Top positive review
110 people found this helpful
Great keyboard! Perfect with an amp.
on June 22, 2012
Saw the negative comments made toward one reviewer above and that convinced me to get one. I am annoyed by purist snobs. I had been looking for a portable keyboard just to practice with and for my church youth choir to use. I have played on several very beautiful grand pianos over the years in the Boston area. Keyboard arrived today and I give it high marks for portability and appearance. The tone is superb, BUT the on-board speakers do not do it justice. Very thin sounding, lacking bass and some midrange. So, I played it through my Peavey keyboard amp, closed my eyes (had the amp facing away from me, slightly in front of the keyboard), and you could not convince me that I was not sitting back at a grand piano. Bottom line: before you judge any digital sound product, consider the equipment you are using for output. Any digital keyboard will sound better with better equipment if the samples it has are good. In this case a $150 keyboard amp allows for the beautiful sampling to come through. I am sure when I patch it through our new church sound system, either directly or by miking the amp it will be amazing.
So, does this sound like a real grand piano? Not out of the box. But it does with a decent keyboard amp or good headphones. I recommend the Peavey KB1 for at home, but not less than the KB2 for performance or larger spaces. Very rich sound, and of course then the responsiveness is enhanced as well. I did see someone comment on other keyboards of this type that their fingers can stick to the plastic keys. Easy solution for this: furniture polish on the keys. Just wipe it down once or twice and the keys will feel and play much better without sticking to you. Plus it makes the keyboard smell nice, like lemons.
The keys are not weighted, but rather are of varied resistance. I prefer weighted keys, but these are not bad. Close enough to be much, much better than non-resistive keys.
I would highly recommend this product for those looking for a very realistic piano sound but are willing to use at least a basic keyboard amp or high quality headphones to get that sound. It is much more enjoyable to play with a small amp. I personally do not think you get good speakers on these keyboards until you get close to the thousand dollar range, so another $150 bucks for a KB1 (or a used keyboard amp for probably less than $100 at a local music store) is not too bad. I'd say this sounds better with a cheap amp than ones costing more than twice as much with just speakers.
As always, whenever you can, go to your local music store and try out different keyboards and keyboard-amp combinations.
Addendum: we just used this keyboard and the small Peavey amp for our church talent show in a hall that seats 400, with about 250 in attendance. I had to turn the amp and keyboard down to half because it projected so well. There was no need to connect it to the PA system. This was an impressive test and judging by the applause after the various piano acts, people were pleased. I stood in various places during the show, and the piano was crystal clear with some nice bottom. I could see that a larger space would need a larger amp to get more of the bottom out, but here it is fine.