There is something enticing and enthralling about the lush sound of an acoustic grand piano filling the auditorium with music. But since we can’t all fit an entire concert hall into our living rooms, we might just prefer to look for a digital version that still gives us a beautiful musical experience but at a fraction of the size and cost.
Digital grand pianos are designed to emulate the sound and feel of an acoustic grand piano – and sometimes, the appearance, as well. If you’re looking for a digital grand piano for your home or studio, great! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most exciting digital grand pianos that will entice you to get playing even without the concert hall.
Quick glance at the best digital grand pianos:
The MDG-400 is a beautifully packaged digital grand piano with stunningly good sound. Not only does it sound like an acoustic grand, it looks like one, too. This is a very expensive – but also very beautiful – instrument.
Suzuki uses Sound Imaging Technology to create a realistic grand piano sound with depth and expression, delivered through a powerful onboard sound system.
This model features a 4.3-inch display screen, demo songs, and play-along songs. You can connect almost any wireless device via Bluetooth for lessons, music, and extra speakers. If you like, create and record your own music with the piano’s 3-track sequencer and save them to an SD card.
Also included is a matching piano bench. The piano lid opens to reveal its six powerful speakers.
We love this acoustic grand for any musician looking for a beautiful instrument that makes a realistic piano sound.
The Yamaha Arius line is one of the most advanced digital pianos that Yamaha makes. We love this digital piano for its realistic grand piano sound without taking up the space that an acoustic grand piano would require. It’s an all-around quality digital grand piano.
The Arius line uses weighted keys to produce an authentic, grand piano feel, giving you control over your musical expression. In addition, virtual Resonance Modeling digitally recreates the sound and feel of the reverberations of an acoustic piano.
This instrument might be a good choice if you are a beginner or professional musician looking for a digital instrument that fits well in a smaller space. In addition, it doesn’t compromise on sound or feel at a modest price.
Kurzweil’s KAG100 looks like a miniature grand piano but gives you a full range of features for a fully-digital grand piano experience. So the Kurzweil might be the piano for you if you want an elegant-looking machine that doesn’t take up a lot of space.
There is plenty to explore with this digital piano, from its beautifully created grand piano voice to over 200 sounds and 100 accompaniments that you can use to create, express, and delight. You can record, transpose, and pull up the metronome with just a few buttons on the central control panel, then store your creations on the USB drive.
Don’t forget the built-in lesson songs for the beginner pianist and the standard three-pedal package for the advanced pianist.
The Korg G1 Air combines impressive sound quality and a realistic piano feel, giving the player every opportunity for advanced musical expression. This digital piano gives you a grand piano feel and sound in a much more compact digital package. We love this piano for anyone whose main focus is on musical expression and realistic sound and feel.
The Korg 1 Air features the sounds of three of the world’s best acoustic grand pianos, most likely a Bosendorfer, Yamaha, and of course, Steinway. Korg used multi-layered sampling to create a fully immersive musical experience that imitates the damper and resonance of actual acoustic pianos. And, of course, the graded hammer standard provides the realistic feeling of an acoustic grand, as well.
This digital piano isn’t weighed down with frivolous features so you’ll get a nice stream-lined performance machine so you can put the focus on your musical nuance and expression. It also won’t weigh you down with price, either, since it is a moderately priced instrument and a good value for the impressive sounds that it can create.
The Roland F-140R is at the forefront of music technology with its touch sensitivity and layered piano tones. It gives you plenty of voicings, including 11 acoustic piano sounds, to enjoy in such a small package. In addition, there are built-in stereo speakers and a 3D ambiance effect if you’re using headphones to listen to the Roland’s bright, warm piano tones.
There are plenty of built-in sounds and rhythms to make music fun. Don’t forget the onboard recorder and Bluetooth connectivity. You can use Bluetooth to connect to a sheet music app and then use the digital piano pedals to turn its pages wirelessly.
Maybe the best part of the Roland Digital grand piano is its price. It’s a quality instrument that really won’t break your budget.
If you are looking for a digital grand piano, you probably imagine a rich, expressive sound like you would hear in a concert hall. On our list, we looked for digital pianos that intentionally recreated the sound of an actual acoustic grand piano. Different companies will recreate this in different ways, either using a representation of the sound or by using actual recorded sounds.
You may also want to look for an instrument that also mimics the resonance produced by an acoustic grand piano. This added layer of sound will give you an even richer experience as the digital piano imitates the sympathetic vibrations of the surrounding strings that are played, as well as the vibrations, felt in the wooden cabinet.
