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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.

Currently rated 4 by 5 people

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. 

Currently rated 2.4 by 185 people

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