Piano players - advice buying digital piano

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
I've decided I'm going to start playing the piano. There was always one in the house while I was growing up and I took lessons for a couple years as a kid, but haven't touched one in many years.

I'm looking for a decent piano without spending a lot of cash up front. If I get good maybe I'll upgrade someday. But for now I'm not looking to spend thousands, and just want a quality feeling and sounding piano.

There are few on CL I've been looking at. From what I've read, Korg, Kawai and Roland make some of the best pianos.

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/msg/1882170201.html
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/msg/1880659836.html
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/msg/1885489858.html

But I was at Costco today and they had the Casio CDP-200 for $490 including the stand and a bench. Usually when I think of Casio I think of cheesy electronic gadgets. But the keys actually felt pretty good on this thing, weighted similar to a real piano (or at least to the best of my recollection).

Being digital pianos, and technology being what it is, am I better off buying new or used? I can only imagine that samples and sound quality have gotten better over the years. It looks likes all of those used pianos I linked are somewhat older models. Would I be better served buying a new lower quality piano or an older one that was very high quality when it came out?


Update: I ended up finding a used Casio Privia PX-130 for $300 in like new condition. For a practice piano should work perfectly. Keys aren't quite as heavy as some I've tried but they feel good and the tones sounds pretty good as well. I'm sure there are better pianos, but for the price this one should work quite well.
 
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
110,587
29,213
146
My GF purchased a Korg ~3 months ago, and we love it. I convinced her to spend a little more and get something quite decent:

Korg SP-170. ~$500 from J&R.
korg-sp170-digital-piano.png


it's full 88 keys, weighted, and we love the style. all of the effects are programmed into the last 10 keys--accessed by depressing a key combo. This removes all of the dials and business from the piano which just looks...."classier" imo.

Love the sound. Now trying to teach myself how to play. :D
 
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
110,587
29,213
146
But I was at Costco today and they had the Casio CDP-200 for $490 including the stand and a bench. Usually when I think of Casio I think of cheesy electronic gadgets. But the keys actually felt pretty good on this thing, weighted similar to a real piano (or at least to the best of my recollection).

we tried one of the Casio PX models...300something, maybe? at Best Buy before making a decision. It convinced us that weighted keys was the way to go for a keyboard as we hadn't been familiar with that before. Thing is, I think that model had been discontinued, and the one on display at Best Buy was the only one they had. It was broken, anyway.

Casio isn't bad. I tend to think as you do: cheap calculator watches or kiddie keyboards. But they do make some fine stuff.

That Roland looks super nice, but I don't really know anything.
 
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paulney

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2003
6,912
1
0
OP, if you want serious advice, I suggest you check out forums at http://www.pianoworld.com/

If you want a freestanding digital piano, as opposed to keyboards you are looking at, I suggest you look at Yamaha first. Most people agree, that it's the best bang for the buck in terms of features, sound and feel of keys (many digital pianos even in the $2-3k range have a problem with uniform feel).

I myself got a Clavinova CLP-240, right when 3xx series were introduced, and I got a great deal on it. I absolutely love it. The closest Kawai that could match it would be at least $500 more.

Unfortunately, I do not know much about potable keyboards.

Also, if you are looking at used stuff on CL, why not consider an accoustic piano? Rental places often have excellent deals/sales, and, if you scout CL long enough, you can usually find a diamond in the rough from people who bought a piano, but realized they have no use for it.
 

killster1

Banned
Mar 15, 2007
6,208
475
126
cant use headphones with a real piano. I always loved korg, but now i just use a midi keyboard and connect to computer with 100000 diff vsti.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Thanks for the link Paulney, I'll check those forums out.

I do want something with the potential for portability. At least in the beginning it's probably going to sit in one spot, but I'm hoping to be able to pick up enough in the next year or two that I could gig with it. Primarily I'm a singer, but I want to learn some piano so I can fill out the sound a bit with whoever I'm playing with, classic rock and blues type stuff. I do appreciate a real piano aesthetically, and if I ever end up building my dream house, maybe I'll set aside some space in the living room for a baby grand, but for now I'd rather go digital and avoid hassles with moving and tuning and such.

And that Korg from J&R does look pretty nice.
 

CptObvious

Platinum Member
Mar 5, 2004
2,500
1
76
I have a Casio Privia PX-200 that I bought for $400 new and it was definitely worth it - OK sound but excellent action. I'd say the Privias are the best value under $500-600. At under $1000 there are some Yamahas that sound better and have similar action. My next digital piano will probably be a Yamaha or Kawai in the $1200-1300 range. I don't have much experience with DPs but it seems there are new models every year with more polyphony, better samples or action, so I'd personally buy an older model on clearance rather than a used DP, but that's just me.
 

Rubycon

Madame President
Aug 10, 2005
17,768
485
126
Roland and Korg are nice.

Nice thing with a digital as someone mentioned you can play anytime with earphones. :)
 

lepper boy

Golden Member
Nov 2, 1999
1,877
0
76
Take a day or more and go hit the music/piano stores. Play everyone you can get your hands on. Make a list of what you want, like do you want a sequencer built in? or are you going use midi with it? ect....


Then find the one that sounds the best, the one that you like the feel of and the one that is priced right.

No way, would I buy one over the net, unless I knew exactly what it was I Wanted.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Not knowing how to play, I don't think plinking on the keys will tell me much more than I can learn just by reading others opinions. I'd be like the idiot kicking the tires on cars. ;)

I'd actually prefer to have a minimal feature set right now to keep me focused on learning to play rather than playing with high tech toys. I'm going to try to keep it under $500 (if I go with any of those pianos off CL I'd try to talk them down based on age alone) and just assume that this is my starter, and when I'm ready to move on I'll know what I'm looking for. Someday I want to be playing the blues on my very own Hammond, but that's a ways off. :p
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,421
7,602
126
B3 is a sweet sweet sound. I'm not a huge fan of keys, but if I could could play a B3, I'd be loving life :^)
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,421
7,602
126
Those things look like flying an airplane. There's slides, switches, and pedals everywhere :^D
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Update: I ended up finding a used Casio Privia PX-130 for $300 in like new condition. For a practice piano should work perfectly. Keys aren't quite as heavy as some I've tried but they feel good and the tones sounds pretty good as well. I'm sure there are better pianos, but for the price this one should work quite well.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
95,000
15,122
126
Got my wife a Yamaha DGX-202 back in 2003 for like 600 bux. She has spent less than 30 min on it.

Now she is making my son learn piano...