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Tim Praskins Casio pianos

Posted By: solahaji

Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 04:16 PM

Are Casio digital pianos as good as Tim Praskins says they are?

I called lots of stores and each one told me that Casio is inferior to Yamaha,Roland, Kawai, Kurzweil etc. I am very confused.

I emailed Tim Praskins a couple of times asking him which piano to choose from a choice of models and he always points out that Casio is the best, even when other posts on this forum contradict him.

I would really like to believe him because Casio pianos are a lot cheaper than other makes. Please tell me, does anyone know Tim Praskins? And is his advice unbiased? He says on his website that he is the piano expert.

I have been going round in circles trying to choose a piano for my son. Please help me.
Posted By: anotherscott

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 04:42 PM

Dealers can have good info, but you should expect bias toward the lines they sell. And if they sell multiple lines, expect bias toward the lines they make more money on.

Also, there is no single "best." Each line and model has its own strengths and weaknesses. If everyone agreed on what was best, no one would buy any of the others.

Also, things like sound and feel have strong subjective elements.

Also, there is no single "piano expert" whose judgments are the end-all.

So either you put in the time weighing all the advice you find and trying products for yourself to try to make the very best decision you can, or you just choose something that sounds like it's probably good, and console yourself in knowing that, while it may not have been the single best possible choice, it's very hard to make a truly bad choice if you put any effort into it at all.

If you want to list specific models you're looking at, and the qualities you're looking for (price range? portability? built in speakers? non-piano sounds and features? etc.), you'll probably get a number of opinions from people here. People's opinions about the pianos themselves and their suitability for you will be more helpful than their opinions about Tim Praskins. Even if he is the most sincere and non-biased dealer in the world, that still doesn't mean it is best to take his advice as gospel.

Posted By: galaxy4t

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 04:44 PM

I don't know Tim Praskins and don't know if his advice is unbiased as he is a piano dealer who sells Casio. As for the Casio Privia and Celviano pianos, they are not considered to be in the league of Roland, Kawai,Yahama or Korg. Because of their association with toy keyboards, Casio has made a conscious effort to improve their products and reputation.The Musical Instrument division was reorganized about 4 years ago. You are starting to see some of those changes reflected in their product line. Privias are now used by professional musicians and they offer a lot of bang for your money. They carry a 3 year warranty. Casio recently re-entered the synth market after a 20 year hiatus. They make a decent musical instrument and have been steadily improving their products. Like most will tell you hear how good or bad a piano is is highly subjective and you have to make the decision yourself based on your own research and trying out each one your are considering.
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by galaxy4t
As for the Casio Privia and Celviano pianos, they are not considered to be in the league of Roland, Kawai,Yahama or Korg. Because of their association with toy keyboards, Casio has made a conscious effort to improve their products and reputation.
I think your first statement muddles the truth while the second cuts right to it.

Roland, Yamaha, Kawai & Korg have long developed flagship products for professional and studio musicians. Their more affordable lines have always been derivatives and naturally offer less for less money. You can buy a Yamaha DP for $15k+ or below $500. Roland's range is similarly wide. Korg hasn't done anything significant for the consumer market in years, but in that same time, Casio has been hard at work. Their association with toy keyboards has always made them a target with prestige brands.

If you are comparing a Yamaha P105 to a PX-150, who cares how great the CP1 is or that Toys R Us sells "lighted key" keyboards from the same brand. But it is a popular jab for competitors to throw.

The opinions of Tim Praskins are something else entirely.

Products compete at a very different level than Brands do. Brands compete for image and market share. Products compete for your appreciation. Brands compete for your money.
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 05:33 PM

Tim Praskins. It's a joke surely? He's just a salesman and as far as I can tell he is a whole lot more biased than most. And he is very sneaky in trying to pass off his salesmanship as unbiased "expert" advice on his awful blog/website thing. Just ignore him.

If you want to know what's good go out and play some pianos and make your own mind up.
Posted By: emenelton

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 08:24 PM

PX150 or PX350 is a good choice for a beginner as well as intermediate piano student.
They are also good for people that want to move them around with their friends(which kids like to do). The 350 has more sounds than the PX150, which can lead to more fun as well.
Posted By: Bigmark

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/26/12 09:07 PM

Fact is Casio`s range of Privia Pianos have Roland, Korg. Kawai and in particular Yamaha on their toes.
Not a product by any of the big hitters costing under £1200 (UK) can touch the Privia PX-330 or PX-350 for sound, playability and features.
I think Ghandi once said first they Ridicule you, Then they Attack you and finally they leave you alone.
Posted By: PossumES8SP280

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/27/12 12:18 AM

Is it possible he makes a bigger profit margin on Casio? Kind of like the real estate agent who tells you "Its the right house for you" but might not realize you want a different brand of a home.
Posted By: BillTheSlink

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/02/12 05:57 PM

The only thing I know for certain about Tim is if I were to buy a Casio, which I am getting the PX-350, would be I would order through him. He is a wholesaler and gets a better price than any internet site I have found advertises them. The deal he can get on the stand and pedal bar is really a good deal since he orders them as one unit. As far as his advise I can't comment on that.
Posted By: ClsscLib

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/02/12 08:09 PM

As Mr. Dooley said, "Trust everyone, but cut the cards.". Read the reviews and consider what they say, but play the board and make up your own mind.
Posted By: EddieMorgan44

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/04/12 11:16 AM


Tim Praskins is paid blogger for Casio,so anything he reviews is biased and irrelevant
Just look at these links!


Visiting casio factory Tim Praskins

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2010/02/tim-praskins-visits-casio-yamaha-piano.html

Casio reviews by Tim Praskins

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2010/01/new-updated-casio-celviano-pianos-for.html



Tim Praskins lying

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2010/03/piano-press-release-acoustic-console.html


Casio review of Tim Praskins

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2012_08_01_archive.html


Another Casio review

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2012/10/review-casio-px850-privia-digital-piano.html


Another casio review

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2012/07/review-casio-px350-px150-privia-digital.html


Another Casio review

http://azpianonews.blogspot.ca/2011/02/new-yamaha-clavinova-pianos-clp-430.html


Tim Praskins will do anything to sell Casio.
Posted By: Radion Romanovich

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/04/12 06:47 PM

You don't even need to read all those reviews to figure out that Praskins is an all-out salesman pretending to be your 'friend who knows all about DPs'. His comments are merely a list of specs written in prose with not much insight, and no apparent effort in concealing the typical salesman jabber.

I've got nothing against him, and wish him good in his business, but I wouldn't have written all of this if he were more transparent on his status as a dealer. And I don't like to think his musings might affect negatively another person's decision, especially if it involves a lot of money and effort. On the other hand, this kind of unsuspecting customer might already settle with Praskin's 'honest and unbiased' reviews. These people are probably his main target anyway.
Posted By: Mike_Martin

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/04/12 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by EddieMorgan44

Tim Praskins is paid blogger for Casio


For the record, Arizona Piano is a Casio dealer, he is not paid by Casio. He uses an editorial blog to promote his business. Plenty of companies do this in different ways on their own websites, through videos and catalogs.

My $.02
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/04/12 09:33 PM

Mike, I have no problem with him selling Casio. But he masquerades as an "independent expert". The casual visitor to his site would assume he is offering educated, unbiased opinion. This is misleading - in fact, it is downright deceitful.

My $.02
Posted By: EddieMorgan44

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/04/12 11:18 PM

Of course Mike, is well known fact that Tim Praskins bloggs for Casio, I can prove it!
Posted By: Melodialworks Music

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 12:07 AM

Originally Posted by solahaji
Are Casio digital pianos as good as Tim Praskins says they are?


Who is Tim Praskins? Never heard of him. He must be less famous than even me!
Posted By: SkierDude

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 02:16 AM

Go to www.azpianonews.com
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 03:12 AM

Originally Posted by EddieMorgan44
Of course Mike, is well known fact that Tim Praskins bloggs for Casio, I can prove it!
Tim Praskins' exuberance for the product strains his credibility with some who read his blog. Others find his details fascinating and helpful. I guess I just don't expect a blog to have the credibility of Consumer Reports. I practice reading between the lines or look elsewhere for my information.

