The Best Digital Piano & Keyboard Brands Guide

best digital piano brands
When it comes to choosing a keyboard, there are no fashion statements.

The top digital piano brands are all about function – that’s carefully quality-controlled technological excellence wrapped up in a product that has been honed through years of iterations and tweaks.

As we strive for authenticity in both sound and touch, so it becomes more difficult and expensive for brands to meet our expectations as customers, to the point where a bad choice can leave you seriously out of pocket, saddled with a product that doesn’t feel natural or sound high-quality.

Of course, you then run the risk of developing bad finger technique to compensate for a poor action.

There are certainly digital piano brands to avoid – more on that later.

But today we will focus on the crème de la crème – the most reliable and trustworthy digital piano brands out there.

Let’s take a look at what the market has to offer.

Digital Piano Evolution: Then and Now

evolution of digital pianos

The idea of pianos being electric has been around since the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the late 50s when they truly became popular.

Artists like Ray Charles started digitally altering sounds and the concept of a lighter, more diverse alternative to a standard upright or grand was really born.

From then up until the 90s, the digital piano was a different instrument – a recognizably simulated sound, ready-made for synth and funk.

But as things changed, companies started being able to very closely replicate the sound of an acoustic instrument and the demand for straight-up piano imitations grew.

Fast forward to the present day and the amount of realism you get from a digital piano is exceptional – from the sound right down to the actual feel of the keys.

And with that option sitting alongside specialist synth models, 234,000 digital pianos were sold in the US alone in 2021.

But technological advances have got us to such a point now where you can actually have both – an instrument that looks, sounds and feels like a piano, while being digitally programmed to offer a wide range of sounds, connectivity and recording options, all in one.

And of course, as more companies pick up on this, competition increases and drives the price of entry-level models down.

There are also “true” hybrids now available; real acoustic pianos with strings and mechanisms like traditional pianos, but with embedded digital functionality.

They are expensive at the moment, but you can certainly keep track of them from the top digital piano brands (as long as you know who they are and what to look for!)

Best Digital Piano Brands

After doing some basic research on digital pianos and their features, you’ll quickly realize that there are dozens of different brands available on the market, and some of them you’ve probably never even heard of.

Do all digital piano brands offer the same level of quality and reliability?

Of course, not. In fact, there are some brands you should avoid at all costs.

To make it easier for you we’ll try to cover all the popular keyboard brands and talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

We’ll start with 7 most reliable and trustworthy brands that we recommend based on our and other people’s experience, and then we’ll move on to brands that are better be avoided (with some exceptions).

piano brands approved

To get a bird’s eye view of these brands and their product lines, take a look at the comparison table below.

[Comparison Table of the Best Digital Piano Brands]

  • Country
    Where the company is based.
    Don't get it confused with the country of manufacturing! Most digital pianos and keyboards nowadays are made in China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Some higher-end models are made in Japan or Europe, but it's pretty rare.
  • On the Market Since
    The year when the company entered the digital piano market.
  • Areas of
    Key areas the company is known for.
  • Portable
    Portable Keyboards (A.k.a portable arrangers, portable arranger keyboards) are entry-level instruments that usually come with 49, 61, or 73 non-weighted or semi-weighted keys, hundreds of sounds, styles, recording, and interactive features.
    They don't aim to replace an acoustic piano but rather introduce you to the world of music.
    They're most popular among beginners and kids in particular.
  • Portable DPs
    Unlike portable keyboards, portable digital pianos (a.k.a. slab pianos) come with 88 fully weighted hammer-action keys, which mimic the action of an acoustic piano, and use high-quality piano samples. They rarely have tons of built-in tones, styles, and other so-called "bells and whistles" as their main goal is to sound and feel as close as possible to a real acoustic piano.
  • Home DPs
    Home Digital Pianos (a.k.a. Console DPs) are very similar to portable DPs with regard to their main concept, which is to provide a realistic piano playing experience (sound and touch being the most important).
    The main difference, though, is that Home DPs have a furniture cabinet design and come with 3 piano pedals, which gives them a more acoustic-like look.
  • Premium Home DPs
    Higher-end Home Digital Pianos usually incorporate a more sophisticated hammer action, higher quality samples (with some modeled elements), multi-speaker sound system, and fancier, more acoustic-like cabinet.
  • Hybrid DPs
    Hybrid Digital Pianos are the most expensive type of digital pianos. They usually have highest quality samples, sophisticated sound system, and action that fully replicates the action of an acoustic piano.
    Hybrid pianos come the closest (in all aspects) to real acoustic pianos.
  • Stage Pianos
    Stage Pianos are very similar to Portable DPs but the main difference is that they usually don't have any built-in speakers. Often, they're also lighter, and more compact, which makes them even easier to move around.
    Portable DPs are often used as Stage Pianos as well.
  • Synths/Music Workstations
    Synthesizers are widely used in complex sound design and music production. They offer extensive options that allow you to synthesize, fine-tune, and control the sound in real time.
    Music Workstations/Synth Workstations have much more options, and therefore more universal.
    They allow you to do basically anything related to music production, starting from sound design, and ending with mixing and recording.
  • Arranger Workstations
    Arranger workstations are similar to other types of workstations but come with additional features for songwriters, composers, and solo performers.
    In particular, arrangers usually have hundreds of accompaniment styles that will back up your performance with various instruments, making you sound like a full band.
    Compared to synth workstations, arranger workstations have fewer options for sound synthesis and editing.
  • Most Popular DPs
    Most popular digital pianos of each brand


