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Posted By: JimmyShand Help choosing a model for two students - 05/12/19 02:26 PM
Hi

The parents of two young pupils of mine (8 and 9) asked for advice on upgrading their keyboard.

They currently have a very basic unweighted keyboard and know its limitations.

I myself have a Yamaha CLP 645 and like it very much, and explained to them the 515 was the same keyboard and would be a good fit.

This is a significant investment for this family, but the kids are talented and they want to do their best.

I said the p125 was the minimum they should get, but recommended they tried to go higher.

I've suggested also Kawai ES8, Roland PF60 and Korg G1. I've heard good things about Dexibell but have no personal experience. And think the price getting slightly too high.

Does anyone have any other ideas between the price range of 125 and 515 I can put to them that I haven't mentioned?

An acoustic isn't an option.

Ps I know there are many threads about various comparisons and I'm working my way through them but just hoped for some input meantime if anyone has any thanks
The usual Roland FP-10, FP-30, F-140R, RP-501R, Kawai CL-36, ES-110, KDP-110, CN-27, Korg C1 and Casio's Privia and Celviano ranges would also be in that price bracket partly depending on whether we are talking about Yurp, Murica or some other place on Earth. And Yamaha's P-255 might still be around.

And none of them should be completely hopeless as beginner/hobbyist pianos. Some can't stand the Korg action, others can't stand the Casio sound, or even Roland. Opinions often contradict. Many say that the Casio action is a bit better than Yamaha's "GHS" in the P-125. All the Rolands and Kawais should be "pretty good" at least action-wise.

As for the "weird brands" like Medeli, Dynatone, Gear4Music, Thomann, Gewa, Williams, Alesis, Kurzweil (to some extent) and whatnot there haven't been that much first hand reports here on the forum. But some may actually be quite bad and others might be "perfectly usable".
Posted By: Lotus1 Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/12/19 05:36 PM
I think that you are giving them very good advice. High-end slabs, such as the Kawai ES8, Roland FP-90 and Yamaha P-515 offer the most bang-for-the-buck among digital pianos. And, if combined with their three-pedal and wooden stand options, look nice in a home environment. I would not recommend experimenting with Korg or Dexibell for this family.

Please note that I said Roland FP-90, not PF60. I assume that you made a typo with the letters, and the higher number Roland is the direct competitor of the ES8 and P-515.

As requested, here are some lower-priced competitors, all of which can be fitted with three-pedal units and stands:
Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110 and Roland FP-30 (direct competitors of the Yamaha P-125),
Kawai KDP-110 (three-sensor action vs. ES110's two-sensor action).

As you know, a three-pedal unit is not necessary, nor is a wooden stand -- and that could save them some money. They may have to buy an optional continuous sustain pedal, as the included sustain pedals are typically (except Kawai) merely on/off switches.

There are ensemble instruments (same actions but more instrument sounds and features) in this price range from Casio and Yamaha, but perhaps they are not the best fit for this family.

I strongly recommend choosing one of the three high-end slabs: Kawai ES8, Roland FP-90 or Yamaha P-515. They first two do feel different from the NWX action in the P-515 and your CLP-645, but are good, too. The three models vary quite a bit in apps and connectivity, so carefully look at those features if deemed important.

With a bit of patience in waiting for a percentage-off sale or asking for a discount directly, it is quite possible to get 10-20% off the regular selling prices of most slab digital pianos. That might allow this family, with a tight budget, to get a higher-end slab than they could otherwise afford. My best wishes to you and them!
I have a P-515 and love it. I don't think you'll go far wrong in recommending it.
Posted By: dmd Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/12/19 06:27 PM
I have owned 2 ES8s and I highly recommend it. Very nice touch and sound.
Posted By: Lotus1 Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/12/19 06:49 PM
In re-reading my post, above, I felt that I made the case for high-end slabs a bit too strongly, not knowing the financial circumstances of the parents or the potential of your students.

I do feel that lower-end slabs, such as the Casio PX-160, Kawai ES110, Roland FP-30 and Yamaha P-125, are an excellent value. Where they fall short of higher-end models is dynamic range, tonal complexity, and a degree of control.

Nevertheless, I have owned a Yamaha DGX-660 (ensemble version of the P-125) for the last 18 months and found that playing intermediate-level music (say British Grade 5) to be not a problem. Higher than that, the limitations of the instrument are more noticeable.