It's not unlike various famous political talking heads that strain their credibility on the left and right "News" channels.

EddieMorgan44 is an anonymous new member of an online forum. I'm not trying to discredit you, but you must see the irony in your first posts.
Posted By: emenelton

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 04:02 AM

I wonder what solahaji's thinking
Posted By: Susan_B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 05:31 AM

I once wrote to him about a certain model keyboard -- this was before I had "caught on" that he was a dealer in disguise. Once he got my email he tried to sell me a Kawaii keyboard, and actually wanted my phone # to discuss it further. I told him I wasn't "that" interested and would probably go the acoustic route.

When I walk into a store, I expect to be approached by a salesman. When I walk into a library for information on a subscription database, I expect to get free information. If I think I'm reading an expert's review or blog, and then he turns out to be a salesman... that's deceptive.
Posted By: dewster

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 05:54 AM

Originally Posted by Melodialworks Music
Who is Tim Praskins?

For me he's living proof that you can't simultaneously be an unbiased reviewer and take money from or be associated in any way with industry. Not his fault perhaps in this crazy sell your soul to the devil for a dollar world.
Posted By: solahaji

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 10:31 AM

I was very much confused! at the end I did get Roland DP990F and not followed cleverly created blogg of Tim Praskins and Casio.
Posted By: Dave Horne

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 10:43 AM

I don't need to know what someone else's opinion is to buy a piano, I try them out for my myself.

Using the opinions of others can be a good start in narrowing down your choices though at some point you really have to try the pianos and come to your own conclusion.

I also remember a saying from my father ... You never hear a fisherman selling rotten fish.


Posted By: Vectistim

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 11:02 AM

Originally Posted by Dave Horne

I also remember a saying from my father ... You never hear a fisherman selling rotten fish.

Except in Scandinavia?
eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming
Posted By: spanishbuddha

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 11:30 AM

Originally Posted by Vectistim
Originally Posted by Dave Horne

I also remember a saying from my father ... You never hear a fisherman selling rotten fish.

Except in Scandinavia?
eg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming

Indeed: Rakfisk
Posted By: Dave Horne

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 12:37 PM

I'd like to thank Vectistim and spanishbudda for their enlightening posts.
Posted By: SkierDude

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 02:06 PM

And, not technically rotten, but I believe fermented seafood could be considered such. It's a matter of semantics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1karl
Posted By: Ken Knapp

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/05/12 03:40 PM

Originally Posted by EddieMorgan44
Of course Mike, is well known fact that Tim Praskins bloggs for Casio, I can prove it!


So what is your point here? YOU ASK THE QUESTION AS THE OP USING ANOTHER SCREEN NAME.. Then you answer yourself under this screen name...
Posted By: Susan_B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/06/12 04:39 AM

"I don't need to know what someone else's opinion is to buy a piano, I try them out for my myself.

Using the opinions of others can be a good start in narrowing down your choices though at some point you really have to try the pianos and come to your own conclusion."

Dave H -- This is so true, and yet the OP was looking for a keyboard for her/his son. In this case, the opinions of others matter. I was curious about the Kawaii MP6 and MP10 about 2 years ago, but not one dealer near me had them -- so I was relying on reviews and opinions before driving an hour or so to try one.
Posted By: Dave Horne

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/06/12 10:48 AM

Originally Posted by Susan_B
"I don't need to know what someone else's opinion is to buy a piano, I try them out for my myself.

Using the opinions of others can be a good start in narrowing down your choices though at some point you really have to try the pianos and come to your own conclusion."

Dave H -- This is so true, and yet the OP was looking for a keyboard for her/his son. In this case, the opinions of others matter. I was curious about the Kawaii MP6 and MP10 about 2 years ago, but not one dealer near me had them -- so I was relying on reviews and opinions before driving an hour or so to try one.


Rather than try an online forum, I'd ask the kid's teacher.
Posted By: Susan_B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 12/06/12 05:51 PM

"Rather than try an online forum, I'd ask the kid's teacher."

Probably the wisest course of action.
Posted By: dskeys

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 01:50 PM

I signed up for this forum to offer feedback about Tim Praskins. Short version - he is legit, and I am very happy with the Kawai ES8 I bought from him, and got a good deal on it.
Longer -- yes he is a salesman. I would say that he does like Casios a good bit, but I was not pushed toward a Casio. While his blog is not pure in the sense of being unconnected to selling pianos, his reviews are thoughtful and helped me, as someone who could not possibly play all the pianos in question. Where his reviews were most helpful was allowing me to sort out the style and price range that would best fit my family -- ie, 3 young kids getting ready to start piano lessons and want something high quality but cheaper than a decent upright, and space efficient.
Also, he is, somehow, able to offer really good prices. I don't think anywhere else would have beaten, maybe not even matched, the deal I got.
He and his son both responded quickly by email and were also available by phone, including helping me when I had a dumb question while setting up the instrument.
I had never heard of Tim or his website before digital piano shopping and have no personal connection to him. Just putting in my 2 cents.
Posted By: Falsch

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 02:09 PM

On more than one occasion, I've noticed that Tim Praskins isn't always liked very well on this forum, specifically because he's a salesman.

I've read his reviews when looking for a stage piano, and later a digital upright piano. He uses some hyperboles such as "Best digital piano under $2000" and such, and he describes things as he sees them, or even as he sees fit.

That doesn't bother me; every salesman does. Even the one where I bought my piano's, in The Netherlands.

What Tim Praskins DOES do, is describe most, if not all, capabilities of an instrument and he points out things he likes and doesn't like, and why, which is a nice addition to reading the manual. I made note of such things, and used them while testing; some things he liked I didn't like, and some things he didn't like did not bother me.

As with every review, I do the following:
- I pick out the facts for each instrument
- I line up the things the reviewer likes or doesn't like
- I do that with 5 or 6 different reviews, for each instrument I'm interested in

And then I go have a look for myself, exactly knowing what I'm going to look for, and what I'll be testing in which way. Then, and only then will I make my decision.

Use the reviews as educational material (discarding the sales crap), not to make your purchasing decision, and you'll be fine. Never buy something as big as a digital piano blindly, based on reviews only.
Posted By: toddy

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 02:36 PM

Tim Praskins's advice for low end to high middle market digital pianos is the same as the advice that tends to have been given here over the last five years: go for Casio if you're wanting a good instrument for as little as possible. If you can afford more, go for Kawai.

So by design or coincidence, he seems in line with the impartial.
Posted By: Scooby Hoo

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by solahaji
I called lots of stores and each one told me that Casio is inferior to Yamaha,Roland, Kawai, Kurzweil etc. I am very confused.

I emailed Tim Praskins a couple of times asking him which piano to choose from a choice of models and he always points out that Casio is the best, even when other posts on this forum contradict him.


Though I don't doubt your sincerity, one risk of the way you posed your question is that responses may conflate feelings about Tim Praskins (or salesmen in general) with support for the idea that Tim says "Casio is the best". Whether Casio is the solid and one's feelings about a salesmen are two different questions, deserving separate consideration.

Also, from a quick skim of Praskins site, I see that he claims Casio now is a price leader with lower priced pianos, but he seems to shift to other brands with more expensive price range (Kawai). I am as suspicious salesmen as the next guy, I would be concerned someone who posts on the internet is not representing others correctly.

Third, I am not certain this forum is represented accurately in your post. Musical instruments are extremely subjective. For instance, I don't own a Yamaha, but I understand why people on this forum prefer that brand. Most people on this forum who review pianos don't say one is "the best for everyone", but they do articulate why it is the best "for their tastes or needs" in their posts. There is less dogma on this forum than your post suggests.

In my opinion, Casio as an option for lower priced pianos is VERY valid. Also, their upper end digital pianos (like GP-500) are making a lot of ground, even using samples from other grands. I had a toy Casio as a child, and it is hard to get that image out of a Casio as a toy out of my head, but I am pleased to see Casio providing more competition and products. I would hate to see a question phrased in a way that makes support for salesmen or a salesman conflated with Casio's progress (or any company).

