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#3059264 12/20/20 04:04 PM
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I'd like a non full (88) size, possibly only 49 keys weighted digital piano. I currently have a Casio CGP-700 (88 keys) that I like very much. Does any manufacturer make a small keyboard with decent weighted keys. Browsing around I only see an Akai MKP-249 that says "semi-weighted". Otherwise every other keyboard I see in small sizes doesn't mention weighting at all. (although I did see a very excellent posting here on this forum about a guy who hacked (literally with a saw) one.)

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Semi-weighted is pretty meaningless here. What makes a board feel at least somewhat piano-like is not weight per se, it's the hammer mechanism. AFAIK, the smallest hammer action currently in production is 73 keys. Roland used to make the 64-key RD-64, and Studiologic used to make a 61-key hammer action controller (VMK-161 Plus), that's the smallest I've seen.

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I have the Akai in my studio; it's OK for synth and organ but feels nothing like a piano or digital piano.

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The Korg SV2 comes in a short keyboard configuration.


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Originally Posted by ColoRodney
The Korg SV2 comes in a short keyboard configuration.
There are quite a few 7x- key options. SV2, Grandstage, Kronos, CP73, P121, Forte 7, Nord Electro 6/Stage 3.

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An instrument with 49 keys has barely enough keys to play easy songs. Manufacturers have no incentive to make weighed keys for instruments this small. I found a 49 keyboard at a local Toys"R"Us store with narrow soft-touch keys. The smallest keyboard with weighed keys is probably a Yamaha P-125 with 76 keys.

Got a folding piano recently for traveling for about US$100. Has 88 keys and folds into 4. Put it into a hand carry for a flight. The instrument is all plastic and the keys are not touch-sensitive. However, it does come with a foot pedal.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The smallest keyboard with weighed keys is probably a Yamaha P-125 with 76 keys.
P-125 is 88 keys, you're thinking of the P-121.

Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Got a folding piano recently for traveling for about US$100. Has 88 keys and folds into 4.
If the goal is 49 keys that feel like a piano, an 88 that doesn't come very close. The one at https://duopiano.ca/products/duo may be a little closer, since half its 88 can be used by itself as a 44, plus it is velocity sensitive... but we're still pretty far from feeling close to a piano. Once you give up having it feel like a piano, there are lots of 49s, really. Some non-hammer actions are more piano-playable than others, I don't have experience with 49s to make a suggestion there, though.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
the one at https://duopiano.ca/products/duo may be a little closer,
Interesting for sure.

If it turns out there aren't really any weighted keyboards in the 49 key size, I think I'll just get one of the many different non weighted ones that are quite cheap and live with that as my second keyboard.

I really mostly want it to set on my desk behind my computer keyboard and in front of the monitor as I learn to read music a little better and study chords. I have a weighted keyboard in my living room where I practice technique.

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In the 18th century, the harpsichord had something like 60 keys. To be able to play pieces by Bach, Handel & others in the same period would require at least 60 keys so 61 is a good start.

Is there an incentive for manufacturers to make a 49 keyboard to compete with pianos & keyboards with 88? I've seen an electric version of a harpsichord with an organ sound in a piano store. It's a specialty item that you don't see very often. The selling point is that the instrument has a piano looking keyboard but is an electronic version of a harpsichord. Otherwise is a 49 keyboard with weighed keys a toy or is it a serious instrument?

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
In the 18th century, the harpsichord had something like 60 keys. To be able to play pieces by Bach, Handel & others in the same period would require at least 60 keys so 61 is a good start.
Harpsichord typically started on F (like the Clavinet), which means you cannot cover their particular key range in a 61-key board that goes C-to-C.

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I posted the original question months ago. I am rethinking things.

I'm giving up on wanting a small weighted keyboard. I think I want a small synth like the Yamaha Reface DX. I currently have a Casio CGP-700 that I really like to play. The Casio is a standard size weighted keyboard.

My one concern is this:
I have relatively small hands - 7" from joint at wrist to tip of longest finger. On the standard size keyboard I can play an octave comfortably, but a ninth is a stretch. Will a small closely spaced non weighted keyboard spoil me and cause me to develop bad habits?..... I don't intend to play it that much. Mostly I would use it to learn to read music better and figure out parts and get better left right coordination. I still intend to do most technique practice and meditative pleasure on the full size keyboard. I want the little yamaha to use in another room while the wife is sitting at the TV or when traveling a bit.

