Alesis is a name in the electronics industry for more than 30 years. They may be pretty young compared to other manufacturers of digital pianos, but they made a name for themselves by producing an extended range of well received electronic instruments such as: professional recording equipment, audio interfaces, electronic drums and other studio and stage electronic musical equipment. Their digital pianos don’t deviate too much from their high standards. Our Alesis Recital review is an attempt, and we hope a successful one, to get a clear and complete picture of this digital piano model that is rising in popularity among beginners worldwide.
Our mission is to present the advantages and disadvantages of this digital piano from Alesis, in the most objective way possible. We also want to find out if this around $200 musical instrument offers the level of quality that so many people say it does.
Alesis Recital Features
Without reading the specifications, upon first glance, the Alesis Recital has a look that would best be called ultra-modern, or if you want, futuristic.
It’s very slim and lightweight, fitting nicely in even smaller places. It looks very good in different decors and is a sure plus in any room of the house. On the dashboard you will find LED buttons which fit the design really well.
The 88 keys keyboard is semi-weighted, with adjustable touch sensitivity, which offers a satisfactory touch sensation. It depends a lot on your term of comparison. At this price, the technology is great. I wouldn’t say that you get the sensation of playing on an acoustic piano’s keyboard but the experience is surprisingly authentic. I wouldn’t have expected such a sensitivity from such a an inexpensive digital piano. But if you truly want a closer experience to an acoustic piano, then you will probably have to spend a bit more money. At this point, I would like to focus, though, on two main aspects that constitute an advantage, in my opinion: full 88 keys keyboard that have some kind of technology that offer a weighted experience.
The Alesis Recital has 5 voices installed on it. These are: Acoustic piano, Electric piano, Bass, Synth and Organ. They’re not many, but they are pretty good quality. You can also layer any two of these voices to give birth to more complex sounds. A nice plus point. The Chorus an Reverb capabilities help in producing a better sound.
An interesting feature, that you can usually only find on more expensive pianos, like the Yamaha YDP-164, are the speakers. The Alesis Recital is equipped with two 20-Watt speakers that give the keyboard the ability to produce sound that fills any room easily. I can’t underline enough how big of a feature this is. There are plenty of digital pianos on the market that are more expensive than the Recital that don’t have such powerful built-in speakers.
The Alesis Recital is clearly made with beginners in mind. A strong testimony to this fact are beginner friendly features that are installed on this digital piano, like the lesson mode. What it does, is part the keyboard into two equal sections that give teachers and students the possibility to play at the same time. This is quite an advantage for beginners, even compared to acoustic pianos that can’t have comparable features, due to obvious reasons.
Alesis Recital User Experience
The feeling when playing the Alesis Recital Digital Piano makes you completely forget that you are actually playing on a musical instrument that you bought for around $200. The touch and sound steer towards an authentic feeling. The different settings that you can choose between give you the possibility to create complex musical pieces.
An attractive feature is the possibility of parting your keyboard in two different sections, with each section having a different voice setting. This way you can create sounds that give the impression of multiple musical instruments plating together in a harmonic song.
The number of voices that are installed by the manufacturers on the Recital are not necessarily the strongest aspect of this digital piano. The type and quality of the voices, though, are very well selected, giving the user a nice palette to mix and match. The acoustic piano voice has a nice full bodied sound, representing the main voice of this piano. The organ voice sounds great if you try to obtain that classic sound for more sober tunes. If you like the sound of electronic music and would like to reproduce it on your Alesis Recital, that’s perfect. For this purpose the manufacturers have installed the Synth setting. The remaining two voices are Bass, with the characteristic low sounds, and electric piano that is perfect for pop songs.
You can use the Alesis Recital in two different modes: from home (or plugged-in), or on the way. If you’re in a location where you have access to an electrical plug, you can use the adapter to power your digital piano. If you’re in a location where you can’t plug your piano in, for example in a park, or on a terrace, there’s the possibility to use batteries to power the instrument. This is very helpful, considering the portability of the Recital.
Many people are reticent when it comes to buying technologically advanced products because they have the impression that using them involves a lot of hassle. It’s not the case with the Alesis Recital. Although it is technologically advanced, it’s easy to use. You just plug it in and you can already start playing. There’s no need to read the instruction manual to be able to use it. You can browse through its functions and get accustomed with the way everything works even without having a degree in electronics. Overall, it’s very user friendly, in spite of its futuristic looks.
The Sound of the Alesis Recital
You wouldn’t expect much sound-wise from a digital piano priced under $200, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The Alesis Recital gives off an incredibly high quality sound, comparable to that of much higher priced pianos. The fact that you can fully control reverb and chorus, gives you the ability to create much more dramatic sounds than you would first think possible, especially with a voice like Organ. Not that you can’t create impressive sound effects with other voices as well. No matter your level in playing the piano, you’re most likely to be impressed by the sound of this inexpensive musical instrument.
