How Long Do Digital Pianos Last? Are They Worth Your Money?

Last Updated on September 7, 2021

Do Digital Pianos Last a Long Time? - Our Care Guide

Choosing to invest in a high-end digital pianos model for your music is not a light decision, these types of pianos can be just as expensive as acoustic counterparts with high sound quality and can even cost extra money for additional weights on keys. 

So before you go ahead and invest in one of these higher-end digital pianos, you are probably wondering how long these pianos will likely last you in the long run. On average, a digital piano will last you between 20-50 years in total, with the latter being cared for better and made of higher quality electrical parts. 

We have composed an extensive guide below that will cover how long all types of pianos last, more about how to care for your digital piano, how their lifespan matches up to other pianos and some common issues your piano might have as time goes on. 

So without further ado, let's get into it!

How Long Do Pianos Last? 

We know the average digital piano lasts around 20-50 years depending on the quality of the higher-end digital pianos model and how its cared for. 

For other types of pianos such as acoustic pianos, they might only last you around 40 years due to tuning and upkeep needed to keep the acoustic instrument in its best shape possible. 

Average cheap digital keyboard types will likely only last you between 10-15 years in total.

The life expectancy of all pianos changes according to how they are taken care of and the quality of the brand that you buy, the better you look after your piano then the longer it will serve you. 

How Do Digital Pianos Function? 

Before we get into to more about the pros and cons of buying digital pianos and the different types on the market, we should cover the basics about how these pianos work and their main parts. 

Digital pianos are the closest kind of electric digital keyboard you can get to acoustic pianos, they often come with weighted hammer action keyboards and an 88 key set like acoustic pianos, giving you a natural feel, but you might wonder, what makes them digital then? 

The Sound 

A digital piano is technically a computer that sends a signal to play the audio once pressed, the recordings played on these digital grans pianos are called samples. High-quality samples are recorded from real acoustic pianos for hours to included detailed samples of each note, making these pianos sound very realistic in comparison to your average keyboard. 

The Feeling 

Weighted keys on a digital piano have key actions like acoustic pianos to give an authentic touch, these digital keys when pressed have additional weights underneath, meaning when you switch to an acoustic piano model there is not an obvious difference between how you play. 

Depending on your digital piano type, they will feel more authentic according to the material they are built with and the number of keys they come with. 

Sensors 

For digital keys to pick up when you touch them they often come with sensors to translate velocity into sound when they feel touch, on some of the best digital piano types they even come with adjustable touch sensitivity which lets you set for hard, soft or medium touch on your piano. 

Speakers 

Every digital piano model will come with onboard speakers to play the piano tones with and music, you can use most of these pianos with a pair of headphones too. 

Types Of Digital Pianos Compared 

Every type of digital piano will have a similar lifespan of 50 years if you take care of them well, but there are different models on the market to be aware of before making your final choice on your piano, some are more portable and others higher in quality. 

Console Digital Pianos 

Console digital pianos look the closest to a traditional acoustic piano and come with an in-built stand as well as piano pedals to make them more traditional. 

The advantage of these digital pianos is that they come with everything you need, however, they are less portable and are often the most expensive too.

Pros 

  • Beautiful design. 
  • Acoustic like. 
  • Comes with a stand and pedals. 

Cons

  • Expensive. 
  • Not portable.

Slab Pianos 

Slab digital style pianos are the most portable type of digital piano on the market and do not come with a stand or base, this makes them very similar to your average keyboard except they come with hammer action keys for an acoustic feel and a full 88 key set-up. 

Drawbacks of these smaller portable pianos are their lack of stand which can be limiting and you would probably need to buy one in addition. 

Pros 

  • Portable. 
  • Affordable. 
  • Come with realistic key set-ups. 

Cons 

  • Lack of stand which might need to be bought separately. 

Upright Digital Pianos 

These types of pianos are similar to console pianos and come with a huge stand set-up and weighted keys, they often feature a high-quality multi-sound speaker system but still are quite expensive and not very portable but worth it if you want that acoustic look to your piano. 

Pros 

  • Acoustic look. 
  • Stand. 
  • Weighted keys.

Cons 

  • Not portable. 
  • Expensive. 

Digital Grand Pianos 

The big body of digital grand pianos allows you to create an amazing sound just like a normal acoustic grand piano and have a huge range of acoustic piano sound options as well as excellent external speakers which can fill a room with sound. 

