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#672636 - 12/17/06 10:31 AM Digital piano for adult beginner
vanwel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 56
Loc: Netherlands
I'm 26 years old and have just started learning to play the piano. I have no experience with the instrument, but I did play the violin from my 4th til my 12th.
Of course I would love to buy myself a nice acoustic piano, but they are a bit too expensive (for a good one)and to heavy and loud (although a silent piano is nice) for in my appartment. That was why I was thinking about a digital piano. It is difficult for me to decide however, since I got no experience and don't really know what to look for. I don't want to go for the cheapest, but of course I also don't want to go for the most expensive models.

I'm thinking about the following models:

Yamaha clavinova CLP 280
Yamaha clavinova CVP 303
Roland HPi7

I've been to the Tom Lee music store and heard the Yamaha's, they didn't have the Roland.
Everybody is banging on the piano's in that store, so it is really difficult to get some silence to try it. That and the fact that I had to walk a bit to the other piano, made that I couldn't really hear a direct difference. I also heard a CVP 309 and that sounded better than the CVP 303. But what I particularly liked about the CVP 309 were the keys. They felt much more 'piano like' (although I have only played/banged on a few) than the other two models. The way you press, the way that feels, very real! However, out of my budget \:\(

So, back to the three models.

I heard the CLP has the best sound.
The CVP however, has a lot of bells and whistles of which I won't use many, but some I will. Music sheets on the LCD, leading lights (great for learning I think?) and a few other options sound very good for the beginner.
Finally, from what I've seen on the Roland site, the HPi7 should be ideal for beginners, with lessons and all.

Do you guys have any suggestions?



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#672637 - 12/17/06 10:58 AM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
GregC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/04
Posts: 136
Loc: Dublin, California
other than playing piano for some year, I am in a similar situation with the Clav models

The 280 piano certainly sounds good. But it has a very limited 2 track sequencer ( it plays 16 tracks, but you can only edit 2) which I find disapointing for an expensive instrument. That is why I did not buy it.

I think you are giving up some amplification, audio, spkr size on the 303. Why don't you get the comparison chart on the CLP and CVP from Yamaha online or your dealer ? And see if you can edit the 303 grand piano for more tone. You may not be able to do much until you get into the 307/309

I think you should look for and compare the Roland lineup, especially the KR-107. I think this series has a fantastic grand piano sound, better than the Clav. Plus the navigation is impressive. I am not sure it has all the bells and whistles of a 307

#672638 - 12/17/06 12:38 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
CLP280 and CVP309 are top models of Yamaha and share some best features but focused differently. CLP is more piano oriented, while CVP has more other sound and stuff. CVP303 is a lower end CVP model and can't compete with 309 for sound or anything.

#672639 - 12/17/06 12:44 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
vanwel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 56
Loc: Netherlands
Thanks for the replies.

I'll check out the KR-107 if I can somewhere.

If I had the budget, I'd go for a CVP309, but I dont't have it, regrettably. So I really have to choose from:

Yamaha clavinova CLP 280
Yamaha clavinova CVP 303 / 305 (added)
Roland HPi7
Roland KR-107 (added)

The advice I seek has to focus on my absolute beginner level and whether the instrument can help me learn quicker than on a regular piano.


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#672640 - 12/30/06 04:49 AM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
vanwel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 56
Loc: Netherlands
Ok, have played a little bit more on piano's and played a lot in the music store. I have to revise my opinion. To be honest, I think that even the keys and the way they are played on the CVP309 are not good at all... Tried a lot of regular piano's and like them much better.
Yeah, the 309 is definitely better than the other CVP's, but can't match a reasonable piano. At least that is the feeling I have now. I tried a Yamaha silent piano, the U1S and I like that one much better. The playing, and the sound. Also the sound from the headphones is better with the silent piano. Ok, it's more expensive too, especially in Holland!
Doesn't make it easier!

