Both the Korg B1SP and the Yamaha P-45 are entry-level digital pianos, which means that they are perfect for beginner pianists and for those are looking for a cheap entry point into the piano-playing world.
In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at the features of each digital piano, compare these two instruments to each other, and determine which of these digital pianos is the best value for the money.
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Alesis Prestige Artist||30 voices, 256 polyphony|
|Casio CDP-S350||700 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Korg LP-180||Natural Weighted Hammer Action|
|Casio PX-770||128 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha P-45||64 Note Polyphony|
How Much Do These Digital Pianos Cost?
Currently, the Korg B1SP can be bought for $499.99, and the Yamaha P-45 costs $449.99. Thus, both of these are extremely affordable digital piano options. These prices will definitely appeal to beginner pianists who are looking for an inexpensive digital piano to practice on and to parents who are buying their child’s first digital piano.
And before moving forward, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos online, and see how well they compare to the Korg B1SP and Yamaha P-45.
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
The Sounds of These Two Pianos
The Korg B1SP contains eight onboard sounds (three acoustic pianos, two electric pianos, two organs, and a harpsichord). These sounds were captured and recorded with advanced sampling technology.
The three acoustic piano sounds on this Korg digital piano recreate the sympathetic string resonance (learn more about sympathetic string resonance here) and damper resonance of an acoustic piano. By recreating the vibrations of the strings inside of an acoustic piano and the resonance that results from pressing the damper pedal down, the Korg B1SP brings realism to these piano sounds and to the playing experience as a whole.
The Yamaha P-45 comes with ten onboard sounds (two acoustic pianos, two electric pianos, two organs, two harpsichords, strings, and a vibraphone). Like the Korg B1SP’s sounds, this digital piano’s sounds were developed with advanced sampling technology.
Clearly, the Yamaha P-45 has more onboard sounds than the Korg B1SP does, but you’re only gaining a vibraphone and a string voice if you go with the Yamaha P-45. Ultimately, it comes down to the quality of the sounds and how much you foresee yourself needing to use a string or vibraphone voice.
I suggest going to a music store and trying out both keyboards while paying extra attention to the quality of the sounds and how well they imitate the instruments that they are recreating.
What Are Their Keyboard Actions Like?
The Korg B1SP has what Korg calls a Natural Weighted Hammer (NH) keyboard. This is essentially Korg’s budget-friendly version of a hammer action keyboard. The keys feel lighter in the digital piano’s high end and heavier in its low end like on an acoustic piano, but the keyboard won’t feel exactly like that of an acoustic piano.
Still, the B1SP’s keyboard makes the transition to playing on an acoustic piano or pricier, more high-end digital piano easier than a keyboard that does not attempt to recreate the hammer action of an acoustic piano.
The Yamaha P-45 is built with the brand’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard. Like Korg’s NH keyboard, the GHS keyboard is a graded hammer action keyboard with keys that are heavier in the low end than they are on the high end, which helps to develop proper finger technique. Like I mentioned earlier, developing proper technique early on helps to smooth the eventual transition to playing an acoustic piano.
Some keyboardists have pointed out that Yamaha’s GHS keyboard feels a bit heavier and more realistic than Korg’s NH keyboard (more on this here), so the Yamaha P-45 might be the best bet for those who are working toward playing an acoustic piano someday.
Do These Keyboards Come With Any Effects?
The Korg B1SP comes with reverb and chorus, and the Yamaha P-45 comes with reverb. An acoustic piano’s reverb is created when the sound waves reflect off of surfaces in a room. The larger the room the piano is played in, the more noticeable the reverb effect will be.
Digital pianos like the Korg B1SP recreate reverb by letting players choose between settings like large hall, concert hall, small living room, and more.
The chorus effect modifies whatever sound is being played and makes it sound as if there is a group (a chorus, if you will) of that same instrument playing, which results in a fuller sound.
Reverb and chorus can be added to the digital pianos’ onboard sounds and can help to create a richer, more realistic sound especially when the two effects are used together. As such, the Korg B1SP wins out over the Yamaha P-45 in the effects category.
How Portable Are These Instruments?
Part of the appeal of digital pianos is their ability to be played nearly anywhere. Of course, in order for most people to be able to lug their digital piano around from gig to gig, it has to be relatively light.
The Korg B1SP weighs in at 46.30 pounds, so it should be light enough for most people to transport from venue to venue.
The Yamaha P-45, however, weighs only 25 pounds. As such, this keyboard is definitely light enough for virtually anyone to move around easily.
How Much Polyphony Do These Digital Pianos Have?
The Korg B1SP has 120-voice max polyphony, and the Yamaha P-45 has 64-voice max polyphony.
