If you are looking for an 88-key weighted digital piano, in this article you will be able to see some of the best solutions you can buy depending on your budget and your needs. An 88-key weighted digital piano is a modern electronic musical instrument, a variant of an electronic keyboard or synthesizer, designed to be an alternative to the traditional acoustic piano, both in sonority and in sensitivity and touch response.
Digital pianos use a synthesized electronic emulation of the sound of a piano or a sampled piano sound, which is then amplified through an internal speaker. For best results digital pianos typically have weighted keyboards, the famous weighted keys to recreate the feel of an acoustic piano under your fingers.
What are the advantages of a digital piano over an acoustic one?
Digital pianos cost much less than an acoustic piano, are much lighter and less bulky. The volume can be adjusted or muted via headphones and therefore you can play at any time. Likewise they can be connected to external amplifiers to enhance the sound. Some digital pianos can also emulate other sounds in addition to the piano, the most common such as the organ, electric piano and the harpsichord.
The 88-key weighted digital piano is often used in schools as a substitute for classical pianos and as a musical instrument for teaching.
We will take a little trip between various brands and models, presenting the best digital pianos based on quality, functionality and final sale price, trying to see if it is possible to save money by purchasing online. If you want to play a piano but have space problems, a weighted 88-key digital piano is definitely a valid solution.
Digital pianos are available in different models and sizes but the main feature that distinguishes them from the remaining musical keyboards is the presence of 88 weighted keys, 52 white keys and 36 black keys, which means having 7 full octaves.
But what are the main characteristics that determine the quality and therefore affect the final price?
The 88 weighted keys affect quality and price: with the passage of time the digital piano has evolved so much that the response of the keys to the touch is practically similar to the reaction of the hammer of a real acoustic piano. We wrote an article to better understand what a keyboard with weighted keys is and to see not to confuse it with a dynamic keyboard.
Another important feature is the sensitivity to the touch, the possibility of adjustment and customization. Most 88-key digital pianos come with various touch sensitivity settings (usually hard, medium, soft, and fixed). This allows you to easily adjust the response of the keys to your desire.
If for a beginner or a simple enthusiast this possibility is very valid, for a pianist it is certainly not the best of life: a pianist acquires with years of practice a muscle memory that could be counterproductive if he were to play a digital piano as a substitute.
Among the various differences we note the keys that can be of different material, for example plastic or ivory, and obviously this also affects the price. In this article we will look at some of the best 88-key digital pianos for beginners but, if you want to spend less, a 61-key or 76-key digital piano solution might be more viable.
The 61 or 76-key digital pianos are very good for home use and for beginners, furthermore the small size further favors portability and the prices are lower. We have reviewed some of the best and you can find them in our articles dedicated to, for example, Casio musical keyboards or Yamaha musical keyboards.
We will initially look at the cheaper solutions, and then move on to a couple of more expensive but higher level wall piano or wall piano models.
So let’s find out which is the best 88-key weighted digital piano starting from the cheapest solution.
88-key weighted digital piano, the four best cheaper models
Now we will briefly see the characteristics of the best 88-key digital piano models for beginners, students and musicians, but you can learn more about the review in the articles dedicated to them.
We will therefore see the:
Casio CDP-130 digital piano (click for full review), the cheapest for a beginner
Casio PX 160 Privia digital piano (click for the full review), much more expensive but with characteristics at the level of the most famous digital pianos
Yamaha P45 digital piano (click for full review), one of Yamaha’s most popular products
Yamaha P115 digital piano (click for full review), one of Yamaha’s best semi-professional products
Yamaha P125 digital piano (click for the full review), the latest semi-professional Yamaha product
If you are looking for a superior digital piano, a professional digital piano, we have reviewed the professional digital piano with the best value for money:
Casio PX 5S Privia digital piano:
CASIO CDP 130:
Let’s start with the Casio CDP-130 which turns out to be the cheapest of the four models and probably the one that, of all digital pianos, ensures the best value for money for those who do not have the opportunity to spend too much.
For a beginner it is the best solution, a basic starting level that does not renounce to present the main characteristics that a good 88-key digital piano must have.
