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Piano keyboard recommendations
December 26, 2003 12:46 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to buy a music keyboard for up to £300. I basically want one that's as near to a proper piano as I can, but my needs are: 61 keys (preferably weighted), connectivity to a computer (therefore not much need for extra bells and whistles on the actual keyboard), touch sensitivity, option for pedal/sustain, and a really good array of spectacular sounds. Can anyone help with a make/model? I can't find anywhere that gives an unbiased view of buying a keyboard...

or even 88 keys...
posted by wibbler to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think you're out of luck for your price range, wibbler.
posted by item at 1:17 PM on December 26, 2003


The Yamaha DGX202 76-Key Portable Keyboard is one of a range of "piano-focussed" keyboards that seem to include most if not all of the features you want at about the right price. I've got a Yamaha PSR 620, a bit different admitedly, but its been very good to me.
posted by nthdegx at 1:37 PM on December 26, 2003


What item said... But if you're interested in upping your price range, or if you can find one used, I'd reccomend a Technics SX-P50.
posted by ArsncHeart at 1:39 PM on December 26, 2003


You could get a keyboard that doesn't make any sounds for that much, probably -- Edirol (Roland's education division) makes a few reasonably-priced ones with built-in MIDI-to-USB interfaces, although none are weighted -- and use a software synth running on your computer for the actual sound generation. The best of these is arguably Reason, although there are more affordable ones (possibly even free ones).
posted by kindall at 2:34 PM on December 26, 2003


I have a Yamaha PSR 500M that I have had for ten years-I have hauled it from place to place and basically beaten the crap out of it -it still works great. (had to go to the shop twice for work on a couple keys, but considering the hard use this thing has had that's still not bad.)

We got it for just under six hundred dollars (on sale)-this was ten years ago. I don't know how that would translate to pounds.

I am assuming you want the kind that doesn't need separate speakers.
posted by konolia at 2:38 PM on December 26, 2003


A couple of years ago I looked for the same thing to keep in my office. I ended up with a Yamaha P80 for about $900. I don't regret spending the extra money - the keyboard weighting was real important for me. It weighs 37 pounds, so it's (sort of) easy to carry from place to place. It does not have built-in speakers; I usually just use headphones. Yahama also makes a less expensive version (P60) which was introduced after I acquired the P80.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:05 PM on December 26, 2003


I have the Yamaha YPR50, which was around that price range, but I think it might have been discontinued since. You can see it, with customer reviews, at this Amazon page. I really like it -- for the price it was a great value. I've had mine for 2 or 3 years.

It has a sustain pedal, MIDI (though I haven't used that), and the basic sounds included are quite good.
posted by litlnemo at 5:27 PM on December 26, 2003


For reviews, after you find some that you're interested... Check out Harmony Central. They have user reviews of most everything music instrumentwise and I've found them to be pretty accurate.
posted by drezdn at 6:12 PM on December 26, 2003


I'd like to second the Yamaha P-80. I can vouch for it as a great-sounding, real-feeling and extremely durable digital piano. It's heavy but pretty compact. More than the weighted keys, it's the hammer action that makes it so enjoyable to play.

You can probably get one second hand these days, or try going to a European site and buying in Euros if you are aiming to get it for £300 (otherwise expect to pay somewhere more towards £600.) A UK site for info on musical instruments is PieDog.com.

The P80 has a number of sounds, only two of which - a piano and a Wurlitzer type electric piano - are truly wonderful. But it has MIDI if you want to attach to a computer/ outboard sound box.
posted by skylar at 10:29 AM on December 27, 2003


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