Digital Piano Recommendations?
March 4, 2005 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I'm selling my upright piano in order to get a digital piano - what recommendations do you have? I'd like a piano that is portable enough to take places in my car, but also has that "piano feel" and a good number of voices. Also, any amp and headphone suggestions?
posted by joshuaconner to Shopping (15 answers total)
Oh my gosh, I was just thinking of asking this question. I have been searching the web and found this group that made me really want to buy a yamaha. How much were you looking to spend?
posted by j at 9:23 PM on March 4, 2005

How much car space do you have? I have a Yamaha YDP-223 that works really well for me. If I take off the stand part, I can fit it in my wife's Saturn, but I have to make a second trip for the stand.

Also, do you like to lift heavy things? I almost injured my back moving it by myself, but I'm a weakling.
posted by agropyron at 9:36 PM on March 4, 2005

Response by poster: Assume, within reason (less than $5000? Is that "within reason"?) and that price is no object.

As for size/weight, it's important for me to be able to fit the keyboard and stand together in a car. Also I, given two otherwise equal options - would buy the keyboard that doesn't have the potential to injure me.
posted by joshuaconner at 10:17 PM on March 4, 2005

I did a fair amount of research on keyboards with weighted keys, and I didn't see anything that was a whole lot smaller than mine AND had a realistic feel to it. My priority wasn't mobility though, so maybe there's something out there I overlooked.
posted by agropyron at 10:48 PM on March 4, 2005

Best answer: $5000 is plenty for a keyboard. If you want something really portable, you'll be looking at a slab keyboard instead of a digital piano, which is good, because digital pianos are overpriced and don't really sound any better (despite what the nice Clavinova dealer told you). You end up paying a lot for underpowered speakers and a pretty case.

Roland makes keyboards with a nice touch and a good piano sound. I've got a RD-700 that didn't cost much more then a grand, and is a joy to play. That's considered a stage piano, but you certainly can spend more and get a full featured synth.

If you're don't mind dropping a chunk of change (probably $3K-4K), Kurzweil probably has the best tone and touch. Look at their K2600 series (K2600, K2600X, K2600XS). They're full synth workstations, so you'll be able to do a lot more then just place preloaded sounds. And because it's a synth, you can always buy and load new samples.

For headphones, I use Grado SR-125s. They aren't the prettiest or most comfortable things in the world, but they sound damn good.
posted by cosmonaught at 11:20 PM on March 4, 2005

The Yamaha's are very good - the P90 is a nice keyboard. Not "totally portable" in that it weighs a fair amount, but any decent, 88-key hammer-action keyboard is not going to be a light proposition.

(I use the S90, which is about $2600 and has a very nice, velocity-split sample of the Yamaha C7 Grand Piano, along with a subset of the Motif's soundset and editing facitilies - it's a synth basically, and more than you need if you just want piano sounds, but the P series ought to do you well.)
posted by benzo8 at 2:06 AM on March 5, 2005

I've got a sort of beginner piano like this- a Roland EP-9. I can only give you a negative- don't buy an EP-9. The keys don't feel very good and IMHO the piano sounds in it suck.
posted by fake at 4:51 AM on March 5, 2005

I use a Fatar midi controller with Halion. as my sampler. You could run this on a notebook. The Fatar is an 88-note keyboard with weighted hammer action keys.
posted by SNACKeR at 5:22 AM on March 5, 2005

If a controller keyboard turns out to be the way you want to go, you can do much better than the Fatar (IMHO).
posted by benzo8 at 6:53 AM on March 5, 2005

Best answer: The only thing to do is go out and play as many keyboards/digital pianos as you can. Opinion on touch and timbre for real pianos varies so much, it's hard to say what sounds and feels good.

As I mentioned before, I love Roland and Kurweil, but Alesis (QS8.2), Yamaha (S90), and Korg (whatever the current Triton is) all have reasonable offerings, depending on what you like, and what you want to do with it. (Just hit a piano button and play? Use as a MIDI controller? Sequence? Modify samples? Make samples?)
posted by cosmonaught at 9:57 AM on March 5, 2005

Yamaha P120. For practice at home, the built-in amp/speakers are fine but are too weak for gigging. The P120 has a second pedal jack (programmable as any of the 3 pedals) that the P90 lacks. Same (very good) samples as the P90. I've had mine for a couple years now. Highly recommended.
posted by AstroGuy at 1:02 PM on March 5, 2005

I'm a big fan of Nord Lead's, but that's more of a synth... Although I have to say, it's quite nice to play...
posted by jackofsaxons at 5:14 PM on March 5, 2005

err forgot to post this, but here are some sample mp3s
posted by jackofsaxons at 5:16 PM on March 5, 2005

Another vote for the Yamaha P120. I have one and it is incredible... Yamaha's action is second to none, and the grand piano sound set is very impressive. The speakers are convenient for practicing, but obviously not meant for performances.
posted by knave at 1:27 AM on March 6, 2005

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for all of your help! This has been extremely useful and you've all been super friendly. I hope to one day be able to pay back the favor. Thank you.
posted by joshuaconner at 2:50 AM on March 6, 2005

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