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Joined: Apr 2020
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I'm looking for a keyboard for my apartment. I am a classically trained pianist and have played for around 20 years, but always on an acoustic!

Main things I'm looking for:
- under $1000
- realistic key feel
- can record to a computer
- not too bulky

Ordinarily, I'd like to go out and try as many as possible, but with the pandemic...

From my research, I'm interested in the Roland FP-30, but not sure how the recording would work since it doesn't have a line out. I've been told the headphone jack works for recording.

Any advice welcome!

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Hello.

I have the Kawai ES110 and I love it. Hard to beat on this price range, both action and sound wise. I'd buy it again without hesitation if I needed a piano for under $1000. I also use it for classical music but I'm a beginner. Good luck with your decision!

Best regards.

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Perhaps the easiest way to record is by using the FP-30's built-in record function. And then you can save the recording to a USB flash drive (connection on back panel).

Also, the FP-30's USB port will let you send MIDI data out to DAW software on your computer.

If you prefer to send an analog signal to a recording device then, yes, you can use the headphone jack. Just have to play with levels a bit to be sure you're not sending too loud a signal to your recorder, causing distortion.

So - several ways to do it.

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Originally Posted by Inespere
I'm looking for a keyboard for my apartment. I am a classically trained pianist and have played for around 20 years, but always on an acoustic!

Main things I'm looking for:
- under $1000
- realistic key feel
- can record to a computer
- not too bulky

Ordinarily, I'd like to go out and try as many as possible, but with the pandemic...

From my research, I'm interested in the Roland FP-30, but not sure how the recording would work since it doesn't have a line out. I've been told the headphone jack works for recording.

Any advice welcome!

Hi Inespere,

Going to be brutally honest: you need a bit more money, well, twice as much really.
Given you have a computer, I'm tempted to suggest the Kawai VPC1 plus a virtual piano.

The Roland FP30 is basically not going to thrill you. It's just about suggestible for a beginner.
The action is good for the price; however, it's not a "realistic key feel".

Whatever you buy short of $10,000 for a digital hybrid, you're not going to be thrilled with the action, but the Kawai VPC1 and Kawai MP11SE or portable boards like the Roland FP90 or Yamaha P515 are what I might suggest.

If the FP30 or Kawai ES110 is really all you can afford, well it will have to do, but you're not going to describe them as 'realistic'.

Kind regards,

Doug


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
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A recent classically oriented review video of the FP-30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1WLsLd3tEI

A Kawai ES-110 review will be posted in the near future, apparently. But he has already said he likes that one more.

And there are already other reviews of moderately priced digital pianos too.

But those are just one person's opinion. As usual.

So are the comments here, not to belittle them or anything like that. 😊

I can't help as my "training" is limited to a couple of years as a kid and I'm happy with almost anything somewhat piano like that doesn't clunk and rattle too much.

The price point and "not too bulky" might suggest that "slab" models like the Roland FP-30 and Kawai ES-110 could be options. Or a Casio Privia. Or a Yamaha Arius YDP-S54. Or a Roland F-140R. Or one of the last discontinued Kawai CL36 units if those are still available.

But they won't be excellent or ultra realistic.

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It's true that you will need to 'up' your budget. I guess you can watch out for a Kawai ES8, which has been out for quite a long time and has now become a bit more affordable than its two direct competitors, the Roland FP90 and the Yamaha P515.

I think it's the most realistic action you can have at that price point (I believe it's around 1250 euro, which must be about 100 more in US dollar).


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

21st century...
Kawai CA58, Kawai ES110
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Yes I think ES8 would be a great choice extremely well built in metal case, feels like a premium instrument definitely more solid then ES110. I paid it 1100 Euro. I would agree not to go anything below ES8, FP90 or P515.

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Considering your level of skill, I would recommend the Kawai ES8 for you.

If you cannot manage it right now ... I would wait for the price to drop and/or you build your available funds a bit higher.


Don

Kawai MP7SE, Focusrite 2i2 audio interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer, KRK Classic 5 powered monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones
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I concur that the ES8, FP90 or P515 should be the ones for you to shoot for.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Thanks for all the recommendations!

Any thoughts on the following:
Roland RD800
Roland RD2000
Yamaha P255
Roland FP50
Yamaha CP1

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Originally Posted by Inespere
Thanks for all the recommendations!

Any thoughts on the following:
Roland RD800
Roland RD2000
Yamaha P255
Roland FP50
Yamaha CP1

Hi Inespere,

The RD800 (PHAIV premium action) is good for organs compared to the RD2000; however, the RD2000 has fully modeled piano sound (no samples) and the PHA50 action, which is a good leap forward from the PHAIV.
The RD2000 has one disadvantage which can put people off: it's inboard headphone amp is very weak, so when you test it in store, it's a bit disappointing.
If you were to plump for the RD2000, you'd be looking at an extra £150 for e.g., a Schiit headphone amp like the Magni 3.

The bottom 3 in the list are all a generation or two older. Technically, the RD800 is a generation behind too, but it's a top board regardless.
The CP1 is two generations behind (2009) and the p255 has been around for quite a while now.
If you can find a CP4, that would be comparable to the RD800 (they were released around the same time ish), although I think the RD800 came after.

The FP50 is a portable piano (with inbuilt speakers). It's been superseded by the FP60. It has the same piano samples as the RD800, but a lot less advanced in terms of functions and sound.

Of our list (assuming these are used), the RD2000 is the stand-out option, as it's action really is good.
There is only one or three stage and portable boards whose action compares: The MP11(Grand Feel 1 action), the ES8 and MP7SE (RHIII action) and the P515 (NXW action).

If you only want piano and nothing else, the Kawai VPC1 (virtual piano controller) has also a very nice action and can sometimes be found used at a good price.

Kind regards,

Doug.

Last edited by Doug M.; 04/24/20 03:20 PM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7SE; Past - Kawai MP7, Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand

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