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    Acoustic pianos in grand and upright forms have been around for centuries. Not so much as an alternative but as a convenient solution for practicing, digital pianos emerged over 30 years ago and have since revolutionized this family of instruments.

    Yet, players used to an acoustic don't always think fondly of digital pianos: for years, the action never felt quite natural, and the dynamic range could be stunted. Because performing on a piano involves the motion of the hammers and dampers hitting the strings and the response they give, hybrid pianos presented a new experience and solution: harnessing traditional acoustic motion and combining it with digital technology advancements.

    Understanding the Hybrid Piano

    Unlike acoustic and digital designs, a single format isn't utilized for a hybrid piano. Rather, with a grand or upright body, the instrument may begin with a primarily acoustic foundation enhanced with digital components, or start from a primarily digital place and add acoustic action.

    This last part is of particular importance. As one of the features defining the hybrid piano, the instrument still offers acoustic action - the sensation of a hammer hitting a set of strings and feeling one or more notes vibrate once your fingers press the keys.

    Within this arrangement, hybrid pianos encompass models:

    • With fully acoustic action but the digital technology to practice with headphones, like Yamaha's series of Silent pianos.
    • That generate tones from digital sources but utilize an acoustic mechanism.
    • That let the user switch between digital and string-based sound sources, with an action that feels acoustic in each mode. Hitting the strings will often trigger a sound sample.
    • That add speakers to an acoustic piano body to amplify the strings, instead of the traditional soundboard.

    As well, while hybrid pianos blend both models' features, key differences set it apart from a fully digital instrument. Specifically, hybrid pianos rarely have - or are equipped with a simplified form of - sound banks, recording qualities and playback features. Generally, the instrument bridges authenticity and convenience without compromising the experience.

    As another asset, you're more likely to get a hybrid piano with wooden keys, which enhance the playing experience and allow for greater touch sensitivity. In turn, players have an easier time handling faster repetitions and can create a larger range of articulations and dynamics.

    Find a Hybrid Piano at Alamo Music Center

    The premier piano dealer in San Antonio and Austin, Alamo Music Center carries a range of hybrid models offering a choice of actions, plus grand and upright designs. Browse hybrid pianos from Kawai, Yamaha and other manufacturers, and get no-interest, 48-month financing, plus an extended warranty and optional trial lessons.