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So far I have only tested entry level Casio and Yamaha digital (I preferred the latter), and I considered the P125, however, I found some good alrernatives that are a bit more expensive. I have zero prior experience of the piano as I am a complete beginner, but here were some alternatives that I have considered so far:

Yamaha YDP164
Korg C1 Air
Kawai CN29
Kawai CA49 (Might be stretching it a bit?)
Kawai ES920/520
Yamaha P515
Roland FP30/X
Roland FP90/X

My only concern is that spending more would be complete overkill for a beginner, but I still want something that will last many years (at least 10), as well as having a good action and sound. I also heard about the new Roland FPX models, and I was wondering if those are similar or completely different from the normal FP lineup. I am curious to know your guys’ thoughts on these models, as I hope they will not be overkill long term (as I am pretty serious about music and the piano)

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I will use this instrument to play along with many songs, as well as composing my own. I practice at least 1-2 hours per day as a beginner (been playing for 2 months)

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Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
So far I have only tested entry level Casio and Yamaha digital (I preferred the latter), and I considered the P125, however, I found some good alrernatives that are a bit more expensive. I have zero prior experience of the piano as I am a complete beginner, but here were some alternatives that I have considered so far:

Yamaha YDP164
Korg C1 Air
Kawai CN29
Kawai CA49 (Might be stretching it a bit?)
Kawai ES920/520
Yamaha P515
Roland FP30/X
Roland FP90/X

My only concern is that spending more would be complete overkill for a beginner, but I still want something that will last many years (at least 10), as well as having a good action and sound. I also heard about the new Roland FPX models, and I was wondering if those are similar or completely different from the normal FP lineup. I am curious to know your guys’ thoughts on these models, as I hope they will not be overkill long term (as I am pretty serious about music and the piano)

Any of those will be great to learn on. Set your budget, try before you buy... Its really that simple. Don't rely on reviews and opinions, only yours matters.

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Thanks for the input, and of course. I intend to test somemodels out in a few months. I do not rely too much on reviews, as preference of feel and sound are subjective... I was not personally a fan of Casio’s sound and action (too light and sounds nothing like a piano IMO). My estimated budget would be around $2000 at the absolute most

Last edited by MusicMaster709; 01/15/21 01:06 AM.
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You want either the es520/920 or the FP90/X

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Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
My only concern is that spending more would be complete overkill for a beginner, but I still want something that will last many years (at least 10), as well as having a good action and sound...
This is a common mistake people make:
'I'm only a beginner, so I don't need a great instrument.'

What if a better instrument:
Inspires and enchants you more than a weaker model?
Therefore encourages you to practice more?
Therefore you don't end up giving up?

Saving money on an inferior model is false economy.

Work out how much you can afford per year to pay for a piano. Then multiply that by 10 years. There's your budget. Can't afford that immediately? Then save up.

Try out the ES920 and FP-90X.

Last edited by Burkey; 01/15/21 09:11 AM.

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If you are really serious about music, you'd better forget that word "overkill" and buy the best instrument. Imagine how many thousands of hours you will spend playing it.

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Yes, an « overkill » piano (if this mean better keyboard/sound) will increase the pleasure beginner or not.

I have an intermediate level and bought the N1X. Not because it is adequate for advanced pieces of music I will not play, but because when trying it in a shop, I have felt the keyboard far more comfortable than others.

But you should try yourself.

One key factor is will you play mostly with headphones or with the builtin speakers ? Portable speakers are generally weakly amplified (at least the cheapest), but a good amplification cost more and is not needed to play with headphones.

I prefer a lot wooden keyboards among Yamaha’s. Then I would prefer the P515 over the YDP164.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 01/15/21 09:21 AM.

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A digital piano can't be "too good". (Just the best ones are a bit expensive.)

A digital piano can be "too bad". (Not close enough to a real one, not playable enough.)

A digital piano can "good enough". (This is a very personal thing and hard to define.)

As a beginner all the models you listed would probably be "good enough" for many years to come.

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Spending more money on an exercise equipment or signing up for an expensive gym membership doesn't motivate a person to lose weight. It just adds a negatively reinforcing stress towards future workouts.

This is why most workouts which involve large initial investments fail.

I think korg B2 is the best starter when it's on sale for $360. Until you're very sure you can keep up with the LONGGGGG road to learning sight reading/ memorizing/ music theory, It'll be at least 2 years before you're any good assuming you invest 4 hours a day.

