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Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. #2946878 02/14/20 04:08 PM
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verybased Offline OP
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Hey, new user here. Just joined to ask this question. I'm looking to purchase a new digital piano as the 200 dollar Casio I bought off of Amazon isn't cutting it. I'm looking to buy something that has a similar feel to an acoustic piano, so that i could make the transition easily between the two.

The three pianos I'm looking at right now are:

Roland FP-30

Yamaha YDP 144

Yamaha YDP 164.

Three quite different price points. I'd like to go for the Yamaha 144 over the 164 because of the price point (so long as there isn't too much of a difference playing them)

How does the Yamaha 144 compare to the FP 30?

And how does the 164 compare to the 144?

Thanks!

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Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2946904 02/14/20 05:46 PM
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Your stated need arises here quite often: "I'm looking to buy something that has a similar feel to an acoustic piano."

The honest answer is that you'll need to look at pianos MUCH more expensive than those you now have under consideration. As in $5000 minimum.
So if the budget doesn't allow for that, just pick one that feels best.

I would not want the YDP144. It has Yamaha's cheapest action. You want something close to an acoustic? This one is just about as far from an acoustic as you can get.

The YDP164 has a much better action ... though it's still not like an acoustic.

Someone else will have to comment on the FP30. I've never touched one.

Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2946907 02/14/20 06:00 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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I had an FP30. When I got my current Avantgrand N1X, I realized how far from an acoustical piano the FP30 was.


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"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
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Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2946908 02/14/20 06:00 PM
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CyberGene Online Content
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FP30 has the best action in that price range.


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: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: MacMacMac] #2946909 02/14/20 06:01 PM
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verybased Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Your stated need arises here quite often: "I'm looking to buy something that has a similar feel to an acoustic piano."

The honest answer is that you'll need to look at pianos MUCH more expensive than those you now have under consideration. As in $5000 minimum.
So if the budget doesn't allow for that, just pick one that feels best.

I would not want the YDP144. It has Yamaha's cheapest action. You want something close to an acoustic? This one is just about as far from an acoustic as you can get.

The YDP164 has a much better action ... though it's still not like an acoustic.

Someone else will have to comment on the FP30. I've never touched one.


Thanks for the reply.

It's not that I want a piano that mimics an acoustic as much as I want a piano that will give me the appropriate skills required to play on an acoustic piano when that time comes. I see that as the end goal although I don't have the space for an acoustic at the moment (studio in Manhattan)

I played for 2 years when I was very young and I just picked it up a month ago. I can only play the first movement of Moonlight Sonata (meaning I am basically a beginner). So I probably wouldn't look at a piano in the 5000+ range as I right now I'm just trying to improve as much as I can.

Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2946914 02/14/20 06:13 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Then get an FP30. Not particularly acoustic-like, but as CyberGene said, it has the best action of those three and at that price point and below.


[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: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2946986 02/14/20 10:51 PM
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If the "feel" of a real piano is what's important, perhaps you should consider the Kawai VPC-1.
Details in this review here: https://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/kawai-vpc-1-reviewed

I've played stage pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Kawai.
None of them feel like a real piano to me, though some sound pretty close.

The hybrids are expensive, but they come very close to feeling and sounding just like a real piano, and in certain situations, they can be preferable, e.g., schools where there is little to no money for piano maintenance, and annual tunings are viewed as a luxury (but I digress). They have real piano actions in them, and speakers and tone generators and other odds & ends.

From what I understand, the VPC-1 just gives you the action and the ability to control virtual pianos through midi. There would still be some cost beyond the VPC-1 to put together the gear to generate the midi sound, but possibly a whole lot less than what it would cost for even a used hybrid.

Might be worth considering.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: Seeker] #2947006 02/15/20 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
If the "feel" of a real piano is what's important, perhaps you should consider the Kawai VPC-1.
Details in this review here: https://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/kawai-vpc-1-reviewed

I've played stage pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Kawai.
None of them feel like a real piano to me, though some sound pretty close.


IMHO Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai all have stage pianos that feel closer to a real piano than the VPC-1.

Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2947183 02/15/20 11:07 AM
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I thought the first movement of Moonlight Sonata was more intermediate level not beginner level myself.
I agree on the FP30 between the digital pianos you listed. Welcome and good luck back in your journey of "Piano".


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: Seeker] #2947192 02/15/20 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
If the "feel" of a real piano is what's important, perhaps you should consider the Kawai VPC-1.
Details in this review here: https://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/kawai-vpc-1-reviewed

I've played stage pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Kawai.
None of them feel like a real piano to me, though some sound pretty close.


The MP11-SE has a higher-end Kawai action than a VPC1, not entirely sure what you mean here.

Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2947200 02/15/20 11:45 AM
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The FP-30 is an excellent choice, in my opinion. It's what I play on a day-to-day basis, but a few times a year I get to play an 130 year old acoustic concert grand (in very good condition). It takes about 10 minutes to settle in on the grand, but then it's plain sailing. In other words, although there are clear differences between the two, playing the FP-30 as my regular instrument is in no way detrimental to my performance on the grand.

