What is a digital piano?
The digital piano or electronic piano is a key-pressed musical instrument that has the potential to emulate all the characteristics of a traditional acoustic piano.
In this sense, some differences and similarities it has with respect to its acoustic brother are:
- Most obviously, it's now electric and this means that its entire internal structure is made up of electronic components. An electric piano has integrated, capacitors, resistors, power converters, LED displays, microprocessors and PCB boards predominating instead of strings and traditional mechanical system.
- Both are keyboard instruments and retain black and white keys. They also share the touch sensitivity that is necessary to press and achieve the sound. However, the latter is found in mid-range electric pianos and up.
- Another obvious difference is size. The electric piano can be more compact and easier to transport. This sets it apart from its siblings, the upright (or wall piano) and the grand piano. However, you can find electric pianos that are the same size as an upright or grand piano.
Origin and evolution of the digital piano
The original electric piano is the predecessor of the digital piano. This musical instrument came onto the market in the 1920s thanks to the ingenuity of the designers Walther Nernst and Oskar Vierling. The first model was called Neo-Bechstein and was a grand piano with an electromechanical system. This means that it had real strings but at the same time it had a built-in amplification system and audio outputs to install sound amplifier consoles.
Other variations of this type of electric pianos are:
- RCA Storytone: the first commercial electric piano on the market. It was a wall-mounted piano with a hammer-action string system, but also incorporated a piezoelectric microphone system to project the sound.
- Helpinstill Roadmaster 64, 88 and the large portable: these were also upright pianos with 64 and 88 keys. Their popularity was such that they are considered collector's pianos that are valued at thousands of euros if they are in perfect condition.
- Kawai EP-608, EP-705M, EP-308 and EP-308M: wall pianos that had 73 and 88 keys with hammer action and MIDI output. They were one of the best sellers in the market and are part of many of the most iconic songs.
- Yamaha CP-60M, CP-70 series, CP-80 series, E201 / E-202 and E-501 / E-502: with the introduction of these pianos, Yamaha set a milestone in the history of electric pianos. Since their release, they have been considered the standard in piano sound. Its key length ranged from 73 to 88 keys, in addition to having balanced channels, MIDI connectivity, 7-band graphic equalizers and built-in speakers.
Although they were initially thought of as electric pianos, the first instruments of this type were more like electro-acoustic pianos. Indeed, its sound was produced by strings, a resonance box and amplified by a piezoelectric microphone.
Nowadays, the term “electric pianos” is often used to refer to digital pianos, which do not use strings or a soundboard. In contrast, the system of a digital piano is fully electronic. This modern form of electric piano replaced the old electromechanical pianos and today they are practically the only ones produced.
components of a digital piano
The parts of an electronic piano can be divided into internal and external, although the external parts reflect what is inside. For this reason, we will only talk about the visible part so that we have a better idea of its components.
- Control panel: this is the union of all knobs, potentiometers, faders and display. That's all you need to set up the configuration.
- Faders: slider-shaped potentiometers used to give volume, equalization bands or to add sound effects.
- Circular or stick potentiometers: these are the most common and their most common function is to give volume.
- Infinite turn knob pot: not all electric pianos have it. It's used to create bending, bend up and bend down effects.
- Numeric panel: consists of buttons numbered from zero (0) to nine (9). It's used to quickly search for sounds found in the piano's memory. It also has forward and reverse buttons.
- On/Off button: usually comes in closed format, to keep the piano off until you want to turn it on.
- Track push, accompaniment and drum sequences: beginners use them a lot to practice patterns of musical styles. The most used styles are ballad, salsa, pop and rock.
- Metronome button: this is indispensable for practice sessions, as it allows you to learn the different types of musical metrics. It's advisable to set up practice sessions using different speed settings and progress as each time level is mastered.
Keys and connectivity panel
- Sound keys: the keyboard that emulates the configuration and sound of the keys on an acoustic piano. The white keys represent the natural sounds of do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and si. The quarter notes are the sharps and flats, such as C#, D#, F#, G#, A# or B flat, which would be the theoretically correct way to identify it on the piano panel.
- Connectivity panel: located on the back of the digital piano, it currently consists of a 1/4 jack input and output, a 1/4 and 3.5 mm headphone jack, MIDI connection, USB connection, and sustain and reverb pedal jack.
