Digital pianos c£500 / $750 USD / €600 / $860 CND / $960 AUD.


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After last time I list currencies and got some stick I think that this time I have the main currencies listed.

Been into a different Music Store today and rattled a few keys of a batch of digital pianos that they had on display.

Roland Go Piano 88 keys
Quite good sound from a keyboard less than £400, synth type keybed lacking feel.

Kawai ES110
I did not power this up, simply pressing the keys was enough, the action was terrible with clacking all along the keybed. Does not matter what it would sound like the keybed killed any thoughts of buying. The ES110 was£470 but there also was a MP7SE which did feel good but there again it was £1300.

Yamaha P45
Great sound and a good feel to the keybed, pretty good value at only £350, you have to hand it to Yamaha they do produce great piano sounds and affordable kit.

Korg B2
Good piano sounds but the keybed was soft with very little feel, there was only the B2 designation on the keyboard and I could not see the serial plate but I suspect it was the B2N model with the so called light touch action whereas the natural weight action is what is used in the B2, if this was the case I would pass on the B2N model and seek out a B2 which I have played and the action felt OK but not as good as the D1 action. £320 for the B2.

Korg D1
Good piano sounds, very good keybed, downside is that there are no inbuilt speakers so there is additional outlay on to of the £450 cost of the keyboard.

Roland FP10
Great piano sounds which are almost as good as the Yamaha but where the Roland wins is with the keybed, the RH4A action being by far better than any of the others listed and even though the sound of the Yamaha is slightly better the Roland wins by a long way due to its keybed. At £370 is has to be excellent vfm in anyone’s book.

Roland FP30
Similar to the FP10 but slightly larger all around with more onboard sounds and better speakers. The same RH4A keybed (same keybed as the new RD88) so pretty well top notch in my book at this price point and at £470 it is worth the extra cash outlay v the FP10.
 
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Watch these videos and you'll never buy a plastic weighted keyboard again...

Still, some are better than others...

Want a silent keybed ? Get a wooden one (VPC1 or MP11SE)...

Also, nothing to do with price range. The Dexibell Vivo S9, Fatar TP400W, expensive and noisy. Nord Piano 4, Fatar TP40, expensive and noisy, Nord Grand, Kawai RH-N keybed (modified version of the RHIII that's in the ES8 and MP7SE), expensive and noisy...

Still, don't mean to throw a spanner in the works. IMHO, the least noisy plastic keybed would be Korg's RH3 (D1, Grandstage, Kronos, SV1, SV2). But don't quote me on that... Yamaha's GH and Korg's NH aren't all that noisy either but they can't hold a candle to the RH3...
 
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The Kawai that I tried was way worst than the one in the video you linked to.

All the others were acceptable, for c£500 expectations should not really be the same as a unit many times the price.
 

happyrat1

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I'm not seeing the Kurzweil or Juno DS keyboards on that list. My juno is a bit noisy but not too bad while my Kurzweil PC3K8 is pretty much silent.

While you're looking you should at least try a Kurzweil SP6.

Gary ;)
 
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Kursweil here in the UK are like hen’s teeth, very rare so practically no chance of trying one.

The list represents all the digital pianos that were on display in the one store hence I could only list what I could play on the day and whilst I did try others I have only list 88 key digital pianos.

Today on my way back from the Hospital appointment I am going to call in at the shop with the strange staff, they do have a good selection of keys on display.
 
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Never seen a Kurzweil in a store, either, let alone played one. The SP6, however, seems like a nice board, but as far as I know, from what I've seen on Youtube and read on the net, the keybed (Medeli K6) certainly won't be better than, say Korg's NH or Yamaha's GHS, on the contrary.
Which begs the question : why do they market it as a stage piano if the keybed isn't really suited for piano (although I'm sure it's fine for organ and other synth stuff).
CP88, SV2, Grandstage, D1, MP7SE, RD2000 and most probably the new RD88 as well... those are boards that have really good keybeds for piano. But it all depends on what you're looking for, really. I'm too piano-centric, so I'm biased...
 