Obvious downfalls to these types of pianos have to be their very large size and high price.

Pros

  • High-quality external speakers. 
  • Large size. 

Cons 

  • Not portable. 
  • Most expensive kind of digital piano on the market. 

Arranger Type Pianos 

Arrange type portable pianos are like your typical keyboard with lots of sound effects and interactive features except they also are fitted with high-quality samples and 88 key hammer action style keyboards. 

This makes these types of pianos perfect for people who are looking for a realistic piano in terms of music editing and sound designing as well as general playing. 

These types of pianos however often don't come with digital piano accessories. 

Pros 

  • Authentic piano playing experience. 
  • Sound effects. 
  • Portable piano.

Cons  

  • No accessories.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Buying a Digital Piano 500

If you get your hands on a high-quality digital piano then you might wonder why you need an acoustic piano keyboard at all, after all, you get a mix of electric pianos sounds and portability with all the keys and high-quality sound you need to create amazing music. 

There are, however, a few disadvantages which you should note down before you go and buy one of these electric pianos. 

Advantages of Digital Pianos 

  • They are portable - The best thing about digital pianos has to be that you can move them to any room or where you like, acoustic pianos nearly always come with a stand so do not have this option.
  • Versatile - Digital pianos come with multiple interactive features and can be used with sound effects plus other electric piano tones to create unique music and record yourself back.
  • Affordable - A digital stage piano is much more affordable than acoustic pianos making them great entry-level digital pianos for beginners who are on a budget and don't want to fork out on a big acoustic model yet. 
  • Headphone jack - Recording features and a headphone jack on your piano allow you to practice in private within your home and not disturb your neighbours.
  • Little maintenance needed - These types of electronic devices do not need tuning or tweaking making them easier to look after in the long run. 

Disadvantages Of Digital Pianos 

  • Complex - These smart devices as music workstations do come with a huge variety of futures which can be confusing to acoustic piano owners or people who are new to keyboards and all their features.
  • Keyboard action - Although you can buy high-quality digital pianos with weighted keys and an 88 key set, this does not mean that their feel and sensitivity matches how an acoustic piano action feels.
  • Sound quality - Cheaper digital stage pianos can have some very low sound quality sometimes unless your fork out on a more expensive model.

Digital Pianos Vs Acoustic Pianos - Which Lasts Longer? 

When looking for the best long term piano to practice with, it is likely at some point you have debated between a high-quality digital stage piano or a traditional acoustic piano in terms of lifespan. 

We have compared both of the two types below including their general functions and qualities as well as lifespan and care to help you decide between the two pianos. 

Digital Pianos 

First of all, digital pianos are said to have a lifespan ranging between 25-50 years in total which is considerably longer than an acoustic piano. In comparison to acoustic piano keyboards, these types of pianos also need a lot less maintaining which reduces the amount of care needed. 

Downfalls of these pianos are that when it comes to sound quality they are not as impressive as acoustic piano keyboard types on a traditional piano, it is also important you keep the electronic system of your electronic piano instruments safe from damp conditions otherwise you could ruin the whole piano.

Pros 

  • Longer life expectancy. 
  • Easier to care for. 
  • Affordable.

Cons 

  • Does not have elaborate pianos sound quality. 
  • An electronic system can get damaged easily. 

Acoustic Pianos 

Acoustic pianos last around 35-50 years and tend to be worth the higher price as they are an attractive option and produce an amazing sound, these pianos are simple to use without all the extra features and don't break as easily as electric pianos do when it comes to the mercy of liquid and temperatures. 

Drawbacks of acoustic style pianos are their obvious need for more maintenance, the keys need constant tuning and tightening for your piano to stay in good condition and are much harder to repair than digital models are if they get broken. 

Pros

  • Better sound. 
  • Attractive. 
  • Simple to use with no electronic system.

Cons 

  • Needs more care. 
  • Harder to repair. 
  • Shorter life expectancy.

Conclusion - Which Piano Will Last Me Longer?

Overall, it is hard for us to come to a conclusion about which piano will last you longer as this all comes down to the type of brand you brought from, how often you use it and how you are caring for it. For people who are seriously into their music and like the traditional elements of piano sound you should stick with an acoustic piano, but if you are leaning towards a piano that is easier to take care of, a digital option might be the safer choice.

