Korg LP380 review. The Kurzweil piano/keyboard company makes nice looking furniture style digital pianos and although they sound pretty good, in my opinion they are not very good when it comes to higher quality key actions and pedaling components and electronics in the under $2000US price range. I will be doing some detailed reviews on all the Kurzweil cabinet models soon but if you should have any questions in the meantime, please contact me.
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 $1000-$2000US which is where most consumers want to be when shopping for a new digital piano.
Roland digital pianos are generally fine instruments and that company has five furniture cabinet models that sell for under $2000 and they're called the RP301R ($1999US approx store discount price), RP301 ($1699US internet price), F120 compact cabinet version of the RP301 ($1699 internet price), and the new F130R ($1299US internet price) and new RP401R ($1599US internet price). The 1st three pianos are the same as far as 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 sluggish movement as compared to the other digital piano brands as well as real acoustic pianos. The key action unfortunately is also noisy and distracting 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. The other two pianos, RP401R/F130R, are brand new models and have major upgrades over the other older Roland pianos and all the previous issues are no longer a concern because of the major improvements. The older RP301/301R, F120 sound is somewhat thin and tinny in the middle to higher octaves of these pianos (the new ones are much better and I like them. The RP301 and RP301R 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 and their stereo amplifier speaker system puts out a total of 24 watts of power which fine for most homes. The RP301 & F120 do not have a USB output connector (just standard MIDI connectors), but the new models do have them as well as other useful connectivity features. Overall I think Roland pianos in this price range are good, with the exception of the key action and sound on the older models. However, the new models are now even better as compared to some other name brands in this price range and a big step up from the previous Roland models. I have detailed blog reviews of these new Roland models here on my blogsite if you want to read more. Roland RP401R/F130R Review
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.
produces the natural echo found in a real acoustic piano when pressing down on the damper pedal and hearing the strings vibrate. Other features include duet four hand play, layering, splitting, transpose, and some other cool things. The control buttons are across the front of the piano so it's user friendly. Casio has also included some advanced tech features like USB CoreMIDI connectivity (very nice for plug & play connection to iPad and computer) as well as having audio outputs. The PX850 audio speaker system is surprisingly powerful at this price and includes four speakers going through 40 watts of stereo power with a lid opening feature which allows the sound to project in an acoustic piano fashion. The PX850 gives you the sense you're sitting in front of a real piano and looks attractive in its compact cabinet and sliding key cover. So for $1099 internet price, this piano is a very impressive package and a great "bang for the buck."
better than the Casio PX850 in my opinion as well as their acoustic piano sound, but it is another $800 more, so it should be better and the higher price is the only reason I put in in 2nd place:) My 4rd choice would be the Yamaha YDP162 or YDPS51 because they are just under $1500, have nice updated features over the previous models and are good pianos from Yamaha. The Yamaha YDP162 also comes in a polished ebony cabinet and is available in selected US Yamaha piano stores (approx $2000 selling price or more). The YDP162 is also a very good choice, but the Kawai & Casio pianos seem to offer more bang for the buck right now based on what I and owners of these pianos have experienced. Also, getting any good digital piano in the polished ebony finish (assuming it's available) usually adds a big premium to the price.
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:)