The 12 Best Yamaha Keyboards With 88
The keyboard is one of the most versatile instruments and an integral tool that every self-producing musician must own. Today, well be taking a look at some of the best 88-key Yamaha keyboards on the market.
Finding the best monetary value for a quality product is crucial for an independent musician and weve done the hard work for you! Below is a list of the top 12 88-key Yamaha keyboards , ranging from lower-cost beginner models to high-quality professional keyboards.
Here are the 12 best Yamaha keyboards with 88-keys
This keyboard is one of the lowest cost 88-key weighted digital pianos that Yamaha offers. It uses notes recorded from an acoustic piano and produces an authentic, natural sound in stereo. Its programming allows its owner to play moderately dense piano passages, perfect for a beginner to intermediate player.
The Graded Hammer Standard feature creates a heavier weight in low-end keys and a lighter touch in the high end, mimicking a grand piano. As you would expect for a lower-cost option, this is not ideal for experienced players. It is, however, a high-quality option for a player who is just beginning to learn or only 1-2 years into their development as a player.
See It In Action
|Dimensions:||57.6 in. W x 16.5 in. D x 11.9 in. H|
What Is Key Action
In the most basic sense, key action is what a key on a digital piano is doing when it is pressed and when it is released.
A grand piano has strings and when a key is pressed, a hammer strikes one or more of those strings. The string then resonates in the body of the piano so we can hear it.
On a digital piano, we dont have strings or hammers or a body, but when we play we want to feel like all of those things are happening.
The perfect key action on a digital piano would be indistinguishable from an acoustic grand piano.
The trouble for companies like Yamaha is that not all grand pianos feel the same way when you play them, making it difficult to determine exactly what it should feel like.
Another issue is with the playernot every player will like the same key action.
For example, someone who plays aggressive on the keys might find a better playing experience if the keys felt a bit more heavy while a more delicate player may feel the exact opposite.
Motion Control Synthesis Engine: Awm2 And Fm
The AWM2 uses waveform and subtractive synthesis to create acoustic instruments, drums, and synthesizer sounds.
The FM-X, on the other hand, uses pure frequency modulation synthesis.
In the Montage and MODX Series, each of these sound engines can be used separately or layered together to produce sound.
Every other sound engine I have mentioned so far has had the goal to create an authentic sounding piano. Thats not the case for the AWM2 and FM-X. You wont find them in a digital piano, but in Yamahas music workstations and synthesizers.
In this engine, you will get a few exciting features:
- The Super Knob get creative with your sounds using the Super Knob. Go from punchy and hype to mellow and warm with a single twist.
- Motion Sequences manipulate your sounds while keeping them in sync with the tempo.
Yamaha has put a lot of work into making sure this sound engine offers creative freedom and bleeding edge quality.
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Harmonic Resonance Like That Of A Grand Pianovirtual Resonance Modeling Lite
One of the allures of the grand piano is the sympathetic resonance created by the vibration of the entire instrument. The YDP-165 elaborately reproduces this rich sympathetic resonance through a groundbreaking technology called Virtual Resonance Modeling Lite . VRM Lite creates a richly varied sound by simulating the complex sympathetic tones created when the vibrations of the strings are propagated to the soundboard and other strings, corresponding to the timing and intensity of key playing and pedaling.
What Is A Synthesizer
A popular music keyboard for beginners, a synthesizer is an electronic keyboard capable of generating a wide range of sounds, from musical instruments to sound effects. Theyre smaller and more portable than keyboards for beginning piano students and ideal for the keyboard student interested in playing in bands or small ensembles.
Advantages of a Synthesizer
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Best For Sound: Kawai Es
The Kawai ES 110 feels like an authentic acoustic piano with 88 weighted keys and compact graded hammer action. It has 19 extra sounds built-in, which is more than most other digital pianos in its gamut. Choir, vibes, organs, orchestral strings, electric pianos, and eight piano sounds are some of the voices this keyboard offers. You can play these instrumental tones in split or dual modes to have more than one instrumental voice at a time. This will give your pieces a rich, full sound.
Youll also get a built-in stereo speaker system, built-in 192-note polyphony, Bluetooth connectivity, MIDI ports, and jacks. It even includes a damper pedal with damper resonance and half-damper support.
This digital piano uses harmonic imaging technology and 88-key sampling. Youll get a more authentic sound with this piano than with digital pianos that use sound-stretching technology. You can record your performances with a 3-song recorder and store them in the pianos internal memory.
The Kawai ES-110 is a fantastic digital piano that will help you develop your piano skills. It even includes Alfred piano lessons to launch your piano-playing journey.
Synthesizers & Synthesizer Workstations
Now were moving away from piano-focused instruments and entering sound design, music production, etc.
