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Joined: Jul 2021
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BennyY Offline OP
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Hi all, I have been playing on a Yamaha keyboard for 3 years. Recently, I started learning from online piano courses that teaches proper fingering and music theory. My aim is to learn some proper piano techniques to play some classical pieces, like gymnopedie / chopin.

I have tried the following usual recommendations but having a dilemma on which to choose. I have written my experience with trying them and hoping someone can give me some suggestions.

1. Yamaha P125
- keys seem heavy?
- I was trying the unit while standing. The shop doesn't have a stool, probably because of COVID?
- The piano was below my waist. I had to bend a little and the arms are not parallel to the piano.
- Unsure if the keys are naturally heavy or if it was due to the fact that I am standing?

2. Roland FP10 / 30X
- FP10 keys seem heavier than 30X. I know they both have the PHA4 keybed, but I went through back and forth between them and playing octaves on FP10 is much more fatiguing than on 30X for some unknown reasons. Maybe the FP30X demo unit has more people playing on it and thus much more seasoned? At first, I thought that it might be because other people have changed the sensitivity, but I switched on and off both units and the result is the same. Even the FP60X and 90X actions felt easier to play on vs FP10.
- ok with FP30X

3. Kawai ES110
- lightest action of the three.
- easy to play for someone without prior experience to weighted keys
- 50% more expensive vs yamaha and roland. (I guess due to import taxes?)


Out of the three, I would love to purchase the ES110 for its lighter action. I feel that it is easier for me to transit to piano and less fatiguing vs the other two. The ES110 also seems more responsive. But the price point vs the rest got me to rethink. Second on my choice is either the FP30X or P125. I am unsure if the keys on FP30X would be fatigue after say 30 minutes of practicing. I only tried playing some random short pieces for 10 minutes or so. Can someone enlighten me if the FP30X is suitable for a beginner, I have read that the PHA4 is harder for beginners? And why the FP10 is heavier than FP30X? As for the P125, I would need to find some time to head to another Yamaha official store and try again. I am currently leaning towards it for its price and sound but the keys seem heavy vs FP30X.


TLDR
- keyboard player transiting/learning piano proper
- tried P125, FP 10/30X, ES110
- action preference: ES110 > FP30X > P125
- sound preference: none; all three sounded good. If I have to choose one, it might be the yamaha sound, cause I am more familiar with it
- price (lowest to highest): P125 > FP30X > ES110
- would love to get ES110 but cannot justify the additional price vs other brands for it's light action (is the extra costs for lighter action worth it?)
- currently considering either P125/FP30X

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by BennyY; 08/01/21 07:18 AM.
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Other costs to consider
- stand
- bench
- pedals

Kawai comes with a good sustain pedal, the others apparently with some rectangular plastic boxes that have nothing to do with a piano's sustain pedal. Proper ones could cost ~50 USD/EUR.

The other two pedals are not that important. But all three models have an optional triple pedal available which then also requires their model specific stand. (And those prices may vary.)

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BennyY Offline OP
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Other costs to consider
- stand
- bench
- pedals

Kawai comes with a good sustain pedal, the others apparently with some rectangular plastic boxes that have nothing to do with a piano's sustain pedal. Proper ones could cost ~50 USD/EUR.

The other two pedals are not that important. But all three models have an optional triple pedal available which then also requires their model specific stand. (And those prices may vary.)

Thanks. I have forgotten to add on one thing, the Kawai ES110 comes with a free headphone (not sure the model). If we factored in just the stand without then bench, the ES110 (stand w free headphone) would cost ~300-400 USD more vs P125 and Roland with stand. I lived in Asia, probably the US import tax are higher. This is one main factor why I have not been able to talk myself out to buy the ES110 frown

Last edited by BennyY; 08/01/21 08:06 AM.
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Hello,

Some 'staccato' thoughts:

-> The P-125 shouldn't feel heavy, because it isn't. The quality of the action, though, is the lowest of the pianos you consider.

-> FP-10 and FP-30X should feel the same. Your perceived difference can be from touch setting (I'm not sure whether off/on resets this) or even more likely from the differences in sound generators, amplifiers and speakers between these two models. I use the FP-10, and yes it is the heaviest of your considered models. It is fine for me, yet it does fatigue and challenge, particularly when the player's technique is off. The build quality is decent and the PHA-4 action is relatively quiet.

-> The ES-110 is a very nice package overall. The included pedal that @clothearednincompo also mentions, is excellent. If you like this piano best, then that is your best pick. The action is somewhat noisier than the PHA-4 but is said to give nice control. Maybe research prices a bit further, the differences shouldn't be that large as far as I know.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ

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Two different piano models with the "same" action often feel quite different. The actions are NOT the same.
The manufacturer might call them by the same name, but they introduce some differences and the pianos feel different.
Is this simply marketing-induced product differentiation? Dunno.

This might be universal ... but I've especially noticed this in the mid-range keyboards.

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Well you can try and take a look at this... then check it out again at the store
31:27 - Sympathetic Resonance Discussion


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Try making the store an offer for the piano you like best.


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BennyY Offline OP
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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

Some 'staccato' thoughts:

-> The P-125 shouldn't feel heavy, because it isn't. The quality of the action, though, is the lowest of the pianos you consider.

-> FP-10 and FP-30X should feel the same. Your perceived difference can be from touch setting (I'm not sure whether off/on resets this) or even more likely from the differences in sound generators, amplifiers and speakers between these two models. I use the FP-10, and yes it is the heaviest of your considered models. It is fine for me, yet it does fatigue and challenge, particularly when the player's technique is off. The build quality is decent and the PHA-4 action is relatively quiet.

-> The ES-110 is a very nice package overall. The included pedal that @clothearednincompo also mentions, is excellent. If you like this piano best, then that is your best pick. The action is somewhat noisier than the PHA-4 but is said to give nice control. Maybe research prices a bit further, the differences shouldn't be that large as far as I know.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ

Thanks for the advice! Yeah, I thought so too that the P-125 action shouldn't be heavy. I really need to give the P-125 another try and do a final decision. Well, the store that was selling ES110 was charging additional for stand and triple pedal. The standalone product already cost at least 30% more. ://


Originally Posted by josh_sounds
Well you can try and take a look at this... then check it out again at the store
31:27 - Sympathetic Resonance Discussion

Thanks, will watch the video review and do more research!

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Hello,

@BennyY, You're welcome.

I'd like to suggest that the quality of the piano and the connection/satisfaction you feel playing it are way more important than the 'furniture' stand and (possibly) the three pedal units.

The ES110 does include an excellent sustain pedal (the important one), the Yamaha doesn't and thus requires a separate purchase.

For a stand, there are more affordable options, e.g. I use the Stagg MXS-A1 which is sturdy, stable, and cheap.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ


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