What is the difference between an acoustic piano and an electronic keyboard? That’s a good question. So this month’s focus is on the pros and cons of owning an electronic keyboard. Instead of trying to defend either side, here are two very good articles written by knowledgeable piano technicians that present both sides of the coin.
Please take a look at
http://www.ptg.org/userfiles/file/learningCenter/Acoustic_Pianos.pdf, from the Piano Technicians Guild, and http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring14/10.html, from the Piano Buyers Guide,
Both of these articles are written by technicians on the mainland. In addition to the information found in the articles, I want to give some insight about the electronic instruments here in Hawaii.
As you know, electronic pianos are basically computers with keyboard. The components that make the piano play are “mother boards,” with copper and steel wires running between them. An octave of keys, for example, is controlled by one board. When that board “goes out”, it affects the whole octave.
The high humidity in Hawaii has an adverse effect on the components of electronic keyboards, in that it rusts them out much faster than normal. The manufacturers of keyboards guarantee them for five years, and the manufacturers are only obligated keep spare parts in stock for only as long as the guarantee is in force. Once the guarantee expires, the manufacturer is not obligated to supply parts.
What this basically means is that if your electric keyboard is more than five years old, and it stops working because a component goes out, the chance of finding another component are virtually impossible. That means the whole keyboard is unusable, and need to buy a new one.