Donner is the German word for thunder, and the Donner DDP-80 digital piano surely rolled into our offices like thunder. I’ve always been interested in digital music instruments, and while I never intended to turn my passions into a profession, I still love the art of music production and creative play. Usually, it would be more likely to spot me in a studio with midi controllers and short, portable midi keyboards. Still, I was delighted when we got the opportunity to test the Donner DDP-80 digital piano and tell you all about it today.
The Donner DDP-80 digital piano, some would call it an “electric piano,” is a good choice for those who are looking for an affordable and reliable digital piano. It has all the features that you would expect from a digital piano, and it is effortless to use. In this review, we will take a look at the features of the Donner DDP-80 digital piano, its advantages, and its disadvantages. We will also give you our verdict on whether or not the Donner DDP-80 digital piano is a good choice for you.
What are the advantages of the Donner DDP-80 digital piano?
The Donner DDP-80 digital piano is an electronic keyboard that simulates the sound and feel of a traditional acoustic piano. It has weighted keys that mimic the resistance of a real piano and pedals that allow for sustain, vibrato, and other effects. I think it’s fair to say that the Donner DDP-80 digital piano is a good choice for beginners and experienced players alike. It is undoubtedly more affordable than an actual piano but still allows you to practice and play without worrying too much about technical challenges.
The DDP-80 is unlike other Donner digital pianos as far as the design and other visual aspects go. The device is housed in a wooden chassis, and the metal feet are disguised to look just as if they were made of the same wood. So this means that the DDP-80 is not just a digital gadget that you hide when you’re not using it. It’s very appealing and can serve as a decorative asset to match any modern or classic type of furniture.
Compared to a portable digital piano, the DDP-80 is very likely to be placed in a stationary position. While this might permanently take up some space in your living area, the advantages here are that you can sit on the piano anytime you feel like it and start playing. As some musicians with digital instruments might have noticed, if you don’t have a setup that you can sit down on and start playing immediately, you often end up simply not playing. The mood can be gone just as fast as the inspiration – isn’t it sad when that happens? With the DDP-80 digital piano, you don’t have this issue.
I don’t want to get too techy with you, but you can also use the MIDI and USB sockets to connect the DDP-80 to your computer or other devices. Even if you’re not going to use the digital piano in any music production scenario, it’s still great to hook it up with an external device like a laptop to have the instrument play your favorite piano tracks based on midi files that you can quickly get on the Internet. Gives a different vibe to cocktail hour, am I right? Jokes aside, if you compare it with a keyboard, no matter how good the keyboard might be, a digital piano like the Donner DDP-80 feels much more like the original experience of playing the piano.
One more thing that might be useful for people who live in shared spaces is that you can very easily adjust the volume of the DDP-80 digital piano. If you play an acoustic piano, it’s as loud as it is, and if you play notes softer, it changes the nature of the music. So this is undoubtedly an advantage of a digital piano over other alternatives. If you want to go really silent, you just use headphones instead, and nobody but you will hear you play. This might also help learners who might feel shy about having other people hear any mistakes. To all of you, I want to say: Just keep practicing. Everybody has to start somewhere, and nobody is born a master piano player.
The features of the Donner DDP-80 digital piano
The Donner DDP-80 digital piano has many features that make it a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality instrument. It has 88 full-size keys, which is the standard size for most pianos. It also has 128 different voices to choose from, so you can find the perfect sound for any piece of music. The piano includes built-in speakers, so you don’t need to worry about connecting them to an external amplifier. You can also use headphones if you prefer to practice without making any noise.
Here are some of the hard specs for you to check:
- Size: 49.9″ x 13.9″ x 29.3″ (126.8cm x 35.5cm x 74.5cm)
- Weight: 46.9lb (21.3kg)
- Power: External Power Adapter, DC-12V/3.0A
- Sound Library: 1 Standard Piano Tone
- Polyphony: 128
- Keyboard material: ABS Plastic
- Body Material: Wood
- Speakers: 2x 20W
- Rear and bottom panels: MIDI USB, sustain pedal, power line, audio output, headphone, 3-pedal unit cable port, volume control, power switch (goes to standby automatically if nobody plays for 30 minutes)
The Donner DDP-80 digital piano is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality instrument that has all the features they need. It’s a good solution for beginners and experienced players alike.
The disadvantages of the Donner DDP-80 digital piano
To be very clear with you, I found no critical aspects that would create doubt in the product. The product was easy to assemble in a few minutes, and the quality of the product feels very sophisticated and good. Just to be fair, I would, however, just mention some thoughts I was having about the DDP-80 that might not be a fit for the advantages paragraphs above. Kindly consider the following aspects as my personal opinion as well, though, and it’s possible that these might not be an issue for you at all.
While I mentioned that there are advantages of having a stationary digital piano that looks great in your place helps many angles, it’s also a disadvantage to some who don’t have that much space in their apartment or house that they can’t just put the device in the wardrobe while they aren’t playing. While the DDP-80 isn’t as heavy as a real piano, it’s certainly still not that easy to move around, so for all who might not have that much space, they could consider an alternative product from Donner from their range of portable digital pianos, or decide for a different maker, if they find a better one.
So what happens to a stationary instrument that becomes part of your home? Eventually, dust will become an issue over time. That’s normal, and that won’t be prevented. I found it somewhat unfortunate that Donner does not provide a cover for this product that would help protect the instrument’s surface. I figured that you could possibly get a generic sort of cover that might fit the DDP-80 as well, but it might destroy the visual appeal of the instrument altogether if you can’t find a solution that would match the design of the product. The quickest way to protect the digital piano is to put some textile cover on the unit that is large enough to prevent the dust from falling directly onto the instrument.
Lastly, I’d like to mention that the DDP-80 is a fantastic digital piano, but if you are not familiar with digital pianos and only know acoustic instruments, you might find the sound to be lacking audio fidelity. You might miss the warmth and feeling of physical instruments like a grand or upright piano. If you want to compare audio quality, you have to compare one digital piano to another digital piano, or maybe a keyboard, but you can’t make a comparison to a grand or upright piano. If you’re looking at a price point, this would also be an unfair comparison seeing how the DDP-80 would cost you about $629.99 MSRP (might vary depending on your region), and a grand piano would cost tenths of thousands of dollars. This would be like comparing seeing Niagara Falls with watching a video of it.
How to learn to play piano in 2022?
You don’t even play the piano? That’s not an issue either. Seeing how much more affordable the DDP-80 digital piano is compared to acoustic pianos, there’s a lot less to invest if you want to start learning to play the piano at home. But do you need to get a teacher in 2022? It might help you with some aspects of having a person coach you, but thanks to technology, there are also some very fun and more affordable ways to learn to play the piano. You could, for instance, use piano learning apps like SimplyPiano or the Piano app by Yousician. You don’t even need to connect any cables for that. Smartphones or tablets simply use their built-in microphone to “hear” if you’re playing the right notes and can advise you on what you can do to improve.
These apps will playfully teach you to learn notes and play songs. Surely you’ll start with simple things, but they’ll also let you play some modern pieces and tunes from the charts after a short while. If you’re already good at playing and reading notes, you can also just use apps that show you the notes of your favorite songs and automatically scroll through the notes as you play, so you don’t need to turn the pages of a notebook manually.
The verdict on the Donner DDP-80 digital piano
The Donner DDP-80 digital piano is a great choice for those who are looking for an affordable and reliable instrument. It has all the features that you would expect from a digital piano, and it is effortless to use. You can combine it with a studio setup over midi and USD connection, but anyone who is not techy can simply use it as a delightful standalone instrument. Because we know that our audience is from all over the world, here are some localized links for you to find the right price and store for your region:
If you’re ordering for other regions, you can check who might be closest to you in order for you to save on shipping costs. You can also check with your local music instruments store if you prefer retail over online purchasing. In my opinion, the Donner DDP-80 is an affordable digital piano without compromises if you have the space for a stationary instrument. Not much you could do wrong here, and anybody can play, no matter how tech-savvy or not they are – because good technology is for everyone.
YouTube: Modern Home Aesthetic & Classic Piano Quality, Donner DDP-80 Digital Piano丨Donner Spotlight (Promotional Demo Footage)
Photo credit: All images shown are owned by Donner.
Editorial notice: We received a sample unit for the review, but the article has not been sponsored.