Introduction: A Foreword about the Best Digital Pianos Under $3000
The invention of the digital piano has modernized the traditional genres and sub-genres of music that used to rely on massive concert pianos.
Along with endless expressive possibilities, most professional musicians tend to own a digital piano for composition and education purposes, even if it’s just their second or third instrument.
A digital piano can be one of the most important tools in a recording studio.
That’s why you should carefully choose a high-quality instrument that will get work done.
And we’re here to provide you with our picks for the best digital pianos under 3000 USD!
But what exactly makes a great digital piano stand out from ordinary ones? And what makes it different from everyday keyboards and pianos?
To answer these questions, we must first take a closer look at the nature of the instrument itself.
So, let ́s start the show:
If you are in a hurry here is a quick comparison:
#1 Nord Piano 3 88-Key Stage Piano
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#2 Hammond SK2 122-Key
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#3 Kawai ES8 Digital Piano
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#4 Yamaha YDP-184 Arius (BONUS)
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Table of Contents
BEST DIGITAL PIANOS REVIEWS UNDER $3000
3 Dynamic Curves
Dynamic Pedal Noise with Nord Triple Pedal
Advanced String Resonance
Dedicated Sample Synth section with Attack, Decay/Release and dynamic controls All effects in Stereo
Tube overdrive simulation
Separate Reverb/Delay effects
Tremolo, Pan, Ring-Mod and Wah-wah can be controlled with Control Pedal
The Nord Digital Stage Piano 3 has 88 keys that feature the Virtual Hammer Action Technology which supposedly simulates the movement of the hammers on a real piano.
Whether it’s more of a subjective feeling or completely due to the advanced technology, the piano sounds and feels outstanding.
Most of the stock sounds are incredible even without further modification and only a few are less than impressive. All in all, this is a top-level 88-keys piano that looks and sounds great on stage, in a studio or in your living room.
Additional note: Control/Volume Pedal support for the Stage 3 has been improved and now supports the following pedals: Fatar, Yamaha FC7, Roland EV-7, Roland EV-5, Korg EXP2 and Korg XVP10
- Sound 95%
- Feel 94%
- Price 90%
The essential keyboards you need combined with a genuine Hammond OrganAuthentic Chorus-Vibrato/Touch Response Percussion/Overdrive
12 Hammond Macro Profiles With 17 Tweakable Parameters
96 Individually Adjustable, Voiceable Digital Tonewheels
Create your own “B-3” From Showroom New to Road Worn Vintage
8 Leslie Macro Profiles ranging from Type 31H to Type 760
Onboard Music Player that reads Mp3 or .WAV files
100 Factory ROM Presets and 100 User-adjustable Presets
4 types of Overdrive, Phase, Flange, Chorus, Auto Pan, Ring Modulator, Wah-Wah, Delay and Tremolo
Grand piano simulation including Yamaha C7 Grand
The SK2 is a unique instrument that might appeal more to keyboardists than traditional piano players in terms of form, size and features. It is surely more of a true Hammond organ than a digital piano.
But if you need something that features modern rock, jazz and blues sound along with a Yamaha C7 grand piano, you’ve hit the right place.
The two keyboard rows allow for some nifty combinations and in combination with a real Leslie cab (122, 147, 760vl), it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the SK2 and something like the Hammond B3. To sum it up, this is an incredible instrument for performers and virtuoso players.
- Sound 90%
- Feel 93%
- Price 96%
Harmonic Imaging XLTM Sound Technology with 88-Note Piano Sampling Aftertouch – Velocity Sensitive
RHIII Graded-Hammer Action
34 Exceptional Instrument Sounds
USB Digital Audio – Play / Rec WAV and MP3 Files
Rhythm Section with 100 Accompaniment Styles 256-note Max. Polyphony
Powerful Built-in Speaker System
Elegant Gloss Black and Ivory White Finishes Personalized piano enhancements
The ES8 Digital Piano model by Kawai looks and feels great, but the biggest comfort and pleasure comes from the more realistic feeling you get from the ES8 bundle that includes the Furniture-Style Designer Stand. The stand breathes new life into your living room without taking away too much space. The bundle also comes with the triple pedal. Of course, if you are looking for something simpler, you can get the ES8 without the additional features.
But what about the sound? Well, more advanced players and listeners will surely notice that it’s not a real acoustic instrument, but the ES8 comes very close to the original. It is an amazing practice tool that will allow you to jump freely between itself and a real concert grand.
The sound is only slightly inferior to some of the more expensive models, but the feel is definitely there. Depending on what is more important to you, this might be the ultimate practice and small-venue performance tool you can get in this price range.
- Sound 89%
- Feel 97%
- Price 99%
High-Quality Piano sound
VRM physical modeling
Synthetic ebony and ivory keytops
Yamaha CFX concert grand piano sample
Stereo Sustain samples for mellow reverberations
MIDI recording function built into the instrument
The Stereophonic Optimizer for superior headphone experience Pitch Bend Up, Pitch Bend Down, Rotary Speed, Vibe Rotor effects 24 Preset Voices
There is not a lot to be said about the YDP-184 Digital Piano by Yamaha because everything works just as it should. The Arius YDP-184 Digital Piano is possibly the best home piano model by Yamaha and surely the best home piano at this price point.
In fact, the whole Arius is quite a good choice for pianists. Our favourite pick is the model 184 because it is fairly traditional and simple, which makes it good for beginners and early intermediate players.
That being said, it doesn’t completely lack complex features and sounds of advanced keyboards, but it’s really not the best model for that kind of things. All in all, if you want an instrument that is supposed to do one thing only, but does it exceptionally well, then the YDP-184 might be exactly what you’re looking for.
- Sound 92%
- Feel 93%
- Price 96%
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
First of all, it can be a bit difficult to discern what exactly the difference between a digital piano and a keyboard is. This is especially true for beginner musicians and for those new to piano playing in general.
Digital pianos are a mix between an acoustic piano and an electronic keyboard. Digital pianos allow for a greater variation in sounds because they enable sound modification.
A digital piano is primarily built to replicate the experience of real acoustic and grand pianos while allowing you to shape and change the sound similar to the way you do on a keyboard. That means that one digital piano can realistically reproduce the sound of multiple acoustic instruments.
This ties in with the second big difference. Most often, keyboards do not focus on replicating a piano sound realistically, but rather focus on implementing a large amount of electronically devised and synthesized sounds.
The digital piano is more of an expansion of a traditional piano. Think of it this way – a digital piano is the equivalent of an electro- acoustic guitar with a piezo pickup, while keyboards are an electric guitar.
But that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to rely only on acoustic grand piano sounds all the time. Good digital pianos should, in fact, be able to emulate pipe organs, harpsichords, wind-reed instruments, Hammond Organ and additional keyboards sounds.
Now that you know the biggest differences, you should be able to tell what you should look out for.
That would be it for our Digital Pianos guide. Keep in mind that there is no ultimate instrument and that you will have to consider your own preferences and needs when purchasing your digital keyboard instrument.
Once you get your instrument be sure to start practicing some piano tunes.
Tell us in the comments which of these 4 models you like the most and why. Please share our article with your pianist friends and stay tuned for more reviews!