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Hello everybody. Long time user here, used to stay around here like 5 years ago, when i eventually got myself a used Kawai ca 77, and used it all this time with great satisfaction, together with my teacher's old acoustic, switching forth and back from which i hardly feel any difference.

Now lately i happen to stay often at my girfriend's home, where there is no piano available, and my exercise level is suffering a bit. So i would like to get a second digital in order to keep it up. It should cost around the 500 eur. mark ( used or new ).

I study mainly classic repertoire, usually love the more nuanced, less percussive pieces. So i need a no frills-just piano, and i guess a plausible action quality will be paramount, but i still have an ear for a good ( warm - hardly yamaha ) piano sound, so i'm not sure how much i'll be able to compromise on that, before loosing joy.

As a super happy Kawai user, i know i probably should go Kawai again, and search for an es110/100/8. But then again, my own ca77 used to be around 2k eur., and i wonder if in the lower 500ish segment, though admittedly a few years of technology improvents later, Kawai still is so much better than competition to.my taste. By the way, Kawais are pretty rare used, and consider, in this pandemy time, shopping around and trying by myself is not easy, and i'm wondering about cheap Casios, Rolands, what else? My teacher uses a Casio cdp100 as a backup for his u3. He seems satisfied with the action, but i hate the tone to the point that, playing it, would be just "finger workout", no ear satisfaction.

Another factor is tight space in the flat, so this time around a portable slab will be best.

Please not just neutral spec comparisons and then "try it out and judge by yourself": i really need some heartfelt opinions here, possibly from users with a shared background. Thanks


Kawai Ca63 - yamaha motif07 - Korg01fd
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Originally Posted by Bellicapelli
i'm wondering about cheap Casios, Rolands, what else?
The "usual suspects" include:

Casio CDP-S100
Casio CDP-S350
Roland FP-10
Korg B2
Yamaha P45
Kawai ES110

Slightly left of field there are also:

Alesis Recital Pro
Studiologic SL88
M-Audio Hammer 88

The last two do not have a "piano engine" - they are simply controllers that output MIDI so you would need to connect them up to a sound source - probably some kind of PC running "VST"s like Pianoteq or similar (but you then have to weigh in the cost of that as well).

There are some "no name" brands besides the big Japanese companies such as Medeli, Inovus, Donner who also make digital pianos with 88 hammer/weighted keys but while the prices may look attractive you generally get what you pay for in this world. Having said that the reasonably well known "JPS" just posted a Youtube comparing Inovus 88, Alesis Recital Pro and Donner DEP-20 and from those the DEP-20 didn't come out too badly. But for only a little more you could get something like the Korg B2.

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Originally Posted by 1903wrightflyer
The "usual suspects" include:

Casio CDP-S100
Casio CDP-S350
Roland FP-10
Korg B2
Yamaha P45
Kawai ES110
Also Casio PX-S1000. Worth noting that the piano sounds in the CDP-S100, CDP-S350, and PX-S1000 are all different from each other.

Similarly, I think the Yamaha PS125 has a different piano sound than the P45.


Originally Posted by Bellicapelli
My teacher uses a Casio cdp100 as a backup for his u3. He seems satisfied with the action, but i hate the tone to the point that, playing it, would be just "finger workout", no ear satisfaction.
Picking up from 1903's comment about controllers, *any* of these can be used as controllers. So if you find something in the desired price range that has an action you like but an unsatisfying sound, you can use that action to trigger a piano sound in a laptop computer, iPhone, or iPad, possibly for relatively little additional cost, assuming you have one of those devices available when at your girlfirend's home.

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You already got kawai flavored pianos, try something else. Brand loyalty doesn't make any sense, why would you only eat 1 type of icecream.

Last edited by EinLudov; 04/21/21 10:18 AM.
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Ha tell that to my wife about the ice cream. She has to have her stash of Breyer's Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor smile


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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Serious now: I would check out some other brands too for the portable slab. Some of the Yamaha's and Roland's have a built in audio interface which could come in handy IMHO. It is also nice to get more practice on different types of pianos (digital or analog)


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Well, i love my kawai, and i guess i'm kind a creature of habit. If i could be sure that an es110 maintains the same quality ratio to the competitors as my old ca77, also in this cheap price bracket, l'd probably order one sight unseen. I'm very tempted actually, since most of the reviews agree on it's qualities. Excepted for the action, wich looks like better than most competitors, even though too light in comparison to an acoustic, which is relevant to me. If it's even lighter than my ca, then i'd have three different levels to which adjust in one week, which sound's not ideal. And this puts me somehow off, makes me look at Roland.

Would solve this in a matter of an afternoon checking by myself at the shop, but that's no option right now.


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Originally Posted by 1903wrightflyer
Originally Posted by Bellicapelli
i'm wondering about cheap Casios, Rolands, what else?
The "usual suspects" include:

Casio CDP-S100
Casio CDP-S350
Roland FP-10
Korg B2
Yamaha P45
Kawai ES110

...