Think about all the distractions that can occur in that time frame. New game consoles, new games, drugs, alcohol, women.

I'm not saying don't do it, but be realistic from the beginning, and really think about your own personal Patience with this type of endeavor.

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/15/21 09:31 AM.
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
I think korg B2 is the best starter when it's on sale for $360.

And at worst its depreciation over the years is $360. No more.

A $2000 digital piano might lose $2000 of its value.

But if that's acceptable, then it's no problem.

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If you don't give up or feel that piano playing is not as satisfying as expected then nothing is an overkill if you can afford an expensive instrument without selling a kidney.


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Originally Posted by Tyr
If you don't give up or feel that piano playing is not as satisfying as expected then nothing is an overkill if you can afford an expensive instrument without selling a kidney.

OPPORTUNITY COST. He could've bought sweaters for his mother instead.

Carbon Cost. We accept DPs are good things, but it takes a tole. Climate change is already killing us.

This isn't the dumb boomer ages.

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/15/21 09:54 AM.
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There is a saying you should get the best piano at your maximum budget.
It will last you longer before you want to upgrade.
From personal experience, in a 2 years span I'm already on my second upgrade. I was lucky to be able to sell my first digital at almost paid price. But if you're looking for an investment, go all guns blazing.


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Originally Posted by mareg
There is a saying you should get the best piano at your maximum budget.
It will last you longer before you want to upgrade.
From personal experience, in a 2 years span I'm already on my second upgrade. I was lucky to be able to sell my first digital at almost paid price. But if you're looking for an investment, go all guns blazing.

That's like saying, Well, you should buy olympic weight lifting equipment, because heck, you'll never need to upgrade, because you'll probably never be as strong as an olympic weight lifter.

All guns blazing , the largest investment will be TIME invested in learning to play. Guns blazing has little to do with how much you spend on the piano, and far more on How many hours you can play in a day.

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My point is that having a decent Piano gives me more incentive to practice. It enhance my enjoyment of practicing and performing.


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Nothing will be "too overkill" for a beginner other than the piano surpassing your budget. Even though the best digital pianos may have more features and better actions, in my opinion, there isn't one I have tried that can fully replicate the feeling of a real acoustic.

Like others have said, ideally, you should try all the pianos yourself, but I understand that it's difficult to do that during this time. Speaking from personal experience, you might feel like one piano will "last you many years" but you'll end up having the urge to upgrade anyway if you ever play acoustics or try anything better. I started with an FP-30 thinking that would be sufficient, but when I compared it against a real Yamaha U1 upright, everything about it was ruined for me. The sound was quite artificial, the action felt heavy but not firm, and expression was difficult. I kept wanting to upgrade and found a listing for an FP-90 at $1200, which was an amazing deal, but I ended up being even more disappointed as the action felt sudden unusually light and the sound seemed to be even more artificial (although the expressiveness was ok). I then tried an ES920, and the sound was much better, but I couldn't really test it well because I couldn't sit down and play, though I thought that the piano still felt pretty disappointing based on all the hype I've heard about the Kawai digitals. I ended up trying the P515 and sticking with it. It's probably the only one out of all the digital pianos I've tried that I would've considered "good enough" for my price range just because its sounds and action are what most closely matches the upright I used to play and has the least differences.

One thing to keep in mind though is that I technically didn't start as a beginner or with a clean slate to base my opinions on. I used to learn on that same Yamaha U1 when I was 7 but quit after a few months. I restarted playing, but I definitely enjoy playing the piano this time and you should too before you spend too much. If you have never played an acoustic before or piano in general, you might want to consider renting a digital or acoustic piano temporarily to get used to learning to play, then decide if you want to spend more on a piano that'll last you for a longer time.

Last edited by guyperson; 01/15/21 10:40 AM.

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What is it you are currently playing? I started on an unweighted 61 key keyboard with slightly smaller keys, then four months later moved to a weighted 88 key digital piano. It took almost 3 weeks to fully adjust to the more realistic keyboard, but I'm so glad I made the move. My hands feel better, & my efforts to play with more expression are better rewarded.

