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I rather desperately need a silent piano for practice. Unfortunately, I wont be able to try myself, so have to buy a digital piano "blind" online. Reading threads here, reviews online, specs etc leaves me terribly confused.

My priorities are:
- Grand-like feel so I can practice as realistically as possible.
- Portability, something I can bring along to the summer house

Price is less important, built in speakers not essential (I'll mostly be using headphones), sound quality is not that important (as long as it resembles a piano), electronic wizardry/MIDI etc not at all relevant.

Size-wise, Roland RD-88 would be quite ideal (but how good is the PHA-4 action?), is maybe either Kawai ES520 or ES920 more piano like (but is the a noticeable difference between the actions) or maybe a Yamaha P-515?

What would a serious classical pianist buy as a compact practice instrument?


C. Bechstein M178 (1928) / Kawai ES920 (2021)
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I used to have an ES8 that has the same action as the 920 and and was quite fond of that.
I currently have a rented 520 that I don't much care for - so to my fingers at least the difference is noticeable.

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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
My priorities are:
- Grand-like feel so I can practice as realistically as possible.
- Portability, something I can bring along to the summer house

Price is less important, built in speakers not essential [...]

That sounds very much like a Kawai MP11SE. 🤔

But I'm not a pianist, so I don't have a real opinion.

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>- Grand-like feel so I can practice as realistically as possible.
>- Portability, something I can bring along to the summer house

AFAIK the only "portable" with grand-long keys is the MP11SE, but has 35kg (no built-in speakers).
IMO next best key action would be FP90X/RD2000.
Then the ES920, which happens to be lighter to carry, 16kg (but has more plasticky build).
Then the P515 - may rank higher if you like key action that is heavier at the top then turns lighter as the key moves down.
I'm not sure if you'd be happy with entry DPs.
Not being able to try is really bad. At least order from a place that accepts returns in case you don't like what you get.

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As a classical pianist with an old Bechstein (if that is what you are), my guess is that you would be more satisfied with a Kawai or Yamaha than with a Roland.

I'd try to decide between Yamaha P 515, Kawai ES 920 and Kawai MP 11 SE.

If you are used to, or can live with, a fairly light action, and if there is no budget restriction, you could also take a look at the Nord Piano series. Excellent sounds (from a classical perspective) IMHO, but the keys are, as said, rather on the light side.


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Thanks all for very valuable input! Now, I have just a handful of good choices and will decide based on availability and return policy.

I will report on the outcome!


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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
- Portability, something I can bring along to the summer house
Do you have a rough idea of maximum weight for this? Related thought - You might find you could deal with something a bit uncomfortably heavy if you only move it twice a year (at the beginning and end of the season) vs. if it's something you'd move back and forth, say, every weekend. Another variable could be whether either location would require carrying it up and down a flight of steps. Also remember that you may want to move it in a protective case, which will add weight as well... and the heavier DPs tend to require heavier cases, too.

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I'm afraid that your "desperate need" is going to wind up being a factor in your decision, because of the general lack of availability of most mid-to-top tier digital pianos.

You might decide that the MP11SE would best meet your needs, but good luck finding one. Same for the ES920, and many others. This situation probably isn't going to improve much over the next month or two. Estimated delivery times on web sites are little more than guesses and wishful thinking.


"I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel; a free man at the start of a long journey, whose conclusion is uncertain." -- Morgan Freeman's character, "Red", in The Shawshank Redemption
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Welp, this company serves Swedish customers too (online only for now?), so this may give some idea of available models even if you end up buying elsewhere:
https://www.digitalpiano.com/se/

Of course if it's going to be online, then Thomann (in Germany) could be just as good as shipping from Denmark.

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Oops.... Yes, availability was a factor! Taking delivery time and generous return policy into consideration, I took the plunge and ordered a ES920.

No MP11SE was available (and it is a bit heavy to bring along in the car for extended weekends).

Wish me luck ;-)


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Nord Grand and it's made in Sweden too.

Last edited by Sebs; 04/15/21 11:09 AM.
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Nord Grand and it's made in Sweden too.

More like it is assembled in Sweden laugh


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
Oops.... Yes, availability was a factor! Taking delivery time and generous return policy into consideration, I took the plunge and ordered a ES920.

No MP11SE was available (and it is a bit heavy to bring along in the car for extended weekends).

Wish me luck ;-)

Sounds like a reasonable decision given your situation - I wish you luck with your choice! wink

I'd be interested in a feedback about how this instrument suits your needs, once you've got and used it for a while.


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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Welp, this company serves Swedish customers too (online only for now?), so this may give some idea of available models even if you end up buying elsewhere:
https://www.digitalpiano.com/se/

Of course if it's going to be online, then Thomann (in Germany) could be just as good as shipping from Denmark.
Actually, it's the same company as Steinway gallery in Stockholm (a filial to Juhl-Sörensen in Denmark), and they have a physical store for digital pianos too so that could be handy if you get some problems with the instrument.
If you decide to go for Kawai, beware that in Sweden, Kawai only have a 2 year warranty, whilst Yamaha and others often have 5 years and Roland 10 (!) years on some models. Kawai should up their game in that regard in Sweden.

Last edited by johanibraaten; 04/15/21 02:38 PM.

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Originally Posted by EPW
Originally Posted by Sebs
Nord Grand and it's made in Sweden too.

More like it is assembled in Sweden laugh

Yes but "hand assembled" in Sweden. laugh Either way I'm still a huge fan of Nord.

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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
Oops.... Yes, availability was a factor! Taking delivery time and generous return policy into consideration, I took the plunge and ordered a ES920.

No MP11SE was available (and it is a bit heavy to bring along in the car for extended weekends).

Wish me luck ;-)
If you're going to haul it back and forth on weekends, the ES920 was an excellent choice. The Nord Grand has modifications to the same action as the ES920 apparently eliminating graded weight and letoff simulation, so the ES920 is closer to an acoustic piano.


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Originally Posted by ColonelBogey
Oops.... Yes, availability was a factor! Taking delivery time and generous return policy into consideration, I took the plunge and ordered a ES920.

No MP11SE was available (and it is a bit heavy to bring along in the car for extended weekends).

Wish me luck ;-)

I hope you enjoy your new piano.

Kind regards,
James
x


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Hmm, I’ve noticed how you never told me to ‘enjoy my new piano’.

And I was all over this place when I placed the order, tracked the piano, received and unboxed the piano, and then I, too, said “wish me luck”....

But no, nothing for Pete, not even a ‘congrats on your new P-515, Pete’; not even that! wink

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Wait, hold on a second...you bought a P-515?

When did this happen?!

Wow, congrats Pete!

You should have been more vocal about it - time to update your signature, surely?

James
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Pete, you took the food out of his kids' mouths, and you want him to congratulate you for it?

The nerve of some people...


"I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel; a free man at the start of a long journey, whose conclusion is uncertain." -- Morgan Freeman's character, "Red", in The Shawshank Redemption
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