This configuration of controls varies depending on each manufacturer and their proposals, as well as the level for which it was designed. A digital piano for beginners can be completely basic and lack many of the parts mentioned above.
The best brands of digital pianos
The offers in digital pianos are outstanding and the quality of these brands is exceptional. That is why it has been a challenge to select the best ones, but here we go:
This Japanese company became the standard for electric pianos with the CP series. Since then it has continued to manufacture instruments with impressive capabilities. One of the most widely used series is the PSR, which has one of the most purchased models: the PSR-E363.
Another company of Japanese origin. Since 1990, it has been manufacturing the CTK series, the brand's best-selling product. In 2005 they launched the Privia series, which is the best rated by users, although it tends to be on the expensive side.
Leading company on the market. It's of Japanese origin and its specialty is the manufacture of workstations. However, it does offer good digital pianos, for example the FP series.
One of the best manufacturers of musical instruments for students. This company offers great products with excellent performance and sound quality. One of which is the SP-5600 piano, which is mentioned on this list.
Truly an icon in piano manufacturing and one of the first companies to develop this instrument. The Kawai ES-110B digital piano is one of their best creations. You will find its assessment on this review.
This is perhaps the most highly valued company in Europe because its instruments are exceptional. Their range in the Nord Stage series is an example of this.
The equipment manufactured by Korg is highly praised in the northern hemisphere and is used by many of the world's greatest pianists.
The best digital piano players
We know that every piano player has their idols and we will make an effort to name them all. Obviously, this is no easy task, because there are so many of them. However, we will venture beyond the digital or electronic piano line to also mention some impressive classical pianists and composers.
Classical pianists experimenting with electric pianos
Undoubtedly one of the greatest exponents of pressed keys. Her virtuosity has placed her in the best orchestras and stages around the world.
Ukrainian pianist with an impressive technical and expressive mastery. She is considered one of the best pianists of all times.
If there is a reference when it comes to piano fusion music, it's the Dominican pianist Michel Camilo. A great among the greats.
Better known as a composer but with a high mastery over the piano. He is a great experimenter with digital pianos and digital synthesizers.
Great Japanese composer with a classical training. Despite his upbringing, he eventually turned to electronic piano, mainly Korg synthesizers.
Digital piano and synthesizer players
New Yorker and pianist of the band Dream Theater, he is the most popular among modern rock band pianists. His versatility is a result of his technical and theoretical mastery, which makes him one of the most accomplished musicians in the world.
This Californian pianist dove into the world of music at the young age of five. He received a scholarship to Berklee and has played with some of the greatest rock bands of all time.
One of the most versatile musicians with an impressive command of the keys.
His time in Ritchie Blackmore's band gave the world a glimpse of his genius and since then, he has been a reference among students and expert rock pianists.
He is undoubtedly recognized as the most versatile pianist of all time. His styles range from soul to pop and ballads. The warmth of his playing is surpassed only by his incredible compositions.
Tips for digital piano students
Is learning to play classical piano and digital piano the same?
If the digital piano has weighted keys and the student focuses on training with academic chamber technique, it's the same. But if the piano does not have weighted keys, it will not be the same, because you will never be able to perform in the same way if you only use soft keys. That is why the agility of a classical pianist will always be superior to that of a keyboard player.
Is it better to buy a digital piano with heavy keys?
Yes. If you have the opportunity, you should look for a digital piano with weighted keys. The greater the sensitivity, the better.
Is chamber music better than music performed by a conventional band keyboardist?
No. To boast of greater musical excellence just because it's academic music is unethical, and goes against what music itself is. There are no musical styles that are better than others, there are only some that are more complex than others.
Do the world's best keyboard players have an academic background?
Yes. You can ask Jordan Rudess, who was trained from the ground up in academic piano music.
Is a classically trained pianist a better musician than a conventional keyboard player?
Being a good musician implies mastering the theoretical and technical aspects of the instrument one plays. This means that if the keyboard player masters these elements, then he can be considered very good or even excellent at their instrument. The same is true for the academic pianist, so every musician can be the best in their field.
Should I start with classical or conventional training?
Our recommendation is that you start with an academic teacher. However, try to find a teacher who is not prejudiced and does not look down on keyboard players.
