I am a guitarist (well, at least I think I am...) but want to learn some basic piano. So I looked around and found the new Casio Digital-Piano Privia PX-500L
and the Casio PL-40R.
Both have a learn function. You can load midi-songs into them and it gives you the chords to play in highlighted piano-keys (which to me is cool as I don't really want to get a piano teacher just for basic piano)...
my question is: what do you think of the concept in general and:
while the PX-500L is 32 polyphone the PL-40 R is 64. Does something like this only apply to the sounds in the piano or to the midi output also??? Does it make that much of a difference (I mean the polyphony?) or is 32 basically enough???
One more feature the PL-40 R has is a LED that in addition to the highlighted piano keys shows you which of your fingers to use to play a chord. But I don'T know if that feature alone justifies several hundred dollars more, while the polyphony question might???
In this situation, polyphony is the number of notes that can be sounded simultaneously. This piano will have some type of "note stealing" algorithm, meaning if you are in a situation where you are trying to get the keyboard to sound more than 32 notes at the same time (e.g. if you held the sustain pedal down and played a lot of notes), some notes will just drop off (usually the first notes played, sounding the most current notes).
Polyphony IS a feature that can be important, but most important if you were talking about a keyboard/piece of software that had an onboard midi sequencer, and you were trying to play back a song with a lot of parts (like an orchestral score).
I have a Yamaha Clavinova GranTouch digital piano with polyphony of 32 notes, and I am not sophisticated enough when I play piano to be able to "tell" if I should be hearing 33 notes at a time.
The polyphony would only relate to the internal tone generator, not to midi data sent out of the midi OUT port. This WOULD impact you if the keyboard has a midi IN port and you were trying to send midi data into the Casio (using the Casio as a "midi sound module").
Regarding lighted keys, that feature is on many of the more expensive Clavinova digital pianos, so SOME people must find it helpful.
I see the pianos you mention have MSRPs of $1000 and $2000. That is pretty expensive for a "learner" piano.
You have probably done this already, but I would also look at digital pianos from Yamaha, Korg, and Roland. Casio has traditionally been at the "cheap" end of the keyboard market, but it appears that they are expanding into the "home digital piano" market as well.
One comment about markets and sales channels. Most of the "home digital piano" market is served by traditional piano stores, which have territories, and therefore higher prices. There is also a second market, the "digital stage piano" market. These pianos don't have the "helpful" features, and some require you buy a stand/pedals separately, but these are sold through "general" music stores, including Internet retailers, and therefore can be purchased at a lower cost.