Digital piano < 88 keys?
August 27, 2007 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever seen a portable digital piano - not merely a controller - with graded hammer action but fewer than 88 keys? Some of the big music stores have told me that they don't know of any. (Counter-examples: The Studiologic VMK-161 Plus is a controller with 61-key hammer action, but it has no internal sounds. The Yamaha YPG-225/DGX-220 is a 76-key piano/synth but apparently doesn't have hammer action.) Thanks.
posted by Dave 9 to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Why not pick up a Rhodes or Wurli and retrofit it with MIDI? Like so.
posted by waxboy at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2007

Yamaha NP30 - 76 keys, graded.
posted by mphuie at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2007

Does this Casio fill the bill? They have several "touch sensitive" models under 'workstations' and 'portable.'
posted by sageleaf at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2007

sage, I don't think touch sensitive is the same as graded. Touch means that you can hit the keys harder/lighter for louder/softer notes.
posted by mphuie at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2007

Gotcha. Wasn't entirely sure. (My last Casio had 29 keys and I'm darn sure it wasn't graded or touch sensitive, but it made me want to buy a Volkswagen.)
posted by sageleaf at 2:22 PM on August 27, 2007

The Nord Stage comes in a version with 76 weighted keys.
posted by andrewraff at 3:51 PM on August 27, 2007

andrewraff: Interesting that nobody told me about the Nord - maybe because it's not "just" a digital piano. At $3000 street, I probably won't pursue it, but have you played it? At first glance I don't see any mention of "graded" action. Do you know what they mean by "medium weighted" hammer action? (In a synth, medium weighted usually means more synth-like than fully weighted, but maybe they have acoustic piano terminology in mind.) Thanks.

sageleaf: I agree with mphuie about touch-sensitive, but thanks for taking the time to help.

mphuie: The NP30's "Graded Soft Touch" action is graded, but not a standard hammer feel. (Press release: "Though the keys are lighter than the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) and GHE (Graded Hammer Effect) actions of Yamaha's more robust Digital Piano models, Graded Soft Touch provides stronger resistance in the bass side that distinctly decreases as the player moves to the keyboard's higher notes. This facilitates faster passages with the right hand and heavier playing with the left hand, similar to the feel of an acoustic grand piano. The end result is a playing experience akin to weighted Graded Hammer actions, though less force is required to strike the keys.") I'm hoping for a true hammer feel, but at 1/10th the price of the Nord, I may come back to this. Thanks.

waxboy: Cool project. The answer to your question is: (a) I'm not looking for a project, and (b) a hundred-pound Rhodes may be "portable" for Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, but it's not portable in the sense that I had envisioned. Thanks for the article.
posted by Dave 9 at 8:27 PM on August 27, 2007

If anyone will know, it'll be the sales folk at Sweetwater. Give 'em a call.

(No connection, but I saw their billboard when I was in town and went on a facility tour just for fun. I was impressed!)
posted by Myself at 11:05 PM on August 27, 2007

If you're finding models that are ideal for you except that they're controller-only, you could also consider the hybrid solution of a controller plus a very small sound module that you carry along with it. Yamaha has a series of modules that are less than the size of a vhs tape and weigh in the neighborhood of 12 oz.
posted by sparrows at 3:50 AM on August 28, 2007

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