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Hi all,

I was looking at purchasing a digital piano for around $1000. Right now leaning toward the Kawai KDP120 or KDP75, but possibly others.

Does anyone know if these are made of real wood? Or is it just fiberboard?

If it is just cheap fiberboard that will chip and become ugly over time, I’d be inclined to just buy a keyboard and the keyboard stand/pedals and save some money.

Thanks!

Last edited by Jast; 06/22/21 05:27 PM.
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Why would it chip and become ugly? Solid ebony or mahogany can chip and become ugly too, if you abuse it.

My Casio AP-650 is about seven years old now. I use it every day and it still looks pretty much like it did the day that I took it out of the box, even though I'm sure the case isn't made of anything special.


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personal opinion,
for a $1200 digital piano product, getting a "real-wood" perhaps is not a good idea.
at this price, better to get a wood-composite or even a fiber-wood. unless you are buying a furniture instead of its piano functions.


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I don't think there's any real wood in any console digital piano, not even in the Yamaha Avant Grands or the Kawai Novus pianos.
They're all chip-core. Which is very durable.

The slab pianos are housed in plastic.

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I believe the DGT7 used a real baby grand cabinet (A1 acoustic) presumably made from real wood.

Acoustic piano builders make a big deal about the wood/work used for their cabinets supposedly because this has a significant effect on the overall sound. If this is true, then it could be said that ‘chip-core’ will cheapen the sound, and perhaps at the highest levels (Avant/Novus) wood should be used for the cabinet(s).

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Originally Posted by Pete14
I believe the DGT7 used a real baby grand cabinet (A1 acoustic) presumably made from real wood.

Acoustic piano builders make a big deal about the wood/work used for their cabinets supposedly because this has a significant effect on the overall sound. If this is true, then it could be said that ‘chip-core’ will cheapen the sound, and perhaps at the highest levels (Avant/Novus) wood should be used for the cabinet(s).

Are you suggesting that the importance of what wood a piano cabinet is made of, could be inflated by the marketing department ????? <g>

Loudspeaker builders have figured out how to make good cabinets out of plywood (in the old days) and chipboard (more recently). That used to be shibboleth - "Use wood, not plastic!" :

. . but my EV ZXA1 speaker has a plastic cabinet, and it sounds OK.


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Originally Posted by Jast
Hi all,

I was looking at purchasing a digital piano for around $1000. Right now leaning toward the Kawai KDP120 or KDP75, but possibly others.

Does anyone know if these are made of real wood? Or is it just fiberboard?

If it is just cheap fiberboard that will chip and become ugly over time, I’d be inclined to just buy a keyboard and the keyboard stand/pedals and save some money.

Thanks!

FYI, MDF and particleboards have better sonic properties!


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Originally Posted by Pete14
I believe the DGT7 used a real baby grand cabinet (A1 acoustic) presumably made from real wood.

Acoustic piano builders make a big deal about the wood/work used for their cabinets supposedly because this has a significant effect on the overall sound. If this is true, then it could be said that ‘chip-core’ will cheapen the sound, and perhaps at the highest levels (Avant/Novus) wood should be used for the cabinet(s).


I doubt that this is the case, because controlling the audio behavior of a real-wood of random internal structure is much more difficult compared to a composite. you only used a "real wood" on specific places for certain reasons, and it is usually expensive enough to get it well produced and controlled.

A good design is not to use expensive material in all the parts, but use them when there is a good reason.


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Are you saying I’ve been overpaying for Steinway’s ‘hand-made’ wooden artistry imported directly from the Himalayas?

Shame on you, Steinway, claiming that ‘wood’ makes a difference!

I always suspected that Steinway could simply use particleboard for their pianos, but never dared say anything in fear of being outcasted and banned for life from society.

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So, before we delve deeper into Himalayan Steinways: digital pianos mostly are "just" fiberboard and it's okay.

Of course if you treat them rough the "veneer" (completely synthetic?) on top could chip.

Though sometimes it might be more like just a plastic wrap.

The other option is the few "polished black" and "polished white" models with a lacquer coating.

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I love it how we sometimes say ‘it’s all ‘bout the wood’ yet other times, ‘wood means nothing; they might as well make them Ds from plastic’. What gives?

Wood either makes a difference or it doesn’t; make up your mind already!

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It's all about how you ask it.

If you ask it the wrong then wood doesn't matter and everyone implies that it's silly to be obsessed by wood.

If you ask it the right way then everyone agrees that wood indeed makes a difference.

