Saturday, August 1, 2015

DIGITAL PIANO REVIEWS for 2015: Pianos UNDER $1000 - GO HERE for the latest info!

Digital Piano Reviews - Best Digital Pianos of 2015

UPDATED REVIEW - August 26, 2015

Best Digital Pianos under $1000US


UPDATED REVIEW: August 26, 2015 - Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, Casio, Suzuki, Korg, etc...which one is best and which one should you buy?! Hello to everyone shopping for a digital piano. My name is Tim Praskins and I am a digital piano expert and have been teaching & playing on them for over 40 years (started teaching as a young teen:) and have taught 1000's of students during my extensive music career. I play acoustic concert grand pianos, digital pianos, and pro keyboards professionally (as well as play and teach guitar & organ) and do free digital piano consultations for schools, churches, piano teachers, studios, and families all over the world to help you decide what piano might be best for you in your price range. There are some people out there who say they specialize in digital pianos or have had some experience on them, but that does not necessarily mean they know what they are talking about because most of them don't. However, I do know what I am talking about when it comes to hundreds of different models of digital pianos now and in the past, and I am willing to share that info with you at no charge and explain it on your level and give you free personal advice. I do not have a retail store or warehouse and do not link you to Amazon sites trying to get you to buy a digital piano that you don't need or should not own. I am a well known teacher & pro musician and I work out of my local music studio and offer digital piano advice without needing to "sell" pianos like other so-called reviewers try to do with Amazon links to digital pianos so they can make money regardless of how poor that digital piano may really be. If you want to know more about me and my work, please go to the following link: More about Tim Praskins and AZPianoNews

There are 3 brands of 88-key digital pianos that I recommend right now which, in my opinion, are quite good in the lower price range under $1000US. Those brands are Yamaha, Casio, and Kawai. There are other name brands offered under $1000 including Korg, Roland, and Kurzweil that you may see advertised out there, but at this point I really do not recommend them near as much as I do Casio, Yamaha, and Kawai for a number of reasons. As for the Roland brand which has a big line of digital pianos and are very popular with piano teachers, schools, churches, and families, Roland has some excellent digital pianos but those models are all above $1000. If you can be in that price range then Roland would be a good choice. Typically I don't recommend a brand or model if there are noticeable deficiencies in key action, piano sound realism, or pedaling as compared to a real acoustic piano and that is why some brands or models that you may see advertized on the internet are not recommended by me. It may not be necessary for you to spend more money (over $1000) on a digital piano, even if someone else (like a store salesperson or someone on the internet) says that you need to spend more money to get a proper piano. However, if you do have the budget to spend more than $1000 (up to $2000 or more), the quality of piano sound & key action reproduction in many of those models are very good and can be even more enjoyable to play, especially if you have a higher playing skill level or just want a piano that sounds and plays more like a real acoustic piano. *If you would like to learn about the best digital pianos between $1000-$2000, go to my review of those pianos at the following link: New Digital Pianos under $2000 

  Casio PX5S Digital PianoCasio now offers 9 models of piano type weighted key digital pianos under $1000US internet discount price including the basic CDP130 ($449US), the brand new Privia PX160 ($499US - I will have a review of this one soon) which replaces the discontinued PX150, Casio PX350 ($699US), the brand new CGP700, the brand new PX360, PX760 compact cabinet model and new replacement of the discontinued PX750 ($799US - lower left pic), and PX780 compact cabinet model ($999US internet discount price). Casio also offers a Pro Digital Stage Piano called the PX5S at $999US internet price which has no built-in speakers and is primarily for people who want to perform on stage, church, in home studio, etc, and will be using their own powered monitors or speakers, but want something a bit more flexible in terms of live instrument sound and effects along with controlling capabilities. Go here for my full PX5S review: Casio PX5S Review. Finally, Casio will be introducing sometime in October a 2016 model portable digital piano called the PX560 ($1199 internet discount price) which will be the first lightweight self-contained (with internal speakers and music rack) portable keyboard instrument to straddle the worlds of pro digital pianos with home digital pianos. I have played this new upcoming model many times already (I have private access to it) and will have a review of this very impressive instrument soon. But you can ask me about it if you have questions.

Yamaha currently offers 3 new 88 weighted graded models under $1000 including the P45 ($449US internet price), P115 ($599US - left pic), and the DGX650 at $799US). Yamaha also has the older models called P35, P105, P95, and DGX640 and even though the new models have taken the place of the old models at their price points, you may still see some of the older models for sale on-line. I would recommend you focus on the newer models because they are better in some important ways and I will have my new review of the P45 and P115 up soon. However, I have reviewed the DGX650 on this blog so you can check it out here: Yamaha DGX650 Review. I do recommend all of the Yamaha's mentioned here although the Yamaha P45 model is somewhat basic in what it can actually do, but it's still a good beginner piano for those people who need to stay under $500 cost. Many of the digital pianos that Yamaha produces sell for over $2000 whereas most of the digital pianos produced by Casio and Korg sell for under $1000. So when it comes to Yamaha you'll need to spend a bit more money, but more money is not necessarily an indicator of a better piano. It just depends on the piano itself and what you get for the money. 

