Pianos still have a place in 2019. If you want to play for fun, for money, or just because you want to have a new hobby, you can find some great digital pianos for under a grand. Which are the best? Let’s find out.
What to Look for in a Digital Piano
If you’re new to the world of digital pianos, you may wonder what you need to look for if you’re going to get one. Digital pianos are quite different than acoustic ones, after all.
Here are some factors to consider.
What make digital pianos great is the fact they are portable. You can’t bring a half-ton grand piano with you while traveling. A digital piano doesn’t weigh much at all in comparison, and you can usually break it down to store and carry it easier. After all, digital pianos were designed for bands who need to tour quite a bit.
Luckily, digital pianos do not need to have much maintenance. Just dust it every so often and you should be fine. Meanwhile, acoustic pianos need tuning and whatnot. Still, you want a good piano that doesn’t need to be serviced.
Do you want your piano to be loud, or soft so your neighbors don’t hear it? Most pianos have a volume knob and the ability to use headphones. Think about what your noise level should be and see if there’s a piano that matches your needs.
The Ability to Record
What makes digital pianos cool is that you can record, allowing you to show your songs to the world and allow you to upload them. A digital piano that can’t record may not be much use to you, so beware.
Digital pianos should have the ability to connect to your computer or equipment. In order to connect easily, many use USB, or have memory cards. Pick the connection that’s best for you and then you’re set.
Any Other Features
Do you want a keyboard with split capabilities so you can teach others? What about the ability to add various instruments to your performance? Think about this and then see what the piano you’re searching for has.
Finally, think about your own skill level. If you’re a newbie, a cheaper piano maybe a good place to start. If you’re experienced, a higher end model may have more to offer when it comes to advanced players.
The Best Pianos Under $1,000
Now, let’s look at some digital pianos that you can buy if you’re on a budget.
First Pick: Casio PX-870Casio is a well-known name in pianos, and since 2017, there have been two types of pianos they have developed, and we’ll look at this one today.
This model has a better sound system and a redesigned aesthetic. It has 88 keys to choose from, and it does have hammer action. Also, triple sensor detection. This means that you can have more variety and repeat notes faster than before. The feel is nice as well, and can tolerate sweaty fingers.
It sounds great as well, and this is due to its 4 layer tone. It almost sounds like a real piano, and it can have many effects that give it that acoustic feel. It has other features as well to keep your sound interesting.
There are four speakers with 40 watts of power. This gives the piano a strikingly rich feel and it’s quite loud. Of course, you can lower the volume if you like.
There is a built-in recorder feature as well. You can give it a MIDI recording, or just audio record it in general.
There are some downsides, however. It’s a bit heavy and hard to carry around, and the keys can be noisy. Not only that, but there are no preset rhythms. Some may not care about these features, but for others, it may be a dealbreaker.
Budget-wise, this piano goes for people who have the maximum amount needed. You can typically find this piano for about $999. If you want a piano that is the highest budget around, you can’t go wrong.
Second Pick: YAMAHA YDP-143Yamaha is a great manufacturer, with their brand known for making pianos that can fit anyone’s budget. Their line has many different types, and today we’ll be looking at the 143 brand.
Prices for this piano may vary. You can find a new one for $1,099, which is above our budget, but you can also find like new versions for under. It should be easy to make this piano fit the budget. And many of the sellers are from Amazon’s warehouse itself, making it quite good.
This version is good for intermediate players. At this stage, you’re quite good at your skills, but you may want a piano that gives you more options. This is where the 143 comes in handy. It has three pedals, a cabinet, and is quite heavy. It’s over 80 pounds, so while it’s not super portable, it does have quite a bit of weight to it, making it great for hardcore players.
It feels great. With 88 keys that use GHS (Graded Hammer Standard,) you can play it and it feels like you’re playing a “real” piano. As you go into the upper range, it feels light, and as you go lower, it’s heavy. Also, the keytops are quite shiny and feel great. You don’t have to worry about them being slippery whatsoever.
Its design isn’t super amazing, but it does have enough for anyone to get started.
As for its sound, it has a Pure CF engine. This means that you can pick from 3 tones that come straight from a grand piano.
