Another Digital Piano Thread

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ThankYouJack
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Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by ThankYouJack »

My 7 year old is really getting into playing on our old cheap Yamaha keyboard so we're thinking we'll upgrade to a digital piano for Christmas.

It's tough to predict if she'll stick with it for the next decade plus or if it's just going to be a phase. She's pretty into music and currently loves the Simply Piano and Flow Key apps - practicing for 1-2 hours a day so think she'll continue to have to interest long term but who knows.

I'm leaning towards getting a Yamaha P-45 bundle - https://www.kraftmusic.com/yamaha-p-45- ... undle.html or a DGX 660 - https://www.kraftmusic.com/yamaha-dgx-6 ... undle.html (not sure how much the extra features would be used).

I figure start out with a lower end one and if she's still playing hours a day in a couple years we could always upgrade, maybe even to an acoustic piano if she gets quite good. We could spend more now especially if we know it's going to be a long term investment, but at the same time don't want to spend well over $1,000 and have it take up space and collect dust in case she loses interest (hopefully she won't).

One question I have is do they ever go on sale? I may wait to make the purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and hopefully could get some $ off.

The other question is am I thinking about this right (start with a basic one, then upgrade as she progresses in a few years) and any recommendations for digital pianos? I'm leaning towards a Yamaha P-45, P-125 or DGX-660


EDIT/ Update:
A quick update as I'm getting ready to buy before Christmas. Been keeping an eye for sales and it looks like the P-45 is $50 off ($450).

Another option could be the Arius YPD -103 for $900. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ench-black I guess it's similar (the same?) as the p-45 but with the cabinet.

I can't decide as there are so many options. Will probably flip a coin or go with the P-45. I figure if my daughter really gets into it we could always upgrade in a couple years and sell the P-45 for not much of a loss.
Last edited by ThankYouJack on Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by livesoft »

My spouse bought a Yamaha CLP-645. Yamaha does go on sale. Costco sometimes has a sale, too. I will say that her time invested in the hunt for the instrument took longer than all the minutes that she has played it in the past year.

So now we have two pianos in the house that don't get played.
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rebellovw
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by rebellovw »

livesoft wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:54 pm My spouse bought a Yamaha CLP-645. Yamaha does go on sale. Costco sometimes has a sale, too. I will say that her time invested in the hunt for the instrument took longer than all the minutes that she has played it in the past year.

So now we have two pianos in the house that don't get played.
They do make great pianos. I have a Yamaha P 115. Also - sits and doesn't get played. I was shocked to see used prices for it in the 1000K range. I only paid a few hundred.

When I retire - I'll get into it. (famous last words.)

The one I got was supposedly awesome - well loved- so it has been replaced with the P 125 - should be a great choice.
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Tejfyy
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by Tejfyy »

Is she taking lessons or will she be? I ask because that'll likely make a difference in her sticking with it. And if the lessons are or will be piano (as in the acoustic instrument) lessons, the action on and size of the keyboard matter. A piano teacher could also help inform the decision I would think.
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hornet96
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by hornet96 »

ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:46 pm
One question I have is do they ever go on sale? I may wait to make the purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and hopefully could get some $ off.
Online retailers like Sweetwater Music and Musician's Friend have occasional sales..... Musician's Friend, in particular, has a "stupid deal of the day" quite often. I haven't checked for digital piano sales, but I'd imagine they do go on sale occasionally.

My advice: If you get a decent Roland or a Yamaha, you won't be disappointed. Make sure whatever you get has weighted keys, to simulate the feel of a real piano. There are a few Rolands and Yamahas in the $1200 - $1500 range that come with a stand and built-in speakers (I assume that's what you're looking for). For example:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... rary-black

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ack-walnut

With that said, Korg makes some decent pianos as well, so you might check out those if you want to save a few $$$$. i.e.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... iano-black
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by ThankYouJack »

Tejfyy wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:50 pm Is she taking lessons or will she be? I ask because that'll likely make a difference in her sticking with it. And if the lessons are or will be piano (as in the acoustic instrument) lessons, the action on and size of the keyboard matter. A piano teacher could also help inform the decision I would think.
She's not currently taking lessons, but we may sign her up for some. She's been teaching herself quite a bit online and the apps are quite good and fun, but realize that isn't like in person lessons. Some friends take piano lessons where the teacher goes to their house so that could be ideal.
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Tejfyy
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by Tejfyy »

ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:11 pm
She's not currently taking lessons, but we may sign her up for some. She's been teaching herself quite a bit online and the apps are quite good and fun, but realize that isn't like in person lessons. Some friends take piano lessons where the teacher goes to their house so that could be ideal.