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There is no discussion of the best digital piano manufacturers in the world without Yamaha.

yamaha digital pianos

They are the most popular, the oldest and have the largest, most versatile range out there. In fact, you have to go back to 1887 to find their first organ, built by Torakusu Yamaha himself.

A Japanese company, their acoustic and digital pianos are made in enormous factories across Japan, China, and Indonesia before being exported worldwide. In 2022, the company’s total revenue across all its musical products was over $2 billion.

The secret to Yamaha’s success stems from their foundations in acoustic pianos.

Their upright and grands are used everywhere from schools to concert halls and it is this attention to the mechanics of a “real” piano which has served them in such good stead when creating a digital sound.

Central to this is their piano-like graded hammer action, which is present in all their digital pianos, albeit at different levels of quality.

yamaha hybrid key action

From GHS in their entry-level range, to GH3X in some of the Clavinovas, right the way up to the state-of-the-art GrandTouch wooden action, Yamaha place a great deal of focus on touch – and it shows.

With such a great range of options and prices, it’s no surprise that they commanded a 50% market share for digital musical instruments in 2022.

The affordable, entry-level PSR-E range is immensely popular with kids and beginners, with some models available for less than $200.

Compare this to the world-renowned Clavinova range – one of the upright CLP models might set you up a couple of thousand dollars, but a digital grand like the incredible CVP-909GP is more like $15,000.

With their background in music technology, Yamaha also offer excellent stage and home portable pianos.

Their extremely popular compact P series models start at $400, but there are models with more functions and better realism, available all the way up the price range.

As with all of Yamaha’s digital pianos, they are seriously durable and reliable – one of the best features of the brand.

The Yamaha 3-year warranty covers the majority of their brands, but the Clavinova range benefits from 5 years, which reflects the engineering confidence that Yamaha have in the series.

The pro-standard PSR-S models are higher-end, but fully-focused arranger workstations, rather than entry-level keyboards.

Far more popular though is the Yamaha Montage range, which competes with the well-known Roland Fantom and Nord Stage 4 keyboards.

The main features are 6347 waveforms (twice as much compared to the MOXF series), over 10 000 arpeggios, Seamless Switching Sound (SSS) technology, and a 16-track MIDI sequencer.

If your main focus is going to be on piano, you’ll want to take a look at their highly-popular piano-focused models (digital pianos):

P series – portable digital pianos for beginners all the way to advanced players

YDP series – console type home digital pianos, similar to P series, but not as portable and gig-friendly

Clavinova – their famous high-end home digital pianos offer the best technology in Yamaha’s arsenal

Meanwhile, they are also at the forefront of the hybrid era, with their TransAcoustic pianos being true acoustic models with digital features such as headphone inputs and volume control, as well as the ability to replicate different grand piano models through an app.

Across their styles and ranges though, Yamaha products are used and endorsed by well-known musicians and studios worldwide.

From Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake in the mainstream world to Alberto Pizzo and HJ Lim on the classical side, the instruments are well-represented and highly regarded.

