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Lightweight 88 Keyboard with the Best Rhodes??


kryl

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Hello, I am looking to buy an 88 key keyboard that comes as close as possible to sounding like a real Rhodes. This will be my first keyboard and I want the transition to be as seamless as possible. It would be nice if it had a couple decent acoustic pianos as well. It also must be:

-Lightweight

-Feel like a piano

-Ideally under $1000 (but can spend more)

 

 

I was leaning towards shelling out for the Korg SV-1, however once I found out the weight (45 lbs) I know I'll regret it later if I do. I need something light enough that I can carry it alone no problem, so around 30 lbs.

 

I hate the feel of most keyboards I've played (not many) because they feel so light, plastic-y, and so unlike a real piano. Maybe that's why the Korg SV-1 is so heavy... that to have weighted keys you need to have a heavy keyboard? Otherwise why is it so darn heavy? Almost 20 lbs heavier than other 88 keyboards!

 

A tempting route, both in price and weight, is running a virtual instrument on my laptop with a MIDI controller, however I'm not sure if the sound would be any good.

 

 

I haven't found anything that really hits the mark so please weigh in with suggestions! Thank you!

 

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SV1's 45 lbs is about at the middle of the range, weight-wise... there are plenty of 50+ weight boards (and even 70+). Most are over 30. There aren't many 88s in the sub-30 lb range... only Casio and Yamaha I think, and those Yamahas aren't so strong for EP. Sounds are subjective, and we aren't all after the same Rhodes sounds, but your best best sounds like the Casio PX-5S, if you like the sounds here...

 

http://www.casiomusicforums.com/index.php?%2Ffiles%2Ffile%2F193-vintage-keys-set%2F

 

p.s. -- another possibility could be the Numa Piano. If you dial the high end off a little, I think those EPs sound pretty nice, and that's another one in your weight range. The action isn't as nice, though.

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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I may be in the minority here, but personally I prefer the SV1's Rhodes to the Casio's. Was never a fan of the Privia's EPs. Admittedly these things are subjective.

 

Lightweight with great Rhodes often means Nord to me, a used Electro would be one angle except for the weighted keys.

 

I could also vote new Yamaha CP4, great feel, excellent Rhodes (in my opinion), 30 lbs., but no way you're finding one in that price range.

 

If you end up with the laptop route, Scarbee seems to be a prevailing option for Rhodes (so I read here, I don't use it). Then you run into the challenge of finding a weighted controller you can live with - sorry, I have no recommendations there.

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How about a first version Nord Piano? I think you'd need to push the budget a bit but I feel would give you what you were looking for. It is 40lbs though. Your struggling to get anything 88 under that weight that's decent sound wise and as important sturdy gig wise.
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You could pick up a used Muse Receptor. I was gigging with Scarbee Rhodes with a Rev C Receptor and a Casio PX330. That would get you 'the' sound' Better than any hardware Rhodes. Better than Nord, but I decided to go for Nord for setup time and just generally easier to use, despite it not being up to Scarbee standards. No one knows or cares in a band environment.
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I totally agree. At the end of the day in a band environment about the only one who cares about the "true" sound is you; it's all compromise. That being said, the lightest best sounding EP & AP full range kb I've come across is the Kurzweil SP4-7.
You don't know you're in the dark until you're in the light.
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Since you haven't precised if you actually play with a band or not (so the "nobody cares but you" factor is questionable) i would recommend a Nord Electro 3 which is semi weighted but has a very nice rhodes sound and its very light. The controler/laptop solution is good, especially if you use Scarbee, but then you have have the cables, sound card etc.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Lighter than the Yamaha CP4, there's also the CP40, though even that is 36 lbs, and still well over the $1k figure.

 

A bit lighter but still topping the 30 pound mark (and still pushing your budget a bit as well), you could look at the Korg Krome 88, which has Kronos-derived EP samples, and the Yamaha Motif MOXF8, into which you can put a flash card, which then allows you to download some additional highly regarded EP sounds. Right now they have a promo that gives you a flash card and the Chick Corea EP free. The Gospel Musicians NeoSoul EP seems to be a popular choice as an additional EP. Most people would say the actions on these boards aren't the best, but you might find them to be fine. As you alluded to, most of the better actions are in boards that are heavier. Of the lighter weight boards, the new Casio action gets the most compliments.

 

Kurzweils have nice EP sounds, but even their lightest 88 is 39 lbs.

 

The only current Casio I would look at for EP is the PX-5S. Though I thought some of their older models had a very nice (possibly better) Rhodes... I really liked the Rhodes sound in the light and inexpensive Casio CDP-100 (also present in some other older models, I think PX-x00 series). But there are lots of Casio models where I didn't like the Rhodes sounds. PX-3 was okay.

