Spring 2014    Page 267

The Definitive Piano Buying Guide

Digital Pianos

Brand and Company Profiles




Suzuki Corporation
P.O. Box 710459
Santee, California 92072

Suzuki sells its line of digital pianos on its website, through other online outlets, and through Costco. Models change frequently.


Symphony Pianos
90-02 Atlantic Avenue
Ozone Park, New York 11416

Symphony digitals are manufactured by Zhejiang Youyi Electronic Co. Ltd., one of China’s larger digital piano makers, located in Zheijiang Province, China. A similar line of digital pianos appears to be distributed in Canada under the Bellissimo label.


Williams Pianos
P.O. Box 5111
Thousand Oaks, California 91359

Williams digital pianos, a house brand of Guitar Center, are also available through Guitar Center’s Musician’s Friend e-commerce website and two other e-commerce sites. There are seven models from Williams, including four verticals, two slabs with optional stand, and one grand.


Yamaha Corporation of America
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, California 90622

For company background, see the "Yamaha" listing in the “Brands and Company Profiles” for acoustic pianos.

Yamaha Corporation is the world’s largest producer of musical instruments — from the obvious (pianos) to the slightly obscure (bassoon), Yamaha makes it. Yamaha entered the world of electronic instruments in 1959, when it introduced the first all-transistor organ. In 1971, because no manufacturer would develop an integrated circuit (IC) for Yamaha’s relatively low-volume demand, the company built its own IC plant. Jumping ahead to 1983, the introduction of the first Yamaha Clavinova, the YP-40, marked the beginning of what we now call the digital piano. Today, Yamaha’s three dozen or so models of digital piano (not counting different finishes) constitute the broadest range of any manufacturer. The downside is that deciphering the variety of options — slabs, verticals, grands, stage pianos, ensemble pianos, designer digitals, hybrids — can be a bit daunting. And then there are the sub-brands: Clavinova, Modus, and Arius.

Clavinova digital pianos include the standard CLP line and the ensemble CVP line, and are available only through piano dealers. The CLPS400 models sport a more traditional vertical-piano look while retaining the advantage of a small footprint. The Modus models (model numbers beginning with F, H, and R), Yamaha’s series of designer digitals, are functionally similar to the CLP line but with modern-looking cabinets. (The Modus H01 and H11 are perhaps the most striking visual designs among digital pianos.) They are now available online through authorized dealers. Arius (model numbers beginning with YDP) represents Yamaha’s economy line of digital verticals, with the long-popular YDP223 now replaced by the YDP181.

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Spring 2014    Page 267

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