Digital Piano Shortage | WARNING REPORT Covid-19 | June 2023

Digital Piano Shortage & Delays 2023

June 1, 2023 Update - 
Digital Piano Shortage & Delays | Report & Warning | Computer Chip Shortage, Labor Shortage, & Shipping Problems because of Covid in 2020 through 2022 and continuing now into 2023

Do you still see "out of stock" notices on the models you are looking at? Are you still waiting for an order you've placed somewhere to become available? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

It is still happening now in some cases due to the fallout from Covid worldwide, continuing computer chip shortages, labor shortages, material shortages, and international logistics delays that could last a bit longer for some popular models. 

Please read this important report to find out what is going on. 

*Also in this report I have some links to articles that help explain in more detail the various reasons for these product delays. Some of the articles are from last year but some of the issues are still ongoing, so the articles are still relevant.

Covid Pandemic and worldwide digital piano product delays
Digital Pianos have always been popular with piano students, families, professional musicians, studios, piano teachers, and others for many years as a great way to enjoy piano playing as the newer models have really gotten much better in realism and quality. Some of them are truly amazing.
Now due to Covid for the last 2+ years and the extreme restrictions our country has had on traveling and life in general, people were more isolated than ever before and had been looking for something good do do in their homes other than playing on their iPads, computers, or watching more endless TV or videos. With that in mind, digital pianos have become been more popular over the last 2 years than ever before. 

In fact, the digital piano manufacturers still cannot keep up with worldwide demand. In the US some popular digital piano models are still backordered up to 2 to 3 months or more until factories can catch up with the demand, have the proper computer chips to build the product, and shipping time can be reduced. These delays are also due in part to continued restrictions on factory workers at the overseas factories and continued labor shortages to build these pianos (primarily in China).  

There are restrictions on how many workers can be in the factory at one time along with restrictions in movement within those factories, even after all this time. These restrictions cause slowdowns in production output which puts an additional strain on the manufacturers having available inventory to ship and sell. In other words...demand is very high for digital pianos, supply is still low in some cases, and shipping times continued to be delayed, not just here in the US but in various countries around the world.

Electric Power Shortages in China
One lesser known issues concerning product shortages is the past shortages of electricity in China to power up the factories throughout that country.
Yes...believe it or not, to add even more reasons for production delays, China had, until recently, been going through a national electricity shortage due to government policies there and the way electricity has been and still is being rationed there. 

More than half of China's power comes from coal producing plants and the newer restrictions in China on those plants is tied together creating a electricity shortage so that the factories and even local businesses and homes now have a rationing of electricity going on now. Yikes! Dependence on another country (especially a big one like China) for our supply needs is now coming back to haunt us in a big way. Check out these two previous articles about this situation at the following links: Power Cuts & Electricity rationing in China    Why China has to ration electricity and how that could affect everyone

Online shopping
If that all wasn't enough to cause major problems in getting new digital pianos, due to the rapid increase of on-line shopping
  during the recent worldwide pandemic (and it is still not completely over), logistics companies like FedEx, UPS, Amazon, and freight companies in general are still at maximum capacity right now in shipping all over the country. So what does all of this now that we are into 2023? It means continued delays and at the least just continued uncertainty. Even regular acoustic pianos from popular piano companies such as Yamaha, etc, especially their grand pianos, are delayed and backordered for many months, with some models delayed for well over 1 year!

These days if you do not learn the art of "patience" in placing an order and waiting for what you want, then you may not get it at all because other people will jump ahead of you on the "waiting list" for these products if you don't get onto a waiting list. Usually to get on that "list" you'll need to come up with a deposit (at the very least) on the item you want. 

This is not just true for digital pianos but also for other consumer products such as furniture, appliances, bicycles, parts, machinery, etc...all the things that people want and need for the inside as well as the outside of their homes.

Digital Pianos backordered
With certain digital piano models backordered from companies like Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Korg, and Casio to name a few,
and logistics/shipping companies like the ones I mentioned earlier at near or at maximum capacity and labor shortages to build these products, the buying demand of shoppers (worldwide) is overloading "the system." There are backorders on many popular digital piano products such Yamaha CLP and CSP models. ES, CN, CA, and  NV models from Kawai. HP, LX, and GP models from Roland. PX, AP, and GP models from Casio. LP, C & G models from Korg, and SG models from Samick. They are all in the same "boat" as far as delays go, although some are doing better than others. 

