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Alesis Prestige review

Alesis made bold claims about its affordable digital piano. Does it live up to the hype?

  • £369
Alesis Prestige
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

A well-built stage piano that slightly underdelivers on its bold claims about sounds. However, fans of previous Alesis products or new piano players should undoubtedly give the Prestige a go.

Pros

  • Impressive I/Os for the price (Stereo outputs, Aux-in, MIDI Out, USB out and Sustain pedal).
  • Wide range of voices, including pianos, strings, and even synth bass sounds.
  • The simple control layout is easy to navigate, especially while playing.

Cons

  • You’ll want to replace the sustain pedal for something more robust at some point.
  • Key action can’t hold a candle to other beginner-friendly pianos from the likes of Yamaha or Roland.

Alesis Prestige: What is it?

The latest instrument to enter the beginner piano arena is the Prestige, a full 88-note, weighted keys stage piano from the digital instrument giant, Alesis. Featuring full-sized keys with a beginner-friendly action and impressive low price-point, it’s clear Alesis is trying to take on industry leader Yamaha with its new stage piano, but how does it hold up? 

It has to be said that the Prestige is a rather elegant-looking instrument with a strikingly simple control layout. The coloured buttons make selecting a voice incredibly easy, while their large form means that changing sounds while performing is something of a breeze. Changing other parameters, such as the reverb level, or even the touch sensitivity of the keys, is also incredibly simple. 

Alesis Prestige: Performance and verdict

It’s all well and good for something to look the part, but how does it feel to play? Well, for the most part, the key action is pretty good – albeit on the light side. It definitely has a long way to go if it wants to compete with the superior feel of Yamaha’s ever-popular P-45, but it’s certainly serviceable. Beginner pianists may like the soft, keyboard-like touch, while the more experienced player may find it a little spongy. That being said, we did find the keys a tad unresponsive. If played lightly enough we could compress the key fully without triggering the sample.

It has to be said that the sounds – while promising – don’t live up to the claims

Unfortunately, this makes playing with dramatic dynamics very difficult. Alesis boasts that the Prestige has “the most advanced and versatile sound library ever created for a digital piano”. Now, after playing this new stage piano for several hours, it has to be said that the sounds – while promising – don’t live up to this incredibly bold claim. The basic grand piano sound is certainly satisfactory, but the dark variant is lacking so much top-end, it’s difficult to see a use for it. The other voices, such as the organ and electric piano, are on par with other entry-level pianos on the market, while the strings setting offers a lush orchestral sound. Although, the inclusion of a synth bass – while it can’t compete with Roland – is very fun and an excellent addition. 

Alesis Prestige

(Image credit: Future)

The micro-array speaker system delivers 50W of power, and while it may not be the loudest stage piano on the market, it’s more than loud enough for home practice. The bass response is actually pretty impressive for the price point, and the lowest notes stay relatively tight and punchy. Of course, if you find yourself craving more volume, you can always take advantage of the convenient stereo outputs on the rear of the unit. 

Alesis Prestige

(Image credit: Future)

Out of the box, the Prestige comes with a rather large music rest and a very basic sustain pedal. Now, this pedal will definitely get you started, but you will want to get something more substantial at some point. 

That being said, this is a fairly typical affair with budget stage pianos, so we can’t get mad at Alesis for including this style of foot pedal here.

MusicRadar verdict: A well-built stage piano that slightly underdelivers on its bold claims about sounds. However, fans of previous Alesis products or new piano players should undoubtedly give the Prestige a go.

Alesis Prestige: Hands-on demos

AlesisVideo

PMTVUK

Andertons Synths, Keys and Tech

Alesis Prestige: Specifications

  • KEYS: 88 full-sized graded hammer-action keys 
  • SOUNDS: 16 built-in voices 
  • POLYPHONY: 128 
  • EFFECTS: 5 selectable Reverbs 
  • SPEAKERS: 50W (2x25W) micro-array speaker system 
  • DIMENSIONS: 1323 x 297 x 150mm 
  • WEIGHT: 12.8kg
  • CONTACT: Alesis
Daryl Robertson

First and foremost, I'm a guitar enthusiast – a fanatic, some might say. I'm a firm believer that most of the world's problems can be solved with a Gibson SG and a catastrophically loud amp. Before writing about music gear for a living as a Junior Deals Writer on MusicRadar, I worked in music retail for 7 years, giving advice on guitars, basses, drums, pianos, and PA systems. I also have a love for recording and live audio production; I'm a fully qualified sound engineer with experience working in various venues in Scotland, where I live.