In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: August 27, 2021
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The advanced pianists are musicians who know their way with the instruments. They are aware that a high-end piano should have excellent sound quality, but also must give you a natural feeling. Thanks to technological progress, these items have many interactive and convenient features.
In this article, we are searching for the best digital piano for an advanced pianist. We examined 37 products on the market to find the most suitable one. The Casio Privia PX-860 turned out to be our favorite pick because it has AiR system to deliver unmatchable sound quality. Furthermore, it includes pre-loaded philharmonic orchestra performances to play along with and many other useful features. In case it doesn’t seem like the best option for you, make sure to check the other nine products reviewed here.
We spent more than 70 hours on our research and used articles written by professionals, and user reviews to form our impressions. We will discuss the crucial features that a digital piano should have. Our team focused on the maximum number of polyphony as it plays a big role in delivering rich and natural-like sound. We analyzed the number of keys and the responsiveness they provide. You may move your piano frequently, which is why size and weight may be important to you. Finally, we analyzed the warranty details so that you can get the best deal out there. We have created our buying guide to help you pick the best digital piano for the advanced pianists. Before that, check our comparison table, and read the in-depth reviews of each instrument in the list.
The first thing you notice is that Casio went with a simplistic design. The beauty often lies in simplicity, and that is true for this model. The product features 88 keys and three sensitivity levels of touch response.
Add to that ten concerts of philharmonic orchestra pre-loaded into the device, and you realize that this may be the best digital grand piano for advanced pianists.
The sound quality is amazing because the Casio used their famous AiR sound system. The resonators do an excellent job and deliver beautiful sound.
Users have three pedals located at the bottom of the device. The product comes with a music stand, but it may be a bit tricky to adjust. The instrument has musical scores for practice, and it also features USB connectivity with Windows and Mac computers.
What are our favorite features?
Impressive AiR sound system
Allows to play along with the philharmonic orchestra records
This digital piano is quite popular among advanced musicians. You can choose between two available colors, but YDP181 seems to look its best in rosewood design.
As for the performance, this is an excellent digital piano for advanced pianists. It contains numerous modern features like the Graded Hammer keyboard with a variable touch sensitivity, which makes it a truly wonderful instrument. Moreover, you can enjoy the LED display, record your performance, and connect the piano to the specialized iOS app. Users will receive a songbook, and the instrument has classic songs integrated.
The sound quality is amazing due to Advanced Wave Memory dynamic stereo sampling, and it even optimizes the sound for headphones if you prefer that way of playing.
The package includes the piano and a chair, which doesn’t have any floor protection. It is a minor flaw, but it may damage your hardwood floor, so make sure to put felt patches or any other protection form.
What makes it stand out?
Adjusts the sound when using the headphones
Can record both hands separately
Numerous modern features improve the experience of using the piano
Roland is a famous brand in the industry, and FP-90 is an outstanding pick for advanced classical pianists. It features 30 registrations with carefully selected instruments, including grand pianos.
Although it is a digital instrument, it delivers the sound of the real acoustic piano with SuperNATURAL Piano modeling technology. The unit is suitable for any location as four integrated speakers contribute to top-quality sound in any environment.
The 88 Hammer Action keys have excellent responsiveness, and the piano features an impressive 384-note polyphony. That undoubtedly puts in in the premium piano category and makes us understand the high price tag better. Unfortunately, the package does not include the stand.
The product has a USB port, but you can use Bluetooth to connect it to your smartphone or tablet. The piano supports WAV files and can record your performance.
What should the best digital piano for advanced pianists have? The answer is simple –the highest user control and top sound quality to impress those who visit your performances. This instrument includes it all.
Nord pinpoints that this is a stage piano, and it has loads of functions suitable for playing live. You will get two displays to ensure no confusion and smooth transitions when changing the settings. Multiple split zones, crossfade function, and seamless integration of external devices via MIDI connectors are features that make the piano stand out from the competition.
It’s a shame that you can’t choose other color combinations. Still, everyone will know you are using a premium piano. Last, but not least, the sound quality is exceptional, and this piano is at the top of the class.
The Grandstage 88 Stage Piano by Korg offers plenty of versatility and control over it. You can easily customize how the instrument impacts the tones.
