Thank you so much for allowing me to download your digital piano book. I have bought a Yamaha DGX-640 and look forward to it being delivered next Saturday.
Over 60 years ago, I used to pick out tunes on the piano with one or two fingers on the right hand. I then obtained a guitar and learned a bunch of chords and became a reasonably good chord-basher (or rythym guitarist) and could sing and accompany others singers and groups at parties and suchlike.
I then thought “Why don’t I play these “chords” with my left hand along with the tunes I could pick out with my right hand”? This I did and perfected the technique to a reasonable but limited standard.
I now want to spend more time trying to play this DGX-640 to a good standard but realise I will have to change my left-hand technique from stricking the “C” @ 3 and 2 octaves below middle C followed by the CEG chord starting an octave below middle C if you see what I mean, to just playing chords more with my left hand for the accompaniament.
Many thanks for resending the Guide and also for the links below.
Having read through the Guide I decided that the Casio PX 135 would be the best option for my needs. Something not too expensive, but decent, good sound, portable and value for money (I don’t have much spare space in my house).
I did plenty research – online and retail – and found that a music retailer in my nearest town – Wigan – had a sale offer of a PX 135 (inc pedal, adaptor and sheet music stand) plus a free foldable double stand, which compared well with similar offers online. The store is Rimmers, Library St., Wigan (formerly Howarths).
My background is that in my youth/early teens I had piano lessons and passed up to grade 5 in both practical and theory. I then started going out with friends etc socialising and began to lose interest. During my 20s I married and then we had children etc etc. I am now 56 and have recently taken early retirement after 38 years in public relations in the NHS. My interests are gardening, sport, films, music and DIY and I have a yearning to go back to piano playing (once you learn you never lose it so they say) hence my buying the PX 135. As you can see, this should be sufficient to get me into it again.
I did choose a few “easy” music books when I got the piano so hopefully these should help me get back into it over the next few months or so……..I did have a book of sonatinas by Clementi when I was learning which I really liked playing but cannot find them anywhere after all this time. However, I did notice that one of these is in the 60 music library piano scores that came with the PX 135. I’ve tried playing it through a few times and my touch is coming back – but slowly.
Just a final note – I did notice on the Gear4Music website that it lists that the PX 135 has 20 rhythms and auto accompanyment – but it doesn’t – or am I missing something!
I’d like to share with you the outline of the situation in which your information was considered, because I see that you are interested. I’ll start at the end…
The focus of the ‘buying decision’ was my ten years old granchild. He is taking piano lessons for six months now and is quite enthusiastic about playing. He has a Casio 220 that I bought for myself and then gave him to start with. Now he was about to give his first ‘piano concert’ with other students when he told me that the sound of the Casio was not on par with the upright piano he was using at his teacher’s home…
To appreciate my reaction you need perhaps a brief historical account, so that the values I carry might be better seen. I did not tell him that he was too young in the trade to aspire to a better piano, including the budgetary considerations. This is, I think, because I remember too well how keenly I myself was sensitive to the quality of the sounds at his age. In fact, I was playing the piano only at my teacher’s home at the time, as at home we could only afford anything beyond a small accordion…
So I promised my grandchild to investigate what could be done about his concern. I did several things already: (1) talked to his teacher at the students’ concert that I wanted to consult with her; (2) provided a set of good earphones and a basic amplifier with three loudspeakers, to test the effect; (3) got that Guide from you.
Needless to say that my attention had resulted immediately in smiles and improved satisfaction. But I know that such a boy (and myself) deserve a better answer to the problem, perhaps only a schematic one like ‘wait’. As I said, I intend to talk to his teacher, but I want to get some perspective on the choices in ‘our times’, and guess that her abiliy to choose between a mediocre mechanical piano and a better electrical one will be limited. She already told the boy that she recommends a ‘real’ piano…
I do not really expect to get a simple answer from you on our choices with the limited information that I provided here. Indeed, I would just expect to know that you are available as some kind of a human guide on this developing situation. I got this from the loving and committed atmosphere that you are creating for such people as we are.
