Looking for an 88 weighted key, portable keyboard, under $1k

I will be using this keyboard to replace my Casio Celviano upright digital piano, so it needs to feel and sound very good. It will be used in daily practice of classical repertoire. I’ve noticed when I play on some digital pianos I actually play better than I do on the Casio, which leads me to believe I can “upgrade” in a way.

It must have electric piano and organ sounds that are good. By this I mean I really just want a fender rhodes and a hammond organ as I will likely need these sounds when gigging. I really don’t care about any other sounds or features.

I have a friend who has a Kawai mp6 and that keyboard both feels and sounds great, but it’s over my budget and also packed with more features than I need. I have a feeling there is something right around my price range that is exactly what I want. I came across the Roland FP-10, but the electric piano and organ were not to my liking. I’ve also heard complaints about the keybed.

Any suggestions? So far I’ve found the Kawai ES110 and Yamaha P125.

ES110 would have been my suggestion or a used MP6SE as the Kawai keybeds are very good according to reviews. I’m on the look out for the MP11SE but that’s for at home rather than for gigging. One thing worth mentioning is the P125 doesn’t have midi ports, just a USB port so you’d need a host if you want to use it as a master keyboard.

I found the James Pavel Shawcross reviews to be really informative. If you haven’t already check out his YT page

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Roland FP-30, or it’s updated FP-30X.
I’ve had the FP-30 for years and it’s the best sounding best key action best value piano I’ve ever had. The fp-10 is a toy by comparison.

Actually you may want the update FP-30X because the original only has headphones out. The X also has more sounds onboard

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You running something like a MainStage rig as well, or is it a stand alone piano you are after? You need a keyboard with a lot (or some) controls for midi?

rd-88. actually the keybed in fp-30 and rd-88 fucking rocks. feels so good.

I heard the fp 10 and fp 30 have the same kebed? And the fp10 has clicking issues? Or no?

You say original only has headphones out. Does it have a speaker?

Standalone piano. I don’t even intend to use it as a midi controller, though I suppose future proofing myself and having that option is nice. My current piano I practice on doesn’t have midi.

Guess I get to make a trip to guitar center today

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I’m only asking if you’ve considered the midi route. Being a keys player, your keybed is pretty important…start adding a quality synth/sample engine to that, you’re gonna get into pricey territory.

That being said, you can pick up old kurzweils (pc88s and such) cheap if you’re after the keybed. And this is where I give my shameless plug for Ali’s app KeyStage for piano/keys players. There’s also others like Camelot Pro, AUM, Mainstage to just host your pianos/Rhodes/synths.

Something like this would give you flexibility in your performances and leave you with a pretty endless sonic pallet…and free you up to focus on the better keybeds while staying under your budget.

The thing is this keyboard will be spending 99% of the time in my home where I will practice for hours a day. I just want something I turn on and play. I don’t want to hook it up to any apps or anything.

My Casio celviano is very good and I’ve had it for a decade, but I’ve played other digital pianos that have better keybeds (allowing me to play more expressively) and I’m sure the tech has improved a bit in ten years. The Casio is also not portable of course.

I’m okay with going a little over 1k if it means the keybed and core sounds are very, very good. I’ve played the Yamaha dgx 670 and it’s great, but I don’t need all those bells and whistles. Surely there are more focused, tighter experiences around the same price point.

Just tried out a Privia and it’s solid

a used Korg SV-1 you could prob find for around $1k. I’ve got one and I love the Rhodes and Wurly sounds it makes, plus the keybed is really nice. It also has midi and stereo inputs as a bonus

Keys on my FP-30 are virtually noiseless, compared to any real piano like that snippet you posted. I think the perceived differences between the 10 and 30 is down to whats physically supporting them. the 30 is rock-solid, the 10 is disposable.

The original FP-30 and 30X have great sounding speakers (stereo), that point down, which is weird but actually sounds pretty good and doesn’t detract in any way unless you play it sitting directly on top of a carpet floor.

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You’ve gotta try for yrself, I think, questions of touch are pretty personal.
I was quite happy with a Korg B2, which is prob US600ish(?), in terms of keyboard feel and basic piano sound, but it’s very feature-limited. Now I have a Kawai MP7SE, which is a big step up in every regard but less portable.
With keys, there’s a real trade off between quality of action (if you want piano rather than synth action) and portability. I went for quality of action and it costs about 10kg as well as extra $$. Worth it for some of us. Manufacturers are also pretty ruthless about not putting ‘pro’ features like 1/4 outs and DIN MIDI on otherwise quite good keyboards targeted at the home piano market, they want you to buy the more expensive offferings.

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I had an fp30 with matching stand. The action was really good, the piano sounds good but not great in my opinion, I only liked the more muted one, the bright ones sounded a bit off to me. Great looks though.

Yeh, I do adjust the ambience etc settings, especially when I move it to the kitecken bench. Not a heap of tweakability, but it gets there for me.

I like my Casio PX5S for a digital piano, cheap and light and nice keys and the action seems to get a good rep (although likely it could be the same keybed as your celviano).

As bonuses (which I know you’re not super interested in), it’s a good midi controller, can be battery powered, sort of kinda has a full synth engine, has line inputs and can stereo record to a usb stick.

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i went to guitar center today and they had literally none of the keyboards discussed in this topic. i seriously hate my guitar center’s keyboard/synth section, it’s always sucked so bad. the ones i did play in my price range didn’t feel all that great.


I have an ES110. I LOVE it for my purposes (general practice and 88 key basic midi controller), but I do not like the organ sounds. The electric piano is good, although I still prefer to connect my Reface CP for more control over tones. The grand piano sounds are as good as it gets for the price and were my main motivation for purchasing.

The action is kinda light and bouncy. I’d recommend trying before you buy if you can. I think it might be wearing out slowly…getting more clacky with time. Some have modded the ES110 with foam/felt to renew/modify the action.

The keyboard is very lightweight, which would be a huge plus for gigging.