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Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663239
12/01/06 11:34 AM
12/01/06 11:34 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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USA-Russia-France
I am seriously considering purchasing digital grand piano for several reasons. First, I am a development worker, so I have to change my locations quite often, therefore I need an instrument with a lighter weight (digital grands are significantly lighter than their acoustic counterparts). Secondly, in many of the distant locations I won't be able to locate a piano tuner. However, I have a concern related to a durability of digital pianos. Are they durable enough? How long do they usually last? What is their lifespan? Is breakage of their internal electronics or parts an issue? In case something breaks in my digital piano, I will have truly hard times shipping the piano for a repair.... It seems that acoustic pianos are less delicate in this sense, or is it my misconception? I am looking forward to receiving your comments.

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Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663240
12/01/06 12:58 PM
12/01/06 12:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,755
England/Switzerland
AJB Offline
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AJB  Offline
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England/Switzerland
Depends entirely on what you buy. You can buy a digital designed for professional stage use. You can also get a flight case with it. Then you can shift it around every day if you feel like it and it will last for many years.

I have seen digital pianos sustain serious use and abuse in the hands of professional musicians and roadies on tour.

I doubt that you will give your digital as hard a life as that.

Take a look at the Kawai range with wooden keys and realistic acoustic modelling.

Good luck

Adrian


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663241
12/01/06 01:05 PM
12/01/06 01:05 PM
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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I'm not considering stage pianos. I want to get a digital grand piano, because I am used to having a grand piano in my home. Do you think home digital pianos are as good as professional stage pianos qualitywise and in terms of their durability?

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663242
12/01/06 02:55 PM
12/01/06 02:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
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gourdo Offline
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My impression is that full cabinet digital pianos (grand or otherwise) are going to have key actions that are at least as durable as your typical stage piano -- and that is *very* good. In fact, I would argue that the technology (action/samples) used in the piano will be obsolete well before you have trouble with it.

What I'm not convinced of, however, is that the quality of their cabinets and legs are going to be anywhere near that of a real piano (upright or grand) unless you're willing to drop some serious cash ($4k+). Most of the cheaper digital cabinets I've seen have components made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard), the stuff you find in inexpensive furniture (such as IKEA). MDF holds up reasonably well if you aren't shifting it around a lot, but is not even close to the durability of real wood if stressed often (such as in a move). High-density plastics are going to be a lot more durable, but solid wood is probably the ideal here.

To me (and not to try to sway you or anything), some of the enduring charm of a real grand piano comes from the exposed strings and action components -- things you simply don't get in a digital grand. That's why I opted for a durable but less expensive stage piano for now... I fully expect to replace the digital with a good used grand in 5-6 years as soon as I settle down a little and save up enough money.

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Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663243
12/01/06 03:30 PM
12/01/06 03:30 PM
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USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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Of course, I prefer real grands too. In fact I'd buy a used acoustic grand, but as I said it would have to travel quite a big (about once a year), and it is too heavy, hence too costly to ship real piano all the time. By the way, does anybody know how much digital grand weight?

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663244
12/01/06 03:39 PM
12/01/06 03:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 136
Dublin, California
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GregC Offline
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50- 75 pounds plus the box for an 88 key digital stage piano

It would be expensive to ship them to accompany your air travel


GregC
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663245
12/01/06 03:45 PM
12/01/06 03:45 PM
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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it's ok, it is being paid for. it's not going to travel by air, but rather by land. i would even be able to ship the real piano, but i'm afraid something may go wrong with it while traveling far...

Does a digital grand then weight at least twice as much as a stage piano?

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663246
12/01/06 11:18 PM
12/01/06 11:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 195
St. Louis, MO
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Stephen Lacefield Offline
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St. Louis, MO
for your situation, you need quality... Roland, Kawai, Yamaha.
Digital Grands can weigh between 200lbs-430lbs.


Representing Shigeru Kawai, Kawai, Hailun, Pearl River, Kawai Digital Pianos, Samick Digitals, Roland Digitals, & Lowrey Organs
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Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663247
12/01/06 11:25 PM
12/01/06 11:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 136
Dublin, California
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GregC Offline
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there are numerous ' digital pianos ' from home use to stage use

Clavinovas are for home of course but you can't move that around easier

reason why I suggested a ' digital stage piano ' is that they have durable cases and can handle the abuse of travel. Rolands Rd700sx and and yamahas P series are good examples. But you still need to buy a 'flight case ' to protect the instrument

http://www.coastalkeyboards.com/home.php?cat=5&gclid=CKPG5snq8ogCFQMRYQodHwXOtw

I suggest you google these and get a better idea what makes sense for you


GregC
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663248
12/02/06 09:56 PM
12/02/06 09:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Digital grands come in two major catagories:
1. Front to back measurements of less than 4' and priced between $3k - $10k. These will save you space (cube) and weight when moving, but still have to be broken down, packed, and handled by those who know how. Only the upper ranges of this catagory have decent touch, tone and features. The ones under $6k are pretty shoddy IMO.

