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Hi Graham

Which would be better for use in a small church? We have sound system to put it through for larger congregations but also need an instrument man enough to support singing when there is no techie available for smaller groups.

Roland HP 307
Yamaha CLP 480

Thank you


Reply/ Hi Chris

The Yamaha CLP480 has a heavier, firmer key
touch than the Roland HP307. It feels closer
to playing a real, acoustic piano.

And the CLP480’s sound is richer and more vibrant.

Also, your church will also benefit more from its
larger speakers (2 x 100 watts versus Roland’s
2 x 60 watts). This can make a big difference in
a church hall.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

"Casio PX850 or YDP161?"

Hi Graham,
I am thinking of buying a digital piano and downloaded your report which was very useful. Having considered a lot of things, and trying a few pianos, I had decided on the Yamaha YDP-161 which I thought was a lovely piano.

However I then started reading about the Casio PX850 and it seemed on paper to match the Yamaha in many ways, and better it in some. One of the reviews rated it as the best piano in it’s price bracket, better than the Yamaha. I haven’t had the chance to try the Casio but I wondered whether you have come across the PX850 and whether you have an opinion as to which would be the better piano to buy.

Thanks very much for your help.


Reply/ Hi Toby

They are both nice pianos.

The Yamaha YDP161 has a much nicer tone
than the PX850 though.

The tone of the Yamaha is so much more
richer and fuller than the Casio. The Casio
sounds quite weak in comparison.

What’s more, the Yamaha has a more
natural feel to the keys. The resistance
is slightly heavier and the key touch feels
smoother and more responsive.

I would choose the YDP161 over the PX850
for sure.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Thanks a lot for all your work building up reviews and tech details ! Really helpful and as you say its the touch and sound that is crucial to me too. However in Leeds I can't seem to find a Classenti to try out.
The largest local store stocks Rolands and we tried a few …. the feel and sound of the 302 seemed very good to me (I liked the touch of the ivory keys and felt it more responsive than the 301 however the sales people said it was essentially the same mechanisms with the 302 simply having more clever things to it …( which I do not need). Is he right in this ? The 301 did not have the smooth ivory touch … however.
The feel on the keys was quite sturdy I thought too (on 302 very responsive) compared to all other pianos there (all Rolands) – yet you describe it as being only medium weight – ?? My lack of experience in playing clearly doesn't help !
I am wanting to take up playing through my retirement years – and want the feel and sound of the piano to be inspiring ! However I dont want to pay much more than £1000… unless I can be very much persuaded of its value…
Another query if I may – life times of these pianos ? My partner is hoping it will 'see us out' … would he be right – or is that overly optiistic – I would hope we would be around for another 25 years !
Many thanks

Reply/ Hi Zoe

I doubt you’ll find a Classenti to try out.
They’re only available online.

If you buy one from us you get to try it out
at home for 60 days. Of course we refund
you in full if it’s not for you.

The Roland HP302 is a much nicer piano than
the RP301…

The keys are more responsive. They also feel
firmer and more silky smooth under the fingers.

The sound is also clearer. Slightly richer.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham

Firstly, thank you for making buying digital pianos so much easier for everyone. The free guide is exactly what I needed.
I am going to be a full time student again in 7 months time, and would like to pick up a hobby, so i thought
why not piano!

I am 22, and would just like to ask if one practices say an hour a day, what kind of progress am i likely to make
in 7 months? I know it entirely depends on the individual but out of your experience what would you say?

More importantly, I saw a couple of adverts and customers claiming the pianos were amazing. A friend had bought
classenti cdp1 from yourself and thought it was better than yamahas his brother tried at school. It is priced
around £769 i think.

The dp10 and even dp60 and other dp's by gear4music and the axus pianos are also under £600. Plus they have
full backboards which looks nicer as furniture!

How would you compare the axus pianos and the dps against the cdp1? In terms of sound, touch and what grade
they will take me up to, being a beginner and wanting good value for money what would you recommend?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards


Reply/ Hi Habib

If you practice for an hour a day you should
make good progress…

In 7 months time you might be in a position
to take grade 1 piano. This would involve
playing some simple tunes with both hands.

The Classenti CDP1 is a much nicer piano to
play than the Gear4Music and Axus pianos.

The key touch is firmer and feels closer to
a real piano. The sound is also richer, cleaner
and more piano-like.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

"Can you recommend any pianos that will best meet our criteria?"

Hi Graham,

I have been looking at your site and looking at a huge array of digital pianos and I am now swamped with so much data that the only sensible thing to do is to buy a Yamaha or Roland digital piano. I am not sure if this is the right thing to do or which would be the right piano to buy.

