For over 130 years, Yamaha has been crafting some of the best pianos and keyboards for musicians to practice and perform on with no signs of stopping. Between their P and CP Series, you can find a wonderful instrument to start playing on with a bevy of features to maximize your sound, playability, and most of all, enjoyment!
The P Series
Elite tone meets unparalleled authenticity in yet another line of Yamaha wizardry. Consistently cracking it out of the park, Yamaha prides itself on bringing an astonishing sense of realism to a digital workspace, mimicking the expressiveness of organic pianos in whatever environment you find yourself in. The P Series applies those same fundamentals, but with an emphasis on accessibility. Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned veteran, pianists of any caliber can reap the benefits of this state-of-the-art series.
To capture the emotion from a “real” piano, the sounds from the P-Series are sampled from the highly-regarded Yamaha CFX concert grand, putting a premium on expression. Not a single tone you use will sound cheesy or tacky. Weighted keys provide players with a responsive, controlled keyboard that emulates the comfort and rawness of sitting behind a classical piano. Virtual Resonance Modeling goes so far as to recreate the resonance and response from an acoustic piano, ensuring every little nuance in your playing will be accounted for in real-time. The P Series also prides itself on its sleeker designs for optimizing your practice, recording and performance spaces.
Each keyboard in the P Series offers its own array of perks and specifications, giving you options as a player. Check out what each one has to offer and give yourself a better idea as to what would be best suited for you:
The most affordable digital piano from this Yamaha series, the P-45 offers incredible value and packs one heck of a punch. Compact and lightweight, you can take this 25 lb. keyboard on-the-go for gigs, private instruction or mobile recording sessions. Those who need some portability with their setup can find that here, without stress or pulled discs in your back.
While virtually anyone can benefit from the P-45, perhaps it’s best suited for beginner piano students. Between its basic set of features, GHS action for building proper finger technique and matte finish for reduced slipperiness on black keys, those who are still getting their feet wet behind a piano can benefit from these attributes. While the P-45 is only available in black, it absolutely gleams dark elegance in any piano setting.
Time to take it up a notch. Highlighted by robust tone and a larger-than-life sonic range, the P-121 gets its excellent sound from the Pure CF Sound Engine and two-way speaker system. This technology guarantees a bold sound with dazzling delivery and emotional expression, courtesy of the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand it recreates. Pianists will be in awe at this striking sense of realism, sprinkled with acoustic resonance for added emotional flavor. Available in both white and black, its color palette screams sophistication.
For players looking for some extra sizzle in their digital piano sessions, the P-121 has the ability to transfer MIDI and audio files for extra practice functions. With the Smart Pianist app, users have the opportunity to control settings, voices, rhythms and more from their iOS or Android device. Using Chord Tracker, it’ll be possible to easily learn the chords from your favorite songs and progressions. Receiving a musical education has never been so progressive, so take full advantage of this technology.
The P-125 is the world’s best-selling digital piano and has recently been enhanced with some amazing features. Let’s take a look at what’s new, and what remains from the classic build of one of Yamaha’s finest keyboards.
- Graded hammer action 88 keys
- Upped the instrument count from 14 to 24
- Pianos are pure CF sampled from the acoustic CF Series (Yamaha’s highest-end line of pianos)
- 4-layer piano samples
- Upped the rhythm count to 20 rhythms
- Streamlined interface
- Built-in audio interface
- Smart Pianist app compatibility helps you navigate and interface with the instrument
- 4-Layer Piano Samples
This is a more dynamic and expressive sampling process especially in a p-series at this price range. The final result is an incredibly lush and beautiful sounding piano at an amazing price.
The new interface puts everything at your fingertips, and it just makes sense. The instrument categories are a button press away, the metronome and rhythm buttons are idiomatic, and the whole piano is a breeze to navigate. Every category has 3 variations to choose from. Each of those variations come with their own light so you always know which one you’re looking at. Just keep pressing the instrument button, and you’ll see the lights cycle for you. Easy. How about layering? Want to layer 2 voices together? Hold down one instrument and press another. Simple. Want to split? Hit the “Plus Bass” button. Very straightforward.
Want to record? Hit the record button and just start playing. Hit record again to stop, the P-125 will store it automatically, then you can play it back. You can even play along with the recording. The P-125 continually offers a very simple and clean user experience.
There are an additional 20 rhythms that have been added to the P-125. Want to check them out? Just hit that rhythm button. Again, it’s so simple!
There are two great accessories that can take your P-125 to the next level. It’s a fantastic unit all on its own that you can set on a desk, table, keyboard stand, or anything you can lay it on, but with the stand and pedal assembly, you can give your P-125 that classic piano look with the added functionality of having the pedals at your creative disposal. Additionally, since the P-125 is available in black and white, the accessories come in those colors as well.
