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I currently own a Yamaha P-45 (four years old) and I'm currently working on Rachmaninoff's moment musicaux, Chopin's polonaise, and some Liszt etudes...

Do you think this piano meets the requirements?
Lately, I have been feeling that this piano is not performing up to the mark (not receiving the right sound and touch response that I expect).
I've worked on different ways to improvise my technique, but I still don't see a change.

What do you think?
Should I upgrade to a new one? Any tips?

I've lately been considering the Yamaha Clavinova and Kawai Concert Artist series.
Maybe-
=> Yamaha clp 785 or 795gp
OR
=> Kawai ca99

It would be helpful if you could also provide insights on which of the two mentioned are better too! smile

Thanks!
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Your P-45 is at the lower end of what's called "digital piano" -- 88 weighted keys.

The CA99 (or CA79) will be _much_ better, for your level of playing. Longer keysticks, so it's easier to play near the fallboard, better dynamic control, much longer sustain, "string resonance", continuous half-pedalling, . . .

. . . It's not an acoustic piano, but it tries _really hard_ to match that sound.

There's a "mid-range" contingent -- Yamaha P-515 / Kawai ES-920 / Roland FP-90 -- which would be worth trying out. (Those instrument also have "cabinet" versions, I don't know the numbers.)

Find a music shop that has some high-end digitals, and try them out.


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You would be better off asking this question in the digital pianos area. In any case, they do age, and become less sensitive and more erratic with use. You might try comparing how you play with a new digital piano, and try an acoustic piano. You may be ready for one.


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For digital piano I only played on a Yamaha Arius several times awhile back - and while the graded hammer action I thought was pretty good, I could never get past the unrealistic sound. I don't know how the sound rendering technology has improved since then, but it seems that if you practice on digital piano it may do justice to your fingers, but not necessarily your ears.

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Thanks!

I'll surely take all of your comments into consideration

I don't think an acoustic is possible right now...

But I'll surely try going for the higher Clavinovas and Concert artist series

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Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
I don't think an acoustic is possible right now...

If you're looking at a CA99, I would think you could definitely get a good quality used acoustic upright in that price range.
Plus, that might actually be available right now, whereas a new digital could be very hard to come by at the moment.

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Just a quick comment on your primary question... I think practicing on a lower-end digital piano is much better than not practicing at all.

Which digital piano is better than others, or which acoustic is better than others, is certainly a subjective opinion. But practicing on any weighted-key digital is better than nothing. Heck, I've even had fun with a cheap, non-weighted key digital (which someone gave me).

I have an older Casio Privia PX310 stage digital piano that I purchased new, and I still play it often; it has survived my 4 grandchildren pounding on it, as well as myself pounding on it, and still plays and sounds great. However, I know there are better digitals out there. But for my purposes, the Casio meets my needs and then some.

So, I'd say yes, practicing on a lower-end digital piano is good, as opposed to no practice at all... smile

All the best!

Rick


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I own a Yamaha Clavinova CVP 307 bought in 2009, it Is a good digital, however, had I to repeat my choice I would prefer a CLP instead of a CVP, less whistles and bells but closer to an acoustic piano. However, I would try to buy a used acoustic vertical, you would gain a lot practicing with an acoustic piano.


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Originally Posted by AmPianistComposer
Thanks!

I'll surely take all of your comments into consideration

I don't think an acoustic is possible right now...

Why not? The cost? Or other considerations?


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I have a CLP - 785 that I love. I am not at your playing level for sure but have been a musician all my life. The sound is great once set up, and you have a variety of key/sound settings so it is very customizable for touch as well as timbre. I practice it 3 - 4 hours a day and use both the CFX and Bosendorfer samples for various pieces.

I looked at a lot of them and wouldn't invest in anything without wooden/individually weighted keys. I considered a hybrid but really didn't feel it was worth it to spend the extra money. I would suggest spending more to get better speakers and amp. Some of the lower models just don't have a sound or volume that would satisfy me.

I suggest trying them out to see what action feels best to you.

I am in the market for a grand and previously owned a Yamaha C3 but this is great for the small space that I currently have. I will likely keep the 785 and play the acoustic as well.

Last edited by drewhpianoman; 09/14/21 02:44 PM.

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I've always tried to be open to the idea of digital pianos being a good substitute for a decent acoustic piano and I have never been able to make that claim. I have nothing against digital pianos and I even purchased one (a VPC-1) a couple of years back for silent practice, to learn notes, and to learn spatial relationships when I'm playing. I also learned on a Lowry organ from age 5 to 10 which was not velocity sensitive nor had weighted keys and I've owned 4 digital pianos over the past 30 years in search of the perfect replacement but never found one. In fact I went to a local Yamaha dealer to try out an Avantgrand out of curiosity and for me the connection was just not there.

