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Best Digital Piano for £4000?

Posted By: NoGameNoLife

Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/13/18 10:35 PM

I have roughly £4k to spend on a digital piano and have no idea what to go for. I can stretch a bit more if need be. I've though of stage pianos like the MP11SE howver the lack of inbuilt speakers concerns me. Basically i'm looking for the best action and sound i can get. I'm not concerned about the number of features or voices and would prefer the one with the best piano sample above all. Thanks for any help.
Posted By: Learux

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/13/18 10:50 PM

Did you consider a silent piano. Gives you an acoustic that you can play like a digital when needed?

I said silent piano which I believe is Yamaha. Kawai has them also under a different name probably a bit cheaper.


If those are not an option. I would be hesitant to spend that much on a Digital. If you can play them all. I am a fan of the Casio GP series.
Posted By: dmd

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/13/18 11:04 PM

Originally Posted by NoGameNoLife
I have roughly £4k to spend on a digital piano and have no idea what to go for. I can stretch a bit more if need be. I've though of stage pianos like the MP11SE howver the lack of inbuilt speakers concerns me. Basically i'm looking for the best action and sound i can get. I'm not concerned about the number of features or voices and would prefer the one with the best piano sample above all. Thanks for any help.


You may wish to provide a little more information about this situation.

Are you an accomplished player ? Beginner ?


What type of music do you play ?
Posted By: NoGameNoLife

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/13/18 11:17 PM

I'm a beginner. With regards to the silent piano i have heard that they affect the action of the piano as compared to the fully acoustic piano. I was considering the like of the YUS5 silent but its very expensive and maybe a bit much for a beginner even though i can afford it.
Posted By: Finfan

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/13/18 11:46 PM

As a beginner you must know yourself first. How likely are you to continue with this? For first timers I recommend that they start with an entry level piano to find out if you really want to pursue this. That way if you find piano is not for you then you are not out as much money. If you're certain of your resolve then spend the extra and get the best piano you can afford. Which piano is best for you is something only you can decide. If at all possible try 'em before you buy 'em. Of course the people on this forum will tell you what is available in the price range you declared.
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 12:01 AM

FWIW ( £4k is higher than my thoughts usually go):

a) If budget doesn't matter, below £4k, you should be able to get a nice high-end Roland (e.g. LX17) or Kawai (CA9x, I believe -- the one with the active soundboard) for that much. (There are similar Yamaha's, as well.)

b) If budget _does_ matter (you'd like to spend less that £4k if possible), and appearance doesn't matter, I think that best "sound per dollar" is given by a high-end "stage piano" (a Roland R2000 or FP-90, or Kawai MP11se), and a good pair of powered loudspeakers. ("good" = JBL LSR308, Yamaha HS8, EV ZXA1, or similar).

Check the "Prices Paid" thread for recent costs. Roland has just come out with a new line to look at, and the LX17 may be discounted in the shops and/or online.

Keyboard, stand, and speakers, together, should be well within your budget.

I think that, as a beginner, you'd do just as well with a less-expensive setup. But it'll take you a long time to "outgrow" an MP11 with good loudspeakers. It should sound and play very well. IMHO, when you say "I need a better piano", the next step up from that is an acoustic, or maybe one of the Yamaha Avant Grands or Roland "digital grands".

PS (edit) -- take a look at this thread on some high-end Kawai's:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ai-ca-98-and-ca-78-sound-difference.html



Posted By: JoBert

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 12:09 AM

There's no such thing as the best digital piano. With your budget, you have access to all the flagship models of the big four (except for Yamaha's AvantGrand and Kawai's Novus hybrid pianos):

Yamaha: CLP-865
Kawai: CA98 or CS11
Roland: LX17 or the new LX708 (those may be a bit above £4000, so maybe LX7 or the new LX706 instead)
Casio: GP-500

In this forum you'll find fans for all of these. But there's no objective "best" among them, only subjective preferences. So you have to find out your preferences. And that means: Go and try them in a shop. All of them! Then decide solely based on your preference, not because some fan of one or the other here in the forum was more vocal in touting his favorite's merits (and managed to convince you) than the fans of the other models were.
There's been quite a few posts from people who reported going into a shop with a preconceived preference based on what they read here and elsewhere, only to find out that their actual preference was a different one.

One thing is important to understand: They are all fine pianos, so you can't go wrong with any of them, as long as it is the one you prefer.

