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oldRob Offline OP
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Hi folks,

Probably a common story but, here goes anyway ...

I just joined. I am almost 65 yo. I took lessons as kid (~5yrs?) but, was never very good ... low intermediate maybe.
After starting a family, we bought a new Kawai US-50 full upright to play with and also for our kids to take lessons on. My wife was also a recreational
piano player f about the same caliber. We had three kids, who took lessons but, never fell in love with piano.

Fast forward many years .... I have just retired. I have basically ignored the piano over the years, being distracted with other pursuits, by work, family obligations, etc. We have moved it a few times and it has become mostly furniture. It sure looks good sitting in the living room ! LOL
However, I am wanting to try and get back into it and see how far I can go with piano. I plan to take some lessons soon.
Just got the piano tuned and it still sound great.

This will be strictly for self enjoyment/hobby playing ... no plans/delusions on pursuing playing in groups or bands.

I have a dilemma ...

The Kawai piano is quite large, and very full sounding, for our house. We have a small house and it dominates the living room and my wife complains that it is too loud for the space. It is a wonderful piano but, a tank. It cannot be moved by myself.

So ... I am looking into replacing it with a decent digital piano console ... one that is attractive and sounds nice. Why?

1. It will take up less space for sure. Also, I can imagine I could move it to the spare bedroom if need be down the road.
2. They look like fun and offer ways to play with different sounds
3. I can use headphones and practice or play without disturbing my wife.
4. easier volume control?
5. I have mild arthritis in my hands and flexibility isn't what it used to be. I am thinking that I can get lighter key action with a DP which would help.

Anyway, I am researching DPs and will be visiting a local dealer to look at models starting tomorrow. They have some Korg, Kawai, and a few Yamahas I can check out.

Am I being crazy to let the Kawai US50 go??
Any good suggesting for a console DP?
I am looking for nice key action and authentic sound and, a nice looking piano.



Thanks,
Rob


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You list some good reasons for replacing your acoustic piano. But some of them may have easy solutions or partial solutions:
1. You can probably reduce the volume of the Kawai by covering the back of the piano with a blanket or fancier acoustic treatment.
2. Your piano tech may be able to quiet the piano by voicing the hammers. He may also be able to lighten the action.
3. The acoustic piano could be moved to the spare bedroom with the help of professional movers. If the spare bedroom is on a different floor this could be fairly expensive.


There are an incredible number of digital and hybrid pianos available. If you decide to go that route you could post on the Digital Forum on PianoWorld. It would also be a good idea to read the sections on digitals in The Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer which is available for free online here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/buying-guide/

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/15/20 10:33 AM.
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There are an incredible number of digital and hybrid pianos available. If you decide to go that route you could post on the Digital Forum on PianoWorld. It would also be a good idea to read the sections on digitals in The Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer which is available for free online here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/buying-guide/

And ... if you do ... please indicate some sort of a budget because that will limit the options somewhat.


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I'm tempted to offer a general answer:

. . . Any piano you play, is better than a piano that you don't play.

On the acoustic's side:

Except for some high-priced models, you won't find a DP that matches the sound that comes out of your acoustic piano. (Some people would say that _no_ DP matches an acoustic.)

Some people who have found that they can play on an acoustic without hand problems, but they can't do that with a DP.

You've listed the advantages of a DP yourself. I suggest that you don't do "quiet practice" --

. . . either run the DP at "acoustic piano" levels, or wear headphones.

In general, the nicer a DP looks, and the closer it sounds to an acoustic piano, the more difficult it is to move. "Slab pianos" (or "stage pianos"), without a cabinet, are mostly movable by one person --they start at 25 pounds. But you'll need a stand, and those tend to be "industrial" (="ugly", to many people). There are minimal "furniture stands" available, which might be an acceptable compromise.

If you're suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a good teacher might be able to correct technical problems, and improve your situation.

There's an important question that you may not be able to answer, yet:

. . . What's your budget ?


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If you want to try an easy and inexpensive way to reduce the sound, I recommend getting some flat foam cushions because they will stand up by themselves and you don't have to do anything to get them to stand between the back of the piano and the wall. That's what I did when I had a booming Baldwin upright and then later a not-booming but still too loud Petrof. Now I have a grand, no pillows! smile

Anyway, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about, but just go to the craft section in a big Walmart and I think they're cheaper there.

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Re your hands:
Quote
I have mild arthritis in my hands and flexibility isn't what it used to be. I am thinking that I can get lighter key action with a DP which would help.

