Opinions on 2 specific Yamaha Keyboards

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Posts: 2

Post by kencrane » 09-28-10 10:21 pm

I have always wanted to learn the piano and when I stumbled upon Synthesia I have decided that a want to give it a real try. I have been reading some of the posts on this forum and have gone with looking for a 76 key touch sensitive keyboard. I ran into both a DGX220 and DGX230 at around my budget point. I just can't seem to find what the difference is between these two and if they are touch sensitive. I always read on the description that it has Graded Soft Touch (GST), does this mean it is touch sensitive or something else? I would also like to know if any of you have any experience with Yamahas DGX line and if this would be a good purchase for use with Synthesia. Thanks in advance for any help you could offer me.

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Post by Nicholas » 09-28-10 11:42 pm

I haven't used the DGX line myself, so I can't answer that part of your question, but...

The 230 is the "next year's model" of the 220. Just like cars, Yamaha re-releases all their keyboards each year with tiny upgrades. After a few years, the compounding changes start to look shiny enough (and your aging keyboard dull enough) to buy the keyboard again at the same price point.

This place says the only two differences are a few extra "accompaniment styles" (little back-beats you can loop while you play) and the weighted key thing on the 230 (a reasonably large upgrade as far as year-to-year differences go).

Graded Soft Touch is one of Yamaha's ways of faking the realistic feel of piano keys connected to actual hammers. Low-end keyboards won't have anything like this -- simple plastic keys that feel incredibly fake. GST is getting into the middle-range where they try to simulate it. And the higher end products in the digital piano class will actually have hammer-type hardware built in even though they're not really hitting strings, just to make it feel authentic.

One of the cooler parts about GST over actual hammers is that hammers are heavy! Digital pianos are usually like 35 pounds compared to something like 12 pounds for a keyboard with the simulated stuff (at the same form factor: keyboard-only, no legs or stand).

If that's what you meant by "touch sensitive", then yes. If you meant "when I hit a key harder, does it make a louder sound?", that is called velocity sensitivity and virtually every keyboard has that these days. So in that case, yes, too. ;)

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Post by kencrane » 09-29-10 12:27 am

Thank you so much for your help Nicholas. I will probably go with the 230, I can't wait to get it so i can start to playing with Synthesia :mrgreen: .

PS: Since you mention the "new car of the year" syndrome, does upgrading only become necessary when your current instrument finally brakes down or is there a standard amount of years i.e. 4-5 that people normally follow?

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Post by cairnz » 10-01-10 7:19 am

My Kawai MP9000 is closing up on 15 years and it performs like a champ. It doesn't have the newest features and the most backing track stuff and such, but I've experienced no other digital piano with the same action, it just blows any new digital piano i look at in stores (that doesn't cost $3000 and up) away in how it feels to play.

If you -can- - i would highly advise to get a used digital piano with PROPER hammer action, not some fake stuff; also, wooden keys, not plastic. It weighs a ton (mine is 35kg/70lbs approx) and takes the whole room, but man, it feels good!

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