Donner DEP-20 Review: Simple and Basic

If you are a keen piano player looking for more information about the Donner DEP-20, then you’ve come to the right place.

The Donner DEP-20 is an excellent portable electric piano for someone whose starting to learn piano.

In this Donner DEP-20 review, we’ll look at several features of the piano such as its overall design, keyboard, sounds, speakers, and accessories to help you understand if the piano is a good fit for you or not.

The Donner DEP-20 is a full-size electronic digital piano that comes loaded with many unique features and functions to suit different musical styles.

Unlike other traditional piano brands that have been around for ages, such as Yamaha, Roland, Korg, and Casio, Donner is a relatively newer brand that has established itself as a leading keyboard manufacturer in just a few years.

The China-based company was established back in 2012 and initially specialized in manufacturing high-quality guitars before venturing into digital pianos and other musical instruments.

The 88-key model is one of the company’s most sought-after keyboards with all the features found in other higher priced 88-key fully-weighted keyboard portable electric piano models. It is more competitively priced compared to other full-size weighted keyboard pianos in its range.


Design 

The Donner DEP-20 is a full-sized weighted keyboard that is exceptionally designed to give you the best performance in every playing situation, from your piano lessons to performing on a relatively small stage.

It is mostly made of plastic and weighs 25.5 pounds, which is much lighter than most digital keyboard pianos. The Donner DEP-20 is available in black color only.

The full-size weighted keyboard digital piano is fitted with a very clear backlit LCD screen that informs the musician about several things such as metronome speed, tempo, transpose, and voice settings.

The beginner digital piano 88 key instrument comes with a zinc alloy sustain pedal of high-quality, style, and longevity than most of the other portable electric piano models in the market.

It runs on 12V/DC provided by the 3A-type power supply adapter. The digital piano has a total weight of 33.6 pounds. This portable electric piano delivers excellent sound production in your studio or small outdoor performance but is also renowned for having great aesthetic value.

The digital piano has an overall size of 56.7 x 13.78 x 9.45 inches, which makes it a preferred option when it comes to space economy, transportation, and storage.


Keyboard

The Donner DEP-20 is an 88-key fully-weighted keyboard for beginners and intermediate players designed to helps you gain plenty of dynamic control and expression learning piano or performing at a small stage.

Engineered with subtle touch response, the piano allows any musician to produce a high level of soft and mellow sound. The quality of the keys provides for controlled action suitable for long hours of practice and inspiration for a beginner.

The portable electric keyboard is equipped with a fully-weighted 88-key keyboard with handy features such as fully-weighted keys, basic sustain function, and great touch response. These qualities enhance your piano learning ability and progress.


Sound

The Donner DEP-20 comes with a classic sound engine with digital technology making it perfectly resemble the classical acoustic piano.

The keyboard is thus characterized by its ability to produce a deeper and richer sound, and is suited for professional mixing and recording since it has two hundred and thirty-eight in-built sounds including basses, organs, percussion, and a host of wind instruments. The digital piano is designed to serve musicians playing in diverse cultures, genres, and styles.

The keyboard also has one hundred and twenty-eight sounds and two hundred internal rhythms which are absolutely essential in the technique of accompaniment. These rhythms range from Country, Jazz, Pop, Reggae, Latino, and more.

The piano includes a variety of other sounds including drum samples, guitar, electric organ, and many more, thus giving the player ample room for exploration, expression, and experience.


Polyphony

The Donner DEP-20 is an 88-key fully weighted keyboard that gives 238 tones including popular ones such as drums, bass, and ukulele, and a further 128 polyphonic tones. The tones give you a wide choice of voices and instruments that you need for your music lessons, recording, or stage performance.

The Donner DEP-20 electric piano comes with a maximum polyphony of 128 notes. The extended polyphony of 128 notes combined with 238 tones ensures that you can expand your playing to the max. You’ll always have ready tones whenever the situation calls for it.

This is an impressive polyphony range for a digital piano of the Donner DEP-20 range. In fact, most portable digital pianos normally have a polyphony of between 64 and 192, with 256 polyphony pianos being in the high-end pricier range.

One important thing to understand about digital piano polyphony is that a piano with a larger amount of polyphony helps you to play extensive sounds for longer without reaching a polyphony cap or limit.

All modern pianos normally use stereo samples that need two notes for every key you play, which increases the need for more polyphony notes. The piano also requires extra polyphony for the backing track that you play when performing or recording music.

If the piano has a low number of polyphony notes, you’ll quickly reach the limit of your piano’s polyphony and start losing the notes you had earlier played to free up more memory for the notes you are about to play. The results of the drop in notes will have a negative impact on your music.

A piano with a good number of polyphony notes such as the Donner DEP-20 128 notes will ensure that you maintain the great quality of your sounds even after you play a lot of notes at the same time. It allows you to play, record, and run your stage performances without hitting the polyphony limit.


Speakers

One thing you’ll notice about the Donner DEP-20 is that is its speakers are quite loud. The digital electric piano comes with a pair of 25W speakers that fire both upwards and downwards towards the floor to give you better and more pronounced spatial sound separation. We also noticed that the speakers tend to lose a little bit of clarity when played too loud.