Why Korg B2 but not Korg D1? The latter seems to have a more refined action. In more or less the same price range of the ES-110, one could also look at the Roland FP-30 and FP-30X. D1 and FP-30X are what I am considering (but I have not been able to put my hands/eyes on any because of the pandemic) for exercising when I have no access to my wife's NV5. I am an absolute beginner, thus please take all my remarks with a grain of salt! One can find sound+action comparisons for many of the above devices in the Merriam Music channel @YouTube, but not for the Korgs, I am afraid.

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I got my FP10 mainly because it was the slimmest, and had no superfluous features. Potentially ideal for a less-used second piano? It's on the basic side, but that may be all you need.

The sound is so-so rather than stellar (I've posted a recording just recently, which was recorded from the FP10), but it certainly does the job. I always play with headphones, so the speakers haven't really had much use.

The key bed and action is solid and dependable....but, while I was certainly able to adjust to it easily from having learned on an acoustic upright I do find that the action is a tad on the heavy side. I have struggled to get nice dynamic trills out of it....though YMMV

These fairly minor gripes might not be an issue for you if this is a second piano, but I'm already considering testing out other digitals and possibly upgrading...


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Hello,

I'm surprised that your teacher finds the CDP-S100 acceptable, for after thoroughly testing and considering it myself I found it unsuitable for its action and build quality. I don't use internal sounds so that wasn't a criterium or problem for me.

So you have already been able to feel out it's action and hate the sound. If you think you could get by with that action, the -350 and -1000 models could be an option instead. However if you find this action mediocre at best, as I did, you can forget about the other Casios, as though their actions are technically not precisely the same, they do feel the same.

I'd steer clear of Korg for your purpose, here's my take on the D1 as posted earlier in another thread:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...med-cant-choose-a-piano.html#Post3095844

The Yamahas (P45, P125) probably won't do it for you either because you're already used to a better action.

All in all I'd say that your shortlist might be:
- Roland FP-10;
- Roland FP-30X;
- Kawai ES-110.

As you are already aware the Kawai's action is a tad on the light side, and don't seem to mind that, perhaps it is a strong contender for you. I also love that it comes with a superb quality sustain pedal included. With the Rolands, you'll need to select yourself an additional pedal, for the included click-clack thingys are just unusable.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ

PS My choice turned out to be the FP-10, for its action suits me best and because I use it for MIDI only, the sound and speakers were no consideration and so I didn't need to spend more on a 'higher' model number.

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@HZPiano: thanks for the feedback on the D1, very much appreciated!

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Hello,

Originally Posted by nbpf
@HZPiano: thanks for the feedback on the D1, very much appreciated!

Nice to hear, you're welcome!

Let us know what decision(s) you make, always interesting.

Cheers,

HZ

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Quote
Why Korg B2 but not Korg D1?
Purely price. The OP mentioned €500. If you look at a typical supplier such as Thomann then D1 is €565 while B2 is €399. One in budget, one not.

(actually, by the same token, I guess ES110 is actually ruled out too - it is €579)

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
I'm surprised that your teacher finds the CDP-S100 acceptable
The post says the teacher has the CDP-100, not the CDP-S100. The action is entirely different. (That said, lots of people are still satisfied with the action of the newer S models.)

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Hello,

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by HZPiano
I'm surprised that your teacher finds the CDP-S100 acceptable
The post says the teacher has the CDP-100, not the CDP-S100. The action is entirely different. (That said, lots of people are still satisfied with the action of the newer S models.)

Ah! I read over that. Yes, those are different actions. Thank you for spotting this, @anotherscott!

Cheers,

HZ

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HZ, I've read a great deal of good things about FP-10. I'm looking to learn specifically, and maybe it might help the OP as well:

Are you able to offer insights on how the FP-10's actions compares to other high end actions you were able to access/compare?


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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Just to say I'd be interested in the same answer! ;-)

I've been trying to decide between things like Korg B2, Korg D1, Roland FP10, Casio CDP-S350, Kawai ES110 and various others around the same price point but the key thing for me is key action more than anything else.

As Covid means it's not easily possible to try any of these things all one has to go on are reviews and Youtube videos where often 2 or 3 models are compared.

From that I have seen I have pretty much convinced myself that around the amount I want to spend the FP-10 is the one to go for but I'm interested in anything that may be considered "good alternatives" mainly for the action they offer.

As far as I can tell the only one that really compares to the FP10 around that price is the ES110 but perhaps others have a deeper insight?

(then again I know that appreciation of a particular action itself can be very subjective).

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FWIW I recently shopped for an entry-level digital piano as an early-stage beginner - wound up buying the ES110. Here are some notes in case it helps.

I tested (hands-on) the Yamaha P125, the Roland FP-30, the Casio PX S1000, and the Kawai (although I actually bought that one sight-unseen).

