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My current keyboard (61-key yamaha PSR-e363) is a bit too bulky to carry around for short weekend trips or short hotel stays, and I am hoping to find something that is both lighter and smaller and can be packed together with other luggage rather than needing a separate carrying case. It's not going to be used for anything "serious", it's just so that I have something that is better than nothing for easy transportation.

My requirements are:
- Touch sensitive keys (does not need a great resolution) with the correct width.
- 4 full octaves, preferably with as little padding as possible in the ends so it's not wider than it needs to be.
- Preferably built in speakers (which don't have to be great) or at least a headphone jack.
- Not very expensive. (I am fine with something from ebay/amazon and the like, and does not need to be from any of the bigger brands)

I know there are some folding pianos, but those don't seem to be touch sensitive, and often the keys push straight down like a PC keyboard, rather than pivoting down like proper piano keys.

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if you have a mobile phone, i'd suggest you forget about built in speakers and download a suitable app. it will make your possibilities much smaller and lighter. if you take this route, you could consider:

korg microkey 49 which is very small and light but doesn't have full size keys if that matters

useful review against 2 competitors


nektar se49 which does have full size keys

review (mentions the keystation49 in passing and you might want to check that and other competitors too)



thread on ios apps for your phone:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3202969/ios-vst-v-built-in-sounds.html#Post3202969
(some useful app suggestions before the discussion descends into name calling)

thread on android apps for your phone:
https://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthr...yboard-vsts-for-android.html#Post3113797


EDIT: apologies - i see you mentioned 'correct width' on the keys so korg microkey wouldn't be suitable

Last edited by jackopiano; 04/05/22 07:45 PM.
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All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
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The lightest keyboard with 88 weighted keys is arguably the Casio PX-S3000.


It's the closest thing to the touch and feel of an acoustic piano. Some people might find the keyboard too bulky. The next closest is a Yamaha Piaggero NP-32 with 76 keys. It's lighter but the keys are narrower than standard piano keys and not weighted.

For traveling, I have a Clavier Piano at home. It has an 88 soft-touch. Still touch sensitive but a number of tradeoffs already. You get a reasonable sound that isn't exactly the same as a piano. And the keys feel like a rubber band stretching & releasing.

The official site: Clavier Piano
My review:

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Check out 5-octave 4 kg compacts: CTS1, Go:keys, NP12. Or the 3-octave mini-key Reface CP.

> a Clavier Piano
I wouldn't recommend this one, grossly overpriced. Same thing sold for around 130€ named Bora BX20 etc, at least reasonable for the money. But poor touch (for synth keys), poor touch-sensitivity (only 8 irregular levels), poor sound.
There is a more compact foldable 2.5kg variant with 88 short keys.

> Touch sensitive keys (does not need a great resolution)
I didn't know resolution mattered before I got this BX20, but it makes a good VST sound bad, feels poor compared to a cheapo plastic Yamaha PSR. Even when buying a cheapo it is a very good idea to try it in person and compare with others.

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Originally Posted by jackopiano
if you have a mobile phone, i'd suggest you forget about built in speakers and download a suitable app. it will make your possibilities much smaller and lighter. if you take this route, you could consider:

. . . .

That's my thought, as well. A 4-octave full-size-key keyboard will be a lot for a backpack. I understand why you want it -- I like my full-size-key Roland SH-01 synth considerably better than my my mini-key microKorg XL+.


. Charles
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These are the times I bring along my little accordion, or (as with my trip today) my melodica. Of course, you can't play serious classical literature on either, but if you just want to sit around playing some tunes they work great.


Rodney Sauer
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I have an Alesis Q49 which I bought to travel with. It's fairly light and can be powered via a mobile phone or tablet, but is possibly a bit big for a backpack.

It's a midi controller rather than a regular piano, so can't be used without the phone/ tablet but is easy to set up and there's plenty of free apps you can use.

It also proved handy today when I was home and the electricity went off for 8 hours.


I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.
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[quote=AndyOnThePiano]I have an Alesis Q49 which I bought to travel with. It's fairly light and can be powered via a mobile phone or tablet, but is possibly a bit big for a backpack.

/quote]

5 pounds, 32" wide, and $110 US (Sweetwater). Reasonable trade-offs.


. Charles
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Has anyone used the Yamaha PSSA50? Supposedly same keybed as Reface, built in sound and speakers, and supports USB midi for about $100.

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Originally Posted by MoltoDiletante
Has anyone used the Yamaha PSSA50? Supposedly same keybed as Reface, built in sound and speakers, and supports USB midi for about $100.

I have the PSS-F30, which is similar. Just a different rhythm engine, basically. Very satisfied (for what it is).

I've also been chasing after the "backpack keyboard" for the last 5 years or so. There's just nothing out there that fits my requirements. The Roland GO:Keys comes closest, but still too big. I want something that will sit on my lap in the passenger seat of a vehicle, for size reference. With 5 octaves. Can't be much bigger than the keybed itself. I don't think such a thing exists.


Roland RD-2000 / Yamaha EW400 & Electone / lots o' synths
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Originally Posted by OregonJim
. . .
I've also been chasing after the "backpack keyboard" for the last 5 years or so. There's just nothing out there that fits my requirements. The Roland GO:Keys comes closest, but still too big. I want something that will sit on my lap in the passenger seat of a vehicle, for size reference. With 5 octaves. Can't be much bigger than the keybed itself. I don't think such a thing exists.

