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#1040572 - 11/12/00 07:34 PM Need digital piano
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey guys and gals, need some help from some pro piano players. I'm a beginner to piano, actually a guitar player but thought I would learn the piano to broaden my horizons. I'm currently practicing on a Korg N-364 61 key non-weighted synth. I would love to get an 88 key weighted action digital piano but I can't really afford one right now. What is you're opinion on getting a Fatar 88 key weighted controller(without aftertouch or pitch/mod wheels as I mainly want this strictly for piano, I already have a synth after all) and using it as a controller for Korg piano patches till I can afford better piano module?? Any other suggestions?? I appreciate any input you pro's out there have.

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#1040573 - 11/12/00 10:24 PM Re: Need digital piano
marino Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 8116
Loc: Rome, Italy
I think it is an excellent idea. The first thing you need in order to practice the piano is a good keyboard.
You could also practice on a synth keyboard, but be warned that you can NOT easily switch from unweighted to weighted keys; doing the opposite, however, is only a matter of adaptation.
Anyway, if you're willing to seriously learn piano tecnique, you just NEED to practice on weighted keys.

The Fatar weighting is generally good; however, stay away from the older ones, the Studio 88 and Studio 90 models: They have very bad weighting IMO. The newer 900, 1100, 880, 990, 2001, are all good, as are the most recent boards on Roland and Yamaha instruments.
You could also consider the Fatar 1176; it has 76 keys but they are full-weighted. This way, you could save a few bucks (not sure about the prices), and it's unlikely that you'll ever miss the extra keys, for a few years al least.

I don't find the piano sounds in the Korg N series very responsive for serious use, but you're right, the purchase of the keyboard itself should have priority.
But you could start looking at the used market for a module like the Kurzweil Micropiano, Yamaha P-50m, Oberheim Minigrand or GeneralMusic Pro Expander.

BTW the last generation of digital pianos is excellent and not so expensive. Check the Yamaha P80, Roland RD-100, Korg SP-100 or Kurzweil SP88X.

Last (but actually first), be sure to get a good teacher!

Hope this helps, and makes sense

marino

[This message has been edited by marino (edited 11-12-2000).]

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#1040574 - 11/12/00 11:51 PM Re: Need digital piano
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Registered: 09/24/00
Posts: 20038
Loc: Thousand Oaks,CA,UNITED STATES
Quote:

BTW the last generation of digital pianos is excellent and not so expensive. Check the Yamaha P80, Roland RD-100, Korg SP-100 or Kurzweil SP88X.[/B]


The P80 is a good choice - it has the same graded hammer action keybed as the P200 piano. Really playable feel, not a lot of $$$. It's got a very nice onboard piano sample as well.

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#1040575 - 11/15/00 03:36 AM Re: Need digital piano
Jim Aikin Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/16/00
Posts: 190
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
I was having an interesting discussion last week with a gigging pro about 88-note keyboards. The main issues that frustrate her are (a) portability and (b) having a decent soundset. Why is it that so many electronic pianos have vibes, for gosh sakes?

And why doesn't anybody manufacture an 88-note piano that breaks in half for hauling down the stairs? The CP-70 did it (because it had to), so we know it's possible! The keyboard could pull out of the chassis and have a cover that snaps shut around it (with a handle), or the instrument could be broken around Middle C. Man, somebody would sell a lot of these if they built them....

--Jim Aikin

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#1040576 - 11/15/00 09:29 PM Re: Need digital piano
marino Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 8116
Loc: Rome, Italy
I'm afraid we're going OT, but Jim brought up a matter that's really dear to me.

I simply ruined my back carrying to gigs and studios things like the Rhodes Chroma, Rhodes piano, Roland digital pianos, various Oberheims..
Now I can't bring my Fatar 2001 anymore without help. I'll spare you the details, but for many years I've been seeking for a portable weighted keyboard. I've tried the Oberheim 1000 lately, but the weighting is simply not good, and it has only two zones and no display for program names! (!!)
Also I was hoping in the Kurzweil SP76; no luck. It is light, but the keyboard is just not good to play pianistically IMO.