Even though the best digital piano may have a good action and a pleasing piano sound there was alway a disconnect between the two. The piano action might feel great but it was hard to control the dynamics of the sound (as pleasing as it may be). They're simply not as sensitive an instrument to play as compared to an acoustic piano. No matter how expensive they are nor as much a fiddled around with the touch sensitivity.

That said, I find a digital piano a perfectly fine piano to purchase for an adult learner. They're just trying learn the notes and get a general feel of what piano playing is all about. But if you have a talented child learning classical music I wouldn't clip their wings by having them learn on a digital. If it is at all possible I would always recommend a decent acoustic over a digital.


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I would recommend either any of the Yamaha Clavinova series or any of the Yamaha AdvantGrand series. After 33 yrs of being a full time piano tech, I'm very impressed by Yamaha's engineering and sound quality. I'm told that Yamaha specifically engineers their Clavinova pianos as practice and educational tools for traditional pianist. I have a CLP-645 that I play every morning. I recently played on the new action in the CLP-745 and CLP-775. It's worth your time to check these out.


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I'd say buy the best digital you can, and practice on as many acoustics as you can. You don't need to own them, you just need permission to play them. Look around for schools, churches, etc. When you have some of your Chopin in presentable condition, maybe you can find a hotel lobby where they'll let you play.

The more different pianos you play, the better you get at adapting to their differences.


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Something like a smaller Yamaha or Kawai accoustic in good condition with the muffler pedal may be help.(as well as having a good digital) If you only want a digital piano,get the best most responsive one you can afford.


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I agree that you'll get more responses including a greater variety of options in the Digital Piano Forum. In addition to Yamaha & Kawai models you mentioned, you would do well to consider Roland's LX-series or perhaps look at hybrids from Casio or Yamaha.

Charles Cohen's suggestion of a mid-range contingent works out very well if you primarily play with headphones. Several of those models include the higher level actions and sound engines, just without the cabinet and built-in speakers that the full consoles have. I have a Roland FP90 at home because it is my favorite of the digital (non-hybrid) actions from the 4 brands, and since I play almost exclusively with headphones, the sound is better and more detailed than it otherwise possible even among the best console speakers.

Each of these 4 makers work closely with artists and educators, and deserve a lot of credit for their progress. Still, with the pieces you are currently learning, it would be critical to practice them, at least some of the time, on a quality acoustic piano. Digital pianos are too forgiving of errors in expression or technique, especially pedaling. Just something to keep in mind as you put in the hours.


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Originally Posted by Jethro
I've always tried to be open to the idea of digital pianos being a good substitute for a decent acoustic piano and I have never been able to make that claim. I have nothing against digital pianos and I even purchased one (a VPC-1) a couple of years back for silent practice, to learn notes, and to learn spatial relationships when I'm playing. I also learned on a Lowry organ from age 5 to 10 which was not velocity sensitive nor had weighted keys and I've owned 4 digital pianos over the past 30 years in search of the perfect replacement but never found one. In fact I went to a local Yamaha dealer to try out an Avantgrand out of curiosity and for me the connection was just not there.

Even though the best digital piano may have a good action and a pleasing piano sound there was alway a disconnect between the two. The piano action might feel great but it was hard to control the dynamics of the sound (as pleasing as it may be). They're simply not as sensitive an instrument to play as compared to an acoustic piano. No matter how expensive they are nor as much a fiddled around with the touch sensitivity.

That said, I find a digital piano a perfectly fine piano to purchase for an adult learner. They're just trying learn the notes and get a general feel of what piano playing is all about. But if you have a talented child learning classical music I wouldn't clip their wings by having them learn on a digital. If it is at all possible I would always recommend a decent acoustic over a digital.
If an acoustic is only "decent" it can be inferior in both touch and tone to a good hybrid or digital. Here are some incredibly good amateur and professional pianists whose practice instruments are not acoustic:
rach3master(frequent PW poster)

Kyle Landry(One of the most watched pianists in the world with 777K YT subscribers. He didn't own an acoustic until recently)

Sara Davis Buechner(prize winner at the Van Cliburn Competition)

Johan Kim(own an acoustic but frequently records on non acoustic)

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Pianists used to practice on silent keyboards. Digital pianos are different instruments from acoustic pianos. Whether they are better or worse depends on a number of things, including what is on different sides of the keyboard.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
I've always tried to be open to the idea of digital pianos being a good substitute for a decent acoustic piano and I have never been able to make that claim. I have nothing against digital pianos and I even purchased one (a VPC-1) a couple of years back for silent practice, to learn notes, and to learn spatial relationships when I'm playing. I also learned on a Lowry organ from age 5 to 10 which was not velocity sensitive nor had weighted keys and I've owned 4 digital pianos over the past 30 years in search of the perfect replacement but never found one. In fact I went to a local Yamaha dealer to try out an Avantgrand out of curiosity and for me the connection was just not there.

