I absolutely love how many of these digital piano manufacturers create different lines or series for the different types of pianos they offer. It gives the consumer an idea of how many of the different types of digital pianos are organized, and most of the time when you are looking for something close to a product you bought before, all you have to do is look within the series for an upgrade.
Yamaha has long been producing many of the best digital pianos on the market, and one of the specific lines they offer is their portable piano line, or the “Piaggero” series.
Piaggero, when you look it up, turns out to be a pretty cool word, as it is a combination of two Italian words: piano and leggero (meaning “light”). The Yamaha NP-V80 is a portable digital keyboard that is one of the best in this series.
Ultimate Keyboard Buying Table
Please use the table below to compare the affordable Yamaha NP-V80 to some of the best keyboards available in its class:
|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|
Who Is the Yamaha NP-V80 Aimed At?
I wouldn’t necessarily classify the NP-V80 as a beginner digital piano in the true sense of the word. But if you’re looking for something that’s the next step beyond entry-level, this is your keyboard. It also has some wonderful teaching modes for those new to piano, which we will get into later.
In fact, the features, technology and engineering offered on this machine are quite fantastic, but they aren’t too much to the point that a beginner user would feel overwhelmed sitting down with it. However, just because it falls under this category doesn’t mean that beginner to intermediate players wouldn’t mind taking a swing at it, especially due to its appealing portability and rich feature-set offered.
Below, compare the NP-V80 to some of the best selling digital keyboards that are available online:
|1) Yamaha P-45|
|2) Casio PX-360|
|3) Alesis Recital Pro|
|4) Casio CDP-S350|
|5) Casio PXS-1100|
A Simple Look and Design
The NP-V80 isn’t bad looking, but it also isn’t the greatest looking piano Yamaha has to offer. The layout of the machine is a little drab in my opinion, with the most essential buttons and knobs encasing a 3.6’’ by 1.6’’ custom LCD display screen.
The piano has a simple black look going all the way around, with the red lining sectioning off where the keys are situated. Surprisingly, there is a pitch modulation wheel set in the left of the keyboard, something that is a nice addition to a piano with not that many features.
On both the right and left edges of the keyboard, there are two 4.7’’ by 2.3’’ speakers, both being powered by 6 watt amplifiers. This is enough sound to pack a good little punch, even though the overall machine is small.
The piano weighs in at 7.1 kilograms, which amounts to just over 15.5 pounds. Folks, that is an unbelievably lightweight machine.
The Yamaha NP-V80 is so light and compact you shouldn’t have to buy it with any kind of keyboard stand. However, some good accessories you should look at, in addition to the piano itself, are the Yamaha Piaggero Series Keyboard Bag and the Yamaha FC4 Piano Style Sustain Pedal.
The keyboard bag is a wonderful accessory to have, as it protects your musical investment from all elements of the weather. It has a pocket for extra materials and internal straps to keep the piano secure. In short, it’s a pretty awesome bag, and it is also made for the NP-V60, NP-30, and NP-31, in case you have any interest in those models.
The Yamaha FC4 Sustain pedal is great for any young player who wants to learn how to perform like a piano pro and add lots of expression to their music. All these accessories and the other Yamaha digital piano models can be found online.
Voices and Tones
The NP-V80 has a great selection of tones and voices on board the machine. For such a small piano, it really does pack a punch.
There are over 500 voices available, including 127 panel voices, 361 Yamaha exclusive XGlite voices, and 12 Drum and SFX kits. This is an awesome range of sounds, and perfect for the traveling musician who needs to switch to any feel at any given moment.
The exclusive XGlite are sounds that are created specifically for smaller and less technologically capable machines in order to conserve polyphony space, and are designed for song sequencing. Most XGlite sounds are made from a single sample, something that is necessary because layering sounds drop the available polyphony exponentially.
For those users who are unfamiliar with the term “polyphony,” it is simply defined as the number of notes than can be played simultaneously without a loss. For example, if you have 48 notes of polyphony and are playing three sounds layered on top of each other, you can only play 16 notes at a time before certain notes start dropping out.
