stage piano recommendations

  • hello all,

    i was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a stage piano. it must pretty solid (used more for gigging than studio work), and preferably have inbuilt speakers.

    currently using the Roland RD-170 which is great but its so heavy and having played other digital pianos more recently, i've started to find its sound a little "flat" (or just not as good anyway). budget is around the £800 mark, but could stretch if really worth it.

    any recs greatly appreciated.


  • The built-in speakers requirement is going to bring you down in terms of finding a pro-quality instrument IMO. If you can get past that and get a small amp (or use headphones) you can't beat a Clavia/Nord instrument. There are many models to choose from and you can probably find a deal in the used market. Check out

    Hope this helps!

  • yeah the speakers are definitely not a dealbreaker - just sometimes easier than bringing a monitor for small gigs. the clavias look really nice though, thanks for the advice.

  • do you need wighted/hammeraction keys and the full 88 keys ? i haven't seen any of those that don't weigh a ton ...

    i used to be a fan of the Kurzweil keyboards, there are some in your price range ... maybe this one:

    personally i have completely switched to using the Synthogy Ivory plugin, in my opinion there are not many stage keyboards that offer that level of realism, if you have an iLok key try out the new v2 demo, but maybe using a plugin is not what you're after ... i use it with my usb keyboard which doesn't have weighted keys but by playing with the velocity curves i managed to find a good feel, although a 'real' piano keyboard would be cool at some point

    check out this track i did with the v2: , i just added a little IR reverb since i don't like the built-in ones so much ... but i'm not really a pianist so maybe it'll sound 'flat' to u as well :)

  • The Nord Electro is tops, my band mate had one and the sounds were good, there was even a good amount of space to put Nord provided soundbanks. I particularly loved the Rhodes piano sounds. It doesn't have built in speakers but seemed pretty well built for stage use. You should most definitely go to a music store and try some out.

  • I love my Roland for it's weighted keys, but I do not love the weight.

    And while I'm not sold on the Nord's accoustic piano samples, I'd love to have it for the EP's (and onboard effects). It's lightweight and has a great sound. I make special trips to Guitar Center just to drool on that machine. Should you buy one, I intend to be jealous.

  • @discopimp yeah weighted keys are pretty important - i'm resigned to the weight but if its at the lighter end of the spectrum then all the better! the synthology ivory plugin sounds amazing - really like the track you posted. i realise i might have seemed a bit snobish - don't get me wrong, i love my roland but it just doesn't remotely compare to the real thing...

    @hawktopus, GreaterThanZero
    i'm off to the music store today to test out a few! some of the nord samples online sound sublime. i'm not sure about buying new, but if i can pick one up second-hand that would be amazing.

  • I have a Kawai MP9000 I bought like 10 years ago. It's a great instrument if you can find one. The action on it is amazing, real wood keys, proper weight action etc.. The internal sound is a little dated these days so I hook it up to kontakt or another sampler and play with the velocity curve until it's just right.

    It's a heavy beast tho, true of any decent piano controller...

  • imma jazz keyboard major, and i haven't tried chili's Kawai, but i've tried alot and i like the yamaha's feel. the p-90 or 92.. has speakers. not sure how heavy it is.. but they have hammers inside to simulate the lifting and striking of a piano. the sounds are okay.. but if you use it as a midi controller, sounds are limitless. i bought it because of the feel.

  • It's been hard but I'm sorry, I need to rant.
    As someone who played keys before becoming involved with computer music, and practiced hard, I find it extremely frustrating as a fan at a concert that I can never hear the keyboard player. I have experienced this with some big name acts as well.
    Is it just me?

    There. I said my peace. Sorry for hi-jacking the thread and good luck.

    My last stage piano before I shifted instruments was a Fender Rhodes. I felt more like a drummer setting that thing up.

  • @baubie,

    All too many keyboardists subscribe to the notion that their role in a band is purely to fatten the guitarist's sound (like an overpaid reverb pedal). In each of those cases, I'm sure you're hearing them at the intended level.

  • Oh ok. I never was too acquainted with rock type arranging. Having all of those chordal instruments makes better sense to me now. Cause I've often wondered how two guitarist and a keyboard player manage to stay out of each others way.
    Thanks for the knowledge!