This app is currently only available on iOS, but android support is coming. This app allows you to navigate and interface with your P-125 in unbelievable ways. To connect, use a standard USB cable with a USB to lightening adapter (iOS). The P-125 doesn’t natively come with Piano Room, but with Smart Pianist, you can access it! You get a couple of amazing pianos, you can change the environment that your piano performs in with respect to reverb and space, you can even change the touch curve to your liking depending on how you play. There’s even an option to let the app scan an MP3 file on your iPad and it’ll create a chord chart from the audio! There’s so much substance to this amazing app and it’s an incredibly invaluable resource for your P-125.
It’s clear to see why this is the world’s best-selling digital piano. Between the lush sounding 4-layer sampled pianos, the simple user interface, the new app connectivity, and that amazing price, the P-125 would make a welcome addition to any musician’s home or studio.
Keeping up with the tradition of so many esteemed Yamaha keyboards, the P-125 is absolutely stellar in its delivery and natural piano feel. With its minimal design and attention to performance detail, pianists can be comfortable behind these keys regardless of location or setup. Functions like Dual Voice and Split Keyboard offer extended ways to enhance your playing experience, and a full 88-key piano range lets you enter the zone as a musician. Despite this full onslaught of keys, this unit remains surprisingly portable.
Much like its P-121 sibling, the P-125 can be used with the Smart Pianist app for song analysis, Chord Tracker functions and play-along technology. It also includes a library of Bass & Drum tracks to jam along to, ranging from jazz to Latin to pop. For those recording or practicing on a hard surface, the P-125 enables a “Table EQ” option for optimal acoustics in those conditions.
Highest on this series’ totem pole is the P-515, dominating the digital piano kingdom with mind-numbingly acoustic recreation. Not only does the P-515 mimic the beautiful tones from the Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, it also proudly replicates the prominent Vienna-made Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. Prepare to be immersed in the golden standard for acoustic pianos globally, right in the comfort of your own practice space.
Only the finest of digital pianos exhibit Natural Wood X (NWX) technology, with unparalleled woodworking craftsmanship. The P-515’s NWX keyboard has a near-perfect feel to that of an acoustic piano. Between escapement mechanisms, accurate hammer action and Enhanced Virtual Resonance Modeling, you’ll easily mimic the nuances of a classical piano in action. Eerily similar to the way a grand piano would respond, the P-515 masters the art of acoustic replication in a digital context. On top of all of this, this keyboard features Bluetooth connectivity to blast your favorite jams through its high-quality speaker system.
The 515 is a replacement for the P-255, and it boasts itself as being good for live performances as well as a piano for the home or studio. YAMAHA likes to talk about touch and tone when it comes to their pianos, and there’s a new surprise in the 515; NWX Action. YAMAHA manufactures a few different grand hammer action types. The P-515 comes with the NWX or Natural Wood X hammer action. This is a first for the P-Series and it’s a welcome addition that offers incredible value. The 515 is also built with wooden keys with synthetic textured ebony and ivory keycaps which is everything a seasoned musician looks for, and feels for in a piano these day. Let’s take a quick look at some of the other great features of this powerful digital piano.
- 2 world-class 9-foot concert grand pianos (CFX & Bösendorfer Imperial)
- Meticulous sampling
- 38 other panel voices (electric, organs, strings, and more)
- Entire XG Sound-Set (additional 480 instruments)
- Split and layering with the Dual/Split button
- 40 on-board rhythms with intros and endings
- Smart Pianist app compatibility
- Available in 2 finishes (black/white)
The Concert Grands
The CFX concert grand is modeled from YAMAHA’s $180,000 dollar concert grand piano. It’s not likely that many of us will ever play this piano in our lifetime, but thanks to precise engineering and thorough sampling, you get the wonderfully lush characteristics of this incredible instrument right in your own home with the P-515. And as if that wasn’t enough, they threw in the 9-foot Bösendorfer Imperial as well. Incredible.
Smart Pianist App
This app is currently only available on iOS, but Android support is coming soon. It’s very simple to setup. You need a standard USB cable to a USB lightening adapter. From there, you can connect your iOS device to your P-515 and unlock so much potential in how you navigate and interface with the instrument. Piano Room is a stylish and intuitive way to navigate the inner workings of the P-515. You can choose your piano, the environment you’re playing in, you can even open and close the lid and hear the tonal variances. Depending on how you play, you can also change the touch curve, and so much more. Additionally, you can have the app analyze an MP3 on your device, and it will create a chord chart from the audio. How amazing is that?! The amount of features packed into this app is truly amazing.
