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As posted on the Keyboard Magazine forum on August 1, 2007
Went to one of those giant retail-centers today and took about two hours out of my
dull and eventless life to compare the current crop of digital piano's out there. I
checked all the piano's with the same set of headphones, tried to match levels and –if
possible- switched off the internal effects (reverb etc.) Where adjustable, I set the
velocity response to "hard". I think of myself as an intermediate jazz-player.

* Casio Privia - the sound was very metallic and unresponsive. The action was not bad
at all. It's cheap at 600 Euro, so it would make sense as a controller.

* Korg SP250 - not outstanding, a bit clangy (sound-wise) and the action is a bit too
soft. But it is a sensible package, which is actually reasonably rewarding to play. It
comes with a stand, built-in speakers but even without those it is a bargain at 700

* Kurzweil PC 1SE - A disappointment. Does not live up to its manufacturer's
reputation. Weak action, and outdated sounds. Don't bother.

* Kurzweil SP88 – This is an older model and it shows. The action does not even
pretend to be realistic and although Kurzweil was once famous for its accurate piano
simulation, the Japanese competition has this thing beat. Disposable.

* Roland FP 4 - Sounds nearly as good as it's bigger sibling the FP 7, in fact, I could
barely tell the difference. However, it misses the 7's superb action, but this is still one
of the better ones. It just plays nicely, if only a bit too light. Recommended.

* Roland FP 7 - In typical Roland style, this is a great instrument that sports new
features that nobody really wants (it support USB-flash disks, but plays back
only .wav’s and not .mp3’s!) This would be my choice, though, since it sounds the best
and has an action that can finally compete with the Yamaha's.

* Roland RD 300 SX – Other than the pitchbend lever and (limited) split-keyboard
functionality I can’t think of any reason why you’d buy this over a FP4. It sounds
alright, but its weak action is not likely to appeal to pianists.

* Roland RD 700 SX – Actually very good, the action feels like the FP7 and it sounds
good as well. You lose the FP7’s built-in speakers, gain a pitchbend lever and some
programability, but this comes at a serious price hike that is –in my eyes- not entirely

* Yamaha CP 33 - In short, great action, rigid sound. But thousands of others
disagree, so check it out. I find that Yamaha's sounds do not respond very well to
velocity. If this action could have the FP sound, or if the FP 4 could have this action...

* Yamaha P-140 - Call me loopy, but I actually found this to be a more engaging
instrument that the newer CP 33. And it comes at the same price, with speakers but
without bend- and mod-wheels.

* Yamaha CP 300 - Again, I may be loopy, but I preferred the P 140 over this as well.
As with the other Yamaha's, great action but I just can't get with that sound.

* Yamaha P 70 - Very basic, no power switch, no line-out, mini-headphone jacks, but
a solid action and reasonable sound for an agreeable amount of cash.

Feel free to disagree!

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