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Discussion Starter #1
Would the $200 Yamaha models YPG235 or DGX230 be good enough to double on, or do you need to spend $500 or more for something usable? What do the $2000 keyboards give you that the $200 ones don't?
 

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I assume you are looking for a keyboard to use in a covers band.
I don't know those specific models, but the built-in speakers these models have will not be usable during rehearsals or gigs, and would need to be disabled for those scenarios.
You will need a keyboard amp (not a guitar amp) if you don't already have one.
You will also need a keyboard stand.
If you are tall and want to stand while playing the keyboard, you will need to search carefully for a keyboard stand that will have enough stability while holding the keyboard high enough to play while you are standing, which might eliminate most x-stands.

For the basics, you will need a decent acoustic piano sound and a decent organ sound. Cheapy boards will not give you the sound of a B3 organ such as what you hear on BS&T's "You've Made Me So Very Happy". Think Nord for that ($). The third most important sound type might be a clavinet sound.

You need to consider whether you want a weighted keyboard (feels like a real piano), a keyboard that plays like an organ, or a semi-weighted keyboard (in between).

Better boards will give you better quality sounds, better keyboard action, and potentially easier usage in a live environment. I suggest you go to one of the big stores and try some different boards, where they are hooked up to a real keyboard amp (not the built in speakers).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd just try to use my guitar amp, works at home with my '80's Korg synth!
 

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For a weighted piano action type keyboard with all 88 keys you will have to spend more. The casio privia PX130 is probably the minimum standard, at about $500 new, and if you can spend the extra to get a 330, you get a few more sounds built in and some nice extra features. I picked up a PX330 about a year ago, and Im still very happy with it, even if its my kids who get the main benefit of it. The piano sounds are very good to my uneducated ear.
 

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What do the $2000 keyboards give you that the $200 ones don't?
Sounds, capability, and better construction. It really depends on what you re looking for. The Casio Privia PX130 is great if all you need is a stage piano with a few sounds. It give you limited capability to do sequencing etc.... It has a great feeling weighted/hammer action.

These days, the $2000 keyboards are packaged better, have better sampled piano sounds, better preamps and usually have a sequencer built into it. Most people in a naudience cannot tell the difference.

Frankly, for your purposes, the Privia will be more than enough. These days, a $2000 keyboard will loose it's value WAY faster than a 500 dollar one.

Phineas
 

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I'd just try to use my guitar amp, works at home with my '80's Korg synth!
I got started by borrowing a Korg DW8000 analog synth from our old bass player. The acoustic piano sound really stunk, but he had programmed a nice crunchy clav sound in it, and the organ sound was tolerable. For a while, I used an old "Proformance" sound module just for its acoustic piano sound, connecting it via MIDI to the DW8000, to get around the bad piano sound in the DW8000.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got a Roland Sound Canvas module years ago to hook into the Korg via midi, but neither has very good piano/electric piano/jazz organ sounds. You'd think they would be able to nail the Fender Rhodes sound...
 

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It depends a LOT on how you want to use it -- home use, in the studio, live gigging? It also depends on what kind of sounds you want -- synths, acoustic piano, B3 organ, Rhodes and Wurly electric pianos? Those $200 keyboards are fine if you just want to mess around at home. If you want to gig with it, then you don't want one of those. You want one that you connect to an amp or put through the sound system. And you don't want to use a guitar amp, you want a keyboard amp or powered speaker, something designed to handle the frequencies of a keyboard. If you want really good versions of vintage B3, Rhodes, clav, and Wurly sounds, get a Nord Electro. But if you want a really good piano sound, get a dedicated piano keyboard with weighted keys. You can also get just a keyboard itself (no sounds) and hook it to a sound module or run it through a laptop with software sounds. And so on and so forth. Lots of variations and possibilities. So how do you want to use it, and what sounds do you most want?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I'm supposed to start jamming with a local start-up original modern? (but the leader/guitarist is older than I am) rock band - told them I could play a little keyboard, and now I think they expect me to be a keyboard player who plays a little sax.

I know - another waste of time, but at least it's close by...

.
 

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for rehearsal/jamming, you can probably get away with any decent keyboard through a guitar amp, but if it continues and starts to look serious, you may have to step up the gear. I'm a sax player who happens to play a little keyboard, but I end up playing as much keyboard as sax. Is it possible to borrow a better keyboard for a time or 2? Do you know what kind of sound system they're using? Is it a garage band situation where they're putting a mic though a guitar amp, or do they have a PA? Can you put a keyboard through their PA/monitors? Do they want "modern" keyboard sounds or are they looking for a specific sound? The answer to that question may tell you which cheap keyboard to get. Do they want cheezy fake horns or strings or do they mainly want a true piano sound, or electric piano, or Hammond B3?
 

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Sorry for the thread hijack but I was just thinking of asking a similar question. Suppose I have $1000 to spend and I plan to gig someday but just want a good instrument with 88 keys, weighted keys, good sampled piano sounds and maybe good B3 organ sounds to learn on for now. I can get the amp and other accessories later when I feel like I've reached the point where I can play with a band. What brand and model would you guys suggest?
 

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What do the $2000 keyboards give you that the $200 ones don't?
No way to compare a low-end Yamaha to a Motif. Not enough space here to say how much better one is over the other.

Go to a shop and test them both out. You should immediately hear the difference.

If you have to go cheap, I would look into the Korg X50. These are nice boards with a very decent sound & solid samples. It's a programmable synth as well so there's room to grow.

http://www.korg.com/product.aspx?&pd=253

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/X50
 

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one of the more important things are the keys...weight and sensibility to the intensities and attacks..
 

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+1 to the used keyboard idea. There really are LOTS of them out there. Get your hands on as many as you can and do a little research. You can get a pretty decent keyboard (full 88) for a few hundred bucks. And it does sound like maybe you need to get more info about what's expected as far as the band goes. You might get by WAY cheap, depending on their perceived needs. I bought a digital piano on the cheap through craigslist just over a year ago. It was really a NEW one that the dealer needed to unload to make room for more stock (you could barely walk across his showroom floor). I got it for much less than wholesale (I did my homework) and bought a good keyboard amp from a pawn shop to boost the sound. I'm lovin' it! Good luck!
 
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YPG235 or DGX230 that you menitoned has 76 keys and the keys are not weighted. Just piano like. If you spend a bit more and get something like YPG 635/DGC630, you will get 88 keys that are weighted, so exactly like a piano. With 88 keys, you will be able to play wider range of music, but that really depends on yourself and there are people who don't ever touch the keys at the extreme end
 

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Consider any of the Casio 88 key electric pianos. You're still stuck with a wall wart for an electrical connection, but you can have a better connection made for you as well as a well-made jack for output to a guitar amp. (You could even mic the piano's onboard speaker for amplification through your band's PA system). ***

*** Your mileage may vary
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'd be afraid that CASIO still has the TOY stigma, so I wouldn't buy one. Stopped in Best Buy to pick up a new computer mouse, They have sort of a mini guitar-center-type musical instrument section, tried the Casio and a $549 Yamaha P95(?) model, preferred it to the toy anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
...and the $200 units felt way too cheesy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Reviving this thread, never bought a keyboard, but now I'm in another band and still want to play some keys, so I researched the subject and am picking up a pre-owned Nord Electro 2 61-key on Friday! 88-key units are TOO big!
 
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