Yamaha P115 88 Key Digital Piano Review

While a simple digital or electric piano may suffice for amateurs, more experienced musicians often need to coordinate with other players on stage. In such situations, one would certainly appreciate advanced features like Dueling and Sound Boost. It is, therefore, refreshing, to know that companies like Yamaha offer digital pianos with pro features without raising the price tag to an excessively level.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Digital Piano

The main critical areas to look at when choosing a digital piano include keyboard action and touch response as well as sound quality. It's also important to consider the number of individual notes or tones it can produce simultaneously, amplification and speakers. Some pianos come with learning materials to help you get started. Don't forget about portability, cost, recording capability and versatility.

The Yamaha P115 88-key piano

Yamaha is a leader in digital technology that produces high quality pianos with exceptional sound. The P115 is no exception as it lives up to the expectations and claims made by Yamaha. But like everything, perfection is a tad too far given its minor flaws. So what are the good and the bad? Which features make it a worthy investment?

Pros

  • Can be used in a home studio, at home or on stage
  • Weighs 37.7 pounds and is quite easy to transport
  • Comes with 192 polyphony notes
  • Speakers deliver a full sound, even without amplification

Cons

  • Only comes with a single pedal
  • The stand isn't very secure
  • Key weighting takes some time to adjust for the best response
  • Standard and intermediate versions don't come with high-polyphony

Features and benefits

Sound

Yamaha P115 88 Key Digital Piano

The P115 offers 14 voice options including Rock-Organ and Wurlitzer. The keyboard delivers some of the richest tones you will find on any digital piano in this price range. Piano samples from the Yamaha CF III concert grand capture the rich tones and deliver a natural string resonance option. You also get 14 accompaniment tracks that are linked to an App. The App allows you to adjust the tempo and volume, as well as save any relevant settings.

Touch

The Grand Action hammer keys are one of the highlights of Yamaha keyboards and pianos. They are lighter towards the top end and heavier on the lower notes. This makes them well-balanced and gives them a natural feel. The individual weighting setting is a great feature for younger players. It also comes handy for users with weaker hands that could benefit from a lighter to heavier feel across the keyboard. The keys offer a truly smooth response.

Polyphony

The upgraded 192 note polyphony allows one to execute the most complex passages with the natural response of an acoustic piano. Increased damper resonance response delivers a finer, natural sound.

Piano app

While this instrument is pretty easy to operate, you can benefit from easier operation if you download and synchronize with the free "Digital Piano Controller" app. It allows you to access and control various functions from your iOS or Android device.

Pianist styles

The player benefits from 10 pianist styles, allowing him/her to play all kind of music and have fun while at it. This feature serves as your dueling partner, where it provides accompaniment patterns to make the chords you play sound beautiful and better.

Built-in rhythms

You will certainly enjoy playing the P115, especially if you love drums. The built-in rhythms allow for a broad range of play and make it possible to incorporate drum patterns. You will benefit from a variety of sounds ranging from shuffle and swing to rock.

Rating

Design

4

Performance

5

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Yamaha P-Series P105

Yamaha P-Series P105

The main difference between the P105 and the P115 is that the polyphony notes have been increased from 128 in the P105 to 192 in the newer model. While that is a huge improvement, it's important to note that not many musicians max over the 128. It is, however, great to know that there is some wiggle room should you need it.

The upgraded tweeter position is also a welcome feature. In the new P115, the tweeter is located in line with the performer's ears, thus a richer sound when playing. A Sound Boost option, like the one found in the P255, has been added. It makes the notes clearer, particularly when playing in conjunction with other instruments.

Comparison

Yamaha 105

128 note polyphony

Sound Boost option

GHS keyboard

Yamaha P115

192 note polyphony

14 voice options

Grand Action Hammer keys

Yamaha P-Series P255

Yamaha P-Series P255

This is another best seller and it offers a few improvements over the P105 and P115. For starters, it comes with 24 instrument voices including Wurlitzer, Rhodes and synth piano. It also offers a 256-note polyphony, the highest in Yamaha's P-Series line of pianos. The tweeters face the ears of the performer while the circular speakers produce rich lower tones.

Common features found in both P115 and P255 pianos include controller app for iOS devices, Sound Boost option, Graded Hammer technology as well as record function. The P255 is a high-end piano designed for professional use and its 38-lbs weight makes it a little inconvenient for travel.

Comparison

Yamaha P255

256 note polyphony

24 voice options

Graded Hammer with Synthetic Ivory Keytops

Yamaha P115

192 note polyphony

14 voice options

Grand Action Hammer keys

Yamaha P-Series P45

Yamaha P-Series P45

The P-45 sound dulls in all accounts in comparison to the P115. Both have 88 weighted keys. Where the P45 has 64 polyphony notes, the P115 has more than twice that amount of notes. Both have a sustain pedal but the P115 allows you to play different kinds of music on a higher level. The duo mode on both pianos is a welcome addition for when playing duets or those who are still learning the ropes.

Comparison

Yamaha P45

64 polyphony notes

88 weighted keys

Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling

Yamaha P115

192 note polyphony

88 weighted keys

Pure CF Sound Sampling

Final Thoughts

This is a great digital piano that offers value for your money. While it has great features and a few shortcomings, the truth is that you are the best judge of what's good for you. Whether you are a learner or a regular performer, the P115 will prove a great investment. It will deliver great results for the musician who's always on the road.

Stephanie Su
 

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