Big demand for digital pianos
People in the music industry that are "in the know" are talking about it all the time. As I mentioned earlier, on-line sales have risen dramatically for all kinds of consumer products.
Even though things are settling down in our country with regard to covid restrictions, we are looking for more and better things to do, for us and our children. In most of the US we are going outside a lot more these days (you can tell by the traffic out there) and less of us are wearing masks and we have more freedom of movement, but this "covid thing" is far from over. It still fluctuates depending on where you live and people are still getting it.

I do not want to get political here, but...when most everything that we use here in the US as consumers is made overseas, if something goes wrong in that country and they cannot produce and/or ship, then we cannot get the product. It's that simple. If we don't have manufacturing infrastructure here to produce important goods, even if they do cost more money, then we may not get the product at all. I will leave that subject for another conversation. 

Nevertheless, I am glad to see a huge (I mean "gigantic like a city) new chip manufacturing factory going up near where I live here in Phoenix, AZ. One day this factory will be pushing out all kinds of computer chips for domestic use. But that will be a number of years until that actually happens (10 to 15 years). This chip factory is so important to the US that President Joe Biden was just out here visiting this huge project. Of course, just like all US presidents, when he was here his entourage tied up local freeway traffic for hours as the President and his caravan traveled around. That was not fun!

digital piano computer chip
COMPUTER CHIP SHORTAGE - There is still a worldwide "chip shortage"
 and that is why our country is so interested in getting these new chip factories for our country. We are not talking about potato chips here...but we ARE talking about computer chips. In the recent past here was a big devastating fire at a huge computer chip factory in Japan which not only supplies current technology computer memory chips to the auto industry, but also to other industries such home technology and also the digital piano industry which depend on these memory chips to produce their products.  

digital piano computer chipHuge increases in digital piano and keyboard orders from people all around the world (just like you) have added to the backup and congestion and lack of supply of those chips. This situation is affecting all of the major brands of digital pianos in different ways. So...on top of all the other issues, there is a shortage of digital piano computer chips that go into each and every digital piano made in all price ranges and configurations by all digital piano companies. This is creating more backorders on some of the popular digital pianos out there, including some immediate price increases across the board. We predict it will go through to the end of 2023 before we see things starting to level off and hopefully come back to "normal." 

price increases on digital pianos
If you are looking for a digital piano real soon you'd better place your order right away as it may be going up in price again (this is what we are being told by some of the suppliers), that's what could happen on some of the more popular models. 
 
People are still getting Covid even though the "pandemic" is over. Perhaps infected people will have better physical outcomes (it looks that way) but the overall effect to our society is not good. More shutdowns of certain events and places could happen again in the future (I have seen that recently) depending on how it all goes. It's anyone's best guess.

I have had personal experience with friends who have died during the pandemic or gotten very sick having gotten Covid over the last 3 years or so. For us it is all about you and your family's health. But, getting a digital piano which we know can mentally and spiritually make you feel better when you play, it is also very important in our opinion. We want to see you get your digital piano order in ASAP so that you have a chance to get it sooner rather than later and not pay increased pricing.  

Guitar Center keyboard room
Over a year ago when the pandemic was still going strong, I visited a local Guitar Center store in my area which is the largest chain of musical instrument stores in the US. They sell almost all categories of musical instruments including guitars, keyboards, drums, sound & recording equipment, some digital pianos, etc. Their prices are just average and from my experience having gone into many of their stores over the years, many of their employees (so-called "salespeople") don't know what they are talking about when it comes to a number of their products, especially when it comes to digital pianos and keyboards. But that's another story. Regardless, they usually have a lot of stock to see in their stores and their walls are normally full of guitars and their rooms
Guitar Center keyboard room
are normally filled with keyboards, digital pianos, PA gear, etc. 

However, they were also affected in a negative way due to these product shortages and it was easy to see when I walked into their store...it seemed to be empty in a lot of areas where it would normally be full. Not only were there big empty spaces, but I also noticed how messy and disorganized their store looks...almost embarrassing to be in...like no one really cares. 

