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What stage piano?
#2963558 04/04/20 07:44 AM
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I want a better all-round stage piano.
I do most of my piano playing and practice at home on an acoustic grand piano.
But I need a good stage piano for small meet-ups with other amateurs (a few pros too).
Also fun to play with other sounds, and better for neighbours when doing repetitive practice.

I currently have a Roland FP-90 and a Bluthner Pro 88.
Both have their pros and cons.

My requirements:
Built-in speakers, good enough for a small venue.
Good piano sounds, other sounds not so important, but good organ, string & electric piano would be nice.
Weighted key action.

Currently two contenders after reading reviews and watching videos. I will try them when I have the chance. But what are your thoughts and suggestions?

Korg SV2s
Looks good. Key action should be acceptable. Lots of good sounds.
Speakers might not be loud enough.

Dexibell P7
Speaker system seems very good. Good sounds. Cheaper than Korg SV2.
Key action might not be acceptable.

I have owned or tried the following with what I like or don’t like:

Roland FP-90
Great key action. Sounds artificial. Not quite loud enough.

Bluthner Pro 88
Sound is very good. Loud enough. Key action awkward and ‘bouncy’, not good.

Yamaha P255 & P515
Sounds good. Key action good but not quite right, too heavy. Not quite loud enough.

Nord various models
Sound is good. Key actions OK. Needs speakers.

Kawai
Tried a long time ago. Didn’t like the key actions.


Any suggestions and advice welcome.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963572 04/04/20 08:32 AM
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Roland FP-60?
Kawai ES-8?

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963573 04/04/20 08:34 AM
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P515! grin

Re: What stage piano?
clothearednincompo #2963577 04/04/20 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Kawai ES-8

+1

Re: What stage piano?
Pete14 #2963578 04/04/20 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
P515! grin

+1

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963582 04/04/20 09:23 AM
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I don’t think this is solvable, within your parameters, as you’ve already tried the usual suspects, and some less than usual ones. As a fellow PRO-88 owner I do agree the amp and speakers are really powerful on that rig, though it has its quirks.


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Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963592 04/04/20 10:35 AM
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Hi I had the kawai es7 but found it was to big to carry around for gigs so got the es110 which had a good sound but speakers not that loud.
I know use a Dexibell P7 which I think ( and a lot of people who have heard it) has a good piano sound. The speakers are very powerful . For example i play in a school hall with about 40 person choir and bass and electric guitar using their own amps but I only use the built in speakers and are loud enough.

With regard to the keyboard I find it fine and respond very well to expression but i have been playing for 45 years and have played so many differnt pianos and keyboard I just get used to the one I am playing at the time.

If you need any further information about the dexibell let me know.

Thanks


http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/NigelFletcher

Dexibell P7 Kawai ES110 Yamaha PSR-S770
Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963598 04/04/20 11:01 AM
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Thanks for replies so far.

Thanks musicman100.

Regarding key actions:
Some are heavier toward the back of the keys or simply too heavy.
Others are too light and bouncy so difficult to control dynamics.
How are the Dexibell P7 keys regarding weight and control?
Are the keys fairly even front to back?

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963628 04/04/20 01:14 PM
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I’m going to try change your mind about the built in speakers. Honestly, stage pianos don’t have them. And the reason is purely practical.

Let’s say you have a friend with an acoustic guitar or flute, or violin. You play in each other’s living rooms for each other. Built in speakers work great if you stick to acoustic piano patches. Even if you bring in a handful of listeners.

But for everything else the built in speakers fail.

- After 10 minutes the listeners start to get restless, and start to talk. And then share jokes, and one loud person starts to laugh uproariously. And others join in the fun. You can’t compete volume wise.

- You want to split the keyboard and play left hand bass. The built in speakers won’t support that.

- Your friend invites a drummer. You’re screwed.

- You want to play a coffee house or quiet restaurant. It might work until the place starts to fill, and then you’re screwed.

And when you finally realize why stage pianos don’t have speakers, you’ll realize that in order to buy a piano with speakers you limited your choices.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963638 04/04/20 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
I want a better all-round stage piano.
I do most of my piano playing and practice at home on an acoustic grand piano.
But I need a good stage piano for small meet-ups with other amateurs (a few pros too).
Also fun to play with other sounds, and better for neighbours when doing repetitive practice.

I currently have a Roland FP-90 and a Bluthner Pro 88.
Both have their pros and cons.

