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Buying a DP for me and 10yo and 13yo beginners. I'm low level too after a break for 20 years... Got a little too deep in reading now and would appreciate some steadyign advice. Hopefully my thoughts will prove useful reference to someone else too - I've read a lot of useful stuff here - thank you all.

First off, we want an upright-style piano - so we're looking at Yamaha Clavinovas, Roland HP or LX series, etc.

1 Yamaha CLP635 seems the place to start in this range - but the side position of controls, their dated styling and, above everything, the 'heavier' touch of the Yamaha puts me off both this and the CLP645 (I know they're different actions), especially since younger learners will be involved.

2 Roland HP/LX series - HP704 has a lighter key action and better controls (I tried the FP90 and LX705) . But so little info on the HP704. And I can't find one local to me to try.

There's more info on LX705 whose sound engine is diff but don't think I'm sensitive enough to make pronouncements on sound. They all, including the Yamahas, sound great to me.
10yr guarantee is a consideration, I guess.

3 Kawai/Casio. Played a CA58 and liked the feel but very limited availability for me. Casio are undoubtedly good too but can't find anything to try near me.

In short, I guess I'm leaning towards HP704.

Appreciate anything you have to offer in terms of advice.
Hiya,

Having had an FP-90, the LX705 sounds a lot better - this is mostly due to the built-in speakers that appeal to a home user sat in front of it. I have noticed an improvement via headphones too. I’m pleased.

I would try them side-by side to see which you like the sound of most. European V2 is a favourite amongst LX owners - compare that to Concert Grand on the HP704. They have improved the sound on the HP-704 somewhat - whether that’s peculiar to the sound engine, or the amp/speaker setup I don’t know. I’m aware that you can’t find one to try, but that’s the only way to know for sure.

Personally, I prefer the sound on my LX-705. Compared to my FP-90, I would say that I prefer they way in which the keys interact with the sound engine (once again, perhaps they did some tweaking for the HP-704. Also, the pedal creates a sound that is clearer and less muddy. Once again, this may have been addressed somewhat on the HP-704.

For the extra few hundred ££, I’d say it’s worth getting the updated sound engine.

Plus the piano looks more like an upright (and the music rest placement may be preferable to you).

If you ignore the marketing (all that grand piano stuff), and think of is as an alternative to a nice upright (in action and sound) piano I think you’ll be very pleased.

I tried a few other models from other manufacturers (Yamaha and Casio) in the same price range and I personally didn’t like the action. Kawai is one that I did not try.
I have bought a HP704 few month ago and I am quite happy with it.
I have the white version, and it is stylish. My 8 years old daughter play sometimes (very beginer) and the piano seems well adapted. Perhaps the scores are slightly too high but it doesn't seems to be a problem for her.

I have compared it with other models in several store:
CLP 635: Not bad, but the touch is less good the roland PHA50 in my opinion: less pleasure to play, perhaps because it's too heavy or more plastic.
CA48: like it very much, but the lack of line in and the reduced control panel was a no go for me.
CA58: excellent, but slightly too expensive for my budget. I think I prefere the PHA50 compared to the GFC. The sound of the CA58 is probably better, but in a side by side compareason I had more pleasure to play on the HP704. Seems more responsive. It's perfectly subjective of course. If the CA58 was at the same budget than the HP704, I don't know which on I would have chosen.

I have not compared the HP704 with the LX705 because I doesn't want to spend the extra money and none of the store I visited had a LX705. Sometimes I regret it. I like the sound of the HP704 but I would not have been against an improved one smile

If you like the LX705 and the FP90, I am sure you will also like the HP704 because it's the same action as the LX705 and same sound generator as the FP90.
Thanks for thoughful replies both. Will ponder.

The point about the music stand had struck me on both the Rolands. Seems much higher on the HP models vs LX.
Originally Posted by nicholast
Thanks for thoughful replies both. Will ponder.

The point about the music stand had struck me on both the Rolands. Seems much higher on the HP models vs LX.


Have a look at some acoustic uprights and grand pianos - they differ in height. As long as it’s not a million miles away one can adjust.

This is a something that I overlooked when I bought a portable piano - the music rest was SO low that when it came to my first exam, it felt totally alien to have it higher up (this was a grand piano). I recall feeling dwarfed, and the piano felt intimidatingly big!

I think the music rest on the 705 also sits lower than on the 705/708 as the keyboard cover slides (as opposed to lifting on the latter models).
Originally Posted by OscarRamsey
I think the music rest on the 705 also sits lower than on the 705/708 as the keyboard cover slides (as opposed to lifting on the latter models).


Thanks. Do yoiu mean the rest sits lower on the HP704? It looks higher to me.
Originally Posted by nicholast
Originally Posted by OscarRamsey
I think the music rest on the 705 also sits lower than on the 705/708 as the keyboard cover slides (as opposed to lifting on the latter models).


Thanks. Do yoiu mean the rest sits lower on the HP704? It looks higher to me.


Apologies - that was a typo.

The rest on the LX-705 is lower than on the LX-706 and LX-708, and appears lower than on the HP-704 in the photos... so I went ahead and measured the height for you on my LX-705 just so that you have an idea of how it compares to the HP-704:

-89.5 cm approx on the LX-705 (folded out position, rather than flush). Approx measurement due to carpet, so I added 1cm to the actual measurement. I also used a spirit level in the interest of accuracy!

-95.7cm on the HP704 (based on specs on a seller’s website). Not a HUGE difference.

Bear in mind that the rest on the LX-705 might also be a tad closer to you, due to the way it folds out of the cabinet slightly. The rest on the HP-704 appears to be flush with the cabinet on the top (minus a few CM as it will have some sort of lip to stop the music sliding off, as well as the fact that pages will tilt away at the top). This assumes the depth from the edge of the keys is similar. Just another consideration (I’m dyslexic so I need to peer at the music close-up sometimes!).
Thanks so much, Oscar. Really helpful. Now getting prices from various for both...
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