Many thanks for your attention!
Thanks for your readiness to help! The guide has been a great help in understanding the terminology and technological background of all features. For my purposes (4 year old daughter to start playing and for me to also play around and learn some, I’ve learned accordion before ) my choice is probably the YDP161, which I tested, I’m waiting to test the 141 to make a final choice. Since I’m in China, choice and import price for some pianos is an issue.
Some observations (compared to 161):
– CLP430 sounds better
– Kurzweil in same price range (forgot the type no) as 430 also sounds better (maybe better than 430 but I’d have to listen again), but keys feel less sturdy (sideways play)
I tried some real pianos too, was really impressed by a RMB25000 Samick, with beautiful clear lows, highs a bit sharp. Yamaha real pianos were disappointing, sounding comparatively lifeless. Also tried a known Chinese brand Xinghai in the same price range, a bit more balanced than the Samick but less brilliant. They had some German brand too (long name starting with K), of which the RMB38000+ sounded very balanced, but cheaper models not convincing: no good value for money.
Clearly the E-thing doesn’t compare to the real thing by far, but for practical reasons (I would only have time playing at night too), I’d first go for a reasonably priced intermediate solution.
One thing which struck me was that most shops who also teach piano strongly recommended a real piano for learning because the feeling would be too different, but I beg to differ on that, what would be your view on that? (It couldn’t have been about the sound, because in fact many of their teaching pianos were terribly out of tune!)
Hello and Thanks for the opportunity to ask you.
Very briefly, and I live in Spain so I’m not buying in England,
I know someone that in the end is going to buy a Yamaha CLP 430 for her son who is learning to play, and is getting on well. I’m more into synthesizers and keyboards and had really recommended a Kurzweil MP10. (Obviously, Keyboard and synth players go crazy about Kurzweil! as you can imagine!)
Anyway, her son tried out a Yamaha and a Kurzweil Mark Pro One (I think it was that one) and he preferred the Yamaha for the touch. Does the Kurzweil MP10 have a better touch than the older Mark One? Obviously, the MP10 has the PC3 synth chip with the PC3 sounds and they are incredible. Obviously an experienced player can adapt to any keyboard but it’s more difficult for a learner.
1) I have the feeling that the Kurzweil MP10 is an INCREDIBLE INSTRUMENT especially with the PC3 sounds. Am I right in that?
2) Does the Kurzweil MP10 have a good touch like the Yamaha CLP?
I think you can understand where I’m coming from, can’t you? I love sounds and personally would spend money on sounds than the cabinet etc, but I understand that each person is different!
Thanks for your time
I am currently still a beginner on the piano and started with a Yamaha P70 (last year), which is currently doing a fairly good job.
However I am aware that it probably won’t be the best thing to advance with and would like to try the GH system on the P155 (studio and potentially live).
Beyond that I have plans for a CLP-440 (or one of the slimline versions) as a living room piece and a GH3 action.
However all this is probably down the line somewhat and certainly I’ll need to save some pennies.
At the moment Grade 1 beckons and I’m pretty confident the P70 will get me there.
I am a pianist/composer, and have been playing for a long time, and see that these are a wonderful invention, and a GODSEND for those who live in an a apartment.
When I was living in New York City, a number of years ago, they were not invented, and it was difficult to practice long hours, without some one getting bothered. I had a neighbor who gave up playing the piano, and couldn’t stand to see some one else who didn’t. So that was rough, and I had demanding repertoire to work on. They came out in the 1980’s, way after I left New York, and at that time, they were still developing.
I started with a Kawii, and that had a lot of problems, the action wasn’t properly regulated, and the technician never got it to where I felt satisfied and comfortable playing it.
Then I had a Korg, and the sound was lovely, and the action was nice, but that was right before the hammer action came in, and it didn’t stand up to my demanding techniques.
