Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital.

Posted by: bluebilly

Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 02:18 PM

It could be because I'm slow to catch on but I've just realised that when we buy a Digital Piano it likely to be superseded by an upgraded model within a couple of years, making the piano you bought virtually obsolete, and with a diminished resale value, on the other hand if we had bought a "good quality" Acoustic piano it's likely to be good for a lifetime, therefore, in the long run, the seemingly lower cost of the Digital Piano would be absorbed by having to buy a replacement every few years.
Posted by: Vid

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 02:29 PM

Yes and no. I good digital should still last you at least a decade and possibly more. Really the technology isn't advancing enough to make a newly purchased DP immediately obsolete.

But yes, the resale value seems to depreciate rapidly.
Posted by: 36251

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 02:51 PM

You might keep your acoustic piano much longer but they depreciate and they do not sell that easily except for a few brands; most notably Steinway.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 02:57 PM

Just because most people in this forum are 'serial upgraders' (and looking at the NAMM every 6 months for the latest gear to upgrade to), doesn't mean you have to do the same. Buy a DP as you would an acoustic with the intention of keeping it for life, meaning that you probably have to spend more than you intended (just like most people buying acoustics end up spending more than they budgeted for......), know what you want - is it a pure acoustic piano substitute? - or do you want fun stuff on it?; and look at as many as possible, play every DP on your shortlist with your own headphones several times, pay repeat visits to the stores where your favorite ones are, until you are happy that the one you eventually want to buy is one you'll keep for life. (Don't think in terms of resale - you'll just end up with something you won't necessarily be happy with in the long term.)

That's what I did 3 years ago, and I'm even more happy with my purchase now than ever. My decision is also vindicated by the fact that there's been no replacement or equivalent for it, 3 years on.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 03:15 PM

DPs have come a long way since my yamaha p60.. if anything the newest models offer many more features, in light of that fact any purchase you make today will hold you over for many years to come.. for me I'm concentrating on finding an acoustic piano, and will use
my digital for silent practice....
Posted by: SIG77

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 03:56 PM

Resale value is just one factor in considering digital vs. acoustic. Even with this legitimate argument, digital pianos today are more popular, and out-sells the acoustic ones (I verified it with at least two dealers in my area). I think one clear advantage is the versatility. Silent practice for privacy, mixing options with other sound sources (computer/iPad/iPhone/sound modules), and various software inter-operation through MIDI or USB. These are the true values that are made possible just in this decade. You can bet several more folds of such values on the horizon in the coming decade. That is also back to your valid point that one has to "upgrade" to receive those new values. But you will get none of these from a conventional acoustic piano.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 04:38 PM

Originally Posted By: bluebilly
It could be because I'm slow to catch on but I've just realised that when we buy a Digital Piano it likely to be superseded by an upgraded model within a couple of years, making the piano you bought virtually obsolete, and with a diminished resale value, on the other hand if we had bought a "good quality" Acoustic piano it's likely to be good for a lifetime, therefore, in the long run, the seemingly lower cost of the Digital Piano would be absorbed by having to buy a replacement every few years.


Have you factored in all the tunings, adjustments, and action maintenance?

I would have my C3 tuned up six times a year but I had a really good deal with a friend who tuned.

You don't buy either an acoustic or a digital for an investment. You buy because it's what you want and you sell it when you want something new, better, or different.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 04:45 PM

It`s funny some need tunin up so regularly, and others don`t. Could be the piano, or the envirenment I guess.

Yamah have built in a couple of out of tune notes into my digital. So it sounds just like the real thing . . I`m finding it quite liberating . . .
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 05:00 PM

bluebilly: I cannot agree with what you said.

"... when we buy a Digital Piano it likely to be superseded by an upgraded model within a couple of years ..."
Digital pianos are seldom superseded. There have been only a couple of true improvement in the last decade. Progress is painfully slow.

" ... on the other hand if we had bought a good quality acoustic piano it's likely to be good for a lifetime ..."
Except for the top-tiers, a piano has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years, often less. That might well be most of a person's lifetime. But during those years the piano will need $200-$300 in tunings each year (at today's prices ... surely more in the future). Not to mention regulation now and then, some voicing, etc. Over the years you'll spend somewhere near $10,000 on maintenance, in addition to the $5,000 or $10,000 for an upright (more for even a modest grand). That's would buy quite a few digital pianos.

