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Digital Piano

Yamaha - digital piano market leaders

Whilst to the purist no digital instrument will ever replace an acoustic piano, technology has now almost closed the gap in the quest to produce a digital piano with virtually identical characteristics to its acoustic counterpart. There are a number of different ranges, each adapted to meet different requirements. This article is designed to give you an overview of the choices available.

Market leaders in the field are Yamaha whose expertise and experience in acoustic piano design and manufacture has proved a solid foundation on which to build digital instruments. Consequently, these are the most popular ranges in the market place and we deal almost exclusively with these models.

Why digital?
We sell both acoustic and digital pianos. Each has its own advantages but the following are some of the benefits of a digital instrument:

  • Smaller size
  • A choice of sounds
  • Easier to move
  • No maintenance or tuning
  • Volume control
  • Private practice (with headphones)
  • On board recording
  • Computer and internet connectivity (MIDI)

Key features that make many digital instruments almost undistinguishable from acoustic instruments are:

  • Weighted keys: which mimic the feel of an acoustic piano
  • Touch sensitivity: replicating the hammer action of an acoustic piano

The most similar digital piano to an acoustic (in both feel and looks) is the GranTouch range. Available in both “upright” and ‘grand’ styles they feature an acoustic cabinet and mechanism. However, the strings of an acoustic piano have been replaced by optical sensors, a digital processor and speaker system which resonates the sound through the soundboard. Consequently, the instrument sounds and looks fantastic as well as having the benefits of a digital instrument such as private practice, no tuning, ease of movement and MIDI compatibility.

GranTouch digital pianos

Clavinovas are versatile piano style keyboards that, depending on the model selected, offer a whole new dimension of features. There are two principal ranges, namely “CLP” and “CVP” which offer distinctly different playing experiences.

CLP Clavinova
The CLP range is designed principally for the piano player - with graded hammer weighted keys for a natural feel, and high quality piano samples (sounds) being given priority over a large selection of alternative voices and features. They feature several piano samples, optimised for particular playing styles such as classical or jazz that accurately reproduce every nuance of an acoustic piano.

CLP’s do however also incorporate many features that you would expect of a digital instrument which (dependant on model selected) include two track sequencer, MIDI connectivity, a wide range of additional voices and split modes (two voices to be played simultaneously).

CLP clavinova style digital piano

CVP clavinova style digital piano

CVP Clavinova
The CVP range is more closely related to the organ than an acoustic piano and offers a complete home entertainment package by integrating sophisticated rhythms and accompaniment patterns to a massive range of voices. Additional features include “Karaoke” function (microphone input and lyric display), 16 track sequencer and recording.

The CVP range represents a turning point whereby digital features become more significant to the player than an instrument’s similarity to an acoustic piano.

Electronic Keyboards
These offer a keyboard experience within the context of a more portable and economical instrument. However, this does not have to be at the expense of a realistic acoustic piano feel, touch and sound.

The Yamaha range can be divided into two specific keyboard ranges, namely “DGX” and “PSR” which offer distinctly different playing experiences.

DGX Keyboards
Designed as a keyboard for the piano player and teacher, the DGX range features a choice of 76 or 88 notes and either regular or piano “box-style” touch-sensitive keys together with a range of digital features and connectivity options.

Yamaha DGX electronic keyboards

Yamaha PSR electronic keyboards

PSR Keyboards
Featuring a wide number of models the PSR range offers a high quality musical experience based around 61 full size touch sensitive keys (with the exceptions).

The quality and number of sounds, styles, connectability, recording features and storage options increases as you progress upwards in the range.

These feature-rich keyboards are a fantastic instrument and musical tool for kids (of all ages) and invaluable for use with GCSE and A level music coursework as well as piano practice.

More Information
For additional details about the Clavinova and Electronic Keyboard ranges please see our specific articles.