61 or 73 key piano with Hammer Weighted Keys??


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I played piano when I was little, (late 1960's), Yamaha keyboard in my 30's in the 90's, and got to be able to do a fairly reasonable rendition of The Entertainer, and got close to being able to play the Maple Leaf Rag. Nearing retirement, I've got the bug again and need to scratch it. I recall playing The Entertainer on the keyboard but, when I tried on an upright acoustic piano, (and even a baby grand once or twice), it was much more difficult, due to what I now know to be the weight of the keys on the acoustic.

I can only play and practice on my narrowboat, where I have about a 1 metre wide table top space, with a depth of about 33cm, and the keyboard would have to be stored on a frame on the wall when not in regular use.

So I really want a 61 key keyboard/piano with hammer weighted keys - which doesn't seem to exist, so I am/was on the verge of buying a Roland GO Piano as the best I could do given my space constraints. Then I discovered the Roland RD-64, which has hammer weighted keys, and I decided I could probably live with its' 112cm width. Then I discover that the narrowest 73 key pianos are about 108cm, so I could fit a 73 key piano in the space.

I liked the idea of £250 for the GO Piano, but could also cope with around £500 for a second hand RD-64.

The upshot is that I'm looking for a recommendation for a 73 key digital piano with hammer weighted keys, up to around £500 or a bit more, and I dont really care much about any bells and whistles as, if I had the space, I'd likely get an upright acoustic. If I could hammer weighted keys get what I want with 61 keys, then that would be ideal.

Many thanks for any help.

Richard
 

happyrat1

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Look around for a used or new Kurzweil SP4-7.

Might fit the bill nicely for not too much money.

Gary ;)
 
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Welcome.

The Kursweil that Gary quotes is not currently available in the UK but as its $900+ the UK price would be well above your budget.

Given your space limitations can I suggest that you consider a MIDI keyboard, they will be lighter and more flexible in use than a piano. The key action can vary with them from light to hammer depending upon make.

If you can get to a top quality music store like PMT or Dawsons or Music Matter they should have units on display for you to check out.
 
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Having opened the door to 73 keys, I watched a few YouTube reviews of the Yamaha P121 and, despite there seeming to be some resistance to the Yamaha eco system, (a bit like Apple for some), it seems to do all I want for £552, or £489 if I wait until October, (ePianos). GHS not GH, but it seems that GH mimics the weight of a grand piano - perhaps GHS mimics an upright in terms of weight?

Are there any really good reasons not to buy a Yamaha P121??

There is a Kurzweil SP4-7 on eBay, but it's in London collect only, and I'm in Manchester. I've set up a search, so will see what comes up.

I visited PMT in Manchester to check out the Roland GO Piano, and that's when I got to know what weighted keys actually means. There is a Nord which is very Grand Piano like. I'll make another trip to look at wider pianos and MIDIs.

Thanks for the help so far. I started typing my first post with a second hand Roland RD64 in mind and, only when typing in the width, did I realise I could fit a 73/76 key piano. In my time with pianos, I cant recall a tune where I would use either the top or bottom octaves, so 88 keys is absolutely not necessary - for me.
 
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Richard.
I fell in love with what is probably the very same Nord which I played a couple of months ago when I was last in PMT. They have some very nice kit on display in their huge store.

If I was to buy a keyboard for the Grandkids it would be a GoKeys.

One thing about MIDI, I did get a unit that I used with both my iPad and laptop but only got a cheap Alesis which was very indifferent in the key action so not a very good choice on my part. Suggest that if you only consider units c£175+ then you should have better quality. Something like an Arturia KeyLab Essential gets great reviews and they come with a mass of software instrument voices inchiding a lot of pianos.
 
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The Roland GO Piano seems like a really cool deal for the compact but piano feeling type keyboard. Woody from Woody's piano shack uses one in some of his videos. Haven't had a chance to put hands on one though, so I can't comment directly.
 
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Just to update: I decided to buy the Yamaha P121 for £552, but discovered that it wont be in stock anywhere until some time in October... so I'm going to wait for it. Assuming they get it, I'm probably going to buy from epianos as their price is £489, so I will be able to get the 3 pedal kit for the same as the full price elsewhere. Having said that, I'll probably see if PMT Manchester will price match, so I can collect in person.

I cant find anything that compares in the size i can cope with, and which has weighted keys. I got a very brief chance to play a couple of chords on a Yamaha P45 in a customers house a couple of weeks ago and, assuming the P121 is as good as, or probably better, it will be fine.

In the meantime, I'm watching quite a few youtube piano teaching videos and courses. Might pay for one when I get the piano but, so far, I'm only watching the free stuff.
 
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There is the Roland RD-64. 64 keys, fully-weighted ("Ivory Feel-G" action). 44 inches wide. No built-in speakers. Limited set of voices.

