:49 AM.

. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914054 11/20/19 03:51 AM
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Hi micdes1.

There won't be a consensus here about what the best digital piano is. What kind of piano do you want? Are you looking for a console-type piano like your Clavinova or do you want something fancier that mimics the looks and feel of acoustic upright and grand pianos? Or do you prefer something more portable and space saving like a slab piano that you put on a stand? There are truly great options in all these categories.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914058 11/20/19 04:17 AM
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I think the Yamaha N3X is the best. There is no equivalent. But the price is unique, too.


My pianos : Kawai ES8, Yamaha N1X
Headphone : Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 Ω
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914060 11/20/19 04:21 AM
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micdes1 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by micdes1
. . .

Price isn’t too much of a factor as this is gonna be a very long term purchase (hopefully)


. . . Do you have a budget?

If not, there are a bunch of happy Yamaha N3 / N3X owners here. (I am not one of them.)

. . . "Best" is rarely inexpensive.



Yea I should’ve specified. Never even thought of $10k+ as being an option lol. I’d say no higher than the $2500-3000 range.

Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914062 11/20/19 04:30 AM
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Have you been to the shops yet? Do so, and see what they have to offer.

Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
johanibraaten #2914071 11/20/19 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by johanibraaten
Hi micdes1.

There won't be a consensus here about what the best digital piano is. What kind of piano do you want? Are you looking for a console-type piano like your Clavinova or do you want something fancier that mimics the looks and feel of acoustic upright and grand pianos? Or do you prefer something more portable and space saving like a slab piano that you put on a stand? There are truly great options in all these categories.


Ideally I’m looking for something that would feel like playing an acoustic piano (super important to me since I play a decent amount of classical), with a great library that lets you customize and save sounds (most importantly high quality sampled pianos since VSTs cover the rest pretty well), that is relatively portable (doesn’t have to be 15lbs just as long as I don’t need a team to move it) ideally with a purchasable dedicated stand, something under the $3k preferably as I didn’t know when I posted this that there were so many super keyboards out there. Oh and last but not least I would want it to work well as a midi controller, perhaps even with dedicated controls.

I began my hunt yesterday and tried out a Roland RD-2000 and I loved it as it kinda checked all the boxes but I don’t want to jump the gun until I know more.

Hope all that doesn’t sound too picky.

Thanks btw for breaking down the categories that should help narrow the search.

Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914076 11/20/19 05:41 AM
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The RD-2000 is a definitely a contender.

I would also take a look at the Kawai MP11SE and Kawai VPC1 (controller only, no built-in sounds), along with the Yamaha CP88.

Kind regards,
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
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914082 11/20/19 06:03 AM
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From what I have read often in this forum, given the level of perfectionism most here have (I do note exclude myself BTW), I would say the BEST digital piano is made by either Steinway, Shigeru Kaway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, (put your favorite manufacturer here). I mean the digital variety where digital comes from the player's digits. smile


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
Kawai James #2914086 11/20/19 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
The RD-2000 is a definitely a contender.

I would also take a look at the Kawai MP11SE and Kawai VPC1 (controller only, no built-in sounds), along with the Yamaha CP88.

Kind regards,
James
x


I agree with Kawai James, but I would also suggest to take a look at the Nord Piano 4. It has an all plastic keyed (in opposite to the other suggested models that has wooden, or partly wooden keybeds) but the sounds and playability are very good and together with its dedicated stand and pedals it looks stellar if you don't mind the color red. It's also the only piano that I know of, besides Kawais own digital pianos, that has a sample of a Shigeru Kawai which is marvelous instruments. None of the suggested models have built in speakers, but that doesn't seem to be a criteria for you. The Nord Piano has optional matching monitors though.

Last edited by johanibraaten; 11/20/19 06:23 AM.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914091 11/20/19 06:38 AM
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Yes, the Nord Piano 4 is also an option, or even better, the Nord Grand.

micdes1, would you be able to refine your requirements a little more?

Kind regards,
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
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914679 11/21/19 03:14 PM
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I have read posts in the past from people who represented Roland and Yamaha and eventhough I own many Roland and Yamaha keyboards, I have found their posts unhelpful and a complete turnoff. I have only been a member of this forum for a couple months and I've been very impressed with Kawai James' manners - very transparent, helpful and classy!

Personally, I really wanted to love the Nord Grand - good sounds, sexy looking, triple pedal, optional matching cabinet... I would have been willing to pay the extra $800 for the sexy factor but in the end, the action was nowhere near as good as that of the MP11se. On top of that, I was also able to buy the MP11se for $1999, making it a $1500 price gap between these two models.

I also expected to like the roland RD2000 but again, the action was nowhere near the quality of the MP11se.

The MP11se is not so portable, doesn't have built-in speakers, doesn't have an optional matching stand (which would be nice for the livingroom), and doesn't have tons of built-in sounds but from reading the OP's post, I still think he/she will be very happy with this keyboard for years to come. I don't really believe in finding a "forever" digital piano anymore and I chose the mp11se because it felt great, sounded great, and at $2k, I can easily flip it if my situation changes in the next 2-3 years. If Kawai would put the MP11se in a sexy grand cabinet with internal speakers and doubles the price, I'd buy the first one made!

Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914809 11/21/19 10:07 PM
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djvu10, thank you for the positive feedback. wink

Congrats on the MP11SE, and great price too!

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
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2914868 11/22/19 05:37 AM
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Have the MP11SE as well, fabulous stage piano, but no, not very portable because of the weight.
But I'm countering that by purchasing a portable back-up like the ES110 or other DP's in that price range.

I've played the Piano 4 in a store and was very disappointed with the Fatar keybed, especially when you consider the price. The Grand has the same keybed as in the Kawai MP7SE but for some reason, it appears it's a lot noisier than in the MP7SE, from what I've read and heard (have played the MP7SE, liked the keybed, but haven't had a chance yet to play the Grand).

The Yamaha P515 might be an option, as it's available with a dedicated wooden stand and triple pedal unit. It has a wooden keyboard, although more of a hybrid wood/plastic one. Close to the Grand Feel, but no cigar. But, more portable...
Haven't played it, mind you, but I did try out the CP88. Very cool board, easy to use and the keybed is very very similar to the one in the P515...

RD2000 has a very nice keybed as well, also wood/plastic hybrid, but it looks a bit like the bridge of the Enterprise to me. Too much going on...


A long time ago, in a musical galaxy far, far away...
Eminent-Solina B412, Yamaha DX21, Yamaha V50, Yamaha U1

21st century...
Kawai MP11SE, Kawai CA58
Re: What is the best 88k digital piano for at home/studio?
micdes1 #2915248 11/23/19 12:07 AM
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After buying the MP11se, I kept the Casio PX-560 for gigging (because it feels great and only weighs 25lbs) but most of my recent gigs only involve guitars and vocals so the PX-560 has not been touch but I like it too much to sell at this time.


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