The scenario:-

1. A family with limited piano playing skills but looking to improve. 2 adults and a 7 and 10 year old
2. The digital piano must look good in that my wife thinks of it as a piece of furniture as well as a musical instrument
3. It needs to look similar to a regular piano (as much as possible but 2 above is the real requirement)
4. It needs to sound and feel like a piano – when in piano mode
5. It needs to have plenty of voices – I like to use other instruments, not just the piano
6. Colour would be polished black or maple
7. Price would be less than £1,500 ideally

We have look at/considered:-

1. Yamaha CLP-440C. Very nice, quite expensive and limited voices
2. Yamaha CLP-465GP. Very nice, sounds good, looks great, limited voices and too expensive for our needs
3. Suzuki HG510e (or discontinued version). Very good price, then I read your review of Suzuki and that ended this option

We would consider second hand if it was in very good condition and met the criteria above.

Can you recommend any pianos that you think will best meet our criteria?

Best regards

Reply/ Hi Barry

The Yamaha CLP430 in polished ebony looks
to be the most suitable piano. This costs £1,644.

It meets most of your criteria. Only the limited
voices might be a disappointment for you.

There really is nothing else (in polished ebony)
that’s anywhere near as good around the £1,500 mark.

If you go down in price a bit then there’s the
Classenti CDP2 in polished ebony (£1,245).

This also meets your criteria. But it also has
limited voices.

You can see this piano here:

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

Thank you for the information.

To be honest I'm getting a little lost in the sea of DP buying!!!

We are looking or a good quality DP for the children (5 & 6 yrs) to practise on and for me to start lessons.
Budget between £1000 & £1500.

The children's music teacher has been steering us towards to Yamaha CPL 430

However, we went to our local music store and they recommended the Kawai CA 13.

I don't know and of the technical aspects or either DP's but judging it on the looks (more like a real piano, not lots of buttons on display) and the sound that we heard when it was played
and the feel of the Ivory covered keys I think i preferred the CA 13.

My only concern is because I do not have any experience with Piano's and do not yet play I'm really not sure what I should be looking for!!

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks

Reply/ Hi Elena

I don’t advise spending over £1,000 on a
first piano…

If the children don’t take to it then you are
left with an expensive piano that’s
difficult to sell.

I know you said that you will also be learning
but still, it would be better to go for something
between £500 and £800 initially.

There are plenty of good pianos in that price

In particular I recommend the Broadway B1
and the Classenti CDP1.

The Broadway B1 has a nice, full tone. And
the key touch is fully-weighted. It also
feels nice under the fingers.

The Broadway will take your children up to
grade 5 or 6 (this takes 5-7 years on average).

The Classenti CDP1 is an even better piano.
It feels just like playing an upright piano.

It also has a nicer piano sound. This is
partly due to its larger speakers (30 watts
versus Broadway's 14 watts).

The CDP1 is recommended up to grade 7.

You can read more about them here:

Let me know if you'd like more information.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Dear Graham,

As long as you promise not to be one of those 'pushy or biased sales people' you refer to on page 58!

Seriously, yes, I would be most grateful for your recommendation – thanks.

I'm coming back to the piano, ten years after aborting an attempt to learn to play. I was in a demanding job at that point and just didn't have the time to devote to it (naturally, I wanted to be Lang Lang standard after a couple of months and, funnily enough, it didn't happen). But I always promised myself that when I retired I would come back and start again, only this time I would perhaps not be quite so ambitious. I finished work at the end of June and I am now ready to learn again.

What I want is something that sounds like a reasonable impression of an acoustic upright or grand, so touch and sound, two of the attributes you highlight in your e-book, are very important to me. The piano will sit in a smallish room, so the minimum wattage would be fine, I think. I have no interest in having a display screen or an array of additional sound effects or anything like that and I would be perfectly happy with 64 note polyphony. One thing I would mention, though, is that I am starting the OU course, "Inside Music", soon, so it would be useful to have a piano I can connect easily to my MacBook (Sibelius software is provided as part of the course fee). The only other requirement, as I mentioned in my original message, is the ability to practise and play without torturing the trouble and strife. I can go up to £1,000 (possibly a bit higher at a push for the 'right' instrument).

I confess that my preconceived opinions were leading me towards Yamaha but your excellent e-book has alerted me to other possibilities (I was particularly struck by the Classenti options).

Forgive me for banging on a bit – if you have nodded off already I fully understand – but I thought it would be helpful to give you as much information as possible to enable you to make the best recommendations. Thanks again for your kind help, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Reply/ Hi Rick

I didn’t nod off… it was interesting reading what
you had to say.

There are several decent digital pianos around the £1,000
mark I can confidently recommend.