They have other instruments as well, such as electric pianos and harpsichords. You don’t have to worry about this piano having no variety.
It sounds quite amazing, with its sounds realistic and sounding quite good. Whether you’re listening through your headphones or through its speakers, you really can’t go wrong. Its speakers have a rich, powerful sound that few can match, making it the ideal piano so far.
Roland used to be a more expensive brand of piano, and it was uncommon to see them offer anything below a grand. Then, they released this piano to appeal to beginner or intermediate pianists. So, is it good?
The RP-102 isn’t that amazing when it comes to extra features. It’s got a cabinet, three pedals, some preset songs, and a few other features, but besides that, it doesn’t have too much. So what makes it good? Why, the actual song of course. It feels and plays like you’re playing an acoustic piano.
This is thanks to its ivory-feeling keys that feel real, aren’t that noisy, and have all the hammer action you need to get you started.
Also, it has a triple sensor. So, what does that do? Basically, you can give accurate repetition in the keys, allowing you to play more. It gives you a great feeling of a grand piano, and we love it because of that.
Like other pianos, it’s good for absorbing finger moisture and giving you the smoothest play possible. Its realistic touch is one of the reasons to buy it, and if you’re a stickler for feel, we highly recommend.
Of course, feel means nothing if the piano doesn’t sound good. Luckily, the piano sounds excellent. This is due to the SuperNatural technology that gives the sound of a real piano with no problem at all.
The piano sound is best described as rich. While some may roll their eyes at its powerful sound, we like it ourselves. It feels like you’re playing with power.
If you’re unconvinced, we recommend watching a few videos on it in order to give you a better impression. It also gives you a string resonance sound, which few digital pianos do very well.
Is there anything else that’s worth talking about? Well, its connectivity is quite good. Bluetooth and USB can connect it, and you can use apps to give it more sounds. FlowKey and GarageBand are good apps to start off with.
The piano itself doesn’t have the ability to give you lessons despite its preset songs, so these apps can help you out quite a bit. Roland has their own apps as well if you want to get started.
Look for Piano Partner 2, which is available for iOS and Android. The app can give you more functions and songs, making playing a blast. You can even record MIDI performances as well.
Even a new model of this piano goes a little bit over the budget, with it currently being $1,099. However, you can find like new models for less, so we believe this piano belongs on here. So, what does the Korg offer you for that price?
While the sounds aren’t as good as its more expensive C1 counterpart, it still sounds incredible. We all know that with budget pianos, it isn’t going to sound the best, and personally, we believe that is okay. You can always make the upgrade later on if you wish.
There are some disadvantages. There is no lesson function, just like the previous piano, and no MIDI recorder that’s built in. You’ll need to have external help to give you lessons. That isn’t too much of a turnoff, however, it is worth noting.
It does have built-in songs. Thirty of them, as a matter of fact. You can play them back or play with them in real time. It isn’t one-handed, and you can’t change the sound, so remember that when practicing.
As for connectivity, it’s a bit problematic as well. No Bluetooth or USB ports to help you out. This makes it feel a little dated, but you can use a MIDI port if you wish. You’ll need to get a MIDI-USB adapter to do this, and it can be a bit pricy. However, if you’re willing to pay for it, this piano may be worth your time. It does have headphone jack connections and line out jacks, however.
It does sound like we are harping on this piano a bit too much. It does lack the bells and whistles other pianos have, indeed, but its so sleek and smooth that it may be worth the price, especially if you can find an adapter for cheap.
Some people may like its more minimalistic features as well.
Overall, it’s a quality Japanese piano. If you need the other features badly, then you can get another piano, but we believe this piano is quite good for the price.
So which piano is the best? Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. First, sound is quite subjective. Someone may want a piano that sounds like a grand piano, while others may want something a little more toned down.
Also, it depends on what bells and whistles you want. Do you want something with easy connections and many preset songs and apps, or do you want something that’s more minimalistic?
No matter what you choose, all of these pianos are great for a newbie or an intermediate player. You can discover just how good a digital piano can be, and we can be here to help you pick one.
Just remember to buy from a reputable seller, as these pianos are still pricy and you’ll want one that works. Buy smart, play amazing, and you can be on your way to being the best pianist out there.
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