Korg SP170S
Korg offers 4 models under $1000US including the SP170S ($499US), SP280 ($699US), the new LP180 ($699 internet price), and the LP380 ($999 internet price). I really don't recommend the Korg models (except for the LP380) because I just don't like the key action, dynamic range, and velocity sound response of the lower priced NH key action) as compared to other brands in this price range (although the regular piano sound itself is good), and these are the most important aspects in picking out digital pianos. The SP280 is the replacement of the older SP250 but unfortunately Korg changed the key action in that model and downgraded it while putting the prior (better) key action on its higher priced LP380 model. So the overall best piano options in the lower price range under $1000 are either the newer Yamaha or Casio pianos. Some of the Yamaha & Casio pianos I recommend are portable so you would need to purchase an optional furniture style stand (or cheaper metal stand), pedals, and bench to make it more complete. But even that expense should not put you over (or much over) $1000 if that's where you need to be.


Kawai ES100 w/opt stand & pedals
Kawai offers 1 model under $1000US which is called the ES100 portable digital piano at $799US internet discount price (not including optional 3-pedal crossbar unit and furniture stand). This is the first time the Kawai piano company (which has a very prestigious reputation in the world of acoustic pianos) has had a digital piano available in the US for under $1000 and I must say that it is very impressive. The ES100 hammer weighted action and acoustic piano type sound is excellent in it's price range and just may be be the best in its class. The ES100 is designed to be a lightweight portable piano replacement because of its minimalistic design and lack of some of the "bells & whistles" other pianos have. But if you don't need or want much in the way of extra features and just want a great piano playing experience in a low price range, the Kawai would be one to pick. It is better overall in my opinion than the Casio PX160 & Yamaha P115, but the ES100 is also $200-$300 more than the Casio PX160 and Yamaha P115. But as they say, you don't get something for nothing in this world (unless you're the U.S. government:). Go to the link below to read my ES100 review.


Roland F20 with optional stand
Roland also has a portable digital piano with weighted key action which is the first one they've had under $1000US, and it's called the F20 ($799US current internet price) and has an optional furniture stand that's not included. It comes in two colors which are black & dark walnut (not available in the US) and also has a minimalistic control panel design with function buttons on the left side above the keys. The Roland F20 is loosely based off their now discontinued F120R/RP301R digital pianos and the F20 has many of their features including the same key action and piano sound, same USB output and flash input, many of the same cool functions including wireless capability, but in a compact portable cabinet with a smaller internal speaker system including a nice metal damper/sustain pedal. At $899 the new F20 is Roland's lowest price digital piano and a better product than the slightly higher priced F120 ($1299 internet price). However, I do not personally like the F20/F120/RP301 key action which Roland calls Ivory Feel-G keyboard. I have played that key action many times in other Roland models and it feels quite sluggish, a bit unbalanced, and the key action is noisy (clunky going down) when you press the keys harder and play more forcefully. The knocking noise that it creates when the keys hit bottom is quite distracting, especially at lower speaker volume. To me a piano key action is the single most important thing to be concerned about and that's where this piano primarily falls short (as well as falling short with piano sound), but the F20 does have some very nice features otherwise. It is important to note that Roland recently came out with a new higher priced model at $1299 called the F130R which is an excellent instrument and far surpasses anything that Roland has offered up to this point in that slightly higher price range. I do highly recommend the new F130R and you can read more about that model in review at the following link: Roland F130R Review


Adagio digital piano
All of these brands & models I mentioned here are the piano style weighted 88-key digital pianos, although the key action movement will be slightly different from one brand & model to another. They all have built-in speakers although the power & quality of the speaker system vary, and generally all of my recommended pianos are acceptable depending on your musical goals and experience. However, there are other brands and models out there in the lower price ranges that I DO NOT RECOMMEND because they are of much lower quality and do not play like a piano for student practice or recreational playing with regard to key action, piano sound, and pedaling. These pianos are what I call "off-brands" and they include (but are not limited to) Adagio, Suzuki, Williams, Adams, Robson, Artesia, as well as any spring action (non-weighted/semi-weighted) digital pianos such as the Yamaha DGX505, Yamaha YPG535, Kurzweil SP4-7, Yamaha Piagerro, etc. So be careful when looking for inexpensive pianos because the attractive cabinet or low price you see on the outside may not reflect what's actually on the inside. It's interesting to note that I have seen some positive piano owner recommendations/reviews on popular music store and Amazon web sites for these "off-brand" pianos, but in my opinion these pianos are only a PSO's (piano shaped object) and other than cabinet design, do not resemble what an acoustic piano should play and sound like. If you have little experience playing real acoustic or digital pianos and purchase one of these off-brands, you may not discover or realize what you actually bought (how bad it is) until it's too late. An example of a low priced 88=key digital instrument of very poor piano playability is the Williams brand which is a private label brand made in China and belonging to the Guitar Center company and its affiliate stores of which there are many. Go to the following links to read my reviews on a couple of recent Williams models:
Williams Legato Review   Williams Allegro 2 Review


Artesia AP8 digital piano
Most of the off-brand digital pianos will create and foster bad playing habits in piano students because of the deficiencies in these pianos concerning their key actions, piano sound response, pedaling, and other aspects of piano playing. The Suzuki, Adagio, and Artesia brands (which I do not recommend) are normally found primarily at Costco on-line in the US, but that does not mean they are good musical instruments just because they are sold there. Nice attractive exterior cabinets in digital pianos do not always mean those digital pianos are good for playing music correctly...even at minimum standards. Just because a digital piano is attractive on the outside does not it good on the inside with regard to key action, sound, realism, electronics, reliability, etc. In fact, some of the more basic looking pianos for less money in the good recommended brands do a much better job than some of the more attractive deluxe furniture style cabinet brands in the off-brands such as Artesia available at Costco US. I would suggest you stay away from these off-brands if you want a good piano playing experience. 


