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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Digital Pianos

3. Sound

The first and most important consideration when buying any instrument is the sound that it makes. As we have seen, when considering digital pianos, there’s a strong link between the quality of the sound and the price you pay.

However, the minimum standard is still pretty high. If you’re buying a first instrument for a young beginner, the sound of an inexpensive piano is likely to be perfectly acceptable, especially when taking into account that this year’s budding Liszt may have discovered a completely different all-consuming interest next year…


The quality of the sound can vary in different parts of the keyboard. On cheaper pianos, you may find that the sound is fine in the middle register, but becomes muddy and distorted in the lower registers. The higher register can also deteriorate the further up the keyboard you go.

Both these phenomena are the result of cheaper sampling and sound reproduction technology - the electronic processes involved can change the essential character of the sound, even if the original recording was reasonably good.


The responsiveness of the keys is known as its touch-sensitivity, and is another mark of the quality of the piano. On a real piano, the sound becomes louder and brighter when you hit the keys harder, or softer and mellower when you play gently. The best digital pianos reproduce these characteristics with great accuracy, but you can also expect an acceptable degree of touch-sensitivity from lower-priced models.

Yamaha CLP-295 Grand Piano

Throughout this guide, the first consideration is always ‘what do you need?’. If you’re serious about playing the piano, then touch-sensitivity will be an important issue - your expressiveness will be shaped by the response from the keys and the speakers. But if you or one of your children are just starting out, then you can probably make do with a more basic digital sound.


One of the great benefits of a digital piano is that you usually get a choice of sounds. And not just acoustic pianos - you will often get electric pianos, organ sounds, and even strings. Again, consider your needs. A professional may want a small selection of excellent acoustic and electric piano sounds, while someone playing for fun may want more variety, with less concern for the realistic quality of each sound. Make sure the digital piano you choose offers the range of sounds that you need.


Some digital pianos have built-in effects, such as echo, reverberation, and chorus. Those with electronic organ sounds may also incorporate the sound of a rotating Leslie speaker. Take care when considering these options - the quality of the basic sound may have been compromised to allow for the inclusion of effects you don’t need. If you’re a pro, you will almost certainly have your own dedicated effects processor(s), which will generally do a much better job. But built-in effects can also enrich the sound and add an attractive dimension of colour and fun - it’s for you to decide.

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Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
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    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
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      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
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      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
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Digital Pianos overview


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