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When you actually would like to have a grand piano
Old 16th May 2003
  #1
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

When you actually would like to have a grand piano

and had something between 1,800 and 2,500 $, which board with weighted keys and natural sounds would you take in regard as most realistic?
Old 16th May 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 

I've been fairly happy with a Kurzweil K2500 and a Peavey C8 controller, as far as that sort of thing goes. On the used market, that should meet your budget.
Old 16th May 2003
  #3
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

for softer stuff, I use a kawai mp9000, the weighted keys are some of the best too. I use a triton for the poppier stuff that needs to cut through. , but doesn't sound as realistic. A used MP9000 would be in that range, but it is a beast
Old 16th May 2003
  #4
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Thanks a lot guys! So, these are options to check out.
Any more suggestions?

Ruphus
Old 16th May 2003
  #5
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

I hear my piano keyboard player friends often rave about a recent model Yamaha makes : SP120. Cheap and hard to match in that price range in both sound and keyboard weight quality.
Old 16th May 2003
  #6
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vodka gimli's Avatar
 

Yamaha P-200. Most session guys we hire have one. Big and heavy, but sounds like a mic'ed piano...not so bright and cutting as some digital pianos.

P-200 Review
Old 16th May 2003
  #7
Gear Guru
 

I have the Roland A-90 here. From an engineering standpoint, I think it sounds great.

I don't play piano or have much to compare it to, but it gets a lot of compliments for 'feel' as well as sound from the Real piano players who use it.
Old 16th May 2003
  #8
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Chris,

as i was checking out the prices of all the mentioned boards I couldn´t find a SP120. I guess it is the P120S you mean, right?

Thanks for your help.

Ruphus
Old 17th May 2003
  #9
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littledog's Avatar
 

Here it is:

Yamaha S-90

At Guitar Center sells for $1899 (USD).

This is the most realistic sounding and feeling piano, with the most expressive responsiveness of ANY electronic piano that I have ever played, and I have tried just about everything. The action is outstanding, and unlike everything else to date, each note is sampled at THREE different velocity levels, rather than the two levels that all the others have, making for a far more responsive touch.

The Yamaha action is second to none. I greatly prefer it to the Roland/Kurzweil (and anything else I've tried) which are mostly based on the Fatar action. The Kurzweil actions are particularly unimpressive, at least to me.

And as a bonus, you get about 1200 additional slamming sounds from the Motif palette.

I have had hard core acoustic pianists who HATE all electronic pianos come into my studio and give grudging admirationto this unit. When I sit down to play or practice, I often even choose the S-90 over my 1897 Steinway B. That's partly because it has some incredibly hip built in drum loops that are fun to blow over. But it also just sounds so damn good.

If you want the closest thing to a real piano, you owe it to yourself to check out the S-90, especially since it is well within your stated price range.

For others who have less than $1000 to spend, keep your eye out for the discontinued Technics SX-P30. It sold new for under $1000, is incredibly lightweight for an 88 key weighted board (30 pounds?), very low profile/small footprint, and plays and sounds GREAT. Only one piano and two electric piano sounds, and hardly any features. But if you just need a cool sounding piano with a great action (second only to the S-90) it's worth looking for one in the used market.
Old 17th May 2003
  #10
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littledog's Avatar
 

By the way, the P-200 that was mentioned has built in speakers (which hopefully you DON"T need) which makes it about 15 pounds heavier, has an inferior piano sample (not the triple strike sample), and does NOT have all the great additional Motif sounds.

(Note: Sorry if my opinions come across as strong, but i really love this axe, and my entire pro career as a performing keyboard player has been, in part, a thirty year extensive search for the ultimate portable piano - going back to the old Helpinstills!)
Old 17th May 2003
  #11
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by littledog

(Note: Sorry if my opinions come across as strong, but i really love this axe, and my entire pro career as a performing keyboard player has been, in part, a thirty year extensive search for the ultimate portable piano - going back to the old Helpinstills!)
Hey, no probs Littledog.

Thanks for the opinion.

I've been looking for a weighted keyboard for some time and not being a piano player myself haven't really known where to start.

