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Joined: Apr 2020
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Hello PianoWorld folks,
I have been in love of piano since I was young boy listening to classic composers like Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, and have always dreamed to be able to play those musical pieces for my own enjoyment.
But due to life I was unable to, and now things have been settled down, the desire to play piano is still very strong, I'm now looking for a digital piano which fits some criterias below:

1/ My end goal will be able to play Chopin's Grand Valse Brilliance, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and some of Debussy.
2/ I'm mostly interested in the piano sound.
3/ My budget is in $1000-$3000 range.
4/ Slab or Cabinet is fine, I live in a small house, and the piano will be mostly pernamently placed.

And also could anyone point me to a course learn piano, I don't live in the city so finding a piano teacher is impossible.

Thank you.

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Stabs:

- Yamaha P515
. pros: sturdy built, wooden action (quite heavy), very good midi/audio/USB connectivity, internal 16 tracks sequencer, USB wav recording (no overdub), Bluetooth
. cons: “muddy” basses, “glassy” midrange, the action can be perceived as “fatiguing” , only drum accompaniment (styles can be accessed through the dedicated app), not exceptional speakers

Kawai ES920
. pros: very nice sound, decent midrange, mp3/wav non destructive overdubbing USB recording, Bluetooth, nice rhythm section with styles, very good Onkyo speakers, very light and transportable.
. cons: plastic built, lacks audio over USB, only 2 tracks sequencer, can produce buzzes when played with certain sounds/volumes (maybe the fact it is made of very thin plastic), very light action (could be a pro or a con…) that in the past presented some quality issues

Roland FP90x
. pros: sound engine based on hybrid between samples and modelling (if you like the sound), bright sound, very good connectivity, good UI, new very powerful sound engine chips, great amount of internal sounds, very good action, good speakers
. cons: even if the new sound engine (pure acoustic instead of supernatural) has allegedly improved the modelling, the sound is still a little “metallic”.

Korg SV2
. pros: extremely nice, a true piece of neo-vintage design, incredibly good UI (no menus-sub menus, all the parameters are at the touch of your fingers through encoders), good EPs
. cons: acoustic pianos just meh, very low volume through headphones

Dexibell: I don’t know these pianos, I have heard quite nice acoustic piano sounds in the YouTube Demos

Casio P3100 (not tested personally)
. pros very elegant and extremely slim, decent sounds
. cons: the famous (or infamous) “feature” of black keys sensibly lighter than white keys, limited connectivity and recording capabilities

Cabinets (I have very much less experience on these):

Kawai CN39: it is very similar to the Kawai ES520, so the engine is progressive harmonic imaging and not harmonic imaging XL (which is better). It has a light action (plastic), a 16 tracks sequencer and non destructive overdubbing recording over usb stick, a lot of internal sounds (more than 300), Onkyo speakers

Kawai CA49: better action (wooden), same sound engine, less parameters that can be adjusted, less sounds (19)

Yamaha: Arius or Clavinovas, I am no expert of these models

Korg: don’t know

Roland: don’t know

Dexibell: Vivo H1

Casio: don’t know (Celviano?)

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Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
I'm now looking for a digital piano which fits some criterias below:

1/ My end goal will be able to play Chopin's Grand Valse Brilliance, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and some of Debussy.

This is ambitious but I doubt this will happen on a digital piano...

Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
And also could anyone point me to a course learn piano, I don't live in the city so finding a piano teacher is impossible.

...and especially not without a teacher.


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I'd add the Kawai MP11SE to the consideration set because of the quality of the action, with the caveat that it does not have on-board speakers. So you'd have to either use headphones or connect it to a nice pair of speakers. I'm considering upgrading to it from my current Yamaha P-125 for silent practice.

As for whether or not the sound is good, that's a subjective decision and you should try to at least listen to the models being played on YouTube (with headphones). Ideally, go see them in person, but that's not always possible. For example: I don't like the Roland sound in general, find Kawai OK, and prefer Yamaha among these there. But other people think differently.


Talão

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My piano journey
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
I'm now looking for a digital piano which fits some criterias below:

1/ My end goal will be able to play Chopin's Grand Valse Brilliance, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and some of Debussy.

This is ambitious but I doubt this will happen on a digital piano...

Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
And also could anyone point me to a course learn piano, I don't live in the city so finding a piano teacher is impossible.

...and especially not without a teacher.

I learned Moonlight sonata on a digital piano without a teacher.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

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Originally Posted by Talão
I'd add the Kawai MP11SE to the consideration set because of the quality of the action, with the caveat that it does not have on-board speakers. So you'd have to either use headphones or connect it to a nice pair of speakers. I'm considering upgrading to it from my current Yamaha P-125 for silent practice.

As for whether or not the sound is good, that's a subjective decision and you should try to at least listen to the models being played on YouTube (with headphones). Ideally, go see them in person, but that's not always possible. For example: I don't like the Roland sound in general, find Kawai OK, and prefer Yamaha among these there. But other people think differently.

Hi, thank you for your help, Kawai is almost none existent from where I live, retailers only stock grand and hybrid piano so finding one in portable is impossible.
I have to ask how long till I will grow out of P-125? I have a great price for one about 700$ with full pedal and cabinet, I was trying to find P-515 but none available.

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Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
I have to ask how long till I will grow out of P-125? I have a great price for one about 700$ with full pedal and cabinet, I was trying to find P-515 but none available.

it should last you a while - still good enough for jimin park


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If you know there is a P125 available in your area, keep it in mind in case you cannot find any other better models. Worst case, a P125 gets you in the game, now, something to start on and progress for a year or 2 while saving money either for your first upgrade ..... or paying physical therapists to keep your joints & tendons in working order 😉

For sake of discussion, if you were to buy, today, the best Grand Piano on the face of the Earth .... and Mars too .... conservatively speaking you are a good few years away from starting to practice, learn & play the Chopin/Beethoven/Debussy pieces you are striving for ..... meanwhile, some other models in your stated price range:


- Yamaha CLP 725/735, and YDP-184;
- Casio AP710 and PX870;
- Korg G1B “air”.

Good luck!


- Kawai MP7 and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
- DT770 Pro-80 and MDR-7506 phones
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Originally Posted by drewr
If you know there is a P125 available in your area, keep it in mind in case you cannot find any other better models. Worst case, a P125 gets you in the game, now, something to start on and progress for a year or 2 while saving money either for your first upgrade ..... or paying physical therapists to keep your joints & tendons in working order 😉

For sake of discussion, if you were to buy, today, the best Grand Piano on the face of the Earth .... and Mars too .... conservatively speaking you are a good few years away from starting to practice, learn & play the Chopin/Beethoven/Debussy pieces you are striving for ..... meanwhile, some other models in your stated price range:


- Yamaha CLP 725/735, and YDP-184;
- Casio AP710 and PX870;
- Korg G1B “air”.

Good luck!

Thank you,

I can afford N3X but it's not practical right now just starting out, based on everyone's suggests, in the end I went with P-515 with full cabinet and 3-pedals, maybe I can use it for 4 or 5 years before thinking of upgrading.

Again thank you all, and wish everyone good luck on this journey!

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Nhan Zero, you made a great choice with the Yamaha P-515, a proper stand and pedal unit. The Kawai ES920 and Roland FP90X would have been fine as well. Now, don't hang around this forum wondering whether you bought the right piano, as some other beginners do.

Instead, spend some time in the Piano World Adult Beginners Forum reading posts on how to get started right: using the right books, finding a local teacher (or learning online), and actually playing your new piano for an hour or two every day.

Please keep in mind that you have set for yourself ambitious goals and it will take dedication and many years of practice to play any of these pieces. But anything is achievable with the right mindset and training. Seek to improve a little every day and don't get discouraged!

For reference only, I learned the piano for over 10 years as a child, with three in-person lessons a week, completing several British exams and performing at numerous recitals. I returned to the piano a few years ago, after many decades away, and it has been one of the best decisions I've made in retirement.

Best wishes for a long and happy journey with your piano!

Lotus
___________________________________________
Last piece learned: Mozart / Adagio in B minor, K 540
Pianos: Kawai GM-10 grand, Yamaha DGX-660 digital

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Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
And also could anyone point me to a course learn piano, I don't live in the city so finding a piano teacher is impossible.
I take lessons on zoom through the local community college, many institutions are offering that now because the campus is restricted or closed. That's a nice option because you get a high quality teacher but the cost can be pretty reasonable depending on how much education is subsidized in your area. I've come to prefer lessons online, the teachers are getting better video and audio setups, and I don't have to spend time driving or looking for parking.