What To Look For In a High-Quality Digital Piano 

To purchase the best kind of digital piano that will last you a long time as an experienced piano player, you have to make sure that your piano is coming with top quality features for the money that you spend. 

In the digital piano market today there are many cheap pianos to avoid that not only give you rubbish sound quality but only last a few years too. 

We have put together a list of the best features to watch out for in your digital piano down below. 

  • Size - One of the first specs to look out for in your digital piano is the size, larger digital practice pianos will often come with a bigger set of keys which is important if you want to be able to play all kinds of music and not be restricted, double-check the length of your piano too. 
  • The number of keys - Along with size, you also need to ensure that your digital piano comes with enough keys for playing, some of the cheaper beginner stage pianos will have a more limited key set.
  • Playback functions - If you are a beginner who wants to improve your practice then this is the best choice for piano players, playback functions such as sequencer actions and recording features allow you to listen back on how you play and identify your weaker areas. 
  • Sound options - It is always useful for your digital piano to have a wide range of tones so as you can add uniqueness and depth to your standard piano music, the number of tones and sound effects should be noted on your piano before you buy.
  • Pedals - Not all digital pianos will come with pedals, only grand or upright pianos which mirror how acoustic piano pedal sets are, these allow you to have more control over how your notes sound e.g the sustain pedal prolongs your notes like a traditional piano. A complete console-style piano will not have pedals in this case. 
  • Portability - As we mentioned in our guide above, digital stage pianos can come in all kinds of types and sizes, for example, if your looking for an acoustic piano keyboard that you can take from place to place for stage work then you would want to avoid an upright piano which is bulkier.
  • Polyphony - The polyphony of your specific piano refers to the number of notes your piano can produce at once, so in this case, the more then the better. You should lookout for a 64-note polyphony on your piano if possible. 
  • Speakers and headphones - Every digital piano will have onboard speakers of some sort, these speakers vary in wattage, the more power they have, the better your sound output will sound. Make sure your model comes with a headphone jack too so as you can listen as you practice with a pair of headphones.
  • Connectivity - Having a digital piano with a Bluetooth MIDI connection can be very helpful as this allows you to transfer computer data from your piano to software with ease for music editing and playback.
  • Warranty - Always make sure that your smart device comes with some kind of one-year warranty for buyers protection, the average piano costs between £500-£5000, so risking a faulty model for this money is not ideal.
  • Accessories - It is useful for your digital piano to come with some accessories such as a stand rather than have to buy them separately at an additional cost.

What Digital Piano Brands Are The Best? 

Now we know the top specs and features to consider in your long-life digital piano, one last point you should consider to ensure you are choosing the best piano is its brand. 

We have listed a few of the top digital piano brands out there below so as you can see which type of piano might be the more reliable choice. 

  • Yamaha - Yamaha have been making pianos and other musical instruments since 1887, they are one of the top and most reliable brands in our digital piano brands guide thanks to their extensive range of products and three-year warranty which is guaranteed on nearly every acoustic piano.
  • Casio - Casio has been around since 1946 and is the most excellent brand on our list if you are looking for high-quality beginner pianos that will last you a long time, they are not so suited for making professional pianos, however. 
  • Korg - Korg is pretty recent in the piano market but excels when it comes to making digital smart device piano, they are the best best for workstations and produce high-quality sound samples on all their pianos.
  • Roland - Roland is extremely technology savvy and has the best key designs on all their pianos, so if playing is not only about how sounds to you but also how it feels, Roland is a perfect choice.
  • Kawai - Kawai focuses mainly on art speaker systems as well as hammer action keyboard types on nearly all their devices which makes them a perfect choice if you want something that feels and sounds of high quality.
  • Nord - Nord digital pianos are pretty new but have already made a name for themselves by selling top-notch digital stage pianos, so if your looking for portability without a compromise on quality, check these guys out.

Factors Affecting Digital Pianos Lifespan 

Even if you buy the highest quality digital piano on the market from a highly regarded brand, there is still a huge range of additional factors that will affect how long your digital piano lasts in the long run. 

