Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#2980005 - 03/13/19 03:13 PM Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")?
mezzopiano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 13
I'm a piano student that travels regularly. I have a nice upright at home, and I miss the feeling of a weighted keyboard when practicing away from it.

I have owned a Yamaha NP-12 for a short time, but I did not like the feel of its semi-weighted keyboard.
A few months ago I bought a Yamaha P-121 and the feel of the GHS keyboard is very nice. However, the keyboard is too long (about 4" too long) and I cannot easily transport it by car, together with family and luggage.

So I ended up buying a used basic semi-weighted 49-keys MIDI controller to connect to my iPad for travel practice. The feel is nothing special, but it was cheap and as I read even more expensive keyboards with semi-weighted keys aren't that much closer to the feel of a real piano.

I'm in the market for any keyboard (stage piano or controller) that is less than 1m (39.5") long and has fully weighted keys. So 64 full size keys and small "bezels" is the maximum that fits my car. 73 keys are too wide, without even considering any bezels.Unfortunately, it seems that there is no product with such specs on the market right now, so I might have to consider a keyboard with semi-weighted keys that come close to the feel of a real piano.

Yamaha P-121 (73 keys) and Roland RD-64 (64 keys, discontinued) are both about 44" long.

The Studiologic SL-73 MIDI controller has the nice and light Fatar TP/100LR action, but it's 1.5" too long, sadly.

Back in 2004-2005, Studiologic released the VMK-149 and VMK-161 MIDI controllers with Fatar TP/40 hammer action, but they were since both discontinued.

I hope that one day Studiologic will make a 61-key version of the SL-73, or Yamaha a 61-key version of the P-121.
Or, that Roland or Yamaha will upgrade their 61-keys Go:Piano or Piaggero NP-12 with a hammer action keyboard.
Not holding my breath, though: I just mailed Yamaha and they told me that no such product is in the pipeline.
I mailed Fatar and got no response.

Every now and then there have been attempts at making and selling a modular or foldable piano (see "VAX77", "KOMBOS", "piano de voyage" in this thread), but the prices were usually very high or the performance below expectations. The travel piano should not cost more than upgrading my car.

I'm also considering DIY projects, but since I'm not particularly skilled with electronics, I suppose the safest choice would be getting a used RD-64 and re-package it so that the buttons are behind the keyboard instead of at the left.

Thanks in advance for any alternative suggestions, including solid (pun intended) semi-weighted keyboards.

Top
KC Island
#2980212 - 03/15/19 07:34 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: mezzopiano]
mezzopiano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 13
Any suggestions on a 61 or 64 keys controller or digital piano that comes decently close to a real piano (at least for what concerns the resistance of the keys)?

Top
#2980225 - 03/15/19 08:54 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: mezzopiano]
AnotherScott Online   content
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13390
Other than a used VMK-161? A Vintage Vibe, if money is no object.
_________________________
Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

Top
#2980230 - 03/15/19 09:08 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: AnotherScott]
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6458
Loc: Rochester, NY
Your a piano player that wants to practice on 61 or 64 keys?
_________________________
"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com


Top
#2980235 - 03/15/19 11:15 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: AnotherScott]
davedoerfler Offline
KCFF League Champion 2017
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 8339
Loc: the swamp
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
A Vintage Vibe, if money is no object.


twothumbs
_________________________
When you want authentic sounds, use orchestral samples.
When you want something moodier and more evocative, use mellotron samples.
Different colors in your crayon box.
Moe

Top
#2980256 - 03/15/19 02:02 PM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: Outkaster]
AnotherScott Online   content
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13390
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Your a piano player that wants to practice on 61 or 64 keys?

It's all Mozart needed.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-mozar...E89O02O20121025

Though unlike the OP, Mozart's issue wasn't trying to fit it into the back of a car.
_________________________
Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

Top
#2980332 - 03/16/19 07:58 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: AnotherScott]
Groove On Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/14
Posts: 14
Nothing currently available with 61 keys has a decent weighted action - so it’s really a matter of deciding if you can live with that compromise. The two keyboards with the correct “travel” form factor are the Roland Go Piano and the Hammond SK1. They are also almost the exact same size - around 35 inches in length. Outside of those two the pickin’s get worse.

I think it’s also important to note that while many pianos are portable it’s not the same thing as a “travel” piano.

Top
#2980347 - 03/16/19 10:03 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: Groove On]
Groove On Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/14
Posts: 14

Top
#2980388 - 03/16/19 03:46 PM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: Groove On]
AnotherScott Online   content
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 13390
Originally Posted By: Groove On
Nothing currently available with 61 keys has a decent weighted action - so it’s really a matter of deciding if you can live with that compromise. The two keyboards with the correct “travel” form factor are the Roland Go Piano and the Hammond SK1. They are also almost the exact same size - around 35 inches in length. Outside of those two the pickin’s get worse.

There are zero hammer action 61-key models currently available.... though this guy custom fabricates them from larger boards.

http://www.minetticustomkeyboards.com/

Originally Posted By: Groove On
The two keyboards with the correct “travel” form factor are the Roland Go Piano and the Hammond SK1. They are also almost the exact same size - around 35 inches in length. Outside of those two the pickin’s get worse.

Also about that size... Nord Electro 6D (which I would take for piano over the SK1). Also Yamaha MODX6, Korg Kross, and some Casios, with actions of varying quality... Maybe Vox Continental? I haven't played one, but some reports say it's pretty decent for piano, as non-hammer actions go.
_________________________
Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

Top
#2980403 - Yesterday at 12:22 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: Outkaster]
mezzopiano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Your a piano player that wants to practice on 61 or 64 keys?

I'm a piano learner and yes: I can easily forego the top and bottom octaves and still find enough pieces for practicing for many years to come...

Top
#2980405 - Yesterday at 12:26 AM Re: Travel piano: best action under 1m (39.5")? [Re: mezzopiano]
mezzopiano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/19
Posts: 13
Thanks for the many suggestions. Finding a used VMK-161 is not easy and I would not want to spend more than my 73-key P-121 costed.
So I suppose I will continue traveling with a roof box for a while...
I'll give the Go Piano and the other options a try, though, if I see them in some shop.

Top


Moderator:  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner