Pianos

Yamaha YPG-635 88-Key Portable Grand Piano Review

Yamaha YPG-635 88-Key Portable Grand Piano with Stand, Power Supply, and Sustain Pedal

Yamaha YPG-635 88-Key Portable Grand Piano

Those who are new to pianos that want a model which has enough features under its bonnet to keep you captivated a good while should take a look at the Yamaha YPG635 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand.

This attractive piano gives you many of the benefits of a grand piano like an authentic touch and grand sound without the high price tag.

The features are many including an LCD display to help you learn.

Read Consumer Reviews on the Yamaha YPG-635 88-Key Portable Grand Piano

To get a considerably better digital piano you’ll need to pay more than a thousand dollars more, though the Casio AP420 Celviano is one to compare with in the same class of good mid priced boards.

Features
  • 88-key portable keyboard
  • Included SongsSuite
  • USB Ports
  • Stereo Sound
  • LCD Display
  • Accessories Included

 

88-key portable keyboard

The Yamaha YPG635 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand has a pretty responsive keyboard and the action mimics a grand fairly well by means of a scaled weighted keys. The keys are actually heavier scaled to lighter depending on position, heavier in low end and lighter in the high end.

What we like about weighted keys is a person learning becomes accustom to the sound and feel of what a piano should feel like, something that’s been neglected in digital for some time. The fact that the weight of the keys is more true from lower to high ends is icing on the cake.

Included Songs Suite

30 songs are pre-loaded and an additional 70 are included with the cd-rom disc. This means you have something to work with right out of the box as any investor would tell you it should be.

USB Ports

Need more connectivity? More Storage? The Yamaha YPG635 includes 2 USB ports built-in. USB TO HOST and USB TO DEVICE.

The USB to Host means you can record or play back MIDI files or transfer files to your computer.

The USB to Device is similar allowing more complex usage.

A good way to think of the difference is by looking at a computer USB plugin port on your computer, and comparing it to the main USB plugin for the printer. One is more a parent and the other a child USB port.

Stereo Sound

Two-way stereo speaker system makes since because we humans hear in stereo anyways. Two way mean two separate tweeters and woofers which makes the instruments sound more live.

The sound system includes bass boost, and digital signal processing for enhanced sound. Lets face it, we’ve all heard sound systems without good bass, and if you want that, buy a 100 dollar keyboard because they all have it…junk.

LCD Display

The LCD Display makes for a nice information center as well as learning center, providing you have good eye sight as its a wee bit small. The Yamaha Education Suite is included and will help you to master piano learning via the easy to read display.

Specifications:

Dimensions:

  • Width: 55-1/3″ on stand
  • Height: 30-3/8″ on stand
  • Depth: 19-1/8″ on stand
  • Weight: 56 lbs., 3 oz. with stand

Keyboard:

  • Keys: 88
  • Type of Keys: Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Keyboard
  • Touch Response: yes

Effects:

  • Reverb: 29 types
  • Chorus: 24 types
  • DSP: 182 types
  • Master EQ: 5 types

Storage:

  • Internal Memory: 1895KB
  • External Drives: Optional USB Flash Memory

Speakers / Amplifier:

  • Amplifiers: 6W + 6W
  • Speakers: 12cm x 2 + 3cm x 2

Accessories:

  • Music Rest
  • Keyboard Stand
  • FC5 Pedal/Footswitch
  • CD-ROM
Pros and Cons

Pros:

Price. For what your getting the price is great.

The weighted keys with grand piano action is a great feature for getting the feel of playing.

USB ports, one is great, but two is fantastic.

The Recorder feature. A great way to learn is to listen to yourself, especially with a trained ear guiding you when you’re not preoccupied with trying to do. This is also great to record your or your childs progress from the first time you play to recitals.

The Triple pedal is also a great feature, it delivers everything you need from full sustain, soft and left hand sustain.

