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Pianoloverus' Comments:

"The sound on the best digitals are almost indistinguishable from an excellent new piano and far better than many old inexpensive acoustics."


Pianoloverus: I hope you will comment further on which digitals sound that good.

All of the standalone digital pianos I've tried at piano shops sound hokey to me in one way or another.

It's the other type of piano set up - the one that requires a keyboard controller (makes no sound of its own), a computer, and plug-in virtual piano software (that creates the piano sound) that is loaded into the computer, that sounds (sometimes but not always) as good as you describe.

If there is something out there in a standalone digital piano unit I haven't tried, I'd love to know which one it is.

Jeanne W


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Originally Posted by Jeanne W
Pianoloverus' Comments:

"The sound on the best digitals are almost indistinguishable from an excellent new piano and far better than many old inexpensive acoustics."


Pianoloverus: I hope you will comment further on which digitals sound that good.

All of the standalone digital pianos I've tried at piano shops sound hokey to me in one way or another.
Have you played the top of the line hybrids from Yamaha and Kawai(Avantgrand and Novus) ?

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pianoloverus:

Thanks for replying. I'm not sure I have tried those exact models. I'm going to try to find those at one of the local piano shops to try them out.

Jeanne W


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is no evidence that that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand.

I did not mean to provide any objective evidence; subjectively that's what I suffered. I have one of the best Yamaha digital actions available, CP88, and anytime I play more than pone hour my pinkie hurts. I have posted about this and received several comments agreeing. So it's subjective but I am not alone.

As for

[/quote]The sound on the best digitals are almost indistinguishable from an excellent new piano and far better than many old inexpensive acoustics. [/quote]

Lets' be serious. If you get the best VST around and a powerful computer and great near field monitors, i.e you are ready to spend in the ballpark of 3K, yes, I would agree, close. If you look instead at the internal sound of any DP, well, c'mon, really ?

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Originally Posted by marklings
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is no evidence that that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand.

I did not mean to provide any objective evidence; subjectively that's what I suffered. I have one of the best Yamaha digital actions available, CP88, and anytime I play more than pone hour my pinkie hurts. I have posted about this and received several comments agreeing. So it's subjective but I am not alone.

As for
The sound on the best digitals are almost indistinguishable from an excellent new piano and far better than many old inexpensive acoustics. [/quote]

Lets' be serious. If you get the best VST around and a powerful computer and great near field monitors, i.e you are ready to spend in the ballpark of 3K, yes, I would agree, close. If you look instead at the internal sound of any DP, well, c'mon, really ?[/quote]You may not be alone but I think the percentage of those who have physical problems playing a digital is infinitesimally small.

I think the Yamaha Avantgrand and Kawai Novus have a sound far superior to many old inexpensive uprights and extremely close to excellent new pianos. There have been "guess the piano" threads on PW where many guessed high end pianos and the instrument was a digital.

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Originally Posted by marklings
One against the digital route.

The action is never as good as an acoustic; personally I found they are more prone to injuring the hand.

Sound wise even the best ones are a very a poor approximation of an acoustic. I've been playing both for many years and I never developed the relationship with a digital as I have with my simple Yamaha U1. That's my suggestion for you, a gently used Yamaha U1 or U3, look at spending anywhere between 5 and 8 K.

The only reason for going the digital route is silent practice if you have that need.

My 2 c.
I have a Yamaha U1 and a Roland LX706 and have played many digitals. If you have a problem with your pinkie as indicated in a later post I think there could be many reasons for this, but not down to the digital.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the evidence that reasonably new digitals don't cause injury is the simple fact that this issue virtually never comes up.
...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In fair minded articles giving the pros and cons of acoustics and digitals, I have never seen the slightest mention of digitals causing injury. I personally played on ancient digitals (much worse than the new ones) a lot as a musical accompanist and had no problem.

I don't question your observations. And I think that digital pianos are not likely to cause injury in most people. The same is likely true for acoustics. But what you said was that there is "no evidence that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand". This is a statement that will be of particular interest to the (small?) minority of people who run a much higher risk, older beginners, people with medical predispositions, or people who are playing a digital and are having problems. Your statement does certainly not appear wrong to me, but to this minority it may be of interest to realize that the lack of evidence is due to lack of proper tests and data. For new design features in new digital actions there is even no anecdotal data, and you will be a guinea pig.