For what it's worth, I'm a musician/composer, who's been playing musical instruments since I was 8 when they landed on the moon ;). As a child I took clarinet lessons in school, and guitar privately (the teacher came to our house). Lessons will be a deciding factor in her sticking with it, so I'd suggest waiting until she's into lessons before investing in an instrument. The online stuff is great, I use it, and I develop online learning, but as the saying goes: she doesn't know what she doesn't know. She can only get so far, and at that point she will lose interest. I'll be you a dollar on it :).

Lessons on the other hand, give her a foundation and an more importantly an appreciation that can never be had online, I don't care what anyone says. Teachers matter. :)
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hornet96
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by hornet96 »

Tejfyy wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:53 pm
Lessons will be a deciding factor in her sticking with it, so I'd suggest waiting until she's into lessons before investing in an instrument. The online stuff is great, I use it, and I develop online learning, but as the saying goes: she doesn't know what she doesn't know.
This is a good point. I taught myself how to play some piano at around age 13 on an old Yamaha PSR synthesizer from the JC Penny catalog, and my mom’s old green Whurlitzer electric piano from the 70’s. I basically learned by comping to popular music and learned every major and minor chord and all inversions. I stuck with it because I loved playing music (was trained on percussion as a child, which helped tremendously with more easily learning the rhythmic elements of playing popular music on piano). Never had formal piano lessons until I got to college (with music scholarships). Once I started to really learn about music theory in college, it quite literally changed my life. Ended up playing keyboards for some semi-pro bands opening for national country music acts, for a while in my 20s.

All that is just to say - if she really loves music and loves playing, she will find a way to learn and keep growing as a musician, even on a “cheap” instrument. At some point soon you will be able to tell how much she loves it - as a teenager I used to play for hours and hours on my own, with no one forcing me to do it. Good luck!
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JupiterJones
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by JupiterJones »

hornet96 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:07 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:46 pm
One question I have is do they ever go on sale? I may wait to make the purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and hopefully could get some $ off.
Online retailers like Sweetwater Music and Musician's Friend have occasional sales..... Musician's Friend, in particular, has a "stupid deal of the day" quite often.
You can also get deals on "open box" instruments. These are floor models, returns, etc. I know Musician's Friend and Guitar Center have them. Not sure about Sweetwater.

When my trusty Yamaha P-250 finally died, and I decided to replace it with a P-515, I came thiiiiiis close to getting a cheaper, open-box one from Guitar Center. In the end, I coughed up the extra couple hundred for a new, fully-under-warranty one. But if my budget had been tighter, I probably would've gone for it over just getting a lower-end new model of something.
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Afty
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by Afty »

I was in a similar situation as the OP -- I wanted my kids to try piano without having to spend a huge amount on a giant acoustic piano that we'd be stuck with if they turned out not to be interested. I ended up buying a Roland FP-30, which I've been very happy with. It sounds very realistic and the keys feel very close to an acoustic piano. I'm not a professional musician or anything, but I did take piano lessons for many years as a kid and have some sense of good and bad pianos.

Here is a nice review: https://www.pianodreamers.com/roland-fp30-review/

And here is a guide to what to look for in a digital piano: https://www.pianodreamers.com/piano-buying-guide/

And finally, recommendations for best digital pianos under $700: https://www.pianodreamers.com/best-digi ... under-700/
Cycle
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by Cycle »

I've been teaching my one year old on a Yamaha P-515. The action is heavy and fatiguing for me when I play really fast pieces, I can't imagine how it must feel to him.

The older Yamaha keyboard action, like a p-45 will have much better feel than their fancy new version. I used to have a p-80, and if u can find a used one like that, I'd go for it and pair it with some decent speakers.

Kawaii may have better action for New digitals.

Acoustic is best, but if they are playing for 3 or more hours a day, headphones would be nice.... Even as a backup
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prairieman
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by prairieman »

Another recommendation for Korg. I bought mine after looking at a number of on-line reviews and have not been disappointed.
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by Jazztonight »

We're talking about a variety of things here:

1. An electronic piano
2. A seven year old
3. Lessons for the seven year old.

If your child takes to the piano, whichever one you get, it won't be the last piano you ever buy. Getting instruments for a kid is an investment--sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. When it does, it's really worth it.

