AZ PIANO REVIEWS!: REVIEW - Yamaha P105 Digital Piano - Very Impressive - Digital Piano Reviews

Jul 2, 2013

REVIEW - Yamaha P105 Digital Piano - Very Impressive

Yamaha P105 Review

UPDATED REVIEW -October 2, 2014 - I recommend the Yamaha P105 portable digital piano ($599US internet discount price) which is the updated replacement for the Yamaha P95 in this price range. The lightweight P105 which weighs only 27lbs is a huge improvement over the former P95 ($499 internet discount price...and it's about time Yamaha made that happen. I have personally played and carefully listened to the P105 and the deficiencies that I have talked about in the past on the P95 have almost all been taken care of on the P105. There is now a much better piano sound in this new model along with 128 notes of polyphony instead of 64 for smoother playability. Essentially (with a few exceptions) the P105 uses the higher priced P155 ($999 internet discount price) sound and polyphony technology and puts it into this lower priced model...and that's a very good thing. Copyright AZPianoNews.com 2014

The Yamaha company (left pic - beautiful building) has been making musical instruments for over 100 years (beginning with acoustic pianos) so they do know what they're doing. Yamaha produces many different types of quality musical instruments including flutes, violins, guitars, drums, and a variety of other things. Yamaha instruments are played on stage, in schools, studios, churches, and other venues where music is played and heard. I personally own Yamaha equipment (as well as other brands) and have for years. I have even been to the Yamaha music instrument & piano headquarters in Japan and was able to meet some of it's top people and designers. So I have seen this company up close & personal not only in Japan, but in the US at its headquarters in Calif.

Compared to the P95, the P105 (left pic) just runs all over it as far as piano tone goes and that was obvious to me since I have personally played that instrument many times. Beyond the improved piano sound, this low price model now has a USB to computer/iPad output (love it), stereo 1/4" audio line level outputs (very nice to put through an external sound system), assignable split of two sounds or layering of two sounds, a better, fuller sounding internal speaker system with 4 speakers and 14 watts of total audio power, a duet mode for two people playing the keys at the same time, 10 very nice drum rhythm patterns for rhythm training and fun play along, 10 piano style patterns for backing tracks while you play which is very cool (makes you sound better than you are), and the piano cabinet itself has been redesigned to make it look & sound better including the music rack color. The control panel is basically the same as the P95 with buttons across the top which makes it easy to access the various instrument sounds inside along with various editing functions using buttons and keys pressed at the same time to access those editing effects. You can also record a song using up to two independent recording parts for left & right hand in the standard MIDI format. A 3-pedal unit and matching furniture style stand (which are very nice) are an option and an extra cost. Bench is not included. As with all Yamaha piano products, they are generally very reliable and a factory warranty is included. So basically there is little or no reason to purchase a P95 (left pic) at this point even though it's a bit less money (not much less) and you can still buy one now although they are being discontinued soon.

As for the key action in the P105, Yamaha decided to keep the same basic GHS action in the P105 that is in the P95. This GHS key action is good overall compared to some other digital piano brands but it is a lightweight piano key movement in comparison to its better GH action and not as good, and is also bit noisy (plasticky) in its attempt to recreate the acoustic piano feel. This basic GHS key action movement is used in a number of lower priced Yamaha digital pianos including the P95, DGX640 (now replaced by the DGX650), YDPS31, YDP135R, YDP141, YDP142 and YDPV240. So the weak point of this piano in my opinion is the key action (relative to other brands), and if Yamaha had come out with something new that was a bit more realistic in the way the keys moved and felt, this P105 would have been an even better competitor and likely ahead of its competition in this price range. If you are not as concerned with the key action movement, key weight, and response as far as getting as close as possible to an acoustic upright piano, then the P105 may be the perfect piano for you with all of these very nice upgrades which the P95 and older P85 did not have.