88 weighted keys that simulate the hammer keys of the piano
48 note polyphony
Reverb: 1 to 10 + off
Chorus: 1 to 5 + off
Sustain pedal and music stand supplied
Demo demo 5
Power supply: power supply only with power supply supplied
Double 8 W loudspeaker that can be connected to an external amplification system
The Casio CDP-130 is an 88-key digital piano recommended for those who want to start studying piano but do not have the space and budget to be able to take an acoustic piano.
It can be connected to the mixer via the headphone output, to the computer with a USB cable and function as a MIDI keyboard using the tones of the software on the PC. The pedal and the music rest are supplied.
The dimensions are such that it can be transported easily: 133 centimeters wide. If we compare it to other similar digital piano models, the price is absolutely a bargain if you also compare it to the technical characteristics and quality of the sampled sounds. (check availability and price on Amazon)
CASIO PX 160 PRIVIA:
The Casio PX 160 Privia digital piano is a superior solution. By spending a little more, you can get a semi-professional product that ensures excellent longevity.
It has excellent features that we can find in the most famous models, a Scaled Hammer Action Tri Sensor mechanism that makes the difference with the competitors over a 128-note polyphony.
Scaled Hammer Action Tri Sensor mechanics
Tone: Multi-Dimensional Morphing AiR
128 notes of polyphony
Standard connection for headphones, MIDI and pedals
Excellent integrated amplifier system
Is it worth paying more for the PX 160 digital piano than the CDP 130?
If you have the economic possibility and if the aspiring pianist wants a complete and simple and intuitive to use product, the answer is yes.
This digital piano is also great for those doing live events. (check availability and price on Amazon)
Casio PX 160 Privia digital piano (click for full review)
YAMAHA P 115B:
Let’s now pass to the Yamaha P-115 B, where the letter B simply indicates the color Black. For those who have a bit of historical knowledge on Yamaha digital pianos, they know very well how well the previous P-105 model (currently out of production) has been considered one of the best solutions on the market for many years.
The P-115 system features a standard Yamaha Graded Hammer (GHS) key system, with hard, soft, medium and fixed touch sensitivity settings, and a tone generation of the original Pure CF Sound Engine, generating the feel of an authentic piano.
With the Graded Hammer Effects function, the keys are heavier in the lower range of the keyboard and lighter in the upper range, just like an acoustic piano.
This is the ideal solution to buy a very good cheap 88-key digital piano, without having to spend a fortune and still getting a high quality item.
88 piano-style keys with touch response (Graded Soft Touch)
Piano sound Pure CF Sound polyphony 192 notes
Pure CF Sound piano sound
Functions: Dual, Duo, Split
10 piano styles
Sound Boost, IAC, transpose, fine tuning, metronome
14 demos and 50 preset songs
Connections: Headphone x 2, Sustain, USB, Aux, Pedal Unit
The standard amplification system is very good and is set up with L / R outputs to be easily connected to an external system.
The quality of this digital piano can also be understood from small details: the black keys have, for example, a matte finish to offer a sensitivity to the touch as similar as possible to an acoustic piano.
What is the big advantage of buying this digital piano?
Surely for a beginner who still does not want to give up the top, there is the possibility of buying an excellent 88-key weighted digital piano at a reduced price with which to test their passion and not need a superior model for a very long time.
Excellent value for money:
Yamaha P115 digital piano:
Yamaha digital pianos are considered among the absolute top and therefore let’s continue with another model: another solution to be seriously considered is the Yamaha P54 B digital piano that you will find in the next article.
UPDATE: you can read the review of the Yamaha P125 digital piano released in April 2018, the successor model to the P115 keyboard. You can check the improvements and understand if for your needs it is worth buying the new model or take advantage of the falling price of the previous P115 model
Less affordable options for a great digital piano:
For those who can spend a little more there are very interesting solutions that you can find by continuing to read our article with reviews of various digital wall piano models.
Finally we will also see an alternative solution at low cost for those who do not want to give up an 88-key digital piano with a wall structure … but with semi-weighted keys, also ideal as a great gift for the little ones.