I’ve had a couple of questions on our new keyboard and realized I should share a little of how we came to make this choice.
I’m going to be lazy and copy/paste what I answered on facebook!
I'm not a pro! Never took lessons myself so I'm a newbie with these things. One thing I did know for sure is that I've seen kids who take lessons on typical keyboards, who aren't used to the feel of real piano keys, they have a hard time switching over if they try to play on a real piano. Piano keys are weighted and how the key is pressed and held matters a lot. So, I wanted a digital piano, rather than just a digital keyboard, but it had to be able to go through the APO system! Plus, I didn't want to invest in a top of the line model in case we decide, in a couple years, that we'd much rather rent a piano every few years and this one would end up taking up space in storage (We couldn't find rentals here! So counting on that at every post might be a bad idea!), and well, even though I didn’t want to spring for the top model, I really did not want a cheapo one that sounded like crap and wasn't inspiring to play on!
But what do I know??? I Googled… a lot…
Yamaha and Casio seemed to be some of the best digital pianos for home use. On Amazon, the reviews on the available Yamahas gave me the most positive impression.
This is the one we got: Yamaha YPG535 It sounds good, the key touch is slightly lighter than a piano, but only slightly, and the kids can't be lazy... they have to press the keys properly to make the proper sound. My only 'gripe' is, for playing, you have to turn the volume up (1/2 to 3/4 of the dial, approximately) for 'normal' piano volume, but when my daughter starts playing with the programmed music of the digital keyboard, the volume must be turned down or it's too loud! The digital display is big (for a keyboard) and tilted a little toward the player better than some I've seen. It came with a sustainer pedal, power supply, and (not shown in the Amazon ad) a music stand that fits on top. The bench I found separately Bench with storage. We just got it, so I can't give a great review, but it came very well packed, was easy to put together, and so far, we like the piano and the bench.
Here are other models that I really liked. I read in a couple of places though that while these were very nice, for home use the older models were just fine, another reason (besides worry about shipping something expensive through the mail!) to not go for the newest and shiniest.
If you can go to a music store and test drive a few models though, it would be worth it. Amazon might have better deals, maybe, but you'd get to see before buying. The ones we saw locally were insanely expensive. At least 1000JD ($1500) for the good models and 400JD to 500JD for small digital keyboards, and I didn't see anything I really wanted, so I was shopping 'blind' on the web. I'm happy with what we got though.