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Joined: Jan 2008
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captaz Offline OP
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I hate for my first post to be so negative--but honestly, why is it so hard to find the "right" digital piano (at the "right" price)?

Is it hard because the DPs are so very different across brands that's there are too many tradeoffs that have to be made--or is it because, at a given price level, the DPs are so similar across brands that we are forced to make decisions on relatively minor and unimportant differences?

Any another thing: why aren't all DPs (indeed, all pianos) black? Can't we as a society just agree that everyone (except Liberace and Elton John) only needs a black piano? At least that would make the choice a bit easier...


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If you want a black piano at a certain price range, start off by eliminating all the pianos that are not black and out of that range. Then your choices will be much smaller.


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captaz Offline OP
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That's true--but even if I've got it down to 3 pianos (a good Yamaha, a good Roland and a good Kawai for example), it's a hard choice. And I can't tell if it's hard because there really isn't much of a difference between the three and so nothing to base an real opinion on, or if they are so different that I'm forced to weigh too many options...


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What are your "musts" versus your "wants"? If you're clear on those and their relative priorities, that may help. Dunno how high the colour is on your list smile


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captaz Offline OP
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How do you choose when most all of you're musts/wants are satisfied by any of 3 pianos?

Do you flip a coin, or do you start caring about features you don't actually care about? I could not care less about having a "guitar" voice or a drum kit, or a metronome that counts in Italian...but it's absurdities like these that are the remaining difference (and cause the few-hundred dollar difference).


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Ah well, if the absurdities are also what's pushing the price up a few hundred then go for the one that still satisfies your needs and saves you money too!

I certainly wouldn't start caring about those features if they aren't even in my wants. If I really wanted other voices, drums and all that stuff I wouldn't seek it out in a DP anyway...I'm better off using sound module plugins to sequencing software etc., etc..


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So what DPs are you deciding between? I'm kind of in the same boat, but I may have found the one I want...we'll see after a visit tomorrow to another dealer. smile


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For me, the no. 1 factor is the feel of the keyboard, it has to be as close to a regular upright acoustic as possible (or as my budget allows).

I have tried the lower end Clavinova and Korg, and wasn't impressed. Next on my list is Kawai CE-200 (AWA Pro II keyboard) or CN-21 (AHA-IV keyboard).

I will try at a dealer tomorrow, hopefully that will finalize my choice...

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I agree on the lower end Clavinovas. I didn't like the feel and for the price it felt too much like a DP. Today I tried a Roland FP-7, HP-203 and KR-103 side by side. The FP-7 won out hands down (pun intended :p ) on acoustic feel. I know the speakers are only 13Wx2 vs. 30wx2 on the HP-203, but you can always hook up better speakers if you want. There aren't any Kawai dealers in the area, and after doing some searching on this forum, I heard some less than favorable things about them compared with the FP-7. I recommend you give it a shot. You should be able to get it for around $1500-$1700...that seems the average price.


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Quote
Originally posted by captaz:
That's true--but even if I've got it down to 3 pianos (a good Yamaha, a good Roland and a good Kawai for example), it's a hard choice. And I can't tell if it's hard because there really isn't much of a difference between the three and so nothing to base an real opinion on, or if they are so different that I'm forced to weigh too many options...
Oddly, most of the Kawai's don't seem to be available in black. Seems crazy to me. I'd hate to buy a piano based on color, but I happen to like black. Dang-it.

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So this is a problem? If they're so close, how can you lose? Close your eyes and pick one.

Close competition like this can only be good for buyers!


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If I may chip in briefly, an ebony polish version of the KAWAI CA51 has been available for several months, while ebony polish versions of the CN21 and CN31 models are scheduled for the second quarter of the year.

Kind regards,
James
x


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captaz Offline OP
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What makes it difficult to choose "by touch" however, is that since none of them (that I have tested, at least) replicate exactly, you have to choose what you're willing to give up:

On some models the keys are too sticky or plasticy, some models are too firm, some too soft, some have too much dymnaic flair, some too little.... it makes it a very difficult choice when you have to choose which imprefection to embrace.


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Don't rush your decision. One of the three brands is bound to eventually win you over. Many people find it hard to fall in love with their digital at the store because they are thinking too much about it not being the real thing. That doesn't mean a digital isn't right for you it just means you need to give each piano time to sink in. I played for hours at multiple dealers before concluding what I wanted.

If you can't decide based on features: Perhaps one brand is more negotiable than the next? Or you may decide you like a certain dealer? Maybe there is a difference in warranty?

As a side note my personal priority puts the sound of the piano above the touch. I always feel like I adjust to the feel of the piano, but if something doesn't sound right it bugs me forever.

It is a hard decision, but in the end I think you will be happy whatever you choose.


Dean

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