I wish you well in your search. My suggestion -- and the one you will see most on this forum -- is that trying a piano is the best route to getting the best one for you. That makes sense for many products and life decisions (from marriage to careers), not just pianos.


Posted By: David Farley

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 04:30 PM

Manufacturers have a book price that dealers can't list below in print, but they can sell a piano one-to-one as low as they'd like to go. This is how Tim can sell the pianos he represents at lower prices than you ever see online. Some online dealers get around that with the "add this item to your cart to see the price" routine or pile on a bunch of extras while somehow keeping the whole package at list price. Tim seems like a good guy - I'd probably contact him if I'm ever looking for one of the brands he sells.
Posted By: Scooby Hoo

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 11/04/16 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by Tim P
Scooby Hoo (and others who may not have noticed) - This is a four year old thread...


I didn't notice! Thanks.
Posted By: orsonwellz

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 07:21 AM

A short time ago I ended up here in Piano World looking for an informed opinion regarding Tim Praskins. I was hoping to learn whether Tim was a reliable source for keyboards.

I knew about Praskins only by reading his reviews of digital pianos at "AZ Piano Reviews." Compared to reviews I found elsewhere, I found Tim's information to be extraordinarily thorough and informative. While his writing may occasionally come up wanting in terms of professional gloss, I actually found that aspect of his work to be reassuring. His reviews seem more authentic than most, like they're the considered opinions of a piano aficionado, and not the canned spiel of of some guy assigned by his editor to whip up an article on digital pianos.

Anyway, I finally decided to contact the guy and see if the claim that he frequently makes within his reviews - namely, that he can get you the piano of your choice at the lowest price around - had any merit. Turns out it does. In quick order he, 1) consulted with me a bit about the couple of pianos I was considering, 2) answered a couple of follow-up questions, and then, per my request, 3) offered me a price on my piano (Kawai es110) that was 10% less than I could find anywhere else.

The process of ordering was a little unconventional (because he's essentially a wholesaler, I believe, not a retailer), but things ended up going very smoothly and I had a brand new keyboard on my doorstep within a week.

So whether you're comfortable with a somewhat different way of buying a piano in order to save some cash is a call you'll need to make for yourself. As for me, I'm very satisfied with the service Tim Praskins provided, and I have no reason whatsoever to believe that there is any skulduggery going on here. Just a guy making a small profit on the items he sells, and saving buyers a considerable sum at the same time.
Posted By: slobajudge

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 10:09 AM

I don`t think that blog of Tim Praskins is bad no matter if he working for Casio or not. There are lots of useful information about digital pianos and reading lots of forums, blogs etc and trough lots of digital pianos in my hand, my opinion is that you can find really good informations about it on his site and most of them are valid and ok. Of course, it is always better to read more sites, opinions, and then to try for yourself. Any site that give review about some product has one way or the other some interest to do it, and you can always find subjective informations about some piano. Can you give your 100% trust to anybody`s opinion on internet, even here on forum ? No, of course, we all have more or less different opinions and reasons for that, but more opinions no matter reason leads to more angles and that leads to more knowledge about some topic. I wish there are more sites similar to his site no matter if they little more promote casio or yamaha or roland etc, but unfortunately there are not so many. Most of them are stores with official data or sites where they give review about lots of products including digital pianos. I love to read them all because I love pianos.
Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 11:21 AM

Originally Posted by slobajudge
I don`t think that blog of Tim Praskins is bad no matter if he working for Casio or not.

Tim Praskins still insists on Roland FP-30 being out of tune! It's a direct competitor of Casio PX-160 and Kawai ES-110 which he sells.
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 12:09 PM

He's a salesman masquerading as an independent advisor. Not an honourable business practice at all in my opinion.
Posted By: slobajudge

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 01:10 PM

Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by slobajudge
I don`t think that blog of Tim Praskins is bad no matter if he working for Casio or not.

Tim Praskins still insists on Roland FP-30 being out of tune! It's a direct competitor of Casio PX-160 and Kawai ES-110 which he sells.

On every site where talking about pianos we can find something that we don`t like. Are you believe in everything they told you ? I don`t know is Roland fp30 out of tune or not, I said that you can find lots of information about digital pianos. Most of them are ok. I dont think I wiil stop to read all reviews because of that. There are many reviews there in one place and I love to read them. I don`t create opinion based only on one site, in fact if is not in my hand I will not create at all but some presumptions. If he said that Roland fp30 is out of tune but he also said all other good things about it and this is the case here, I will investigate if I want this piano. If not, I don`t bother. You sound like you know that man personally and you know that he sells Casio and Kawai or you have presumptions ? I always try to avoid direct qualifications about something that is not in front of my eyes. We living in the world where people for top high end product said `incredible` and some of them `garbage` for the same product and who we believe ? If is out of reach, then we read more about it, right ? Just to be sure more.
And for the record, I dont think that Roland fp30 is out of tune. This is my presumption. When I hear `out of tune` for me it means you can hear without doubt that is not in tune and then I imagine workers in Roland to first sampling beer and then piano smile hehe, I don`t think so.
Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 01:29 PM

Originally Posted by slobajudge
You sound like you know that man personally and you know that he sells Casio and Kawai or you have presumptions ?

It's stated on his main page - "Arizona Piano Wholesale. We specialize in Digital Pianos and will help you get the right one for LOWER PRICES than internet, Amazon, store, or bundle pricing."

UPD Here's the information about Arizona Piano Wholesale.
https://bizstanding.com/directory/AZ/AR/1299/
Arizona Piano Wholesale also is in Kawai dealer list:
http://www.kawaius.com/dealer_locator/pro_locator.html
And here it is in Casio dealers list
http://www.casiomusicgear.com/where-to-buy

Posted By: slobajudge

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 01:36 PM

Oh right JoniD, you won, now we find that what are we going to do with iiiiit ? smile Little joke, don`t be angry, can`t resist, sorry.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 01:54 PM

Precisely.
Originally Posted by EssBrace
He's a salesman masquerading as an independent advisor. Not an honourable business practice at all in my opinion.
Posted By: D7K

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 02:47 PM

In this day of fake news, one must expect non-vetted, non-peer reviewed sights to have a bias. Perhaps some of you have been a little harsh and some a little too supportive. But in Internet Land I have seen much worse and some better sites. We all vote with our money and in the end that really says what you think about a product or site. As far as Casio goes, Show me a machine at even twice the price of a PX-5s that can do what it can do. Yes the 560 has a nice screen, but I use mine in a "studio" and can see the Casio PC program on a 4K screen and TV - makes it pretty easy to use. Casio is a price/value leader and anyone who says differently is a sophist or ignorant IMHO.

In the end it takes work and luck to find the right piano, some get it right the first time and others search for longer, but in end it is a personal opinion (and including mine) these are only opinions and you should really in final analysis only care about how you feel and find enjoyment in the DP you buy. Why so much acrimony over a dealers web site? Buyer beware is even more important on the net.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 05:47 PM

I read Praskins' reviews about middle-to-high-end digital pianos a couple years ago, when I was choosing one for myself for practicing silently. And, to be honest, I noticed no bias. His reviews were helpful enough, very detailed, his recommendations were well explained, and his conclusions about action and sound were more or less close to mine. I wrote a letter to him with a small question, but he never responded. Aside from this fact, I have nothing bad to say about him.

Originally Posted by Falsch
Use the reviews as educational material (discarding the sales crap), not to make your purchasing decision, and you'll be fine. Never buy something as big as a digital piano blindly, based on reviews only.

+1.
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 06:59 PM

As far as I remember he has provided instructions how to reproduce the issue...
Have you tried to follow the instructions?
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 07:34 PM

I've bought 2 pianos/keyboards from Tim. First I bought a Kawai ES8. The price was better than anywhere else I looked and the transaction was smooth. I was so pleased with the service that I purchased a Casio MZ-X500 (for a friend), and again, the transaction was seamless.

