Here are the top 5 things I look for in a digital piano.
If you know these 5 things, you will more likely choose an instrument that you will be happy with.
What are they?
The 5 points are:
1. Listen to the sound.
The sound is all important.
Also, very individual, too.
Some like the mellower sound of a Yamaha S6 modelled grand, some like the brighter Yamaha CFIIIS, some like the realistic and responsive sound of the Roland Supernatural technology which is modelling not sampling, as sampling has to interpolate between a few samples per key only.
Listen to the instrument and the resonance and the attack of the notes, and the release in sound – whether it sounds realistic.
The most realistic in terms of release to me is by far, the Yamaha Modus F01 or F11. As you can see in my review on the Yamaha Modus F01 and F11 the sound is just like that of an acoustic.
When it is so beautiful, you just focus on the music and what you’re playing, instead of I wish the sound was more like this, or that.
If the sound is this good, then everything else is of less significance.
The Modus was by far the best sounding digital piano, in the full body of sound you get which makes you just focus on the music.
It is partly the superior instrument that is sampled, the top Yamaha concert grand, and also the superb speakers that can actually reproduce the full body of sound instead of the “thin” sound of most digital pianos, and all the overtones and nuances.
If you have played on this, and then play on something else, you will never want to play on any other digital instrument, pretty much.
The price? The good news is that it no longer costs $11 000.
In conclusion it is value for money for the sound you get.
2. Stage Piano Versus Digital Piano For Home
Some people play only at home, while others play in both arenas. In this case, you will need to choose an instrument that is designed to be portable.
As well as portability, choose the piano that has the sounds you require.
For example, if you play in a group and play rock, ballads, pop, and a variety of genres, then you may need more than 1 or 2 piano voices. Depending on your group’s sound and repertoire, you may need a rich variety of electronic piano sounds as well.
Of if you are very fussy and specific, then you will need or desire the ability to be able to adjust and tweek the sound to exactly what you like, or at least a large selection of sounds to choose from.
Some examples of stage pianos are the Yamaha CP5 and Yamaha CP1 stage pianos.
If you want a large number of selectable piano tones, see this video by Israel Houghton especially at the 4 minute mark where he shows you sound 26 “Impactance” in the V Piano – a true revelation in sound:
Not only are they great sounds of piano, you can also change the EQ, the hammer hardness, resonance etc to the finest degree.
3. MIDI or line out or both?
Depending on if you need or want to record in MIDI or line out, then check this.
MIDI recordings are great if you need to edit and produce a studio production of sound or a track for mixing with others.
But line outs can be used for a live performance recording style where no editing of individual notes are done as corrections.
4. How many accompaniments and sounds do you need.
Digital pianos vary in the number of sounds and accompaniments.
Some have none, some have dozens.
It depends on if you enjoy practicing or need to produce music with automatic accompaniments such as drums, arpeggios, chords, etc.
And number of tones, refers to whether you intend to use piano, electronic piano, or whether you want to play around with a huge variety of sounds from voice, to strings, to percussion, to guitar, to harpsichord, to organ, to many others.
Yes, depending on your budget, you may have to choose your digital piano.
In general, within a brand, the more you pay, the better the instrument.
After all, you are paying for improved technology, improved speakers, and improved or in the case of digital uprights and grands, the cabinetry.
All these components play a role in the sound.
If your piano required external speakers, then obviously, get a good external speaker as this makes a difference.
So narrow it down to a few and choose among them.
Have a look at these reviews:
Cabinet digital pianos (uprights and grands):
Semi Cabinet digital pianos:
Digital Pianos: Portable with portable stand, or place on home stand