  • Electronics - Fluctuating voltage or poor plugging can all affect how long the electronics last in full-fledged digital pianos, leaving your piano for long periods without use can shorten its lifespan.
  • Climate - Digital pianos should not be stored in a place with high humidity, this is because it can damage the electronics, very hot or cold temperatures can additionally cause the material of the piano to contract and expand which is very bad. 
  • Frequency of use - If your digital piano is for students or you use it professionally, you will likely notice a wear down of your piano quicker than someone who uses it occasionally. 
  • Maintenance - Many people assume that electric pianos do not need as much care as acoustic models do, this is not true, and proper maintenance is required to keep your piano in the best shape possible.
  • General quality - The overall quality of your piano and the brand that you buy from will affect if your 20-year-old digital piano is still in its best shape down the line or not, cheap brands will mean cheap build.
  • Location - If you store your piano in a place where it gets bumped and knocked often then you will probably reduce its lifespan, little bumps and knocks might not seem much at first, but over time they can lead to damage to the piano.

Tips For Maintaining Your Digital Piano 

So this begs the question, how do we reduce these factors from reducing our pianos lifespan and take care of them in the best possible way? 

We have listed our top tips for maintaining your digital piano down below. 

  • Plug it properly - Never overload the outlet you are using with your piano and always make sure your cables are out of the way and not in a place where people are likely to trip over. Don't risk plugging your piano in a damaged socket.
  • Protect the piano when not in use - When you are not playing your digital piano ensure that you keep it covered with a dust cover, always turn the piano off after use and keep the keys covered to prevent damage while you are not using the piano.
  • Do not use it for other purposes - Many people get comfortable with their piano and start to use it as a desk or table over time, this is a habit to avoid, putting weight on your piano can damage it and to lean on it is also a big no-no.
  • Keep it in the best place - Always put your piano in a place where it is not near doors or windows, this stops the piano from getting bumped all the time by people passing and keeps it away from direct sunlight which could damage electronics.
  • Consider a dehumidifier - This might seem a little extreme but worth it if you have an expensive piano and want to extend its lifespan, dehumidifiers will ensure that your piano remains in a temperature-controlled environment. 
  • Stay away from food and drinks - You should never be tempted to bring your coffee or snacks over to the piano when playing, this drops down debris and one spill could potentially cause huge damage to your piano.
  • Clean it often - Cleaning your digital piano often will make an obvious difference to how it looks and stops dust and debris building up inside your piano, we will get on to how to do this properly in the next part of our guide. 

How To Clean Your Digital Piano 

As we mentioned above, regular cleaning of your digital piano is important to increase its lifespan, but you can't just clean your piano in any sort of way, you need to make sure you are following the steps down below to clean it properly and not damage the piano. 

Always avoid high chemical cleaners when cleaning your piano as these can cause chemical build-up which will damage your piano in the long run. 

  • Step one - Before we get into using any cloths and liquid, you should dust down your whole piano first with a lightweight duster to remove hidden debris and most of the surface dust on top of the piano.
  • Step two - Use a slightly damp white microfibre cloth to wipe down your whole piano, make sure to wring your cloth out well before cleaning as you don't want any water to enter the piano. 
  • Step three - Now you have cleaned the majority of the surface area on your piano you clean the keys with a damp microfibre cloth, dip this cloth into a mild cleaning solution diluted with warm water first then wipe the keys going in a direction towards you, after this use plain water and wipe down the keys once again. 
  • Step four - Dry the keys and piano with a complete dry microfibre cloth to finish.

Troubleshooting Common Issues In a Digital Piano 

During the time that you have your piano, you will likely run into a few issues and common problems which will need ironing out along the way. Most of these can be identified and fixed at home without you having to go to a professional so we have listed them down below. 

Sticky/Jammed Piano Keys 

With frequent use over time, you might encounter stuck or jammed keys on your digital piano, this could be from the climate, food/drink or just general dust and debris. 

For pianos that have complete unresponsive and dead keys, it is possible that on a digital piano the circuit board underneath might need to be replaced with a new contact board, if you have a warranty, get this done via a professional. 

Power Issues 

Your digital piano will run either from batteries or mains plugs. If you having power problems and your piano runs with batteries then you should check the battery pack of your piano first, check that it has enough charge to play with and go from there. 

If your piano plugs into the main socket and is having issues then your piano might have possibly short-circuited which would need to be looked at by a professional. 

