What type of sounds do you need... piano, strings, brass, synth?
Do you want an instrument that offers on-board sequencing (recording)?
Will you ever be playing live?
Keep in mind--the Roland E-09 is an arranger keyboard--a "one-man-band" type of instrument, not a full-blown workstation. I doubt it will offer you any extensive sound or rhythm programming. Best advice I would give right now: visit your local music store and try out keyboards in your price range from Roland, Korg and Yamaha.
Have checked local dealers. They don't have many keyboards to offer. What they do have, is mostly yahamas, inexpensive ones. Been looking for someone who has Rolands. No luck locally. Not knowing much about them, I am at a loss right now. Dealing with heart issues, thats why I am looking for a keyboard. I have to give up playing the trumpet after 52 years. Looking mostly for relaxation now. No gigging, just playing at home. open for suggestions.
Where are you located? From what you describe, it sounds like you aren't hitting "real" Musical Instrument stores, or at least, they're smaller stores that only carry keyboards as an aside (a few guitar shops around here are like that).
You might have to hit a few of the big chain MI retailers to find the kinds of instruments you are looking for. Or, call Sweetwater and talk to them. They have a good return policy, though I've never used it myself.
Also, don't leave Casio out of the running. The Privia series is really good, especially for the price. I don't know how good they are for non-keyboard sounds (strings, horns, synths), but their pianos are reportedly getting better with each generation and they just came out with a new line.
Yes... look around for a Guitar Center or Sam Ash store.
Surprisingly, some Best Buy stores now have a musical instrument "store inside the store". It's a walled off corner that has things like an American made Fender or Gibson and Yamaha Motif and Roland at the high end. The $100 junk keyboards are kept outside next to the video games and what not. They also have practice/demo rooms that are mostly sound proof and almost all of the sales staf is qualified to teach guitar or keyboard at the beginner level. They give four free lessons with anything you buy but only at the beginner level. Everyone charges the exact same price and they will match.
I was very surprised to find high end stuff like this at BB and more surprised to find a sales staff that knows music.
About which KB to buy. The big question is if you want a weighted piano-like keyboard of if the non-weighted "synth" action keys are OK. Semi-weighted is also a good compromise. If you can use the non--weighted keys then you save a pile of money and you can get something that sounds good for low volume use at home for under $500.
I have a 15 year old Roland "E" series keyboard but now I want somehting with piano action weighted keys. I'm looking at the Korg sp250. It's a great deal and well reveied but there are not I can look at and try and I'm in Los Angeles. They seem to only be available from on-line sellers, So I understand not wanting to buy anything you can't try out first.
Last edited by chrisalbertson; 09-24-2009 at 01:07 PM.
The best advice really was to have him call us. We help people all the time who are in remote areas without ready access to good music stores. It's a big part of what we do. The advice (which I see so often) to visit a store and try stuff out is usually pretty obvious to anyone who has those recourses nearby. Very often when people get up on forums and ask questions it's because that's not the solution they are interested in, at least at the moment. Maybe they don't have any stores nearby. Maybe they do, but the people who work in them are either clueless or condescending, or both (I hear this a lot), so other than going in and plunking on a few keys (of their potentially limited stock) through a potentially less than great sound system it doesn't help that much.
If they call us we can at least have the conversation and help them figure out in a more tangible and specific way what they are looking for.