And of course there's the option of not getting an expensive "all in one" digital piano, but instead a cheaper one that is then used only as a controller, and the sound is generated on a PC with so called "virtual instruments" (VST/VSTi). That's not my preference however, so it's outside of my expertise. But I'm sure the fans of that approach will soon give their advice too.
Posted By: dmd

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 12:31 AM

As a beginner, I would suggest you spend just a bit less than that on your first piano just in case you decide this is not for you.

Not a "cheap" on but just a bit less expensive and with good quality.

My suggestion is this …..

The Kawai ES8 …..

https://www.kraftmusic.com/kawai-es...msclkid=479e702f7a0012aff1b72bedf6792c51

I have one and it is a very fine instrument and will provide you with plenty of quality for years.

Then after you have progressed a bit as a player …. you will be in a better position to decide on a next step.

You can analyze for weeks/months about what to do ….. or you can go get the ES8 (which will be just fine) …. and get started learning to play.

Of course, there are plenty of options which are ok, too and you will be getting those options …. but if you wish to save a few bucks and still end up with a very fine instrument …. I think the ES8 would be a good choice for you.

Good Luck
Posted By: DFSRN

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 02:06 AM

Dear No Game No Life: I started playing the piano again at the age of 54, this is my 5th year of lessons. I played as a child, piano and violin. I started with a Yamaha P105 and within months upgraded to a Clavinova, CLP 575 which I still have today and use it with headphones to give my husband peace. Then upgraded to a Yamaha U1, really did not like the sound, and bought a new YUS5 in 2015. The store took the U1 back within the month and gave me back what I paid for the trade to the YUS5. I also thought, do I need a $20,000 US dollars piano. My good friend asked would this be my life long piano. Yes this is my life long piano, I will not upgrade. There is nothing like playing on a nice instrument, it makes practicing much more enjoyable. If this is something you will be vested in the rest of your life and if you can afford it, get what you want. I don't ever regret getting this piano. I spend more time with my piano than driving my car. We bought a family member who is a master's prepared musician in their early 20s the RD 2000. There is no comparison to the YUS5. However, as someone pointed out, if you have doubts you are going to keep up do not spend a fortune on one. Something under $1000 (U.S. dollars) until you decide. I recently bought a Roland FP 30 $700 U.S. dollars, I bring to play at a nursing home to play. It sounds decent for a low price DP and light weight.
Posted By: Learux

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 02:38 AM

If you are a beginner, get a Casio Privia PX- series or equivalent Yamaha, Kawai or Roland.

Play that for a year and see if you fancy playing the piano. I highly advise not to spend too much money on an expensive DP.

PX-160 is reasonable priced and will do everything you need it to do in the first couple of years.

If anything save the money and get a quality teacher. That is money well spend.

Good luck!
Posted By: dmd

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 03:08 AM

Originally Posted by Learux
If you are a beginner, get a Casio Privia PX- series or equivalent Yamaha, Kawai or Roland.

Play that for a year and see if you fancy playing the piano. I highly advise not to spend too much money on an expensive DP.

PX-160 is reasonable priced and will do everything you need it to do in the first couple of years.

If anything save the money and get a quality teacher. That is money well spend.

Good luck!


I agree …. the Casio PX-160 is fine, also …. and spend some of your budget on a teacher. That will help you get off to a good start.
Posted By: clothearednincompo

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 08:27 AM

Originally Posted by NoGameNoLife
With regards to the silent piano i have heard that they affect the action of the piano as compared to the fully acoustic piano.


That might not be an absolute truth.

First of all there are grands and uprights. Then there are factory installed silent systems like the ones from e.g. Yamaha, Kawai and Blüthner and on the other hand there are third party systems (retro)fitted to originally purely acoustic pianos.

And then there probably is some regulation/adjustment/whatever tweaking to be done and it can done either well or not so well.

I don't really know anything about the topic myself, but it has been discussed here before, for example:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/147119.html

It might not be such a big issue on uprights. Probably the bigger issue is how good then is the piano tone generator in the silent piano.