I doubt it would be possible to build a master keyboard that divides in two (I would welcome it however), but I've seen something very interesting: the Yamaha P80 digital piano weights only 17 Kgs (38 lbs) and the weighting of the keys is VERY good.
So it must be possible! Imagine a 76 key master with the same key weighting than the P80, wheels on top to save space and extra kgs (a couple of wheels must not be heavy, right?), total weigh about 13-14 kgs (30-31 lbs). I won't miss the extra octave.
Only, don't assume that since one is looking for a slim and light keyboard, he doesn't need decent MIDI, like zones, processing, a couple of outs and ins, etc. What's the point of designing a master keyboard with TWO zones in year 2000?!?
And a decent display, let's say two lines at least. I would buy it, at (almost) any price.

Wouldn't you welcome something like that?

marino

[This message has been edited by marino (edited 11-15-2000).]

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#1040577 - 11/16/00 01:19 AM Re: Need digital piano
guestuser@guestuser.com Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/14/00
Posts: 138
Loc: Toronto, Ontario ,CANADA
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Bryce:
The P80 is a good choice - it has the same graded hammer action keybed as the P200 piano. Really playable feel, not a lot of $$$. It's got a very nice onboard piano sample as well.


I have to agree, P80 is about the best giggin digital piano out there at the moment. Nice acoustic piano sound, really nice keybed, only 37 lbs. If only it had better electric piano sounds. Of course, it's only good for playing acoustic piano sounds and the odd bit of electric piano, or you might make use of the strings, cheesy organ, and bass now and again, but if you need different sounds, then of course its no good, and it's also not much of a controller. But still, I think carrying it and some 61-key synth to go with it, like a Yamaha CS6x or something, it's easier to carry two lighter boards than one heavy one.

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#1040578 - 11/16/00 01:34 AM Re: Need digital piano
guestuser@guestuser.com Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/14/00
Posts: 138
Loc: Toronto, Ontario ,CANADA
Quote:
Originally posted by marino:
I'm afraid we're going OT, but Jim brought up a matter that's really dear to me.

I simply ruined my back carrying to gigs and studios things like the Rhodes Chroma, Rhodes piano, Roland digital pianos, various Oberheims..


I hear you. I, too, ruined my back hauling a Rhodes stage piano around for years. Now, I have to do back exercises every day, and I've started running to keep in shape. Hey, I'm in better shape than in years, but lightweight gear is now my "holy grail". And I agree with you, if the P80 can do it then other manufacturers have no excuse any more. Actually, the P80 wasn't the first - there was a similar board about a year earlier by Technics, called the SX-P30. It's almost identical-looking to the P-80, and it's also quite a good-sounding and good-feeling piano. But it also suffered from absolutely no Midi controller implementation. It actually had a nicer Rhodes than the P80.

Anyway, what we need is to start with the P80, and build from there: first, make it even a bit lighter yet, make 33 lbs the target. Then, like you say, add a bunch of electronics, like Midi implementation, wheels, gobs of sample ROM, a phycically-modelled organ like the VK7, add even more Piano and Rhodes ROM, etc., etc. All that electronics can't weigh much, can it? Shorten the keyboard if you have to, if the weight goes above 37 lbs. That board would sell like Big Macs, and I wouldn't mind paying extra money to get it.

Actually, the Kurzweil PC2 and PC2x come close to this ideal. Only problem is, the weighted PC2x version is around 55 lbs. Even the 76-key "slightly-weighted" version is 39 lbs. But it has good basics: piano, electric piano, and organ, and excellent controller implementation.



[This message has been edited by guestuser@guestuser.com (edited 11-15-2000).]

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#1040579 - 11/18/00 05:37 AM Re: Need digital piano
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the info , sorry this is so late in coming. I was having problems posting after I first signed up. I was highly looking at the P-80, unfortunatley I've been out of work for a while due to back problems so will probably have to wait. I will keep your suggestions in mind when the time is right though, Thanks again.

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