Looking for touch-sensitive, portable, good sound DP


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Any recommendations? My piano teacher says I need a touch sensitive one. I play gospel music. I like the organ sounds.
 
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Welcome.

There is quite a considerable number available from $200 - $6000 USD, hence a little guidance on your desired budget, number of keys and other included sounds will help narrow down the options.

To get you started for an organ based keyboard check out the Yamaha YC range, and the Roland VR models.

I have a Studiologic Numa Compact 2X which has 88 semi weighted keys and good onboard sounds including drawbar organ so you may like to include this in your options list.

For about $1500 there is also a Korg Pa700 and a Yamaha SX700, these are both arrangers with 61 velocity sensitive and adjustable keys with a considerable number of inbuilt organ sounds including drawbar.
 
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As Biggles said, a budget would be helpful!

Also, whether you need something with built-in speakers, or if you're okay with (and also budgeting for) needing to listen through external amplification (or headphones).

Another big decision is what kind of action. PIano plays best from a hammer ("fully weighted") action, organ plays best from a non-hammer (unweighted or semi-weighted) action. Some actions are good at one and terrible at the other. Some actions are more acceptable for the dual use, but will still strongly favor one use or the other, so it's also important to know which is more important to you... an action that better supports piano technique or an action that better supports organ technique. And if you want something that is at least reasonably passable for its "secondary" use, that may have an impact on budget as well, since the boards that are more useful as "compromise" boards tend to be pricier options.

Also, as Biggles also alluded to, do you care about how many keys? Organ players are generally fine with 61 keys, piano players often want more.
 

happyrat1

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Ya know what? If you are just starting out and your teacher is a "PIANO" teacher and not a Synth or Organ teacher and IF you are serious about learning how to play and enjoy organ music as well, then I think a decent starter keyboard would be a Kurzweil SP4-7 or SP4-8 plus an extra couple of hundred for a decent amp.

They can readily be found used and new for a reasonable price and they will beat the snot out of any comparably price Yamaha or Casio.

Gary ;)
 
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As you may be gathering, we are good at helping you spend your own cash.

TWO keyboards will give you the best of both worlds.

A 61/76 keyboard for organ and an 88 hammer action DP for piano.
 
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In terms of budget I am thinking $350-$750US (I'm in Canada though). Hard to justify something greater without the skill to back it up. I may have more with my tax refund coming soon but am still catching up on my budgeting after illness.

61 keys would be fine for portability. Non hammer fine with me. I will research the above options. I think one keyboard only for now that I can practice on that is touch sensitive. If I play somewhere it will have to do. It's the player, not the instrument that matters so much. Even my Yamaha PSR-170 has nicer sounding features like playing the horns but it only works for a few things.
 
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I think Biggles' suggestion of a Numa Compact 2X is a good one. It's a lot of bang for the buck. It also has good MIDI controller features, so you could connect to your smartphone and get additional sounds that way, in a simpler way and with more control/flexibility than you typically find on boards in this price range.
 
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I think Biggles' suggestion of a Numa Compact 2X is a good one. It's a lot of bang for the buck. It also has good MIDI controller features, so you could connect to your smartphone and get additional sounds that way, in a simpler way and with more control/flexibility than you typically find on boards in this price range.
Thanks biggles and anotherscott, its a little big at 88 but will see if I can try one locally. I have a tvm-15 busking amp which helps but wouldn't say the sound quality is great. It is good for BBQs.
 
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For your budget you may struggle as there are not that many choices.

My Numa Compact 2X may be 88 keys but it is light weight and the width and depth are also very small.

Most new keyboards in your price range will probably have touch sensitive keys which are generally set mid range as standard.

Best buy would be a Numa or a Roland Juno DS 61 which is a little over budget but it will give you years of service
 
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Advantages of the Numa over the Juno DS include a better action for piano playing, a better organ implementation (with drawbar controls), better MIDI functionality (for integrating additional sounds if you're not totally happy with the ones in it), built-in speakers, probably the better piano sound. There are other advantages too, but those seem like the ones relevant to what the OP has asked about.

The Juno DS also has many advantages of its own, but based on what the OP asked for, it seems like the weaker choice here (except for being more compact).
 
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happyrat1

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In terms of budget I am thinking $350-$750US (I'm in Canada though). Hard to justify something greater without the skill to back it up. I may have more with my tax refund coming soon but am still catching up on my budgeting after illness.

61 keys would be fine for portability. Non hammer fine with me. I will research the above options. I think one keyboard only for now that I can practice on that is touch sensitive. If I play somewhere it will have to do. It's the player, not the instrument that matters so much. Even my Yamaha PSR-170 has nicer sounding features like playing the horns but it only works for a few things.

My Ears perked up when you mentioned a $750 USD limit in Canada.

