The Best Studio Piano on the Market?

Digital piano technology, like today’s computer technology, has advanced greatly in just the last few years. Some models are now blurring the lines between acoustic and digital pianos, or the boundary between real and not-real, like never before. In fact, musical institutions like schools and churches (after decades and decades of piano tunings, action regulations, and expensive repair work) are now actually “going digital.” With the added functionality and no need for tuning, digital pianos make sense for a lot of environments.

Here at Cordogan’s, we have first-hand experience with the dozens and dozens of models from all the top manufacturers; and one piano in particular seems to have crossed the boundary altogether. Meet the digital piano that has been winning over educators and teachers everywhere as the replacement for a traditional studio piano:

 HP508 feature web
– SuperNatural piano sample
– PHA-4 Concert key action
– 350 high-quality instrument tones
– Roland Piano Partner iPad app
– USB midi/audio
– Individual note voicing
– Piano Designer function (and iPad app)
– Twin Piano mode

The HP-508 gets at the heart of the experience of playing a traditional piano: Touch and Tone. With Roland’s brand-new “PHA-4 Concert” key action, a digital piano has never felt this good. The piano’s huge dynamic range and innumerable levels of expression allows for creativity without limitations. When you combine this with Roland’s ground-breaking SuperNatural sound core, their Acoustic Projection and Dynamic Harmonic software, and the deluxe speaker setup of the HP-508, magical things do happen. This piano is an incredibly enjoyable instrument to play, hear and experience.

School Studio Pianos
The Roland HP-508 is also more affordable than the new acoustic studio pianos traditionally purchased by schools, churches, and teachers, and it requires zero regular maintenance. The HP-508 includes a matching duet bench and a 5-year factory parts & labor in-home warranty as well.
Stop in our store to check it out or call us today to order!

What do floods and your piano purchase have in common?

Floods are obviously tragic events that devastate lives, families, businesses and communities. Their reach however, goes well beyond that and even have long-lasting effects on the piano industry.

More Floods, More Flood Pianos

Flood pianos and how they end up in your home

The problem stems from the fact that after a flood, there are dozens or even hundreds of pianos that end damaged or destroyed. Homeowners and insurance companies end up calling piano companies and movers to remove the pianos but once they are deemed “totaled”, the pianos nefariously resurface on the resale market – their history unbeknownst to piano buyers everywhere.

This is by far the biggest problem plaguing piano buyers today who are doing their research online, and if you’re looking for a piano, it will never even crossed your radar because you’ll never seen an online ad stating “this piano came out of the floods in Northern California”.

Flood pianos are everywhere

There are THOUSANDS of pianos that are ruined every year in natural disasters and many resurface online.  Damaged pianos just can’t be placed on the curbside for the garbage man. They get picked up by dealers and technicians, some of whom get creative with restoration efforts, even though insurance companies ask for the pianos to be destroyed.  A grand piano can be in up to TWO FEET of flood waters before the actual instrument gets wet.  Obviously the pianos get saturated with humidity (and odor) which cause countless short term and long term problems, but with a new set of legs and a pedal lyre, these pianos look every bit as good in pictures as a piano that never went for a swim.  Floods don’t discriminate either — Steinways, Yamahas, Kawais, Baldwins, Mason & Hamlins, Bosendorfers — no brand is immune from being in a flood or a hurricane.


With a new set of legs and pedal lyre, Yamaha grand pianos like the one above can be purchased online for thousands less than others just like that weren’t in a flood. But don’t expect to see a disclaimer stating that it was ever in a flood and don’t expect it to last, perform…or smell, like a non-flood piano.”

