Donner DEP-20 – Should You Buy This Entry Level Keyboard?

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Last updatedLast updated: May 07, 2022
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Donner as a brand was founded in 2012 and is a complete newcomer to the market compared to other music brands such as Yamaha or Casio. They offer keyboards, e-pianos, as well as DJ equipment.

One of their electric pianos is the DEP-20. In this article, the keyboard is technically reviewed and then compared with another model to determine whether there are better alternatives that are perhaps cheaper or offer more for the money.

1.

Donner DEP-2088-Key Entry Level Keyboard

Features
  • Keyboard: 88 keys with hammer action
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Tones: 238
  • Weight: 11.6kg

Keyboard

Donner DEP-20 is a weighted digital piano with 88 keys. The full-size hammer action keyboard of this digital piano is used to authentically reproduce the playing feel of an acoustic piano or grand piano. It lets you adjust your desired playing style.

Sound

The piano has two 12.5W loudspeakers integrated, which produce a very realistic and full sound. So, it can also fill larger rooms without any problems. Even at high volumes, the sound is not intrusive but appears natural and pleasant.

The maximum polyphony is 128, which means that 122 tones can be heard from the speakers simultaneously. Thus, you can use the layer mode undisturbed without losing sound.

The Donner DEP-20 has a total of 238 tones and 200 songs. 

Functions

  • Tuning: You can tune the A4 tone from 415.5 to 465.9 Hz. You can use the baroque as well as the modern tone.
  • Transpose function: With the push of a button, you can transpose up and down to play in the desired key.
  • Metronome: The metronome gives you an accurate speed, making it easier to keep to the note values ​​and practice more effectively.
  • Dual-mode: With the dual function, you can play with two different tones, such as piano and strings, at the same time. The example just mentioned sounds as if there is a soloist at the piano and strings serving as accompaniment.
  • Record Mode: Record Mode allows you to press a button to play the recording and then play it back through the speakers. This is especially beneficial for analyzing yourself when no one else can give you feedback at that moment.
  • Split mode: With the help of this mode, you can assign different tones to the left and right hand and thus use the sounds of two other instruments.

Connectivity Options

The DEP-20 features a convenient 3.5mm headphone output that automatically mutes the internal speakers for silent, undisturbed practice.

What is more, thanks to the 6.35mm output, you can connect any pedal with a suitable plug. It is also possible to connect an entire pedal unit with three pedals.

This keyboard has MIDI connectivity, which is essential for music creators.

Thunder DEP-20 or Thunder DEP-10?

It’s only fair to compare the Donner DEP-20 to its older brother, the DEP-10. The DEP-20 is around $150 higher in price than the DEP-10. However, it turns out that it is worth $150 more when you compare its technical properties.

The first difference can be seen in the keyboard type – the DEP-20 has a keyboard with weighted keys. Therefore keys are heavier in the bass and lighter in the treble. Such a mechanism is also called a hammer mechanism.

There are drastic differences between the two techniques. With a hammer mechanism, there are plastic hammers in the housing of the electric piano, which simulate the touch of a real acoustic piano. This is often highly complex and can only be found on expensive models. The semi-weighted keyboard mechanism is not quite as complex because only small springs are attached under the keys, which ensures a slight difference in weight.

Both models have essential functions, like a metronome and a recording mode. However, more complex functions such as layer mode, split mode, or dual-mode can only be found on the DEP-20.

There is also a clear jump in the number of tones as with the keyboard. The DEP-20 comes with a wealth of 238 tones in total. Among them are all possible piano sounds and stringed instruments such as the ukulele or strings.

If you like to use percussive instruments, you will also get your money’s worth since various drums have also been included. As you can see, this electric piano offers a large selection of tones that provide variety.

The opposite is the case with the DEP-10. There are only eight tones stored in the database.

In the following criterion, the maximum polyphony, both can convince with an extremely high value of 128.

Now, what’s the difference?

In short, the DEP-20 offers more technical possibilities. It has a greater variety of tones, rhythms, and functions.

The superiority of the DEP-20 is clear. However, the comparison is also a bit unfair because, as already mentioned earlier, the DEP-20 is $150 more expensive than the DEP-10.

Is it even worth spending that much more?

From an objective point of view, the DEP-10 has an outstanding price-performance ratio and is the right choice. You get a high-quality semi-weighted keyboard and the full range of 88 keys for a price that you would only get an inferior quality keyboard from some other brands.

You are by no means doing anything wrong with the DEP-20. This electric piano also gives you a lot for your money. For less than $400, you get several hundred tones, high-quality loudspeakers, and a genuine hammer mechanism.

What are its best features?

  • Great value for the price
  • Easy to assemble and transport
  • Comes with 238 sounds
  • Has MIDI connectivity
  • Strong structure
  • Fully Weighted Keys
  • Includes triple pedal

What could be improved?

  • Pedals tend to lose effect on high notes
  • The connectors are somewhat weak
  • Seat not included
  • Sometimes the velocity curve is unrealistic

Conclusion

The DEP-20 is an electric piano in the lower price range. This does not mean only beginners can have fun with this model. It has an excellent price-performance ratio and high-quality components.

Its 88-weighted keys are an excellent choice among beginners or intermediate players. Advanced players and professionals can also have a lot of fun with this electric piano.

And it’s all thanks to the realism of its balanced sound that helps a lot to live an experience very close to the acoustic piano.

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