However, if you would like to get a realistic piano sound and a better key action and are willing to give up a few of the new fun features of the P105 to save some money, then you might consider the Casio Privia PX150 (left pic) or the higher priced PX350 (lower left pic) portable digital pianos. The Casio PX150 is priced at a lower $499US internet discount price which is $100 less than the Yamaha P105, and the upgraded Casio PX350 is priced at $699US internet discount price. The slightly higher priced Casio PX350 has all of the features of the Yamaha P105 plus many, many more and allows you to do wav file audio recording too on USB flashdrive...very nice. The key tops on both Casio's use a new synthetic ivory & ebony material (typically reserved for higher priced digital pianos) for a nice feeling key surface as your fingers play on the keys, as well as a  more realistic piano key action with 3-key sensors for faster piano sound repetition which the Yamaha P105 does not have. I have played the keys on the new Casio's and they look & feel good and move quite realistically more like a real acoustic piano, in my opinion. The Yamaha's don't have the synthetic ivory & ebony keytops on their current digital pianos until $1499 for the YDP162. The Yamaha P105 internal speaker system sounds somewhat fuller and richer than the internal speaker system on the Casio PX150 so that is a big plus in its favor. The Casio PX150 does not have the drum rhythms or piano styles of the Yamaha P105, but...when you connect to a laptop computer or iPad/tablet you can use some very helpful music/piano apps & programs that allows you to interface and interact with exciting music technology that will exceed the technology in the Yamaha P105 or Casio PX150...and your kids will love that too.

Based on the latest technology, piano sound & key action, up til now the real low price choices in the lower price range for good portable 88-key digital pianos with graduated weighted keyboards have been the newer Casio's or the Yamaha's including the brand new Yamaha DGX650 ($799 internet discount price incl stand). However there are two more new portable digital pianos in this price range that have just come out from Kawai & Roland (the other two good digital piano companies) and they are 2014 models. The Roland F20 portable digital piano ($899 internet price) and Kawai ES100 portable digital piano ($799 internet price). Although it is a subjective choice and one that needs to be made based on your
Kawai ES100
musical goals and needs, the new Kawai ES100 is an amazing model if you're looking for a piano that focuses mostly on the piano key action, piano sound, and proper pedal function. I would recommend you read my recent review of the Kawai ES100 before you make any buying decision. It's fun to see these four great Japanese companies battling it out. You should compare the Yamaha P105 to the new Casio models, as well as the new 2014 Kawai & Roland models in person at a store(s) if you get the opportunity. For more info on the new Casio Privia pianos go to my blog review at the following link: Casio PX350/150 Review. For my review of the Kawai ES100 go to the following link: Kawai ES100 Review

Casio PX750
One more note of interest: Casio also has a compact furniture cabinet model which is called the PX750 (left pic). It has everything the Casio PX150 has but it includes the furniture stand & 3-pedal unit (unlike the Yamaha P105, Casio PX150, Kawai ES100), has a traditional sliding key cover (no cover on the Yamaha, Casio, Kawai, Roland portables), has front facing panel controls, and it sounds much better through its upgraded speaker system than either the Casio PX150 or Yamaha P105. It is compact in size, lightweight, but is not meant to be portable as far as playing the piano top separately or moving it around with you (although the top does separate from the stand for storage). It is designed as a nice inexpensive acoustic piano replacement (for a more permanent place) in a small size at the small price of $799 internet price. This model is unique to Casio none of the other companies have anything to compete with it at the moment. I would suggest you look at that one too before making any decisions. Go to my PX750 blog review here for more info: Casio PX750 Review

With all these new models out (or just coming out) in the lower price range under $1000, it may seem a difficult task to pick one out, but I can help you with that and give you the right advice based on your musical goals and piano playing experience.

If you want more info on these and other pianos and lower prices than internet or store discounts, please email me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call me direct at 602-571-1864.

* I recommend eMedia educational software. If you decide to make a purchase after clicking on link below, I have arranged a big discount for you direct with eMedia for their educational software and that discount price is displayed through this link only! I want to see everyone learn to play and enjoy piano!

21 comments:

  1. You said, "$599 internet discount price"
    Sorry but I dont understand. Where I could buy the piano in that price ? (sorry for my english)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the very useful blog. Great to get your opinion and advice as I am about to get a keyboard in this price range.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanx for your product reviews. Just picked up a Yamaha P105 at Guitar Center at a nifty price. Can't wait to start learning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you. This was a very useful review.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the info, I was about to buy a P95 and will now wait until I've tried the P105.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello,
    Firstly say thank you for this blog.

