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PianoWorks Expands Digital Piano Department
By Sam Bennett
2/20/2012 8:01:00 PM  
PianoWorks has recently expanded its digital piano department.  Our goal is to offer great selection and the best prices from top brands like Roland, Yamaha & Casio.  We have a new Digital Piano Specialist to lead our educated staff, and we will patiently guide you to your best choice.  We don't sell toy keyboards - all digital pianos at PianoWorks feature fully weighted, 88-keys and support pedals, making these teacher approved!  And if you are shy or want to play privately, these also support headphones.  Visit us to learn more about the wide array of options, features, and most importantly...a nice environment to try them out.
Digital Piano Department
Our new Digital Piano Specialist is Derek Vann.  He is experienced with digitals and keyboards and can communicate to you the difference between graded hammer actions, layers & splits, duet modes, polyphony, and ensemble functions in a way that is useful.  He's also a talented pianist and composer, willing to demonstrate to non-players just starting out.
Roland, Yamaha & Casio digital pianos
At PianoWorks, the digital pianos we offer are always pianos first, but the variety of helpful features available will help you explore your musical creativity.  We have Roland's with full accompaniment options, Casio's with hundreds of sounds and tempos, and a Yamaha with lesson software built-in!
Portable & Console Digital Pianos in Atlanta
The prices are clearly marked, we have a variety of styles and colors, and the prices are usually better than advertised on our website!  Amazon isn't the only place to get a great price.  We have 16 models ranging from $499 to $2499!
Roland RG-1F Digital Grand Piano at PianoWorks
We also have amazing digital grand pianos like this Roland RG-1F (but they are more than $2,499).

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Tags: Roland, Yamaha, Casio, Digital Pianos
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GA Baptist Conference - Toccoa selects new Roland Digital Piano
By Sam Bennett
10/4/2010 6:48:00 PM  
A few weeks ago, I was approached with a complex problem - the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa had a baby grand piano that was struggling to serve its original purpose.  A baby grand piano had resided in a large, multi-purpose space for many years.  The space had its challenges.  First, it was carpeted with a high ceilings and most often located toward the middle of a round room - more than that piano could acoustically handle.  Second, it was never practical to maintain the space at the ideal, stable environmental conditions that a piano requires.  This problem was compounded by its rural location and limited access to piano technicians.  We were given the choice of repairing the fatigued piano or proposing another solution that was still cost effective.  I arranged for them to audition the newest Roland Digital Piano, LX-10F to see their reaction.

Repairing the baby grand they bought years ago seemed futile when going back into the same situation, however I have a strong preference for acoustic pianos.  Nothing yet delivers the way a great acoustic piano will, but we had to face the facts that no acoustic piano would stay great without the right care.  The Roland LX-10F just seemed better prepared to live in the space, making no special maintenance demands.  The Roland cabinet is also very attractive; built to look like a studio upright piano, it satisfies the visual need as well.  The ultimate test was performance, of course.  Here the Roland fared better than any purist would imagine.  I won't go into the tech specs here, but lets just say that Roland understands and delivers what pianists want in stunning fashion.  My generation is a little numb to technological, electronic marvels.  What stirred me about this Roland is my own experience, my ability to sink into the instrument and forget I'm playing a digital.

The Roland auditioned well and was delivered just in time for its first real test at the 2010 Geogia Baptist History Conference last weekend.  George Houston of the Georgia Baptist Historical Commission greeted us when we arrived, and today I learned the weekend reviews were great.  On Friday evening, the centerpiece program was Legacy of Praise: Worship Through MusicPianist David Carnes was on hand and he loved the new Roland.  He confessed that he greatly preferred it to his studio digital (of another famous brand) and the audience loved his music.  And between the various musicians, the audience mingled to the digital library on board.  Pianists are now invited to come record on the piano and add to that library for future use.
GBC-Toccoa receives new Roland LX-10F digital piano
I believe this was the right instrument for the right purpose, an example of good problem solving, and as our relationship grows, another happy customer.

