Top 10 Best Upright Pianos

Dave Mostert
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Over the last decade, the upright piano has made a comeback among musicians. Some were skeptical, but those who tried an upright piano were pleasantly surprised.

Recent advancements in upright piano engineering have made them more reliable and easier to play than ever. While I admit that vinyl record players have made a comeback in popularity, this one is based on the piano, not the turntable, like the Top 10 Best Turntables list a few pages ago.

Recent advancements in upright piano engineering have made them more reliable and easier to play than ever. While I admit that vinyl record players have made a comeback in popularity, this one is based on the piano, not the turntable, like the Top 10 Best Turntables list a few pages ago.

Upright pianos are definitely on the rise in popularity. This is why I have included a list of upright pianos in this section.

NameCategoryProduct
The ONE Smart PianoBest OverallThe ONE Smart Piano
Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital PianoBudget PickYamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano
Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital PianoUpgrade PickYamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital Piano

1. The ONE Smart Piano

Our rating: 9 / 10

The ONE Smart Piano

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Pros:

  • 88 weighted keys
  • Supports optional pedals
  • Solid feel with a decent weight
  • It fits into larger areas and rooms
  • Perfect for beginners and experts alike

Cons:

  • Learning aids are not included
  • Piano is not sturdy enough to stand on its own

The one from Yamaha is another quality upright piano that is perfect for beginners, but professionals will get plenty of use out of it as well. You will want to make sure that you have a relatively large area, as this piano will not fit into smaller areas.

This piano has 88 full-size, fully-weighted keys, which is a serious upgrade from the first piano on the list. The keys feel quite realistic and have barely any give, so you will have to watch out for injuries if you have small children learning to play.

This piano does not include any learning aids, so you will need to purchase a stand-alone tuning board or a digital piano tuner if you don’t have one handy.

2. Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano

Our rating: 8 / 10

Casio PX860 BK Privia Digital Home Piano

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Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Hammer-action keys
  • 8 types of sounds

Bench and A-Frame Stand.

The feature set and quality you get with this piano is exceptional for the price.

This best digital piano for beginners is compact and stylish, and is a great choice for a smaller home. While it’s a bit heavy, the stand, bench, and pedals give you the option to put it on a separate stand if you need to.

3. Yamaha Arius YDP162R Traditional Console Style Digital Piano

Our rating: 7 / 10

Yamaha Arius YDP162R Traditional Console Style Digital Piano

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Pros:

  • Digital piano with high-quality sound
  • Innovative design with extra accessories
  • High-quality features at a mid-high price range
  • Ultra-comfortable padded bench
  • Latest generation SI-tech hammer-action keyboard system

This is part of the list of the best upright pianos. It is a product of Yamaha, one of the leading names in the piano industry.

This digital piano combines an authentic acoustic piano experience with digital technology. It comes with a comfortable padded bench, an integrated multi-media system with music management functions, and other useful features.

The Yamaha YDP 162 comes with the latest generation of SI-tech’s hammer-action keyboard system, which offers more realism, sensitivity, and stability compared to other technologies.

4. Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano

Our rating: 7 / 10

Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano

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Pros:

  • Great keyboard feel
  • Large and very sharp display screen
  • Responsive key action
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • Some may not find the instruments to be piano-like enough
  • A bit weighty
  • Lack of variety with sounds

5. Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano

Our rating: 6 / 10

Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano

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Pros:

  • Designed for beginners
  • Includes Yamaha Education Suite
  • 256 polyphony
  • 4-channel stereo system

Cons:

  • Keeps the lid open when not in use
  • Might have some issues with high notes

When you’re shopping for the best upright pianos to buy, there’s no end to the number of options available. It doesn’t help that there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the technical aspects of these instruments.

The Yamaha YDP143B (short for Arius Series console digital piano) has a number of features to attract beginners, and as it’s from Yamaha, it comes with a lot of trust. For starters, it’s the cheapest digital piano we’ve included in our list. It’s also quite compact, making it great even for smaller homes.

However, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the device does keep the lid open when it’s not in use and that it might not be the best for high notes. Still, it’s a versatile instrument that’s great for beginners to test their skills on before moving on to more expensive digital pianos.