I stumbled across Tim's website by searching around on the internet and found his reviews to be informative. I don't think he is disingenuous in anyway. As consumers we should be smart enough to make reasoned decisions based on accurate information that is readily available from numerous sources. I'm looking forward to purchasing a Kawai MP12 from Tim when they become available (unless I can find it cheaper somewhere else).

God Bless,
David

Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 07:37 PM

Originally Posted by Jasper E.
As far as I remember he has provided instructions how to reproduce the issue...
Have you tried to follow the instructions?

AFAIK apart from his words he hasn't yet provided any evidence.
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by Jasper E.
As far as I remember he has provided instructions how to reproduce the issue...
Have you tried to follow the instructions?

AFAIK apart from his words he hasn't yet provided any evidence.


I have found what I meant. Unfortunately not exact chords but more than nothing, and could be enough to find pieces where it could be an issue:
"primarily about the relationship between notes in the bass section and the middle to upper octaves and it definitely sounds like there are note and chord combinations which are noticeably sharp on the upper notes of the chord combinations"
Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/24/17 08:09 PM

Originally Posted by Jasper E.
I have found what I meant. Unfortunately not exact chords but more than nothing, and could be enough to find pieces where it could be an issue:
"primarily about the relationship between notes in the bass section and the middle to upper octaves and it definitely sounds like there are note and chord combinations which are noticeably sharp on the upper notes of the chord combinations"

This has been discussed many times - it's just stretch tuning. It doesn't mean that the piano is out of tune.
UPD You can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_acoustics#The_Railsback_curve
and here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretched_tuning
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/25/17 07:39 AM

Originally Posted by JoniD
Originally Posted by Jasper E.
I have found what I meant. Unfortunately not exact chords but more than nothing, and could be enough to find pieces where it could be an issue:
"primarily about the relationship between notes in the bass section and the middle to upper octaves and it definitely sounds like there are note and chord combinations which are noticeably sharp on the upper notes of the chord combinations"

This has been discussed many times - it's just stretch tuning. It doesn't mean that the piano is out of tune.
UPD You can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_acoustics#The_Railsback_curve
and here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretched_tuning


As far as I understand, Tim Praskins says this stretch tuning is far too agressive on FP-30, especially on the mid-high and high octaves... and it can be clear for anyone reading his review. For me the reactions on his review sounds like a battle on terminology only -- and no ones seems to reply on his claim itself: far too aggressive stretch tuning. I would welcome "peer-reviews" on the claim itself and not only on the terminology.
Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/25/17 08:39 AM

Originally Posted by Jasper E.

As far as I understand, Tim Praskins says this stretch tuning is far too agressive on FP-30, especially on the mid-high and high octaves... and it can be clear for anyone reading his review. For me the reactions on his review sounds like a battle on terminology only -- and no ones seems to reply on his claim itself: far too aggressive stretch tuning. I would welcome "peer-reviews" on the claim itself and not only on the terminology.

He's constantly changing the text - I've read many version of his article. First it was recommended, then suddenly it became out of tune and not recommended, then it became semi-recommended , later the text about overly done stretch tuning appeared and the piano got 'recommended' sign again. Anyway, no evidence that the tuning falls outside Railsback curve has been given. Roland's representative confirmed that the same tuning was used by Roland in their previous pianos. It might sound somewhat harsh with certain intervals to a person used to the equal tuning but many acoustic pianos has been tuned that way. A person with more than 40 years of experience should have known this.

UPD The version of 2016, March 2nd had no claims about the piano being out of tune. It was added later.
https://web.archive.org/web/20160302080226/https://azpianonews.blogspot.com/2016/01/Roland-FP30-REVIEW-Digital-Piano-Portable-lowest-price-piano-review.html
Unfortunately, the span between snapshot is too large.
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/25/17 10:32 AM

I have not heard about that confirmation -- and actually I could not find anything by searching the net.
So you might know far more than most people on the internet.
Posted By: JoniD

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/25/17 10:57 AM

Originally Posted by Jasper E.
I have not heard about that confirmation -- and actually I could not find anything by searching the net.
So you might know far more than most people on the internet.

Here's the post of JayGVan (Jay Roland in the past), former employee of Roland.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2542991/re-roland-fp-30.html#Post2542991
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/25/17 11:28 AM

I wonder why Google did not find this for me... Who knows. I got a few results only and this was not among them.
Thanks.
I have found Pablo Woiz has done an analysis on the stretch tuning: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2540983/re-roland-fp-30.html#Post2540983 -- and it is exactly what I was missing before.
Posted By: HDer

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/27/17 04:23 AM

I used Tim's site extensively and e-mailed him a bunch when looking for pianos. He doesn't just push Casios. In general, if it's a Casio or an online product (doesn't matter if it's Kawai or Roland or Yamaha for that matter) he's able to source it and sell it. If it's an in person dealer only product then it's hit or miss. In our case he lined up a Roland dealer/distributor for us to buy from but they apparently got cold feet at the last minute.
Posted By: HDer

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/27/17 04:30 AM

As for Casios there are Casios and there are Casios. If it were up to me, I might have gone with the Casio GP400, which uses hammer-sensor "hybrid" technology in the same way the Yamaha hybrids do.
Posted By: CJMag

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 12:05 AM

Tim Praskins runs his blog, in my humble opinion, very professionally. I believe he is an expert, and unbiased.

My experience with him, his son, and his blog thru a couple of phone calls helped me obtain a Casio PX360 at a very reasonable price. This keyboard was picked a year and a half ago over the Kawai ES100, MP7, Yammer 255, and one or two others. This was done under his guidance. In no way did he push, persuade, or speak poorly of any other instrument.

Praskins son Eric answered my questions, focused my search from ES7's and MP7's to $800 to 1200 dollar instruments, and encouraged me to play a few at local music stores including a Yamaha dealer. I was very appreciative of his advice, blog, and advice.

As far as the casio, I love it!!! Is it an MP11, ES8, Clav 585? No. What it is is a very, very good digital piano. I needed headphone capable, OK sound and better then average action with plug and play capabilities for VST and modelled sounds, and ease of use. It fit the bill. And yes, I was very concerned about Casio name as I did not know they made high end musical instruments when I began my search for a digital piano. They do.

Pianomanchuck also helped

Thanks to both Praskins and pianomanchuck,

PS Next instrument will prob be ES8 or family in another year or two.
Posted By: tnsettlemo

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 12:48 AM

Originally Posted by CJMag
Tim Praskins runs his blog, in my humble opinion, very professionally. I believe he is an expert, and unbiased.

My experience with him, his son, and his blog thru a couple of phone calls helped me obtain a Casio PX360 at a very reasonable price. This keyboard was picked a year and a half ago over the Kawai ES100, MP7, Yammer 255, and one or two others. This was done under his guidance. In no way did he push, persuade, or speak poorly of any other instrument.

Praskins son Eric answered my questions, focused my search from ES7's and MP7's to $800 to 1200 dollar instruments, and encouraged me to play a few at local music stores including a Yamaha dealer. I was very appreciative of his advice, blog, and advice.

As far as the casio, I love it!!! Is it an MP11, ES8, Clav 585? No. What it is is a very, very good digital piano. I needed headphone capable, OK sound and better then average action with plug and play capabilities for VST and modelled sounds, and ease of use. It fit the bill. And yes, I was very concerned about Casio name as I did not know they made high end musical instruments when I began my search for a digital piano. They do.

Pianomanchuck also helped

Thanks to both Praskins and pianomanchuck,

PS Next instrument will prob be ES8 or family in another year or two.


+++1
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 04:26 AM

Originally Posted by CJMag
. . .

Praskins son Eric answered my questions, focused my search from ES7's and MP7's to $800 to 1200 dollar instruments, and encouraged me to play a few at local music stores including a Yamaha dealer. I was very appreciative of his advice, blog, and advice.
. . .


