Are you looking for info about the best digital piano for classical pianists? You are in the right place. Digital pianos have become very popular due to their diverse features. They are versatile and can be used to create multiple genres of music while still giving rich and vibrant sounds.
Some of their appealing factors are that they are mostly affordable, compact, and generally lightweight, which contributes to portability.
With such attributes, digital pianos have managed to set themselves as the best alternatives to the traditional acoustic pianos. They incorporate modern technology with a bit of conventional aesthetics to produce acoustic sounds.
However, the best digital piano for classical pianists entails more than just recreating the look and feel of traditional keyboards.
Classical music is a very different kind of music, formal actually, taught in the school curriculum. Therefore, classical pianists require an instrument that can adhere to their strict rules and techniques in performing.
Although many digital pianos try to match such characteristics, only a few have the capabilities. So, in this post, we have our five best picks – top of the line digital pianos that produce untamed sounds to give you an authentic classical feel.
1. Yamaha YDP-184 Arius Series Console Digital Piano
Starting us off in the list of the best digital piano for classical pianists is the flagship model of the Arius series from Yamaha, the Yamaha YDP-184 digital piano.
The Arius line consists of pianos with the most advanced features that you would hardly find on any other model. Now, if you are a classical pianist, then the YDP-184 digital piano is one instrument that you can’t afford to overlook, and we’ll show you why.
If you like traditional upright pianos, then you’ll love this one since its cabinet is a bit more lifted. However, the piano is still much smaller and slimmer than most uprights we’ve come across. At the end of the keys, you’ll find a red velvet accent as it is a tradition of Yamaha’s upright digital pianos.
The pedals as well have the same red velvet accent, which gives the YDP-184 a premium and classical look. Only available in rosewood, this piano’s finishing is matte with wood grain. To ensure that the instrument stays clean when not in use, the music rest of the YDP-184 is foldable backward.
On the control panel, you’ll find a reasonably sized LCD, which makes the fine-tuning process an easy one. The YDP-184 weighs about 123lbs (26kgs), and the dimensions after assembling are; 57” x 36” x 18” (W x H x D).
The YDP-184 offers superb playability and feel with its Graded Hammer 3 (GH3) 88-key piano action keyboard. Additionally, the key-tops feature a synthetic that feels like ebony and Ivory to reproduce the touch of an acoustic piano. It (the synthetic) also absorbs any moisture from your fingers and prevents them from slipping.
The GH3 action means that you get a heavy feel in the lower register of the keyboard and a lighter touch as you progress to the upper octaves. What’s more, this piano features a three-sensor configuration to capture and interpret the keyboard’s behavior to provide a grand piano-style response and feel. Therefore, it allows quick note repetition and natural expressive control.
Yamaha featured the YDP-184 with one of their renowned Sound Engines, the CFX. It offers sparkling highs and powerful resonant bass with sounds that to the furthest reach of any concert hall. Since sound resonates throughout the body of the instrument, the YDP-184 features a newly enhanced Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM).
The VRM calculates aliquot resonance in the upper octaves, rim, frame, and the full depth of the soundboard. As a result, the piano offers vivid, bright, richly-valid expressions that reflect the unlimited number of factors inherent in piano performance.
Just like the pedaling on grand pianos, the YDP-184 has half-damper pedal control that creates more detailed nuance and subtlety when playing. When you depress the damper pedal, you’ll get Stereo Sustain samples that provide mellow reverberations.
Similarly, the Damper Resonance present on this piano offers broad and deep resonance when you use the pedal. The result after that is more authentic and similar to that of acoustic pianos.
You can record up to 16 tracks for simultaneous playback with the MIDI recording function. Also, both hands can be recorded separately and played back together, and with a polyphony count of 256-notes, there’s nothing you can’t play on the YDP-84 digital piano.
The recordings are made in Standard MIDI file (SMF) format, which means that you require compatible software to playback your recorded compositions on a computer.
- Headphones – Standard stereo phone jack (x2)
- MIDI – IN, OUT, THRU
- AUX IN – Stereo Mini
- AUX OUT – [L/L + R] [R]
- USB to Host and USB to DEVICE.
Overall, there are a lot of features the Yamaha YDP-184 digital piano has that most of its competitors in the market can’t match. Overall, the features, build, and sound quality of this piano sets it apart as the digital piano for classical pianists.
2. Casio Privia PX-870: The New Privia Flagship
Recently released, the Casio Privia PX-870 digital piano is a predecessor of the Casio PX-860 digital piano from the Privia series. The piano has a modern cabinet design, and comes with three piano-style pedals, hammer-action keyboard with Ebony and Ivory feel keys.
