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Advice on buying a digital piano
#2964830 04/08/20 08:27 PM
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I'm looking to buy a digital piano and my budget is $2000. I'm a college student and would like to have a piano to play/practice on in my small apartment. I would likely play with headphones most of the time, but would like some onboard speakers to preserve the ability to play for people who come over (small room/small groups). I play classical piano and would say I'm on the lower end of advanced in terms of skill. I realize that this is a bit of a tall order for $2000, but based on some initial research, it seems like the Yamaha p515, Kawai ES8, and Roland F90 seem like good options. Hoping to buy a piano that will get me through college/grad school, so the next 3-5 years. Does anyone have any experience with these pianos or any other recommendations?

Last edited by minidood; 04/08/20 08:27 PM.
Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2964843 04/08/20 09:32 PM
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I would highly recommend a search in this forum. There are many informative threads on these 3 pianos - e.g. there is one that is comparing P515 vs. ES8.

Osho


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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Osho #2964932 04/09/20 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho
I would highly recommend a search in this forum. There are many informative threads on these 3 pianos - e.g. there is one that is comparing P515 vs. ES8.

Osho


And here it is ....

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2964760/1.html


Don

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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2964952 04/09/20 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by minidood
I'm looking to buy a digital piano and my budget is $2000. I'm a college student and would like to have a piano to play/practice on in my small apartment. I would likely play with headphones most of the time, but would like some onboard speakers to preserve the ability to play for people who come over (small room/small groups). I play classical piano and would say I'm on the lower end of advanced in terms of skill. I realize that this is a bit of a tall order for $2000, but based on some initial research, it seems like the Yamaha p515, Kawai ES8, and Roland F90 seem like good options. Hoping to buy a piano that will get me through college/grad school, so the next 3-5 years. Does anyone have any experience with these pianos or any other recommendations?


Kawai ES8 is ideal


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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Doug M. #2964958 04/09/20 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by minidood
I'm looking to buy a digital piano and my budget is $2000. I'm a college student and would like to have a piano to play/practice on in my small apartment. I would likely play with headphones most of the time, but would like some onboard speakers to preserve the ability to play for people who come over (small room/small groups). I play classical piano and would say I'm on the lower end of advanced in terms of skill. I realize that this is a bit of a tall order for $2000, but based on some initial research, it seems like the Yamaha p515, Kawai ES8, and Roland F90 seem like good options. Hoping to buy a piano that will get me through college/grad school, so the next 3-5 years. Does anyone have any experience with these pianos or any other recommendations?


Kawai ES8 is ideal


Of course, I totally agree.

I have owned 2 of them.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used)
Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2965282 04/10/20 02:26 AM
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Yamaha P-515 I have one and it's really good... and it's not true that its action is too heavy!


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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2965919 04/11/20 11:52 PM
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The P-515 action is too heavy for me.


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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2965941 04/12/20 01:09 AM
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I recently got the ES8. Really great piano, but to be honest I almost wish I had spent the extra few hundred bucks and got the FP-90 for the better action. Longer pivots mean easier to play at the back of the key. Its my biggest pet peeve with the ES8. The sounds are good on it, action does feel nice, good features, but I hate how hard it is to push the back of the keys. I dont think the P515 is any better. The roland has a really nice sound too, very customizable, some people dont like it but I've always enjoyed it (never played one but heard many).

Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
JoeThePro #2966159 04/12/20 04:41 PM
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I have a FP-90 and bought it for the keyboard action. I mainly play an acoustic piano and found that the Roland action most closely resembled my acoustic -- actually, the FP-90 action is better but has a similar quality. The ES8 in particular felt too light to me. I absolutely love the FP-90 action.

I've had a lot of problems, though, adjusting the sound so it's correctly balanced and adjusted, and as I've said on another thread, headphones sound tinny with it. I've received some good advice on a headphone fix, but if someone has some advice on sound adjustments, please contact me and we can discuss.

In reading various threads on digitals in this price range, it seems that all have their upsides and downsides.


jbor
Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Baltguy #2966161 04/12/20 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Baltguy
I have a FP-90 and bought it for the keyboard action. I mainly play an acoustic piano and found that the Roland action most closely resembled my acoustic -- actually, the FP-90 action is better but has a similar quality. The ES8 in particular felt too light to me. I absolutely love the FP-90 action.

I've had a lot of problems, though, adjusting the sound so it's correctly balanced and adjusted, and as I've said on another thread, headphones sound tinny with it. I've received some good advice on a headphone fix, but if someone has some advice on sound adjustments, please contact me and we can discuss.

In reading various threads on digitals in this price range, it seems that all have their upsides and downsides.

Interesting, I feel like the ES8 action is sort of heavy.

Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2966193 04/12/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by minidood
I'm looking to buy a digital piano and my budget is $2000. I'm a college student and would like to have a piano to play/practice on in my small apartment. I would likely play with headphones most of the time, but would like some onboard speakers to preserve the ability to play for people who come over (small room/small groups). I play classical piano and would say I'm on the lower end of advanced in terms of skill. I realize that this is a bit of a tall order for $2000, but based on some initial research, it seems like the Yamaha p515, Kawai ES8, and Roland F90 seem like good options. Hoping to buy a piano that will get me through college/grad school, so the next 3-5 years. Does anyone have any experience with these pianos or any other recommendations?

