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Best LIVE Piano/Keyboard???
Old 17th November 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
ewickham's Avatar
 

Best LIVE Piano/Keyboard???

I know this is primarily a proaudio/studio forum in general. But does anyone have any input for me regarding the best KEYBOARD for LIVE PIANO sound/feel? I don't need fancy sounds, sampling, or effects. Just a rugged live piano utility workhorse for the road that sounds killer (with maybe a good rhodes sound as a bonus but not necessary). I like the Yamaha es90. Thoughts???
Old 17th November 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 

A friend of mine lately was after a digital piano. And he is a very able jazz pianist. He looked moustly for the key action/fill. The sound was also concidered for sure. He spent three weeks in music stores and tested several models.

He stuck between two options finally

Yamaha P155 88-Key Graded Hammer Piano

and

Yamaha CP33 88-Key Stage Piano

He ended up finally with the second one.

Cheerz!!!1
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
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pulsar modular's Avatar
 

Check out the new Korg SV1
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

I had a older casio that was pretty sweet, forget the exact model but it was a privia and 88 keys.
Old 18th November 2009
  #5
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THE TOP 3 ARE:

1) YAMAHA CP300

2) YAMAHA CP300

3) YAMAHA CP300

Btw I own a CP300. After years of buying and selling keyboards for live piano use this is the only one that has stuck and I've had it for about 5 years now and I always try whatever comes out. I was thinking of selling it because of its weight when gigging but the sound and feel is too good so I invested in the custom case they made for it. It was a lot to spend on a case but if you gig a lot it is a must. The thing to me about piano is its all about the piano that was sampled. To me there are 3 quintessential pianos. Yamaha C7, Steinway B, Steinway D. Steinway B is my favorite. But Yamaha CP300 I believe is the only keyboard that features one of the 3 great pianos and it features a sampled C7 Grand piano. I am playing it through a jbl 515. Sounds amazing! The Rhodes sounds are absolutely killer.
Old 18th November 2009
  #6
Deleted User
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Yamaha S90XS or Yamaha CP300. Ive played them all. The FEEL on these boards is great. Both have the SAME piano sample I believe
Old 18th November 2009
  #7
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Also my advice for recording a digital piano is to go through an amp and mic it. Don't just record direct.
Old 18th November 2009
  #8
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Watty's Avatar
 

Any of the Yamaha Motif range. Roland are ok but the pianos just don't seem to cut through in a live situation.
Whatever you do, don't ever go near Korg if you're looking for a good acoustic piano sound.
Old 18th November 2009
  #9
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible View Post
I had a older casio that was pretty sweet, forget the exact model but it was a privia and 88 keys.
just bought my mom a privia. I thought it felt pretty good for the price. The best IMO and if you are looking to drop money are the nords. The stage piano feels incredible!!
Old 18th November 2009
  #10
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jsbeeth's Avatar
 

Take a look at some of the Kawai's. I've got the MP9000, which, IMO, blows away the yamahas (and others) in terms of action and piano sounds. Admittedly, there aren't a whole lot of other features on this thing, but it sounds like that doesn't really matter to you.

Downside is it's pretty heavy and you'll probably want some help lugging it around.
Old 18th November 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
I've tried the Kawai and it was really limited dynamically. The Yamaha has excellent dynamics. The thing about the yamaha though is you really should listen to it through an amp. Headphones are cool too. But the internal speakers don't do the piano any justice.
Old 18th November 2009
  #12
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Enginearing's Avatar
 

roland RD 700 - i do multiple backline gigs over the course of the year and the RD700 is the most requested keyboard... even if there is a Yamaha CP 33 already there...

combined with the "the other stage has a Fender/Vox amplifier can we get one of them?" syndrome i swear people just want to feel special having you lug the heavy stuff for them.

they do sound good though.
Old 18th November 2009
  #13
Here for the gear
 
promoartist's Avatar
 

I've gotta say... I have a CP300 and it's amazing; amazing for feel, sound, and an all-around great stage piano. It sounds like it may be a little bit more than what you're looking for tho... I guess it would depend on what you think you may use it for down the road as well? It might be a good investment anyways!
(btw I'm new to this forum so.. hi!
Old 18th November 2009
  #14
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AlexK's Avatar
 

Kurzweil SP2X and Nord Stage get my vote. The Nord also has a stunningly good Rhodes/Wurlitzer emulation as well...

