Piano keyboard suggestion

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BashDash
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Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by BashDash » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:44 pm

Hi all :)
I would like to revisit my piano playing from my younger years. I would like to purchase a keyboard that has keys that "feel" like a piano. Similar weight? Not sure the terminology. I would also like to be able to attach a pedal to it. Not really sure my budget maybe under 500$ if possible? Thanks!

GmanJeff
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:49 pm

They are called "weighted keys". Surf the product pages for manufacturers like Yamaha, Korg, Casio, and Roland to see what's available; for a sense of pricing, you can check on-line sellers like musiciansfriend.com. More expensive models meant for performance use rather than just for individual practice will provide more than just piano sounds but also are likely to need to be connected to headphones or external keyboard amplifiers or PA speakers, while less expensive models often come with built-in speakers and perhaps a headphone jack for private listening.

A good resource for used keyboards is: https://reverb.com/c/keyboards-and-synths

jmk
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by jmk » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:54 pm

BashDash wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:44 pm
Hi all :)
I would like to revisit my piano playing from my younger years. I would like to purchase a keyboard that has keys that "feel" like a piano. Similar weight? Not sure the terminology. I would also like to be able to attach a pedal to it. Not really sure my budget maybe under 500$ if possible? Thanks!
In my opinion if you're picky about piano the only brand worth considering is Yamaha. The Yamaha digital pianos have keys that somewhat resemble real pianos if you're used to classical playing.
I ended up getting a DGX-660 cause it had bells and whistles for my kid but also has a nice "piano room" which is just piano with weighted keys and a nice sound. My biggest problem isn't the keyboard it's the speakers, might get a subwoofer to augment! It has a three-pedal you can purchase or a single sustain that allows half-pedaling. Don't get through internet without trying out at a Guitar Center etc.

gtd98765
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm

Wirecutter has some useful reviews:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... -students/ (more expensive)

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... beginners/ (less expensive)
I have and like the Yamaha P-115, one step up from the Yamaha P-45 they recommend.

Northern Flicker
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Northern Flicker » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:09 pm

In my opinion if you're picky about piano the only brand worth considering is Yamaha. The Yamaha digital pianos have keys that somewhat resemble real pianos if you're used to classical playing. 
I ended up getting a DGX-660
There are keyboards from competitors of Yamaha (as well as from Yamaha) that are much closer to a real piano than a DGX-660. Yamaha is not the only game in town.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

Calhoon
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Calhoon » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:19 pm

Really like the feel of the keys on the Yamaha Arius YDP-162 we have.

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Random Musings
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Random Musings » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:34 pm

Our kids use a Yamaha weighted keyboard and have found it comparable to playing a real one.

RM
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Topic Author
BashDash
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by BashDash » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:05 pm

Thanks for the replies! I will look on eBay and Craigslist to see if I can even scoop up a pre-owned one.

random_walker
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by random_walker » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:21 pm

If you are willing to buy a used one, then Craigslist is the best place to look.

If you need a new one and are willing to wait for a good deal, then here are some suggestions:
Costco has good prices on good quality pianos, especially during the Nov/Dec holiday season. You can look at their web site for prices now.
You could also set an alert on SlickDeals for piano. I see deals posted there for piano/keyboards from time to time. The brands I see most often are Korg/Roland

McDougal
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by McDougal » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:36 pm

If you have a local music store I suggest you go in and take some “test drives”. Best way to know how they feel before you buy IMHO. Good luck!

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Ricchan
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Ricchan » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:20 pm

Yes, you want a keyboard with weighted keys. But it's not just the weight of the keys, it's also the slight resistance, or "bump," you feel as you press a key downward, often referred to as "escapement." This feeling exists in acoustic grands as the necessary result of a mechanism that allows the hammer to break linkage, which allows for shallower reset and faster repetition.

When digital pianos try to emulate this phenomenon, they are trying to replicate two things: (1) the tactile resistance, or "bump," caused by the escapement, and (2) the ability to rapidly repeat a note as allowed by the escapement mechanism, so that means a sensor that can detect when you press a key back down before letting it fully return back up.

The models with the best feel in my experience are the Roland RD-2000, Yamaha CP88, and Nord Piano 4. They're a bit out of your price range (~$2,500), but I believe they have the closest feel to an acoustic grand available on a stage piano. So one idea might be to try any one of those models in a music store just so you know the type of feel digital pianos are capable of, then try to find one in your price range that feels as close to that as possible. Manufacturers often reuse the same action across many of their weighted keyboards. So I wouldn't be surprised if, say, the Roland RD-2000 has the same action as a cheaper Roland model with weighted keys.

Good luck with the purchase. Digital pianos have come a long way in the past decade or so. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you find. :)

frugaltigris
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by frugaltigris » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:54 pm

I researched this a lot some months back. Ended up getting Roland FP10. It has weighted keys and a pedal. Its key action is better than similar range Yamahas.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:05 pm

I have a Yamaha P125B 88 key keyboard. I think it was a very good balance of value and feel. I only play a little (bought it aspirationaly and for the kids), but I grew up with a piano in the house, and the keys feel reasonably good. My mother who plays also thought it felt good. The keys have that slightly increasing resistance as you press down, ending with that gently “thunk” when you’d be bottoming them out. The different “voices” the piano offers are kind of useless in my opinion, but the kids like them.

I don’t think this is the current model number anymore, but you should be able to track it down. I bought a package that included the keyboard, a basic “X” style stand and bench, cover, headphones, and an extra pedal for about $650 four years ago.