And when I felt that I wanted more dynamic range, tonal complexity and control, I bought an acoustic grand, not a higher-end digital. And kept the DGX for the things it does best.

That is obviously not an option for this family, so I thought that higher-end slabs would be a good compromise. They certainly offer an excellent value, by focusing on what is important for the more advanced player.

Thanks for the comments everyone, and thanks Lotus for your second points. The family (and I) live on the outskirts of London and property prices quite insane. So space is limited, mortgages high and the demand for school places competitive.

While not impossible to take an acoustic into where the piano is stored, it would be a major drama and a significant expense I can't justify suggesting.

They haven't given me a budget and to be honest I don't think they have themselves decided what they will spend. They did ask me that if they bought something cheaper would it just mean buying again in a few years ... so I wanted to just lay out various options for them and let them make the decision.

There are so many models I have no personal experience with anything I can add to the list would be good :-)
Posted By: dmd Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/12/19 09:20 PM
If you need less expensive …. I have found the Casio PX-160 to be a very nice low priced keyboard with pretty good touch and sound.
Posted By: Learux Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 04:59 AM
Another vote for the Casio PX-160. I really like the action on the PX series.
Posted By: Darkwasp Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 08:02 AM
While I can vote for PX-160 too, I think Roland FP-30 is overall better instrument. And of course, I strongly support recommendation of Yamaha P-515, Kawai ES8 and Roland FP90 (beware of modeled sound in last model though, not everyone likes it), those are incredibly good instruments for their prices.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 08:50 AM
I’ve been recently asked to advice friends for an entry level piano for their kids and went testing all the entry level pianos.

In short: FP30 is the way to go. It has the best action and one of the best sounds. (Couldn’t find FP10 but supposedly it has the same piano sound and keyboard but lacks a few of the sounds and features and is slightly cheaper)

All Casio: awful sound almost to the point of being obnoxious
Yamaha: P125 and P121 have the best sound but action could’ve been better. P45 is not worth it
ES110: relatively good action but the sound isn’t on par with the FP30

To me it’s an easy decision. Unless they can extend their budget to either P515 or ES8.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 08:59 AM
Originally Posted by Darkwasp
While I can vote for PX-160 too, I think Roland FP-30 is overall better instrument. And of course, I strongly support recommendation of Yamaha P-515, Kawai ES8 and Roland FP90 (beware of modeled sound in last model though, not everyone likes it), those are incredibly good instruments for their prices.


All good options mentioned here, just a note to add that the lower priced DPs are all good for the price and will get students going and to be fair the higher priced ones will give some more bells and whistles (action being the predominant and IMO the most important factor) but nothing to hinder the learning process of an aspiring student.

I think the way it works is as follows, does one to spend a little less now and on the chance they need something better later, to sell what they got (& make a small/medium/large loss depending on 2nd hand market factors) or buy something better now and keep it for years and years (without having to fork out any more) - really that is the main question and the rest follows.
Posted By: Hecarim Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 09:18 AM
Low end: Casio PX160 or Yamaha P125

High end: Roland FP90, Kawai ES8, Yamaha P515.

The difference in action among low and high end is significant, but for 8 and 9 years old students, in my view the low end ones would do just fine - "low end" sounds bad, but they actually are pretty good machines.

If you're from the UK, you can often find decent bargains online for the FP90 and the low end ones.
Posted By: Groove On Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 10:28 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
In short: FP30 is the way to go. It has the best action and one of the best sounds. (Couldn’t find FP10 but supposedly it has the same piano sound and keyboard but lacks a few of the sounds and features and is slightly cheaper)

If the OP likes the FP30, I can recommend the FP10 in terms of the action and 3x main piano sounds - they are identical. The FP10 is skinnier/smaller than the FP30 and very portable.

Caveats on the FP10:
1. Does not support 3-pedals. It only supports a single damper pedal like the Roland DP-10. Like the FP30, you need to purchase a separate pedal to get a half-damper pedal.
2. Speakers: FP10 (8Wx2) vs. FP30 (11Wx2). Like the FP30 speakers are facing downwards.
3. Only 1x audio out (1/8" - 3.5mm) - it doubles as the headphone and line out.

