Best Digital Grand Piano Review in 2018

As a composer who has worked with countless musicians and performed on a number of exceptional and not-so-exceptional digital grand pianos, I'm uniquely qualified to review some of the best digital grand piano offerings on the market. A digital grand piano is a great option for musicians who want a larger piano, but simply don't want to fork over $100,000 for a top-line Steinway piano. Some of the latest grand piano offerings can provide you with years of trouble-free service and exceptional high-quality sounds.

Things To Consider

Selection

Digital Grand Piano

Digital grand pianos are a relatively new addition to the world of digital music. These pianos look and feel just like an acoustic piano, but without the need for maintenance and expensive repairs. However, if you are looking for a digital piano to replace an acoustic piano, you're going to want to carefully review your available options. Many of the pianos on the market don't produce the kind of sound you need, and they often lack the necessary polyphony to pass for a real piano. The problem with digital pianos is that they tend to lack the overtones inherent in a natural piano. This results in a less authentic sound, but by choosing a piano with high polyphony, you can more accurately reproduce the sound of an acoustic grand. 

Benefits

A digital grand piano is an excellent compromise for those who don't want to shell out the cash for an acoustic piano. Leave a digital grand piano alone for three months and when you come back to play it, the piano will still sound the same. A digital grand piano doesn't need to be tuned, and you'll save some money on yearly maintenance. These pianos also look exceptional, and some of the better digital grand pianos are difficult to differentiate from a regular grand piano. Acoustic pianos are difficult to maintain, and even the slightest temperature variations can change the tuning of the piano. Unless you have a dedicated piano room with controlled humidity and temperature, a digital grand piano is the best option for you.

Buying Criteria

There are a few criteria that a baby grand simply must have. If you're not ready to invest in a digital baby grand, it's best to save your money or buy a traditional portable keyboard. You'll get a better overall value, and you won't end up with a piano that simply collects dust. Digital baby grands need to meet the bare minimum requirements and have essential features, including 88 weighted keys, built-in speakers, a MIDI interface, a headphone jack and a high degree of polyphony. Anything less will result in a less than satisfactory playing experience over the life of the instrument. Cosmetic features are also important, and the piano should look and feel like an acoustic grand piano for the best experience.

Care and Use

Digital grand pianos don't require much in the realm of care and use. Unplug the piano, wipe it down with a damp and wet cloth, let it dry and you're ready to play again. Make certain the cloth is simply damp and not soaked. Avoid using harsh cleaners on the piano since they can remove the finish and destroy your finely-crafted piano. Consider investing in a grand piano cover to help keep dust out of the piano when it's not in use. They are relatively inexpensive, and a cover can go a long way to protecting and preserving your vital musical instrument. Find a location that is away from the sun to prevent warping the exterior of the piano. A good digital piano will be made with an acoustic chamber that helps to amplify and project the sound. Warping to the outside of the piano can affect the overall sound.

Controversy

The big controversy with digital grand pianos is that many people feel they are not suitable for use in performance. Many individuals cite the lack of overtones produced by a pure digital sound as a reason to avoid them. On the extreme end, the hardcore acoustic fans will insist that the sound a digital instrument produces is a lie. While a digital grand piano may not produce the full spectrum of sound that a real grand piano produces, the truth is that very few people will be able to hear the difference as long as you get a high-quality digital grand piano. The truth is, no digital piano can compare to the sound of an acoustic piano. However, when you consider cost into the equation, a digital grand piano begins to look like an attractive option.

Prerequisites

Do your homework before purchasing any piano. A digital grand piano is an investment, and you should have an idea of whether a digital grand piano makes sense for you. If you're a performer of popular music who needs a piano that is portable, the digital grand piano may not work for you. Consider a portable piano if you're a musician who needs to take their instrument with them. For the classical pianist, enthusiast or piano teacher, a standalone baby grand piano may offer a suitable option.

Listen to a comparison of a real versus digital grand piano and decide for yourself if the difference in sound is worth several thousand dollars.

Five Best Digital Grand Piano

Kurzweil CGP220W

Best Digital Grand Piano

With this piano, you're really paying for the materials and the chance to have a high-quality piano that really looks like an acoustic piano. If you want a piano that feels like the real deal without the cost, this may be the option for you. When it comes to polyphony, it's not the best digital grand piano. However, the piano is very realistic in the playing experience and for a professional pianist who wants a realistic piano to play on at home, this piano can't get much better. It offers real hammer actions and weighted keys that offer some of the most resilient and life-like action in the world of digital pianos. The hammer action is crucial because it makes it possible to experience an authentic playing experience. The hammers will give the same amount of pushback as a real acoustic piano.