Cons:

Poor amplification. This part must have been designed by apartment tenant control committees who wanted to make sure you would never be too loud. Compared to the Casio AP420 Celviano there is a huge difference. And no line out jacks to be able to use outside amplification without interference.

Head Phone Jack plugs in the back. What were they thinking, drap the cord across the keys?

While we appreciate two USB ports, why are they on the back. Stuff like that belongs on a front hidden panel like all computers adapted to for hooking up more easily. Heck even TV’s put line in and line out jacks in the front. Yamaha…you know better.

Final Thoughts

The main ingredients to be pretty happy with a Piano are the feel and sound for most people. From that prospective the Yamaha YPG635 feels better than most you’ll come across even at higher prices, Yamaha did a great job with the realistic action.

The Sound is also very good, the voices are accurate and an asset, it only lacks in the ability to produce reasonable volume. But with the headphones on its a non-issue.

We wish they would have done better with the jacks, and ports and put them in the front but as we said the main ingredients are the feel and sound. So based on that the Yamaha YPG635 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand receives a strong buy recommendation.

Consumer Reviews button Details and Pricing

Yamaha YPG-635 Live! Grand Demo

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Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano Review

Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano

Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano

Just as the needs for a piano vary, so do the types of instruments available.

The Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Piano is one of only two 88-key digital pianos that it currently makes, and it’s the only cabinet model.

It has the look of an upright piano, but because it doesn’t require the height of an acoustic piano, it may fit into a smaller area than an acoustic.

Read Consumer Reviews on the Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano

To make this digital piano sound as much like an acoustic piano as possible, Yamaha incorporates the following features toward that goal.

Features
  • Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard
  • 3-level Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) dynamic stereo sampling voices
  • 64-note polyphony
  • Song recorder
  • Half pedal control

 

GHS Keyboard

If you’ve ever played an acoustic piano, you know that you can increase or decrease the volume by how strongly you press on the keys.

A Graded Hammer Standard keyboard on a Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano allows nearly the same kind of response from your finger pressure meaning you don’t have to give up on sound variety with an Arius.

3-Level AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling Voices

Sampling means that the sounds of an acoustic piano are recorded at all ranges and volumes, digitally filtered, and added to the Arius sound system.

The more samples used in putting the piano together, the better the timbre or quality of the expression. AWM Stereo Sampling uses state-of-the-art technology for best results.

64-Note Polyphony

Those new to digital instruments may not know this, but it’s possible to actually run out of note sounds, particularly in faster sections of music.

The Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano allows for 64 notes to be played at once so that it takes longer to experience this digital need to catch up.

Song Recorder

A digital piano has extra bells and whistles, and the Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano is no exception.

It has a two-track recording ability that allows you to record one track, play it back and record another track on top of it. You can also change the tempo after recording.

Specifications

  • 12-watt speaker system
  • Dimensions – 55.9 x 22.4 x 16.7 inches
  • Half pedal control for step-by-step sustain
Pros and Cons

Pros:

User-friendly, comfortable with an excellent grand sound, the YDP-141 offers a lot for the beginner pianist. Its compact size also makes it pretty easy to move from room to room.

Cons:

Tim Praskins of azpianonews.blogspot.com pointed out that, for its price, he would have liked the Arius to have a USB computer port and a 128-key polyphony rather than 64.

Final Thoughts

If you have plans for a lot of studio work and recording, the Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano is probably not a good choice. But if it’s for your home, the limited polyphony and lack of computer connections probably won’t matter a great deal.

Know how you’re going to use your piano, and the Yamaha YDP-141 Arius Digital Piano may be just right for you.

Consumer Reviews button Details and Pricing

Yamaha YDP-141 Demonstration video

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Casio PX-830 Privia Digital Piano Review

Casio PX-830 Privia Digital Piano, Black

Casio PX830 Privia Digital Piano

If you’re looking for a digital piano that’s more than just a keyboard but not as big as a console, the Casio PX-830 Privia Digital Piano might be just what you want.

