Digital piano buyers guide - Should I buy a digital or an acoustic piano?
Are you wondering whether to buy a digital versus an acoustic piano? If so, read on. I will attempt to present the various advantages and draw backs in this digital piano buyers guide.
Let's take a look at some of the advantages of buying digital, rather than acoustic.
They don't need to be tuned.
Acoustic pianos have to be tuned once or twice a year. However, since the sounds of their digital counterparts are in a digital format, they never go out of tune. This could surely save you a lot of money.
They are portable.
A regular upright piano could weigh over 500 lbs. A grand piano weighs a lot more. On the other hand many digital pianos weigh less than 150 lbs, making them so much more portable. The fact that many of them could be disassembled is also a welcome advantage.
They cost less.
You can save yourself a lot of money by buying a digital piano. Click here to buy one of your choice. If you're like me you probably can't afford an acoustic piano. For less than $2000, you can get a very good one such as the Yamaha P250. Of course, there are those which are much cheaper but are still very good.They have volume control and headphones.
You can use headphones with digital pianos and hence play silently. That way you don't disturb anyone. With an acoustic piano, it's obvious that you do not have that privilege. Also, by using volume controls, you can play without headphones, strike keys very hard and not produce a disturbing or loud sound.
They have many sounds.
With an acoustic, you're basically limited to one piano sound. Digital models come with several sounds, giving you so much variety. Sounds range from pianos to organs, harpsichord, strings, vibraphones, guitars and so on.
They have MIDI capabilities.
Most digital pianos can be connected to a computer through a MIDI interface. In this technological age, this feature is becoming increasingly necessary and keyboards are being used to control large MIDI and recording set-ups.
Digital piano buyers guide - Choosing between digital and acoustic.
So what are the drawbacks?
They don't exactly duplicate the touch and feel of a real piano.
Digital piano manufacturers boast that their instruments have the touch and feel of acoustic pianos. But how true is this? Do you get the same vibe on the digital version that you get on the acoustic? As far as I can see, nothing can match the acoustic's touch and feel. Graded Hammer Effect and Touch sensitivity is not the same as the sophisticated inner mechanism of acoustic pianos. As technology improves, manufacturers are getting better and better at simulating the touch and feel of acoustic pianos. But this is just what it is. Simulation!
They can't duplicate the exact tone of a real piano.
Again, nothing beats the real sound of an acoustic instrument. I know that manufacturers have made great strides in technology and have a lot to be proud of; but at the end of the day, it's still digital sound. Digital sound can never match or outshine authentic acoustic sound, no matter how well it is sampled. An experienced pianist will recognize the difference, especially when it comes to adding "color" to the various tones. There's not much one can do as far as adding color to the tones on a music keyboard because everything has been previously recorded. Then again, the average listener would not be able to tell the difference between a piece of music that has a digital piano versus one with an acoustic. So to some it may not be a big issue.
They won't last as long.
What will hold its value longer? Is it a digital or an acoustic piano? Naturally the answer to that is an acoustic. These can last for 100 years plus, while you can expect digital versions to go obsolete in a few years. The digital you're buying now, you may not even be able to give it away in 10 years time because of the rapid pace at which technology moves.
If you're looking for an instrument that can be easily transported, one that is computer compatible, one that can use headphones for privacy, or one that can be easily connected to a sound system, by all means buy a digital one. Otherwise, an acoustic piano is your best choice. Having said this, if you haven't got the money or are not prepared to spend too much on an instrument, you obviously have no choice but to buy a digital.
Yamaha Clavinovas are an option you may want to check out when shopping for a digital instrument.
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