Saturday, November 28, 2009

REVIEW - OFF-BRAND Digital Pianos - BE CAREFUL Before You Buy!

UPDATED REVIEW - January 30, 2012 - Did you know that just because a digital piano has 88-keys and sounds OK, does not mean it's good? This is because one of THE most difficult things to do in an electronic piano is to create an authentic piano touch response with proper expression & dynamics including actual piano resonance and harmonics. In other words, something a piano player or piano teacher would like. Because of the difficulty in doing these things, there are a few (not all) off-brand digital piano brands making some very poor quality pianos in my opinion and having them sold by various music stores or warehouse clubs who seem to be more interested in making money than providing a decent piano playing experience for their customers. I say poor quality compared to name brand digital pianos such as Casio, Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, Korg, and a few of others. There are many off-brand name tags being put on what appears to be nice looking cabinets but with inferior keyboard actions and inferior electronic technology, so don't be fooled by looks or a low price. There are some people who own these pianos who seem to like them by some of the reviews I have read. But that can happen when you have low expectations or are a complete novice in the world of pianos. The fact is, many of these lesser known brands are very deficient in reproducing an acoustic piano playing experience, even in the most basic ways. Unfortunately in some cases, the nice outside looks of the piano cabinets do compel people to make a purchase based on that instead of how the piano actually performs.

Music dealers sell OFF-brands because they generally make more money on them, but in the end YOU can lose big time if you're not careful. By the way, these off brands are usually NOT the manufacturers name but normally are generic names usually made up by music dealers or importers who order them from off-shore low quality instrument manufacturers.  

The bottom line is...if the piano you are looking at is an OFF brand (or house brand), do your research and be very careful. I've played all of them and put them through their paces and have generally been very disappointed, especially with their piano tone and touch. I will not single out one off-brand over another as being better or worse, but in my opinion many of them (not all) do not meet my minimum standards for piano tone & touch. Off-brand digital pianos include Adagio (sold at Costco & other places), Benjamin Adams (Sam Ash), Williams (Guitar Center and subsidiaries), Behringer (not sure where they are sold), and few others as well. Suzuki pianos are also made in China but they are lower quality instruments based on all my experience with them as I have mentioned in other Suzuki piano reviews. They are carried primarily through Costco although a few music stores carry them as well. By the way, China is not the problem as far as where pianos are made because even respected piano brands like Yamaha & Kawai have pianos made in China, so It's the technology and construction that makes the difference and not where it is made or assembled. 

If you want more info on digital pianos and LOWER PRICES than internet discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864.

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