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Same thing with pivot length.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
If you ask it the right way then everyone agrees that wood indeed makes a difference.

And what exactly is the right way to ask about wood?

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Nobody knows.

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I think it's polyurethane, not lacquer. That's why it doesn't deteriorate.
Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
The other option is the few "polished black" and "polished white" models with a lacquer coating.

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Originally Posted by Jast
Hi all,

I was looking at purchasing a digital piano for around $1000. Right now leaning toward the Kawai KDP120 or KDP75, but possibly others.

Does anyone know if these are made of real wood? Or is it just fiberboard?

If it is just cheap fiberboard that will chip and become ugly over time, I’d be inclined to just buy a keyboard and the keyboard stand/pedals and save some money.

Thanks!
As already mentioned they are usually a wood composite. My black PE digital has not deteriorated at all in nearly 9 years. Looking after the finish is a different thread. My personal opinion of the mahogany, rosewood, possibly other finishes or lookalikes used in console style digitals is that the veneer used looks cheap and tacky, and that's before they potentially chip and deteriorate.

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Originally Posted by Pete14
I love it how we sometimes say ‘it’s all ‘bout the wood’ yet other times, ‘wood means nothing; they might as well make them Ds from plastic’. What gives?

Wood either makes a difference or it doesn’t; make up your mind already!

Wood makes a difference when you pay for a lot for the piano.
Wood makes no difference when you pay only sub-$1200 fo the piano, as the original post asked.

It is the marginal improvement from excellent to great.
Again, even for expensive piano, whether "wood makes a difference" = wood is always better than other material, this is not guaranteed. Wood is usually better because the craftman 200+ years only had it to play with, and all the knowledge today is based on that to start with.
Without a modern professional workshop, most craftman cannot even access to advanced materials today. So I doubt that it is possible for anyone in this thread knowing that "by experimenting with replacing certain parts to different kind of wood can really make a difference". We are all guessing.


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Originally Posted by Pete14
I love it how we sometimes say ‘it’s all ‘bout the wood’ yet other times, ‘wood means nothing; they might as well make them Ds from plastic’. What gives?

Wood either makes a difference or it doesn’t; make up your mind already!

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/246945/mdf-or-wood.html

That's why speakers are made out of MDF. Wood is not consistent.


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Originally Posted by Jast
Hi all,

I was looking at purchasing a digital piano for around $1000. Right now leaning toward the Kawai KDP120 or KDP75, but possibly others.

Does anyone know if these are made of real wood? Or is it just fiberboard?

If it is just cheap fiberboard that will chip and become ugly over time, I’d be inclined to just buy a keyboard and the keyboard stand/pedals and save some money.

Thanks!

Jast,

As a reference, if you look at the images of the 2 “console” models in which you are interested -

https://kawaius.com/product/kdp120/

https://kawaius.com/product/kdp75/

- and the image of a model I currently have -

https://www.roland.com/us/products/hp508/

- I can tell you that the wood included in the exterior of the top end - the keyboard proper that exists above your knees while sitting at the piano - regardless of whether it contains any natural wood, is generally much more solid in design than the wood included in the bottom end pieces.

As has already been mentioned by several others, the wooden pieces these consoles include are not traditional aged natural wood but instead mostly particle board ( for which i never knew there are so many variant names - chip core, mdf , etc) .... that begins as semi-liquid wood chips that are mixed, poured, pressed then heated to form a hardened material ..... kinda similar to how “chicken patties” are made 😉 .... onto which a seemingly nice looking finish - veneer , flat paint or shiny lacquer /polyurethane “ebony” is applied.

The top end of my HP508 looks as nice today as it did when purchased nearly 6 years ago; there have been few accidents, none of which caused any obvious scratches or ugly chips.

As to the bottom end, the 508 came with 2 black (metal) vertical supports, one attaches far left, one far right, and the front portions of these look like the legs of an upright. Between these supports is what I call the “courtesy panel”, a very thin piece of black wood, maybe 1/4 inch thick, that blocks the view of the crotch of the player being seen from people viewing from behind the piano 😊

Ive had to locate/relocate the 508 twice .... Ive assembled, disassembled and reassembled twice. The main complaint I have with the use of cheap wood is that every time the screws are inserted, removed then reinserted, ( such as when attaching / reattaching the pedal board to the courtesy panel, the screw holes flake away a little and do not hold the screws as tightly as they originally did.

If you decide to get a portable “slab” dp and also get the optional “stand” what you will find is the bottom end wood pieces will be suitable but skimpier than what you get with a console model.


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