Engadine Music's Guide To Buying Keyboards & Digital Pianos
Whether you are looking for a first keyboard for your kids, a first keyboard for yourself, or perhaps a digital piano for use at home or on the stage, our buying guide will answer most of the questions you might have.
The traditional acoustic piano is a beautiful instrument…but they do come with a few challenges.
The physical size makes them difficult or impossible to move, they require regular tuning, can be quite susceptible to the elements, and over years of use the instrument can require maintenance and repairs.
The advantage of a digital piano is that they are portable, do not require tuning or maintenance, and are not affected by things such as the environment anywhere near the same as a traditional piano.
Digital pianos do not rely on traditional strings being hit by a hammer when a key is pressed, but rather use samples; digital recordings of an acoustic piano. As there is no soundboard nor strings, it is a much small instrument. As technology has advanced the sound of a modern digital piano is exceptionally good. And the ‘action’ (the way the keys respond to the player, and the amount of pressure required to produce a note) has also improved considerably in recent years. Digital piano models offer a variety of responses from the keys, with some offering almost no resistance whatsoever to others having a fully-weighted keyboard action that is equivalent to the feel of an acoustic piano, whilst others are somewhere in between with semi-weighted keys.
Many digital pianos feature other ‘voices’; different instruments and often a variation or two on those. Depending on the model of digital piano, you may also be able to layer voices, such as an acoustic guitar sound combined with strings.
Below are a few models we recommend for value and quality:
The Yamaha P45 Digital Piano
The Yamaha P45 88-key weighted action digital piano has a contemporary design with a small footprint that allows for easy portability and storage.
The P45 features AWM Stereo Sampling, which creates a deeper, richer and more spacious sound. Furthermore, the Yamaha GHS Graded Hammer Standard piano action provides a heavier touch on the lower keys, while the higher ones are more responsive to lighter playing, very similar to a traditional acoustic piano.
The Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano
The DGX-660 contemporary digital piano gives aspiring pianists a fun way to enhance their learning experience. Players of all abilities can feel what it's like to play with a band and sound like a pro. The built-in USB Audio Recorder captures your musical inspirations when you're ready to share your accomplishments.
Kawai CA48 Digital Piano
Featuring the brand new Grand Feel Compact wooden-key keyboard action, beautiful SK-EX and EX concert grand piano sounds, and modern Bluetooth® connectivity, the piano-focussed CA48 offers many of the strengths of the premium Concert Artist models within a more compact and affordable package.
Kawai CA98 Digital Piano
Combining Kawai’s industry-leading Grand Feel II wooden-key keyboard action, stunning SK-EX Rendering piano sound engine with multi-channel sampling and resonance modelling, premium amplification and speaker technologies powered by Onkyo, and an authentic wooden soundboard, the CA98 delivers one of the finest grand piano experiences available in a digital instrument.
Casio PX-S1000BK Digital Piano
The PX-S1000's striking design fits any room, any decor, and any mood. Available in either black or white finish, its sleek, glossy panel and unibody case evokes a luxurious acoustic grand, in a gorgeous form that's barely larger than the keys themselves.
There are many different models available with this instrument, and a plethora of features.
We’ll make the assumption for the sake of brevity that people looking for advanced functionality will know much of the information on offer here, and can contact us to ask specific questions as the need arises.
Digital keyboards, even the entry-level models, tend to offer a range of sounds, instruments, and features. They also tend to be much smaller than a digital piano, often feature fewer keys, minimal or no resistance in the action, and are easily portable. Some will also run from batteries, which mean that kids can take them away for practice sessions or performances.
A common feature with just about all keyboards offer is ‘auto-accompaniment’ with backing instruments that can be selected in a style and song form, and the player ‘performs’ with the virtual band.
This is an excellent way to practice, and some keyboards also offer lessons that makes use of these features. This can be a great tool to make practice more fun!
Another feature that some modern keyboards offer is Bluetooth connectivity allowing a phone or tablet to connect and play music back through the keyboard. This is also great for practice and playing!
Some manufacturers also take advantage of this technology to offer digital lessons accessible online that can be integrated with the keyboard also.
While there are many excellent digital pianos on the market, we have found the following to be very good and represent great value and long-term enjoyment from playing.
The Yamaha PSR-E363.
Versatile functions and an expressive touch-sensitive keyboard action make the PSR-E363 the go-to instrument for beginning players.
Currently includes a pair of bonus Yamaha HPH50B headphones and access to the Flowkey Piano App for 3 months.
Flowkey offers you
Play over 1000 songs from classical to pop music
Learn when and where you want, online and via app
Three months flowkey premium for free - no contract.
The Yamaha PSR-E463.
The PSRE463 is the top of the line model in the PSR-E 61-key series, perfect for the student to advanced keyboard enthusiast, with a world of Voices & Styles to explore.
This model currently offers the same access to the Flowkey app.
The new Casiotone series is designed to be the world’s most portable 61-note keyboard. New features such as an integrated carry handle, piano-shaped keys, longer battery life, smooth corners and a slim profile make this the perfect introduction to music.
A 61-note keyboard that allows you to experiment with 400 unique tones, 77 rhythms, 10 reverb settings, and the lesson function. And for ease of set up, the Casio Casiotone CT-S200 includes an LCD display and AC power adapter.
Any thing else you need to know? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (02) 9520 3044, or come in to the shop at 25 Station St, Engadine, NSW, 2233.