Which digital piano to buy?
Try to buy a digital piano with 88 weighted keys with hammer action. This is the best model to develop and perfect your technique.
What is the best digital piano on the market?
This depends on what you are looking for. For example, the best digital piano for beginners will not be the best for more advanced levels. We believe that a good combination of quality features and a reasonable price is essential among the best digital pianos.
What is the arranger on a digital piano?
A digital piano with an arranger comes with built-in tracks or rhythm patterns of different genres, accompaniments, training pieces and other aspects that are primarily for self-accompaniment.
The best digital pianos for beginners:
The best intermediate level digital pianos:
The best digital piano for advanced players:
The best digital pianos for beginners
The hammer action is of excellent quality and the control panel is very intuitive.
It's heavy, and has no memory to store interpretations or items of interest.
- Number of keys: 88 weighted keys with hammer action.
- Memory capacity: none.
- Dimensions: 136.5 x 36.6 x 13.7 cm.
- Weight: 13.8 kg.
This cool Thomman electronic piano features weighted keys and hammer action. This is excellent, as it allows students to develop a high level technique, equivalent to that of a classical pianist. Let's take a look at what this Thomman piece has to offer.
As for the construction, we must say that it's quite robust. Its shell is made of reinforced ABS plastic. This material is proven to have excellent durability and is the most commonly used material for beginner level instruments. Only the lower base is made of steel, which provides greater shock resistance in one of the most sensitive parts of the instrument.
The electronic components are what we like most about this affordable piano. Although they are of Chinese manufacture, the design is German and the price-performance ratio is quite acceptable. Something that stands out is the incorporation of two speakers of 10W each. Both perform well.
The best attribute of the Thomann SP-5600 are the 88 keys that almost perfectly emulate the hammer action of acoustic pianos. This feature allows the student to achieve the same experience as classical pianists. Thus, when you are in front of a grand or upright piano, you will not notice the difference and your technique will not be limited.
An advantage over traditional pianos is that this electric piano has hundreds of preset sounds, style patterns and musical pieces. It also has a metronome that allows you to slow down the tempo of the pieces and the musical notes are reflected on the LED display as they are played.
Control panel and connectivity:
The control panel is quite intuitive. It features the accompaniment control with Start/Stop, Sync Start, Intro/Ending, Accompaniment A and Accompaniment B buttons. It also provides Duo, Split, Layer and Sustain functions for adding nuances to the piano sound. Other tools available are: master EQ, Reverb and Chorus effects, a sequencer, five preset demo pieces and the always useful transpose function.
When it comes to connectivity, you have it all. On the one hand, we find the 1/4 jack outputs for headphones that will be very useful to practice without disturbing anyone. It also has a microphone connection, an auxiliary stereo input and output, as well as a USB MIDI output so you can connect your desktop or laptop computer.
Finally, a much-needed sustain pedal, music stand and power supply are included with the purchase.
Unlike an acoustic piano, the Thomman electronic piano features 600 different sounds, including twelve different piano modes with different nuances. In addition, it has 230 preset style patterns and leaves room for ten styles that the user can save as favorites for quicker access. There are also 120 preset pieces of music that vary according to the learning level and whose tempo can be set using the metronome.
This electronic piano has a robust build that has pleased all its users. The action of the keys is its best feature and if you ask a professional pianist he will tell you that this is the only thing that matters. However, we also consider the quality of touch, sound and USB connectivity to be vital. And in this respect, the Thomann SP-5600 lives up to expectations. In addition, the price of this piano will make any beginner happy.
Other similar options from Thomman include:
- SP-320 Digital Piano Bundle: a pack with a piano stool, height-adjustable seat, headphones and a matching sustain pedal.
- Thomann DP-26 Digital Piano Bundle: comes with a piano stool, height-adjustable seat, headphones and an expression pedal, original from the designer.
- KB-15RM: it's only a stool with a 48 to 6 cm high lifting system. It's an option in case you are not interested in a pack.
Yamaha P-45 B digital piano
It has 88 weighted keys with hammer action. The sound quality is amazing.
The sound performance is very basic. It has no memory.
- Number of keys: 88 weighted keys with hammer action.
- Memory capacity: none.
- Dimensions: 132.6 x 15.4 x 29.5 cm.
