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Joined: Sep 2006
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Hi all,

I am thinking about buying a digital grand piano and found few affordable ones:
- Kohler KD-150
http://www.pianosuperstore.us/store...t_info&cPath=4_11&products_id=99

- Pearl River GE-119P
http://www.pearlriverusa.com/digital_designer.html

- Valdesta Concerto 1000
http://www.music123.com/Search/Default.aspx?N=64&Ntt=valdesta

- River RG-145
http://www.pianosuperstore.us/store...t_info&cPath=4_11&products_id=12

- K. River KD-145
http://www.pianosuperstore.us/store..._info&cPath=4_11&products_id=105

Any experience or advise on which to choose? Any help or advise will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

William

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Why grand?

Frankly, I personally don't see the point of a grand digital at all. They sound no better nor look better than the uprights in comparable price range. They just take up more space. Maybe it's just me.

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Re the Kohler, I think that they're still spec'd with a 10" woofer and include samples of a Steinway grand. That woofer is large enough to accurately reproduce A1, which I think comes in at c.27.5KHz.

With any digital grand, it's a good idea to play it, to see if you like - or at least can live with - its action. (The way that its keys feel to you.)

Kohlers are spec'd with Fatar actions. That "TP" = Fatar. In the past Fatar actions did not have a stellar reputation for quality control. I don't know the situation now.

The Valdesta is also spec'd with a Fatar, but it's a different model. Their advertising used to include the info that it mimiced a concert grand. I played one briefly, three or four years ago. The downpressure required was at least twice that of my Yamaha P80. The keys did have a rapid return, tho;-) Valdesta didn't make it in the states, and it's being closed out by an e-tailer. In itself that's neither good nor bad, but included piano samples have been improving and the ones in that Valdesta may be outdated.

River makes distinctly entry-level acoustics. Because there are so many other choices available, I tend to place them last on the list of pianos to audition.

Pearl River is an interesting dark horse. Their acoustic instruments are considered to be entry level but improving rapidly. And the digitals come with a three-year warranty. The bass speakers are only 7", so the lowest notes will not be as full as they should be. As always, it's best to play one.

I play a Bachmann digital grand and like the way that the speakers radiate sound. Its woofers are 8", and it doubles nicely as a stereo.

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The guy at the piano store told me that Kohler digitals used Korg electronics (displays, GM sounds, etc). Can anyone verify this??


Kawai CP175
Korg Karma 2.0 (w/EXB-PCM06/07 Orchestral Collection - FOR SALE)
Roland RD700sx
Late 1960's era Wurlitzer acoustic upright
Early 1980's Kohler and Cambell Professional studio upright
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KBlair, Yes, the guy at the piano store told me that Kohler Digitals used Korg electronics. I tested it out, and I think that the action is similar to the Digital Grand Kawai that costs twice as much.

FogVilleLad, which Bachmann digital grand that you are referring to? What is the price range?

I am planning to visit a Pearl River retailer over the weekend and test it out. They said that Pearl River is partly owned by Yamaha, and it is cheaper than Kohler.

So do you think Kohler might be the best available choices in the reasonably priced digital grand?

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Bullishbil,

Depending on which kohler digital you are looking at would dictate the electronics. The Kohler KD-140r uses the Korg SP-200 sound engine, which is a rather olders sound engine. Almost 10 years to be exact. The KD-140 is esthetically beautiful, but is older technology. The KD-150's and KD-160's by Kohler uses the Triton sound engine by Korg, which is a new technology, but esthetically these pianos are not as nice as the KD-140r IMHO.

River digital grands which we carry as well have the same esthetics as the KD-140's by Kohler, but a newer sound engine in them by Yamaha.

thanks

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I have a GRPT 140. I think that that model still shows on GEM's European site, but has been replaced for shipments to the U.S. The 140 has a Detoa action for an acoustic upright. The guy I bought it from said that the retail was c.$7k. The new model is c.$12k.

The Kohler would be the most interesting for me, because I like a rich bass. That said, it's always tone, touch, appearance - to your ears and your fingers and your eyes. We often react differently on different days. I hope that you'll have time to do a second A/B of the Kohler and the Kawai, concentrating on the feel of their actions. Kawai's action is a premier one. If the Kohler holds up well to your fingers, that's a good sign.

The KD 140\'s can be had for $3500 on eBay. They're being closed out and have been replaced by the 150's and 160's which Terry Wilson mentioned.

The Pearl is an attractive dark horse. Its bass speakers are a little small - tho still a little larger than those spec'd on Clavinovas - and you could add a powered woofer later. I like that they come with a three year guarantee. The model you linked to also has a distinctive cabinet and what appears to be a music desk which is similar to that on the GRPT. It'll most likely be flat against cabinet and when you raise it, a prop will flip out from down side, resulting in the appearance which is shown of their site.

The River is new, and their acoustics are considered to be very much entry level.

BTW, the touch settings on digitals - certainly on Yamahas - are a clever psycho-acoustic illusion. What happens is that as you increase the touch setting, the lower numbered MIDI messages are cut off. So, you have to press harder to get any sound at all and the dynamic range is reduced. The different settings are also filtered, which changes the tone. If you want to really use your digital as a piano, the lightest touch setting will give you the widest dynamic range.

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All the digital grands look good, its the uprights
I don't like..they look like all the cabinets came from the same manufacturer...go with grand
make space for it..it'll look great in your living room..the uprights look like kids toy pianos Bob

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I finally was able to test out the Pearl River and Kohler one after another. The Kohler is by far a much better and a closer feel to acoustic grand. The Pearl River is a disappointment, the cabinet looks bad, the electronics are similar to Suzuki, which is a low end stuff.

I think we'll get the Kohler KD-150, as soon as we can negotiate a good price for it!

Thanks for all the advice here...

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I know this discussion is old news by now, but I just stumbled on it. I bought a Kohler KD160 about 4 years ago and have been very happy with it. Did you finally acquire a KD150 (or equivalent)? Happy with it?


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