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I am an absolute 22yo adult beginner pianist (no music background) and was wondering which piano would be best / am I making the right decision?
I am currently using a Yamaha DGX 230 (with no weighted keys) to self-learn and recently gotten Faber's adult piano adventures 1 & 2.

The Music I like are anime piano music and some piano pieces. This includes: Animes like Attack on titan's Vogel Im Kafig and pieces like Yann Tiersen's comptine d'un autre ete.



Should I get the 2019 Kawai CN39 with arguably the best plastic action (RHIII) in the market? (chose CN39 because of Bluetooth audio which I could definitely see myself using)
or should I wait for the new model that may be released in 2021-2022? (based on past trends they release a new model every 2-3 years)

I have considered to get the all-new 2021 Roland FP30X but I heard a lot of good things about Kawai about Quality and Sound so I'm leaning more towards Kawai pianos now.

Money and space are a little tight but manageable. (I've heard people saying to buy the best piano you can afford)

The prices are converted from my currency:

Kawai CN39: USD$2025

Also, does anybody have any inside info/rough idea when will the new CN39 successor model be released? This year or next year?

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I would get a slab piano to start with as an adult beginner. Who knows where you might be in a few years. Plus time after time beginners like yourself quit the piano after a short time after learning that it is actually hard to learn to play the instrument. A slab is easier to sell or store away a pull out if you want to try the piano again. Now saying all of that I hope you love piano so much you will practice at least 1/2hour every day.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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If you're obsessed with freshness, Kawai KDP120 is the most fresh these days smile
I don't think the CN39 is awfully stale, isn't high on the refreshment list, and I think it is a very good DP for the money.

> arguably the best plastic action (RHIII) in the market
Subjectively I'd award this title to Roland PHA50 / HG or maybe Casio GP, but they are pricier.
The CA49 with wooden action doesn't cost much more than the CN39, I'd suggest you to try them both. But the CA49 has a slimmed down list of "features" - if you care for them check the CA59.

> Bluetooth audio which I could definitely see myself using
Don't count on BT headphones - they have too much latency for piano, min 40 ms but often 200 ms. Okay if you want BT audio input for a backing track or rhythm.

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The CN39 is not too old (2019), and considering the problematic year 2020 (for the pandemic) I don't see so soon a refresh of the series... I think we could have a new series at the middle or the end of the the 2022.

CN29 and 49 are 2 alternatives. But IMHO the CA49 is too pricey for its features (~$900 more, just to get a wooden "compact" keyboard, compared to a CN29? Naah... IMHO not a good deal...). The CN29 lacks various connectivity options, has a smaller max polyphony, lacks BT Audio, USB to device, various Virtual Technician options, lacks the SK-5 piano sound and tons of other secondary sounds, compared to the CN39. But the CN29 is good if you want just to power-on and play with a nice piano sound and you don't need to record your performance on USB.

The KDP-120 looks like a cheap alternative to the CN29, but it has just a single piano sound (+ 2 variations) and a lighter keyboard action.

If it were me, I would buy "now" an MP7SE + 3 pedals accessory (and maybe a couple of decent monitor speakers). With accessories you would pay a litte more than a CN39, but, overall, you would get a more versatile and more powerful instrument that will satisfy you for more years, especially if you like to fiddle with the options, mix sounds, customize sounds, etc...

If you can wait 1 year, maybe you could get a nice discount on the CN39 when its successor is about to be released on the market... But personally I wouldn't be able to wait 1 year (and it could even be more than 1 year...)! laugh

Last edited by magicpiano; 05/14/21 11:56 AM.
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Yes, i have been practising around 45-1hr + everyday but these days I'm feeling a little demotivated as the Yamaha DGX just doesn't cut it anymore.. (feels so fake,toyish and plasticky) @FPW

Anyways @sem i have tried the CN39 and was actually pretty impressed with it. Was blown away by the 4 way Onkyo speaker system.
I doubt i would want to pay for something beyond the CN39 as my budget doesn't really permit it... I have actually also tried the KDP 120 instore but it was really underwhelming as to the speaker/piano sounds and the functionality in general. I quite liked the matte finish on the keys better than the CN39 tho.