Was looking for a keyboard that "real" players would still be able to appreciate and your little review is just what I've been needing to hear.

R.
Old 17th May 2003
  #12
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Chris,

as i was checking out the prices of all the mentioned boards I couldn´t find a SP120. I guess it is the P120S you mean, right?

Thanks for your help.

Ruphus
oops .... dislexia or how do you call it in english ??? yup .... P120S is the one I ment.
Old 17th May 2003
  #13
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no one here digs any of the giga stuff then? I've been very impressed with some of the samples I've heard, and I've got a real steinway baby grand
Old 18th May 2003
  #14
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Thanks again, friends.

I have gathered all received tips here in case anybody comes to the same question.

1. Alesis Qs-8.2 ( 1290.00 EUR, users seem to prefer the former model Qs-8.1 though. Its little brother Qs6 must be nice as well.)
2. Yamaha P120S ( 1289.00 EUR )
3. Yamaha P-200 ( 1749.00 EUR )
4. Kurzweil K2500 ( $1,700 ) and a Peavey C8 controller ( US$617 )
5. Roland A-90 ( 1899.00 $, discontinued though )
6. Yamaha S-90 ( $1900 )
7. Kawai MP 9000 ( 1999.00 EUR )

And the possible overkill ...

8. Kurzweil K2600R ( 3450.00 EUR )
9. Kurzweil K2600 ( 3690.00 EUR )


( The Euro is near to the US Dollar, but as Europe seems the customer ripping paradise you can calculate with roughly 30 to 40% less when considering a buy in US area.)
thumbsup

Ruphus
Old 18th May 2003
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
fishtop_records's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Re: When you actually would like to have a grand piano
and had something between 1,800 and 2,500 $, which board with weighted keys and natural sounds would you take in regard as most realistic?
I'd find a studio that had one and rent it.
If, as the subject sez, you want a grand piano,
then you need one. And real ones are (1) big
(2) expensive and (3) take care and feeding.
and maybe (4) are non-trivial to mic and record.

If you just want a keyboard with grand-piano-like
sounds, that is a lot easier, but it won't be
a grand piano.
Old 18th May 2003
  #16
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Hi Fish,

it´s for my sister. I have started to talking her into playing piano again.

She said something near to "Either a grand piano or nottin."

I am imagening though that meanwhile there should be devices out there that can do almost the real think, except of maybe what happens when real string tunes mix with each other in the room.
( I bet they will find even a way for that like say a bunch of seperate sound resources. / Don´t ask me about the format question in practice.)
Consequently, that there should exist a way for even demanding ears to have a heap of joy thes days already.

Now I can give her all these certainly good advices to occasionally check in a store about these keys. ( Recommended to her to use Sennheiser HD 600, AKG K240DF, Beyerdynamic DT 250 or Sony 7506 to intercept ( if that´s the right way to say in English ).

This is the beauty of Internet. Within a short time you can profit from knowledge of decades and giant variety. And very often receive extraordinary special ideas.
Simply priceless.

Old 18th May 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
fishtop_records's Avatar
 

There are amazing keyboards with real piano feel
and wonderful sound. Well, serious classically
trained pianists will say that the feel is not
the same, and the sounds may not match
a 9 foot Steinway, but they sound pretty good
to me.

The best "music" store on the Washington DC area,
Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center no longer
sells pianos with strings. They sell beautiful
wooden cased keyboards with wonderful sampled
sounds, but none with real strings. The guy
there said that the demand for real pianos was
too small for him to carry them. This is a music
store that has a separate building for pianos
and organs.

I'd be tempted to get her a real nice
synth/keyboard/piano, as others have posted,
and if she gets really, really good, buy a stringed
grand, but be prepared for that to cost $10K or more.
Old 18th May 2003
  #18
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Unless the neighbors will freak out or the instrument needs to be moved from venue to venue a lot, there is no call for a fake piano, and none of them, that's right none, sound anything like a real piano. I've heard them all, and none of them could be confused with a percussion instrument, which a piano most definitely is. Sometimes rippling arpeggio stuff can come off OK, but anything at all percussive, forget it.

