SDP-2 by Gear4Music vs Alesis Recital: The Best Entry-Level Digital Pianos?

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In this SDP-2 vs Alesis Recital comparison, we’re looking at all the features of both pianos to help you find the better option.

Buying a budget-friendly digital piano can be overwhelming nowadays. With so many options, it’s hard to find the best one for your needs. But two specific digital pianos that stand out in the sub-$300 price range are the SPD-2 and the Alesis Recital.

These pianos come from different brands and are some fo the best digital pianos for beginners. Even if they come in at a relatively low price point, they both offer great features that any beginner or novice pianist would love.

But which piano is better?

Well, after I tested both options, I decided that the Alesis Recital was the superior pick. Even if it doesn’t have fully-weighted keys like the SPD-2, it has much richer piano tones and more versatile piano features.

Don’t get me wrong, the SPD-2 is still a great option. But if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, the Alesis Recital easily wins out.

In this SDP-2 vs Alesis Recital comparison, I’ll explain all the features of both pianos along with their pros and cons. And by the end, you’ll see why I wholeheartedly believe that the Alesis Recital is the best budget digital piano at this price point.

SDP-2 vs Alesis Recital: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 5 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
The Runner (#2)
SDP-2
Model
Alesis Recital
SDP-2
Product Line
Recital
SDP
Product Type
Portable digital piano
Portable digital piano
Number of Keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Semi-weighted keys
Fully-weighted keys
Touch Sensitivity
Adjustable touch response
3 Types of Velocity
Tone Generation
Sampling
Sampling
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Reverb and Chorus
Lesson Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
5
8
Speakers
Two 20W Speakers
4 x 10W speakers
MIDI
Maximum Polyphony
128
32
What I like
Price
$229.00
£269
The Winner (#1)
Image
Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 5 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
Model
Alesis Recital
Product Line
Recital
Product Type
Portable digital piano
Number of Keys
88
Hammer Action
Semi-weighted keys
Touch Sensitivity
Adjustable touch response
Tone Generation
Sampling
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Lesson Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
5
Speakers
Two 20W Speakers
MIDI
Maximum Polyphony
128
What I like
Price
$229.00
More infor
The Runner (#2)
Image
SDP-2
Model
SDP-2
Product Line
SDP
Product Type
Portable digital piano
Number of Keys
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Touch Sensitivity
3 Types of Velocity
Tone Generation
Sampling
Effects
Reverb and Chorus
Lesson Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
8
Speakers
4 x 10W speakers
MIDI
Maximum Polyphony
32
What I like
Price
£269

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SDP-2 vs Alesis Recital: The Features

To find an objective winner between these two pianos, I compared all the features head to head. And by the end, the score was 2-1 in favor of the Alesis Recital. I found that the SDP-2 has a much more realistic feel while the Alesis Recital has better tones and piano features.

And because of this versatility, the Alesis Recital won the entire comparison. Read on to learn all the details of this comparison and find out which piano is best-suited to your needs.

Feel

The winner: SDP-2

SDP-2 comes with fully-weighted keys
SDP-2 comes with fully-weighted keys

I always test a piano’s feel first. If you want a good digital piano, you need one that can replicate the feel of an acoustic piano. And between these two instruments, the SDP-2 had the edge as it comes with fully-weighted keys, which are much more realistic than the semi-weighted keys on the Alesis Recital.

+Hammer Action

As mentioned earlier, the SDP-2 comes with fully-weighted keys. In this price range, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a model with fully-weighted keys, which is one of the reasons the SDP-2 is a stand-out beginner’s digital piano.

When playing the SDP-2, I was honestly impressed by the weight. This piano didn’t have graded hammer action or any of those sophisticated features. However, all the keys have significant weight to them that replicates the way an acoustic piano feels.

On the flip side, the Alesis Recital only has semi-weighted keys. And honestly, this is one of my only complaints with this piano. While the semi-weighted keys feel decent, they couldn’t compare with the realism I felt when playing the SDP-2.

So, even if neither of these pianos has the best hammer action system, the SDP-2 definitely has the better option. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly piano that has fully-weighted keys, the SDP-2 would be the best pick for you.

But if you’re willing to sacrifice weighted keys for other great features, then you might be better off with the Alesis Recital.

Tone

The winner: Alesis Recital

The next feature I compared with these two pianos was the tone. Usually, I award the point to the piano with the more flexible sound library. But in this comparison, that wasn’t the case.