Guitar Center acoustic guitar room
With regard to digital pianos and keyboards, what they seem to concentrate on there are mostly "low-end" product like their house brand called "Williams" which I have
blogged about in the past and those items are definitely lower quality products based on my experience with them, especially compared to the major brands.  I don't recommend the Williams brand at all. Many of the Guitar Center stores were looking pretty bleak when I had visited because of all the product shortages that had been caused by the fallout from the pandemic. So this problem has hit "everyone" at one time or another including the retail stores, the factories, the suppliers, the shippers. Hopefully were are getting past most of the worst symptoms.  

The sooner you decide what you want and the sooner you place an order asap with a deposit, the sooner you'll get one. There are a few brands and models that come into stock here and there, but many of the popular models and colors are still hard to get. Think this will clear up soon? Maybe and maybe not. Only time will tell.

Shipping containers
A new additional problem from 2022 and continuing into 2023 is that there is still a shortage of metal shipping containers from the overseas factories and brought on large ships to the US.
Those containers are in such sort supply, so even if the product was finally produced and packaged from the factories and ready to ship out from their coastal ports, there is now a shortage of those big metal shipping containers that product and parts cannot be shipped out and brought over to the US in a normal amount of time. The manufacturers have to wait in line extra time just to get access to shipping containers to put their product in so they can ship it from Asia and elsewhere. 

Also, because of supply/demand with demand being much greater than supply right now, the price of those containers has gone up more than 3 to 4 times in cost just over the last year. This means you will definitely see more price increases of everything coming to your local stores and for the internet stores for anything you want to order that originates from overseas. Think things have gotten more expensive here lately?...it will likely get worse before it gets better so don't wait to buy what you want and need. 

Also on a personal note, I think now is the time for us to start making more things in the US because the previous higher US labor costs and other things that would have been an issue for us making things here are starting to get evened out by the higher costs of goods overseas. I am not optimistic in seeing that change actually happen in anytime soon (except for those new chip factories), so we'll see what happens. But for now, especially with digital pianos, things are not getting better in terms of availability and especially cost.

Covid on the rise
Also, Covid has not completely stopped as I mentioned earlier. We still are seeing and hearing about it lately. The Covid variants are the newer ones we are dealing with (at least for now), and the experts are not sure what to do about it, although drug companies seem to be trying to come up with new ways to treat it.  

We are like little ants running around without really having an answer and knowing what to do. Covid cases are still out there and factories have been affected...again. Fewer factory workers...less production and output and then less available product for consumers. Then we all lose out and can't get what we want, and if you get what you want it will take more time to get it and will cost all of us more money. It is what it is. But don't give up hope! This  product shortage situation will not last forever and there are some signs it is finally getting a bit better.

Do Not Wait
Do yourself a big favor. DO NOT wait until the last minute to purchase what you want. 
These ongoing product shortages and price increases in the digital piano industry is a problem and we're seeing it first hand all the time in other consumer products as well. The manufacturers keep warning us to expect continued product and shipping challenges over the next few months on certain models along with more potential for price increases.  

For them it's a good problem to have in that so many people are wanting digital pianos (and other consumer products) for their families and/or for themselves and consumers are purchasing more digital pianos than ever before in the US. 

Contact Me
Want to know more about this subject and the challenges ahead in getting a new digital piano that you want? Also, do you want to know how to get a some of the popular new digital pianos for even LESS money than internet price and also maybe not have to wait quite as long?
 Then you need to contact us right away so we can talk about it. I am here to help you get the digital piano that will be best for you and your musical needs and within your budget. Whether you are looking at new Yamaha, Casio, Kawai, Korg, Roland, or other brands, contact us before you buy anything anywhere so that we can give you helpful advice. You'll be glad you did!

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

20 comments:

Benjamin Teo said...

Tim - I'm a reader from the other side of the globe (Singapore). I recently got my CLP 765GP delivered (unfortunately Yamaha doesn't offer the 795GP, probably less demand in a smaller market). Wish I could get that but have to be contented...

I was informed by the distributor that there was a recent fire at one of the IC chip factories for Yamaha digital pianos and this has significantly and further worsened the Yamaha digital piano shortage. Apparently no further new digital piano shipments are expected in the next 1-2 months in the South-East Asian region. Just some background info from the opposite side of the world for you! Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I've backordered a digital piano in December 2020. It's now April 2021 and I'm still waiting.
I figured COVID played a huge role in the shortage. It sucks that I have to wait so long, and so I hope that there are no issues with the product once I receive it.

cathy said...

