Way back my piano recital days as a beginner pianist, I nearly experienced “failure” when the acoustic piano used for our recital performance broke before my turn. I guess it finally reached its breaking point. I was nearly in tears when my piano teacher presented an Alesis Cadenza digital piano [Currently unavailable. Keyboard alternative: Alesis Q88]. I was able to play my piece and got a standing ovation from both my parents and teacher! Forward to present, I purchased a Cadenza on my own and am glad to hone my piano skills with it.
The Alesis Cadenza digital piano [Currently unavailable. Keyboard alternative: Alesis Q88] is an 88-key hammer action digital piano. I like that the Cadenza also has that graded effect on the keys so I can really feel the difference when I transition from bass side to treble side. For sound quality, I think that it produces a pleasant sound output. Although I think the quality could be better especially when I have heard the output from other digital pianos in the market. I have heard the grand piano voice of a Yamaha DGX 650 from a fellow pianist and I could tell that the latter is way better. I guess in terms of sound sampling, Alesis’ methods and technology were not as thorough as that from a Yamaha or Casio.
The Cadenza offers the basics in terms of piano voices which I like because that is what I am looking for in a digital piano. It comes with 8 stereo voices or sounds including the grand piano, upright,string, organ etc. Keyboards with 20 or more voices do not appeal to me much because I only use the main voices when I play. Even if there are only 8 voices, the Cadenza has the ability to layer and split sounds. The keyboard can be split into two parts. This enables me to play two voices for an added effect. I can play bass on my left hand and piano on my right. The sounds can be highlighted even more since the keyboard has touch sensitivity. This can be adjusted to my liking. It can be soft, normal, hard or off. This means I can strike the keys harder or softer and get the same effect as that of an acoustic. Greater depth and harmony can be added to my musical pieces when I use the reverb and chorus effects.
One of the Cadenza’s strengths is the abundance of software ports and features. It has 2-track recording when I want to review the pieces I play. There is a built-in metronome so that I can set the pace and speed of my music. The last is connectivity. In my opinion, this is one of the strong suits of this digital piano. It has a MIDI input and output line. This enables me to connect to my computer and use MIDI software or notation software. It is also able to communicate with other MIDI keyboards as well. USB connectivity is also present. This makes my life so much easier because I can easily record music to my computer if ever the internal storage of the Cadenza becomes full. The piano also has a headphone jack and built-in speakers. I can just plug in my headphones and play without disturbing anyone. The volume of the built-in speakers is enough to fill a small room with great music. I can just attach external speakers for a louder effect.
In conclusion, I think the Cadenza would be perfect fit for both beginners and advanced students. It provides the 8 main voices which I think learning pianists need to concentrate on. The Cadenza offers enough flexibility by providing a multitude of connectivity options which would fulfill the needs of the user.