2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
34 members (foxy.au, Carey, Beowulf, Alexander Acosta, 1957, Emery Wang, blueviewlaguna., 7 invisible), 431 guests, and 430 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
#3037340 10/19/20 11:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
J
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
Hello, I just signed up hoping to get some help in just figuring out what type of piano I want.

I've played traditional uprights growing up, and 15 years ago got a digital baby grand Kohler-140. However, I'm looking to replace it with just a keyboard that takes up much less space (making more room for the two young additions to our family).

Things I know I want,
- 88 keys
- Portable (not because I need to move it often, but I just want it to be the keyboard part without the furniture structure built into it).
- Great key action. I'll never play a concert grand so I don't need it to perfectly emulate a real piano. But I want it to feel good and weighty, and more important, I want it to respond to dynamics, soft and hard playing, partial depression re-tapping, etc, like a real piano would).
- Has a three-pedal accessory
- Has great sound library. A good realistic piano sound or two, I tend to like the pop grand. But it doesn't have to be perfect. But for me more importantly I want some great strings tones and some synthy/pad/guitar tones. And the ability to combine two tones together.
- Decent keydrums

Things I could go either way on
- It would be nice if it had speakers built in, and good speakers too, I'd rather it have nothing or good speakers. But I'm open to using an external speaker if the best keyboard for me doesn't have them built in.

Thins I don't need
- "workstation" stuff. I won't be blending music live or layering more than 4 tracks or any of that.

I primarily just play star wars/star trek music on piano. That's my thing. My kohler has a real nice octave strings tone which can be combined with "the strings" and creates a real good strings tone for playing star wars tones.

I also like to play the types of keyboard tones you'd hear in 80's pop/progmetal/powermetal bands. The kohler actually didn't have any good synthy tones on it.

As for budget, obviously I'm focused on value. I don't need to spend more money just for an extra 1% improvement or features I'll never need. But quality does matter, and something in the 1.5-3.5k range seems to be what I'm looking for.


Based on some internet research, it seems that Roland and Korg at the top of the digital keyboard tech and realistic key feel. The RD-2000 seems to get a lot of press. But it is a bit workstation oriented so I'm not entirely sure it's what I'm looking for (but maybe it is). It would be nice to get something with a larger LCD screen for selection music and parameters though. A real turn-on-and-use quick and easy UI would be very nice. I don't want to navigate tons of menus.


I'm basically looking for help narrowing down what i'm looking for. Am I looking for a portable keyboard, a stage keyboard, a digital piano, a workstation? I don't even know at this point. Narrow it down to one or two brands and suggest some model options to look into.

Once I can get it narrowed down to 3-5 models or so, then I can go try some out or research further. But the overall search space is just so large right now I'm looking for some help narrowing it down to something manageable.

Thanks.

(ad)
Sweetwater Sale
Sweetwater Sale
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037358 10/19/20 11:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,635
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 12,635
Mmmmm ... Choose piano wisely you must, young Jedi.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037359 10/19/20 11:35 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,154
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,154
Looks like you want a portable piano like
- Kawai ES-920 (or any leftover units of the discontinued ES-8)
- Yamaha P-515
- Roland FP-90

All are a bit better models from each manufacturer and not entry level ones.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037391 10/19/20 01:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
A
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
Can you be more specific about the "keydrums"?

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
MacMacMac #3037392 10/19/20 01:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2,100
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2,100
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Mmmmm ... Choose piano wisely you must, young Jedi.

Roland can show you a sound that many would consider....... Un-natural 😂


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
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
Doug M. #3037410 10/19/20 01:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,228
E
EPW Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,228
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Mmmmm ... Choose piano wisely you must, young Jedi.

Roland can show you a sound that many would consider....... Un-natural 😂

"Stranger Things" have happened.

Ok now back to the program:

Price Range__________________________

Speakers onboard Yes or No

Weight?


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
EPW #3037416 10/19/20 02:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 48
F
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
F
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 48
Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by Doug M.
[quote=MacMacMac]Mmmmm ... Choose piano wisely you must, young Jedi.

Roland can show you a sound that many would consider....... Un-natural 😂


Not by a Jedi ...

My suggestion would be to make sure whatever you get has bluetooth so if you get tired of the rhythm/drum sounds you can use an app thru your cell phone instead. Hope you enjoy the process as well as the outcome ...

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037466 10/19/20 04:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
J
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
THanks for the replies.

I'm not sure if this adjusts the suggestions, but I'm definitely looking for something that's more tailored towards the non-piano tones, the strings, orchestra, synch, etc. Tones to use to play star wars themes, and the types of tones you'd find on a dream theater or stratovarius album, or some 80's rock/AOR like journey.

Price range I'd mentioned I'm anticipating in the 1.5k-3.5k range.

And as I'd mentioned, speakers on-board would be nice, but not required. I'd rather get the best keyboard for me and have to get external speakers, than settle on a keyboard just to get ones built-in. If they are built in, I'd want them to be pretty good and make the living room feel full.

