Looking for a unicorn: 60/40 piano practice/arranger Budget less than US$2500 or so

Oct 30, 2021
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I originally posted in the piano forums, but they recommended I post here since you guys are more into the 'arranging' side of things.

My dilemma is that I am seeking something that I think doesn't exist in the marketplace right now for some reason. After many MANY (wayyy too many) hours of research, reading and watching video reviews, I have yet to come across a digital piano that fulfills my wants, which are (in approximate order of importance):

Good for daily piano practice and learning
Above average action (for the above)
Above average piano sounds, at least
88 keys
Above average speaker system (PREFER a console, but I am also looking at stage pianos with their cabinets)

All of the above things are easy to find...in fact I can name about 5 models off the top of my head that I would buy tomorrow, if it werent' for this next item, which is the rub:
Above average arranger (by 'above average' I am referring to something that has backup accomp that sounds realistic instead of so many out there that are the cheesiest of the cheese, not just in quality of the backing instrument sounds, but also in the rhythm and accomp. style).

It seems that there is no market or interest in having both the first set listed above, coupled with that nice arranger.

I have played around on a Yamaha DG670 some, and the sounds are very good on that, and I would say the accomp is well above average. The problem with that model is that first set of 'wants' - mostly the action and the speakers (not sure if the default piano sounds on that are the same high quality as on their higher models or not, but if not, that is also an issue)

If money were no object, I would probably go buy one of the higher end Clavinova's tomorrow, as a few of those models satisfy all the above (and maybe some high end console models from other manufacturers, not sure), but $2500 is probably my max, and preferably less.


Yamaha: DGX670, maybe CLP-735, CSP-150, 515, maybe CVP 701?

Casio: PX-560. This one is VERY interesting but I have not heard or played it in person. Wary about the potential cheesiness of the accompaniament, but sold on the very cool arranger AND synth (lite) functionality. I think this model probably represents the most 'jack-of-all-trades' DP out there, for a reasonable price. But it's SO old! Also worried about crap action on this one (relative to others I am looking at in my budget)

Kawai: ES 920, CN39

Roland: FP-90X, not sure which current console model would be the equivalent of a Clavinova here

Strongly considering:

"settling" for the DG670, because I DO like to play around with arranger, synth type sound creation, and just general goofing off. I have owned a couple of similar models in the past, and recorded some songs using sequencers and Cakewalk (solely for fun, and personal use).

Kawai ES920 sounds like it's the direct competitor to the Yamaha 670 (although considerably more expensive), and from what I can tell, probably has a better core piano sound, AND better action, two very important things for me. Speakers are also much much better apparently (certainly more powerful).

And finally, the Casio 560. This one really only worries me because it's so damn old that I think the other more current models will have surpassed it in terms of connections, sound quality, and maybe even quality of the arranger features (might sound out of date if you know what I mean, like my 25 year old Roland DP'ss accompaniaments).

ANY thoughts appreciated and welcome!


Sep 6, 2017
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Lancashire, UK.
Sorry if it bursts your bubble but a Unicorn is mythical as far as an arranger piano is concerned.

88 key Piano’s with arranger features are very limited in the market, Yamaha DGX 670, Casio PX S3000, Korg EX20 and the Casio PX560 are all there are and even then they are limited in arranger features if compared to a dedicated arranger.

Arrangers tend to be only 61 keys until you get to the high end models and then they only have 76 keys.

You quote Kawai but as far as I know they do not include arranger features in any of their models.

My advice would be to take a serious look at a Korg Pa1000 and a Yamaha SX900, ignore the fact that they only have 61 keys for now, check out the reviews and comments on these models in the make specific forums that are out there. Then if these have the features you desire you could always add a 88 note MIDI keyboard to one of the above models to give you the piano action you desire.

The alternative blows your budget totally out of the water and will require more than a single box. A Kawai 11/7/920 (or similar stage piano) with a Ketron Arranger module and a pair of monitor speakers, the Ketron module alone will more than blow your budget.


May 19, 2021
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If you're looking for sounds / samples that are fine, check out Garritan Personal Orchestra
(Demos are awesome - like a real live orchestra playing)
. . . . .
IMHO, finding a unicorn may be impossible. But creating a Frankenstein Kludge is possible.
Basically, you want a data entry keyboard that you like, that can connect to a computer (ex: USB MIDI), running the Arranger software, that triggers the patches you want to hear.
One Man Band (Win, Linux, iPad, etc)
Varranger ($$$)
. . . . .
Then there's the option to buy a separate Arranger keyboard to augment your 88 key piano controller.

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