    I am a jazz guitar player who wants to buy a digital piano. My first option, due to my budget, was the Korg sp 170s. I played it and I like it ( I´m a rookie, I just needed as a complementary instrument), but now, reading about the yamaha P105, I´m wondering if I will notice the difference. ( bearing in mind that the P105 is 100 euros more, here in Europe and that I want an instrument that lasts as much as possible)
    Any advice would be really helpful.
    Thanks a lot!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. There is a difference in tonal dynamics, key action movement, and features between the two models and I prefer the Yamaha.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey, thanks for your feedback, but I have a little problem. I can't choose between the Yamaha DGX-640 or the Yamaha P-105. Which one should I buy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you haven't purchased, the P105 is far superior in tone. The DGX-640 sounds like an electronic keyboard. The P105 sounds like a real piano. The DGX feels like a keyboard. The P105 feels like a piano. The DGX-640 has many more bells and whistles but for us, tone is the deciding factor on an instrument.

      Delete
  9. Is the CASIO PX 150 much better than YAmaha 105?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have reviewed both of these models and outlined the differences as well as my personal opinions comparing these two pianos. Please read my blog reviews of these two pianos. The Casio is better in my opinion in terms of tonal dynamics and key action realism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is the Yamaha p-105 much better than Korg Sp-170s?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes in my opinion the Yamaha P105 is better than the Korg SP170S in just about every way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can't choose between the Yamaha DGX-640 or the Yamaha P-105. Which one should I buy?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I gave a listen to both the casio 350 and yamaha 105 the other day side by side. as far as piano sound, the 105 is much more realistic with the built in speakers then the casio. the casio sounds electric and plunky in comparison. Now, I dont know if it would be the same story if played through external speakers, but I will admit that I was very surprised when I read you found the casio more realistic.
    -Keith, IL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you 100%!!!

      Delete
  15. The Yamaha P105 has a couple of really good organ settings as well, including one that sounds close to a B3, but so far I haven't found anyone that can tell me if there is a way to get an adjustable rotary speaker "leslie" function for it. Any ideas? Someone told me that the left pedal of the 3-pedal set on the stand served that function, is that true?

    ReplyDelete
  16. For people deciding between Yamaha or Casio: Try both!

    After reading this and the Casio review, I was about set to buy the Casio until Then I went to the store and tried it along with several other models. The Casio keys felt a bit on the heavy side, and I didn't like the feel or look of the ivory/ebony texture. So in the end I went with the Yamaha.

    Reg: With the three-pedal attachment, the leftmost pedal will contorl the rotary speaker speed. But I believe it is only a slow/fast switch, not a gradual speed control. From the manual:

    "• When you select the JAZZ ORGAN or ROCK ORGAN Voice, the Left pedal functions to switch the rotary speed of the rotary speaker."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I looked around before buying the Yamaha P105 and found it to be the best, with a great price. It feels like a real piano and it nicely touch sensitive. I wouldn't even consider a Casio or a Korg for a good piano feel, they just aren't right. This Yamaha or a good Roland are best for a real piano feel and sound.

    Unlike many people, I'm not a fan of the Yamaha piano sound in the lower register, but this digital piano can be used with a sound module so it can sound like a Steinway grade if I liked.

    A problem is the music holder that slots in front sometimes falls out and it's also much lower than an acoustic piano would have it so when I play and acoustic piano I can't read or concentrate as the music is too high up.

    The worst problem I've had with my Yamaha P105 is that some keys are not playing at all, randomly, when pressed! I can't figure out any pattern to it. When I play scales, it is just random that one doesn't play and when I hit it again, it won't play again, then it will play again the next time.

    This is obviously a technical problem. I've only had the piano for a few months and the shop I bought it from are picking it up from my house to have it repaired, but to save trouble they are replacing it with a new piano of the same make and model in one quick visit.

    They say they've never heard of this problem before so I suppose I just got one bad piano.

    Personally, now, if I had the choice, I would have a refund and look at buying the Roland F120, which is a couple of hundred more, but I don't suppose the shop would give a refund. I wasn't willing to spend £800 on a piano before, but now I wouldn't mind, but never mind, I'm happy with the Yamaha P105 as it is good value for money and relatively portable.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "The Casio PX150 does not have the drum rhythms or piano styles of the Yamaha P105, but...when you connect to a laptop computer or iPad/tablet you can use some very helpful music/piano apps & programs that allows you to interface and interact with exciting music technology that will exceed the technology in the Yamaha P105 or Casio PX150...and your kids will love that too."

    can you please give us some examples please, Mr Tim? I'll have a piano like this and I Would love to try it out.

    ReplyDelete