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Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to the piano world, just started a couple of months ago. At the store they recommended me a Yamaha P125 digital piano (unfortunately I can't think of an acoustic piano due to space issues), which I'm currently comfortable with being a novice.
Since I've received very conflicting advice in this period, I'd like to ask for some help: Some say that this digital piano will be fine for a few years, others that in two years at the most I should switch to something better, and still others that I should switch immediately to something better to get a more piano-like action.
What do you guys think?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

Last edited by Piano91It; 06/10/21 01:44 AM.
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Hello,

A lot depends on your outlook and intentions in developing your piano skills and playing.

For instance if you like what you have now and only intend to noodle along with some casual playing, nothing too serious, then you're fine for quite some time ahead.

But if you're picking up a serious piano study, with daily practising and a structured lesson/self study approach aiming to progress as much as you can, the P125 (action in particular) doesn't carry you very far. Even more so if you plan on switching to acoustic playing sooner or later.

So again, your intentions are a big factor in finding useful answers to your question.

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

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First off, welcome to the forum.

Originally Posted by Piano91It
Since I've received very conflicting advice in this period,

Well... Again, welcome to the forum. Here you will receive even more conflicting advice. smile

On a serious note, knowing your budget is a starting point for the folks to provide some opinions, and you must bear in mind that those will be only other's personal opinions, yours being the one that will matter the most, at the end of the day.

Did you try P125? Did you like its sound and touch? If affirmative, then you should be OK. Some will say that P125 action (i.e., the mechanical keybed, keys and all the stuff beneath it) is old, it does not feel like an acoustic or upright piano, etc. Likewise, it does not sound like the real thing, yada yada. But no digital at this price point will really sound/feel like a real piano.

At its price point there is Roland FP-10, FP-30X and Kawai ES110 that are often suggested as alternatives. Also some Korgs (B1, C1 D1), that have some users in this forum.

Try them if you can. If budget is higher, say, EU1500(ish), then you will find digitals from these and some other brands.

Casio digitals have not many fans here in this forum, but they also should be considered, if you have the time and opportunity to try them and can find them in the stores (PX360, PX560).

Does it look overwhelming? Well, as I said before, welcome to the forum. smile


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Let's look at this a bit deeper in an attempt to clear things up:

I use a p121 (73 key version of the p125) and an upright acoustic piano daily. On a technical level, the p125 shouldn't actually limit your playing unless you intend to convert to fully acoustic in the future. Even then, you can convert. My finger speed has reached the limits of my upright, but not my p121. The action is actually more capable of speed and controlled dynamics than pretty much every acoustic I've played. It the dirty truth about digital/acoustic piano actions. The biggest downside to the p125 action is its short pivot length. It makes it harder to control the keys when you play near the fall board. A digital with a longer key is likely superior to every acoustic action there is.

The problem for me is when I switch back and forth. I have a hard time for the first 5 minutes......

The only good point about that short pivot is that it actually makes you want to play near the end of the key as much as possible--which is actually the best way to control a key no matter what. I actually rework my fingering when necessary or possible to play near the edge of the keys.

Anyway, I wouldn't expect the p125 to be a real problem and in truth I enjoy playing my acoustic more than my p121, but not because of the action really(though I do enjoy the longer pivot). Really it's the sound. The sound is why I LOVE my acoustic.

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I currently practice every day, taking a structured online course, later I would like to switch to a teacher with private lessons. My idea would be, as space and budget allow, to upgrade to an acoustic piano (perhaps with a silenced module added).

For this I'm trying to figure out if the P125 would somehow hold me back and then it would be better to upgrade to a better model to have an action perhaps more similar to that of an acoustic piano. smile

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So this answer won't make my life any easier. grin

Since, as mentioned, I'm a novice, I'd like to first understand how far the action is from that of a real piano, and thus perhaps how much it might block me from learning.
As for the budget I saw something around 1500, for example Kawai ES920 or Yamaha P515, which certainly have a better action, but I wanted to understand if it is already necessary to make this step.

