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Hello! New here... so bare with me. I found a thread from 2016 that asked,
“ Hello everyone.

I am looking for a DP with good harpsichord sound. I love J.Bach music (baroque music) and my focus is learning and playing his keyboard works with harpsichord. Currently, i'm playing in Yamaha NP30. My keyboard have light weight key action and two harpsichord sounds. I think i should get a better one with more weight in key action.


- My budget is $700
- Key action is not important to me, but it must have weight, not light weight. I don't have plan to play in acoustic piano.
- Realistic Harpsichord smile.”

My son is upper intermediate in piano and plays the organ, would love to play the harpsichord. He is a big fan of baroque music and Bach. He’s going to be moving and I’d love to get him a nice digital piano to take with him. Do you have any you would recommend? The old thread said Yamaha p-115, but it looks like that is discontinued. I’d be so grateful for more suggestions.

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P115 has been substituted by p125, you can go for that one

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Maybe a used Kawai MP7


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The MP7 hammer action is too heavy for harpsichord and organ IMO.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The MP7 hammer action is too heavy for harpsichord and organ IMO.
As hammer actions go (since it sounds like he wants to play piano as well), MP7 is one of the best if you must play organ/harpsi from such an action. (I don't know about the MP7SE, which has a different action.) It's got a lighter/quicker action than most hammer action boards, and even has a high trigger option for the organ, The only ones that might be better are a lot more expensive. However, I don't know anything about its pipe organ sounds (which I assume is the kind of organ sound of interest, based on the references to baroque music and haprishord).

If piano is not so important and a hammer action is not required, for a moderately priced board that's good for pipe organ and harpsichord (but also has piano sounds), I'd look at the Hammond SK1. Its 88-key version (still not a hammer action) is supposed to be better suited for piano than its 61 and 73 key variants, though it's also pricier (and I haven't played that one, myself).

These might be higher end boards than he'd be interested in, though.

Sticking with the same general category as that Yamaha P-115, for an inexpensive DP (hammer action) with a variety of harpsichord and pipe organ sounds, I'd look at a Casio CDP-S350 or PX-S3000.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The MP7 hammer action is too heavy for harpsichord and organ IMO.

IMO, that would depend on whether it's drawbar organ playing or church organ. I think that the MP7 has good organs in both categories, but I'd be after a controller with waterfall keys for playing drawbar organs and rock organ patches, if one was going to play professional drawbar organ licks.

It would handle harpsichord, unless the user had no experience of playing on a graded weighted action.


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What a wonderful reply... thank you so much! I will look into all of those options today! Much thanks!!

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Good advice above (I'd add a vote for the Kawai MP7/SE), however:

Make sure your son gets involved in the choice and test-plays the instruments in question! Since he is already experienced he will have clear opinions about what he likes or dislikes.

As far as authentic harpsichord playing is concerned: None of the digital pianos will emulate the keyboard feeling of a real harpsichord due to the specific mechanism of harpsichords, plucking strings with a plectrum (everyone who has played a real harpsichord will confirm)...

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The P-125 has a nice pipe organ - one of the nicest sounds on that DP.

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Picking up from my previous post... Although not well recorded, I thought the sound, variety and controllability of the pipe organs of the SK1 looked pretty nice in this video, starting at about 8 and a half minutes in:


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Why do you want a weighted keyboard to play harpsichord and organ music? Harpsichords and organs do not have weighted, piano-style keyboard actions. Pianos and piano actions defeat some of the fingerings and techniques used in baroque music. The piano action also creates technical challenges for the heavier use of ornaments employed when the music is played on a harpsichord.


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Hi.

If your son have a computer and is really in to playing organ I recommend to take a look at a product called Organteq by Modartt. It's a virtual pipe organ with capabilities way and beyond any digital piano on the market. It's around 250 euros but I think it's well worth it if you're really in to exploring the pipe organ. Modartt also gives 40% discount for students. Of course to get most out of it you need multiple manuals and a pedal board, but it still nice no use together with a digital piano (and you can always ad more manuals later on). My girlfriend is a professional organist and she really like to use it together with our DP. Modartt also have a product called Pianoteq which is a virtual piano that also have really nice harpsichords and other historical keyboard instruments. The cheapest version is around 80 euros and give you a really good selection of instruments (and two nice modern pianos of choice). Organteq and Pianoteq together contains virtually all historical instruments you'll ever need and you really don't need a very fancy computer to handle them.

