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Graded Soft Touch Vs. Full Weighted


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#1 Yoshifumu

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 22:22

need some piano buying advice. outright i don't have neither the space nor the money for a proper piano, so have to cope with a digi.

So my question is basically, whats the pro's and con's between graded soft touch digitsal pianos, against fully weighted ones. i heard theres no point unless you get a weighted one, but i'd make a serious saving (hundred pounds) if i got a graded soft touch.

If it's really important to get weighted keys i will. But if not, graded soft touch will probably be easier for me...


Thanks!
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#2 corenfa

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 23:02

QUOTE(Yoshifumu @ Nov 3 2010, 10:22 PM) View Post

need some piano buying advice. outright i don't have neither the space nor the money for a proper piano, so have to cope with a digi.

So my question is basically, whats the pro's and con's between graded soft touch digitsal pianos, against fully weighted ones. i heard theres no point unless you get a weighted one, but i'd make a serious saving (hundred pounds) if i got a graded soft touch.

If it's really important to get weighted keys i will. But if not, graded soft touch will probably be easier for me...


Thanks!


It depends what you want to play eventually. At the moment I'm trying to learn seriously, so I need something that replicates the feel of an acoustic, so I got fully weighted keys. I have observed that when I play on an acoustic now (my main instrument is the digital), I do not have trouble adjusting.

If you just want to play for fun, then perhaps it doesn't matter.

Either way, you should try a few and not just depend on the advice of someone dodgy on the internet like me =D
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#3 kitty_13

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 08:41

Though I'm not an expert in the matter, I was faced with the same dilemma when I bought my first digital piano. I think the difference lies in the force required to strike the keys. Having a limited touch sensitivity level (2 or 3) will affect a) your technique, and b) the expressivity with which you can play a piece. If, later, you will want to play an upright piano, you will discover that you play every piece at the same volume (too loud, most of the time) because your fingers have been trained to hit the keyboard too hard (or too soft). Full Weighted keys are closest to a grand piano. I guess you can still do a pretty good job with a GST provided it has more levels, i.e. from 4 to 6. And for the nightmare to be complete, diferent manufacturers use different terminology so, eventually, as Corenfa suggested, it may be good idea to try a few yourself and get a sense of how each of them feel.
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#4 vectistim

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 11:38

'Proper' digital pianos start around ?450 with the Yamaha P95, and the Casio PX-130

Below that you have the Yamaha NP-30 for about ?200, which is presumably where you found the phrase 'graded soft touch'

AIUI the NP-30 is essentially spring loaded - ie: bascially the same as a ?100 five octave machine which is touch sensitive in as much as you press the key hard it makes more noise, but doesn't necessarily mimic the wights of a real piano.

What I have described as 'proper' above have weights inside the keys to more closely match a real piano. Then at the top of the range you can get machines that have the real action from a grand piano attached to the electronics of a digital machine. (There are then various increments between these two)

Comparing the action of my PX-330 (which is the same action as the 130) I prefer it to a number of the uprights in the uni practice rooms.
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#5 Yoshifumu

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 18:36

QUOTE(vectistim @ Nov 4 2010, 11:38 AM) View Post

'Proper' digital pianos start around ?450 with the Yamaha P95, and the Casio PX-130

Below that you have the Yamaha NP-30 for about ?200, which is presumably where you found the phrase 'graded soft touch'

AIUI the NP-30 is essentially spring loaded - ie: bascially the same as a ?100 five octave machine which is touch sensitive in as much as you press the key hard it makes more noise, but doesn't necessarily mimic the wights of a real piano.

What I have described as 'proper' above have weights inside the keys to more closely match a real piano. Then at the top of the range you can get machines that have the real action from a grand piano attached to the electronics of a digital machine. (There are then various increments between these two)

Comparing the action of my PX-330 (which is the same action as the 130) I prefer it to a number of the uprights in the uni practice rooms.


np 30 was where i got it from, and i felt it might basically be just the same as a norm touch sensitive keyboard.

i found the casio cdp-100 which is meant to be fully weighted at around 320-50. but sound quality is meant to be a little lacking (which is fine as long as its the right note)

How about 2nd hand digitals? if there worth thinking about and where to look?
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#6 vectistim

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 19:02

I don't know much about the cdp100, but from a cursory glance its keyboard is likely to be not as good, but how much of a difference there will be I don't know.

Also it seems to be only 32 note polyphony - that means it can only make 32 noises simultaneously.
OK, you've only got ten fingers, but you sound a chord in the left hand with the sustain pedal down, those notes still count whilst you go on and play something else, and notes can start dropping out - if you notice this sort of thing happening it can be very distracting.

Really you'd need to try playing some of these machines. Are you somewhere where you can find some music stores to try a few out, and then you might start to see the differences.

With second hand machines you'd need to check everything is working, and if the electronics go bang a couple of weeks after you've paid up it could be rather frustrating. You might be able to find the odd ex-demo model in stores.
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#7 Guest: skylark_*

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 20:05

QUOTE(Yoshifumu @ Nov 3 2010, 10:22 PM) View Post

So my question is basically, whats the pro's and con's between graded soft touch digitsal pianos, against fully weighted ones. i heard theres no point unless you get a weighted one, but i'd make a serious saving (hundred pounds) if i got a graded soft touch.

