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88 Key Arranger Pianos
#3043681 11/07/20 08:51 PM
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I recently read about and saw some reviews of the Korg 88 key XE-20 piano with arranger features. Some YouTube videos show favorable/positive findings.

I am wondering if anybody here has experience with these type of keyboards. The XE-20 seems to combine the best of piano style keyboard and arranger capabilities for when you want to have some fun with popular songs. And I believe cost around $1000 Canadian dollars if I remember correctly.

Maybe it is my organ background from when I was a kid. But I've always wanted something like this and this seems to hit a sweet spot for a good action, lots of sounds, lots of styles to just hit a button and play along to.

I had hoped my Casio PX5S could do this more easily. But I am afraid not. Even though I love the powerful sounds it has that is not its forte. I know the Casio PX 560 would have been a better fit but wasn't available when I got the PX5S.

I would appreciate thoughts on these types of boards. Specifically the quality of the piano action, sounds, and ease of use. Thanks.


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Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043735 11/08/20 05:58 AM
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Hello, Zoe,

There was a similar topic recently, you may find it useful:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3038033/1.html


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043740 11/08/20 06:30 AM
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There are e.g. these video comparisons of Korg XE-20 and Casio PX-S3000.




Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043751 11/08/20 07:48 AM
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The 88-key hammer action models with arranger features appear to be the Korg XE20, Yamaha DGX660, and Casios: CDP-S350, PX-S3000, PX-560 and I think CGP-700. (Maybe some of their "console" models too, I've never looked at those.)

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043753 11/08/20 08:06 AM
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Roland's F-140R and RP-501 have accompaniments built-in and other models provide them via a free mobile app.

Dexibell (not quite) similarly has their X-Mure iOS app with some free styles and others available for purchase.

Yamaha's CVP series (rather expensive) has accompaniments too.

In Casio's "console" models I guess the old AP-650 is the only one.

Then there may be some Medeli/Dynatone pianos available with accompaniments.

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
EVC2017 #3043837 11/08/20 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Hello, Zoe,

There was a similar topic recently, you may find it useful:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3038033/1.html

Thanks for referring me here. It had alot of information!

And thanks to the other responses Iam going through those as well.


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Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043892 11/08/20 07:57 PM
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Except for the Yamaha CVP series, which has full arranger capabilities and is very overpriced, the built-in arranger in all the other digital pianos with "arranger capabilities" that I've tried have been extremely limited. I never even used that feature in the PX-560 in the 2 years I had it.

If you're looking for a digital piano, I would strongly suggest not leting the arranger part be the main deciding factor. Even the cheapest Yamaha PSR -E or PSR-S will give you a much more advanced arranger than the ones thrown into a digital piano. I

f possible, get a digital piano with a decent action. If you like your PX-5S, keep that and add a Yamaha arranger keyboard to your setup.

I hardly touched my Tyros5 arranger before but have been using it quite a bit during the pandemic to lay down backing tracks so I can play along in my MP11se.

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3043941 11/09/20 12:13 AM
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Hi djvu thanks for your insights. I didn't really think of having two keyboards hooked up. I have a small yamaha keyboard I got years ago for my kids. I could probably use that. I'd have to figure out the setup. My current setup doesn't leave space for a second a keyboard.

I have also wondered about if after a point in time I'd lose interest in those arranger features or they would feel limited or gimmicky. I'd hate to have to sacrifice key action for this and regret it later.

As an alternative I hooked up my ipad to audio out on px5s and used garage band to play some backup drums. Still not one touch but relatively easy. I wish I had a chance to try one of these keyboards but nobody seems to have them in stock.


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Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3044585 11/10/20 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ZoeCalgary
Maybe it is my organ background from when I was a kid. But I've always wanted something like this and this seems to hit a sweet spot for a good action, lots of sounds, lots of styles to just hit a button and play along to.

Here is my impression: I don't think I live long enough to see a decent properly priced 88key arranger from Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Casio etc.

Forget about your childhood dream. Get an 88 key synth with a sequencer.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3044614 11/10/20 08:46 PM
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Another shoutout (after "anotherscott") for the Yamaha DGX-660. About $800 in the US, before store discounts, with stand and simple pedal.

It has a 6-track arranger, 554 voices including 15 drum kits, 205 styles, and a great user interface. It has weighted and graded keys, but is still a relatively light action.

I own one and have reviewed it at length -- click on my name and go to the first few posts, with follow-ups in later posts in response to questions from others. "Peterws" on this forum has owned several DGX series models, used their arranger capabilities extensively, and been pleased with them.

I bought mine on returning to the piano after 40 years away, and though I've since graduated to an acoustic grand, will always keep my DGX-660 as well. Simply a great value at its price!

Lotus
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Working on: Mozart, Adagio in B minor, K.540
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Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
Lotus1 #3044645 11/10/20 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus1
Another shoutout (after "anotherscott") for the Yamaha DGX-660. About $800 in the US, before store discounts, with stand and simple pedal.