  • Wide range of products for every budget, level, and need
  • Extensive background in the field
  • Yamaha’s signature sound
  • Recognized all over the world
  • Solid Customer Service
  • Not the most realistic action (GHS) in their lower-end DPs
  • (Arguably) Boring design of some of their instruments
  • Quite conservative when it comes to new technologies


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casio digital pianos

Another major Japanese multinational, Casio are probably more well-known to you for watches, calculators and cameras than they are for digital pianos.

However, from that solid digital base has arisen one of the best brands out there, especially seeing as they’ve only really made a name for themselves in the market over the last 15-20 years.

While the company itself has been running from 1946, and the first marketable keyboard – the Casitone 201 – was released back in 1980, it was the launch of the Privia range in 2003 that really saw Casio make its mark on the industry.

Lightweight, compact, but affordable, they quickly positioned themselves slightly differently in the market to giants such as Yamaha.

Their pianos are well-known as being very budget-friendly and geared towards beginners and amateurs, but with release like the state-of-the-art PX-S7000, that’s definitely changing.

They don’t lag behind on technology as they used to, and some of the features on their pianos are only available on much higher-priced competitors.

casio air sound generator

Their Celviano range, for example, is a direct competitor to Yamaha’s Clavinova, with the top-notch AiR Grand Sound Source and multi-speaker acoustic sound simulation, but for over a thousand dollars cheaper all the way up the range.

Granted, you don’t get the same quality of action as with a Clavinova, as they use the same action in the Celviano range as they do in the Privia, but it’s a good choice if you’re on a tight budget.

Casio’s Grand Hybrid series is also a part of the Celviano family but these are completely different beasts.

The GP-310 and GP-510 models feature a meticulously designed hybrid key action that closely resembles that of an acoustic grand.

Casio’s Grand Hybrid key action

The keys are made of real wood and the onboard 6-speaker sound system is truly impressive.

These are the most advanced digital pianos you’ll find in Casio’s arsenal. They compete with Yamaha’s AvantGrand series and Kawai’s NV hybrid series.

Generally speaking though, there isn’t a great deal outside the Celviano range to interest a pro.

This means you don’t really see Casio models represented on stages or in studios, meaning that they don’t get a lot of airtime.

However, in keeping with their support for young musician programs through the Grammy Foundation, they work with several contemporary artists, including Earth Wind & Fire’s Larry Dunn and singer-songwriter Rachel Sage.

Of course, the flip side to this is that their prices remain some of the most competitive out there.

The warranties are also competitive, with 3 years on the Privia range and 5 on the Celvianos standing out from the crowd (their regular warranty offer is 12 months).

Because Casio are so focused on youngsters and beginners, the sound modes and interfaces are all exceptionally user-friendly.

While you won’t find a massive range of options and modulations available, these are instantly accessible pianos that are great for building confidence and knowledge of digital piano technology.

And while the compact buy room-filling PX series will cost between $700 for a PX-S1100 and $2500 for a studio-grade PX-S7000, the CDP-S pianos – their targeted beginner range are much cheaper, despite having a basic weighted action and excellent speakers.

The Privia line undoubtedly remains the most popular from Casio’s arsenal. It’s very versatile and includes digital pianos of different types (console, portable) and price ranges.

  • Affordable
  • Beginner friendly
  • Great value for money
  • Not limited to which acoustic pianos to sample (other major brands like Yamaha or Kawai tend to use their own pianos)
  • A lot of features on Casio DPs are only available on much higher priced models of other brands
  • Quite a limited product range
  • Not a lot of products for pros
  • Not particularly impressive key actions


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roland digital pianos

Unlike Yamaha and Casio, Roland’s main focus is music.

Founded in Japan in Osaka in 1972, the company still operates out of Japan and their keyboards are considered to be among the most important digital musical products ever released in terms of driving forward the market.

What you can expect from Roland is 40 years’ worth of honed digital piano.

Their products are exceptionally high-quality throughout their ranges and as they only focus on digital models, you could argue that they are better placed than any other company on this list to be industry pioneers.

The 3D video tour (drag your mouse to get a 360° view) below will walk you through all the ranges of musical instruments that Roland have been creating and improving over the years.

As you would expect then, their instrumental range is extensive; from stage pianos to console digitals and portable models, their branding is recognizable and their products are built to last.

The RD stage series is probably the toughest, most durable stage option out there.

In fact, Roland are so confident about their products, that the HP, LX, HPi, DP, KF and GP models all benefit from an astonishing 10-year warranty, that represents the best on the market.

The corresponding product support is excellent too, with regular system updates and excellent terms on repair.

And their official sites are full of tutorials to help you get to grips with your new instrument.

Roland have also made substantial strides forward on their key actions.

roland pha50 action

Roland’s flagship key action – PHA-50

The PHA-4 Standard action includes keys that simulate ivory, preventing your fingers from slipping off the keys, while their flagship wood hybrid action, PHA-50, is available on the DP and HP ranges, as well as the FP-90X (flagship of the portable FP series) and the RD-2000 stage piano.

The centers of the keys are made from real wood, with the ivory feel of PHA-4 intact on the outside.

Along with this is their pedal system, which features the ability to reprogram the soft and sostenuto pedals to different weights and functions.

While there is no doubting the quality of the Roland brand though, their products are expensive.

In the portable range, the FP-90X is nearly $2200; the equivalent Yamaha P series is only $1599.

Roland FP-90X

Roland FP-90X, the flagship of the FP series

The top-of-the-range V-Piano grand is just shy of $20,000. Bearing in mind you’re looking at the top of the range though, this isn’t really a surprise.

But if you’re looking at the affordable and very popular F/RP (console) and FP (portable) series, you’ll be able to benefit from their SuperNATURAL technology, which focuses on natural tone alteration depending on velocity, and note decay, for a more real sound as well as the PHA-4 Standard keyboard with Ivory touch keys and Escapement, which is considered one of the best key actions in its class.

  • Tech savvy (onboard Bluetooth support on most of their DPs, physical modeling, etc.)
  • Trusted around the world
  • PHA-4/PHA-50 key actions are among the best in their class
  • Great Piano Partner 2 app (can be used via Bluetooth)
  • Not limited to which acoustic pianos to sample
  • Limited selection of beginner keyboards
  • Some people find their piano tones a bit too bright
  • On the expensive side


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kawai logo

If you want to go even more focused than Roland, then Kawai are pure piano specialists – both acoustic and digital. They were founded in 1927 with its headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan – the same city that Roland now have their own HQ.

Despite being less well-known globally than Yamaha or Roland though, they have expanded massively in recent years, into Russia, America and China.

Their products are seriously good too, with their upright CN series winning the MMR Dealers’ Choice “Home Digital Piano Line of the Year” in 2017 and their subsequent products excelling at the same awards every year since.

Kawai are an expensive brand, but they know it and they market themselves as producing professional instruments for professional musicians.

Their MP11SE stage piano offers a range of digital customization features without compromising on the real sound, but you’ll pay somewhere around three grands for it.

Meanwhile, the lower-level portables – the ES110 and the pro-grade ES920 (a competitor of the Yamaha P-515 and the Roland FP-90X) are much more affordable.

If you’re going to buy Kawai – and there are several compelling reasons to do so – it makes sense to go for one of their higher-end models.

The CN-301 is their best middle-range digital, with Responsive Hammer III, 256-note polyphony, 13 piano sounds and a stunning finish, for just under $3000.

Meanwhile, the CA series (Concert Artist) focuses on powerful output without compromising sound quality and their Grand Feel III action is one of the most sophisticated key actions on the market today; but it will cost you well in excess of $5,000.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Kawai has also prepared a bunch of great instruments that are highly competitive and popular in their price ranges, the already mentioned ES120 (portable) and KDP120 (console) being among them.

Kawai ES120

Kawai ES120 – Portable Digital Piano

The main jewels in the Kawai crown are sound and touch – arguably the two most important areas.

The lower register across the ranges is excellent, with powerful output and Harmonic Imaging (HI) piano sound to boot.

The Grand Feel (GF) keys are wooden and operate on the same pivot system as Kawai’s uprights, while the plastic folded-type RHIII action operates with triple sensor key action.

No matter which Kawai piano you’re looking at, both the action and sound will be near or at the top of the available range.

On the hybrid side of things, Kawai offers the magnificent NOVUS NV10S Hybrid Digital Piano.

The NV10S individually weights every single key and is a complete recreation of an acoustic piano action, using precision optical sensors as well as a hybrid damper mechanism that claims to be unique on the market.

For under $15,000, that represents the best high-end digital piano that Kawai has to offer.

