Frustrated New Member Trying to Find Good Digital Piano


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Good morning! I'm a new member here and I've been playing/learning piano on a digital piano for years. I started out with an old wooden Casiotone keyboard back in the day. Then I upgraded to the Technics sx-pc12 digital piano that weighs a ton. Surprisingly I bought it not knowing how important weighted keys are to getting the best feal for real acoustic pianos. I was surprised that I owned a weighted key piano. I didn't know the importance then. It has lasted for 18 years.

Now I need something more portable. I think this Technics piano must weight 40lbs. My frustration comes from this. After researching for hours, I started out with the Yamama p45. Reviews were glowing. But.....a few reviewers said that if you are going to spring $500 for the p45, why not just spend the extra $150 to get the Yamaha p115. It has more functions and has a truer acoustic piano sound. Okay, fine.

So, I started researching the Yamaha p115. A lot of reviewers compared it to the Casio PX160. ABout half of the reviewers gave the Casio PX160 the edge, though a very slight edge due to the Casio's better key action. Okay. So, I start researching the Casio PX160. It was about $100 less than the Yamaha p115. One reviewer said that the key noise was a tad louder than the p115. I plan to play the p115 late at night to get my practice in. Loud key clicking when using headphones is not an option.

Nevertheless, that brought me back to the Yamaha P115. Did some more research and happened upon a few reddit forums on the Yamaha P115 vs. Casio PX160. A few reddit users have the Yamaha and like it. But it seemed like the consensus was to go for the Kawai ES110 or the Roland FP-30. o_O Mind you, the Kawai ES110 is ONLY $150 more than the Yamaha P115. lol

So you see my dilemma. I found that the prices of the digital pianos I was researching were creeping up $150 at a time.

I want something I can grow into. My Technics sx-pc12 served me well for more than a decade. But it only has 4 sounds and no accompaniment. It's a very basic, but sturdy instrument for practice. Now I want a little more bells and whistles. I like the fact that the new pianos have more sounds, rhythm accompaniment, recording ability, built in metronomes, stored songs, USB ports, etc. Also, I would value portability as I can continue to practice even during travel. I could practice on the road instead of watching TV. ;)

I believe this forum is the place that could point me in the right direction.

I would like:

1. A piano I can grow into (my baseline is the Technics sx-pc12)
2. Bells and Whistles at least more than my current Technics piano (not hard to do, I know)
3. Portability (lightweight but sturdy)
4. Good sound. (I play on real acoustic pianos at school and would like something as close as possible to that feel and sound)
5. Reasonably priced (I started at $350 for the Yamaha P45 and ended up at $750 for the Kawai ES110)

I get a bonus every year. If I wait until next year, my budget would be closer to $1000. So, if I can wait, that's also a possibility. But between now and that time, I'm going to be on the road a lot and will miss a lot of practice time.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.
 

Rayblewit

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I don't undetstand why it is important to carry a full size 88 on the road for practise purposes.
Why not settle for a top of the range model for home and get a separate smaller Cheaper model for the practise runs.
Ray
 
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My goal was never to purchase two separate keyboards. My budget will no support that. Currently, from the reviews I've read, the pianos I'm looking at are rated very high for beginners and intermediate players. If the piano is portable, I see that as plus. All of the pianos I mentioned are portable. Perhaps in 5 - 10 years I can go for a top of the line stationary piano when I sound like I deserve one. :) But for now, I'm looking for the best of both worlds, a good piano that can be stationary and also portable.
 

happyrat1

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I'd suggest sticking with either a Casio or the Kawai to meet your needs.

If it's bells and whistles you are looking for and a keyboard you won't outgrow, the Privia PX-360 delivers in spades.

General consensus is that the Casio Privia line offers the best bang for the buck in its respective classes.

And I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the key clunks. All electronic keyboards become noisier with age as the dampening felt under the keys begins to compress and wear out.

And if you've been playing pianos for two decades or more, you really shouldn't even be looking at entry level keyboards any longer.

At this point, be prepared to pony up between $750 and $1000 USD for a suitable instrument.

Gary ;)
 
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I didn't say I played continuously for 20 years. lol WHich is why I'm back taking lessons. I'm actually leaning toward the Roland FP-30. I like the fact that it has two USB ports and has Bluetooth 4.0. As an IT person, connectivity is always welcomed. It has enough bells and whistles. I have a Yamaha p115 on the way to the house via Amazon, but I will probably return it. I'm going out tonight to a music store to see these things in person. I may have a different impression afterward. The Casio PX360 is out of my price range at $900 just for the unit.
 

happyrat1

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Be warned that Yamaha tends to use proprietary drivers for USB connectivity.

As a Linux user that's a big dealbreaker for me.

Safe brands that are USB MIDI Class Compliant include Korg, Kurzweil, Casio, Roland, Studiologic, but excludes the Yamahas.

Make certain whatever you get is USB MIDI Class Compliant else you may run into problems when Windows upgrades again.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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Yamaha has been making class-compliant models for the last few years, but any models that were introduced more than about 5 years ago (I'm not certain when) are most likely not class-compliant, unless they've been revised to that effect (as with the updated MX models). And of course, if a given model includes MIDI DIN ports (which might not be the case) then it doesn't matter, since you would connect from the MIDI to a USB interface and then to a computer, so it would be the USB interface that matters.
 
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happyrat1

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Newer Yamahas are quasi-class compliant.

They may offer basic MIDI functionality without drivers but once you want to use other features such as Sound over USB they require proprietary ASIO drivers.

At least that's the impression I get from reading some of their spec sheets.

And general consensus among a lot of keyboard players is that their product support is among the worst in the industry.

If it doesn't work with their specified operating systems then it's their way or the highway. :p

Gary ;)
 
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I went to my local music store and picked up the Roland FP-30. So far I love it. Basically, the sales guy gave me a lower price than their sale price. He gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. lol

The piano sound is beautiful and I like the matte finish keys. The key action is solid. Sound and feels like a real hammer on a string.

Thank you for all of you suggestions. I haven’t had a chance to try out the Bluetooth yet. I read where someone was able to use Garage Band with it.
 
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Update, bluetooth works flawlessly! Connected it to my iphone and the Garage Band app and it picked up the Keyboard bluetooth right away. No lag either in sound. THe moment I struck a key on the keyboard, the sound came out of the phone. Pretty awesome.
 
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happyrat1

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Glad to hear you found a keyboard you can be happy with.

Looking forward to hearing some of your tunes.

Gary ;)
 
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I'll stay on these forums. Seems like a nice place to get tips and advice. I have a long road ahead of me. Life takes detours, but I haven't given up on my desire to play the piano. Not trying to be a rock star. IF that happens, so be it. But I just want to be able to play enough to sound good for myself. :)
 
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Very pleased you have your new Roland.

They produce great kit, I have just bought one of their GT100 guitar effects box of tricks to use when I play my Les Paul.
 

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