Are you drowning in the sea of digital pianos?…
Feeling overwhelmed with choice?
“The most important thing you need from a digital piano is a realistic key touch. A good piano tone and minimum of 4 dynamic levels are also important. But other things such as dimensions, weight, colour, ‘bells and whistles’, etc. shouldn’t factor so much in your purchase decision “, Graham Howard, Piano Adviser — Get my FREE digital pianos buyer guide here
Need piano advice? – email email@example.com or call freephone 0800 358 8880.
Top Digital Piano Suppliers:
The most popular ranges are YDP and CLP. The YDP Arius pianos offers nice sounding, budget models; the CLP Clavinova range offers some of the finest digital pianos around; and the CVP Clavinovas offer additional instrumental voices, rhythms and advanced functions. There’s also the P series stage pianos and AvantGrand hybrid pianos. You can’t go far wrong with a Yamaha. Digital pianos that do what they say on the tin: reliable, well-built and a good resale value. Stocked by most piano retailers. View all Yamaha
I like the Roland sound. And the touch feels easy and responsive. The range of HP digital pianos are the most popular. The HP series digital pianos: HP504, HP603 and HP605 offer a variety of sounds and functions similar to those you’d find on a Yamaha CLP. Roland’s top models are the LX7 and LX17… these are more like the traditional upright acoustic piano shape. Roland is worth considering and comparing against Yamaha and Kurzweil equivalents, but the prices are a little higher. Verdict: Very nice pianos with the latest technology, excellent build quality, reliable, and a good brand name. View all Roland
The Gewa company in Germany has just launched an impressive line of digital pianos. I was invited over to their factory in Nurenberg to test out and give advice on a new range they’d been developing for about 5 years now. Their previous models were quite mediocre, so I wasn’t really expecting much… but I have to say that I was blown away by their new pianos! The sound quality is phenomenal… it’s so realistic. Because of Gewa’s close links with Steinway, they were given permission to sample a Steinway concert grand, which is the sound you can now here in all Gewa digital pianos. These pianos are priced similar to a mid range Clavinova or Roland HP series. So if you’re looking for a piano that’s suitable for learning on right up to grade 8 level, then I recommend you go and try one out. You’ll love it! View all Gewa
Way back in 1982, the American, Ray Kurzweil (with the help and guidance of Stevie Wonder) was the first to realistically sample and transfer the sound of an acoustic grand piano into a piano keyboard. Now Kurzweil has a vast range of digital pianos, grand and stage pianos, keyboards and synths. With Kurzweil it’s all about the sound… All Kurzweil digital pianos have a natural piano tone full of warmth and resonance. If you want an authentic sounding digital piano, Kurzweil are really hard to beat. Check out the popular MPS10 portable piano, also the MP120 home piano. Going up the range you have the CUP320, which has an all natural wood key action. You have to try this… it feels so realistic. But the very best in the range are the digital upright CUP2A and CGP220W digital baby grand. View all Kurzweil
Rent-to-Buy from £35 per month (Call 01327 300 016 for info).
Rental goes towards cost, read more
Broadway pianos have a small, but good value range of models. You can choose from their starter piano (EZ-102), or their most popular range (B1 and B3) for all levels and abilities. The Broadway B1 is UK Piano’s number one selling piano. The B1 is rated top out of all pianos under £700 (see the Howard Score). There’s also two baby grand pianos: BG2 and MK11. The MK11 is a self-playing digital baby grand piano and is the only one available that has moving keys when in self-play mode (very popular in hotels, restaurants, bars and even for home use to impress the guests). If you’re on a tight budget but want a piano that’s good to learn and progress through the grades, then the Broadway range is a great choice. View all Broadway
Because Kawai also manufacture acoustic pianos they have good piano knowledge, which enables them to build digital pianos. Kawai digital pianos have a pleasant sound (although a little on the electronic side – not as pure as Yamaha and Roland), and a medium-weight, soft touch at the bottom of the key stroke. Their top end digital pianos from the CA range are good (they’re worth comparing against the equivalent Yamaha CLP models). Kawai also have a big range of styles to choose from.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Yamaha or Roland, but at the same time having a reasonable piano sound then Casio could be an option for you. You get to choose from two ranges: The Privia PX, and Celviano AP. The Privia models are modern/cool looking space savers, but their downside is a weak, bright tone, a light/springy touch and very noisy keys. The AP range is better, but still lacks a decent touch. Casio have made some small improvements over the past few years but they really need to focus more on quality. View all Casio
Hadley offer an excellent range of affordable digital pianos that are suitable for anyone learning to play. All their digital pianos have the correct key resistance to emulate the feel of a real piano, which is essential for children learning. What’s more, the lower cost is attractive for parents on a budget. Check out the Hadley D10, which is a full cabinet-style digital piano with 3 built-in pedals, a great sound, and costs less than £500. Superb value! There is a portable model in the range (S1) if you don’t have much space (costs under £400). View all Hadley
There are 6 models in all: 5 digital pianos and 1 baby grand. The starter piano (CDP1) is designed for someone that wants a realistic piano sound and touch without too many bells and whistles. The next piano (CDP2) has a deeper, more resonant piano sound. The top model (UD1) looks, sounds and feels very close to playing on a traditional, acoustic piano – it’s called a digital upright piano. With Classenti you get a quality sound and a realistic, heavy-weighted touch. Unlike most other digital pianos, you don’t get hundreds of gimmicks and flashing lights… Good value for money. View all Classenti
Korg make some of the best synthesisers, but they only have a small selection of budget range digital pianos which have always struggled to make in impression in the market.
