Hello All, I'm A New Member, And New To Piano As Well


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I'm getting ready to embark on the piano journey. I'm 50 years old, and have played bass for nearly 10 years. While I can play about 70 songs on the bass, I have never progressed far enough to be able to improvise my own lines. Also, I have noticed in the last year or so, that my wrists, elbows, and shoulders start to hurt after very short practice times.

I'm hoping that moving over to the piano will help with both of these issues. Due to space limitations in my apartment, I am looking at a digital keyboard, or synthesizer/arranger. When I started looking at reviews on YouTube, I had no idea what a rabbit hole I was falling down! However, I have narrowed the field down to a few options, so I am here looking for any helpful or critical thoughts on any/all of the following keyboards.

  • Studiologic Numa Compact 2X (budget)
  • Korg XE20 (budget)
  • Roland RD-88 (mid)
  • Roland Juno DS-88 (mid)
  • Korg Kross 2 (mid)
  • Casio PX-560 (mid)
  • Korg Krome EX-88 (upper)
  • Yamaha P-515 (upper)
Right now, my thoughts are leaning towards the Juno DS-88 or the Korg Kross 2, but all of these are on the table, so any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
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happyrat1

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I own a Juno DS88 and have to say I love it. Over 1400 sounds plus downloadable samples from Roland free of charge. The keyboard has an excellent feel to it. My other 88 is a Kurzweil with a TP-40L and I am very happy with both keyboards.

The built in step sequencer and the vocoder functions are also worth mentioning.

All in all it's a hell of a lot of keyboard for the buck.

Here's a little recording I did on it last week if you want an idea of how it sounds (works great as a MIDI controller as well but this one is all Juno voices.)

https://soundcloud.com/happyrat1%2Frattingham-roller-derby
The others on the list all have their merits and their drawbacks, but for my money the Juno DS was the best bang for the buck.

Gary
 
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I own a Juno DS88 and have to say I love it. Over 1400 sounds plus downloadable samples from Roland free of charge. The keyboard has an excellent feel to it. My other 88 is a Kurzweil with a TP-40L and I am very happy with both keyboards.

The built in step sequencer and the vocoder functions are also worth mentioning.

All in all it's a hell of a lot of keyboard for the buck.

Here's a little recording I did on it last week if you want an idea of how it sounds (works great as a MIDI controller as well but this one is all Juno voices.)

https://soundcloud.com/happyrat1%2Frattingham-roller-derby
The others on the list all have their merits and their drawbacks, but for my money the Juno DS was the best bang for the buck.

Gary
Thank you for your reply. I really do like the way the Juno sounds. My only hesitation with it, is that it was released like five years ago, and I am worried about it being based on somewhat older technology. With the size of a keyboard, it isn't really possible for me to just have a dozen of them kicking around as I can with a bass when a newer, shinier model is released.
 

happyrat1

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You'll eventually find that waiting for the latest and greatest model is unobtanium.

The jewel of my setup is my PC3K8 which is now almost a decade old, but as far as I'm concerned these days I'd rather find a good deal on a decent, slightly-used piece of gear (Once a flagship of the line) for a really nice used price.

You can wait forever for the ultimate keyboard and every year later it will become obsolete. :p

Meanwhile it will take you at least a year or two to become familiar with and comfortable with the technology in the keyboard you choose.

Those are some kickass workstations on your list and most of them come with 1000 page manuals.

Whatever you end up owning is up to you, but to start, the Juno DS comes the closest to training wheels of the bunch :)

Gary ;)
 
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Welcome.

Quite a list you have there but here is make take on each:-

Numa, primarily organ biased, reasonable keybed, not the best build quality. Only seen one in a shop but not played it but because I have seen one I query the build. If you are seeking an organ then a Vox Continental can be added to the mix.

Korg XE, is in a class best described as a digital piano with arranger features, others are the Casio S3000 and Yamaha DGX670. Yamaha is the best but it is not small and not light. Casio is smaller and lighter than the Korg and would be my choice in this category of keyboards if space is a criteria.

RD88, new model a good choice, not the best of Roland’s keybeds but still pretty good, MIDI connectivity is limited.

Juno DS, great all round keyboard, do note there are 61, and 76 key versions. Gary is JunoMan but I would suggest you add in the 76 key version into your shortlist as it could be a good compromise all rounder.

Korg Kross 2, the 61 key champion in terms of size and weight, better in some respects than the Juno, inferior in others. In keyboard recording is better with the Kross. I tested extensively both the Juno and Korg and the only reasons I bought the Korg was its small size and weight.

Casio PX, never tried one but it is even older than the Juno in terms of design. It does get great reviews.

Korg Krome, I will leave it to Cowboy to comment he has one that he uses in his Pink Ffloyd tribute band.

Yamaha P515, right up there but it is still a P series. At this price point a Kawai MP7SE comes into play which is arguably the best digital piano at its price point or even +$500.

What will suit you best? An unanswerable question given what you have told us. I usually ask the question .... do you want to play keyboards or piano. If you want to play keyboards then go for a 61 or 76 key unit, if you want to play piano go for a model with 88 hammer action keys. There is a vast and I mean vast difference in keybeds with 61 or 76 key models having a Synth action or variances of it and 88 keys having a whole gamut of variations of hammer action. The Korg XE you quote has their Natural action which is probably the lightest of all hammer action keybeds.

I will throw in another model that is old in design but has more features than a Juno and that is the Roland FA07, definitely not the 61 key version as that keybed is a bit rubbish but the 76 key 07 is a keyboard I have played for a few hours. I decided against it purely on its age but it may suit you fine.

Yes, its a rabbit warren deciding which path to take and good look making your choice.
 
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You might want to consider the new Yamaha DGX-670 which was released 1/21/2021. It probably won't be in stores until March, but if you look on YouTube, it sounds like it's the best bang for the buck at $799. The 88 keyboard touch sensitivity emulates a studio grand, plus it has any number of voices, percussion styles, and optional settings. If you don't want to wait, the DGX-660 is readily available for the same price. You can always add an amp and speakers if you want to entertain the public. At 45#, it's very portable.
 

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