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I hope in the future to upgrade to an acoustic piano, but in the meantime I am practicing daily on this digital piano.
Clearly the sound will never be that of an acoustic piano, considering that I should switch to a more advanced digital piano right away.
Being that it will be quite some time until I can make the transition to an acoustic piano, I would like to have an action that doesn't hold me back in learning and possibly be as close to that of an acoustic piano as possible.

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i'm a beginner who recently bought my first e piano. i did a lot of research including reading a lot of threads on this forum.

probably the best advice i read was that:

- as EVC2017 said, you will get widely conflicting advice

- any decent weighted hammer action keyboard (which the p125 is) - especially from 'the big 3' (Roland, Kawai, Yamaha) - is ok,

- you will adapt to different actions when you switch pianos,

- acoustic pianos vary widely in their actions too

- it's better to buy something and get started than to go in circles for months and get (what a musician in another forum calls) 'analysis paralysis'

- worrying about good technique (e.g. with a good teacher) is much more important than angsting about keyboard actions when you're getting started.

if you're happy with the p125, i'd say go ahead and get it, and get stuck into practicing. in a few years you'll have a much better idea of what you want in an action and in other features in a keyboard and can upgrade, or not.

good luck and let us know what you end up with

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Originally Posted by Johnny English
The only good point about that short pivot is that it actually makes you want to play near the end of the key as much as possible--which is actually the best way to control a key no matter what. I actually rework my fingering when necessary or possible to play near the edge of the keys.

I can think of at least 2-3 scenarios where, from a pedagogical, technical, and especially physical positioning point of view—I would definitely disagree with this advice.


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Just out of interest why P125 and not simply P45. Are you specifically looking for the "extras" the 125 has over the 45? IOW, if you were to consider some other brand would it need to have things like "rhythms" that the 125 has but the 45 doesn't have?

I recently looked for an "entry" level DP and narrowed it down to Kawai ES110 or Roland FP-10. Eventually buying the latter as most of what I read/saw suggested it would have the most "authentic" (whatever that means? ;-) key action in that price category. Some rate the "GHS" action found in P45/P121/P125 as comparable but many suggest that, in terms of action alone, the Kawai/Roland might be better choices. But if it's the other "bells and whistles" that the 125 has that attract you rather than simply a "good action" then these others maybe won't deliver what you are looking for.

As others have said it would be an idea to name a max budget too as it generally is true for DPs that the more you pay, the better things get.

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Originally Posted by Piano91It
I'd like to first understand how far the action is from that of a real piano, and thus perhaps how much it might block me from learning.
Firstly: by 'real piano' do you mean an upright or a baby grand or a concert grand. All feel different.

The P-125 action is nice and light, closer in weight to a grand piano than most uprights.

I owned a P-125 for 6 months last year - it didn't hold me back in the action department (I've been playing for 35 years). I would recommend you also compare it to the Kawai ES110:
https://www.kawai-global.com/product/es110/

and the Korg LP-380U:
https://www.korg.com/us/products/digitalpianos/lp_380/

I also owned 5 other pianos last year, both acoustics and digitals. The main drawback to the P-125 is it will be replaced shortly by a new model.

Since your budget is around USD $1,500, also compare these models to the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-725.

Last edited by Burkey; 06/10/21 08:42 AM.

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Hello,

@Piano91It, I see several pieces of sound advice in the comments above.

An idea: As you already own the P125 and play it daily, and want to work with a teacher: if you plan to start that for say no more than one or two years from now, I'd say stick with your Yamaha until your teacher can evaluate your level and technique with you, and from there advice you on what (next) action will serve you best.

Which is a long sentence, I hope it makes sense.

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

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This type of question comes up on the board again and again. And I always have a tough time deciding how to answer ... so I usually don't.