More Digital Piano Brands
Aura, Alesis, Andante, Axus, Baldwin, Behringer, Bentley, Berkeley, Bluthner, Chase, Classic Cantabile, Cool, Cranes, Delson, Digiano, Diginova, Dynatone, Eagletone, Ensoniq, Farfisa, Fujiyama, Galileo, Gear4Music, Hammond, Hemingway, H.Star, Kaino, Ketron, Kingston, Kobrat, M-Audio, Mantova, Medeli, Melodic, Minster, Orla, Pianonova, Rikter, Ringway, Robertson, Samick, Studiologic, Sulinda, Suzuki, Technics, Thomann, Valdesta, Williams, Winchester, Worlde, Wyman.
Advantages of digital pianos over upright pianos
- Saves space
- Lots of instrument sounds and functions
- Cheaper price than upright pianos
- Headphone connections and volume level control
- Easier to move around (much lighter in weight)
- No tuning required (£130 – £170 saving per year)
- No maintenance needed
- Recording capabilities
- Computer connection (learn to play online, or write your own music)
If you want an instrument that sounds like a real piano, doesn’t take up as much space or requires any maintenance, then digital pianos are for you. Digital pianos are 100% electronic and usually have a number of instrument sounds and functions. The most popular makes in the UK are: Yamaha, Roland, Casio, Broadway, Kurzweil and Kawai.
Digital Pianos – Which Brand Should I Buy
7 Things You MUST Know Before You Buy A Digital Piano
Digital Piano Ratings – see how all digital pianos rate out of 100
Piano Questions and Answers
Ask Graham Howard a question! — Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Questions and Answers
“Any advice for my 10 year old daughter to learn on?”
I’m looking for advice.
My 10 year old daughter is interested in playing piano or keyboard but we don’t have room for, or access to, a piano. She plays fiddle and accordion at a basic level.
I’m keen to try keyboard although I haven’t found a musical bone in my body in 44 years.
I’ve got lost in reviews and specs and personal advice.
Some say, get a really cheap 60 odd key thing to see if you like it. I think that would put us both off with the lack of quality.
I know a performer who says get an 88 key from the outset and pay over £500 for hammer keys etc etc. Fine for her to say!
Well, I don’t want cheap tat that puts us off and I certainly haven’t got £500 to spend, even if my kid was expert. I’ve pressed keys on a normal keyboard and really don’t like the empty feeling of no resistance. I like the effect of piano keys. I know I’m talking myself up the price range already.
Reply/ Hi Dylan
I recommend going for an 88 key digital piano
that has fully-weighted keys. This is essential
if you want your daughter to learn to play
with the correct technique.
A good digital piano costs upwards from £600.
I recommend doing this on our rent to own programme.
It is £39 per month, with the first 6 month’s rental
payments going towards the price of the piano.
I recommend for you the Broadway EZ-102.
This is an excellent starter piano that has fully-weighted
keys. It feels close to playing on a real piano.
You can see it here: Broadway EZ-102
The Broadway also has useful features for learning:
Record and play back button. Headphones connection.
Computer connection and some extra sounds such
as organ, string and harpsichord.
It also scores highest in its category in the
Howard score piano rating.
Let me know if you would like to reserve one.
“Is it better to buy an older piano that was once top of the range than a brand new budget piano?”
Thank you so much for all your advice on your website and in your DP bible. It has already been so useful in helping me to work out which piano to buy.
I do still have some questions which you may be able to help me with…
I stopped playing piano in my teens (about 20 years ago) and have been wanting to start up again for a very long time – I was working on my Grade 7 when I gave up and there’s a piece that is Grade 6 which I want to learn. I’m looking for a DP that is closest to an acoustic piano that my budget will allow. I don’t care for the ‘bells and whistles’.
