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When should I choose a digital piano instead of acoustic piano?

Digital pianos do have advantages over acoustic pianos in a few areas:

  • A digital piano can be played silently with headphones whereas most acoustic pianos cannot. Except for a few Yamaha models, most acoustic pianos cannot be played silently. If you live in close proximity with other people such as in an apartment or you plan to practice piano late in the night or early in the morning, a digital piano will be a much better fit than an acoustic piano. Actually, a high percentage of acoustic piano owners, including ourselves, also own a digital piano because of digital piano’s ability to play silently.
  • Acoustic pianos need more space than digital pianos. You can literally place a digital piano anywhere in your house as long as it has access to electricity. Acoustic pianos, on the other hand, need careful placement for acoustic reasons. A vertical acoustic piano is usually placed against a wall, and it may be more difficulty than you think to find an empty wall in a house. A grand piano may look like it needs a lot of space but in my experience it is no more than a upright piano needs.
  • Digital pianos are generally lighter and easier to move around. Some digital pianos can be carried around in your car, which is impossible even for the smallest acoustic piano.
  • Digital pianos need no maintenance whereas acoustic pianos need regular tuning and servicing. Acoustic pianos need to be tuned at least once per year and possibly twice per year, which will cost you between $100 to $400 per year. Digital pianos are always in tune and never need tuning. Acoustic pianos are made of wood, steel, and wool. These parts will eventually break down and you will need a piano technician to replace broken strings, worn out hammers…etc. A typical acoustic piano can last about 50-60 years, and at that time, you can either spend big money to rebuild the piano or give it to your child for free and make it her problem! Digital pianos, on the other hand, are usually irreparable. Because digital pianos are made of electronic parts and companies always come up with new models year after year, replacing a digital piano is almost always cheaper than repair a broken digital pianos.

This is one of the articles in a series called “Piano Buying Guide for Parents of Young Students“. You can find other articles of the series through this link.

What are the differences between “digital piano” and “digital keyboard”?

If you decide to buy a digital piano, make sure you buy a “digital piano” with 88 weighted keys and not a “digital keyboard.”

The primary difference between digital piano and digital keyboard is again the action. As I said in the previous article, digital piano actions try to emulate acoustic piano actions, but digital piano actions are usually too light and not having the whole range of expressive capacity as acoustic piano actions. Digital “keyboard” action is even worse.

A digital keyboard action has no weight, so your kid will never build up the finger/arm strength necessary for musical expression. A digital keyboard action also has no expressive capacity because no matter how hard or light you press the key it will produce the same amount of sound volume. Moreover, many digital keyboards are equipped with only 76 keys or 61 keys instead of the full 88 keys. A digital keyboard will quickly become a hindrance of piano learning.

Digital keyboards may have other legitimate uses but they are definitely not for learning piano. If you are going to buy a digital piano for your kid to practice, make sure you buy a digital “piano” with weighted keys and not a digital “keyboard.”

This is one of the articles in a series called “Piano Buying Guide for Parents of Young Students“. You can find other articles of the series through this link.

Are digital pianos as good as acoustic pianos?

It depends.

Some high-end digital pianos such as Yamaha AvantGrand series or NU1 combine a real piano action with digital sounding technology to make the pianos play and sound like a real acoustic piano. The problem is these so-called hybrid digital pianos are as expensive as acoustic pianos. If cost is the main concern, buying a hybrid piano won’t save you any money right away. In the long term, you may save money from tuning. Digital and hybrid pianos do not need tuning whereas acoustic pianos need tuning at least once a year.

So, what about digital pianos that cost around $1,000. Are they any good? Actually, a $1,000 digital piano is not bad, but don’t expect it to be as good as an acoustic piano. The problem is the action. Piano action (as shown in the picture on the left) is the mechanical system that transfers the kinetic energy from your finger tips to the hammers that hit the strings. This system is a mechanical marvel that allows pianists endless expressions in speed and sound volume. Lower-end digital pianos try to emulate the acoustic piano action but they are not there yet.

Now, as a parent of young piano students, the lack of a real acoustic piano action probably won’t affect your kid much until he or she become an intermediate player, but that day may come sooner than you thought.

Another potential issue with digital piano actions is that they are usually lighter than acoustic piano actions. People who are used to lighter piano actions will need time to adjust when they play on a heavier action. This means your kid may play very well on a digital piano at home but suddenly can’t play at the teacher’s house or in a recital. In the case of piano recital, if you have a digital piano at home, you should arrange an acoustic piano for your kid to practice the recital repertoire at least several days in a row before the recital.

Now, before you go, please note that digital pianos are different from digital keyboards, which I will address in my next article.

This is one of the articles in a series called “Piano Buying Guide for Parents of Young Students“. You can find other articles of the series through this link.

Do I need to buy a piano for my kid who just started his/her piano lessons?