- Weight: 11.5 kg.
When you listen to the Yamaha P-45 B digital piano, you understand why this sound became the standard among electric pianos. Its quality is impressive in each of the sounds it has, all of them are excellent and will surprise you. But that's not all it has to offer, because there are many more aspects that we will mention below.
Yamaha's quality is a benchmark in the musical instrument market because it builds products that are resistant to almost any man-made catastrophe.
In the case of the Yamaha P-45 B piano, it's made of carbon fiber reinforced ABS plastic. The edges as well as the ends and bottom are made of metal, we believe aluminum. This makes it slightly lighter in weight than competing digital pianos, while at the same time adding to its strength.
The components are of Japanese manufacture, so they have been subjected to exhaustive quality controls equivalent to those of European manufacture. This is why this manufacturer's instruments can last a decade if they are mindfully cared for.
This electric piano has 88 keys that are equivalent in size to the keys of a grand piano. In addition, these feature a hammer effect and counterbalanced action to emulate the feel of an acoustic piano. And boy, does it succeed, as the tactile is identical to that of a Yamaha grand piano. Every pianist will find in this model a compact ally to play chamber compositions with the quality of an acoustic piano.
On the other hand, it has ten presets and a duet mode so you can play along. In addition, for the first time you will find the reverb and chorus effects useful, as their quality is enormous.
Within its features we find the reason for the sound quality: the “intelligent acoustic control” system. It automatically sets the parameters so that the sound is as close as possible to that of an acoustic piano.
Excellent functions for students are the metronome, transposition and adjustable tuning. Also appreciated are the built-in speakers with 6 W of power for good practice sessions on the go.
Control panel and connectivity:
The control panel is very basic and has only a power button, a fader for volume control and a function button to select among the nine available sounds. There are also four buttons for selecting the metronome, demo tracks and reverb/chorus effects.
In terms of connectivity, the Yamaha digital piano features a 1/4″ stereo TRS headphone output, as well as sustain pedal input, power supply and USB port. In this sense, it's a fairly basic instrument.
Please note that this is not a Yamaha electronic keyboard. This is a piano and therefore has the basic functions necessary to please any student. However, due to the high quality of its sounds, it will also appeal to professional musicians who want to buy a cheap digital piano.
Its sound performance is completely basic. It has only two grand piano sounds, two electropiano sounds, several digital piano sounds, two organs, two strings and a vibraphone. Beyond the variety, however, we are met with a sound quality that reminds us with every note why Yamaha became the standard among digital pianos.
Also, the backing tracks in ten presets have good functionality for students to practice as if they were playing with a live band.
The simplicity of this Yamaha digital piano does not detract from its quality thanks to its explosive and realistic sound. Musicians of all levels will find this inexpensive piano a great source of sound quality that is similar to Yamaha acoustic pianos. This is why we recommend it for all learning levels.
Other Yamaha digital piano options include:
- Yamaha P-45 B Mega Bundle: it's the same Yamaha P-45 B but in a pack. Comes with an armchair, metal piano stand, headphones and sustain pedal.
- P-125 BK: a series with a little more performance, but no big deal.
- P-125 BK Stage Bundle: this is a pack option of the P-125 model.
- Yamaha P-125 WH: this is the white version of the Yamaha P-125.
- Yamaha P-121 BK: it's the same as the P-125 but has only 73 keys.
Kawai ES-110 B Digital Piano
Keys with different degrees of sensitivity that respond according to the pianist's performance. It has Bluetooth connectivity.
Although the sound is good, we wish it were of higher quality, more realistic. The keys are somewhat small.
- Number of keys: 88 weighted keys with hammer action, touch response technology (RH-C) and Harmonic Imaging.
- Memory capacity: 128 Mb.
- Dimensions: 131.2 x 28.6 x 14.5 cm.
- Weight: 12 kg.
This Kawai digital piano can be considered a transitional instrument towards the intermediate level. It's loaded with a good amount of modern technology so that students can have at their disposal many of the functions that an intermediate/professional piano should have but at a moderate level.
The entire shell is made of ABS plastic. This is the material par excellence for beginner instruments, but the truth is that we expected more from Kawai. Its price is similar to that of competitors and there is no justification that others should have better materials.