Kawai's RHIII has a nicer feel to it. Forget about Roland. If action and sounds matter more than anything else then get the Kawai. P-515 doesn't come with a good set of sounds when compared to Kawai.

If it's not a big deal, then with P-515 you get an audio interface and you will enjoy it a lot. You can do quality recordings of yourself, hook it into a DAW and have a lot of fun. Not the case with ES8.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Abdol #2966209 04/12/20 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Abdol
Kawai's RHIII has a nicer feel to it. Forget about Roland. If action and sounds matter more than anything else then get the Kawai. P-515 doesn't come with a good set of sounds when compared to Kawai.

I am a Kawai fan and have purchased multiple Kawai digital pianos. But, these statements are overblown. P-515 does come with a decent set of sounds - I like its digital piano CFX sound quite a lot. Sound is very subjective. Also, Roland PHA-50 is a decent action - quite a few people like it. To OP: don't necessarily discount Yamaha or Roland. Check out the DPs in person if you can (may be impossible now) - but don't go strictly by subjective opinions on the net (including my own opinion).

Osho


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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
orcoaffamato #2966211 04/12/20 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by orcoaffamato
Yamaha P-515 I have one and it's really good... and it's not true that its action is too heavy!


No action is too heavy if you have strong fingers lol.

@ minidood...

The Yamaha NWX action is a slight degree heavier than the Kawai RHIII action and is known to be quite stiff when you buy a new one, but soon loosens up a bit. Not that big a deal IMO. Many instruments brought new will be stiffer than when you break them in a bit.
More importantly, the NWX is a nice action to play regardless of it being slightly heavier than the Kawai.

Someone thought the RHIII was heavy which sounds very odd to me: Quite often, people will say an action feels heavy but they'll have tested the instrument in a store where someone else has changed the settings so that the touch response is set to heavy.
That's happened to me once.

Anyway, there are posts that show down-weights:

https://www.reddit.com/r/piano/comments/cmtml1/digital_piano_key_weights_in_grams/
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ano-kawai-cn39-vs-ca58-rhiii-vs-gfc.html

I feel that Abdol's assessment of the Roland PHA50 action is not representative of most users opinons: IMO, the PHA50 action in the FP90 is a great plastic action----it has a lot of fans, and even many of those who don't like Roland modelled piano sounds admit that the PHA50 was a major step forward in Roland's plastic action design. I think it compares well to the RHIII action.

The RHIII action is also a great plastic action and equally has a lot of fans: myself included as I own the MP7SE. I can't think of any other plastic actions I'd rather have than one of these two.

That said, the NWX is nice too, and whilst I don't quite like it as much, I could see why some people with a different style to mine might love it more, especially those who play a lot and whose acoustic piano has a heavier action.

I think the bigger difference is between the sampled Yamaha and Kawai sound versus the Modelled Roland sound. With sound, it's definitely a matter of personal taste.
The P515 should in theory be really nice because it has the binaural sampling inherited from the CLP6XX series; however, I have noticed there have been some issues with it mentioned in various threads on Pianoworld. Might be worth having a read around the threads about the P515 to see what other threads say about the instruments pros and cons.

I can't imagine any of these three portable pianos would disappoint. In the end, it will be for you to try them out and decide based upon your own preferences.

Kind regards,

Doug.

Last edited by Doug M.; 04/12/20 06:07 PM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Osho #2966309 04/13/20 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by Abdol
Kawai's RHIII has a nicer feel to it. Forget about Roland. If action and sounds matter more than anything else then get the Kawai. P-515 doesn't come with a good set of sounds when compared to Kawai.

I am a Kawai fan and have purchased multiple Kawai digital pianos. But, these statements are overblown. P-515 does come with a decent set of sounds - I like its digital piano CFX sound quite a lot. Sound is very subjective. Also, Roland PHA-50 is a decent action - quite a few people like it. To OP: don't necessarily discount Yamaha or Roland. Check out the DPs in person if you can (may be impossible now) - but don't go strictly by subjective opinions on the net (including my own opinion).

Osho

It is not overblown. Is the piano the only sound one needs to play?

If you consider all of the parameters, you will realize that in addition to the piano, Kawai offers a better "set" of sounds. Which means voices other than the piano.

Last edited by Abdol; 04/13/20 12:15 AM.

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Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
minidood #2966317 04/13/20 12:29 AM
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OP, the Roland action is my favourite one of the options listed. You'll have to do a lot of listening to see which sound you prefer. I don't particularly like the built in sounds of any digital piano, but you can run the piano into a computer and use a VST piano.

Re: Advice on buying a digital piano
Abdol #2966328 04/13/20 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by Osho
Originally Posted by Abdol
Kawai's RHIII has a nicer feel to it. Forget about Roland. If action and sounds matter more than anything else then get the Kawai. P-515 doesn't come with a good set of sounds when compared to Kawai.

I am a Kawai fan and have purchased multiple Kawai digital pianos. But, these statements are overblown. P-515 does come with a decent set of sounds - I like its digital piano CFX sound quite a lot. Sound is very subjective. Also, Roland PHA-50 is a decent action - quite a few people like it. To OP: don't necessarily discount Yamaha or Roland. Check out the DPs in person if you can (may be impossible now) - but don't go strictly by subjective opinions on the net (including my own opinion).

Osho

It is not overblown. Is the piano the only sound one needs to play?
Of course not. But one-sided definite sounding statements do not serve the folks seeking advice here in forums well, IMHO.

Osho


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