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Yamaha P series or one of the new Casios?


Rdub

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Hi there all,

 

i'm looking to get my first keyboard with weighted keys. I'm not a pianist, but a big part of why i want to get something weighted is so I can actually learn to PLAY the piano. I'd also like to use it as a controller to play piano samples in software.I already have another synth action controller with plenty of knobs and such so all i'm really looking for is something with great action. I'm leaning more towards an electric piano as opposed to a simple controller as i like the idea of the convenience of being able to just turn it on and go.

 

Anyway, my real question is how you folks think the new casio series, specifically the PX-400 or PX-500L, compares to the yamaha P series, specifically the P90 and the P120?

 

I've tested the P90 in a local music store and i agree with what i've heard that the action is quite good. I have'nt felt the action on the new Casio's so i'm wondering how people feel the actions stack up? I'd like to get something with fairly heavy action as from what i've read if you practise on a light action keyboard when you sit down at a real accoustic piano you'll, um, well... suck.

 

The main grand piano sounds on the board are all i'm really concerned with quality wise, so anyone have any idea comparison wise there either?

 

Lastly my budget is already stretched pretty thin at the P90, so is there any big advantadge to the P120 that would make it worth my while?

 

Thanks for reading the new guys long post and hopefully someone will be able to clue me in...

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It's great that you want to start playing the piano. I think just about everyone here would advise that you take a few lessons with a teacher to get a good headstart in correct playing techniques.

 

(You'll probably also be advised to buy the P series instead of a Casio.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I've owned the P120 played the P90 and also played the new Casios in the store. My opinion is only buy the Casio if saving a few hundred is very important to you. The main piano sound is ok in the Casio but I think (and I'll bet most people polled) will tell you the P series piano sound is very good to excellant.

 

Plus I think the action on the Yammy's are more what you're lookin for. Try to play them both as much as possible and compare for yourself. Good luck. EW

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Hey Rdub welcome to the forum.

I would lean towards the P90.The only advantage to the P120 I know of is the built in speakers.

There is also some small differences like the way the outputs are configured. The P120 has some sort of cheap single plug out whereas the 90 has normal L-R outs IIRC.The P90 in general is more of a pro board.Talk to Mike @ L&M he'll be able to steer you right in the softsynth implementation as well.

I would echo Daves advice on the lessons!!

 

Cheers,

 

Stephen

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The Casios are better than most people realize, don't let the brand name put you off. The current issue of Keyboard magazine has a favorable review and our Marino gave it a thumbs up here last week. The Casio action, like the Yamaha P, is heavy and perhaps even more realistic in some ways.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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A telegraphic advice:

I would choose the Casio only if 1) You absolutely need to save money or 2) You have to move it very often by yourself (the Casios are very light).

Otherwise, I would buy one of the Yamahas.

 

Not that the Casios aren't good - they are. But I think Yamaha still has the edge for both keyboard action and piano sound.

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The other thing is what happens AFTER you buy it? If you're planning on buying a Casio from a mass marketer, you'll be sorry. They are NOT in the music industry, they are in the consumer industry. I really don't know if Casio has parts and service available for their pianos, but that's worth looking in to before you spend any money. This is not to say that it isn't any good, I never played one, but whatever you buy you're going to have a quite some time. Make sure you can get service for it or don't buy it.

 

Yamaha may have a new model out at Winter NAMM, so you might want to wait until the 3rd week in January to see if there's something better for you. If not, new items tend to bring prices down on existing products.

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I'm definatly planing on waiting untill after NAMM, as hopefully if yamaha does announce something new that might push down the price of their existing models (although i don't know if that's how things work in this industry).

 

As for portability that's not really an issue, it will likely stay firmly planted in my home studio. I'm beggining to wish i could find a local retailer that carried the casios as i would really like to check them out firsthand, that main problem is as to my knowledge theres really only one major music store in town that carries keyboards of any kind and they don't stock the casio...

 

Thanks for everyones opinions so far, if anyone else has anything they'd like to weigh in with that would be greatly appreciated.

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I would agree with most posters so far and say that a Yamaha would be preferable. I'm quite familiar with the P90 and P120. I currently own a P120, and used to own a P80.

 

However, I've only briefly tried the Casio PX100, I think it was, and not the other models, so my recommendation is based on that, so take it with a grain of salt. I'd like to try out all the Casios, just so that I know what they're all like, but haven't had the opportunity yet.

 

The main advantage of a P120 is the fact that it has a built-in amp and speakers. They are not the greatest quality, but they are handy for practising, and I even use them on some jazz gigs where the room is small and a very quiet volume is required. In fact, I just did a gig today where I used them. When I want more volume or better quality, I use external amp and speakers. The built-in speakers can be disabled with a switch when required. But only you can decide how valuable that feature is to you.