As for the components, this company has always manufactured good quality instruments, because it's Japanese technology. This guarantees a durability of at least five years of continuous use for the most fragile components. However, we give the higher strength components about ten years of endurance.
As for the keyboard, we find 88 keys that are slightly smaller than those of an acoustic piano. This is a disadvantage compared to competition.
This is a digital piano with 88 weighted hammer-action keys. In addition, the Kawai keyboard features something called ‘Responsive Hammer Compact Action' (RH-C) that reproduces the touch of an acoustic piano according to the pianist's touch. In addition, it has the ‘Harmonic Imaging' function that adds warmth to the performance.
On the other hand, the Kawai digital piano has a dual-mode function for playing with accompaniment. But the best thing is that it has a partition mode with which you can divide the piano into several parts and use more than two sounds among its 7.5 musical octaves.
It also has the essential applications for students to have a decent self-education. These are transposition, metronome, lesson and recording to be able to play back the practice sessions through two 7W speakers.
Control panel and connectivity:
The control panel is simple but effective. It consists of a power button, a limited fader-type potentiometer for volume and seven buttons to select and activate the rest of the functions.
Connectivity is also quite simple. It only has 1/4 jack outputs, two headphone jacks, USB input, sustain pedal input and a power supply. Another excellent news is that it also features Bluetooth 4.0 technology. This allows the instrument to be synchronized with computers, smartphones or other Bluetooth devices to transfer information.
As for the sounds, these are also basic. Solo features eight piano sounds and eleven sounds that emulate the string line in an orchestra. It also has ten digital piano sounds and song samples for demonstration, along with one hundred styles to practice accompaniment.
About the sound quality, we must say it's satisfactory. However, due to the price of the piano, something more realistic is to be expected. Besides, some competitors within the same price range offer a superior sound quality.
This Kawai digital piano represents a different, and in some respects, more feature-rich option than most competition. It's true that we want a more realistic sound. But with the possibility of Bluetooth connectivity, among other excellent features, it seems to us to be a good transition into the intermediate level. Therefore, we recommend it for both students and experienced musicians who wish to buy an affordable piano that will be a good option to have in a recording studio.
There are three great options that we discuss in our top picks for beginners and each one covers very particular needs. They also have price differences that can mean something for the user's budget. For this reason, we recommend all three equally, as they are all very good, you just have to decide which one fits your needs/wallet the best. However, if you want the best sound and acoustic feel, then don't think twice and go for the Yamaha P-45. This is probably the best digital piano for beginners.
The best intermediate level digital pianos
In the intermediate level we find digital pianos that can be considered as digital synthesizers and even workstations. Their performance is close to the top of the range although their price is affordable, among other virtues that we will mention in this section. Just be warned that we are not at all conservative, as we have selected some synthesizer pianos and workstations for this section.
Yamaha MX88 digital piano
The sound quality is very realistic in almost all the instruments it emulates. The feel is impressive. Licensed to work with Cubase.
The screen is very small.
- Number of keys: 88 weighted keys with the best feel in its price range.
- Memory capacity: 512 Mb.
- Dimensions: 132 x 40.5 x 16.8 cm.
- Weight: 13.9 kg.
The Yamaha MX88 falls into the synthesizer range, but as a digital piano it's a total blast. In it you have everything you need to not only be a pianist, but to be the next Jordan Rudess.
The Yamaha MX88 is at a higher level of construction than entry-level models thanks to its all-aluminum 7040 frame. This material is used in space structures and therefore its resistance is maximum. In addition, the finish has an impeccable aesthetic appearance.
As for the internal components, they are of excellent quality. The reason is that Yamaha follows JIS quality standards, the equivalent of UNE-EN and ISO in Europe and America. This is why we can rest assured of the durability of this equipment.
This Yamaha electronic keyboard has almost all the necessary functions to be used as a workbench in recording studios. The classical pianist will find the touch of the keys satisfying because they are the same size as an acoustic grand piano. But it also has the feel and hammer action with counterbalanced keys, so you can develop technique without any limitations.
Some interesting features of this electronic piano are the advanced frequency modulation tone generator and 128-note polyphony. This means that it's able to recreate sounds in a realistic way, with the frequency response of a real acoustic environment. At the same time it can reproduce and maintain the sound in more than 120 notes individually.