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Originally Posted by Animisha
I also agree with ShiroKuro's posting about a digital piano, but I think you can get a decent digital piano for less than $1000.
After >10 years of marriage, my wife had never heard me play, so she got me an Alesis Recital Grand. It has weighted, graded, hammer action as well as ports for pedals and much more. It was only ~$400 on Amazon. I grew up with an acoustic, had a Clavinova in my twenties that cost around $2K, and was very impressed with the $400 Alesis. Another $400 for a sturdy, Roland X-type stand and a decent bench, and I was set. Within a month I was longing for the feel and sound of an acoustic, though, and within two months one was in my living room, so we gave the Alesis to friends of the family whose daughter had expressed an interest when my wife called around. The daughter quickly lost interest, but I saw the dad over the Holidays, and he's practicing on it every day. Never touched a keyboard before we met! YouTube is his teacher.

So yes, I agree with Animisha and ShiroKuro on going digital to start. Would hate to see OP drop a bunch of cash on an acoustic only to have it sit there, unless OP has cash to burn and doesn't care.

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Very nice story MrSh4nkly, thank you!

If you are on a tight budget, I think a piano bundle, including stand and bench, is better than buying the stand and bench separately. Of course, you might not find the bench that is included good enough. But for a child it will do. smile


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Originally Posted by pianogabe
And I think that digital pianos are not likely to cause injury in most people.

This is certainly true! The cause of injury in almost anybody (or actually, everybody?) is deficiencies in technique. When you learn to play using the weight of your arm and with relaxation, also people at risk for injuries generally will be fine - regardless of the type of piano they play.


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hi. my little sister is 13 and she wants to start playing piano too. since alkhail real estate didn't have any other villa in Turkey, I had to immigrate and live in a villa in Trabzon. I don't know this city and I don't know where to start. any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the evidence that reasonably new digitals don't cause injury is the simple fact that this issue virtually never comes up.
...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In fair minded articles giving the pros and cons of acoustics and digitals, I have never seen the slightest mention of digitals causing injury. I personally played on ancient digitals (much worse than the new ones) a lot as a musical accompanist and had no problem.

I don't question your observations. And I think that digital pianos are not likely to cause injury in most people. The same is likely true for acoustics. But what you said was that there is "no evidence that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand". This is a statement that will be of particular interest to the (small?) minority of people who run a much higher risk, older beginners, people with medical predispositions, or people who are playing a digital and are having problems. Your statement does certainly not appear wrong to me, but to this minority it may be of interest to realize that the lack of evidence is due to lack of proper tests and data. For new design features in new digital actions there is even no anecdotal data, and you will be a guinea pig.
I think "No evidence that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand" does not mean that zero injuries have occurred when playing digitals, which is what you seem to be saying. I'm sure there are examples of pianists who got injured on an acoustic and switching to a digital helped them. But no one would say that conclude playing on an acousitc causes injury.

It's possible that the tiny percentage of those who are injured on a digital have some quirk in their technique or even some flaw in their technique that makes them prone to injury on a digital. My impressions is that more people play digitals than acoustics nowadays, so that if digitals were more prone to causing injury, it would be well documented by now.

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I use a Kawai VPC-1 with Pianoteq 7 and a pretty high end Apple Mac Mini with a digital audio interface. It's an excellent practice machine that I use quite often when I am trying to learn the notes, slowly figure out spatial relationships for tricky passages, and for some quiet practice. My regular instrument is an acoustic grand Shigeru SK2.

I agree with the posters here that a digital is a good starter instrument for all the reasons mentioned. Just remember that a digital piano is not a replacement for a good acoustic piano. If you're child shows great interest and even moreso- talent for the piano I think you are doing a disservice for a child if you have the means, space, money, noise tolerance etc... to afford an acoustic. They are very much different instruments when you start to consider the nuances that make them different. I would love to see more young students in the academy I attend play on an acoustic. Usually it is the more talented ones that have access either because it was the acoustic that made them better players, or the parents saw their talent and purchased the acoustic to facilitate their development. (Probably the latter)

I watched the online videos of nearly 200 students from the school I attend and I would say 98% of them were playing on a digital piano. A little disheartening because academy is located next door to my clinic and we are surrounded by thousands of million dollar homes with all the cars in the parking lot being high end luxury SUVs, but all their children were playing on low end digital pianos but attending a high quality piano academy. I know the director of the program often implores the parents to purchase acoustics when possible and has commented in the as well that digitals are different from acoustics and not the same touch or sensitivity. We both agree that they have their purpose though.

I think children will do well to have access to both a digital for quiet practice and an acoustic to ingrain the touch of a real piano when they are still in their critical years of brain development. They will learn the differences between the two and adjust. (Like being fluent in 2 different languages)

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think "No evidence that digitals are more prone to injuring the hand" does not mean that zero injuries have occurred when playing digitals, which is what you seem to be saying.

No this is not what I meant. There remains a fundamental misunderstanding between us. But it is OK smile . I am not talking about absolute numbers or what fraction of the population has problems with a digital. I am interested in the *difference* in the likelihood of becoming injured (which is how I understood your "more prone"). This likelihood overall may well be small, and the question may therefore be irrelevant to the average person. But some people may be at higher risk, and for good reasons they may be very interested in what the actual difference is.

