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 fits within their budget. The variations of digital pianos 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 a number of digital piano configurations because people have different musical tastes and needs such as being used for home, church, school, stage, recording studio, gigging, or other venues.
Kawai also makes a pro stage piano called the MP7 which can play back General MIDI song arrangements. This feature also allow the player to mute out specific instruments so that you can play those parts along with the song for full accompaniment enjoyment. The MP7 is mainly built for superior grand piano tone and a quick 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 MP7 certainly passes my test with flying colors. If you are an experienced piano player, advanced student, very particular in wanting an impressive piano tone & key action touch, or are a beginner and just want what the MP7 has to offer (and don't care about cabinet and built-in speakers), in my opinion this would be the perfect digital piano in that "under $2500US price range" if you don't mind an instrument with no internal speakers and would need to connect to external monitors which makes it sound great. Below is a link to my review on the MP7 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 like the ES8. Go to the following link for my review on the Kawai MP7: Kawai MP7 Review
|Kawai CN35 with key cover closed|
Also, the off brands or house brands (in many cases) are not actual piano manufacturers but simply created names produced by relatively unknown Asian factories with (what I consider to be) low quality technology and parts for a low price. Their names sound American to give you the impression that they are somehow as good or better than the Japanese brands, but they are not. They are all made in China and although generally speaking product being made in China is not an issue as far as I'm concerned because many of the top brands now have factories in China. It's what the product actually is, how it's made, the parts and construction that is used, and the quality control provided that counts. I have played all of the off brand pianos offered in the US that I have mentioned here and would not recommend them to anyone if they are looking for a good piano playing experience and long term investment (no matter what the price is). The piano cabinets themselves, extra sounds, and other features offered in these digital pianos are only important if the primary functions & features of the piano passes the test. Low price and an attractive furniture style cabinet alone is definitely not a good way to judge piano quality, although unfortunately many people do. You will likely purchase a piano that you'll want to keep for a while so be sure you do your homework and get something that is a good instrument from one of the name piano brands, you'll be glad you did.
I know it's difficult for most people to judge these various brands and models on their own when they don't have the experience & expertise. It can also get even more confusing when different piano and music instrument stores tell you different things depending on the brands they're selling. That's why I am happy to help people who wish to contact me and will answer your questions about what might be best for you based on the actual facts about what these pianos can actually do. Even though the choices I have talked about here for my top digital piano picks are good ones, there may be other options for YOU depending on your particular price range and specific needs & wants. I am committed to helping people get good digital pianos, playing good music, having good piano instruction, and enjoying the entire experience. I don't work for piano manufacturers nor do I have a favorite brand or model. It really depends on your musical goals, playing experience on pianos, the type of music you want to play, and price range you are comfortable in. Go to the link below to see what music involvement should be like in the lives of children and why you should should get your children and/or yourself involved in music.
Why Kids Should Play Piano!