An expensive upright will hold its value better than an expensive digital. So, if you would play mostly without headphones, then the silent piano in acoustic mode will sound just like the real thing. wink

(Albeit an upright real thing and not a grand real thing.)
Posted By: lolatu

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 01:32 PM

Suzuki Micro Grand no question
Posted By: dmd

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by lolatu
Suzuki Micro Grand no question


Do you own one that you enjoy playing on ?
Posted By: blank898

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 03:44 PM

If You need quality in sound and feel, for this price I can recommend You Kawai CS11 and Yamaha Clavinova CSP170
https://musicsquare.co.uk/163973_Kawai-CS-11-digital-piano-gloss-black.html
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CSP170B--yamaha-clavinova-csp-170-matte-black
it's best to play on one before You buy.
Posted By: arc7urus

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 04:24 PM

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
(...)
And then there probably is some regulation/adjustment/whatever tweaking to be done and it can done either well or not so well.
I don't really know anything about the topic myself, but it has been discussed here before, for example:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/147119.html
(...)

There are dozens of posts regarding silent systems on acoustics, but, it seems, no objective answers. For example, Yamaha claims that the SH2 system has "no effect whatsoever on the feel and response of the keyboard". However, there are technicians saying that the let-off point must always be changed and there is always a difference. This contradicts the "no effect whatsoever" claim. For instance, the Yamaha grand I use in my lessons has a first generation silent system that when enabled introduces very noticeable changes to the action.
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 04:43 PM

Learux, why does the lack of onboard speakers concern you, may I ask? It is actually a pleasure to choose speakers that work for you rather than the ones chosen by the mfg., at least for me. You could buy the MP11se or another slab piano and quite nice active speakers for four grand. The feel is specific to a keyboard. The speakers don't have to be. Don't limit yourself on this aspect, IMO.
Posted By: Learux

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 06:33 PM

Originally Posted by IosPlayer
Learux, why does the lack of onboard speakers concern you, may I ask? It is actually a pleasure to choose speakers that work for you rather than the ones chosen by the mfg., at least for me. You could buy the MP11se or another slab piano and quite nice active speakers for four grand. The feel is specific to a keyboard. The speakers don't have to be. Don't limit yourself on this aspect, IMO.


I am not sure where your question, comes from, I have never voiced concern about a lack of onboard speakers. I think that the mp11 and the like have a solid place in digital piano land.


This has more to do with the OP's question who is a new piano player. I think he is much better served with a keyboard with build in stand that looks like a piano from one of the great 4 DP builders, then a slab that needs to put together with other components.


If after a year he still wants to play the piano I think a piano slab is an avenue that should be considered.
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/14/18 06:46 PM

Sorry, Learux! I mistook you for the OP who has a speaker concern. Apologies.
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/16/18 04:11 AM

NoGameNoLife,
Sounds like you have the financial resources to invest in a quality instrument that can keep you engaged and also keep up with you for a while so you don’t have to upgrade so quickly. You did not mention the appearance of the instrument, but I think having a nice cabinet is better than having stands and visible wires common with a stage piano setup.

So, I would suggest looking at the Yamaha AvantGrand N1UX first. That is a fine instrument at or slightly above your desired price. And then go down range from there, looking at Yamaha CLP series or Kawai CS or CA series. Any of these Instruments should keep you happy for years to come, until you’re ready for an acoustic or even a grand piano. You will know when that time comes. :-)

Good luck!
Posted By: Doghouse

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/16/18 11:19 PM

If you're concerned about a "piano sound" buy a piano.

Unless you're a professional classical pianist, I can't see the point of spending all that money hoping to get a sound out of a digital that you have the skill to recognise as being as close to a real piano as possible. Most of us wouldn't know the difference wth mid-price digitals.

If it's "just for fun," buy a second-hand Yamaha, they're "bullet proof."
Lots of immaculate Tyros 5s available, as people either upgrade to a Genos or have died having given them little use. You'll get one for around £1600, or less, with speakers, a sub-woofer and a guarantee, from many musical instrument shops.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 02:16 AM

Yamaha pianos are not "bullet-proof". Neither is any other brand of piano.
Not literally, and not figuratively.
Originally Posted by Doghouse
If it's "just for fun," buy a second-hand Yamaha, they're "bullet proof."
Posted By: jamiecw

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 07:17 AM

THAT's why mine had holes in it - damn that previous owner!! :-)
Posted By: Doug M.

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 07:27 AM

Originally Posted by Doghouse
If you're concerned about a "piano sound" buy a piano.

Unless you're a professional classical pianist, I can't see the point of spending all that money hoping to get a sound out of a digital that you have the skill to recognise as being as close to a real piano as possible. Most of us wouldn't know the difference wth mid-price digitals.

