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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I need to get a stage piano. Preferably something that feels reasonably like a normal acoustic piano and up to around £500. Needed for teaching in an upstairs studio and possibly the occasional gig in the longer term. Suggestions appreciated since i know nothing about digital pianos.
 

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Do you have an amplifier?
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I've got something or other lying around. I'll go and check the model - i think it's possibly suitable for a keyboard at home but not gigging.

edit: I have a Roland Cube 30W monitor (god knows what that was for, it probably made sense at the time). Is that any good?
 

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I'm a piano player and use an old yamaha P80 - you can get them pretty cheap these days. It has a great keyboard action. Also the rolands pianos are very good. ...

cheers
 

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That Roland cube should be just fine for a practice room. Probably not enough for a gig unless you mic it, or it has a direct out to the PA.

Buying a digital piano is an adventure. Some questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I want 61, 76 or 88 keys?
2. Do I want weighted keys? They are nice, but add significant weight, which reduces portability somewhat. This also will entail a bigger and bulkier case to transport.
3. Do I want just a basic piano, a midi controller (with or without sequencer), or a multi-timbral synthesizer.

Basic digital pianos have just a handful of sounds available - a couple pianos and maybe some organ. Some midi controllers have no sounds at all (you must buy an external sound module), and some have a few pre-programmed sounds. A multi-timbral synth has tons of banks and patches which not only includes pianos and organs, but a full range of orchestral sounds, percussion, and often an assortment of unusual ethnic instruments (think didgideroo, shakuhachi, etc.). Surprisingly, these are often more affordable than the others, unless you want 88 weighted keys.

Having said all that, I would look at Yamaha, Roland, Korg and Kurzweil. Kurzweil is a little pricier than the others. Casios tend to be more like gussied up toys, and Nord is crazy expensive. There are some other low end models out there like Williams, Fatar and M-Audio. I can't speak reliably about those, but you may find something you like there. I'm a fan of Alesis, but they seem to have dropped off the scene somewhat, at least here in the US.

Edit: fibracell and I were posting at the same time. Used is definitely worth looking into - you can probably get a lot more for your money.
 

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Kurzweil, Roland, or Yamaha. Fully weighted keys.

They really aren't that heavy. You'll want to use wheels anyway.
 

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Most players prefer the weighted keys. Anybody who grew up playing piano rather than keyboards is going to want / need all 88 keys. Used is a great option. The Kurzwiel PC 88 is an older model with some great sounds in in that can be had for around $500 US, which leaves enough money left over for a nice amp. There are other similar deals to be had. It's only going to sound as good as what the amp can deliver, no matter the quality of the samples. Do not skimp on the amp. Roland KC 300 or better is my reccomendation on a keyboard amp. Again - buy used for a better deal.
 

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A used studiologic or fatar 88 key controller with a decent module would be my choice. These are great weighted keyboards and seem to hold their value well. As far as modules, there are a ton of 10 year or older modules that have great piano sounds plus alot more. Youll need a sustain pedal too. I like buying everything seperate rather than an all in one unit. The resell is easier and better moneywise.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #10
Right. I bought the Roland RD 170 i linked earlier. Now please don't say I've made a terrible error.. Well you can if you absolutely can't resist but there's nothing i can do about it now.

(I've been in touch with seller by email and seen photos of the actual item, seems fine)
 

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Roland is a good safe choice. Even if it needs some mechanical work, I've been told by a tech that they are pretty easy to service. The most common issue is dirty electrical contacts on the selector buttons.

A little searching shows that these sold for around $900 - $1000 US when new.
 

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Good luck! I've got two of thier keyboards (Not that model) and they have help up well over the years. Both of mine are at least 10 years old. All the big names have great piano samples these days. I expect you'll be pretty happy with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Check out the new Roland RD700NX (Just came out last fall)
Great piano all around. Or the former R700GX as they are available at a bargain now
Also for a speaker try out the QSC 12" powered speaker. Forget about the Roland keyboard amps.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #16

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I hope your keyboard works out for you, RTT!

I work as much on keyboard as on saxophone, and my rig gets the job done, but I'm wanting to change, as well. I use Logic Main Stage with an M-Audio MIDI controller. The sounds are good, and the controller is good, but it doesn't feel like a solid keyboard, and I don't like having my precious Macbook so vulnerable so much of the time. The sounds I need are primarily Rhodes, Wurli, Juno, and Moog-oriented, so I'm eventually hoping to get a Nord Electro on the bottom (for the electric piano sounds) and a Korg R3 on top (for the synth pads and leads). Of course, this will cost a lot of money... much more than I have to spend... but dammit I want it...
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #18
I hope your keyboard works out for you, RTT!
..
Well I've been trying it out this morning and everything seems fine. The action and sound is similar to a good grand piano. Other sounds are nice too. It's heavier than i expected and i need a flight case but on the whole very happy with this so far. Will not get rid of my old acoustic piano though.
 

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I know its expensive but if you are a serious pianist and do not have a Steinway on hand at the gig the Roland plays and sound great.
Best stage piano available that is set up for real time playing IMHO
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Discussion Starter #20
I know its expensive but if you are a serious pianist..
Let me stop you right there...

..I'm more of a comical pianist, really. :bluewink:

But still, for info: Do you play that RD700NX? Is it heavy?
 
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