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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2004-12-09          101986


I have a seven year old daughter who is in her second year of piano. I am thinking of buying her a full size (88key?)
for christmas. Looking for comments on an Acustic vs. Electric/Digital?

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2004-12-09          101999


Some of the pricey electrics get awfully clost to the sound of a real piano, but I've never haead one I could'nt pick out from an acustic. But, you can get a prety nice electric for a fraction of the cost of a real one and eliminate tunings, problems with where to put it and of course lots of backaches trying to move the blessed thing. My vote goes for the electric. I play a diationic accordian (button) and it's amazing the difference in sound quality betwen an instrment with reeds and a electronic unit. Frank. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2004-12-10          102018


Thanks Frank,
You are a man of many talents.
I too like the idea of just plugging it in. Ability to move,
no tuning,humidity issues.
Her instructor is from the old school and has no use for the electric.
I am looking at the Yamaha.
The one with headphone jacks!
Frank, I know you like woodworking,really like your bookcase.
I have posted a few pictures of this past summers projects you might find interesting.
The last two were on a renovation of a 1760 house, as the sill shows.
The windows were flashed with Birch Bark, still white and in tack.
George Washington was just a Boy.
....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2004-12-10          102022


Grinder; When I said I "play" the "Botton Box", I should clarify that "play" to "fool around with". I seem to get lots of privacy when I pull it out. If her teacher is a real purist then it's likely going to be hard to please him/her. There are usually lots of free for the hauling acustic pianos, but most aren't worth the hauling, a really nice one used is probably a rare find. My button box is a Hohner, they have a website showing all their products and prices. I don't remember if they are into electic pianos or not, it might be worth checking. Yamaha has been around a long time so should have a good product too. I really like your picture #16 of the beams and the stonework. It seems to be a cost issue anymore here in the midwest to just tear it down and replace some real nice older buildings rather than to restore them. Those of you who will take the time to save some of our past are to be admired. I've really never helped do one, but I've helped try to find old hardware, etc. to try to match, but just being around it's quite evident that it's lots of hard dirty work. Good job. Frank. ....

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kubotaguy
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 360 Shepherdstown, WV
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2004-12-10          102026


I like the looks and sound of the real piano versus the electric. My mom got on this kick to take lessons and bought a piano so me and my 3 brothers got to move it. Then she bought another one she liked better, then decide to sell the old one which she offered free delivery courtesy of me and my 3 brothers. Then someone gave my wife a piano which me and my 3 brothers had to move. In the past couple of years we have moved the equivalent of 10 pianos, some were moved twice. They are extremely heavy especially if you are short like me!!! You can find some really nice used pianos at decent prices. Both of the ones my mom bought were used and looked almost new and she paid $800 for one and $450 for the other but we had to move them.
Just think how cool it will be when she can play Christmas carols and everyone can join around the piano. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-12-10          102038


I think the electric / accoustic question nowadays comes down to strictly two things, personal preference and whether you want one more nice piece of furniture or not.

My wife is bleesed with being a very talented musician & singer, as the rest of her family is. Until a few years afgo she had custody of the 'family' piano, a wonderful old thing that they brought here from the old country, one of the few things they did/could bring.

She was heart broken when it left for her brother's place.

I replaced it that year at Christmas with a Yamaha electric. She was at first apprehensive, she was hoping to get a baby grand.

When she first turned it on and began to play she was very pleasantly surprised at the sound quality. When I plugged it into the stereo system and ran it through the surroound sound system she was utterly amazed at the sound.

The part of the house it is in is a large open area with a cathedral ceiling, when she switches it over to organ mode you would swear you were sitting in a grand old church listening to a large pipe organ.

She absolutley loves it now and wouldn't part with it for the world. I had a chance to get her a baby grand this summer, when I mentioned it to her she simply stated "Where would I put my keyboard ?" I had my answer right then.

Best of luck.
....

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shortmagnum
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 848 Wisconsin
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2004-12-10          102040


We're about to lose the piano that was temporarily loaned to us so I'll be looking for one or the other type soon. My 9YO is just getting to the point where her playing sounds pleasant and she's getting more positive attention from all of us because of that. Because you can hear it throughout the house, practice period becomes a family affair. I'm a little concerned that if we get an electric we'll be more tempted to have her "turn it down." Maybe I'm concerned over nothing but I do know how sensitive young kids are to attention which dictates how well they will do.
Dave ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2004-12-10          102043


Dave, several of the features that my wife likes the best about her keyboard is that;

- She can play a variety of musical instrument sounds, for children this would probably hold their attention even more,

- She can use head phones or merely turn the sound down and play anytime of day or night, and,

- It has a built-in disk drive so she can download music from the internet, convert them to MIDI files and learn to play the song before the album it's from has even been released, again, for kids this could be a BIG bonus.

Best of luck. ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2004-12-10          102055


I remember helping move a piano into the basement of a buddy. His wife wanted it. I also remember getting it wedged on the staircase going down. Man did that suck. We had to get it unstuck, then get it back up the stairs so we could remove the top. My buddy said if they ever moved that was staying.

I love to listen to music and have seen some wonderful piano players. I'm by far no expert, but some questions I would ask are:

1. Where will it go in the house?
2. How will it get there? Can it get there?
3. Will the floor support a real piano? Some don't.

If the answers support a real piano, then it comes down to a personal choice of a real or electronic version.

My little sister (we're 21 years apart) uses a baby grad that my grandparents had. So that wasn't a hard choice.

Good luck figuring it out. Not always an easy decision. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2004-12-10          102064


Thanks for all the comments, I believe the "moving it" issue
will make the decision for the electric.
Thanks for the comment on my beams Frank. Those posts are
two cedar tree's right out of the woods. I just pealed them
and sealed them. Kind of tricky plumbing a tapered log.
....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
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2004-12-10          102067


My wife is a musician, and yes we have a baby grand piano, except it is really not a baby as it is a Mason & Hamlin and is the heaviest piano I have ever seen, it is really, really built. I cannot even budge it at all if I try to lift from one leg. Supposedly, if you are not buying a Steinway a rebuilt Mason and Hamlin is supposed to be a good way to go if you want to spend alot of money but not Steinway prices. This was clearly not my decision, but certainly helps a guy when he wants to a spend lots of money on a tractor ;-).

My wife has always made it very clear to me if the Piano goes she goes, such is love! I have had our Monster piano moved by Piano movers 4 times in the last seven years it costs about 3-400 bucks a move and those are very well shopped prices.

I am not a musician and I have been fascinated with the quality of the electronic pianos and their compactness.

My son recently expressed an interest in Guitar so my wife went to a music store to buy him an acoustic guitar, purest that she is. The guitar salesman convinced us that an acoustic guitar was a serious misstake for a kid as it is harder to play, and vastly less fun. He sold my wife on it and my son is a happy camper, I am only happy when the amp is disconnected, acoustic would have been better for me :>(.

While the keyboard of a high quality electric Piano is basically the same as an acoustic alot of the other features on it should increase the fun factor significantly, making it a great place to start for a young player. ....

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kubotachick
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 116 illinois/wisconsin
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2004-12-10          102068


When i was a little girl, my dad bought me a piano, and after a while, it became an eyesore in our living room, and the only other place to really put it was in the basement. Long story short, if you get a REAL piano, don't try to take it apart...unless you really know what you're doing, or it will snap in half and just about kill you

Viva Electric ....

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2004-12-10          102070


I moved many pianos during 4 summers during college (many years ago). Up stairs, around corners, off porches,etc. I was not the best at it - being bowlegged my legs would strain out under the weight and shake.

I appreciated the true sound my mother and sisters got out of the the old upright piano. But I would lean toward electric myself to save the pain of moving it and to get the latest sound technology.

(Concrete lined file cabinets in banks and slate pool tables can also give a moving man some grief.) ....

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shortmagnum
Join Date: Nov 2003
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2004-12-10          102073


I suppose electric does make the most sense. Plus if we get one I can get a nice amplifier at the same time and start playing my solid body six string Ibenez again. Right now it's sitting in the corner behind me looking lonely. :)
Dave ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2004-12-12          102125


By golly, I think you have an answer.