But this time I will ... with a simple answer:

1. Buy a cheap keyboard. Use it and learn. If you decide that the piano is not for you, give it up and you've not spent much.
2. If you find that your interest is serious, dump the cheap keyboard and get the best piano you can.

For me, the time span between 1 and 2 was eight years.
But for the next guy it might be just a few months. Decide for yourself.

If you already feel committed to the piano, skip step 1. Just buy the best piano you can.

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I bought the P125 instead of the P45 on the seller's advice, although my interest is more in the action of the instrument and the piano sound (not so much that of other sounds).

The seller deals mainly in Yamaha and recommended this model, I trusted his advice more as I don't have the knowledge or experience to judge and compare the various models.

Right now it's a little hard to judge the budget, because my question is whether I should upgrade to something better or is the P125 action okay. Based on that then I could decide on a budget (I was thinking in case around 1500, but it always depends on the answer).

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Currently I still can't say what kind of piano I will buy in the future, it all depends on the availability of the moment and the space available. Being realistic for the moment I might think about an upright piano in the future.

Looking a bit online I saw that there are so many positive reviews for Kawai ES920, Yamaha P515 and Roland FP90X, all more or less for a budget around 1500. That's why the possible budget fell on this figure.

My question, however, is more about whether or not the switch is necessary at this time.

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Originally Posted by Piano91It
My question, however, is more about whether or not the switch is necessary at this time.
I wouldn't switch unless it's a significant improvement.

And currently I don't see any significant action improvement in any model until you reach that CLP-725 (or perhaps the FP90X):

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/clavinova/clp-725/index.html

Note that Yamaha may put that same 725 action into their next P model that replaces the P-515. If they do it will easily outsell everything else near that $1,500 price point.

Compared to the Roland FP90X it comes down to the sound: a lot of people complain that the Roland modelled sound isn't as realistic as Yamaha's sampled sound - so you really have to trust your own ears and brain on that one.

Of course if you use a VST/synthesizer via USB Audio then that eliminates the sound difference between them.

Last edited by Burkey; 06/10/21 09:10 AM.

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Originally Posted by Piano91It
Currently I still can't say what kind of piano I will buy in the future, it all depends on the availability of the moment and the space available. Being realistic for the moment I might think about an upright piano in the future.

Looking a bit online I saw that there are so many positive reviews for Kawai ES920, Yamaha P515 and Roland FP90X, all more or less for a budget around 1500. That's why the possible budget fell on this figure.

My question, however, is more about whether or not the switch is necessary at this time.

If you have already bought the Yamaha P125, keep it for a while. If you still haven't bought a digital yet, consider the Kawai ES110 as well as the P125.

In addition, consult a teacher before you buy, let him/her play your digital options, and listen to his/her advice about when you should upgrade to a piano with better action.

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Johnny English
The only good point about that short pivot is that it actually makes you want to play near the end of the key as much as possible--which is actually the best way to control a key no matter what. I actually rework my fingering when necessary or possible to play near the edge of the keys.

I can think of at least 2-3 scenarios where, from a pedagogical, technical, and especially physical positioning point of view—I would definitely disagree with this advice.

If you want to argue, please state your argument. In any case, I’m sure most of us could which is why I put the disclaimer in there.

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I don't have time to teach you a free lesson. Just consider the lengths of your fingers, the angle of your wrist and shape (required curvature, based on the situation) of your fingers in various permutations of notes, intervals, and chords of the same hand. Then consider an important element to virtuosity - efficiency of technique and avoiding wasted/unnecessary movement.

Easy example: play a one-handed chromatic scale in octaves quickly, while trying to keep your fingers at the ends of the keys at all times. Then play the same passage again with your fingertips located in the middle of the white keys, which will place them adjacent to the ends of the black keys. The less klutzy, faster, and more efficient answer is obvious.


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Which is exactly why I put in the disclaimer. Thanks for the free lesson lol. God I hope no one reads your crap online. Adjust your attitude.

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