Yamaha DGX-660 review
What’s better than an already amazing, cost-effective digital piano? How about an equally amazing, cost-effective digital piano with added features we didn’t know we needed.
Yamaha already impressed its customers with the popular DGX-650 that continues to be one of the top selling portable digital pianos. However, the DGX-660 has plenty of new features that helps take this great digital piano to the next level.
Owners of the DGX-650 may be curious about the 660 and may be wondering if this piano is worth the upgrade. Some have already spent the money on the DGX-650, only for the 660 to come out and cause them to wonder whether or not the new model is worthy of another investment.
Well, not only are we comparing the 660 to its predecessor, we’re also going to take a close look at how it stacks up against popular competitors like the Yamaha P-115, the Casio CGP-700, and the Casio PX-860. So, if you’re an owner of any of the aforementioned pianos or if you’re just a bit unsure of what digital piano you’d like to purchase, be sure to read ahead to see how how these pianos all stack up against one another.
Piano Buying Guide
Below, please use the interactive table to compare the Yamaha DGX-660 against other popular pianos that are equally great.
|Korg LP-380 U|
|Yamaha DGX 670|
As mentioned earlier, the DGX-660 is Yamaha’s successor to the popular DGX-650. Before we put the new DGX-660 to the test, let’s take a look at the piano for what it is. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the 660’s more notable specifications:
- About $1,300
- 88 Grade Hammer Standard keys
- Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed touch response
- Damper resonance
- 192 maximum polyphony
- App integration
- 151 voices, 15 drum/SFX kits, 388XGlite
- Intelligent Acoustic Control
- Dual, split, and panel sustain functions
- Style recommender
- Yamaha Education Suite
Below, please take a look at some of the best-selling digital pianos currently available online, and then see how well they compare to the Yamaha DGX-660:
|1) Yamaha P-515|
|2) Casio PX-S3100|
|3) Casio PX-870|
|4) Roland FP-E50|
|5) Roland FP-30X|
With a 192-note maximum polyphony, these 88 Grade Hammer Standard keys have a great feel underneath your fingertips. In fact, there are four different touch responses. I like to experiment with settings (Soft, Medium, and Hard), but I’m appreciative of the Fixed touch setting so I don’t have to go back and try to remember what I liked the best.
Another one of the automatic features of note is the Intelligent Acoustic Control that adjusts to the setting for balanced sound. I’m normally not a fan of these types of features, however this piano seems to get it right with little to no adjustments needed.
The DGX-660 has two 12cm speakers, in addition to two 5cm speakers, along with two 6W amplifiers. This piano’s ability to express high quality detailed sounds is most impressive. With such a tonal range, everything could be heard clearly and the sound was clean.
There are over 150 voices for users to take advantage of here as well, along with sound effects and drum kits for added depth in accompaniment. The 660 is compatible with XGlite, which increases the range of sound. This feature is pretty typical of most Yamaha digital pianos in the series, though.
Now, the Yamaha DGX-660 also allows for seamless app integration. Users can take advantage of up to seven Yamaha iOS apps that connect with the piano. A few include a video and audio recorder, playback apps, access to song sheets, and personalized settings and calibration.
The Style Recommender is pretty fun and unique. It allows users to play a rhythmic style and then adds a back-up band to fit the chords. And if users should change the chord, the piano follows suit.
In conjunction with the apps, players can download files of hit songs and get the music score. There’s also a lyrics and lesson feature, to boot.
The Yamaha Education Suite is a great learning tool to take advantage of, as well. The Y.E.S. teaches and tracks timing, waiting, listening, and tempo. Along with these features, users have access to a chord dictionary should they need it, as well as accompaniment features known as Smart Chord and EZ Chord. Smart Chord is for basic accompaniment at the touch of a button as the piano follows your every move. The EZ Chord is for performances and tracks changes made to the song.
Finally, if you’re wondering about heft, here’s the deal with the 660. Without the stand, this instruments clocks in at 46 pounds. With the stand, the weight climbs to about 61 pounds.
What’s New Inside the DGX-660
In addition to the previous features listed, Yamaha has added some new features that have the piano community questioning if they should abandon their old pianos and potentially pony up offer the 660.
Here are some of the key features that heighten the piano playing experience on the 660:
- Compatible wireless adaptor
- Dedicated microphone jack
- Piano Room feature
- 12 new voices
- 6 new reverbs
- 10 more present styles
- 15 additional music in the database
Seeing as how there are so many great features for intermediate for professional players to take advantage, it’s hard to believe that Yamaha has only now incorporated a wireless adaptor and microphone jack. Nevertheless, we’re thankful that they did because now we can take this piano to performances.