Using a synthesizer, you will be able to craft a sound from nothing using a series of knobs, sliders, and buttons.
Similar to the stage pianos, you likely wont find speakers on any of these synthesizers. The need for a realistic feeling of playing an acoustic piano is very low in this category.
User Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Price Range: $500-$1,000
- Yamaha MX49 / MX61 / MX88
The MX Series synthesizers use sounds from the Yamaha Motif XSpianos, strings, drums, and complex synth sounds.
Bring these sounds into your DAW using a MIDI interface and monitor everything by connecting your headphones to your MX Series device.
With an iOS device, you get access FM Essential which lets you twist and pull your sounds in crazy ways.
Despite being a synthesizer, the flagship model, MX88, will also feature the Graded Hammer Standard action, making it much more suitable for piano players.
I can easily see these instruments used as stage pianos or in studios.
- Yamaha MODX6/7/8 61, 76, or 88 keys
- Yamaha Montage 6/7/8 61, 76, or 88 keys
The Montage and MODX Series synthesizers are supercharged versions of the entry-level synthesizers.
These synthesizer workstations give you more control over your sound and freedom to dive deeper into what sound you want to create.
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Alesis Coda Pro Weighted Action
Alesis Professional are now a very well known name in the electronic music industry, and have a reputation for making some excellent weighted keyboards that rival premium manufacturers without the equivalent price tag. The Coda range is one of their best selling keyboard ranges, and its the Coda Pro that weve chosen to include here. Its full-size 88keyed weighted keyboards been designed for a wide range of uses, from students in their bedrooms to live use. We can tell you straight away that its a superb option, with some nice features at an excellent price, but lets look at things in a little more detail.
Theres little more to say other than that this is a great sounding digital keyboard with key weights â all 20 voices are excellent, and youd be hard pressed to tell that this isnt a keyboard that costs two or three times as much.
The hammer action weighted keys go a very long way in making the Coda Pro feel like a quality instrument. They help the digital keyboard feel more like a 88keyed digital piano , and generally are just very nice to play. Each key is made well too â you wont find cheap feeling plastics here.
The Coda Pro is a nice looking digital keyboard, with a clean black finish, a symmetrical design, and cool angular speakers. Highlights are in red. Again, this all helps it to look like a premium product. It has a USB port, as it is a USB MIDI.
Pros:+ Great quality+ Good range of features
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|55.75 x 15.24 x 10.79 inches||55.75 x 15.24 x 10.79 inches||57.09 x 13.78 x 9.84 inches||57.09 x 13.78 x 9.84 inches|
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Yamaha P-125aWH Electronic Piano, P-Series, 88 Keys, White
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Authentic Acoustic Piano Playability And Half
With an 88-key piano action, the GH3 keyboard reproduces the touch of an acoustic piano, from a naturally heavy feel in the lower key to a lighter touch in the upper octaves. The GH3 keyboard provides a grand piano-style response and feel, allowing rapid note repetition and authentic expressive control. Moreover, theres a half-damper feature that authentically replicates the damper action on a grand piano, providing rich expressive variation.
Yamaha P125 Full Specification List
- 88 Key Graded Hammer Standard keyboard with matte black keytop finish
- Hard/Medium/Soft/Fixed touch sensitivity
- Connections: DC In 12V, Sustain Pedal, Pedal unit AUX OUT and USB TO HOST
- Metronome, from 5bpm to 280bpm
For a complete specification list, have a look at the P125s dedicated page on yamaha.com.
For the most part, the specification list is roughly the same as the P115. Yamaha havent improved this model by very much, and in all honesty its kind of strange that they released this instrument given how little it improves upon its predecessor.
There are, however, minor upgrades and feature improvements that are worth talking about. Lets dive in to what makes this piano worth your money.
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Bass And Drum Beats Are Right On Time
P-125 has on-board Bass and Drum tracks that keep your playing in time. There’s a variety of rhythm patterns to choose from depending on the the vibe you’re going for. From rock to ballads, use these rhythms to add an element of fun to your practicing, or simply use them as a virtual drummer for your performances.
Natural Piano Sound Anywhere You Want It
Great feel isnt enough. Thats why Yamaha equipped the P-125a with their Pure CF Sound Engine, which perfectly re-creates the sound of their renowned CFIIIS concert grand piano. And since you can comfortably load the Yamaha P-125a into the back of a typical sedan, you can take this amazing combination of sound and feel anywhere.
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Simple Operation Using The Smart Pianist App
Smart Pianist allows you to control the many functions included in your Yamaha digital piano with your smart device. Voices, rhythms and other settings can be selected through the familiar touch screen of your phone or tablet, making it easy to control the functions of your piano.
