Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
The five best digital pianos of 2017
With digital piano technology improving in leaps and bounds each year, we thought it was the right time to round up some of our favourite current models from across the range of products we sell here at Red Dog Music, so here we go…
Available stand-alone and as a set with a decent stand, the FP30 has been by far our best selling piano over the last year. Why? Well, until recently Roland didn’t sell pianos this cheap; their instruments were strictly for the higher end of the market. In general, they are not the sort of company that sells “budget” products. However, as technology has progressed and parts have become cheaper, they’ve been able to incorporate more and more of their high end technologies into products at lower and lower price points. This means that technologies like their excellent SuperNATURAL sound engine (which provides an incredible level of sonic realism), full length PHA-4 keyboard (which feels great), and Bluetooth connectivity (for interfacing with piano apps) can all be included.
At a glance:
- SuperNATURAL sound engine sounds great
- Great keyboard action
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Ships with or without stand
- Exceptionally well priced
Casio Grand Hybrid GP500
Unlike Roland, Casio have been known for their budget products (they make keyboards for under £30!). However, that doesn’t mean they can’t turn their hand to high end products and, with the Grand Hybrid series, that is exactly what they’ve done. The big selling point of the Grand Hybrid series (of which the GP500 is the top of the range) is that Casio have collaborated with C. Bechstein, a “real” piano company. This means they’ve paid a lot of attention to making the physical keyboard action “just right”, especially if you’re used to using an acoustic piano. They’ve also paid a lot of attention to getting the sounds spot on, with replications of Steinway, Bosendorfer and Bechstein piano sounds (though these are not named as such, presumably for copyright reasons).
At a glance:
- Real wooden keys provide authenticity
- Great piano sounds
- Good selection of other sounds
- Looks great
Roland Kiyola KF10
The word “artisan” is bandied around rather too much nowadays, to describe everything from coffee to water. However, in this instance, it may actually be appropriate. The cabinet of the Roland Kiyola piano is made of solid wood (something no other digital piano company, and very few acoustic piano companies, can say) and designed by high end Japanese furniture makers Karimoku. It doesn’t just look good, though: the speakers and sound engine are of the very highest quality. It’s not cheap, but if you want something beautiful for your home that will last a generation, the Kiyola may well be the piano for you.
At a glance
- Gorgeous design would look great in any home
- Features the best of Roland’s technology
- Incredible sounding speakers
- Just look at it!
Nord Piano 3
A very different beast to the other digital pianos listed here, not least because it’s bright red! Nord are known for making professional keyboards for the gigging player, so the Piano 3 is built like a tank, and a particularly stylish and ergonomic at that, what with the wooden end cheeks and chunky knobs and sliders. Sound-wise, Nord have sampled some of the finest pianos known to man, as well as some classic keyboards such as the Wurlitzer, Clavinet and others. The focus is very much on build and sound quality, so if you’re looking for bells and whistles (huge range of sounds, Bluetooth connectivity etc.), you should look elsewhere. However, if you want a solid workhorse digital piano, you’ve come to the right place.
At a glance:
- Legendary Nord aesthetics and build quality
- Great hammer action keyboard
- Range of classic electronic keyboard sounds
- Simple, hands-on interface
For a decent digital piano on a budget, you can’t get much better than the CDP130. You can get cheaper keyboards than this, but they’ll lack in either sound quality or the feel of the keyboard. With a good hammer acoustic piano style keyboard, proper sensitivity to your playing style, and decent speakers
At a glance:
- It’s cheap!
- Great keyboard action for the price
- Sensitive to your playing style
- Ten different sounds
That’s about it for this round up. There are a huge amount of digital pianos out there, though, (check out a load of them here) so be sure to drop us a line or pop by one of our stores if you’d like any advice or to try anything out. Happy tinkling!