A piano isn’t just a musical instrument. It is a statement that is essential, that comes with beautiful craftsmanship, plenty of details and even more capabilities. If you have been looking for the best upright piano you already know that this is a difficult task.
There are a lot of models out there and each one is unique. Then we can see that different musicians require different types of piano. Are you looking one for practicing or for professional purposes? Do you need basic or advanced features? All of this will be answered below, with the help of the experts from some of the best brands in the business.
The Cost of the Best Upright Piano
As you would expect, these pianos are expensive. There is a perfectly decent explanation for that. They are complicated to make, they use exotic and high-end materials and they are loaded with technology. Don’t forget that an upright piano will be an investment. You will use it for decades and it will likely be given to the next generation.
The prices vary but we can see that they usually start around $4.500. For this amount, you can get a decent model with all the essentials you are going to need. The other part of the scale is close to $8.000. Those pianos look better, perform better as well and they are more sophisticated.
As you already know, upright pianos do come in different sizes. But, in general, we can see that all of them be located at the same size frame. The height is usually between 110 and 150 cm. Width is almost standard and almost all upright pianos are 150 cm in width. Depth is different though. It ranges between 40 and 60 cm, but there are other, more unique models on the market.
Don’t forget to check the free space you have at your home or a studio before order a piano. The aforementioned sizes are just guidelines!
Why Choose Upright over Grand Piano?
The explanation is simple. Upright pianos are more affordable, they come with more compact dimensions and they are better value for money. Some of you will say that grand pianos look much better, but it is an individual preference. Nowadays, you can find plenty of upright pianos that look excellent and they are beautifully made. Don’t think about cheap upright pianos that you may have seen in some clubs or etc. We are referring to high-end and modern variations.
An interesting advantage of upright pianos is the ability to choose the color and design that will match your décor. After all, there are so many different options out there, so this is far from impossible task.
Digital versus Acoustic Piano: Which do you need?
Sadly, there is no simple answer here. Both versions are sophisticated, different and advanced, so there are a lot of words we will have to use in order to explain the differences.
Benefits of Digital Upright Pianos
The first thing we will have to explain are the benefits of digital upright pianos. This should help you in getting the answer to the previous question, you likely have on your mind.
1. They are more affordable
Digital upright pianos don’t have components such as strings inside them. The entire construction is based on modern technology, which is actually easier and more affordable than the traditional one used in acoustic pianos. As such, they are more affordable. Don’t think that they are cheap. Most models feature high-quality and they are more than just perfect.
2. The temperature won’t affect performance
All digital pianos are made so they are immune to the temperature and humidity. This isn’t the case with acoustic pianos. The temperature will affect the strings and the sound quality. Humidity can damage the components as well. Digital models can be placed literally anywhere and they can be used in rooms that aren’t temperature controlled.
3. Digital upright pianos don’t have to be tuned
Obviously, you will have to tune your acoustic piano. Depending on the environment and the use, this will have to be done 2 times per year. Digital pianos don’t have to be tuned, ever. For most users, this is a massive difference and the one that changes the game.
4. They are lightweight
Eventually, you will have to move your new piano. An acoustic piano will have a weight of 150 kg, which is normal. A digital version will have a weight between 50 and 70 kg, which makes moving it so much easier. We were able to see some musicians avoiding to move their acoustic pianos precisely due to the weight of them.
5. Headphones can be paired with digital upright pianos
Digital upright pianos have the ability to increase or decrease the volume. They can also be connected to the headphones which allow for you to play music literally anywhere. Acoustic pianos don’t have this ability, so you will have to adapt to the surroundings.
6. Digital pianos can sound like many different instruments
One of the main advantages and the most important features is the ability of a digital upright piano to simulate sounds of other instruments. An acoustic piano is unable to do this and you get one sound only.
See also: Best Digital Pianos for Beginners
Advantages of Acoustic Pianos
Don’t think that acoustic pianos don’t have advantages and benefits. Keep in mind that most digital pianos are made to sound or to simulate the sounds of acoustic pianos, so you can understand how important these instruments are.
1. They are an investment
Chances are high that if you get a high-end and the best upright piano which is acoustic, you will make a wise investment. It will likely be even more expensive in the future and it won’t lose the value. Digital pianos are easier to make so their value goes down as time passes.