"This is the most realistic sounding and feeling piano, with the most expressive responsiveness of ANY electronic piano that I have ever played, and I have tried just about everything. The action is outstanding, and unlike everything else to date, each note is sampled at THREE different velocity levels, rather than the two levels that all the others have, making for a far more responsive touch."

Kawai MP9000 is sampled at many more velocity levels than that, and has a fantastic is very heavy wooden keyboard. Still, the piano sound does not sound like a piano.

For $2000 a thorough search for an actual, if not grand, piano can possibly get you a real score. I spent less than that on my 1928 upright, and since have spent another thou getting it all restrung and refelted and that, not strictly necessary but now it sounds much better than almost every 7' or less grand piano we can find. Obviously not all old uprights, or not even most of them, can do this, but this one can, and there are others that come close.

Get the girl a real piano, fer cryin' out loud. Just make sure to have a reputable tech look all through it before you buy!
Old 18th May 2003
  #19
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Makes me think, indeed. The attack when strings are hit ... not really reprodcuable, seems to make sense in my little head.


Quote:
Just make sure to have a reputable tech look all through it before you buy!
Er, is Jefferson state very far away from Berlin / Germany?
Old 18th May 2003
  #20
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ted Nightshade
Unless the neighbors will freak out or the instrument needs to be moved from venue to venue a lot, there is no call for a fake piano,
Well, for me the reason for a fake piano is that I don't have the money for a real grand. But someday...
Old 18th May 2003
  #21
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Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

Like I say, if you're willing/able to put in the time and footwork do some searching, you can get a nice if not great piano for a couple thousand dollars.

State of Jefferson is very far from Berlin, it's the southern part of Oregon and the most northern part of California. This mountain region was about to become it's own state when WWII broke out, which put an end to that great idea.

But surely there are lots of good piano techs in Berlin!

The other thing that is impossible to simulate digitally besides the percussive attack of the piano is the soundboard. Amazing things, soundboards. The complex resonances that go on there are nearly magical. That source of richness and resonance can not be modelled digitally in any worthwhile way. A single key stroke resonates the soundboard in a certain way, where a chord resonates it completely differently than the sum of the several individual notes.

I do wonder, though, if someone will ever build a real soundboard onto a fake piano and resonate it with a speaker. That has real possibilities, I do believe.

One dilemma, should you opt to go with the digital pianos, is whether to get one that's easy on the ears, or one that has more of the punch and edge a real piano has. That sharp attack that sounds so good in an acoustic instrument can be painful in a simulation, like that woody "thwack" from a real bass fiddle never comes off right through a pickup, or sampled.

Saw a woman play the other night who had less than convincing fake piano (Kurzweil it was) and unrealistic amplified acoustic guitar sound, but they were mellow and unabrasive, and there's something to be said for that!

But to experience a real piano, umm.... Shopping for used pianos in Germany sounds fun to me, it's got to be better than shopping for used pianos in Oregon.
Old 18th May 2003
  #22
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Thanks, Ted,

So I´ll withdraw from talking her into fake piano.
Looks like she was right without even knowing too much about e-pianos.

Greets,

Ruphus
Old 18th May 2003
  #23
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Dave, are you using the K2500 module or the full keyboard? I have 4 k2500 keyboards here ( 3 in live situations and one in the studio, and the Piano sounds are the only thing that keeps them around, the keyboards have all had multiple keys die, the os is a PITA and it is wayyy too heavy.. but damn, the piano sound...

I am thinking seriously about selling the unit and buying a rack module of the 25 or 2600 when it comes back from the shop this time ( 3rd time in the last 2 years.)

Maybe this should go in the moan zone.....
Old 19th May 2003
  #24
jho
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I got an A-90 for $1000 used at GC. It even has the expansion sounds.

I'm a pianist and own a Yamaha C3 Grand. I also play a P200 at our church. While no electric piano comes close to a real grand as far as feel and sound, I do like the feel of the A-90 and would say it's as good or better than the P200. If you could find a used one, you'd have enough left for more gear.

As a live controller it is virtually unrivaled, with all it's control over external midi devices.
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