Alice in Texas

Not writing here anymore- see top post for details of my new blogs.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

digital or analogue?


I will be buying a piano sometime soon. This is good because I haven't had one for many many years, and will now finally be able to learn all the Beethoven sonatas, which will be very useful advance preparation for if I am ever shipwrecked on a desert island with only a piano and the complete Beethoven sonatas as my luxuries.

So I went to a piano shop to look at pianos. It was slightly embarrassing because I didn't know the answers to any of the shopkeeper's questions. No, we didn't have a budget. I couldn't explain what kind of music I would be playing (what does he think I am, psychic?) I had no idea how "brilliant" (there is a knob for it) the digital demonstration piano should be turned up to. Should have asked if it went up to "Vladimir Horowitz" level, he was pretty brilliant. Then I couldn't tell if I liked it anyway, not being used to hearing the thing through headphones.

"I'm used to normal pianos," I explained. They had a couple of those there too, but I didn't like them either. Maybe something will turn up in the musical instruments for sale section of "craigslist". This is an online free local small ads place. It's great. Apparently they are everywhere, just google for your town. People give things away free there. Like this:

FREE ~ TV, only 2 years old, picture does not work, must go today as I am moving tomorrow, thank you.

Don't ask me.

Anyway, I am tending towards the analogue at the moment, partly because I don't want to have to read an instruction-manual just to play the piano, partly because I am not convinced that replicant music is truly the same thing as real music and partly because it's probably going to be cheaper. But do tell me any advice you may have.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Glen said...

I would look at the Yamaha Clavinova line or similar electronic pianos that have weighted keys and built-in speakers. (Another example: the Technics SX PC-26) It looks a lot like an upright piano, feels the same, sounds essentially the same, costs about the same, but has these advantages:

(1) It never needs tuning.
(2) You can adjust the volume or plug in headphones if needed.
(3) It takes up less space.
(4) It is much easier to move.

As for the complexity, a lot of models have just a few buttons. Basically you press the "on" button and play. You don't have to read the manual. The ones with fewer features tend to be cheaper too.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

yep, I agree with Glen - we just bought a Clavinova CLP170 (I think) and have been very pleased with it. It has piano action keys and even a clever reverb thing in it so that it picks up on the situation it is in and adjusts reverb accordingly.

If you have loads of money, the digital one we really wanted was a Yamaha Grand Touch - now, if you could sit down at one of those and hear/feel the difference between that and a real piano I'd be amazed - they are absolutely fantastic feeling and sounding.

I really wanted a real one, but had to compromise as dh is more into keyboards, different sounds, midi recording etc, and the Clavinova gives the possibility of all that.

My kids are learning to play at the moment and boy, does it help to be able to ask them to put headphones on.

Look forward to hearing what you go for.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Alice said...

Hmm, thank you. I'll post about how it goes.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger staghounds said...

Welcome back!
Just stopped by to, AGAIN, send someone your CITA post.

You can often buy a used upright piano for almost nothing- there's one here the owners want to give away. You might put an advert in the paper, could be someone will give you one if you'll haul it away.

Though your needs seem greater than a battered upright, one never knows...


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