Moreover, its 7.5 octaves have 16 multi-timbral parts that can be customized thanks to virtual circuit modeling. As a bonus, this piano/synthesizer has an arpeggiator device, as well as a layered partition function that makes it possible to set it in each of the octaves.
Yamaha, aware of the potential and the target audience, also incorporated a file player in MIDI format and also for WAV and AIFF audio that you can use from your USB stick. This interface is also compatible with iOS.
Control panel and connectivity:
The control panel has been designed to provide greater convenience and access to controls with a centrally located LED display. Two infinite turn potentiometers are located on the upper left side for the pitch bend and modulations, a pot of cane for the master of volume and four pots stick to customize attack, decay, sustain and release nuances. These controls are intended to adjust the sound frequency.
It also has four master controls for: the layered parts function, playback and track settings, internal memory histories and quick access to some parameters. On the right side there are two groups of knobs: one serves the function of moderate sound search and the second is the quick access to the libraries by instrument type.
The only drawback is the small size of the LED display, and that makes it difficult to see some of the data on it.
In terms of connectivity, this electric piano includes two line outputs via ¼” Jack connectors. As well as headphone output with stereo quality for 1/4 Jack. It also has an input for controlling the expression and sustain pedals, as well as auxiliary and MIDI/USB output inputs.
Finally, Cubase licenses for PC, Mac, iOS and the synthFM app are included with the purchase. This electronic piano is everything an intermediate musician needs to unleash their imagination.
The Yamaha MX88 has more than forty sound options between pianos, electronic pianos and digital pianos. It also features tons of special sounds for creating sequences, dj tracks and tempo patterns with unbelievable effects .
The quality of these sounds is impressive, their realism far surpasses that of their predecessors. And thanks to the frequency modulation technology and the useful DSP panel, this electric piano lets you customize everything by manipulating the frequencies to achieve your own sounds.
The price-performance ratio of the Yamaha MX88 digital piano is exceptional and has captivated users. Its sound quality is impressive and the overall performance is very adequate. For this reason we recommend it for all pianists who are looking for a versatile, dynamic piano and synthesizer with the ability to meet the highest modern demands.
Another option compared to the MX-88 is the Yamaha MX61 V2 Black: the only difference with the MX88 is that it has 61 keys.
Clavia Nord Electro 6D 61
Excellent resistance. Variety and quality in the sounds it emulates.
Expensive. It has only 61 keys without hammer action.
- Number of keys: 61 semi-weighted keys without hammer action.
- Memory capacity: 512 Mb.
- Dimensions: 90 x 29,6 x 97 cm
- Weight: 8.1 kg.
The 61-key Nord Electro has extensive capabilities that make it one of the best digital/synthesizer pianos on the market. This is due to its construction and functions, which you will learn about below.
Nord manufactures all of its products in 7040 aluminum, which is extremely resistant to shocks. It's also one of the lightest metal alloys in the world. On the other hand, each part of this instrument is assembled in a way that allows for tighter joints.
Its components are of European origin, specifically Swedish. The quality of European components can be matched by Japanese and American ones, but the performance is unparalleled. These are electronic components that can last for decades with the same performance and stability.
Aesthetically, it's a marvel to behold. This piano stands out due to its ferrari red color and the control panel has a wonderful, very visual layout.
What we don't like about this Nord is that it has 61 keys with no hammer action and semi-weighted keys. This feature is critical and the for the price, it should include it. Many other electronic pianos have these properties and cost much less.
It comes with Split and Layer function in each of its three sections and six LED backlit Split commands. It also has an extended polyphony system, an organ modeler along with program selection in Set-List and several knobs to generate sound simulations. In addition, it's backed up by 1 Gb of storage for the piano library and 512 Mb for the sample library.
Control panel and connectivity:
The layout of the controls is quite intuitive. It's true this isn't the cheapest digital piano, but its design is exceptional because it leaves all possible options on the control panel in full view. However, it has been criticized by some specialists in the field. According to them, the piano can be difficult to handle for beginners. But our question is: can it be considered a piano suitable for beginners? In the panel we find the following distribution:
- Central LED display: to observe sound, track, playback, recording, tempo, equalization and other indications.
- Master control: to set the volume, more organs and rotary sound.
