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I would say start off on the lower end and see how it goes. If you are still into piano in a couple of years you can upgrade. Jeffcat is right that you don't need a $2,000+ slab to start. Reality is that 90% + quit after a short while. I hope OP doesn't quit and stays with it. Piano is a long slow journey for the most of us.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Re deep hole: Well, perhaps jeffcat, but if that's the case, then it only took me 4 months to fall into that hole. It was love at first key press, I admit. My choice for a new piano was the C1 Air -- well within my budget, didn't have to pay extra for a stand or a quality pedal, solidly built with only a few bells & whistles. It should be fine if I stay at this long enough to become an advanced intermediate, then I shall treat myself to something more advanced & modern.

For alternate perspective, please read the thread in the adult beginner's forum by the man who decided after 5 years "deep in the hole" that he's quitting for self-perceived lack of aptitude. At least he had a premium piano that sold quickly.

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In an investment account, you get 10-15% a year, on $2000, that's + $1600 in 5 years.

Even if you manage to sell a $2000 DP for $2000 in 5 years. (Which is impossible), You'd still have lost the $1600

Opportunity Cost.

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/15/21 12:11 PM.
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I wouldn't count on 10-15% returns every year. Not even in many years.

Regardless ... investing is for money that you don't need to spend. You have to spend to get a piano ... or anything else. So buy the best.

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I've noticed with some instruments that the law of diminishing returns is more of a significant factor. I just bought an expensive acoustic guitar (I sold a few other guitars to afford the purchase). I could have gotten a guitar for about 1k dollars cheaper that sounded just as good (same company) as the one I purchased. I opted for the more expensive one (overkill?) because even though it sounded the same as the less expensive one, I liked the upgraded accoutrements. I know I would get more enjoyment out of looking at it and more motivation to play it.

I think there can be a similarity with digital pianos. If you can afford an expensive one that you think would bring more enjoyment into the process of learning/playing the instrument, then you should go for it. Don't let the fact that you're a beginner deter you from getting something you think you'll really like. Let other factors decide that, e.g., budget, space, features, use, etc.

Life is short and we seem to become more cognizant of that the longer we live. Enjoy life while you can because we don't know what the future holds.

God Bless,
David


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I reread the first post and if you really are serious about piano then I change my other post and go ahead and spend for the next tier piano.

It was just that I know several relatives, friends that said they really want to learn piano and got a more expensive piano (Digital and Acoustic model) and quit after a short time frame.

One of the ones who quit said he wishes he would of stayed with it. Now he is retired. I keep telling him it is not still to late. There are plenty of pieces/songs at the intermediate level.

Peace.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Thanks for everyone's input. I check some models out in a store and see what they have and go from there.

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Originally Posted by Burkey
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.

I will certainly do that. I was also fond of the Yamaha P515 as well, considering that it was a big upgrade from the previous P255. I think I will spend a bit more on a good digital piano that will last about 5-10 years at least.

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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!

I am currently on a Casio WK210 76 key unweighted keyboard. I first played the piano 4 years ago, but stopped after a couple months, and this past November, I got started again. While I am mainly focused on the acoustic piano sounds, I also want something that is faily versatile and has a good action. Thanks for your input.

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I really don’t think you’re losing that much by starting out conservative early on. If you buy something decent second hand you can often sell it in 1-2 years for 90% you paid for it making the cost for a beginner very low for a decent instrument.

By that time you will be much much better informed about what you like or not and actually have a chance of usefully spending big money on something you actually like and can last you 5+ years.

To many people a budget is just a vague concept of what they think is the right money to spend and it really makes no difference if they add an extra zero and ‘splurge’. I know what it’s like to be poor. Yes it feels great to buy something new and flash but it is not necessary. Stop reading marketing brochures and people bragging about the latest stuff on the internet, if you want to learn to play focus on that.

Alternatively if you can and want to, sure go buy a top of the line model. Why not.

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Originally Posted by EPW
I would say start off on the lower end and see how it goes. If you are still into piano in a couple of years you can upgrade. Jeffcat is right that you don't need a $2,000+ slab to start. Reality is that 90% + quit after a short while. I hope OP doesn't quit and stays with it. Piano is a long slow journey for the most of us.

Yeah that is what I was thinking... While I liked the sub $2000 pianos, I felt just fine on sub $500-600 models tool.

