REVIEW- Williams Overture & Benjamin Adams DP400 Digital Pianos - Stay Away

Williams Overture & Benjamin Adams DP400 Digital PianosI will let you all in on a little secret...the Williams Overture (left pic) and the Benjamin Adams DP400 (below left pic) digital cabinet pianos are not what they appear to be. They do look somewhat like pianos in their simulated spinet piano cabinets and they have 88-black and white keys like acoustic pianos. The keys even have a bit of weight to them and move up and down too. In fact, at times, the piano sound on these two digital pianos almost sound like a real spinet piano. But that's where the similarity ends. A regular upright or grand piano are complex organic (wood) instruments that are not easy to duplicate in the digital piano world. Different digital piano manufacturers try to do it and some come very close, but these two pianos by Williams and Adams are almost as far away as you can get and I will explain why.

Williams Overture & Benjamin Adams DP400 Digital PianosFirst of all, both Williams and Adams are not really piano manufacturers. They are made up names by the Guitar Center company (Williams) and the Sam Ash Music company (Adams) and are made by secret "un-named" factories in China. The names sound American on give the buyer the idea these instruments must be American in some way...but they are not. Beyond that, these "private label brands" typically make Guitar Center and their on-line affiliates as well as Sam Ash Music more profit percentage than many other digital pianos they sell. As for the price, both of these pianos are advertised for $599...coincidental isn't it:) They both have 15 sounds and are both 64-note polyphonic...another coincidence?:) And both pianos are, in my opinion, not qualified to be pianos in the identical ways. The 1st way is their key touch response (aka: velocity curve). Suzuki digital pianos (which I have reviewed) also have a problem in this area (in my experienced opinion) and I have played those pianos extensively as well.

Here's a partial quote from a review of a person who bought a Williams Overture recently that sums this key response problem up pretty well: "In manual it says you can adjust it (the key response volume), but honestly I didn't notice much of a difference after trying to adjust. The same thing with adjusting piano touch sensitivity. It says there are 3 levels, standard, soft, and hard but in reality they all feel pretty much the same (very soft like most of the digital pianos) and like i said earlier, volume jumps up and down." This is the problem with the key action volume jumps up and down. When you press a key up and down, the volume jumps around and it's not progressive, not smooth, not at all like a real piano or even the better digital pianos brands (Roland, Yamaha, Casio, Kawai). Both pianos are identical in this way. In fact, you would be better off purchasing a less expensive Yamaha or Casio 76 or 88 key semi-weighted digital pianos because those instruments behave much better in that area.

When it comes to learning how to play piano, you need the right "tools." It's like using a screwdriver or pliers to tighten something; if they didn't work correctly you might not get the desired result you want, or at least you'd have to compensate somehow to get the job done. The worse thing you can do for a piano student is to not give them the correct "musical tools" to work with. Your only doing potential harm to that student in their ability to play that piano correctly so they will sound good and enjoy the experience and be able to progress properly.
Williams Overture & Benjamin Adams DP400 Digital PianosThe 2nd (and not the last) negative thing about these two pianos is that the damper/sustain pedal (that's the pedal on the right side of the 3 pedals - pictured left) is only "on and off" in it's operation. That's a very negative thing if your a student trying to progress in your piano playing or if you're already a piano player. Damper/sustain pedals (like keys) on an acoustic piano also go up and down and the sustain also need to be smooth and progressive from small to large amounts..not just on & off! There is no acoustic piano I have ever played that has just on & off damper/sustain pedal. But unless you were looking for this when trying out these pianos or didn't know any better, you'd be stuck. You cannot change that. In the very beginning, using the pedal is not that important, and for very young small children, they cannot even reach it. But it won't be long until you need it and need it to function correctly, and your piano teacher will be very disappointed if your piano cannot function properly in that way.

These two pianos are just $599 for a reason...they have very cheap electronics put into a cabinet that makes the piano looks like it should be good...but it's really not. Now I want to be sure you understand this is my opinion. But as a musician, composer, and piano teacher for many years I want to give the best advice I can but you will have to make your own decision. If you really think you can get something for nothing (a good digital "cabinet piano" for $599 or less), then buy it. But if and when you read a "positive review" somewhere else of either one of these pianos, there could be a good chance the reviewers simply don't know what they are talking about.
Williams Overture & Benjamin Adams DP400 Digital PianosIf it were me, I would look for an alternative new digital piano which could include the following: Yamaha P-95, Yamaha S31, Casio Privia PX130, Casio Privia PX330, or Casio Celviano AP220. Of those selections, the Casio AP220 would be the best cabinet piano choice but it will cost you more money. I'd rather see someone purchase a slightly used Yamaha or Casio digital piano for less money than the Williams Overture or Benjamin Adams DP400 pianos. Is there anything positive about these two pianos? Ummm, they're a cheap price and look fine and have 128 instrument sounds each, but that's about it. I wish I could be more positive, but I can't. Actually there is a Williams portable weighted 88-key digital piano called the Allegro that sells for just $299 and is a better musical instrument than the Overture...but that's not saying a lot. However, I would buy that one over the Overture any day of the week:)