Pianos aren't really portable. What are my keyboard options?
September 9, 2007 7:24 PM Subscribe
I'm looking for a portable keyboard with pretty realistic action.
posted by booksandlibretti to technology (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've played piano for a long time, but I've always used the real thing (first a hundred-year-old upright at home, then gorgeous baby grands in school practice rooms). Now, for a class, I need to purchase a keyboard -- and I figure since it'd be $50 or $100 for a not-so-hot one, I may as well spend $100-200 more and buy a good one that I can use when I no longer have access to school pianos.
Anyway, I know a fair amount about pianos, but not much at all about keyboard technology. Hopefully you can give me some recommendations if I tell you what I'm thinking.
- Must be portable, but I'm strong; heavy is better than unwieldy. Twice a week, I will be taking it -- along with a twenty-pound backpack -- on a crowded bus; in the course of those days, I'll also be walking two miles and climbing seven flights of stairs jammed with people.
- Must be pretty durable. I really don't know how much abuse keyboards can take without dying, but I'm guessing that if I have to schlep it to class, I don't want a delicate flower. I'm a careful person and I usually treat expensive electronics well, but because of all the hiking that's required, the keyboard will be bumped, scuffed, possibly dropped, and hopefully not rained on. If a protective carrying case is made for it, that would be great.
- Must feel pretty realistic. Once I have a few model numbers, I'll go try out the action to see what I prefer, but please don't recommend anything that feels less than pretty decent. I'm not asking for the expensivest awesomest newest technology, but I don't want to get into bad habits and I really don't want it to feel terrible.
- Must take batteries. It should have a power adapter, but it needs to be able to play from battery power if I can't be near an outlet.
- I'd like 88 keys, but yeah, I can settle for fewer. I'm willing to compromise a little on the size.
- Must have internal speakers (I shouldn't need to hook it up to anything to play). Must also have a headphone jack -- 3.5mm would be ideal, but 1/4" is fine too.
- Must have damper pedal operable by foot (not only by a hand switch or button or anything).
- Must have an attachable music stand that works -- I almost always play from sheet music, and it's impossibly frustrating when you're in the middle of a song and half the piece falls off because the stand sucks.
- I don't really care about MIDI stuff, computer interaction, recording anything, having five different tuba voices, or anything else I didn't mention above. Bells and whistles might be fun, but they're far from required.
I'm thinking something around $200-300, although I can go over a little if the upgrade would be significant. If any companies or stores offer student discounts, I qualify! Also, I'll be shopping in Manhattan, so if you can recommend stores (to test keyboards at or to buy from), that would be helpful.