So then I got the Cassio Privia PX-100, and the hammer action made it just what I needed, and the feel is more authentic, and so when ever I play a grand piano, it feels comfortable right away. I also have the
COP-100, also a Cassio, and that has also been really wonderful, and the one I take when ever I play some where, as I am always playing out, and accompanying my best friend who is a singer.
So now if I get another one, I am going out to a place in Nashua New Hampshire, to check them out.
The three brands that I am most familiar and comfortable with are the Cassio, Roland, and Yamaha. I am afraid if I get something less well known, that the warranty won’t be as long, and that if repairs are needed, it would be more difficult finding some one who could fix it.
So I like the hammer action, brilliant tone, must be 88 notes, and I love putting piano and strings, or piano and chorus of voices together, and both of them with the piano. I would also love to have a keyboard that has the celesta sound sampled in there too. That is a sound and instrument that I really cherish, and wish to have that, as in my compositions I use that some times.
Being a composer, makes me wonder about getting something with a feature built in that can score my works, in case I am taking them to be performed some where.
Having a feature that records while playing, is helpful in getting better, as a work in progress is happening.
I’m 71. My mother was a piano teacher and taught me from my toddling days till I reached an estimated Grade 8. I studied violin and musicianship from age 12 and qualified as a violin teacher (ARCM) in 1960. By this time I was a multi-instrumentalist: military leading sidedrummer, trombone, vibes, viola, bass guitar, bass pedals, finger-style acoustic guitar, trumpet, flute. I was also capable of playing by ear in literally any key, and of transposing at sight. Leaving aside my freelance activities as an arranger/conductor and as an orchestral violinist, I’ve accompanied various “serious” singers in charity concerts and been a gigging keyboard player in TV shows, residences in hotels and on cruises.
My electronic keyboards – Roland and Wurlitzer electric pianos, Roland mono synth and Korg stereo synth – are all decades out of date and probably virtually worthless. I’ve been hanging on to them so that our grandchildren will have something to bash away on without making me flinch. My mother’s upright iron-framed piano needs some attention after not being played for about 30 years, and I’ve kept it because, unlike the others, it has a proper action and touch.
Working as a sound engineer and producer for BBC Radio 2 for twenty-five years left me with a high-frequency hearing deficiency, now corrected by the latest in discreet hearing aids. For this reason mainly, I stopped my music in 1989 and spent the last 13 years of my working life as a mainframe software engineer. We’ve recently had part of our house knocked down and rebuilt to a better standard. This integral extension is now nearing completion. Once it is up and running, my instruments will come back out of storage, and I’ll have the option of rationalising my possessions, including my musical instruments.
That is why I came across your excellent 7 Things. I’m thinking that a digital piano will be maintenance free, will allow me to practice on headphones, and will have a midi output and a proper touch. The grandchildren will be able to graduate to it once they’ve overcome their tendency to bash things, and certainly once my wife and I have left this planet!
You will be lucky if you escape a visit from me once I come to make my purchase. I live in Dorking, Surrey. I shall need help from someone as knowledgeable and as helpful as you obviously are, and I hope the above history will help you to help me. I need to strike a balance between the cheap and cheerful and the totally professional with all the bells and whistles.
I have a chance to buy a CLP 340 of the CLP430 for almost the exact same price.
I spent a couple of hours playing them both, I must say I felt the 340 keys felt better, sound was better (and slightly louder which the salesman told me was because the speaker had 40db whereas the newer 430 model had 30db). The specs said that the 340 also had better tone (256 polyphonic vs. 128 I think) which I probably couldn’t notice the difference but knowing the spec I ‘psychologically’ noticed a difference.
As far as cabinets go, the 430 has nicer legs and the almost black wood color which is not available on 400 series.
I know that I’ll have lots of fun playing the 430 and I’m sure it’s a great instrument so I’m inclined to go for that one.