The instrument features seven SGX-2 sound engines, and 240-note polyphony, which guarantees fantastic sound quality. The weighted keys do a great job of recreating the feeling of playing an authentic acoustic piano.
Make sure to try the layer mode, which allows you to combine two sounds and add reverb or delay to both of them. The overall sound transition is smooth. It can save your favorite sound settings and instantly recall them with a click of a button.
The piano is not the lightest one out there, but it is portable thanks to its compact design. You will, however, need to acquire a stand and bench separately as the box includes only the instrument.
What stands out?
Seven sound engines with 240-note polyphony provide excellent sound quality
If you are looking for the best portable digital piano for advanced pianists, you should check the model designed by Kawai. The ES-100 weighs only 33 pounds, which makes it very easy to carry.
This model has 88 keys and 192-note polyphony, which is quite impressive. The unit, however, lacks a display screen.
The sound delivered seems to be above expectations, and the half-damper capability of the damper pedal will be useful. The piano offers you to choose split and dual-mode. The former separates two keyboard sides, and the dual-mode allows you to play two sounds, one over the other. You can also use memory function for your settings and record up to 3 songs.
You will like the metronome and 100 different drum rhythms for practicing and mastering your skills. MIDI jacks will allow you to connect it to external devices.
What stands out?
A light piano that you can carry around
Split, and dual playing modes give additional versatility
This Korg’s piano aims to stay lightweight. It’s also nice that the manufacturer included the stand and the half-damper pedal in the package. The instrument has 88 keys and 120-note polyphony, which is enough to create an exceptional sound.
The piano has great potential when it comes to volume, and it’s capable of fulfilling even the highest expectations. It can reproduce the sound of 30 instruments, including pianos, strings, organs, and others.
You will notice the weighted keys, which could do a bit better job when it comes to reflecting the acoustic piano. As for other features, you can connect other devices by using Line In and Line Out jacks. Furthermore, this is a great budget-friendly instrument. Finally, it’s worth noting the metal stand is foldable, which contributes to easy transportation.
Some instruments are suitable for use at home, but this is a marvelous option for live performances. The rich and natural sound will undoubtedly impress listeners.
This model has multiple control buttons and knobs with eight available zones for sound mapping. The Scene feature will make the job easier for any keyboardist as you can take snapshots of the instrument’s settings and access them during your live performance. The instrument also has two USB connectors, MIDI and headphone jacks. The 128-note polyphony and SuperNATURAL Sound Engine offer detailed, rich tones, and have more than 1,100 additional sounds.
Please note that the pedal and bench are sold separately. While that’s not an uncommon move, the price of the piano is already high, and that only puts an extra burden on your budget.
Here is another unit designed by Yamaha, but this one is considerably lighter and has a more affordable price tag. As for the features, it is sampled from a grand concert piano made by the same manufacturer.
The sound quality is amazing, and users will like excellent responsiveness. If you hit the key at the low end, it will have a heavier touch response than in the high end.
The instrument has 88 keys and 128-note polyphony. It has interactive functions that you can use to practice, such as Style Recommender. It will suggest a suitable style based on the way you play. You can do records and play WAV files, and connect speakers and headphones via the AUX input. The unit might use a bit more volume, but it is more than enough in most cases.
What stands out?
Multiple interactive functions
Excellent responsiveness thanks to the GHS action keyboard
Dexibell created a unit with a standard 88-key setting but ensured that the maximum polyphony is generous 320 notes, which contributes to authentic and natural sound quality.
The piano features a distinctive design with the white color dominating the sides, although some customers would like to see different colors if this astonishing model. The Weighted Hammer Action keys contribute to the realistic feeling of an acoustic instrument.
If you compare this piano to some previous models made by this manufacturer, it is obvious that the unit offers an enhanced dynamic range and better frequency response. You can take advantage of the 1.5GB memory, which is quite impressive.
The unit is among the lightest ones out there, and you can move it from one location to another effortlessly. Overall, VIVO S7 is a wonderful and powerful digital piano for advanced pianists.
What makes it stand out?