You might find that an acoustic is better for you, even though that may seem counter-intuitive. The keyboard on a digital is less responsive, and even good with digitals, it seems/feels like the keyboard bottoms out... It's kind of hard to explain, but when you play an acoustic, it's so responsive and you quickly adapt to that. With a digital, many people find they end up playing more forcefully to achieve similar effects. I really noticed that when I went from playing an acoustic to playing a digital for the few years while we were in an apartment and couldn't have an acoustic.

Ah, here's a comparison: Imagine you were running and jumping around on a nice grassy lawn or a professional basketball court with a responsive floor, and then compare that to running and jumping around on cement. Your knees would quickly let you know that they prefer the lawn or the basketball court over the concrete. Digital pianos are more like the concrete than the lawn (unless you get a super high-end one -- everyone in the Digital Forum will probably jump all over me for this comment! And just for reference, over the years, I've owned three different Yamaha digitals, in the Arius line)

Anyway, since you already have the acoustic, I recommend you try the foam cushions for the sound and then for your hands/arthritis, practice in short sessions, gently and slowly over a week or two, and see how you feel. I suspect that just from playing, your flexibility will gradually improve, and if you don't push yourself, you can get back into playing and you won't have pain etc.

Do give an update, whatever you decide to do!


Started piano June 1999.
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BTW you asked about suggestions for a digital piano, by console I assume you mean one with a "furniture" look? If so, check out the Yamaha Arius lines (YDP, the numbers are like 144, 164, 181 or maybe the last digit is different). The 181 gets really good reviews (I had both a 141 and 161 at different times, due to moving a lot!)

Otherwise you might consider a Roland, like 105? And then there are some Casios and Kawai also makes digitals. As someone above mentioned, a lot of it comes down to budget. I suspect if you wait past Christmas, there prices may go down a bit based on what I'm reading about how in-demand digital pianos currently are. But generally for a digital with weighted keys, prices start around $1000, the Arisu line pianos are more like $1500-2000, and then beyond that, the sky's the limit, as they say!

Having said all that, I hope you'll give your acoustic a chance first! whome

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 12/15/20 11:21 AM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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oldRob Offline OP
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Ooops, I forgot budget. I am looking for < $3000, preferably $2500 max.

By console I mean yes, traditional furniture look. I am not interested in a slab keyboard.
I am not in a rush. I am thinking sometime over the next few months.

Last edited by oldRob; 12/15/20 12:48 PM.

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Kawai CA49 or Kawai CA59.


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Originally Posted by dmd
Kawai CA49 or Kawai CA59.

OldRob,

I read your story and I agree with DMD.....the middle range of Kawai dp’s is maybe the best choice for you.....and welcome on ABF .......it’s nice to lurk around here.

Good luck at piano playing...... thumb thumb....it’s never too late grin grin

Kind regards,
Johan B


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I was in almost the exact same situation as you are. Have had a Baldwin acoustic in the house for 50 years, but hadn't played since my teens. Decided after retirement to take up the piano again, and bought a Casio PX-S3000 and gave it a home in my Tiki Room where I won't disturb the rest of the house. I've had zero complaints about my $750 Casio, it does everything I want (and more) and I play it rather than the Baldwin even when the house is empty. It is real kick-in-the-but fun to play. In your budget there are a lot of nice DP's to choose from, enjoy. One of the things you will want to consider is are you going to use it strictly for piano, or at some point to you want drums, accompaniment, etc.

have fun!

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Well Rob your story sounds very similar to mine except I never played when I was young. I'm 62 and been learning how to play piano for about 7 months now and love it.
I always wanted to play the piano. I also have RA and playing helps it a lot. Being as old as I am also wanted to keep my mind learning new things and learning how to play and read music is like learning two languages forward and backwards.lol
Anyway,
I ended up getting the Roland HP702 because its easy to move,
its a nice looking piece, has everything you will ever need for learning and playing,
the sound is fantastic, when you use the headphones it sounds like the sound is coming from the piano itself and not the headphones and its in your budget range.
What I like the most is the keys. they are graded, weighted with escapement just like the acoustic piano.
I to have no room for a acoustic piano so I must go with something that will work for me.
There are many good ones out there in your price range, check them all I did and ended up with what I liked the most.
Good luck.

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Keep your acoustic piano and play only when you can or buy a digital and play when you want. Don't believe people who say you can't really learn on a digital piano. I'm lucky I own both a digital and an acoustic piano. I practise mostly on my digital piano because I can record myself and I play my acoustic when my wife doesn't watch TV.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

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Today I tried the CN39, CA49, and the CA59. I really like the CA59. I am leaning towards that.