My budget has gone from £350 to £500 from looking at second hand ones on ebay and then I saw your review on the Hadley D10. There is a Clavinova CLP-860 on Ebay which will probably sell for around £580 would this be better than a Hadley D10? Is it better to buy an older piano that was once top of the range than a brand new budget piano? I saw that you said on your website to never buy a digital piano that is older than 3 years – what if that piano has been serviced/cleaned?
From continuing to read your answers to other people’s questions you’ve piqued my interest in the Gewas. So now I am wondering whether to wait and save up and by a ex-model Gewa. To just buy once and not need to upgrade later. I see you have a second hand Gewa DP340 black for £999 on your website – I assume this would be a better bet than a brand new DP300?
That’s a lot of questions! Thanks in advance!
Oh, also, what is the address of your Hackney Store? I’m in South London so it’s closer than Enfield.
Reply/ Hi Damaris
I understand what you’re saying about getting
an older second hand digital piano higher up in
the range than a brand new one lower in the range.
The problem is that many of the older second hand
digital pianos have worn out keys and mechanical
issues. Especially a very old Clavinova such as the
CLP-860 you mentioned.
What’s more, the technology has been updated
several times since then.
I really do advise going for a new one, or at the
very least, a current model that is used, or a shop
ex-display or demo model.
The Hadley D10 is a well built, solid digital piano
that’s ideal for anyone learning on up to an
intermediate level. But I think you’d struggle with
it beyond about grade 5, so it’s not really for you.
We have, as you mentioned, the Gewa DP340 demo
model in black matt. This has been on display
in our Enfield showroom for less than 3 months.
I do recommend this piano for you.
It has such a lovely round, full sound.
And the keys feel close to a real piano both in
weight and response.
Our Hackney store is very small, so there is not
much of a display there. We also don’t keep
any Gewa pianos there.
If you are able to come to our Enfield store we
have the complete range of Gewa digital pianos
and about 30 other digital pianos.
I am there on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm,
so let me know if you would like to come so
I can be available to help you.
“Upright piano or digital piano. Which to buy?”
I am a very mature classical guitar player making slow progress ( 6 years to grade 3!) and fancy learning the piano as I think I might progress more rapidly.
Having been looking at your info for some while I have lent towards a digital piano but the more I read the more I think an acoustic piano would be a better experience – but more money of course for a half decent one.
Locally I have seen a Fuchs and Mohr of 2010 vintage at £400 ( private sale) which seems a good buy ( against most dealers selling for c. £1400) but on line people say avoid F & Ms as East German build, key action heavy, tone poor etc
Have you any thoughts? Or should I grasp the nettle and buy a £ 1500 digital piano?
Reply/ Hi Jeremy
I really don’t advise buying a second hand
upright piano from a private seller.
Many of the have problems with holding
their tuning due to loose tuning pins.
Over the years the wood dries out (mostly
because of central heating) and the strings
are unable to keep their tensions.
If you do want buy second hand then I advise
sending a piano tuner to check it out first,
because moving pianos is very expensive,
and if the piano does have major problems
then you will not only have to pay to move
it to your home, but also have the cost of
trying to dispose of it.
If your budget is up to £1500 then I recommend
going for a decent quality digital piano that
has fully-weighted keys. You will get more for
your money than and second hand upright piano.
I recommend the Gewa UP360G and Kurzweil
MP120 digital pianos.
The Gewa UP360G would be my first choice.
It’s a newly launched model (made in Germany)
and has a lovely piano tone…
The sound is taken directly from a Steinway concert
grand. It has a warm, resonant and natural tone.
What’s more, the UP360G has an extra dynamic
level over most equivalent priced digital pianos.
This makes it suitable for at least grade 8 level.
So it’s a piano you won’t need to upgrade later.
The key touch feel the same as playing on a real
piano. They are weighted correctly, and very
sensitive to touch. A real joy to play.
You can see the UP360G here
The Kurzweil MP120 is another for you to consider.
And this is one of our best sellers in the £1200-£1500
Kurzweil make really nice digital pianos.
Both the sound and feel of the keys are close to a
real, acoustic piano.
You can see the Kurzweil here
The Gewa and Kurzweil pianos all come with a home
warranty. So we come to your home to fix the piano
anywhere in the UK.
“Please give me some advice on buying a digital piano”
Q/ Hi Graham
Having read your comprehensive and extremely informative guide, and now knowing more than I thought possible on the subject, I would appreciate a little more hand holding …!