Should I be concerned about this issue of developing bad habits? (by the way, I don't play classical. Mostly jazz pop stuff)

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My take on the matter. If you're more of a beginner on the piano I would suggest to stay away on the smaller keys. If you have several years in and are at intermediate level I would think your hands would be able to adjust between the two. You won't know until you try yourself.


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Quote
I have relatively small hands - 7" from joint at wrist to tip of longest finger.


Just measured my length and came out at 7.5". I have been playing on and off for 40+ years so I can adapt fairly quickly. But I would say try to stay with a standard width keyboard to make your life easier IMHO.


Peace


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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
In the 18th century, the harpsichord had something like 60 keys. To be able to play pieces by Bach, Handel & others in the same period would require at least 60 keys so 61 is a good start.
Harpsichord typically started on F (like the Clavinet), which means you cannot cover their particular key range in a 61-key board that goes C-to-C.

A typical pipe organ manual is 61 notes starting on C. Organ standardization started in the middle 17th century, i.e. early-to-mid Baroque era as a standardization initiative of French organ builders who were clustered in Paris. By the time of Bach and Handel the standardization would not have been universal, but certainly moderately well along.

The composer whose music I have found at times to pose some challenge on a 61-key keyboard with C the lowest note is Couperin. I suspect some Scarlatti may also pose some difficulties. Often, this problem is solved with an octave transpose feature on the controller or keyboard (a feature conspicuously missing on a Nord C2 or C2D, where transpose is limited to +/-6 semi-tones).

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Here's an update: I ended up with different requirements than when I was asking about a small weighted keyboard back a year ago. (I'm not much better as a beginner level player but that's a separate topic.) I am setting up a second residence in my retirement and want another keyboard for here. I went to a music store and tried out the weighted keyboard they had there within the price range I am looking (under $1K usd). The weighted casios felt the best to me, but I realize that is because I am used to mine at home. The yamaha felt springy, but well made. There was another cheaper brand and it didn't feel too different than the yamaha, not sure how it sounded. And then plenty of stuff over my price range. And we are talking about just the keyboard, no stand, or base.

Got home as was trying to figure out the product line of Casio figuring I'd probably stay with that and then started reading good reviews of the Yamaha P-125 and decided probably from the fatigue of over thinking this to try something new and to just go with the P-125 and ordered it online from amz.

I have received it. It is nice keyboard. The piano sound is quite nice and while I don't have a refined ear I'd say the default piano is prettier and richer than my memory of the casio CGP-700's. So it is nice sounding keyboard. And it is mechanically quieter than the Casio, which is kind of nice considering it is the room where my wife is watching TV in the evenings. -- but my logitech keyboard typing this is just as noisy as the mechanical sounds of the Casio so I'm not sure if that should be an issue.

The springyness is something I can get used to. I don't see ever owning an acoustic piano so its not like I need to learn acoustic piano technique, if there is such a thing.

But I am realizing that how I have the computer desk and digital piano setup, with the piano at right angle to the computer keyboard and screen, it would be better to have a shorter keyboard. I see an option for the yamaha that I was not paying attention to when I selected the P-125. There is a P-121. (actually mentioned in comments above which I wish I would have reread before I made the purchase) That would make the setup a little better. For the pop stuff i like to play I never have occasion to hit those bottom notes or top notes on an 88.

As far as I know I have the option to return the keyboard and am considering doing it to get the P-121. I think there is not a 76 key version of the Casio which I prefer mechanically. I probably will take advantage of the amz return policy and get the P-121.

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I went for the 73 key P-121 mainly for portability reasons (only 10kg) and love that Yamaha decided to to go from E to E rather than A or C. For the type of music I play (Pop, Rock, Church) I don't think I've ever needed those extra keys.
(If you stick with the Yamaha P125 or go for the P121 keep a note my site https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/
as I've got some specially designed free soundfonts that work with the instrument select buttons to give you more instruments at your fingertips)

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honestly, not sure why 61 weighted keys is not a thing. Most 61 come with this non weighted or cheap "semi weighted" keyboard. All of them are very light, for me - too light and springy. I had a DX7II and it was better than any single non weighted modern keybed I've touched. But it still kinda sucked honestly. Imagine a Yamaha CP-73 or a Roland RD-88 - but in 61 keys! (and... battery powered? heck yeah)
would be the ultimate compromise between playability and portability for sure

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Roland had RD64 but it was discontinued, probably because of low sales.


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Originally Posted by EVC2017
Roland had RD64 but it was discontinued, probably because of low sales.

Easy enough to figure out why it might not have sold. Why make a short size keyboard and put all the controls where they add to the width?


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