Now this one is a heated discussion for ages. It will instantly divide a room if the room is filled with pianists. It is very close to the reading sheet music vs. playing by ear argument, eliciting passionate remarks from both sides.
On the one hand, we have the acoustic die-hards who swear that once you go acoustic, you can never go back. On the other, we have people who, although they have deep respect for acoustics, still prefer digital pianos.
However, here, we will not focus on whether one is superior to the other. After all, any piano is just as good as its player and its intended use. Instead, the focus shall be on what each has to offer.
Before buying a piano, you should take into consideration various factors, including but not limited to price, size, materials used, intended purpose, aesthetics, sound, and brand. These are some of the most essential elements to consider when deciding between an acoustic and a digital piano:
Sound is typically the first line of argument when comparing digital pianos to acoustic ones. Acoustics are known for their warm sounds that fill a room without the need for any amplification. This strong sound results from the sound-producing mechanism of acoustics, where when a key is struck, it causes a string to vibrate, which in turn vibrates the entire soundboard. The larger an acoustic, the richer and more complex its sound.
The first digital pianos' sound differed significantly from an acoustic's sound. However, with technological advancements, sampling techniques and instruments have improved. Although the sound from digital pianos can never be the same as that from an acoustic, it is currently as close as it is ever going to be. The Donner DPP-80’s sound is sampled from a French Grand. Before purchasing, you can also listen to a sound sample to ensure that it matches the sound you want to elicit while playing.
Besides dexterity, touch-weight is the most important technique to master when playing piano. When you press a key, what is happening inside an acoustic is that you are lifting a hammer. Touch-weight is the effort it takes you to lift the hammer. Because of the finger strength this takes, you need to develop a touch that's not too light or heavy. Playing an acoustic helps you master this technique, thereby helping you develop tonal nuances.
If a digital piano’s keys are not weighted or are semi-weighted, you may develop a less all-around technique compared to using a fully-weighted keyboard. This is because light keys encourage speed. Since the volume on a digital can be adjusted, your touch will always be the same. The Donner wooden digital keyboard has all its keys fully sized and weighted, giving your fingers the same experience as playing an acoustic and giving you room to control your sound dynamics.
An acoustic piano has three pedals; the soft pedal, the sustain pedal, and the sostenuto pedal. Most digital pianos only come with the sustain pedal. The DDP-80 electric piano also has the same three pedals, serving the same function. However, pedals on digital pianos have been criticized for not having the same effect.
In an acoustic, the effect of the pedals is felt more because the effect on the strings is gradual. The effect can be abrupt in digital pianos and sound "muddy" because the process is electrical. To curb this, Donner incorporates progressive damping to liken the effect as much as possible to acoustic pianos. The touch and feel on the DDP-80 pedals are so real, you will feel its difference with other pedals like the difference between a physical button and a virtual button on your phone.
An excellent acoustic piano will cost you an average of £9,000. This is exclusive of the hidden costs, including tuning, which happens more frequently in a new piano’s first years, additional accessories, climate control systems, and any repairs and upgrading.
The Donner wooden piano keyboard comes at a reasonably affordable price. Furthermore, it requires no additional maintenance and tuning other than the occasional dusting. Its fruitwood cabinet design is easy to clean and sturdy, making it an investment that will last years. It also has a minimalistic design that lacks those nooks and crannies that are difficult to clean. Its upgrading and tuning can be done simply by connecting your computer to it via its USB port.
Here is a list of things you can't do on an acoustic piano. You can't easily rearrange the furniture in your house. An acoustic piano is heavy to move, requiring the effort of more than two people. Depending on the size of your acoustic, you might have to call in experts to avoid damaging your instrument. You can play from whichever room you please with a wooden piano keyboard.
The dimensions of the Donner DDP-80 digital piano are such that it can fit even in a home with little space. The wood finish also ensures that it fits into whatever design theme you have in your house. Moreover, all the parts are easy to assemble.
With an acoustic, it doesn't matter how soft you play; the person next door will hear you. This makes it challenging to play at any time of the day, especially if you are not living alone. With the Donner wooden digital piano, you can switch to headphone mode to ensure you aren't waking anyone from their sleep.
Lastly, an acoustic is prone to changes in weather. An increase in humidity would cause the wood to expand, causing the sound to change. In cold weather, the strings contract, making the piano sound dull. Although you can't place a wooden piano keyboard anywhere, it is unlikely to be affected by environmental changes.
Whether you are a beginner or well advanced in your piano skills, the Donner DPP-80 offers quality to help you play as if an acoustic is right there with you. The adjustable touch response ensures it fits whatever style of music you prefer. It would look good in the corner of your home office, next to your sofa, or nestled somewhere in your bedroom.