Yamaha Reviews

Yamaha YPG-235 Review

Pros and Cons

The Yamaha YPG-235 is one of Yamaha’s”Portable Grand” models and also the most economical. The keys are touch sensitive — many voices will get louder the harder you press on the keys. They’re also semi-weighted, utilizing some weight in the touch but not like an acoustic guitar.

There are 489 distinct sounds, a 6-track recorder, instructional attributes , and much more. Also available for separate purchase are a bench, stand, power adapter, headphones, beginner books and a sustain pedal (recommended).

By comparison, the next level version YPG535 includes a full 88 keys, weighs 24 lbs, and includes its own built-in, sturdy stand.

Pros:
Lightweight — only 18 pounds.
Low cost compared to other keyboards
Multi-functional screen
Recorder (6-track MIDI)
489 built-in sounds
Educational attributes

Disadvantages:
Keys aren’t completely weighted
Only 32-note polyphony (not a drawback for many beginner uses)
Power-off Isn’t automatic

 

DESIGN

With shortened (to 76 keys) keyboard, the YPG-235 is much more streamlined and 5.7 pounds lighter compared to YPG-535 (18.3 lbs vs 24 pounds ).

It provides more freedom. It is easy to transfer the keyboard from place to place and take it with you on trips and gigs.

Just like the YPG-535, the YPG-235 is fairly deep (16.2″) compared, say, to the Yamaha NP-32, which is just 10.2″ in depth. However, the NP-32 doesn’t have nearly as many sounds and features and also does not have any display.

So something is sacrificed anyway, whether it is the compactness of the keyboard or extra features.

Unlike its bigger brother, the YPG-235 has a compartment for 6 D batteries on the bottom, so you can play the keyboard virtually everywhere without worrying about where to plug it into.

The batteries could also act as a backup energy source in case the AC power goes out for some reason.

KEYBOARD

The YPG-235 features 76 semi-weighted keys, that is the main difference from the YPG-535, which has a full variety of 88 keys.

While 61-key keyboards can be rather limiting, and if you own one, you may have noticed that 61 keys are not always enough for playing particular pieces, the YPG-235 would be a terrific upgrade that would expand the assortment of songs you can play.

The YPG-235 uses the identical Graded Soft Touch action as the YPG-535, so you get the exact feel and touch but with 1 octave fewer keys.

The keys are graded (heavier at the low end and lighter in the high end) and touch-sensitive (the harder you play, the louder the sound).

The width of these keys differs somewhat from an acoustic guitar, being about 1 inch narrower in comparison with the width of 76 acoustic guitar keys. You will barely notice the difference, but it is still worth mentioning.

Reproduction and validity
The noises on the Portable Grand are made by digital recordings of acoustic pianos — pretty good for a keyboard in this price range.

The participant’s signature sensitivity controls the grand piano sample that’s heard via the keyboard’s AWM Stereo Sampling system. Although a lot of unique sounds are available, only a single push of the handy”Portable Grand” button will return you to the grand piano sound.

DISPLAY

The screen of the YPG-235 is smaller than the YPG-535’s and consequently has some constraints.

The display will show your current settings such as the chosen sound, style, song, style, transpose preferences, speed, etc..

You can even use it with the Song Lesson function; the display will show the notes and the actual keys (on the graphic on-screen keyboard) you will need to play.

Unlike the YPG-535’s, the YPG-235’s display isn’t capable of showing the scores and lyrics of songs due to its smaller size.

SOUND AND FEATURES

Speakers
The built-in speakers include a 2-way speaker system (6W + 6W amplifiers). They’re more than adequate for home use or playing in tiny spaces. For larger venues, however, you might require an external amplifier.

When it comes to sounds and features, the YPG-235 and the YPG-535 are nearly identical.

The keyboards offer the identical sound effects, styles, and inner songs in addition to educational features including the Yamaha Education Suite and the Performance Assistant.

At the exact same time, the YPG-235 has 11 fewer instrument sounds (489 vs 500) and slightly different performance helper with two selectable types (the YPG-535 offersfour types).

Along with that, the YPG-235 has 373 KB of internal memory and permits you to transfer to the instrument up to 256 files (MIDI tunes, fashions, etc.), whereas the YPG-535 has 875 KB of internal memory, and up to 512 files may be transferred.

That is pretty much it when it comes to differences between the two here.

Polyphony
Though this Yamaha has a 32-note polyphony, meaning that just 32 notes may sound at the same time, you aren’t likely to want more than that.

If you’re an orchestral composer or a pop artist who enjoys a large, complicated sound with tons of bells and whistles, then you should think about a keyboard using a 64-note polyphony or more.