2. Front to back meacurements of more than 4' and priced between $10k - $25k. Roland, Kawai, and soon Yamaha are in this bunch. They are all great and have realistic touch and tone. The bigger ones are the same (cube) and not much less weight than an acoustic. They will have a bigger tone for their size than an acoustic. You will still face the breaking down, packing,and handling issues and even more so.
Kawai CP200 series grands weigh 485 lbs.
A Yamaha 4'11" acoustic grand weighs 574 lbs.

Servicing issues are a mixed bag. Cross country moving is hard on acoustic grands as the action rides at a 90 degree angle to the way it is supposed to sit. Not to mention tuning after each move at least. Modern digitals are pretty hardy. Not a lot of experience with digital grands moved frequently though. Breakdowns are rare. I have played on digitals in service in institutions for over twenty years and still working.

Breakdowns on digital pianos rarely require sending it back to the mfg. or a service center for repair. Warranty repares are done in the home by a tech. dispatched by selling dealer or the mfg's distributor. Unless you are working in Timbuctoo, there is probably an authorized tech. within a reasonable service range.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663249
12/03/06 09:10 AM
12/03/06 09:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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USA-Russia-France
Craigen, thank you so much for your detailed response. But the price you mentioned! Wow! So are you saying that in order for me to be satisfied with sound and touch, I will have to spend 10-25K on it? That's the price of an acoustic grand! I had no idea digital grands are so expensive.... I might reconsider my decision about getting a digital grand, and go for an acoustic instead. One more question: do you think, in my case, acoustic grand is a better option?.... I'm really confused now. I cannot spend 10-25000 USD on a digital, that's for sure. I'd rather buy a 4'11" Yamaha...

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663250
12/04/06 01:55 PM
12/04/06 01:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 132
Race City, USA
KBlair Offline
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Race City, USA
I believe there is a reason you don't see home-style console digitals pianos being used on stage - they don't travel well and wouldn't hold up to the riggers of a concert tour. Stage pianos are built for this purpose and hold up very well. Any of the top teir stage pianos from Yamaha, Roland, Kawai or others will travel very well and all cost about $2-2.5K USD. Once you add a flight case, a stand, and some amps and speakers yo'll be looking at approx $4k USD.

The nice thing about a stage piano ivs. a console is you get the same sounds and actions in a portable package so you are not giving up anything except the nice wood cabinet.

Out Kawai CP175's cabinet is made from most real oak wood with some pieces being MDF. It's very sturdy, but I would not want to move it on a consistant basis.

Another thing to consider is that the diff between a console digital and a grand digital is the cabinet and speakers. The upper end Kawais have the exact same action, CPU sounds, etc but the grand version has like 13 speakers when the console only has 6. You also get to move the lid around like on an acoustic grand (my RD-700sx allows me to emulate the lid position in software).

Also, I'm curious how you get from the US to France by land smile


Kawai CP175
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Roland RD700sx
Late 1960's era Wurlitzer acoustic upright
Early 1980's Kohler and Cambell Professional studio upright
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663251
12/04/06 09:38 PM
12/04/06 09:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Craigen  Offline
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Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Baron,
Let's take a step back. Why did you specifiy a digital "grand" in your original post?
Much of the weight and moving issues and cost are related to your request/need for a grand.
You can get the same performance in most mfgrs. top of the line model console.
Do you want ensemble features i.e. drum kits, ryhthms, one finger play, multi-track recording, etc.? Or, are you looking from authentic grand piano touch and tone?


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663252
12/15/06 10:10 PM
12/15/06 10:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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USA-Russia-France
KBlair, I didn't speak of moving the piano from France to the USA. I am going to work in Botswana next year. "By land" I imply by truck and by ship.

I want to have a grand, because this is what makes me happy. I love the presence of a grand piano in my home. I was thinking that digital grand should be considerably lighter than an acoustic grand, and probably less fragile, as well as cheaper. If neither of these is an issue, then I think I should consider purchasing an acoustic grand instead of a digital one.

I am looking for an authentic grand tone and touch. I don't need any other bells and whistles, with the exception of only harpsichord sound, perhaps.

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663253
12/16/06 07:02 AM
12/16/06 07:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 161
Sweden
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fogwall Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
I am looking for an authentic grand tone and touch.
I would go for a Yamaha GranTouch, such as the GT2 (weighs 109 kg). It is not cheap but at least cheaper than a new baby grand, the same look and feel, with all the advantages of a digital piano.

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663254
12/16/06 08:12 AM
12/16/06 08:12 AM
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Posts: 44
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BonsoWonderDog Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Baron de Cardenale:
I'm not considering stage pianos. I want to get a digital grand piano
I cannot really understand this concept. The inner workings are the same - the only difference is the casing/stand.

Why have a thing that you have to disassemble or needs two people to move, rather than something you can just pick up and put somewhere else yourself?

Re: Lifespan/durability of digital pianos #663255
12/16/06 10:57 AM
12/16/06 10:57 AM
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Posts: 61
USA-Russia-France
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Baron de Cardenale Offline OP
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Moving is not an issue. I am moving around ALL of my furniture and three dalmatins anyway, so a small grand won't be a problem.


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