I am a 67 year old retiree who has decided to take up the challenge of learning to play, for my own amusement and enjoyment.
I should mention that I am something of a technophobe and talk of USB points, connecting to tablets and phones, downloading and MIDI etc causes my mind to wander (no offence!). Yep, I’m old school and happy with a book! Another important aspect is looks. Piano will be in living room and should not look like something better suited to a teenager’s bedroom.
So, I have been considering the Yamaha P45, Roland F10 and Casio can’t-remember-which. Then I read about the Broadways. Clearly the Broadway B1 is an all-round thing of beauty but maybe more than I shall ever need, plus price is a consideration.
Would the Broadway EZ-102 suit? I’m not keen on the LED display (see above!) but it’s not a deal breaker. Maybe you have other suggestions?
Thanks for the assistance so far – I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards, Elaine
A/ Hi Elaine
The Broadway B1 is indeed a lovely piano.
It has a really nice piano tone and a responsive
feel to the keys. The key touch is fully-weighted
and feels close to playing the real thing.
But you don’t need to spend so much to get
The Broadway EZ-102 is a good piano.
It also has the fully-weighted keys, which is
the most important thing to have.
The sound quality is good… it has a clearer
tone than other pianos around its price bracket.
So I recommend this for you.
You will be more than happy with it.
There is one more digital piano I’d like to
introduce to you: The Broadway AB1.
The Broadway AB1 has the advantage of being
lighter in weight than digital pianos and more
compact, making it easy to store away when you
aren’t using it.
Essentially it is a portable-type piano. But you
can get a wooden stand to go with it, which is
a good option for home use.
The AB1 also has a fully-weighted key touch that
has a nice, firm feel with good response.
You can see it here
Just let me know if you would like to order one
of these pianos.
“Which one is best from your score?”
Q/ I am looking to buy a digital piano. My daughter who is 10 has just started lessons and my son 18 is quite musical playing guitar to grade 8 and has learnt keyboard on his own and would like to teach himself on the piano. We have been looking second hand but a lot of the ones we see are old pianos often 10+ years. There is one Yamaha YDP-143 currently for sale. have looked through your site which I find very helpful and considering getting one from you but not sure of which one. I have looked at your scoring and from this I have picked out the following which I would be interested in:
The EZ-102 looks good and a great price and we could rent for 6 months. I like the Classenti CDP2 which is on 12 months interest free but a lot more expensive but I like the pianos with a full or near full length back which the CDP1 doesn’t have. The B1 also looks good but is it worth the extra money over the EZ-102. Any help would be appreciated and of you think any others would suit us.
A/ Hi Rosie
The Broadway EZ-102 is certainly the best value.
And it has fully-weighted keys, so would be
ideal for your daughter to learn and progress on.
The B1 is nicer. It has one extra dynamic level,
so you can get more out of it. This is only
important for more advanced playing though.
I advise going for the EZ-102.
“I’m concerned about buying a digital piano online”
Q/ Thank you very much for your advice which is much appreciated. My only concern about buying online is if a fault develops. Sending something of that size back by post is not usually a viable option.
All good wishes, Mark
A/ Hi Mark
When you buy a Yamaha or Classenti digital piano online you’re covered by Yamaha and Classenti’s warranty.
This warranty covers you for parts and labour. It’s also an ‘on-site’ warranty. This means that all repairs are carried out in your home. You don’t have to send your piano anywhere.
If you buy from a shop, then you’ll most likely have to lug it back there to get it repaired.
You’re far better off buying online.
“Which digital piano do you recommend for children ranging in age from 12 – 21?”
Q/ Thank you for your kind advice Graham – is it really Graham, or a stand-in? I find it hard to imagine that the real deal has got time to answer all these simpletons, and at such a quick turn-around too! – which I shall abide by and ask you for a quote on Classenti and Yamaha electric pianos, in the price-range £500 – £1600. Can I ask what you’d recommend for a trio of children ranging in age from 12 – 21, plus possibly the two parents getting into the swing?
And do you deliver to Manchester?
A/ Hi Cheng
It’s alright… no offence taken.
I didn’t reply to your earlier email because
I was out on the bike… such lovely weather
(for a change).
Now back to work.
I would be glad to quote you on a digital piano.
I see your budget is quite wide… so you really
have three choices
1) Buy a cheapish piano for now, then part-
exchange it for a much better one when your
kids (and you, of course) have progressed to
a more advanced level. The piano I recommend
is the Broadway B1
2) Buy a mid-priced piano that will take your
children to about grade 7 (this could take
5-10 years). The one I recommend is the
3) Go all out from the start at and get a piano
that’s good for now and also good right up to
the highest grade. In other words, buy a piano
that you won’t need to change. The one I
recommend is the Yamaha CLP645.