For keydrums, I just mean you can put the keyboard into a mode where hitting the keys plays different drums. And there's a few decent drum kit sounds for rock/metal in there.

Last edited by JediMasterThrash; 10/19/20 04:57 PM.
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037494 10/19/20 05:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
A
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
Originally Posted by JediMasterThrash
For keydrums, I just mean you can put the keyboard into a mode where hitting the keys plays different drums. And there's a few decent drum kit sounds for rock/metal in there.
This still isn't enough info for me to understand what you want.

Some boards have auto rhyhtms you can play along to. But it sounds like that's not what you want, you want to play the drum parts yourself by hitting keys. But then what? You presumably then want to play other things over those drums, right? Unless you're connecting to a DAW (e.g. your computer), it sounds like you also need a way to record your drum part into the keyboard and have it play it back, is that correct? So then you probably need a feature like a pattern sequencer or looper. I'm just trying to get a handle on this to really understand what feature the keyboard needs to have in order to do what you want.

Related, you said you would not be "layering more than 4 tracks" -- do you mean you don't need to layer more than 4 *sounds* for simultaneous playing? Or 4 *tracks* which means record one part, then play and record another part on top of that one, and again a third and fourth time? (Because that is indeed more of a workstation feature, even though you listed that as a reason you don't need a workstation.)

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037537 10/19/20 08:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 684
B
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 684
Try the Kawai ES920.
Should be around the $1,500 price point including the matching Kawai stand and 3-pedal unit.

Also try the Kawai MP11SE for a better action, but it is about twice the price of the ES920.

It's also worth noting that both Roland and Yamaha may have new models in this price range soon.

Last edited by Burkey; 10/19/20 08:12 PM.

Piano is one of the best human inventions of the past 320 years - help evangelize the magic!
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037587 10/20/20 12:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,936
C
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,936
Originally Posted by JediMasterThrash
THanks for the replies.

. . .
For keydrums, I just mean you can put the keyboard into a mode where hitting the keys plays different drums. And there's a few decent drum kit sounds for rock/metal in there.

I _think_ that just about any keyboard that supports "General MIDI" will have some "drumkit voices" that behave like that -- C4 = bass drum, C#4 = snare, etc. That's how my PX-350 works.

After checking:

https://www.midi.org/specifications-old/item/gm-level-1-sound-set


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037593 10/20/20 12:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,936
C
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,936
FWIW --

You might be better-served by a synth -- a Yamaha MX88 or similar -- than by a DP with sampled synth voices. Such synths usually have no speakers.

The Kawai MP7 / MP7se often comes up in these discussions. The Roland FP-90 probably meets your specs, and is within your budget.

There's a group of "slab pianos" that are in the 25-pound range, with not-really-good (but fully weighted) actions. There's another group of "slab pianos" with better actions -- P-515/ FP-90 / MP7 / MP11 which are considerably heavier. I suspect the better actions are heavier than the worse actions.

. . . pick your poison.

Any slab piano will have compromised loudspeakers. There is no way a 5" driver in an enclosure crammed into a slab, will produce sound as good as a powered monitor speaker with a real enclosure, properly-aimed tweeter, 5" or larger speaker, and three times the power-per-channel.

Another consideration:

Lots of people are content with 5" woofers for piano playing. But there's not much power in the fundamental frequencies low notes on a piano (down to 27 Hz). If you expect good bass drum sound, or you use lots of organ sounds, or electric bass, you might find that 8" drivers are _much_ better. Those instruments _do_ have substantial power in their fundamental frequencies.

Last edited by Charles Cohen; 10/20/20 12:52 AM.

. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037690 10/20/20 08:52 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
J
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
@charles, yes, that's actually one of my main questions. What "type" of keyboard am I looking for. What actually makes a keyboard a "synth" vs. a "stage keyboard" or "workstation" or "portable keyboard" etc. I'm still pretty fuzzy on that. Usually when I see something labelled as a "synthesizer" it's only got about 40 keys and looks like a mixer console. But I do see stuff like the june-88 looks more like a keyboard but calls itself a synthesizer.

So on the drum thing, my use cases:
- People over for a jam session. Someone will play keydrums on the piano while I play guitar.
- Writing music, composing a drum track with keydrums.

I totally forgot this in the opening, but I should say I also do want a full suite of built-in backing tracks (with rock/metal and R&B styles). And usually those backing drum tracks also have accompaniments (bass guitar, rhythm guitar/keys etc). For those use cases:
- Use the keyboard to play backing drum/bass tracks while I'm jam guitar
- Use the keyboard to play backing drum/bass tracks while jamming on keys.
- Record the backing track to computer to mix with other tracks later.

When I say 4-tracks simultaneously, I'm mainly referencing how much polyphony I need. It's just the keyboard + backing which probably has a drum, bass, rhythm, so that's 4 tracks being played by the keyboard sound engine, with probably no more than 20 notes per track, so I imagine the standard 128-note polyphony limit will be just fine for me.

