Yamaha Reviews

Yamaha P125 Review

Not much time has passed after the release of the Yamaha P 115, one of Yamaha’s hottest portable digital pianos.

Nevertheless, the Japanese manufacturer has decided it is time for a brand new upgrade, and also on the very first of April 2018 Yamaha introduced the new P 125 digital piano, which changed the P 115 and became the brand new midrange keyboard in the P (Portable) series.

I was extremely fired up to find out about new features as well as improvements Yamaha has prepared for us since you do not only release an old design as well as call it a healthy one, correct?

Well, turned out this’s rather arguable.

While the P 125 does come with several brand new features as well as upgrades, I definitely expected a lot more changes, particularly in the piano department.

With that said, there’re some very cool features found on the P 125 that were not present on its predecessor.

In most cases, although, the P 125 has inherited its elements from the P 115, which isn’t always a terrible thing since the P 115 has proved to be a great piano alone but we will see.

Features and yamaha P125 Specs

88-key fully weighted keyboard with matte black keytops
Graded Hammer Standard action
Touch Sensitivity (Hard, Soft, Medium, Fixed)
Sound: Pure CF Sound Engine
192-note polyphony
Twenty four instrument sounds (four grand pianos)
Fifty preset piano songs + twenty one demo songs
Modes: Duo, , Split Dual
Lesson Function (ability to perform each hand’s part separately)
2-track MIDI recorder (one User Song)
Twenty accompaniment rhythms (Drums + Bass)
Metronome, , Transpose Fine-tuning
Sound Boost, Table, Stereophonic Optimizer, Intelligent Acoustic Control EQ
Speakers: 7W + 7W (12cm x two + 4cm x 2)
Connections: USB to Host, Headphone jacks (two), Line Outs, Sustain jack 132.6 x 29.5 x 16.6 cm (52.2 x 11.6 x 6.5)
11.8 kg (twenty six lbs)
Street Price: $599
Warranty: 3 year manufacturer’s warranty

Design

 

The case of the P 125 has been slightly redesigned and modernized, but usually, it is still an extremely small and relatively lightweight digital piano that is ideal for home use and also for gig situations.

The piano is made from plastic and has an excellent build quality expected from a brand like Yamaha.

The P-125’s minimalist design is completed with a white felt ribbon across the tops of the keys in addition to a stylish curve on the front panel inspired by the Yamaha CFX Concert Grand.

The piano does not include a furniture style stand or perhaps a triple pedal unit, which can be purchased optionally and excellent for all those that choose to use the P 125 at home (see Accessories’ section).

The color solutions are white and black.

The keyboard is pretty lightweight and can be moved around by virtually anyone more than fourteen.

The P 125 weighs aproximatelly twenty six pounds and is fifty two inches wide, 11.6 inches deep, and also around 6.5 inches high.

With such a size, you are able to also put the P 125 on a table. There is really a unique setting called Table EQ that optimizes the sound once the keyboard is placed on a flat surface.

 

Now why don’t we talk a bit about the controls.

There’re a total of fourteen buttons located on the front panel of the instrument. Several of them don’t have a lot of LED indicators built into them so you know which function has been used at the moment.

You will find six dedicated buttons for every one of the good sections (Piano, E.Piano, Organ, Strings, etc.) along with buttons for a metronome, rhythms, and recording features.

Additionally, there’s a volume slider which allows you to slowly change the volume.

 

Yamaha P125 keyboard

As you are able to see, there’re lots of buttons, but there are more features and functions on the P 125, so you will still need to use Button + Key combinations to access most of them.

The best part is the fact that digital technologies are evolving quickly today, and 1 of the P-125’s brand new features is its compatibility with Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app, which tends to make it insanely easy to control all of the instrument’s functions using an intuitive graphic interface (see Connectivity’ section).
Keyboard

While other manufacturers are actively designing and introducing new keyboard actions, Yamaha appears to be reluctant to upgrade its popular Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action, which has existed for quite some time.

Today just about every digital piano from Yamaha under $ 1 thousand uses this key action.

 

The P 125 isn’t an exception. Although Yamaha claims that the keyboard of the piano has been tweaked to make a far more organic feel, it is still the traditional GHS mechanism that I am well acquainted with.

I manage to play both keyboards side by side, and also to be truthful, I did not see a lot of difference in touch between the P 125 and the P 115.

So let’s assume they’re extremely close, or even identical in this particular element.

Although in the opinion of mine there are a lot more realistic keyboard actions available in this price range (Roland’s PHA 4 Standard, Kawai’s RHC), the GHS still provides a very good value for money and also has the fans of its too.