@magicpiano me too, my fingers are really itching to play a real DP with weighted keys and decently sounding piano tones... I doubt i can wait a year but oh wells i guess good things comes to those who wait? Lmao.
Personally i am not really a fan of the slab of piano like the MP7SE. Yep, if I were to wait 1 year, I would most likely check the price of the CN39 and if it really has huge discounts i would pick that over the new model. Anyways thanks for the advice mate .

Last edited by Newbie99; 05/14/21 02:38 PM.
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Congrats on the practicing time! Good luck in your search for a DP in this darn pandemic.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Responding here as I suspect this will be more of an active thread than the one in he Piano forum.

It’s not perfectly clear to me whether you are entertaining other models or really very specifically interested in CN39 now, vs waiting for the new model. I do not have a great deal of insight into the latter question, although I guess my opinion is that you are already feeling unsatisfied with your keyboard, so my recommendation would be that you should get something that you will enjoy a lot more, as soon as you can make a good determination about your next piano.

With regard to piano actions being ‘most realistic,’ I think this is somewhat subjective. For me, I found a great deal of difference between plastic keys vs keys that were wood. Even though you are a beginner, I think your preferences about DP piano actions are very valid, and you should play several and decide what you like. Instead of the Roland fp 30X, I might look at the fp 90x (which is a slab, but I think the stand is quite nice looking). This piano has wooden sides on the keys. The Roland fp 702 is a very nice cabinet piano, and I think it is in your budget. It has plastic keys (the 704 is the next step up and has wooden keys). The Yamaha p515 is another slab piano with wooden keys. Again, I think with the stand, it looks very nice.

With regard to the learning features, I don’t have personal experience with this. The Yamaha CSP series is marketed toward this function. It is definitely above your budget, and I’m not sure if there are other options within your budget that offer similar capabilities (I also don’t know how helpful these features really are to beginning students).

I hope this gives you a few ideas. From my perspective, I definitely thought that the wood keys of my clp745 were very much worth the value above the plastic keys of the clp 735. I haven’t played the Yamaha p515, but I would definitely try to play one, as it is in your budget. I would also look at other Roland models. Good luck!

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That's great about your practicing. You should consider getting lessons, even if only once or twice a month. There's a lot to learn, and some things like learning to read music, you could get quite a bit of help online, and other things, like finger posture, you really need a teacher. It's also enormously helpful for keeping your practice time structured and focused!

Sounds like you don't like slabs as much. I would suggest however looking at the Kawai ES920. It's 'fresh', many people are still having trouble buying one, and the ES920 has almost all the same features. Kawai has a comparison between models choice, here's the comparison between the es920 and the cn39:
Comparison chart of Kawai CN39 and ES920

Looking thru it I see they both have the same action

- they both have 40 watts for their amps, but the CN39 also has two 'bass' speakers sharing those 40 watts and has a different placement of speakers, so the built-in speakers will sound different. I like the sound on my ES920 a lot, but I do supplement it with an 8" speaker to fill out the low end, it makes a considerable difference in the fullness of the sound.

- the CN39 has 355 voices vs 38 on the ES920. I suspect that the CN 39 also has only 38 primary voices, and the rest are Kawais version of the GM2 sounds (usually not as high a quality as the primary sounds, but helpful if you need them). I really wish they'd done this with the ES920

- the CN39 only has rhythms, whereas the ES920 has Styles, which are rhythm + bass line + added accompaniment like guitar riffs. This is very well implemented on the ES920, so you have a super easy to use auto accompaniment section that makes it easy to learn different kinds of music by creating a backing band. For a beginner this is a killer feature

- the CN apparently has a lot more lessons and demo songs on offer

- the ES920 weighs only 37.5 pounds, which is about as light as weighted action boards come that have a good action. Meaning you can take it to jam sessions with friends or family and not need two people to move the keyboard.

In general, for people who are beginners, I always recommend buying as cheaply as possible, including used. What you'll learn within 1-2 years might make you wishing for a better keyboard.