2. Sound quality is better
Without any doubt, an acoustic piano offers the best possible sound. As we have mentioned the digital piano will simulate the sounds of an acoustic one. That’s why the acoustic pianos are commonly used by professionals and they can’t be replaced by digital versions. A unique relationship between the piano and the pianist can’t be replaced and can’t be seen with any other instrument. The feel of the keyboard isn’t the same as well. Regardless of the quality and advanced design digital piano has, acoustic is still better.
3. Fixing is simple and easy
A professional tuner will fix your acoustic piano within minutes. As a matter of fact, even you can fix most of the issues with a few steps. This isn’t something you will be able to do with a digital piano. Digital upright pianos are complicated to fix and you will need days in order to get your piano up and working. In rare cases, you will have to pay for a repair that is almost as expensive as the whole piano.
Opinions of experts regarding the most popular Digital Upright Pianos
We were able to discuss with some of the experts regarding the best upright piano and we were able to discover a few models that look more than just promising. Let’s see which models are highly desirable and why.
Kawai CS8 and CS11
Both Kawai CS8 and CS11 digital pianos are more than just popular at the moment. The sound quality paired with the responsiveness of a keyboard is impressive. Combined, this makes them ideal for beginners and intermediate users. In addition, they also look stylish and sophisticated, so you won’t have any issues placing them in any décor.
Similarities and differences between these two digital pianos
There are more similarities than differences. Both of them are based on the latest technology and they feature Grand Feel II, wooden keys. The responsiveness is made to meet the requirements of those who want more. You will want to know that both models are capable of providing sound which is similar to Shigeru Kawai EX grand piano.
However, the CS11 is slightly better in this aspect and it comes with more advantages. An interesting fact is that cabinet of the CS11 is based on K200, a real, acoustic piano, so you will have to be a professional in order to tell a difference.
We asked Kawai experts why digital pianos are more and more popular
The best explanation we can give to you is the fact in the complicity of the digital pianos. They have been known for advancing so fast and the latest technologies make all of the needed features and so much more actually possible. For Kawai, specifically for these two models we can add that thanks to the latest HI-XL system, the sound quality is phenomenal.
Obviously, a digital piano won’t be able to sound like an acoustic piano, and there will always be differences in the feel and the tones. However, modern technology allows for digital pianos to be far more customizable, more versatile and flexible in the lack of a better word.
Thanks to the fact Kawai makes actual, acoustic pianos, they are able to match the sound quality of the Kawai CS8 and CS11 just perfectly. It is important to choose a brand that makes both, acoustic and digital pianos in order to get the best upright piano.
Which celebrities use Kawai pianos?
You will be surprised knowing that some of the most popular and the best-known musicians use Kawai models. For instance, Trevor Horn uses CS-series piano at home. Frances is using the latest CS11 we mentioned above, on the world tour. The realistic sound and the number of options make this piano more than just desirable in the world of professional musicians.
Obviously, we won’t be able to mention all the musicians who use Kawai products! Just keep in mind that they are quite popular among professionals and some of the best musicians at the moment. We should add that Kawai has several acoustic pianos that are popular as well.
One, addition we must reveal is that CS series of Kawai pianos aren’t very portable. These models are made to be loaded with features and to provide superb sound quality. On the other side, MP and ES series is far more portable and we can see them used by musicians who are constantly on the move. Even Trevor Horn used the MP11 model while back.
Who will like Kawai CS8 and CS11 the most?
Both models are essential for intermediate users. They can be used by professionals, as you were able to see earlier. The main point is that CS11 is more focused on professional applications. It is the best possible choice for musicians who like playing in small halls, where the sound of this piano will be just perfect.
All of the others, who like playing digital pianos that sound as realistic as acoustic pianos will find both models very appealing. There is an added practicality and plenty of features that musicians like. For example, you can record your playing directly on the USB and use headphones while playing.
The models in question are also powered by the Virtual Technician feature. Now it has been upgraded and it is available via the app you can download. The feature allows for musicians to adapt, change and customize the tones, voicing, curves of the sound and so much more. It is extremely appealing for intermediate users and commonly used by professionals.
Roland LX-7 and LX-17
Roland is another, a popular brand in the world of pianos. The LX series has been very desirable since the launching. The main advantages are pianos that come with excellent design and quality, but at the same time, they offer superb sound quality. Today, this series is one of the most popular ones and definitely deserves an opportunity on our list.
