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Joined: Jul 2017
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Hi all,

I was looking at used digital pianos in my local music store. I wanted something with weighted keys, 88 keys, and portable (wanted an acoustic piano feeling, may use it for gigs). I found Casio CDP-100 on sale for $200 and Yamaha P-115 for $500, both in great conditions. Yamaha P-115 seemed like a much better product, but then would it be worth to pay that much more for it when I can get Casio CDP-100 for $200? Any advice?

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Assuming you like the action, the P-115 is the better piano. The piano sound is much better than the CASIO. There are more voices and even rhythms. I would spend $300 more for the Yahama. The CDP-100 is an entry level board. Nothing wrong with it its just more basic.

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Since you say you might gig, one benefit of the CDP-100 is that it has real MIDI ports instead of USB, which allows you to better integrate it into a multi-device live rig. For example, if you got a second keyboard, you could also drive its sounds from the CDP-100... in most cases you cannot do that with the P115. Another benefit of the CDP-100 is that, if you decide you'd like to upgrade to something better a year from now, you'll probably be able to get your $200 back for it, you're not going to so easily get $500 back on the P115.

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I am not a fan of cheap pianos---Yamaha P115, Roland FP-30, Casio PX160, Kawai ES110 etc---and even less a fan of ancient cheap digital pianos like the CDP-100. However, if my budget was strictly limited, and my deadline for purchase rather imminent, I'd try out those 4 mentioned pianos and pick the one I liked the best.

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one benefit of the CDP-100 is that it has real MIDI ports instead of USB


Yes, this isn't really an advantage; however, if it were, the Kawai ES110 comes with midi ports, a better action and better quality sounds. Real midi ports was thought so much of an advantage, that Roland didn't even bother to include it in their FP-30. I'm not sure what advantage you get having real midi ports, except maybe the ability to interface with old music equipment.


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Originally Posted by Doug M.
Quote
one benefit of the CDP-100 is that it has real MIDI ports instead of USB


Yes, this isn't really an advantage; however, if it were, the Kawai ES110 comes with midi ports, a better action and better quality sounds. Real midi ports was thought so much of an advantage, that Roland didn't even bother to include it in their FP-30. I'm not sure what advantage you get having real midi ports, except maybe the ability to interface with old music equipment.

Yes, ES110 has MIDI ports, as do many other boards, but ES110 is more than triple the price he can get the CDP-100 for.

As I mentioned, the advantage is for gigging. It's a more professional feature than you typically find on low-end pianos these days. It is rare to find a high end portable keyboard without it.

Gigging musicians very often have setups that include 2 (or possibly even more) boards. With MIDI ports, they can be connected together, which can provide numerous benefits, from layering of sounds, to being able to change all your sounds simultaneously from just one of the boards (depending on the features of the board), to being able to play any sound at your disposal from your choice of action/key range.

For example, I have a Nord Electro E5D which is a great board for organ, but it also has great piano sounds. I usually play its piano sounds from an attached Casio 88.The combination of the two boards is very lightweight, and I have all the sounds in my rig playing from the kind of action I prefer for that sound.

ETA: Gigging musicians also sometime bring other gear (besides other keyboards), that also gets connected via standard MIDI ports. A lot of it may be older, as you suggest, but there are new pieces as well, like the Roland Integra7, or their Boutique synthesizer modules like the JP-08. And don't dismiss "old music equipment"... older gear can still be very useful, and can often be picked up used at good prices, too.

Last edited by anotherscott; 07/12/17 07:43 AM.

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