If I ever needed to replace my FP30 as my main working "house" keyboard, I'd feel comfortable getting the FP10.
Posted By: Hecarim Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 10:54 AM
Yes, the FP30 has the best action in the low end category, but its sound is absolutely atrocious - at least to my ears. Hence why overall my recommendation for a low end would be Yamaha or Casio.

The again, it's all wonderfully subjective.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 11:31 AM
Originally Posted by Darkwasp
While I can vote for PX-160 too, I think Roland FP-30 is overall better instrument. And of course, I strongly support recommendation of Yamaha P-515, Kawai ES8 and Roland FP90 (beware of modeled sound in last model though, not everyone likes it), those are incredibly good instruments for their prices.


Hi Jimmy et al.,

The Casio PX-160 has been superseded by the Casio PX-S1000---a far better instrument.
Also, the PX-560 has been superseded by the Casio PX-S3000---now competing with the Kawai ES8, Roland FP90 and Yamaha P515.

These two Casios have been roundly praised for their compactness, action quality and value for money on the features. Definitely worth comparing with the other models suggested.

The PX-160 isn't nearly as competitive: IMO, not really worth comparing to the Yamaha P115, never mind the P125 or the Roland FP30 or the Kawai ES110---all superior in sound and action.
On the other hand, the Casio PX-S1000 should be considered, as it is a newer release than the Roland FP30 or the Kawai ES110 and has the advantage of lightness and battery powered operations for outdoor giggs.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Originally Posted by jamiecw
[quote=Darkwasp]

I think the way it works is as follows, does one to spend a little less now and on the chance they need something better later, to sell what they got (& make a small/medium/large loss depending on 2nd hand market factors) or buy something better now and keep it for years and years (without having to fork out any more) - really that is the main question and the rest follows.




Yes that's the question. Spend £500-600 now, and maybe need an upgrade in a few years, or spend £1200 now and hope the kids don't lose interest ....

But that's their call of course and why I want to lay out the options so they don't feel I pushed them to spend too much or its my fault if they need to upgrade if the kids progress well lol
Are pedals like this any good? I have no experience with them, they look like they would slip around all over the place?

(sorry for sending a link I haven't figured out how to post pics here)

https://www.andertons.co.uk/casio-sp-34-3-pedal-unit-for-cdp-s150-cdp-s350-px-s1000-px-s3000
Posted By: Lotus1 Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 04:37 PM
JimmyShand,
Your students' parents could look for a used digital piano in good condition, and consider upgrading if their kids continue to be interested in three years. Preferably from a private seller, as a store will mark up a used piano considerably, though it may offer a short warranty.

I bought my digital piano new, after months of looking for a good used one, tempted by a 20% discount plus a $75 Yamaha rebate and other freebies around Thanksgiving 2017. That made a piano regularly selling for $800 cost $565, excluding the value of the free microphone and digital music downloads.

But I bought my acoustic grand used, in excellent condition and for just $2,000, with two years left on its Kawai transferable warranty. This was a case of kids losing interest after a year; the hammers are barely indented and, after some light cleaning, the piano looks new. Yes, I know it was an exceptional deal, but the scenario is not unusual.

My sense is that kids these days have a lot of other things to do, attractive and easy things, often online. It is only a few who will have the determination -- and talent -- to persist with the piano after a year or two. For that reason, I would be cautious about spending a lot if the kids are new to the piano.

The lower-end digitals mentioned above are a huge improvement over the unweighted keyboard your students currently play at home. None of them will constrain development for several years, and an upgrade later could be justified as a reward for steady progress.

P. S. I don't know anything about the pedals to which you linked, but would advise against buying any pedal option unless it specifically states that the sustain pedal is continuous, not an on/off switch. Also, compatibility between manufacturers is not assured due to pedal polarity and other unique issues.
Posted By: KevinM Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 04:44 PM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Are pedals like this any good? I have no experience with them, they look like they would slip around all over the place?

(sorry for sending a link I haven't figured out how to post pics here)

https://www.andertons.co.uk/casio-sp-34-3-pedal-unit-for-cdp-s150-cdp-s350-px-s1000-px-s3000


I had to replace the pedal that came with a Yamaha P45 which my foot had to chase around the floor while I was playing and i replaced it with the following pedal:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/keyboar...ls/m-audio-sp2-piano-style-sustain-pedal

the replacement was stable and remained where it needed to be, so I think the 3 pedal set would more than likely to stay in place.