But even with 2-layer stereo notes, even if you use all 10 fingers (with no recorded accompaniment) you still won’t need over 20 voices at the same time.

Voices
In total there are 489 tool sounds on the YPG-235 including 6 piano sounds, numerous instrumental voices, and distinctive sounds. These include”Sweet” voices of Soprano & Tenor Saxes, Trumpet, and Pan Flute, and”Cool” Voices like Organ, Honky Tonk, Galaxy Electric Piano, and much more.

Additionally, there are 9 types of reverb (echoes), 4 types of chorus and 5 equalizerconfigurations. If you’re organizing a tune for performance and you are simply not quite happy, experimenting with these voices may provide you exactly the sound you want.

Features for learning
The Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.) and Performance Assistant let you break down tunes into individual components like pitch and rhythm.

You can play 1 hand while listening to the computer keyboard play the other. If You’re studying the music on the screen, these guides are at your disposal:

Waiting manner will wait for you to strike the perfect note.
Tempo style will adjust the tempo to your speed as you perform.
Minus One mode permits you to play the entire piece and gives you a grade at the end.
But these aren’t a replacement for a true teacher. At the very least, buy a piano method book that takes you step-by-step.

Modes
The Split mode divides the keyboard in half and lets you play a single tool in the upper half and another at the bottom. You may use middle F or switch to another point to split the keyboard.

The Dual mode lets you layer two tool sounds, like strings and piano so that they seem simultaneously across the whole range of the keyboard.

 

CONNECTIVITY

IN the back of the keyboard you will find 3 ports:

Standard 1/4″ speaker or headset jack

USB interface for connecting to a pc, tablet computer or smartphone

Jack for a sustain pedal.

The YPG-235 has all the same connectors the YPG-535 has except the USB to Device port.

It means you will not be able to plug in a USB drive straight to the computer keyboard to exchange MIDI songs.

However, you still can connect the keyboard to a computer using the USB to Host interface (USB AB cable is required) and exchange songs, files, and use the keyboard as a MIDI controller with audio programs, such as GarageBand, Logic Pro, FlowKey, etc..

 

Recording and Playback
What I Like About YPG-235
The YPG-235 includes a 6-track MIDI recorder which lets you record your performances on the internal memory in SMF format (MIDI). Changes to several instruments, tempos and notes could be made after completing the recording.
This is one of my favourite features – it is possible to record an accompaniment for a different instrument so that you can play along with that instrument. Or you could record a tune and then play it back while figuring out the guitar chords you desire.

Music Library (Preset Songs)
The music library of the tool includes 100 preset songs – 30 in-built songs plus 70 more tunes on an included CD-ROM. Moreover, the keyboard comprises 373 KB of internal memory; connecting to a notebook or PC through the USB port will permit you to download a lot more songs also!

Transposing and Fine Tuning
Like every electronic piano, the Yamaha YPG-235 does not have to be tuned, though youcan still correct the pitch of the full keyboard with the Transpose or Tuning function.

Transpose function will permit you to alter the pitch of the whole keyboard in half-step increments. By way of instance, if you’re able to play a tune in F major, you can transpose to C major without needing to learn it in a new key.

Although other musicians will often listen to your computer keyboard, you may occasionally have to tune to somebody else. If that’s the situation, you can fine tune the pitch in 0.2Hz steps.

 

ACCESSORIES

When it comes to accessories coming with the keyboard, the YPG-235 is very basic.

The package includes just a Music Rest, Owner’s Manual, and an accessory CD with drivers and extra songs. That is it, no matching stand and even no AC adapter.

However, for an additional 30$ you can find the YPG-235 Standard Pack , which comprises not only the Yamaha PA-150 AC adapter but also an X-type rack and cans (pretty crappy though).

Alternatively, you can purchase an AC adapter and all the essential accessories separately, so you’ll be able to choose those that meet your requirements and have great quality.

A bored of practice routine child will find something fun on the YPG-235 using its 489 built-in sounds (including 6 pianos), 100 tunes (for practicing and listening ) as well as the helpful lesson features and the easy-to-play Performance assistant.

Another great thing about the YPG-235 is its portability. It goes without saying that the keyboard is lighter and smaller than its 88-key competitors, so it’s a lot easier to carry the YPG-235 about and play out.

You don’t even require a second person to assist you; the keyboard is light enough for one person to lift.

In my view, the 76-key keyboard is a”happy medium” for a beginner. Such keyboards are cheaper than 88-key ones but at the same time are not as restricting as 61-key keyboards can be.

But if you’d like to play a lot of classical pieces, chances are that some of them will require a full-length keyboard for good performance and if that’s the event, you’d be better off with an 88-key tool (preferably with hammer action keys).

