I think I've narrowed my search to two. What do you all think?


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I want a portable keyboard around a $1,000 or less. I'm still learning, but this will be my only purchase for many years. I'm thinking the Roland FP30 or the Kawai ES100. I want something that sounds great and I can take to do gigs. Pick one or give me other ideas if you think I'm making a mistake.
 
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happyrat1

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In that price range also give consideration to the Casio PX-5S and PX-560m

Way more bang for the buck in a less cumbersome package.

Gary ;)
 
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Of the two Casio digital pianos which do you think is best. Also is a digital piano the same as a keyboard. I get kind lost in the wording.
 

happyrat1

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The 560 has a slight edge over the 5S in that it has a color touch screen and has a better piano sound.

Seeing that it was released 3 years after the 5S it stands to reason it contains slightly more advanced technology.

On the other hand, they both share features of the same synth engine though the PX-5S is the more tweakable of the two.

The 560 has more arranger style type features while it is notoriously difficult to set up a drum accompaniment track on the 5S.

The 560 also has built in speakers as well as Line Outs while the 5S has Line Outs only.

Truth be told, the lines these days are blurring between stage pianos and workstations and arrangers these days and while the Roland and Kawai you listed are both simply stage pianos they have an extremely limited range of sounds they can produce.

The 560 and the 5S are both closer to workstations than simple Pianos and of the two I'd guess that the 560 is the easier to control and program.

Since the price difference between the two is trivial I'd suggest doing your research and trying them both out in person if possible to get a feel for them.

Personally I'm considering selling off my PC3K and getting a 560 myself.

Gary ;)
 
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thanks for the tips. I'm reading reviews right now and I agree they have more to offer than either of my original choices.
 

happyrat1

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You're very welcome.

Those two Casios are considered among the best bang for the buck in the industry these days.

Gary ;)
 
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Fred Coulter

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Also is a digital piano the same as a keyboard. I get kind lost in the wording.

Given the amount of overlap between the different categories of keyboards, I'd define a digital piano as an electronic keyboard with (usually) 88 weighted keys, (usually) internal speakers, and easy access to a piano sound. This does not mean that it won't have other sounds available, nor that it cannot be used to control other keyboards and/or communicate to a computer. My DGX-650 has 88 weighted keys, built in speakers, three pedals, a dedicated piano button, and defaults to piano when you turn it on. It also has over 500 sounds, 195 arranger styles, a sequencer, and can be connected to a computer via USB. However, even with all that, I'd call it a digital piano.

My Kronos also has 88 weighted keys, but it does not have internal speakers nor does it have a dedicated piano button. When powered up, it defaults to whatever sound is in the first set position. It is NOT a digital piano (although its piano sound is probably as good as the one on the DGX-650.)
 

John Garside

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Hope you don't object to my jumping in here?

I've just bought the Casio 560 and think it's a great purchase. I did quite a lot of initial research and visited a few piano shops too before buying.
Do take a look at youtube videos, and read a detailed review at
https://azpianonews.blogspot.co.uk/...X560-Digital-Piano-Privia-Low-Price-Hex-.html
I bought the Casio stand that goes with it and the pedals too. We're delighted (my wife too).
It really is best if you can try out the feel of the instrument before purchase, if you can.
I wasn't able to try the 560 directly, but another Casio piano with a very similar 'action'.

The difference between a keyboard and a digital piano is mostly the feel of the keys when playing. Lots of other things too, obviously.
A keyboard usually just has very light 'sprung' keys with a soft touch to them.
A digital piano has a mechanism underneath (much like a piano's hammers) so they can feel much like playing a piano.
Most experts say it's best to learn on a piano. You can more easily convert to other keyboard instruments.

My feeling is that you probably won't be displeased with the 560, as has been said by others, "you get a lot of bang for your buck!"
 

Fred Coulter

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The difference between a keyboard and a digital piano is mostly the feel of the keys when playing. Lots of other things too, obviously.
A keyboard usually just has very light 'sprung' keys with a soft touch to them.
A digital piano has a mechanism underneath (much like a piano's hammers) so they can feel much like playing a piano.

Weighted keyboards alone do not define a digital piano. The 88 key versions of the Korg Kronos and the Yamaha Montage have weighted keyboards. But neither of them would be called a digital piano. (This is true of most 88 key keyboards, whether digital pianos or not.) You need to look at other characteristics, too.

Most experts say it's best to learn on a piano. You can more easily convert to other keyboard instruments.

My daughter's organ instructor would disagree. He would say that learning on a harpsichord is better (and did, to me). The historical literature says learning on a clavichord is the best. Learning on a piano (or piano style keyboard) is the best IF YOU WANT TO PLAY PIANO. My daughter says that all of her piano training has fallen short when learning the organ. It's not touch sensitive, the sustain pedal ain't there, and there's all those finger substitutions that you would never need or learn on a piano. We'll not even talk about the pedal board. Also, while a piano is velocity sensitive, it is not pressure sensitive like a clavichord or a modern synthesizer. (Although most synths are channel pressure sensitive, not individual key sensitive like the clavichord.) Learning on other keyboard instruments is better if you want to play instruments that have different keyboards. Your choice of instrument to learn on should be based on the instrument you want to eventually play. While the piano is (currently) the classical keyboard instrument of choice, it is not the only keyboard out there. It may be easier to find piano teachers, but they are not the only ones out there.
 