In its most general sense, polyphony refers to the number of notes that can be played at the same time. Considering both of these digital pianos have 88 keys just like acoustic pianos do, the Korg B1SP’s 120-voice polyphony might seem like overkill.
However, that is not the case. Polyphony also gets eaten up by some of a digital piano’s onboard voices; some voices are created with multi-layered samples, so technically two or more notes are being played while a player hits a single note on the keyboard. Similarly, effects use up some of a digital piano’s polyphony, too.
Personally, I would never go lower than 120-voice polyphony, and even 120-voice polyphony seems a bit low to me. Still, this amount of polyphony is pretty much the most you’ll get at this price point. Having 120-voice polyphony should see you through the beginner and intermediate phases of your piano-playing journey.
Later on, however, you might find yourself itching for more polyphony as you learn how to construct more complicated chords and discover the joys of applying multiple effects to your playing, and you may end up in the market for a new digital piano.
Still, 120-voice polyphony is significantly better than 64-voice polyphony, so the Korg B1SP wins out over the Yamaha P-45 here.
Want to know more about polyphony? Check out this forum.
The Korg B1SP comes with a stand, a metal three-pedal unit, and a music rest. These are basically all of the accessories you need to start playing right away. The inclusion of a suite of three pedals is particularly nice. Acoustic pianos have three pedals, and it doesn’t hurt to practice using those pedals on the B1SP.
At this price point, most digital pianos will not come with any pedals, and if they do, they’ll come with one pedal.
The Yamaha P-45 comes with a music rest and a sustain pedal. Thus, if you don’t want to play on top of your desk or dining room table, you’re going to have to invest in a stand.
The Korg B1SP vs Yamaha P-45: Which is Best?
To recap, we judged these digital pianos on the following seven criteria in this article:
- amount of onboard sounds
- keyboard action
- onboard effects
- included accessories
The Korg B1SP costs $499.99, and the Yamaha P-45 is only slightly cheaper at $449.99. Still, shaving fifty bucks off the price might make all the difference to someone out there.
Cost Winner: Yamaha P-45
Amount of Onboard Sounds
The Korg B1SP has eight sounds, and the Yamaha P-45 has ten. However, their sound offerings are virtually the same apart from the Yamaha digital piano’s inclusion of a vibraphone voice and string voice.
Onboard Sounds Winner: Yamaha P-45
Both of these digital pianos are built with graded hammer action keyboards, which lend themselves really well to helping players to develop the proper technique necessary for playing an acoustic piano. Thus, playing on either one of these keyboards is more helpful in the long run than playing on a keyboard without a weighted action.
Some players, however, have noted that Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard feels more realistic than Korg’s Natural Weighted Hammer (NH) keyboard.
Keyboard Action Winner: Yamaha P-45
The Korg B1SP comes with reverb and chorus while the Yamaha P-45 only has reverb. Although two effects is certainly not an astounding number of effects, having access to both reverb and chorus gives you more freedom of expression than just having reverb does, and being able to play around with both effects may help you to come up with really unique sounds.
Onboard Effects Winner: Korg B1SP
With a weight of 46.30 pounds, the Korg B1SP is lighter than many digital pianos out there and certainly lighter than an acoustic piano. The Yamaha P-45 is even lighter at 25 pounds, which makes it easy for musicians of all strengths and sizes to transport it to and from gigs.
Portability Winner: Yamaha P-45
The Korg B1SP’s 120-voice max polyphony easily blows the Yamaha P-45’s 64-voice polyphony out of the water. I would not recommend dipping below 120-voice polyphony if you can avoid it because, as I demonstrated earlier, polyphony can be eaten up pretty quickly.
Polyphony Winner: Korg B1SP
The Korg B1SP is bundled with a stand, a three-pedal unit, and a music stand. The Yamaha P-45, on the other hand, includes a music rest and a sustain pedal. Thus, people who go with the Yamaha P-45 will have to invest in a music stand and possibly additional pedals.
Winner: Korg B1SP
So Which Digital Piano Is the Overall Winner?
The Yamaha P-45 won in the most categories, but the Korg B1SP won in the most important categories. Therefore, the Korg B1SP is the overall winner. This particular digital piano offers more polyphony, twice the effects, and comes with all of the accessories you need to start playing today for only fifty dollars more than the Yamaha P-45.
The Yamaha P-45 comes with two additional onboard voices and is a bit lighter, but these features will only really matter to those who intend to take their piano-playing skills to the stage and who can see themselves needing access to string and vibraphone sounds.
Overall, the Korg B1SP is the best bet for the money and makes a great first digital piano.
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