6. Upright Piano Yamaha U1 by FourStar Premium Piano Restoration

Our rating: 6 / 10

Upright Piano Yamaha U1 by FourStar Premium Piano Restoration

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Pros:

  • Great option for all ages, beginners and experts
  • Reasonably priced for the beginner option
  • Exceptional tone and feel
  • 8-note polyphony
  • With pedal

Cons:

  • Not very portable
  • Won’t fit in small apartments

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option in an upright piano consider the Yamaha U1 from FourStar Premium Piano Restoration.

This piano offers 8-note polyphony, which allows the player to play up to 8 different notes at the same time. It also has a string resonance feature, which adds a true tone to your playing you just can’t find on most digital pianos. The strings on this piano are made from solid spruce, so the sound you hear is going to be extremely authentic.

It has a 3-ply wood case and patented hammer action, which provides authentic tone and durability, especially for beginner or amateur players. This piano also comes with a durable maple lipped bench. It’s not the highest-quality product on this list, but for a beginner model, it’s a great choice in price and quality.

7. Korg B1SP 88 key Digital Piano Package

Our rating: 6 / 10

Korg B1SP 88 key Digital Piano Package

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Pros:

  • Elegant design
  • Affordable price
  • Good sound quality
  • USB connectivity
  • 30-day buyer satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Heavier than average
  • User-interface could be better
  • Only 2-year warranty

Nowadays, it’s quite difficult to find a piano with an attractive design at a relatively affordable price. Korg B1SP could be one of the best cheap upright pianos you can get nowadays.

The Korg B1SP is a 88 key digital piano with a natural weighted hammer mechanism to provide a feel that’s as close as possible to acoustic pianos. The keys are also velocity sensitive to provide a wide range of sound dynamics. It also comes with a piano stand, piano bench, and 2 piano books for beginners by certified music teachers.

The sound quality on this piano isn’t bad, but it’s better for practicing than for performing live onstage.

8. Schiller Upright Piano Special Edition 45"

Our rating: 6 / 10

Schiller Upright Piano Special Edition 45"

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Pros:

  • Beautiful design and easy to assemble
  • Portable and comes with a free bench

Cons:

  • Lack of space between keys
  • Keys have an annoying tendency to stick

We want to start off by saying that this is a stunning piano! It’s in pristine condition upon delivery, and it was easy to assemble. Plus, it has the same size as a regular piano.

One of the most important factors to take into consideration while buying an upright piano is the quality of the sounds. On the plus side, this model definitely brings you most of the sounds you would expect from a classic grand piano. The construction employs a multi-layered soundboard to give you the same rich sound you expect from a concert piano.

It comes with 3 pedals which include the damper, sostenuto, and soft pedaling. You also have the ability to select different types of tone voicings, including 4 levels of brightness, 2 levels of brightness, both with and without chorus, and blended.

9. Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital Piano

Our rating: 6 / 10

Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital Piano

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Pros:

  • The Yamaha upright piano has a rich, warm tone
  • Perfect in your room at home, or as part of a multi-keyboard setup in a small studio/stage setting
  • Realistic piano touch and feel

Cons:

  • Requires foot pedals which are not included
  • Placement of the sustain pedal can sometimes be awkward for some, depending on the user's height
  • While the built-in speakers are fairly good for piano, they may not be as powerful enough for larger venues

This Yamaha piano has a stylish modern design with a traditional feel. It has a full-sized 37-key piano keyboard. The keyboard can be played by itself or can easily be connected to an external speaker system. The dedicated pedal can also be connected to a separate sustain, allowing for more versatility in how you play your favorite songs.

The piano has 128-voice polyphony with built-in advanced Wave memory stereo sampling ” the kind that you would find in high-end stage pianos. This allows the piano to create a realistic and clear sound, while reproducing the natural expression and vibration of an acoustic grand piano. The piano's built-in sound system also allows you to connect headphones or amplifiers, so you don’t disturb your family or neighbors while you learn and practice.