If it's "just for fun," buy a second-hand Yamaha, they're "bullet proof."
Lots of immaculate Tyros 5s available, as people either upgrade to a Genos or have died having given them little use. You'll get one for around £1600, or less, with speakers, a sub-woofer and a guarantee, from many musical instrument shops.


Tyros and Genos models probably use rubber contact strips under the keybed---those last about 5 years of solid playing or 10 years of amateur messing.
Posted By: Colin Miles

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 08:40 AM

Originally Posted by NoGameNoLife
I'm a beginner. With regards to the silent piano i have heard that they affect the action of the piano as compared to the fully acoustic piano. I was considering the like of the YUS5 silent but its very expensive and maybe a bit much for a beginner even though i can afford it.

I would suggest that you allocate half of your budget for a 'decent' piano - many suggestions have already been made - and the part of the rest towards a teacher. There will be other expenses like music, etc. After a year, or maybe less, you will know whether you want to continue and can maybe think about upgrading, but unless you have progressed really fast your first piano should be ok for a few years.
Posted By: Doghouse

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 04:21 PM

Originally Posted by Doug M.


Tyros and Genos models probably use rubber contact strips under the keybed---those last about 5 years of solid playing or 10 years of amateur messing.


"Probably?"

You mean you've no idea?

How about my Yamaha PSR1000 which lasted twenty years of "amateur messing?"

I love it when people come on message boards and have to "diss" others' opinions when they don't concur with their own.
Posted By: Lepredom

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 06:06 PM

I have to disagree with most of others' posts.
1. Do not buy a cheap piano with cheap action and cheap pedals/resonance modelling. Having a good action, proper key weight, and long pivot is crucial for developing the right technique. I must say it is especially important for a beginner to practice on a DP with good action. Otherwise bad habits emerge, that are difficult to overcome later on, when you advance to harder pieces. Problems like lack of first knuckle strength, hands not extending to the fallboard, overpedalling... all of these and others can be attributed to learning basics on a bad piano.
2. Be careful going the stage piano + monitors way. I used to own an mp11, and I own a pair of Presonus Eris E4.5. But I decided to ditch the mp11 anyway and buy a DP with integrated speakers. Why? Because A) The monitors (both in general and in my case) are strongly directional, so you need to position them correctly to sit in the sweet spot. So you need to buy special stands for the monitors to place them in the correct height, place and angle. And even if you do this, you've solved the case just for your ears, but not for the ears of others in the room. On the other hand, pianos with integrated speakers are usually designed with this in mind.
Oh and B) The monitors I own do make a lot of static buzz, which seems to be just thermal noise. So be prepared to cash in a couple more bucks for a good pair of monitors and stands. Or just save yourself the trouble and buy a good DP.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 09:22 PM

If you have (or had) problems with the directionality of monitors, why not just switch to more conventional speakers?
Posted By: Lepredom

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 10:20 PM

Mostly because I couldn't find a speakers-amp-stand combo that both sounds good and doesn't ruin my wallet. For the money invested in the speaker-amp-stand combo I can instead buy an integrated solution.
IMHO, hi-fi speakers usually do not perform so well in very-near-field scenarios (at least the ones I had a chance to listen to). And the directionality problem is still partly present. The dispersion angle may be more benevolent in classic speakers, but you still have just 2 (or 2+1... depending on your setup) spatial audio source points. It may solve the "audience listening" part of the problem, but lacks on the "performer" side of things.
A fully integrated solution with separate drivers in different positions and angles in the instrument itself has the potential to overcome both of these problems. Wooden soundboard even more so.

That said, I have to be clear I have very limited hands-on experience with high-end DPs, so my assumptions and theories stated in this comment may be utter garbage / pipe dreams.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 10:25 PM

Well ... not quite.
Originally Posted by Lepredom
For the money invested in the speaker-amp-stand combo I can instead buy an integrated solution.
There are bargains to be had on the used market. I have a set of gear that when new would cost around $1500. But used ... only around $400.
Posted By: Lepredom

Re: Best Digital Piano for £4000? - 10/17/18 10:43 PM

That's a fair point. If you can get a good deal on second hand equipment the scales may tip either way I guess.

I have a disadvantage of living in somewhat... hm.. less supplied part of the world. There's not a lot of people selling hifi equipment around here. And buying 2nd hand expensive speakers I haven't heard yet is a no go for me.
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