There is no “Piano Police”

You may recall reading about the widespread problem of flood-ruined automobiles resurfacing after Hurricane Katrina.  Over 300,000 cars were totalled in Katrina, yet thousands of them continue to resurface in showrooms and online.  The problem is so pervasive that Congress got involved to help establish a web site containing VIN numbers of cars that were known to have been in Katrina.  We wish the piano industry had the same help from the government but no such luck.  THOUSANDS of pianos were destroyed in Katrina alone — thousands more every year in floods and hurricanes all over the country.  These pianos are going somewhere and it’s not in the dumpster.  That somewhere is online.  And since you will never see an ad description admitting to such an unfavorable history, that “amazing deal” comes with some baggage…along with possibly some mold.  Anyone who is selling these pianos is also more than capable of providing you with an extremely desirable storyline of how the piano was owned by the little old lady who only played it on Sundays.  🙂

To further mask the history of these pianos, crafty entrepreneurs send these pianos overseas where they get restored cheaply in China.  In exchange, the U.S. gets the pianos from tsunamis and other natural disasters in Asia.  It’s a fun, international game of piano hot potatoes where importers/exporters “flood” markets all over the world with pianos that insurance companies have long since forgotten.

The REAL benefit to learning to play piano using headphones.

The answer might surprise you!


The ability to silently play a piano and hear it through a pair of headphones is a relatively new concept in the instrument’s more than 300-year history. It began with the growing popularity of electric pianos in the 1950’s and 60’s, and then as the 1980’s ushered in the computer age, digital pianos became commonplace, most of which could be used with headphones. For many of us, this technology is familiar and even “old hat.” The true advantage of this technology, however, is often understated or even misunderstood.

The art of playing the piano begins with the act of learning the piano: regular practice. Scales. Finger exercises. Sight-reading. And lots of wrong notes. Though practicing piano is vital for any student, practicing is really not meant for an audience or for “listening pleasure.” Practice is not a performance, after all, it’s practice — not necessarily something you want to share with others, let alone the whole family. To a student, practicing can be uncomfortable and often embarrassing when he/she knows his/her whole family and sometimes the neighbors are going to hear every mistake.
Embarrassment is a top reason piano students quit lessons and here is why such discomfort is particularly unique to piano students. Consider any artistic endeavor — writing, painting, photography, videography, sculpture, dance… the student gets to wait until they’re ready to share what they’ve been working on.  For instance, a writer doesn’t force every family member to read each sentence as a chapter is being written; an aspiring film maker doesn’t request that family members gather around the computer monitor to watch the editing process. In fact, I’ll go so far to say that if every painter in this world had to learn to paint with every person within earshot standing over the easel watching every single brush stroke, hardly anyone in this world would paint. Yet learning to play piano out loud is the equivalent of all of those things.
Musical U headphones
Until modern times, this unfortunate and unavoidable situation was a certainty for all aspiring pianists. While most artists have the luxury of presenting finished products, piano students had to make mistakes without that luxury. Its well-known that music students of ALL ages are particularly apprehensive about performing in front of people, especially in the beginning of their studies. Naturally,stage fright can create a real roadblock. It becomes a reason not to practice, and ultimately it can contribute to a loss of interest. And aspiring pianists have had to deal with this almost every time they sit on the bench.
On a related note, stage fright is not the only cause for a student to lose interest in piano. Another top reason is having an inferior instrument. Put yourself in their shoes: as a beginner, you’re working on finger coordination. You don’t want to have to overcome the shortcomings of your piano while you’re already busy trying to master your finger dexterity on the keys. That sad fact is that most used pianos are not in tune-able or playable condition and are usually not worth the cost of servicing.  Similarly, most digital keyboards don’t sufficiently represent the sound, touch, or musical abilities of an excellent acoustic piano, either.  So having a digital keyboard with headphonecapability is only one requirement of having an adequate learning instrument.
The use of headphones also has an obvious advantage for anyone else in the home at the time of a practice session: piano practice doesn’t have to take over the entire house. The rest of the household can watch a movie, concentrate on homework, make a phone call or practice their own instruments all without interruption or annoyance.  Conversely the person playing piano isn’t going to be distracted by that movie or phone call. His/her headphones provides a level of peace and quiet ideal for learning and one that is conducive to creativity and expression.
Thanks to technology and just as importantly, understanding the benefits of that technology, not only can we practice in total freedom and privacy via headphones, we can do so on a piano that’s a joy to play — whether its an acoustic piano with a digital silent feature, a realistic digital piano, or a hybridized mixture of both!  In fact, the latest technology from a couple brands creates a musical experience virtually indistinguishable from that of sitting in front of a traditional grand piano. 
Stop by Cordogan’s Pianoland to see examples of these cutting-edge instruments or give us a call at 630-584-5000 for more information.