And at the end of a few decades the piano will likely need extensive restoration. Unrestored, its value is likely to be nearly nothing. You might even need to pay to have it hauled as scrap. A proper restoration job will likely cost more than the piano's restored value.

" ... in the long run the seemingly lower cost of the digital piano would be absorbed by having to buy a replacement every few years."
Some people may wish to replace their piano as often as they change their hair style. But some do not. My piano is nearly five years old. I intend to keep it for another twenty years, or as long as the keyboard lasts. (Or as long as my hands, eyes, and brain last.)
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/25/13 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: peterws
It`s funny some need tunin up so regularly, and others don`t. Could be the piano, or the envirenment I guess.

Yamah have built in a couple of out of tune notes into my digital. So it sounds just like the real thing . . I`m finding it quite liberating . . .


A piano that gets played a lot will go out of tune ... a lot.
Posted by: rnaple

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 12:42 AM

Another advantage to a nice acoustic is that you can dolly it in front of the door so they can't get to you. smile
Posted by: personne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 12:48 AM

I need to say I feel pretty much convinced by acoustic piano apologists.
I am considering buying one for the backyard (that is only available space for it :))
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 02:09 AM

Originally Posted By: rnaple
Another advantage to a nice acoustic is that you can dolly it in front of the door so they can't get to you. smile


:-o

Now I remember what I missed about Pianoworld.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 05:09 AM

theJourney, we haven't seen you 'round these parts for a while.

How's it going ...
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 05:18 AM

Great. Playing piano more and talking about it less. Just checked in to see if Namm news worth following... if the vpc1 were priced around 1000 euro I might be tempted...but more interested in the GX...my beloved RX is ready for its 10 year regulation.

How is life in the South? That N3 of yours still pleasing?
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 06:03 AM

Yea, I'm still happy with the N3. I played a NU1 a few weeks ago and am thinking about buying one. I found it more difficult to play than the N3 which I like.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 08:31 AM

"A piano that gets played a lot will go out of tune ... a lot."

The only reason I can think of for that, is the tension in the strings is too near the elastic limit . . . .Lower the tone, man. You know it makes sense!

And then ya get to play "Fantasie Impromtu" in D . . . . .
Posted by: zapper

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 08:39 AM

Originally Posted By: peterws
It`s funny some need tunin up so regularly, and others don`t. Could be the piano, or the envirenment I guess.


could be ears as well...
Posted by: justpin

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 11:04 AM

That assumes you want to sell it.

And forgets maintenance of the AP.


Plus the fact that DPs tend to be a fair bit cheaper.

Casios uber offering is the PX850 followed shortly by the PX5, game changer. These babies sell for £800 in the UK.

A decent new AP will be at least £3000. A decent second hander £1000 at the least.

Plus every 6 months is a retune cost.

DPs are catching up in leaps and bounds! People on here complained of short decay... Mike Martin scribbled notes and the AIR chip nearly doubles the sustain. Still a tad short but what of the AIR 2 chip or the sucessor?


Of course it is different strokes for different folks, but right now I quite like layering sounds. Something impossible on an AP
Posted by: justpin

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 11:08 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
painfully slow.


I think it is deliberate incremental technology improvements.

Like Apple phones. The tech improvements were incremental so they could get people to buy all the increments and more profits.

I am reasonably certain Mike could go to his techs and make a DP which is superior to anything an AP can produce. Except it'll be expensive.

When components get cheaper it can built down to a price point where they can build in large quantities and still make a profit out of it.
Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 12:09 PM

You'd think we were discussing real estate here! Have you ever heard a drummer or bassist or guitar player (or flute player, violin etc) talking about buying a new instrument for resale value? I certainly haven't.

I bought both an acoustic and a digital, based on my need of the instrument! I could care less what someone may or may not think it's resale value is. I don't care if someone thinks it's obsolete because the company came out with a newer version. I expect my digital to last me many years (at least 10) and the acoustic won't last that long as it was old and beat up to begin with. I know when it leaves my house it's going to a dump and knew that when I bought it.

My instruments have value because I play them and I need them in order to play. That's it. I don't think it matters what floats your boat as long as it's floating it.
Posted by: ando

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: justpin


I am reasonably certain Mike could go to his techs and make a DP which is superior to anything an AP can produce.


You just lost all credibility.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 12:40 PM

I'm with you, Becca. I buy what I like, and that's all. I don't buy and replace very often, so resale is not important.