 

There is subjectivity to all this as well, in both action and sound. You say you want to get "as close as possible to sounding like a real Rhodes" but even different Rhodes sounded different, not everyone has the same idea of what the ideal Rhodes sound is. Some like a dark sound, some like a bellier sound. But as long as you want something that sounds like "a" real Rhodes, and not necessarily some particular real Rhodes, I think that increases the odds that you can find something pretty satisfying. Personally, the sound of the "bark" when played hard, and the velocity transitions, are the things that I pay most attention to.

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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"I could also vote new Yamaha CP4, great feel, excellent Rhodes (in my opinion), 30 lbs., but no way you're finding one in that price range".

 

Just to clarify in regards to the weight of the Cp4...Sweetwater's spec sheet says 38.58 lbs.

 

If it were the weight of a Px-5s (25lbs or so), then I would consider saving up for the extra grand or so.

Nord electro 3 73, Casio Px-5s, Yamaha SY-85, A&H ZED FX mixer, 2 QSC K8.2s
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You're absolutely right on the weight, I stand corrected.

 

As far as the value choice equation (schlep, weight, price, functions, playability, sound, features, etc.), all I can suggest is you should sit and play both.

 

Suffice to say I did - I was looking to upgrade off my old PX3 and really, really wanted to like the PX5S. In the end I voted for the playability / finger-to-key connection over all the Privia's benefits.

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I hear ya timwat, your right on about the equation. If I could manage lifting the 38lbs up and down my 3 flight walk up every time our band practiced or played out, the CP4 would be in my sights.
Nord electro 3 73, Casio Px-5s, Yamaha SY-85, A&H ZED FX mixer, 2 QSC K8.2s
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There are some really nice Rhodes presets for the Casio PX-5S, that are way better than the original factory patches.

 

24 lbs feels amazing to carry around for a full 88 key action tweakable piano and synth with good sounds and good finger connectivity.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I really liked the Rhodes sound in the light and inexpensive Casio CDP-100.....

+1

 

Really dig that Rhodes, as well.

 

It's likely the same Rhodes sample is available in the PX-5S. I'll confirm.

-Mike Martin

 

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The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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Thanks for weighing in everyone.

 

Does any Casio keyboard FEEL like a real piano? I know it won't be able to fool me, but will it come close? That's a fairly objective thing, not whether it feels "good", but whether it feels like a piano.

 

I'm really trying to avoid that "I'm playing on a cheap keyboard" feeling and I'm worried that a light keyboard might contribute do that. Can any PX-5S owners vouch for how solid it is?

 

I've been looking at the Korg Kross 88 (27 lbs), what do you think? Does anyone know if the Kross uses the same EP's from the Korg SV-1?

 

I am not able to play any of these keyboards before purchasing so that's why I'm relying on advice.

 

If a light weight and realistic action are inharmonious, I might have to get the SV-1, and maybe get a dolly or something to make transport easier...

 

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Does any Casio keyboard FEEL like a real piano? I know it won't be able to fool me, but will it come close? That's a fairly objective thing, not whether it feels "good", but whether it feels like a piano.

That may not be quite as objective as you might think, because pianos themselves can feel so different from each other. So for example, depending on whether you're used to a heavier or lighter acoustic piano, you might feel that a particular digital piano action feels more or less like what you expect.

 

But I think the current line (PX-x50/PX-5S) comes at least as close as anything else, at least until you get to the $2k price range. I actually liked some of the older boards quite a bit, too... others, not so much.

 

Can any PX-5S owners vouch for how solid it is?

 

I've been looking at the Korg Kross 88 (27 lbs), what do you think? Does anyone know if the Kross uses the same EP's from the Korg SV-1?

 

I am not able to play any of these keyboards before purchasing so that's why I'm relying on advice.

 

If a light weight and realistic action are inharmonious, I might have to get the SV-1, and maybe get a dolly or something to make transport easier...

PX-5S feels solid.

 

Kross does not sound like SV1.

 

If you love the SV1, and are trying to find ways to make it more manageable, maybe also consider the 73?

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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Does any Casio keyboard FEEL like a real piano?

 

It's probably worth mentioning that a Rhodes feels NOTHING like a 'real piano'...

 

Then again, maybe it isn't. :)

OMFG!!!

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Was that really Sven? :cool:

 

 

Jeez, took 3 posts in 2 threads for you guys to notice... ;)

Heh. I noticed the new avatar before I spotted the name. When I saw the last two posts and realized it was you, I thought, "haven't I seen that avatar today? "

 

Welcome back, sir. Now, the newbies are going to wonder what the fuss is about. :)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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