Casio PX760
Of the four brands mentioned in the lower price range here, I believe Casio overall offers a noticeably better piano playing key action experience than Yamaha or Korg, although Yamaha has some very nice models at $1500US and above. The lower priced Yamaha P115 & DGX650 are also quite fun to play and certainly worth looking at and I do like them, but the new Kawai ES100 portable piano key action and piano sound is better in my opinion than Roland, Yamaha, Korg, and Kurzweil portable pianos under $900. But ultimately, all of these models I mentioned here would be fine, although everyone I talk to pretty much wants the closest reproduction a regular piano as they can get for the least amount of money. For many beginner or recreational piano players and students, it can be difficult for them to determine which piano actually does do the better job in terms of the piano touch, tone, and pedaling realism because sound and touch are normally a subjective thing. Also, to make matters more difficult, it's not likely you'll find all of these pianos in one place at one time to try them out, or even find some of them locally at all. One of the best things to do in my opinion is to your research and then listen to an experienced expert like myself and then you'll get a better idea of what might work best for you and your family.



With regard to beginner piano students and their music education, as a long time private & group piano & keyboard teacher, this is something I know a lot about. It is never too early or too late to start piano lessons and enter into the exciting & rewarding world of playing music. I teach and have taught thousands of students from 4 years old to 94 years old. Whether you play piano as a recreational hobby, or go on to do it professionally as many of my friends and some students have done, it's always a tremendous blessing for me to see people at any age enjoy the piano playing experience and bring music into their lives in a very personal way. The little girl in the left picture (she's my granddaughter:) is involved in piano lessons and she loves it whether she's playing on a big concert grand piano such as the Steinway 9' grand she is sitting at (above left pic), or whether it's at a digital piano utilizing iPad apps to further enhance the learning and playing experience.

If you want important info on the best way to proceed as far as lessons and learning go as well wanting to be sure you're getting the right instrument for your needs and budget, please contact me and I'll be happy to answer your questions. Also, click on the links below to read my reviews on these pianos under $1000.

Casio PX150  Review
Casio PX350 Review

Casio CGP700 Review
Casio PX360 Review
Casio PX780 Review
Casio PX760 Review
Casio PX5S Review 
Korg SP170S Review
Korg SP280/LP380 Review
Yamaha P105 Review
Yamaha DGX650  Review
Roland F20 review
Kawai ES100 review
*Artesia AP120e Review
*Williams Rhapsody Review
*Williams Symphony Review
*Suzuki SD10 Review
*Yamaha YPG535 Review
* means not recommended

Casio PX780
Of all the digital pianos out there under $1000 I would say overall my favorite new cabinet piano under $1000US internet discount price right now is the Casio Privia PX780 at $999US internet discount price (left pic). This piano really surprised me for its low price after I played it because it has a nicely designed compact cabinet with the 3 built-in full function pedals and slide out key cover, and it had a pretty big sounding acoustic piano tone with a wide dynamic range. The key action has a three sensor key technology not normally found in less expensive cabinet digital pianos until you get above $1600 in other brands (the Yamaha Arius series does not have this in any model). The Casio PX780 also has the synthetic ivory & ebony keys (normally found on pianos in higher price ranges), 128-note polyphony piano memory (which is more than sufficient in most cases), half-pedal recognition damper sustain pedal (a good feature for piano students and players), fairly realistic acoustic piano hammer (graded piano weighted) key action, direct USB output for instant connectivity with laptop and iPad (go to the following link to learn more about iPad apps: iPad Apps and learning piano), and hundreds of useful built-in educational features. 

iPad app
There are some people who equate the name Casio and its lower prices with lower quality, and it is true that sometimes lower price CAN mean lower quality (especially in key action & piano sound) such as what I have experienced with the Williams, Artesia, and Suzuki digital pianos. When it comes to recognizable & respected brand names in the acoustic piano world, Yamaha & Kawai pianos have always been known to be in that recognized group and many pianists, piano teachers, churches, schools, and families do own Yamaha & Kawai acoustic pianos. But competitive Yamaha & Kawai digital pianos right now cost far more money than the new Casio pianos depending on the model. Casio actually is a highly respected Japanese technology company which has been in business approx 60 years (that's a very long time) having produced millions of electronic products including keyboards & digital pianos for about 30 years. Casio is not necessarily my favorite digital piano company because I don't actually have a favorite. Kawai, Roland, Yamaha, & Casio are all my favorites but each one does better in different price ranges and it also depends on your musical goals and budget as to which brand and model will be best for you.