If I'm going to be recording something, I'm going to record it to computer. I've got an audio interface with XLR and 1/4" and PC software. So I don't really play to do any post-record mixing on the console. But being able to record a 4-minute rhythm track to solo over later would be a benefit, but I wouldn't say it's a "must have', as I usually feed backing tracks out of my computer if it's a more crafted backing track. They keyboard backing tracks are more used for jamming that composing.


For speakers, I've seen some where the speakers are integrated into the stand vs. the keyboard. This would be a nice feature. It wouldn't even have to be part of the keyboard, but buying a stand that has good speakers built in would be a nifty stand.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037698 10/20/20 09:20 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 517
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 517
One of my pianos is a Yamaha P105 I've had for a few years now, it's stuck against a wall, usually stacked with junk, because I can't be bothered to take of the soft plastic keyboard cover and replace it whenever I would use it. As I don't need a piano for gigging I would never buy a piano without a fall board (lid) again. When I want to play my CN33, I just push back the lid, switch on, and start playing. There are a number of small footprint pianos with bulit in covers, that's where I'd be looking.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037703 10/20/20 09:59 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
A
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 5,647
Originally Posted by JediMasterThrash
I totally forgot this in the opening, but I should say I also do want a full suite of built-in backing tracks (with rock/metal and R&B styles).
Okay, so the kind of keyboard you want is called an Arranger.

The problem is that there are very few arrangers with 88 keys, much less ones with top of the line actions. You may find that you ultimately need to buy two keyboards.

But maybe you'll be lucky and be happy with the sounds and feel of the Yamaha DGX660 (with optional LP7A pedal unit) or a Korg XE20 (with optional PU-2 pedal unit)... way below your budget, and not really offering premium actions, but it's possible you might find them to be sufficient for your purposes. I think that should be your starting point. If you find them inadequate, then I'd start looking at 2-board combinations. Your max $3500 budget can get you a high quality arranger AND a high quality piano. I'd look at these...

Arrangers: Korg PA1000 or PA700, Yamaha PSRSX900 or PSRSX700.
Pianos: Yamaha P515, Roland FP90, Korg SV2, Kawai MP7SE or ES8 or forthcoming ES920 (replacing ES8). Though I'm not sure whether all of these have all the behaviors you're after.

With the right stand, you can create a kind of "two manual organ" out of the combination of the two boards where you can easily simultaneously play parts on both keyboards at once, and you can also use MIDI to allow either board to trigger sounds from the other board if/when desired (though some of these boards have better MIDI functionality the others, so that's something else to look into when comparing, if that aspect interests you).

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037736 10/20/20 12:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
J
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 7
the korg xe20sp actually seems like it might be what i'm looking for. The low price almost makes me concerned, I was expecting something listnig in the 2-3k range would be needed for good feel/preset tones. The hard part is trying to find these around to try out in person.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037773 10/20/20 02:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 22
I
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
I
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 22
You said you don't need workstation stuff, but have you looked at the Korg Kronos? Although it is like 10 years old, the sounds are of high quality (and replaceable!). The action is their rh3, which I have never tried, but it doesn't seem like something terrible. I heard the korg grandstage has a 'better' action, if you like the soundset offered by korg (the fact is that they are one of the only brands to use multi gigabyte samples right now...). It is a stage piano, so keep that in mind.

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037778 10/20/20 03:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 652
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 652
Interesting that this came up, as I was just trying to navigate the nomenclature myself. It doesn't help that there's not really any standardization, and that any "keyboard" might have any number of idiosyncratic features, but as a very general rule, I came to the conclusions that ...

MIDI controller: just controls other things
synthesizer: MIDI controller + sounds
workstation: synthesizer + sequencer (etc.)
arranger: workstation + auto-accompany

And then ...

digital piano: just what it sounds like (plus this or that other feature)
portable keyboard: usually just a fun, inexpensive synth or arranger


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: Yamaha MX61, PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
JediMasterThrash #3037781 10/20/20 03:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,154
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 2,154
We actually had an "arranger or workstation" war here some time ago. 😉

Re: Help navigating types of keyboards for a new purchase
clothearednincompo #3037783 10/20/20 03:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 652
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 652
Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
We actually had an "arranger or workstation" war here some time ago. 😉

I have no trouble believing that ... laugh


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland FP-30, Casio CDP-130
Past: Casio PX-830, Casio PX-160
Etc.: Yamaha MX61, PianoTeq Stage 6 (Bechstein, Bluethner, U4, Vibes, Xylo), Roland KC-80
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Hybrid piano too loud for my neighbor :(
by kiwibd - 11/27/20 07:19 PM
White noise
by QuasarPiano - 11/27/20 05:40 PM
Im Strolling Along With You
by Claude56 - 11/27/20 05:12 PM
Stretch Tuning in Sampled DPs?
by Harpuia - 11/27/20 05:10 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics203,086
Posts3,027,937
Members99,391
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4