In this article, we will go through some reviews of weighted keyboards produced by Yamaha. There are many models that the brand produces and that are weighted, but we chose to focus on some of the most representative ones – the P71, the DGX-660, the P115, and the YPG-535 Yamaha models.
If you’re looking for high-end features at a relatively low price, this is the Yamaha keyboard for you. It costs less because it doesn’t come with a stand or a bench, but the features are there, and it also weighs only 25 pounds, making it relatively light. You also get a power supply with it and it’s made so it doesn’t overheat.
Furthermore, to bring it closer to the sound of a piano, it has a sustain pedal that is ideal for enriching the sound of the keys, and this will allow you to explore a great range of techniques and styles. This pedal can be used effectively to give the sound of a piano, but it’s also great for simulating stringed instruments.
This model is not only weighted, but it’s also one that benefits from Yamaha’s signature graded hammer system, which makes it sound and feel even more like a piano. Although not offering the feeling of the greatest and most expensive keyboards, it still makes it easy to play the keys and gives the feeling of playing an analog piano.
You will feel more pressure on the lower keys, and less on those on upper tonalities, so your playing style will be affected and that will offer you another perspective and depth. Furthermore, with 10 different voices that you can choose from, the range of styles that you can play is increased. The keyboard lets you set it so it can sound great as a harpsichord, an organ, or like stringed instruments.
And you can also use the Dual Voice feature which lets you utilize 2 of these 10 voices at once. So you can hit a single key and get a piano and a guitar playing at the same time. You won’t get any fancy things out of this keyboard, as it doesn’t look astonishing, but the way it’s engineered will help you get all the effects you need.
When you buy this keyboard you also get many accessories that will make your life easier and your playing more interesting. Besides the weighted keys, you have everything needed to start performing, including a stand and a stool, a sustain pedal to make every note better, and you even get a pair of headphones so you can play without anyone hearing you.
This is why it can be considered one of the better models for beginners, as it also comes with some instructional DVDs and a music book. But everybody knows that if the keyboard isn’t great, the accessories are useless. Fortunately, this keyboard delivers. It’s made to sound as close to a piano as possible, as it has Yamaha’s scaled graded hammer technology incorporated.
This also means that the player will be able to play distinctive passages, with lower or higher volume, and he or she will feel that the pressure on each key is similar to how the keys of the piano act. Looking at the design of this keyboard, it looks like a small piano, but it’s still considered a portable keyboard. Although the keys are plastic, they still give a quality feel.
Despite it having the scaled graded hammer action, it still feels unnatural from the middle keys up to the higher ones. The recoil is something that seems to be semi-weighted, so the makers of this keyboard should put more attention into that.
You can connect this keyboard with many phones or tablets and one of the easiest methods is to just connect it wirelessly to an iOS device. This wide range of connections enables you to do more with it, including recording audio or it can help you pull out notations.
This is another great keyboard from Yamaha, and although it doesn’t come with many accessories, it still has the basics including a stool, a piano bench, and a sustain pedal. It’s the kind of keyboard that you would use for live performances, but it’s also great as a practice keyboard if you play the piano mainly.
It’s one of the better keyboards for students because it has a “duo” mode, which means that it allows 2 players to use it at the same time. So the teacher can play it at one end, while the student can follow at the other. To help beginners get into the rhythm, it comes with backing tracks that the player can follow.
But that’s not all it can offer, as it also comes with an impressive polyphony function that brings out 192 notes. It thus gives a lot of room and plenty of range. With the Intelligent Acoustic Control function, the player can choose to let the keyboard adjust the tonality and volume based on the style of play.
The keys work smoothly and the black ones have a matte finish that helps with the grip, and they also look cool. Coming with an iOS app of itself, the keyboard will let you make any necessary modifications to its settings and to the backing tracks.
One thing that isn’t that great about this keyboard is the speaker system that it has, especially when you play it at low volume. You have the possibility to add some external speakers to it but they don’t come in the initial package, and connecting them is a bit difficult.
Coming with built-in speakers and a stand that makes it look great, this keyboard is designed to be portable. That is why it’s a good choice for those living in small apartments or for students, and although there are more portable alternatives out there, they don’t offer so many features. The stand is durable and assembling it will be easy and quick.
This is a full-size keyboard that has 88 keys, but if you feel you need something smaller you can get the Yamaha YPG-235, which has similar features but it only has 76 keys. The former mentioned also operates on batteries, so it’s a better choice for those musicians that travel.
When you first look at the YPG-535 model you see that there are more than 40 buttons on it and that may look a bit too much. That is because there is one dedicated button for every function or effect that the keyboard offers. Fortunately, you have one button that can instantly turn every effect off and leave you with the plain sound of a piano.
The monochrome display is large enough to let you read on it, and it provides useful information. The keyboard comes with features for beginners, including the brand’s Yamaha Educational Suite software, so the display is programmed to let you take full advantage of these features.
Unfortunately, the action is not based on a graded hammer system, as is the case with more expensive Yamaha models, but it still has weighted keys. The “Graded Soft Touch” action that this keyboard has means that it doesn’t replicate the hammer found in pianos, but it still gives a good feeling of how the instrument should feel.
Although the Graded Soft Touch is Yamaha’s more affordable action, it still implies that the lower keys feel heavier than the higher ones. Furthermore, the keyboard is also touch-sensitive, meaning that it will be louder if you press the keys with more force. Having 3 presets to choose from in terms of touch and sensitivity, gives this beginner keyboard an advantage over its competitors.
The disadvantage of this action is that, when you play the keyboard at a low volume, you can hear a clicking noise coming from the keys, and that takes away from the fun.