If you’re in the business of buying a digital piano or keyboard, chances are you’re putting in a great amount of effort to research different brands and models, trying to find out what will be the best fit for your money. With the market of musical instruments flooded with a plethora of available products it would be completely ignorant to simply walk into a store without any prior research and believe you’ll get the best deal. Simply put, you have to know what you’re buying.
Piano Buying Guide
Below, please enjoy the interactive guide that was created to make your piano purchase easier. Compare the Yamaha P-105 to the best pianos and keyboards in its class based on weight, price, and even customer reviews from Amazon.com.
$ = $500 or less | $$ = $500 – $1,000 | $$$ = $1,000 and up
|Yamaha P-115||88||26 lbs.||$$||4.7/5|
|Yamaha P-45||88||25 lbs.||$||4.8/5|
|Williams Allegro 2||88||29.8 lbs.||$||4.2/5|
|Yamaha DGX-660||88||46 lbs.||$$||5.0/5|
|Casio PX-160||88||25.5 lbs.||$||4.7/5|
- NOTE: The Yamaha P-105 has been replaced by the Yamaha P-115. We recently published a comparison review between the Yamaha P-115 vs the Yamaha P-45, which you can read here.
Yamaha P105 review: Piano vs. Keyboard
This search becomes even more difficult when certain instruments or the categories that contain them become blurred by the influx of machines that crossover in a number of areas, making it more difficult to know which machine really has what you want. Such is the case with digital keyboards and digital pianos. At first glance, it seems there shouldn’t be much that separates the two, but in reality there are some very fundamental differences between a digital piano and a keyboard, and the consumer should be well acquainted with them.
While it would take more than this review to go into the details of all the differences between the two categories, it can be sufficed to say that the main difference is the intention of the user. There are generally two main types of people who play the piano. First there are those more interested in the classical form of the instrument and mainly use acoustic and grand pianos to develop themselves for stage and concert performances. Then there are those who are more interested in the studio and musical production side of the instrument, using it as a means for composing, layering voices, and fine tuning a finished, digital product. Now these two descriptions are neither rigid nor exhaustive, and both definitions can exchange many qualities between one another.
Because of this it’s very important to understand whether you are buying a digital piano or keyboard, or some transformation or combination of the two. This is what I set out to find when encountering the Yamaha P105, to determine just exactly what it is and has to offer. After spending some time with the machine it becomes fairly obvious that it falls under the category of a digital piano, and a wonderful selection for piano players looking for a digital alternative.
Below, take a look at some of the best selling pianos that are currently available on Amazon, and see how they compare to the P105 (note, the P115 has replaced the P105):
Great Design and Overall Structure
This Yamaha digital piano is described by the company as being “compact,” meaning that it offers many of the same features and capabilities of some of the larger models on the market while having a manageable size and the marketability of being portable. In fact, it’s listed as part of Yamaha’s P-Series of digital pianos and keyboards, which emphasize quality and portability above all. I was initially wowed by the weight of the machine, which I expected to be much more than the 25 and 13/16 pounds listed on Yamaha’s website. While twenty five pounds isn’t exactly light, it’s certainly a weight that allows the instrument to be carried about considerably easier than some of the other digital piano models on the market.
The piano has a length of 52 and 3/16 inches with a width of 11 and 5/8 inches, which I think is pretty good considering this is a full length 88 key digital piano. This piano will fit right into any home situation, whether in the living room or the bed room, and any stage or studio situation as well. It comes in a beautiful, matte black finish which extends also to the matching stand and pedal unit that are optional accessories to the piano. The L-85 stand is sturdy and dependable, and can come pre-assembled with delivery from a local dealer but can also be easily assembled after shipping from online dealers like Amazon.com. The LP5A pedal unit is made of the same material and has the full set of sostenuto, sustain and soft-control pedals, which are a great feature for anyone serious about playing the piano. There is also a matching music rest.
High Quality Tones, Rhythms, and Special Features
The Yamaha P-105 comes with 14 different high quality tones, which is a considerable difference from many other digital piano and keyboard options that come with hundreds of voices. This is why the distinction has to be made between the digital piano and the keyboard, as having only 14 tones is really not a drop-off or concern when looking at it from the right perspective. The P-105 is built to be a digital alternative to real acoustic and grand pianos, so the concern is not how many voices there are, but the quality of those voices.
The P-105 certainly doesn’t disappoint in this area, as this piano features Yamaha’s “Pure CF Sound Engine”. The CF Sound Engine has been meticulously created by Yamaha to be an exact replica of their CFIIIS concert grand piano, which is known all over the world. This tone generation system is supported by 128 notes of polyphony, so even with dual/layered and split sounds playing over rhythms and drum patterns you will not experience any dropped notes.
The P-105 greatly enhances the acoustic experience by utilizing Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keybed, which replicates the actual hammer action of a real piano and brings it to a digital platform. The keys of the piano are even weighted heavier towards the bass and lighter in the treble, just like a real acoustic. While the feel of this hammer action isn’t perfect, it is certainly a welcome feature that will draw real piano purists to the P-105. Here is a list of some of the other weighted hammer action systems provided by Yamaha:
- GH – Graded Hammer
- GHS – Graded Hammer Standard
- GHE – Graded Hammer Effect
- GH2 – Graded Hammer 2nd Generation
- GH3 – Graded Hammer 3rd Generation
- NW – Natural Wood
The P-105 also comes with great connectivity, with USB to HOST capability that will allow you to connect directly to your computer and an auxiliary line out that helps with recording and live performances. The best feature of this piano is certainly the price, however, as a list price of over a thousand dollars comes considerably down when you buy the Yamaha P105 discounted on Amazon.
For more great digital piano reviews, be sure to return to our website for great analysis on pianos and keyboards!
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