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Looking to buy an entry-level electronic keyboard.


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Hey, everyone. I'm taking an intro piano class in college and have really enjoyed playing so far. Therefore, I'd like to buy a keyboard for my room since I know I'll practice a lot more if I have one.

 

Basically, my budget is $200-300 and, while I'm open to suggestions, the following two keyboards seem to be the best I could find at this range:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Casio-WK-225-76-Key-Sensitive-Keyboard/dp/B0059ZVQ22/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1381517347&sr=1-1&keywords=wk-225

 

and

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YPG-235-Portable-Graded-Action-Keyboard/dp/B003FVB7XA/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1381517366&sr=1-1&keywords=ypg-235

 

I figure 76 keys will be plenty enough for at least a few years should I really get into playing. I haven't heard many good things about the 60-ish key ones, so I don't think those are in the question.

 

Basically, I was curious if anyone had experience with either of these keyboards and could give some advice to which they would suggest? Or, if anyone has anything else in my price range, feel free to suggest that too. Thanks!

 

EDIT: I apologize in advance for posting this here, since I'm not sure if this is the right place. I've tried searching the internet for some information, but figured there'd be no substitute for a forum with people that are musically gifted and have experience.

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This is the right place to ask, but most of the folks that hang around here are generally interested in much higher level boards, so I don't know how much direct experience anyone will have with these.

 

Are you looking for a keyboard with synth (springy) keys or piano (weighted) keys? If you are taking a piano class, I think you would find yourself preferring piano-style weighted keys. For something like that, the prices start at around $500. Good luck on your choice in any case.

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Get 88 keys you will need them and if your going to play you have to get used the layout.

Given that the OP said he was "taking an intro piano class in college", he might be able to get on OK without 88 keys for the foreseeable future. I think getting 88 keys is going to be tough at his price point.

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Scan your local Craigslist for a better quality but older keyboard. You may get lucky.

 

While it is not strictly necessary, in my experience, getting a keyboard with a weighted/hammer piano-style action is helpful when taking piano and developing muscles/feel/etc.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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If you can up your budget a bit, the Casio PX-150 is an outstanding board- good piano action, good piano sound, and super lightweight. New for $500, but you might be able to call Pro Audio Star or similar place and get it for $400 shipped, no tax.

 

Another keyboard that is also slightly more is the Yamaha P-120. Been discontinued for 5 years? now, well built, sold for $1000 originally, I've seen them on Craigslist for $300-400. A pleasure to play and great sounds!

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I would definitely prefer to have something weighted, but it just isn't in my price range. That 200 dollars is currently 2 weeks of work while trying to balance out five classes including organic chem 2, organic lab, molecular biology, etc.

 

Since I don't know how into piano I'm really going to get, I definitely want to start with something of lower quality and work my way up should I become more interested.

 

I'm fine for now with non-weighted keys since really, at the moment, all I want is to be able to practice scales / some pieces on a consistent basis. If there's anything I learned from guitar, it's that consistency is key.

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You're right that you may not need the 88 keys, but if you are learning piano, you are far better off with something with a somewhat piano-like action, which means 88 keys. (There are some boards that have the weighted actions and fewer than 88 keys, but they will actually cost you more.) Some models to try to find (mostly used to try to get into your price range) would be Yamaha P85, P95, P35, Korg SP170, Casio CDP-100, CDP-120, PX-anything.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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You're right that you may not need the 88 keys, but if you are learning piano, you are far better off with something with a somewhat piano-like action, which means 88 keys. (There are some boards that have the weighted actions and fewer than 88 keys, but they will actually cost you more.) Some models to try to find (mostly used to try to get into your price range) would be Yamaha P85, P95, P35, Korg SP170, Casio CDP-100, CDP-120, PX-anything.

 

Checked Amazon and saw some used CDP-100's for around 280 ish.. my only concern is that some people said the speakers weren't that great. Would that even matter for me? I don't intend to be performing for anyone anytime soon, but 88 weighted keys for an extra 80 dollars sounds fantastic.

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Grab a Yamaha NP 30. 76 semi weighted keys.. sounds good.. has speakers.. can run on batteries.. lightweight.. and midi inputs if you ever want to attach it to a computer or sound module. I've had one for a while. Use it for midi control.. composition.. practice.. and have played a ton of small parties with it. You can probably get one around the 200 mark. Next step up is the Yamaha P35.

Jay

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Nord Stage 3 Compact, Korg Krome EX, Novation Summit, Roland RD88 & Edge, Spectrasonic Keyscape

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Have you checked your local CL? Or are you dead set on brand new?

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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If you feel a great talent or an important hobby would be lost if you don't get a decent keyboard, maybe a second hand or a family member having a spare could be an idea. Some people use their computer for piano sounds, there are way under 200 euro/$ weighed controllers with usb or midi, and there's piano programs, demos, too.

 

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Another few questions. Sorry!

 

1) Do 88-key digital pianos like the CDP-100 fit on those standard single/double X stands? There's no way I can justify paying 100 dollars for a fancy stand at the moment.

 

2) Any recommendations for decent (cheap, too) headphones? I'm assuming iPod headphones won't be optimal for a board lol

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1) Do 88-key digital pianos like the CDP-100 fit on those standard single/double X stands? There's no way I can justify paying 100 dollars for a fancy stand at the moment.

 

A cheap X-stand is a bad idea... it will eventually collapse without warning.

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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You can put a heavy 88 on an x stand. If you buy a used board, you will often get a free stand...you can also find them on CL for $10-$25. If you lived around here, I have a couple for sale....where are you?

