How To Spot The Best Digital Piano: Yamaha P45 Review
Digital pianos are great alternatives for acoustic pianos. If you don’t have the time, money, and space to own an acoustic piano, then it’s worth it to have a digital piano. However, you should be aware of piano’s features before buying one. This is because digital pianos are quite complex products.
A great digital piano will provide you excellent sound quality similar to an authentic one. It should also give some added bonuses through features and other modes. These should all aid and enhance your learning experience.
Looking at the Yamaha P45 will give us an excellent idea of what to expect for a digital piano. Yamaha is one of the leading brands, and it will surely be packed with lots of features that could peak your interest. Furthermore, you can use these functions to compare other products as well.
Things To Consider Before Buying
There’s a lot of features and areas to consider before buying a digital piano. Since we’re talking about an instrument here, your priority should be the sound quality it produces.
Sound Quality and Keyboard
The primary purpose of digital pianos is to mimic the sound of an acoustic or grand piano. Ideally, you want to avoid digital pianos that stick their names too much. Meaning, keyboards that sound electronic or as their name says, digital.
Another part where it tries to make an authentic impression is the keyboard. Most acoustic pianos have ivory keys. So checking your digital piano if it has one is a must. This not only makes it visually stunning, but it also gives you a better feel and touch when playing.
Furthermore, you want to check that your keyboard is touch-sensitive and has weighted keys. Having weighted keys gives you more versatility in pressing the keys. As a result, this generates different kinds of tone levels.
If a digital piano claims to have a hammer-action feature, it only means that it’s replicating the keyboard of an acoustic piano. This is because acoustic pianos are hard to press because of its strong resistance.
Modes and Features
Digital pianos also come with a variety of features that you may want to look at. For some, there different bonuses where you can learn songs at a faster pace.
On the other hand, other digital pianos focus on refining the sound more. Also, some brands are widening the range of songs that you can play.
An example would be increasing the polyphony notes that it can accommodate. There are some pianos with polyphony notes ranging from 120-190, which is an excellent feature. However, others take it to extremes by going well above 200.
These notes help you reach high tunes. Hence, it gives you better versatility, and it enhances your performance overall.
Of course, other areas that can help your playing style even further are the sound options. Some pianos are equipped with bells and whistles while others are not.
Furthermore, options like Metronome, Voices, and Volume control can enhance your performance level. Whether these are relevant or not solely depends on you and your needs.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a digital piano is the interface. Don’t be fooled; this is a critical area that you should consider. A bad interface can lead you to frustration every time you’re playing your piano.
You might want to focus on finding simple but effective interfaces for your piano. Having a MIDI port is a great start. The Musical Instrumental Digital Surface (MIDI) is a technical standard for most high-quality instruments.
This feature lets you connect to laptops, computers, tablets and other devices to connect your piano for communication easily. Not having one of these can spell trouble for you. This is especially true if you’re planning on using a gadget with your piano for recordings.
Here’s a video that teaches you all there is to know about a MIDI port.
Furthermore, some pianos have impressive features where you can setup and configure your keyboard through a tablet. This works efficiently because everything can be accessed on one screen only.
Other digital pianos come with software and free mobile applications as well. These help you with different things. Usually, it helps you download songs, gives you instructions, or video tutorials. It’s a feature that makes your practice sessions easier.
Features And Benefits Yamaha P45
With the Yamaha P45 being the successor of the Yamaha P35, it’s bound to have more features.
Here is a comparison between the sound of the P45 from the P35.
The P45’s chassis is identical to the P35. It’s still at a lightweight 25 pounds which lessen the trouble of moving this around. The Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) is also present in this piano’s keyboard.
The lighter touch paired with the heavier one on its keys gives it a playing edge. This is ideal for musicians who want to practice a real piano without having to own one. It accurately copies the touch you get from an acoustic or grand piano.
Similar to its predecessor, the P45 retains the same Advanced Wave Memory (AMW) feature. The AMV is the sound engine used by Yamaha which generates realistic tones. This is done by recording acoustic sounds through digital technology.
Hence, it creates a deeper and richer sound out of your digital piano. This is made possible by the paired waveforms that we mentioned earlier.
Furthermore, the AWM offer more benefits than what's on paper. Among these are Yamaha’s vibraphone and two electric piano sounds. All of these are excellently designed to enhance your playing.
Yamaha P115 vs P45 Comparison - What piano should I buy?
Although it doesn’t boast any flashy interface, the Yamaha P45 offers a single-button operation. As a result, toggling through this digital piano will be easy and straightforward.
The GrandPiano/Function button is the main button of the interface. It is used for different purposes. To further explain, there are options like changing voices that you could use for your performance. Configuration of the metronome is also available. Lastly, you can play demo sources as well.
For the hardware, the built-in speakers are used from the previous model. There's really no problem about it. After all, the speakers of the P35 is excellent at what it does.
Although it doesn’t come with a MIDI feature, it instead has a USB-to-host port. This is a nice substitute that can make you forget about an MIDI depending on your preference. Similarly, this feature lets you play and record your music through a computer.
Playing the P45
The piano tone sounds great thanks to the new 64-note polyphony. A great improvement to add more versatility when playing. This feature works even better when paired with the sustain pedal that comes with the P45.
Check this video for a glimpse of how the Yamaha P45 performs.
Regarding voices, the Yamaha P45 boasts 10 voice options. Each voice is meticulously designed to be of high quality. Moreover, you’re also given the option to change the sound yourself. This is done by selecting the four types of reverbs.
In addition to these, a metronome function also helps you keep time. You can also experiment with fine-tuning other calibration functions.
Who Benefits the Most?