Extra speakers will give additional resonance to the sound, so if the onboard speakers don’t give you enough oomph, make sure there is a means of connecting additional speakers. You don’t want your amazing piano sounds to get lost in poor speakers.
One of the most critical sticking points for choosing a digital grand piano is not so much what it looks like but what the piano actually feels like and how it responds to your playing. To get the feeling of a grand piano, you’ll want to look for weighted keys with the graded hammer standard.
On a generic keyboard, you’ll be able to easily push down the key to turn on the note and let go of the key to turn off the note with very little physical resistance. On the other hand, a digital grand piano should have both weighted keys, which make the key and the instrument feel heavy, and it should have the graded hammer standard. This means the keys at the lower end are harder to press, just like in an acoustic grand piano. When you press the key, it should respond to how hard or fast you press it to make the digital piano sound louder or softer – just like you would find in an acoustic grand piano.
Weighted action and graded hammer action are essential for budding musicians who need to gain hand strength. They are also important for advanced and professional musicians practicing their expression and nuance.
Some digital grand pianos will give you a little bit of that grand piano ‘look.’ Typically, these will be in a black or white cabinet. It will only be a little bit larger than a typical digital piano, but it will have that telltale acoustic grand piano shape. This size and shape are part of an intentional design to make the instrument more manageable and friendlier for smaller spaces. In addition, these types of digital grands generally include their own padded piano bend and set of three pedals.
However, some digital pianos will have excellent grand piano sound and feel but will just look like a typical digital piano. This smaller-sized digital piano is for space-saving purposes – if people had the finances and the space for an acoustic grand, that’s probably what they would purchase.
Polyphony is another important aspect of a digital grand piano.
The lower the polyphony, the more likely it is for the piano to cut off the sound early if you play too many notes at a time. There will be less reverberation of notes you have stopped playing. A very low number for polyphony can mean a choppy, computer-like sound.
When possible, choose the highest number available for max polyphony for a more realistic, prettier sound.
A digital piano can produce an amazing replica of a grand piano sound, but if it is being played on poor speakers, you won’t be able to tell just how good it is. Many digital pianos are available with relatively good, on-board speakers. More speakers with higher watts are better. However, you might want to consider being able to link to additional speakers.
Some digital pianos are able to create a rich concert hall experience if you use a piano with a high-quality pair of headphones or with a high-quality set of external speakers.
In our digital age, connectivity is key. Bluetooth connectivity is a great addition to a digital grand piano. This way, you can connect to Bluetooth speakers, cell phones, tablets, and other Bluetooth devices for recording, playback, access to lessons, and even sheet music. There are a wide variety of apps you can use with Bluetooth connectivity to your digital piano.
If your digital piano does not have Bluetooth, it may have other means of connecting to devices such as USB or MIDI interfaces.
You may also want additional means of saving your recordings, such as SD cards and USB ports.
At the very least, your Digital Piano will include a headphone jack so that you can practice without disturbing others. Most of these will use a ¼ inch jack, but some may use a mini-jack instead.
Budget is always a consideration when purchasing an instrument. If you spend too little, you risk bringing home an inferior digital piano that doesn’t meet your needs. On the other hand, you can pay excessive amounts of money for features that you don’t really want or need. So you’ll need to figure out what works for your budget.
Although the Korg G1 Air doesn’t look like a traditional acoustic grand piano, it provides the most realistic and dynamic acoustic grand piano sounds, making it our first choice for a digital acoustic grand.
If you’re someone who is primarily concerned with finding the most realistic sound and feel of an acoustic grand in a digital package, then this might be the best choice for you. The Korg G1Air won’t overwhelm you with needless features. Still, it does give you a wide dynamic range, graded hammer standard, an excellent onboard and headphone audio system, and all at a very reasonable cost.
Our only disappointment with the Korg G1 Air is the low polyphony. However, this is less noticeable with piano tones than with other instrument sounds. If you don't like the onboard sound system, you can easily connect to external Bluetooth speakers for a more immersive sound experience. Or plug in the headphones for some private practice time. Either way, Korg’s method of layering sound samples and recreating string resonance will provide you with a beautiful, rich, acoustic grand piano sound.
If you’re serious about bringing concert hall sound to your living room, you’ll want to consider the Korg G1 Air for its price, size, and realistic sound and feel.
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