Casio PX780 digital piano
Casio PX780 digital piano
In my opinion any of these name brand recommended pianos I mentioned under $1000 would be fun to own and play, but the Casio company has really outdone themselves with their PX780 furniture cabinet model at $999US internet price. This model is definitely a "home run," but even with all that being said, the Casio PX780 still may not be the right instrument for you. There may be a better option depending on your particular needs & musical goals so contact me before you make a piano purchase anywhere and I will give you free expert advice. Go to the following link to read my review on the Casio PX780: Casio PX780 review. Also, for just $100 more you might want to take a look at the new 2015 model Casio PX860 at $1099US internet discount price which I also recommend. You can read my review of that model at the following link: Casio PX860 review


IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE ABOUT MY REVIEWS - Just so you know, there is no precise or impartial digital piano rating system (like stars, check marks, numbers, etc) as some people on the internet would have you believe...and that's why I don't do it. There are just too many variables. In fact there are some so-called "reviewers" out there who have no idea of what they are talking about, they say things that are just not true at all, they rate cheap keyboards along side of digital pianos which is ridiculous (keyboards are not digital pianos), and what they report is only so they can link you to an Amazon site to make THEM money if you buy something. These "reviewers" are as impartial as bees are to honey...in other words they will say things that gets you to buy a "recommended" piano off their Amazon web site links. If you see something like that then run away from those people as they are not there to help you, regardless of what they say. In fact, I have noticed that many of these "fake review sites" steal my content and then post a version of it on their web sites. I know this because they copy some of my blog review sentences would they would otherwise NEVER say and they could not have been able to test out many of the unique pianos that I have and then come up with the conclusions they state in their so-called reviews. It is true that imitation or downright coping is the sincerest form of flattery but unfortunately on those sites it is done solely to make money off of you without regard to what is actually true, and that does bother me! 

I always recommend that you do your homework before you buy because as I said, ultimately any of these pianos may be a good choice for you. However there are definitely some models that offer more for the money depending on the price range you can be in, and if you would like my help in making your decision, please contact me as I do not charge for my advice and I do this as a labor of love:)

If you want more info on these and other digital pianos and lower prices than internet, Amazon, Bundles, or store discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call me direct at 602-571-1864


* I recommend eMedia educational software. If you decide to make a purchase after clicking on link below, I have arranged a big discount for you direct with eMedia for their educational software and that discount price is displayed through this link only! I want to see everyone learn to play and enjoy piano!


95 comments:

  1. I want to buy a piano..I have impressed in second one(Casio CDP220R).. I will definitely but this. Thank you for your price list information.

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  2. I'd love to see a post covering your recommended iPad apps.

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  3. Thank you very much for your recommendations, this will greatly help me pick a piano for my son.

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  4. I am looking for an electric piano for our vocal music major son to take with him to college. He would like one with a full size keyboard. I am unsure what kind to purchase, whether it should be digital (and the benefits of digital capabilities), and whether it should have recording capabilities. I also would not like it to break the bank. Do you have any advise?

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  5. Hi! What is difference between Casio Privia PX 350 and Casio Privia PX-330? I can bay PX330. Is it much worse? What you can suggest from this site as better for low price? It is for my daughter who just started to learn piano. Thank you

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  6. Wow, what a great blog! Thank you. It's people like you that make purchasing a more balanced experienced. I had a music store tell me they only sold yamaha digital piano's because they were the best and no other brand came even close. I'm buying the Casio Privia PX750 for my 10 year old who has been asking to play for 1 year. Again, many thanks.

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  7. Life-saver of a blog. Thank you! We are a home schooling family with six children. We have had two yamaha dgx 535 models. Both were GREAT for about seven months, and then became so clicky, i couldn't stand it. (I have played piano since the age of 4, although now am too busy to take anything seriously.) With several hours of playing time on the average day, we definitely need a work-horse. Trying a Casio once we collect enough pennies.

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  8. Do you recommend the Casio Privia PX-735CB? Is this similar to the Privia PX750?
    Trying to choose between this and th Yamaha P105 or the Yamaha DGX750.

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  9. What would recommend for a prior piano player? I have played until 'grade 8 piano' about 8 years ago. I don't have the money to buy an acoustic piano yet but will buy on in the future so what would to recommend in terms of digital piano that will feel like an acoustic piano (weighted/hammered keys). Thanks!

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  10. What would recommend for a prior piano player? I have played until 'grade 8 piano' about 8 years ago. I don't have the money to buy an acoustic piano yet but will buy on in the future so what would to recommend in terms of digital piano that will feel like an acoustic piano (weighted/hammered keys). Thanks!

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    1. I would recommend a Casio PX850, Yamaha YDP162, or Kawai CE220.

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  11. This site is great. Since the Casio Privia PX780 is not out yet, how do you recommend getting a feel for this piano? I am getting this for myself (I actually have an upright piano, but with 2 little kids, I have no time to play during the day. And then I can't play at night or I'll wake them up). I want to wear headphones and be able to play something that feels like a real piano, and I like what you say about the Casio.

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  12. You can play any new Casio Privia PX model including the portable versions and they will all have the same key action weight and movement. If you like one model then you will like them all:). If you have more questions on features and prices, please email me direct and I can give you more detail.

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  13. Hi Tim ,

    I am a beginner in playing piano and I just purchased the Casio CDP 220R. What is your thoughts on this Digital Piano ?

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  14. I have played this piano and it is fine for a beginner at that price but you may need to move up to a better piano if you achieve a higher playing skill level

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  15. What differences exists between px135 and px150? What do you recommand me: px 135 or p 105? Thank you!

