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Hi Graham,

Today I made up my mind to make a decsion on my Piano.I sat and listened to the Classenti on the videos with different music and players.I was really impressed.I sat back ,closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the keys as well as the music.Then I listened to several videos of the yamaha ,same price range.I believe it was probably the p85, and another.I did like both of the sounds too,and they were all in the same price bracket. I gave it much thought and decided on the Classenti.I also read the reviews of the cdp2.I listened to that too and it was pure pleasure.If I could afford that I would certainly buy it.However,I do like the tone and sound of the cdp1 and have decided to opt for that one.I shall pay through free interest.

Before I order anything can I ask you where I find the prices of stands,stools,earphones.Also,does it have to be a Classenti stool and stand and earphones.Or,will other makes be usable with this make.I think i must be feeling weary ,as I searched for the measurements and could not find them.So,if you can please help me out there I should be most grateful.I am going to contact you by phone in the next couple of days.My family are paying for part of my piano. It is a special birthday.So,I need to contact them to let them know of my decision.

I am feeling quite elated at having a piano once more and looking forward to picking up my long lost playing once again.Can you also advise me on what to look for in music as a starter and what to learn first.Far better to walk and run later.Perhaps I could buy some sheet music or am i old fashioned and that is now out of date.

Best Regards


Reply/ Hi Margaret

The Classenti is available as a bundle. You
get the adjustable piano stool, headphones
and a dust cover.

You can read more about this here:

Here are the dimensions:
Length 133cm (52.4 inches), Height 80cm (31.5 inches), Depth 36cm (14.2 inches)

The piano course I recommend for you is
'Hejran's Piano Method'.

You can read more about this here: << click here

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

I've just read your VERY informative "how to buy a digital piano" and
I'm sorry I didn't see it before I purchased my piano!!

One month ago I purchased a Roland HP302 as I got a great deal on it
and the sound was lovely and I seemed to prefer the Roland sound to
the Yamaha sound. The kids like the extra sounds, especially the
brass section which I didn't see in the Kawai CN33.

I have the ability to return the piano in 1 year for 60% of its
purchase price and buy another brand anywhere else, or within three
years they will give me 70% of the purchase price toward a higher
model (either Roland or Yamaha, which is what the store sells.

Here are my questions:

1. I was confused by your warranty info: I understand that Kawai now
gives a 5 year parts and labour warranty. Your quote was much less.

2. Although I enjoy the touch and the sound of the Roland, I am not
happy with the "key noise". It seems to be a common complaint on the
boards. When my kids practise with headphones, the key noise is heard
all over the house……and we wanted the quiet play which was our
main reason for buying the piano in the first place!! I can even hear
it through the headphones. I fell in love with the HP 307 and wonder
if this noise will be less if I have the chance to change the "hammer
effect" which I understand this model does, but not the 302.

3. I tried the Kawai CN33 and it had a lovely touch and a lovely deep
sound, different from the Roland. It also had a nice keyboard touch,
nicer cabinet and better speaker sound. But the 36 sounds just didn't
cut it especially when my kids wanted a brass section. I didn't try
the CN43 as it was too new and they didn't have one on the floor to
try. It is too new, too $$, but I have heard that it has a lovely
touch, a better sound (I heard its sound on their website) and I may
be able to afford it next year if Kawai makes another newer model.
The ivory keys are also nicer than the plastic. I have read that the
Roland seems to have trouble with its ivory keys wrt scratches, etc.?
I am seriously considering getting back 60% and putting it toward a
CN43 next year.

But you seem to be very big on the Yamaha make.

I have played piano for many years, classically and am getting back
into it more since I can play with headphones now anytime I like,
which is usually when the kids are asleep. My son is in Grade 4
Conservatory and is showing great interest and promise. My daughter
is also enjoying playing, in a lower grade.

Your thoughts?

Many thanks for an incredibly informative booklet!!

Thanks again
Ontario, Canada

Reply/ Hi Kathy

I researched over 20 websites that sell Kawai
and found most offered a 2 or 3 year warranty.

Which company offers 5?

The key noise on Roland pianos is (and has
always been) a bit of a problem…

All their models suffer from this.

The Kawai pianos have a quieter key action.
so this is much better for you.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

"Digital piano for grade 8+ level player"

Hi Graham,
I am looking to buy a digital piano but am inexperienced in the field. I am a grade 8+ level player (don't do concerts or anything though!) and I am used to playing on my parents' wonderful Schimmel upright piano.

They want to keep this at home, and I will soon be moving into a flat of my own, so thought a digital piano would be a perfect solution.