Posted By: dmd Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 06:56 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Are pedals like this any good? I have no experience with them, they look like they would slip around all over the place?

(sorry for sending a link I haven't figured out how to post pics here)

https://www.andertons.co.uk/casio-sp-34-3-pedal-unit-for-cdp-s150-cdp-s350-px-s1000-px-s3000


I had to replace the pedal that came with a Yamaha P45 which my foot had to chase around the floor while I was playing and i replaced it with the following pedal:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/keyboar...ls/m-audio-sp2-piano-style-sustain-pedal

the replacement was stable and remained where it needed to be, so I think the 3 pedal set would more than likely to stay in place.




The 3-pedal unit would probably be stable but it is totally unnecessary with beginners.

The sustain pedal shown above would be fine.
Posted By: Yojimbo Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 08:12 PM
I would strongly recommend the Casio Privia PX-S3000.

Looks fabulous, sounds great, is very cheap for a new instrument, and has the option of triple pedal and furniture at minimal extra cost. Havne't tried the action, but am pretty sure it will not stand in the way of developing good piano technique.

It has super sexy EP's and FM sounds too, for whatever that is worth.
I would be hesitant to recommend something you yourself don’t have any experience with - if something goes wrong or it does not live up to expectations you will be left in an awkward position. As such recommending the P515 which is very similar to your own piano would seem reasonable and leave the students with a greet instrument.
They are totally confused, and to be fair I don't blame them, on what pedal units are good, bad or useless .........
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
I would be hesitant to recommend something you yourself don’t have any experience with - if something goes wrong or it does not live up to expectations you will be left in an awkward position. As such recommending the P515 which is very similar to your own piano would seem reasonable and leave the students with a greet instrument.


Yeah to be honest that's why I'm not recommending anything specific. I recommended a beginner instrument last year on the say so of another teacher, and was really disappointed when I actually saw it and feel guilty every lesson, so what I want to do here is say for example

"if you spend X, you will get quality X, will last you probably X years and popular examples are X, X and X.

Or spend Y and get much better quality, last forever, Y, Y and Y are the market leaders."

I don't want the responsibility of their decision, just trying to help them weed out bad buys and things that are unnecessary because they don't really know anything about it.
You’ll not get an answer - you will instead get conflicting subjective opinions. You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it, people who believe Kawai Q/A is lacking and people who don’t etc etc.
if I were you I would tell them to get a P515 or 645 - and if that’s too steep just get whatever weighted action instrument they can afford from a known brand name.
If they have special requirements it would be easier to find objective advice - weight, portability, connectivity, audio interface etc are properties that can be checked off objectively - quality, sound and feel are really really subjective.
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it

I hate the FP30 sound wink
Posted By: EPW Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 10:17 PM
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it

I hate the FP30 sound wink


We know smile
Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it

I hate the FP30 sound wink


We know smile

and it soon won't matter that I hate the FP30 sound smile
Posted By: EPW Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 10:35 PM
Hope you fall in love with one of them and it will be a long happy blessed union smile
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 11:11 PM
I hate the Pianoteq sound. So there. smile
Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it
I hate the FP30 sound wink
We know smile
Posted By: EPW Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/13/19 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I hate the Pianoteq sound. So there. smile
Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Morten Olsson
You will find people who love the FP30 sound, people who hate it
I hate the FP30 sound wink
We know smile


We know that Too!
To be honest the parents won't know if a sound is good or bad, nor are they likely to use any of the various input and output capabilities except perhaps the headphones.

They just want a DP that has a sufficiently good piano action that will not hamper the kids' progress through the next few grades, and an idea what they would have to spend to achieve that.
Posted By: KevinM Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/14/19 09:04 AM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
To be honest the parents won't know if a sound is good or bad, nor are they likely to use any of the various input and output capabilities except perhaps the headphones.

They just want a DP that has a sufficiently good piano action that will not hamper the kids' progress through the next few grades, and an idea what they would have to spend to achieve that.



I'm going to suggest the opposite of someone above. Get a DP with a different action and sound to your own. I think it is good for learners to have to deal with changing pianos, learning to adjust how they play to the different pianos is good for them.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/14/19 09:15 AM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand

They just want a DP that has a sufficiently good piano action that will not hamper the kids' progress through the next few grades, and an idea what they would have to spend to achieve that.