This is so true..I just put down an order for Yamaha N1X...

Jim said...

I ordered my CLP-785PE on April 7, 2021. Nothing yet and no updates with expectations for delivery. I actually changed my order from one dealer to another because my piano teacher is associated with the latter. That might have cost me significantly in terms of time. But I have a decent Yamaha Arius YDP-S54 so at least I have a piano to keep up with my lessons. Hope y'all get your backorders soon!

pianogirl said...

Thanks for this, it was the last thing to push me over the edge and put in an order now instead of waiting. My piano of many years suddenly died last week and as we use it daily for both personal and professional purposes, we needed a replacement ASAP. I'd rather buy from my local music store but they are out of stock and think it could be months before they have what we need. I've been researching locally and online pretty intensely over the past week and some of the possibilities I saw just even two days ago have already dried up and gone out of stock. So yeah...act now or wait a long time!

Unknown said...

Put a deposit down on an N1x a month ago. I should say that I did this sight-unseen because there aren't even any floor models available in Canada. These have been delayed since January and now I've experienced a month set back after putting down the deposit. I'll be upset if it's delayed another month - which seems likely - but I know it's nobody's fault.

Unknown said...

Called my local Nebraska Yamaha dealer on a whim. He ordered 3 CLP-795-GP when he had the first opportunity. He received 1 of the three in the first shipment. The local Air Force Band bought it. Another man ordered the second one, and I have the third. Yamaha is very tight-lipped about a response, but would at least say "4th quarter" 2021. So, I hope sometime before New Year. I put down the whole cost. Sight unseen. I hope everyone gets the piano they desire soon. Not holding my breath.

JOEY Hernandez said...

I ordered a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-795GP in January 2021. It is September and still no delivery. My piano dealer is staying in touch with Yamaha and will let me know when it ships. 2022 maybe ??

jwnyc said...

Thank you for breaking this down. I ordered a Roland HP704 at the end of May. Delivery was estimated for September, and I was happy to wait. But now it's October, and neither Roland nor the dealer (in Stamford, CT) will give me even a ballpark ETA. I completely understand the supply chain disruptions, demand surge, etc. But I think it's unethical to manage customer expectations so badly. A real black mark for the industry.

Tim Praskins said...

Thank you for your comment. It is unfortunate for all of us looking for accurate information on "where is my order?" has seen it become so challenging over the last year. Roland is not alone. They are suffering the same issues as the other digital piano brands such as Yamaha, Kawai, Casio, Korg, and the others.

The local dealers only know what they are told by their superiors, those superiors only know what they are told by the the brand headquarters in the US. Those people only know what they are told by their overseas factories. When it comes to shipping then the factories only know what they hear from their shippers (trucks, ships, boats, trains, etc).

Those shippers can only move so fast, people can only work so hard, people are still dying all over the world from covid related issues, the transportation industry is at the mercy of the drivers and dockworkers who load and unload product at the docks (there are shortages of manpower and some are actually going on strike now). The digital piano manufacturers are at the mercy of the parts companies such as chip makers, circuit board makers, wood suppliers and those parts have become difficult to get.

Demand for product in the US (especially in the digital piano industry) is at an all time high (more people are at home and for longer periods of time) and costs are going up, but production, shipping, and other related things are slowing down and in some cases (like chip makers) nearly at a standstill...all because of the pandemic and the long term ripple effect it continues to cause around the world.

What we thought we knew 6 months ago is no longer true today. Covid has changed and now we have a new and more contagious variant where just 6 months ago we thought things were getting a handle on things and we would be getting back to near normal by this time. That has definitely not happened.

3 to 6 months ago digital piano companies really did think they would have much higher levels of product by now...but they don't...none of them do. It is now not unusual for some individual piano stores to have 100 to 500 backordered digital pianos on orders they have received from their customers up to 9 months ago.

You take all those backorders from each major piano dealer in the US and add all of that up and then combine it with dealer orders from piano dealers in other countries and then the factories have to produce all those pianos plus reserve supplies just to try to have some "in stock" for awhile, and then you try to get that product made with parts and supply shortages, manpower shortages, logistics problems, especially loading and unloading times at international and national harbors and ports, and then getting all that product over to the national warehouses and then getting truckers (there re not enough drivers these days) to take that product to the dealers.