Yes, we do free delivery to Manchester.
“I am looking to rent with a view to buy”
Q/ Have read through whole of website and your book about buying digital pianos.
I am a pianist of some 40 years experience and regularly do concerts, accompanying, recording, CDs etc. I have also been teaching for 28 years in schools as a Head of Music and Peripatetic piano tutor. I have recently separated from my wife and now live in a flat. Having got by with an Oberheim master KB connecetd to PC for Cubase and Sibelius, this has finally died and, in any case was not expressive enough. Whilst I have access to many Steinways and Bluthners to rehearse on, I need something here at the flat for note learning and enjoyment, teaching prob only up to grade 8 here as well as computer recording. Having been a Head of Music I have experienced (stepped in ?) most of the makes over the years – all the Yamahas, Rolands, Technics (very good at one time now dead I understand) and shock horror a Casio Celviano !
OK – so I am looking to rent with a view to buy and have read all the blurb about that. Putting aside the fact that you may not rent all the pianos I am looking at, I need your expert unbiased opinion – your knowledge looks incredible on the following models:
Kawai CA67 – I have tried this in a shop and was quite impressed apart from bass
Kawai CA97 – sadly not in the store although they said they had it – but am told its sonic ‘largeness’ is far superior
Classenti UD1 – looks incredible (too good to be true ?)
I live in Surrey and it is not out of the question to come to Enfield and try out the Classenti.
Ultimately, I want a brilliant full piano sound, with maximum feel and acoustic behaviours.
Sorry for the dull email – prob like many you receive !!!
A/ Hi Gareth
The digital pianos I recommend for you are:
1) Yamaha CLP675
2) Kawai CA97
3) Roland HP605
The Roland has a lighter key touch and a round
sound throughout. The sound is particularly nice
and warm in the centre of the keyboard.
If you prefer more firmness to the keys then the
Yamaha or Kawai would be better for you.
My preference is the Yamaha’s solid feel,
especially at the bottom of the key’s downstroke.
The Yamaha’s sound is also richer.
“Can you recommend a good quality digital piano?”
Q/ What I am trying to achieve here is to get a good quality piano for my son, who is five and about to start piano lessons with an excellent teacher.
She has recommended, among other makes, Roland, Yamaha, and Kawai.
The models I am currently attracted to are
Yamaha YDP 163
I have set an upper budget of £1,000.
A/ Hi Dermot
The Roland RP501r is the best digital piano from
your short list…
It has the warmest, most realistic piano tone.
Its key touch is also more responsive. This
responsiveness won’t be of use for your son
right now, but it will be a real benefit as
he progresses to the higher piano grades.
“We want something reliable, robust, have a long warranty, and a natural tone”
It’s been a while but our interest in a new digital piano has revived.
We are a small rural church in Staffordshire. The church is Victorian, of standard stone and brick construction, and can hold about 120 people, most of them on wooden pews. We have a well-maintained and regularly used pipe organ but additionally regularly use a piano to accompany hymns and songs and to play solo pieces. We have used two old digital pianos over the last five years; one failed and could not be repaired economically and the other is on the brink of failure, with several faults that are damaging worship for the congregation. The piano needs some amplification and currently is connected into the church PA system, which is itself about to be replaced by a modern audio-visual system with high fidelity sound via digital equipment and purpose-built loudspeakers. Incidentally, the church has wood panelling and pews of a medium-to-dark oak colour and the pianos seem to blend in best with a rosewood colour.
The question is which digital piano to buy to use now and in the future with the new AV system. We wish something that will be reliable, robust, have a long warranty, have a natural tone rather than be too bright and that will be a pleasure for our pianists to play. Our budget will be in the realm of £1000 to £2000 and “bells and whistles” are not as important to us as the above criteria, given the setting. We have been thinking of either a Yamaha or Roland. For information, my wife and I have a Yamaha CLP-535.
We would welcome your advice and information on price and availability.
Reply/ Hi Alan
The best type of digital piano for a church is one
that has powerful speakers, a large sturdy cabinet
and several inputs/outputs for speakers, PA systems,
computer and other electronic devices.
The most popular pianos churches buy are the Yamaha
Kurzweil CUP320, Gewa UP380G, and Yamaha CLP645.
The Yamaha and Kurzweil are both of similar quality
and suitable for small to medium sized churches
or church halls.
You can read more about the CLP645 here
And the CUP320 here
You can see the Gewa here
The Kurzweil CUP320 is one of the newest models.
It has a superb piano tone and large volume
range making it ideal for a church or large hall.
