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Digital Pianos

Ronnie Dungan
Digital Pianos

A quick browse through some of the newest models currently on offer.

Still a favourite for noise and space-conscious consumers, digital pianos continue to push the technological envelope in a bid to offer ever-more realistic piano sounds....

 

Yamaha

01908 366700

In 1976, Yamaha released the first of the CP series stage pianos. These "electric grands" became instant classics with their authentic sound and live performance convenience.  Over thirty five years later, the Yamaha CP Series has three models and is still a popular choice for many top artists.

The current CP series is headed up by the CP1 - at the heart of which lies a unique Spectral Component Modeling tone generation system designed to recreate the sound of acoustic and vintage electronic pianos more faithfully than anything else before.

Features include a vintage textured top panel, real wooden keys, classic wooden side panels, illuminated Yamaha logo, brushed aluminium controls, and a 3-in-1 pedal unit.

The CP5 and CP50 take the core sounds and technology of the CP1 and offer instruments that are both flexible and affordable enough to appeal to a wide range of customers.  In fact, the CP5 and CP50 add a wide range of sounds to the CP1. Clavs, organs, strings and more, making them good for church, and live situations where everything needs to be performed on one keyboard.

CP5/50 are fully equipped with record and playback functions for both MIDI and audio.  CP5 even includes a MIC input jack and wide variety of effects.

Kurzweil

Piano Warehouse

020 7267 9229

Whilst the Kurzweil name has been synonymous for many years with groundbreaking synthesiser and keyboard products, the new range of home digital pianos is their first serious venture into the digital piano market since the acquisition by Hyundai. 

A $30m investment at Kurzweil’s R & D facility in Boston has resulted in the next generation Mara sound chip technology and VAST system software which has now been incorporated throughout the new piano line- up.

Three models are available at present, the MP10, MP20 and the flagship CUP2 upright. With 88 onboard sounds, a fully graded hammer action, wooden keys and 140 watt stereo sound system. It retails around £2580 while prices for the MP10 start at £1088, with the MP20 from £1372. Other models including a digital grand are expected to come online in the near future.


Casio

0208 208 7829

Casio’s latest ‘50’ series of Privia and Celviano digital pianos were introduced in the Autumn of 2012.

At the heart of these new instruments is the latest ‘AiR’ sound technology, which is more than three times more powerful than the previous generation.  ‘AiR’ allows bigger and longer samples to be used, recreating detailed nuances such as sympathetic resonance (damper and string). 

The Tri-Sensor hammer action features simulated ivory touch keys. Higher models offer unique features such as a physical acoustic lid, plus electronic ‘lid simulator’ for many tonal variations and audio record (USB).  The cabinet designs are new being both compact yet very stylish.  The range starts from £499 and aim to offer a decent dealer margin.  Below the ‘50’ series is the CDP-120, a value solution for a weighted action digital piano. 


Roland

01792 702701

Launched at NAMM this year, the new RD-64 joins the famous line of RD stage pianos which began in 1986 with the RD-1000.  Aimed at stage and studio players, the RD-64 features Roland’s latest SuperNATURAL Piano technology and a 64-note Ivory Feel-G keyboard for a true weighted-action playing feel.  

Also on board is a selection of SuperNATURAL-based vintage EPs, plus essential clav and organ tones. Controller mode instantly turns the RD-64 into a flexible MIDI master keyboard, with a special one-touch setup that unlocks the SuperNATURAL sound potential in a connected INTEGRA-7 sound module or JUPITER-80 / JUPITER-50 synth. Streamlined and mobile, the RD-64 delivers piano-action performance and impressive versatility for live playing, on-the-go composing, home studios, teaching labs, and beyond.


Intermusic

01202 696963

 Intermusic has two digital piano ranges on offer from Bentley, with a new range made by Pearl River in China.

The first range has the Bentley Combo Ensemble in a Black Satin finish for £399 and a Compact Digital Piano in Black Satin/Poly for £449. There’s also the Contempo Digital Piano in White Polish for £599; the Bentley Stage Pro for £599 (stand option available) and the Contour Digital Ensemble Grand Piano in Black Poly for £1,199.

The Bentley-branded line-up produced by Pearl River (the largest manufacturer of pianos in the World) will have six new models available from May 2013.

The range has been developed in tandem with Italian Viscount company and the Pearl River factory. Most models will use an Italian tech 88 Grand-Response Fatar keyboard.

Retailing at £699, the AP-110 has a graded hammer action sense and dynamic curve; 5-level changeable key touch feel; in-built sounds with 26 series and 65 demo songs; effects including Reverb, Chorus, Grand Piano and Double Tone and a record and play function.

TheAP-810 retails from around £1499 and has the same Italian tech 88 Grand-Response keyboard and graded hammer action sense & dynamic curve as the AP-11. It has an advanced European DSP and top class sound engine.

 
Korg

01908 304601

The Korg SP-280 aims to reproduce the sound and feel of concert grand pianos. Features include a high-output amp section producing plenty of volume; natural Weighted Hammer Action (NH) keyboard; lightweight design; newly designed stand and stereo audio input for playing along with external audio sources .

The SP-280 provides a playing feel that's incredibly close to that of an acoustic piano by switching between four piano samples according to the dynamics of the performance. From delicate pianissimo to dynamic fortissimo, the sound will respond realistically to how you play. In particular, the

Grand Piano sound reproduces the damper resonance that is heard when you press the damper pedal of an acoustic piano.

Special attention has been paid to the electric piano sounds, which are period-accurate. The standard electric piano sounds reproduce not only the way in which the tone responds to your touch, but also the subtle noises that occur when you release a key. Six varieties are provided, covering the sounds widely used in the pop music of the '60s and '70s, as well as the tones valued in soul music.

Including the acoustic and electric piano sounds, the SP-280 contains 30 sounds, including organs, clavs, harpsichord, strings, and more. There's also a Layer Mode that lets you play two sounds together, and a Partner Mode that divides the keyboard into left and right regions so that two people can play the same range of pitches. Two headphone jacks make it convenient for two people to play the SP-280 together.

It has three effects: brilliance adjusts the brightness of the tone, reverb simulates the natural ambience (reverberation) of a concert hall, and chorus adds spaciousness.

It also features two onboard amplifiers that deliver 22w of output power each; the highest in its class. Delivering ample richness, deep lows and sparkling highs, the SP-280's amplifiers make the expressive piano tones sound better. Since the speakers are capable of producing high volume, they can provide plenty of power for a small live event without requiring a PA system to be conncted.

 

 

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Tags: Yamaha, Roland, korg, casio, kurzweil, piano warehouse, intermusic, digital pianos

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