The 320-note polyphony delivers rich sound
Feels like an acoustic instrument
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
It is only available in white color/grey color
Things to Consider
Are you ready to learn more about digital pianos? As a skilled pianist, you probably know a thing or two about these instruments. That is why we will focus on the features that may be of importance to you.
You should make sure to check the FAQ section at the end of our guide. It aims to provide answers to some questions that people commonly ask related to digital pianos. If you are ready, let the digital piano choosing process begin now!
Picking the best digital grand piano
It is crucial that the best digital stage piano for advanced pianists delivers excellent sound quality. The venue where you perform isn’t important if your device can accommodate to any environment with its rich sound range.
We will discuss other features that can contribute to your playing experience and comfort, such as the specifics of the keyboard, additional effects, and instrument voices available. Finally, we will talk about size and weight, and mention how design can affect the performance of a digital piano.
Number of polyphony notes
What is the primary task of any instrument? It should impress the listeners with sound. When it comes to digital pianos that is directly related to the number of polyphony notes available.
Your instrument should have at least a 100-note polyphony. The standard is from 120 – 200, but you will often find units with a higher range. For example, Roland FP-90 offers 384-note polyphony, which is one of the richest sounds you will encounter in a digital piano.
Ultimately, the more, the better rule applies here, but as long as you stick to the mentioned 100-note minimum, you should get sound of adequate quality for most performances.
The standard number of keys for a digital piano is 88, and most manufacturers go with the familiar layout. However, key design and performance can vary significantly. You should always look for companies that ensure to provide weighted keys. Thanks to that, you will be one step closer to experiencing the feeling of playing an acoustic piano.
You don’t want the feeling while you are playing to be fake, but you want to imagine that you are playing a truly authentic instrument. That is why it is vital to the keyboard to have different sensitivity options.
That is how you ensure a realistic feeling, and it is the reason why the Casio Privia PX-860 is one of the user’s favorite. Digital pianos like that one feature real hammer action, which makes you think you are playing an actual acoustic instrument.
The next in line of factors you should consider when choosing the best digital stage piano for advanced pianists is the instrument’s design. As the owner of the piano, you need to like how it looks. However, the design can affect performance.
For example, the positioning of the controls can affect how well you can play the instrument. It is vital that you can use all functions effortlessly.
You should check the position of the display. If the piano has an LED display, you should be able to see it without tilting your head or body. Some units, such as Nord Stage 3 88 will even offer two displays for extra clarity during the performance.
The weight is an important factor if you plan to move your piano around frequently. If you are looking for the best portable digital piano for advanced pianists, Kawai ES100 is the lightest unit out there.
On the other hand, additional weight may contribute to extra stability. In most cases, you will receive a specialized stand and even a suitable bench. While that makes the instrument less portable, it increases durability.
Apart from weight, size is another factor that affects portability. It seems logical – the bigger the piano is, the harder is to move it around. For example, if you need to put the instrument in the trunk of your car, make sure that it fits there first.
Please note that you can calculate the dimensions with or without a stand. Some units come with a stand by default, which is why the height of the piano varies significantly.
Quality of the sound
We already discussed that polyphony number affects sound quality, but the sound engines essential to think about, too. The role of these engines is to produce the sound, recognize the intensity of pressing the keys, and deliver adequate recording.
If your keyboard is cheap, you may hear the same note regardless of how hard you press the key. At best, you may hear it at different volumes. But sound engines take this to the next level and enhance the dynamic range of the sound. Korg Grandstage 88, for example, features seven sound engines to ensure the sound it delivers is of the highest quality. It is worth noting that the speakers also play a role in the quality of the sound delivered.
The digital pianos can create different sounds, and the variety of effects can improve them even more. Let’s take a look at the two most common effects these pianos offer:
Reverb – the task of this effect is to give the sound the sense of space and depth. It should replicate the sound bouncing off the walls and other surfaces.
Delay – it allows repeating the same signal multiple times.
These effects can be convenient if you like to experiment while playing your instrument. They give the user more options, and you may consider that a welcome feature, especially if you are an advanced pianist.
Number of instrument voices
A digital piano has the advantage of playing the voices of multiple instruments. Although advanced pianists usually focus on pianos, it can’t hurt to have other instrument sounds available. That is why the manufacturers implement 20 or more different voices within a single device. In most cases, you can choose between several pianos, organs, choirs, etc. Thanks to this, you can create a real concert-like atmosphere, which can be vital for professional performers.
