DDP-80 by Donner – Digital Piano Review – Stylish Upright Piano

Donner Digital Piano Review

Who is Donner and What is a Donner DDP-80 Digital Piano?

The Donner DDP-80 is a relatively new, competitively-priced product marketed as the digital equivalent of an acoustic piano. At least that’s what the manufacturer recommends. In our review, we will try to tell the whole truth about this extremely popular digital piano, and all its advantages and disadvantages.

Before we take a closer look at this digital piano, let’s take a quick look at the specifications below first.

Donner Digital Piano Review – DDP-80 Specifications

  • Size – 49.9in x 13.9in x 29.3in (126.8cm x 35.5cm x 74.5cm)
  • Weight – 46.9lb (21.3kg)
  • Power – External Power Adapter, DC-12V/3.0A
  • Sound Library – One Piano Tone
  • Polyphony – 128
  • Keyboard – 88 full-size, full-weighted keys
  • Keyboard Material – ABS Plastic
  • Body Material – MDF With Natural Wood Texture
  • Metal Legs
  • Speakers – 2x20W
  • Pedal Set – Soft, Sostenuto, and Sustain Pedal
  • Connectivity – USB MIDI, Sustain. Line Out, Headphones

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Bright and distinctive design

  • Affordable price

  • Lightweight, compact, and durable

  • Progressive hammer action keyboard

Cons
  • Not everyone will like the design

  • Only one piano sound

  • Poor quality pedal lock

  • Average playability and sound

Donner DDP 80 Design

Donner Digital Piano Review

Donner is a Chinese manufacturer of musical instruments that has been in business for over 10 years. It has established itself as a less expensive alternative to names like Yamaha, Kawai, or Casio, producing digital pianos and other musical instruments at prices that are competitive with those companies. In addition to Donner, the Chinese company also manufactures various musical instruments under the Eastar, Moukey, and Reditmo brand names.

The DDP-80 digital piano stands apart from other models in this price range since it just has one preset piano sound and lacks any buttons, knobs, sliders, user display screens, or speakers on the front or top of the instrument. In other words, rather than a keyboard or digital piano with buttons, it should appear and “act” more like a miniature piano.

Its design and cabinet color serve as the second reason for its originality. Other digital piano manufacturers and models don’t have cabinets in this design. This unusual design has numerous drawbacks, yet for some individuals, it is appealing and desired in its simple shape.

Key Action and Keyboard

Key Action and Keyboard

The keyboard is a major component of a digital piano. A digital piano might succeed or fail based on how well it performs and feels. In their commercial, Donner asserts that their digital piano has what they refer to as a “real piano touch.” This suggests that the keyboard operates similarly to an actual acoustic piano. We need to pay a little attention at this stage.

Real grand piano and upright piano are two main types of acoustic pianos that fall under this rubric. Keys The Donner DDP-80, like many other models in this price range, has a plastic keypad rather than the wooden one found on an acoustic piano or grand piano.

There are three main factors to consider when studying the operation of the keys on a digital piano: smoothness of action, whether the keys sound loud when raised or lowered, and whether the keys are heavy enough. Whatever the material of the keys, if these qualities match, you have a good key action.

The DDP-80’s keys have a decent overall appearance and a proper visible length of around 6 inches. The issue is that a piano’s keys continue past the visible point where they contact the cabinet. The total length of the withe keys on the DDP-80 is barely 7 inches. When it comes to more costly versions, this can range up to 14 inches.

As you may already be aware, the size and weight of the keys necessarily affect how they feel. With the longer keys, the sensation resembles acoustic models even more.

Apart from all the technical details, what matters most when performing a key action is how the keys feel when pressed and how they are released. One of the disadvantages of this piano is that the white and black keys require different forces to play. Black keys are heavier than white keys. This can be quite inconvenient when playing piano.

And in general, the keyboard is quite heavy. In the long run, the increased strain on your hands is a real problem with heavier keystrokes. Despite the imbalance between white keys and black keys, heavier key action, in general, will go a long way because the piano requires a lot of practice to master it. In light of this, lighter key action will make all the difference for hours of piano playing.

Also, while it’s very characteristic that the keys get a bit heavier towards the bottom end, in this case they seem to be significantly heavier.

The main key action is generally adequate and good. If you don’t mind heavier key action, the DDP-80 will suit your needs. But before buying, we advise you to compare it with other digital pianos in this price range. It will be right if the Donner DDP-80 is bought for education and not just for aesthetics.

Piano Sound

This digital piano has only one version of the piano sound (piano sample)- It’s a real acoustic piano sound. The sound quality of the DDP-80 is quite good. Although bright, it has a slightly synthetic tone not found in the very best digital pianos. As with other digital pianos, you can adjust the volume, this piano has a wide dynamic range. If the level is set quite low, the sound of the key mechanics can be a bit distracting.

It would be easy to criticize the DDP-80 for having only one sound, but we believe that most buyers of a piano of this design won’t bother if it doesn’t have a violin, organ, or other extra sounds. They just wouldn’t be there if they bought an acoustic piano.

Still, the Donner has surprisingly good quality sound in its price range. The level of realism in this category surprised me. It’s definitely a decent level of quality for the price in my opinion if you’re a piano player and don’t have much interest in other sounds.

Although if you close your eyes, you won’t think you’ve entered the grand concert hall, it’s better than expected, suitable for use as a musical instrument for home practice for a significant amount of time, and not only suitable for beginners. but also for intermediate players.

Speaker system

Built-in speakers are included with the Donner DDP-80. According to the manual’s specifications, the piano is equipped with two speakers with a total output power of 20 watts. The internal speakers have the strength and definition to effectively fill a room in a house or other small space with no noticeable distortion.

