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UPDATED REVIEW - September 1, 2016 - Artesia AP120e Digital Piano at Costco - NOT Recommended - This Artesia upright style digital piano is one of three newer Artesia pianos offered by Costco this year. The other two models are digital micro & mini grand pianos. All three models including this AP120e ($999US Costco price) are identical in every way except for the cabinet design and shape and internal speaker system. The AP120e is the lowest priced model and is actually very attractive in its polished ebony finish, especially for the low price. The Artesia digital pianos are designed and manufactured in China and the Artesia name is not actually the manufacturer (it is a made up name to make the piano brand sound pretty:) but the name is owned by the Virgin Musical Instrument Company who is the distributor of the Artesia digital pianos in the US. This brand is not the only one produced and sold in this way because it is also true of the Suzuki and Adagio brands as well. Costco used to carry those brands but now only carries one off-brand which is the Artesia name.
Although there are many products including top name digital pianos made in China and other assorted countries, some are very good and others are OK, and then others are of poor quality. Unfortunately the AP120e made in China is overall of very poor musical quality in my opinion, and I have been teaching piano and playing professionally for over 40 years since I was very young. I have played 1000's of digital pianos throughout my career and am knowledgeable on nearly all the latest digital pianos out today, especially the ones available in the US. So when I say this AP120e is of poor musical quality, I know what I am talking about. This is not to say the piano will break down or physically fall apart because I have not personally experienced that, but based on everything I see in this piano as far as getting a quality piano playing experience out of it, the Artesia AP120e doesn't come close to an acoustic piano or name brand digital pianos in a similar price range. In fact, other than cabinet design and finish, you could do much better buying any less expensive Yamaha or Casio digital piano in terms of how they play and what they sound like.
The AP120e selling feature is its nice looking cabinet and bench, attractive polished ebony finish, and more powerful internal speaker system at 80 watts power going into 4 speakers. It also has lots of buttons, a nice LCD display screen, and a handy sliding key cover. All of these "superficial" exterior and interior features are great if you want a loud instrument that looks great. But you should never judge a book by its cover because this piano is really what I call a PSO, better known as a "piano shaped object." I am not trying to be critical of this model for no reason. It's just that it plays poorly and sounds unacceptable compared to almost any good digital piano I have played with the exception of perhaps the Suzuki, Adagio, & Williams digital pianos which are equally disappointing and are of a similar nature. You generally get what you pay for and in digital pianos just because they look good does not mean they are good. These pianos are not a cheap price for no reason.
If you want to read a full detailed review of these new Artesia pianos, then go to my link below to read my review on the small baby grand versions. Everything I describe on those pianos as far as playability, piano & instrument sounds, key action, functions, digital features, pedaling response, etc, are the same as this AP120e. If you want to be sure you are investing your money into an instrument that will allow you to play it and actually behave and be much more like a real piano, then look at Casio, Yamaha, Kawai, or Roland as a much better alternative. When a brand name like Artesia gives you a good looking cabinet in polished ebony with lots of buttons in this price range, they have to sacrifice something and that 'something" would be a realistic piano playing experience, it's not even close in my opinion. If that does not concern you then the Artesia AP120e may be a good choice for you. Read my detailed review at the following link...you be glad you did! Artesia AG28/40 Review
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