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Called in at the store this morning, engaged staff on entry and asked them to show me their DP’s.

Casio PX S1000
What a little beauty, 88 full sized keys with a not bad action, took some figuring out how to change tones (grand piano key + a key in first octave). So limited in the number of tones but what there were was very good to my ears. Keybed is good but not as good as those in a Yamaha or Roland. The keyboard cost £440.

Casio PX S3000
Same looks and keybed as the 1000 but more tones and accompaniment, cost £625 but I am not sure that it is worth the premium over other makes.

Yamaha P45
Played this the day before but it was stacked with a P121 so played both. Great piano sound and at £325 in this shop it is no doubt an excellent starter piano. Keyboard feel was good and eminently liveable with.

Yamaha P121 (73 key version of the P125)
73 full sized keys with the same action as the P125 and P45, great tones in all categories very easy to change tone ie push piano and the concert grand sounds, push it again and var 1 lights and the second piano sound plays, press piano again for var 2, so this four tones in each category. There is accompaniment available. The Yamaha GHS action really does give a good feel and they cost £370 for the P121 and £456 for the P125.
5* feature, I had piano selected and played and held a chord, I then selected a different instrument sound and the piano tone was maintained until I released the keys. I repeated this action trying different sound combinations including going from one EP to another and on each occasion the held tone was maintained after the new selection was made and until the keys were released. Tried it again using the sustain pedal and the same seamless transition occurred. How come a sub £500 DP can do this and yet a £1k synth/arranger cannot?

At this price point there are other DP’s like the Korg SP280 and some Kursweil models which I have not been able to check out. So what are my favourites so far: -

Yamaha P121/125
Roland FP30
Yamaha P45
Casio PX S1000
Roland FP10
Korg D1

With it being a very close call between the FP30 and P125.
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Admin
Can you copy and paste the above to my starter post so all the reviews are together.
 
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The SP6, however, seems like a nice board, but as far as I know, from what I've seen on Youtube and read on the net, the keybed (Medeli K6) certainly won't be better than, say Korg's NH or Yamaha's GHS, on the contrary.
They're in roughly the same range. Actually, I prefer the Medeli to the action on the Kross.

Which begs the question : why do they market it as a stage piano if the keybed isn't really suited for piano
It is suited for piano. And it's probably the best piano-type action available to Kurzweil that met the price and the weight requirement.

(although I'm sure it's fine for organ and other synth stuff).
It's an 88 weighted action. The thing it's best at is piano. Organ would be quite poor on it.

seamless transition occurred. How come a sub £500 DP can do this and yet a £1k synth/arranger cannot?
no individually assignable effects. Possibly fewer other processing requirements as well. But also, most boards DO have at least some amount of seamless transition available. You had it on your PA700 when changing from one keyboard set to another or when changing from one "upper" part to another, for example, even though you wouldn't have it when changing songs (which changes more parameters at once). Casio MZ-X500 can do it too, and the Rolands we've talked about of course. There are just lots of implementations of this feature, with different limitations.

As long as you don't want to do more than the minimal kind of switching you were doing on that Yamaha, you can probably do it on most boards, I think even the original Kross did, when going from one Program to another. My Korg Microstation does. I think the limitation in the Kross 2 largely comes from the fact that their Program navigation is kind of clumsy, in that you can't navigate directly from one program to any other, you have to scroll through to it. IIRC, seamless switching on the Kross *does* work when you scroll through individual Programs (allowing for effects related glitches), it's just not very useful because most of the time, the Program you need to switch to is not directly adjacent to the one you're on. So the issue isn't so much in the internal architecture as in the implementation of the front panel interface.
 
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Scott

With the Kross 2 the issue was that I rarely used single Programs, on every Combi I held a chord and changed to another Combi and had cut off even when zero Fx were applied.

Before I sold it I created a copy of a Combi and only made simple changes to the sounds on each layer like changing the octave and response area of the layers on the keybed and cut off resulted.
 