If you’re picky about this, then I’d suggest going to a store to try some out. But I’m quite happy with this purchase.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

lightheir
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by lightheir » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:08 pm

Casio Privia. They're surprising good, very light, and inexpensive, you can get a new one for about $500-600. nicest part is that they're small and light enough that if you want to sell it, it's easy, or you can store it until later no problemo.

Keys are weighted, tone is good albeit not super loud. Solid reviews. I'd get this over anything at that price range and I actually wouldn't get anything cheaper if you are interested in 'real' piano playing.

If you need better, you'll likely know it, but these digital pianos get really expensive quickly.

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bottlecap
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by bottlecap » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:55 pm

lightheir wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:08 pm
Casio Privia. They're surprising good, very light, and inexpensive, you can get a new one for about $500-600.
We got a Casio Privia PX 160 for our daughter after a friend of mine (who is a professional) went to the piano store with my wife to try out a few in our price range. It was about $400. It has a nice sound and the key weight and the action is darn good for that price range.

Also google various keyboard comparisons and you will find a bunch of reviews that include videos of proficient players playing them.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by forgeblast » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:12 am


dcabler
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by dcabler » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:26 am

BashDash wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:44 pm
Hi all :)
I would like to revisit my piano playing from my younger years. I would like to purchase a keyboard that has keys that "feel" like a piano. Similar weight? Not sure the terminology. I would also like to be able to attach a pedal to it. Not really sure my budget maybe under 500$ if possible? Thanks!
Went through the same thing with our daughter when she started piano lessons at age 6. We ultimately went with a Roland digital piano. At the time, they had a special on them through our local Costco, with the local dealer being the ultimate source of the piano. I think we paid something like $1200 for it, but they come in a full range. At age 18, she's still playing it. :D

The local dealer also has a "digital piano buying guide" online that you might find useful regardless of where you live.
https://capmusic.com/digital-piano-buying-guide/

Cheers

prairieman
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by prairieman » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:49 am

You sound just like me a few years ago. I went around, trying some out, but then looked at comments for many pianos on Amazon. There were a lot of good things said about Korg pianos (both feel and sound) which I hadn’t even seen in the stores I went to. I ultimately ordered one from Amazon for about $500. It arrived a few days later and I truly felt that this was the best keyboard on the market. It is fantastic and I do not see how a keyboard in this price range could possibly be any better.

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Jazztonight
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by Jazztonight » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:03 am

At least once a year there is a thread similar to this.

I've owned several (maybe 8) keyboards through the years. There's no perfect one.

One question you must ask yourself: Is this keyboard going to stay in one place in your home forever, or do you see yourself or another family member packing it up, putting it in the car or van, and taking it to a gig, unpacking it, setting it up, performing, and going through the packing, loading, and unpacking again when you get back home.

Sure, get a weighted keyboard. Then decide whether your weighted keyboard should weigh 20 lbs., 40 lbs, or more. Should it be a "fixed" keyboard in a case that "looks" like a piano, or should it be a keyboard on a metal stand?

I have a lightweight Yamaha full size keyboard that's about 20 lbs. that I leave in the trunk of my car. It's so easy to carry and set up, and I can do it alone. Easy peasy.

I have another Yamaha model that weighs more and is just too heavy for me to comfortably lug around and set up by myself; these days I leave it set up in my study and use it for composing or to demo a song for someone while I'm sitting at my desk.

I also have a REAL piano, a Yamaha studio upright, that lives in my living room. I love it. That's what I play when I want to enjoy myself as a piano player. The best electronic keyboard does not, in my opinion, sound like a piano. Rather, it sounds like an electronic keyboard trying to sound and feel like a piano. But it does not look, sound, feel, or quack like a duck (e.g. a piano); it's a keyboard. Which may be fine for your purposes.

Roland makes fine keyboards, too. I go with Yamaha instruments, personally. I've bought several keyboard packages from this place: https://www.kraftmusic.com
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

BlueCable
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by BlueCable » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:46 am

I also have been very happy with my Casio Privia. It did a good enough job that we ended up purchasing a nice upright acoustic piano a few years later.

jmk
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by jmk » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:57 pm

Northern Flicker wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:09 pm
In my opinion if you're picky about piano the only brand worth considering is Yamaha. The Yamaha digital pianos have keys that somewhat resemble real pianos if you're used to classical playing. 
I ended up getting a DGX-660
There are keyboards from competitors of Yamaha (as well as from Yamaha) that are much closer to a real piano than a DGX-660. Yamaha is not the only game in town.
Please offer some specifics to offer the original poster: I was offering one person's opinion; I'm picky about the "feel" and didn't like the sound and feel of models by companies like Korg and Casio. But would love to hear other options/

lightheir
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Re: Piano keyboard suggestion

Post by lightheir » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:56 pm

jmk wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:57 pm
Northern Flicker wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:09 pm
In my opinion if you're picky about piano the only brand worth considering is Yamaha. The Yamaha digital pianos have keys that somewhat resemble real pianos if you're used to classical playing. 
I ended up getting a DGX-660
There are keyboards from competitors of Yamaha (as well as from Yamaha) that are much closer to a real piano than a DGX-660. Yamaha is not the only game in town.
Please offer some specifics to offer the original poster: I was offering one person's opinion; I'm picky about the "feel" and didn't like the sound and feel of models by companies like Korg and Casio. But would love to hear other options/
I have a Yamaha and honestly, I think I prefer the cheaper Privia action than my Yamaha. My Yamaha sold for about $1500 new, vs the $500 Privia.

I've tried a lot of digital keyboards since they're often side by side in a large music store, and they've made very good progress with true-feeling key weighting, even for the cheaper Privia line.

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