To begin with, it’s a 88 key fully weighted keyboard that uses graded hammer system to replicate the sense associated with a regular piano.

Yamaha P125 hammer action

Graded implies that the keys feel heavier in the lower registers and lighter on the expensive, the same as an acoustic piano.

The computer keyboard is touch sensitive, which implies that the volume/timbre of the sound will change based on just how soft or hard you play the keys.

Because of its powerful 4 speaker sound system, the P 125 actually provides a really good dynamic range from probably the softest pianissimo to probably the loudest fortissimo.

 

Yamaha P125 touch sensitivity

The default Medium touch sensitivity is ideal for many folks and feels probably the closest to the actual thing.

Nevertheless, you are able to select a lighter or perhaps a heavier touch to much better suit the playing style of yours.

There’re four touch sensitivity settings to choose from: Hard, Soft, Medium, Fixed.

When the Fixed setting is selected, you will get the very same amount of volume whatever the force (velocity) of your key presses.

It is getting a lot more and popular for intermediate digital pianos to have Ivory/Ebony simulated material on the secrets to improve grip as well as make a playing experience more pleasurable as well as authentic.

Yamaha P125 ivory

Sad to say, the P 125 has traditional shiny plastic keys and does not offer any textured material on them.

The black keys though have a matte coating, which tends to make it much easier to play in high humid situations as well as helps prevent mistakes (your fingers are not as likely to slip off a matte surface).
Sound

Yamaha P125 sound

 

Now why don’t we talk about the next most important aspect of any digital piano sound. There are many changes that Yamaha has made in this department after the prior model.

It has got exactly the same high quality Pure CF sound engine, which makes use of samples of the world’s acclaimed Yamaha CFIIIS 9′ Concert Grand.

Each note was recorded many times at different velocity levels to recreate the richness and dynamic range of the traditional instrument.

The primary Concert Grand Piano tone on the P 125 uses 4 layer sampling instead of three layers found on the P 115.

The 4th layer has been added to create the sound much more dynamic and allows for a smoother transition between the samples.

Additionally, it includes organic and natural piano elements that enrich the sound and ensure it is much more natural. Several of these elements are damper resonance, key off simulation, and string resonance.

Yamaha P125 resonance

While there’re some improvements to the piano sound of the P 125, honestly, I did not notice a huge difference comparing it to the P 115.

And I believe that the distinction is much more connected with the redesigned speaker system instead of the improved samples.

Anyhow, the P 125 sounds amazing, the same as its predecessor. You will find a great depth and richness to the sound, that I actually enjoyed listening through my Sennheiser HD 598.

The P 125 seemed to possess a bit more pronounced middle register and in general a bit brighter sound compared to the P 115.

Yamaha P125 stereophonic optimizer

The brand new Stereophonic Optimizer feature has most likely also contributed to the realism of the playing experience.

The Stereophonic Optimizer feature is often found in higher end digital pianos and what it does is adjusts the spaciousness of the noise when you are playing with headset on, that tends to make the experience much more immersive and authentic.

Among the P-125’s main upgrades is ten brand new instrument sounds that have been added to the fourteen tones that were present on the P 115.

Today there’re twenty four built in tones that make up 6 sound sections with four tone variations in every one of them.

Piano Section:
Grand Piano, Live Grand, Ballad Grand, Bright Grand

Electric Piano Section:
Stage E. Piano, FM E. Piano, Vintage E. Piano, Synth Piano

Organ Section:
Jazz Organ, Organ Principal, Rock Organ, Organ Tutti

Clavichord/Vibraphone Section:
Harpsichord 8′, Harpsichord 8’+ 4′, Clavichord, Vibraphone

Strings Section:
Strings, Choir, Slow Strings, Synth Pad

Bass Section:
Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Cymbal and Bass, Fretless Bass

Sound effects selection is very limited on the P 125, although an average piano player would not have to have much anyway.

Reverb is the most widely used sound effect as well as the only one on the instrument.

You are able to pick out of four types of reverb (Recital Hall, Chamber, Concert Hall, Club) and also adjust its depth within the 0 20 range.

Polyphony

The polyphony is the amount of notes a digital piano is able to produce at the same time.

The majority of the contemporary digital pianos are equipped with sixty four, 128, 192 or perhaps 256 note polyphony.

You might question exactly how it’s feasible to have thirty two, sixty four, or perhaps even 128 notes playing at the exact same time, if there are only eighty eight keys and we never ever play them all together.