I thought the Roland was quite realistic in its key feel compared to acoustics I’ve plunked-around on, but maybe a little heavy. Piano sound is not to my liking. The X version may be better. The Yamaha was OK but coming from a P120 I wanted a different experience and it felt a little spongy. The Casio I almost bought- really like its piano sound and its slimness (height and depth!). What ultimately put me off is the feel of the simulated ivory and the seeming low speaker output. But I think it’s a good piano.

Overall I prefer the Kawai - its action is pleasantly light, it’s not huge, and its piano sounds are excellent (although something about the Casio piano sound still appeals more - either personal idiosyncrasy or maybe I have a tin ear :)). The Kawai is still a bit quiet - wish the speakers had more grunt. One complaint might be the bounciness of the keys but I find this minor.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by mmathew
HZ, I've read a great deal of good things about FP-10. I'm looking to learn specifically, and maybe it might help the OP as well:

Are you able to offer insights on how the FP-10's actions compares to other high end actions you were able to access/compare?

When you say 'high end action', I think of the likes of VPC-1, N1X, probably p-515, probably FP-90(X). The PHA-4 standard action is not 'high end' compared to such level actions. As for where I am in life, 'high end' actions stay a dream for a while longer. Which is fine for now. Among the more affordable actions though, it turned out to be the best one to my taste, I like it a lot for what it is, and with triple sensors and a decent MIDI implementation, it ticks all my boxes and once behind it, I consistently find it hard to tear myself away from it, come the time to stop for that day. Of course, my chosen VSTi (Modern U), amplifier(s) and speaker setup also contribute to my enjoyment/overall experience. And because all I was looking for was a decent action and MIDI behavior, I did not need to go FP-30(X) nor FP-60(X); these use the same keybed.

If you include internal sounds and other features, such as pedal capabilities, an audio interface, certain connectivity options and so on in your considerations, things become different. However I think that no sound generator in any digital piano below a couple of thousands would inspire me anyway. Same goes for internal amplification and speakers.

Originally Posted by 1903wrightflyer
Just to say I'd be interested in the same answer! ;-)

I've been trying to decide between things like Korg B2, Korg D1, Roland FP10, Casio CDP-S350, Kawai ES110 and various others around the same price point but the key thing for me is key action more than anything else.

As Covid means it's not easily possible to try any of these things all one has to go on are reviews and Youtube videos where often 2 or 3 models are compared.

From that I have seen I have pretty much convinced myself that around the amount I want to spend the FP-10 is the one to go for but I'm interested in anything that may be considered "good alternatives" mainly for the action they offer.

As far as I can tell the only one that really compares to the FP10 around that price is the ES110 but perhaps others have a deeper insight?

(then again I know that appreciation of a particular action itself can be very subjective).

All these brands/models I had on my list last fall and from my rather critical testing/researching only two options made it to the 'finals' (after the D1 fell through), and those were the FP-10 and ES110. At this level, I feel these are both credible options. At the time, the ES110 was out of stock everywhere, the FP-10 almost, so I consider myself lucky to have been able to just find one new FP-10 and having purchased that. And on hindsight, I am happy for I think that *for me* it was the best fit anyway.

Hope these are useable answers to the both of you.

Cheers!

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

I'm surprised that your teacher finds the CDP-S100 acceptable, for after thoroughly testing and considering it myself I found it unsuitable for its action and build quality. I don't use internal sounds so that wasn't a criterium or problem for me.

So you have already been able to feel out it's action and hate the sound. If you think you could get by with that action, the -350 and -1000 models could be an option instead. However if you find this action mediocre at best, as I did, you can forget about the other Casios, as though their actions are technically not precisely the same, they do feel the same.

I'd steer clear of Korg for your purpose, here's my take on the D1 as posted earlier in another thread:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...med-cant-choose-a-piano.html#Post3095844

The Yamahas (P45, P125) probably won't do it for you either because you're already used to a better action.

All in all I'd say that your shortlist might be:
- Roland FP-10;
- Roland FP-30X;
- Kawai ES-110.

As you are already aware the Kawai's action is a tad on the light side, and don't seem to mind that, perhaps it is a strong contender for you. I also love that it comes with a superb quality sustain pedal included. With the Rolands, you'll need to select yourself an additional pedal, for the included click-clack thingys are just unusable.

Cheers and happy decision making,

HZ

PS My choice turned out to be the FP-10, for its action suits me best and because I use it for MIDI only, the sound and speakers were no consideration and so I didn't need to spend more on a 'higher' model number.

I'm surprised too, and mock him about that. Consider my teacher is young and broke, and by the way pretty flexible in changing several different keyboards and pianos in one week, so he probably grew the ability to easily adjust for any action. Last but not least, that casio is really a backup to his u3, whereas this would be more of a second piano fpr a second home to me. So i want to spend little, but i still want it to be not so crappy.

I'm almost sold on the es110. Just wondering about an fp10. By the way, i don't plan on an amplification system, neither on external sounds ( remember, home of my girlfriend, who is enthusiastical about piano, not sure about all the additional crap ) just switch on and go. What would you suggest among es110 vs fp10 for my use, and why?

Last edited by Bellicapelli; 04/22/21 12:34 PM.

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