Even though the best digital piano may have a good action and a pleasing piano sound there was alway a disconnect between the two. The piano action might feel great but it was hard to control the dynamics of the sound (as pleasing as it may be). They're simply not as sensitive an instrument to play as compared to an acoustic piano. No matter how expensive they are nor as much a fiddled around with the touch sensitivity.

That said, I find a digital piano a perfectly fine piano to purchase for an adult learner. They're just trying learn the notes and get a general feel of what piano playing is all about. But if you have a talented child learning classical music I wouldn't clip their wings by having them learn on a digital. If it is at all possible I would always recommend a decent acoustic over a digital.
If an acoustic is only "decent" it can be inferior in both touch and tone to a good hybrid or digital. Here are some incredibly good amateur and professional pianists whose practice instruments are not acoustic:
rach3master(frequent PW poster)

Kyle Landry(One of the most watched pianists in the world with 777K YT subscribers. He didn't own an acoustic until recently)

Sara Davis Buechner(prize winner at the Van Cliburn Competition)

Johan Kim(own an acoustic but frequently records on non acoustic)
Yeah they can make effective practice instruments I use one as well.


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Originally Posted by Rickster
Just a quick comment on your primary question... I think practicing on a lower-end digital piano is much better than not practicing at all.

Which digital piano is better than others, or which acoustic is better than others, is certainly a subjective opinion. But practicing on any weighted-key digital is better than nothing. Heck, I've even had fun with a cheap, non-weighted key digital (which someone gave me).

I have an older Casio Privia PX310 stage digital piano that I purchased new, and I still play it often; it has survived my 4 grandchildren pounding on it, as well as myself pounding on it, and still plays and sounds great. However, I know there are better digitals out there. But for my purposes, the Casio meets my needs and then some.

So, I'd say yes, practicing on a lower-end digital piano is good, as opposed to no practice at all... smile

All the best!

Rick

As usual, Rickster, nailed it again! If you’re not really ready to buy an acoustic because of price and/or floorspace, a nice higher end digital or perhaps a hybrid. As was already suggested do read through the reviews and suggestions on the digital piano forum. What I did after I bought an acoustic without a silent mode, I bought a Casio 88 key professional keyboard with a collapsible stand and collapsible bench. It’s still a good gig setup. With digital pianos and keyboards, they can become just the interface for powerful piano simulation software and can be mixed with other software to produce professional orchestration. In other words, you can create a sound studio in your office or even a bedroom.

Best Wishes on your search and keep us posted on what you get.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
I've always tried to be open to the idea of digital pianos being a good substitute for a decent acoustic piano and I have never been able to make that claim. I have nothing against digital pianos and I even purchased one (a VPC-1) a couple of years back for silent practice, to learn notes, and to learn spatial relationships when I'm playing. I also learned on a Lowry organ from age 5 to 10 which was not velocity sensitive nor had weighted keys and I've owned 4 digital pianos over the past 30 years in search of the perfect replacement but never found one. In fact I went to a local Yamaha dealer to try out an Avantgrand out of curiosity and for me the connection was just not there.

Even though the best digital piano may have a good action and a pleasing piano sound there was alway a disconnect between the two. The piano action might feel great but it was hard to control the dynamics of the sound (as pleasing as it may be). They're simply not as sensitive an instrument to play as compared to an acoustic piano. No matter how expensive they are nor as much a fiddled around with the touch sensitivity.

That said, I find a digital piano a perfectly fine piano to purchase for an adult learner. They're just trying learn the notes and get a general feel of what piano playing is all about. But if you have a talented child learning classical music I wouldn't clip their wings by having them learn on a digital. If it is at all possible I would always recommend a decent acoustic over a digital.
If an acoustic is only "decent" it can be inferior in both touch and tone to a good hybrid or digital. Here are some incredibly good amateur and professional pianists whose practice instruments are not acoustic:
rach3master(frequent PW poster)

Kyle Landry(One of the most watched pianists in the world with 777K YT subscribers. He didn't own an acoustic until recently)

Sara Davis Buechner(prize winner at the Van Cliburn Competition)

Johan Kim(own an acoustic but frequently records on non acoustic)
Sorry PL I see your point. By "decent" I meant "of an acceptable standard; satisfactory." -Oxford Definitions eg. "people need decent homes"


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