Pros

  • 88-note keyboard with a graded Italian-action set of keys
  • Selectable response levels makes it possible to increase finger strength
  • Tri-pedals and matching bench come included

Cons

  • Heavy piano without wheels makes it hard to move around
  • Piano music stand could be a bit higher to better accomodate concert scores
  • Effective more as a showpiece than a geniune performance machine

Yamaha DGX-660

Best Digital Grand Piano

This piano has a high level of polyphony with the ability to play several notes simultaneously. This is important because the number of voices affects how clearly your chords and complex sonorities come through. With high polyphony, you will get a strong sound that is close to a real acoustic piano. The main issue with a digital piano is the degree of resonance that is lacking since it doesn't use real wire strings to produce the sound. This piano attempts to overcome that problem with a meticulously sampled Yamaha piano for the audio reproduction. This results in a realistic sound that meticulously reproduces the sound of an acoustic digital grand piano. Yamaha produces some of the best acoustic and digital pianos in the world, so you'll benefit from the genuine sound this piano provides.

Pros

  • Full-size 88-key keyboard
  • Input MIDI files and see the music notation displayed on the digital screen
  • Option to record performances for playback at a later date

Cons

  • The piano is a bit bulky, and it is not intended to be moved
  • The piano doesn't resemble a grand piano, which could be a deal-breaker for those who want a replica
  • While the piano is full-featured, it lacks some options such as custom key weighting

Suzuki MDG-300

Best Digital Grand Piano

This digital grand piano is probably one of the best values on the market. It's affordable, costs several thousand less than its acoustic counterparts and has a high degree of polyphony. At 128-note polyphony, you're going to get a robust and true sound that rivals an upright acoustic piano. The design is flawless, and this piano will look amazing in your living room. Additionally, since it's not an acoustic piano, you won't have to worry about keeping it tuned. Place this piano in any room of the house, and easily mount wheels to the bottom of the piano to make it more mobile. This piano has features that simply aren't found in other pianos in its price range. Suzuki pianos tend to be highly reliable, but they don't always have the same refined sound as some of the other high-profile pianos.

Pros

  • Bluetooth capabilities make it possible to listen to music and connect devices wirelessly
  • 128-note polyphony offers professional-level sound
  • Simulated maple inner board adds a touch of class to the instrument

Cons

  • It doesn't provide the highest level of polyphony on the market
  • Heavy piano that doesn't come with built in rollers
  • Limited reverb carryover can result in a dry sound

Suzuki MDG-400

Best Digital Grand Piano

If you want a piano that looks like the real thing, this is a good option for you. The furniture cabinet uses a black lacquer, and the soundboard uses a simulated maple finish for an authentic look. Contains all the features of the 300 model, but this piano runs a bit larger and comes with a better bench. Includes a 4.3-inch LCD TrueColor display for viewing music and other settings. This piano even offers a three-track sequencer, and you can record your songs directly to an SD card for archival. 3D sampling gives the piano a high-quality sound that resonates throughout the room. This digital grand piano is exceptional for those who want to run a studio with a realistic sounding piano capable of producing the full gamut of musical sounds.

Pros

  • Six speakers with two mid, two bass, and two middle range speakers offers a balanced sound
  • 24MB sampling technology offers exceptional sound quality
  • Perfectly proportioned piano design resembles a true acoustic piano

Cons

  • While 128-note polyphony is exceptional in this price range, it isn't the best available
  • The entertainment center feature distracts from the purpose of the piano
  • The hammer action feels a little stiff and unnatural

Williams Symphony Grand Digital Piano

Best Digital Grand Piano

Williams produces economy-level pianos. However, this grand piano is an exception to the norm. The piano offers 174 instruments and a 192MB sample ROM. The piano offers a realistic look, but the piano stand seems a little flimsy compared to some of the higher quality options available. The cost is reasonable for the features, but you can get a piano that will truly keep you happy for a little more. One remarkable feature of this piano is the effective sustain pedal and good tone quality. These two features make up for the slightly stiff piano action and unnatural playing experience. While Williams pianos are considered budget-friendly, they also look incredible and play with a high level of reliability. The Williams piano does offer good polyphony, weighted keys and other high-end features you would expect from a quality piano.

Pros

  • Plenty of sounds and features to keep you entertained
  • Comes with a solid bench
  • Includes the 88 keys necessary to play classical works

Cons

  • Piano bench is sturdy, but it's not adjustable
  • The polyphony seems to be less than ideal for a piano in this range
  • Tone quality is good, but the action of the keys is stiff

Conclusion

Of all the available digital grand pianos on the market, the Suzuki MDG-300 offers the best value for the money. While there are some pianos that cost thousands more, it doesn't make sense to shell out the cash for a piano that barely edges out the Suzuki. This piano offers excellent polyphony, a solid design and will provide years of enjoyment for the proud owner. The piano offers several advanced features and plenty of technology to make this a competitive option in today's increasingly sophisticated world of digital grand pianos.

Stephanie Su
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: