The winner is, the digital piano! Nelson found a great year-end sale happening at Merriam Music. Although we had originally considered getting the Yamaha YDP series, we ended up with the Kawai CN23. We found the sound produced by the Kawai was richer and fuller and the feel of the keys felt more like the traditional acoustic piano.
We were told that the rich sound was due to technology used in the higher-end digitals, which is not simply based on the older method of sampling. To be honest, I don’t really know the full technical details, but the CN23 is supposed to employ Progressive Harmonic Imaging™ technology. I’ve read that this means that they record each key individually instead of stretching the same tone over several different notes.
The other factor, feel, was important to us. When we walked into Merriam Music, the first pianos you see are grands and the uprights – the digitals were in the basement. Anyway, we made sure to hit the keys on the traditional pianos to remind us of the feel. With the other digital piano keyboards I pressed, they felt springy/spongy to me. The CN23 did not feel this way and it was explained to us that the Responsive Hammer action aims to recreate the realistic movement. It also features an Ivory Touch key surface.
We’re both very excited! The piano is being delivered this afternoon. Now, we’ll just have to re-learn how to play.