Manufacturers that had left their mark on the music work with acoustic pianos started experimenting with digital instruments in the 1980s. Today, digital pianos replicate the real deal, from the sound quality to the feel from the instrument's actions, in a more compact format that offers additional music-making features and the option to practice with headphones.
What's Different About Digital Pianos?
With a traditional acoustic piano, hammers and dampers are situated around the strings. As the player hits a key, the damper releases, and the hammer strikes the string to create a note. With grand pianos, gravity assists with this motion; with upright models, springs are part of the mechanism. In both cases, the instrument resonates, and the player feels a specific responsiveness when using the keyboard.
By contrast, a typical digital piano has no strings on the interior - and often, models don't use hammers and dampers. Instead, the sound the player hears when they hit a key is an electronic sample of a tone from an acoustic piano, which is then amplified with a speaker.
The exterior may be designed to look like a grand, baby grand or an upright. However, for conserving space, many digital pianos have a flat, platform-like setup that's easily portable.
Modern Digital Pianos
Beyond the space-saving design, digital pianos are relatively compact, making them ideal to take to gigs, and offer variable volume control - including silent playing - that an acoustic model can't achieve. As well, digital pianos don't require tuning and, long-term, need less maintenance.
Yet, the format has long had limitations. In turn, manufacturers like Yamaha, Kawai, Roland and Casio have sought through multiple measures to replicate the feeling of playing an acoustic. This aspect materializes as hammers for a natural feel, more responsive, touch-sensitive keys for a greater range of dynamics, and functional pedals.
Find a Digital Piano at Alamo Music Center
Alamo Music Center is a premier digital piano dealer, offering new and used models from Roland, Yamaha, Casio and Kawai. Find grand, baby grand, upright and more compact designs for your home or music studio. We offer multiple financing and layaway options, including 12- to 48-month, no-interest options at times, plus trial lessons and an extended warranty.