How To Find The Best Digital Piano For You: Yamaha P115 Review
When I first started learning the piano, I started with a simple digital piano. The digital piano only came with 66 keys, a sustain pedal, and a learning guide.
But even when it didn’t have the best technological features whatsoever, I still managed to play decently for a beginner. I learned that you don’t always have to get the most expensive or the one with the most advanced features.
Today, we will analyze the different features and functions of the Yamaha P115. This will help guide you in finding your digital piano.
Things To Consider When Buying A Product
Just as we mentioned earlier, the digital piano with the most technologically advanced features is not necessarily the best. However, you must still look at the key features.
This comes in second after knowing what you want to get out of your digital piano. The basics must all be present: keys, useful features, and sound quality.
Your Digital Piano Keys
For the keys, most musicians prefer weighted keys to recreate the feel of an acoustic piano. This also helps beginners have a grasp of what it’s like to play a real piano. However, note that weighted keys work best with ivory.
For more information on digital piano keys and how they work, click these links.
So, if you want to train your fingers to the weight and feel of an actual piano, you ought to stick with ivory keys. Also note that the more keys your digital piano have, the bigger the range of flats and sharps you can cover. The standardized number of keys usually range from 44, 66 to 88 keys.
Next is its features. Knowing that there are pre-downloaded songs or drum rhythms in your digital piano might sound attractive to you, but do you need them? For all you know you might not be needing an uberly advanced MIDI controller keyboard for the music style you will be pursuing.
Make sure you’re not paying twice the price of a digital piano for features you might not be needing in the future. On the other hand, if you’re a total musician and need the whole package to do a cover or anything, of course, it’s best to get the one with the most technologically advanced features.
Sound Quality Check
Last and most importantly, is its sound quality. Does it sound crisp and clear even without speakers or an amp? Does it replicate the sound of an acoustic piano? Or does it sound as if it’s recorded from a jukebox?
The sound quality not only tells you that a certain digital piano is a good but, but it also says that its components and parts are well made.
Thus, your digital piano is likely to have a longer life span. If it makes weird buzzing or crackling sounds the first time you use it, you might want to check with the manufacturer and return it as soon as possible.
There are still a lot of things you must consider when buying a digital piano. For instance, does it come with a stand? A chair? A sustain pedal? However, most of what we covered here are the fundamentals which you should never miss. Especially, when it’s your first time buying a digital piano.
Yamaha P115 88 - Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply.
To give you an idea of choosing digital pianos, the Yamaha P115 has great features you may like. The P115 is built to have weighted keys.
These weighted keys are made to replicate the feel of an actual grand piano. Compared to your usual plastic keys, P115’s keys will help your fingers get a grasp of playing with weight.
The sound quality produced by the Yamaha P115 gives it a competitive edge. It’s designed to mimic the sound of an authentic grand piano. Hence, this gives your piano a less electronic sound to it.
Operation and setup are also made easy thanks to some features like the controller app. Furthermore, there are different rhythm sounds and playing features that give you versatility when playing your digital piano.
- Features a pure CF sound engine.
This meticulously recreates a similar tone that is produced by Yamaha’s CFIIIS concert grand piano.
- Pianist Style feature.
This Pianist style allows you to play chords with a piano accompaniment.
Dueling feature frees your right hand to play.
- Controller App function.
Adds a graphic interface that eases configuration, navigation, and setup for your piano.
- 3-year parts/labor warranty.
- Tweeter lines are improved for better hearing.
Instrument sounds come alive across the tonal range.
- AUX Out jacks allow audio to go through an external amplifier.
These ¼” jacks connect without disabling built-in speakers.
USB to HOST port allows you to connect the P155 to a computer or tablet.
- On-board drum rhythm feature helps better your performance.
Comes with a variety of options from rock to swing beats.
- Weighted keys may be dysfunctional over time due to wearing out.
- Could have been better if it featured a MIDI controller keyboard.
- Doesn’t come with whistles and bells feature.
- The quality of the sustain pedal is not that well made.
Features And Benefits
We mentioned above some of the key features of the Yamaha P115. However, you must further understand everything there is to it. This is so you can maximize these features that might only come with the Yamaha P115 Digital Piano.
Let’s start with the basics: keys. To reiterate, the Yamaha P115 has weighted keys. However, in addition to that, it also has a multilevel touch sensitivity feature. This particular digital piano features four levels of sensitivity.
This means that you can gradually build up or lessen the volume of your music. Whenever you press hard or harder; soft or softer, it will make much difference which you can audibly hear when you play. You can set this touch sensitivity feature to either soft, medium or hard.
Also, it has a total of 88 keys with graded hammer action. The graded hammer action makes the bass or the keys at the lower end have heavier touch (greater resistance) and lighter touch (less resistance) in the high end.
So if you’re an aspiring pianist and want to practice proper finger techniques for a real piano, you might find it useful to keep this feature in mind.
Another feature which should come in handy for those who want to practice the piano is a metronome. A metronome is a practice tool which creates a steady pulse/beat/rhythm as you play. Yamaha P115’s metronome is adjustable to different speeds as beats per minute.
Next is its built in 192 note polyphony speakers. What does this imply? This just means that the built-in speakers of Yamaha P115 are higher than the standard 128 note polyphony speakers.
This also means that it can cover and play more notes simultaneously. The higher the polyphony of a speaker, the more notes it can play at once.
Another one is its built-in 2-track recorder. This feature allows you to record an audio file in the waveform. You can record the song as you play in using the Yamaha P115. However, its capacity is quite limited. You can only record one song.