Nice choice on the piano, I had a P90 for many years before I bought an acoustic. The P90 is probably your piano's great great grandfather.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
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Originally Posted by JoeT
Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
I'm now looking for a digital piano which fits some criterias below:

1/ My end goal will be able to play Chopin's Grand Valse Brilliance, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and some of Debussy.

This is ambitious but I doubt this will happen on a digital piano...

Originally Posted by Nhan Zero
And also could anyone point me to a course learn piano, I don't live in the city so finding a piano teacher is impossible.

...and especially not without a teacher.

Moonlight Sonata is a piece of cake on a Casio PX-xxx and I'm sure tons of other DP's. Get real.


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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Originally Posted by Lotus1
Nhan Zero, you made a great choice with the Yamaha P-515, a proper stand and pedal unit. The Kawai ES920 and Roland FP90X would have been fine as well. Now, don't hang around this forum wondering whether you bought the right piano, as some other beginners do.

Very good advice.


FP-90x, PX-330
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It has finally arrived. Such a beauty!
[img]https://imgur.com/a/ww1r9eG[/img]

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[Linked Image]

Contratulations.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.
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Looks wicked - good luck with your dream

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Originally Posted by drewr
If you know there is a P125 available in your area, keep it in mind in case you cannot find any other better models. Worst case, a P125 gets you in the game, now, something to start on and progress for a year or 2 while saving money either for your first upgrade ..... or paying physical therapists to keep your joints & tendons in working order 😉

Hello!!
Hey Drewr, is the P125 that bad?
Why you said that about tendons / joints?
(I'm a beginer, looking for a digital piano, and one of my options is the Yamaha P125 frown )

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Nahan Zero posted: ‘I can afford N3X but it's not practical right now just starting out, based on everyone's suggests, in the end I went with P-515 with full cabinet and 3-pedals, maybe I can use it for 4 or 5 years before thinking of upgrading.”

Good choice. I went with the p515 with stand, 3 pedal unit and bench and have been using it for 18 months. I practice twice a day and, although I am still a beginner I find the p515 a perfect learning and practice instrument. Going from my instrument to my teacher’s Steinway for my weekly lessons is pretty easy. At my age (70 next week) the 515 is probably all I will ever need although I must admit that I am tempted by the upper level Clavinovas or an Avant Grand, but it’s only because of the neatness factor and not because I expect to “outgrow” the 515 in the foreseeable future.

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Beto_Drummer, p125 is not bad choice at all. I am definitely not a beginner and I am considering it. It is actually quite nice. Of course depends what you are going to use it for and if you need bells and whistles or different tones and sounds. Couple of days ago I went and tried Yamaha P125, Roland RD-2000 and RD-88 (the only ones I could try as everything else on my list is on backorder). I immediately ruled out RD-88 and anything with PHA-4 action for that matter, it is just way to sluggish for me, and I wanted to like FP-30x so bad!!! So, I thought about FP-90X (same action as RD-2000 that I tried) but really did not want to spend that much money and the action was not that much better for me. And then! another store had Yamaha p125. I really liked how it plays! Everybody says it is for beginners only and you will have to change it soon. But I do not think so. Yes, I am thinking about p515 but just because smile I think p125 will be good for me too. Now I have to find it in stock which is difficult because of my location, not many want to ship to an island.

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Originally Posted by beto_drummer
Originally Posted by drewr
If you know there is a P125 available in your area, keep it in mind in case you cannot find any other better models. Worst case, a P125 gets you in the game, now, something to start on and progress for a year or 2 while saving money either for your first upgrade ..... or paying physical therapists to keep your joints & tendons in working order 😉

Hello!!
Hey Drewr, is the P125 that bad?
Why you said that about tendons / joints?
(I'm a beginer, looking for a digital piano, and one of my options is the Yamaha P125 frown )

I was (then) and am now seriously advising OP that the P125 is likely a suitable candidate DP for their present needs.

My remark about paying a PT .... joints & tendons ... was only joking about the way some people worry that a low end model might some how maim a beginner.


- Kawai MP7 and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
- DT770 Pro-80 and MDR-7506 phones
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