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Portable Keyboards


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Hello All,


Let me just fill in where I've been and where I'd like to be...


I am interested in getting a portable keyboard. Money is not really an object in this case, but it seems that most good keyboards are around ~$2000. The reason I'm looking at portable or stage pianos is because I'm going to be traveling around the country/world for schooling and want to have an instrument with me for my own personal enjoyment and for the occasional 'gig'. I'm a classical pianist and usually perform on a baby grand piano.


Anyway, I visited a Yamaha dealer the other day and was terribly delighted with the Clavinova chain of pianos. I was most impressed with sound quality. The keys could be slightly better in my opinion, but they weren't bad! Unfortunately, Clavinova's don't come in portable models, as you all know. The nicest portable Yamaha that I did see was the CP330 (?) I think. The sound, again, wasn't too bad with headphones, but the keys were even worse than the Clavinovas! Really bad.. but that could have been the touch sensitivity.


So, I went to a Roland dealer today. I was interested in trying out a RD-700SX, but they only had the RD-300SX and an FP-5 on the floor. The 300SX had sufferable sound quality through a monitor speaker. The keys were an improvement over the portable Yamaha that I saw, but still felt too 'light' for my touch. The FP-5 was, on the other hand, pretty good in touch and was the best portable keyboard that I had felt so far. The sound through the internal speakers was not bad with the higher notes, but rather mediocre on the lower notes as I expected.


Also, sympathetic vibrations are really somewhat of a must for me: something which I haven't seen in a portable. After seeing that the Clavinova's flaunted the ability, I would really like to see it in a portable keyboard.


I've read really good reviews for the Roland RD-700SX, Kawai MP8, and Yamaha P-250. These seem to be what I have to choose between. The only thing that worries me is that each of those pianos are a couple of years old from start of production... isn't there something newer from these manufacturers???


Can anybody give me any other models that might make me happy? Can anybody confirm my reviews? I'll have to travel many hours to preview a Roland RD-700SX... is it worth it after I've already played the 300SX?


Thoughts and helpful suggestions very much welcome.


Yes, I know that I need to try it out in the store before I buy it!


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Welcome to the Keyboard Corner!


I'm a big fan of the Roland stage pianos, I gig with an RD-700 (the previous model to the RD-700SX). The RD-700SX is definitely in a different class than the RD-300SX.


How important are on-board speakers to you? Because the Rolands don't have them -- you'll need separate amplification.


I wouldn't worry too much about these models coming out two years ago. Unless some breakthrough it technology comes along, manufacturers are really just making small, incremental improvements to stage pianos these days. All of the 'boards you mention in your post are top-notch keyboards. None of them will match an acoustic grand piano, of course, but I suspect that we're about as close to that as we're going to get.




Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.


My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/


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Its important to remember that sound and action are very subjective to each person. Its sounds like your doing the right thing and trying out as many as possible. I would recommend trying a Kawaii out since the action is very different. Many people really like the action and sound of the Kawaii's. The RD700Sx has a seperate paino sample not found in the RD300SX. I also personally believe the action is better on the Rd700SX. In the end its really your call about driving to check it out. Good luck and get what feels and sounds best to you.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

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I suggest the 33 pound FP4 for piano/Rhodes gigging. The key return is very fast, the keys feel like ivory, and the Piano 1 sample is a cheaper version of the RD-700SX "Superior Grand"...and it's 33 pounds!

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Find Harry's solo piano arrangements and jazz tutorials at https://www.patreon.com/HarryLikas


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