There are many people who would like to play the piano in there own home. However, traditional acoustic pianos offer many drawbacks. They are big, heavy, expensive and they go out of tune. Instead of an acoustic piano, an obvious alternative would be to get a digital piano. They offer none of these drawbacks plus they have additional features like more than one piano tone and headphone sockets for silent practice.
If you are a beginner then there are two obvious candidates from which to choose. They are the Casio CDP-100 and the Yamaha NP-30. In this article I set out to explain their differences and their pros and cons enabling you to make a better informed decision should you wish to buy one.
A standard modern piano keyboard has 88 keys (i.e. 7 octaves). The CDP-100 has 88 weighted keys with scaled hammer action whereas the NP-30 only has 76 keys with graded soft touch (lower keys are heavy; higher keys are light). The general consensus of opinion amongst players is that the Casio provides the most realistic action and comes closest to the actual feel of playing a real piano.
The CDP-100 has 5 different piano tones onboard whereas the NP-30 has 10. Both are capable of producing a realistic grand piano sound from one of these tones. Additionally the CDP-100 has 5 demo songs whereas the NP-30 has 10. These songs are ideal for playing along to in order to gain practice. The CDP-100 has a 2x 8W speaker system whereas the NP-30 has 2x 6W. Despite this the NP-30 is regarded as producing the slightly better quality sound from its speakers.
Portability and Construction
Both these instruments are extremely portable due to their lightweight although the CDP-100 is physically slightly larger due to its bigger keyboard. Aesthetically they both look very attractive. The CDP-100 is finished in black/grey whereas the NP-30 is available in either black or silver finish. Additionally the CDP-100 is available with a matching stand which may make it look more attractive in your home.
Whichever of these keyboards you choose to buy the one thing you will get is fantastic value for money. However, the one you do choose will be the one which suits your own requirements best. In favour of the CDP-100 is the 88 note keyboard with its superior realism and feel. On the other hand, the NP-30 offers more onboard piano tones and songs, and the quality of sound output is better.
The CDP-100 is significantly more expensive than the NP-30 by a factor of approximately 50%. However, the NP-30 does not actually claim to be a digital piano (Yamaha refer to it as digital keyboard in its marketing material, probably due to the less capable keyboard). If you really are after an acoustic piano replacement then the CDP-100 might be a better choice.