Yamaha DGX-660 88 Key Digital Grand Piano Review

Digital pianos are amazing tools in the right hands, but they can be expensive. I set out to learn about the digital grand piano that would provide the best bang for my buck. After some online research, I picked out the Yamaha DGX-660 as a leading contender.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Keyboards Piano

Digital pianos can differ significantly in their feature set. Some emphasize preset sounds and prerecorded songs. Others dedicate themselves to reproducing certain tones or using mixing tools to facilitate recording. The various inputs and outputs affect what can enter the signal chain. The onboard effects determine how much control the player has over shaping the sound. Lastly, the price and features set the value for each model.

The Yamaha DGX-660

Yamaha is a popular brand for digital pianos. Their style is to fill each model with lots of different features in a jack of all trades approach. The DGX-660 fits right into this space with plenty of presets and tools and an assortment of ports. It has an LCD screen for score or lyric display.

Pros

  • Great feature set
  • Instrument or vocal input
  • Great playing experience

Cons

  • Recording tools lacking
  • High price
  • The piano doesn't resemble a grand piano, which could be a deal-breaker for those who want a replica

Features and Benefits

Inputs and Outputs

Yamaha DGX-660 88 Key Digital Grand Piano

On the input side, the DGX-660 has aux, line in, USB, pedal, and headphone ports. The aux is probably the most interesting option because it can accommodate another instrument or a phone that plays music files. That makes it easy to accompany or be accompanied by another input. The output is line. This is a lot to play with and permits a wide range of possible uses for the digital piano.

Playing

The playing experience on the DGX-660 is pleasant and reminiscent of an analog piano. The Pure CF Sound Engine provides concert-accurate piano tone. The Graded Hammer Standard weighs the lower notes with a heavier resistance and lighter resistance on the higher notes to replicate the feel of an analog piano. Yet another system, Damper Resonance, alters the the tone to replicate sympathetic resistance between strings and the effects of a damper pedal on the sound of each note. Yamaha has made a serious effort to make the DGX-660 as close a replica of a concert grand piano as possible.

Other Features

The DGX-660 is full of other features as well. It has an LCD that can automatically bring up the score of your current play or display lyrics. Smart Chord allows you to create macros for predetermined complex chords. Style Recommender will suggest styles based on your tempo. These styles are preset accompanying band tones. The digital piano has 151 main sounds, 15 drum sounds, 205 accompanying styles, 100 preset songs, reverb, chorus, an equalizer, and a max polyphony of 192. All of this adds up to a large diversity of things to do with the piano.

​Rating

Design

4

Performance

5

Construction

5

Value for the Money

4

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Yamaha DGX-650

Yamaha DGX-650

The DGX-650 is a slight step down from the DGX-660, as the name implies. It costs $750 and trims a few features. For example, there is no line in or line out port. The polyphony is 128 rather than 192. However, it does have one extra feature. The "You Are The Artist" books by Hal Leonard have XG music files to create backing tracks. The DGX-650 can read these files and play back the entire accompaniment.

Comparison

Yamaha DGX-650

Price: $750

Ports: Aux, USB, pedal, headphone

Special features: PureCF, Smart Chord, Style Recommender, Graded Hammer System, XG optimization

Yamaha DGX-660

Price: $800

Ports: Aux, line in, USB, pedal, headphone, line out

Special features: PureCF, Smart Chord, Style Recommender, Graded Hammer System

Yamaha YPG-535 88-Key Portable Grand Piano

Yamaha YPG-535 88-Key Portable Grand Piano

The YPG-535 costs $500, making it a relatively affordable option. It has significantly fewer special and "smart" features, but still delivers an excellent tone. The digital piano has 500 voices and 300 setups. It comes with 160 styles for accompaniment. These tools require more manual control than the DGX-660 but they work the same way otherwise.

Comparison

Yamaha YPG-535

Price: $500

Ports: Aux, USB, pedal, headphone

Special features: PureCF, Smart Chord, Style Recommender, Graded Hammer System, XG optimization for accompanying music files

Yamaha DGX-660

Price: $800

Ports: Aux, line in, USB, pedal, headphone, line out

Special features: PureCF, Smart Chord, Style Recommender, Graded Hammer System

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano

The P45 is the most budget-friendly Yamaha digital piano. It costs $450. Like all the other Yamaha pianos, it has the Graded Hammer System to replicate the finger feel of a grand piano. It has Advanced Wave Memory for stereo reproductions. The polyphony max is 64 notes. The P45 offers a stripped-down version of the Yamaha experience by removing essentially all of the features and modifications while retaining the tone and playing experience.

Comparison

Yamaha P45

Price: $5450

Ports: USB, pedal, headphone

Special features: Graded Hammer System, Advanced Wave Memory

Yamaha DGX-660

Price: $800

Ports: Aux, line in, USB, pedal, headphone, line out

Special features: PureCF, Smart Chord, Style Recommender, Graded Hammer System

Final Thoughts

The Yamaha options for digital pianos cover the whole spectrum of prices. The DGX-660 offers the best value and the most advanced features, making it the most suitable option for serious buyers. It comes with many different forms of automation, support for external devices, a deep library of tones and accompanying styles, and a plausible replication of the grand piano experience. If you're looking for other best digital pianos you can always check our homepage. If these pianos are not enough, we have a list of other intermediate level pianos that should suit you. 

Stephanie Su
 

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