You can purchase two accessories for the P-515 that I highly recommend. I love the look and feel of a digital piano when it’s on a piano style stand and has a good pedal assembly. Well, with the P-515, you can do that. It has an optional 515 stand and LP-1 3-piece pedal assembly that serve as much for form as they do for function in this incredible instrument.
The P-515 is an unbelievable value, and a truly incredible instrument. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play, or what genre you play in, piano will always be an essential part of music. All music theory, practice, and performance goes back to the piano at some point. So, do yourself a favor, and treat your music to the lush piano brilliance of the YAMAHA P-515 digital piano.
Yamaha CP Series
Regardless of what direction you end up going, you simply can’t go wrong with anything Yamaha has to offer. Pianists are presented with a multitude of options from the P Series, but don’t let that overshadow what’s available through its sibling series: CP. While generally more expensive, the CP series has plenty of additional features to make it a fixture in your practice or performance space.
Highlighted by the 73, 88 and 300, the CP series comes jam-packed with that same jaw-dropping piano authenticity, but also serves the role as synthesizer in a few respects. In other words, you can channel warm pads, lush strings, brass, synth leads and more with these keyboards. They also come equipped with multiple effects to manipulate sound and tone even further. Included but not limited to delay, reverb and EQ, you can wear an engineering hat while you jam to make the most out of your sonic space.
Yamaha continues to innovate the world of stage pianos as they release the Yamaha CP. These new instruments offer a fresh take on performance and style. Thankfully, we had Yamaha product specialist
The first option is the 73-note piano. This model is keyed E to E with a balanced hammer action. It’s keyed this way to accommodate a greater relationship with your band members where the guitarist and bass player have E as their lowest note. With that in mind, it’s also a great size for gigging players. If you’re focusing on electric pianos, clavs, organs, etc, then the balanced hammer action of the CP 73 would be a great choice for you.
One of the big differences in this model is that it has an 88 key, natural wood, graded hammer action (heavier on the low end, lighter on the high end) to simulate the feel of a grand piano. It also has synthetic ebony and ivory keycaps to further simulate the acoustic feel, and goes even further with its triple-sensor action. With this, you can strike the keys multiple times in quick succession before the key returns to playing position (as you would be able to do on an acoustic piano). The CP 88 is great for a true to form pianist.
Knobs and Switches
Piano | Electric Piano | Sub
These stage pianos are laid out in a clean and idiomatic way that is indicative of that 1-to-1 interface we were talking about. One of the initial drawbacks of digital pianos, synths, and what have you, is the menu diving. With the CP, Yamaha hopes to take away that intimidation and make things much more tactile and accessible right on the piano itself. I personally love the color coded layout. It looks inviting to me without being intimidating. It just looks like an instrument that wants you to play it.
There are 3 sections that all offer the same controls and identical layout. So, everything makes sense within each section. You have Pianos, Electric Pianos, and Sub. What changes in each section are the effects, and again, they are effects that make sense to that section. These are effects that you would naturally assume are useful to that section, and therefore make sense when you select them.
Finally, the CP features flash memory on which Yamaha will regularly be updating the OS to add new content. With this, your CP will continue to have life and give you enjoyment long after purchase. This is an incredible machine, and definitely worth your time to check out. Whether your a gigging musician who wants the portability and balanced keys of the CP 73, or a purist piano player that wants the fun and versatility but with 88 graded hammer action keys in the CP 88, these fantastic series of instruments could be just the piano for you.
An all-in-one piano with tons of features fantastic for solo musicians to use live or online!
Got an idea for a hit song? Use the built-in USB Audio Recorder so you can capture all of your song ideas and easily share them to a DAW for further recording or upload your idea right to the web for all to see and hear!
Tweaking your piano sound has never been more fun and intuitive! Using “Piano Room” feature, you’ll be able to capture the essence of the song you’re performing! Essentially, not only can you pick the piano sound you prefer and tweak the tone of your piano, you can also choose the environment of the piano to make it sound like you’re performing in a small room, a concert hall, a cathedral, and everything in between!
If you’re a singer in addition to a pianist, you’ll love to know that you can easily plug in a microphone and sing along to your performance with your vocals coming out of the same speakers as your piano! In addition, you can mix both sounds perfectly together, add vocal effects such as reverb and chorus, and have both your vocals and piano play along to pre-recorded song files!
For those that own an iOS device, you can unlock a bunch of features with the Chord Tracker app to play back songs from your device wirelessly, as well as analyze your favorite songs and show you the chords so you can play along with them! If you don’t have a device, you can still get score or lyric display on the LCD screen built into the piano with tons of songs you can upload thanks to Yamaha MusicSoft!
Whether it’s the P or CP Series, Yamaha is the Holy Grail of digital piano for players of any caliber. Still have questions about which model is right for you? Let us at SamAsh.com offer a helping hand.