I\'ve recently decided to do more piano practicing, and I\'m wondering what kind of controller you guys prefer to use with the latest libraries out there. I want something close to a real piano, so I\'ve been looking at the Yamaha P80. Is anyone using it with the PMI bosendorfer? I know the P80 has 3 or 4 velocity curves. Is that all you need?
I don\'t really care about extended MIDI control, since I have a Kurzweil 2000. I\'m basically just looking for something with all 88 keys and a piano feel.
I have the Fatar SL-880. It has a pretty good piano action. I grew up on Rachmaninoff, so I\'m pretty demanding(hard) on the keys. The SL-990 is the same but with LESS extended MIDI control, I think it has 4 velocity settings, which is comparable to the Yamaha P80 at half the cost (no internal sound). It\'s also has the same keys found on the Kurzweil 2600, Alesis QS8.1 and such. In this day and age, everyone is offering the same features in weighted keys (graded keys, simulated hammer action) that one really isn\'t that much better than the other. Except for the Kawai MP9000/9500 which has wooden keys, but no one ever has in stock, so I can\'t really say much about it.
IMO- you could get the Fatar SL990 and both PMI pianos for the price of the Yamaha P80. The Yamaha keys aren\'t really any better than the Fatar keys.
I might be wrong on this, I think I read somewhere that the PMI pianos were programed to the Fatars.
Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at the harmony central reviews for the SL990 and SL880, but there seems to be reliability problems with the keys. It seems like half the people don\'t have any problems though. Is there a more reliable suggestion?
I highly recommend that you consider the above-mentioned Kawai MP9500, if you feel it fits your budget. I just bought one (sold a Yamaha S80 to get it), and am absolutely delighted with the purchase. I\'m no keyboard expert (I\'m re-learning piano after a 35 year layoff), but to me the action of the Kawai seems superb. No exaggeration - within a few hours of receiving it, my playing improved dramatically (from lousy to merely bad; and I\'m sure, after a few more months of intense practice, I can achieve mediocrity - the keyboard action is that good!).
Don\'t take my word for it, though - the MP9500 has received rave reviews, most recently from Mark Wherry in SoS magazine who stated that it has \"one of the finest actions available on any piano with a simulated action, at any price\". Other reviews are just as laudatory.
It\'s true that very few retailers seem to keep the MP9500 in stock, which makes it difficult to evaluate. I ended up, with some trepidation, purchasing it sight unseen. Also, the keyboard is a bit expensive, but if you do some haggling, you can get it for considerably less than the stated street prices.
One caveat though - I wouldn\'t buy the MP9500 for the internal sounds. Although they seem acceptable to me, I don\'t think they are in the same league as the best sampled pianos (i.e., Bardstown or Post).