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For learning: M-audio 61es, Yamaha YPT-400, casio LK300TV


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First: I hope this post isn't too annoying: it contains questions that, I would imagine, have been asked before but are integral to questions that, as far as I know, haven't been asked before.


I want to buy a keyboard, which will be used to learn to play the piano, as a Christmas present. I have done a little research and am considering 3 options:


M-audio Keystation 61es controller

Yamaha YPT-400 (same as PSR-E403 in UK, where I am)

Casio LK300TV


The first question is whether I should buy a controller or stand-alone keyboard? I have a laptop that can be used for the sequencer (using USB)... but I'm concerned about software for learning to play, whether the laptop's sound quality would be any good (played through external speakers or headphones), and wheter the laptop will cope (AMD 1600+). The Casio seems to have a TV output that displays lessons (and lighted keys). Would the software be able to do the same? I like the idea of the semi-weighted keys on the 61es.


I haven't been able to find many reviews for either the yamaha nor the casio, but from reputation I would guess the yamaha is better. I think casio claims that the model has new and improved sound quality. Has anyone tried the casio? Also, I think the lighted keys and tv output are a good gimmick for a learner (and as a present). Any opinions? Would it be likely that these keyboards can be used as a controller as well?


Any other suggestions? (price range around 200USD, 150GBP)





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