What’s more, the CUP320 has additional speaker outlets
facing up from behind the keys. Roland and Yamaha
don’t have this…
The additional speakers project sound up, as well as
forward and up.
So the tone is crystal clear and full of harmonics.
Your whole congregation will hear the piano more clearly.
The Gewa UP380G is completely made in Germany
by the German instrument manufacturer, Gewa.
This as a full, Steinway concert grand piano sound.
It has the warmest sound of all three pianos.
I’ve not heard a more realistic sounding digital piano
for under £2,000. It also comes with a 5 year warranty.
All three pianos can be connected to your PA system.
This is the order I rate them in:
1) Gewa UP380G
2) Kurzweil CUP320
3) Yamaha CLP645
Delivery is free to Staffordshire.
Let me know if you have any questions or need more advice.
“Comparing Yamaha and Kawai”
Q/ I used to play at a reasonable grade 7/8 standard but haven’t touched a piano
in about 8 years and am keen to get back to playing. I’ve tried a couple of digital pianos
and the decision comes down to a Yamaha CLP 645 or Kawai CA67.
Do you have any thoughts on comparison of these two digital pianos?
A/ Hi Ben
They both have a good piano sound and a
touch that feels close to an acoustic
The CLP645 does have a slightly richer
tone… and the sound is a little more
mellow, especially in the central treble
Another thing the Yamaha wins on is the
firmer key touch…
Although both digital pianos have an accurate
key weighting on the way down and on the
key’s return, the Yamaha has a firmer
(harder) feel when the key reaches its
This gives you the feeling of having more
control under your fingers. More exactness.
And it enables you to put more feeling
into the piece you are playing.
There’s little to choose between the two.
Go with the one that feels right for you.
I appreciate it’s difficult to find a
shop that stocks both.
“In terms of budget I’m looking in the £800-1000 range”
Q/ Firstly, thank you very much for the digital piano guide.
It is easy to download; and as many of your reviewers have already testified, I found it well written, very helpful and informative.
I’m in the market for a digital piano which both myself and my 8 year old daughter can learn to play together (from absolute beginner). I’m after a machine with good touch, which will give us the option to transition to an upright acoustic, with minimum difficulty. In terms of budget I’m looking in the £800-1000 range.
Assuming you think the budget will allow us to buy a good quality, realistic, relatively future-proof machine, and with the help of your guide I wrote out a shortlist below. Then, visited a couple of local stockists to see/hear them in the flesh.
Casio AP650 – Cheapest to buy, but looks, feels, and sounds exactly that (not a contender).
Yamaha YDP163 – Didn’t sound as nice as the Kawai or Roland to my (untrained) ear. Action felt softer than the other 2 below, but at the same time more responsive. I know its the electronics that count, but it seemed smaller and not as well constructed as the 2 below.
Kawai CN27 – Liked this one, well built, nice sound, best speakers, and good feel on the keys, maybe doesn’t have as many gadgets/functions as the Roland.
Roland RP501r – Best sounding piano, well built, nice action on the keys, but seemed to suffer if being played quickly, know it’s a gimmick but I really liked the ivory touch keys.
I’ve put some comments by each, but as a complete novice, I’d really appreciate your view. I’m leaning towards Kawai with Roland a close second. Not quite sure if this is because I found the Kawai dealer more persuasive (something you mention in the guide).
Thanks in advance,
A/ Hi Phil
I would say it’s a close call between YDP163, RP501r and CN27
This is the order I put them in:
The Roland certainly has the most realistic tone.
It has more warmth and depth to it.
Roland digital pianos feel more responsive under the fingers,
although a tad lighter than the Yamaha and Kawai.
You would get used to this fairly quickly though.
“Please recommend digital pianos for grade 5 to grade 8”
Q/ Hi Graham, we looking for digital pianos to buy, which are you recommend to us. My daughter currently grade 5 but she will go up to grade 8. Can you let me know which piano, which brand etc. I don’t have any knowledge. Pls help me. Thanks
A/ Hi Kathir
Well, it really depends on how much you
want to spend.
The best digital pianos for grade 5 and
above are the Yamaha Clavinovas or
Roland HP series.
The first model in the Yamaha range is the
CLP625. This has a fully-weighted key touch
and a very nice piano tone. It’s recommended
up to at least grade 7.
The CLP635 would be ideal. This has firmer
and more sensitive keys than the CLP625.
So it’s better for grade 8 standard.
Also look at the Roland HP603. The tone
quality is a bit warmer than the Yamahas,
which you might prefer.
“Can you advise on a digital piano for my wife?”
