If you were to ask me for piano recommendations, I usually wouldn’t recommend semi-weighted digital pianos. However, I have to admit, there are some cases where they could be the better option.
Digital pianos with semi-weighted keys such as the Alesis Recital and Donner DEP-10 are great options for children and beginners on a budget. Since these pianos are much cheaper than other options and offer less resistance on the keys, they could be a great way to start learning the ropes of the instrument.
And in this Donner DEP-10 vs Alesis Recital comparison, I found that the Alesis Recital held a slight edge over the Donner model.
If you’re looking for a decent digital piano on a budget, either of these options will serve you very well. It’s just at the end of the day, there was no denying that the Alesis Recital offered way more versatility than its Donner competition.
Donner DEP-10 vs Alesis Recital: Comparison Chart
Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Donner DEP-10 vs Alesis Recital Comparison: The Features
To decide which of these pianos is a better pick, I compared each of the features against each other. By the end, the score was 2-1 in favor of the Alesis Recital because of better feel and piano features.
With that said, the Donner DEP-10 has a better tone and still puts up a close fight in most categories. And since these are both budget-friendly options, you can also expect some shortcomings from either model.
The winner: Donner DEP-10
The tone of these pianos is nothing really special. They both use relatively good samples for their different voices. However, the reason I found the Donner DEP-10 better is that it had more variety of voices, though not by a lot.
Budget pianos tend to use the sampling method for their instruments. This is the most cost-effective way to produce decent tones, and both models do it fairly well.
Both the DEP-10 and the Recital are equipped with fairly high-quality samples. And while they aren’t as complex as the ones on some of the more expensive options, they still sound significantly better than most entry-level keyboards.
With that said, there is a slight digital texture to the tones, but not too much to make the pianos sound bad.
The reason the Donner DEP-10 won overall in terms of tone is the wider sound library. Digital pianos focus on quality over quantity, so both of these models have fairly limited sound libraries.
The Donner DEP-10 comes with 8 different voices while the Alesis Recital only comes with 5. While both pianos have similar types of voices, you simply have more choices with the Donner DEP-10, which is why it is the winner in this comparison.
However, both pianos give you options of different acoustic and electric piano, synth, strings, and bass voices. The difference is the Donner DEP-10 also comes with harpsichord and church harp sounds, which could be very useful.
Feel & Playability
The winner: Alesis Recital
Both of these pianos have lackluster hammer action. So, they could have easily been tied. However, the reason the Alesis Recital took the cake is because it has adjustable touch response, which gives players and beginners a more personalized experience.
As I mentioned earlier, these pianos have semi-weighted keys. If you were to ask me, I wouldn’t exactly recommend this for most pianists. However, if you have mobility issues or you’re looking for a piano for children and beginners, these are great options.
Semi-weighted keys take away a bit of the realism when it comes to feel. However, it is definitely easier to press down on these lighter keys, which could make it easier for a lot of pianists. On top of that, there are simply some pianists out there who prefer playing with semi-weighted keys.
There isn’t that much difference with the hammer action of these pianos, which could mean that they use the same or similar system.
The reason the Recital has a better feel is the adjustable touch response. With this piano, you can set the touch response to light, heavy, medium, or fixed. This makes small adjustments to the piano’s sensitivity, so you can really tailor it to your hands.
The Alesis Recital allows you to adjust the piano’s touch response to the weight of your hands, so it can work great for both adults and children with light hands. The Donner DEP-10 doesn’t come with this feature, which means that you’re stuck with the preset sensitivity on the piano.
The winner: Alesis Recital
Now let’s get to the main reason I chose the Alesis Recital as the winner. For most of the other factors in this comparison, these two pianos were fairly close together. However, in terms of piano features, the Alesis Recital won out in almost every category, which ultimately gave it the deciding point in this comparison.
The Donner DEP-10 doesn’t come with additional playing modes except a recording mode. This is very useful for recording your practice, listening back, and making the necessary adjustments. However, this one extra playing mode can’t compare with the split, lesson, and layering modes on the Alesis Recital.
These three modes are very useful for novice and beginner pianists. Lesson mode in particular is very important for beginners as it allows your teacher to play along or demonstrate techniques to you without crossing over. Lesson mode splits the piano into two mini keyboards with the same tuning and is specifically designed to make piano lessons easier.
