Yamaha DGX-660 vs Yamaha P-115: What Should You Buy?
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between the Yamaha DGX-660 and the Yamaha P-115 and help you determine which piano is the better purchase. These digital pianos do have some similarities, but many of their differences are what we will try and focus on to better help you make an informed buying decision.
To start off, we’ll look at the DGX-660 and briefly summarize its features. Next, we’ll do the same with the Yamaha P-115. Finally, we’ll stick the two in the ring and make them battle it out to see who comes out on top.
Before we dive directly into the meat and potatoes of this comparative review, please take a moment to view the interactive table below and compare the Yamaha DGX-660 and Yamaha P-115 against other very notable digital pianos.
|Korg LP-380 U|
|Yamaha DGX 670|
Dissecting the DGX-660
The DGX-660 is an 88-key digital piano and is a member of Yamaha’s portable grand series. It’s a digital piano with Pure CF Sampling (meaning its piano sound is sampled from an actual grand piano) but it has over 550 voices to choose from. These voices include grand pianos, electric pianos (or E. Pianos), organs, pads, strings, synths, drums, and effects.
In terms of variation, the DGX-660 has a ton of sounds to choose from. This can be a huge plus for a lot of players, especially those who enjoy sound design and live performance. Piano Room, for instance, allows you to sit inside a virtual room full of pianos that sound different, and with the press of a button you can change pianos to get unique tones and sound styles.
Now, this digital piano has a learning function for new players, a recording function (up to six tracks, more than most digital pianos offer), a metronome, songs to play along to, and an LED screen to track all settings and parameters. You can even pick a random rhythm to play and the piano will pick an accompaniment for you.
It’s a full 88-key keyboard with Graded Hammer Sensitivity, and you can actually change the sensitivity of your keys by pressing a button. It offers a 192-note polyphony, which allows you to play pretty much anything without dropping any sustained notes.
In terms of production and performance options, the DGX-660 does not fall short. It has stereo outputs, a USB to host input, a microphone input with onboard mic effects, a headphone jack, a pedal input, and an auxiliary input you can use to plug in an outside audio source to play along to. It also comes with a memory option to add other sounds and songs if you want to.
The DGX-660 has plenty of onboard effects such as reverb, master EQ, Chorus, DSP, and more. It can also layer two voices simultaneously or you can split two sounds between each half of the keyboard to play bass in one hand and piano in the other. You can also integrate the DGX-660 with iOS apps and computers for production and performance, if you want to.
The DGX-660 can come in black or white and comes with a built in stand, although if you want to make it more portable you can remove the stand and use a performance X stand (a piano stand that is literally shaped like an X) instead, if you prefer. While there are onboard speakers, if you want to play this digital piano live, you can connect it to a direct input box, PA system, or sound mixer to plug and play.
This digital piano weighs about 46 lbs.
And before we break down the P-115, take a quick moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos currently available online:
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-145|
|3) Roland RP-701|
|4) Yamaha YDP-165|
|5) Casio PX-870|
Breaking Down the P-115
The Yamaha P-115 is a much lighter digital piano. It can come in black or white, and it weighs about 26 lbs. without the stand.
It’s got the Graded Hammer Standard action (GHS) Yamaha is famous for and the keys feel solid to the touch. The sensitivity option includes a damper resonance feature that seems to add to the realism when playing this digital piano.
The Yamaha P-115 is 88-keys as well, and also offers a 192-note polyphony. The black keys come with a matte finish, which gives the keyboard of this digital piano a sleeker, professional appearance.
There is no screen on the face of the P-115, but there are fifteen buttons and a master volume slider. In addition to the controls on the face of the piano, you can hold a button and a key at the same time to adjust other things like metronome counts, a sound boost, and on/off for the speakers.
The speakers are smaller (two 7W speakers), but they’re reasonable volume for home playing. Taking this digital piano to a gig (a show or live concert, for example) would require using external volume, however.
There’s a headphone jack, a pedal input, a USB to host input, and an aux out.
So, how does it sound? Pretty good, actually.
The piano is Pure CF as well, and you can tell. It sounds full and bright at the same time, and the reverb options available add a nice warm room feel to it. You can tell this is not a cheap digital piano and that they put a lot of effort into making the main piano sound quite good.
However, the other sounds housed within the P-115 are admittedly nothing special. The P-115 comes with three grand pianos (regular, bright, and mellow), three organs, two E. Pianos, strings, vibes, harpsichord, and two basses. You can layer these sounds together or split two down the middle for dual play.
This digital piano also allows you to play to accompaniments and songs in varying styles, giving you a dynamic practice range. Of course, you can record and play songs back, change the tempo of the metronome, and control the pianist style with the push of a button. You can tune the instrument sharp or flat depending on your tuning preference as well.
How Do They Compare?
Right off the bat, you can tell that the DGX-660 has way more options. Its learning function is a great resource for beginners, it can record more tracks at once, it has about 540 more sounds to choose from, and its performance applications and inputs exceed those of the P-115.
It has the same amount of polyphonic abilities, the same sampling for the grand piano sounds, and a similar key action feeling to that of the P-115. But after the P-115 runs out of things to present, the DGX-660 just keeps going.
One aspect in which the P-115 beats the DGX-660 is weight. The P-115 weighs almost half that of the DGX-660. Ironically, because of its limited sound options, the likelihood of using the P-115 for live performing for anything other than its grand piano sound is small at best.
The DGX-660 does cost more money. At most online retailers, the price of the DGX-660 is usually around two to three hundred dollars more than the P-115.
Why is there a price difference? As you probably guessed, the DGX-660 has way more features. It’s more of an all-around digital piano that has everything you would ever need, whereas the P-115 is kind of a niche or specialty digital piano—moreso aimed at the beginner or pseudo beginner-to-intermediate player.
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself what you’re looking for out of a digital piano in order to determine whether the DGX-660 is worth the extra couple hundred bucks. Here are a few features included in the DGX-660 that the P-115 does not possess:
- Mic Input
- Several Hundred More Sounds
- Six Track Recording
- Learning Function
- Integration With iOS Apps
- More Than Three Grand Piano Sounds
- Easy Connectivity to PA or Mixer
If you feel like you don’t need any of these features and want to save money, then you should probably invest in something simpler like the P-115. The P-115 is truly a simple digital piano, and because it allows the user to access things quickly, it can be attractive to players who want to keep it simple.
But, because of its simplicity, it can be a hindrance as well. Even for beginners who need more resources to get comfortable with learning how to play their favorite songs and see their practice pay off, the DGX-660 allows for a lot more learning than the P-115. While the key range is the same, some players might need more than a book to progress toward their learning goals.
For intermediate and pro players, the DGX-660 might be more attractive as well. You get more options, and while professionals simply don’t use digital pianos to record their music (they use Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs), the DGX-660’s recording feature is still a lot of fun to play with. It has huge benefits for piano players that sing as well, and those that want to practice performing their vocals alongside their piano skills. All they need to do is plug in a microphone and assign some fun vocal effects to get going.
So, Who Wins?
If I’m going to make a big investment in a digital piano, I want to make sure it can do everything I could ever need it to do without worrying that I’ll outgrow it.
In my opinion, because the DGX-660 has many more options (like a new mic input and wireless connectivity), it beats out the P-115 on nearly everything. Now, if the P-115 were drastically cheaper, I would probably prefer it for its sound quality.
Don’t get me wrong—the P-115 is still a great digital piano and people everywhere are very happy with it. It’s just limited in a lot of ways, and for the price, I don’t think it’s worth the limitations it has. Because it’s not the cheapest digital piano, I would probably pass on it unless there was a good sale or discount involved.
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