 

Headphones - you could probably get away with iPod head phones, provided you have the correct adapter and the cord is long enough. I honestly don't see you doing much better on your budget.

 

BTW I have never played the CDP-100, but it should be light years ahead of the DGX 235. I don't like any DGXs except the 600 series. My daily driver is a 620.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Another few questions. Sorry!

 

1) Do 88-key digital pianos like the CDP-100 fit on those standard single/double X stands? There's no way I can justify paying 100 dollars for a fancy stand at the moment.

 

2) Any recommendations for decent (cheap, too) headphones? I'm assuming iPod headphones won't be optimal for a board lol

They will fit OK. Pretty much everyone here dislikes X-stands. One option is this:

On Stage KS7150 Table Top Keyboard Stand

 

I don't have one, but I have seen it recommended and it is currently $50 with free shipping.

 

Regarding headphones, you get what you pay for. Something like Grado SR80i or Sennheiser HD 558 may seem a little pricey based on your budget, but they have a lot of bang for the buck and would likely be worth it in the long run.

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You can put a heavy 88 on an x stand. If you buy a used board, you will often get a free stand...

 

Hopefully, not a free X stand! I would never set a heavy 88-key on that.

 

Seriously, I only have one X-stand that I'll use anymore... because it locks in place with a bolt.

 

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Hopefully, the free stand will be the one the PO used with the same board. All of my X stands are collapse-safe IMHO, you would have to shear a .25" metal pin. And I played a 75 lbs 88 on a couple of them for years.

 

My complaint with the x stands is that they waggle too much for a boisterous boogie woogie. Thi poster will not be playing those this year.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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You can put a heavy 88 on an x stand. If you buy a used board, you will often get a free stand...you can also find them on CL for $10-$25. If you lived around here, I have a couple for sale....where are you?

 

Headphones - you could probably get away with iPod head phones, provided you have the correct adapter and the cord is long enough. I honestly don't see you doing much better on your budget.

 

BTW I have never played the CDP-100, but it should be light years ahead of the DGX 235. I don't like any DGXs except the 600 series. My daily driver is a 620.

 

Thanks, I probably won't go with an X stand. I actually wonder if an 88-key would fit on my dresser here in my dorm. It's practically perfect height. I definitely at least know to avoid X stands though!

 

For headphones, how would these work?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Lightweight-Over-Ear-Binaural-Headphones/dp/B0007XJSQC/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1381529956&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+headphone

 

They at least come with a 1/8" and 1/4" adapter so I wouldn't have to worry about that. They seem to be getting pretty good reviews too, for the most part.

 

Definitely changed my mind toward the CDP-100 for now. From everything I'm finding online, it has great reviews on everything besides the speakers, and I plan on using headphones a lot anyway. I figure I'd much rather spend the extra 80-130 now for a full set of weighted keys. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, really appreciate it.

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Well, I went ahead and ordered a CDP-100. It was the cheapest I could find, in the best condition out of all the used, and there was only one left.

 

Doesn't come with a pedal which I can hopefully get relatively cheap, and I'm holding off on a stand for now (unless one ships with it, which I didn't see). I'm going to see how it plays / if it'll fit on my dresser, then probably order a stand after I get my next paycheck.

 

Just wanted to say thanks again for all the help.

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Good choice. I actually like the CDP-100 better than many of the "better" pianos. And don't worry about the "bad speakers." At this price everything has bad *something*. And really, it's all relative. I doubt anything at its price has speakers that are much better. And if you use headphone or an external amp, it won't make any difference anyway.

 

As for a stand, the piano only weighs 24 lbs, so you don't have to get anything heavy duty.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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One more question.. ordered the following stand:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EXIMFI/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Since I have no experience, I have no clue: can you actually let your keyboard sit on top of the stand at all times, or should you remove it when you're not playing? Not sure if prolonged / uninterrupted weight could cause the stand to collapse or not.

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One more question.. ordered the following stand:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EXIMFI/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Since I have no experience, I have no clue: can you actually let your keyboard sit on top of the stand at all times, or should you remove it when you're not playing? Not sure if prolonged / uninterrupted weight could cause the stand to collapse or not.

That stand will be fine leaving your keyboard on it.

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One more question.. ordered the following stand:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EXIMFI/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Since I have no experience, I have no clue: can you actually let your keyboard sit on top of the stand at all times, or should you remove it when you're not playing? Not sure if prolonged / uninterrupted weight could cause the stand to collapse or not.

That stand will be fine leaving your keyboard on it.

 

Okay, thanks. (:

 

Actually, one more question. Is it safe to unscrew the back of a keyboard? I'm pretty sure my seller put the AC charger in the back because when lifting it I could hear something rolling around, and it isn't anywhere else in my box. Just want to make sure I'm not irreversibly damaging something lol

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Actually, one more question. Is it safe to unscrew the back of a keyboard? I'm pretty sure my seller put the AC charger in the back because when lifting it I could hear something rolling around, and it isn't anywhere else in my box.

 

Now that's rather odd. Could you explain further?

 

:freak:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Actually, one more question. Is it safe to unscrew the back of a keyboard? I'm pretty sure my seller put the AC charger in the back because when lifting it I could hear something rolling around, and it isn't anywhere else in my box.

 

Now that's rather odd. Could you explain further?

 

:freak:

 

Do'h, nevermind.... that was indeed some clever packing. It was completely hidden in the back, taped behind some packaging material completely out of view.

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So the "rolling around" you described was in the packing box and not inside the keyboard itself?

 

 

No, there still sounds like something is slightly tethered in place but bumping up against the plastic inside the back. Not sure what that could be, to be honest.

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