Thursday, November 22, 2012

What's the Difference Between a Digital Piano and a Keyboard?

upright digital piano and grand digital piano
Yamaha Clavinovas
come in Upright or
Grand Digital Pianos
Clavinova = Yamaha's premier line of upright and grand digital pianos

Compact Digital Piano = see Portable Digital Piano

Digital Piano = not a piano (no strings, no need to tune, completely digital, plugs in); 88 keys; it's purpose is to serve as a piano replacement; weighted action similar to that of a high-quality piano; usually offers minimal sounds or "bells and whistles" although a digital piano can be combined with a keyboard

76-key Yamaha keyboard
A Keyboard is identified by 76 or
less non-weighted keys and
lots of non-piano sounds & extras
Grand Digital Piano = a digital piano contained in a cabinet made to look similar to a baby grand piano; comes with piano bench, three pedals and adjustable lid; not portable (may require piano movers to safely transport); biggest speakers and therefore best/most realistic sound of the digital pianos

Keyboard = referring to a non-weighted action keyboard, usually 76 keys or less; it's purpose is not to replace a piano, but to offer other features such as sounds, beats, demos, etc.
Yamaha P-95 P-85
A Portable Digital Piano may
sacrifice a little in sound and
touch, but it can be an affordable,
compact alternative

Piano = referring to an acoustic piano; has strings, no plug; requires tuning

Portable Digital Piano = also known as Compact Digital Piano; a digital piano that is not designed to look exactly like a piano, but is generally made to look more sophisticated than a keyboard or synthesizer; may or may not come with stand, bench or pedal(s); made to be portable; small speakers mean a sacrifice in quality and realism of sound; light-weight  structure often results in a sacrifice in key weight as well (keys are weighted but may feel "cheaper" than the other types of digital pianos)

Roland FP-7F
The Stage Digital Piano may not
look great in your living room, but
it holds its own as a piano replace-
ment as well as adding lots of
advanced options and features
Stage Digital Piano = a hybrid model with the internal features of a digital piano and a sophisticated keyboard or synthesizer; not designed to look like a piano; heavy, but designed to be portable; usually does not include internal speakers meaning it creates no sound on its own, but must be plugged into an amplifier or PA system to be heard; does not come with stand, bench or pedals (must be purchased separately)--so the sound can be as good or as wimpy as the speakers it is connected to

Yamaha CLP
An Upright Digital Piano has a
piano-like cabinet, closable lid,
3 pedals and a piano bench included
Synthesizer = referring to a keyboard that is specifically designed with creation of new sounds in mind; has 100s or 1,000s or sounds programmed

Upright Digital Piano = a digital piano contained in a cabinet made to look similar to an upright piano; comes with piano bench and three pedals; able to be moved by two able adults, but not designed to be portable; bigger speakers and therefore better/more realistic sound than a portable digital piano


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