A collection of piano stories from users of ukpianos.co.uk…
Hi Graham Howard,
I am still looking for a digital piano – I want something reasonable and as like a piano as possible. I went to Chappell of Bond Street and tried out a few models, but the one that stuck out (at least in my price range) was the Yamaha CLP 330 – it just felt so much nicer to play than the others. (The keys were much firmer than the 320 and it seemed worth spending the extra) I haven’t quite decided on which one to buy yet, as I was hoping to spend slightly less, but I’ll go back later in the week and make a final decision. I will happily write a review of it when/if I get it.
Graham Howard, Piano Adviser
Send me an email if you have any questions or need advice: email@example.com
Or call 020 8367 5107
After playing the Roland FP7 for 2 hours- I just did not think that it sounded
good enough,a very nice piano sound and superb action but it did not give me
“The Thrill” of playing a Grand Piano. So thats why I walked out of the shop
(it may be that no digital piano I can afford will give me that thrill?
Maybe a second hand Yamaha upright would come closer?)
So I also want to have a go on the Yamaha P155 ( a much cheaper instrument-
more of a competitor to the cheaper Roland FP4)- but no music shop in
Manchester seems to have one- they say they are such a good seller that they
are out of stock! (sales talk?).
Ideally I need a shop which stocks both the above models I mentioned so I
can do a Side by Side comparison- cant find a shop nearby which deals in
both Roland AND Yamaha AND has both models in stock
I also read some good reports about the Casio PX330 on the web last night-
it seems great value if you can tolerate the “image” of the brand, and the
plastic body- but one web review stated it had a very easy action- which is
not what I desire.
Then finally there is the Classenti option- I know there is the option of a
refund- but I am not a risk taker and so would not order one without playing
it first. Would be nice if there were a place in Manchester I could try one
first- or if my job takes me to London for any meetings I could try and
squeeze in a visit.
My criteria?- well I am an organist of almost 40 years and have an organ at
home- but organ keys offer little finger resistance and practising gives me
backache after a while as you cannot put your feet down due to the
pedalboard- so this instability causes stress on your lower back. So I want
a piano for the living room to play scales on to improve my fingering
technique. The classenti CDP3 would probably fulfil this criteria perfectly
at the same price as the Roland FP7F I trialled today, but in the back of my
mind I think I want a stage piano as I have a mate who is a popular
guitar/folk singer in local pubs and he keeps asking me to join him in his
act and play backing keyboards.
The Roland FP7F, Yamaha P155 (and Classenti CDP1) all give this compromise
in that they have a matching stand and look ok in a living room- but can be
taken out to gigs if needed.
The Roland is supposedly sampled on a Steinway (but this may be just web
speculation) as it does not sound like one to me- even though it is a nice
piano sound. The Yamaha will definitely not be sampled on a Steinway as
Yamaha make their own fine pianos.
I would like a Steinway(esque) sound if possible but it has to come with a
firm action for finger development.
I will never be a concert pianist- just a good organist who can get away
with playing popular songs/cocktail piano in hotels, pubs etc. My first love
is still the Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, but I get a different kind of musical
satisfaction playing slow ballads with big jazz chords on a piano. The organ
also has a limited repertoire- but you can play a lot more popular music on
I have been searching web articles for weeks and have come to a few
1. Many of the web reviews on pianos are by “beginners” who are
pleased with their purchase- but as beginners their ears are probably not
open enough to know any different. You rarely get a review from a grade 8
player or a concert pianist- is this because a concert pianist would never
even consider a digital?
2. For every good review you read on the web- there is a contradiction
on a different website from some geek who swears he can here the loop points
and some un-natural dying away of the sample on some keys! Can you trust
what these guys actually write?
3. When you listen to any demo’s on Utube or mp3 downloads- they both
suffer from being compressed to help with download speed, and this makes it
hard to judge the true quality.
