Korg LP380 review The Kurzweil keyboard company has made furniture style digital pianos for many years but lately are not (in my opinion) very competitive in the under $2000 price range (especially for key action, the most important thing) although that may hopefully change in the future since they do have some impressive instrument sound technology. Go to the following link to read my review on the Kurzweil MP10 cabinet digital piano: Kurzweil MP10 Review.
In this blog article I will be referring only to furniture "cabinet style" models (including portable pianos with nice furniture stands & pedals) and only those that have an internet or regular store discount price for under $2000 which is where most consumers want to be when looking for a new digital piano.
Roland digital pianos are generally fine instruments and that company has three furniture cabinet models that sell for under $2000 and they're called the RP301R ($1999 store discount price), RP301 ($1699 internet price), and F120 compact cabinet version of the RP301 ($1299 internet price). All three pianos are the same as far a s key action, piano sound and speaker system, and all three pianos have 128-notes of polyphony. The key action (ivory feel-G) is nicely weighted but has a somewhat sluggish movement as compared to the other digital piano brands and real pianos. The action unfortunately is also noisy and distracting (because of that) as the keys go down and touch bottom when playing in a harder more dynamic manner. It's like the keys don't have enough felt underneath them. The other brands here do not have this issue as the keys hit the keybed underneath, and I have played all the brands and models. Most of the other Roland cabinet model pianos (they're all well over $2000) have a key action touch that is much more realistic than the RP301 and also much quieter. I do like the piano tone overall although it's a bit thin and tinny in the middle to higher octaves. The RP301 and 301R piano have buttons across the front panel so it's easy to operate and has a nice selection of realistic instrument and percussion tones which is good although their stereo amplifier speaker system puts out a total of just 24 watts which OK but the sound in the middle octaves is a bit tinny. The RP301 & F120 do not have a USB output connector (just standard MIDI connectors), and although USB would be more convenient, a MIDI to USB adapter can be purchased to make the connection. Overall I think these Roland pianos good in some ways but are a bit overpriced for what they're offering as compared to other brands. I have a detailed blog reviews of these Roland models here on my blogsite if you want to read more.
headphones as I mentioned (with 128 notes of polyphony). It also has a layering feature but no split or duet play, but the piano does not have a high speed USB output which would have been a convenient option. It does have a USB flashdrive input so basic MIDI song recordings can be saved and stored to flashdrive (it does not play General MIDI files). The YDP181 has a 2-track basic MIDI recorder for separate right and left hand recording and playback. As far as looks, it might be slightly better looking than the Roland, but not much better and it is offered in the simulated dark rosewood finish as opposed to some models which also offer a black color. The Yamaha pianos are very good but in my opinion just don't compete right now with what Casio or Kawai has to offer under $2000, especially in the key action movement. The Yamaha Arius key actions are a bit stiff when you press down the keys from a resting position (static touch weight), especially when playing lightly or softly and Casio & Kawai are noticeably better in that way. The internet selling prices for these Yamaha pianos, in my opinion, are still too high these days given the competition out there.
playing situations and skill levels, including for advanced players. The features that Kawai offers on the CE220 piano are impressive as well. All of the control buttons are across the front of the piano (where they should be) and they're easy to see and use. The CE220 is capable of layering and splitting two tones and it also has some other cools things like octave shift when layering two sounds together which none of the others can do. The CE220 has duet 4-hand play which means two people can play the piano at the same time by splitting the piano keyboard into 2 equal keyboards playing in the same octaves which is very cool. It has 22 very realistic instrument tones (22 is good and better than Yamaha), has 100 realistic drum rhythm patterns for rhythm & timing practice, a layer relative volume balance slider control (the only piano to have that), and a 2-track recorder for separate right and left hand recording and playback. The CE220 also has a USB output to connect to computer for interfacing with music software and a USB flashdrive input for storing recorded songs as well as loading in MIDI piano song files for playback. And as far as looks, I think the Kawai CE220 is quite attractive and looks more substantial and more like a piano than some other pianos. I would definitely recommend the CE220 as a winner for what it offers.
I always recommend that you do your homework before you buy because ultimately any of these pianos may be a good choice for you. However there are definitely some models that offer more for the money and if you would like my help in making your decision, please contact me as I do not charge for my advice:)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan on getting any of the popular digital pianos between $1000-$2000 for Christmas, do not be surprised if dealers run out of stock of them soon! This seems to happen almost every year about this time and this year may even be more difficult for buyers trying to get one if they wait until the last minute, so don't do that! If you want help then please contact me before you make a decision and I can also help you in finding the best model and at the best price:)
If you want more info on these pianos and lower prices than internet or store discounts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct at 602-571-1864