Really appreciate your thoughts and great site by the way – I just googled but I found myself spending considerable time reading all the useful info.
Mark in Dubai
I am in the US and for some reason, Roland HP 500 series are very late to show up here. Most of the UK online vendors already carry all of them, but I have yet to find a US website that sells one.
My background is in classical piano. Although I have not played at all for the past 10 years or so, I was a music major in college. I recently started to miss playing the piano badly, so I started to look into buying a digital piano. I currently live in a condo, I am looking at frequent cross-country moving every 2-3 years for awhile, and my schedule is very hectic, so I cannot justify buying an acoustic piano right now. But some day…
I tried out Rolands at a local dealer yesterday for the first time. I tried HP 302, 305, and 507. I am quite pleased with the quality of grand piano sound, but the springy kick-back and the lumpy jumpy feel that you accurately describe in your book is just really hard to stomach. Also I am hearing a lot of wooden “thud” “thud” with each key stroke. Do you think I will get used to it?!
When I played with a headphone on or at a low volume, sound quality difference was negligible, but when the salesman was playing the HP 507, it definitely sounded more fuller and richer than HP 305. The salesman was pushing me to buy a HP 507 for it’s “musicality”, but it’s priced at around $4,800 here. I am not sure if I really need a $5,000 digital piano right now. My budget is around $3,000 and I do not need any bells and whistle functions. One of the things that he mentioned is that HP 507 has 100 adjustable settings for action, whereas HP 505 has 5? What is he talking about here? Can the “thud” action be adjusted to lighter action?
Since HP 505 and HP 507 have the same action mechanism (minus adjustability), I will likely buy a HP 505….I think. I need a bit more soul-searching. I like playing virtuoso pieces like Liszt and Rachmaninoff (we will see if I can get back to that), and I don’t know how well I can produce them on a Roland…
I have not tried any Yamahas and I was surprised to see that you regard them very highly. But I also noticed that a comparable Roland is actually cheaper than a Yamaha.
Roland HP 505 are priced very reasonably in the UK. I wish I can get one shipped across the ocean…
Thank you very much for your expertise and help!
I’m actually looking for a stage piano and this involves a feature not covered in the guide.
A good mono piano sound.
This is essential for me because my amplification is mono and 9 times out of ten
main PA is mono. (Even when PA is stereo, sound engineer will invariably pan the keyboards mono)
There are loads of demos of all the different makes on you tube but none demo the sound in mono.
I know Nord have a “Mono” button and some other manufacturers have dedicated mono samples but I’ve not had a chance to hear them yet.
So, my search will continue but it will have to be restricted to shops near to my area (Cumbria) i.e. Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow)
where I can go and have a listen.
I already own an old Yamaha PF P100 which sounds great in stereo but absolute garbage in mono.
After going on various forums it seems I’m not the only one with this mono problem.
Many thanks for your website and the extensive information about pianos, old and new, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
I presume that in the early days, like the violin makers, there was strong competition to produce the best (and marketable!) instrument, to satisfy growing demand for better quality, performance and greater sound.
I can only presume that the wealth of knowledge built up from the creation, design, experimentation and manufacture of the harp and other early strung instruments, that the nature and quality of different kinds of strings (from natural to metallic) thicknesses, lengths, tensions, striking/plucking points etc must have had an ancient starting point – as well as the design of the frames for strength, and also width sizing of the keys, to become standard.
My next visit to Finchcocks Music Museum will now enable me to enjoy that further, with more enlightened eyes and ears!
I purchased my digital piano today – A Williams Overture scheduled to arrive in 5-8 business days.
My heart was set on a Classenti, but was informed it would not be available in the U.S. Until September.
I hope that this Williams overture digital piano will satisfy my need as a new piano player.
Thank you for your articles and book which have allowed me to understand the lingo of the digital piano.