DDP-80 has good volume control. However, at very low volumes, the sound loses its expressiveness, perfect sound balance, and beauty. If you just want to practice without disturbing others, I recommend not setting the volume to the minimum level, but using headphones.

Depending on which headphones you choose, the sound will change. The sound may sound brighter than you normally expect. If you’re looking for good headphones for your digital piano, I recommend that you check out our top 8 best headphones.

The acoustic speaker system as a whole is excellent, it gives us the opportunity to enjoy the perfect piano original tone. The speaker system of this piano is quite sufficient for the beginning pianist and it satisfies their needs.

Pedals

Now let’s discuss the pedal unit that comes with the kit. Having a beginner-friendly 3-pedal digital piano set is a big plus. Many digital pianos in this price range only come with a footswitch or sustain pedal. The pedal unit is not part of the stand, it sits on the floor and has a cord that connects to the piano. Although it does not have the real wood texture, it has the same tone as the piano.

The pedal unit includes three regular pedals that you will find on an acoustic piano. The pedals are labeled soft, sostenuto, and sustain (or damper).

    1. The purpose of the soft pedal is to bring the hammers closer to the strings so that they cannot hit them so hard and loudly. Basically, you would use it whenever you needed to play a note quietly. If you are accompanying a singer and don’t want the piano sound to be so loud, you can also use it.

    1. The middle pedal of an acoustic piano is called the sostenuto. The purpose of this pedal is to sustain the tones, much like a damper pedal does. The difference is that it only stores the pressed notes; all other notes can be played freely, with or without pedals.

    1. The third or right pedal is the sustain or damper pedal, which makes sounds longer. With the DDP-80, you can easily use this pedal’s various techniques, such as the half-pedaling, as you would with most acoustic pianos.

If you want to learn more about how pedals work in acoustic pianos, check out our article.

DDP-80

Connectivity

The Donner DDP-80 performs admirably in terms of USB connection given the sort of digital piano it is and its price range. You may connect your piano to your computer or tablet using its USB connectivity features. This provides you the freedom to use the technologies provided by your smart devices to improve your piano playing experience or record your performance.

If you don’t want other people to hear you play, the DDP-80 also offers a quarter-inch headphone connector. There is also a single sustain pedal input and an audio output that you may use to connect an external amplification system. There is a master volume knob, a power button, and a socket for the power supply next to the various connectors.

In terms of connectivity, the DDP-80 offers everything you would expect from digital pianos in this price range. This digital piano is quite well designed and I love the attention to detail.

Connectivity

Other Features and Accessories

What other features does the donner piano have, what is included, and what additional accessories might be needed? Let’s find answers to these questions.

    • The Donner DDP-80 package includes everything you need – this is the keyboard itself, legs, a block of three pedals, and a music stand for sheet music.

    • Donner has 1 piano tone – a beautiful real piano sound and 128-voice polyphony, which is more than enough for beginners. If you don’t know why you need polyphony in a digital piano and what level of polyphony is optimal, read our article on this topic.

    • The Donner has a full-sized 88-key keyboard with excellent key action. It has a heavy hammer key action that mimics a real acoustic piano.

Also, you should pay attention to some additional accessories for digital pianos that are not included in the kit but can be very useful for your piano playing.

    • The piano bench is a very important accessory. Correct posture affects not only your piano playing but also your health and posture. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to use study office chairs for playing the piano, but to use a special adjustable bench. In our comparison chart, you can find the best models of piano benches for digital and acoustic pianos.

    • A metronome is a device that beats out a clear, steady rhythm. it can be very helpful to improve your daily practice and work on your sense of rhythm and technique. Most digital pianos have a built-in metronome, but many pianists prefer to use a stand-alone metronome, it is more convenient and often more functional. In our article, you can find options for digital and mechanical metronomes for different budgets.

    • Headphones are a very useful accessory if you want to play piano late at night without disturbing others or if your house is too noisy. High-quality headphones can provide you with great sound like in the concert hall.

FAQs and Conclusion

Is Donner as good as Yamaha?

The Yamaha brand is more widely present in the market and offers us a huge selection of different pianos for beginners from the cheapest to the most expensive luxury options. Many professional pianists call Yamaha one of the best representatives. In my opinion, Donner loses to similar Yamaha instruments in terms of quality and functionality.

Who makes Donner digital pianos?

Donner is a Chinese brand, a subsidiary of a larger company Eastar. On the official website of the Eastar company, you can also see pianos under the Donner brand.

What is the best digital piano on a budget?

If you are looking for a good inexpensive piano for beginners, I recommend that you pay attention to the Yamaha P-45 (P-71). It combines an affordable price, good functionality, and good quality.

What brand of electric piano is best?

It is worth highlighting the top 3 largest manufacturers of pianos – this is Yamaha, Casio, and Roland. Each of these brands has a wide range of pianos to suit all budgets, for beginner pianists and professional musicians alike.

Donner DDP-80 is a stylish upright piano that will decorate your interior better than many more expensive models. Despite the limited functionality, it has everything you need to replace an acoustic instrument. Among lower-priced digital pianos, this particular model has good enough good piano sound and key action to help you improve your piano playing experience.

Of course, if you’re a concert pianist, you’ll notice that the key action doesn’t exactly mimic real pianos, but for a beginner, the Donner DDP-80 might be a good choice. In addition, if the piano is your hobby and you like the design of this instrument, it makes sense to get a stylish instrument as a highlight of your interior.

If you want to compare the DDP-80 with other electronic pianos in this price range, I invite you to take a look at our Top 10 pianos under 1000$.

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