  • Fully focused on acoustic and digital pianos (no other businesses)
  • Highly praised instruments (for their realism) across all price ranges
  • Known for their realistic sound and natural feeling key actions
  • Great PianoRemote app (can be used via Bluetooth)
  • Wide selection of home digital pianos
  • Not much presence in the synth, arranger, and workstation department
  • Few beginner keyboards (if any)
  • Not as well-known worldwide as Yamaha or Roland (it’s changing though)
  • Pricey


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korg logo

Founded in Tokyo in 1962, Korg – formerly known as Keio Electronic Laboratories – are a digital only producer of pianos, pedals, recording equipment, synthesizers and guitars.

Their main focus is digital technology, and this is reflected in their product range, which is workstation and synth-heavy keyboards.

In fact, they are one of the most used brands worldwide for studio-based workstations and the most recognizable, along with Nord.

korg g1 air

Korg G1 Air – The Flagship of Korg’s Home Series

Their entry into the digital piano market is relatively recent and certainly competitive, although lacking in a high-end range.

The G1 Air, for example – their flagship digital upright – retails for almost $2000.

And while it’s not as feature-heavy as more expensive models from Yamaha, Roland or Kawai, the RH3 hammer action is very competitive with other brands and the digital know-how that they have honed from their tech-heavy focus over the years is very much present.

The main draw for Korg’s digital piano range is sound.

Their newer models, such as the B2SP, benefit from 30w speakers and Motional Feedback Technology, which focuses on making the low range of the keyboard distortion-free.

Meanwhile, the G1 Air produces astonishing sound considering its size, going full blooded in its attempt to recreate stage grands despite being relatively affordable and compact compared with its competitors.

Because they are so sound-focused, you also get a range of input and outputs to cater for pretty much any situation. And design-wise, they’re also quite innovative.

The edges of their uprights are distinctively curved and instead of having sideboards as supports, they have separate front legs, which is looks gorgeous in my opinion.

This ultimately translates to a more lightweight product, but doesn’t make them less durable.

In fact, Korg focus a lot of their development on the shells in which they keep their precious technology, simply because it’s often more intricate than the competition when you start to look at their workstation series.

Over to the world of stage pianos though and you find Korg in its element.

The Kronos and Kronos LS (succeeded by Nautilus) are used all over the world, with keyboardists from superstar bands like Queen displaying the brand in massive stadia.

The joystick and touch-controlled screens offer an enormous range of live and recorded options, but the quality of the actual keyboard itself isn’t sacrificed in any way.

It doesn’t’ break the bank either, considering that you’re effectively buying a portable studio.

Another area where Korg excels at is pro-grade arranger workstations, and in particular, their Pa series, which could become your favorite songwriting and performance partner, providing you with the highest quality sounds and styles for virtually any genre.

  • Some instruments are still produced in Japan
  • Experts when it comes to pro-grade synths, keyboards, and workstations
  • Not limited to which acoustic pianos to sample
  • Put emphasis on the importance of high-quality speaker system onboard
  • The RH3 key action used in their higher-end keyboards is very competitive
  • Relatively small range of consumer grade digital pianos
  • Some of their lower end digital pianos lack some of the popular features found in their competitors
  • Limited selection of beginner keyboards


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nord keyboards

As far as this list is concerned, you may as well consider Nord to be the opposite of Casio.

The only company on this list that isn’t Japanese, the Swedish company focuses on high-end, expensive professional or studio-only models, with features and quality to match.

The company has been running since 1983 under the name Clavia Digital Musical Instruments and has the smallest product range on this list; focusing purely on synthesizers and stage pianos.

The distinctive red finish that adorns the shells of their products makes them perhaps the most recognizable brand of stage keyboard on the market.

When you think Nord, think tech. Even on their stage piano models, the options are dizzying in their quantity.

While you will get graded hammer action keys on the Nord Piano 5, for example, it’s a third-party designed action – Fatar – rather than one that has been developed in-house, as you get with their competitors.

That’s not to say it isn’t excellent – it is, but part of the reason you don’t see Nords outside of the stage and studio environments so much is that they aren’t focused on appeasing the classical pianist who has made a crossover into digital stage performance.

These are very much instruments of the technically-minded – people with significant synth expertise and a real interest in live digital performance. In fact, the array of knobs and buttons across their range covers almost every live eventuality you can think of; looping, sampling, you name it.

Their other stage models – the Electro 6 and the Stage 4 – are similarly kitted out and similarly expensive.

In terms of synthesizers, the Nord Lead A1 is certainly a market leader, offering wavetable synthesis, multiple stacking, and hard/soft synthesis. It is one of the more expensive on the market though.