What’s good about the Yamaha P45 is it’s a great piano for everyone. If you’re a beginner or a skilled professional, you’ll appreciate this piano one way or the other. It’s relatively easy to use and friendly to play if you’re a beginner. You’ll also have a closer experience of playing an actual acoustic piano too.
As for veteran musicians, there are enough features such as the Graded Hammer Standard and the Advanced Wave Memory to keep things interesting. The keys are touch sensitive which makes it all the more realistic to play with.
Finally, we should also acknowledge that this is a great option for students. It’s extremely light and very easy to setup. You also won’t go wrong with its affordable price that’s below $500.
Most of the feedbacks you would see online is that the music quality and the keys of Yamaha P45 are superb.
A lot of non-beginners are commenting on how the P45 naturally replicates the feel of an acoustic piano as well as its sound. For a digital piano, it sounds close to a real acoustic piano. However, you might encounter some very few negative feedbacks.
For instance, you might see that someone has had a problem hearing the high keys of the P45. This was because some black keys in the high end of the keyboard cannot be pressed all the way done. But then these aren’t irreparable problems.
Overall, the Yamaha P45 is still a versatile digital piano which is efficient and easy to work with. This goes for both beginners and none beginners.
Should you feel unsure, there are still lots of other brands out there that you can try. We will list below, some of the other alternative digital pianos you can try!
The Yamaha P45 boasts an 88-key weighted action keyboard. P45’s graded hammer action tries to imitate that of an acoustic piano. The lower end of the keys receive more resistance while the higher end receives less.
This digital piano’s keyboard is similar to that of an acoustic piano’s. Hence, it's very effective for beginners who want to learn finger techniques of an acoustic. The lighter you press on the P45’s keys, the softer the sound you produce. This is true for the other way around.
Finally, the P45 comes with a USB to Host Port and an AWM (Advanced Wave Memory). The Advanced Wave Memory records the sound of an acoustic piano via digital technology.
The P45 pairs waveforms and recording it with microphones. Thus, it creates a deeper and richer sound. This music can then be played at changing levels of timbre and volume.
This whole bundle does not only include the digital piano itself, but it also includes a free power adapter and a sustain pedal.
- For its price, the P45 is very affordable.
- The keys are suitable for both beginners and professionals.
- Comes with a Dual Mode feature.
- It has the AWM (Advanced Wave Memory).
- It has a USB to Host port.
- The built-in speakers’ capacity is very limited.
- The keyboard can be a bit too noisy.
- It doesn’t come with a recorder.
The Casio Privia PX-160 features a unique sound source called AiR (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator). This gives the PX-160 a very authentic grand piano sound.
It is also powered with a Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II Keyboard for an authentic feel as well. As for other built-in features, the Casio Privia PX-160 comes with a Duet Mode as well as split and layer features.
These features will enable you to combine and layer different effects for a more creative experience, deviant from your classic grand piano.
It also comes with a built-in recorder so you can save the music you are playing as well as a headphone jack so you can play through your ears.
Aside from the digital piano itself, the whole package also includes:
Casio Casio Privia PX-160
- A furniture style stand
- SP33 3-pedal system
- Instructional book and DVD
- Sheet music stand/rest
- Polishing cloth
The Roland FP-30 Digital Piano has 88 weighted keys that replicate the feel of real ivory keys. Compared to other models in its price range, it is very lightweight and portable. This is useful for musicians on the go.
It is powered by the advanced SuperNATURAL Piano engine. This particular sound system produces a very natural sounding acoustic piano effect.
Paired with its ivory feel keys, the Roland FP30 is suitable for both beginners and non-beginners who want a very grand piano-ish feel right in their homes.
Roland FP-30 DIGITAL PIANO
- It has built in practice and recording functions.
- It has a Bluetooth wireless support.
- Its USB support, on the other hand, will enable to play your favorite tunes and save SMF songs (Standard MIDI file) recorded from the FP-30’s built in recorder.
- It has other pre-installed effects and sounds different from your classic piano.
- You can layer and combine different voices and sounds.
- Finally, its twin piano mode is perfect for beginners who need student-teacher interactions all while playing your digital piano.
The Korg B1 Digital Piano is perfect for beginners who want a simple digital piano that is easy to work with. This no-frills device is straight to the point with its simple features. The Korg B1 comes with 88 weighted hammer keys.
Like most models of the digital piano today, its keys are powered with hammer action to replicate the feel of an acoustic piano.
This is also perfect for beginners who wish to own easy-to-work-with digital pianos. Other than the digital piano itself, the package includes a sustain pedal, a book stand, and the power adapter.
Korg B1 88 Key Digital Piano
- 88 Natural Weighted Hammer keys
- Built-in stereo sound system with MFB Servo technology
- Eight accurate digitally-sampled sounds
- It has a pre-installed reverb and chorus effects with Partner mode.
- Keyboard stand is available. However, this is optional.
If you want a digital piano with very technologically advanced features, the Roland FP-30 might be a good digital piano to start with, particularly with the different pre-installed sounds and effects it has.
However, take note that buying the best digital piano for you does not always necessarily mean that you have to get the one with the most advanced features.
If you are looking for a very straightforward yet modern digital piano, the Yamaha P45 is an excellent choice. It is very affordable and easy to work with both for beginners and non-beginners.
It can also give you a good grasp of what it is like playing a grand piano or an acoustic piano. Yamaha P45’s keys which are powered with graded hammer action paired with its AWM naturally replicates a sound and feel similar to that of an acoustic piano’s. All these without sacrificing technology and handy features.
It also has a convenient price and the weight is great for easy set up. Just keep in mind that the P45 doesn’t have much polyphony notes. The 64-note polyphony is an improvement from previous models but it’s still quite low compared to other pianos.
Remember, at the end of the day, it should always be your needs and musical preferences that should come first. It’s not about the price, the brand nor the features. What you need and want is what you get.