John Garside

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Didn't mean to cause offence, Fred.:oops:

The historical literature may well have been written before the advent of the piano, at around 1746.
From my experience I have found it almost impossible these days to get hold of a clavichord to practise on. :(
I came across one, which unfortunately wasn't for sale, in a tiny bookshop in Bonn some years ago. But none since.
My understanding is that keeping them in tune is quite challenging, much like a harpsichord.

And no keyboard can prepare anyone for playing the pedal board, apart possibly from knowing what the notes are called.
And no amount of traditional keyboard training can prepare one for playing a 'virtual' wind or string instrument, or indeed a virtual harp, etc., etc.
My fairly brief foray, when I was a lad, playing oboe and later flute taught me some of that, but not how

However I have added an expression pedal to the 560 which, when playing organ sounds, does go some way in emulating the swell pedal.
My second keyboard, a four octave MIDI controller keyboard with note velocity and channel after touch does allow me to play various virtual instruments.
But I have to say, it's not so good for learning technique, hence the 560.

A few years ago I picked up an Akai EWI 4000. Never did find a teacher for that one.
 

Fred Coulter

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The historical literature may well have been written before the advent of the piano, at around 1746.
From my experience I have found it almost impossible these days to get hold of a clavichord to practice on. :(

Even after the piano was invented, it was preferable to learn on a clavichord. I'd give you citations, but they're at home, buried under other stuff, and I'm at work. But if I remember, this was the case until almost the start of the twentieth century. (I didn't realize how long the clavichord was used after the piano was invented before I started reading the literature. I also thought it was immediately dropped in favor of the louder although less expressive piano.)

As for getting one for yourself, I suppose that not everyone gets one as a wedding present from their father.

If you're good at wood working, you can build one. There are several reputable (and several not so reputable) companies that will be happy to sell you a kit. Or a completed one if you've got LOTS of money. I'm not a decent woodworker, but it's something I'm considering working on once I retire. Not to build a clavichord or harpsichord since I've got one (or am getting my father's) -- although a five octave non-fretted clavichord would be really cool to own and my father never built one -- but because it would be interesting to build a small pipe organ. All I need to do is convince my wife that we really don't need the living room.


I'm not convinced that this is a picture of a pure small pipe organ; it's just what I found on a quick search. The ones I've seen this size have far fewer stops. Maybe this is a hybrid with electronics adding to the pipes. But the size is about right for a home pipe organ. (For such an organ, generally the pedals just duplicate the bottom half of the lower manual.)

I probably should build a portative organ first. They're meant to be carried, with one hand operating the bellows while the other plays the keyboard. It might be fun to play at a Ren Fair, and more portable than the clavichord. (My wife and I did play at the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo. My wife played the harp, while I played the clavichord. For public events like the Queen's Lunch, I used a small contact mike on the soundboard going to a Mouse amplifier covered in a lace tablecloth. I called it a magic box, built by a wizard.)



As for tuning, they are far more stable than a guitar. Probably similar to a harp. (One publication I read claims that the piano is the only instrument that is not generally tuned by its player. I'd add the organ, but tuning an organ is more like repairing it than normal maintenance.
 
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Just stumbled across this thread and found it amusing.

The only thing common to the piano and organ as far as I've found is the fact that both have keyboards that look somewhat similar. Other than that, they're different beasties and require different playing techniques and styles.
 
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I probably should build a portative organ first. They're meant to be carried, with one hand operating the bellows while the other plays the keyboard. It might be fun to play at a Ren Fair, and more portable than the clavichord.

Check East Indian music stores for "harmoniums". They're hand-bellows reed organs, used for accompaniment (and sometimes solo work, I suppose). Very common in chant groups. They're typically fixed, not carried, but I bet you could rig a shoulder harness.

It's absolutely inauthentic, but I've tricked-out a MicroKorg XL+ to have a similar sound, complete with "breathing". I haven't figured out a way to do a swell -- I don't want a "touch-sensitive" organ, and the MKXL+ doesn't take an "expression pedal".

. CHarles
 
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I'd use an inline volume pedal. The kind that guitar players use. I used to use them years ago on most of my keyboards that didn't have a jack for an expression pedal and they worked great. In some cases I think they worked better than an expression pedal. The sweep always seemed smoother. Down was always full volume and back was off with a nice smooth transition all the way through. Get a good one though. It's worth the money.
I have 2 old analogue synths that I want to get back up and running and once Ido, I'm going to get volume pedals for them.
 
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I think you are making a mistake going for a digital piano.

You say you are still learning yet want it for gigging.

I would suggest you look at an arranger keyboard like the Korg PA300 or Roland BK3.

These would give you room to grow into with their vast range of sounds and styles inbuilt.

If you can stretch the cash some more the Yamaha PSR S770 or Korg PA700 are great keyboards with even more capabilities and both have inbuilt amps and speakers and hence would be OK for small venues.

As with all instruments go to a music store and check them out, that is what I did and walked out with the Korg PA700.
 

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