Usually this always goes back to budget - they should have one in mind (at least one that says "we cannot go over XYZ amount").

Find that out and that in turn puts them in a territory where one can say "okay, based on that amount you can get this or that model). For example, if they are in the U.K. and say £700 is the absolute max you can start looking at the Rolands, Yamahas, Kawais, Casio's that hover around 500-600 mark. Within this frame, you can start looking at whether there are bundles etc. and that is important because unless they have a stand & a bench - this also goes back to the issue with using free standing pedals. These tend to move around depending on type of floor and are not ideal unless you are gigging musician who needs the portability or are willing to undergo a small DIY project to fix these pedals on the ground whether is using stick Velcro etc.

For example, the FP30 with furniture stand and fixed pedals goes for £649 at present in the U.K. if you need a bench then that covers ones' entire £700 budget. This model has good action (very good IMO) and it certainly playable (even if some hate the sound - here's looking at you Tyrone:)...anyway you said the parents don't know what a good sound is).

If the budget is higher than you can start looking at the P515 or ES8 or FP90 which will go over the £1000 mark - but if the budget says no more than £700 no point even discussing this.
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/14/19 09:38 AM
There's budget. And then there's budget.
Originally Posted by jamiecw
If the budget is higher than you can start looking at the P515 or ES8 or FP90 which will go over the £1000 mark - but if the budget says no more than £700 no point even discussing this.
I was in communication with PW member several years ago.
She was thinking about buying one of the Yamaha YDP series because her budget was $1000.
I told her that's too low for a YDP, so she stretched a bit.
But once she tried the YDP at the shop and then tried a Clav (a CLPx4x I think) she decided she like the latter much better.
And she bought it for around $2500.

The $1000 budget moved quite a bit, eh?
IOW, some people budge their budget.
Posted By: jamiecw Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 05/14/19 10:29 AM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac

The $1000 budget moved quite a bit, eh?
IOW, some people budge their budget.


Hey Mac - I am sure they do (e.g. people budge their budget) every case has a unique element..Was this member an agnostic parent buying for their kids too as in this case? If one can be educated they may well budge if they cannot...steer them to what they can afford.
Sorry for resurrecting a slightly old thread - the family have FINALLY decided to bite the bullet!!!

They have narrowed down to Yamaha p125 and Kawai ES110. (They also had YDP 144 in the final cut but I think its coming in at No 3 unless massively recommended as its a lot wider and heavier and they are in upstairs room).

Anyone with experience of these two got any advice?
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Sorry for resurrecting a slightly old thread - the family have FINALLY decided to bite the bullet!!!

They have narrowed down to Yamaha p125 and Kawai ES110. (They also had YDP 144 in the final cut but I think its coming in at No 3 unless massively recommended as its a lot wider and heavier and they are in upstairs room).

Anyone with experience of these two got any advice?

The RHC action in the ES110 (I have one) feels better than the GHS action in the P125 & YDP144 (I don't have one, but tried it in store). If they are learning piano, I'd say keyboard action is probably more important than other consideration, such as sound.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 11:17 AM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Hi

The parents of two young pupils of mine (8 and 9) asked for advice on upgrading their keyboard.

They currently have a very basic unweighted keyboard and know its limitations.

I myself have a Yamaha CLP 645 and like it very much, and explained to them the 515 was the same keyboard and would be a good fit.

This is a significant investment for this family, but the kids are talented and they want to do their best.

I said the p125 was the minimum they should get, but recommended they tried to go higher.

I've suggested also Kawai ES8, Roland PF60 and Korg G1. I've heard good things about Dexibell but have no personal experience. And think the price getting slightly too high.

Does anyone have any other ideas between the price range of 125 and 515 I can put to them that I haven't mentioned?

An acoustic isn't an option.

Ps I know there are many threads about various comparisons and I'm working my way through them but just hoped for some input meantime if anyone has any thanks



Hi Jimmy,

If price is an issue, I advise going used.
The depreciation on digital pianos is significant (worse than for cars).

The rules:

1) Shop for instruments < 3 years old
2) Ask carefully why the buyer wants to sell (upgrading being the best reason)
3) Go with action as the prime concern.
4) Fix a budget first

Good used pianos for action first:

Kawai:
**ES7/MP7
**ES8
**VPC1

Roland
**RD800
**FP90

Yamaha
**CP4
**P255
**P515

Casio
**PX360

Avoid the Korg & Dexibel as actions are lacking.