The warranty for Nord products depends from distributor to distributor, but the company has built up a reputation for being the number 1 in terms of quality control.

And their list of artists is seemingly endless, albeit largely populated by session and touring musicians, showing their focus on the modern demands of touring and studio work.

And considering the relative newness of their brand and particularly their focus on dedicated stage pianos, Nord have done an exceptional job at becoming genuine competition to heavyweights such as Roland and Yamaha.

  • Handmade in Sweden
  • Top notch quality
  • Very popular among pros (gigs, studio work)
  • Highly specialized (go deeper rather than wider)
  • The RH3 key action used in their higher-end keyboards is very competitive
  • Pricey
  • Very limited range (pro grade keyboards only)
  • Might not be the best choice for classically trained pianists


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Dexibell brand

Dexibell is a fairly new name in the business, though this Italian company has made a name for itself with consistently well-designed products that follow tried and true design cues from other established companies.

Most of the designers in Dexibell are actually ex-Roland employees, and that’s a solid pedigree to work with. We’ve already talked about Roland’s eye for design and innovation across their 40-year long legacy above, and Dexibell aims to recreate that magic.

Dexibell first entered the fray with their Vivo stage pianos, also known as the Vivo S-line. These pianos are still relatively unknown, but reviews and users are generally very happy with what’s on offer.

The ‘secret sauce’ to Dexibell’s instruments is the use of the CORTEX-Quadcore processor, which uses a similar architecture to those used in personal computers and laptops.

This is then coupled with sound engines optimized to use the multithreaded nature, namely the piano-focused True To Life (T2L) engine.

This sound engine uses 24-bit sampling bit depth, which allows for a larger dynamic range, and the fast processor reacts to the built-in sensors, adding noise and other details reactively.

Dexibell True to Life T2L

The T2L sound engine operates somewhat similarly to Roland’s SuperNATURAL engine and allows players to modify parameters on demand. For example, the user can modify sounds by changing certain preset parameters.

Generally, Dexibell uses keybeds from Fatar, who are also responsible for the Nord-line from Clavia. While these aren’t exactly bad (the high-end TP/40 is quite good actually), they won’t be winning any awards for playability.

The Dexibell Vivo S-line might not share the same notoriety of their distantly related Nord counterparts, but it does take some design cues, such as the slanted pitch and mod wheels and individual sections.

Dexibell S9 angle

Dexibell VIVO S9 (side view)

Dexibell also makes console-style home pianos, known as the Vivo H-line.

What’s interesting is that these console models use mostly the same tech as Dexibell stage pianos, which makes them expensive yet capable instruments.

Some of the features they inherited from Dexibell stage pianos include an expandable sound library with 1.5GB wave memory, a wide selection of reverb and DSP effects, and support for .wav, .aiff, .mp3, audio playback.

The H-line shows off Dexibell’s sampling and modeling techniques beautifully, and do compete with the more seasoned veterans in the field.

15-second long samples and modeled resonances, combined with decently tuned speakers, mean that Dexibell is a brand well worth considering if you get the chance to test it out.

Finally, Dexibell also produces organs, including the Classico L3 and the Combo J7, which emulate a church and jazz electric organ respectively.

While Nord probably still has the digital organ market on lock, the Combo J7 is the first digital organ to have motorized drawbar faders, which might appeal to players who want evolving sounds.

Digital Piano & Keyboard Brands to Avoid


Williams logo

On the face of it, you might have your head turned by Williams, who produce great-looking instruments with similar stats on paper to their competitors, but at a fraction of the price.

The Legato III – their beginner model – retails for well under $500, while the upright digital, the Overture 2, is around $800; But cost is where the positives end.

The bottom line is that these pianos don’t have the mechanics to back up their aesthetics.

The range and quality of sampling is quite disappointing and the speakers are powerful enough but the sound quality isn’t great. The main issues lie with playability though.

The touch-sensitive keys feel like they belong in the dark ages compared with the advanced hammer action offerings from the big names, and the lack of dynamic control is very worrying. It feels like you’re playing an old table-top from 30 years ago, no matter how high up their product range you go.

The brand itself is owned by Guitar Center, but the instruments are manufactured by an outsource company in China.

Therefore it should come as a surprise that Williams pianos are heavily promoted via the chain of Guitar Center stores and its affiliates (Musician’s Friend, Woodwind & Brasswind, etc.)


