We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”. The same can be said for digital pianos. It’s hard for any digital piano to rival the true classic aesthetic of an acoustic piano. However, there are plenty of models that come in classic colors and finishes that help to forget the robotics of it. Keeping this in mind, you have to wonder how the rest of the piano fares if the company didn’t put quality materials into the presentation.
Weight and size
Weighted key action or graded hammer action is extremely important in a high quality piano. Stay away from piano keys that are light and feel like plastic. Don’t confuse this for pianos that have plastic keys. Some offer different matte, ebony, or ivory finishes that really impact the way the keys feel under fingers. If you’re testing a digital piano and the keys are slippery or you find that your nails are catching the gaps, it isn’t worth your money. Touch sensitive keys respond to how you depress the keys, but watch closely to how they respond. If you’re pressing lightly, the keys should respond quickly. If you’re playing a long, hard piece, the keys should sustain accurately.
Digital pianos vary in weight and size. These measurements also change when you add additional accessories such as sustain pedals and stands. While I don’t believe the weight or size of a digital piano ultimately determines the quality, I do think that these measurements should be congruent to the amount of features offered. What I mean is, a large, clunky digital piano should offer a variety of features that make the size worth it. If not, move on to a sleeker, more compact design – especially if you need it to be portable.
Don’t expect your digital piano to be made out of authentic Rosewood that will basically decay in your living room. Digital pianos are just that: digital. Most are meant to be portable, while others have great frames to blend in with home décor. You would hope not to be dropping your digital piano on the ground through commutes or want pieces falling off. However, if you want your digital keyboard to last, make sure the materials it’s made of can sustain it. Lower-grade digital pianos tend to have a plastic, marled sheen that is equivalent to a kid’s learner’s piano. This is not an ultimate deciding factor, however if it doesn’t look good, investigate further because other aspects may also be suffering in quality.