Put yourself on a couple of Kijiji and Craigslist Watchlists and you'll be amazed what 750 yankee smackers will buy in the GTA alone.

Canada is a very musical country and the used market around most of the major cities is HUGE.

You can knock about 40% off of the price of any recent new keyboard if someone bought one and for whatever reason didn't like it or gave up on lessons.

Same goes for amps and other pro gear.

Don't worry about warranties. Usually if it survives the first year it's good for at least ten more.

PLUS! When it's sold locally it's ALWAYS in stock. Take it for a test drive before you make your decision.

$1000 CDN can buy you a brand new Juno DS61 with an extra $130 in HST added on but it can also buy you a used one in great shape for about $700 CDN, leaving an extra $300 for an amp.

Also, the furniture style pianos from Casio and Yamaha are ALWAYS being sold after daddy's pride and joy crashed and burned his piano lessons.

If you don't know how to test it properly, bring along someone who does, or we can pretty much tell you what to look for when buying.

Also, don't overlook the simplest and cheapest option, which is to buy a 61 key controller and hook it up to your iPhone or your laptop and enough sounds to keep you happy for the rest of your life. :)

I wish someone had told me before I became a gearslut :D

Gary ;)

PS. And if you don't see anything you like this week, keep checking for the next month.

Patience is the name of the game. :)

Gary ;)
 
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$1000 CDN can buy you a brand new Juno DS61 with an extra $130 in HST added on but it can also buy you a used one in great shape for about $700 CDN, leaving an extra $300 for an amp.

Also, the furniture style pianos from Casio and Yamaha are ALWAYS being sold after daddy's pride and joy crashed and burned his piano lessons.
As mentioned in my previous post, I don't think DS61 is a great choice for the OP, who has expressed interest specifically in piano and organ, which are two of the things DS61 is weakest at (bad action for piano, lackluster piano sound, average rompler organ sound with no drawbar functions, and limited MIDI functionality making it only so-so for improving the sounds by connecting to an iPhone or whatever). OTOH, I admit, most options in this price range are likely to have substantial limitations in either piano playability, organ playability, or both. It would be easier to come up with recommendations if the interest was primarily piano or primarily organ... the split usage makes it tougher.

Furniture style pianos do not meet the portable requirement.

For a used board, I might keep an eye out for a Casio XW-P1. Drawbar organ, good MIDI functionality for upgrading piano/organ sounds if and when needed, and the action is a bit more piano-playable than the low-end Rolands (or Korgs).
 
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Thinking more about what I said about how hard it is to get a low-cost keyboard that is relatively decent for piano AND relatively decent for organ, combined with Gary's comment about a controller+iPhone, makes me think that maybe you look for a board that's okay for piano, and connect it to your smartphone for your organ (VB3m is a good organ app that runs on iPhones and also many Android phones). A Yamaha NP-12 is a decent low-cost 61-key non-hammer piano, or maybe the new Casio CT-S1.

Also, just to make sure we're not missing anything... is there anything you'd really like to have besides piano and organ sounds? Other sounds of interest? Accompaniment features?
 

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I beg to differ on the weakness of the Juno's pianos. With a bit of tweaking and layering you can get some excellent pianos out of the DS, even from some of the factory performances.

As for organs you can't have everything.

But he should be able to pick up a used SP4-7 for well under a thou if he shops around. And there ain't nothing wrong with those keyboards.

Gary ;)
 
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Okay, sounds are always subjective, but I suspect that your ability to get a satisfactory piano sound out or the Juno DS is also related to the fact that you have the 88. Playability from the 61 action is a whole other animal. You can't get the same kind of dynamic expressiveness out of that action, and I think the end result is going to be a piano that simply doesn't sound very satisfying when you play it no matter how you tweak it. That's my theory, anyway. ;-)

A used SP4-7 would be an excellent choice.
 
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happyrat1

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I'll agree the keyboard on the Juno DS61 or 76 is not much better than a comparable krappy keyboard on a consumer priced Casio WK or Yamaha PSR but if he can find an 88 under budget I think he would also be very happy with it.

If he checks out the local classifieds for used and visits a few music stores he'll soon enough have a good idea of what a proper keyboard should feel like.

A Kurzweil would be nicer, but people tend to hang onto those until either the board dies or they do. :D

Gary
 
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I'm more interested in organ than piano sound. Will see if I am ok with 88 key width in my space. I have my work cut out visiting places and watching listings. Not so concerned about the piano-like action. Maybe a controller would do fine? New info: I do appreciate having a few drum loops that are easy to start/stop and change during song (i.e. flip to the verse/alternate sound).
 

happyrat1

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In that case I'd suggest the Juno DS76 with semi weighted non hammer action keys or the SP4-7

Whichever the market and the budget allows.

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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Actually for organ sounds I added a Ferrofish B4000+ Hammond Emulator Module to my DS88.

Gary ;)
 

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