- Effects and percussion master: this section contains the vibrato and chorus button for organ sounds, as well as customization options.
- Frequency equalization control: consists of nine faders used to customize the desired frequency range.
- Piano Master: to set sustain, chorus, reverb, apply octaves, arpeggios and other interesting effects.
- Programming master: located together with the LCD display and has the direct access commands to memory, libraries and lists.
- Synth Patterns: its function is to provide direct access to all custom configuration options for synthesizer patterns.
- Effects Master: allows you to apply four frequency bands and up to thirty different effects to all your tracks.
Finally, connectivity is very varied. It has two 6.3 mm jack inputs, a stereo jack input for internal monitor, a stereo headphone output, connection for foot control, sustain and rotary speaker, as well as MIDI and USB connectivity. Undoubtedly this is one of the most complete pianos and will be for many years to come.
The Clavia Nord Electro 6D 61 has all kinds of sounds: acoustic pianos, electric piano varieties, digital pianos, pad pianos, synth piano and ten modulations of strings. It also features sounds of Latin percussion instruments, Latin percussion modules and drums, flutes, oboes and everything you need to work in a recording studio.
It also includes rythm tracks so you can accompany yourself and offers the option to generate your own tracks and save them on the memory. However, the highest praise from professionals has been for the sounds of pianos, mainly acoustic pianos. These are great for their great expressive capacity and acoustic quality.
The Clavia Nord Electro 6D 61 is one of the best choices for intermediate level. The control panel is excellent, even though it has been criticized, but we love it because we find it very intuitive. Also the sounds and quality of all of its elements is exceptional, so it has undoubtedly won many fans. If you want to buy a digital piano that sounds like an acoustic piano and will last a lifetime, this is the best option for you.
Other options before the east Nord Electro are:
- Clavia Nord Electro 6 HP: has 73 keys with counterbalanced action sensitivity and all the features of the Electro 6D 61.
- Nord Electro 6D 73: has 73 with hammer action and semi-weighted sensitivity.
- Clavia Nord Piano 4: 88 counter-weighted keys, hammer action and triple hammer action sensor technology. Also, a small Oled display and three expression pedals.
- Nord Stage 3: with 73 counter-weighted hammer-action keys and 2 Gb of storage. In addition to multiple functions that surpass the Electro 6D 61.
We have reviewed two excellent pianos that have similar performances but with noticeable differences. The price is what sets them apart from each other most, and is the reason why we prefer the Yamaha MX88, as it has an excellent performance and a key touch advantage over the Nord. The Yamaha MX88 digital piano is the best choice for its unbeatable value for money.
The best digital piano for advanced players
An electric piano for advanced players should have weighted keys, a wide variety of functions, realistic sounds and excellent construction and resistance. But at culturasonora, we also believe in value for money, so we have selected an option that meets all these requirements.
Korg Kronos 88
Bomb-proof construction. Counterweighted keys with sensitivity and hammer action. Highest technology effects.
Very heavy and expensive.
- Number of keys: 88 counter-weighted.
- Memory capacity: 62 Gb
- Dimensions: 144.3 x 37.1 x 14.8 cm.
- Weight: 24.1 kg.
The Korg Kronos 88 has become a legendary piano in the history of music. The quality of its piano sounds and other types of instruments put it right at the top thanks to their hyper-realistic quality. But beyond that, it has an impressive performance that has been praised by the world's leading pianists. Let's get to know this jewel of musical technology .
This piano is made of aluminum and carbon fiber, a combination of materials that gives it superior strength. Its electronic components are Japanese and were assembled with reinforcement brackets to keep them stable during shocks.
An interesting aspect of its design is the aesthetic finish. It's finished in black and has real wood panels on the sides that make it look great. It also has rounded edges that give it an almost aerodynamic look.
On the other hand, it incorporates nine sound engines. Each offers a distinct and impressive response to provide maximum interpretive capability. In addition, it features KARMA technology that allows for more precise and dynamic sound modulations. This is due to its responsiveness as a sequencer and effects modulator.
The quality of its keys is top-notch. This is a digital piano with 88 counterweighted hammer-action keys graduated with RH3 technology, which implies a response of three levels of sensitivity. In addition, it has the possibility of combining its extension in 16 parts. At the same time, thanks to its sensitivity, it offers a transition between sounds that is almost imperceptible.