Thank you and best regards,
My current config is:
1. Yamaha KX 88 yes the one, and am really proud of this – bought off ebay.
After much use, my fingers are becoming accustomed, and I am beginning to love how the keyboard enables you to bring additional depth, timbre, expressiveness, volume to sounds, when you play harder. Also quite solid, almost no key wobble.
When I listen on headphones, there is still a bit of a racket coming from just hitting the keys.
2. Roland XV2020 module with SRX 02 Piano card.
In general I have now become familiar with using a weighted keyboard.
3. I also have software/sampled pianos, but in my opinion, based on my setup, it appeared that the KX 88 needed a bit more effort to play, and I had to use a software utility/VST to adjust the velocity response and make it a bit easier for me to hit the higher velocities.
4. My monitors are Alesis M1 MK 2’s.
My only challenge is that the only time I tried playing this rig live (XV2020 + KX88), The KX88 + Case was quite heavy for me alone to lug about. Also as its vintage I want to avoid moving this about, cos I would not forgive myself if moving this about caused me to lose this rare “gift”.
In the studio I am relatively pleased with the KX88. I am not a classically trained pianist so the KX88 is still a bit hard and I cannot play it for too long before my hand starts to hurt (no more than about 2 hours of practice).
Recently purely by accident, I took the liberty to listen to the XV2020 via headphones. and the sound was so much better with midrange and treble than my Alesis monitors. It’s difficult for me to go back to listening on my monitors. The sound became so much more expressive on headphones – More dynamics!!.
I have attempted to find an inexpensive portable controller keyboard or stage piano.
Here are the choices:
Yamaha P95 – Felt a bit mushy, with not as much key travel as the KX88. Had a bit of a bounce and was therefore not as reassuring in its feedback to my fingers. It;s also like they have brightened the Electric Piano 2 (Rhodes) in the evolution from P85 to P 95 and based on what I heard recently, I much preferred the sound of the older Yamaha P85 electric piano variants.
The P95 keys also felt a bit shorter and attempting to play anything with a faster tempo was not as surefooted (sure fingered).
Tried out the Roland RD700 NX – Nice keys – good touch – but the acoustic piano sound was not worth the money, and the electric pianos lacked definition for solo playing.
Roland RD300 NX, sounded muddy compared to the RD700, keys were terrible, bouncy and imprecise.
Kawai MP10 – bouncy in a heavier way than tha RD300 NX – Very Heavy, Acoustic Piano not good. Electric Piano is so good, really unique deep and warm sound, good for both solo and ensemble playing.
I guess I’m spoiled having had the benefit of the KX88.
The only other keyboards which have met with my approval are not portable e.g:
1. Roland V-Piano – Lovely keys – Responsive sound, but there is that “something” missing in the sound. – Also way above my budget.
2. Tried a Clavinova CVP 501, Nice keys but the sound of the piano falls short. Expensive – Definitely not portable.
3. Roland DP 90 or maybe it was the 990 RF – had a lovely inspiring sound and when I played this in the shop – Dawsons, when I stopped a lovely lady shopper expressed shock and was not happy, gave a heartwarming comment that it was a nice sound!!!. But not portable.
4. I have not played a Yamaha S90ES or S90XS or Motif XS or XF, so do not know how these feel – Dawsons which is the nearest shop to me does not stock them.
5. Roland Fantom G 88 – I found the piano sounds lacking – clearly not enough sampling had been done to make this an “instrument”. The keyboard display should fit in more with a Bingo hall – Las vegas or a video game. – Heavy.
6. Korg Kronos, – either the speakers through which they were playing was “compressing” the audio, or the sound being produced was definitely not dynamic like a real instrument. The non piano sounds were a dissappointment for me – A rehash of old tired low quality samples from yesteryears – definitely not exciting. I guess with todays technology its so much easier to compare and spot a dud. Better suited for electronica. Probably better to buy an Access virus, if you really need a synth. this workstation mantra is the greatest rip off – a bit of everything but nothing inspiring to create the next bit idea/composition.
Thank You very, very, much for effort you made to write such useful book!