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It is suited for piano.
Perhaps. But as I said, I'm a bit 'biased', or should I say, fussy.
I tend to focus on keybeds that are suited for classical piano, keybeds that allow you to be very expressive. Medeli K6, Korg NH, Yamaha GHS and most Fatar actions are far from being ideal for that...
But I'm obviously off topic.
 
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With the Kross 2 the issue was that I rarely used single Programs, on every Combi I held a chord and changed to another Combi and had cut off even when zero Fx were applied.
Oh yes, absolutely, there is no holdover supported for combis on the various Kross and Krome keyboards (and numerous others). The Yamaha P121/P125 you praise can't do this either, because they don't have the equivalent of Combis, only Programs, where Korgs usually permit it as well. So your answer to why a cheap keyboard holds sounds through transitions and more expensive keyboards don't is that more expensive keyboards almost always DO, as long as you're not trying to do something more involved than what you did on that Yamaha.
 
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Very true.

If Paulo of Korg gave me correct info, then it is a hardware limitation with all Korg keyboard except the Kronos.

That said I am not paying £3000 for a Kronos, much as I would like one.
 
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Not been feeling to well today so apart from watching my football team winning by six goal I have been looking at quite a few videos on keyboards.

A bit over the c£500 that I was considering at £620 and as it happens I only had a brief play of it the other day but after watching a shed load of videos this Casio PX S3000 is definitely under consideration and a revisit to the music store is called for.


The small form factor and light weight compared to the Roland FP30 make it better for mobility as long as the sound quality is there. This is certainly the case with the piano and EP tones that I tested in the store, but the reviews has shown that the other sounds are pretty good and with the Chordana app, tone selection and customization via an iPad seems to be a breeze. A bonus is that auto accompaniment functions are included so in keeping with what I am used to and hence this could be better for my jamming sessions.

Current thinking is a transportable DP such as this and a Roland FA 07. OK so a bit of a compromise in the keyboard feel of the Casio vs Roland or Yamaha but being realistic my skill level will never be at the stage performing stage.
 
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I believe the shorter pivot points of the PX-S1000 and 3000 should only worry you when you're an advanced classical or jazz pianist, unless you have a thing about playing close to the fallboard.

You're more of a keyboard player so I think the PX-S3000 should be right up your alley and in this price range, I guess the only one that's better suited for a pure piano player, would be the Kawai ES110 (and I'm saying that because it's the closest to the feel of my MP11SE - again, in this price range).
I'm no expert, only giving my opinion, but that PX-S3000 could be your sweet spot...
 

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For me connectivity is a big selling point.

I haven't been overly impressed by recent Casios as they seem to be cheaping out on MIDI functionality as well as on DIN MIDI ports.

If you have any plans to MIDIfy your setup in the future Col, then I'd suggest taking a very close look at the MIDI features (or lack thereof) on any Casio you audition.

Gary ;)
 
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Gary.

MIDI would not be an issue since I would also have a Roland FA if all goes well with the next visit, an FA 07 over here is less than £1000 or £200 cheaper than an FA 08 which is what I was initially considering.

The Casio may come to nothing if the Chordana app turns out to be as hit and miss as some of the reviews suggest in which case the FP30 come back into the reckoning along with the brace of Yamaha P120 series.
 
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MIDI would not be an issue since I would also have a Roland FA if all goes well
Having the Roland FA-07 is a good reason to want yout 88 to have a standard 5-pin MIDI port... you'd also be able to use your 88 to trigger the piano/EP (or whatever) sounds of your Roland,But these ports have gotten scarce on low cost models these days. But cost aside, this alone would make the Kawai ES110 possibly more desirable as part of a pair than that Casio would be. Casio does make other 88s that do include standard MIDI ports... the PX-560 is particularly nice, but pricier.
 
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That may well be the case Scott but there is a huge but with the Kawai, the key bed on the ES110 that I tried was dire, and very, very noisy.

The Korg D1 does have standard MIDI connections but alas no inbuilt amp and speakers
 

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