It has a 6-track arranger, 554 voices including 15 drum kits, 205 styles, and a great user interface. It has weighted and graded keys, but is still a relatively light action.

I own one and have reviewed it at length -- click on my name and go to the first few posts, with follow-ups in later posts in response to questions from others. "Peterws" on this forum has owned several DGX series models, used their arranger capabilities extensively, and been pleased with them.

I bought mine on returning to the piano after 40 years away, and though I've since graduated to an acoustic grand, will always keep my DGX-660 as well. Simply a great value at its price!

Lotus
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Working on: Mozart, Adagio in B minor, K.540
Pianos: Kawai GM-10 grand, Yamaha DGX-660 digital

First: DGX 660 is at its end of life spawn. Yamaha will soon introduce a new one.

Second: MODX8 is far superior to DGX-660. You have scenes that can kind of work like variations in an arranger.


Kawai MP7SE, Yamaha MOTF XF6, Yamaha WX5, Yamaha Pacifica 112v
Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3044658 11/11/20 01:40 AM
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I suppose there are two options:
- Abdol is talking about more serious tools to actually make music and those tools will sound cool and may have some learning curve
- Then there are simple "pick a style and play" products that are okay for just having fun but won't sound as professional or "cool"

The latter is for the ones who played on a Yamaha Electone organ as a kid and want something similar in a piano form factor.

(And I know it's not really fair to compare e.g. the Yamaha DGX with an 80's Electone. 😊)

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
Abdol #3044818 11/11/20 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Abdol
First: DGX 660 is at its end of life spawn. Yamaha will soon introduce a new one.
That doesn't mean that the DGX660 is any worse (or any more or less capable of filling the OP's wish list) than it was yesterday, a year ago, or 5 years ago. It might mean he may want to wait a little bit to see if there is indeed a better option around the corner... but AFAIK, we don't know for sure that there will be an imminent replacement, and the one thing you can never get back is time. (He may also prefer the newer Korg or Casio models mentioned anyway.)

Originally Posted by Abdol
Second: MODX8 is far superior to DGX-660. You have scenes that can kind of work like variations in an arranger.
It seems to me that MODX8 is inferior to the DGX-660 for the things he has expressed wanting to do. He wants "lots of styles to just hit a button and play along to." That's what an arranger does, and MODX scenes do not provide this function. Sure, people can use various tools to create their own backing sequences on instruments that are not arrangers, but it requires a ton more time and effort, and certain abilities that not everyone necessarily has. It's one thing to say "I'd like to play this song as a bosa nova, let me hit the bossa nova button," and another thing entirely to know how to create a good sounding bossa nova accompaniment from scratch, knowing what instruments should be used and exactly what each of them should be playing, etc. If you want to enjoy a piece of cake, lots of people would rather just buy a cake rather than be told that, if they want a piece of cake, they should first learn to bake cakes.

Or for another analogy, it's as if someone came onto the board and asked for a recommendation for a bicycle, and you answered that he should forget about bicylces and just get a car. Cars have a lot of advantages, but sometimes people just want a bicycle! And indeed, for some uses, bicycles are better than cars.

Maybe the DGX660 and Korg and Casio models mentioned aren't good enough, and he might be better off (as djvu10 said) adding something like a Yamaha PSR or a Korg PA model to his PX5S. But it's also possible his needs will be filled by one of those 88s, so there's no reason not to consider them as well. (I'd prefer the 2-keyboard approach myself, you should still be able to use the 88 to trigger the arranger if and when desired, but sometimes having the non-hammer action at your disposal is nice as well... and with the appropriate stand, a PX5S+arranger wouldn't have to take up a whole lot more space than the PX5S by itself.)

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3044829 11/11/20 11:18 AM
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Maybe it would be less confusing once we think of digital/hybrid pianos, arranger keyboards, and synth workstations as 3 totally different machines with different functions, made with different users in mind. Manufacturers may take a handful of ingredients from one and toss into the other but we will not get 2 in one without compromises so it's very important to know what's most important to us as individuals.

If you want the very best action, look for the best action and don't get sidetracked by the 2000 drum sounds on another piano with an inferior action. It's only a bonus when the 2 actions are equal and one has drums.

Re: 88 Key Arranger Pianos
ZoeCalgary #3044836 11/11/20 11:39 AM
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Hi Abdol. Interesting perspective. I chuckled when I saw your post. Have you tried any of these and if so can you provide some specific insights into what is good/bad about them?

To be honest I don't know what makes a good arranger keyboard. I've seen some for $500 and some for thousands (which seem way over priced) but somebody must be buying them if they are making them at all these various price points. For me part of the appeal is the ability to just sit and play without having a complicated setup. I have alot of synth apps in my ipad but again that is adding to items involved in the setup.


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