If it's really important to get weighted keys i will. But if not, graded soft touch will probably be easier for me...


The keys on my digital piano are touch-sensitive rather than weighted, and I have my lessons on an acoustic. At first I noticed the difference when I went to my lesson, but after a few lessons, it didn't bother me at all.

I've never used a digital with weighted keys but as far as touch is concerned, it's presumably got to be better than a digital without weighted keys. Depending on the make though, it might still have a different touch to an acoustic (unsure.gif) You could buy an entry-level digital with weighted keys but still not like the sound.

Yoshifumu, I gather from the first post you made that you may be wavering a bit as to whether the piano is the instrument for you. Until you're sure, it might make sense to buy a low-cost digital, otherwise you'll have wasted a lot of money if you decide it's not for you after all. If you can get an adequate one for, say, 100 pounds less than your budget, then you could spend that 100 pounds on some lessons. It might buy you around 8 half-hour lessons - that's four months of lessons if you have them fortnightly! biggrin.gif And it's Christmas coming up - a generous member of your family might buy you a few lessons! (not all teachers will do this though). Sorry to bang on about lessons, but I don't know how I'd manage without mine!

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#8 Sam-ChopinFan

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 08:20

I think even if you don't want to play professionally you should get a full weighted keyboard. It's worth getting use to the acoustics of a piano and the touch. I learnt on a medium weighted keyboard for a long time and when I got an upright; it's a completely different feeling under your fingers. If you plan on playing for a long time, I'd get a keyboard the replicates a real piano as much as possible. Hope this helps! smile.gif
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#9 Yoshifumu

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 09:30

Thanks guys!!!

Just in response to skylark, its not that i'm not sure about piano, i've been playing it for a while, and improved a few grades by teaching myself, and i've thoroughly enjoyed it. i've just been wondering if a GST replicates the feel of a full weighted enough to be effective for higher grades.

I'm on a cheap keyboard at the moment, and it's definitely worked so far, but when i go home and play my family's piano, i find the sensitivity and expression you can get from it much more enjoyable, and i reckon something that replicates a proper piano well enough will get me learning faster, and motivate me better.

So what i'm getting in general is i should get a full weighted smile.gif

Guess i gotta hope for a loada cash at christmas!
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#10 PianissiMole

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 13:31

QUOTE(Yoshifumu @ Nov 5 2010, 09:30 AM) View Post

So what i'm getting in general is i should get a full weighted smile.gif
Guess i gotta hope for a loada cash at christmas!

I agree. If your moving towards the higher grades, it sounds like you should be thinking of fully weighted
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#11 Sunrise

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 14:25

QUOTE(Yoshifumu @ Nov 5 2010, 10:30 AM) View Post

Thanks guys!!!

Just in response to skylark, its not that i'm not sure about piano, i've been playing it for a while, and improved a few grades by teaching myself, and i've thoroughly enjoyed it. i've just been wondering if a GST replicates the feel of a full weighted enough to be effective for higher grades.

I'm on a cheap keyboard at the moment, and it's definitely worked so far, but when i go home and play my family's piano, i find the sensitivity and expression you can get from it much more enjoyable, and i reckon something that replicates a proper piano well enough will get me learning faster, and motivate me better.

So what i'm getting in general is i should get a full weighted smile.gif

Guess i gotta hope for a loada cash at christmas!


I have looked into this as I need to get one at some point....weighted keys are essential. The grades of polophony are what make the real difference to sound/dynamics. 3 grades ok for gr 3-4. 4 grades upto greade 7 exams. I've been suggested that only 5 grades of touch are good enough for grade 8. Look at hte yamaha descriptions for their clavinova and you will see. You can get digitals in this bracket for just about ?1000.

www.ukpianos.co.uk have alot of useful comparisons on their site. They suggest a Classenti for ?900....as the best cheap on for higher grades. I've never played one so can't tell you any more!
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#12 vectistim

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 23:15

QUOTE(Dawnmc71 @ Nov 5 2010, 02:25 PM) View Post

www.ukpianos.co.uk have alot of useful comparisons on their site. They suggest a Classenti for ?900....as the best cheap on for higher grades. I've never played one so can't tell you any more!


When it comes to ukpianos and clasenti, please read this pianoworld thread
http://www.pianoworl...ow_about_C.html
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#13 Sunrise

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:25

QUOTE(vectistim @ Nov 6 2010, 12:15 AM) View Post

QUOTE(Dawnmc71 @ Nov 5 2010, 02:25 PM) View Post

www.ukpianos.co.uk have alot of useful comparisons on their site. They suggest a Classenti for ?900....as the best cheap on for higher grades. I've never played one so can't tell you any more!


When it comes to ukpianos and clasenti, please read this pianoworld thread
http://www.pianoworl...ow_about_C.html


Thank you for that!! I was wondering a little myself....and not being in the UK I can't test them first.
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