Instead of asking the above question, a more appropriate question is this, “Can my kid get by piano lessons without practice?” The answer is definitely NO.

If you want to learn piano, you must practice. More specifically, you need to practice EVERYDAY. A beginning piano student does not need to practice long hours, but it is very important to establish the habit of practicing everyday. If your kid can have access to a piano outside your house and practice everyday, you may not need a piano at home. For example, if your kid goes to an after school program at a church or a day care center that has a piano and they allow your kid to practice everyday, you may not need a piano at home. Generally speaking, though, you should have a piano at home if your kid is learning piano.

This is one of the articles in a series called “Piano Buying Guide for Parents of Young Students“. You can find other articles of the series through this link.



By the way,如果你不想聽我囉唆,那我先告訴你答案。我覺得最好的蓮蓬頭是Delta 52657 Adjustable Setting, Water Efficient Showerhead, Chrome。如果你想知道我為什麼覺得它最好,以及它的缺點和我的解決方案,那就請您繼續讀下去。


  1. 第一類的出水方式是將水從幾個集中的小孔以高壓出水,我稱這種蓮蓬頭為噴射型蓮蓬頭。這種出水方式對於水壓很小的家庭可以說是一種必需品,畢竟很少人喜歡湊著滴滴答答的小水滴洗澡。噴射型蓮蓬頭如果做到極端也可以變成一個水柱。水柱的好處是水壓很強,但是出水的涵蓋面積很小,其實洗起來感覺並不好。一般的的噴射型蓮蓬頭會讓水稍微散開,但是散的越開水壓就越小。因此製造商必須在增壓和出水面積之間拿一個平衡。
  2. 第二類的出水方式是將水從數量很多的小孔中擠壓出來,這種出水方式比較像是下雨,我稱它為雨滴式(rainfall)蓮蓬頭。通常這種蓮蓬頭出水的涵蓋面積比較大,但是水壓的增壓效果沒有噴射型的來的明顯。





廢話了那麼多,這次我總共試了三個不同的蓮蓬頭,分別是Delta 52657 Adjustable Setting, Water Efficient Showerhead, Chrome(文章開頭照片中的那支)、Delta 75152 3-7/8inch Single-Function Shower Head with H2Okinetic Technology, Chrome、和Speakman S-2005-HB Hotel Anystream High Pressure 2.5 GPM Adjustable Shower Head, Polished Chrome(左邊照片中那支)。

先來說說Delta 52657和Delta 75152。這兩支從外表上看起來是完全一模一樣的。Amazon上說Delta 52657是舊型,Delta 75152是新型,我個人覺得並不是這樣。這兩支蓮蓬頭的共通點是他們都只有單一的出水模式。你知道有些蓮蓬頭可以在噴射式跟雨滴式之間轉換,這兩支Delta的蓮蓬頭只有噴射式一種模式。這兩支Delta蓮蓬頭還有一個共通點就是他們都有一個選擇水量的旋鈕:當你把旋鈕轉往上的時候每分鐘出水量是1.85加侖,當你把旋鈕轉往下的時候每分鐘出水量是2.5加侖。這兩支蓮蓬頭不同的地方在於Delta 75152在2.5加侖出水量的時候水壓比較大(80 psi),當你轉到1.85加侖出水量的時候水壓會明顯的變小(45 psi)。Delta 52657則是兩種出水量的水壓都是一樣(80 psi)。如果您喜歡高水壓的蓮蓬頭,我會推薦Delta 52657。如果您家裡有人喜歡高水壓、有人喜歡水壓低一點,那我會推薦Delta 75152。這兩支蓮蓬頭的價錢都不到美金30元,真的是物超所值的蓮蓬頭。至於我們家買了哪一支,請您繼續讀下去。

Speakman S-2005-HB跟上面兩支Delta的蓮蓬頭比起來功能比較多。Speakman S-2005-HB可以選擇噴射式或是雨滴式。雖然它的出水水壓很不錯,但是我覺得跟Delta那兩支比起來還是差了一截。如果您喜歡比較多模式的蓮蓬頭,我會推薦您買Speakman S-2005-HB

那我們家到底是買哪一支呢?話說我買了Delta 52657裝上去之後我老婆跟我說這個蓮蓬頭出水的涵蓋面積太小。我們以前的蓮蓬頭是雨滴式的,雖然出水壓力不大,但是整個涵蓋面積比較大。我老婆說新的蓮蓬頭她稍微移動一下就沖不到水了。於是,我就按照網路上別人的教學買了一支KES ALL BRASS Shower Head Double Outlet Manifold with Shut Off Valves for Dual Sprayer Showering System, Polished Chrome和第二支Delta 52657組成我們家的雙蓮蓬頭設置(請參照右圖)。圖中的可拆卸式蓮蓬頭是以前幫小孩洗澡的時候裝的,現在很少用了但是還是留著。