What is the difference between acoustic upright pianos and digital pianos?
At Matchetts Music we no longer sell acoustic upright pianos but that does not mean that an acoustic piano is not a better fit for you. In this article we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of both acoustic pianos and digital pianos so that you are better placed to make the right decision for you.
Here in our city centre showroom, over the last 15 years we have seen an increasing shift in preferences for acoustic pianos to digital pianos.
There are a few reasons for this:
The quality of digital pianos in terms of their sound and key action has been steadily improving and has got to a level where most cannot tell the difference especially in the higher end models.
A digital piano is much easier to transport and is relatively maintenance free. They do not require any tuning or regulation.
With their modern slimline cabinets and different finishes to choose from, they fit more comfortably into our modern homes.
That you can have private practice with the use of headphones is a huge advantage.
Cost is also a major factor in the shift. With digital pianos starting at £379 it is a more attractive option for beginners to start on compared to the £2800 plus price tag of a new acoustic piano.
Other advantages of digital pianos are that they offer a range of sound options and recreate other instruments as well as piano e.g organ/strings but unlike keyboards the emphasis remains on piano so they offer a much more authentic experience. There are also apps you can use with a phone or tablet to connect to a digital piano, for ease of use which offers a lot of extra features including recording, more sounds and music scores.
This all said a digital piano is still a recording of an acoustic piano (although this could be seen as an advantage as a cheaper model in a digital piano is sampled from one of the top quality acoustic grands.) You also find that acoustic uprights manufactured today are often nearly as warm and broad as that of a true acoustic grand piano.
Another advantage is that acoustic pianos are constructed of solid wood and metal so with proper upkeep they can last for decades and therefore be seen as an “heirloom”.
Finally you can’t escape the fact that the natural piano key action of a good quality acoustic piano is the thing that the digital pianos are trying so hard to replicate and perhaps only achieve in the higher models, that said this is still constantly evolving.