This device offers a wide variety of effects that provide enviable versatility. Some of these effects are sustain, reverb, gain, damper, compressor, delay, among others. They all do an excellent job. Furthermore, it has a Set List mode and a sequencer for 16 simultaneous tracks in MIDI format and 16 in standard audio format. All of them have a recording quality of 24 bits over 48 kHz.
Another cool feature is the ability to split each of the octaves to enter different preset sounds and sequences. This function can be very helpful for a professional musician who wants to perform a song and at the same time have a virtual backing band.
Finally, you have the option of an arpeggiator to enrich your musical performance and a 62 GB internal memory to store all your musical creations.
Control panel and connectivity:
The control panel is amazing. Here we can find an 8″ TFT display with TouchViewTM technology that improves accessibility to library functions and scrolling through each of the sound engines.
On the right side of the panel, there are eight potentiometers for sound and effect equalization with a high degree of sensitivity. In addition, we have the controls of Karma technology to enrich the accompaniment with mixes and samples. On the right side, we find the master controls for volume, power, drum track trigger, ten faders for sound expressiveness control and an open sampling system.
On the left side, we find the numeric keypad for quick accessibility to the instrument sounds and sequences that this Korg piano has. It also has a modulation wheel and effects band activated by motion sensors or touch.
In terms of connectivity, it has two main mono and stereo TRS outputs for 1/4 jack; four independent balanced outputs on TRS for 6.3 mm and an optical S/PDIF input and output. Other inputs include: 1/4″ balanced TRS, two USB A and one USB B for audio and MIDI, MIDI In/Out/Thru, as well as connections for damper, foot and switcher pedals.
The sounds of this electric piano are excellent and this is due to the nine sound engines. They provide the following sound capabilities:
- SGX-2: the realistic sound of acoustic string pianos. There are more than one hundred high quality tunes to achieve the best acoustic piano sound in the world.
- EP-1: over one hundred electric piano tunes that have a dynamic action level.
- HD-1: this ultra HD synthesizer is praised by musicians around the world for its state-of-the-art response and sound quality.
- AL-1: offers an analog synthesizer response reminiscent of the legendary synthesizers of the 1930s, with over eighty tunes available.
- CX-3: this organ modeling system offers over two hundred tunes and has the ability to emulate almost every type of musical organ in the world.
- STR-1: string sounds with hyper-realistic quality. Classical guitars and flamenco guitars have a feel and nuances that are excellent.
- MOD-7: consists of a modern modeling synthesizer with which you can make dj-like sequences.
- MS-20EX: offers an analog modeling response.
- PolysixEX: with this sound engine you will achieve analog modeling in CTM.
The Korg Kronos is the icing on the cake of the best digital pianos on the market. Its sound quality, built-in technology and every feature herald that it will go down in history as one of the best pianos and synthesizers that ever existed. The only downside is the price, but it deserves every euro and every effort we make to have it.
Other high-end electronic piano options include:
- Korg Kronos LS: special edition of the Kronos. It's basically the same piano but they differ in color and that the Kronos LS is lighter.
- Korg PA-4X76 International: has 76 sensitive keys, 1500 sounds, 500 Gb of internal memory and an OLED touch screen. But it has received a lot of criticism because it was expected to be better than the Kronos 88 and it didn't meet those expectations.
Visit our website, there you will find objective reviews of the best musical instruments. We recommend you check out our review of the best accordions.
Technical Characteristics of Digital Pianos
|Thomann SP-5600||88 weighted keys||None||136,5 x 36,6 x 13,7 cm||13,8 kg|
|Yamaha P-45 B||88 counterweighted keys||None||132,6 x 15,4 x 29,5 cm||11,5 kg|
|Kawai ES-110 B||88 counterweighted keys||128 MB||131,2 x 28,6 x 14,5 cm||12 kg|
|Yamaha MX88||88 counterweighted keys||512 MB||132 x 40,5 x 16,8 cm||13,9 kg|
|Clavia Nord Electro 6D 61||61 semi-weighted||512 MB||90 x 29,6 x 97 cm||8,1 kg|
|Korg Kronos 88||88 counterweighted keys||62 GB||144,3 x 37,1 x 14,8 cm||24,1 kg|