In addition to the voices and tones, there are 165 preset accompaniment styles available on the NP-V80, including the option for custom user styles. These styles and rhythms are a perfect feature for a musician that wants to learn how to play along with different genres or band set ups, and it gives the piano player a good feel for how different instruments are used. It also gives the adventurous piano player the backing of an entire band, should he choose to take his talent out into the field and perform by himself.
Engineering and Touch
Since this piano is such a lightweight and portable machine, it’s going to be rare that you find some heavy duty machinery or technology inside a piece like this. The Yamaha NP-V80 is complete with 76 Box type keys, with a Graded Soft Touch Keyboard action.
For inexperienced users, the key action on digital pianos usually refers to the weight and the engineering behind the keys, something that many lower level models do not even possess. Most beginner pianos have keys without any graded or weighted action, so the GST system on this model is welcome.
While the keys aren’t necessarily weighted, they are graded, meaning the heavier keys will be placed towards the bass and the lighter keys will be based towards the treble, like on a real acoustic piano. This piano has a surprisingly low maximum polyphony of 32 notes, which means that will severely limit the number of voices which can be layered and split over one another at a time.
The NP-V80 has a host of key features. One of them is the Performance Assistant Technology (PAT) system, which actually will help correct the notes of the user while he or she is playing and teach the beginner piano player correct technique.
Another is the USB to DEVICE and USB to HOST connectivity, an awesome feature which will allow you to connect to an outside device such as an iPad or computer, allowing you to transport you performance data to another location or import songs to the machine memory.
This piano is also complete with Reverb, Chorus, DSP and Master EQ effects, so you can have a blast putting together your own sounds and playing them with a special feel. It also has a 5 song, 6 track recording system, which is awesome for those geared more towards the production side of piano playing.
Here’s the manual for the Yamaha NP-V80, for anyone that needs it or is interested in viewing it before purchasing the keyboard.
Four awesome digital pianos to compare the NP-V80 with are the Yamaha PSR E433, NP-V60, Yamaha NP-31, and Casio WK-7500.
Compared to the PSR E433, the NP-V80 reigns supreme in my mind because it has the Graded Soft Touch Keyboard, which while not stellar, remains better than the PSR’s standard touch response keys. They both have the same amount of polyphony but the PSR has a considerably less amount of voices to choose from with 206 voice, 462 XGlite sounds, and 23 Drum and SFX kits.
Between these to the NP-V80 wins in my opinion.
The NP-V60 comes from the same class as the V80, so at first glance there shouldn’t be much difference, and the V80 should be an improvement.
In truth, when you line up the specifications of these two pianos side by side, you see they are basically the exact same thing. The only difference between them is that the NP-V80 has the Intelligent Arpeggiator feature and USB to DEVICE connectivity, as the NP-V60 only has USB to HOST.
So if hooking your piano up to your iPad is a big deal, then you’ll have to go with the NP-V80.
The NP-31 is another great portable piano to. They are both the same, in that they both have GST action keyboards and AWM Sampling tone generation. The big difference, however, is that the V80 has an amazing selection of sounds while the NP-31 is geared more towards classical piano players and only has 10 exquisitely defined sounds.
The Casio WK-7500 is a little bit of a better piano in that it has 32 more notes of polyphony, a better sound source in Casio’s Tri-element AHL, 300 more voices and tones, along with a 16 track song sequencer for up to 5 songs. It also has 8 track x 6 pattern editing features (intro, normal, normal fill-in, variation, variation fill-in, ending), along with 16 MIDI compatible channels and SD Memory card capability.
This is a workstation however, so it is a bit hard to give a complete and fair comparison of each piano’s specifications.
The Yamaha NP-V80 is an awesome portable piano that can be purchased online for less than $500. If this piano doesn’t suit you, however, here is a list of comparable pianos you might like:
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