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Digital Pianos In Austin, Texas

Digital Pianos in Austin, Texas

         Welcome to MusicMasters: Austin's Affordable Digital and Acoustic Piano Store. We sell new Hailun, Brodmann, Perzina, Kingsburg, Hallet, Davis & Co., Dynatone, and premium used Yamaha, Kawai, Petrof, Steinway Acoustic and Digital Pianos at our Piano Showroom in Austin, Texas.

         As a traditional piano store, we carry a large selection of New and Used Digital and Acoustic Pianos. However, we generally recommend real Acoustic Pianos over Digital Pianos. Here's why:

Digital Pianos vs Electric Keyboards
         Electric Keyboards and Digital Pianos are not the same. Electric Keyboards are entertainment only devices that typically do not have 88 weighted keys nor built-in pedal systems. Electric Keyboards are not intended to replace pianos nor are they marketed as such.
         Digital Pianos have 88 weighted keys and pedal(s) that are designed to mimic a real Acoustic Piano. They are marketed as an acceptable short-term substitute for an Acoustic Piano. However, because many manufacturers exaggerate their capabilities and claim their instruments are "better than real", serious pianists shun them and treat Digital Pianos as a gimmick or a cheap imitation.
         Digital Pianos have evolved greatly since their inception in the 1980's. Recent design improvements including graded hammer actions, multi-layered sampling, and physical modeling make Digital Pianos much more realistic. However, with the exception of high-end Digital Hybrids (costing $10,000 or more) all affordable Digital Pianos for sale in Austin (including Roland, Yamaha, Kawai and Casio) are notably deficient when compared to a quality acoustic Professional Studio Upright or Grand Piano.

Digital Hybrids
         A Digital Hybrid piano is a real piano, or at least the real action from a real piano, that is coupled to a mechanical pedal system, but produces some or all of its sound via through headphones or speakers. Both Digital-only platforms and Digital Hybrids offer built in metronomes, transposition, record capabilities, and multiple instrument samples. However, only real Acoustic Pianos and/or Digital Hybrids allow for realistic pedaling.

         Real (acoustic) pianos pedals interact/interfere with their action's touch and volume of sound produced every time the pedal is engaged. Mastering this constantly changing keytouch resistance is necessary for a beginning piano student to advance. Digital pianos use a simple electric switch foot pedal that "loops" the sound. This electronic pedal system is detrimental to students as it does not accurately recreate changing keytouch resistance when the pedal is engaged. This is a common challenge for students that can be overcome only by practicing regularly on an instrument with a mechanical (not electric) pedal system.
         Digital Piano manufacturers are aware of this limitation and obscure their inherent pedal deficiencies with attractive marketing terms like "realistic half-pedaling". Half-pedal capability should be a given on any piano (Digital or Acoustic). Regardless, "half-pedaling" capability doesn't overcome Digital Pianos' inability to train children how to control an Acoustic Piano's action during pedaling.

Digital Piano Pros / Cons
         As Digital Hybrids cost as much as (and often more than) an Acoustic Piano, there are a few positives in favor of digital-only pianos: Portability and Affordability. Unfortunately, the negatives (Longevity, Depreciation, and Short Warranties) outweight the positives.
         Portability (+): Digital Pianos are relatively easy to move and can be ordered over the internet. We rent and/or sell Digital Pianos specifically for this reason. If a non-beginner adult college student, living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, wants a piano, we are going to recommend one of our digital instruments because it is not wise to move a real acoustic piano up and down multiple flights of stairs.
         Longevity (-): Digital Piano portability offers only a limited short term benefit once longevity is factored. Acoustic Pianos are designed to last 100+ years and typically come with a 10 to 15 year warranty. Digital Pianos are have notably shorter lifespans and typically come with a 1 to 5 year warranty.
         Affordability (+): Our new Digital Piano models sell for a very attractice price range of $1,295 to $3,295. However, we don't recommend purchasing a Digital Piano as a beginner practice instrument. Instead we recommend renting a Digital and then applying your rent as equity toward a real piano. We rent new Digital Pianos for $50 per month for up to 1 year and allowy up to 6 months' rent toward any used MusicMasters piano or up to 12 months' toward any new MusicMasters piano.
         Mass Production (-): Due to increased manufacturing capacity and efficiency, quality entry-level Acoustic Pianos are more affordable than ever. Our new high-quality acoustic Professional Studio Upright pianos start at only $3,995, which is roughly the same as a mid-grade digital, and much less than Digital Hybrids.
         Depreciation (-): Even when one factors the cost of annual tunings, Digital Pianos are a losing investment when compared to Acoustic Pianos. Digital Pianos depreciate in value and never appreciate. However, quality Acoustic Pianos appreciate over time. Consider 100+ year old Steinway grand pianos. These cost less than $2,000 when purchased new but now sell for $20,000 or more. Therefore, because of depreciation, shorter lifespans and warranties, we recommend renting a Digital Piano vs purchasing one. Otherwise, buy a quality Acoustic Piano.

Affordable Alternatives
         If you are inclined to value quality, longevity, resale value, but just aren't ready to commit to purchase, then consider renting a new or used piano. You can also see what affordable professional grade pianos that we currently have available for purchase.

Please call us at (512) 301-3503 or email us if you have any questions:

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Copyright 2015 Brian Henselman, Austin, Texas