#672641 - 12/30/06 10:52 AM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
For an apartment dweller today there is no choice:
it has to be a digital. Today, people
simply will not tolerate the racket produced by
an acoustic piano--which can be heard
a block away. When I was a child taking
classical lessons, we lived for several
years in a wood-frame apartment building,
which transmitted noise like a loud
speaker, but there was never any problem
with the neighbors concerning our acoustic
piano. But today, people are overstressed
from cable TV, rock music, video games,
and so forth, and their nerves cannot
tolerate an acoustic piano. I live in
an apartment building, and the neighbors
loathe acoustic pianos. When I moved
in in the late 1980's, one tenant had
an acoustic upright piano and he was
literally run out of the building. Thus,
since the late 1980's I've being playing
only on digitals pianos.

Also, as a novice to the world of pianos,
you've never had to deal with the tuning
and maintenance problems associated with
acoustic pianos. Tunings today can run
around $150.00 (US), and you need several
per year. And then there are the constant
maintenance problems for things like sticking
keys, malfunctioning strings, and so forth.
Take a look inside any acoustic piano
and the rat's nest of strings, flimsy
wooden levers, felt, and leather parts,
will give you an indication of the
maintenance nightmares this can lead to.
(Digitals by comparison require no tuning
or maintenance of any kind--my first digital,
a Korg bought in 1989, still works perfectly
and has never required any kind of
maintenance or repair.)

Another problem associated with acoustic
pianos is piano tuners themselves. If
you're the type of person who wouldn't
like the idea of a stranger coming into
your house several times a year and
working for several hours on your piano,
with often indifferent results, then
tunings can become an unbearable
hassle, and, like many people, you'll
end up skipping them and playing on
an untuned piano, and there's nothing
worse than that. How often have you
seen the statement, "There's a piano
for sale but it hasn't been tuned
in years."? The reason it wasn't tuned
is because the owners ended up skipping
tunings because of the hassle involved,
which led to them playing on an untuned
piano, which led them to eventually
giving up playing altogether.

And you need not worry that your
technique will suffer by playing on
a digital. Digitals have enabled me
to progress, since the late 1980's,
from playing 4-page salon pieces to
playing big concertos. I would never
have been able to make that kind of
progress on an acoustic piano.

Another thing going for digitals is
price. You don't need to spend a lot of
money to get a digital that does a
good job of approximating the sound
and key action of an acoustic. My
current digital, a Korg SP-250,
cost $900.00 (US).

#672642 - 12/30/06 05:33 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
vanwel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 56
Loc: Netherlands
Thanks for your elaborate piece of writing! Can really use your advice.

#672643 - 12/30/06 05:59 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
rimsky Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 10
Another thing to keep in mind - ultimately (IMO), it's the keyboard action that is the most important. Why? Sound, you can always upgrade via dedicated sound modules or through software sampling via computer (Motif Rack, GEM RP-X, Art Vista, Akoustic Piano, Synthogy etc).

Keyboard action, it'd be hard to change it in a digital piano. Find an action that you like, whether it's the Yamaha, Kawai, or Roland top end one, and go with it.

Since you mentioned Tom Lee, I assume you're in Vancouver as well as the Netherlands. You may find the pricing significantly lower in Europe vs Canada.

#672644 - 12/30/06 06:01 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
vanwel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 56
Loc: Netherlands
I'm in Hong Kong at the moment, they have Tom Lee there too. And it's much lower priced in Hong Kong than in the Netherlands :-(

About the keyboard action... yeah, I really do have to try different brands, because I don't really like the action on either of the clavinova's!

#672645 - 12/30/06 07:53 PM Re: Digital piano for adult beginner
bachmaniac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 410
Loc: Montreal, CAN
hey vanwel, I can't tell you how much I relate to you and to what you are writing about the Clavinova action! I don't voice it too much here because there are so many Clavinova fans that I respect and whose feelings I don't wanna hurt, but... Having played classical piano all my life (I'm now in my sixties), I sure know when I like a touch and when I don't. And I can't bring myself to like Clavinovas, ANY of them, as much as I try to, and I have sincerely been open-minded about it. There are some legacy Rolands that I thought were alright (HP-2, HP-3), but the only action I can now say is acceptable is Kawai's CA (AWA Pro). I don't mean it is as good as the best acoustic grands on the market, but to me it IS the only workable and detriment-free digital piano action at the moment. But see for yourself, and trust your gut (or finger!) feelings...
K. Kawai KG-2D grand, Kawai MP8 digital, Kawai CA7


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