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I prefer digital over acoustic. I had an acoustic upright and didn’t enjoy nearly as much as my digital. Your budget will allow for many options. I’ve been a nord fan for many years and highly recommend looking at nord piano 4 and nord grand. Regardless whatever you route you go keep in mind if you call into sweetwater music they often have demos for sale and either way when you call a rep they can almost always knock a few bucks off!

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I have an older model (2003?) Yamaha Clavinova and it looks like they have only gotten snazzier. But it's a good piano and I am fine with what I have.
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/clavinova/index.html


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Originally Posted by Josh1770
I have an older model (2003?) Yamaha Clavinova and it looks like they have only gotten snazzier. But it's a good piano and I am fine with what I have.
https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/clavinova/index.html

Yamaha digital pianos are great! Also like that you have a circa 2003 and are still happy with it as they don't become outdated. I also Like your signature quote. “Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They'd rather show the highlight of what they've become.”

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My story is very similar to yours. I took lessons as a kid from 5 on (when my father purchased a Knight K10 upright) and scraped an ABRSM Grade 3 at age 11. In the early 1990s my father became too ill to play and I inherited his piano but didn't touch it. My youngest daughter learnt on it.

Fast forward to May 2017 and my daughter moves into a big house with room for a piano, so she inherits it from me. In September 2017 I get the urge to play again at age 66 and because I had just given my piano away had to buy a digital to replace it.

I didn't spend enough on it. I bought a Casio, but it was the equivalent of the Yamaha Arius mentioned further up this thread. Within 6 weeks I knew I had to upgrade it and ended up with a Kawai CA67 which I am still using to this day. BUT, obviously I visit my daughter and can play the acoustic upright. When I first started I found the acoustic too difficult to play after the digital. but after about 6 months I suddenly realised to full sound and feeling an acoustic piano can give you and vowed as soon as I could to get myself an acoustic.

In April this year I finally bought myself a Baby Grand. Nevertheless, practising on it annoys my wife, so I only play it for my lessons and when my wife goes out. I kept the CA67 for practising (soley with headphones) although beside the Baby Grand the action now feels bland. But it does the job. I did consider a silent system in the Grand, but came to the conclusion the best the digital part would last would be 20 years, the worst the acoustic part would be 80 years and the added cost of a digital fitting was more than a complete new digital piano. If I were to repeat today I would more inclined towards Yamaha CLP 7xx (although to be fair I haven't tried one and that is an essential prerequisite) because of the tone you get from the Binaural processing (I tried an Yamaha N1X on the way to buying my Grand and for headphones the sound was gorgeous)

I found that the old capabilities came back within 6 weeks and were soon superseded.


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You must be pretty good. I am so out of practice that I couldn't justify a nice acoustic anymore. I think I might have sniffed a grade 3 in my early teens but,
unfortunately I haven't done anything since then until now. I figure I will give myself a year or two and if I really develop something, I can reconsider an acoustic down the road.


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Most of digital pianos have actually heavier actions than average upright piano

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Originally Posted by oldRob
You must be pretty good. I am so out of practice that I couldn't justify a nice acoustic anymore. I think I might have sniffed a grade 3 in my early teens but,
unfortunately I haven't done anything since then until now. I figure I will give myself a year or two and if I really develop something, I can reconsider an acoustic down the road.

I was definitely NOT pretty good when I restarted in 2017, but I have come a long way in 3 years. I've had a fantastic teacher who has shown me how to practice efficiently - and although I still struggle a bit putting into practice what she has taught me. At the start of this year I put learning the Pathetique on my goals (I could already play the second movement), but gave up a few months in because it was too hard. But I came back to it in the Autumn and a couple of weeks ago managed to nail a section I had though would be totally impossible in less than a week by using the techniques I had been taught. I am now confident that I will finish the 1st Movement shortly.

What I have discovered as an adult that when I have time (I do have conflicting hobbies) I can concentrate on small details for long periods of time much better than as a child. Now I am retired I have the luxury of giving it more time - and actually I find I am actually practising maybe 4 or 5 times a day in 20-30 minute chunks (or sometimes longer as I just get carried away).

I didn't want to commit the money for the grand for at least two years after I started, as my life is full of hobbies that have died away after a 2 year spurt of intense enthusiasm. I told myself I would give it three years, but in the end I caved in an bought after 2 1/2 years. I am glad I did as the piano was delivered a week before the national lockdown.


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