We explore the excellent Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano…
Today musicians are spoilt for choice when it comes to portable piano based instruments, but only a few make it into the ‘goldilocks zone’ of having impressive sound, feel and features whilst keeping the price in a region that makes it affordable. The Yamaha P-125 Digital Stage Piano is one such instrument, so let’s have a look why.
It’s no secret that for a long time now Yamaha have been world leaders when it comes to making inspirational instruments. Being such a versatile company, you are as likely to see a Yamaha product on stage with some of the worlds greatest bands as you are in any school classroom. I myself began at the Yamaha school of music over 20 years ago and from that day to this I have always owned a Yamaha with pride.
Authentic piano action
The Yamaha P-125 features a graded hammer standard keyboard (GHS for short) that replicates the action that you would find on grand piano’s the world over. Because the bass notes of an acoustic piano use heavier strings than the top notes, hammers come in different sizes, and because of this lower notes feel heavier in comparison to hight notes when playing.
The GHS system of the P-125 is weighted to mimic this identically which is a great bonus for more experienced players but it also helps condition newer players to develop better dynamics, technique and expression. It’s also worth pointing out that the black keys of the P-125 have a smooth matte finish which only adds to the finesse that the P-125 provides.
Realistic, responsive sounds
Yamaha lay claim to creating some of the worlds greatest acoustic grand piano’s so they know a thing or two about what sounds good. To make sure you get a taste of premium piano experience the Yamaha P-125 is powered by their Pure CF sound engine. This includes Yamaha’s flagship CFIIIS 9-foot acoustic grand in a unit that can sit comfortably on a tabletop! And speaking of tabletop, the P-125 even has a special equaliser setting to optimise the sound when playing it on top of a hard surface.
Variety is the spice of life and whilst the P-125 packs in 4 different flavours of grand piano it’s also host to a range of electric piano’s, organs, chromatic instruments, strings, choir and bass sounds. Any 2 sounds can also be layered or split so that you can create some really good performances at the touch of a button.
Another interesting feature of the P-125 is the ‘duo’ mode. This is similar to the split mode but it effectively separates the piano keys out into 2 mini-pianos so that a teacher and student can sit side-by-side and have the same range of the piano available to each other.
I got rhythm
There are some songs out there that just ain’t the same without a beat. To this end, Yamaha has built in 20 different backing styles covering pop, rock, jazz and more… But these are more than just beats. Once you begin to play the P-125 will follow your harmony and add a bassline to help add that extra oomph to your performance. This is great for encouraging practice, impromptu performances at parties or when you want to do a bit of showing off on-the-fly.
All these sounds and drums are great to have and you won’t need an additional speaker system to get the most out of them either because the P-125 has a new and improved 2-way projection system that directs sound out of the top and bottom of the unit so that you can become enveloped in rich stereo sound.
The key is…simplicity
Looking at the top panel of the Yamaha P-125 you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a basic digital piano but that’s all part of its charm. The P-125 was designed to make beginners feel right at home and make it more about enjoying playing great music… But if you have an iOS device and you want to dig a little lot further, you can do so with the use of Yamaha’s excellent free app, Smart Pianist.
This app effectively transforms your iPad into a control centre for your P-125 and makes it easier than ever to control voices and functions within. But the jewel in the crown of this app has to be in its ability to analyze songs from your music library on your iPhone or iPad and displays the chord pattern so that you can instantly begin learning and playing along to your favourite songs. We’ve seen this demo’d first hand and can say with absolute confidence that its accuracy is incredible!
So, can we recommend the P-125 to beginners and professionals? Absolutely yes! The P-125 has a huge heart and great spec for a stage piano in this price range.
- Graded hammer 88 note keyboard
- Pure CF sound engine with 24 sounds
- Intelligent drum and bass backing with 20 different styles
- Advanced speaker system including tabletop and headphone mode for optimized sound
- Smart Pianist app compatibility for editing and learning new songs
- Weighing in at only 12Kg! Can be easily carried out and about
Simply put, Yamaha has cracked it again!
Rob Mather is a multi-instrumentalist and DJ from Huddersfield, England. Rob enjoys an active career as a performer and writer of many styles of music. Rob is also heavily engaged in providing sound and lighting support for live music events and theatre productions.