That's a good sign -- to say both:

. . . "You can spend less money that you think", and

. . . "Go and try out the alternatives."
Posted By: newer player

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 05:56 AM

I quite enjoy reading Tim's blog. There is a lot of detail on a lot of digital pianos in one site so I found it to be a great place to start research. The manufacturers do a good job of maximizing opaqueness regarding digital piano names, actions and features so this blog helped me.

His blog makes it quite clear that he is a distributor. I suppose one could argue he might be tempted to focus a bit more on his area of expertise and business. That does not differ much from a typical store visit I suppose. Ideally they would all be completely unbiased.

Magazine reviews for hardgoods are different but similar as they are typically pay-to-play with advertisement packages or the future hope for advertising revenues.

Regarding general internet "reviews," I just assume they are paid infomercials.
Posted By: ando

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 11:58 AM

Originally Posted by newer player


Regarding general internet "reviews," I just assume they are paid infomercials.

It's also possible that some of the testimonials here are also infomercials...
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/30/17 12:29 PM

Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by newer player


Regarding general internet "reviews," I just assume they are paid infomercials.

It's also possible that some of the testimonials here are also infomercials...


Quite so. There's nothing wrong with TP selling pianos. There's nothing wrong with him having a review site. But to dress a sales site up as some kind of independent review site is wrong. Deeply wrong.

I note he is now pushing some "special factory direct deal" on Samick pianos (second-rate, re-badged rubbish made by Orla). His 'review' is glowing of them. I wonder why!? And yet he always sounds some note of caution about Roland for instance. Casio; he loves 'em. Kawai too. That's because he clearly has greater access to Casio, Kawai and now, Samick.

I'm sick of hearing about Praskins and his 'reviews'. No one comes on here and says "Kraft Music says that the latest 'whatever' is great and better than the competing products...". But there's no difference between them and TP. They're all just selling stuff.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/31/17 07:42 AM

Originally Posted by EssBrace

Quite so. There's nothing wrong with TP selling pianos. There's nothing wrong with him having a review site. But to dress a sales site up as some kind of independent review site is wrong. Deeply wrong.


So were you tricked into buying something from Tim that you regretted? Do you know anyone that was misled into buying something from Tim and felt betrayed afterward?

It seems to me (at least on this site) there are no negative reviews from actual customers of Tim.

In contrast with all the happy customers Tim has (myself included), I'm trying to understand the moral indictment you have charged him with by saying that what he does is "deeply wrong."

I consider myself a morally perceptive person with high standards. Was I somehow persuaded by a cleverly orchestrated deception conducted by Tim Praskins to get me the piano I wanted at the lowest possible price on the internet? If I wasn't deceived then am I somehow culpable in this "deeply wrong" practice by doing business with Tim and then encouraging others to do the same by my testimony?

Originally Posted by EssBrace
I'm sick of hearing about Praskins and his 'reviews'.


That's a legitimate feeling to have. Perhaps stick with that and leave the moralism out. That's just my suggestion. I know it's not worth much since we've never met.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/31/17 08:02 AM

Originally Posted by David B
God Bless


Tells me everything I need to know.
Posted By: casinitaly

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/31/17 06:16 PM


Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by David B
God Bless


Tells me everything I need to know.



Your reply says more about you than the person who wrote the orignal remark.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion here, but let's maintain civilities.





Posted By: ArtlessArt

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 08/31/17 07:37 PM

I never really read his reviews to full length, he seems to go around in circles. However, there are some tidbits of good information here and there.
Posted By: Jasper E.

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 08:07 AM

I would be happy if more distributors/retailers could have reviews in a public in the same quality at least.
However it is clear that reviews are not completely independent reviews.

I guess the debate is mostly about one specific review and the meaning of few words -- Tim Praskins explains what does he mean, however his meaning is not the same as the meaning of his words in general.
Personally I think critics say, that single review can be misleading, especially for those who just run through it and not read it thoroughly. This misleading could be problematic with respect to the nature of the reviews as they act as advertisments (here I include positive and negative ads in the meaning of advertisment).
Posted By: unkabin

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 04:30 PM

I stumbled across his site when I was first researching pianos, and I was also turned off when I realized that he's in the business of selling pianos. Of course there's nothing wrong with operating a retail shop (my family has owned a retail business for four generations), but he seems to go out of his way to hide, or at least delay people's awareness of, that fact.

He calls the site "AZ Piano Reviews" not "AZ Piano Retail." He boldly proclaims, "YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE #1 DIGITAL PIANO REVIEW & NEWS SITE ANYWHERE," not "You are about to enter a digital piano store," which is what it is. Then, once you enter the site, you get this: "YOUR #1 SOURCE for digital piano reviews, news, shopping & buying tips, and other useful information including how to BUY FOR EVEN LESS MONEY IN THE USA THAN INTERNET DISCOUNTS, AMAZON SALES, BUNDLES, USED, AND LOCAL STORES." Once again, not "shopping and buying" but "shopping and buying tips" and not "buy here for less money," but "information including how to buy for even less..." This feels to me like intentional misdirection.

More subjectively, once I did realize what was going on, I got the vibe of someone trying to pull me into the alley to sell me a "hot" watch on a city street. The whole thing feels a bit like a used-car-sales approach that doesn't appeal to me. And as a fourth-generation kid who grew up around retail, I fully believe that his profit margin for Casios is higher than for other brands. I feel him steering customers in that direction from the moment we unwittingly wander into his web, I mean store.

All that said, I have no reason to believe that he doesn't deliver on product and price. I just don't appreciate his sales tactics.
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by unkabin
....Of course there's nothing wrong with operating a retail shop (my family has owned a retail business for four generations), but he seems to go out of his way to hide, or at least delay people's awareness of, that fact....

I just don't appreciate his sales tactics.


+1 to this. And everything else you've written!

I am amazed that certain others just don't seem to see anything remotely distasteful about his business practices.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by unkabin
I stumbled across his site when I was first researching pianos, and I was also turned off when I realized that he's in the business of selling pianos. Of course there's nothing wrong with operating a retail shop (my family has owned a retail business for four generations), but he seems to go out of his way to hide, or at least delay people's awareness of, that fact.


I first stumbled onto Tim's site when I was researching information on a Yamaha DGX 650, which I ended up purchasing. I didn't purchase if from Tim because I was not comfortable with a big purchase over the internet. Therefore, I purchased it from my local guitar center. The same thing happened with a Kawai ES100. I utilized some of Tim's reviews, but purchased from Guitar Center.

In both instances I knew that he sold pianos. I'm really challenged by this idea that he is going "out of his way to hide, or delay people's awareness" to the fact that he sells pianos. It's all over his site. His homepage states it at the very top as one of the first things you read. The top of the homepage reads,

"AZ PIANO REVIEWS-The #1 Most Trusted Digital Piano Review & News Blog in the world! LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don't order anywhere until you check with us 1st!..." Bold Supplied

So evidently your perception is that he is going out of his way or trying to delay people from finding out that he sells pianos. So that delay is an intentional delay of maybe one second?

In the upper right hand corner of every page on Tim's website is an appeal to purchase a piano from him.

To me your perception of his lack of transparency or his desire to "hide" or "delay" his wholesale business is very difficult to support based on the data that is currently available on his website.

Quote
More subjectively, once I did realize what was going on, I got the vibe of someone trying to pull me into the alley to sell me a "hot" watch on a city street.


I was reluctant at first buy a piano from Tim because of my familiarity and comfort with Guitar Center and the convenient accessibility for returns. I was even willing to pay more money. Tim did not seem like a well known or established dealer.

Quote
All that said, I have no reason to believe that he doesn't deliver on product and price. I just don't appreciate his sales tactics.


Sales tactics aside (I don't see anything wrong with them), when I decided to purchase another piano, I contacted Tim since he doesn't list prices on his website and I was surprised how much money I could have saved on my previous purchases. After he answered all my questions regarding my concerns and gave me the process of ordering from him, I purchased a Kawai ES8. It was cheaper compared to any other internet price and significantly cheaper than Guitar Center.

