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Comprehensive Difference between Digital Piano & Acoustic Piano

There is always a debate on which is better, acoustic piano or digital piano. Traditional pianists vote for acoustic pianos as they had mastered their skill with this instrument. But modern day pianists and would be learners opt for digital pianos instead. The convenience of electronic and digital variety captivates the individuals. Though digital pianos are not distinctly different from traditional piano yet there are characteristic features that make each kind distinct.
Source of Sound

Piano dates back its existence from more than 300 years. Bartolomeo Cristofori from Venice created it for the first time. Its hammer like mechanism produces vibration from its strings. The manners by which the strings vibrate create differing sounds. The vibration that is created by pushing the keys down cause the hammer to bounce off or hit the strings. The music that is emitted is a result of varying speed, force, and release when notes on each key are hit..

Digital Pianos are basically electronic musical instrument. These devices emulate pre recorded sounds that are stored in computer chips. Both types of pianos have same number of keys, but unlike acoustic one, digital piano does not require typical setup of hammer and string. It does not have any moving part that is found in acoustic piano. Unlike the traditional version, sound is produced when pressure on the keys relays to the computer on what sounds should be produced. The digital piano requires battery or electrical source to operate.

Comparison of Type and Appearance

Acoustic piano and digital piano bear striking resemblance with each other. While acoustic piano has 88 keys, digital piano on the other hand has the diversity of 61 to 88 keys. You can choose any of these depending on skill level and budget. Acoustic piano is available in two styles, the vertical and the upright; grand piano comes as a horizontal type. Traditional pianos look like wooden furniture and are available in a variety of finishes.

The Digital Piano also comes in the upright design. Pianos with shallower keyboards take up less space. There are also stage pianos, workstations which are also known as combination computer and keyboard, as well as keyboard sound modules. Some are used as synthesizers which are mostly found in the work of many DJs. The ultimate comparison chart gives a detail of these various types. The Digital Piano looks more like an appliance or electronic device; however newer designs replicate the wooden finish of the classic piece.

Key Sensitivity

It took lot many years and hard work to create a digital piano that replicates the acoustic one. Previously electronic models had unweighted keys. Unlike the standard instrument, these older versions did not allow users to play for a longer time due to undeveloped muscle structure. Modern models have weighted keys which are more touch sensitive. Lot of veteran pianists now attests that digital pianos give the feel of an acoustic one.

Price Difference

Most beginner pianists opt for digital pianos because it is budget friendly. A top quality acoustic piano ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 for the vertical kind. Acoustic grand pianos range from $7,500 to $85,000. The price tags depend on the make and model.

Digital pianos are available in as less as $1000 and can go upto $3000 for the one which looks like an acoustic one. Digital Pianos are created to resemble the wood furniture type acoustic pianos. Electronic grand pianos can be purchased for $3,000.

If you compare both then you find digital piano to be a more budget friendly option than the acoustic piano. It is also suitable for students who are only starting their lessons and are not professional pianists. To sum up, digital pianos are the favored type as it is also chosen by many concert pianists.


Size is a big concern for people when they go to buy a piano. It is a known fact that traditional pianos are hard to transport. Acoustic pianos weigh around 400 to1000 pounds while digital ones weigh a maximum of 100 pounds. Digitized Grand Pianos weigh a bit more but lesser than the traditional one.

Digital Piano wins the race in terms of portability. Digital Pianos can be moved by a single individual while acoustic piano needs two or more people. Digital Pianos are also available in narrower models for people who have space crunch in their house.

Repairs and Maintenance

Average Pianos require tuning once or twice a year. It depends on the humidity of the area. Digital Pianos on the other hand do not require tuning. It can be taken care as is done for a simple computer. But it also means that if any part goes out of order, then you might experience a hole in your pocket. Acoustic piano on the other hand, if maintained well, does not require a lot of repairs apart from the usual maintenance of certain parts.


The above stated differences allow you to get a better insight of what gives one type an advantage over the other. You should come up with a comprehensive idea and well informed decision of which type to buy comparing these two types of pianos that are equally popular in the market.