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Beginner looking for purchase advice
#3053235 12/05/20 11:21 AM
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Hi everyone. I’ve been lurking around the forum for the last little while and haven’t quite found the answers I’m looking for RE buying my first DP.

I’m just having some trouble deciding. I am a beginner, but I have been playing music for the last 13ish years. Guitar, drums, I’ve dabbled in bass and piano a bit. I’m of the mind set that you should buy right once and forget about it; I don’t love the idea of getting a cheap instrument to start on...I think having something a bit nicer just makes the experience more enjoyable. I do have a discerning ear; I find most cheap DP’s just sound...well...cheap. Like a toy.

I have a few needs that have to be considered. First, it has to have some method of inputting audio. I will primarily play using my iPad, it should have an option to connect midi to the iPad as well. I want something easy and clean. I can handle a cord or 2, but nothing more. It has to be simple enough for the kids to hook up, and this is in my living room...I don’t want a mess. This one feature in itself seems to be scarce in lower end DP’s. Further to this I see some have Bluetooth; is that reliable? Is latency not an issue here?

Also, I have some hand issues. I can work around a lot, and I can break up my practice throughout the day until they get stronger. However, I believe something with a bit lighter action would be beneficial. I’m not talking a keyboard with no action at all here, but I don’t have hammers for fingers; it’s a factor.

With that said, my wife got me this Casio CDP100 from Costco, and while it does actually have an audio input, I find it sounds pretty terrible. It’s just very processed and toyish...zero warmth at all. The keys feel cramped to me as well, and the inputs have a lot of noise (cheap electronics?). I’m very unimpressed.

I did go and try to purchase a Roland FP30. It felt pretty good to me (much heavier than the Casio so I guess time would tell) and the sound was much improved. However, much to my dismay, with all its connection options, there’s absolutely no way to input audio. This just baffles me...maybe that’s not the norm for pianos? I also wasn’t a fan of the navigation through the keys with no display. The Casio has this as well, but it’s much easier to follow as everything is marked above the keys.

Upon looking at the options it seems I would have to move up to the FP 60 to get what I’m looking for. Then I see that in the same price range there’s the Yamaha p515. There’s also the Casio PXS range, but I don’t think I would like the shallow keys on those either. On paper the Yamaha seems ideal, but then I’ve read that the action is quite heavy? How would it compare to the Roland? There’s a million comparisons to the FP90, but that’s almost 1000 more; the FP60 is the direct competition here and it’s completely different.

I know kawai is also highly recommended, but there’s zero availability here so it’s not a consideration.

I really appreciate any input! Would love to get this sorted ASAP.

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Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053258 12/05/20 01:06 PM
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I haven't played it, but by reputation, Yamaha P515 has one of the heavier actions. At that price, if you were okay with the feel of the FP30, you're probably better off with the FP60. At a lower price, there's the Yamaha DGX-660, which feels lighter than the Rolands.

Another Roland to consider might be the RD88. The FP will have the better speakers, but the feature sets are pretty different and you might prefer one over the other from that respect.

You might also want to look at the Casio PX360/PX560, the action is of a different design than the PX-S range or the one you got at Costco (which presumably was a CDP-S100, not a CDP-100 which is old and wouldn't have had the audio input). I don't think you'd find these other Casios "cramped" and these will probably also feel lighter than the Rolands. They have a very nice touchscreen interface for sound selection and other settings. They are flexible in their audio and MIDI connections. Strictly as a piano, there is probably no reason to buy the 560 over the 360, but if you get into other capabilities, there are advantages to the 560, see https://www.casiomusicforums.com/in...or-px-360-the-case-of-the-300-mod-wheel/

Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053259 12/05/20 01:20 PM
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I used to have a Casio Privia PX-160. My first upgarde was the Yamaha P515.
Yes the action is much heavier. But also I find it more stable. The keys feel very responsive to my playing and I actually sold my PX-160 to a beginner player. The PX-160 action was extreamly light but still not too bad. But oh boy the P515 action is soo much palatable to me. I have better control over the velocity, and I can actually nail trills with ease. Everything feels tight.

Haven't tried the Roland's FP 60. I did try the Roland HP-704 action and it was an absolute bliss to play. But I'm not sure it is the same action that resides in the FP-60.


Yamaha P-515
Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053264 12/05/20 01:39 PM
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I should also add, it doesn’t have to be a slab. It can also be a non portable digital upright. I’m not taking it anywhere.

Actually just looking at the Roland F140r...seems it’s basically an fp30 with a cabinet and it adds a small display, more buttons, and an audio input. Exactly what I’m looking for...of course completely out of stock everywhere.

I really wonder if the Yamaha action is something I could get comfortable with. I’m sure it would just be a matter of strengthening and technique...I had to work that through with drums as well.

I’ll take a look at the other suggestions so far. Thanks!

Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053273 12/05/20 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by savagekeys
Actually just looking at the Roland F140r...seems it’s basically an fp30 with a cabinet [...]

And the RP-501R is basically an F-140R in a different cabinet.

Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
clothearednincompo #3053277 12/05/20 02:06 PM
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Yeah I saw that, but the 501 is 800 dollars more smirk.

Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053279 12/05/20 02:15 PM
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You should consider also the used market, where you can get a good intermediate level portable or decent stage piano. Actions that are light won't help, as your fingers (actually your forearm muscles) will fatigue no matter what action you chose if either:

1) Your posture at the piano is bad (bad posture leads to inefficient biomechamnics and injuries).

