Which stage piano ?


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Shortlist :
- Yamaha CP88, love the action, very good piano sounds but not the best (price around 2100 euro)
- Nord Piano 5 : wonderful piano samples, haven't been able to try one ; tried the Piano 4 a long time ago, found the action 'okay but not great', but apparently the action is supposed to have been improved for the 5 (price around 2800 euro)
- Dexibell S7 Pro : piano samples to rival Nord and all the features you could wish for ; Fatar TP40 keybed, afaik, haven't found any Dexibell boards in a store near me, only online so can't try it out (price around 1800 euro)

Runners up : Kawai MP7SE and Nord Grand, sound-wise both very good, and a very solid action, but not really all that portable.

I'm intrigued by both the Piano 5 and S7 Pro. Piano 5 because, well, it's a Nord, and there's so much hype around the brand that I might finally get one myself to see what it's all about, and the Dexibell because it has some very obvious qualities, and a bit 'mysterious' because there aren't many of them about...
Studiologic Numa X GT might be interesting as well, but brand new so very little information about it.

Is there anyone who has already played the Piano 5 or S7 Pro ?
 
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BTW, how about a Kurzweil Forte or K2700?

Gary ;)
The Forte 88 is a very nice board but it's showing its age a bit (been out since 2014 if I'm not mistaken), which doesn't mean I don't recognize the qualities. K2700 is workstation territory, something I really don't want.

Kaneda's buying a new board.

I'll alert the fleet of RMA delivery trucks :p :D :D

Gary ;)
Lol...
Of course, I could order all three and send two of them back ;)
 
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Shortlist :
- Yamaha CP88, love the action, very good piano sounds but not the best (price around 2100 euro)
- Nord Piano 5 : wonderful piano samples, haven't been able to try one ; tried the Piano 4 a long time ago, found the action 'okay but not great', but apparently the action is supposed to have been improved for the 5 (price around 2800 euro)
- Dexibell S7 Pro : piano samples to rival Nord and all the features you could wish for ; Fatar TP40 keybed, afaik, haven't found any Dexibell boards in a store near me, only online so can't try it out (price around 1800 euro)

Runners up : Kawai MP7SE and Nord Grand, sound-wise both very good, and a very solid action, but not really all that portable.
No mention of the Korg SV2? I seem to remember that one really appealed to you.

I've never seen any reference to the Nord Piano 5 having a better action than the NP4, where are you seeing that? There ARE refereces to the 73-key version having a better keyboard than the last 73-key version they had, don't be confised by that. AFAIK, the NP4 (which only came 88) and the NP5 (whether 73 or 88) all have the same action. But if you've seen otherwise, let me know...

At stores, I played Nord Piano 4 and Yamaha YC88 (which is supposed to have the same action as the CP88, though I have seen a report of one or two people thinking the YC version felt better). Of those two, I thought the Yamaha felt better.

The Nord Piano 5 and Dexibell S7 Pro both use versions of the Fatar TP40, but the Dexibell version is graded (heavier feeling toward the bottom, lighter feeling toward the top), the Nord is not.

Maybe surprisingly, I would not dismiss the Dexibell S7 Pro M. Same sounds as the S7 Pro in a lighter package, with the oft-maligned Fatar TP100 action instead of the TP40. I happened to pick up a Dexibell P3 recently (also TP100) because I wanted something lightweight with loud speakers, and I was really surprised at how nice it felt to play. The TP100 does seem to vary... I've hated it in some other boards. I know you don't need speakers here, but this model could be a nice choice anyway. And even if you don't need speakers per se, they do impart a haptic sensation of vibrations in your fingers withch I think helps the playing experience feel more authentic (since you also get that when playing a real piano).
 
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Yes, the Korg SV2 crossed my mind. And the version with speakers apparently also gives that haptic sensation when playing. But for some reason, it hasn't got the same appeal anymore. Can't explain it, really.
Plus, the form factor is not ideal to carry it around ; I kind of like a 'flat surfaced' board :)

I hadn't considered the fact that the Piano 5's action wasn't graded. Thanks for mentioning. As for the improvements over the Piano 4, I have seen a couple of videos where it is mentioned, will have to look for them. Don't think it's a different action, but probably tweaked a bit more.
The CP88 certainly has a cracking action and I guess I could more than live with the sounds. It's also a good thing that Yamaha regularly adds more sounds with software updates (although I'm only really interested in new acoustic piano sounds or some EP's, couldn't care less about sax, or flutes or synth sounds).
About Dexibell : it's not easy finding a store that sells them (bit like the problem @Biggles mentioned about Kurzweil). The S7 Pro has the TP40GH, graded and weighted. The very few reviews I've been able to find are all very positive, so are the reviews on the Thomann and Sweetwater sites...
 