If going for the beginner models, go for the Kawai ES110 or the Roland FP30 as both these have a better action than the P125.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Thanks everyone. I do suggest to parents to look second hand, but either they had their reasons to not, or there was nothing available. This situation of them 'thinking' about buying a half decent DP has been going on now for half a year, and it was overdue then.

I appreciate its a big investment etc, but honestly don't want to rock the boat any further by making any other alternative suggestions :-) or we will be another six months while they check out those ...

I'm not going to make the final decision for them, just wanted to weed out any with issues I was unaware of. I've always been pretty solidly a yamaha fan, but need to keep a more open mind these days I think.
Posted By: MarkL Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 12:35 PM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
They have narrowed down to Yamaha p125 and Kawai ES110. Anyone with experience of these two got any advice?

I've played both a fair bit and prefer the key action of the Kawai. I've had 3 Yamahas so I should be biased that direction, but since getting an acoustic I've changed my preference. As far as sound, I find all internal speakers and sound generator to be adequate but not spectacular because I use a vst and external sound system.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 01:08 PM
Originally Posted by MarkL
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
They have narrowed down to Yamaha p125 and Kawai ES110. Anyone with experience of these two got any advice?

I've played both a fair bit and prefer the key action of the Kawai. I've had 3 Yamahas so I should be biased that direction, but since getting an acoustic I've changed my preference. As far as sound, I find all internal speakers and sound generator to be adequate but not spectacular because I use a vst and external sound system.


+1,

The Kawai ES110 is a superior instrument as it plays more like a piano: better action, more nuanced sound. The Yamaha P125 has a slightly brighter clearer sound (which is nice) but the Kawai piano sampling has more nuances which make it feel better to play.
IMO, the Roland FP30 is the only competitor to the ES110 at the beginner level portable pianos range---the FP30 action (PHAIV standard) is very good for the price. I would give them these two options to compare.

Pretty they can't stretch to the ES8/P515/FP90 price range, as these instruments are more suitable for intermediate to advanced level (grade 6 to 8).
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Originally Posted by MarkL
[quote=JimmyShand]They have narrowed down to Yamaha p125 and Kawai ES110. Anyone with experience of these two got any advice?


Pretty they can't stretch to the ES8/P515/FP90 price range, as these instruments are more suitable for intermediate to advanced level (grade 6 to 8).



I think there was a difference in opinion between the parents - one would have gone for the higher spec and take them all the way, but one felt it too much for beginners when they might give up ...
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
I think there was a difference in opinion between the parents - one would have gone for the higher spec and take them all the way, but one felt it too much for beginners when they might give up ...

I completely understand the budget and think that the more conservative parent certainly has a point on waiting to see if the children will stick with piano lessons. However, I'm at a lost why/how they eliminated the Roland FP30. I personally agree with CyberGene when he says...
Originally Posted by CyberGene
In short: FP30 is the way to go. It has the best action and one of the best sounds. (Couldn’t find FP10 but supposedly it has the same piano sound and keyboard but lacks a few of the sounds and features and is slightly cheaper)


Note: I have an ES110 in Amsterdam and had an FP30 in Washington DC, so I am familiar with both of these.
Is Roland like Marmite? either you love the sound or hate it grin

Honestly I dunno why. I suppose I could add it back on the list and hope it doesn't derail them completely ...
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 04:26 PM
Originally Posted by JimmyShand
Is Roland like Marmite? either you love the sound or hate it grin

Honestly I dunno why. I suppose I could add it back on the list and hope it doesn't derail them completely ...


Hi Jimmy,

I don't think it's quite that. The thing with modern beginner portables is that most people have either a PC, laptop or tablet that could be attached to the USB port/MIDI ports on all these instruments. You can replace the sound with Pianoteq or Garritan CFX grand and have a really responsive and/or great sounding piano on a beginner portable piano that only has a relatively cheaper version of the manufacturers piano sample.