I didn’t bye piano yet.
Yesterday I went to the one of our shops in Belgrade to se Korg pianos, sp 250 bk and sp 170 bk. Also I saw Yamaha np 30 which is much cheaper. I do not play except children songs we have learned in school, and I need piano for our blues bend (I play bass), my children and home. So maybe some synt like Korg x 50 will satisfy me, but I couldn’t try it yesterday because they sold them all!
What I decided is not to by the cheapest piano (300 euros is lower limit), but I do not need top one too. It has to be stage piano, speaker are useful but not necessary etc. I didn’t try Casio models yet. Lot of people says that Casio is much better now than it was.
So, I am going to leave my shopping for autumn, I need some time, money and I’m pretty busy before our summer holiday.
Here is my background:
I am 66 years of age and I have not owned or had access to a piano for approximately 8 years and would like to have a piano in my home again and begin the process of bringing my limited keyboard skills back up to their previous level and, hopefully, beyond. I had piano lessons as a child (I believe I reached Grade 6) but gave up piano lessons for singing lessons around the age of 16. I have regretted that decision for a very long time as, after 20 years on stage as a classically trained singer (amateur not professional) I moved into conducting and have been conducting full scale productions and concerts for more than 30 years. My inability at the keyboard is a big loss during the rehearsal period although I enjoy playing for my own satisfaction and working on improving my keyboard and (limited) sight reading skills.
Anyway, my interest in having a digital piano is based primarily on replacing the access to a piano that I have always enjoyed and, to some extent, on cost and space. I have almost always had access to a 5 ft grand piano but do not have room for that in my present home without making major changes. (Maybe later if I improve my skills sufficiently!).
After visiting some piano stores and talking with sales people I was leaning towards a Yamaha, probably the CLP440 although the CVP503 was very impressive. My focus had been on true sound reproduction and accurate keyboard touch and sensitivity and I am glad to see that your guide emphasises those as the 2 most important aspects. After reading your guide I became interested in the Classenti as it appeared to be a good balance between quality sound and touch as well as price. (I rarely purchase entry level junk or top end quality in any product and usually aim for above the mid point and towards the top end without unnecessary additional features. Hence my pull towards the Classenti)
However, in your article on which brand to purchase you state:
“I like the Classenti pianos. I’ve also seen many raving reviews from delighted customers. Classenti pianos offer a warm, resonant and realistic piano sound. The touch is heavy-weighted and authentic… with near perfect weighting.”
After reading this and noting your points re sound and touch I was surprised to see that you rated the CDP2 touch and sound at 7.5 and 8 respectively, while 2 of the 3 Yamaha models rated higher overall also had considerably higher ratings for touch and sound. It was also interesting to note that you rated the CDP1 slightly higher than the CDP2 over all based on slightly better scores on touch and sound but a lower value on value for money. Given your view (which I strongly support) that touch and sound are most important, it might be useful to consider weighting the categories you use.
Finally, I have listened / viewed some online clips and the Classenti does indeed seem to have the most realistic sound. In one store I visited, there were many Yamaha digital pianos as well as numerous acoustic instruments and so I was able to make comparisons and did not find that even the CVP503 was as close to the real sound as I would have expected.
I’m supposed to buy a digital piano as a present for my wife, and I’m still not sure whether I should buy her one (nicer) or let her chose (perhaps better in the long term)
I’ve tried a few in a shop, Yamaha 161, Kurzweil MP10 and Roland RP301. Personally, I did not like the Roland much as I found the key action a bit jumpy. I know that the
Yamaha got a lot of good reviews, but here I thought that the lower and upper ends did not sound that great (hardly any sound at the upper end).
All that being said, I now see that you have the Classenti CDP2 in ebony.
Makes me wonder whether I should really consider this one as an alternativeâ€¦
Thank you for your emails.
I have to report a bit of a miracle.
