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home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby al_diablo » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:13 am

Inread the forums a lot but rarely have anything informative to post. I have come out of my lurker cave to ask for help!

I grew up playing the piano and would like to start again. Space in my house is limited so I was thinking of one of the smaller digital pianos or a stage piano I could use with my existing monitors and headphones (probably mainly headphones because we have a small baby!)

There is so much choice I dont even know where to start looking - all I can really say is I'm aiming within the budget end of the range and I don't need a lot of features: one realistic piano sound, one or two decent e-piano and the feel of playing a real instrument. At the moment I dont need something I could gig with.

I've also considered the benefits of buying a decent hammer action controller and using software - I use logic and kontakt, but would prefer to be free from the computer. I've been tempted by a number of workstations after reading SOS reviews but I suspect I would hardly use any of the features so something a bit more slimmed down is probably better.

Any recommendations for gear to look out for or audition would be very much appreciated!

Thanks

Alex
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:38 pm

There are countless electric pianos out there and quality varies from ok to stunning. But, as you don't immediately need a stage piano*, the most cost effective way of getting something that plays well and sounds decent is to buy a used home keyboard type. A Yamaha Clavinola type** from the last 20-25 years will have a great keyboard and competent sounds and, as the cheapest new Yamaha is not much over £600, is probably gettable for a couple of hundred quid (or less, we were given one a few years ago for my wife's ballet school).

* And most home EPs will still probably be fairly easy to transport and be perfectly capable live gig instruments.

**There are other makes but sticking to the big names like Yamaha and Roland is safe.

What ever you do though, go and play a few in a shop to see which actions and sounds you like, and more importantly, which don't suit you.
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby mick.n » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:45 pm

A good "bang for the buck" would be the Casio PX5S. I bought one 3 or 4 years ago & it is a joy to play. Superb weighted 88 note hammer action & a powerful synth engine....especially if you explore the "Hex layer" thing. Excellent Grand piano sounds (Though always subjective) and pretty decent EP sounds. No built in speakers though, but 2 headphone sockets, so very much baby friendly. :thumbup:

Discontinued now & can be picked up for a song.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Casio/Priv ... e-Piano.gc

SOS review here https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/casio-privia-px5s

I bought mine purely on the strength of this review & never regretted it.
Good luck. :D
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:00 pm

Another vote for the Casio Privia or PX range, they seem very decent for the money, a neighbour has one for their daughter who’s at music college and it seems OK for home and stage use, the sound is pretty decent, so is the keyboard feel.
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:38 pm

Excellent suggestions.

I would go for a Yamaha Clavinova; I was first acquainted with them in the 80s and they were good then, and still are. In fact my favourite acoustic piano, now, is the Yamaha CFX, which I played at Westminster Hall a few years ago. Beating the Imperial Bosendorfer and Steinway Model D, both of which I grew up with.

Whatever you do, try out the piano first, particularly the action. Also, I would not hesitate to buy a refurbished, or secondhand, instrument, from a reputable dealer.
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby al_diablo » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:59 pm

Thanks for the advice and recommendations everyone. I'll let you know how I've got on after I spend some time trying a few options out.

Alex
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby Guido3 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:15 am

There is a Casio PX5S in the Readers Ads here (Mods: Not mine). It’s at a great price (£350) so I don’t think you can go far wrong with that.
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Re: home / stage piano choices - where to start?

Postby IAA » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:48 am

Echo most of the above, I’d concentrate on feel first, sound, funnily enough, is easier to rectify through usb/midi if the internal sounds are not your cup of tea. My real piano is a Yamaha Grand, but in the studio, after trying lots of actions, I went for a Korg RH3 Kronos. You don’t need a Kronos but they use that action on other boards. I was also impressed with the Roland hammer action.
Try as many as you can.
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