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    1. The PX135 is an older discontinued model. The PX150 is a big improvement over that piano. I would recommend a Yamaha P105 over the Casio PX135

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  16. Hi Jim,

    I own a Roland E09 right now. I bought it with the intention, that I would never master the piano. Well after 1 1/2 years, my teacher is now telling me I need to get a full 88 key piano. I was going to go portable again because of heart issues that I have, but might get an upright. Please recomend a good model for me. Looking fro a good piano sound, and some good organ sounds also. Any help would be appreciated. I had to give up my trumpet after 50 years of playing, so I took up the piano.

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    Replies
    1. I would recommend the Kawai CE200, Kawai MP6, or Casio PX780

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  17. Hi Jim

    What would u recommend for a 9 years old beginner. I would like the digital piano with weighted keys and suitable to play on up to ABRSM grade 5 or 6. Thanks!

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  18. Hi Tim,
    Thanks for lot for the wonderful posting in this blog. It is of great help to parents like me. I have 2 sons who are appearing for London Trinity GUildhall Exam levels 2 & 3 and I am looking to buy a digital piano for them. Based on your comments, we have narrowed our choices between Yamaha p105 and Casio PX 750. I understand from your blog that the key action in Yamaha is a bit inferior compared to Casio. WOuld this make to difference given my children's current level? The price difference in India about 20% with casio being more expensive. I would appreciate your response on this as we are planning to buy the piano in a day or two. Thanks once again! Badri

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  19. Hi Badri,

    In my opinion, the new Casio key action is noticeably more realistic in terms of acoustic key action as well as dynamic range for piano sound. Although the Yamaha is a very nice instrument, there are definite differences which are evident. I wish your family musical success!

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  20. Hi mr praskins,
    I'm a beginner and just started my piano lessons in recent month.I'm planning to buy a yamaha Dgx 230 for practice. I learning piano just as a hobby. Do you think yamaha Dgx 230 suits my need? Thanks for your opinion.

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  21. That keyboard would be fine for now but it does not have the proper weighted piano keys. So as you get better you'll need to move up to a digital piano that has more realistic key action movement so you can play piano in a better way.

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  22. Great site here thanks. Great to see you at 2013 Winter NAMM..

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  23. hi, I'm from Singapore and considering between casio PX 735 and AP220. I know both models have similar specs. in terms of sound quality, which one is better? I tested both models recently and it seems PX735 has brighter volume. the AP220 sounds softer. is this right?

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  24. Hi Tim,

    I'm an amateur classical pianist and have been playing for 20 years now. I play Chopin etudes, ballades, etc. just to give you an idea about my level. I own an acoustic piano but since I live in an apartment, I want a digital piano to practice my scales, arpeggios and heavy repetitive passages. I can buy used and am looking for something < $500. Have any recommendations? Remember, this is only for basic scales, arpeggios and for really loud passages that need to be practised hundreds of times.. Thanks in advance for your valuable advice!!

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    Replies
    1. An old Technics p30 - sampled from a Steinway...

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    2. Hi Tim...Having known you for nearly 30 years now, I very much appreciate the wonderful information that you are sharing with folks all over the world. I have always known you to be totally honest and your suggestions are always based on education and experience and no one needs to ever doubt you know what you are talking about! Pastor Chuck Clark, Humboldt Co, CA

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  25. Hi

    We are considering one of the following Yamaha DGX-640 & Casio CDP-220R.
    It is for home use and mainly for the family to learn how to play, so the main thing is ease of use and the teaching programme. Sound, clarity etc is not important.

    The reason for these two is that I have been advised to go for 88 keys & weighed keys.

    If you have anything better to recommend I would appreciate that to.

    David

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I have the same question. What did you find out between these two models? Thank you.

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  26. Hi Mr. Praskins,

    I read your comments and found it very useful because I don't know anything about piano.

    My daughter will start her first piano lesson next week so I am planning to buy her a piano to practice at home. This is first time she is taking the class not sure if she is going to like it. Recently I see Roland F-120 super natural digital piano bundle is on sale for $1200 at Costco. What do u think of this one? Or would you still recommend me to buy one of the models that you recommended CE 200, Kawai mp6, Casio 750, Casio px 780. Or would you suggest to buy a new upright piano for about $2500 but forgot the brand. Thanks in advance and any advise will be helpful....

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  27. I agree with you on the Korg and Casio, but I wasn't to fond of the Yamaha. Also, the Kawai mp6 is a great choice if you are looking to spend a little extra.

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  28. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the great information. We're buying a piano for our kids (5 and 8), who are just beginning piano lessons. Would you recommend the Casio PX780 or the Yamaha P-105. When purchasing, pedals, a cabinet, and bench, they come out to about the same price.

    Thank you,

    Debra

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  29. Hello dear sir,

    I've just started piano lessons this week. Currently I have a CTK-230 which is a very old keyboard purchased for me when I was 13 however we live in a small town so it was hard for me to find a teacher. Now am 22 and finally decided to start learning piano. My teacher has a baby grand yamaha. I really loved the wooden keys of the piano but can't afford a grand now. I don't really care about the extra sounds and features they add, I just want a realistic piano sound and feel. Should I go with the yamaha brand CLP series or the Kawai CE220? I want something to last me to grade 8 if its possible.

