Korg B2 Stylish Piano With A Powerful Sound And Minimal Features
In June 2019, Korg announced three new B2 models with a stylish design, excellent piano sound and some new features that were missing in the previous generation.
Of these three models, the B2N is the only instrument that features semi-weighted keys as opposed to fully-weighted, so in this article, well focus on the B2 and B2SP models.
The B2 is a more basic version of the B2SP since it doesnt come with a stand and 3-pedal unit, but it still comes with some nice upgrades over the B1.
|AC adapter, music rest, damper pedal
|AC adapter, music rest, damper pedal
|AC adapter, music rest, dedicated stand, 3-pedal setup with half-pedaling support
At the heart of the B2 is the Stereo PCM tone generator, which along with 120-note polyphony and dual 15W speakers delivers a deep, powerful sound with a wide dynamic range.
You get two different acoustic pianos dubbed German Grand and Italian Grand as well as their several variations and a bunch of other instrument sounds.
String resonance and damper resonance are also reproduced quite accurately here, which makes the sound even more natural and complex.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
In order to use the CDP-S150 with the Chordana Play app, you need to connect your mobile device to the keyboards USB Type-B port, as there is no Bluetooth connectivity. Although most people probably have a USB charge cable lying around, its likely a Type A cable, not a Type B cable, so an extra cable purchase is required. Plus, the cable is an extra thing to carry for that functionality. This sort of design is a bit behind the times, as other keyboards around this price can quickly connect via Bluetooth for a much easier app experience.
The scaled hammer action on the CDP-S150 is a change from what we saw on our previous Casio top pick, the discontinued Privia PX-160. In contrast to the tri-hammer scaled hammer action on the PX-160, the CDP-S150 has only two sensors for each key , which together give it slightly less control and response. So theres a bit less nuance than was available with the Privia line, but beginners likely wouldnt even notice this.
We also wish that the CDP-S150 came with left and right quarter-inch audio outputs so that it would be more useful with external amplifiers. The CDP-S150 has only a single 3.5 mm audio/headphone output, which would then require an adapter or a 3.5 mmto¼-inch cable to connect to an amp. And since theres only one output, a splitter would be necessary for both a teacher and a student to use headphones.
Alesis Coda Pro Weighted Action
Alesis Professional are now a very well known name in the electronic music industry, and have a reputation for making some excellent weighted keyboards that rival premium manufacturers without the equivalent price tag. The Coda range is one of their best selling keyboard ranges, and its the Coda Pro that weve chosen to include here. Its full-size 88keyed weighted keyboards been designed for a wide range of uses, from students in their bedrooms to live use. We can tell you straight away that its a superb option, with some nice features at an excellent price, but lets look at things in a little more detail.
Theres little more to say other than that this is a great sounding digital keyboard with key weights – all 20 voices are excellent, and youd be hard pressed to tell that this isnt a keyboard that costs two or three times as much.
The hammer action weighted keys go a very long way in making the Coda Pro feel like a quality instrument. They help the digital keyboard feel more like a 88keyed digital piano , and generally are just very nice to play. Each key is made well too – you wont find cheap feeling plastics here.
The Coda Pro is a nice looking digital keyboard, with a clean black finish, a symmetrical design, and cool angular speakers. Highlights are in red. Again, this all helps it to look like a premium product. It has a USB port, as it is a USB MIDI.
Pros:+ Great quality+ Good range of features
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Why You Should Trust Us
I have been playing piano since the early 1980s, and I hold a Bachelor of Music degree with an audio production and piano focus from Ithaca College, as well as a Master of Music in keyboard collaborative arts from the University of Southern California. For the past 20 years, Ive been a professional music director, and Ive performed myriad musical styles on different instruments in concert halls and on nightclub stages. I also taught music for 10 years at a private Los Angeles middle and high school.
Since Wirecutter launched this guide in 2018, Ive brought in several pianists to participate on our test panels. Liz Kinnon is a pianist/arranger/composer/educator from Los Angeles who has performed with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie and Andy Williams. She was an orchestrator on the animated shows Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Histeria. At the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles, she teaches jazz piano and is the director of adult jazz workshops.
Jack Smith was an editorial assistant for Wirecutter for over two years. He is a lifelong musician and works with other musicians in production and mixing out of his own studio.
Phil Metzler is a lifelong musician who plays keyboards in the pop/rock band Just Off Turner, which has released five studio albums. He also composes music out of his home studio in Los Angeles.
