For the classical pianist, attempting to replicate the experience of playing a concert grand piano is a challenge at best. The top digital pianos on the market today, however, are making this not only possible but easy to attain. With cutting edge technology the ability for a pianist to create authentic-sounding acoustic piano sounds with maximum polyphone (the capacity to produce multiple individual notes together while maintaining each sound) is just an Amazon click away!
Check out these offerings for the best digital piano for the classical pianist:
1. Casio Privia PX-860
The Casio Privia PX-860 is the improved model recently released to upgrade the PX-850. It integrates the best features of previous models and includes new technological features to bring it shockingly close to the sound of a grand piano in a concert hall. Casio’s newest processor, the AiR, or Acoustic and intelligent Resonator, creates sounds by using grand piano samples recorded by multiple dynamic samples. This piano is very clean and elegant looking. It’s excellent performance combined with great value make it a top contender for any musician!
- Weighted keys
- Attractive furniture-style rest with three pedals, available in three colors- black, white and walnut brown
- Options to customize sound output, key responses, string resonance and a unique lid simulator feature, replicating the lid positions of a grand piano
- Extremely high polyphony amount with 256 available notes
- Key weight and responsiveness- the springs that would typically control the keys have been replaced by a series of sensors making for a more exact grand piano feel
- USB port allows for direct connection to PC or Mac computers
- Price point- under $1,500!
- Relatively light weight for a full-sized digital piano at 78 pounds
- Somewhat limited recording capacity at 5,000 notes; this would likely only be a problem for a serious recording artist however
2. Roland DP 603 Digital Piano
The Roland DP 603 is a sleek, minimalist option is as impressive looking as its performance. It includes technology from Roland’s highest end pianos, newly remastered sound output as well as exceptional key feel. It uses the brand new PHA-50 Progressive Hammer Action Keyboard with Escapement creating a playing experience that feels exactly like a grand piano. For a pianist looking to most closely replicate the playing experience of a grand, this Roland digital could be a powerful stand-in option for an acoustic piano.
- State-of-the-art SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling sound technology produces rich and incredibly realistic piano sounds- this is the same sound production engine as on the company’s flagship LX and HP models
- Contains 307 voices for an almost unparalleled array of instruments and outputs
- 384 note polyphony- this is basically limitless and contributes to the overall feeling of actually playing a grand piano
- Progressive Hammer Action keyboard
- Bluetooth connectivity enables seamless pairing with smartphones and tablets
- Twin Piano mode- allows the keyboard to be split into two identical pianos, excellent for instruction
- Roland’s Headphones 3D Ambiance system creates a very realistic and authentic output while the player is wearing headphones- no more tinny or detached headphone experience!
- Notes off function- when switching between this piano’s different voices, this mode kicks on causing a keyed note not to play in the new voice until they are played again- this can cause a slight lag that might make this a lesser choice for a live performance piano
- Higher price point, over $3,000
3. Yamaha YDP164 Arius Series Digital Console Piano
The Yamaha YDP-164 is a newer digital piano in Yamaha’s Arius piano line. It is an affordable and very high quality, 88-key piano that sets into an elegant wood cabinet. On the YDP-164, Yamaha has included their GH3 or Grand Hammer Action 3 system. Combined with the graded keys moving from heavier to lighter as you move from low to high ends, this piano feels very much like playing an acoustic. The simulated ivory and ebony keys provide good feel and grip. This is a very good option for an amateur or home pianist.
- The exciting Smart Pianist App! This allows you to control the piano from an Apple device like an iPad or iPhone, changing voices, creating layers and splits, even recording
- 2 20 Watt speakers produce more sound than many competitors
- Newly recorded and remastered sounds from the Yamaha CFX 9 foot grand concert piano
- Robust polyphony capability with 192 notes
- Fit and finish of the wood cabinet is excellent, making this piano an easy choice to have in a home
- Smart Pianist app is only available for Apple platforms, so other devices won’t be able to utilize it
- Only 10 preset sounds
- While the keyboard does detatch from the cabinet, this piano was definitely designed to be placed inside and to remain in place; it is difficult to disassemble and move, and is quite heavy, coming in at about 140 pounds
4. Kawai CE220 Digital Piano
The Kawai CE220 is a great digital piano option for a professional classical pianist. It is big and beautiful, in a sleek black console. For it’s size alone, 54 inches long and 20 inches deep, it feels much like an acoustic piano! The 88 keys are real wood, lending a uniquely authentic playing feel.
- 22 voices and sounds offer a wide variety of playing options and plenty of available sound effects like layers, tones and rhythms
- Dual and split features
- Unique volume balance slider feature enables the pianist to adjust the volume of two different sounds while layered or split
- Excellent choice for a piano teacher, parent playing with a child, or anyone who frequently plays duets- the ability to split the keyboard electronically into two identical 44 key pianos
- Built-in USB output to connect to a computer or iPad or recording systems, as well as ¼ inch audio inputs and outputs
- Its size and weight of 130 pounds sharply limit is portability for a musician traveling and playing in many locations
5. Korg LP-380
The Korg LP-380 is a powerful yet compact digital piano. Available in five color variations, this is very appealing and buyer-friendly. It features three pedals and Korg’s RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) mimic playing a grand piano.
- Slim size and streamlined design allow it to fit easily almost anywhere without a cumbersome cabinet
- Key Touch Control function enables the pianist to customize the sound and response to playing at different levels
- Energy efficiency- the LP-380 uses less than half its contenders’ energy, requiring only 15 Watts
- RH3 weighted hammer action
- 30 voices and 5 different acoustic piano sounds available
- 120 notes of polyphony lend to a robust sound much like an acoustic piano
- For the traditionalist, the compact size and minimalist console could be a drawback; this piano does not have the presence of a piece of furniture
- No line-in jack, making it unable to connect to an audio player