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  30. The BEST Digital Piano REVIEWS are HERE! My name is Tim Praskins and I am an Independent Piano, Keyboard & Guitar Teacher, long time Pro Musician who has played hundreds of different digital pianos & keyboards, and expert piano consultant to the PUBLIC. I talk about piano stuff you may find interesting, including piano lessons, music technology, new & used pianos, & do in-depth REVIEWS of many Digital Pianos. read digital piano reviews

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  31. hi
    the advice here was really useful but at the end I'm not sure about the model and brand casio or yamaha.I'm not a beginner I played for three years but I left it and now I've found another chance to practice it with an Acoustic piano near my work twice a week but I want to have one with most similar voice to a real piano at home to practice more with an affordable price

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  32. Tim, this is all great, thanks. My issue is I have a Roland KR-3500 21 years old, and a board is bad. I want to replace the unit. I don't want a step down since I have digital sampling and weighted keys, etc., and I like the yamahas, though they are overpriced. Does the Casio 850 have accompaniment? if not, what do you suggest as your pick equivalent to the KR-3500 that is $1000-$2000, if any? Any help is appreciated.

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  33. Your question needs more conversation than what I can do here. Please email me directly and then I would be happy to give you some advice...

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  34. I have been playing the piano for some years now and I tested the majority of the digital pianos that you recommend. What I can say is that you're right about your suggestions. I particularly enjoyed playing the Privia line from Casio. I would add to your list of best digital pianos the Roland RD300NX which is a great musical instrument along those recommended in the article above.

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  35. Thanks for your comments. The Roland RD300NX is a nice instrument, however it is well above $1000 internet discount price and it also has a key action that I am not very fond of...the Roland ivory feel-G action. Roland also has an ivory feel-S action and also PHAIII action which I do like very much, but I don't enjoy playing the G action as compared to any of the other brands in that price range. I have detailed my thoughts on that G key action in my review of the Roland RP301 & 301R which use the same key action.

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  36. Great article. I found useful information and can say that it helped me in the choosing process.

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  37. What are your thoughts about a Yamaha CLP430?

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  38. The CLP430 is over $2000 selling price. I have done an extensive review of the Yamaha CLP pianos (incl the CLP430) which you can find on this blog. Look on the upper right side of the blog page and you'll see a large panel link to the Yamaha piano review.

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  39. I'm looking at these 2 model to buy within a week: Roland F-20 or Kawai ES100
    I see that you like the Kawai ES100 key action then the Roland F20, however, do you think the F-20 key action is "acceptable"? My impression is that the sound of the F-20 is better, however this is through youtube. Could you do a comparative description of the sound of these 2 piano? Thank you.

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  40. if you would like a detailed description of how these two piano stack up against each other, please email me directly

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  41. Hello Tim, I am nearly committed on a Casio PX-850, 750 or 780. I have only 2 questions I'd be grateful to hear your response to:

    - Are all the 3 models above identical in their graded hammer key action?
    - Does the 850 have any noticeably enhancements in comparison to the 780, apart from its speakers, cabinet design and 256bit polyphony memory?

    Thank you.

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  42. Hi Arun,

    All Casio models have the identical key action.

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  43. Hi Tim,

    GREAT blog! This post is exactly what I've been looking for! Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    I'm curious, what are your thoughts on buying used digital pianos? Our budget is around the $500-$600ish range, but that would include a stand, bench, pedal, etc. So we are considering maybe getting a used Yamaha p95 or older Casio Privia. Obviously they are not quite as good as the newer models, and the condition would be a case-by-case thing depending on the seller, but I was just wondering if you have a strong opinion one way or the other of how these keyboards tend to hold up over time, or if buying an older used model is a poor decision or not.

    Thank you!

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  44. Hi Tim,
    I am struck between casio px 350 and yamaha p 105. All I am looking forward is a closer acoustic feel and sound. Thanks for your advice and your site is cool man.. Keep up the good work - Anand

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  45. Tim, first thank you for your knowledge of these pianos and sharing it with us. I'm a person of 62, and has never learned the piano, but would like/interested to try my hand at it. Beginner all the way. Use to have a Casio electronic piano (not 88 keys) and for some reason just wasn't interested in it at the time and gave it to my grandson. But now, could be the oldness coming on, would like to try it once again. Any suggestion which one to purchase? My funds are limited. Thank you in advance.

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  46. Tim, thanks for all this info, although I doubt between the Roland F120 and the Yamaha YDP-S51, just because of the space that they take, what can you recommend me as being best of these two??
    thanks in advance,straight from belgium,

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  47. Hi Tim
    Have you tried the Casio Privia PXA100 Range? What is your opinion on these? My children are beginners and I'm looking at spending less than $1000, I've read your reviews on this range and narrowed down to the Casio range. How does it compare to the CDP220? There are so many models and options around the more I read the more confused I get :)
    I'd just like the kids to exercise their fingers and get used to the weighted keys (hopefully we can afford a new acoustic piano in the future- there's nothing like acoustics in music playing, whatever the instrument!) and train their ears to hearing the correct notes.
    I look forward to your response
    Thank you

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  48. I like it when I find all the information I need in one place. This article was very useful and it really helped me sort out what meets my needs concerning digital pianos.

