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Thread: Stage Piano Purchase

  1. #1
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    Todzilla is offline Force of Nature
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    Stage Piano Purchase

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    I need to get a digital piano and I'd like some input. It is for two different purposes:

    1) Recording in my studio (often solo or at least featured)

    2) Playing live gigs

    My gear page - http://www.toddejones.com/subgear.html

    As you can see, I have lots of 80s Roland synth gear, Hammond romplers, etc... so I don't need a lot of extra sounds, on-board effects, amp/speakers or MIDI controller capabilities. I have some sample pianos that range from passable (EMU samples) to horrible (Yamaha P50m box), but nothing I have quite cuts it. I also have a nice upright piano in the main house (Sohmer), but I can't mic it in a way that reflect what I hear (despite some nice recording equipment).

    I'm ready to pull the trigger and drop a thousand on a digital piano, but I don't have convenient access to a fully featured music store. Here are my impressions so far, please comment:

    Roland RD-170 - I'm a Roland fan from way back. This may be the one for me?

    Korg P-200/-300 - I've always loathed Korgs, yet I find myself buying them over and over again (go figure). I did play a P-300 in a crowded Guitar Center over the holidays and was pleasantly surprised. I'm thinking the P-200 is just a -300 without the speakers, but I'd need to verify that.

    Kurz SP88(xx) - I was pretty surprised when I played an SP76 and found the semi-weighted wasn't as big a hindrance as i'd thought. Still, the sound was not quite there and if I'm dropping a thou, I'll want some thing better than okay.

    Yammy P90/120 - I have always loathed Yamaha keyboards, with a few isolation exceptions. I don't like Clavinovas, I detest their post-DX7 stuff, but in fairness I haven't played one of their P series digital pianos. I have mixed feelings about their acoustic pianos, hate the feel, love the sound, but am I being too prejudicial?

    Should I even consider a controller/sound box combo? or is that just overcomplicating things?

    I know I'll need to play for myself and decide, but I thought I'd solicit some input.

    Thanks...
    Insect Massage Therapist
    HUGE sound generation & capture facility
    http://www.toddejones.com

  2. #2
    P120Dude is offline Newbie
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    I personally recommend the Yamaha P120.

    It sounds and feels superb. I have it in my studio, and it sounds beatiful. The Acoustic Pianos have a warm, mellow tone, and the clarity is superb. Grand Piano 2 is great for Jazz and Blues, and Grand Piano 1 is great for Classical. The Acoustic Pianos include:

    ~3 Dynamic Layers
    ~Key Off Noise
    ~Damper Resonance
    ~Soundboard/String Resonance
    ~Soundboard Noise
    ~Hammer Noise
    ~Half Pedalling
    ~Soft and Sostenuto Pedalling

    The feel is superb. It is a Graded Hammer Piano Action, which uses real piano hammers and weights. It connects to the sound perfectly, and it reacts to all of your playing nuances.

    Chris

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    samrisio is offline Newbie
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    is the p120 the same sound as the p200?

    i have the p200 is it the same piano sounds?

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    P120Dude is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by samrisio
    i have the p200 is it the same piano sounds?
    No, they are not the same Acoustic Pianos.

    The P200 has one layer of dynamics, while the P120 has 3 layers of dynamics. The P120 also uses the latest technology, while the P200 uses older technology.

    The P200 is a wonderful piano, though. It sounds and feels great.

    Chris

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    samrisio is offline Newbie
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    are you telling me that the p120

    whcih is just as old as the p200 and half the price has a better piano sound than the p200?

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    P120Dude is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by samrisio
    whcih is just as old as the p200 and half the price has a better piano sound than the p200?
    In my opinion, yes it does.

    The P200 cannot create the sympathetic vibrations when the damper pedal is used. It cannot create the noise when you release a key. It cannot create the rich resonance of the soundboard and strings resonating. The P120 can.

    The P120 uses newer technology that creates better clarity and tone. It uses Dynamic Stereo Sampling that creates the 3 layers of dynamics, plus a 4th layer for dampered notes.

    The P120 is newer than the P200.

    The P200 is a wonderful piano, but in my opinion, the P120 is superior.



    Chris

  7. #7
    samrisio is offline Newbie
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    do you know if the p120 sounds were used in the

    motif es? and have you ever played the roland fantom X piano? what did you think?

  8. #8
    P120Dude is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by samrisio
    motif es? and have you ever played the roland fantom X piano? what did you think?
    The Motif ES uses the P120's Acoustic Piano, but it does not have all of the extras (key noise, soundboard noise, etc.)

    Yes, I have played the Fantom X Piano. I think it is very nice. It has good clarity and response, but I personally prefer the Motif ES's Acoustic Piano.

    Chris

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    lumbago is offline Dedicated Member
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    Smile

    I once played with a big band and you had to be real careful about what keys would cut through, and what keys would "evaporate" in the mix against brass (usually digital ones) and against the other live instrument sounds.

    If you're playing live, grab any midi keyboard and try an old MKS-20 Roland digital piano module. It's 1985 technology, but for live work with band it beats just about anything released since.

    I have used a Roland SRX-02 card in a XV5050 subsequently with some success live in band and solo, but in recording its sounds always sound a little compressed - like everything above 13kHz is somehow missing.

    The later Fantom stock pianos seem a little better.

    Try the Yamaha P120 or similar - these have great actions and a good sound.

    Good luck.

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