Here is a short list:

Yamaha YDP161 (£781)
Yamaha CLP430 (£1,348)
Kawai CN23 (£987)
Classenti CDP2 (£925)

You would enjoy playing any of them, but for the
long term goal (maybe not Lang Lang this time?)
the digital pianos that would be best for your development
are the Yamaha CLP430 and Classenti CDP2. This
is because they have a heavier, firmer key touch.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

Having just subscribed, I got your first email with the link to your "7 Things….." guide which, so far, has been very helpful.
I currently own a Casio CDP100 of two years, from brand new (my first piano), and have for some time now, being weighing up which of the following three pianos to 'upgrade' to:
• Yamaha CLPS408PE
• Roland HP307(PE)
• Kawai CS6 (or CS9)
When trying the Yamaha, I noticed a few of the keys towards the top (high) end lacked power/volume, and wasn't sure if this is a common weakness with this model in general, or if it was just that particular store display unit suffering wear 'n' tear.
With regards the Roland, I have only just discovered the UK Pianos web site literally in the last 24 hours and for the first time, been made aware, via reading various reviewers, of the keyboard noise issue. I think I would need to go and revisit this piano with that issue in mind.
I, briefly encountered the Kawai CS6 and was fairly impressed with the sound and touch but would like to know your impressions, if any, of the CS9 and how you feel it compares with the CS6, as I have only just become aware of the CS9 via Kawai's web site.

As if all this was not enough to think about, I now also have to consider the Classenti CDP3, which I have literally just discovered via my first visit to the UK Pianos web site. I am hopeful that this piano would be available to 'try out' in your Enfield store, if possible, and am particularly curious as to whether it facilitates USB connections like the three above.

Many thanks,


Reply/ Hi Richard

Have you tried the Yamaha CLP470?
This is my personal favourite.

The Roland’s keys are too lightweight.
My fingers feel like they’re running away
when playing fast passages.

The Kawai has a very soft feel at the bottom
of the key stroke. I prefer the firmer feel
of the Yamaha CLP470.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard


I'm trying to make a smart decision based on the following facts:
I'm buying the digital piano for my mother. She is 83 and has her grade eight level in piano. My hope is that she can enjoy playing music by Debussy and others just one last time.
Throughout my early years, untill I was 18, my mother played an old upright built in Boston – the same one she learned to play piano on. I remember it because sometimes
when the house was quiet I would press one or two of its keys and listen to the resonance. We never had it tuned because of the cost. It always had sticking keys around
middle C and for the longest time it had a cracked soundboard. Needless to say, my mother has always been used to less than perfection.

When we finally got rid of the piano my father decided to replace it with an electric organ. He has always had a facination with them but my mother has never given it
the time of day.

Just a side note: my father's hearing was badly dammaged from his days as a tank commander in the British army when they faught on the beaches of Normandy – a time when
ear protection was not manditory. My parents finally got rid of the organ. So for a number of years my mother has had nothing to play and time is running out.

I'm not shure when my parents will be moving to a seniors home, I suspect in a couple of years – something I'm considering when choosing a piano.
I have been looking at everything from the Yamaha P155 to the CLP 430. I guess what dictates my thinking is the Rolling Stones tune 'You can't always get what you want
but you can get what you need'.
So there you have it.

Any feedback will be most appreciated.


Reply/ Hi Charlie

The Yamaha P155 would certainly be easier to move
around than the CLP430. So that’s its major advantage
over the CLP430…

But the sound quality and feel of the keys is nowhere
near as good. Of course, your mother being grade 8
standard, would enjoy hearing the richer, more vibrant
sounds of the CLP430.

She would also appreciate the firmer feel of the keys.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Dear Graham,

Thank you very much for your email and all the invaluable information. I thought I would take advantage of you follow-up email.
I had initially been looking at the Yamaha YDP-141 but having read your book and reviewing my needs I think the Classenti CDP1 would be a better purchase.

I am buying a digital piano principally to support my singing practice at home. But I also thought it an ideal opportunity to start playing the piano again – I had lessons for a number of years and miss playing. I'm not unmusical and I know poor quality touch and/or sound would annoy me but I also haven't got a large budget, as you can tell from my choice. Your interest-free loan offer also makes the extra cost of the Classenti over the Yamaha worthwhile.
I guess I'm just looking for a bit of confirmation! I can't see many other options.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Ian Helm

Reply/ Hi Ian

The Classenti CDP1 would be an excellent choice.
Its heavy-weighted keys feel the same as an
acoustic piano and it has a pretty good sound.

You also get a 5 year warranty (parts, labour
and home visit) — this is very useful to have.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

choosing the right digital piano is not simple task – as you know.

After reading your booklet, I am in the phase of choosing between Yamaha CLP 430 (still available in local store), Kawai CA-13 (wooden keys and probably high quality sound/keyboard temptes me) and Kurzweil CUP-2 with interesting look and probably excellent sound/keyboard quality.

I hope to touch CLP today, but probably not the others.

What would you choose out of the 3? Sound and keyboard quality is the primary with design being important for emotions, too.

Best regards,


Reply/ Hi Petr

I don’t like the sound of the Kurzweil CUP-2.
It’s quite boomy. Although it has a nice,
smooth, responsive key touch.

For me, it would be between the Yamaha
and Kawai.

The Kawai CA13 has a nice feel to the keys
and a good sound. But the Yamaha CLP430
would be my first choice.

The main reason I prefer the Yamaha is
the firmer key touch. It just feels more
like playing a real piano.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

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