Regardless of the potential resale value ... when something is old enough to warrant replacement, I either throw it away (if it's junk) or donate it (if it has some remaining usefulness).
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: BeccaBb
You'd think we were discussing real estate here! Have you ever heard a drummer or bassist or guitar player (or flute player, violin etc) talking about buying a new instrument for resale value? I certainly haven't.



I have - for the violin (and cello too) grin . Stradivarius and Guarneri string instruments increase in value with time, and are often bought by collectors as investment items, sometimes loaning them out to musicians. Very few musicians are rich enough to own one of them outright.
Posted by: BeccaBb

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 02:15 PM

LMAO I am not referring to collectors but musicians. We could all dream of borrowing one of those types of instruments but dreams are just dreams... (now if someone wants to lend me a Steinway or it's equal I will not say no!) laugh
Posted by: justpin

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 03:25 PM

Really how?

Mike Martin has the Casio corporation behind him. As I said it might not be a marketable product or be able to sell for a profit but it is certainly possible.

The Buggati Veyron is a prime example. Costs £2.1 million to make. Sells for £1.8 million. It is primarily a willy waving tech demonstrator the R&D applied to other cars and sold to other companies as well.

Too big?

From your part of the world came a guy called John Britten. He died in the 90s. He had a dream.

To build a motorbike. He did he built the V1000, when I say built I mean BUILT it. He did not sling an engine into a frame or just add a few parts to an existing bike. He built it from the ground up. He built by hand the engine, the frame, the wheels the exhaust...

All in his back yard.

It had some teething problems, but it proceeded to utterly dominate the twin class for a couple of seasons. None of the big manufacturer sponsored teams could even touch this bike.


The same was said about digital cameras. Film cameras are about 30 megapix. The average consumer digital camera is 20megapix. Pro gear is higher than this.


Now the state of the art in DP tech are the Yam hybrids, which are very very very close. But are costly. But what is expensive today, becomes tomorrows run of the mill.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 04:30 PM

Mike Martin has the Casio corporation behind him. As I said it might not be a marketable product or be able to sell for a profit but it is certainly possible.

With all due respect to Mike Martin, Casio tells Mike what they want and while Mike can offer suggestions, Japanese companies don't want nor ask for suggestions.

I've bought a handful of Japanese keyboards over the years and never once received an after purchase phone call. I have received however several phone calls after purchasing several Volkswagens.

Yamaha, Roland, and Casio don't care what you want, they give you the options to buy what they think you want.

When was the last time anyone here received a followup phone call regarding a keyboard purchase? If anything, you received a call from the local dealer.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne


With all due respect to Mike Martin, Casio tells Mike what they want and while Mike can offer suggestions, Japanese companies don't want nor ask for suggestions.

I've bought a handful of Japanese keyboards over the years and never once received an after purchase phone call. I have received however several phone calls after purchasing several Volkswagens.

Yamaha, Roland, and Casio don't care what you want, they give you the options to buy what they think you want.

When was the last time anyone here received a followup phone call regarding a keyboard purchase? If anything, you received a call from the local dealer.


Maybe I have a different outlook, but the last thing I want after any purchase is to get a phone call from anyone. I just want the thing to work perfectly, and to get great service if there's anything wrong - i.e. someone at the HQ's customer service answering the phone immediately (not an answering machine with lots of options) if I need help, no matter how trivial. Roland UK put me through to their service engineer straightaway when I had problems loading the Evolution updates into my V-Piano (entirely my fault), and sorted it out quickly, and as far as I was concerned, that was good customer care.

The only time I received follow-up phone calls was after my car service.....and I made it plain to them I didn't want to tell them how good their service was (- I always expect good service). They got the message.

BTW, I didn't receive any follow-up calls after I bought any of my cars (Peugeot, then Citroen). I don't know whether French companies care about customer feedback, but as long as their cars work, that's OK by me grin.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 05:19 PM

I want a company to contact me after a purchase and ask my opinion on how things could be better ... but that never happens.

I've offered my suggestions to Yamaha over the years but I have the strong feeling my suggestions fell on deaf ears. My feeling on that issue was confirmed by a Yamaha dealer who told me about a visit he had from a handful of top Yamaha executives on an anniversary of so many years in the business. He had offered an opinion on how something should be done and from the reaction he received he surmised that they were not interested in outside opinions. They run their company internally, period.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I want a company to contact me after a purchase and ask my opinion on how things could be better ... but that never happens.