To begin with, a lot of today’s digital pianos use stereo samples, which often require 2 notes for each key played.

One more thing would be that the utilization of the sustain pedal, sound effects (Reverb, Chorus), Dual mode (layering) as well as the metronome tick sound take up additional notes of polyphony.

For instance, if you depress the sustain pedal, the first played notes continue to sound while you are adding the piano and new ones needs more memory to hold all of the notes sounding.

Another example of polyphony consumption happens when you are playing together with a song playback (can be also your very own recorded auto accompaniment or performance).

In this situation, the piano is going to need polyphony not just for the notes you are playing but also for a backing track.

When you get to the polyphony cap, the piano begins to drop the first played notes to free up memory for the brand new ones, which subsequently affects the sound and its fullness.

You will seldom need all of the 192 or perhaps 256 voices of polyphony at a time, but you will find instances when you are able to reach sixty four or perhaps even 128 note limit, especially in case you love to layer a few sounds and create multi track recordings.

So it is very desirable to have a minimum of sixty four notes of polyphony.

The quantity of polyphony on the P 125 has remained similar (192 notes), that is much more than an average digital piano in this price range has (128 notes).

In either case, even 128 note polyphony is much more than enough ninety nine % of the time even in case you intend to layer several sounds and use backing tracks for the performances of yours.

And 192 note polyphony makes it much tougher to work out of notes, so it is really not a thing to be concerned about on the P 125.

Speakers

Another noticeable improvement in the P 125 is its new redesigned speaker system.

It’s got four speakers (two on each side), that isn’t a thing we usually see on a digital piano in this cost range.

You will find 2 twelve cm full range speakers in addition to 2 four cm tweeters that ensure magnificent high frequencies.

Together, the speakers deliver 14W of power, giving you enough volume to fill up a medium size room without using any additional amplification.

The place of the speakers can make the noise to come out in both upward and downward directions, that creates an immersive sound field that envelops the player.

The P 125 also offers a lot of new features designed to improve the quality of sound and adapt it with the environment you are playing in.

Yamaha P125 sound

Table EQ setting can be utilized to optimize the sound coming out of the internal speakers if you position the piano on a table or perhaps a table.

Such location does not allow the good to easily flow from the down facing speakers, so Table EQ adjusts the frequency distribution to obtain the best possible audio quality.

Sound Boost feature was created to create the sound slightly sharper/louder.

So in case you are playing in a band, this particular feature is going to help you cut through the mix, although I cannot say it can make a massive difference.

The P 125 sounds great with or perhaps with no Sound Boost turned on.

Intelligence Acoustic Control (IAC) is Yamaha’s proprietary technology we have previously seen on the P 115.

 

Yamaha P125 IAC

IAC automatically adjusts the frequency response to achieve a much better balance and make both low and high register notes clearly audible even at lower volume levels.

Here’s an excellent demo recorded from the onboard speakers:

Features

The P 125 has essentially the same features the P 115 does. The one difference is Yamaha has added six new rhythm patterns and got rid of the Pianist Style function.
Modes

Together with the typical Whole keyboard mode, you will find three additional modes which are commonly used in contemporary digital pianos. The P 125 has all of them.

Dual Mode can be used to layer 2 different instrument sounds to produce a rich atmospheric sound for the performance of yours so that any time you press a key, you will pick up 2 sounds playing together.

https://www.pianodreamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/dual-mode-layering.gif

Yamaha P125 layer mode

With the P 125, you cannot just layer any sounds. The tones from exactly the same sound section can’t be combined. For instance, you cannot layer a piano with another piano, or perhaps an organ with another organ.

The volume balance between the sounds could be adjusted.

Split Mode works much like the Dual Mode, but rather than layering 2 tones, it splits them between 2 keyboard zones so that you are able to have fun with one sound with the right hand of yours along with another one with the left hand of yours.

Yamaha P125 split mode

The P 125 allows you to choose some Bass tone for your left hand section and every other sound for the right hand section.

By default, the split point is set to F#2 but you are able to change it also the volume balance between the sounds.

Lastly, we have got the Duo Mode, that is known as Twin Piano or perhaps partner Mode.

Yamaha P125 duo mode

What it does is splits the keyboard into 2 identical parts which have similar octave ranges and a middle C, like 2 little 44 key pianos were put together.

It is a terrific feature to use in a class environment with a tutor or perhaps a teacher as it allows 2 folks to sit shoulder by shoulder and play similar notes at exactly the same time.
Music Library

Yamaha P125 features

The same as the P 115, the P 125 has a music library with fifty preset piano pieces from famous composers like Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, etc.

