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#689978 - 12/24/04 03:52 PM Digital or Acoustic
peacockeyes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 7
Sorry, if this is the wrong forum...

I've spent the last few days researching and trying out several digital pianos, many of which are very impressive. But at least 2 of the salesmen I spoke to steered me away from the digitals and strongly suggested buying an acoustic for my son. Their arguments are that the sound on the acoustic is much better (which even I can see), and that a digital piano could be a big distraction for a 6 year old. In addition, acoustic pianos maintain their value very well compared to digital ones.

Now, I'm still leaning towards the digital since it has a lot of bells and whistles (I'm only looking at the digital ensembles like the Kawai CP, Clavinova CVP, Roland). These features can be exciting for a curious young kid (and for his dad), and might actually help develop his interest in and knowledge of music.

Are the advantages of the digital miniscule compared to the potential distracting factor, the lack of resale value and tonal quality as these salesmen have argued?

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#689979 - 12/24/04 06:37 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
for anyone who begins to learn to play a piano, any piano, digital/acoustic, would be good and wouldn't make that much difference. also, it depends on what digital and what acoustic piano you are talking about. a high end digital piano, in my opinion, is much better than a low end upright piano anyway. the advanteges of a digital piano are 1) it never needs tuning; 2)it has midi in/out and recording capability which would be good for learning; 3) it may have more sound/voice selections/features if you choose the model with those (i.e. Yamaha CVP, etc); 4) it wouldn't cost you a fortune in case you would get tired of it, while an acoustic piano is just a piano and nothing more.

#689980 - 12/25/04 10:59 AM Re: Digital or Acoustic
CSG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 494
We've been quite pleased with our Kawai CP115. It does have a couple drawbacks (the keys click when moved from side to side and the string dissonance seems over sampled). However, it feels and sounds like a real piano (a Kawai grand). The sounds samples, rhythms, etc. are a nice touch as is the recorder and loop function. Maybe the biggest blessing is using it woth headphones.

I have played on an off for years so am not a beginner. I was going to by an acoustic upright but decided against it for the reasons signa mentions. A piano like this or its equivalent could take a budding musician a long way. My seven year old starts next month.

All this said, I'm now shopping for a grand for me ;o)

Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120

#689981 - 12/25/04 02:51 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
peacockeyes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 7
Thanks for your responses CSG and Signa.

I like the digital ensembles for their versatility. It'll be as much a toy for me as for my son.

CSG, I'm leaning towards the Kawais. I haven't seen the CP115 yet, but the CP155, 175 and 205 sounds divine. I can get the 155 for US$3500 at a local store. Should I shop around for a 115, or is this too good a price to let go?

I was also quoted $4000 for a CVP204.

The Rolands are great, too, but they're way too expensive.

Is there any reason to consider the Kohler digitals? A local store is selling them very cheap, but I'm not sure about their quality.


Click Here

#689982 - 12/26/04 09:18 AM Re: Digital or Acoustic
CSG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 494
I paid $3000 for the CP115 a couple months ago and have been told by a competitive Kawai dealer I got a very fair price. I didn't care for the 155 the store had but the 175 was awesome. I think my view on these is to spend the least possible because, unlike an acoustic piano, they become almost worthless in time as new technology evolves in the digital world. I can't give you any real recommendation - let your pocketbook and heart be your guide. I will say that I don't want for any features of the more advanced Kawai digitals.

