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#698780 - 08/27/03 09:53 AM Help! Need a Piano for my son!
Kohi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Glen Allen, Virginia
I have a six-year old who has been learning to play the piano since he was two. He has come to a point where his 61 key Yamaha does not suffice anymore.

Since we cannot invest in a full size piano, (we live in an apartment), my objective is to get him an electronic piano which would feel and sound closest to a real piano. I have spoken with his teachers, but I feel that they do not have enough experience with electronic pianos to recommend one.

The following are my requirements:
1. Should sound & feel like a real piano - Key action et al.
2. Should last him the next 8-10 years (AT LEAST!).
3. Piano, Amp, speakers, and all accessories should not exceed $2000.00.

I have been considering the Yamaha P90 and would appreciate your feedback.

I would like to emphasize that my primary requirements are touch & feel. He should not feel "different" crossing over from a real piano.

I have zero experience in music and would really appreciate your suggestions and comments.

Thank you.



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#698781 - 08/27/03 01:31 PM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
Huracan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 15
Check the (What's this?...) topic on this forum.

#698782 - 08/27/03 09:59 PM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: South Carolina
If you want something for him to grow with consider getting a real piano and spend another $1000. You can get a practice felt that will quiet the piano and there are other ways to keep the spund down in an apartment. There are various types of electronic keyboards and pianos that try to simulate the action of an acoustic piano. If you are serious about giving the kid the right tool get him a piano not a keyboard . Having a real piano will allow him to develop correct playing habits and ability to use dynamics and expression. Some of the higher end electronics are not bad but I have not seen musch under $2k
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#698783 - 08/28/03 04:44 AM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
Nunatax Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 704
Loc: Belgium
I completely agree with JIMBOB here. Though I can understand why you want a digital piano.
If you are certain you don't want an acoustic piano but a decent digital, I would up the budget to at least $3000.

I recently tried many digitals in search for the most realistic touch and ended up with two completely digitals and one with acoustic mechanism and digital sound :
Yamaha CLP-990 : wooden keys and very nice specifications, should be tried though, some people don't like the sound, partly due to the frontal speakers. In my opinion this is the best digital to practice techniques, the touch is good and every mistake I made was clearly audible... (not produced anymore but maybe available with large discount in some stores, I could buy it right now for €3000, without discount it would've cost over €5000)

Yamaha GranTouch GT 20 : wooden keys, completely acoustic mechanism, digital sound, velocity of the hammers is measured with optical sensors, the sound is not as good as regular digitals and with advanced pieces (thanks Roxanne ;\) ) the electronics cannot always keep up resulting in a slow response. price : at least €4100,-

Kawai CA 1000 or 1200 with the new Awa pro grand action, wooden keys, also frontal speakers, good touch but I like that of the CLP-990 better. price : €3000, the 1200 is more expensive but I don't know the price exactly.

Some people told me not to make too much out of wooden keys but every plastic keyboard I tried, even that of the newest Yamaha (CLP-170), I did not like. I believe it has something to do with the weight distribution. This is all in my opinion though.

But again, nothing beats the real thing.


Some can tell you to go to hell in such a manner that you would think you might actually enjoy the trip, but that is far more polite than civil - JBryan

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#698784 - 08/28/03 09:09 AM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
MT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/28/03
Posts: 2
Loc: DC
I'm fond of the action on Roland's digital pianos. Check out their home models at your local dealer, or check out the FP-3 and FP-5 at a pro music shop like Guitar Center

#698785 - 08/28/03 09:54 AM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
eDust Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/26/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Sydney
I grew up on real pianos and recently moved to a Yamaha P120. I don't know if this helps but my first impressions were that it's too good. It's in perfect tune. A real piano has it's good days & bad days, and you learn to adapt to the piano and control it to the best of its abilities. With a digital it's just always in tune and always feels the same. This could be a good thing to some, I thought it was just different (& easy to get used to).

After that, I think this digital piano is amazingly like a real piano. There are differences to a real piano. They're subbtle but it's not exactly the same. I think if your son learns on a digital then he should also try to get as much experience on uprights & grands as possible, so he learns to adapt to the piano, learns how they work and how to control the sound.

It should be ok for the first couple of years of learning, but soon he'll benefit more from a real piano.

A digital piano has the advantages of being practical in an apartment (that's why I bought mine), & they're not "too" expensive. Yamahas have a really good touch - I don't know if you can get better, except a real piano.

They're just my opinions. I hope it helps.

#698786 - 08/28/03 01:58 PM Re: Help! Need a Piano for my son!
Kohi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Glen Allen, Virginia
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!! Your comments are very, very helpful.
I would definitely opt for a real piano if I had the space. However, space constraints coupled with the fact that we move every few years would (currently!) make an acoustic piano unfeasible.

Also, as eDust points out, I would not have to worry about the piano losing tune. As you all recommended, I am definitely looking for avenues for him to get acoustic experience (Schools, etc). Your points are very well taken, and I may take a more serious look at acoustic pianos.

Thanks once again!!

Nunatax, Thank you for the detailed reviews!


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