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  49. Hi Tim.
    Thank you for your comprehensive reviews. I am looking to buy a digital piano for my 5 year-old daughter and based on your reviews I am trying to decide between the Kawai ES100 and the Casio PX780. Which one has a better sound and feel? Which one takes up less space? Which one is better suited for a 5 year-old beginner piano player/student? Can the ES100 be modified to allow it to be attacked to an iPad or iPod?
    Looking forward to your response.

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  50. Hi Tim,
    After reading your reviews of digital pianos, I narrowed down my choices to the Kawai CE220 and the Kawai CS4. However a local store is trying to sell me a Symphony DL 800a, which is roughly the same price. I never heard of the Symphony piano before and was wondering if you can give me any advice. Thank you.

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  51. The Symphony digital piano brand is really not a piano company and I do not recommend that brand. It is a private label brand made by a Chinese manufacturer who produces lower quality digital pianos for piano dealers all over the world. Although these pianos may look good on the outside they are normally NOT good on the inside. I have played virtually all name brand and no-name brand Chinese made digital pianos and most no-name brands like Symphony are terrible pianos in terms of piano key action, piano sound, dynamics, volume response, and reliability. Piano dealers like to sell the no-name brands like Symphony because they make substantially more money on their "house brands" like Symphony than on the name brands. Do yourself a big favor and stick with the name brands like Roland, Kawai, Yamaha, Casio, and a couple of others...you'll be glad you did! Please email me and I would be happy to share detailed info with you on the Kawai CS4, CE220, and other models and brands. Then you'll be more prepared to make a good purchase.

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  52. Tim, thank goodness that I read through your reviews, thank you. A quick one if you have a moment - the quality of the switches & buttons on the Casio PX350? I have a Juno D and many have packed up, thus I ask.
    Regards.

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  53. I have tried the Yamaha DGX 650 and the Roland F20 and I can say that they are both very solid digital pianos. I would give the slight edge to the Roland as you are able to plug in your headphones and work with various types of newer piano software. I'm not sure so much about the Yamaha when it comes to plugging it into your PC.

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  54. hello,
    i have just read your digital piano review and it was very helpful. I have one question. Which model would you recommend me for playing a background piano music in hotel restaurant or bar? I play twice a week and I use YamahaCP33 with pair of Electrovoice ZLX12 speakers. I would like to buy nice looking compact cabinet (easy to transport in van car) digital piano with good acoustic sound for this purpose and I do not want to use additional speakers. Is there any suitable model under 2000?

    thank you in advance

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  55. Hi tim,

    would consider 700 dollars for a 2 years old Roland F120 (rarely used) a good deal ?

    thanks for your reply

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    Replies
    1. I don't give advice for used pianos or their prices. Without a factory warranty, buying any used piano is a risk and therefore price is relative. I do not like the key action or piano sound on that model so I would not recommend it for those reasons. I would instead look at the a new Yamaha DGX650, Casio PX750, or Casio PX350, all of which are in that price range.

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  56. hello Tim i know nothing about pianos, i am going to start with my piano lessons sooon so i will need an piano (probably digital). My budget is about 1000 euro. What i want from my piano is a best sound i can get( natural and realistic like a grand piano) and the feeling of keys (like grand piano). I dont care about trinkets... So i want a digital piano closest to grand piano in terms of sound and touch. I am going to orient to classical music.

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. I dont know if my previous post was accepted, so I will post again. I am an experienced piano player, I used to have a Upright piano in my dad's house where I learnt to play. I currently own a Roland Juno Di, which I use to play my midi files from the times we had a Tropical music band. Which will be your best choice in the 700-1000 range that will give the best Sound/action combination (in that order). I really don't know how my Roland Juno Di piano sound compare to the ones in your selection.
    Thanks for your contribution, your comprehensive reviews are really helpful.

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  59. for piano sound, key action, and piano pedaling under $1000 for a portable digital piano, the Kawai ES100 would be best. For lots of good (not great) instrument sounds and a good key action under $1000 for a portable digital piano, either the Casio PX350 or Yamaha DGX650.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your replay. Since I already have the Roland with plenty of very decent sounds and features, then the Kawai seems to be the one. I just need to find a place where I can play it before I buy it to be 100% sure that's the one for me.

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    2. if you are in the US and want advice on where to find the Kawai ES100 as well as how to get lower price, just email me direct for more info

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  60. I do have reviews of these models so look for them on my blog

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  61. Hi tim.
    What do you think about Casio AP-450? I don't have info about it,

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    Replies
    1. It is the same piano as the PX850, only in a more traditional cabinet for quite a bit more money (in the US)

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  62. Hi I dont see a review for the casio privia px 735, could you give me your opininon please. Im purchasing brand new for my daughter, but she is a learner and I know nothing so any info would be great my budget is £500. Thankyou

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  63. The PX735 is a older model digital piano that was part of the "30" series of Casio pianos including PX130/135, PX330, PX730/735, PX830, etc. The PX735 was not available in the US so I did not review it but it would have pretty much the same specifications as the PX130 (except it's in a small furniture cabinet and has 2 more sounds) which I did review. It was a pretty good piano although the the new model replacement for it, (called the PX750) is a much better piano.

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  64. Hi, Tim. Great work on your blog! I wonder if you've had any experience with Orange digital pianos. I've been considering their higher end i8 model. Any thoughts?