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Tags: Roland, Digital Pianos
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Casio Celebrates Anniversary with Limited Edition Celviano AP-6 Digital Piano
By Sam Bennett
6/28/2010 8:41:00 PM  
Casio has making keyboards for 30 years now, and when the bean-counters reviewed their books, they found that Casio had produced over 70 million keyboards & musical instruments.  70,000,000 ?!?!  Casio has committed to making good quality, always affordable digital pianos and keyboards, and with those numbers, they have changed the world.  Marking their anniversary, in contrast to their usual mass produced efficiency, Casio has created a limited edition (just 2000 worldwide) digital piano with a polished ebony finish befitting a grand piano.  The Casio Celviano AP-6 is beautiful...and our small allotment arrived today!

Casio AP-6 in Polish Ebony Finish
The Celviano AP-6 is based on their flagship AP-620 design.  Like the AP-620, the AP-6 is full of great features you can read all about, but I want to keep this a blog and not just a sales pitch.  Casio also introduced another limited edition stage piano today, the Privia PX-3.  I'm speculating, but if this model is successful, I can see Casio putting some future pressure on the established stage piano brands in the same way their successful Privia & Celviano lines have in the digital piano market.  People like Casio, and with their great instruments of recent years, they can also take them as a serious contenders in the home market for digital pianos.  A digital piano like the AP-6 makes a statement, "Casio makes beautiful contemporary pianos that consumers are proud to display in their homes."  Okay, that's my statement, but it's just as true as their old statement, "We're good...just look at our low price!" 

Casio is an ally to consumers during tough financial times.  Just today, 3 career piano technicians sat around a table in my store after hours and all agreed that they'd rather see their customers buy a good digital piano to start with rather than the terrible hand-me-downs and neglected, unwanted pianos that are financial mistakes.  They went on to share a few recent horror stories where a family would've been better off with something like our Casio & Roland digital pianos.  At the risk of taking a few less calls to tune-up grandma's old clunker, these tuners, like me, would prefer to see customers evolve with us.  Casio's improved products now dominate the market especially $1000 and under.  The AP-6 is now Casio's top of the line product, but has kept a street price of below $2000.  Remarkable.

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Tags: Digital Pianos, Casio, Starter Piano
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Retire Spinet Pianos: Good starter pianos and Bad starter pianos
By Sam Bennett
12/17/2009 3:45:00 PM  
Sorry Craigslisters, but those old spinet pianos need to be retired and not re-sold.  Spinet pianos are not made anymore for several good reasons.  Do not discourage your budding young pianist by starting them out with an old spinet.  Learn what a spinet is, why you should avoid them, and what are some better solutions.

For a beginning student, the best solution is a new piano or high-quality used piano, but when budget is an issue, people commonly seek out less expensive options.  Spinet pianos are cheap, small, they look like other pianos and the thought is that with just a little work, they could be good enough for a beginner.  Don't fall into this trap.

A young beginner needs a piano with a good, in-tune sound for ear training.  A young beginner needs a piano with a good, consistent feel to develop muscle memory and hand strength.  An intermediate player needs a piano with a good sound to develop musicality and dynamic control.  Again, proper feel is needed to develop dynamic control and better playing techniques.

A spinet piano is a very small upright piano.  They have several disadvantages over console and studio upright pianos.  Spinet pianos can be identified by their height.  Pianos 40" and shorter are spinets, 41" - 44" tall are consoles, 45" and taller are studio uprights.  The tallest studio uprights (48"+) are often called professional or upright grands.

A spinet has a different kind of action than better pianos.  The spinet drop-action is a pull-type rather than a push-type and this makes them too light and imprecise for students.  The spinet action combined with the piano's small stature allow for almost zero dynamic control.  Spinets were always cheaply made, so as they age, they are even more likely to have tuning problems.  Technicians dislike working on spinets because you can't get out the effort you put into them.  For these reasons, a spinet makes a poor, inadequate and discouraging starter piano.

Another subtler point is that these hand-me-down pianos often send the wrong message to children.  If your attitude toward the piano is that it is nothing special, your children will pick up on this.  Students need encouragement, and a good instrument will help.

While nothing will replace a high-quality acoustic piano, often a better budget choice is a digital piano for the reasons stated.  Digital pianos like the models we sell have good, consistent feel, they are in tune, they provide dynamic control.  They have the benefit of needing no maintenance, and they are fun and interesting for the player.  This makes them a great medium term solution until you are ready to invest in a good acoustic piano as a long term solution. 

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Tags: how to buy a piano, digital pianos, Starter pianos, music educators
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