4. There are far too many variants from all manufacturers. I just
cannot see how it is economic for say Roland to run multiple production
lines for so many different models- when there is so little difference
between the variants
I have looked seriously at the computer program “pianoteq” which models the
whole sound rather than samples it and it does appear very impressive. The
downside being that you need to take a laptop with you and wait until it
boots up etc to run the program- (and who can be bothered with the
instabilities of Windows as well). Then you also need a quality Master
Keyboard to trigger Pianoteq- and these Weighted Midi Master Keyboards
actually cost more than a decent stage piano with the sounds already built
in- so it seems false economy. (although a future upgrade of any of the
pianos I have suggested is possible using the Midi Out port- to a Laptop
running Pianoteq if I got really bored with the internal sound of whichever
piano I purchase!)
Piano Advice from Julian:
One piece of advice I would like to pass on to any newbie keyboard musician is,
Rather that plugging your keyboard straight into the mixing desk via a screened lead,
Try connecting your keyboard via a DI box a take one feed for monitoring (like a full range wedge monitor)
and the balanced line output to the mixing desk (XLR Cable)
you’re be amazed at the superb sound quality of your stage piano/keyboard.
DI boxes start as low as £35 to £200. I use a cheap and cheerful Samson stereo in and out box
I bought on eBay for about £40.00. (the blue one)
It makes your stage piano sing more like a grand piano.
Never monitor your stage piano through a guitar amp, it will sound thin dully and really horrible.
The other piece of advice I would like to offer is be careful when choosing your next stage piano, if you just rely on headphones alone to audition you next keyboard, this can give you a false impression of the sound because you are just listening to the sounds in isolation, you need to play the keyboard through an amp or monitor the sound reflections of the shop walls can also be deceiving, try and try again before you part with your hard earned cash.
Many thanks for getting in touch.
I have read your notes with great interest and found the points
extremely valuable. It helped me to understand the mine field of terms related
to digital pianos.
I am in my 60’s. I learnt to play ( not very well!) when I was young and as,
with many youngsters, gave up too soon.
I liked the theory and passed a few exams!
In my dotage I decided that I might like to have another go. I went to a music
shop to look at keyboards (cheap and small option) and was convinced that a
digital piano might be a better option. I had not envisaged spending much and,
indeed, was looking at a cheap second hand keyboard.
However, I was shown a Casio CDP-100 as an example and was impressed. I did not
need much convincing that this was a better route for sound, key touch etc. I
also do not need the gismos with keyboards.
I started looking for a second hand digital piano. I think you have convinced me
that it might be better to buy new because of the warantee etc, am I right?
Also, I think I am right in saying, the Casio CDP-100 is relatively new,
therefore there are not many in the second hand market, but there are lots of
others. This then leads me to look at second hand Privia and Celviano in their
various models as well as other models. So the second hand market leaves me
with mind boggling options.
Thank you for your interest.
Already put your piano guide (and your email response to another query) to good use.
As of earlier today I purchased a Classenti CDP1 (from ebay). Would have also been
happy to buy a new one from UK Pianos, but wasn’t so keen on waiting until end of
July for availability.
So sorry I didn’t put any further business your way, but I’m really impressed with
your approach to customer service. Very impressive.
I’m in Honduras where there is a high level of humidity, termites, and only
two qualified piano tuners in the whole country. So, even though I am an
acoustic classical pianist (amatuer but at a fairly high level — studied
piano for more than 20 years and I have a degree in music) I came to
understand the value and technological advancement of contemporary digital
I was thinking about importing a piano, but that would mean in addition to
paying for the piano I would incur about 25% import duties and the cost of
shipping. Here is my journey. At first I was looking at Yamahas and had
the opportunity to ‘test drive’ a Yamaha CLP 380 in Manhattan, USA, during
the summer. I was disappointed in the quality of the sound and the volume.
So, in the same store I tried the CVP 501 and 505. I was more satisfied
with the sound of the CVPs, but wasn’t certain I needed all the bells and
whistles and, even though I most enjoyed the 505, I knew I would have to
settle for the 501 because of the price. I called back the dealer in
Florida who had originally convinced me to consider a Yamaha digital and he
inspired doubt by being surprised at my choices, then saying I should
consider the higher level Yamahas, F01 modus and even the Avant Grands,
which I cannot afford.