His method is somewhat unorthodox. You don't actually pay the full price of the piano until after you receive it at your house. I wondered if anyone had ever withheld payment after they received the piano and evidently that hasn't happened yet.

So for me Tim delivered on his services with good customer support and the best price available at the time. I don't feel like I was deceived, tricked, delayed or pulled into a back alley regarding his business practice since he literally begs you on every page of his website to buy a piano from him. I feel stupid I didn't take him up on his offer sooner.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: karvala

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 09:36 PM

I haven't waded into this discussion so far, and I have no particular axe to grind against him and no inside knowledge whatsoever. I must, however, take issue with the notion that he is being open and transparent. His site is clearly set up to look like an independent review site. For example:-

1. It's called AZ Piano Reviews and News. No mention of a store in the name.
2. It claims to be "Not linked to Amazon, Ebay or a store". That's clearly untrue; it's linked to HIS store.
3. "Purely unbiased organic reviews" and "written by an independent respected piano expert".

Yes, he offers to save money by contacting him, but he doesn't state that the money saving involves buying a piano from him; I would have assumed that he simply had some useful information as to where I could get something more cheaply.

Contrast that with a retailer who puts the products on their page with a "click to buy" and has a product review alongside that. Much more transparent; I know from the outset that they're trying to sell me something.

It's disappointing frankly, because from what David B and others have said, it sounds like he may actually be a perfectly decent and helpful guy. I haven't seen any conclusive evidence in this thread or anywhere else that he's actually taking kickbacks from a company or on commission or anything that would incentivise him to direct people towards one particular model or other, and clearly he can/does sell pianos from a variety of brands (albeit with a penchant for Casio pianos at the lower end, but he might just believe they are actually better). So he may be perfectly innocent, but there's no denying that the site IS dressed up to look like a review site and he's not exactly forthcoming about the fact that he sells pianos, and to me that is an attempt at deception.
Posted By: David Farley

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 09:54 PM

Originally Posted by karvala

Contrast that with a retailer who puts the products on their page with a "click to buy" and has a product review alongside that. Much more transparent; I know from the outset that they're trying to sell me something.


Tim can't put "click to buy" on his website because the piano manufacturers all put a limit on how low a price dealers can list, no matter if the true cost is much lower. But the dealer is always free to negotiate privately. Other sellers like Kraft get around this by piling all kinds of extras into the lowest price they can list and calling it a package. Or some are like Sweetwater and just list the price as take it or leave it.

There might be other issues with the way Tim does things, but that particular thing is probably the best actual reason to talk to him. (I've never contacted, or bought a piano from him. Might have commented on some of his reviews.)
Posted By: brooster

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/01/17 10:42 PM

I do have a small nagging complaint with Tim and his Son. A year ago I bought and returned a Kawai ES8 from a store 150 miles from me. The keyboard had intermittent static.
About nine months later I contacted Tim about the Kawai CA-67 and CA-97. He did ask if I had a local Kawai dealer. I told him about my situation with the ES8.
He told me he would have to check with Kawaii to see if he could sell me a Kawai CA series piano. I checked back for over a month.
At one point I got scolded by Tim's son but I did get an apologetic call from Tim. Over FOUR months later still no answer from Tim.
My guess is that Kawai didn't want me to switch dealers even though the store was 150 miles away but Tim could have could have called or e-mailed me with a reply.


YMMV.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 12:48 AM

Originally Posted by karvala
So he may be perfectly innocent, but there's no denying that the site IS dressed up to look like a review site and he's not exactly forthcoming about the fact that he sells pianos, and to me that is an attempt at deception.


I don't understand this perception. He literally begs on every page of his website to contact him for what he advertises as the best price for pianos. Can you show me a screenshot from his website where he does not make an appeal to buy a piano from him?

Every page on his website says: "Thinking of buying a piano? Contact me. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE ANY PIANO ANYWHERE WITHOUT CONTACTING ME FIRST [sic]. I will help you save money beyond store and internet prices and recommend the best piano for your needs and budget."

How is that "not forthcoming" about the fact that he sells pianos as a wholesaler when it's advertised on every single page of his website?

God Bless,
David





Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 09:53 AM

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by karvala
So he may be perfectly innocent, but there's no denying that the site IS dressed up to look like a review site and he's not exactly forthcoming about the fact that he sells pianos, and to me that is an attempt at deception.


I don't understand this perception.


And I don't understand yours.

His website name. He is a seller so why the name? It's misleading.

Someone who has already contributed to this thread has said on another thread that they will wait for Tim's review of a particular Yamaha before deciding which to buy! As if Tim's reviews are pearls of wisdom!

So let's get this crystal clear: Tim gives more favourable reviews to the products which he can source and/or make the best margins. There. I've said it. You want some evidence?....

Well, read his review of this awful Samick thing he's desperately pushing on a "factory direct special sale". He singles out the action for particular praise (It's Fatar TP40). A superior Fatar action (TP40 Wood) is fitted to the Kurzweil CUP2. He hasn't a good word to say about that action. He doesn't recommend any Kurzweils. There's clearly no money in it for him. Likewise he's very lukewarm on Roland. His main 'passions' are clearly Casio and Kawai (and now Samick). The guy is a salesman but cynically dresses up what he does as some kind of independent review/advice site. It's wrong.
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 11:08 AM

Never heard about this guy but you got me curious. So I open his website/blog and here's what's on top:

Quote
AZ PIANO REVIEWS-The #1 Most Trusted Digital Piano Review & News Blog in the world!


Then a bit below:
Quote
* PURELY UNBIASED ORGANIC REVIEWS IN PLAIN ENGLISH THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND
* NOT LIMITED TO ONLY A FEW BRANDS OR JUST INTERNET PIANOS


The first one implies this is a review and news blog, and the second one even attempts to imply something which is apparently not true.

This all smells rather bad IMO.
Posted By: karvala

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 11:28 AM

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by karvala
So he may be perfectly innocent, but there's no denying that the site IS dressed up to look like a review site and he's not exactly forthcoming about the fact that he sells pianos, and to me that is an attempt at deception.


I don't understand this perception. He literally begs on every page of his website to contact him for what he advertises as the best price for pianos. Can you show me a screenshot from his website where he does not make an appeal to buy a piano from him?

Every page on his website says: "Thinking of buying a piano? Contact me. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE ANY PIANO ANYWHERE WITHOUT CONTACTING ME FIRST [sic]. I will help you save money beyond store and internet prices and recommend the best piano for your needs and budget."

How is that "not forthcoming" about the fact that he sells pianos as a wholesaler when it's advertised on every single page of his website?

God Bless,
David



Look closely at your own quote there. Does it actually say, at any point, that you're buying the piano from him? It says he will help you save money and recommend a piano. It doesn't say you're buying it from him, it doesn't say he stands to make any money on the deal, it doesn't say he may have any form of conflict of interest.

When my friends are remortgaging, I tell them to talk to me first because I happen to know the mortgage market and I can often point out deals for them. That's exactly the message I would give to them - "don't remortgage without calling me first, I can save you a lot of money and recommend a mortgage provider". The difference is I don't sell them the mortgage myself and I don't make any money off it, hence I have no potential conflict of interest to disclose. That's the difference.

He does not say that HE is selling you a piano, he only talks about recommending pianos and saving money, and the whole "this is a review site" "independent, not linked to a store" business simply reinforces that misperception.
Posted By: lolatu

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 12:44 PM

Call me hard-hearted, but this sob-story begging for money to support his son's kid "Dylan" smells bad to me. I'm not saying it's a scam or that "Dylan" doesn't exist, as I have no knowledge either way, but it seems wrong to use a child's image to beg for money from strangers on the internet. And he has been doing it for years...
Posted By: David Farley

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 12:50 PM

I finally figured it out. The whole look and feel of the AZ Piano Reviews site reminds me of the old DAK catalogs. Not sure if DAK ever sold a piano, but for those who remember the 80s, enjoy:

https://archive.org/details/1984-Fall-DAK-Catalog
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 02:37 PM

Originally Posted by karvala

Look closely at your own quote there. Does it actually say, at any point, that you're buying the piano from him? It says he will help you save money and recommend a piano. It doesn't say you're buying it from him, it doesn't say he stands to make any money on the deal, it doesn't say he may have any form of conflict of interest.


