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first of all, I have not touched a keyboard/piano in my life before.

I am planning to pick it up as soon as next week. Normally if I knew that I'd stick with this new hobby, I would not limit myself on budget this much. I just don't want to but something really expensive and try to ebay it one week after.

I did some reading, and I am down to two, a Yamaha Digital Piano or a Yamaha keyboard. These are the cheapest models that I can get with "touch sensitivity" although both lack any hammer action or weighted keys.

I guess my question is: Is there any advantage of buying a digital piano when the keyboard offers a bunch more functions (and buttons!) From my point of view, please do correct me if I am wrong

  • They are both 61 keys
  • They are both touch sensitive (speed sensitive?)
  • They lack weighted keys
  • They use the same recorded concert piano to produce a grand piano sound

Can anyone point at what I'm missing here? I mean is there any reason to buy a "digital piano" over keyboard?

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This will likely be closed as being opinion based, and asking for reccommended as equipment. I suggest rewording to ask what features to look for, as opposed to which product is better. –  Alexander Troup Dec 6 '13 at 13:20
    
Edited to remove as much of the product recommendation piece as possible. –  Dr Mayhem Dec 6 '13 at 13:40
    
I was not really asking for a product recommendation. Since my knowledge is very limited about the equipment, I am just trying to justify buying a digital piano over a keyboard with very similar features. –  kali Dec 6 '13 at 13:47
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In my opinion this depends on the music style you intend to play. Typically the e-piano will have more than one piano sound (and thats because different pieces benefit from different sounds), while the keyboard has tons of instruments, effects, drum rythms and the like. I don't see facts that specify, that these instruments use the "same grand piano sound"; even if the same real instrument was sampled, they could sound somewhat different. I would recommend to get "hear and feel" impressions in a real shop or look for a used instrument in the same price range to get better keys.

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Thanks for your answer guidot. I did just that, visited a store put the mentioned equipment next to each other and kept hitting the same notes on both. As far as my untrained ears are concerned I could not hear a tone difference. I tried asking the shopkeepers opinion but it is very hard to get an unbiased answer from them. He was a big advocate of another very popular brand and their digital pianos, so he left me in more confused state. –  kali Dec 6 '13 at 13:54
    
And for my style, I really don't have one at the moment, but I'm mostly concerned about learning and playing classical pieces on a piano –  kali Dec 6 '13 at 13:55
    
@kali: I also know such shops; I would take the e-piano then: less additional keys, less distraction. This is stuff not necessary for piano playing and not present on a real piano either. –  guidot Dec 6 '13 at 16:51
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Personal opinion: companies shouldn't be allowed to market an instrument as a "digital piano" if it lacks weighted keys. That's really the biggest difference in my opinion between a keyboard and a digital piano. It changes the entire feel of the instrument, and adds a layer of intimacy that a keyboard lacks.

In your case it will come down to what sound you are looking for. If you are looking for an organ sound, chances are pretty good that the keyboard will be able to emulate that better. For the piano sound, the "digital piano" will probably sound more accurate. Ultimately you'll have to listen to them in person to decide.

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A different angle : why should you make the loss selling something which you later decide isn't for you ? Let someone else take the drop. Buy a pre-owned example, and you'll get a) a better deal and b)most of your money back when you sell it. Most of these are pretty bomb-proof now, until dropped, but you'll soon tell. So when you've decided on two or three 'boards, start looking - but not necessarily in shops, although some may sell second-hand.

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