Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

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Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Baldo »

I have an "old" Technics SX-P50 Stage piano that is almost 20 years old, (that advice on this forum helped me to choose!!!)

I'd like to upgrade and get a better piano sounding, piano feeling full size keyboard or Stage piano. I not need speakers in it as its connected to my Analogue mixer and Mackie HR 824 Monitor speakers (which sound just great).

Would love some suggestions of things to take a look at.

What I would love is a nice rich deep Steinway Grand like piano sound. (please don't recommend that I get a REAL piano, I just dont have the space for it.)

In terms of budget, I am open but I dont want to got to several thousand £££s/€€€s.

Many thanks in advance of any suggestions.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

I could suggest some, but is there a reason you can't go to a store and try some out? If you can, try all the really expensive ones e.g. Nord Stage 3 (I:m reliably informed that it's almost perfect), so you can have a good idea of how good these are and have that as your benchmark. Action is very much a personal preference, especially when it's gonna be slightly compromised compared to an actual concert grand that is in excellent condition (many or not and many players accept stiff action as the nom).

I liked the Yamaha CP88 (there's a 73 note version that's cheaper), I like the Casio PX action but the sound could be better IMO, I did not like the Roland offerings but they're fine, and I've not tried Kawai, Viscount, Crumar or StudioLogic offerings. I really liked the action on the Korg Kronos 88. Not sure if that's still current? And I may have been swayed by all the lovely sounds and synthesis methods onboard.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Baldo »

Hey Tomas, thanks for your reply.

I will of course go along to some store and try some out. In the meantime though, I just want some suggestions for what are possibilities to take a look at. No all the stores will have the complete range.

And since there are some really clever and knowledgeable people here, (or there use to be when I bought my Technics SX- P50!!) I though I would get some names of models to try out and dome some research into.

I just wonder if in 20 years the technology has improved so that I get a better sound. I suppose an alternative could be to connect up my current Technics to my Mac Book Pro and use a midi connection in Logic. Could I perhaps get the sound that I am after with a low enough, non perceptible latency?

Could that be a way to go now a days?
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

If you like your Technics action, but only want to improve the sound, a laptop is a great idea. Personally I love Pianoteq, I prefer it to a sample based piano. I've not tried Keyscape though. PIanoteq runs standalone which should help get the latency down nice and low. Try the demo I started out with the Stage version, then I started adding instruments. The Steinway is full of warmth and depth, dark and authoritative. I liked the Erard and Grotrian more, personally. The modelled Wurlitzer is excellent, even compared to a real one. The modelled CP80 is lovely too but not quite as good as a real one IMO. Probably because the action on my master keyboard is better than a real Wurlitzer, but way beneath the CP which is 99% of a Yamaha concert grand action.

Things have moved on quite a bit at the expensive end, but for example Yamaha are still using the same "budget" weighted action in a lot of their 88 note keyboards such as Motif/ Montage since about 1998 (not the CP88, that's more advanced) and it's still quite nice IMO. I can't remember the name of it. Has metal leaf springs and a levered weight attached. Your Technics seems to be very similar in design, So I imagine it might still be OK, especially if you're used to it. But try the top end stuff just to see for yourself.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Gus784 »

You may like the Yamaha CP4 keyboard. It is fully-weighted and the keys are made of real wood. However, the piano tones are strictly Yamaha.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by sonics »

Tomás Mulcahy wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 5:13 pm
Things have moved on quite a bit at the expensive end, but for example Yamaha are still using the same "budget" weighted action in a lot of their 88 note keyboards such as Motif/ Montage since about 1998 (not the CP88, that's more advanced) and it's still quite nice IMO. I can't remember the name of it.

The Yamaha action would be the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard), I think.

The issues to consider are firstly the age of the Technics action. It will be past its best by now. The OP should play a few keyboards, from, say, the Roland FP30 and Yamaha P125 up, and decide which action he likes. Then there may be a piano with a match of action and sound. I like the Yamaha P515 myself. If more money is available, look at Kawai.

The other approach is stick with the Technics and go with software, or buy a new keyboard you like and add software. The action is the most important element when going this route, since all good software can be adjusted to suit.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

sonics wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 5:55 pm The issues to consider are firstly the age of the Technics action. It will be past its best by now.

It looks very like the Yamaha GHS (thanks for that). I'd question "past its best". After 20 years it depends on how much it was played. The felt gets flattened- it's obvious when it is, the keybed gets noisy and uneven. It's very easy to remove and replace the felt in the GHS. Apart from that, nothing wears out. So replacing the felt will make it like new. The keys can break, which is also obvious. With care they can be repaired with judicious use of superglue and sometimes a bent staple added for reinforcement. Or you can buy new keys.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by tacitus »

Obviously it’s going to depend on how you’re using it, but after carrying a Roland RD around for about 15 years, flightcase and all, I replaced it with a Yamaha P121 6-octave job. For playing piano, clav, strings and an (admittedly basic) organ, it does the job well up to the standard of the PA it gets played through at gigs. The built-in speakers are loud enough for rehearsals in the function band I’m in, and the key action is fine for piano and acceptable to me for organ. OK, it doesn’t sound like a Steinway, and not much like a Yamaha concert grand, but it sits on my back seat, on the furniture stand with full triple pedals. Even tidier in the gig bag.

I can see it wouldn’t do for solo performances, but I’d rather hear a good pianist playing it than hear myself on a Steinway. Bearing in mind I double on bari sax, the lack of size and weight are a bonus. And with the keys-to-floor length jack leads going to the dbx DI I use, which has an actual volume knob, I’m connected and balanced in seconds. All for about £600, including the furniture stand and a second set of pedals so I can switch the rotary effect.

I know it’s sacrilege, but it works for my situation.

That said, as I play organ whenever I can, I’m going to have another go at using my Nord C2D as my main keyboard. Only 70 or so more buttons than the Yamaha …
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Baldo »

Thanks for all the replies. Very much appreciated.

In terms of carrying the thing around, I don't. It sits in my studio connected up to am Allen and Heath mixture and I play it when I practice. So portability is not really that big an issue.

What I really want is the sound that I love.

Keep the suggestions coming please, they give me loads to think about and take a look at.
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by tacitus »

Is that the sounds, or the sounds plus an action nearer a concert grand (or whatever you hanker after)?
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by Baldo »

A combination of both sound and action I suppose. With sound being the more important.

I've taken a quick look at pianoteq and they have a nice Steinway Model D pack which I rather liked the sound of.

How do I replace the felt on the keyboard? Not even sure its possible...
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Re: Recommendations for Full Weighted Keyboard/ Stage Piano Please.

Post by sonics »

If you favour Steinways, you should consider the EW or Garritan.
The better the action, the better the realism!
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