I was thinking perhaps you haven't been playing long enough to develop a preference for keyboard feel. That was my case, so I didn't worry too much about wood vs. plastic keys, light & springy action vs. stiffer action, textured vs. smooth keys. I was concerned about key resistance near the fallboard (didn't like it on my 61 board, quite pleased with my 88 board), & the balance between the white & black keys (couldn't play white/black key chords cleanly on the 61 board, much better on the 88 board). Those were two things that troubled my beginning steps. But the other keybed qualities -- materials, action, texture -- I figured I'd just get accustomed to whatever I ended up buying, and I have.

Some of your choices have loads of features. Do you think you'll use all those brass voices & drum beats? Personally, I think they're fun, but many here don't give a hoot for them. If you're sure you're only interested in piano, then don't be dazzled by all the other features. But if you think you'd like to eventually record tracks with various voices & accompaniments, then do check out all the bells & whistles. (I guess all that could be done on computer if you throw enough money at it.)

I think it's a good idea to find a keyboard that you can grow into as your skills develop and as your musical horizons grow. Overkill won't limit your growth!

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Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
So far I have only tested entry level Casio and Yamaha digital (I preferred the latter), and I considered the P125, however, I found some good alrernatives that are a bit more expensive. I have zero prior experience of the piano as I am a complete beginner, but here were some alternatives that I have considered so far:

Yamaha YDP164
Korg C1 Air
Kawai CN29
Kawai CA49 (Might be stretching it a bit?)
Kawai ES920/520
Yamaha P515
Roland FP30/X
Roland FP90/X

My only concern is that spending more would be complete overkill for a beginner, but I still want something that will last many years (at least 10), as well as having a good action and sound. I also heard about the new Roland FPX models, and I was wondering if those are similar or completely different from the normal FP lineup. I am curious to know your guys’ thoughts on these models, as I hope they will not be overkill long term (as I am pretty serious about music and the piano)

Here is my 2 riyals (alternative for pennies):

If you're passionate and serious about it, get something that gives you some room to grow. An absolute beginner gear doesn't have this room and the attachment to the instrument will remain low.

this is how I'd choose a digital piano:

1- Do I need furnished or slab?
2- What actions are available?
3- What voice technology is available?

Cheers


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Originally Posted by No Expectations
What is it you are currently playing? I started on an unweighted 61 key keyboard with slightly smaller keys, then four months later moved to a weighted 88 key digital piano. It took almost 3 weeks to fully adjust to the more realistic keyboard, but I'm so glad I made the move. My hands feel better, & my efforts to play with more expression are better rewarded.

I was thinking perhaps you haven't been playing long enough to develop a preference for keyboard feel. That was my case, so I didn't worry too much about wood vs. plastic keys, light & springy action vs. stiffer action, textured vs. smooth keys. I was concerned about key resistance near the fallboard (didn't like it on my 61 board, quite pleased with my 88 board), & the balance between the white & black keys (couldn't play white/black key chords cleanly on the 61 board, much better on the 88 board). Those were two things that troubled my beginning steps. But the other keybed qualities -- materials, action, texture -- I figured I'd just get accustomed to whatever I ended up buying, and I have.

Some of your choices have loads of features. Do you think you'll use all those brass voices & drum beats? Personally, I think they're fun, but many here don't give a hoot for them. If you're sure you're only interested in piano, then don't be dazzled by all the other features. But if you think you'd like to eventually record tracks with various voices & accompaniments, then do check out all the bells & whistles. (I guess all that could be done on computer if you throw enough money at it.)

I think it's a good idea to find a keyboard that you can grow into as your skills develop and as your musical horizons grow. Overkill won't limit your growth!


Those are perspectives of a person ALREADY deep in the piano hole. And you are making the assumption that the OP is going to or is even capable of burrowing as deeply.

I hope that is the case. But I find it hard to believe that any beginner will do any better on a $2000 DP vs a $500 one.

In this environment, he could be fired, or his wife could leave him, Then he'll have to sell the piano, the crushed dreams, and emotional rollercoaster.

Just saying.. A beginner does not need an expensive Digital Piano, if the motivation comes only from the COST of the instrument, that is not going to last long, and having wasted money shouldn't at all be the reason WHY the OP decides to practice everyday. If anything that is probably the WORST mindset to have. He could begin to resent the instrument, his decisions, himself, become frustrated at slow progress. It's not fiscally responsible.

You show up at the gym because the membership is very expensive ?

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/15/21 11:51 AM.
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