Normal product flow is gone and has been gone for awhile and it just is not coming back anytime soon. There is no precedent for this in recent history. What your digital piano dealer told you months ago was based on "expectations" based on seeing a more normal economy in the near future and expected decrease in covid related issues.

Tim Praskins said...

CONTINUED - That future is here now and it is not anything like the dealers and national brand headquarters (Yamaha, Kawai , Casio, Korg, Roland) thought it would be by now. It's a mess and now we are being told not to expect (in some cases) the popular product from digital piano companies until 1st quarter of 2022. It gets even worse than that. Yamaha has some popular digital piano product that now has an ETA of "end of 2022." In other words, approx 1 year until we see those popular models again.

By that time I suspect maybe they'll make some updates/upgrades to those models because of that huge delay. But nevertheless, there has never been that much of a gap between running out of current models and the time it takes until we see them again (even if they are upgraded in some way.)

So you think you have a problem with your Roland order? Well you do! But it could actually be worse...a lot worse had you ordered a popular Kawai or Yamaha digital piano in May. The Roland HP702 is THE most popular digital piano model in the entire Roland line and depending what cabinet color you ordered it could take even more time to get it.

Also, I will say that a few piano dealers in the US (like other consumer product) always seem to get priority over smaller, less significant stores when it comes to getting their order fulfilled. Sometimes that can play a small part in the delays. But the majority of the problems stem from the vast and longtime fallout from Covid that few people suspected would happen.

One more thing. The digital piano industry along with the rest of the music industry displays their latest and newest product at yearly national trade shows which are held every year in California. It is called "NAMM." For the first time in many decades ever since this national convention started, the Jan 2021 trade show was canceled due to covid.

That was not expected but still was not a total surprise given the problems we had at the beginning of this year. But now it is even worse. The Jan 2022 international music trade show has now been canceled and moved to June 2022 (that has never happened) and the "other smaller" trade show they had mid-year has been canceled altogether.

The financial losses for those events and what they bring to people have been tremendous and 2022 will make it worse. 2022 loses and delays were not expected. Nothing like this was expected. But here we are. Please do not blame Roland, the digital piano industry, or anything connected with it. When you ordered your piano in May, no one lied to you and no one made promises that were not reasonable at the time.

This has been a worldwide disaster in so many ways and (I am sorry to say) you not getting your piano order due to this unexpected and ravaging global pandemic is nothing compared to all the people who did not expect to die (and did die) from this virus over the last year and longer. That is the real tragedy...not getting the specific piano that you wanted is just an annoying inconvenience. If it bothers you that much then I recommend you consider cancelling your order and moving on to something else. Take care...

Todd said...

I ordered my Roland FP30X from Sweetwater Music on 5/25/21. Nearly six months later still no sign of it. Sales rep used to tell me a couple more months. Now just says I really have no idea.

Mark said...

Ordered a CLP795GP in May 2021. Still no word when I can expect it. Yamaha won’t tell anyone anything.

Matt said...

I ordered a Roland Fantom 7 from Guitar Center Jan 3, 2022. Originally it was 3 weeks, 4 months, 7 months.... now on Aug 3, 2022 I'm getting i don't know.

Anonymous said...

I ordered my CLP-775 at the beginning of July 2021. It's not mid-August 2022, with no piano. I am extremely frustrated with this process.

Kevin J said...

I ordered a Kawai ES-920 keyboard in March 2022. After several delays, the latest date given me is mid Dec 2022. I'm not holding my breath...

Anonymous said...

Last week I ordered a CLP-785 thru Music & Arts who claimed they had 14 in their warehouse, in stock and ready to ship. I was excited. Called today to get delivery status. They did not have it in stock. All backordered.

Paul said...

I ordered a Yamaha CLP-745 in Oct 2022, received it at the end of Jan 2023. I feel lucky. In fact, that was about 3 months earlier than I expected.

Anonymous said...

Just a correction, Yamaha Singapore does offer the CLP795GP. However, there will be a long wait since its a pre-order. Just ordered mine recently and it will probably take 9 months to deliver.

Anonymous said...

I ordered a Yamaha CLP725 in December 2022. It was back ordered. Luckily Kawai had the CA49 in stock, which I changed my order too. Glad I did. I believe its a much better piano. I wish things would hurry up and get back to normal.