The action on the Roland is just very good for that price, so it is worth considering for that reason alone. As the FP30 doesn't have fully modelled Roland sound, it's not that it's like marmite for those who don't like the fully modelled sound. Of course, it still might not be to their liking in comparison. Actually, compared to the earlier ES100 and P115, the FP30 sound is much better. The others caught up a bit (P125, ES110 and casio PX-S1000) with their sample quality, so it's about even on that score.

These things have to be taken in the round. For a small investment (if you already own a VST capable device like a PC/laptop), you can upgrade the sound on a budget---so going for the best action makes really good medium-term financial sense, as the instrument might last till Grade 6.

KR,

Doug.
Sorry for the ignorance, but what happens after Grade 6 so that you cannot practice anymore on a digital piano in that price range? Fast repetitions? More playing that requires a deep pivot position?
Thanks for the explanation - yes that makes sense. I'm not very techy - kind of plug and play :-)
Posted By: Gombessa Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Actually, compared to the earlier ES100 and P115, the FP30 sound is much better. The others caught up a bit (P125, ES110 and casio PX-S1000) with their sample quality, so it's about even on that score.


Hi Doug,

Maybe a bit of a nit, but I believe the ES100 and the ES110 share the same sound engine (Harmonic Imaging) and likewise the P-115 and P-125 do as well (Pure CF Sampling of the CFiiiS)? So the tone generation may not have changed at all between these generations.

The Casio does have a new sound engine in the S1000 though.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Doug M.
Actually, compared to the earlier ES100 and P115, the FP30 sound is much better. The others caught up a bit (P125, ES110 and casio PX-S1000) with their sample quality, so it's about even on that score.


Hi Doug,

Maybe a bit of a nit, but I believe the ES100 and the ES110 share the same sound engine (Harmonic Imaging) and likewise the P-115 and P-125 do as well (Pure CF Sampling of the CFiiiS)? So the tone generation may not have changed at all between these generations.

The Casio does have a new sound engine in the S1000 though.


Hi Gombessa,

You're right of course.

Looking into it, well, seems that the speaker systems have improved. According to blurb. This makes sense, as how an instrument projects the sound can make a huge difference. So I guess technically, the sample quality improved, just not from the sampling tech.

BLURB...***Yamaha has included a newly improved 2-way speaker system that allows the sound to be produced in both upward and downward directions. Especially in comparison to the Yamaha P-115, the P125 is a sound that is much more rich and lush.

Kind regards,

Doug.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/07/19 07:43 PM
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Sorry for the ignorance, but what happens after Grade 6 so that you cannot practice anymore on a digital piano in that price range? Fast repetitions? More playing that requires a deep pivot position?


You come down with severe G.A.S. after giving-in to having a go at the music store. :-).

I think it's more akin to racing cars: you don't want to still be racing a 1.1 L banger after 5 years of racing, not unless it's stock car racing. You want better breaks, more power, more downforce and better handling.

You hear professionals doing demos for beginner level portables, and you can hear often the limitations of the instrument and see how so much they're enjoying themselves lol.

KR,

Doug.
Originally Posted by Doug M.
[...]You hear professionals doing demos for beginner level portables, and you can hear often the limitations of the instrument and see how so much they're enjoying themselves lol.
When a professional plays on a low-range piano to make a demo of it, usually I feel that the instrument is much better of what it really is... They are able to "hide" the shortcomings of the DP... The piano has trouble in low velocities? He plays a fast piece. The piano has trouble in the low register? He plays more on the middle/high ranges. The piano has a boring, looped sustain sound? He never plays a long sustained note, etc.
Posted By: Doug M. Re: Help choosing a model for two students - 10/08/19 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by Doug M.
[...]You hear professionals doing demos for beginner level portables, and you can hear often the limitations of the instrument and see how so much they're enjoying themselves lol.
When a professional plays on a low-range piano to make a demo of it, usually I feel that the instrument is much better of what it really is... They are able to "hide" the shortcomings of the DP... The piano has trouble in low velocities? He plays a fast piece. The piano has trouble in the low register? He plays more on the middle/high ranges. The piano has a boring, looped sustain sound? He never plays a long sustained note, etc.


lol, yep. And you also need to use a professional who is capable of hiding their emotions on their face---a feat that someone I watched recently couldn't quite manage.
But sometimes is difficult to distinguish between a contracted face because the pianist is "feeling" what he plays, or because he thinks: "WTF sound is this!?". There is a very subtle line... laugh
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