Understand the magic of an acoustic piano

Understand the magic of an acoustic piano

Despite the very dynamic development of digital instruments, acoustic instruments are still very popular and deserve special attention. Over the past 30 years, there have been times when digital pianos seemed to dominate the music market and acoustic pianos would be forced to give way. Of course, no one assumed that traditional pianos would be withdrawn from circulation immediately, but probably the plans of the producers of digital instruments were to make the expansion more severe for classic pianos. However, despite the huge popularity of digital instruments and their constant development, it turns out that acoustic pianos are still irreplaceable for many. Such opinions can be heard among a wide group of professional pianists, teachers and amateur players.

Why is this happening?

First of all, you should realize that digital pianos and acoustic pianos are, in fact, completely different instruments. Of course, the sound, the playing techniques used or the appearance are the same or very similar to each other, because that was also the assumption of the producers of digital instruments. These instruments were to become the best alternative to acoustic instruments. And that’s what happened to a large extent and if for some reason someone cannot afford an acoustic instrument, then a digital piano will be a great alternative. However, as it turns out in practice, even the best sound samples along with all this modern simulator shell and improvements to the keyboard mechanism are not able to truly reproduce 100% what we can get when playing an acoustic piano. So we have, on the one hand, modern technology that can generate beautiful sounds, and on the other hand, we have a traditional instrument with a soul, full of magic and expression, where everything is done according to the natural laws of physics. And it is this natural work of the mechanism, along with this real hammer, which hits a real string under tension and thus obtains a natural sound that cannot be faked. Of course, digital instruments are getting better and better, keyboards have better and better repetition, they are faster and faster, etc. However, the work of the played key will always be a bit different. The hammer will hit some kind of sensor, which then uses a sound module to turn on a digital sample sent to the speakers. Therefore, you should humbly acknowledge that your digital piano will not be able to fully reproduce what an acoustic piano does. Of course, you should not be so strict with digital instruments, because they also have a lot of their technological advantages that you will not find in an acoustic instrument. It should also be remembered that these are, above all, completely subjective feelings. When making any comparisons between individual instruments, the class of the instruments in question should also be taken into account.


Should you seek a compromise?

You can try, but is it worth it? If we want to play an acoustic piano, it’s not really worth looking for a compromise in the form of a digital piano. We will always be unsatisfied, no matter how much we spend. However, it would be a different matter if we want a modern digital instrument that reflects an acoustic instrument as faithfully as possible. Here we can do some research and, for example, direct our interest towards the segment of hybrid pianos. Here we can realistically compare the keyboard of a hybrid and an acoustic instrument. This is because hybrid instruments usually use the same full mechanism as acoustic pianos. In terms of sound, these instruments are also great, because they usually have imported samples from the best flagship concert pianos. Of course, the instruments are classified as top-of-the-range digital instruments, and therefore their prices are quite high and are comparable to mid-range and high-end acoustic pianos.

Summing up, everyone has to define what they care about the most. If the priority for us is the natural sound and work of the keyboard, and this should be the case when buying a piano, then an acoustic piano is definitely the best solution. Also when it comes to music education, the best learning instrument is the acoustic instrument.

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