Long & Mcquade Performance Assurance
Buying a new instrument is an exciting event and we want to ensure that every instrument we sell comes exactly how the manufacturer intended it to be. That is why Long & McQuade performs a quality control check for every stringed, brass, and woodwind instrument over $99 ordered online at Long-McQuade.com.
Our team of experienced staff will unbox your instrument and perform a detailed inspection to ensure it leaves our warehouse looking and playing great with our QC card signed and dated for your peace of mind.
We work hard to source the best instruments from around the world from the finest brands. It is important to us that you are completely satisfied with your new instrument purchase from day one onwards.
Stringed Instrument Performance Assurance Checklist
Unlike our free set-up, which is included within the first year of purchase, this process is done to have the instrument set to the factory specs rather than to each player’s feel or preferences.
We look after the following:
- Inspect finish and hardware.
- Check electronics to make sure everything is in working order. Check batteries on active pickups.
- Inspect strings.
- Check truss rod. Adjust for bow and relief.
- Tune instrument to manufacturers specified tuning.
- Check/set action height.
- Stretch strings and re-tune instrument and ensure machine heads are working well.
- Check for fret buzz by playing every note.
- Check/set intonation.
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How Many Piano Keys Do I Need On A Keyboard
This is a question that gets asked quite a lot, especially when space is a real constraining factor.
To fully be able to play the keyboard well, you are going to need the full 88 keys. However, beginners can get away with smaller 76 or 61 key instruments if theyre just learning the basics. Having a smaller piano can be better for people with smaller hands, as this study suggests.
What Is Key Action
In the most basic sense, key action is what a key on a digital piano is doing when it is pressed and when it is released.
A grand piano has strings and when a key is pressed, a hammer strikes one or more of those strings. The string then resonates in the body of the piano so we can hear it.
On a digital piano, we dont have strings or hammers or a body, but when we play we want to feel like all of those things are happening.
The perfect key action on a digital piano would be indistinguishable from an acoustic grand piano.
The trouble for companies like Yamaha is that not all grand pianos feel the same way when you play them, making it difficult to determine exactly what it should feel like.
Another issue is with the playernot every player will like the same key action.
For example, someone who plays aggressive on the keys might find a better playing experience if the keys felt a bit more heavy while a more delicate player may feel the exact opposite.
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Rich Variety Of Built
Naturally, the YDP-165 has an authentic grand piano sound, but it also features various other built-in instrument sounds, for a total of 10 Voicesincluding electric piano, organ, vibraphone, and strings.
The YDP-165 also has 353 built-in songs, including 50 famous classical songs, and 303 comprehensive practice exercises from famous methods, such as Beyer, Burgmüller, Czerny, and Hanon. The instrument is also compatible with Yamaha’s free Smart Pianist appsimply download the app to your smart device and connect it to the instrument*.
With the Smart Pianist app, you can easily operate the various Voice functions of the instrument and use it to call up scores of the built-in songs. It also features a comprehensive Piano Room function for changing the tonal quality and resonance settings of the piano sound.
* A cable connection is required. Make sure to purchase the correct cable for your smart device.
Roland Go 88 Budget Pick
This is a keyboard with wireless abilities made by Roland. The main goal of this product is to allow you to connect your phones to it to access learning programs and song features via Bluetooth.
I like this because its a total keyboard for on the go. You can use them pretty much anywhere and connect it to your phones or computers. It is battery powered meaning you dont need a power source. This is one of its best features.
The actual keyboard itself has 88 keys that feel pretty nice. I will say this is a keyboard that fits beginners much better than advanced pianists. If you are an advanced pianist, this could still make sense if you want something to write with outside of your main keyboard.
You can travel easily with this as it a portable keyboard designed for on the go musicians.
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How To Choose The Best 88 Key Electric Piano
In best 88 key electric piano, prior understanding of the product is always important. Other performance-related factors may be included in these findings. For this reason, we recommend that you evaluate the product’s price to its value before making a decision.
Only you can avoid wasting your important time by performing thorough research and comparisons. To help you save time, we’ve already done the research and comparisons. With the best 88 key electric piano, you can get the performance you want in the quickest amount of time feasible, without sacrificing anything.
My Top Wireless Digital Piano Picks
Below is a quick overview of my favorite picks. I have the links going to my favorite retailer for musical instruments, Sweetwater. You can also view some of these at Guitar Center if you scroll down to the list.
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Key Considerations When Buying A Digital Piano
Portability and Storage
Digital pianos are lighter and more compact than acoustic pianos. Most models weigh much less and are easy to transport or store out of the way when not in use. When choosing your digital piano check the dimensions. Make sure that it fits where you intend to keep it and also ensure the keyboard height is appropriate or the stand is adjustable. If youre planning on transporting the piano, check the weight, and how easy it is to break down as well as whether it comes with a carry bag.
