Every pianist eventually asks why digital pianos are so expensive. The answer is not as simple as it may seem. Many factors come into play, such as the production cost, functionality, extra features, design, and much more.
The good thing about digital pianos is that they tend to be flexible, offer plenty of features ideal for both beginners and professional players, and are pretty easy to use.
In this post, we will look at why digital pianos are more costly than regular acoustic pianos and what features they offer that justify their price tags!
Before you go on, please note that you can get much cheaper options if you are looking for a digital piano for beginners. This is clearly not a good choice for a professional, but you can buy a digital piano for your kid as a beginner. You can also find cheap digital pianos under $300.
Also, check out some of these cheap pianos under $150.
1. Production Cost
Production cost is one of the main reasons why digital pianos are so expensive. It’s important to note that digital pianos cost a lot of money to produce because, some of them, especially the high-end models, incorporate a lot of features.
These features make digital pianos user-friendly for pianists. Some of the most expensive digital pianos feature innovative technology to provide users with self-teaching features, Bluetooth technology, and professionally recorded sounds.
Additionally, branding also plays a significant role in the pricing of a digital piano. For instance, a reputable company like Yamaha may sell their high-end models at a higher cost than Roland digital pianos.
Please note that shipping a digital piano can also be costly.
The design also plays a crucial role in the pricing of a digital piano. Most manufacturers strive to offer buyers a flexible and compact design that includes many features. This aspect is meant to ease the life of a pianist by having a space-saving and efficient digital piano that they can use anywhere.
Some digital pianos are designed to use at home, in the studio, and even on live stage performances.
These types of pianos tend to be costly because they incorporate a lot of features in a compact and simple design. To achieve this, manufacturers end up incurring a lot of costs in production, hence leading to a higher price of the end product.
ALSO READ: How Much Does a Digital Piano Cost?
3. Connectivity Options
We all know that digital pianos come with a wide range of connectivity options such as Bluetooth, MIDI, and USB ports. These connectivity options make it easier for you to connect external devices on the piano to use your stored data or transfer data to and from the piano.
Due to the capabilities, digital pianos end up being expensive. The connectivity options are added luxury features in the pianos, which add to their cost. The good more connectivity options a digital piano has, the more costly it will be.
This applies also to the features that a piano comes with. If a digital piano has more features, then you should expect to pay more compared to a keyboard with fewer features.
4. Sound Quality
The sound quality is another reason why digital pianos are so expensive. The sound that an acoustic piano produces is very different from the one a digital piano makes.
Acoustic pianos produce rich, natural sounds through strings and hammers hitting metal tines. However, electric keyboards use synthetic samples of instruments to create music.
Digital pianos come with two types of speakers: cone or dome tweeters. Cone tweeters offer higher quality tones but also vibrate more during loud playing sessions because their surfaces aren’t as layered.
Dome tweeter panels can dampen vibrations for longer periods due to their design (with layers). If you want good audio output with less noise, then you’ll end up paying extra!
Finally, the keyboard that a digital piano features also contributes to its pricing. During manufacturing, the keyboard is cut and priced based on how many keys it has.
If you want to buy a digital piano with 88 (full-size) keys then expect to pay more than one that only features 61 keys.
On top of this, high-quality speakers come at an added cost since some types offer better audio output when playing music. A full-size digital acoustic piano can cost upwards of $5000.
Why Are Grand Pianos So Expensive?
While digital pianos are often more expensive than their acoustic counterparts, it is important to note that this isn’t always the case. For instance, one of Yamaha’s most affordable models costs around $500 USD while many grand pianos cost well over $20,000 in price. Sometimes even reaching as high as six figures!
This disparity alone makes it clear why we should not assume all things equal and compare a digital piano directly to an acoustic instrument. There are several reasons for these price disparities:
The materials used in the construction of grand pianos are often very expensive due to their rarity or specific nature.
For example, burled wood is rarer than maple and much harder to work with. Since it tends to crack during fabrication.
This means that each piano has a unique design which also increases its price over other options made from generic parts.
Due to limited production runs for many models, some grand pianos can take months or years before to be available on the marketplace.
Manufacturers have stock sitting around only releasing them after price negotiations with retailers who may wait until there’s high demand before buying any additional units.
Some piano parts are also expensive, a good example is the piano escapement.
Quality Commands a Higher Price
As you can imagine when comparing [expensive cars](/blog/2016-04-27-why-are-cars/) to cheap ones.
Similarly, when comparing low-end products to the best grand pianos you instantly see a sharp price increase.
This results from many factors such as sound quality, action, durability, and even appearance.
Although this last factor might seem trivial, there are a lot of people who don’t buy expensive products. Simply because they look “cheap”.
Do Digital Pianos Break Easily?
Digital pianos are very durable instruments, and they’re built to stand up well under a lot of use.
Even if an instrument experiences some other trauma, it will still function. As long as the damage isn’t too severe.
Digital pianos can also experience damages from humidity changes in the air. This means that those who live in humid areas should make sure their pianos aren’t exposed to direct moisture for extended periods without proper ventilation.
In addition to the piano itself, you normally need to buy expensive piano accessories like the bench, casters and metronome.
Overall, the reasons why digital pianos are so expensive are due to their features. Regardless of the number of keys, synthesized sound samples, or power speakers, these factors all come at a cost. Therefore, you need to consider them when you want to buy a digital piano.
Digital pianos can have many features that either increase their price or decrease their quality. These features include the number of keys, synthesized sound samples, and powerful speakers. The other reasons for their high cost include large speaker systems with better audio output, design, and connectivity options.
If it get too expensive, you can always just restring your old piano if you have one.