10. Flychord DP330 88 key Fully Weighted Console Digital Piano

Our rating: 4 / 10

Flychord DP330 88 key Fully Weighted Console Digital Piano

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Pros:

  • The 88 key digital piano is a great product if you are a beginner and are looking for a higher quality piano
  • The stable stand is easy to assemble and requires no tools
  • Attractive cabinet design with high quality wood look panel
  • The voices consist of some of the most popular instruments such as strings and full organ
  • There is also an enjoyable automatic demo built in

Cons:

  • A couple of users had an issue getting the piano to turn on the first time
  • You may want to consider the Yamaha piano over this one because it is a little cheaper and has a more solid frame, but the Flychord does have a higher quality look and feel to the wood work

If you are a beginner and are looking for a better quality piano for your home, then the Flychord DP330 88 key fully weighted console digital piano is the perfect piano for you. It blends the look of a classic piano with the technology of a modern one making it perfect for a beginner of an intermediate level. It has 88 keys that are fully weighted and accommodates multiple voices.

You will enjoy the high quality cabinet material and the sound of the the Flychord DP330 88 key fully weighted console digital piano makes it one of the best upright pianos to come on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best brand of upright piano?

There is no single brand that makes the best upright piano for most people. The best brand is up to your personal choice — they all work. Each different brand of piano comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, so make sure that you weigh your options and research each of them to find the one that fits your priorities best.

One of the primary differences between brands of pianos is the action mechanism, which determines how the piano feels to play. Some of the most popular brands are renowned for the quality of their actions, but also offer very low-quality actions as well.

Everyone thinks that they know what the best brand of upright piano is, but this category comes down to personal choice more than anything else. If you're concerned about the quality of a brand, ask to try out the instrument before buying. Having first hand knowledge of the product can go a long way towards making your final decision.

Which brand of piano is best?

If you're new to piano playing or reentering the music world after a long hiatus, purchasing a new piano may be a bit intimidating. The sheer number of brands and models can be a bit daunting.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, selecting a new piano may even be easier than selecting a used instrument. Because you're purchasing a new instrument, you can play any of the pianos you're interested in before committing to a purchase. You can test all the features and try the sounds. You can even try all the samples and discover what they sound like in the room where you plan to play.

But testing several different instruments can be a drain on time. Time spent in your own community may be limited due to other obligations, and driving to a music store to play a few instruments can sometimes take all day.

Which Yamaha upright piano is the best?

Yamaha is a very well-known and respectable brand for making pianos. This is one of the reasons that Yamaha piano reviews are so helpful in determining the best piano that comes from their brand. One of the main features that you may want to look for when purchasing your first piano is the type of action that it has. You are probably familiar with actions, whether it is a grand piano or other acoustic piano. This is the mechanism that determines how the piano will sound and how the keys will perform.

There are three basic actions that determine how a piano will sound or play:

Grands: These pianos are usually the most sought after because they are the most expressive. You can hear emotion in the tones you play because the sound will react differently depending on how hard the hammers strike the strings. If you are in the market for an acoustic piano, a grand is usually your best bet.

Is Kawai piano better than Yamaha?

The Kawai piano company is often compared to Yamaha on price and quality. While most experts agree the Kawai name is not as famous as its competitor, they will also say that the piano has a higher quality overall. A Kawai is considered to be one of the more expensive lines in the marketplace and is recommended for student-aged pianists.

Kawai has been manufacturing pianos since 1909. They remain a leader in acoustic piano manufacturing and are the makers of the popular ES8.

Yamaha pianos are also a popular choice among piano shoppers. Because of Yamaha's legendary quality, you can expect their pianos to be of the highest standard imaginable. Although unlike Kawai, Yamaha is known for its acoustics, the company also makes a line of digital keyboards.

Conclusion

Because pianos tend to be one of the most expensive instruments to own, it’s important to invest in the best that you can when you do buy one. So what exactly goes into making the best piano? The valves, hammers, pins in the action, touch, and the quality of the sound is what is taken into account. It is also wise to note that the surface of the Steinway is made from solid maple. As for the interior, there is the bass bar, soundboard, along with the cast metal frame.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
The ONE Smart PianoBest OverallThe ONE Smart Piano
Yamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital PianoBudget PickYamaha YDP143B Arius Series Console Digital Piano
Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital PianoUpgrade PickYamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital Piano