Similarities and differences between the two
At first sight, these two models may look the same, but they are quite different. The Acoustic Projection is an impressive feature that is present in both models. It allows the speakers to play different piano sounds at a specific time on a specific speaker which makes the piano sound even more realistic.
The main difference is in the speakers and the amplifiers. The LX17 has 6 amplifiers and 8 speakers which makes it a powerful piano. The LX7 has 6 speakers and 4 amplifiers. The sound quality is slightly better with the bigger model and it is more focused on professional applications. The lid which is standard for the LX17 does offer significant improvements as well.
Evolution of Roland LX-7 and LX-17
Over the years we were able to see that the Roland LX-7 and LX-17 reached all new potential. These models are better than ever before and they come with plenty of features you will need and you will want to use as frequently as possible.
Roland managed to improve the versatility of both models impressively and above any limits. Now, these units come with USB ports, ability to attach the headphones and so much more. This and so much more made them desirable units on the market that have plenty to offer and they are used by professionals as well.
Musicians who use Roland pianos
Roland pianos have been used by some of the biggest names in the world of music. You probably know that Elton John used a piano made by Roland back in the 80s. It was famous RD 1000. In recent days, you can see that Tom Odell is a fan of Roland’s pianos. In a nutshell, digital pianos made by this brand have been very popular over the years and they are gaining in popularity as we speak.
Advantages of digital pianos according to the Roland’s experts
These pianos are versatile and they are excellent when it comes to playing literally anywhere. They don’t require to be tuned and they come with 10 year warranty. Thanks to the Bluetooth technology, how you can enjoy wireless performance and advantages at any given moment. Roland pianos will definitely make a difference in the music trends and the two models we have mentioned look promising.
Yamaha B series
We consulted the experts from Yamaha and checked what they have to say about the B series. They replied that this series is ideal for beginners and students who are interested in improving their skills. It is also a budget-friendly series of the digital pianos. N series is different though. It is more focused on professionals and it is a prestige series.
Evolving of Yamaha’s digital pianos over the years
The same experts said that the advance or evolution of Yamaha’s digital pianos in the past 10 years was epic. These models are better than ever, they come with more advanced features and they are more suitable for a higher number of users. In addition, the digital pianos are considered to be an excellent investment right now and they come with even better warranties.
Musicians who use Yamaha’s pianos
Here we can see two answers. Digital pianos made by Yamaha are not extremely popular and they are used by some musicians. One of them is Jamie Cullum. On the other hand, we have acoustic, grand pianos that are more than just popular and used across the planet. Chances are high that you will notice a concert grand piano at some point if you are interested in classical music.
Yamaha’s silent technology
The silent technology is one of the biggest improvements this brand offered to us for a long time. It is located on N and NU1 models and also on B series. It provides excellent feeling when music is played and it can’t be compared to any other technology of the same kind. The main advantage is in the fact the technology offers almost identical responsiveness as an acoustic piano.
Why you should go for a Digital Piano?
We asked the same question experts at Yamaha and they replied very simply. The tone module located in their keyboards is just impressive and more than just powerful. It can mimic several, different instruments and the overall experience is massive.
You should choose a digital piano if you are interested in the ability to get the similar acoustic piano feel on a budget, you like the modern features and you like having many instruments into one. Don’t forget that these models don’t require tuning and they are far more portable.
Digital pianos are not the same thing they were 10 years ago. Back then they were still considered as simple musical instruments that were popular among school bands and they didn’t have the ability to provide sound quality that they can provide today. As such, it is common to see professional musicians swapping acoustic pianos for the digital ones. We can add that in the near future, this technology will advance even more so you will be able to get a digital piano that sounds identical as grand concert piano.
We know that one feature makes digital pianos more than just appealing to the professional musicians who have been using acoustic pianos for decades. It is the ability to make the sound quiet with a simple press of a button. The music will be transferred to the headphones, which make a massive difference.
There is no need in telling you that digital pianos are gaining more popularity and that Yamaha is one of the best brands. The acoustic pianos they make are simply stunning and the same thing applies to the digital pianos you can have right now.
See also: Best Digital Pianos Under $1000
We were able to give you all the information you are going to need if you are looking for the best upright piano. We presented you with the detailed guide, the explanations and the recommendations of some models that are popular among professional musicians.
Now is your turn to decide should you go for a digital piano and which model you will like to own and use. All we can add is that all of the tested models are more than just desirable and they are based on the latest technology.