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    Replies
    1. The Orange piano "company" likely buys their pianos from a South Korean digital piano manufacturer called "Dynatone." The i8 is probably just a stock piano from Dynatone and the owners of the Orange company have a company name they made up which is Orange and they label that name on the Dynatone pianos. In fact, Dynatone has made that same piano with the same cabinet for other companies or dealers in various countries. The "Broadway" digital piano is an example of something like that (it is sold in the UK) and has the identical cabinet. I have played a variety of Dynatone digital pianos over the years and although they seem to try hard to make a good digital piano, they just don't. Poor key action feel & response, disappointing piano sound realism, cheap pedaling functions, and old electronics including 64 note polyphony. A good new digital piano should have a much better product, and the Orange company appears to fall far short. Adding to all that, if there was ever a repair needed on that piano and a local tech could not be found to service it and get parts (which could be likely) you would have to pack up the piano and ship it back to the dealer you bought it from. You would be responsible for all costs and liability during that process. The piano warranty time is only 1 year which is 1/3 of the standard 3 year warranties from the name brands. I would recommend you stay away from the "Orange pianos" and their offshoot (Dynatone) brands and stick with the name brands because you get what you pay for.

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    2. Good advice. I had my suspicions about this brand. The sad thing is that my local piano store, which I've trusted for years, has switched to this brand exclusively for their digital selection.

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    3. unfortunately some music/piano stores sell "exclusive" product because it makes them more profit than name brands do. That's the hard truth in many cases.

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  65. Tim, thank you. I am looking to play and sing at a restaurant...dinner music and wonder if the PX750/850 is portable enough?

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  66. Thanks for all the helpful information. I would like your opinion on the best option between the Casio PX150, Yamaha P105, or the Kawai es100. The Casio and Yamaha are more in my desired price range but I want to get a good keyboard. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

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  67. I have played the Yam P -105 for the past 18 months at least twice a week. Play for church, Senior Cntrs and dances. It always performs and feels and sounds wonderful. Tim Praskins opinion is what I have relied on a few times over the past nearly 30 yrz!

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  68. Tim,

    Roland F-130 is under 1000€ in Europe. Would it be your best call or would you stay with the Casio Px-850?

    Best regards,

    Tim

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  69. Good Afternoon, Tim.
    Thank you for this article. I am currently looking for a keyboard (a graduation present from college) for my son. He played piano growing up at home, and at the music department while at college. (He was not a music major..just recreation.)
    He will be moving around for various post graduate education and I want to get him a digital piano. I am torn between the Casio Previa px-150 and the Yamaha P 105. Both are in the same price range (my max) and as much as I would like to get the PX-350 or Yamaha DGX 650, there are not a possibility.
    I would also probably get the "cabinet" type stand so that he has 3 pedals as on an acoustic piano.

    Any insights to help me decide?
    Thank you.

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  70. The Casio would have the better more realistic key action which is the most important fundamental item to be concerned about in a digital piano. But both pianos have adequate piano sound although certainly not perfect in that way. They are, after all, low priced portable pianos.

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  71. Hello, what do you think about hemingway dp-501 for the beginner. Thanks in advance

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  72. Hi Tim: I'd like to know if the CE220 has musical accompaniment. A friend bought one and it doesn't seem to have it. Thanks.
    Nelson

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  73. It doesn't seem to have it because it doesn't have it:). The CE220 has drum rhythm patterns built in for a variety of musical styles (Jazz, Rock, Latin, etc), but it does not have auto arrangement accompaniments with musical instruments playing along in the background as you play.

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  74. Hi Tim,
    How would you compare between Kawai ES100 and Casio PX780, both of which you seem to greatly recommend? Which one is closer to a good acoustic piano?
    Thanks.

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  75. I myself have been playing guitar since I was 13 (I'm 59 now) and have just taken up playing the piano over the last 9 months. I can say from a first hand point of view that Tim is right on the money saying that it is never too late to start playing. I put it off for years and am glad that I finally jumped onboard.

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  76. What do you think about korg pro lp 380?

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  77. I like it and its price is low, but the piano sound and key action technology is fairly outdated as compared to new Casio, Kawai, and Roland pianos in a similar price range

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  78. Hi Tim, I´m a complete "noob" regarding Digital Pianos and i was looking for first DP to start taking lessons and came across a good deal on the Casio Privia PX A-100 which I believe its similar to PX-150. As from a complete begginer point of view, would you consider this a good purchase? Thank you.

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  79. Hi Mr. Praskins, please tell me, the best action between Kawai AHA-IV and Roland Ivory Feel S...is? Thanks.

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  80. Hello Mr. Praskins, your reviews have been extremely helpful, I really appreciate the help. When do you expect to have a review out on the new Casio CGP-700. I'm trying to decide between the CGP-700 or the PX-860. I'm not sure if the new features on touch screen and the improved speaker system are worth going with it. Please advise. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The PX860 is for someone who wants to primarily play piano. The PX860 has a noticeably upgraded piano sound over the CGP700. If you wioll want to concentrate on playing piano in a more traditional way and getting the best piano sound possible in the lower price range, then the PX860 is definitely the best choice for that. I will have my CGP700 review completed and up by approx August 20th.

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