You can look for a dual voice feature, which allows you to play two instrument voices at the same time. The Yamaha Arius YDP-181 is among the digital pianos equipped with that function.
Memory is another feature that modern digital pianos might have. It enables the device to store songs, as well as keyboard setups and segments you played. You can play the recording and listen to your performance. That allows you to play an entire section with a simple push of a button.
Some digital pianos have pre-loaded songs and even philharmonic orchestra performances. For example, you can feel like you are a part of a large instrumental ensemble if you choose one of the songs included in the Casio Privia PX-860 piano.
A kit contains additional accessories that can improve your playing experience. These may be:
Stands – some manufacturers offer stands that are specifically designed for their units. That is the best way of ensuring optimal stability while you are playing.
Pedals – pedals are very useful for dampening the sound to your preference, and give you more control over the device.
Other items – you can look for items like a chair or a bench for you to sit on while playing, and some manufacturers might include headphones or MIDI connectors.
If you are an advanced pianist, then the chances are that you are aware a high-quality digital piano doesn’t come cheap. The good news is that you can find affordable instruments with decent performance, such as Yamaha DGX650B or Korg SP-280. You can get these and other similar pianos for $800-$1,000.
However, the average cost of a digital piano for advanced classical pianists is anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000. You have a wide range of models available in this price range, and one of your picks could be Yamaha Arius YDP-181.
Some options have prices over $2,000, which means you can expect high-quality units packed with different useful features. In that case, take a look at the Roland FP-90. You will get a piano that resembles an acoustic instrument as close as that is possible. The price of premium digital pianos can even go over $4,000, and these units can be a real long-term investment for professional performers.
Ultimately, please note that you need to combine the price and the features you expect from your instrument. The idea is to find the best balance between quality and price, which is not an easy task, but we hope our guide can help you.
Yes, it does, and an advanced pianist is the one that will be the first to notice the difference. As the polyphony number increases, the differences may become less noticeable, but not if you are an experienced user.
A low polyphony number is something you should avoid because it doesn’t offer the desired sound depth. A higher note polyphony gives you more space for experiments when it comes to layering or sequencing. It is also essential if you want all your notes to sound simultaneously and never disappear. The standard number for high-quality digital pianos is at least 128. You can find some units that go up to 384-note polyphony.
The jury is still out for a definite answer to that question. If the budget allows you, you can’t go wrong with wooden keys. They offer a high level of flexibility, and the material density is the advantage of the wood. Now, some manufacturers managed to design plastic keys that resemble the wooden material well. That means they offer the same density and weight, and the chances are you won’t even notice the difference. If you are sure plastic keys can meet your needs as an advanced pianist, don’t hesitate to go with that option. But if you are unsure how you would feel them, wood may be a better alternative.
It depends on your point of view, but most professionals would agree that even the best digital instrument can never be as good as an acoustic one. That being said, digital pianos come with many advantages. For starters, they are lighter, which usually makes them portable, and they can be more affordable. The modern features, such as playing voices of different instruments and recording your performance, are useful too. If you manage to find a digital instrument with the keys that closely resemble playing an acoustic piano, it may be hard even to notice the difference between the two.
We’ve reached the end of our digital piano showdown, and it is time to announce the winner of this competition.
No one in our team denies that Casio Privia PX-860 impressed all of us, so it deserves the first place. The AiR sound system delivers incredible sound quality, and different key sensitivity levels contribute to the realistic feeling of playing the acoustic instrument.
Next, Yamaha Arius YDP-181 is an outstanding versatile instrument with numerous modern features that can improve the playing experience. We particularly liked the fact that the piano adjusts the sound if you put on the headphones.
Lastly, if you are looking for the best digital piano for advanced pianists, Roland FP-90 might be a wise choice. It supports WAV recording and has connectivity to smartphones. Also, the four integrated speakers and the 384-note polyphony deliver an amazing sound quality.
We hope that our guide helped you to discover which digital piano fits your needs the most. Go ahead and pick your favorite model to take your playing performance to the next level!