I've offered my suggestions to Yamaha over the years but I have the strong feeling my suggestions fell on deaf ears.



If you mean suggestions on how Yamaha could improve on the DP they sold to you, surely every customer/purchaser will have different opinions? We can already see, even in this one thread on one forum, how many different opinions there are, and how everyone seems to have their own preferences as to how a DP can be improved (not to mention what they want from a DP).

I can imagine that Yamaha executives and project staff get together annually and decide among themselves - in their Japanese HQ - on how to improve on their existing DPs (or alternatively, how to repackage their existing DPs better for the next season, with a new model name.... wink ), whether it involves adding new features, or whatever. If they were to implement every suggestion from every customer who's ever bought one of their DPs, they'd end up with a monstrosity that costs a monster price that nobody wants. A DP cannot be everything to everyone. Even an AP cannot be everything to every pianist.

If I wanted something on my DP that it didn't provide, well, I only have myself to blame, since I chose to buy it. And it's not as if there isn't any choice out there.....
Posted by: Gigantoad

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 06:29 PM

Originally Posted By: justpin

Now the state of the art in DP tech are the Yam hybrids, which are very very very close. But are costly. But what is expensive today, becomes tomorrows run of the mill.


Close to what? Perfection? Close to an acoustic? To being better than an acoustic?

I'd answer all of those with a resounding "no".
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 08:12 PM

Digitals have another huge advantage, portability. The average American moves every seven years, though those with large pianos probably move less than the average. So add the cost of several piano moves to the cost of an acoustic. For a baby grand or decent upright that might be $500 a move.

It is interesting the bits about asking for advice. Some companies ask more than others. Perhaps Japanese companies are a bit more closed than some other cultures. I'm sure they do some marketing surveys. It may be focused mostly on collecting information from dealers, and perhaps only select dealers. Working with the dealer network would be a lot easier than dealing with piano customers all over the world that speak different languages, and have widely divergent cultural biases and preferences.

While it seems an easy thing to listen to customers, it is not so easy to execute. I remember a story about a computer gaming company that got a group of gamers to help with the next version of the game. Unfortunately, I believe the company got the wrong people for their group. They were not mainstream people. Their priorities were far removed from what I might have chosen. The game was full of clunky features that only the few fans like those in the group appreciated, and lacked a lot of things that more mainstream people might have liked. The game did not sell well.

An example of listening and getting it right, or at least close, was the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The production team enlisted a large group of dedicated Tolkien fans and asked the group for input on many decisions, big and small. While some fans were disappointed by some decisions, overall the fan input made the movies better without alienating the casual movie watcher.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Another advantage of an Acoustic over a Digital. - 01/26/13 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Sand Tiger


It is interesting the bits about asking for advice. Some companies ask more than others. Perhaps Japanese companies are a bit more closed than some other cultures. I'm sure they do some marketing surveys. It may be focused mostly on collecting information from dealers, and perhaps only select dealers. Working with the dealer network would be a lot easier than dealing with piano customers all over the world that speak different languages, and have widely divergent cultural biases and preferences.

While it seems an easy thing to listen to customers, it is not so easy to execute. I remember a story about a computer gaming company that got a group of gamers to help with the next version of the game. Unfortunately, I believe the company got the wrong people for their group. They were not mainstream people. Their priorities were far removed from what I might have chosen. The game was full of clunky features that only the few fans like those in the group appreciated, and lacked a lot of things that more mainstream people might have liked. The game did not sell well.

An example of listening and getting it right, or at least close, was the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The production team enlisted a large group of dedicated Tolkien fans and asked the group for input on many decisions, big and small. While some fans were disappointed by some decisions, overall the fan input made the movies better without alienating the casual movie watcher.


I have been involved in 'customer focus groups' a few times, to do with outdoor and mountaineering equipment (I'm a hiker and mountaineer, among other things..). One was for Polartec, who was launching an advertising campaign for their latest fleece. Ten of us were fed and watered, then asked for our opinions on which photo (out of three) best showed off the properties of the new material. We weren't allowed to consult with each other. The results were almost equally split 4/3/3.

A few months later, I opened a mountaineering magazine, to find a full page advertisement for Polartec's new Wind Pro fleece......with all three photos in it grin.