Graham Howard, Piano Adviser
Send me an email if you have any questions or need advice: firstname.lastname@example.org
“What’s the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano?”
A KEYBOARD usually has 61 keys. It’s much smaller
and lighter than a digital piano. And you can carry
it under your arm.
The key touch is much lighter compared to an acoustic
or digital piano.
You also get hundreds of instrumental voices, percussion
sounds and effects.
A DIGITAL PIANO is designed to replicate the sound
and touch of an acoustic piano.
A digital piano’s key touch is heavier and has more
resistance than a keyboard.
Most digital pianos have a substantial wooden cabinet.
This cabinet holds the keys, music rest, electronics,
speakers and pedals…
So the overall weight is substantially more than a
keyboard. But still 3-5 times lighter than an
“Which digital piano for a concert pianist?”
I’m concert pianist standard and wish to buy a digital piano. However I only have £1,000 to spend, therefore can you suggest the best digital piano you have in stock (ie. best tone & hammer action) for this price.
Also, do you have any of these models for rental? How does the rental work – for example, can you rent for one month only? And do I have to pay the £45 delivery to return the piano to you?
Relpy/ Hi Alva
I don’t believe you would be happy to play any
digital piano around this price point. There is
simply nothing that has a good enough feel
However, if this is the most you have budgeted
for then you might consider these to:
My first choice is the Kurzweil.
This has the nicer sound.
Let me know if you would like a price quote.
“Which digital piano to buy?”
Thank you for the email.
I am still thinking between a few models. Read a lot of the reviews on your website and others.
Before I got the piano guide from you. I thought Roland FP4f would be the one all along, after
reading a bit more and the list of top ten piano… I have noticed F110 which is similar and the
good thing is with cover and stand already.
Roland RP201 is also came in to my mind…now i have added on Kawai CN33 on my list!!!
Do you think you can give me some advice?
Just want to tell you something about this ‘new’ piano, we have got a acoustic piano at home already.
It would be for my son 11yr (on grade 5) and daughter 8.5 (on grade 3) an extra piano to play and
practise. He likes to play in silence sometimes and other extra functions on a digital.
I think i will keep my budget on around £1000.
Reply/ Hi Jacqueline
The pianos you mention are all popular ones. But
they do vary considerably in sound and feel…
The FP4 is a stage piano. This has been designed
to be easily portable. It weighs about 25-30kg less
than a standard digital piano. Its overall dimensions
are much smaller too.
But, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages
if you plan on using it mainly in your home…
It has smaller speakers than standard digital pianos,
this results in a thinner, less vibrant piano sound.
Also, the key touch is lighter. This is mainly due to
the shorter overall key length.
If you want a digital piano that feels like your
acoustic piano, and sounds as close to it as possible
then the Yamaha CLP430 is the one I recommend
for you. The cost is about £300 over your budget
As a second choice, the Kawai CN33 is a safe bet.
“The piano teacher is quite insistent that we shouldn’t choose a digital piano”
Thank you so much for the exhaustive buying guide, it helped clear up a lot of questions we had especially around the terminology. My 8yr old is just starting lessons and based on your guide and information online, we’ve narrowed down on the new Yamaha Arius YDP 162 as the one to buy.
The problem is that the piano teacher is quite insistent that we shouldn’t choose a digital piano and instead go directly for an upright. She has a poor opinion of digital pianos and thinks that they may not last beyond a couple of years max. This is of course subjective and her opinion, but the real issue is that she also suggested that if we insisted on going with the digital then it would only be suitable up to Grade 2 and we’d need to buy an upright then.
The sales person at the shop we visited suggested that they’d be fine up to Grade 5. My question is which of them are correct or is this also a matter of personal preference? And, if there is this limitation with the Arius range, should we look at the clavinovas (440/470) as a one stop solution that will potentially take you to at least Grades 5-6 if she gets there. Or is she right and are we better of investing in an upright right from the start (although this is personally not something I’m in favour of for the reasons you mention in your guide)?
Unfortunately, my wife and I have no idea around the exams or the pianos beyond sound and aesthetics and feel quite helpless at the moment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you might be able to help us with our quandary.
Reply/ Hi Rahul
Many piano teachers are anti digital pianos.
I do understand the way some of them think,
because years ago digital pianos were really
I remember what digital pianos were like
20 years ago. Most of them had a key touch
that was too light… the keys made a
clickety-clackety sound. And the piano tone
was a really awful replication of a real piano.
But things have changed drastically since then!
Nowadays most digital pianos are a pretty
good replication of the real thing. Only
the cheap end of the market has some of
those old problems.
If you want a digital piano to take your
daughter up to grade 5 or 6 then I recommend
either the Broadway B1 or Kurzweil M110.
as being the best options. These are both
lovely pianos and good value for money.
You can see these here:
If you’re willing to spend more, then the
Yamaha Clavinovas are the very best digital
The CLP645 or CLP675 will take her up
to grade 8.
You can see these here:
“What is the best piano for around £700?”
I don’t know which one really and need advice here. Personally, for me, there is nothing like an acoustic piano, and if I only had myself to consider, then it would definitely be a real piano. Apparently about 5,000 parts, and such workmanship. It’s funny that I don’t see the same skill and workmanship in a digital piano and think them overpriced. In fact I think that there was far more involved in the electric organs, Technic and others, which could perform the most amazing feats with a simple touch
but I am evading the issue again, so back to the point and digital pianos. It’s quite clear that I am not sold on this digital business but I want a nice instrument for my home and my first thoughts were not mdf with a keyboard, so I suppose I am disappointed at what is available, so Howard I don’t know what I want but I will when I see it. I can spend as much as I like on the right item, meantime the scores per price list may be helpful and, incidentally, if you find me the right item I will most definitely buy it from you. The fact is I don’t just want notes for over £700. I want something better for which I will pay more.
Your help to everyone is really something Howard, and this is customer service second to none. It is very much appreciated and your patience with us all. Thanks. Audrey
Reply/ Hi Audrey
Most digital pianos are way over-priced.
I completely agree with you!
For £700, there isn’t anything amazing out there.
The one that’s best value for money is the Broadway B1.
It has a fully-weighted, touch sensitive key touch.
Its 4 dynamic levels allows you to put feeling into
your playing without struggle.
It also has a nice tone.
“My question is basically: Which digital piano is going to sound and feel most like my piano?”
Thank you for offering the chance to ask you questions (and indeed for being so sharing with your vast knowledge and enthusiasm regarding anything ‘piano’)
We bought a Zender (7octave) new about 30 years ago. a luxury we could not really justify, though looking back, one of the best things of course. My children play, one of them extremely well, and in turn have pianos in place for their children.