IF YOU’RE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR SOUND, YOU NEED THE BEST DIGITAL PIANOS FOR THE JOB. HERE’S OUR BEST ELECTRIC PIANO OPTIONS FOR THE PLAYERS OUT THERE IN NEED OF A LIVE, STUDIO AND HOME OPTION.
We’ve rounded up the best digital piano options from the likes of Yamaha, Roland, Casio and Nord that will provide a professional level sound at all times as well as incredible playability. These are not your cheap digital pianos, but pro options that are suited to the live and studio environments.
Let’s start by defining digital pianos. Digital pianos are a mix-up of an acoustic piano and an electronic keyboard, providing you with the best of both worlds. Why should you buy a digital piano? Here are some good reasons:
You don’t have enough space for a grand piano
You perform all over and want something consistent and portable
You don’t want to disturb others whilst you play
You don’t fancy forking out on regular tuning
Because you want one
Now that you know what a digital piano is and you have established that you want one, these are some features you need to look for in a digital piano: Weighted Keys The term ‘weighted’ in a digital piano description is always a good thing; because every decent digital piano always tries it’s hardest to imitate the hammers of a real piano. Keep your eyes peeled for that word when searching! Sound Quality When it comes to listening out for decent sound quality you want to keep an ear out for two particular things: the bass notes need to have a rich, full sound and the electric keyboard setting has to be soft and smooth – if the digital piano sounds the opposite to these descriptions then don’t buy! Maximum Polyphony Maximum Polyphony is the number of individual notes a digital piano can produce at one time.
An acceptable polyphony is 64, however 128 is best. Anything less than 64 ain't much cop and anymore than 128 is gimmicky, unless of course you’re a master of the instrument and need 256 notes going at a single time. Simple Features - like a headphones input!
Also, remember to bear in mind the simple features of your digital piano and think about what you need from it: Does it have external-facing speakers? Is an amp needed to make any sound? Do you need headphone jacks? Will your digital piano be compatible with your amp and/or computer? We’ve highlighted at the bottom of each option what application they’re best suited to, so you know which you can use for certain environments. These are some of the best digital pianos for home use, live sessions or if you have the room, studio environments where you need superb quality sound and expert playability.
SHOW ME THE BEST DIGITAL PIANOS AVAILABLE
In this blog we'll talk about the following digital pianos which we think are some of the best available:
Roland HP702-CH Digital Piano
Korg Grandstage 73 Stage Piano
Yamaha P-515 Portable Digital Piano
Roland FP-10 Digital Piano
Yamaha CP73 Stage Piano
Roland GO:PIANO 88 Digital Piano
VOX Continental Keyboard 61 Keys
Roland RD-2000 Stage Piano
Nord Grand 88-Note Digital Piano
1. Roland HP702-CH Digital Piano
The Roland HP702-DR Digital Home Piano pictured here in Dark Rosewood is one of the best digital pianos on the market today. This is smack bang in-between the likes of the FP-30 and the LX-17 digital home piano, offering a realistic upright experience, but still at a fairly affordable level. It’s compact, simple to use and very stylish, making a great addition to any home or studio. We think it’s one of the best digital pianos as it comes equipped with the PHA-4 Standard keyboard and Progressive Damper Action pedals, offering a hyper realistic playing experience akin to an acoustic upright.
You have 324 tones built in which benefit from Roland’s SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling, as well as a host of non-piano sounds too. There are onboard speakers as well as Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream music, backing tracks and connect your smart device to the piano for use with learning apps. There’s not a lot this can’t do.
Next up we have the Korg Grandstage 73 Stage Piano which we feel is one of the most powerful live digital pianos you can get your hands on. This makes our best digital pianos blog with ease as you have sounds from five different grand pianos from all over the world including Berlin, Heidelberg, Austria, Japan and the newly sampled Italian grand piano, so it’s one for the purists out there. There’s also a beautifully sampled upright, 12 levels of velocity switching so you can hone in on dynamics and a world of other sounds including organs and electric pianos.