My Roland HP2700 (20+ years old) which had sounded strange (2 notes playing at once + other weird sounds) and was diagnosed by an engineer as having a faulty motherboard beyond repair has suddenly come back to life! It seems it may have got rather warm when we had a new radiator fitted which caused metal (solder?) to expand. After some 6 weeks of not being switched on it is performing perfectly
Good news for me obviously. So fingers crossed it may soldier on for a few more years.
Here’s some answers to your questions, as well as a kind of review:
My 6 y.o. child wanted to begin playing the piano. I registered hir on a piano course and thought that we should have an instrument at home as well.
I’ve had an acoustic piano previously, but it got a bit annoying with the tuning and heavy weight. I have therefore decided for a digital piano from the start.
I was looking around the internet thoroughly and was somewhat lost on the scene, especially since I’m no decent piano player myself. Reading Howard Graham’s guide to buying a digital piano was a pretty good help for me, since I started to get a grip on what I should be looking for.
My budget isn’t very big and I can’t be sure my child will continue, so early on I was kind of leaning at buying the cheap Casio CP-120 for about 4000 SEK (roughly £ 400). After the investigations on the internet, and reading through that guide, I rather got keen on investing a bit more with a Classenti.
After calling the UK piano shop and asking for advice and prices, I got to know that shipping a Classenti to Sweden would be too costly and wasn’t offered by the store. A bit disappointing, but I got some other suggestions instead, like Yamaha CLP-440 and Roland RP-302 or HP-503. Those are a bit more costly though, so I started to look on deals for the Casio again.
Meanwhile I had looked out for used pianos, and was actually lucky enough to find a used white Roland FP-120 in new condition for only 5000 SEK (£ 467). A relative of mine who is a music teacher and plays the piano well recommended just that model. I believe that to be a sweet deal, even without proper warranty, and we are so far happy with the piano after a few weeks of usage.
Lastly I want to thank Howard for giving me advice and answering my questions.
Joakim from Sweden
I was really looking for an overview of electric pianos from the past ten years or so. I’ve got a Roland ep-77 that I’m seeking to upgrade, not really for the piano sound or keyboard action, both of which I find excellent, but because I’d really like to have a piano with more ‘bread-n-butter’
(non-piano) sounds, and I find Roland have a really good set of sounds in this category. I haven’t kept track of the Roland line since I bought the
ep-77 (purchased second hand instead of a new ep-760 at the time, as I didn’t find the ep-760 as solid as the earlier model).
I did look through the ‘how to buy’ section quickly though, and I definitely concur with most of the advice such as that all this ‘hammer action’ action doesn’t really add anything to the playing experience.
On the other hand, the fact that some of the things the manufacturers are trying to duplicate on electric pianos are actually unwanted artefacts of the mechanical design of a real piano is in itself a bad thing if you actually want to create an authentic experience. But most of those artefacts are quite expensive to implement and buy very little in terms of value, I’ll give you that.
As for action, I like (acoustic) pianos that have been played a lot and hence have fairly light action, so the not-too-weighted on pianos such as the ep-77 suit me fine. I find a lot of more upmarket electric pianos too heavy for my liking, they don’t feel like a real piano, maybe like a new one, but that’s not what I want in a piano. A classic (Swedish) Malms is my ideal, both when it comes to uprights and grands. I don’t know if that make is well known or even known outside Sweden though.
I’m a 40 year old physician with a fair musical ear and voice. (I can one finger songs on a keyboard by ear and trial and error, but I am not one of those freaks of nature who can just play any song they hear.) When I was a kid, my mom got me a Kimball organ, and I took a few lessons, but as both my parents were working adults and not too big on discipline, and since the organ dealer was 1 town over and 40 minutes away, that quickly fell by the wayside. As it turns out, in college I joined the chorale, and was identified as having a talented baritone voice. I ended up singing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Youth Chorale / soloist. Yet, I never learned how to read music beyond the alphabet cheat notes in the Kimball books.