My requirements:
Built-in speakers, good enough for a small venue.
Good piano sounds, other sounds not so important, but good organ, string & electric piano would be nice.
Weighted key action.

Currently two contenders after reading reviews and watching videos. I will try them when I have the chance. But what are your thoughts and suggestions?

Korg SV2s
Looks good. Key action should be acceptable. Lots of good sounds.
Speakers might not be loud enough.

Dexibell P7
Speaker system seems very good. Good sounds. Cheaper than Korg SV2.
Key action might not be acceptable.

I have owned or tried the following with what I like or don’t like:

Roland FP-90
Great key action. Sounds artificial. Not quite loud enough.

Bluthner Pro 88
Sound is very good. Loud enough. Key action awkward and ‘bouncy’, not good.

Yamaha P255 & P515
Sounds good. Key action good but not quite right, too heavy. Not quite loud enough.

Nord various models
Sound is good. Key actions OK. Needs speakers.

Kawai
Tried a long time ago. Didn’t like the key actions.


Any suggestions and advice welcome.


Hi FennerMachine,

Two pieces of advice:
1) If the FP90 isn't loud enough, don't bother yourself on portable pianos full stop. The FP90 is rated at higher amplification than it's competitors, so if that's not loud enough for you, then you need powered monitors. Then, why bother with a portable piano, better go full stage?
2) Try out the models and decide for yourself. Only you can subjectively decide which has the best sound, action, function compromise.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to also try powered monitors at your digital piano store. I'm lucky, in Manchester UK, I can try out some nice monitors with most of the major models.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963683 04/04/20 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine

Roland FP-90
Great key action. Sounds artificial. Not quite loud enough.


I recall someone suggested to push all three EQ sliders up to get more volume.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963687 04/04/20 04:47 PM
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Some will tell you they like built in speakers for the haptic feedback even if playing on large PA systems - maybe not important to most but I actually quite enjoyed the feedback from the ES8 speakers when I played that.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963693 04/04/20 05:02 PM
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Thank you PianoMan51 and Doug M.

I’ve tried piano amps and PA systems, and a stereo monitor/PA/speaker system would be great.
If I was performing long sessions regularly and professionally I would definitely buy a stereo PA system, but I don’t. I usually play a few pieces, maybe 5 minutes, taking turns with other amateur performers.
I can usually plug in to a PA system, but prefer not to as there is a disconnect between playing and the sound.
For the amount of time I ‘perform’ I would rather have a simple all-in-one keyboard/piano with built-in speakers. Also better to keep it simple for home use too.
I can see the logic in what you suggest though. I have contemplated a piano amp or monitors.
For most people that would be the way to go.
I will try these keyboards/pianos out when things return to ‘normal’.
I’ll retry the Yamaha P515 and some Kawai’s.

Hi sem. The other FP-90 issue is the artificial sound. Your suggestion might help others though. Thank you.

Hi Morten Olsson. Exactly! Practice at home. Sounds good. Go to venue. Use PA system. Nooooo! What has happened to my fantastic piano skills???? Built in speakers, instant recognisable feedback, ahhhh! That’s better.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963724 04/04/20 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
Thank you PianoMan51 and Doug M.

I’ve tried piano amps and PA systems, and a stereo monitor/PA/speaker system would be great.
If I was performing long sessions regularly and professionally I would definitely buy a stereo PA system, but I don’t. I usually play a few pieces, maybe 5 minutes, taking turns with other amateur performers.
I can usually plug in to a PA system, but prefer not to as there is a disconnect between playing and the sound.
For the amount of time I ‘perform’ I would rather have a simple all-in-one keyboard/piano with built-in speakers. Also better to keep it simple for home use too.
I can see the logic in what you suggest though. I have contemplated a piano amp or monitors.
For most people that would be the way to go.
I will try these keyboards/pianos out when things return to ‘normal’.
I’ll retry the Yamaha P515 and some Kawai’s.

Hi sem. The other FP-90 issue is the artificial sound. Your suggestion might help others though. Thank you.

Hi Morten Olsson. Exactly! Practice at home. Sounds good. Go to venue. Use PA system. Nooooo! What has happened to my fantastic piano skills???? Built in speakers, instant recognisable feedback, ahhhh! That’s better.


Hi Fenner,

I had a problem when performing in a small 4 piece band. I was playing a Yamaha PSR7000 whose speakers point upwards like portable pianos. In a room on my own, the inbuilt speakers were fine. However, on stage I needed a good set of monitors pointing at me because the PA I was playing through was pointing away from me and there was a lag issue I didn't find easy to deal with.