The other two modes, split and layering, are more for experimentation and performances. You can either assign one voice to each side of the piano with split mode or layer two voices at the same time with layering mode, each of which are very useful features for any beginner, novice, and even professional pianist.
In terms of effects, both of these models come with the most useful piano effect which is reverb. With reverb, you can add a lot of body and texture to your tone. For example, you can make it sound like you’re playing in a concert hall, auditorium, or even a rehearsal room. If you’re a beginner, this is the only effect you will really need anyway.
However, the Alesis Recital has an extra trick up its sleeve in its chorus effect. While it isn’t exactly a necessary effect, being able to add chorus to your tone is a great way to make a unique voice. And if you’re using the organ or synth voices on the Alesis Recital, the chorus effect will definitely come in handy if you’re looking to create your own unique sound and tone.
Both pianos come with all the basic connectivity features such as extra outputs for plugging into an external speaker. Additionally, they also have a headphone output so you can practice in private and really immerse yourself in the tone of your piano.
One additional feature on both pianos which I found very useful is MIDI connectivity. While it doesn’t have dedicated MIDI ports, most people don’t need that, especially beginner pianists. However, they do offer USB MIDI connectivity, which is arguably more useful for beginners and home producers in this day and age.
Donner DEP-10 vs Alesis Recital: The Similarities
There are more than a few similarities between these two pianos. Since they are entry-level beginner’s pianos, they are actually more similar than you may think. For starters, we already talked about the similar hammer action systems on these pianos. While it isn’t the most realistic system out there, it is ideal for children and beginners who have a hard time with the heavy hammer action of an acoustic piano.
Additionally, both pianos are compatible with a sustain pedal, and they sport full 88-key keyboards and a couple of educational features that make it easier for beginners to go through their first set of piano lessons.
These two models are also in very similar ranges in terms of price. Again, they are designed for beginners, so these aren’t the most expensive models on the market today. In fact, if you’re looking to save money and still get a fairly decent digital piano in return, either of these options will serve you well.
And while they are fairly similar to each other, at the end of the day, the Alesis Recital offered more versatility than the DEP-10, which is why I found it to be the better option between the two. But always keep in mind, the best piano is the one that suits your needs first, so always figure out what you need from a digital piano before hitting the market.
Quick Rundown of the Donner DEP-10
- 🥇【Semi-weighted Digital Piano】-The DEP-10 digital piano with 88 Half Weighted Hammer Keys simulates the real touch of playing the piano. Half-weighted keys reduce the sense of strength than full-weighted keys, for more sensitive touch response to suit different playing styles, suitable for beginners.
- 🥇【Various Sounds of Instruments for Complex Songs】-The 88 key semi-weighted keyboard can switch between the sounds of eight instruments, which allows you to play as many complex songs as you want. In addition, you can play the sounds of two instruments at the same time.
- 🥇【Multiple Beat Control with Recording Mode】-All is for meeting players’ different demands. Metronome with 4 types of beat for controlling the rhythm. Effect control for selecting Trill effect/Suspension/DSP effect. Recording mode for storing or arranging the music.
- 🥇 【Excellent Sound Quality】Weighted keyboard equipped with pedal and audio input and output, two built-in 25W speakers, and MP3 player. Bring you a richer and better practice and performance experience.
- 🥇 【Modern Design】-Sophisticated craftsmanship brought out streamlined piano body and textured keys, giving you an extraordinary playing experience, especially suitable for you to enjoy the beauty of music.
Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Quick Rundown of the Alesis Recital
- An Electric Piano That’s Tailored to You - Feature-packed Electric keyboard with 88 premium full-sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
- Premium Sounds - 5 voices (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synth, and Bass), built-in FX: Chorus, Reverb, and two built in 20W speakers that deliver crystal-clear, room-filling sound
- All The Right Connections - ¼” sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private practice and stereo RCA outputs for connection to speakers / amplifiers
- Play the Keyboard Wherever You Go - Power via the included power adapter or 6 D cell batteries (not included) for professional piano performance anywhere
- Powerful Educational Features - Standard, split, layer, and lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and Skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons
Last update on 2022-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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- Donner DEP-10: https://www.donnerdeal.com/products/donner-ddp-10-beginner-digital-piano-88-key-full-size-semi-weighted-keyboard-portable-electric-piano-with-sustain-pedal-power-supply
- Alesis Recital: https://www.alesis.com/products/view/recital
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