Q/ I am looking for a digital piano for my wife who wants to learn to play. She has never played before so this will be her first piano. We need something that is fairly portable so it can be moved between rooms as required. I was looking at 3 models:
I was leaning towards the broadway but can see this is less portable so may not be an option.
Please can you recommend ?
A/ Hi Ashley
Although the Broadway B1 isn’t designed to be a
portable instrument, it is lighter than most digital
pianos and easy enough to move around (but you
might need two people to move it from room to
The Broadway would be my first recommendation
as far as getting your wife the most realistic piano
for the price.
The FP30 would be a good second choice.
It has a weightier, more responsive key touch than
the P115. It also has a deeper, more resonant tone.
What’s more, its cabinet looks so much nicer than
“Please recommend a piano between £1000 and £1400”
Q/ I’ve read the Howard Score document about which piano to choose very carefully. I received it last June and I’ve not gone further with buying a piano as yet but now circumstances could be changing all that!
Budget wise I’m looking around £1000 to £1400 absolute max, and I’m hoping to include stool, headphones, and insurance or warranty with that which is what I’ve found to be possible from looking at your recommended online sites.
Any advice, gratefully received
A/ Hi Jo
There’s two digial pianos I recommend for you:
Yamaha CLP635 and Roland HP504.
Both digital pianos are good enough to take you up
to about grade 7. This is a fairly high level.
Sound wise the Roland HP504 is slightly warmer
and more mellow in the central area of the
keyboard. The Yamaha tone is richer and
more vibrant. Both equally good really.
As far as the key touch goes, the Yamaha feels
closer to a real piano. It has more resistance, and
feels smoother under the fingers. This probably
wouldn’t matter so much for you now, but it
would certainly be important as you progress
to a more advanced level.
Both digital pianos come with a long ‘At-Home’
Service Warranty that includes all parts and
labour. We send a technician to your home
if it needs fixing.
You also get a free stool and headphones.
Delivery is also included.
I realise that they cost a little over your
intended budget, but the pianos that cost less
than these are a big jump down in quality.
Would you still like some recommendations
for pianos between £1,000 and £1,400?
“Can you point me in the right direction?”
Q/ Firstly I would like to commend you on your fantastic website….which is just crammed with lots of advice, info and more!!
Your book has also been a godsend and I will be sending feedback re that too.
Now, I have a question, so here is a little background info…..
I have a very old Collard & Collard grand piano, but it needs restrung which I cannot afford to do, and have also been advised that its not worth doing anyway!
My 16yr old son plays. He is at grade 6, but is just getting better and better, and the grand is really letting him down now.
I am looking to buy a digital piano for him, as that is what he plays at school, but it’s not knowing which to buy!
I have looked at your book and see that Yamaha seems to be top for quality, sound etc…, but his music teacher has said not to buy a Yamaha as they are unreliable and cannot be repaired easily!
We are not looking for lots of super-duper extras, like those you have pointed out in your book…just something that mimics as much as possible the real thing!
I do have a limited budget….up to £800, so I appreciate that the Yamaha might be out of my price-range, but would really appreciate if you could point me in the right direction?!
Thank you so very much,
A/ Hi Annette
For £800 you really don’t have a lot of choice
if you want something that will be good for
grade 6 and above.
There’s only the Broadway B1 really.
If you could stretch to £900 – £1000 then
the Roland RP501r or Kurzweil M110 would
be worth a look.
Ideally it would be best to push the
budget up to around £1400 – £1500.
You can then get digital pianos that are
more suitable for up to grade 8.
The Roland HP603 or Yamaha CLP645.
would be good options at that price point.
“New or old digital pianos. What’s best?”
Q/ Would you say that new digital pianos are superior over old digital pianos? And if so, for a beginner, what would you recommend. I notice that you seem to like the classenti? Would you go so far as to say that this is the best in terms of quality and value for money? Also which model would you recommend as being the best. Everywhere I look people are recommending yamaha but I can’t help but think that this is pure marketing power? I would prefer a warm sounding piano and I’ve also read that yamaha can be a bit bright, is that true of kawai too?
Your advice would be gratefully received.
A/ Hi Dawn
Questions I often get are:
Should I buy a cheap digital piano then upgrade it later
if I really take to it?
Should I spend a bit more so I won’t need to
Should I really splash out and get the very best
digital piano there is right away?
For a beginner I recommend keeping your budget
fairly low. The £600 – £900 price range gives you
quite a few decent digital pianos to choose from…
You’re right about the brightness of Yamaha
and Kawai digital pianos.
If you prefer a warmer tone you’ be better off
with either a Classenti or Roland.
