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Replicating piano sound has been a focus of digital keyboard manufacturers for decades. It's a feat to capture the piano’s complex tone in a compact, electronic format, but that's what the instruments in this section have managed to do.
Imagine the challenge. A piano has 88 keys, and the treble keys strike three strings per note. The tenors require two, and only the bass can be managed with a single thick string. But that’s just the beginning. The attributes of the cabinet, the behavior of the dampers and the vibration of adjacent strings all contribute to a piano’s sound. It is a lot to capture.
Digital pianos come in different shapes and sizes. Perhaps you're looking for something as the centerpiece of your living room. If so, you'll want to look at home pianos.
Yamaha is one of our best-known suppliers in this category, offering both the Clavinova and the Arius series. Both are superb home instruments. Clavinovas lean toward feature-rich designs and advanced user functions. The Arius series focuses on great sound and playability, and basic keyboard functions. Both are attractive as a home furnishing.
All of the instruments in the Arius line have 88 weighted keys with graded hammer action. That means the lower keys offer greater resistance, while the upper keys offer lesser resistance. The upper models have more sounds, a more powerful speaker system, key treatments and other features. They all come built into a matching stand, and most come with a bench.
The Clavinova line is also equipped with Yamaha’s famous key beds, and also feature Bluetooth connectivity, accompaniment and other features. The Clavinovas have meticulously sampled Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial piano sounds.
We have partnered with Williams to develop a line of digital pianos with great sounds and features that is affordable to most individuals and families. Williams offers portable digital pianos as well as console pianos with an upright cabinet or a baby grand cabinet. All models feature 88 hammer-action keys and high-definition custom sounds.
Casio, Korg and Roland are quality builders in this area as well. The Roland models we carry are beautifully made and sound superb. They are available in the price range of the Arius line of Yamaha home pianos, and they are worth a look before deciding. Korg’s digital pianos are in this same price range as well. Korg has long been developing their instruments for great piano action and authentic timbre, and their touch and sound has a presence all its own. Considering the Casio Privia line is an absolute must for any digital piano customer. And don’t let your search stop at the obvious. It’s a big decision. Consider Kawai or maybe Kurzweil, each of which has models that price comparably against Yamaha, Korg and Roland.
If your sights are aimed beyond the living room, modern stage pianos bring authentic piano sound to your audience. Again, the big manufacturers in this category have traditionally been Roland, Korg and Yamaha, but others have great designs in the marketplace as well. Nord, Kurzweil and Kawai offer worthy alternatives to the larger manufacturers. Digital pianos designed for the stage all have extensive grand piano libraries for handling everything from classical solo performances to boogie-woogie. They also typically have more sounds than digital pianos designed for the home.
Professionals who play in a variety of situations need a variety of sounds to address them all; Hammond B-3 for Saturday at the night club and church organ for Sunday services, Fender Rhodes for funky blues jams, and FM piano for accompanying a pop singer. Stage pianos also usually have professional audio output connectors for plugging into mixing consoles or keyboard amplifiers, and they typically do not have built-in speakers.
The perfect digital piano for you is going to be based on function, form and personal preference. Once you have that figured out, you're on the next step in your relationship with music. We hope some time spent on these listings helps you come closer to your decision.
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