There's this:

https://www.amazon.ca/midiplus-X6-mini-Controller-white/dp/B01MFHGQOG/

61 keys, 33" (85 cm) wide. Measure your seat; most are narrower than that.

You may be asking for the impossible.


. Charles
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by OregonJim
. . .
I've also been chasing after the "backpack keyboard" for the last 5 years or so. There's just nothing out there that fits my requirements. The Roland GO:Keys comes closest, but still too big. I want something that will sit on my lap in the passenger seat of a vehicle, for size reference. With 5 octaves. Can't be much bigger than the keybed itself. I don't think such a thing exists.

There's this:

https://www.amazon.ca/midiplus-X6-mini-Controller-white/dp/B01MFHGQOG/

61 keys, 33" (85 cm) wide. Measure your seat; most are narrower than that.

You may be asking for the impossible.

Unfortunately, that's just a MIDI controller. No sound generator. I'm looking for self-contained with (preferably) normal-sized keys. It's not an impossible product to make, but apparently nobody does. Anyway, thanks for looking - I appreciate it!


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Originally Posted by OregonJim
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by OregonJim
. . .
I've also been chasing after the "backpack keyboard" for the last 5 years or so. There's just nothing out there that fits my requirements. The Roland GO:Keys comes closest, but still too big. I want something that will sit on my lap in the passenger seat of a vehicle, for size reference. With 5 octaves. Can't be much bigger than the keybed itself. I don't think such a thing exists.

There's this:

https://www.amazon.ca/midiplus-X6-mini-Controller-white/dp/B01MFHGQOG/

61 keys, 33" (85 cm) wide. Measure your seat; most are narrower than that.

You may be asking for the impossible.

Unfortunately, that's just a MIDI controller. No sound generator. I'm looking for self-contained with (preferably) normal-sized keys. It's not an impossible product to make, but apparently nobody does. Anyway, thanks for looking - I appreciate it!

Forgot to mention - 33" x 8" would be ideal (give or take an inch either way) with full size keys, headphone jack, battery power. Speaker(s) optional, but would have to be on the underside due to the size restriction. I don't really care about the thickness too much, but it has to be sturdy enough to stand on its own (no foldables).

I'm not trying to hijack the thread - it's just that the OP and I seem to be searching for a similar product.


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Impressive ------ an 88 key piano that almost fits into a hand-bag. I didn't see that one before. Surprised me heheh.

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I think the Piano de Voyage is what you want:

https://pianodevoyage.com/

It comes in sections and easily fits in a backpack. I have one that I am willing to sell as I do not travel much these days.

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Originally Posted by OregonJim
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by OregonJim
. . .
I've also been chasing after the "backpack keyboard" for the last 5 years or so. There's just nothing out there that fits my requirements. The Roland GO:Keys comes closest, but still too big. I want something that will sit on my lap in the passenger seat of a vehicle, for size reference. With 5 octaves. Can't be much bigger than the keybed itself. I don't think such a thing exists.

There's this:

https://www.amazon.ca/midiplus-X6-mini-Controller-white/dp/B01MFHGQOG/

61 keys, 33" (85 cm) wide. Measure your seat; most are narrower than that.

You may be asking for the impossible.

Unfortunately, that's just a MIDI controller. No sound generator. I'm looking for self-contained with (preferably) normal-sized keys. It's not an impossible product to make, but apparently nobody does. Anyway, thanks for looking - I appreciate it!

Forgot to mention - 33" x 8" would be ideal (give or take an inch either way) with full size keys, headphone jack, battery power. Speaker(s) optional, but would have to be on the underside due to the size restriction. I don't really care about the thickness too much, but it has to be sturdy enough to stand on its own (no foldables).

I'm not trying to hijack the thread - it's just that the OP and I seem to be searching for a similar product.

it's fair enough to hold out for someone to manufacture and sell exactly what you want, but i think there's a clear reason that it's not (widely?) available. it's because there is a very workable alternative - use a MIDI controller, a mobile device (phone or tablet - which most people already own), and headphones and/or portable speaker (which most people already own). because this works so well for so many people, you might not ever see the exact product you want as there might not be the market for it. but my crystal ball is no better than anyone else's

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Originally Posted by OregonJim
[quote=Charles Cohen]

Unfortunately, that's just a MIDI controller. No sound generator. I'm looking for self-contained with (preferably) normal-sized keys. It's not an impossible product to make, but apparently nobody does. Anyway, thanks for looking - I appreciate it!

It's not true that nobody does. I think Go:keys, NP12, CTS1 are what the respective companies think of the smallest size for a reasonable compact self-contained 61-full-sized-key keyboard. The controller-sized Bora 88-key foldables (there might be a similar 61-key compact cheapo) show that a more compact size is somehow feasible, but the sound suffers seriously on account of inadequate speakers. I'm not sure if portable external speakers are a solution these days, because wired audio inputs have mostly disappeared from the latter in favour of BT with inadequate latency.

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Originally Posted by _sem_
I'm not sure if portable external speakers are a solution these days, because wired audio inputs have mostly disappeared from the latter in favour of BT with inadequate latency.

fair point - they're becoming harder and harder to find

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Originally Posted by LarryK
I think the Piano de Voyage is what you want:

https://pianodevoyage.com/

It comes in sections and easily fits in a backpack. I have one that I am willing to sell as I do not travel much these days.

Yes! That's almost exactly what I described! And (I think) it fits the bill for the OP, except maybe the price (~ $1000 USD). At least we know somebody actually makes such a thing. Will have to research. Thank you!

Last edited by OregonJim; 04/07/22 12:18 PM.

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