Nothing matches the sound, touch and feel of a real piano. But there are occasions where a pianist does not have a real piano at his or her disposal. On these occasions, the common substitute instrument is a digital piano. These vary drastically in quality, just as real pianos do.
Now and again I'll post entries here on my blog promoting the most outstanding models I've recently played. I hope this proves especially useful to readers who are in the market for a digital piano.
On 8/30/09 I played for a wedding at St. Victor's church in San Jose. The keyboard instrument at the church, a Yamaha YDP-223, was surprisingly excellent. The touch and response were great and the piano sound was truly outstanding. I didn't check out any of the other sounds and functions of the keyboard -- I was strictly interested in the piano sound for the music I performed that day. The Yamaha YDP-223's current list price is $1,600.
From August-October '09 I have been rehearsing and performing with the "Sullivan & Gilbert" production at the Douglas Morrison Theatre in Hayward. The theatre has a Yamaha CLP-123 keyboard in the orchestra pit. This keyboard has a nice response and touch, although it can feel a bit flimsy at times. I tend to play heavily and sometimes the response from the CLP-123 makes the instrument seem fragile. Nonetheless, it is a great keyboard from the famed Yamaha Clavinova line. The CLP-123 model has been discontinued by the manufacturer. To look at more current Clavinova models, you can go here.
I must state once more that nothing beats the sound and feel of a real piano. Ask any seasoned pianist and they will tell you the same. Nonetheless, the digital pianos on the market are getting better and better. If you decide to go with a digital model, make sure you do the same amount of research you would if you were buying an acoustic piano.