To be honest, this isn’t the most amazing new feature. In fact, it’s something that I would’ve expected from the beginning based on the price, but better late than never.
As if there weren’t enough voices, styles, and reverbs to consume my time, Yamaha has given us more to play with. There are new voices known as “Natural!”, “Live!”, “Sweet!” and “Cool!”.
Voices like the “Live! Pop Grand Piano” add a little extra substance to the experience, while the “Sweet! Tenor, Alto, or Soprano Sax” can enhance a cool jazz performance. There are endless possibilities with these voices, and should really make playing on the 660 even more fun.
The Piano Room feature is probably one of the most talked about feature on this piano. The DGX-660 creates a virtual setting where you can choose from a variety of piano and acoustic options to form your very own performance environment. Whether you want to create a practice room or set the stage, you can adjust the position of the piano via the virtual piano lid to sit in your preferred area.
- HOW IT COMPARES TO THE DGX-650
There’s no speculation as to why the Yamaha DGX-650 is so popular. Just like the DGX-660, it’s a great price considering all its capabilities. When talking about sound, the 650 also has a total of 4 speakers (12cm x2, 5cm x2), along with two 6W amplifiers. While the sound difference isn’t immediately noticeable, the brilliance can be greater appreciated on the 660 with the added voices. The 660 has a greater polyphony than the 650, with 192-note and 128-note, respectively.
For those of you wondering if you should jump to the 660, consider how much the new features mean to you. Right now, both the DGX-650 and 660 are at a retail price of $1,300. Are new sound effects and a virtual piano room enough for you? If you’re not planning on substantially using the microphone jack for performances, the truth is that you’re probably not missing out on anything with your DGX-650.
The voices, styles, and reverbs should definitely be acknowledged, but I would suggest buying the DGX-660 only if you don’t already own the 650.
- DGX-660 vs P-115 vs CGP-700 vs PX-860
When I tried the Yamaha P-115, I thought it was a great beginner-to-intermediate piano. For $1,000, I felt it was well worth the price, with features that made it better than its predecessor, the P-105.
However, for $300 more, the Yamaha DGX-660 is arguably a better bet. Even though the amplifiers on the P-115 have slightly higher wattage, the amount of voices and extra features on the DGX-660 make the increase in budget well worth it.
Let’s now discuss the positives of the Casio CGP 700. It’s a cost-effective piano checking, in at $800, and it also has a built in 40W stereo amp. It’s portable and has great sound, too. I would recommend this piano for those who feel they’d benefit from a versatile piano. Meaning, both children and adults can get a lot of value from this instrument.
The CGP-700 has an elegant look that allows it to sit in the living-room without standing out like a sore thumb. It’s a quality family piano. The touchscreen could be a little smoother and there’s the lack of modulation controllers, but it’s still good.
*Note, you can read our review of the Casio CGP-700 here.
For someone who’s doing gigs with an in-house band or does small shows, go for the CGP 700. For a more professional, advanced experience, splurge on the DGX-660.
The Casio PX-860 features 88-keys with an Ebony and Ivory feel, along with a Tri-Sensor keyboard with Scaled Hammer Action. The most impressive feature here is the multidimensional morphing air sound features.
The melodies played from this piano can only be described as indulging and seductive – it’s such an experience. To enhance the already incredible experience, the Hall Simulation feature allows players to get a feel of what it would be to play inside a concert hall.
The 256-note maximum polyphony really gets put to use here. The speakers are notably bigger with stronger amplification (4.7”x2 and 2”x2, 20W each) than the DGX-660. The sound quality is definitely a significant feature on the PX-860. The only thing you’d have to ask yourself is if you’re willing to pay quite a bit more for a stationary digital piano that’s also more expensive than the DGX-660.
- FINAL VERDICT
If you’re going to buy a digital piano for the purposes of performing advanced pieces, the Yamaha DGX-660 is definitely worth considering. It’s pricey, but I believe every penny is being put to use.
Compared to the Casio CGP 700 and PX-860, each piano has its strengths. Each competitor piano is of the best caliber for its intended audience. I believe that the CGP 700 comes closest to the Yamaha DGX-660, but that’s probably because it’s the more child-friendly piano. If you have young kids that want to play piano, it may be a smarter choice to consider the CGP-700.
And for those with the DGX-650, don’t jump to sell it and purchase the DGX-660 unless you truly feel that the new improvements will make a difference in your personal piano playing experience. While it’s no doubt a great piano, you always have to make sure it’s the right piano for you and your needs.
4.8 OUT OF 5 STARS
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