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staylor

Best Rolands out now?

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Does anyone know which is now the best for classical piano? Other features?

HP7?

RD700?

KF90?

FP30?

K-5?

K-7?

I don't remember all the names by heart, but I think (?) all those names are genuine, and Israel importers are very well up on Rolands electronic pianos. So does anyone know of any of these, or others as being very special?

Or is anyone sure about anything from Yamaha as being even better? Or other makes, although I don't know if/which other makes are imported to Israel, where I live. (Yamaha is).

Regarding if Roland Electronic pianos are as good as a "real" piano, that's another discussion. But I still feel that the gap of whatever a real concert steinway has above the best of Rolands, is getting narrower and narrower, and with many other features, and at a fraction of the price.

But I anyway don't have space or much funds, and need to move too often, and, often need to have the volume down. So I'm intending a Roland electronic, and to sell my old Knight upright piano.

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What I've heard is the Kawai is perhaps the best in the market right now. The ESX should be a good choice. I've been watching the price of this particular model for several months. The retail price was 1099 some six months ago but has fallen to 999 in November. Everytime an ESX appears on Ebay, it got bought by "buy-it-now" before I could set my fingers on the "place your bid" button. The price for a used ESX on Ebay is somewhere around 750~850USD, with some accessories like cover or carrying case.

My 2 cents.

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Kurtzweil and Yamaha have generally been considered as having the best piano sound. We have a Kurtzweil, and love it. The only thing you should watch out for is that it has a full keyboard, and weighted keys. We also have a Roland Fantom--nice keyboard and sounds, but sans the weighted keys.

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Since everyone hears things a bit differently, everyone will have their own opinion (of course, mine the only one that is right). First of all, use the same speaker system and cords for each unit. Next, choose one song that you want to use and use only that sone for the test. Sit back at least 20-30 feet from the speakers and each of you jot down notes on each unit. Then switch with the person you had doing the playing and repeat the process. When you finish, compare notes and you should have a consensus of which works best for you.

Ideally, a concert hall would make the best audition, but that isn't too likely. Try to find a place that has a keyboard room. I've done this process many times over the years to get just the right set-up for various musicals I've done. Of course, those times was looking for orchestral sounds, birds, waterfalls, explosions etc. Finding one that just sounds like a good piano would be a treat!

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For a digital piano I would look for the following features: full keyboard range, full size keys (some models have short white keys or small black keys), weighted keys, hammer action, touch sensitivity, good sound, midi capability (there are modules that one can buy to give even more realistic acoustic sound), a headphone jack for quiet practice. Minor but important things to look for: a good stand for the sheet music that is not flimsy or too far below the eye level, both soft and loud pedals, variations in sound - like hall 1, hall 2, salon, etc.

Of all the above my personal opinion is that the keys are the most important by miles.

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By golly, Nemesis, we agree on something The keys ARE important! One of my favorite keyboards was a Roland that had the smaller keys. It was great for me because I have really little hands and I could play some things that I couldn't play on any other instrument. I would have bought it, but the $2000 price tag was a little more than I could spend and still feed the family.

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As I've said before, I don't have a lot of experience on the piano, but here's my opinion FWIW. The keys are certainly the main thing for me at my stage - I'm not going to find an affordable (or possibly even expensive) digital piano that sounds as good as the real thing, so I'm more concerned with the feel. But I would also rate the pedals as a very important consideration. My Clavinova has two pedals which feel like the real thing, but they are effectively on/off switches, making them very limited in tonal possibilities. I'm working on Beethoven Sonata no 1 at the moment, and the slow 2nd movement, which sounds fine at home, is an absolute nightmare for me when I play on a living, breathing, acoustic instrument.

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If the feel of the digital piano closely resembles the acoustic then your problem will be diminished greatly. It's just a matter of knowing the sound is more artifical with the digital and making the necessary adjustment mentally when you switch. In that case you will need to listen closely to what you're playing and make judicious use of the pedal accordingly so as not to blur the harmonic content. Some digitals can be made to very closely approximate the acoustic piano whether with additional speakers, midi, etc.

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The keys feel pretty close, and I'm used to the pedals on my digital to the extent that I can get a pleasing sound from the instrument. "Judicious use of the pedal" is one thing on a digital piano, but it seems to me that it's a different skill on an acoustic. There's a subtlety to it that is lacking on my Yamaha. I'm not disagreeing with anything you've said, but my point is that as someone with only occasional access to an acoustic instrument, I don't have much opportunity to practice "proper" pedalling. If I were considering a new digital piano, I would want something that does a better job of simulating the pedals than my existing instrument.

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I understand what you're saying. You will find that if you listen carefully when you play, the pedal will become as automatic as changing gears or pressing the gas pedal in your car. Each acoustic is different in any event. My advice is to just listen and let your foot do the corresponding work. A word of advice - don't slavishly follow the editor's or composer's pedal indications in the music. In the former case it's the editor's opinion, albeit hopefully informed. In the latter, assuming you're playing from Baroque to impressionist, the piano of that day would have been different from the modern piano we have. And in the end, it's your individual interpretation that counts as well.

One final note. There are different types of digital pedal. Ensure you get the one that resembles the acoustic pedal in looks and function.

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I'm sorry I havn't got back to this thread for a time, although I've been reading it.

What I really would like to know is if anyone here has personally tried my Roland examples, and what they think after that. The opinions might then be quite different!

Rosenee,

What you say you've heard about Kawai being the best in the market right now, can you say where you heard it from? If you heard it from Kawai themselves, did they test them against Roland (Kurzweil, Yamaha) etc. objectively?

Regarding Yamaha P-80, yes, I've seen this model. Yes, I know. Firstly, it sounds more like an upright (but quite a nice one) and I suppose that it really DOES need good speakers, as I felt the very high and very low notes were quite bad, and not too definable as to which notes they are.

Worsed of all, however, seems to be the response/recovery

mechanism. I feel it's not possible to play too fast without problems, such as notes not coming up quickly enough to be hit again.

Yes, of course Rolands have weighted keys and very good key action, as in grand pianos, and they are standard keys etc.

So, who has tried these Rolands AND others?

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I can only help you re: the P-80, as we have one. I haven't played a Roland. It has been very useful as a second piano in our household. I like the fact that it is so light to move but it has to have a very solid stand. For the price, a good buy I think.

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