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Thanks for everyone’s advice. I find this to be very helpful as I want to continue to progress. Only thing is I get frustrated every time I make a mistake or play the wrong notes....

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Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
Only thing is I get frustrated every time I make a mistake or play the wrong notes....

This will happen on any instrument, cheap or not. wink


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Originally Posted by Tyr
Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
Only thing is I get frustrated every time I make a mistake or play the wrong notes....

This will happen on any instrument, cheap or not. wink

Sure Tyr rub it in wink


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Buy what you can reasonably afford without feeling too bad about it if you quit a year from now. smile


Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
Present: Roland DP-603, Roland RD-2000, Yamaha MX61, Casio CDP-130
Past: Roland FP-30, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-830
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Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
Thanks for everyone’s advice. I find this to be very helpful as I want to continue to progress. Only thing is I get frustrated every time I make a mistake or play the wrong notes....

Yeah this is something you'll have to tame very fast if you want to keep your motivation up. Learning piano takes a lot of time and repetition. You need to take things slow and understand you won't become the next Bach in a year. Hitting wrong notes is part of the process. One thing that help is to play slow. Like extra slow and go a tad bit faster every loop.


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FWIW --

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

Those are genuinely good DP's. They'll depreciate -- all electronics depreciates -- but there will still be a good market for them, in a few years.

I dislike calling a DP (any DP) an "investment". It's a cost. It may give you pleasure, but it's not going to earn you a financial return.

Originally Posted by MusicMaster709
Thanks for everyone's input. I check some models out in a store and see what they have and go from there.

Good. You'll learn more, that way, than you will by reading us.


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Do not buy a piano you do not like, if you are uninspired now, it will be taking a lot of joy out of your learning.
On the other hand, you do not know if you’d find the feel and sound even of 2000 piano satisfying in two years from now, may be this is another reason many people start with a cheap piano.

I learned a piano as a small kid on an acoustic upright and can’t say it was ‘too good’ for me, there are beginner pieces which can be played with a lot of expression, ‘A sick doll’ for example, or beginner’s version of ‘Ode to joy’. You can find others.

My opinion do not spend money on a sore in the eye, or rather ears.


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So I am really in the same position as the OP. What is the sweet spot in terms of cost. A very common approach seems to be to try stuff out and then just go with what feels good. Obviously an approach which makes sense, however in these times and given the inventory where I live, it is also appears very attractive to purchase exactly what I think is best online and have it delivered.

I am basically torn between the ES110/P125 tier and the P515/ES920 tier. I am disqualifying Roland due to the artificial sound engine, not because I have any personal experience or fact-based opinions but to make my life easier.

I am not willing to go down the pianoteq route, at this point in time, I want my 3 year old to be able to mess around with it and I don't want to expose him and his older sister for computers just yet.

One difference between the tiers which is clear, the price. In my location the price difference is 800-1000 usd.

The second dimension is regarding performance/quality. Based on online reviews, it seems like the difference is significant, but that performance for a beginner like myself is adequate also in the lower tier. Ie. I can develop for a year at least (and probably further) using the lower tier equipment with a decent satisfaction.

Finally there is an element of price sensitivity or alternative cost. Ie, will I give up something significant by pursuing the higher tier? I am not a poor student, but I am also not a billionaire.

One way to resolve the final question would be to put this choice in relation to other choices I make, if I drive a Porsche, shop at whole foods and always have the latest iphone - would the Es110 still be a reasonable purchase? Or if I shop at the dollar stores and take the bus, not because i'm thrifty but because i don't have any options.

so, if someone could put the choice between the es110/p125 & p515/es920 into a language I understand, it would be much appreciated.

Is the difference between the tiers similar to the choice between a bmw and a dacia?

Or, between a last-gen iphone and the previous generation?

Or, between whole foods and walmart?

Or, something else?

please help me understand the choice i'm making, during these strange times and with the restrictions above...

I don't want to highjack the thread but the situation of the OP and myself are so similar that it makes sense ...

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Originally Posted by jeffcat
In an investment account, you get 10-15% a year, on $2000, that's + $1600 in 5 years.

Even if you manage to sell a $2000 DP for $2000 in 5 years. (Which is impossible), You'd still have lost the $1600

Opportunity Cost.

You appear to have a talent of being able to type a lot of words while not saying anything useful.

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