A keyboard is not just for Christmas: Part Two: Budget


A keyboard is not just for Christmas: A Buyers Guide
IntroductionPart One: TypePart Two: BudgetPart Three: FeaturesPart Four: ExtrasPart Five: Manufacturers

With such a wide range of different pianos, keyboards and synths on the market, it’s not surprising that there’s a wide price range, too.

It’s important to set a realistic budget early on, so that you’re not tempted to spend more than you can afford when you see all those black and white keys, switches and lights, and hear the demo songs.

If you’ve not yet considered the type of keyboard you’re looking to buy, I’d suggest you go back to Part One and check your options.

So how much can you expect to pay for each different instrument?

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Here are some basic ‘ballpark’ price ranges, based on what’s commonly available on the market, when buying new, current catalogue equipment. Of course, second-hand, ex-demo and discontinued equipment will generally be lower in price:

  • Acoustic grand pianos: Let’s just say that you need to be pretty well-off to afford even an upright piano. Manufacturers and showrooms keep particularly quiet about the MRP of acoustic pianos, and I don’t have a decent book of ‘official’ prices to hand. I’d estimate you’d need about US$5000 for a good, new, upright acoustic piano, and well into the five-figures for even a baby grand acoustic.
  • Digital pianos: It’s much easier to get prices for digital instruments. If you’re going for the full 88-note, weighted action affair, you’ll likely be looking at between $US2-6000, though you can buy cheaper (and more expensive, not surprisingly)
  • Home keyboards: Basic home keyboards can be bought for US$200 or less. You’ll likely be looking at between $US200-1000.
  • Synthesizer: Basic synths start in a similar price bracket to home keyboards, but you can easily pay US$4000+ for a top-of-the-range synth keyboard.
  • Workstations: Because of their increased functionality, workstations start at a higher price, say US$800, up to US$4000+

Please let me know if any of these are wildly out. It’s very hard to summarise the monetary value of a whole section of instruments from a wide variety of manufacturers. This merely gives you something to hold on to (and write down!) when you are looking at features.

I’ll cover features in more depth in part three.

A keyboard is not just for Christmas: A Buyers Guide
IntroductionPart One: TypePart Two: BudgetPart Three: FeaturesPart Four: ExtrasPart Five: Manufacturers