Japanese music giants Yamaha are behind some of the most popular guitars and digital pianos in the world. Not only are they known for producing great beginner pianos, but also fantastic pianos for the intermediate to expert player too. One of the Yamaha digital pianos that we were really eager to try out is the Yamaha P115. Its predecessor the P105 was very impressive, so we were expecting good things from this model. Take a look below for our in-depth analysis.
The P115 is very much what you would expect from a portable digital piano in terms of design. It is plenty compact enough to be placed on a table or a desk, but would be better if placed on a dedicated stand. This particular model doesn’t actually come with a stand which is a shame, but there are plenty available online that would be suitable. One of the things that really impressed us with this model is the buttons along the top of the keyboard.
There are several buttons which allow you to really customize the sound and volume, along with access all of the other features. It’s not a beginner piano by a long shot; this one has definitely been designed with intermediate players in mind. The keys are very nice to the touch and feel quite realistic as opposed to plastic. The overall design is really nice, especially for a rather affordable digital piano.
Playing the Yamaha P115 is surprisingly realistic. It has 88 fully weighted keys which are also Graded Hammer Standard. What this means is that, like a traditional acoustic piano, the keys for the lower notes are heavier and the keys for the higher notes are lighter. This isn’t really necessary for those who just want to play on a semi-regular basis, but if you are planning on transitioning to a full acoustic piano then you will definitely benefit from this feature. The matte keys feel very nice to play and are incredibly close to resembling an acoustic piano, so overall, the playing experience is very realistic indeed.
A lot of thought has gone into the design of the P115 speakers and it has certainly paid off. It features two 12cm cone speakers along with an additional 2 4cm speakers. The difference that this makes is huge. Both the treble and the bass sound fantastic at all volume levels. There is no distortion and each note can be clearly heard. Something that makes the P115 really stand out is the Boost feature. This allows you to produce a much cleaner sound which could be really beneficial if you are playing live and don’t want to get overshadowed too much by other instruments or vocals.
On the front of the Yamaha P115, you will see two standard headphone jacks. To the rear is where you will find the rest of the different ports. With this model we firstly have a USB to Host port. This is the port that you will need to use if you want to connect the digital piano to a laptop or tablet. It is worth mentioning that you will need an A to B USB cable as the piano isn’t supplied with one. Next to the USB to Host port you will find two other ports; one for your sustain pedal and a MIDI port. There are also left and right outputs to connect the piano to an external amplifier or mixer. Yamaha have pretty much covered all bases with their connectivity options on the P115 which is great.
This is one of the things that we really liked about the P115. At only 26lbs it is the perfect weight for transporting to and from venues if you perform live. We had no trouble taking it to different locations, or moving it to different places in the home either. The general size of the piano is perfect for being portable so if you are looking for a piano that is packed with features and you perform live then this is definitely one to consider.
Again, Yamaha have really put a lot of thought into the design of this digital piano, especially with the recording and playback features. The Yamaha P115 has a two track MIDI recorder which means that you are able to use up to two instruments per recording. It is important to keep in mind that during playback you won’t hear the actual piano sound, you will hear the MIDI notes that you have played. However, by using the right software you are able to edit the songs that you have recorded. The overall recording and playback experience was great, we had no problems at all.
For the price range, the P115 really excels in terms of the amount of instrument sounds that it offers and also the quality of those sounds. This model offers 14 different sounds including 3 grand pianos, 3 electric pianos, 3 organs, vibraphone, strings, harpsichord and wood bass. This is a pretty extensive range and all you really need if you want to record or play live. As well as this, there are 4 different reverb settings; Recital Hall, Concert Hall, Chamber and Club. There are also 192 notes of polyphony which is a massive increase on the 64 notes on offer from the P105. Overall, we were really impressed here.
The Yamaha P115 does have a sustain pedal jack, so there is the option to use one should you want to. You can choose to buy the Yamaha sustain pedal, but there are cheaper options that are available. As long as they have the same connector as the digital piano then they will work just fine. We tried several brands and had no problems.
There are a few extra features with the Yamaha P115 which are definitely worth noting. First of all, there is the built in music library which has 50 pre-set songs. There is also the boost function which you don’t get with other digital pianos in this price range. Combine this with the Duo Mode, Dual Mode and Split Mode and you have plenty of different extra features to play around with.
For an intermediate pianist, the Yamaha P115 is a fantastic option. It has been designed really well, has plenty of extra features and a great selection of instrument sounds as well as polyphonic notes. If you want to be able to perform live without lugging around a heavy digital piano then this is definitely a model to consider.