But not so with these two. I would think you'd get 3-4 years if not longer out of either of these keyboards, given the quality of the action, the sounds, the built-in speakers.

In the states, the price difference btw the ES920 ($1599) and the CN39 ($2699) would constitute a buying decision, but perhaps the money is not as much of an issue for you. Aside from the looks and the dust cover (very helpful for longevity of any keybed), the ES920 is the more cost-effective option, but if you really liked the sound of the speakers, the nod goes to the CN39. I would suggest however that if you already have an 8" or larger speaker around, you could simply use the line outs of the ES920 and voila, a wonderfully large and articulate sound, for over $1,000 less.


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Well, you told us you weren't fussed on slabs. Nice to know people lignore you. The CN39 is a well respected piano with nice sounds. I think you'd love it and should get it. There should be nothing you can't play on that. These and others, aren't always easy to get hold of these days.


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I've compared the specs of my CN33 with the KDP120. The specification of the KDP120 is an improvement in many ways from the CN33.

On 10th Oct 2010 I paid £1299 for my CN33 piano, the KDP120 is priced at £849, almost half the price I paid. Perhaps an illustration of the devaluation of Digital Pianos? Now the CN39 is priced at £1289, almost the same price I paid 11 years ago. But as I'm still at the "trying to hit the right note at the right time" stage of my playing it might be more economical to just Keep calm and Carry on until I win the Lottery.

Something to be aware of before forking out your loot.

Last edited by bluebilly; 05/15/21 07:22 AM.
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The rule of thumb is to wait because there’s always something new(er) lurking ‘round the bend.

I’ve been waiting for a long time, and now that the NV-20 is ‘round the bend, I’ve decided to wait some more because if the NV-20 is good just imagine how much better the NV-30 will be....and then the NV-40, and.............

I’ll be waitin’ and waitin’ and then waitin’ some more.
If I die waitin’ ‘round the bend, I will happily go to heaven and wait some more.

For you see, reincarnation is not for the faint of heart but for those like me, who don’t mind waitin’ even if it means waitin’ for the sake of waitin’!

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Originally Posted by bluebilly
I've compared the specs of my CN33 with the KDP120. The specification of the KDP120 is an improvement in many ways from the CN33.

On 10th Oct 2010 I paid £1299 for my CN33 piano, the KDP120 is priced at £849, almost half the price I paid. Perhaps an illustration of the devaluation of Digital Pianos? Now the CN39 is priced at £1289, almost the same price I paid 11 years ago. But as I'm still at the "trying to hit the right note at the right time" stage of my playing it might be more economical to just Keep calm and Carry on until I win the Lottery.

Something to be aware of before forking out your loot.
IMHO the KDP-120 would not be a great improvement compared to your CN33. The only significative difference is the main piano sound: EX in the CN33, SK-EX in the KDP-120. But with the KDP-120 you cannot have anymore the EX sound patch (and that could be very annoying if you like the EX piano sound more than the SK-EX one). I think that until you get at least a CA59 (or an ES920, if you don't mind it's a slab DP), it's better to stay with your old DP.

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Are you saying he should wait?

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It sounds as though you REALLY want a new piano right away, yes?
Originally Posted by Newbie99
Yes, i have been practising around 45-1hr + everyday but these days I'm feeling a little demotivated as the Yamaha DGX just doesn't cut it anymore.. (feels so fake,toyish and plasticky)

My fingers are really itching to play a real DP with weighted keys and decently sounding piano tones... I doubt i can wait a year but oh wells i guess good things comes to those who wait?
Ordinarily I'm not keen about waiting for the new model. Because:
1. You don't know when that model will arrive. It's usually many months between a new product announcement and the eventual availability in shops.
2. You're likely able to get a better price on the old model when the new model is announced.

But today many pianos are out-of-stock. The shortage is global.
So in many (most?) cases you'll have to wait for a piano ... sometimes for many months ... because it's just not immediately available.

Also, I suspect that new model introductions have slowed because of covid. NAMM shows (where new products are announced and displayed) have been cancelled.

As a result, my usual thinking (1 and 2, above) might not apply these days.