The electric has got to sound better than the wind ripping my roof off today. Oh well, that's life on a hill... ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2004-12-12          102137


Iowafun; We live on a hill too, nice breeze and not too many bugs in the summer, but I just checked our roof too and so far nothing missing. I just got back from the farm checking on sliding doors, a couple were banging pretty good but I think I've got them secure, I'll know for sure in the morning. The roof on the house at the farm needs replacing, the local lumberyard is real high on this sheet steel roofing for homes. I really like the looks of it and the 50 yr. warranty (that would make me 113) sounds great. Has anyone used it and have any comments pro or con. Frank. ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
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2004-12-13          102174


Sheet steel roofing. Sounds like great stuff if based on life expectancy. Oe of the big things to look into is transfer of sound. I took classes in a steel-roofed building in Des Moines. They had basic insulation for heat. The main problem was you couldn't hear anything when it rained or hailed. The instructors would put on the microphones and crank up the volume. There were times when that didn't even work.

My stepdad and his buddies installed a steel roof on their hunting cabin. Snow slides right off and so do the Turkeys. First night after they installed it they heard the "thunk" and "screech" of Turkeys trying to stand on the roof only to slide off.

50 years would be great life for a roof. I just worry about the noise.

My main problem is a shallow roof pitch and the previous owner/builder used the cheapest shingles on the market. I have no trees big enough yet to provide protection from the west/southwest winds. I won't have trees big enough for at least another 10-15 years. Oh well.

Hardwood, where in Iowa are you out of? ....

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mangoland
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 18 Maui, HI
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2004-12-13          102178


I've played most of my life, and have owned both electric and acoustic instruments of various types. I would take the purist position and say that there is no substitute for a vibrating string. Although the entertainment value of lots of electronic bells and whistles attracts the attention of the young student, the rudiments that make for good musicianship are not necessarily served that way.

A Yamaha upright is a great sounding instrument, with a good feel. If the intention was to foster an *interested* piano student, that (or something equivalent) would be the way to go. I would love to have a Yamaha Grand myself, but my climate forbids such foolishness.

I am also a fanatic about tuning, so I learned how to tune pianos. With the electronic tuners available, and a book from the library, one can keep a decent piano in good shape for a long time.

If practicality requires the electric route, I would recommend against the "furniture" style of units with built in speakers. Go for a professional quality keyboard (I like the Kurzweil sound) and then get the best sounding speakers you can afford. They will make all the difference. Don't worry about different sounds, concentrate on a piano sound you want hear for a long time, one with lots of dynamics. You can always get a little external synthesizer box with a zillion sounds later, for not much $$$. (Plugs into the midi port.)

My 2 cents.... ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
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2004-12-13          102187


Iowafun; You're right I had'nt thought about the noise of rain on a steel roof. I think they just install it over the existing aspalt shingles with 1X4 nailers spaced every 2 ft. horozantly, somehow with no visible fasteners. Maybe the sound is softened by the old roof under it. The house is nearly a century old with 12/12 roof pitch. We live in northern Linn county near I380. Frank. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2004-12-13          102188


Frank
Are you talking about a screwed down metal roof or the standing seam? I assume being an old farm house your 12/12
roof is living space upstairs. If you have a decent amount
of insulation I would not worry about the noise. The best sound is the sound of ice/snow sliding off. You may have
to take that into consideration as to where you park your truck. IMHO the standing seam roof is the only way to go.
I'm having one installed in a week or so on my current project,28x36 garage with a 12/12 roof.
I am having the same crew do the facia boards as well while they are right there.
....