I think it's out of production, but might be available used.

. Charles
 
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for that... I started my original post with exactly that in mind :) However, as things evolved:

"Thanks for the help so far. I started typing my first post with a second hand Roland RD64 in mind and, only when typing in the width, did I realise I could fit a 73/76 key piano. In my time with pianos, I cant recall a tune where I would use either the top or bottom octaves, so 88 keys is absolutely not necessary - for me."

As things have developed, Unless some can give me a very good reason why not, I'm pretty much decided on the Yamaha P121 when it gets to the shops in October, particularly now that I have had a chance to see a P45, and test the feel of the keys.
 
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When I typed in Yamaha P121 into Google and the resultant link showed my an upright acoustic my first thoughts were .... how is Richard going to get that into his Narrowboat.

Then I found the digital version and that looks just the job for you, rights size, inbuilt drum beats and a few self accompanyment Styles as well.

Looks like you found what you are looking for, are you going to test drive it first?
 
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It's the same as the P125, so I'm going to try and find a display model to play a few scales on. PMT dont have one on display and, given that I probably wont buy from them, I dont think it's fair to have them get one out of stock.

I'm planning to call into Dawsons and/or Forsyths in Manchester to see what they've got. Dawsons seem to be a big Yamaha dealer, so I'm hoping they'll have a P125 to look at.
 
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I am generally disappointed every time I go into Dawson’s, their keyboard selections are always very limited.

In amongst the keyboards they are vastly outnumbered by synths.

Upstairs they do have a great and varied range of guitars in fact I bought my Gibson
LP from them.

Another place to try but definitely not to buy from is Rimmers in Bolton, they have the largest selection of keyboards on display in the NW. Only buy from Rimmers online, never in store, the t&c’s are far superior with online sales, buy in store and their returns policy is totally different to online buys.
 
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Yes, the P121 should work fine. It's got the same GHS action as the P105/P115/P125, so you can try any of those.

That's a better pick than the RD-64, IMHO.

., Charles

PS -- sorry for sloppiness in reading the first post . . . .
 
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Yamaha DGX 640/650/660. Be good to yourself. There is simply NO better weighted, graded piano action available anywhere for REAL piano feel! Even a fancy $2,000+ 'yamaha digital concert grand has the exact same action. The sound is other-worldly. You'll LOVE it. It will change your life. Check EBAY and the Facebook Marketplace for a deal. NONE of the other Yamahas under $1000 has this action or quality. You wanna play the entertainer? go for it.
 
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Got my Yamaha P121 from e.pianos last week, (only shop in the country to have it, it seems... everyone else says that I wont get one until late November), and it's everything I'd hoped for. Fits the space I've got perfectly, keys seem nicely weighted, sounds great.... with a bonus being that it works from the 12V boat supply, rather than having to use an inverter).

Now it's down to me. Practice, Practice, Practice :)

Thanks to all for the help and encouragement!
 
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Glad you are sorted.

Next time we are walking along by the Bridgewater and hear piano sounds coming from a narrowboat we will know who it is.
 
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Not sure whether this will be helpful to anyone. I'm now toying with getting a second piano for home, and initially thought about the Roland Go Piano, (as in my first post above, I think). However, I called into PMT, had a go on a Yamaha 125, a Roland FP-30, then a Roland Go Piano. Having played a bit on my Yamaha 121, with its weighted keys, I found I could hardly play the Roland Go Piano, and discounted it immediately.

The Go Piano blurb from Roland says:

"Unlike typical portable keyboards that have lightweight synthesizer-type keys, GO:pIANO’s 61 full-size keys provide playing feel and expressive touch inspired by the keyboards on acoustic grand pianos. This helps to support your developing technique and ensure a smooth transition if you choose to play a larger keyboard in the future."

The keys have almost no weight, and feel nothing like a weighted key digital piano and, presumably, nothing like any acoustic piano.

If I can get permission, ( :( ), I can make space for an 88 key piano, and I like the idea of the Roland FP-30, or the new Casio PX-S1000 seems quite good.
 
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Yamaha DGX 640/650/660. Be good to yourself. There is simply NO better weighted, graded piano action available anywhere for REAL piano feel! Even a fancy $2,000+ 'yamaha digital concert grand has the exact same action.
No, most of the higher end Yamahas have different actions. But these DGX models should be similar to the P121 (they are all "GHS").

I'm now toying with getting a second piano for home
There are a good number of 73 or 76 key hammer action boards, but not if you want to stay in the P121 price range. (And the SP4-7 someone mentioned earlier is not a hammer action board either.) The closest alternative would be the soundless Studiologic SL73, you'd have to hook that up to a computer or iPad/iPhone to get your piano sound.
 

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