There will be a time in a few more years where there will be a real debate over acoustic vs. digital. Today, digital is VERY good but not quite there yet.
Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120

#689983 - 12/26/04 09:51 AM Re: Digital or Acoustic
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2918
Loc: idaho
This is strictly my personal opinion, but for me there is nothing like an acoustic piano. To me, they are the only *real* thing. Having said that, I understand about the fascination of the other features. I think that for some of us, the emotional appeal of an acoustic piano is almost unexplainable. Acoustic pianos have a soul for me, while a digital does not. Now, if you don't have those kinds of feelings then you should totally disregard everything I just said. When I bought my first piano I had the option of buying a good electronic (digital didn't exist yet) or an acoustic. I went back and forth and finally it came down to that feeling that an acoustic gave me that a "plug-in" just couldn't. You have to decide based on your needs.
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

#689984 - 12/26/04 12:17 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
Peacock, I think a digital is OK, but then that's what I have. Caveat: don't buy a low end digital that is a mistake for sure. I now own a high end CLP 990 and I really like it. Especially for beginners, it is great to be able to try out different voices. For one thing it does get boring practicing the same song over and over again, but it makes it more interesting to try out the different sounds. I aspire to own an acoustic someday. There is a rich sound to the acoustic which as good as my digital is, it does not have that amount of resonations which the acoustic has. But my digital is great for practicing with headphones, recording what I play, and using the metronome. Just be sure you get a good keyboard -- my CLP 990 has a wooden keyboard that is just like an acoustic which I really like!

#689985 - 12/26/04 03:22 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
CSG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 494
Just one more thought from the guitar side of things. Electric guitars are now so evolved that you can get pretty much any sound you like from them. These days, I now only own one acoustic guitar and 14 electrics. It's not totally a fair comparison because there are more similarities between electric and acoustic guitars (one uses the body to amplify string vibrations and the other uses microphones). Point is, a good player can work with a good digital piano and make it sound *about* as good as an acoustic. I've been woking on a standard, "Here's That Rainy Day", and it sounds fabulous on the Kawai. I get all sorts of expression from that piano, digital or not.

However, as I said in my first post, I am actively searching for an acoustic grand now that I have the place to put one. The best choice is to have both ;o)
Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120

#689986 - 12/27/04 03:08 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 548
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Noticed you are asking your question in the digital forum, does that show a bias?

Tried getting going again with digitals. They gathered dust.

Just got an acoustic and cannot keep my hands off it. Beautiful sounds and great action. Avoid cheap acoustics also. Maybe a studio with a mute pedal.
Kawai K-800

#689987 - 12/29/04 09:40 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
RandomThoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Canada
Peacockeyes, you sound like you've kinda already decided for a digital \:\)

Here's my experience... when I shopped for a piano as a kid, the digital/acoustic question was easy: the digitals sounded like crap unless they cost more than the acoustics. I got an acoustic.

Now, I can (and did) get a cheaper digital with a better touch than the acoustic that I bought.

So basically, if you can afford anything... you could get a really good acoustic. If you're on a reasonable budget (a few thousand), a digital would probably fit better (than an acoustic costing the same) and do more while your son decides if he's really interested.

Besides, you sound like you've decided you want to play with it too - and that's an important consideration, right?

#689988 - 12/29/04 10:25 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
peacockeyes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 7
Thanks for your responses. As some of you correctly guessed, I've decided to buy a digital piano after being briefly swayed by a couple of well-meaning salesmen. I just didn't like a few cheap acoustic pianos that I tried out. I would have to pay over $6500 to get the kind of acoustic piano I'd like and miss out on all the bells & whistles the digital provides.

But which digital? That's a whole other story, part of which you can read in another thread I posted yesterday. I'm leaning towards the Technics PR604 (getting it for around $2.2K - $2.4), although I like the Kawai CPs better.

#689989 - 12/29/04 10:47 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
RandomThoughts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Canada
Isn't technics out of business now?

#689990 - 12/29/04 11:08 PM Re: Digital or Acoustic
CSG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 494
You should be able to buy a Kawai CP115 for $3000. I did.
Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
Kawai CP155
Yamaha P-120

#689991 - 01/08/05 08:15 AM Re: Digital or Acoustic
cobs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 327
Loc: London
Yes, technics are now finished.
A proud employee of Yamaha-Kemble Music

(please scan all posts with bias scanner...)


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