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I'm buying a new piano but torn between acoustic and digital. Can you help me to decide?

16 replies

ErnestTheBavarian · 03/08/2020 22:51

I started playing a few years ago on a yamaha clavinova. We need to replace it. My daughter, 12,(unwillingly) plays. I like playing, but am tbh totally crap, but I do like it. I do notice a big difference when I have a piano lesson on a real piano, and would love a real one.
I'm concerned about upkeep and maintenance. My friend's piano seems to need more care than a newborn!
As mentioned, i am sadly totally crap, so while neighbours aren't really an issue, i would be mortified at even my family hearing me. To the point it would limit the amount i play. Which isn't very much tbh, but i tend to wake up early...
I would enjoy playing a real one more, as the sound and feel is so much nicer, but the thought of assaulting the ears of multiple victims is a concern.
I know my dd teacher would be very happy. My dd seems to be quite talented, so would probably benefit, and maybe she would play more?
Maybe I'd always regret not getting a real one when I had the chance?
But being able to plug in headphones is so convenient!
I've seen acoustic pianos with silent function, but they are significantly more expensive, to the point i think I've ruled that out.
I also saw today a 'hybrid' Casio gp310 which has Bechstein keys and i thought sounded good, and was maybe the solution. But I'm so torn.... Suggestions?

Also - suggestions for actually learning? My teacher has just left, and I don't have a replacement. Something i can do at home? I would describe my ability level as not far off beginner and disappointing, but keen to improve.

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Longtalljosie · 03/08/2020 22:53

Do you live in a detached house? Because in a flat or a terraced, electric with headphones is a huge advantage

Longtalljosie · 03/08/2020 22:54

In terms of care, tuning us about £80 and I am crap at getting round to it. Maybe once every 2 years (not enough really but after a perfunctory bollocking from the tuner all is fine)

Faerysmoke · 03/08/2020 22:56

I sold my digital piano when I moved and my partner and I bought a real one for our new home. I've played SO much less because I don't want to annoy the neighbours by constantly practising. If I was to buy again I would get a digital for this reason. Our real one is now out of tune and not sure when we can get the piano tuner to come round because of Covid so neither of us have played it for months. If I had to buy again I'd get the best quality digital that I can afford. When I had my digital I could practise at all hours of the day, and now I've forgotten almost everything I learnt. Sad.

ErnestTheBavarian · 03/08/2020 22:57

Yes, detached. But my family live within these walls..... And I do have to look them in the eye, hence enjoying the headphone function Blush.

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dotoallasyouwouldbedoneby · 03/08/2020 22:58

What about Yamaha Portable Grand DGX-660?

You can get it in black or white.
To refresh my playing, I bought Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course. I also had kept all my old music - I gave up at age 15!

NightmareLoon · 03/08/2020 22:59

We have a digital piano. I don't play but DH does and it's brilliant that he can plug in headphones!! We spent quite a pretty penny on it, but it's got proper weighted keys etc.

ErnestTheBavarian · 03/08/2020 23:00

Faerysmoke, this is my concern. I know the noise will bother me, but a real one feels and aounds so much nicer. Or maybe tech has moved on in the last few years. The clavinova, which was not cheap, feels so inferior.

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newyeardelurker · 03/08/2020 23:06

Hi I bought a kawai digital a few years back, I think it's amazing, way better than the old upright I played, and headphones make a big difference. I can practice without disturbing anyone else, my noise cancelling headphones stop anyone else disturbing me.

I would recommend trying as many digitals as you can, though that will be tricky at the moment. They do feel different. If you are near London the shops are south of Oxford Street.

And for a no teacher option my daughter has just started Simply Piano app which looks good so far, subscription based.

Best of luck.

BuffaloMozzerella · 03/08/2020 23:13

You can buy digitals now which have weighted notes to mimic the feel of playing a piano. I have one, it's not perfect but better than playing a plinky keyboard.

cloudjumper · 03/08/2020 23:19

Can you not rent one or the other to see how you get on with it?

june2007 · 03/08/2020 23:21

To me I would want a propper piano, the sound is different for a start and the feel. But digital probably be cheaper.

ErnestTheBavarian · 03/08/2020 23:28

There doesn't seem to be much of a price difference......

Hiring is a good idea. I guess if i decided against it, ive lost money, but at least avoided an expensive mistake.

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thedaytodayyesterday · 03/08/2020 23:28

Piano teacher here - I always recommend an acoustic because of the sound and the feel, you have to pay an awful lot for a digital one to even get anywhere near the same quality. Tuning is £50 and needs to be done once a year. In terms of privacy, most pianos come with a pedal in the middle which muffles the sound quite a lot. The only advantage to a digital piano is, as you say, putting the headphones in for embarrassment free practise! Which can be a big factor, I agree...

Side note : my phone tried to auto correct 'piano' to 'penises' every time during that paragraph.

Asdf12345 · 03/08/2020 23:32

Why not get both? Reasonable used acoustics and electric pianos are very affordable.

dotoallasyouwouldbedoneby · 03/08/2020 23:43

A real piano only ever sounds like a piano. With the digital I suggested (which does have the weighted keys) you can have lots of fun with other instruments or even an orchestra accompanying you, just at the touch of a button. Try watching some YouTube videos to get a feel for the possibilities. That's how I decided.

ErnestTheBavarian · 05/08/2020 19:08

So, decided on an acoustic GrinShock. Its between yamaha b2 and Zimmerman S2 (with Bechstein keys) dies anyone know these? Which is better?

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