“Your team where extremely helpful and I received my digital piano within days”
UK Pianos are a great company to buy from, they are prompt, friendly and efficient. Despite Paypal errors from my side, their team where extremely helpful and I received my digital piano within days. I have received the headphones this morning to my current address. Many thanks for all your help, it is much appreciated.
Kerry Lynn – Hull
“Competent, passionate about pianos, friendly, UK Pianos should be your first choice!”
Well, you can see for them is not only their job, it’s their passion as well ! They know their stuff, they give you good advice, even their little digital piano buyer’s guide for free, and they are always willing to try helping out. And in some cases, they can even arrange for you to pay by monthly instalments, so it’s more affordable, and if you are in UK, a rent-to-buy scheme – basically, they can cover any kind of need. And if they give you advice, it’s not about trying to sell you always the most expensive solution – if they think it’s better for you, they will propose you a cheaper solution, even if it’s not in their financial interest.
“I’d like to thank you for the brilliant idea of putting this web together and for all your good work”
I haven´t had a chance to fully read your book yet but what I have read has been extremely helpful. Buying digital pianos is very tricky especially when you´re pretty much a beginner and you don´t have a clue about the jargon or what you should be looking for. Also you don´t want to make an expensive mistake as the budget is usually limited. But I actually bought my digital piano yesterday, and that was possible thanks to your info.
But I was only able to arrive at this conclusion thanks to your advice and to the comments of people in your web page, so I´m very happy about that. It helped me work through the maze! So I´d like to thank you for the brilliant idea of putting this web together and for all your good work and thoroughness. It´s very valuable for all of us out there who are racking our brains wondering what´s the best digital piano for us.
Thank you very much!
Best regards, Rosa, Glasgow
“The keyboard is now in full working order”
UK Pianos sent someone out this morning to repair a fault with the keyboard on our electronic piano as arranged with your office. My wife has just informed me that the repair has been carried out at our home and that the keyboard is now in full working order.
I wish to thank you and your staff for this excellent service, please feel free to pass on this appraisal to potential customers or welcome them to contact me for reference.
Gary Braybrook, Solihull, Birmingham
“I would recommend to anyone starting out on the road”
I did 6-8 weeks ago to read your guide, read the reviews from geniune users – not the manufacturers sales pitch and gather the information that will assist you in making an informed judgement.
For anyone “not sure” your rent to buy options makes perfect sense.
In the meantime, once again, thank you so much for the help and assistance you have provided.
John Clarke, Sutton, Surrey, UK
“We need more people like you in this world”
Thank you very much for sharing your opinion on the best digital piano brands to buy. I wish I knew you a long time ago before I bought mine. After looking at the different brands, I ended up choosing Casio.
I liked it because it had a screen that beginners can see which finger is being placed on each note as a song is played from the song bank.
Although I have not chosen the better brand, I think that I have made a wise choice (for a beginner).
However, I must assure you that if I happen to migrate I will have to buy another piano because this one is a bit too big to travel with. Then, I will choose Yamaha.
Thanks once again. We need more people like you in this world.
“Your website is a land of treasure”
A lot of useful information and good deals.
“The best service I’ve seen in any shop or online”
Thank you so much for your quick and helpful reply. I have to say, your website and customer care is by far, the best I’ve seen from any online service or shop.
“I recommend Graham’s expertise”
Graham Howard was very helpful in trying to find out my needs, and offer the best match. When my choice was not available, he gave me an alternative which I would not have thought about, complete with extras. I recommend his expertise in all areas of purchasing your digital piano.
“Thank you, I have learnt so much”
Thank you so much for your invaluable advice. I have learnt so much and am grateful for the time you have freely given to help me understand the jargon and possible options. Excellent customer service.
“I admire your service and helpfulness”
I would like to say that I really have enjoyed reading all the helpful information you have provided on your website. The level of service and helpfulness you provide for your customers is very admiring to see.
Kind Regards, Kali, Manchester, UK
“Good advice before buying”
As usual, UK Pianos offered a caring service with good advice before the purchase, and delivery happened exactly when planned.
John Chandler, Colchester, UK
You were kind enough to telephone on the Monday, my digital piano arrived at nine o’clock the following morning, as promised.
End result? Happy and impressed customer.
David Stevens, Canterbury, UK
“Friendly and professional service”
A very helpful, friendly and professional service. The manager drove me to the station which saved me the trouble of carrying it! My order was dealt with very efficiently.
I will definitely use UK Pianos again.
Edward Fordyce, Twickenham, SW London, UK
“Super support. Wow!”
Thank you for your awesome service. I have never experienced a shop with a better support!
Julian Von Klier, Bristol, UK