I have read your book on picking digital pianos, so have a sense of the models I should be looking at. My budget is around £3000, so I suppose I wanted your opinion on what separates the top end of the digital piano market, whether it be personal preference in terms of the sound and feel, or more fundamental characteristics. I have been impressed by what I have read about the Yamaha CLP 480, and I see that it is top of your list for that price range. I am not in need of much by way of recording facilities etc, so my principle concern is feel and sound. Perhaps then another model in that range would be more suitable?

Thank you very much,
Best wishes,

Reply/ Hi Oli

There's two pianos I can recommend that I feel you'd be happy to play on:

Yamaha CLP480 and Roland HP307.

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

They both have a realistic piano sound. The Roland is warmer in the
central part of the keyboard. But the bass is a little muddy.

The Yamaha has a terrific bass, a nice centre and bright treble.

It all comes down to personal preference at this level.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Further/ Hi again Graham,

Thank you very much for such a quick response. I have been into Cambridge today to our music shop to test out the two models. I found them to be exactly how you described, the higher register on the Roland was a little tinny but the mid section was good, overall though I much preferred the Yamaha. The heavier weight in the keys was more realistic and the sounds quality across the whole keyboard was fantastic.

As I have now seen, they are a lot more expensive in shops than online, so I was wondering whether you could get me a quote for one of the 480s, ideally for both the regular and polished ebony finish so that I can compare them.

Thank you again for your help.


"Yamaha YDP-V240 or Casio AP620?"

Hi Graham

thanks for your help. I think I've narrowed it down to a Yamaha Arius YDP –
V240 ( the shop I have been to their brochure says VYDP- 240 I presume it
is the same) or a casio AP 620. Don't quite know how I've come to that
decision but they seems to have similar toys!!!!!
Any suggestions or thoughts on these 2.
I haven't played the piano for 30 odd years, I now play the guitar and sing
with a load of reprobates and as my hands are suffering a bit with age I
thought I'd try the piano again.
If I buy one over the internet do they need any special setting up or is it
plug in and away we go?

Looking forward to your imput


Reply/ Hi Judy

The Casio AP620 and Yamaha YDP-V240 are similar

I give the edge to the Yamaha though. The sound
is closer to a real piano.

If you buy over the internet then the store will
deliver your piano flat-packed. So you will need
to assemble it yourself. But it's really easy!

No technical knowledge is neccessary, and no
special setting up is required…

You just assemble the base (usually only about 4-6
screws), then attach the keyboard section with
a few more screws… then plug in and play away!

It's as straightforward as that.

The online stores I recommend buying from are
Gear4Music and Thomann.

I've received excellent feedback from customers
who have bought pianos from either Thomann or

Their prices are very competitive. And you'll be
very well looked after if anything were to go
wrong before or after delivery of your piano.

To see their current offers on the YDP-V240, click
on the links below (or copy and paste them to
your browser):

You can also read reviews about these stores here:

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hello, I have downloaded your free piano guide and scanned through it and wonder if you could help me?

My 7 year old son has started taking piano lessons at school and I'm not sure whether he will stick to it (even though I would love him to) I've spoken to his piano teacher for advice as to which budget keyboard/digital piano I could purchase considering the following points:

1. He may give it up in a few weeks (but not if I can help it!)
2. We have a limited budget as he is not the only child in the family – ideally I wanted to spend no more than £120 (even though I know this is a 'pittance')
3. I understand I need touch-sensitive keys and a foot pedal?

Your free paino guide offers guidance to buying pianos under £500, but they are all very close to the £500 'mark'. Is it possible for me to buy anything half-decent within my budget… or should I just give up now!

As you can tell – I have no experience or knowledge of pianos/keyboards/digital pianos whatsoever, however I found your article very helpful in layman's terms.

Thank you for your help


Reply/ Hi Tracey

In your situation I don’t recommend buying a piano.

If you spend much less than £500 you’ll end up with
an unrealistic key touch and poor sound. This is not
desirable for your son to learn and progress on.

To get a piano that is good enough to learn on
and one that will still be OK for the higher grades
will cost about £200 – £300 over your budget.

What I recommend for you is the ‘Rent-to-Own’

This is a popular choice for parents in your

The ‘Rent-to-Own’ programme gets you a much
better piano for a monthly cost of around £45.

If you buy within 6 months then all the rental
is taken off the price.

You can read details of this here:

Let me know if you would like more help
selecting a piano.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard


Hi Graham,

I am considering the Classenti P1, it looks great for me, unfortunately it is a bit out
of my price range – do you know if it is possible to pick up a second and one of
these if so where would you go about getting one from and is second hand a good idea?

If not is there anything else you can recommend sightly cheaper?