Therefore, it has the potential to deliver the most realistic piano sound in the series. On top of that, the PX-870 comes with numerous upgrades from its predecessor. Let’s take a look at its features to see how they compare against classical pianists’ requirements.
The Casio PX-870 is a furniture-style digital piano with a compact and stylish design that can easily fit into any home décor. When fully assembled, the dimensions of the piano measure; 54.8″ x 11.7″ x 31.5″ (W x D x H). The measurements are pretty standard, which means that the piano can easily fit into tight spaces.
But you should note that the PX-870 isn’t your average portable digital piano. It weighs around 75.6lbs once fully assembled, and you would need a helping hand to move it around.
Unlike its predecessor, the cabinet on the PX-870 is much smaller in height and has fewer seams. Available in both white and black wood finishes, the PX-870’s cabinet is made of fiberboard of fine wooden texture.
For a cleaner and less cluttered look, Casio placed the controls to the left side of the instrument. There you’ll find eight buttons dedicated to the main sounds, as well as the functions. You won’t need to memorize all the combinations since there are little labels above the keys to show what settings they change.
The only downside about the PX-870 control panel is that it lacks a display. You, therefore, have to rely on beeps to know which the currently selected setting is.
In addition to the piano’s 88 full-size keys, Casio featured the PX-870 with its famous Tri-sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard II. It uses actual hammers to simulate the touch and feel of an acoustic piano, which makes it one of the best keyboard actions in the market.The triple-sensor key detection system means that the piano has faster note repetition.
It also provides a smooth and responsive piano playing experience. The graded mechanism on the keyboard means that keys on the lower-end feel heavier and lighter as you progress towards the high-end.
Additionally, the keys are touch-sensitive and also feature three preset touch-sensitivity settings to choose from. If the aim is to play classical music on the PX-870, then we recommend you use the Medium touch-sensitivity setting as it feels more natural.
The PX-870’s award-winning AiR Sound Source includes a new four-layer stereo grand piano that comes alive with realistic damper resonance, simulating the entire body of the instrument. The keyboard also includes key action sounds, key off simulation, adjustable hammer response, and a lid simulator with four positions.
Additionally, the piano consists of string resonance, which exposes the sympathetic harmonic relationships between vibrating strings. The sound mechanism is the reason the PX-870 tops as the best digital piano for classical pianists.
There are a total of 19 instrument tones, with the ability to both split and layer them as needed. With a polyphony maximum of 256-notes, you can rest assured that even the most complex performances will sound perfectly natural. The music library has 60 songs with room for more than ten songs of your choice. Also, the piano has a 2 track MIDI Recorder that you can use to record your performances.
Alternatively, you can insert a USB drive into a discreet port the piano to capture your compositions as a 2-channel audio recording. More interesting, the PX-870 Concert Play feature that allows you to play along with ten recordings of well-known orchestral pieces.
On top of all that, the Casio PX-870 is well heard with a new sound projection system that fills the room, studio, or hall with rich, detailed sound. It has an expressive 40-watt, 4 speaker system designed to envelop both the player and the audience with sounds coming from different places on the instrument. The same is the case with a traditional grand piano.
- Class-compliant USB – With this, you can connect the piano to any PC, Mac, iOS, or Android devices.
- Standard phone stereo jacks – You’ll find two ¼” stereo jacks to connect your headphones. Since the PX-870 lacks Line Outs, you can use the stereo jacks as alternatives.
- USB to Host and USB flash drive port.
READ ALSO: The Best Digital Piano Under $1000
3. Suzuki MDG-4000ts Baby Grand Digital Piano
The Suzuki MDG-4000ts Baby Grand digital piano is a serious instrument for serious pro players. Thanks to the technology, touch, feel, and sound packed into the MDG-4000ts are astounding. Unlike most prime digital pianos from Suzuki, this one is relatively affordable considering the potential it has.
So, why do we think the MDG-4000ts is among the best digital piano for classical pianists? Well, check out some of the features below to find out.
Since it’s a Baby Grand, the MDG-4000ts digital piano comes fitted in a furniture-style cabinet measuring 4′. The finish on the cabinet is a beautiful Black Hi-Gloss European chrome hardware. Once assembled, the piano measures 58″ W x 48″ D x 37″ H and is 311 lbs.
