Beginners first keyboard

Posted by: CLarge

Beginners first keyboard - 11/12/12 11:46 PM

Hello all,

First off a very big thank you for all the contributions and useful information shared on this forum. I've been lurking for a couple months and have learned soooo much from all of you.

A little background is in order here. I've been looking at learning the piano for several years but life has gotten in the way. Just recently I decided it was time to move forward and finally learn piano. While I have some music background from years in high school, it has been quite a while. :-)

Now we are here and thanks to the great information on this forum I've gone out and tested a bunch of keyboards from Yamaha, Kawai, Nord, Casio and Roland. My initial goal was to find a keyboard at the $1000 or less benchmark but after trying out many keyboards it was clear the options at this level just didn't fit the bill. I found either the keyboard action didn't fit the bill or the piano sound was not great.

Based on these findings the field was opened and after a bunch more testing it was clear that keyboards at the $2000 mark would provide a much better experience. The field was narrowed down to the Kawai ES7 and the Roland FP7F. Many may ask why I don't have a furniture style listed here, the main reason is portability. While the keyboard will likely stay at home, it may move between floors of our townhouse so a slab with built in speakers fits our needs better.

At this point I've gone back to both dealers and tried and retried the Roland and Kawai keyboards several times and have finally decided that the Roland feels more "natural" to me. Note, no intentional word play on Super Natural piano. The Kawai key action feels a little heavier to me and the piano sound was certainly different. Price of these two keyboards is pretty similar here so it really comes down to the feel and sound. Have to admit though the the limited availability of Kawai here has played in to the decision as I can get very fast service from Roland locally where as Kawai service might be an issue.

My hope is that the Roland FP7F will be an instrument that will last for a number of years and will let me grow as I develop some level of piano skill. We don't have the piano yet but expect it will be purchased within the next couple weeks.

Thanks again for all of the useful information provided on this site including a special mention to Rimmer for some great Roland info.
Posted by: RafaPolit

Re: Beginners first keyboard - 11/13/12 12:19 AM

Welcome to the forum CLarge! and congrats on your decision.

I'm sure you won't regret it one bit! I have been playing piano on and off since I was 5 (now 35!) and I am a trained classical piano player... The FP-7F is the first DP I have been able to fully enjoy while playing classical music and feel I am siting in front of an actual grand piano. I can completely rely on both the action and sound to produce a great piano playing experience! I can honestly say that its action is better than my entry-level acoustic vertical piano.

Sound is also fantastic, and should you wish at any point to expand on it, the FP-7F is a fantastic controller for software digital pianos.

As you mentioned, for in-house portability (for instance from the upper floor rooms to a living room during a party), it is a great option as you are sure to get another pair of hands to carry it, which is fairly easy between two people. The built in speakers are not bad at all (although perhaps you may out grow them at which point there are also moderately inexpensive add-ons that will make it sound even better).

Congrats again! And be sure to share your thoughts and opinions once you have it with you. Best regards,
Posted by: CLarge

Re: Beginners first keyboard - 11/13/12 11:55 PM

Thanks RafaPolit,

It is always nice to hear from those that currently own these dp's as it provides another perspective and in this case helps reinforce the decision. Have to say though that I never realized how personal the decision process was going to be until I started reading the forums and then tried several dp's.

Really looking forward to starting this journey!

Posted by: RafaPolit

Re: Beginners first keyboard - 11/14/12 02:53 AM

I agree! And it is nice to confirm one's hands and ears actually follow lead to other's smile . I started my 'hunt' looking for a Kurzweil and never even considered another brand. Lacking local options, I found (while looking for other DPs) which was the only FP-7F in my city, tried it after several other models in the shop and instantly felt it was something different (and better!) than everything I had tried before.

I came here looking for more info on it and found that it was well reviewed and loved, and finally ended up 'switching' brands to it. So, you are right, it is very personal: feel-wise, sound-wise.

Its a nice process indeed! The great thing is that the fun is not over once you are decided, not by a long shot! smile

Best regards,
Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: Beginners first keyboard - 11/15/12 10:53 AM

Congrats on your decision CLarge! Let us know when you get your Roland home and what you think of it! smile