You have EQ, dynamic and effect controls so you can make full use of reverb and delay effects whilst sculpting your perfect sound and the intuitive operability and portable design has been specifically designed for stage and studio musicians.
3. Yamaha P-515 Portable Digital Piano Black
The Yamaha P-515 Portable Digital Piano, seen here in a sleek black finish is one of the best portable digital pianos for professional musicians. We love it because the CFX Binaural Sampling within the Yamaha P-515 provides an incredibly immersive experience. This in combination with the Natural Wood X (NWX) keyboard provides an incredibly realistic feel akin to an acoustic piano.
There are over 500 voices built-in to this Yamaha Digital Piano, spanning pianos, electric pianos and more useful sounds, all of which have been beautifully created to ensure players of all levels and genres have something they can use.
Audiophiles and experienced acoustic piano users will appreciate the P-515's ability to accurately recreate the sonic characteristics of an acoustic pianos body, taking into account the damper resonance, string resonance and sympathetic string vibrations. This provides a truly authentic acoustic piano sound whether you're playing through headphones or using the onboard 15w = 5w amplifiers with 2-way speaker system.
The performing musicians out there will appreciate the Smart Pianist App compatibility as you can select voices, rhythms and change settings from your smart device of choice. You can even save settings for recall later on and really get the most out of your piano with this app.
4. Roland FP-10 Digital Piano
The Roland FP-10 Digital Piano is often utilised by beginner and entry-level musicians learning at home thanks to its ease of use, simple layout and affordable price.
However, this is by far one of the best digital pianos for experienced players and serious musicians too as it offers superb playability and selection of sounds that stage, studio and live musicians can also benefit from. It includes Roland's acclaimed SuperNatural Grand Piano technology so it sounds just like a Grand Piano when you’re playing it – perfect for those recording sessions and the compact design allows you to take it on stage and tour with it really easily. You have a host of different tones including 4 Piano Tones, 2 Electric Piano Tones and 9 Other Tones including strings to choose from so you’re covered for a wide range of musical genres.
One of the main features professional and serious musicians will appreciate is the PHA-4 Standard Keyboard which provides a realistic weighted keyboard feel ith Escapement - it's just like playing an acoustic piano.
Budget-friendly, packed full of quality sounds and lightweight – you’ll love it in all applications and environments.
5. YAMAHA CP73 STAGE PIANO
The live, session and studio musician needs a lot of options when it comes to their sound, especially when they’re recording or playing gigs. This is why we’ve included the Yamaha CP73 digital piano as it has been specifically designed for the live musicians out there. The newly designed 73-key BHS Keyboard (E1-E7) (Balanced Hammer Standard) offers incredible playability which will actually benefit players by offering perfect control and the subtle dynamics they need to improve their playing. As we all know; the feel of the keys will affect our playing! We feel it’s one of the best digital pianos as you have 23 studio quality effects built in, 57 voices including 10 Pianos, 14 E-Pianos, 33 Sub Voices (Strings, Organs, Pads, Synths) and 160 live set sounds that you can recall for quick use on stage. The fact it weighs a mere 13kg makes it a great option for travelling musicians too!
6. ROLAND GO:PIANO 88 DIGITAL PIANO
I know what you’re thinking with this one; “Wait isn’t this a beginner piano?” well, it is and it isn’t. The Roland GO:Piano 88 Digital Piano has been designed for musicians of all levels who need something fun to record and perform with. Although it doesn’t contain as many features as some of the options in this list, the responsive piano sounds modelled around Roland’s acclaimed premium piano tones will satisfy the tone snobs out there. You have 4 tones which include beautifully sampled Piano, Electric Piano, Organ and String sounds as well as an adjustable reverb effect which allows you to record and perform with ease.
