It has taken thirty years, but the transition from acoustic to digital pianos is almost complete. Yamaha just announced they will no longer make new console home pianos. These have been replaced by the popular Clavinova and Arius digital pianos. The manufacturers we are most familiar with, Baldwin, Wurlitzer, and Kimball to name a few, are all out of business. They lost the battle to the digitals. As much as we liked our pretty little pianos, honestly, they weren’t very good. Pianos are meant to be big. A nine foot grand is what most musicians prefer. Anything smaller is a compromise to money and space. When you get down to vertical pianos, most musicians don’t like them at all. At the bottom of the piano world is the spinet. They are pretty bad. I know. I grew up playing one.
The digital pianos made by Yamaha are now so good they have no problem being much better that any of the spinets and consoles we used to sell. They sound like a grand piano. They play like a grand. They never need tuning, and rarely have problems. That’s $120/year you don’t spend on tuning. Players can use headphones so as not to disturb anyone. The list goes on and the battle is over. For everyone who says “I want a real piano” think about this. A “real” piano is a nine foot grand. They cost about $100,000.00 Can you honestly recommend a spinet or console to a family for their children? That’s like telling them to get a typewriter instead of a computer. Children respond better to the latest technology. With a digital piano they can record their song, save it to a thumb drive (via the USB), and email it to friends and relatives anywhere in the world.
If you’re in the market for a piano for the home keep an open mind and look around you. It’s gone digital and it’s not going back.