You’ll also be glad to know that the Donner DEP-20 comes with two ¼ inch headphones jack at the front. With a good set of headphones, you’ll get decent sound quality and volume for your solo practice sessions. The piano also features another ¼ inch audio output port at the back that you can use to connect to your amplifier for better-controlled sound output.

Overall, the Donner DEP-20 has impressive speakers for a digital piano in its price range. It is loud enough for any small room, bar, studio, and small public performance and works with any kind of power supply. The output comes out clearly without any distortions or crackling.


Features

The Donner DEP-20 comes with more extra features only found in other higher-end pricier pianos.

Some of the performance-enhancing features of the Donner DEP-20 include the following:

Modes 

One of the coolest features of the Donner DEP-20 is its chord and multi-function settings. The digital piano comes with automatic chord settings which allow you to play a specific chord simply by playing a single note.

You can place the setting anywhere on the keyboard’s notes where you want the chord played so that when you play the note the keyboard will automatically fill the note further to play your chosen chord.

The Dual Tone is another handy feature of the Donner DEP-20 digital piano. This feature combines any two chosen sounds together to create another unique sound. With the keyboard’s 238 tones, you have an endless choice of combinations to play.

The digital piano also provides you with a Double Tone setting feature that practically divides the keyboard into two distinctly unique sounds.

The setting is quite useful when you are doing a duet with another person. You can, for instance, set the right half of your keyboard to a piano while the left plays bass or another voice to create a perfect duet.

Another great feature of the keyboard is its Multifunction Setting which provides you with two chord modes namely Single Finger Chord and Multi Finger Chord.

There’s also the Comprehensive Chord that enables the automatic chord function when you press it and instantly identifies single and multi-finger options as you play the corresponding chords.


Recording and Playback

The Donner DEP-20 delivers excellent recording and playback performance. It comes with a backlit LCD screen that shows you all the important things when recording or playing your music including chord names as well as other functions such as the recording mode.

The digital piano’s MIDI connectivity allows you to create and record your music in the highest quality possible then play it on your computer or MP3 player. MIDI connectivity is a must for anyone that records music from their piano.

MIDI allows you to record as many tracks as you wish into DAW software. The piano also allows MP3 playback for as many tracks as you want.


Other Features 

Other notable features of the Donner DEP-20 include a built-in metronome and transpose. The metronome is quite helpful when you want to time your rhythm and practice more efficiently. It is a great time-keeping tool especially for beginner pianists who want to time their performance.

The metronome also comes with other useful features such as adjustable tempo, beat, pattern, volume, tone, and downbeat. The transpose is another useful feature of the Donner DEP-20 digital piano.

It helps you when you want to play a song in a different key and still make it sound as good as when played in its original key.


Connectivity

The connectivity of the Donner DEP is great, you can connect all your accessories easily. The output and input jacks are strategically lined and the ports clearly differentiated.

Connection ports for accessories include the following:

  • A pedal socket (for the three-pedal extension)
  • USB to host
  • AUX IN and OUT
  • DC In 16V
  • Sustain Pedal socket (for the included sustain switch)
  • USB socket (a regular USB socket for plugging in an MP3 player or similar)

Musicians and music creators stand to benefit exceptionally from the digital piano’s MIDI connectivity option, which facilitates endless music creation and recording.

A sustain pedal socket on the back panel allows players to set up a three-pedal unit to create a real piano experience.

The keyboard can be connected to external speakers using the 1/4th inch out jack while auxiliary ports allow the musician to play songs from phone or MP3 players through the keyboard’s internal speakers.


Accessories

The Donner DEP-20 comes with a single unit sustain pedal, power adapter and the instructional booklet.

However, it is compatible with all major accessories that you may need.

Stand

Donner DEP-20 does not come with a stand, you'd have to get it separately. 

The Plixio Piano Keyboard stand can easily hold the 88-key keyboard piano perfectly and even looks good in your living room.

The stand comes with an adjustable height and width. It also gives you more floor room for the sustain pedal.


Summary 

The Donner DEP-20 is a great beginner'sdigital piano. The full hammer-action keys with perfect touch response combine perfectly with a solid sound engine to give you outstanding tone quality.

The Donner DEP-20 also features a reliable 128 note polyphony that ensures you never lose voice when playing your favorite tunes. It comes with 200 rhythms and 238 premium tones. Its full-weighted hammer keys provide you with a more sensitive touch response for the best piano playing experience.

Pros

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Equipped with all the essential features of a beginner digital piano
  • It is a full-size weighted keyboard piano
  • Comes with a high-quality sustain pedal
  • It is lightweight and available in a compact design
  • Designed with an exquisite LCD display
  • Delivers excellent performance thanks to great touch-response keys, sound engine, and other features

Cons

  • May have lateral movement while in action if not positioned properly
  • Touch sensitivity only favors the playing forte or fortissimo

For its price, the Donner DEP-20 is definitely worth the investment. It can even be considered as a serious contender to other higher-priced weighted keyboards from popular brands.

It is an impressive piano for an absolute beginner and everything you need in a piano within its price and features category.

About the Author Linda Ritter

Linda Ritter is a passionate pianist and a songwriter for more than 7 years. With a Masters in Music, she has explored the world of music and has collaborated with several musicians and brands like Roland, Tune Core, and plenty of blogs.

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