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Yes, the Korg SV2 crossed my mind. And the version with speakers apparently also gives that haptic sensation when playing. But for some reason, it hasn't got the same appeal anymore. Can't explain it, really.
Plus, the form factor is not ideal to carry it around ; I kind of like a 'flat surfaced' board :)

I hadn't considered the fact that the Piano 5's action wasn't graded. Thanks for mentioning. As for the improvements over the Piano 4, I have seen a couple of videos where it is mentioned, will have to look for them. Don't think it's a different action, but probably tweaked a bit more.
The CP88 certainly has a cracking action and I guess I could more than live with the sounds. It's also a good thing that Yamaha regularly adds more sounds with software updates (although I'm only really interested in new acoustic piano sounds or some EP's, couldn't care less about sax, or flutes or synth sounds).
About Dexibell : it's not easy finding a store that sells them (bit like the problem @Biggles mentioned about Kurzweil). The S7 Pro has the TP40GH, graded and weighted. The very few reviews I've been able to find are all very positive, so are the reviews on the Thomann and Sweetwater sites...

I will have to amend my future comments as Dexibell outlets are also very few and far between here in England.

Only Bonners seem to have a batch in stock and they are probably closer to you than they are to me (they are 485kM away from me).
 
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I will have to amend my future comments as Dexibell outlets are also very few and far between here in England.

Only Bonners seem to have a batch in stock and they are probably closer to you than they are to me (they are 485kM away from me).
You're right : 292 km from my house to Bonners in Eastbourne :D
 
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About that Dexibell :
- it's made of metal, with wooden side panels... reminds me of a Nord
- it has 1,5Gb of memory, not enough to load every available sample, so you have to make room if you want to use the premium sounds... reminds me of a Nord
- the 'standard' samples already sound amazing... reminds me of a Nord
- they use Fatar actions... reminds me of a Nord
- comes with a solid pedal that supports half-damping... reminds me of a Nord
- it has a very nice OLED display and well layed out hands-on controls... reminds me of a Nord
- it's affordable... not like a Nord at all

So, what's the catch ?
 
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I've seen all those videos. Andertons' channel is entertaining to watch but whatever comparison they make, Nord always comes out on top, even as far as action is concerned. They never slag off other brands, but in the end, the Nord is always the best.
Haven't played the Piano 5 yet so can't judge it yet, but I will say that it's a shame that the quality of their actions doesn't match the quality of their samples... or the price.
Granted, the S7 Pro also uses Fatar, but it's a lot more affordable.

In any case, the three boards I mentioned, CP88, S7 Pro and Piano 5 are all strong contenders. Really want to give the Nord a good chance, so I'll try and find one to try out. I just don't know if it's worth the extra cash, 700 euro more than the CP88, 1100 more than the S7 Pro...
 
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So, what's the catch ?
On paper, Nord advantages would include the triple pedal and some more hands-on immediacy (e.g. you don't have to go through menus to determine what effects the knobs will control, etc.). But overall, I'd say the Dexibell is more versatile (I especially like that it has good multi-zone MIDI controller functionality and lets you bring in soundfonts). In the end, though, I think the thing that may or may not sway you to the Nord is simply the biggest things that distinguish all digital pianos... the sounds and the action (and the "connection" between the two). On paper, I think the Yamaha and Dexibell both beat the Nord. But that won't matter if the Nord is the one that puts the biggest smile on your face when you play it.

And unfortunately, even if you found a store that had them, it's really hard to be sure you're hearing ANY of these at their best. Floor model Yamahas may not be updated with their newerst piano sounds; and you definitely won't hear some of the best (i.e. highest memory) Nord and Dexibell sounds, because the keyboards can't physically hold all of them at once. So you're hearing a sampling of what they can sound like, but not everything they can sound like. (Plus the Dexibell can load non-Dexibell pianos as well via the soundfonts, and some of them are quite nice too. Though if you were so inclined, you could also download those to your computer now, play them from your current board, and at least get a sense of what they sound like, if not necessarily quite how they would play from teh Dexibell action.)
 