The 88 velocity sensitive keys with adjustable sensitivity allow you to enjoy lush dynamics which will help with playing. Onboard speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and battery operation make it a perfect portable keyboard too. If you need something simple for the studio, home recording or even honing your skills, this is one of the best digital pianos in terms of price, playability and functionality. Get in touch with us at PMT if you'd like to order one of these excellent budget-friendly options.
7. VOX CONTINENTAL KEYBOARD 61 KEYS
The Vox Continental Keyboard 61 Keys is a faithful recreation of the classic VOS transistor organs that appeared in the 1960s, offering an incredibly powerful sound engine that not only provides that classic sound but builds upon the legacy for the modern musician. We think this is one of the best digital pianos as it utilises tube driven technology to give you an incredibly organic, warm sound that some digital pianos simply can’t recreate.
You have a range of sounds centred around various instruments such as Organ, E. Piano, Piano, and Key/Layer all of which are powered by NuTube technology. This NuTube technology, which is found in a selection of the new VOX amps, adds the stunning presence and warmth of a traditional vacuum tube without the associated weight and performance issues – which I’m sure valve amp players can sympathise with.
You have four types of delay, five types of reverb and a 9-band EQ with touch sensitive strips to sculpt your sound. You can even store scene memories for easy recall of sounds, change the key sensitivity settings and enjoy a world of different tones/instruments as each category has a series of beautifully sampled sounds. If you want a vintage style feel with modern functionality, then the Vox Continental Keyboard 61 Keys is one of the best digital pianos for you. For a limited time, this now comes with a V861 expression pedal, and dedicated keyboard stand at no extra charge!
8. ROLAND RD-2000 STAGE PIANO
Need a lot of sounds? Need a lot of effects? Need to connect to your DAW on stage and in the studio? Well, the Roland RD-2000 Stage Piano is what you’ve been looking for. The clue is in the name here as the RD-2000 Stage Piano has been designed for the performing musicians out there who need instant access to and control over their sounds.
We love the Roland RD-2000 as it features an 88 key PHA-50 Keyboard with escapement and Ebony/Ivory feel, so you get a fantastic playing experience. You also have 1,100 tones spanning classic acoustic pianos and a range of iconic electric pianos from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You have a whole studio’s worth of effects at your fingertips too, including a range of modulation, tremolo effects, amp simulators, reverb and delay effects as well as a 3-band compressor and 5-band digital equalizer. One of the key features studio and live musicians will love is the inclusion of a built-in studio-grade 24-bit/192kHz audio interface, allowing easy connectivity to your DAW Software via USB. This means you can record audio and MIDI at studio grade quality wherever you may be with minimal latency. A perfect studio tool!
9. Nord Grand 88-Note Digital Piano
Finally, we have the Nord Grand 88-Note Digital Piano, which is the most expensive option in our best digital pianos list but worth every penny and a very powerful live and studio performance tool. This beautifully recreates the classic sounds of 10 Grand pianos, 9 Upright pianos, 10 Enhanced Electric Pianos, Clavinet, Digital Pianos and more. You actually get a variety of keyboard sounds and effects built-in and licensed sounds of the Mellotron and Chamberlin. We love this digital piano as you have a host of effects that are modelled on classic stompboxes and studio-quality effects such as Tremolo, Phaser, Chorus, Pan, Wah, RM, Flanger, Vibe, EQ, Delay and Reverb included. Live and studio musicians will enjoy the fact this Nord Grand 88-Note Digital Piano features essential controls for attack, decay/release and dynamics control (filter/velocity). This is a professional digital piano that home studio owners, live musicians and professional piano players will find useful.
Shop a full range of digital pianos, home pianos, keyboards and synthesizers over at PMT online today, or call in to your local PMT store to try out a full range for yourself. We have a massive selection online and in-store ready for you. Or if you want some advice on what might be the best option for you, call 0151 448 2089 and speak to our experts - we're here to help!