Thanks for all your help,


Reply/ Hi Rose

We might have a second hand one in cherry. I
need to check. The prices of 6 month old CDP1's
usually go for around £560 – £580.

Alternatively you could go for a brand new
Classenti P1.

The Classenti P1 is more portable, has a
lighter stand, and a slightly smaller body.
It has the same key touch as the CDP1.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

I read through your guide and I have a question for you. I have the opotunity to buy a casio ap420 for £649 pounds (reduce from £843).
Reading your guide seem to me that the casio is not as good as a Yamaha yp161 that is on the same price range.

Would you adive me to buy the yamaha instead?
The piano is for my son and will be hes first piano (I think they have arius, well yamahas at his schools)

Reply/ Hi Bernardo

Well, the Yamaha YDP161 is a nicer piano really.
It has a purer, more realistic piano sound. The
the key touch is also smoother and a little firmer.

The Yamaha also commands a 10-20% higher
resale value too.

If it were for my son, I would choose the
Yamaha without question.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard


We are looking for an entry level piano for our kids – and are considering
the Yamaha ydp141 or the Classenti cdp1. Would the fact that the
Yamaha only has weighted keys as opposed to heavy weighted make it better or
worse for beginners to learn on? Also is there any difference in the sound
quality or any other major pros/cons or either or is it just preference?



Reply/ Hi Sarah

It is very important to practice on a piano that
has fully-weighted or heavy-weighted keys. This
is especially important for beginners.

The Yamaha YDP141 has weighted keys, so the
Classenti CDP1 would be a much better choice for
your children.

The Classenti also has bigger speakers. This
gives a richer, more realistic piano sound.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

We're still at the research stage, and we probably won't be ready to buy until the
beginning of the (University) holidays.

Our local shop recommended the Roland F110, however it's several hundred pounds more
expensive there than on your site.

My partner is tending towards the Yamaha P95 because, with an X stand, it will be easier
to store. I'm not so sure if this will be as good to learn on as a digital piano.

Price-wise we were thinking of around £800. Looking down your top ten list, the Classenti
CDP2 is close enough, but the Yamaha CLPs are currently out of reach.



Reply/ Hi Richard

The Roland F110 is marginally better than the
Yamaha P95. It has a nicer, fuller piano sound.
But what lets it down is the lightweight key touch.

The Classenti CDP2 is a superior piano.

With the CDP2 you get the same weight and
resistance of touch as an acoustic piano.
This is really important when learning to play.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

We have been looking into digital pianos..

We have 3 sons ages 8, 11, 13. We thought it would be good to get a piano/ keyboard so
the boys can get a feel for creating music, and a basic grounding in piano.

For this reason we like the idea of a digital piano / keyboard.

Here are the ones we have been looking at:
Casio Priva PX330
Casio Celviano AP620
Yamaha Arias YDP V240

Here are some of the things we would like:

Weighted keys.
Touch sensitive keys
Full range of keys (88)
Good piano sound.
Transpose music
Good speakers
Proper frame
MID – so we can do music work on computer and transfer it, and also
music on piano
and then play with it on computer..
GM sound bank.

What is your opinion on the 3 we have chosen? do you suggest something else?

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Reply/ Hi Wendy

The Casio AP620 and Yamaha YDP-V240 are similar

The Casio PX330 is quite basic.

But you've chosen pianos that have lots of
bells and whistles, rather than pianos that
have less features with a better sound and feel.

Based on your list of 'wants' you would be
better off going for a digital piano that
performs better.

I recommend these two:

Yamaha CLP320

Classenti CDP1

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Hi Graham,

Thank you so much for your help and advice so far. As you may be able to tell, I am blown away by choice for a digital piano. My budget now goes up to 2500 or maybe a little more. Can you recommend any pianos for their sound and touch within this budget?


Reply/ Hi Joanne

With a budget of £2500 you could get a decent
upright piano… or an upright piano with
the 'silent feature' for around £3,500.

I don't recommend spending more than £1,500
on a digital piano.

The Yamaha CLP340 is the best value for money.
You get a very clear, rich piano sound. The
key touch is fully-weighted and responsive too.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Further question/

Thanks Graham. When you say an upright with silent feature, are you talking about the damper pedal? Or is this something completely different?! My problem with an upright, as much as that would be my dream, is I have a terraced house and my neighbours would end up hating me I'm sure!!


Hi Joanne

Classenti make an upright piano that can
also be played through headphones.

It is a real, acoustic piano in every way.
It has a switch that converts it to digital…

So you can choose whether to play it as an
upright, or through headphones so nobody
can hear you.

You can read more about it here:

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard


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