2) Your technique is poor (you'll use more force and fatigue your forearms faster)

3) You practise for too long (then you will strain your forearms and put yourself off regular exercises)..

If you sort these three, you can adjust to most actions.


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: Beginner looking for purchase advice
Doug M. #3053286 12/05/20 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
You should consider also the used market, where you can get a good intermediate level portable or decent stage piano. Actions that are light won't help, as your fingers (actually your forearm muscles) will fatigue no matter what action you chose if either:

1) Your posture at the piano is bad (bad posture leads to inefficient biomechamnics and injuries).

2) Your technique is poor (you'll use more force and fatigue your forearms faster)

3) You practise for too long (then you will strain your forearms and put yourself off regular exercises)..

If you sort these three, you can adjust to most actions.

Yeah I’ve tried going used, but there seems to be a pretty big shortage on supply right now and used prices are almost the same as new...

I’ve wondered if it’s just a technique thing for the action. I do have some injury history, but that just makes the technique that much more important. With drumming I struggled with pain for quite a while until I took 6 months to just focus on my hand technique and getting it to a place that was comfortable for me.

It’s really just a matter of how long it takes to get fatigued. I’m sure that’s something I could build up as I play longer. As it is my endurance isn’t great, so I just break up my practice throughout the day.

Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053291 12/05/20 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by savagekeys
Originally Posted by Doug M.
You should consider also the used market, where you can get a good intermediate level portable or decent stage piano. Actions that are light won't help, as your fingers (actually your forearm muscles) will fatigue no matter what action you chose if either:

1) Your posture at the piano is bad (bad posture leads to inefficient biomechamnics and injuries).

2) Your technique is poor (you'll use more force and fatigue your forearms faster)

3) You practise for too long (then you will strain your forearms and put yourself off regular exercises)..

If you sort these three, you can adjust to most actions.

Yeah I’ve tried going used, but there seems to be a pretty big shortage on supply right now and used prices are almost the same as new...

I’ve wondered if it’s just a technique thing for the action. I do have some injury history, but that just makes the technique that much more important. With drumming I struggled with pain for quite a while until I took 6 months to just focus on my hand technique and getting it to a place that was comfortable for me.

It’s really just a matter of how long it takes to get fatigued. I’m sure that’s something I could build up as I play longer. As it is my endurance isn’t great, so I just break up my practice throughout the day.


This book is very useful for piano posture and technique
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1579992064/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_jv-YFb6PB7Z7A


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: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053342 12/05/20 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by savagekeys
[quote=Doug M.]

I’ve wondered if it’s just a technique thing for the action. I do have some injury history, but that just makes the technique that much more important. With drumming I struggled with pain for quite a while until I took 6 months to just focus on my hand technique and getting it to a place that was comfortable for me.

It’s really just a matter of how long it takes to get fatigued. I’m sure that’s something I could build up as I play longer. As it is my endurance isn’t great, so I just break up my practice throughout the day.

I leant piano as a child and leant proper hand position, technique and posture, however my fingers were fatigued with FP-90 before I made some adjustments.
What I found for myself, and what solved the problem for me:
1) It is a keyboard, I measured the height of a real piano to adjust the height of the stand, but it turned out it was 1 inch taller than needed. Fixed that.
2) Pedal is shifting on the floor, and you can sit closer or farther than needed, or shift left or right. As the middle section of a piano played more, this affects the posture.
3) Keys on a digital piano have more resistance when bottoming than acoustic - on my acoustic upright the initial resistance reduces as I press the key down. Setting touch sensitivity too high on a digital piano may feel ok or less resistance at the beginning than acoustic, but will result in super heavy keyboard when bottoming out. This was exactly the case with me, and I reduced touch sensitivity to middle settings.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1 | Roland FP-90
Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
personne #3053373 12/05/20 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by personne
2) Pedal is shifting on the floor, and you can sit closer or farther than needed, or shift left or right. As the middle section of a piano played more, this affects the posture.

I solved that with a simple DIY device using a MDF scrap. Underneath it, some small silicon drops to stop it from slipping. Those and the pedal weight are enough for it stay in place in my case, but a brick or two (or any other weight) could be added if needed.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053430 12/05/20 08:08 PM
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I procrastinated my purchase for well over a year before finally committing. Some concessions will be necessary -- and exceeding budget is almost guaranteed!

I guess availability (and budget) will decide for you in the end. If your playing improves it is difficult to believe you might not yearn for a better instrument! Would it be more realistic to acknowledge that now rather than later? That perspective can inform the compromises you can live with, for a period of time.


Current: Casio GP-310 / Albéniz:España
Ex: Yamaha HS-4(!!)
Re: Beginner looking for purchase advice
savagekeys #3053450 12/05/20 09:32 PM
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Well my decision was made easier for me. Went to look at the p515, and there happened to be a lightly used FP60 there. Grabbed it with a new matching stand, included a gig bag, and free extended warranty; with taxes in wound up being less than just the p515 before tax.

Was a good deal, I knew I would like the feel of it, and now having sat and played it for a while I’m super pleased with this choice. Does everything I need, sounds great (just blows that Casio out of the water), and the feel of it is very nice. There were things that I was struggling with on the Casio that I can play like butter on the Roland. Just feels like there’s so much more space and it’s so smooth. Not sure if the keys are actually longer, of if it’s the short pivot on the Casio...or maybe just the feel in general. Regardless I’m a happy camper smile.


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