Electric Piano

What Is The Least I Can Spend To Get A Decent Piano

If you are a first time piano player, or maybe have been learning for a while and have decided to buy your own instrument, you may be wondering how much you need to spend to acquire a good piano. It can be tempting to look for a really
cheap piano
but, particularly if you are buying an acoustic piano, cheap doesn't always mean value for money.

The first choice to consider when looking for a cheap piano is whether to buy an acoustic or a digital piano. Acoustic is a term which describes the nature by which the sound is produced in a traditional upright or grand piano, usually made of wood. In these instruments the striking of the keys on the keyboard activates hammers which hit highly tensed metal strings inside the body of the piano.

Digital pianos have no hammers or strings in their construction and instead use electronic impulses to generate a realistic sound. They are much more compact in size, no longer needing a case to produce the acoustic sound and when it comes to looking for a cheap piano, digital pianos can be much more reliable in terms of quality of sound produced for the money.

To decide which is best for you, it is important to consider where you are going to put the instrument in your home. Acoustic pianos require more space and, because they are made of wood, cannot be placed too close to heat sources as the heat will warp the wood. Positioning an acoustic piano in a room with high temperature variances, for example a conservatory, is not ideal either as the changes in temperature can cause the strings to go out of tune and will require specialist services to put right.

One of the main benefits of a digital piano is that they are always perfectly in tune and, unlike their acoustic cousins, the volume can be turned down or muted entirely by using headphones, a distinct positive if you live in a terraced house or have family members watching TV or in bed when you are trying to practice. They are not susceptible to temperature or humidity, so your choices of positioning with these are much greater.

It may seem that for a cheap piano the digital option is best, but it is worth bearing in mind that the sound produced from these instruments is rarely comparable to the sound of an acoustic instrument. Other issues include the sustain pedal, which on an acoustic piano is a graduated lengthening of the note depending on how far the pedal is depressed. On a digital piano these tend to work with switches, creating a distinct on or off sound, a factor which will not bother the beginner but may become an irritation for the more advanced musician.

Weighting of the keys and the action of the keys, particularly louder notes for harder presses, has been well developed over the years. However, in an acoustic instrument when certain notes are played together it creates sympathetic string resonance, a warm rounded sound which is difficult to recreate in an electronic instrument. Some of the top of the range digital pianos from manufacturers such as Roland and Yamaha however have managed to tackle the problem with the sustain pedal and have even been shown to generate string resonance, making a sound which is difficult to tell apart from an acoustic instrument. However, with price tags of around £2500 - £3000 for some of these instruments it is likely this quality will be out of your budget if you are looking for a cheap piano.

The entry level digital pianos, however, offer excellent value for money. The Yamaha NP30 is an excellent starter piano, priced at around £200 and with semi weighted keys. It is also the least weighty digital piano available which makes it ideal for people who may have to move the instrument around frequently. A step up from here is the Yamaha P85, the cheapest fully weighted digital piano available. With prices around £499, this instrument offers excellent quality for a cheap piano and will adequately serve the learner pianist through their early years. There is also an active second hand market for digital pianos currently, which can offer further savings on quality instruments.

If you have decided you have the room and would prefer an acoustic piano then it is worth doing plenty of research before going ahead with your purchase. Pianos are large pieces of furniture as well as wonderful instruments and it is likely that a good piano will be with you longer than you are in your current home, so it's worth choosing one you find pleasing to the eye as well as the ear. A cheap piano with a tatty case is likely to irritate you before you have learnt your first scales.

There is a thriving second hand market for acoustic pianos, from the professional dealer to the back of the local paper. Whilst it may be tempting to snap up the £200 bargain from the classifieds, this can often be a false economy as you may find the instrument costs ten times as much as this to bring up to a playable standard. Quality second hand pianos which have been well looked after will often cost just as much as brand new instruments and those which have not been so well looked after are practically worthless as the cost of renewing hammers, strings and fixing faults in the woodwork can run into thousands of pounds. Not a cheap piano at all!

If you are in the market for a cheap piano of the acoustic variety it can be a struggle to find reputable brands, as many manufacturers will have gone out of business or changed hands over the years. This means you might see a 15 year old Bechstein in the home of your piano teacher which looks and sounds beautiful, but upon arrival at a showroom with a new instrument in it you realise the build quality is different and the sound is not as nice.

If you are looking for a good cheap piano it can be as well to buy new to ensure you know what you are getting. As a general rule, if you are buying an upright piano buy the tallest you can afford and house and if you are buying a grand get the longest you can afford as the length of the strings denotes the depth of sound it can produce.

For the entry level buyer the former piano of the year award winner, the Waldstein 108 DI is a great investment. Manufactured in China, its compact size belies its excellent tone and clarity, making it stand head and shoulders above some of the other cheap piano models from the Far East. The price tag of £1,695 might seem steep, but in terms of acoustic instruments this is still a very cheap piano.

Another good cheap piano is the Markson M110 which retails at around £1,795. It has a cheerful tone and well designed body and its appeal is further enhanced by its third 'practice' pedal, which reduces the volume so that new players can practice without upsetting the neighbours.

Whether you choose to go digital or acoustic, the old adage applies that you get what you pay for. Try to buy the best you can afford as your piano will last you a long time if you get it right.

Find Electric Piano On eBay Below:

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