For the past year or so, I’ve been craving some kind of musical activity. I tried the harmonica, briefly, using online lessons, but I didn’t like the hyperventilation. I considered the uke, but it doesn’t garner a lot of respect at parties, or anywhere else outside Hawaii.
The hospital to which I am attached has a Steinway concert grand in the atrium, and I have always admired the nimble fingers of the volunteer pianists who play on it daily.
I think I’d like to try re-entering the keyboard field. I probably have a longer attention span now that I am an adult, I would love to learn how to read music through playing the piano, and I’d love to learn some old standards, some simple classical things, and enough to pick out the vocal melody and maybe accompany myself with some chords in the classical lyrical repertoire that my voice is suited for.
I work hard, and so can swing several thousand on a keyboard instrument. There’s a Yamaha dealer the next town over, in a no sales tax state.
I figure I might as well get something versatile, with some features that let me pick along at notes while playing a song… just so I can have fun in addition to the discipline of traditional piano lessons.
I am a bit worried about what seems to be a huge markup on this instrument, which also means increased risk of depreciation. (It looks like a nearby Craigslist seller has a previous-generation CVP 407 for sale for $5000 ($8690 new in 2007, so he says). Actually 40% depreciation over 5 years isn’t so bad, is it?
I am also concerned about the lifecycle of Yamaha products. The CVP 407 was introduced in 2007, and I think that the CVP 509 was introduced in 2009/2010. This means that we should be due for the next iteration, especially because of the Yamaha 125th anniversary. My suspicion is possibly supported by the Yamaha website that is offering “compelling offers on CVP 500 series models.” (Until the invention of the digital piano, piano technology hadn’t changed significantly for 100s of years, but with digital and Moore’s law, who knows what the next series of CVPs could do or sound like… maybe huge screens that display complete scores, or wi-fi ability, or high-definition sound, iPhone or iPad apps, or new media formats?)
Thank you for your effort and a very useful handbook. Unfortunatelly I am not from UK, so the way how to buy a stage piano is quite difficult. I come from the Czech Republic and interest rates for consumer goods are pretty high here. So I will have to buy it for cash. My favorite piano at this moment is Korg SP 250, but as I saw new SP 280 that should be released here in April, I am considering to buy 280.
I am pure beginner (35 YO) as a piano player. Nevertheless I have been playing on my trumpet for more than 15 years.
My intention is to buy a handfull piano with the same feeling as the real piano (dynamic keys etc.) that could also fit to the interior of our flat. My daughter (6 mnths old) will also start to play on it (I hope :-)), so I am searching for the best price/quality ratio. I considered Piagero from Ymaha, but a seller is preferong Korg SP 170 or SP 250 respectivelly telling me that Yamaha for the same money is a class down in comparison with Korg. I also considered Casio but the feeling in the shop was that Korg will be the best solution form me. But the price equals to 3/4 of average month’s salary here so first I have to persuade my family that Korg is really needed….
For my part, I have not really played at all for some 30 years when I used to enjoy jazz and blues on pianos and various synthesisers. A random encounter with a Technics Digital Ensemble whilst surfing Ebay has piqued my interest, and has motivated me to re-acquire my keyboard skills in my later years, (I’m 57).
My budget is very small as the rigours of the recession have not treated me well. Nonetheless, the seed has now been sown, and I have restarted my scales on my 5 octave Harpers Ship’s Piano, which I bought 37 years ago for £15.
I guess my current endeavour will be to purchase a cheapie on Ebay for no more than £200 ish and see how I get on. Rest assured, I will most certainly be looking to upgrade to a more recent Clavinova CVP in the future, but that’s probably a year away at the moment, although your kindness will not be forgotten, and I undertake to call you first for a deal on a snappy keyboard.
Thanks again, and in the meantime I will be dusting off my old Roland JX3P and Sequential Circuits Pro One from the loft. I have even found my old TR606 Drumbox, where will it all end I wonder?
Until then, Best regards