Digital pianos can vary greatly in price, however, they still remain far less expensive to purchase than acoustic pianos. In addition, the maintenance on digital pianos is minimal whereas acoustic pianos require a costly tuning service. The pricing on a digital piano will depend on its size, functions, sound quality, touch response, and brand. Decide which features are most important to you before looking at options.
With a traditional piano, volume is determined by how hard you strike the keys. There really is no chance that you are going to be practicing while the rest of the household is sleeping. Digital piano volume can easily be controlled with the simple slide or turn of a knob. In addition, you can use headphones on many keyboard sets allowing you to practice without disturbing anyone else.
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From Solo Piano To Playing With A Band
The DGX-670 is a digital piano for enjoying everything from straight-ahead piano playing to playing along with other instruments. In addition to the high quality of the piano, the advanced Automatic Accompaniment Styles provide backing in a wide range of musical genres including pop, R& B, and jazz. Display sheet music to aid practice, connect to smartphones, microphones, and other equipment, and discover the many other ways to enjoy music with this feature-packed instrument.
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What To Look For When Buying An 88 Key Keyboard
Before you can make a decision, it always helps to know exactly what youre looking at with our buying guide. With this in mind, weve put together this buyers guide that reflects the various categories that weve reviewed each keyboard on.
This is going to be one of the most important considerations to make because its the factor that really differentiates most keyboards from one another.
Being electronic, there are a lot of different features that can be potentially packed in. Lets take a look at some of the most common ones that you might want.
Realistic keys are an absolute must for a lot of players because they feel much nicer to play. They aim to replicate the weight on each key as the hammer would move on a real piano, and change as you move from lower to higher notes.
Lesson modes and metronomes may be important functions for some, which can help beginners either learn to play or fine-tune their skills.
Connectivity is likely to be fairly important to a lot of players too. You might wish to output the audio from the keyboard into your headphones with a headphone jack, a PA or even your computer. As a result, you should always check to see what connection options are available on the keyboards youre looking at.
It doesnt matter what youre buying – everyone wants value. Weve briefly mentioned this in each and every one of our reviews to help you decide if youre spending your money well.
Best Overall: Yamaha Dgx670b
The Yamaha DGX670B is an 88-key digital piano with a professional sound. This model packs in many features and will take you far in your musical journey.
The arrangers weighted keys give you a concert pianos clarity and realistic feel.
And the Yamaha CFX voice can fill the room with sound indistinguishable from the real deal. This compact powerhouse gives you over 260 style options and 630 instrument voices. For a digital piano, that is an impressive selection!
Youll also get the perk of a digital accompanist with its advanced Adaptive Style. This feature analyses your music as you play and fills your sound with rhythm, a bass section, and more. This can make your music satisfying to play, even with simple pieces.
The Unison & Accent function doubles your melody line, and it will accent any notes you play with extra force. Smart Chord mode fills in your playing by adding chords and triads by rounding out the notes you play to build chords and triads to your music.
At 68 pounds, this wont be the most travel-friendly model. However, this fantastic 88-key digital piano is packed with features and gives you an excellent value for under $900. Youll get all the tools you need to advance your piano skills.
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Beautiful Powerful Sound Sampled From The Acclaimed Yamaha Cfx Concert Grand Piano
The YDP-165 features a piano Voice sampled from Yamahas flagship CFX concert grand pianoa renowned piano that delivers sparkling highs and a powerful resonant bass combined in a superbly expressive sound.
The YDP-165 has the same detailed soundfrom the lower keys to the higher keysfull of clarity and rich in colorful harmonic content. It gives you extraordinary expressive power and nuance, that authentically responds in your daily practice as well as your most emotion-filled performances.
Yamaha P125 Full Specification List
- 88 Key Graded Hammer Standard keyboard with matte black keytop finish
- Hard/Medium/Soft/Fixed touch sensitivity
- Connections: DC In 12V, Sustain Pedal, Pedal unit AUX OUT and USB TO HOST
- Metronome, from 5bpm to 280bpm
For a complete specification list, have a look at the P125s dedicated page on yamaha.com.
For the most part, the specification list is roughly the same as the P115. Yamaha havent improved this model by very much, and in all honesty its kind of strange that they released this instrument given how little it improves upon its predecessor.
There are, however, minor upgrades and feature improvements that are worth talking about. Lets dive in to what makes this piano worth your money.
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