Most of the songs were taken from the P 115, but there’re additionally a lot of new ones to experience.

Not merely are able to you listen to the built in songs, but you also can make use of them for the practice of yours.

For each song, you are able to switch off the left-hand or right part and play it live, while another part is playing back.
Recording and Playback

When you are likely to produce your own personal stuff or simply want to listen/evaluate the performance of yours, the P 125 allows you to record your playing in MIDI format, which you are able to then transfer to the pc of yours.

Yamaha P125 midi

For each song, you are able to independently record 2 tracks, which you are able to then play together as one song or perhaps mute one of the parts.

For instance, you can record each hand part to another track, or perhaps put several instrument parts on top of each other.

One (User) song are able to be saved in the instrument, and you can load approximately 2 MIDI songs from the pc of yours.

But guys, come on, it has 2018 already, and to me the thought of having memory just for three songs seems a little ridiculous.

Flash memory is getting cheaper each year, so the size of MIDI files is normally only 50 150 KB, which is nothing by today’s standards.

Anyway we’ve what we’ve, and while it is not a big issue in case you use Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app (see Connectivity’ section) and play back MIDI/Audio files from your iOS device, it will be great to have enough memory for probably a least several dozens of songs, which means you do not need to load them forth and back all of the time.
Rhythm Section

The Yamaha P 125 has twenty built in rhythm accompaniments that cover a great selection of musical styles.

Each rhythm has a drum along with a bass part that follow your playing in time that is real.

Yamaha P125 tones

In comparison to traditional Accompaniment function (Pianist Styles on the P 115), you do not have to specify chords with the left hand of yours and play the melody with the right hand of yours.

You are able to simply play across the entire keyboard range, and the rhythmic accompaniment will back up the performance of yours as well as make you seem like a full band.

Pianist Styles feature is not on the P 125.
Some other Features

Yamaha P125 transpose

The P 125 comes with an onboard metronome, which is a useful tool which is going to help you focus on the rhythm of yours and time keeping skills.

The beat, tempo, and volume of the metronome can be adjusted.

Transpose is a favorite function which enables you to shift the pitch of the keyboard in semitone steps. You are able to make use of it to play a song in another pitch without changing your hands’ position, or even in case you wish to transpose a song into a simpler key (e.g. fewer black keys).

Tuning function can be used whenever you have to match the pitch of a different instrument or perhaps a CD recording and also allows you to alter the pitch in 0.2 Hz steps.
Connectivity

The Yamaha P 125 has every one of the same ports the P 115 had, that means you get 2 Headphone jacks, USB to Host port, Aux Out jacks and Sustain jack.

All of the ports are located on the back panel of the piano, aside from the headphone jacks, which are on front (left side) for even more convenience.

Both of them are 1/4 inch stereo jacks that allows you to plug 2 pairs of headset at exactly the same time.

Yamaha P125 connectors

Yamaha P125 usb computer

The USB to Host (type B) port is going to allow you to connect the instrument of yours to a computer to exchange files and MIDI data.

You are able to also use this port to connect your smart devices to the P 125 to expand its range of features as well as functions using 3rd party apps.

Allow me to share several of the points you will have the ability to do using this port:

One) Exchange files (recorded songs) with the laptop of yours. An A to B USB cable, needed for this connection type, does not come with the piano.

 

Stand

As I said, the P 125 does not include a stand that you might sometimes see on the photographs.

Yamaha P125 stand

But there’re numerous choices for purchase either separately from the piano or even in a bundle. There’re 2 ways you are able to go with regards to purchasing a stand.

First, will buy a Z-type or X stand that are generally pretty inexpensive, adjustable and portable.

This may be a great option for on the go musicians or perhaps those that would like to have the ability to quickly collapse a stand and store it when not used.

The next alternative is usually to purchase a furniture style stand, which would offer a far more stylish look for the home interior of yours and more stability compared to portable stands.

For the P 125, Yamaha has designed a wooden furniture stand (L 125) which is suitable for the Yamaha LP 1 triple pedal unit.

https://www.pianodreamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/yamaha-p125-stand.jpg

Yamaha P125 Review Summary

 

  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano.
  • The special matte black key tops are designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile after extended use without becoming slippery.
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled, acclaimed Yamaha 9′ CFIIIS concert grand piano, allowing for incredibly dynamic and expressive playing.
  • Split mode lets you play a different Voice with each hand
  • USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need one cable to connect to your music-making software.

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