The Yamaha P255 88 key digital piano is one high-class piano. This is the conclusion I’ve come to after spending a good amount of time with this fine, well put together machine a few days ago at my local music store.
This piano’s been catching a good bit of buzz lately, and after some requests from some of my colleagues and other followers, I’ve decided to give this Yamaha digital piano a run for its money. And I have to say—I was more than delighted once my fingers had the opportunity to touch the 255’s keys.
The Digital Piano Buying Guide
In the interactive table that’s available below, please take a moment to see how the affordable Yamaha P255 stacks up against some of the best pianos in its class:
|Roland RD-88||PHA-4 Standard action, ZEN-Core sound engine|
|Nord Stage 3||OLED Display|
|Casio PX5S||Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II Keyboard|
|Nord Piano 5||Polyphony: 120 Notes (piano section), 46 Notes (sample synth section)|
|Yamaha YC88||128 Notes (AWM2/Organ), 128 Notes (FM)|
Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Vibe, Pan, Tremolo and more
|Casio PX-560||5.3” Color Display|
A Beautiful Piano with a Lot of Style
The Yamaha P255 was certainly designed with a lot of class and style in mind. In fact, its beauty is one of the first things that catch your eye when you first come in contact with it.
The piano certainly looks a bit hefty at first glance, with a box style casing that comes in two different color finishes, one a matte black, the other an ivory white. They are both beautiful finishes and would fit in any elegant setting.
The piano is not as heavy as it appears, weighing in at a modest 38 pounds. This is a wonderful size considering the amount of technology that Yamaha is pushing here, especially the graded hammer key action system.
For having so much to offer, the piano has a very simple and sleek design for its interface.
There is a small, 7 segment LED backlit display set in the center of the interface, with red lighting. There are very few buttons on the interface; a few are designated to voices, others to reverb and sound effects, a few others to song selection and playback, and a couple sliders for master volume and EQ.
Yamaha markets the piano very much connected with its appearance, which fits well with the accompanying piano stand set up. I could see this piano on stage in a concert setting just as well as I could see it in a living room for your practice sessions.
Below, please take a look at some of the best-selling digital pianos online, and then see how well they compare to the Yamaha P255:
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-144|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Yamaha YDP-164|
|5) Casio PX-870|
Voices and Tones
The Yamaha P255 is completely focused on bringing one of the most realistic and cutting edge live piano experiences to this digital piano (and ultimately to your ears). Yamaha has meticulously engineered the sound of the voices on this piano to replicate their world renowned grand piano, the CF. There are a total of 24 preset tones on the piano, including 4 grand piano sounds, 4 electric pianos, and 4 organs, along with an assortment of other sounds.
The piano has an amazing quality sound to it, and this is accentuated by Yamaha’s introduction of Key Off Samples, which replicates the sound a real grand piano makes when you let your fingers off the keys. This incredible effect has a different reaction both for staccato and legato playing, along with Sustain Sampling, which replicates the effect of the piano strings and the interaction with the hammers.
Exquisite Engineering and Touch
The beautiful sound of the piano is backed by a bevy of engineering successes manifested by the team at Yamaha. I spoke earlier of the grand piano sound which is modeled after the renowned Yamaha CF models. This is captured in full effect by the tone generation sound system on board the P-255, accurately titled the Pure CF Sound Engine.
The CF Sound Engine is one of the first in a series of amazing tone generation systems, including the CF II and the CF IIIS. The piano also has a wonderful key action system, in the Graded Hammer (GH) set of keys. This action replicates what you would see on a real piano, with heavier keys toward the bass and lighter keys as you progress up the board. The piano also comes with exquisite synthetic ivory key tops for all the white keys.
This cutting edge feature contains moisture absorption properties, specifically created so that players won’t be worried about sweaty palms and finger slippage, even after playing for an extended period of time.
The P-255 comes with some key features and advancements. First there is P-255 app controller for iOS, a specifically designed iPad or iPhone app which can be downloaded directly from the Apple store. This fun and innovative connection allows the user to layer, split, and change other voices, along with managing preset songs and recording to USB, all at the touch of a finger.
There is also the feature of the P-255’s beautiful acoustic design, with circular vibrating speakers along with built-in tweeters and two fifteen-watt amps. The piano also boasts a sound boost feature which instantly enhances the volume of the piano if needed in a live performance setting.
If one were looking for any piano to compare with the P-255, they wouldn’t have to look any further than its predecessor, the Yamaha P-155.
The P-155 is a digital piano that certainly always got a lot of great reviews, but there were a few kinks here and there which seemed to turn people away. The P-255 is supposed to be the complete improvement on that piano, and depending on who you ask you’ll get different reviews on whether that goal was accomplished or not.
Both pianos are full length 88 key digital pianos, with the P-155 containing the Graded Hammer Effect (GHE) key action system as opposed to the P-255’s Graded Hammer (GH) system. One big difference between the two machines is the maximum polyphony available, the P-255 having the industry maximum of 256 notes, while the P-155 only has 128 notes (this is still more than enough for most people).
Both models have Key Off and Sustain Sampling, which is good. The P-255 sets itself apart with its technological connectivity, having a special iPad and iPhone app which allows the owner to control the piano from their phone. Other than that there doesn’t seem to be too much different between the two models.
The Yamaha P-255 has a list price of about $2,000, but you can easily find the piano for around $1300 on online.
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