Having played the piano since the age of 5, I always pictured my “grown-up” home featuring a baby grand nearside an oversized window.
What I didn’t realize is that city living on a limited budget does not allow for such luxuries.
Sometime last year I decided that a digital/electric piano would fit the bill. It would allow me to practice in private and would definitely take up less space than an acoustic instrument.
I immediately began saving, and per my usual self, began to do crazy research for the perfect digital piano under $2,000 (thank you, Piano World Forums!).
Unfortunately, my job situation (or lack thereof) put a halt to my savings plan.
Until I received my tax refund, that is.
Having a husband who works for the big G has its benefits. He contacted his employee concierge service and asked where we can get my desired piano, within 20 miles of Manhattan, at the best price. They replied within 24 hours with a referral at almost $200 off the list price.
The very week that my tax refund was deposited into my bank account, we trekked to a local Sam Ash and bought my very own digital piano.
The Roland FP-4…
During my research, I found that the best brands in the sub-$2,000 range were Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, and Casio.
However, I have not had the best experience with Kawais in the past, and Casios felt a bit flimsy to me.
I did more research into the Yamaha vs Roland debate.
What I discovered was that at my price range, it was really a matter of preference.
Yamahas tend to have brighter sounds with “spring-y” keys, more akin to the American style. They are optimal for fast pieces and is the preferred brand for a large majority of professionals.
Rolands are optimized for those who prefer a more romantic sound, similar to those of the old European pianos.
Personally, I preferred the feel of the Roland over the Yamaha.
At first, I was interested in the Roland FP-7, but found that the FP-4 has all the features I need at a lower price. The main difference between the two is that the FP-7 has more electronic features such as a better display and a USB port.
The FP-7 also has better built-in speakers than the FP-4, but I do not need top-of-the-line sound in my little apartment. I also would’ve been happy with run-of-the-mill headphones, but J insisted that we buy a pair of very nice Sennheiser headphones…and I am so happy I did. With the headphones, my FP-4 sounds delightful, much better than the majority of pianos I’ve played in my life.
My piano playing level is nowhere as good as I once was, but I’m starting to get it back. I’ve also been playing in my church’s praise band, something I had done back in high school.