For a recent review of new digital pianos under $1000 go here: New Digital pianos under $1000
As an expert digital piano consultant to many people throughout the world, I like to share my knowledge of digital pianos with people just like you. There are SO many choices when it comes to new digital pianos these days and people obviously want the best piano tone and touch they can get (with some other nice features) for the lowest price possible. That's what we all want and that's something I look for in a digital piano. The variations of digital pianos also can make it confusing because they can come in nice full size furniture cabinets, smaller slimline modern cabinets, lighter weight portable pianos with built-in speakers and optional manufacturer built stands & pedals, and also portable pianos with no built-in speakers.
There are various digital piano configurations because people have different musical tastes and needs. Digital pianos are used for home, church, school, stage, recording studio, gigging, and other venues so it also depends where you will be using the piano. However, if you are in the price range that most people are in, (which is between $1000- $2000US) and want the very best possible acoustic piano tone and key touch that you can get in a digital piano regardless of cabinet, its other features, or weather it has internal speakers or not, then for me there is a clear choice right now and that is the Kawai MP6. The MP6 is just the piano keyboard alone without a built-in speaker system, stand, pedals, or bench. All those things have to be purchased separately or in a package but do not add a lot of extra cost.
portable piano keyboard (above & below left pics - $1499 base price) is my overall pick for best piano sound and key action along with flexibility to make it a very exciting piano own. The reason for this piano being my top pick is because the MP6 plays very smoothly with an organic baby grand piano feel and tone that even a pro can appreciate. I would consider the key action touch weight on this piano to be medium or slightly firm (as opposed to light) which gives the player better control with piano dynamics for the softest tone to the loudest...and everything in between. The MP6 is fairly easy to operate and has enough cool features for making music in ways that will enhance your overall playing and music enjoyment experience.
The Kawai MP6 does not have automatic chord arrangement styles like a few of the other pianos but it can play back general MIDI song arrangements for lesson piano books and general ear training which is a great feature to have. This feature also allow the player to mute out specific instruments so that you can play those parts along with the song for learning and enjoyment The MP6 is mainly built for superior grand piano tone and realistic key action touch along with some very impressive instrument sounds including vintage electric pianos, symphonic strings, B3 jazz organs with digital drawbars, guitars, brass, flutes, synths, and more realistic instrument tones. And I am very particular when it comes to some of these sounds and the Kawai MP6 certainly passes my test with flying colors. If you are an experienced piano player, advanced student, very particular in wanting the most realistic piano tone & touch possible, or are a beginner and just want the best pure piano experience (and don't care about cabinet and built-in speakers), in my opinion this would be the perfect digital piano in that "under $2000 US price range." Below is a link to a recent article I wrote about the MP6 with more details on this fine piano. Obviously this instrument is not in a cabinet so that can be a downside for some people and then you would need to look at something else.
Casio PX850 review
Yamaha YDP162 review
The link below is a more in depth review of both the Yamaha P155 and Kawai EP3. Check it out when you have time:
Based on my experience both past & present, I do recommend people stay away from the off-brand names like "Williams" which is a Guitar Center house brand and is only sold by the Guitar Center company and it's subsidiaries including Musicians Friend, Music & Arts, Woodwind and Brasswind, and a few others. Also I would stay away from the brand "Benjamin Adams" sold by the Sam Ash company as well as Suzuki & Adagio sold primarily in the US by Costco. It's all about having realistic key touch action, proper dynamics, smooth key volume response, realistic piano tone up and down the entire 88-keys, no unreasonable key noise, and proper pedal response. There are basic minimum standards that pianos need to have and these off-brand pianos simply do not offer it.
When I evaluate digital pianos, I always look for higher quality at the lowest possible price and I believe that beginner piano students or recreational piano players should not have to spend a lot of money to get a good digital piano that performs properly. There are minimum standards you should look for in a digital piano and if you do not get them, you will be sorry later on.
I know it's difficult for people to judge these various brands and models on their own when they really don't have the experience & expertise, and it can get more confusing when different piano and instrument stores tell you different things depending on the brands they're selling. That's why I am happy to help anyone who wishes to contact me and will answer their questions about what might be best for them. Even though the choices I have made here for my top digital piano picks are good ones, there may be other options for YOU depending on your price range and specific needs & wants. I am committed to good digital pianos, good music, good piano instruction, and enriched lives for the piano player and for those who enjoy listening to good music. Go to this link below to see how important I believe music is in the lives of children and why you should should get involved in your community (if possible) like I have in furthering the positive power of music in the lives of others.
Phoenix Conservatory of Music - Helping Kids achieve success!