And, given that you currently have a low-end piano, most anything in the CN series will be an satisfying improvement. So I say go for it. If you can find a piano you like, buy it.

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Originally Posted by Pete14
Are you saying he should wait?
Yes, IMHO he should wait if he wants to get a brand new (but much better than his CN33) cabinet-style DP at a good price. Or he could try to win the lottery now.

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If you are beginner, I would recommend YDP-164 or KDP-120.

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Originally Posted by peterws
Well, you told us you weren't fussed on slabs. Nice to know people lignore you. The CN39 is a well respected piano with nice sounds. I think you'd love it and should get it. There should be nothing you can't play on that. These and others, aren't always easy to get hold of these days.

Being that your post came right after mine, I assume you were talking about my post, the quip saying, "Nice to know people ignore you"

That's just rude. Spent a good little bit of time researching and composing that post, and the OP was originally considering the fp-30x, a slab. I gave a lot of useful information, like how mostly similar the ES920 is to the CN39, so it'd be a viable alternative, but considerably cheaper. And like others offering their opinions, mine clearly falls in the category of, 'Buy inexpensively for your first board if possible'.

I have spent way too much time on this forum helping people out with buying decisions, so posts like yours is a further encouragement to spend my time with other pursuits.

Last edited by Randyman; 05/15/21 05:18 PM.

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Thank you all for your kind replies, this community is really friendly and helpful.

@sgisela, I guess I would do more research and see if the wooden keys are worth the extra $$ as the pianos that have wooden keys goes beyond the $3000 range and its kinda out of my budget. Anyways, I saw ppl complaining that the Roland HP 704 (idk if it applies to whole HP series) had sound distortion/muffled when the volume passed a certain threshold, which subsequently caused an ingenuine music experience. IDK how true is this off youtube, when Merriam Music was showcasing the HP704.

In this case, i would take a look at what Yamaha has to offer too, albeit they are overpriced due to them having a market monopoly here.


@Randyman, I don't exactly know what is the price of the ES920 here. However, i am certain that the price difference vs CN39 isn't huge like what you are experiencing over in the States (~$1000).
This is because the CN29 is priced ($1880) as compared to the CN39 at ($2030) here. Idk why the difference is so negligible here given that there are huge differences between the 2 models.

Also, I might heed your advice and look for a piano teacher (once/2 weeks) which would probably aid my learning even more as i believe this is a long term thing given that I have been wanting to learn how to play since young. (that said they're a lil costly, so i guess i better start working lol)

@petews @MacMacMac @pete14, well thanks for your input and insights but i guess i will wait just a lil longer.... before taking the plunge. (even though I'm still heavily favouring kawai since they only make pianos and not any other products)

After all that said, how many years can a digital piano of this calibre last? especially the keybed etc. (~$2000/CN39)
I have heard from an employee of Kawai that the lower range model slabs like Roland FP30X only last for ~5 years before the keys start getting wonky and feels a little different from when its new.
He also said the CN39 could last around ~8-10years before the keys and the digital parts in it gets wonky.

Last edited by Newbie99; 05/16/21 02:28 AM.
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I played the CN29/39 and CA79 last year when I eventually bought the CA79.

Personally, I wouldn't wait for an updated CN39 as it's only been out a short while - although I was able to afford the CA79, if I wasn't able to stretch to it, I would have happily bought the CN39. smile

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Originally Posted by Newbie99
After all that said, how many years can a digital piano of this calibre last? especially the keybed etc. (~$2000/CN39)
I have heard from an employee of Kawai that the lower range model slabs like Roland FP30X only last for ~5 years before the keys start getting wonky and feels a little different from when its new.
He also said the CN39 could last around ~8-10years before the keys and the digital parts in it gets wonky.

I had a Kawai CN27 I think i was; bought in 2002 or thereabouts, the keys lasted well, but were kinda rattly from the word go. It was, however, very nice to play and the keys gave no trouble.
I also had the FP50 which has the same keyboard under a different name. It was quiet and never got less quiet. my Granddaughters have it 5 years later and it's still the same. Rolands are very reliable.
So worry not!
However, if you don't buy soon, there may be nothing left to buy . ..


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