I've only played on a few Yamahas so I can't really compare the Nord and Kurzweil to the Yamahas listed above...
Old 18th November 2009
  #15
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

I bought the Yamaha CP33 and returned it after a week--it felt cold and soulless. Then I played a Casio Privia at Gtr Center and couldn't tear myself away I was having so much fun. I felt silly buying a $400 Casio, but it tucks lightly under one arm, has a great action and piano sounds, and the Wurly and Rhodes sounds are killer on the gig. You can really spank this baby. Subsequently, more people are discovering these keyboards--check it out before you dump a lot of dough on something that you're supposed to like, but may not.

ALso, having the built in speakers is great on the gig because your fingers feel the vibrations.

-R
Old 19th November 2009
  #16
just been through a similar decision myself.

we went for the Nord Stage EX. the sounds were really good. many of the venues supplied steinways/bosendorfers for us, but by the time its close miced and EQ'd for feedback we often preferred the nord.

you can also save all the samples and patches onto your computer and just dump them all into another one (handy for foreign festivals)

the rhodes in it is also well worth having

the touch/action tho is not the same as a piano. more like a rhodes....

thumbsup
Old 19th November 2009
  #17
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macr0w's Avatar
 

Yamaha S90-ES Rules.
Old 21st April 2010
  #18
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Kappi's Avatar
I bought the Korg SV1, tried it against the Nord Stage EX, which i was to buy first, and some other Digipno's. Nord Stage sounded nasaly and narrow.
I haven't bought a keyboard since ages and i am totally in the Roland camp.
I hated every KORG that was out there, but this baby is different.
Go and try it yourself, it makes me smile now every day.

I got back to playing...
Old 9th May 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappi View Post
I bought the Korg SV1, tried it against the Nord Stage EX, which i was to buy first, and some other Digipno's. Nord Stage sounded nasaly and narrow.
I haven't bought a keyboard since ages and i am totally in the Roland camp.
I hated every KORG that was out there, but this baby is different.
Go and try it yourself, it makes me smile now every day.

I got back to playing...
Yeah man, I played the SV1 in a store the other day and it was awesome!

When I got home I looked at my wife and "honey, I fell in love today"
Her reply: "oh great, what piece of gear now????"
heh
Old 9th May 2010
  #20
Gear Addict
 

I have the Yamaha P-250. Basically it's the 300 but one generation earlier. Action feels great and the sampled piano is equally great. Next best thing to having a C7 grand on stage. The onboard speakers are nice and give you some resonance while playing that is kind of acoustic piano like. I play it thru a pair of Mackie 450's when I gig. I'm not loving the 450's all that much. To me they give the piano a mid range honk that I don't like. So I'm still looking for the right speakers for on stage but the P-250/300 is the ticket.

Here's a link to me playing it in my studio. Just an improv I did a few months ago.

YouTube - Slow Blues Piano on Yamaha P-250 by Robert Sands
Old 28th November 2011
  #21
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QuadWing's Avatar
Another count on the Privia here. Nice and light, superb sound, good feel and it doesn't look too amateurish. Great stage keys!
Old 28th November 2011
  #22
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Roland's Avatar
I've always been a fan of the Yamaha's, however, recently I went with a pianist friend to check out some of the latest offerings and as good as the yamaha was, I didn't feel that it had moved on much from the P200's. There was a range of 30-40 piano sounds that were all basically variations on a very similar theme. we listened to the Nord and although it offered a much narrower range of sounds, they were all quite distinct and very usable, particularly with their new string resonance thing. For live work, "in a track" scenario, they really work. As someone pointed out above, often a better option than a real piano with the compromises required to mic one live.
Old 28th November 2011
  #23
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
just been through a similar decision myself.

we went for the Nord Stage EX. the sounds were really good. many of the venues supplied steinways/bosendorfers for us, but by the time its close miced and EQ'd for feedback we often preferred the nord.