The YPG-235 is quite easy on the pocket and will save you from overspending until you’re committed to playing for years to come. At the same time the YPG-235 has more than enough bells and whistles that will keep you busy and interested for hours, that’s for sure.

 

 

ALTERNATIVES

There are not actually many 76-key keyboards on the market to compete with the YPG-235 , but there are still some amazing alternatives to think about.

YAMAHA YPG-235 VS YAMAHA YPG-535 (FULL REVIEW)
As I said, the keyboards have a great deal in common. All the differences I’ve covered in this review and the rest you can find in the detailed YPG-535 review .

The main advantage of this YPG-535 within the YPG-235 is its 88-key keyboard and USB to Device port.

If you’re a newcomer, you probably wouldn’t need the complete assortment of 88 keys, since it’s only necessary for playing some complicated (classical) pieces.

At exactly the exact same time, the 76-key keyboard would enable you to play 99.9% of modern pop/rock/jazz and many classical pieces.

In terms of the USB to Device port, well it is a convenient feature to be able to record and save your performance (SMF format) directly to the Flash drive, but it is definitely not irreplaceable.

I mean, you can always use MIDI software in your computer to record and edit songs using the YPG-235’s USB to Host terminal.

Another thing to point out is that the YPG-535 includes a nice matching stand and an AC adapter, so the keyboard is ready to use right out of the box.

But don’t forget that the YPG-535 is nearly twice as expensive as the YPG-235, which doesn’t come with those accessories.

YAMAHA YPG-235 VS YAMAHA NP-32
The NP-32 is an elegant 76-key keyboard using a minimum of features and a wonderful piano sound. Unlike the YPG-235, the NP-32 does not have hundreds of instrument sounds, sound effects, styles, and rhythms.

It’s designed to be very easy and straightforward so you can concentrate solely on playing. The keyboard is extremely compact and lightweight (only 12.5 lbs).

It has 10 beautiful sounds and all the”basics” like a metronome, Dual function (layering), Transpose function and a 1-track MIDI recorder for recording and playing back your own performances.

The NP-32 features the same Graded Soft Touch keyboard and the AWM sampling technology as the YPG-235.

However, the NP-32 offers two times as much polyphony as the YPG-235 (64 vs 32 notes), allowing for richer and fuller sound when playing music (and especially when using the sustain pedal).

You can use the NP-32 for a MIDI controller because the keyboard Comes with a USB to Host terminal to connect to a pc.

Basically, the NP-32 is the YPG-235 but with no additional features, sounds and effects that would be unnecessary for a piano player.

So I would recommend this keyboard if you are a newcomer and you mostly need a keyboard for piano playing rather than for creating and recording multi-layered music or playing an accompaniment, etc..

But for piano playing, I’d seriously think about investing in a keyboard with fully-weighted keys, which imitates the hammer action found on an acoustic guitar, unlike non-weighted and semi-weighted actions.

The Yamaha P-45 is Yamaha’s cheapest keyboard with hammer action keys.

YAMAHA YPG-235 VS CASIO WK-245
The Casio WK-245 is actually the direct competitor to the YPG-235.

Both keyboard feature 76 spring-loaded touch-sensitive keys (semi-weighted), a display, and an entire world of sounds, styles, rhythms, songs as well as various attributes for music making, learning, and just for fun.

If you want to understand how the keyboards sound and feel in contrast to one another concerning piano playing, I’d say that they’re very similar.

The WK-245’s piano tones sounded slightly more natural to my taste, while the keys felt better on the YPG-235, but it’s only a matter of personal preference.

The WK-245 also offers slightly more sounds, attributes, and connectors.

Specifically, the WK-245 has 600 built-in tool sounds (up to 8 sampling tones),152 songs (up to 5 User Songs), 180 accompaniment styles, and assorted audio effects, including the exceptional Virtual Hall attribute for making the sound larger and more spacious.

Just like the YPG-235, the Casio has a 6-track MIDI recorder, Layer/Split Modes, and a Step up lesson feature to help enhance your playing skills.

Along with this, the WK-245 has an Audio In and Mic In jacks, which the YPG-235 doesn’t have.

The Audio In jack will allow you to connect your smart device (e.g. MP3 player, iPhone, etc.) to the WK-245 and play it through the computer keyboard’s onboard speakers.

The Mic In jack is used to connect the mic directly to the computer keyboard to sing along with playing and can also be used for sound sampling (producing new tones).

Generally, the keyboards have a very similar value proposition, exept that the WK-245 has an arguably more attractive layout, marginally more features and a lower price.

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