As for the piano the Roland fp10 is another great option with a really nice piano action for the price, I don't know how the build in organs or harpsichord are, but together with Organteq (and perhaps Pianoteq) you'll have a really powerful combo that's not too expensive.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Why do you want a weighted keyboard to play harpsichord and organ music? Harpsichords and organs do not have weighted, piano-style keyboard actions. Pianos and piano actions defeat some of the fingerings and techniques used in baroque music. The piano action also creates technical challenges for the heavier use of ornaments employed when the music is played on a harpsichord.
OP said "My son is upper intermediate in piano and plays the organ, would love to play the harpsichord." So if you want to play all three of those, you need to compromise in one direction or the other. So you either choose one of the lighter/quicker piano actions that isn't completely atrocious for organ/harpsi, or you choose a non-hammer action that is at least tolerable for piano (or you buy two keyboards).

One of my favorite non-hammer actions for playing piano is the new Vox Continental... but it doesn't have the kind of pipe organs the Hammond SK1 I mentioned has. Piano on the SK1 is more challenging, but with the appropriate adjustments to its velocity curve andf velocity offset parameters, I was able to find something that worked okay for me. Though all this also depends somewhat on how challenging your piano repertoire is, as well.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The MP7 hammer action is too heavy for harpsichord and organ IMO.

MP7 has a fast mode that registers the keystrokes as soon as the 2nd sensor senses them. So you don't need to fully press the keys. Half-way in and you'll hear the sound. Not ideal but much better than any action piano-style action I've played with.


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Thank you all so much for the feedback. I guess I should have been more specific. He plays piano, and is moving so the piano is the priority. He adores the organ and harpsichord but mom does not have the $$$ (or will, really) to get a harpsichord and pipe organ for him. So, I love all of those awesome options and tips... so grateful for all of your knowledgable information! Huge thanks!

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Suggestion: get a digital piano and a 61-key midi controller with synth-action keys to use for organ and harpsichord. 61-key controllers branded Nektar, Alesis, or M-Audio are under $200 (about $120 for Alesis or Nektar). A used Akai MPK61 or used Fatar Studiologic SL66 would also be inexpensive and better than a new Nektar or Alesis. A used 61-key digital keyboard could also be ysed as a midi controller and would expand the sound pallette of the digital piano.


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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by CyberGene
The MP7 hammer action is too heavy for harpsichord and organ IMO.

MP7 has a fast mode that registers the keystrokes as soon as the 2nd sensor senses them. So you don't need to fully press the keys. Half-way in and you'll hear the sound. Not ideal but much better than any action piano-style action I've played with.
This still will not support the full range of classical harpsichord and organ techniques.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
This still will not support the full range of classical harpsichord and organ techniques.
No single keyboard well supports the full range of harpsichord, piano, and organ techniques. So the question is in which direction do you compromise (in this case, it sounds like the compromise would be toward piano which is his main instrument so far and the priority), and then, to the extent possible, try to minimize the trade-offs. But the board also needs to have satisfying sounds (unless maybe they can also connect to computer), and there is also the issue of budget, and possibly travel weight, though that hasn't been mentioned.

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Numa compact 2x perhaps?


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Originally Posted by Idomeneosmom
Thank you all so much for the feedback. I guess I should have been more specific. He plays piano, and is moving so the piano is the priority. He adores the organ and harpsichord but mom does not have the $$$ (or will, really) to get a harpsichord and pipe organ for him. So, I love all of those awesome options and tips... so grateful for all of your knowledgable information! Huge thanks!
Thanks for this feedback. Given this information I'd circle back to the earlier suggestions of a Kawai MP7/SE or similar (e.g. Kawai ES8 or ES920, perhaps compare it with a Yamaha in the same price range); and I'd again very strongly suggest to let your son test-play the instrument (or at least an instrument with the same key action).

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