Kind regards,

Doug.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963761 04/04/20 09:33 PM
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Do check Roland’s new stage series RD-88.
If dislike the FP-90’s V-Piano, maybe the SuperNatural sound is more to your liking.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963878 04/05/20 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine


Hi Morten Olsson. Exactly! Practice at home. Sounds good. Go to venue. Use PA system. Nooooo! What has happened to my fantastic piano skills???? Built in speakers, instant recognisable feedback, ahhhh! That’s better.


A 30W general purpose built in amp/speaker would be so easy to use; place it on the floor just behind you, and you'll get all the feedback you need which with the piano's natural output, would well suffice for gigs as you describe them.

Then, whatever pianio you preferred for practice would do the job since the external amp would be adjustable.
Playing with a band, you don't need stereo, it's anti-social. Sets you apart from the others. And, too, it's good to play in compromising situations; the experience is invaluable.

Aren't you just so glad I chipped in? grin

Last edited by peterws; 04/05/20 12:56 PM.

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Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963971 04/05/20 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
The other FP-90 issue is the artificial sound.


Is this via built-in speakers or also via quality headphones?
Have you tried different soundboard types etc?
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2787442/re-roland-fp90.html#Post2787442
You could run a free trial of Pianoteq or other VST, connect the FP90 to the computer via MIDI, then audio back from the computer to FP90 line-in, and turn the "local control" off. If you like the sound, Pianoteq can run on a small PC box or even a Raspberry Pi (not sure how restricted). Or you may find that the built-in speakers are the issue.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-a-vst-through-the-speakers-of-a-dp.html

I liked ES8 sound more, but its keys didn't feel as good. As for the speakers, the furniture CN39 nearby in store sounded notably better than the ES8. I'm afraid all slab speakers are very far from perfect.

Btw both FP90 and ES8 are due to get successors.

Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2963975 04/05/20 06:26 PM
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You don’t need a stereo sound system to play with other musicians. In fact, it can create more problems than it solves. A decent quality PA appropriately placed will enable you to focus on your other requirements. Insisting on using built-in speakers in a stage or portable piano is constraining the problem to the point of having zero instruments to meet your requirements.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2964002 04/05/20 09:22 PM
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Quote
. . . Insisting on using built-in speakers in a stage or portable piano is constraining the problem to the point of having zero instruments to meet your requirements.


+1.

Check out whatever PA/stage-monitor is replacing the EV ZXA1. The ZXA1 weighs under 20 lbs, and will handle a hall of 100 people or so, and match OK with an amplified guitar and singer. It's quite flat, and the 8" woofer is enough for piano, IMHO.

You only need one, not a stereo pair. If the audience is really wide -- that's why God made "house PA" systems.

Yamaha, Yorkville, and others make similar units.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: What stage piano?
FennerMachine #2964041 04/06/20 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by FennerMachine
Thank you PianoMan51 and Doug M.

I’ve tried piano amps and PA systems, and a stereo monitor/PA/speaker system would be great.
If I was performing long sessions regularly and professionally I would definitely buy a stereo PA system, but I don’t. I usually play a few pieces, maybe 5 minutes, taking turns with other amateur performers.
I can usually plug in to a PA system, but prefer not to as there is a disconnect between playing and the sound.
For the amount of time I ‘perform’ I would rather have a simple all-in-one keyboard/piano with built-in speakers. Also better to keep it simple for home use too.
I can see the logic in what you suggest though. I have contemplated a piano amp or monitors.
For most people that would be the way to go.
I will try these keyboards/pianos out when things return to ‘normal’.
I’ll retry the Yamaha P515 and some Kawai’s.

Hi sem. The other FP-90 issue is the artificial sound. Your suggestion might help others though. Thank you.

Hi Morten Olsson. Exactly! Practice at home. Sounds good. Go to venue. Use PA system. Nooooo! What has happened to my fantastic piano skills???? Built in speakers, instant recognisable feedback, ahhhh! That’s better.


What you just said, doesn't fit a stage piano's bill. You should purchase a digital piano. A decent stage piano with internal speakers doesn't exist. A good pair of speakers and amp inside a stage piano will weight a ton! and is imparactical because you don't (can't differentiate) need quality speakers on the stage! Even when jamming, you need to adjust the mix otherwise and the speakers are not great for this purpose (other musicians can't hear what you can hear...).

Anyway, you want a stage piano, they don't come with speakers.

Digital Pianos come with speakers.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
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