I have bought instruments/keyboards from Kraft. They are a classy company. Sweetwater is good too. If you call either, you can typically talk to a friendly person who will give you competent advice, and I recommend you do. It's not always about price.

Seven is a good age for lessons. I started around then, maybe 6, and I'm in my 70s now. Music adds a dimension to a person's life that nothing else can.

It's always good to have a piano or keyboard in the house, even if your daughter later takes up the flute, trumpet, or clarinet. I'm currently sitting next to my own Yamaha keyboard, and use it when I practice the trombone.

I wish you both all the best, and music will help that.
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kenbt
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by kenbt »

Andy's Music had the best deal when I bought my DGX-660. Good action and good sounds. The second hand P-71 I bought is a Amazon only item and looks just like the P-45. Again good action and good but limited sounds. My vote is for the 660.
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ICMoney
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by ICMoney »

ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:46 pm
I figure start out with a lower end one and if she's still playing hours a day in a couple years we could always upgrade, maybe even to an acoustic piano if she gets quite good. We could spend more now especially if we know it's going to be a long term investment, but at the same time don't want to spend well over $1,000 and have it take up space and collect dust in case she loses interest (hopefully she won't).
Do you know anyone who has an acoustic piano they may want to get rid of? Or could you start to spread the word you are in the market for this? Maybe a used acoustic doesn't have the wow factor of a new digital in a box as a Christmas gift, but in my experience it isn't too hard to come across decent pianos for free or cheap. (I don't mean some of the junk free ones you may find on FB marketplace, though you can find deals there too) I took ten years of piano lessons as a child and played at home on a free-to-us acoustic spinet piano. A friend gave us an old upright piano in decent condition that I and some of my kids play on now. I enjoy playing acoustic far more than digital but that could be because I haven't played on any fancy digitals. Consider future moves as well, if you plan to move soon/often digital is far more portable.

Best, ICM
gittarman
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by gittarman »

I think you are looking at this the right way.

I have the Yamaha P-45 and it's a fine piano for a beginner to early intermediate user.
I bought one to teach myself and it has served me well for 3 years. If your daughter sticks with it, she
will probably notice its limitations after 3 years or so.

The only thing I do not like about it is the downward firing integrated speakers. If you are playing with
headphones, it is not an issue. Without the headphones, a simple solution is to
augment the P-45 with a external speaker or piano amplifier. I hooked mine up
to a Bose Soundlink mini and that met my needs, but I am not performing for anyone
except myself.

Another option, which you mention, is the P-125. I do not have any experience with it, but
it gets good reviews and has upward and downward firing speakers, so it would seem to
possibly eliminate the issue I mentioned above. It also seems to have some extra features
that might make it more fun to play (drum accompaniment, etc).

Last time I considered upgrading, I was looking into the P-125 and the DGX-660. Both have graded hammer action,
as does the P-45, and that is the most important feature, in my opinion.

In the past, Yamaha has had promotions on their pianos around the Nov/Dec timeframe. I bought my
P-45 at Costco for a very good price.

You can usually find acoustic upright pianos on sale by their owners very cheaply. It seems like
lots of people are trying to get rid of these for one reason or another. However, they have to be tuned periodically
and they are not fun to move. But, if you get one for a great price, it might be worth it.

Good luck!
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by ThankYouJack »

Bumping to see if anyone has any other helpful info or knows of any deals before I get ready to buy
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avenger
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by avenger »

I bought a Yamaha CLP-685 last year. I’ve been playing the piano for 36 years. It’s a close but not perfect approximation of a grand piano. It looks great and is compact too. I paid just north of $5000. But I’m a fairly serious piano player, taking weekly lessons from an area master. I haven’t yet encountered a major limitation, although I suppose there are some.
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dcabler
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Re: Another Digital Piano Thread

Post by dcabler »

My daughter started taking piano lessons when she was 6, so we quickly had to figure out what to do for a piano at home. No way was our house big enough for a real piano, so after doing what I usually do (over-researching a topic) we decided on a Roland. Nice sound, full weighted keyboard, all 3 pedals. We were about to purchase it from the local dealer when it showed up at Costco cheaper - and wouldn't you know it, the purchase actually went through the same local dealer. :D Fast forward and she's now 19 and though lessons stopped during high school, she still plays daily for the joy of it.

Cheers.
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