Okay, back to the drawing board and dying for a piano here. Wish I’d have
packed my upright acoustic Baldwin in the shipping container! When
travelling to San Jose Costa Rica I had an opportunity to play the Roland
RG-1 (I think it might have been a previous model) and found I really liked
the Roland sound better. Then, I began reading in depth the blogs on the
Internet and began to understand the comparative technologies and mechanisms
of the Yamaha vs. Roland vs. Kawai, etc. Currently, I am thinking about
getting a RD700 NX (a stage piano) because they will have them in Honduras
for test playing in late November and I wouldn’t have to import a piano. I
know I would have to buy speakers, bench, stands, etc. to accompany it and
it is not a great looking piece of furniture. If I had the money, I’d
probably buy the LX01F or the RG-1F or RG-3F. I would probably consider an
HP 307 if they had one in Honduras, but paying $4000 for the HP307 or $5000
for the LX-10F in addition to import duties (I think they are about 25%) and
shipping does not make sense.
I am a bit concerned about how the RD 700 NX might sway as you play, even if
it is placed on a sturdy stand. However, the speakers are better and better
placed than even on the HP307 and I’m not keen on the design of the cabinet
of the HP307. I narrowed down my search of Roland models to those that had
both the PHAIII action and the Supernatural Sound. As you can see, I’ve
come a long way in my digital journey from acoustic piano because of
Thank you for your inquiry. Hope all is going well with the market in UK.
I moved to Honduras from Philadelphia more than a year ago. It has been
“I’m in my early 50s and have owned maybe 5 or 6 pianos in my lifetime…”
My latest is a Korg Concert-3500 digital which I purchased for around $2,000 USD
maybe 15 years ago. There are about 5 onboard sounds, otherwise I run it
through a Roland SC-88 tone generator, linked through Cakewalk Sonar 9 on my
computer, etc. etc. I’ve just been feeling that my Korg is getting tired; or
perhaps I’m getting tired of the Korg.
I have always loved Kawai pianos ever since I heard my first one (an acoustic of
course) in the early 70s. I’m sold on the digital realm and understand (as
confirmed by your publication) that technology has advanced leaps and bounds.
Also, why would I need an acoustic as they eventually go out of tune, again and
again…? Accordingly, I am pretty much sold on the Kawai CP139. It goes for
around $5,000 USD on the “street.” I briefly considered the next step up, the
CP179, but I couldn’t find enough enhancements to justify the $3,000 USD
increase in price.
Why have I not yet obtained it? Well, first off, what’s the hurry? I DO plan
on purchasing it however just as soon as I determine where I can get the best
deal. I am in California and regrettably, we have about a 10% sales tax here.
Quick math tells you that I would have to pay an extra $500!! Now, there are
eight states in the United States without ANY sales tax. Conveniently, Oregon
(a state directly to the north of us) is one of those. However, Kawai
dealerships are few and far between. There are only approximately 6 in the
entire state of Oregon (which is about the size of Germany). The closest one is
about 390 miles from me. I’ve also read that stores don’t give price quotes on
the phone, so that threw a monkey wrench in the proceedings. haha. There IS a
shop in Berkeley (you’ve heard of Berkely, right?) which is about 17 miles to
the north of me, that has the CP139. I actually tried it there and loved the
bottom end. Otherwise I’ve printed the entire manual and can’t wait. I love
that it has all the bells and whistles, etc. I will definitely completely use
this piano and have fun in all regards with it. There’s another shop in San
Jose (about 35 miles to my south) that probably has it. I need to visit them.
I’m waiting on an ex of mine to fly back home from Seattle and we’ll go there
together (she’ll be good with at least the cabinetry choices)
Anyway, that’s where I’m at. I know the above is very jumbled, but it’s about
11pm here and I have to go to work tomorrow so I’m not EVEN going to un-jumble
it or maybe even run a spelling check (haha). At first I thought your emails to
me were canned. Maybe most of the verbiage was, but since you are asking
specific questions and it is an interesting subject re a hobby I’ve been
immersed with for many years — AND you’re nice about things — I thought I’d
favor you with this reply.
I’m going to buy this thing sometime in the very immediate future because I want
it and at my age have the money. After, I’m happy to give a review, but bear
in mind that my review would not be “weighted” against any number of other
pianos. I’m not a professional reviewer but rather a guy who thinks this is the
right thing for him.
Mike, San Leandro, CA, USA