It's not only that quote. It's all over his website. At the top of every page he says,
"LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don't order anywhere until you check with us 1st!...Tim@azpianowholesale.com"

Who do you think you're going to buy it from? Clearly not Amazon, or some other internet music store. Did you notice his contact information is tim@azpianowholesale.com. Notice the word wholesale in there? Thats more than a clue.

Also, at the bottom of every page in his disclaimer he goes into detail about his company "Arizona Piano Wholesale LLC." I'm not going to quote it all here, but you can also read it on every page of his website. I really don't know what more he can do.

God Bless,
David


Posted By: karvala

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 02:49 PM

Originally Posted by David B

It's not only that quote. It's all over his website. At the top of every page he says,
"LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don't order anywhere until you check with us 1st!...Tim@azpianowholesale.com"


Yeah, that would be the banner that says "The #1 Most Trusted Digital Piano Review & News Blog", i.e. it's a review and news blog. Strangely doesn't mention it's a shop, or indeed a wholesaler.

Originally Posted by David B

Who do you think you're going to buy it from? Clearly not Amazon, or some other internet music store. Did you notice his contact information is tim@azpianowholesale.com. Notice the word wholesale in there? Thats more than a clue.


Yes, I see the word wholesale in his e-mail address, but for all I know that could relate to some other part of his business, e.g. selling acoustic pianos. It certainly doesn't counteract the countless claims of being a review site, a news site, an independent site not linked to any store etc..

Really, if you're having to hunt around for the odd word, or a part of his e-mail address, to find out that he's selling stuff, then you've pretty much proven the point that he's not being open about it. When I go on Amazon, I don't exactly have to look in the small print to see if they're selling me something. wink

Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by karvala
Really, if you're having to hunt around for the odd word, or a part of his e-mail address, to find out that he's selling stuff, then you've pretty much proven the point that he's not being open about it. When I go on Amazon, I don't exactly have to look in the small print to see if they're selling me something. wink


It's at the top of every page. It's at the bottom of every page. It's on the side of every page. How long did it actually take you to figure out he also sells pianos?

God Bless,
David
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 03:18 PM

Having an e-commerce in Blogspot... And saying: wait I have banners on top, bottom, left and right. But otherwise a blog/review/news website wink Come on! This is beyond just silly. I'm not saying he is a scammer but this all is kind of stupid.
Posted By: CyberGene

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 03:38 PM

As I said, I haven't read his blog before, so just went through his most recommended pianos in the various price categories. To be honest, he's not far off what's usually recommended over here at the forums. I thought he would be recommending Casios only smile He seems to recommend all of the big brands which is something I would personally do too, so I don't see big harm.

It's fair to say that he is not as biased as I thought, it's just that I'd never trust something that looks like a website from 90-s, with all that banners and hidden disclaimers but anyway, probably this guy doesn't deserve so much bashing? smile
Posted By: karvala

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 03:42 PM

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by karvala
Really, if you're having to hunt around for the odd word, or a part of his e-mail address, to find out that he's selling stuff, then you've pretty much proven the point that he's not being open about it. When I go on Amazon, I don't exactly have to look in the small print to see if they're selling me something. wink


It's at the top of every page. It's at the bottom of every page. It's on the side of every page. How long did it actually take you to figure out he also sells pianos?

God Bless,
David


Honestly? I didn't actually know until I read this thread. I visited his website when first looking at DPs, and read a number of the reviews. I saw the "contact me" stuff and assumed he would just be offering advice, and I ignored the banners which are typically advertising space on most sites and didn't seem to have anything that would interest me. I must have read about half a dozen reviews there, before then going off to visit a number of showrooms to DPs for myself. At no point did I pick up on the fact that he sells stuff. I just tested the site on a couple of people here, incidentally, and asked them if it was a sales site, review site, or sales & review, and both people said just a review site. So it's not just me.

CyberGene makes a good point as well, btw; it's pretty dumb business practice if he hides the fact that he's selling stuff so well that people like me don't even realise he is, and go and buy it somewhere else. laugh
Posted By: anotherscott

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 04:36 PM

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by karvala
Look closely at your own quote there. Does it actually say, at any point, that you're buying the piano from him?

It's not only that quote. It's all over his website. At the top of every page he says,
"LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don't order anywhere until you check with us 1st!...Tim@azpianowholesale.com"

Who do you think you're going to buy it from?

I've had good experience with Tim, I've bought from him, I have no issues. And I think he does provide useful info on his site. That said, I think you're missing the point here, the statements you mention are ambiguous and could give a casual reader the wrong impression. And yeah, I think that's by design. But also no more "deceptive" than a whole lot of other marketing. I take it all with a grain of salt.

"Don't order anywhere until you check with us 1st!" doesn't exactly mean he will be the seller. He could just have information to provide. "Here's where you go to get the best price on a Roland! Here's where to go to get the best price on a Kawai!" and so forth.

In fact, one could build a business model based on that, where he's referring people to different sellers for different items (where he has indeed located or perhaps even negotiated particularly good prices), and they could give him a referral fee on the sales. Yeah, that could be a source of conflict of interest as well, he could still be making more on some brands than others. But the point is, that's another way the same information you quote could mean something very different from being a prompt to order from him (and at least in that business model, there is a likelihood of a smaller amount of variation between what he makes on one brand vs. another, so might minimize one source of potential bias).

I'm not bothered. I realize that ANY "review site" is likely to have possible conflicts of interest of some sort. But I'm also not going to close my eyes and pretend those potential conflicts are not there.

And it doesn't even have to be intentional. Someone can genuinely want to provide unbiased information, but if they make money from a given brand, it may still color their perspectives, even if they're not consciously trying to push people to buy that brand.

Originally Posted by David B
Did you notice his contact information is tim@azpianowholesale.com. Notice the word wholesale in there? Thats more than a clue.

Besides karvala's point about it not necessarily indicate that he's a seller of digital pianos, the word "wholesale" itself is actually misleading, as he is not truly a wholesale supplier, and while he may offer good prices, they are not wholesale. (But that kind of marketing deception has been around for a long time.)

Originally Posted by David B
I really don't know what more he can do.

Really? Here's a more clear rephrase of the quote you're defending:

"We offer LOWER PRICES than Amazon and internet music stores! Free ship, no tax on most items. Don't order anywhere until you check our price!"

All I changed was the first two words and the last two words... and now it is clear that he is in the business of selling the products. But instead of that clarity, I think he wants the site, at first glance, to look as objective and unbiased as possible... and that would disappear if he made it so immediately apparent that he's a dealer. Instead, his ambiguous wording supports an almost "consumer reports" perspective... "Here are our objective reviews, and if you want to buy something, we'll let you know where to find it for the best price" with no indication that that best price may actually come from his own store. So now you know something more that he can do. ;-)



Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 11:22 PM

Here is his disclaimer that is embedded in the script of every page on his web site:

"Content Disclaimer: All reviews are independent of any others on the internet and are done with great research, time, energy, and personal experience with each instrument. I am am not a Yamaha authorized dealer although I do recommend many models from the top brands and can help you find a discount retailer should you decide you purchase one. We can order many pianos direct from many top name brands including Kawai, Casio, Samick, Omega, DexiBll, Korg, Kurzweil, Galileo, Pianoforce, Stahler for less money than many retail and online stores. I am in no way affiliated with or part of AZ Piano Company, a retail piano store in Phoenix, AZ. I am not paid for my reviews from any manufacturers, distributors or resellers. All my reviews are done by myself and are for public use. My desire and goal is to refer you to any brand & model of new piano, digital or acoustic, that meets your musical goals, budget, and overall needs.

