Yamaha Clavinova(24 Posts)
Hi. 11YO DS is now preparing grade 7 piano. Ever since he started learning at age 7 we've had a digital piano, Yamaha Arius to be precise, which has obviously served him well. I realise it is high time we got him an upright piano but I just feel overwhelmed by the whole thing and put off by the fact that it will have no volume control, which will massively restrict when DS can practise. DH and I are considering a top of the range digital piano, budget around 5K. I would be very grateful for some advice and recommendations. DS also plays other instruments but in all honesty, music is not his life, not yet anyway. DD aged 8 plays too. Many thanks.
We bought a Yamaha U1 in March last year for DD. It was one of a reconditioned ones with a lower budget than yours (3k) but we bought from a well known piano dealer who brings them from Japan and does them up before selling them.
From all the research I have done the general message was that "made in China" was a no-no, Yamaha and Kawai are the best to look into (unless you have the budget stretching to a Steinway), Yamaha seem to be brighter in sound than Kawai but Yamaha holds its value better than Kawai as it is more popular.
Yamaha U3 is taller than the U1 therefore you get a better sound out of it (the taller the better).
Ours is 30 years old (the life in a well kept piano seems to be around 100 years) so with 5k would get you a newer one.
Ultimately your DS (and DD) need to go to a showroom and try them all on and you need to consider your room furnishings as a bright piano would not sound that bright in a room fully carpeted or it would sound even brighter on a wooden floor.
You can look on Mark Goodwin pianos website for more info (we didn't buy from him but from a similar business closer to us).
This of course if you are considering second hand. If you are looking at new I have no clue as I always knew we will get a reconditioned one.
I haven't looked into prices at all, but these new Yamaha models seem to imply you CAN have your cake and eat it!
I will look into it more, and come back sometime:
We are in a similar position - don't really have a suitable space for an acoustic, but DD 14 needs something better than the bottom-of-the-range Yamaha digital piano that she is currently using. She has never done grades but is working at around grade 7.
She is a multi-instrumentalist and piano is not her first instrument so I'd be reluctant to spend a fortune. Have been holding off because she is a fairly new pianist and I wasn't sure she would stick with it, but she seems keen and has progressed very rapidly.
Not sure yet what budget I'm prepared to put to this, but I've been looking at mid-range Clavinovas and it seems to me that above the 575 (and below the very top end), you are mostly paying for aesthetics (a nicer wooden case) and electronics you may not need. In Europe, you can pick up a 575 for under €3000 so I'd guess it would cost around £2000 in the UK.
I'm sure that with a budget of £5000, any digital piano you get will be suitable for a professional musician.
PS have looked at the models again, and it looks to me that for a serious musician the sensible choices are either the 575 at around £2k or the 709 that looks to be around your budget.
Everything else is either space-hogging, or the price is inflated by electronics that you probably don't need.
Have you looked at other models? DD's first teacher had a Roland.
Just a footnote really but after reading around, the new (2016) Roland models look like they are very worthy of consideration. I'm going to start shopping around for a Roland HP603 which comes in below €2000 but has the realistic action of the more expensive Clavinovas.
I too have just looked up the Roland models, and besides the HP603 the more expensive LX7 and LX17 seem to boast features that a serious pianist would value:
We have a Yamaha U3 upright and it's wonderful. We paid about £4500 for it 12 years ago. It has a lever you can pull out to make it quiet.
If you have space, go for a real one.
I'm in a similar position in that I'd like to upgrade my "beginner" acoustic. It's so overwhelming....
My friend has a Yamaha acoustic upright-that's really nice. Quite mellow without being muddy. Would be in the OP's budget.
Im considering a hybrid too, maestro. I saw a demonstration of the new Casio 300/500 hybrid grand on Saturday; it's got some interesting features, including a "play along backing orchestra". It's 3k max.
I think at the end of the day it's mostly about how the instrument feels under your fingers. If it's not right, it's not right! Difficult though, sometimes, to get your sticky mitts on a wide enough range of instruments.
Thanks, Ferguson, for the link.
Thank you everyone. I am considering all the information given here and looking at the links. I will probably come back at some point with more questions if that's okay. I am confused now about the concept of an acoustic piano that can be turned down
Would it be possible to keep your current digital for anti-social hours practice and have a "proper" piano for other times. Our second hand upright was about £2,000 10 years ago. It is so good that DD who is similar level to your DS has to work much harder to get the same range and quality of sound out of most other instruments she plays. It has a middle practise pedal, which I don't recommend as it completely alters the feel of the notes under hand. I am a bit shocked at the cost of top end digital and I really think the only way you can develop feel for pedals and sound light and shade is by playing without headphones at full volume. (I am considering a cheap digital so I can nag DD to play her boring scales and work on her sightreading etc at anti-social hours with headphones on).
Piano is a bit different from other instruments as you will never be playing your own instrument in an exam, at school or in a lesson.
Early I know you are looking more into digital but I can also confirm the Yamaha U1 has a practice pedal that when actioned lowers a felt between the hammers and the strings therefore you achieve a much lower volume. We don't use it much as DD practises around 7-8 pm so I don't think the neighbours mind (they haven't complained yet) but do have a look at one as with that budget I would go for an acoustic more so if you want it to hold its value.
From what I can see digitals are devaluing pretty quick as new technology comes out.
At grade 7 level you should really be looking at an acoustic piano, it is pretty well impossible to play with the variety of tone colours required for advanced piano on a digital piano, however 'good'.
Can I butt in and ask a question?
Is a keyboard not a lot easier to 'press' keys on than a real piano? Or do they require some force nowadays on modern keyboards?
You are never going to get the same sensitivity, because weighted keys tend to control volume, whereas an acoustic piano is much more subtle in tone and attack. But yes, it is often the case that children who practise on digital pianos find an acoustic one difficult to make 'speak'.
I took ONE piano lesson in my life and the nun
teacher told me I would really need to have a real piano at home if I had any hope. My parents ruled that out lol.
The depths of the keys even was different between a piano and keyboard.
Much like typing on a keyboard and having to use an oldschool type-writer, I can't see it being instantly transferrable.
HIGAC - Your question re: Piano and Keyboard keys hasn't been replied to yet: Yes, a Keyboard will be lighter to press the keys, but probably one of the best is the Yamaha Piaggero because it claims to have 'graded soft touch' where the bass keys are 'heavier' than the high treble keys, as would be the case on a 'real' piano:
and this instrument has an amazing specification for the price.
Roland have a new range of digital pianos, with a lot of technical details about the composite construction of the keys, and how they perform, available on their website.
I don't think the 'depth' of the keys is going to be vastly different, certainly not to the extent of comparing an electronic typewriter, or good computer keyboard, to an old 'manual typewriter'.
What exactly is your interest in this topic? Sometime I will come back with more detailed information comparing office keyboards of the past fifty years.
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