In terms of pricing, Artesia are a similar brand to Williams, and they’re obviously aiming at the beginner range more than seasoned pros.

If you’re a Yamaha or Kawai aficionado, you’ll be astounded to note that you can pick up their digital grand – the AG-30 – for just about $1700.

The bottom line though is that it isn’t worth the admittedly massive saving.

Artesia brand logo

The build quality on the Artesia instruments is average to say the least – they’re saving on parts left, right and center.

The PA table-top series, aimed at beginners, feel like they couldn’t withstand any kind of impact.

And mechanically, everything lags light years behind the big boys. The action is springy and mechanical, the sound is thin and pixelated, and the programming options are far too sparse.

These guys go a long way toward proving the old adage that you get what you pay for.


It’s not just these three, though. There are several other minor brands out there that aren’t worth your money. Omega and Galileo are two such examples.

A potential banana skin though is Suzuki. They have built themselves into a world-famous piano brand in the far East, with their methods and their keyboards in thousands upon thousands of schools.

The bottom line though, is that their products just aren’t up to scratch.

Semi-Recommended Brands

There are two brands that I couldn’t include in either of the categories above. I don’t necessarily “not recommend” these brands but in many cases there are just better options out there from other brands.


Rewind back to the 1980s, and the Kurtzweil brand was the market leader.

An unlikely partnership between Stevie Wonder and inventor Raymond Kurtzweil – who developed reading machines for the blind – saw them rise to the top thanks to the best replication of acoustic piano sound on the market by far.

Kurzweil brand logo

Now, the sound that these machines generate is still pretty good, and they undoubtedly win the price war with their competitors (their main Clavinova competitor, the MP120, only costs around $1500).

However, they are let down by the action on their keyboards, which is clunky, heavy and reminiscent of the plastic keyboards of yesteryear.

This has to be partly down to their decision to sell the brand to Young Chang, which was then acquired by Hyundai – I don’t think there is the same level of focus and innovation anymore.

In fact, to make it worth your while considering one of Kurzweil’s instruments, you need to be looking at their top end.

The CUP-410 – priced well above $2000 – boasts 70w of speaker output, upright-style design and lots of customization options.

For their flagship stage piano – Kurzweil Forte with 16GB of sounds and 23 programmable controllers – you’ll pay even more money.

The issue with the touch is less pronounced with these models, but if I was spending over $2000, I’d still want more.


Alesis is another well-established brand that has been producing electronic musical instruments and audio equipment for over 30 years.

Nowadays they mostly specialize in making drum kits, multipads, MIDI-keyboards, and recording equipment, and they’re actually pretty good at what they’re doing.

Alesis brand

However, if you’re looking for a high-quality digital piano, I’d recommend checking out the major brands first (the ones mentioned above).

Alesis just doesn’t have that much experience and know-how when it comes to pianos.

Their main focus is geared towards music makers (studio use) rather than piano players who are looking for a natural, nuanced piano sound and realistic key action.

However, if you’re just starting out, an Alesis keyboard might be a good cost-efficient option that will get you off the ground playing the piano.

One of the best options models in their arsenal I can recommend is the Alesis Recital Pro, which unlike many other Alesis keyboards, features 88 fully weighted keys and offers pretty decent piano tones.

Final Thoughts

It’s a big market out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck with something you don’t want.

Ultimately, you want to choose a piano that matches your ability level first and foremost, but durability, reliability and warranty are all important no matter who you are or your reason for buying.

On the technology side, touch is everything if you’re coming from the acoustic world.

A good company should pay attention to how a piano feels, as well as its integration with modern technology.

So, over to you. Do you have any experiences with any of these brands – good or bad – that you’d like to share.

What makes and models work for you?

Let us know in the comments and let’s get a conversation going. And of course, if you’ve found this article useful, share it so that other people can get the benefit! Thanks for reading!

You might also like:

Yamaha Keyboards & Digital Pianos: The Definitive Guide

Yamaha Keyboards & Digital Pianos: The Definitive Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Digital Piano

Digital Piano Buying Guide

Best Digital Pianos & Keyboards (All Price Points)

Best Digital Pianos & Keyboards (All Price Points)

Digital Piano vs Keyboard vs Synthesizer (Full Comparison)

Best Digital Pianos for Beginners (Under $500)


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