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hardwood
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2004-12-13          102190


Grinder; Yes the steel is the standing rib type, not common barn steel. The upstais has living space with the slanted ceilings and the center flat part of the ceilings being about 7 ft. wide. That was a pretty common configuration of the turn of the century "T" shaped farmhouse here in the midwest. I see more and more of this type steel roof on new homes lately, and most of them have a roof pitch steeper than 4/12. The lumberyard manager was also showing me a new steel roof that looks from the road like a shake type shingle, but I think the sheets are installed horozantaly. That reminded me too much of that blankety blank old rolled steel roofing I've helped try to lay years ago, it never leaked a drop long as it did'nt rain. Thanks for your intrest. Frank. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2004-12-14          102208


Frank,
I have seen the shake type, they come in a 3- 4' panel. They look nice, but I'm not sure about walking on them after? The standing seam is a tried and true roof. The only
concern is the installer. Make sure they address you ventilation before hand. And check out some of their work
that is a couple of years old.
They do make some snow stops that work well over doorways
if your situation warrants it. I believe they must be installed during roof installation.
Just trying to share some mistakes. ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2004-12-14          102226


Ok, that doesn't sound so bad if they are leaving most of the existing roof structure. I was worried they'd strip off the roof to the bare rafters. HEck, those old home were built pretty solid. More solid than mine house was built. I'm getting tired of playing roof repairer.

But then, the view is really nice from the top of the hill. I over look a valley north of Colfax in Jasper county.

I hadn't considered the effect of standing in the wrong spot when the snow cuts loose! I should though since my shop does the same thing. But I don't park next to it. ....

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dklopfenstein
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 125 Southern Indiana
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2004-12-16          102392


I play piano on our praise and worship team at church. At home I have an old upright and play a Yamaha P200 (electronic keyboard) at church. I enjoy both. There are many benefits to an electronic as mentioned earlier. If you go with the keyboard, it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to get one with weighted keys. I will guarantee that if you get one without, your daughter will not enjoy or excel at the same rate. You can get a used P200 for less than $1,000 if you take your time to look. Yamaha builts extremely durable and reliable products. They sound great (professional quality) and have built in speakers with headphone jack for those long practice sessions. Good luck to you and your daughter...music is truly a gift that lasts a lifetime. ....

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dklopfenstein
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Posts: 125 Southern Indiana
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2004-12-16          102402


Just to let you know...the Yamaha P200 has been replaced by the P250. If you go to kraftmusic.com you can find a set-up for home use that comes with a stand, bench, and a few other goodies for about $2000 which would give you a manufacturer's warranty along with the owner's manual. I believe they also have a 30 day satifaction guarentee as well. I was going to get one earlier this year but decided even after 4 years of hard use that my was still fine. This would still be cheaper than a stringed piano and the sound is amazing! The built in speakers give it the vibration similar to a regular and the hammer-graded weighted keys feel better than some grand pianos I have played. Your daughter would never out-grow it and would take just about as long to it wear out. I hope this helps. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
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2004-12-17          102407


DKL
Thanks for your imput.
I have been looking at the ypd 113, around 1000.00, which is
my limit at this point at age seven. Not knowing if she will stay with it.
It does have the weighted keys.
Any comments? ....

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dklopfenstein
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 125 Southern Indiana
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2004-12-17          102427


The YDP 113 would be a good starter digital piano. The sounds will be pretty good but if you want one that will have excellant sounds and features that your daughter will probably never outgrow (unless she eventually wants to step up to a hig-end model)consider a Yamaha P120. The sounds will absolutely astonish you and there are other features that she may really enjoy using as she gets better. It is $1199 a emusicgear.com and the YPD 113 is $995. I truly feel that the sound quality and other features (happy to explain if you would like) is worth the extra $200...I recommend that you visit a music store and compare these two models for yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll be so impressed that you'll want to learn too! Have a wonderful Christmas Season. ....

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dklopfenstein
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 125 Southern Indiana
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2004-12-17          102435


There are some great reviews for the Yamaha P120 at music123.com for you to look at if you would like hear about it from people who own one. There might be some reviews on the 113 as well but I have not checked. Good luck! ....

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dklopfenstein
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2004-12-22          102762


Grinder, just curious what you decided about the piano? I am sure that your daughter would be thrilled with either. Merry Christmas. ....

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grinder
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2004-12-23          102770


DKL..
I bought the the 113 yamaha.
Thank you for your interest and suggestions.
I thought about the 120, but felt like I was spending
at the top of my comfort zone already. It is more
than a christmas gift, I am trying to keep her interested in the lessons,and I hope the lesson of disipline that comes with it.
Not to mention, the pleasure her mother and I get of watching and listening
to her master a song.
Merry Christmas ! ....

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