 

The P90 and P120 use the same sample ROM, but are voiced slightly differently. I prefer the P120's voicing, especially for Rhodes, which is why I bought it. But they're both good.

 

The outputs on the P120 and P90 are about the same, they both have L&R 1/4" outputs, and also L/R RCA outputs. The P120 has two headphone outputs, I'm not sure if the P90 has two headphone outs or just one.

 

The P120 weighs a couple of lbs more, and is very slighly larger, and also the case looks different. They are equally useable for professional work, in my opinion.

 

It's useful to ask other's opinions, to help you think of things that you might not otherwise have thought of. But I would advise against buying anything based on the recommendations of others, especially if you can't try it out for yourself. Maybe when you're starting out, and have difficulty knowing what's what, that might be an option. I've done that myself a couple of times in the past, but have usually been disappointed. Now, I try things out for myself, and make my own decisions.

 

Then again, on the other hand, when I'm buying something I know little about, I sometimes rely on others opinions. For example, I just bought a digital camera based partially on reviews, becuase I know very little about cameras, and don't have enough knowledge to make a good decision for myself. I did a lot of reading, read a bunch of reviews, figured out my price point, and eventually, just bought something. Doing things that way can be a step on the road to knowledge, I guess. Hopefully, not too expensive a step.

 

If possible, figure out what your own criteria are, and then go and try them for yourself and see how you like the feel and sound, and how well they meet your criteria.

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I'm really starting to wish i could find somewhere to demo one the higher model casios right about now. I've pretty much got my mind made up on either the P90 (P120's out of my price range) or the casio px-400... the thing is everything i know about the casio is from other peoples opinions. Granted i can get the casio for cheaper and it has built in speakers, i still don't know whether or not i'm going to like it's action.

 

Anyone actually played the PX-400 or PX-500L? i'd really like to know what someone who knows what there talking about thinks of the action and grand piano sounds....

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For info on the PX-400 there is a review in this month's edition of Keyboard Magazine. A week ago I bought a PX-400. Although it's doesn't have everything I would have liked in that type of digital piano, the action certainly what sold me on it for the money you can't go wrong.
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Hi,

 

I recently purchased a Casio PX-400 off ebay and am expecting it to arrive shortly. The reasons why I purchased the Casio opposed to a Yamaha P90, Korg SP200, or Kurzweil SP88X (the three other keyboards I was considering) was first the feel of the keys. I've played a standard upright 100 year old piano for 14 years now, and the Casio came the closest to replicating the feel. The Korg and Kurzweil felt a little to light and plastic for my touch. With the Casio, you really have to commit to using the keys as it does have a heavier feel. This is all personal preference so it depends on what kind of feel you're looking for. I should preface this by saying that I never actually got a chance to play the 400 model, as my experience comes from playing the 300 model. From everything I've read so far, they're identical in terms of feel. I'd say that the 300 is a little heavier than the 100 (they were side by side when I was testing them out).

 

The second reason why I purchased the 400 was I was totally thrilled with the sound quality of the PX-300. The concert and grand piano sounds are in my opinion very well sampled. Only the kurzweil perhaps had a slight edge in the grand piano department, but I wasn't as impressed with the other sounds offered.

 

The final main reason (other than the free shipping, free stand and bench, and it's lightweight yet sturdy design) I went with the Casio was the price. For the features and specs the PX400 offers, I couldn't find a viable alternative within the same price range. Basically, this is my first digital piano/keyboard so i didn't want to break the bank when I'm clearly an amature when it comes to digital music production. Oh, as it has been pointed out, this month's issue of Keyboard Mag gave the casio 400 a fairly favourable review. I guess the only thing you have to decide is whether you can cope with 32 notes of polophony or absolutely need 64. Hope this helps,

 

Andrew

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Originally posted by Rdub:

I've pretty much got my mind made up on either the P90 (P120's out of my price range) or the casio px-400...

Don't deprive yourself of a P120 if that's your preference. You'd be surprised how much better you can do if you ask a vendor to beat a price quote from one of their competitors. This approach enabled me to buy a brand new S90 (not B-stock) for about $400 less than the posted price on Music123.com and others - it was even cheaper than used ones on eBay!

 

Call a few of these places and say that so-and-so offered you a lower price than their listed price (current price for a P120 is $1,199 at Music123.com, so you might tell them $999). Almost guaranteed they will match this price or do even better. You can continue this exercise until it's clear you've got the best possible price, and from a vendor you feel comfortable dealing with. The savings may enable you to step up to the board of your choice! :thu:

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