Would I prefer to play the N1X, like Tyrone switched to? Almost certainly. But that thing costs more than 10 times as much ...


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Pianoteq 6.5 (Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2), Garritan CFX Lite, Production Voices Estate Grand
Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: QuasiUnaFantasia] #2947227 02/15/20 12:38 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
The FP-30 is an excellent choice, in my opinion. It's what I play on a day-to-day basis, but a few times a year I get to play an 130 year old acoustic concert grand (in very good condition). It takes about 10 minutes to settle in on the grand, but then it's plain sailing. In other words, although there are clear differences between the two, playing the FP-30 as my regular instrument is in no way detrimental to my performance on the grand.

Would I prefer to play the N1X, like Tyrone switched to? Almost certainly. But that thing costs more than 10 times as much ...

After I sold my FP30, I ended up having to get a P45/P71 for my daughter and as a backup when I don't have access to the N1X. I'm really sorry now that I sold the FP30, since it was a lot better than the new P45/P71,


[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: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: sleutelbos] #2947957 02/17/20 09:38 AM
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Never played an MP11-SE; can't comment.

Regarding my recommending looking at the VPC1, I'm trying (yeah, people have said that about me from time to time...), to be helpful to the OP in suggesting an alternative that would give the feel of a real piano.
I get paid to perform regularly on a variety of pianos, mostly acoustic.
I own two acoustic pianos - a grand and an upright.
I also own an aging Yamaha P-120 with weighted keys. It doesn't feel like a real piano, but it's not bad.
I did a live performance of Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano on a Roland RD-2000 (stage piano) at a university where I was teaching. I liked the sound of the instrument. No, it did not feel like a real piano to me. I did not like the sound of the RD2000 as much as I liked the sound of another Roland I played locally that was an actual digital piano, not requiring an external speaker like the RD2000 - can't remember the specific model now.

Our university acquired a Yamaha N2. It wound up in the studio of a new faculty member, a theory professor who is also a concert pianist. He pounded on it as his practice piano for a year ... no problems. I played it with him in a concert for 2 pianos 4 hands. (We didn't have a 2nd acoustic on stage). It felt like a real piano. It didn't SOUND quite the same, but it felt that way.
We also acquired an NU-1 with the upright action. It also felt like a real piano to me.

So... IMO, based on my own experience, I have found that to get the "real piano feel" one needs to play on a real piano action. To the best of my knowledge - and I admit that it is limited to my own experience - the only instruments to have those actions are the hybrids, all far more expensive than what the OP was able to spend, OR a midi controller like the VPC1.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: verybased] #2947975 02/17/20 10:23 AM
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If you have a half-decent laptop or iPad and some headphones or speakers, I'd go for the VPC1. You get a great action that's close enough to a real action for almost all practical purposes. Then get a simple VST (maybe even a used one... no need to spend more than 50USD) or the Ravencroft iOS app and you're set (might want a stand a chair...). You can always expand and go crazy on VSTs, headphones, speakers, etc. once your bank account has recovered.

But of course, try before you buy... Personally, I have the Studiologic SL88 Grand which has an okay action (possibly better than the FP30) and I'm quite happy with it.

Last edited by Keybender; 02/17/20 10:24 AM.
Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: Seeker] #2947999 02/17/20 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
Never played an MP11-SE; can't comment.

[...]
So... IMO, based on my own experience, I have found that to get the "real piano feel" one needs to play on a real piano action. To the best of my knowledge - and I admit that it is limited to my own experience - the only instruments to have those actions are the hybrids, all far more expensive than what the OP was able to spend, OR a midi controller like the VPC1.



Have you any experience with the Kawai CA line with the GF-C, GF-II or GF-III actions? Because those are also than the VPC1. The VPC1 is pretty much the best action of any pure MIDI controller, and Kawai alone has a whole bunch of digital pianos that are better than that. Saying 'you need a MIDI controller like the VPC1' is weird when you consider all the superior digital pianos and all the other inferior controllers relative to the VPC1...

Re: Closest Digital Piano to Acoustic Piano. [Re: sleutelbos] #2948284 02/17/20 10:50 PM
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Yes - our school bought several CA-78s at my recommendation.
Very nice practice instruments. Our students loved them; they strongly preferred them to the worn out acoustic console pianos they replaced. For some things they preferred them to some K-300 consoles newly acquired, e.g., when they wanted to record an accompaniment or transpose.
The CA-78s sounded wonderful.
To me, they didn't feel as natural as a hybrid, not the N2, the NU-1, nor the Novus NV-10. All those felt better.
Just my opinion - not saying you're wrong.
I did not write that "you need a MIDI controller like the VPC1"; I suggested it as an alternative.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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