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The connection between the sound and the action... My CA58 gives me that, and so did my MP11SE, but I'm not buying that again since, as I've said, it's not portable.
So, in essence, I'm looking for a MP11SE in more portable form. The MP7SE would be a logical choice but, although the RHIII action is really good, it doesn't do the same for me as the wooden action in its bigger brother.

The S7 Pro has an all plastic action, the TP40GH, but, if this guy is to be believed (love his videos), it provides that 'must have' connection :
I happen to understand Italian but you can autogenerate English subs...

On the other hand, here is a video from a classically trained pianist, showing off the CP88 in a quite impressive way...

Haven't found anything on the Piano 5 yet to convince me of the action.

Also stumbled onto this :
Interesting video about the new TP400 Wood in the Numa X Piano GT.
They also talk about the new TP110, the successor to the TP100
Does the Nord Piano 5 use a Fatar TP100 ? If so, could it be it already uses the new TP110, which would explain the 'improvements' over the Piano 4..
Here's one video that talks about 'improvements', Piano 5 is more pianistic (apparently), whereas the Piano 4 had a more 'synthesizer' feel... Not the best video, not by a long shot, but I have read it elsewhere as well, so there must be some truth in it...

One thing's for sure, though : that action in the CP88 seems to be a cracker...
 
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CP88 18.6kg - 41lbs
Xpiano 88 14kg
Nord P5 18.5kg
Dexibel S7Pro 17.9kg

And I thought my 10kg - 22lb Korg arranger was to heavy to cart around with my back issues.
 
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CP88 18.6kg - 41lbs
Xpiano 88 14kg
Nord P5 18.5kg
Dexibel S7Pro 17.9kg

And I thought my 10kg - 22lb Korg arranger was to heavy to cart around with my back issues.
As long as it's not much more than 20kg, then I'm fine. The MP11SE was 45kg...
 
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They also talk about the new TP110, the successor to the TP100
Does the Nord Piano 5 use a Fatar TP100 ? If so, could it be it already uses the new TP110, which would explain the 'improvements' over the Piano 4..
None of the 88 key Nord Piano models have used the TP100 (or TP110). (They would weigh a lot less if they did!) They use some version of TP40.

Here's one video that talks about 'improvements', Piano 5 is more pianistic (apparently), whereas the Piano 4 had a more 'synthesizer' feel...
I haven't played the NP5, and I can't rule out that Nord could have made some subtle change/improvement to the playability. But they don't claim any new/updated action. Look at which features do and do not have the "new" emblem after them at https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-piano-5 and look at the descriptions of the actions on that page vs. the Nord Piano 4 page at https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-piano-4 and the comparison chart at https://www.nordkeyboards.com/products/nord-piano-5/nord-piano-5-comparison-chart

I have read it elsewhere as well, so there must be some truth in it...
This is why the internet is bringing about the end of civilization.
 
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This is why the internet is bringing about the end of civilization.

You may have a point there...

In any case, if the differences between the Piano 4 and 5 are negligible, then I might be disappointed when playing the Piano 5.
The S7 Pro also uses the TP40, the TP40GH to be precise. According to Fatar's website, it's the 'Four Zones Graded Hammer Action'...
There are 3 other incarnations of the TP40, the TP40H (Hard Touch Feeling), the TP40M (Medium Touch Feeling) and the TP40L (Light Touch Feeling). As the action of the Piano 5 is not graded, it must be one of these three.
But Nord do their own implementation of it, I assume, like they have done with Kawai's RHIII (RH-N is what Nord calls it, I believe).

I think it will be an interesting comparison between the S7 Pro and the Piano 5. They use a similar setup, almost the same philisophy as far as layout and sound loading are concerned, and almost identical keybeds. Only, the S7 Pro is so much cheaper...
 
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The guy in the A&C Hamilton video I posted was actually already playing a Piano 4 on one occasion that I went into the store, he was playing it for his own enjoyment and it sounded amazing, no other person was on the sales floor at the time. He was in 7th heaven and even said it was the best DP in the shop and the best he had played.
 

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