Software Problems 

A digital piano that is freezing and locking up could be related to a software issue, this can typically be solved at home via a factory reset button on the device. These buttons placement will be stated in the manual of the piano but you should be aware most data will be lost during the rest.

How To Repair a Digital Piano 

Most of the time, if not a power problem on your digital piano then it will be down to a key problem, keys can be fixed at home usually unless it has affected the contact board underneath, we will list the steps to fixing keys on your piano down below. 

How To Repair Sticky Keys 

  • Step one - Unscrew the back cover of the keyboard then pivot each key out of its place with a screwdriver lightly. 
  • Step two - Check behind each key for debris and use a blower to remove dust and debris. 
  • Step three - Repeat for each stuck key, wipe down with a damp cloth then check for movement by wiggling the key up and down.

How To Repair Broken Keys 

  • Step one - Unscrew the back cover of your piano as you did above and identify the broken key.
  • Step two - Gently pry off the key with the appropriate screws but be careful not to damage the electric cables and contact board behind.
  • Step three - After removing the broken key, press the appropriate replacement key back down into the slot until it clicks.
  • Step four - Replace the backboard and check if the piano is working.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Digital Pianos Last? 

Can a digital piano be rebuilt?

This depends on if the piano is very broken, sometimes electric components and circuit boards can be replaced but this depends on the extent of the damage or if they have just faded away over time.

What are stage digital pianos?

Stage digital pianos are a type of piano which has fewer sounds and focuses more on acoustic sounding tones for professional and live use, the sound quality of these pianos will often be even better than your standard console digital piano.

Do digital pianos last longer than acoustic pianos? 

It is argued that digital pianos as they get more modern might last you longer than acoustic pianos do, however, this all comes down to the quality of the digital piano that you buy as electrical parts can wear out fast.

Are digital pianos more expensive than keyboards? 

Yes, digital pianos are more expensive than keyboards as they offer more high-quality specs such as weighted hammer keys and an 88-key set which is the closest you can get to an acoustic piano.

How do I maintain my piano? 

Maintaining a digital piano in comparison to an acoustic piano is much less work, but there are still some everyday jobs you should be doing to keep your piano in the best condition possible. 

For example, you should be keeping your keys covered as soon as you finished playing, wiping down the keys with a microfibre cloth and checking the power cable now and then or battery pack.

Where should my digital piano be stored? 

You should store your digital piano in a place with no heat source, no direct sunlight and somewhere it does not get knocked by people passing often.

Do digital pianos have built-in songs? 

Yes, just like electronic keyboards, some digital pianos will have built-in songs, but these tend to be less than your standard keyboard as they are focused on being more acoustic-like.

Can humidity affect my digital piano?

Yes, it is very possible that humidity can affect your digital piano negatively, some of the issues it can cause are cracks in your pianos keys, fading of colour and expansion or contraction of the material used to build the piano.

What are some useful tips for taking care of my digital piano?

Some great tips are to keep it covered when not in use, washing your hands before using it and keeping the piano free of dust. 

Are there disadvantages of console pianos? 

The biggest drawbacks of console pianos have to be their limitations when it comes to accessories as you will likely have to buy a stand in addition to your keyboard, they also lack extra features such as pedals which can help your music sound more professional.

Does branding matter on a digital piano?

Popular branded pianos do not always guarantee you will get the best piano, you should consider its specs and reviews too, but branded pianos often come with more reliability and a better warranty.

What factors affect how long my digital piano will last me? 

Many factors affect the lifespan of your digital piano, some of these are how often you use your piano, the quality of the brand and how you look after it.

Cheap digital pianos will be made with cheaper electrical components which will likely wear down fast meaning more digital piano repairs will need to be made.

Your piano will likely last you 20-50 years if you get one of a decent build and quality.

 Final Words 

To conclude, there is no set lifespan for a digital piano, as this all comes down to the type of piano your buy, the brand, quality, how often you use it and how well you care for it. On average, this could be anything from 10 years to 50 years with the correct care. We always recommend following our care tips above and repairing problems as you go along to keep your piano in the best condition you can.

Heya'll Im Oliver (Oli), I run DigitalPianoReviews.UK. By trade an Electrical Engineer, an owner of a piano shop. Always being asked about my recommendations for top piano, I created this site. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out :)

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