Alesis Prestige Artist review: Great for Beginners?

The Alesis Prestige Artist is an affordable new digital piano that has the ability to compete with its peers in the marketplace.  Featuring a full-sized 88-key keyboard with graded hammer action keys and adjustable touch response, this is a piano that aims to compete for your attention alongside popular instruments like the Yamaha P-45, Casio PX-S1000 and the new Casio PX-S1100.

Alesis Prestige Artist

In this Alesis Prestige Artist review, I’m going to share with you my experience of using this instrument over the past couple of weeks.  And hopefully, you’ll walk away from this review with a better understanding of not only what this piano has to offer, but if you feel it’s worth your hard-earned money.

Unboxing the Alesis Prestige Artist

If you’re relatively new to the world of digital pianos, then you might think that purchasing a piano that costs about $600 essentially means that you’re purchasing a fairly cheap (i.e poor quality) piano.

Perhaps you’re used to seeing higher-end acoustic or digital pianos in people’s homes or in pop culture media, and you assume that any digital piano that can be picked up with two hands and placed on a stand or table will somehow be “inferior.”

Well, that’s not the case with the Alesis Prestige Artist.  When you take it out of the box, the first thing you notice is that it’s got some heft.  The piano weighs close to 30 pounds and is approximately 52” wide, 11.7” deep and 5.88” high.

I decided to sit my Prestige Artist on top of an older white desk I have, just to see how it might look in the home of the everyday man or woman that doesn’t own a piano stand.

Alesis Prestige Artist on fill display

Despite the Prestige Artist slightly hanging over the end of the table on both ends, I found it very sturdy and never once encountered a situation where the piano wobbled or shifted while playing or practicing.

Inside the box, you’ll also be greeted with the music rest, sustain pedal, power adapter and manual.

Included Alesis Prestige Artist accessories

As for the piano itself, it features a matte black finish with two 25 watt speakers.  

We’ll get into the voices and sound of the Prestige Artist in a bit, but I’ll just quickly state that I found the sound to be quite clean and realistic. 

From a visual standpoint, the Alesis Prestige isn’t too fancy.  But I like its simple design, as the typical beginner would be (in my opinion) a bit overwhelmed with too many buttons and dials on the front face of the instrument.

Instead, what we have here are things like the Power button and Volume dials, along with several buttons for voices too.  You also get Split and Layer features here with the Prestige Artist, with their respective buttons to match.

There are also buttons for Demo, Lesson, Metronome, Record (you can record yourself playing the piano and then can play that recording back to see how you sound and learn how to improve), Reverb, Arpeggiator, Start/Stop and Settings.

Close up of the buttons on the Prestige Artist

Lastly, you also get an OLED screen here.  It’s not too fancy either, nor too big, but the display screen allows you to see all of your manually made selections.

The back of the piano is where you can find all of your inputs and outputs, which include USB, Sustain, Pedal Unit, outputs for external speakers, AUX input for headphones, and of course a spot to plug in your power adapter.

Inputs and outputs of the Alesis Prestige Artist

How Does the Prestige Artist Sound?

The Alesis Prestige Artist has six voice categories (and buttons), and each voice category has 5 voice variations.  This means that, in total, you get 30 built-in voices.

The voice categories are the following:

  1. Piano
  2. Electric Piano
  3. Organ
  4. Orchestra
  5. Synth
  6. Bass

I’ve provided a photo below from the manual to help you get an idea of all of the voice variations you can use, but some of the more notable ones are Bright Piano, Rock Organ, Choir, Acid Synth and Saw Bass.

Alesis Prestige Artist manual

Next to the voice buttons is a dial called the Value Encoder.  It looks like a smaller version of the Volume button.

The Value Encoder allows you to scroll through certain settings or parameters, and when you’ve found something you like, you can push the dial inward to make your selection.

Therefore, let’s say you wanted to select the Piano category, but you specifically wanted to choose the Harpsichord sound.  What you would do is reach over and push the Piano button.  Upon doing that, you will see the Piano button suddenly illuminate red, confirming your selection.

On the OLED screen, you’ll then see the voice variation listed on the screen.  It will say Grand Piano 1.  Reach over to the Value Encoder and turn the knob clockwise until you reach the Harpsichord variation. 

Once you see “Harpsichord” on the screen, push the dial to confirm your selection.  