The Alesis Recital has a very limited sound library, but the few sounds it has beats the SDP-2 by a mile. The SDP-2 comes with more voices, but when I tested it out, the voices weren’t that realistic. And since I put quality ahead of quantity, the Alesis Recital ended up with the point in this comparison.

+Tone Generation

SDP-2 in white version
SDP-2 in white version

Both of these pianos generate tones through samples. This means that they are loaded with recordings of real instruments. And whenever you press a key, you trigger one of these sounds. But while the tone generation method is the same, there’s a definite difference in quality.

The SDP-2 has more powerful speakers than the Alesis Recital, so you’d expect a richer and fuller sound. However, this isn’t the case. In fact, the Alesis Recital’s tone quality was far ahead of the SDP-2.

The sounds from the SDP-2 are what you’d expect in this price range. While these aren’t the best sounds available, they are decent enough for basic piano lessons and practice. On the flip side, the Alesis Recital’s tones blew my expectations out of the well.

The samples on the Alesis were top-quality and much better than just about any model in this price range. So, if the sound quality is a top priority for you as a pianist, the Alesis Recital is the better option.

+Sound Library

The Alesis Recital has a sound library of only 5 different voices. And while this is pretty limited, these are all the sounds you’ll need as a beginner. You get a great grand piano tone, electric piano, strings, and synth sounds. Granted, it would have been nice to have more options, but if you’re a beginner, you won’t need them anyway.

The SDP-2 comes with 8 voices. This isn’t that much more than the Alesis, but it does give you a bit more variety. That said, the quality of the SDP-2’s voices is far from great, so even if you have more options, you won’t be getting the best sounds anyway.

Piano Features

The winner: Alesis Recital

The last comparison point was the piano features. And with more playing modes and great polyphony, the Alesis Recital was the easy winner. So, if you’re looking for the best digital piano at this price point, I would highly suggest looking at the Alesis Recital.

+Playing Modes

Lesson mode of Alesis Recital
Lesson mode of Alesis Recital

The Alesis Recital comes with all the essential playing modes for a piano. This instrument comes with split, dual, and duo modes. This a versatile set of playing modes that really allows you to explore your sound and playing style.

Dual mode blends two voices together to create a nice combination. Duo mode is made for piano lessons and duets as it divides the piano into two smaller keyboards. This makes it seem like you have two different digital pianos when you’re only using one instrument.

Lastly, split mode lets you assign a different voice to either side of the piano. This gives the illusion that you’re playing two instruments at once which has tons of applications in jams and live performances.

Sadly, the SDP-2 came with none of these additional playing modes. This is a beginner’s piano, so it’s understandable that it only has one playing mode. However, compared to the Alesis Recital, it’s very limited.

+Polyphony

The Alesis Recital has 128-note polyphony that allows you be very expressive when playing. With this polyphony, you can step on the sustain pedal and rely on the piano to keep the note sustained for a long time, even if you keep layering more notes on top of it.

The SDP-2 only has 32-note polyphony. This is great for basic pieces and beginners. However, if you want to add more character and depth to your playing with the sustain pedal and playing more notes, the piano might not be able to handle it.

SDP-2 vs Alesis Recital: The Similarities

Alesis Recital is perfect for beginners
Alesis Recital is perfect for beginners

You can expect a lot of similarities when comparing pianos in the same price range. Both of these entry-level options are portable, which is a great feature for beginners and performers alike. This allows you to bring the piano with you wherever you go and make sure you have an instrument to use at gigs, lessons, and jams.

On top of that, they share the same set of effects. Since these are beginner pianos, they come with all the basic effects you’ll need like reverb and chorus. Granted, the effects aren’t the best quality, but they give you great control over your tone that you won’t find with other options in this price range.

But again, at the end of the day, the Alesis Recital is the more versatile option and has better piano tones. So, if you’re looking for a piano that offers the best bang for the buck, I would highliy recommend the Alesis Recital over the SDP-2 by Gear4Music.

Quick Rundown of the Alesis Recital

Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers, 5 Voices, Split, Layer and Lesson Mode, FX and Piano Lessons
  • 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 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Very affordable and great for beginners
  • Has very high polyphony for its price
  • Comes with semi-weighted keys
  • Comes with split, dual, and duo playing modes
  • Built-in reverb effects
Cons
  • Lacks variety in its sound library
  • The hammer action could be better

Quick Rundown of the SDP-2

Pros
  • An affordable piano with all the basic features
  • Comes with fully-weighted keys
  • More sound options than the Alesis Recital
  • Portable
  • Comes with a stand to use when playing
Cons
  • Not the best piano tones
  • Doesn’t have a great set of piano feature

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