you can also save all the samples and patches onto your computer and just dump them all into another one (handy for foreign festivals)

the rhodes in it is also well worth having

the touch/action tho is not the same as a piano. more like a rhodes....

thumbsup
This is exactly my view!
Old 28th November 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
 
QuadWing's Avatar
I try to use two sets of keys on stage, normally one as a MIDI controller (I use an M-Audio Oxygen 61) and the other one as a piano mainly, which requires a certain amount of control over dynamics. I like the Privia's action personally, and it sounds good enough for a live show. It's also really good if you don't have $2000 to spend on a stage keyboard.
Old 28th November 2011
  #25
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johndykstra's Avatar
 

The acoustic piano in the Nord Stage collapses in mono. At least it did in the first version. I own version one.... in stereo, the piano is stunning. In mono, it's garbage. Never really phased me, as I use it primarily for electric pianos and organs.

They may have fixed this in version 2. I'd be shocked if they didn't actually.
Old 28th November 2011
  #26
Gear Nut
 

I own a Roland Fantom G, and we have a yammy CP300 at work and although the Roland has better piano patches, the way the Yamaha cuts through the mix is fantastic. Its a good rock solid 'I will never fail' you keyboard. Highly reccoment it. And the Fantom G* but for some reason people dislike them :( Id be lost without mine.
Old 28th November 2011
  #27
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johndykstra's Avatar
 

What kind of stage piano has 6x9's on it.?.?. I mean, I've played it and it is a solid piano. But it's hard to take it seriously with those speakers in it.
Old 1st July 2012
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Yamaha CP300

I own a Chickering Grand and a CP300. The Yamaha CP300 has the best action of any thing that I tried and I can switch between the Grand and the CP300 without issue. I played a Roland for several years and it fell apart on me. The same thing with a Rhodes which I bought brand new back in the '70s. I have tried Korgs and Kurzweils and they seem rubbery compared to a grand. The Casio's are built like toys and will overheat if you play outdoors in the summer.

I tried several types of amps and finally settled on a pair of JBL Eon2 515s. They allow me to play piano sounds which make me "feel" the hammer hitting the string. I did try a pair of JBL Eon 12s but they would over heat at gigs and start cutting out. I do not have this issue with the EON2s and they weigh about the same even with the larger built in amp. I agree with the previous posts, the built in speakers do not do it justice. The previous Yamaha that I owned was a CP30 and it lasted for 35 years without a problem. I am hoping to get the same kind of use out of the CP300.
Cheers, eh.
Old 1st July 2012
  #29
Deleted 7a0e5c3
Guest
I play a lot of gigs with a soul / dance classics cover band. I play most synth/keyboard/organ parts on a Roland Fantom-X and my piano player uses the Yamaha Motif for Rhodes.
Although the Rhodes sounds on the Fantom for studio work are very useable, the Motif outperforms the Fantom on Rhodes sounds in a stage environment. However, both Fantom and Motif sound weak in the acoustic piano department.
I know a lot live piano players who use the Nord Stage for Rhodes and acoustics and I also own the Nord Electro. To my ears the Hammonds are great, the acoustic pianos are the best for live and studio (if you don't have access to the real thing that is), but the Rhodes sounds are not cutting through somehow and don't convince me that much.
What really makes me happy is the Korg SV-1 for Rhodes and Wurli sounds! It plays and sounds like a real instrument and has great FX/amps. The acoustic piano is also very useable, but the Nord wins for that.

In my ideal world I would bring to stage the SV-1 for Rhodes, the Nord Stage Electro (hammer weighted) for acoustic piano, the Nord Electro (waterfall keyboard) for Hammonds and the Roland Fantom for strings/horn sections/pads/brass/EDMsounds.

Unfortunately there's no single instrument that does it all.
If you prefer acoustic piano over Rhodes I would say go for the new Nord Electro with hammer weighted keys, if you prefer Rhodes and Wurlies go for the Korg SV-1, if you need both good Rhodes and synth/pad/string sounds go for the Motif (and forget about the acoustic piano sound, lol).
Old 1st July 2012
  #30
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Best is Roland V Piano.

Second is Roland RD-700NX. Third is Yamaha CP5. Fourth is Kawai MP10.

I've tried them all.
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