The keyboard on the piano features 88 full-size keys that have the brand’s renowned Fatar graded hammer action. The action works great, just like in a baby grand piano to deliver precise sound.
Since the keyboard is velocity-sensitive, you can change the touch-sensitivity to your liking. You can do that by using the 7” full-color LCD touchscreen available on the control panel.
Sound is an ocean when it comes to the Suzuki MDG-4000ts digital piano. It has over 600 selectable voices, 256 General MIDI voices available for MIDI playing, 240 rhythm styles, and 17 drum kits. Additionally, there are 9 Demo songs that you can use to learn, together with the Auto-Accompaniment feature.
Pre-programmed inside also are 1000+ voices with the capability to both Split and Layer them. The piano has a 16 track sequencer capable of storing 500 of your songs thanks to its 32GB internal memory USB drive. Sound effects include the Digital Reverb, Chorus, and an EQ adjustable with 4 Graphic Faders.
The sound is delivered through a uniquely built 6-speaker sound system with a total of 250 Watts that’s fitted on the piano’s stand. Therefore, you get accurately balanced sounds capable of filling a room of any size.
The Suzuki MDG-4000ts digital piano also comes with the three-pedal mechanisms, just like acoustic pianos. When playing, the Sustain pedal function works just as best as the damper pedal on a grand.
The piano also includes 128-polyphony notes which enable you to play the most complicated classical music pieces. There is also the Metronome function with On/Off, assignable beat, sound, and volume. The Tempo range starts from 30 to 280, and the piano has a Tap tempo as well.
- AUX input: Yes
- MIDI connectivity: I/O
- Line output: Yes
- Line input: Yes
- USB Connectivity: Yes
- Headphone jacks: 2
- Pedal inputs: 3
- Storage type: USB, SD
If you compare both the features and specifications of the Suzuki MDG-4000ts with other pianos, you’ll find that it’s offering exceptional value for its price. The piano has an exemplary sound system capable of fulfilling professional pianist’s requirements.
4. Roland F-140R Compact Digital Piano
The Roland F-140R digital piano is a contemporary, compactly designed instrument best suited for smaller apartments. It’s packed with useful technology from the leader in digital piano innovation. Instantly, you get to experience authentic and expressive piano tones that are nothing short of remarkable.
The piano has built-in stereo speakers that project rich, full sound, while the Headphones 3D Ambience effect completely immerses you in your performance.
Also, the keyboard has rhythm accompaniments that make playing enjoyable. It also gives you control of a full backing band to automatically follow the chords you play. Here is what the piano offers for classical pianists.
The Roland F-140R is a furniture-style digital piano that can fit into almost any small spaces in dorms, hallways, and even a studio. Other than that, it can add elegance to your décor with its clean look. The piano measures 53.5″ wide, 13.5” deep, and is 30.6” high.
You’ll require some minimal assembly, and once you complete the easy process, the whole unit weighs about 76 lbs. When the piano isn’t in use, it has a folding music rest that closes to cover the keyboard completely. Like most prime digital pianos, the Roland F-140R comes with a 3-pedal unit also found on digital pianos.
The piano has a built-in display, and although small, it helps make the playing experience much better. On the control panel, you’ll find a total of 13 buttons for all the main features and sounds of the F-140R. You can purchase the piano in either of the two colors: Black or White.
The piano features full-size 88 keys PHA-4 Keyboard with Escapement and Ivory feel. The PHA-4 keyboard action is the most affordable in Roland’s arsenal and feels more authentic than others within the same price range. Thanks to its “medium-weight” action and Ivory feel keys, the PHA-4 feels pleasant to the touch and is a joy to play.
Since the piano is fully-weighted, it uses the hammer system to simulate the feel of authentic piano hammers hitting the strings in an acoustic piano. The characteristic is well known as the touch-sensitivity or velocity sensitivity, which uses the 3-sensor key detection system.
To make it more interesting for classical pianists, the Roland F-140R has the Escapement feature that perfectly simulates the grand piano feel. Moreover, the white key-tops have an Ivory feel textured material that makes the playing experience feel more natural.
Roland used one of their best sound engines on the F-140R, the SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine. If you aren’t familiar with it, the SuperNATURAL sound engine uses multi-layered piano samples recorded from a 9′ grand piano at different velocity levels. The physical modeling of the keyboard makes the sound more vibrant and more resonant.
Also, organic elements in the piano, such as the key-off simulation, damper resonance, and string resonance, enhance the sound. For classical musicians, this piano offers rich, bright tones, with a wide dynamic range, long natural decay times, as well as harmonic overtones rarely found pin most digital pianos.