Finally, Yamaha’s additional feature is its reverb. Older versions of the digital piano usually do not come with this feature. Some still need a reverb pedal or an amplifier for this.
The reverb effect makes it sound as if you’re playing in different spaces. This is because the reverb or reverberation adds space to your notes. In turn, you can audibly hear this as a bellowing or echoing feel to the sound of your music.
The connectivity of the Yamaha P115 is very advanced compared to a lot of older models. It gives you much more freedom to connect to speakers and amplifiers should you ever grow tired of its built-in speakers.
Just as mentioned earlier, the P115, in particular, has an AUX out port that allows you to connect it to an amplifier or speaker. Not all digital piano models of this price range come with this feature without disabling the built in speakers as you play.
The USB to Host port, which allows you to connect it to a tablet or a computer, is also a great additional feature if you like recording what you play. Despite its limited built-in recording capacity, its USB to Host port can make up for it.
Not only can you record your music on your computer or tablet, but you can also edit your music for covers, music jams and everything else.
All in all, this package not only includes the Yamaha P115 Digital Piano itself, but it also comes with a power adapter, a sustain pedal, and full-size studio headphones. Plug in the full-size studio headphones so that only you can hear what you play.
This is perfect for practicing at home especially when you don’t have a studio or a soundproof room. As for its accessories, it is bundled with a music stand, a Knox double-X stand, Knox wide bench and a dust cover.
Lastly, you might not find this helpful if you are not playing the piano for the first time but, it also comes with FastTrack book and DVD.
What’s It like?
Checking the Yamaha P115 online in sites like Amazon, it fairly has a good fanbase. Many reviewers praise the P115’s sound quality being similar to an acoustic piano.
The affordable pricing also seems to be a staple in the product reviews of the P115.
Furthermore, there are comments about this product that praises it as a good beginner piano. This is made possible thanks to the P115’s graphic interface which provides easy and straightforward access.
Moreover, the construction of the keys is welcomed by many. Plenty of netizens is positive towards the weighted key action of the P115.
This is thanks to the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) that has carefully copied the feel of acoustic piano keys. The GHS designs the keys to having a heavier touch (low end) coupled with a lighter touch (high end).
Hence, this lets you practice proper finger technique on your digital piano. Additionally, it helps you perform better with a real acoustic piano. No need for wet feet when that time comes!
Alternatives To Consider
Casio’s PX860 is mainly centered on the Grand Revolution motto. The Grand Revolution talks about the presence of an Acoustic Intelligence Resonator or AiR for short. Similar to the P115, it replicates the sound of an acoustic piano. Thus, it gives you a performance closer to authenticity.
The second feature is their Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action Keyboard. This has a hammer response feature that measures speed its speed. The velocity of your pressing action towards the keys are also considered.
- Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action.
- Acoustic Intelligence Resonator.
- 256 notes of Polyphony vs. 192.
- Keys are made of ebony and ivory.
- Provides a split layered keyboard: This allows you to play bass with the left hand and play layered tones on the right.
- Pure CF sound engine.
- 192 Polyphony notes.
- Built-in 2-track recorder.
- Graded Hammer Standard keys.
The Alesis Coda Pro features a hammer-action keyboard. Similar to the PX860 of Casio, its keyboard can be split into two. This makes it ideal for separate use that is common to piano students with mentors.
The Coda Pro is somewhat different in producing acoustic piano-like sounds. It was designed to create an incomplete tune to mimic its electronic sound. Furthermore, it comes with built-in speakers.
Alesis Coda Pro
- Built-in speakers that boots fast.
- Lower bass octaves make it sound similar to an authentic piano.
- 20-instrument feature to enhance performance.
- Doesn’t come with bells and whistles.
- There are no available presets.
- Controller App for iOS devices is a good substitute for presets.
- Pianist Style feature.
- GHS-weighted 88 key feature.
- No bells and whistles.
- Comes with built-in speakers.
The One Smart Digital Piano is a different take compared to others. This is because it takes technology to a whole different level. Its keyboard comes with LED lights to guide your playing.
Moreover, this piano relies heavily on iOS and Android compatible software. You can download multiple songs and learn it under a short period. Furthermore, various instruction videos, tutorials, and free mobile apps are included in this bundle.
One Smart Home Digital Piano
- Ideal for beginners.
- Compatible with Android and Apple devices.
- Comes with metronome and volume control.
- LED guide in keyboard.
- Thousands of songs are downloadable thanks to the free app that comes with it.
- Pure CF sound engine.
- Has a USB port for connection with computers and other tablets.
- Comes with metronome feature.
- Has AUX out jacks.
There are many great digital pianos out there to choose from. If you’re looking for a fast and easy digital piano that can add songs to your repertoire, then this might not be for you.
However, if you’re a big fan of acoustic pianos, the Yamaha P115 is an excellent and cheaper alternative. Its price range is only around $580-$650. This gives you a great bargain because of its advanced features.
The sound quality is the main highlight of this product. Yamaha has built the P115 to mimic their very own CFIIIS grand concert piano’s sound. Furthermore, it made a 128-note polyphony built-in speaker jump to 192 notes. This gives you the versatility to cover and play more notes at once.
The keys also come with weighted action. As a result, you get to feel and perform closely to an acoustic piano. Not bad since you’re only playing a digital one.
Finally, it has advanced features that ease your piano’s usability. It lacks a MIDI port which is a downside, but you can still connect to your computer or tablet. Add to that, the graphic control interface, and this one’s easy to handle.
If you think this review helped you in a way, please let us know in the comments section below.