Up until the advent of jazz & pop music in the first half of the 20th century, the acoustic piano was used almost exclusively for classical music. But as the new musical genres gained popularity, the piano's versatility and sweet tone made it one of the instruments of choice. The following chart below shows our slant towards the Digital Piano , but in summary, there is no right or wrong to which you should get. An acoustic piano is a 'real' piano, and a Digital Piano is a 'replica'. Our true concern, is that one should weigh the pros and cons, and more importantly if it serves your needs and purposes. If space and budget is never a constraint, a Yamaha U1 piano is a sound investment. Otherwise, a Digital Piano may just serve the purpose.
A digital piano is relatively cheaper. You can buy a budget $1k Digital Piano brand new with decent sounds and touch.
You can control the volume with just a knob. You can even play with your headphones plugged in. Which means, you can practise late at night without disturbing your family members.
All Digital Pianos come with a variety of sounds, like strings, electric pianos, organ, etc. You can even select different types of Grand Piano sounds, e.g bright, mellow, etc.
No tuning required. No heater required. No repairs needed, unless you heavily abuse and bang the keys everytime. Your Digital Piano will last you for many years to come.
With today's technology, unlike 10 years ago, you can really expect a Digital Piano to sound like a real piano. Manufacturers take the best recorded piano samples and put it into Digital Pianos. The good pianos today even come with wooden keys, similar to real acoustic Pianos.
A digital piano, no matter how heavy, is still considered portable. You can carry and move around without any professional help. So you suddenly need to shift your piano from one point to another point, even within the same room, you can do so by yourself or with the help of your family members. And of course, digital pianos are space saving.
You can do lots of stuff with it. Built-in drum rhythms, metronome, split keyboard, audio recording for CD burning, or even linking it to your computer via MIDI and even Internet! In a real recording studio, 50% of all jobs are done using Digital Pianos and synthesizers.
A digital piano replicates the actual touch & sound of an acoustic piano with the full 88-key keyboard range. It may not be a real Piano, but it serves the purpose. Or rather multi purposes.
Generally more expensive. Abt $3k to get a decent average one. $10k above for a entry level Essex piano (designed by Steinway & Sons)
There's a mute pedal, but nevertheless, it is still going to be loud if you are playing in the middle of the night. And with the mute pedal depressed, the tone of the piano will be affected > no treble
If you buy an acoustic piano, you are stuck with that sound. It may be bright or mellow sounding. Also, where you put the piano will very much determines how it will sound.
You need to tune your piano every 3-6 months. You need a heater which needs to be on 24hrs.
A real Piano has real piano keys and real piano sounds. But having said so, you will need the right acoustics in your room. Putting an acoustic piano in a small room will result in causing undesirable sound reflections. Cheap acoustic pianos usually feel and sound worse than any digital piano today. However, a real piano will always have the best touch.
An acoustic piano, no matter how light it is, is still going to be very heavy. And you need professional piano movers to get your piano moving. In the event when you need to sell away your piano, this will be one of a major factor, especially if there will be stairs involved. And you will need a considerable amount of space for an acoustic piano.
An acoustic piano is pretty much as it is. But you get a real piano.
It is a real piano, with real hammers and strings. If space and budget is never a concern, get a good acoustic piano. PBE recommends the best of acoustic pianos - Steinway & Sons. Today, the majority of digital pianos are using sound samples recorded straight from some of the best grand pianos.