A made up example may work: say only 10 out of 1000 acoustic players get injured vs 20 out of 1000 digital players. Other things are equal (bad technique, predisposition, piano teachers hitting your fingers with rulers, age, sardine eating, etc). Very few people would complain about injuries (1-2%) and most people might not see or experience a problem. And it would thus not be well-documented. Nevertheless, if you belong to the at risk group for whatever reason, you would be wise to choose an acoustic if you knew the statistic.

So, in short, I am doubtful, at best, that if on average there would be more problems with digitals than with acoustics, this would become clear from people reporting this. The reason above is one problem, but there will also be all kinds of biases between the groups (e.g. do acoustic players play more, play more advanced repertoire, eat more sardines etc?).

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Following up on my last post- here's a review that somebody made that shows what a good MIDI controller like the VPC-1 can do with a quality VST. I also have the Ravenscroft 275 and I think it sounds wonderful- better than Pianoteq 7, but the Pianoteq is more useful for me as it better emulates the different layers of sound that a real piano gives you. Most digital pianos use similar "sampled" technology like the Ravenscroft VST but they all play a little artificially compared to the real thing- whether it be some latency or a lack of layers of sound that I am used to having on a fine acoustic. Also the VPC action is no match for a good action from a high end acoustic like my Shigeru. It feels moderately "stiff" in comparison. There's always a compromise when it comes to digitals- some have better (real) actions, but are lacking in sound layer production. The are great practice machines that can produce nice piano sounds but they respond quite differently from the real instrument when you compare them side by side. All that said, I do enjoy practicing on my digital from time to time. I honestly wouldn't spend too much money on one if the OP's son was just trying out the piano for the first time. The VPC-1 might be too expensive for the OP but at $1800 it's an excellent buy relatively speaking.



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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Other things are equal (bad technique, predisposition, piano teachers hitting your fingers with rulers, age, sardine eating, etc).
LOL'd at this.

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
A made up example may work: say only 10 out of 1000 acoustic players get injured vs 20 out of 1000 digital players.

Pianogabe, is this your personal opinion or do you have any evidence pointing towards the figures you mention? I could easily make up another example. Say 20 out of 1000 acoustic players get injured vs 10 out of 1000 digital players. Plus 2 in each group while trying to open a can of sardines... But anyway, why would playing on a digital piano hurt your fingers more?


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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by pianogabe
A made up example may work: say only 10 out of 1000 acoustic players get injured vs 20 out of 1000 digital players.

Pianogabe, is this your personal opinion or do you have any evidence pointing towards the figures you mention? I could easily make up another example. Say 20 out of 1000 acoustic players get injured vs 10 out of 1000 digital players. Plus 2 in each group while trying to open a can of sardines... But anyway, why would playing on a digital piano hurt your fingers more?

The figures are completely fictive to show a fundamental point. In reality it could also be the other way around, as you say. Or no difference. That is what I mean with "made up example". The point is that important differences in incidence may exist without this being spontaneously evident.

This point is just an addition to pianoloverus' statement that there is no evidence of a difference, which in itself I think is correct. The reason why I insist on making this addition is that I hope it will help people who are suffering from injury, or who are more likely to become injured, to not make any assumptions on what can or cannot contribute to it. It would be wise to look at your particular situation and try out many actions (both digital and acoustic) and to carefully assess which ones cause the least trouble.

As said, as far as I am aware we don't know if there are differences in this respect, on average, between acoustic and digital actions. But some people here on the forum have reported that their injury decreased or disappeared when switching from a digital to an acoustic (I am one of them). There are also people who are not injured but report that their digital is more tiring. This includes advanced players. There was even a professional pianist who reported this, and she switched to a hybrid. Mechanistic explanations that have been suggested are all linked to the lack of escapement in a digital. This has been discussed at length in the digital forum. Here is one thread (but it is not the only one): http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthr...digital-actions-are-bad.html#Post2942112

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If one grain of sand on a beach is purple or two grains (or even ten)are purple does it make a difference? As far as some saying their digital's action is heavier, couldn't that just be because their acoustic had a very light action? I'm sure that digitals are designed to avoid heavy actions since that would not appeal to many.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If one grain of sand on a beach is purple or two grains (or even ten)are purple does it make a difference? As far as some saying their digital's action is heavier, couldn't that just be because their acoustic had a very light action? I'm sure that digitals are designed to avoid heavy actions since that would not appeal to many.


Isn’t your primary piano an acoustic? Not sure I understand why you are insisting that those who have digitals as their primary instruments are wrong. Sorry, I’ll accept their experience over yours and mine any day.


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