Things to consider before buying a Yamaha P115
Purchasing a portable digital piano is not a process that should be rushed nor taken lightly, and with the vast amount of models available to buy it can be somewhat of a minefield making the correct choice for your circumstances. In this blog post we delve into the world of digital pianos and examine the Yamaha P115, seeing what it can offer piano players of all ages and levels.
In circumstances where a traditional acoustic piano wouldn’t work, i.e. it won’t fit into the desired space and/or is too expensive, digital pianos can be a great alternative. They are less expensive, lighter and electronic, therefore they’ll not break the bank (or break it less, depending on the model), they'll not require a team of men to haul them into place and they’ll never go out of tune. But what should you look for when deciding upon which one to buy?
Keys: Unless you’re some form of digital artist who requires a keyboard workstation, then it is best to stick to the standard 88-key variety. The P115, as you would expect, has 88 keys.
Basic features: The speaker set-up is something that must be examined carefully when choosing a digital piano, as they must align with whatever purpose(s) you’ll be using the piano for. Does it have external-facing speakers? Does it require an amp? Are there enough and/or suitable inputs and outputs for your requirements, such as headphones jacks, USB and MIDI ports for example?
Sounds & tones: Some manufacturers will market the number of sounds, tones, instruments, samples etc…fairly aggressively in an attempt to make the model sound more advanced (and better) than it actually is. The key take-away here is that quantity does not always equal quality, and quality should be prioritised without question. See how and where the sounds were recorded. Were they taken from high quality instruments and samples? Were they recorded in optimal conditions to produce crystal clear results? Do your research both online and offline. Read reviews and speak to people on piano forums. Go and try the specific model out in your local music store. The P115 is a great example of quality over quantity. It has 10 piano sounds, 17 instruments and a wide array of rhythms, all of which sound absolutely perfect thanks to the exceptional methods Yamaha uses to produce these sounds.
Polyphony: Although this may sound like a very technical term, what it means is actually straight forward. It is basically the number of individual notes that a piano can produce at one time. The most basic of digital pianos start at 32, then move up to 64 (which is widely deemed as being ‘acceptable’), then to 128 (which is regarded as being the best to choose regardless of your level), followed by 192 and 256. The Yamaha P115 offers 192, which is above average and clearly shows why it is on the higher end of the spectrum.
Touch and sensitivity: This is probably the most important aspect of a digital piano. When playing a real piano, key pressure and the way the keys are ‘attacked’ are extremely important and are required for reaching certain notes, playing different forms of music and expanding a player’s repertoire. There are three main categories under which digital piano's typically fall and they are: No touch response, touch-sensitive and fully weighted. Fully-weighted models are the only ones that will (attempt to) imitate the hammers of a real piano as best as they possibly can. Whether you’ve played a real piano (or plan to in the future) will impact upon which option you go for, however one from the latter two categories is always advisable if it falls within your budget. The Yamaha P115 has ‘Graded Hammer’ technology to make it feel as piano-like as possible.
For more information on the Yamaha P115, please go to: http://www.bestdigitalpianoguide.com/yamaha-p115-digital-piano-review/