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I have a budget of 1500$. I've never played piano before. Should I buy a digital or acoustic (maybe used) piano with the budget I have? Does a 1500$ acoustic piano sound better than a digital one?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, Richard, Tim H, Dom Sep 26 at 11:44

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  • Try some. Buy the one you like the most. – Tetsujin Sep 26 at 7:13
  • I've had a piano that my brother payed the rent 60 years ago, some years later we could buy it. So I might have a sentimental relationship to this instrument. About six years ago I've sent it in a revision. The owner of this piano-firm told me he has a lot to to at the moment with piano tuning and revisions of music school. Maybe he will have time in February. (It was October when my piano went into the revision.) About 2 years later I called and told him that I am missing my piano and send my kindest greetings. He sent me another piano - he would look at the other. I still don't have it back – Albrecht Hügli Sep 26 at 8:22
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So many factors involved here.

Where you live, where the piano is situated will have a bearing on how an acoustic piano will cope with changing temperature/humidity. No such problems with an electronic (digital) piano.

Unless you pay a lot of money, you won't buy a good acoustic piano - which will need transport and re-tuning soon after - an extra expense. And every year or so after! And, will take up much more of your room - and probably not be as quiet for practice, as an electronic one, with headphones.

So, as a beginner, a fairly priced electronic will not be detrimental to your touch, will be better value for money, take up less room, be easier on your neighbours, will provide extra facilities (should you need them), cost nothing in maintenance, probably be easier to sell on, consequently, would be a better bet initially.

After a year or two, an acoustic may well be a better replacement. However - buying an acoustic, whether new and especially pre-loved, is a more involved job than buying an electronic. Take an expert along at that time.

With an acoustic, there'll be a better action but essentially one sound. Bear in mind that actions vary from piano to piano, so merely buying an acoustic won't necessarily mean it has a good action, or even one that suits you (which you won't really be aware of for a while after playing anything!). Electronics are getting better with action - but for many 1000s. Their advantage is a plethora of sounds, a lot of which sound very good. And there's little maintenance. And you can record on them. And they often have built in drum patterns.

I use both, and am lucky enough to have both. But if one had to go: difficult decision. It also depends on what style of music you wish to play.

  • Mostly I play on the acoustic piano - but I agree with the one who has written in one of topo mortos links above: Better a digital piano than a bad acoustic piano. I have also both - that means 2-3 different keyboards and this replacement piano. But I am really thinking about forgetting the acoustic piano as I have opportunity to play on other instruments. – Albrecht Hügli Sep 26 at 11:47
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    @AlbrechtHügli - bear in mind that post is 5 1/2 yrs old. Digitals have moved along a lot since then. So even better! – Tim Sep 26 at 12:19
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If you just want it for joy and hobby you could buy a digital piano. (There are many advantages: Price, costs for tuning, weight, transport, loudness, mobility, other sounds, connection to computer and others. If you have the goal to become a pianist (level of piano teacher) you need an acoustic piano.

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    I guess it's subjective, but IMO an acoustic piano makes a bigger emotional impact than a digital piano, and so it might be better for learning and motivation. It's the same with almost any acoustic instrument, when an actual thing vibrates in same physical room where you are. It just feels better when it's actually present. Like a cake vs. a picture of a cake. Or a real person vs. a video conference. – piiperi Sep 26 at 9:05
  • The resonance of the room can even be a drawback when you have e.g. a grand piano in a floor without carpet. – Albrecht Hügli Sep 26 at 10:36

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