Digital pianos stand out as an amazing piece of equipment worthy of pros. They bring you arguably the most crucial of all musical instruments, a piano, in a more convenient package, yet they retain the majority of the features, and even add something extra thanks to the wonders of digital audio technology.
They’ve got style, finesse, and grace, and we can say it was a great pleasure to sift through all the products available out there on the web in an attempt to bring you the best digital piano under $2000. Our quest was a fruitful one, as we have singled out a rich choice of five top-quality items. The rundown patiently awaits below.
What is the best digital piano under $2000
To answer this question, we decided to take into consideration several factors such as sound quality, durability, price, reliability, and even a pinch of looks. Additionally, we figured it would be smart not to focus on any specific genres, as digital pianos with this price tag should deliver quality performance on all fronts, regardless of the genre. That is exactly what these guys do, if we might add.
We’ll kick things off with a Yamaha, the Arius YDP162B model to be precise. The reason why Yamaha gets to start the party is the fact that this company has made so many top quality digital pianos that we could easily make a list of best Yamaha pianos packed with at least five, if not 10 items.
Anyhow, what we have here is a classy looking piano that will thoroughly impress you with sonic quality, durability, a fair price and overall versatility. Testing one of them out was a grand experience, some of the notable features and sound aspects we have noticed are available in the next paragraph.
Available in Black Walnut and Dark Rosewood color patterns, this Arius is a big beast, utilizing Graded Hammer (GH) weighted action technology for a heavier touch in the low-end department and a lighter touch in the high end segment, while retaining top-notch key stability, repetition, and response at all times.
Also included in the mix are smooth synthetic ivory key tops that give a tactile surface to the instrument’s white keys and make them easier to grip with fingertips. The instrument is meticulously sampled from the company’s globally renowned CFIIIS concert grand piano, utilizing the Pure CF Sound Engine to deliver the tone of a 9″ concert grand piano.
Featuring a 33 inch height, this grand piano is taller than a some of the Arius models, giving it more of a substantial upright piano appearance. It utilizes the Acoustic Optimizer technology to physically adjust the acoustical flow, delivering controls to resonate and enrich the overall audio output. Finally, the device features an on-board two-track tune recorder that allows you to practice one hand at a time or simply capture the melody you’re working on at the moment.
The sound is very high-end, with not just great versatility, but a touch of power, finesse, style and grace of an actual piano. The set of controls allows you to tweak the audio output to a maximum level of course, and experiment for as long as you want. The 128-note polyphony gives you all the sonic space you need, leaving it down to you, your creativity and musical prowess to present the magic.
Although Yamaha are known for being a widespread manufacturer of digital piano, Kurzweil are very frequently hailed as absolute masters of this realm, making them a shoo-in for our little rundown here. The specific model we opted for is the SP5-8, an 88 key piano packing some of the best components in the world today.
We’re talking about the sound used by not only the most prominent session musicians out there, but some bonafide musical legends and authors of numerous all-time classic tunes. You’re in the pro realm, mister, better bring your A-game to the mix. Testing one of them out was an amazing experience, something we recommend to every music lover out there.
The instrument utilizes a set of 88 note hammer action keys, utilizing the universally acclaimed Kurzweil PC3 technology engine with a rich library of 1024 different sounds, a 64 note polyphony, and a set of 4 split layer zones. Also included in the mix are dozens of various complex effect chains placed at the user’s disposal to polish his or her final audio output, as well as a 16-part multi-timbral capability.
The product also features the LK40GH action that allows you to experience “exceptional realism” while jamming away. Also available is a choice of various velocity maps to cater a variety of playing styles, as well as an SP5-8 user interface exclusively tailored to suit a many different settings.
There is a set of five sliders and a three-tiered Shift button, to give you instant access to a pack of 15 real-time effects parameters, along with an Intuitive Entry feature for further customization of sounds. A set of 20 user favorite slots has also been added to the mix for a musician on the go, a feature we have to praise as perfect for versatile live show setups.
The price also includes a string of world-class effects and professional-grade balanced TRS outputs, as well as full MIDI functionality over USB, including the ability to save and load user sounds and OS updates. Additionally, the aforementioned 16-part multi-timbral capability allows this Kurzweil to turn into a strong composition tool. Quality stuff, highly recommended.
Very, very versatile, but also very, very high quality. It is not common that a digital piano with thousands of different sound combinations offers top-notch performance with every single variation, but a Kurzweil does just that, and for that we applaud them. Whether you’re in the realm of pop, rock, jazz, blues, country, metal, or any other music genre, this fella will have your back covered every step of the way.
Now a vast array of buttons, knobs and things you can tweak might seem a tad daunting, but rest assured that once you cover the basics, the sound will come on its own, leaving you to focus on maximizing your creative drive and inspiration.
With a name like Kawai, how can you go wrong? But on more of a serious note, this instrument is somewhat of a budget friendly option that delivers a very significant chunk of audio quality from some of the pricier items on our list. We opted for the KDP 90 model as a sleek-looking mixture of a fair price and top-quality sound. Note that the price of this product varies from one retailer to another, going up to $1,500 and as low as $1,100. It is our opinion that any deal at or below $1,200 is a good option. Off to the features now.
This 88-key instrument utilizes the Harmonic Imaging Sound Technology, a sonic engine praised both by audio engineers and live performers around the globe. Also included in the mix is the 88-key piano sampling option, along with the AHAIV-F graded-hammer action for quality feel, a set of 15 top-quality instrumental audio samples, dual and four-hands modes, a massive 192-note polyphony, an on-board Alfred Piano Lessons system, a Grand Feel pedal system, a sliding key cover, as well as an on-board stereo speaker system. Please note that the sustain pedal is sold separately.