The manufacturer calls the design “minimalist,” and at just under 74 pounds, has great portability.

Read Consumer Reviews on the Casio PX830 Privia Digital Piano

It kind of looks like a framework piano and fits just about anywhere.

Features
  • Linear Morphing AiF sound source
  • Open strings sound
  • Ivory Touch

 

Linear Morphing AiF Sound Source

The Linear Morphing AiF sound source is a fairly new technology that developed as the result of constantly trying to achieve a grand piano sound in a digital piano.

It’s the result of “detailed analysis of the acoustic resonance system of a grand piano.”

Open Strings Sound

The Casio PX-830 Privia has an interesting feature that’s called Acoustic Resonance.

It means that, by raising the damper on a pedal in a certain way, you get the sound of open strings for an orchestral experience that few digital pianos have.

Ivory Touch

A new feature called Ivory Touch gives the player more of the feel of an acoustic piano. This is created by the Tri-Sensor 88-Note scaled hammer action engineering.

Scaled hammer action means that the Casio PX-830 Privia keys give the weight and feel that are closer to a grand piano.

Specifications

  • Weight – 73.9
  • Height – 35.2 inches
  • Width – 54 inches
Pros and Cons

Pros:

A reviewer from bhphotovideo.com had this to say, “I use this piano to improve my technique. The keyboard feels like an acoustic piano. Very good quality sampling. Casio’s poor reputation is something from the past!”

A guitarcenter.com reviewer talked about her new Privia. “Having a real-feel piano was a must! I also love a great looking piano too. This one fit the requirements perfectly. I love having it in my home.”

A buzzillions.com reviewer reported, “Awesome for practice for my two kids ages 8 and 10. The sound is as good as my baby grand. . . Great selections of preloaded songs.”

Cons:

The Privia Digital Piano cabinet is faux wood particle board which looks cheap in comparison to the glossy black finish of a real piano.

Casio customer services are difficult to get on the phone according to some dealers so contacting them for support may prove difficult.

Final Thoughts

Despite the efforts at designing a digital piano that sounds like a grand piano, there may not have been enough effort put into the outside quality of the Casio PX-830 Privia to qualify for a good recommendation.

A piano played by a beginning student needs to be sturdy, and this piano probably would not hold up, and the customer service for getting repairs is iffy as well. Best to choose another brand.

Consumer Reviews button Details and Pricing

CASIO PRIVIA MODEL COMPARISON

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Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano Review

Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano with Bench

Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano

If you have a passion for the Piano but don’t have the space for a full size upright or baby grand, you may want to consider the Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano.

Why does having a passion make the Casio AP420 Celviano a good choice? Because the Casio isn’t the cheapest of Piano’s, its a bit more expensive than most starter keyboards though still affordable.

But if you have a passion, you won’t be satisfied with a starter keyboard for long, so you’ll end up moving to a digital piano like this one. So you might call the Casio AP420 Celviano the perfect digital Piano for Piano lovers just starting.

Read Consumer Reviews on the Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano

The rest of this review will justify why we believe this to be the case.

Features
  • Linear Morphing AiF with 16 tones
  • 3-sensor hammer action
  • “Ivory Touch” surface
  • Speaker system
  • Memory options

 

Linear Morphing AiF with 16 tones

The Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano’s Linear Morphing AiF system is what delivers the Grand Piano tones. You don’t need to know how it produces the 16 tones that deliver the high quality sound to appreciate it.

3-sensor hammer action

As important as sound is to the Piano experience, it’s almost equally important to the Pianist to have the feel of a quality piano, and this is made possible in the Casio AP420 Celviano Digital Piano by the 3-sensor hammer action.

3-sensor hammer action involves a new tri-sensor spring-less 88 note scaled hammer action technology, with weighted keys, which for most consumers is pretty close to what they are looking for.

“Ivory Touch” surface

Along with the action of the keys, the touch of the keys is equally apart of the playing experience. The Casio AP420 Celviano uses matte finished keys which don’t feel like the cheap plastic ones found on most keyboards and digital pianos.

Speaker system

You can have great package of sound reproduction, key action, and even overall look but if the sound is crappy you have nothing.

The Casio AP420 Celviano utilizes a dual 20 watt speaker system that delivers a full and deep sound which is free of any tinny sounds normally associated with cheap speakers or poor amplification.

Of course the option headphones is available as well.

Memory options

USB terminal, SD memory card slot, Line

Specifications:

  • Keyboard: 88 keys, weighted scaled hammer action, Tri-Sensor keys, Ivory Touch
  • Touch Response: 3 Sensitivity levels / Off
  • Sound Source: 4 level stereo samples, Linear Morphing System
  • Acoustic Resonance: Yes
  • Polyphony (max): 128
  • Tones: 16
  • Reverb: 4 types
  • Chorus: 4 types
  • Preset Songs: 60
  • Metronome: Beats: 0,2,3,4,5,6 Tempo Range: 20 to 255
  • Transpose: 25 Steps -12 / +12 semi tones
  • Tuning Control: A4=440Hz +/- 99 cents (variable)
  • Temperament: equal temperament + 16 scales
  • Recorder: 2 Tracks / 1 Song
  • USB Storage (to PC): Yes
  • SD Memory Card Storage: Yes
  • Speakers: 4.7” x 2” + 1” x 2”
  • Amplifier: 20W + 20W

Terminals

  • Line Out: 2
  • USB: Yes
  • Pedals: Damper, Soft, Sostenuto
  • Headphones: 2
  • AC Adaptor: AD-24
  • Pedals: (Damper, Soft, Sostenuto) Yes
  • Bench: Yes (height adjustable)
  • Music Stand: Yes
  • Score Book: Yes

Dimensions and Weight

  • Unit size w/stand: 54.9” (W) x 16.8” (D) x 32.9” (H)
  • Unit weight w/stand: 82.2 lbs.
Pros and Cons

Pros:

For what your getting the Casio AP420 Celviano has a great price. It delivers a sound which is as good or better than digital pianos costing twice as much. Although there are some complaining that the downward speakers muffle the sound to a degree, its almost a personal thing, because comparing the sound to other pianos and you quickly surmise this to be the better of the bunch.

If you are even remotely displeased with the sound you have options such as headphones which delivers excellent sound or included jacks to connect your own speakers.

The duet mode is a nice feature especially for students who have a mentor sitting with them. Kind of in the same line is the ability to save your performance which is a great teaching tool even if your the teacher of yourself. A SD Card Slot and USP Port add versatility and convenience to an already good system, allowing you to record, play back you music on any device accepting them.

The construction of the Casio AP420 Celviano is pretty decent, the front legs take it to the level of furniture from that of most keyboard systems. The bench seat has been described as equivalent of a tank, rock solid and is adjustable. The keys feel great, solid brass foot petals. This is a great deal for the money.

Great Price…Great Sound…Great Buy.

Cons:

No storage in the bench seat. The Sheet Music stand isn’t hinged.

Final Thoughts

Simply put the Casio AP420 Celviano is a great product. While the price might be high compared to a department store piano, it’s really very inexpensive at the grand price range. Its quality equals that of a Yamaha costing twice as much so Casio has come a long ways.

Not only does it sound very close to a fine acoustic piano but it has key action and feel to match. Even the foot pedals are solid. The faux front legs and enclosed back make this closer to a piece of furniture then most keyboards. Even the bench is solid with metal construction to support even larger sized individuals with an adjustable seat to boot.

A highly recommended buy if you’re new to studying the piano over cheaper starters because you’ll want to move to this eventually anyways. Plus the Casio AP420 Celviano is great for small spaces like apartments both in size and headphone quality sound.

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Casio Celviano Preview

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