I have always loved the world of music for its wide variety and difference of opportunity. There is almost no end to what we can define as music, and every time people try to put it in a box, it vehemently breaks out of that box with passion and new innovation. For some people, this is hard to stomach. We live in a current world where a live version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” has only nine million YouTube views while Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” has well over 140 million. For me, this contains a great deal of beauty. It is a world where digital machines like Yamaha’s DGX-640 represent a great equalizer.
I say this from experiences of my own, and with a great deal of respect for many of the great music icons. In no way am I saying Soulja Boy is a legendary music performer anywhere near the caliber of Bob Dylan. But the truth is, when I heard that he made over ten million dollars from that song, I immediately downloaded the free production software demo which he had used to make it. The DGX-640 represents that same value in digital pianos that I saw in that software.
- NOTE: You can read our review of the Yamaha DGX-660 here, which has replaced both the Yamaha DGX-650 and Yamaha DGX-640. You may also be interested in our comparison article entitled: Yamaha DGX-660 vs Yamaha P-115: What Should You Buy?
Piano Buying Guide
Below, please enjoy the interactive guide that was created to make your piano purchase easier. Compare the DGX-640 to the new Yamaha DGX-670, amongst other notable pianos and keyboards.
|Casio PX-S1100||192-note polyphony; 18 built-in tones|
|Yamaha P-45||64 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha NP12||Uses Six AA Batteries|
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Yamaha NP32||Graded Soft Touch (GST) Keyboard|
|Casio CDP-S350||700 built-in tones|
|Korg LP-380 U||Now features USB Audio/MIDI|
|Yamaha DGX 670||601 Voices, 29 Drums, SFX Kits|
Yamaha DGX640 review: Features
The Yamaha DGX-640 also represents a divide between many piano players, musicians, and producers, in that it’s one of the prominent digital pianos that forge a new direction, mainly towards music production. While some are looking for a product that will replicate the experience of an acoustic piano, some are looking for a product that will take their music production to a new level, while maintaining a traditional piano feel. We’re no longer talking about a machine that has only eight tones and provides the simple basics of a piano. This is a machine that comes with all the proverbial ‘bells and whistles.’
The first wonderful thing about the DGX-640 is that it comes with a number of accessories. Most digital pianos come straight out of the box with just the piano, a power adapter and a music rest. This piano comes with all those things, but it also comes with the matching piano stand and foot pedal. The 640 comes in two beautiful finishes, a darker, walnut wooden finish and a lighter, cherry wooden finish. Both give a striking, deluxe feel to the piano, and the matching piano stand will come in the same exact color. While it does come with a foot pedal, you can take your playing to the next level by adding the Yamaha LP-7 three pedal unit, which will provide you with a damper, soft and sostenuto pedal.
Below is a list of some of the top selling pianos available online. Please use this list to compare features and price to the DGX-640:
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
Is This the Best Digital Piano Design By Yamaha?
The design of the DGX-640 is one of precision and beauty. In addition to the beautiful wooden finish is the handy interface, which has a variety of buttons to help the user navigate the system. This Yamaha takes quite a divergence from other digital pianos, especially in that it has over 500 tones, so the number of different controls and labels give great assistance. The speakers sit on opposite corners of the machine, having good size and being backed up by capable six-watt amplifiers.
The keys have a wonderful touch to them, and the black keys are honored with a special matte finish, giving the piano a real quality feel. The DGX-640 comes with Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) system, which is different from its GH3 or GH systems. The keybed has Yamaha’s patented hammer-action technology behind it, meaning that you’ll feel the weight and balance of real keys under your fingers, with the replicated hammer action of a real piano. The keys are also graded, meaning the keys to the left will be heavier, and those to right lighter. However the GHS system is not as heavy duty as the other systems, being significantly lighter. Yamaha’s reasoning for this is to increase the portability of the machine. This is very surprising to me, given the already hefty status of the piano, weighing in at an unbelievably heavy 61 pounds. Imagine how heavy it would be if the GH3 was in there!
The DGX-640 is a full-size digital piano, with 88 keys at your disposal and 64 maximum notes of polyphony to work with. The tones are generated using Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling technology, which makes all the tones come out crisp and clear. There are 535 total tones to work with, with 142 preset tones, 381 XGlite tones, and 12 Drum/SFX kits. This piano lets you take these tones and allow the producer side to come out of you, incorporating a full six-track recording and playback system. Once you’re done laying your sweet tracks you can add any one of your 35 types of reverb effect, 44 types of chorus effect, or 238 types of Digital Signal Processor (DSP) effects. If you’re still not satisfied you can mix down your track with the five types of Master EQ loaded onto the piano.
The DGX-640 also comes with pretty cool Performance Assistant Technology (P.A.T.), which allows you to set the key, arrange a live performance, and play a perfect song every time by correcting the notes. In addition to P.A.T. is the Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.), which uses different tools to teach you how to read and play the piano, using both left and right hands. I told you this thing had all the bells and whistles.
The piano comes with the customary metronome, transpose, dual/layer, and split functions. It also has a particularly large accompaniment and song selection, which allows the piano player to perform live arrangements using different music styles such as blues, bossa nova, jazz, and many other settings. The music database contains over 165 different accompaniment styles and 30 preset songs. If you decide to record songs of your own you’ll have 1895 KB at your mercy.
The Yamaha DGX-640W is a wonderful machine, and is clearly not designed for the minimalist or purist piano player simply looking for a replicated experience on a digital platform. This piano will, however, whet the appetite of any producer or piano player looking for a wide range of sounds. It will also comes at an affordable price, and can even be purchased in a bundle that includes headphones, a stand, a bench and much more.
If you enjoyed this Yamaha Digital Piano, you might like a few others. Check out my other reviews on Yamaha pianos below:
- Yamaha NP-31
- Yamaha P155
- Yamaha CP-33
- What’s the Best Yamaha Digital Piano?
- What’s the Best Sounding Digital Piano?
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