Midi Keyboard/Standard Keyboard Recommendations - Quality Feel


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Hi,

I'm finally looking to purchase a new keyboard - I've not really done much in the realms of playing keyboard in many years but would like to take it back up.

Looking for some recommendations in terms of models, brands etc. I've got an Oxygen 25 which is good but not the best for playing anything more than simple chords, plus it feels cheap and plasticy.

If there's a larger keyboard which has capabilities of connecting my laptop, but also can be played without (if possible but not essential if quality is better) and has a weighted key feel, that would be amazing - budget wise I'm trying to stay around £150-250 max.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks
 
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One criteria you mention is for it to be played without it being connected to your laptop.

This rules out a MIDI keyboard controller.

Your other requirement of a weighted key feel rules out most other keyboards as a weighted keyboard limits it to a digital piano.

Look out for a second hand digital piano that is MIDI compliant and can be connected via a USB cable to your laptop yet can be played in standalone mode using the inbuilt sounds and speakers.

Alternately a Yamaha NP12 will give you a digital piano with connectivity and if you also have an iPad or iPhone it will connect up to it.

Other new Yamaha keyboards like a PSR E363 is within budget, it has onboard sounds and connectivity all be it possibly with limitations.
 
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Thanks Biggles for the reply!

Would it make any difference if the keyboard did need a computer to play? In other words if it we're to be a MIDI controller rather than a piano?

One of the big things is the feel of the keyboard/keys - I've come across some cheap plastic feeling keys that don't play well, so I'd like to purchase something that will tick this box on the quality front.

Thanks
 
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There are a few MIDI keyboard controllers that may suit your requirements.

I have tried quite a few MIDI keyboards and even bought and sold a few trying to get one that feels good to play I have to say that I struggled to find one that suits myself, hence my suggestions in my prior post.

BTW, I only will only suggest those with 61 keys as a minimum since anything less will be a bit cramped to play.

The best feel keyboard that I tried was a Roland A800 @ £245

Others to consider:-

Studio logic SL73 @ £300

Notation Impulse 61 @ £250

Nectar Impact @ £255

I got the prices from Bonner’s, you may well find better deals with more searching.

Given the Covid problems if you are buying soon do check out returns policies as they do vary a lot. If you do wait until stores are open to test the keyboards then again checkout in store buying v online as there is often quite a difference in returns policies.
 
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Thanks again for the list Biggles! I've been through all the products and they all look promising. I think from a bit more research I've found that I'm probably looking for a digital piano, as semi-weighted keys seem to be more common on keyboards/controllers. Also I've noticed most of the options have pads and effects dials which are great but probably not needed (maybe in the future). The Studio Logic 73 does look pretty good in terms of spec and build quality, would you recommend such a unit?

The main reason I initially went for a non MIDI controller keyboard to start with was because in the past I've experience lag between hitting the key and hearing the sound on my computer speakers. I don't know if this was due to the controller or not (my computer setup is pretty decent) but having built in sounds would have solved that issue. But the market seems to be geared towards controller based pianos/keyboards having the lead, with more flexibility and better built quality.
 
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My experience of Studiologic gear is just online reviews, I have not had any chance of trying any in any store which is one of the reasons I suggested being careful with returns policies.

A DP can be a good choice especially if you want hammer action.

I would not say that the market is biased towards Controllers, more the opposite. There have been a lot of new workstations and synths in the last couple of years. New Digital Pianos from Roland and Korg.

Inbuilt sounds are not just single samples but multiple samples that operate dependent upon the velocity and aftertouch sensors hence the quality of onboard sounds and the nuances that can be introduced are of better quality than from a software based controller and PC/Mac.

That said my Yamaha P121 digital piano interacts well with the apps on my iPad.
 
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