The listed price will also bring you quality wooden-key actions, USB digital audio and the distinctive Soundboard Speaker System among other innovative features. The KDP 90 also sports the company’s renowned Harmonic Imaging Sound Technology, and a breathtaking feel that will make you feel like you are playing a very special instrument, something that can really inspire you to take things to the next level. As noted, the price of this digital piano is very fair, and if you’re looking to save a few bucks you should most definitely consider purchasing this fella.
The sound can still be described as top-notch, as although certain cuts have been made, the overall vibe remains very much intact. Once again we have great versatility at our hands, and although we’re not talking the sonic superiority of a Kurzweil, it’s still an amazing device worthy of every music aficionado’s attention.
Users agree that the Kawai works very well for classical compositions due to a string of grandiose effects, but you’ll be happy if you’re on the rocking side as well, as this guy offers amazing rock ‘n’ roll presets, along with a pinch of jazz, blues, and even classic pop vibe. Some call this instrument a hidden gem, test it out and see if they are correct.
And now, the amazing Nord. We said that Kurzweil is a manufacturer of superior digital pianos, but folks from Nord are hardly lagging behind. As a matter of fact, they are standing strong neck to neck with every leading company, battling for the title of the greatest. This time around, we opted for the 4SW, a very distinctive piece of equipment that can and will take your performance to the next level. Versatile, strong, and independent, just like any quality piano should be.
The item utilizes the manufacturer’s Nord C2D B3 tone wheel simulation with an improved key click and percussion feature, along with a quality 122 rotary speaker simulation option. Also included in the mix are Vox and Farfisa organ simulators, and a Nord Piano Library and Nord Sample Library with a wide specter of available audio samples. The instrument sports a USB MIDI system for additional sonic ventures and extra convenience.
Additionally, the 4 SW also uses digital LED draw-bars, with optional features that allow the instrument to be split for additional practicality aspect. This way, you can assign the lower manual to a second MIDI keyboard, with is very cool and nifty. The aforementioned library includes some amazing sounds, including top of the line audios of grand, electrical and upright pianos, along with clarinets and harpsichords. The library comes on an included DVD with new additions that can always be downloaded free of charge.
The Long Release feature was added for legato playing styles, while the String Resonance option is also available on grand and upright pianos. The Nord Electro 4 series additionally gives you exclusive right to access the licensed mellotron and chamberlin sounds. The Nord Sample Editor allows you to add any audio vibe you want to the instrument, with enough available tools to acquire any desired sound and results.
Mapping several samples across the piano or creating seamless loops is quite easy thanks to the lossless compression algorithm that can fit samples up to three times the size compared to standard linear sample players. For the sonic glory this Nord delivers, we have to say that the price is very fair and spot-on.
Stellar, absolutely stellar. These strong keys have something to them, as every tone performed on a Nord is graceful and tasteful, and packed with all the right sonic frequencies. Actually, the sonic frequencies are just the way you make them. Want a warm low-end? You got it! Punchy mids? They’re here! A bright treble section? Presto, you got it!
The control knobs are easy to grasp and properly utilize, meaning that tweaks can easily be made even during concerts. This is high-quality stuff that we can only highly recommend!
Another prominent company of the digital piano realm is Roland, and for this occasion we decided to bring you the RD 300NX model. Available for anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000, this is a bad boy we have here, with price going down to $1,200 from some retailers, in which case we say you should grab the RD while you still can. Anyhow, plenty of features and components to discuss here, better get this thing on the move.
The instrument utilizes the company’s renowned Super Natural technology, a set of brand new E. Piano sounds, an Innovative Sound Focus feature that ensures every note is heard in the mix without any unwanted compressing, distortion, or coloring the audio output.
Also included in the mix is a new Ivory Feel-G keyboard technology with an Escapement feature, along with an intuitive U/I, a new One Touch Piano feature, and a convenient graphic LCD. Implemented within the instruments are hundreds of high quality on-board audio samples. Note that a sustain pedal is sold separately.
Some of the built-in effects include reverb, chorus, EQ, compression, and more. Additionally, this Roland’s Sound Focus feature makes sure that even the quiet parts you play are well heard. In total, you get a very rich set of over 200 quality on-board effects, with an easy access to pianos and a great overall feel. And this thing even looks killer – what more can a musician ask for?
The sound is typical Roland, meaning that if you want the more electronic, futuristic, or poppy vibe, thou shall have it with ease. However, the company did a fine job in implementing a wide specter of quality sounds for rock, classical, jazz, and even metal feel, leaving the player well covered on all fronts and within all genres.
What to look for in a good digital piano?
Well, first and foremost, you will need to keep your eyes peeled for the things you need the most? What are the things you need the most? Well, that is up to you to tell us, now isn’t it. We always point out over and over that knowing your goals is half of the musical journey, and it’s not difference here!
So sit down and jot down what style do you like, which effects do you use the most, and which music do you like playing the most. Then, pay your local music store a visit and see which fella suits you the best.
Now for some more objective guidelines, you will want to pay attention to quality sound first. Test out the piano you want to buy and see how it works in different conditions, you only get one chance before you’ve bought it.
And there you have it – the best digital pianos on today’s market for less than $2000. As the instruments we have listed clearly demonstrate, the given budget is more than enough to get you an amazing piece of professional equipment that will serve you very well in many years to come. You can use each of these pianos in every environment from live shows to studio sessions, and they all deliver the best bang for the buck.
If you are a pianist or a keyboardist looking to enter the world of pro musicianship, these five strapping young lads will do the job perfectly. They will elevate your sound to the next level, much like any good instrument should. Hopefully we’ve been of use here, giving a helping hand from one musician and music geek to another musician and music geek. The stuff we found here is truly amazing, just give ’em all a bit more of a thorough look and you will see. Highly recommended, a major thumbs up from here!