Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

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Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:08 am

I recently received the following email from a visitor and know from your questions that this is a popular question:

Hello and thanks in advance for reading this. To give you a little background I know nothing about music or pianos. My 11 year old daughter is currently taking violin lessons but will be starting piano lessons as I really think that is what she enjoys with the little bit she has messed with a piano.

The very very little local music store where my other child is taking guitar lessons has a P120 that they use for lessons and the owner said he would sell it for $750.00.
That price seems a bit high. I have not made a counter offer to see if he’ll come down.

So a couple questions please.

Assuming the P120 is in good condition what do you think it is worth? It has the stand, maybe a bench, and a single foot pedal thing.

Next, what would be some other Yamaha digital models that would be good starters for my daughter? I don't want to go to the extreme but I don't want to go cheap either and not get features she might want in a few years. She is very good at computers etc.

Searching the net seems like the DGX-530, YPG535, P85 and the YPG635 might be want we need?????

Any input will be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!

Thanks, KP
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:09 am

Hi KP,

First off, the Yamaha P120 is a discontinued model and there are much better models out there now--so I personally wouldn't consider the P120. Based on what you said in your email you seem to be looking for a descent digital piano that isn't a toy but not a studio quality instrument either (because they cost a lot!). I would personally go with the P155. It's an awesome digital piano for the price (I think it retails for around $1100 or $1200). I did a review on this instrument which can be found here. Also, here's a link to a youtube video showing off the P155 so you can hear it for yourself.
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:16 am

Hello again, I’m making great progress on deciding on which piano to buy for my daughter. I went to a real music store and looked at the YPG635 that had so many bells and whistles I could not concentrate on the keys as everything was very distracting. Next I looked at the P85 and next to it was an Arius. They did not have a P155 which I hope to go to a different store and look at today. From the Yamaha web site the P155 looks PERFECT (thank you) as it also looks like a piece of furniture which is something we need as it will be in our little living room.

I read both of your reviews on the P155 and the Arius P140 but I would like to ask one more question please. How does the P155 compare / differ to the Arius line (YDP, 140, 160) as the Arius prices are close to the P155 and it also looks very nice?

The one thing I did not like about the Arius and I’m not sure if this is important is to change the voices it was not as straight forward as the P155 and it had fewer voices. The Yamaha P155 has USB and some other nice traits. Not knowing anything about pianos but learning quickly thanks to people like yourself, going by the reviews the P155 looks like the clear winner but for my own curiosity need to ask about the Arius line.

Thanks a bunch again!!!

KP and daughter.
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:17 am

KP,

I'm glad to hear that you are making progress with your search for the right digital piano for your family. Out of the three models you are looking at, (P155, YDP140 & 160), I would still choose the P155 because first and foremost the piano voice quality is much better than those and that's one of the most important features. Secondly, it has 128 notes of polyphony compared to the YDP's 64 notes (polyphony is important as it is the maximum number of sounds the keyboard can sustain simultaneously). Thirdly, the P155 has more voice presets 17 over 10 in the YDP 160 and 6 in the YDP 140.

I think the only benefits that the YDP 140 and 160 have over the P155 is the piano cabinetry and the YDP 160 has 2-20W built-in amps versus the P155's 2-12W amps but you could always connect an external amp/speaker system into the P155's AUX OUT jacks if its built-in speakers aren't enough for you.

Just remember to try these instruments before buying one--it's a personal thing like trying on a pair of shoes.
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:20 am

Hello again Hiram, now for the latest update and maybe final questions. First I went to a real piano store Saturday not a music store and WOW the prices of pianos.

Did I say WOW sticker shock and I was amazed at the technology being built into digital pianos. The store must have had 50 pianos and they had a $40K real piano next to a few digital pianos in the $2K range which is my ceiling. You are so right that it’s like trying on a pair of shoes.

They did have a Roland DP-990 that sounded good if you have any thoughts on that one?

Anyway getting it narrowed down and I’m going to go look at a Clavinova CLP-330 which is around $2K. I’ve read your review and went over the specs at Yamaha.com and think this might be the one. My daughter is very computer literate and I think the USB-host and midi interfaces might be a plus in the future.

Just asking for any words of wisdom on the CLP-330?

Thanks again.

KP
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:21 am

KP,

I've played a few Rolands before, but Yamaha overall makes the better digital piano not to mention they've been making acoustic pianos for over 120 years whereas Roland doesn't.

I really liked the CLP-330 when I tested it. However, I believe the P155 is more comparable to the CLP-340 mainly because of its 4-level grand piano versus the CLP-330's 3-level grand piano. Overall, the CLP-330 and P-155 are pretty similar although I'd have to say the P155's grand piano sounds are a bit more realistic. That's of course my opinion and you should check it out for yourself.
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:25 am

OK Hiram this really might be the last e-mail for questions before I decide. It has to do with buying used. The piano store I went to today have a used CLP-270 for just a little over the price of a new CLP-330 and looks to be in great shape and comes with a 90 day warranty. The $2,000.00 price range is my ceiling so I’m going to take the CLP-340 off of the table. I like the fact that the CLP-270 & CLP-330 looks like a piece of furniture and has USB connections.

I read your reviews on the CLP-270 and it appears it is like the newer model 370/380 and your review gave the 270 good marks. So again I’m asking the piano guru to the gods your thoughts on buying used and the CLP-270?

I cannot say thanks enough.

KP
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:26 am

KP,

Yes the CLP 270 is a really great digital piano with a great on-board sound system, voices, and a 16 track sequencer. I would personally get it if: 1. I like the piano sounds over the CLP330 and 2. if I got a really good deal on it. Remember, your dealer wants to make room for the new CLP 300's and CVP 500's so don't be afraid to negotiate--it's "last year's" model.

My first impression is that $2000 is not a bad deal but I would make sure by calling a couple other Yamaha dealers asking how much they would sell the CLP270 (if they still have it). Get some comparisons before you make a decision.

If you like the CLP270 and feel that you're getting a good deal then I would go for it. If you really like the 270 and can't get him to budge on price, ask him to pay your sales tax since you'll be over your budget if you include sales tax depending on what state you're in. Remember, your dealer is on commission and can negotiate in most cases!
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:27 am

Hi Hiram, I picked up the CLP-270 Saturday and it looks and sounds great. The previous owner treated it like a living thing and even asked the lady at the store to find a good home for it when he traded it in. Man was it heavy going up steps. Thanks so much for all your advice.

KP
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Re: Buying first Yamaha Digital Piano

Postby Peggypoo » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:08 am

Hi,

I am looking for a Clavinova that will feel and sound as much like an acoustic piano as possible. I don't need bells and whistles. I have moved into an apartment and so I need a piano that has headphones so that I can play whenever I want without bothering my neighbors. I have been playing a Yung Chang baby grand for the past 10 years or so but I can't have this piano in my apartment. I have used Clavinovas before and I have been pretty pleased with them. What would you recommend? I am looking to spend no more than about $1200.

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