You can also use the Chord Tracker function to learn how to play the chords of your favorite songs. Chord Tracker analyzes the songs from your music library on your iPhone or iPad and displays the chord symbols so you can play along! Find new ways to enjoy your P-125, using smart functions that only a modern digital instrument can provide.
Key Considerations When Buying A Digital Piano
Portability and Storage
Digital pianos are lighter and more compact than acoustic pianos. Most models weigh much less and are easy to transport or store out of the way when not in use. When choosing your digital piano check the dimensions. Make sure that it fits where you intend to keep it and also ensure the keyboard height is appropriate or the stand is adjustable. If youre planning on transporting the piano, check the weight, and how easy it is to break down as well as whether it comes with a carry bag.
Digital pianos can vary greatly in price, however, they still remain far less expensive to purchase than acoustic pianos. In addition, the maintenance on digital pianos is minimal whereas acoustic pianos require a costly tuning service. The pricing on a digital piano will depend on its size, functions, sound quality, touch response, and brand. Decide which features are most important to you before looking at options.
With a traditional piano, volume is determined by how hard you strike the keys. There really is no chance that you are going to be practicing while the rest of the household is sleeping. Digital piano volume can easily be controlled with the simple slide or turn of a knob. In addition, you can use headphones on many keyboard sets allowing you to practice without disturbing anyone else.
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Rich Variety Of Built
Naturally, the YDP-165 has an authentic grand piano sound, but it also features various other built-in instrument sounds, for a total of 10 Voicesincluding electric piano, organ, vibraphone, and strings.
The YDP-165 also has 353 built-in songs, including 50 famous classical songs, and 303 comprehensive practice exercises from famous methods, such as Beyer, Burgmüller, Czerny, and Hanon. The instrument is also compatible with Yamaha’s free Smart Pianist appsimply download the app to your smart device and connect it to the instrument*.
With the Smart Pianist app, you can easily operate the various Voice functions of the instrument and use it to call up scores of the built-in songs. It also features a comprehensive Piano Room function for changing the tonal quality and resonance settings of the piano sound.
* A cable connection is required. Make sure to purchase the correct cable for your smart device.
Using A Digital Piano
There are many benefits to using a digital piano. You can often connect it to your computer and create a range of different digital sounds. There are many portable digital pianos available, which is convenient for those who are always on the move with their music. A digital model is a good choice if youâre a beginner, as you can practice with headphones plugged in. Some models even have apps that help you learn.
Find the digital piano and keyboard that you need at B& H Photo and Video, and start playing today.
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Piano Quality Unique To Yamaha
Yamahas unique Pure CF Sound Engine is the result of over a century of acoustic piano craftsmanship combined with state-of-the-arttechnology and expertise.
Yamaha is the industry leader in digital piano technology, and you can hear this in the sound of digital pianos that utilise the Pure CF engine. P-125 includes the sound of the renowned Yamaha CFIIIS 9 concert grand piano and is faithfully reproduced, allowing for incredible dynamics and expressiveness making Pure CF equipped digital pianos worthy of the Yamaha name.
A Graded Hammer Standard 88-key piano keyboard provides a heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end, and is similar to the acoustic piano.
From Solo Piano To Playing With A Band
The DGX-670 is a digital piano for enjoying everything from straight-ahead piano playing to playing along with other instruments. In addition to the high quality of the piano, the advanced Automatic Accompaniment Styles provide backing in a wide range of musical genres including pop, R& B, and jazz. Display sheet music to aid practice, connect to smartphones, microphones, and other equipment, and discover the many other ways to enjoy music with this feature-packed instrument.
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Yamaha Music London Free Taster Sessions
If you want to try out Yamahas range of digital pianos, including the Yamaha Arius YDP-S34, then head over to Yamaha Music Londons headquarters in Soho. They are hosting another Learn to Play event on 22nd and 23 March 2019, where you will get the chance to learn how to play, not only the digital piano, but you can also try the violin, trumpet, Venova, bass guitar and trombone, as well as the electric and acoustic guitars. Get there early as spaces fill up fast! The store opens at 10.30am and then its first come, first serve! The address is:
Yamaha Music LondonStore telephone number 0207 432 4400
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What Is A Workstation Keyboard
A workstation keyboard is one of the more expensive keyboards and essentially includes its own computer for composition and advanced program options. These are the keyboards used by many hip-hop and pop artists to program beats and other parts of the composition to play automatically.Workstation keyboards often include weighted keys, making them a good choice for the advanced beginner keyboard student. For the fledgling composer, however, a controller and laptop provide the same tools for a lower price.
Advantages of a Workstation Keyboard
- Great for composition
- Offers professional industry standards and advanced play options
Disadvantages of a Workstation Keyboard
- They tend to be priced at the higher end of the scale
- The sheer number of features can intimidate and overwhelm new students
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