Overall, I think Alesis really provides customers with a nice set of voices here.  My favorite might be the Acid Synth variation, which sounds like something you’d hear on a popular synthwave or chill wave album.  The Acid Synth variation reminds me of what it would feel like to travel to a distant planet.    

To me, the sound was particularly impressive considering the Prestige Artist is so affordable.  I plugged in the accompanied sustain pedal, and was very quickly able to hear notes slowly decaying when using it.  

Sustain Pedal for the Prestige Artist

All 30 voices sounded crisp and clean coming out of the built-in speakers.  I didn’t connect any external speakers to the piano, but I found that with a little liberal use of the volume control dial, this digital piano was a pleasant surprise in terms of providing room filling sound.

This piano also comes with 256 notes of polyphony, so you can feel confident that you’re going to be able to successfully play multiple notes at once without any notes dropping out.

How Does the Keyboard Feel?

I found that the Prestige Artist feels quite satisfying to play.  The keys responded very nicely to the touch, and the touch sensitivity provides the feeling you’d get on an acoustic piano of being able to strike a key harder or faster to elicit a louder sound from the speakers.  

The Prestige Artist features graded hammer action keys

The keys are of course not wooden, but as the old adage goes: you get what you pay for.  And, for $600, you still get very nice weighted and graded keys that do a good job simulating the experience of playing on an acoustic keyboard.

Notable Features

I also played around with some of the features on the Alesis Prestige Artist, and I found them to work very nicely.  I think the OLED display screen was incredibly helpful when using certain functions features like the Metronome or Arpeggiator or Demo.

The Layer and Split function are fun to use, as well.  If you wanted to split the keyboard in half, and have the left side play one voice and the right side play another voice, you first hold the Split button while also pushing a button for the voice you’d like to use.  

Doing this selects the voice for the left hand.  To select the voice for the right hand, simply hold down another voice button (but without holding down the Split button).

Alesis Pretisge Artist vs Alesis Prestige

The Alesis Prestige Artist and the Alesis Prestige look almost identical on the surface, so what makes one standout over the other?  

Well, let’s first talk about appearances.

The Alesis Prestige Artist features a total of 16 buttons on the front panel, while the Alesis Prestige has just 8.  

The Prestige Artist also comes with 30 voices and 256 notes of polyphony, while the Prestige comes with just 16 voices and 128 notes of polyphony.

Who wins in a battle between the Alesis Prestige Artist vs Alesis Prestige

The Prestige Artist also features a small OLED screen, while the Prestige has no such feature.

The difference in price is about $150, with the Prestige Artist costing about $600, and the Prestige costing about $449.

Based on just the specs alone, the Prestige Artist may not appear head and shoulders better than its little brother—the Prestige.  But I think the Prestige Artist has enough notable features—more voices and polyphony—that would warrant its purchase by piano players that don’t want to have to worry that they’ll quickly outgrow their piano.  

Plus, while not absolutely crucial, I’m always a fan of digital pianos that have some sort of display screen on the front panel.  I just find it much more enjoyable to cycle through settings via an LCD or OLED screen.  

To me, it just makes life so much easier.

Alesis Prestige Artist vs Yamaha P-45

The Yamaha P-45 has been an immense portable digital piano for a long time.  For a sub-$500 instrument, it’s a great instrument for a beginner.

Who wins in a battle between the Alesis Prestige Artist vs Yamaha P-45

With that said, if I had to choose which piano deserves your money, it’s unquestionably the Prestige Artist.

The Prestige Artist has a better, stronger set of speakers.  And while the P-45 is rocking a feature set that includes 10 demo songs and 10 preset voices, the Prestige artist has 30 voices to choose from.  

And since the Prestige Artist has a polyphony of 256, you can play more involved or complex pieces of music.  Compared to the Yamaha P-45, which has a polyphony count of just 64.  In this department, the P-45 is just not equipped well enough to properly compete.

Conclusion

This Alesis Prestige Artist review set out on a mission to provide you with helpful information to make an informed buying choice.  Hopefully you found this review successful in that regard.

The Prestige Artist is a great digital piano for beginners that want a highly capable piano to get them started in the world of piano.  And thanks to graded keys, touch sensitivity, and a high polyphony count, this is an instrument you’ll love practicing on for years to come.

And while you can indeed save some money by buying the regular Alesis Prestige or Yamaha P-45, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better digital piano in this price range.

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