Piano News, a division of Arizona Piano Wholesale, is committed to continually blogging about pianos and related content. This blog is to give info to the public so they can better determine which piano product, service, or information may be right for that individual. Arizona Piano Wholesale LLC can and does order new pianos direct from selected suppliers & manufacturers, and can help you get lower prices from independent retail stores, brokers, distributors, and manufacturer suppliers. Although we are not an authorized Roland or Yamaha piano dealer, we do recommend many brands and models of new digital pianos, including Roland & Yamaha, and will direct you to an authorized source in the US for even lower prices than internet, Amazon, or store prices on all major brands of digital pianos."


That disclaimer is not hard to find since it's embedded on every page at the bottom.

What I'm hearing people say is that this disclaimer is not prominent enough being at the bottom of every page.

Perhaps he needs to put it at the top of every page? The people that have done business with him seem to be happy and those who haven't seem to criticize. Perhaps if the disclaimer were at the top of every page, rather than at the bottom, there would be less to find fault with and more people would do business with him. That's just speculative of course.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: karvala

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/02/17 11:56 PM

You're still not really getting it, David. This isn't about making little textual changes so that if someone hunts around for long enough and carefully reads all of the text on the page they might eventually be able to figure out that he sells pianos. The whole concept is misleading; moving the banner would make it maybe 5% less misleading.

For example, why does it need to be in the disclaimer? Why not include sales in the name of the site instead of just reviews and news? Why not eliminate all of the references to independent expertise and not connection to any store, and say this is his site where he sells pianos and includes reviews on the pianos that he can obtain for you at a good price? Why not have a button with his phone number and "call us for our best price on this model" alongside the review? Basically, why not actually make it an up-front sales site? The only reason can be to mislead people.

I googled "piano shop" and the first link that came up was piano warehouse (disclaimer: I have no connection with this site!): http://www.piano-warehouse.co.uk/. Now take a look at that. Within seconds, anyone visiting that will understand that this a shop that SELLS pianos. I didn't have look for a disclaimer, or decode an e-mail address, or notice some mention of shipping/tax and guess that somehow some selling must take place. I can see "Shop Pianos" at the top, I can see prices, I can see "our store" etc.. This is what an honest retailer does - they make it clear that they're selling, they don't try to hide it and mislead people into thinking that it's something else. I don't believe you can't see the difference.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 12:05 AM

Originally Posted by karvala
You're still not really getting it, David.


I get it.

Tim Parskins is not someone you would buy a piano from.

I have and would again in the future.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 06:01 AM

Originally Posted by David B
Originally Posted by karvala
You're still not really getting it, David.


I get it.

Tim Parskins is not someone you would buy a piano from.

I have and would again in the future.

God Bless,
David


Er...no, you're clearly not getting it at all. Or perhaps you are being deliberately obtuse? For your sake I hope it's deliberate anyway.

There are others on this thread who have bought from him - and may do so again - but they still identify the somewhat distasteful business practice in evidence.

A casual glance shows his site to be a review site, not a sales site. That's the problem because as soon as sales are involved one has to question the impartiality of his reviews. You have not addressed my point about his 'review' of the Samick factory direct sell-off. He really glows about them (because he can makes lots of money from them) and yet they will be vastly inferior to other products he doesn't recommend. That is bias driven by his own commercial objectives. It's not a review site, it is a sales site. So why does he deliberately obfuscate that fact?

Over the years there have been a number of posters here who quote his 'reviews' as some kind of high authority. It is often very clear the persons quoting him have not grasped that he is a piano salesman. They didn't realise because he disguises that fact. Why doesn't he rename his site 'Tim Praskins Piano Sales'? Under each product listing he could have a section entitled 'What I think about the xxxxx'. Shoppers could then consider his review within the context of his role as a sales person.

Now do you get it?
Posted By: anotherscott

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 07:13 AM

Originally Posted by David B
That disclaimer is not hard to find since it's embedded on every page at the bottom.

One thing almost every bottom-of-the-page disclaimer has in common... most people don't read them. ;-)

I think the point is that he needs a "disclaimer" at all. If he weren't being coy on the main part of the site about being a dealer, he wouldn't need a disclaimer at the bottom telling you that he is. It would be obvious. As I see it, the disclaimer you use as evidence that it's obvious he's a dealer is actually evidence of the reverse.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 08:36 AM

Originally Posted by EssBrace


Now do you get it?


Yes. I get it.

I choose to believe what is readily available on his website. His disclaimer is clear and easily accessible on every page of his website. He seems forthright and honest about his business practice.

You disagree with that. Carry on.

God Bless,
David
Posted By: EssBrace

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 10:31 AM

Originally Posted by David B
His disclaimer is clear and easily accessible on every page of his website. He seems forthright and honest about his business practice.


Straightforward businesses don't need disclaimers. Consequently your second sentence is, inevitably, false.
Posted By: David B

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 03:23 PM

Originally Posted by EssBrace
Originally Posted by David B
His disclaimer is clear and easily accessible on every page of his website. He seems forthright and honest about his business practice.


Straightforward businesses don't need disclaimers. Consequently your second sentence is, inevitably, false.


It's very common for straightforward, online businesses to have disclaimers. They are usually buried in the "terms of use."

That is inevitable.

God Bless,
David



Posted By: anotherscott

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 03:45 PM

Originally Posted by David B
It's very common for straightforward, online businesses to have disclaimers. They are usually buried in the "terms of use."


There are disclaimers and there are disclaimers. Here's Sweetwater's: https://www.sweetwater.com/about/terms-of-use.php

It basically says, we try to provide the best information that we can, but you can't sue us if it's wrong or if something doesn't work. That's a legal CYA. It's not disclaiming the basic function/purpose of the site.

Even the word "disclaimer" implies, "this might not be what you expect." Why would his "disclaimer" have to let you know that he sells pianos, if it were obvious from the site that he sells pianos? That's the kind of thing where, if you don't mislead, you don't need to disclaim.

But as I said, I've bought from him, and it was a good experience. Marketing is marketing, I've seen much worse, and he does have some good info there, As always, it pays to be an observant consumer, but I feel better about putting money in his pocket than I do about, for example, some of the phone and cable companies. Talk about deceptive business practices... But yeah, I still pay my phone and internet bills. ;-)
Posted By: PianoVibe

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/03/17 07:24 PM

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Marketing is marketing, I've seen much worse, and he does have some good info there, As always, it pays to be an observant consumer, but I feel better about putting money in his pocket than I do about, for example, some of the phone and cable companies

+1
Posted By: HDer

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/04/17 04:44 PM

For those who dislike Tim Praskins, please do me a favor and name me one other site that reviews such a large number of digital pianos of different makes and is kept relatively up to date. When I was looking for a digital piano, I would have been totally lost without Tim's site.
Posted By: Rosewood17

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/04/17 07:20 PM

Originally Posted by David Farley
I finally figured it out. The whole look and feel of the AZ Piano Reviews site reminds me of the old DAK catalogs. Not sure if DAK ever sold a piano, but for those who remember the 80s, enjoy:

https://archive.org/details/1984-Fall-DAK-Catalog


HaHa I used to love that catalog - not to order from, but to laugh at! laugh
Posted By: clothearednincompo

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/04/17 07:43 PM

Originally Posted by HDer
For those who dislike Tim Praskins, please do me a favor and name me one other site that reviews such a large number of digital pianos of different makes and is kept relatively up to date.


http://e-piano-tests.de/

No, not seriously.

That's actually a site that only "reviews" pianos that happen to be sold by Musikhaus Kirstein. And all the reviewed pianos happen to be just fine and decent and worth buying. And Kirstein just happens to have an ad on the site.

I don't think the connection is made really clear anywhere. (Not that I have really looked carefully and not that I really understand German well. )

Makes Tim Praskins look like a saint. wink
Posted By: ando

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/05/17 01:03 AM

I think everybody has had their say on this now.
Posted By: tnsettlemo

Re: Tim Praskins Casio pianos - 09/05/17 01:22 AM

You all are just jealous that Praskins does reviews that are better and more in-depth than anything this sight has to offer. This forum was kind of fun at first but has become sort of a joke.
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