First post here, and so glad I found this forum! I'm a bit of a rambler, so I am forcing myself to put a TL;DR version up top, then if you are interested in the backstory, you can scroll down below.
The issue: I need a new digital piano! Or stage piano. Or keyboard. Or arranger!? So confused with all the terminology now.
Currently have an ancient Roland KR-570, whose keys I have probably repaired for the last time. I'm getting tired of opening it up and repairing, and now the same keys (plastic near the weights, to be specific) are breaking, so I'm thinking after almost 25 years of life, it's been a good run.
My Dad recently bought a Yamaha DGX-670, and I was simply blown away by how good it sounded (especially given the 6w speakers!?), and played. Obviously a different beast than my Roland DP console, but OTOH, the advances in technology (and in key/weight design) in 25 years makes a huge difference.
So here are my questions for the board:
Is there a digital piano or keyboard out there that is as fun to play as the Yamaha (and as full featured in terms of arranging, etc), but maybe a couple notches above in terms of action, build quality (I prefer the look and feel of my Roland console cabinet), and speaker quality?
If there isn't, and I basically have to choose between really good action and realistic piano tone VS arranging ability and options, if I choose the former, can one use 3rd party apps as arrangers (that work seamlessly with the less-featured DP's?)? I enjoy goofing around playing pop songs or EDM with backing as much as I do practicing scales, and learning a piece using only the default piano tone.
I am completely brand agnostic, so any options that reasonably satisfy the following are all game:
1. PREFERABLY less than $2K, but if that is some price wall, and the BEST DP is $2300, well....
2. Prefer a console, but I am also fine with a portable with a decent console like stand.
3. I was never really happy with the 40w downward firing speakers in my Roland, and I still don't know WHY. I guess they had plenty of power, but maybe they just weren't very good quality. Or maybe the way they were set in the console led to a mediocre sound. Anyway, it seems that that particular problem is still present from what I've read: almost all the options I have been looking at sound amazing with headphones (including my Roland)...but when you unplug and want to use the external speakers....much more hit and miss.
Me: adult learner, I guess is the best way to describe me. I spent most years up to and including college playing music (mostly brass instruments), so I know theory, the notes, etc. But I spent very little of that time learning piano (maybe two, when I was a kid!).
Rewind to 1997: My first decent paying job! First thing I go out and do once I get hired (before I even get my first paycheck) is go to the music store and impulsively buy (on credit, boy was I young and foolish!) what at that time was I guess the top of the line Roland DP? I remember it was around $4-$5K...in 1997! Ever since I had graduated college, I missed playing music, and I think I missed my calling when I chose trumpet and other instruments for almost 15 years. What I REALLY loved was the piano, so dammit it was finally time to correct that mistake. Or maybe just time to "transition" from one instrument to another.
Note that I had bought a couple of better than decent keyboards and synthesizers prior to this...in high school and college (nothing NEAR that price range though). Loved the creativity that digital keyboards generated in me, and I usually ended up losing myself for hours just "messing around" (keep in mind, still was not a "piano player"). But with this, it was more a statement to myself that "I am going to LEARN to PLAY the piano, dammit. And well. So I bought a "serious" instrument (I actually strongly considered buying an acoustic at the time, but it wasn't feasible for several reasons). Now FF almost 25 years, and because "reasons" I STILL haven't done what I set out to do back then...REALLY learn to play, and play well.
I plan (again!) to finally correct that now that I am not working constantly.
Any help much appreciated, even if it just means gently nudging me to an existing thread. I did come across some similar OP's, but the ones I saw did not have the interest in the arranging part. I'm afraid what I am looking for doesn't exist at a reasonable price level (and I am not willing or able to plunk down $4-5K again).
EDIT: Forgot to mention I am in the early stages of research, but getting a bit frustrated bc everything I see that looks (and sounds) amazing, doesn't have ANY arranging, or very limited.
Some models I have listed in my Evernote...note:
Roland RP-501R, 701/704, FP90X
Kawai: CN39 or higher? ES 920
Yamaha DGX 670 (not REALLY interested in this primarily due to the lack of piano tone accuracy and action (but I am just assuming that the models I listed above are MUCH better than this, in these two things)
Should I be looking at Clavinovas? Haven't dipped my toe there yet. I think I remember also considering them before I bought the Roland.