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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
roopoo Electronic Piano Advice Needed (21) RE: Electronic Piano Advice Needed 28 Mar 01

We recently bought a second hand digital for my daughter. I have a 100 year old cottage upright, not overstrung and with very heavy hammers. She needed something she could cart off to uni!

The main thing about digital pianos is that they have weighted, rather than touch-sensitive keys (that's the keyboards) and you also get at least one pedal with them, depending on how portable a model you buy. I was always told that the Clavinovas were the best, and if you shop around, you can sometimes get the basic model for about 800 when there is an offer. I don't think, to be honest, there is a lot to choose between Yamaha/Technics/Roland. They all have a good reputation and the prices, at least at the bottom end of the range, are comparable. The thing to do is to go to a music store and try them out. What suits one person may not suit another.

The one we bought was advertised in the local paper. (499). It was barely a year old, and is an Italian one called a GEM. She found their website, and it seems they make more for the professional band market, although this model is intended for domestic use. My piano tuner says he has heard of them and that apart from reported occasional problems with the contacts, requiring the use of some "electrolube" or whatever, they are quite ok. The main thing is that she is very happy with it, you can (thankfully) plug headphones into it, and you can vary the weight of the keys to suit your own touch. She even managed, with careful packing and seat shifting, to get it into the back of a VW Golf. Of course, you'd never have got anything else in! I just have to make room for it when she comes home this summer.

While I am here - does anyone know any details of digital inserts you can get to fit into old piano casings? My tuner was sent details some years ago, but didn't keep them. I am toying with the idea as my old upright is showing signs of age and goes "off" very quickly partly due to there not being much felt left on the upper register hammers. The conflict is whether I want to do that to a virtually "original" old (but musically unremarkable) piano. (It does have a very nice case inlay, and candleabra!)


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