In total, the Roland F-140R digital piano has 316 built-in sounds, including 11 piano tones to choose from. If you want to change the brightness of the sounds, you can easily do so by adjusting the Brilliance within 21 levels.
Moreover, the F-140R has a polyphony count of 128-notes to facilitate the many built-in sounds when playing. For the generation of sound, the sound system is moderately built with a 24W output consisting of two 12cm speakers.
- DC in jack
- Input jack: Stereo miniature phone type
- Output jack: Stereo, small phone type
- USB port: USB type B port
- USB MEMORY port: USB Type A
- Phones jacks x 2: Stereo miniature phone type, Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
With its onboard rhythmic capabilities, the Roland F-140R digital piano enables you to play and practice music along with a mesmerizing backing ensemble.
With 72 rhythm styles, the piano covers a diverse variety of musical genres, such as jazz, rock, Latin, reggae, among many more. The diversity within the piano enhances creativity and makes Roland F-140R one of the best digital piano for classical pianists. Read the full review of the Roland F-140R digital piano.
5. Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
Last but certainly not least, in our reviews of the best digital piano for classical pianists is the Kawai ES8 digital piano. It’s the perfect choice for players who prefer portability alongside a compact design.
The piano’s design doesn’t sacrifice on its performance, as the Kawai ES8 comes packed with premium features. One feature we liked is the Responsive Hammer III keyboard action due to its authentic feel.
The piano also features breathtaking sounds captured from Kawai’s flagship Shigeru Kawai SK-EX Concert Grand Piano.
Elegantly and compactly designed, the Kawai ES8 digital piano features a glossy metal cabinet. The piano has a long speaker that extends from the left side of the keyboard to the right. It is 54″ wide, 14.5″ deep, and 6″ high, which makes it capable of fitting in any small apartment.
The ES8 weighs about 50lbs, and this isn’t a surprise considering that it has a metallic frame for a cabinet. The interface is user-friendly and has 26 buttons plus a volume slider. Therefore, it eliminates the process of memorizing button-key combos for different functions and settings.
Additionally, each button features a separate LED that lights up when a particular function or sound is selected. You, therefore, get a clear interaction with the piano on what’s going on in just a glance. What’s more, the Kawai ES8 has an LCD screen that makes the control panel more intuitive.
The new Responsive Hammer III keyboard action on the ES8 recreates the exceptional touch of an acoustic grand piano. With both a realistic and rigid design working together, this action gives you a smooth, natural piano playing experience.
There’s also a triple-sensor key detection system that enhances responsiveness and accuracy as you play on the Kawai ES8. The RH3 action also offers Let-off simulation, which currently stands as the best and most authentic action on any digital piano.
Kawai as well added some metal counterweights to the keys to balance the weight of the embedded hammers. How does this help you ask, it facilitates a quicker action and a more enhanced key return. The keys are further enhanced by a simulated ivory finish to make the touch feel more authentic.
The ES8 features Kawai’s exclusive Harmonic Imaging XL with 88-key piano sampling. This unique technology creates sounds with the highest level of detail and clarity possible. With each tone having its unique style and character, there isn’t a style of music that you can’t play on the Kawai ES8.
There are a total of 34 built-in sounds in the piano sampled several times, and at different volume levels. For further enhancements of the sounds, there are six types of Reverberation sound effects. As an accessory, the piano comes with the F10-H deluxe damper pedal with half-damper capability.
A total of 256-polyphony notes on the Kawai ES8 ensures that there aren’t any note cutoffs as you play. In regards to sound generation, the piano has two (8 x 12) cm speakers that are loud enough, almost like in an acoustic piano.
- MIDI: IN and OUT
- Headphones: 2 x ¼” Stereo jacks
- LINE IN: 1/8” Stereo [unbalanced]
- LINE OUT: ¼” L/MONO, R [unbalanced]
- USB to Host
- USB to Device
The Kawai ES8 digital piano might be compact, but it still ranks as one of the best digital pianos for classical pianists. Its overall unique features and exemplary sound abilities make this piano perfect for any genre of music.
On the final thoughts of our comprehensive list of the best digital piano for classical pianists, we hope to have helped you make a clear decision on your instrument of choice. There are plenty of factors to consider before selecting the best instrument to serve your purpose.
We feel that the process might be a bit confusing, which is why we took the time to review and research this topic. The aim is to help you, a classical pianist, find the instrument that matches not only your liking but also one that meets the full requirements of playing classical music.