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Joined: Nov 2021
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Crimsey Offline OP
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I have been playing the piano for a few years now, and it's time for me to upgrade. I've been searching for a while, and I was wondering; Are there any noticeable differences between portable and console pianos regarding anything other than aesthetics? I do not care about portability, since I'm not interested in playing anywhere other than at home. I'm also not interested in any extra features, considering I only want to play using standard piano sound. I've found I like the sound of Kawai and Yamaha pianos the most, so I've been looking at models like the CN29, 39, CA49, YDP-164, CLP-725, and so on. But then I found models like the Yamaha P-515 and Kawai ES920, which makes me confused.

The biggest problem for me is that I have no music stores in my area, considering I live in a very small town, and even if I were to go to a bigger town, they wouldn't have all the models I want to try out.

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Will you use the built-in speakers or a headset primarily? I think that would be a differentiator.

What have you been playing on for the past few years? The keyboard action also can be a differentiator.


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I think I would mostly play with the built-in speakers. I've been using the Casio LK-280 since I started playing. It is a very cheap and simple keyboard with 61 weightless keys. I've tried the action on Yamaha pianos and I liked it, but the problem is I have nothing to compare it to since the selection of models is limited where I live.

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What's your budget?

Or slightly different question:

. . . How much would you be comfortable spending?

The situation isn't simple. Cabinet pianos often have better loudspeakers than slabs -- but not always. And it's not terribly expensive to add outboard "powered monitors" (= amp and speaker, in the same box) to slab pianos, for (often) less money, and better sound, than a cabinet piano with identical sound generator and action.

There's a "mid-range" group of slab pianos -- Yamaha P-515 and Kawai ES-920 and Roland FP-90(x) are examples -- that can be upgraded with improved amps/speakers, and give equal-cost cabinet pianos serious competition.


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I would rather not spend any more than 2200 dollars, (converted from my currency), so I don't think I would go farther than the CA49. As long as I don't lose sound and touch in favor of portability, (since I'm only going to play at home), I don't mind buying a portable one and eventually adding accessories if I feel the need to. Since the appearance doesn't matter much to me, I would feel bad if I spent hundreds of dollars more on a console piano only because of the aesthetic, especially if it sounds and plays similarly or identically to a portable one.

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Some points to consider:

- sometimes cabinets have a better action compared with slabs in the same price range (slabs need to reduce weight).

- not only cabinets have better PA and bigger speakers, but sometimes the cabinet’s wood can resonate together with the speakers.

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I'll be keeping that in mind while searching, thanks!

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Another point for cabinet is the lid:
Someone said (I think it was Stu of Merriam pianos) that dust can cause action failures in the long run. The best way to avoid it is to have the keyboard covered when not in use. Any cabinet model come with a lid, but not the slabs. I have seen solutions with blanket-covers, but those are not practical at all. Not to mention this is ugly as heck, even if you don't care about aesthetics.

btw: sliding lids are IMO better than folding lids, because you can leave your score in the music rest.


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Honestly portable pianos are awesome because if it ever needs service it’s easy to move around and can sometimes even sound better than the furniture ones Bc furniture ones sound boxy unless you get a high end one . Also, if you ever decide to sell it Bc something new more interesting comes , it’s easy to do with portable ones


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515

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