Even the surround effect is there. As you play the keyboard you will notice how the sound of the higher notes tends to come from the right side, and as you go towards the lower notes, the sound also has a tendency to migrate towards the left side. Some reviewers say that the keys seem to be quite sensitive, but truth be told, their not so bad, considering the price of the Recital. The thing is, with a digital piano priced so low, you kind of need to put everything into perspective. So, yes, you probably wouldn’t be that impressed if sold for triple the amount, but considering the facts, it’s quite impressive.
Different connection capabilities
There are three main types of connection possibilities that the Alesis Recital offers.
Because the Alesis Recital is designed to be a digital piano for beginners, most people who buy it will probably practice a lot, without sounding too well. This can turn out to be a pretty annoying situation for the rest of the household. This is why most beginners practice with headphones, so the audio jack present on the Recital is a very useful feature.
Once you make some progress, the next connectivity feature might be something really helpful at that stage, USB. You can use this feature to easily make recordings.
If you want to amplify the sound of this digital piano, you can easily connect outside speakers and amplification through through the RCA or AUX input.
How does the Alesis Recital compare to the alternatives?
Although there are not many alternatives at the price of the Recital, there are some that could be compared with it, in the digital pianos for beginners category.
Alesis Recital vs Yamaha P45 / Yamaha P71
Yamaha is probably one of the biggest names in pianos overall, both acoustic and digital. Alesis have also made a name for themselves in matters of electronic musical instruments, for the past few decades. I would say Yamaha is the bigger name, but when comparing two specific digital pianos, the bigger manufacturer doesn’t necessarily mean the better option. To set things straight, the Yamaha P45 and the Yamaha P71 are almost identical, with the big difference being that the P71 is an exclusive Amazon product. They both are a couple hundred dollars more expensive than the Alesis Recital. If you want to learn more about these two digital pianos for beginners from Yamaha, you can read our full reviews here: Yamaha P45 review and Yamaha P71 review.
Alesis Recital vs Recital Pro
The Alesis Recital Pro is the more evolved version of the Alesis Recital. The obvious difference, at first glance, is the dimensions of the Alesis Recital Pro which is somewhat more massive. This may or may not be a problem, depending on how much overall dimensions weigh as a deciding factor for you. The differences which can’t be seen immediately are the number of voices, 12 for the Recital Pro, up from 5 on the Recital. The other notable difference is the fact that you can make recording directly onto the piano, in case of the Pro version, capability you don’t have with the more basic one.
If you want, you can read our full Alesis Recital Pro review, to better understand the differences between the two.
Alesis Recital vs Yamaha P-115
The Yamaha P-115 is a small step up from the Yamaha P45 and P71. All these models have great sound and touch.
When looking at the comparison Alesis Recital vs Yamaha P-115, the obvious thing to notice right from the start is the fact that these are 2 digital pianos that seem unevenly matched at first sight. But there are similarities that make them somewhat comparable. They both have an 88-keys keyboard, although the Yamaha’s being fully weighted. They both have a very good sound coming from good quality speakers. But there are also obvious differences, which makes us say with conviction that the Yamaha P-115, and its successor the P125 are the next step up the ladder once you feel you passed over the beginner level. By all means, the Yamahas are also very good choices for beginners, they’re not very advanced digital pianos, but they also cost more than the Recital.
So, if you are a beginner on a strict budget, the Alesis Recital is a great choice, but if your budget is somewhat flexible, I recommend making the extra effort and going for the P115 or even the newer P125. It’s totally worth the extra mile. If you want to learn more about these digital pianos, you can read our full reviews here: Yamaha P115 review and Yamaha P125 review.
Alesis Recital vs Williams Legato
The Williams Legato is another great digital piano for beginners. If you look for a model that will not break the bank but offer a relatively high quality realistic experience, the Williams Legato is definitely an option. But it’s an option as far as the Alesis Recital is an option as well; not more, not less. This is subject to debate, but one thing is clear, if budget is the main deciding factor, go for the Recital. If value for money is the deciding factor, the choice gets a bit more complicated. If you want to learn more about the Legato, read our full review here: Williams Legato review.
After reading our Alesis Recital review, you now have all the needed information to be able to make an informed decision. Again, there may be better equipped digital pianos on the market, but not fr a comparable price. At the price that this digital piano goes for, the features are really impressive, making for a low risk investment for any beginner. The overall value for money ratio is very advantageous. Even if you don’t end up becoming a concert pianist, the around $200 price tag will not make you regret the purchase. It’s not without reason that the Alesis Recital is among the best selling digital pianos on Amazon.