Yamaha pianos have always been known to have a wide range of variety, class, and professionalism to them. I’ve stated before how they have made themselves into a great and proven company that doesn’t have to bend to the demands of a certain group. They simply make the machines that they want to make.
This however can present a bit of a problem in some of their keyboards and digital pianos. Sometimes there seems to be no middle ground. They can have real top-of-the-line quality like in some of their high end PSR machines, or they can cater to the lower end of the spectrum with machines like the YPT-230. But there seems to be no middle ground, like Casio has with machines like the CDP-120. With that being said, they have still crafted something great in the YPT-230.
Piano Buying Guide
Below, please enjoy the interactive guide that was created to make your piano purchase easier. Compare the Yamaha YPT-230 to the best pianos in its class based on weight, price, and even customer reviews from Amazon.com.
$ = $500 or less | $$ = $500 – $1,000 | $$$ = $1,000 and up
|Yamaha NP 32||76||$||Graded Soft Touch (GST) Keyboard|
|Yamaha P-121||73||$$||73 full-sized keys|
|Yamaha P-125||88||$$||GHS Weighted Action|
|Yamaha DGX 660||88||$$||Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Keyboard|
|Donner DEP-10||88||$$||Semi-Weighted Keys|
|Korg B2||88||$||Onboard Reverb and Chorus effects|
|Donner DEP-20||88||$$||Fully-Weighted Keys|
|Casio PX-160||88||$||Dual Headphone Outputs on Front|
|Alesis Recital||88||$||Semi-Weighted Keys|
Yamaha YPT230 review: Features
The Yamaha YPT-230 is another addition in one of their portable keyboard series, which include all of the PSR’s and all of the YPT’s. These machines stray away from the normal construct of a digital stage piano, and in many ways they aren’t a digital piano at all. The look of them completely changes, along with the things you’re able to do with them. They’re smaller, have a much wider variety of sounds, and are built more for the learner and the synthesizer generation than for the purist pianist.
The YPT-230 still has a lovely build and look to it. It comes in only one color, black, and has a nice, smaller rectangular shape to it. This shape does a great job of accommodating both of its 12 centimeter speakers, which are set on opposite ends of the board. The piano gives off a pretty decent sound, even though it only has 2.5 watt amplifiers. The interface of the board has a bevy of buttons; similar to most synth-type keyboards, but it shouldn’t be too difficult finding your way around. After all, there needs to be some type of control when you have over 380 sounds.
Along with the buttons are an about 3.5 inch by 1.5 inch LCD screen which will help you navigate the voices, songs, styles, and controls for the piano. You’ll be able to tell what chord you’re playing, or use one from the chord dictionary to assist you during an accompaniment. There’s a nice keyboard display at the bottom of the screen which shows you the exact notes pressed down and is a great tool for learning keys with the preset songs. However, there is no record function, so you won’t be able to record any of your own compositions directly onto the piano. It would be great to record something and then be able to look at your own note and chord fingering.
Also on the display is a nice notation feature which will show the actual musical notation for everything that you play. There is both a treble and bass clef, so you’ll be able to see it all. This feature is good also when you’re using songs and accompaniments, as you’ll be able to use sheet music reading skills to your advantage when learning.
The keybed for the YPT-230 marks a significant change from most digital and stage pianos. This piano, along with all the others in Yamaha’s Portable Keyboard series are constructed in their ‘organ style.’ The piano only has 61 keys, and the way the keybed is set up seems to be just the same way as an organ. In fact, the way the piano is made, you can see how someone might want to set up two of the same instrument right on top of each other to mimic an organ’s construction and hand placement. All that would be missing were some drawbars and lighted organ buttons.
Below, please take a look at some of the best selling digital keyboards and pianos available on Amazon:
|1) Alesis Recital|
|3) Yamaha P-121|
|4) Roland GO:KEYS|
|5) Yamaha PSR-E363|
How Does the Yamaha YPT-230 Sound?
The sounds on this piano are surprisingly good in my opinion. A lot of times when you are dealing with a keyboard of this price, you can really see some piano makers slack off and put just anything out there. However, this is not the case with the YPT-230. It seems that many of the sounds from even the higher end Yamaha Motif can also be found in this lowly machine. I think that’s wonderful value for this piano, and I’ve even talked to some who have wondered why they ever spent the extra $1000. I wouldn’t go that far, but the sounds are really impressive.
The grand piano sound is decent, but doesn’t really blow you out of the water, like other digital pianos. But then again, like I said before, this isn’t really a digital piano. That grand piano sound isn’t the main focus of the machine. There are 385 sounds on this piano, with all your possible instruments, from electric pianos, to harpsichords, basses, strings, and brass sections. Then there are multiple drums kits and 230 XGlite voices. Along with the ability to manipulate each sound using the Sound Effects Kit with reverb, chorus, and a bevy of other options, you should never be able to exhaust the sound resources on this machine.
If you do exhaust them, there’s always the capability to connect to another machine. The YPT-230 can be used as a handy MIDI controller, which will allow you to connect externally. You’ll be able to control up to 16 MIDI channels through the keyboard, and a plethora of performance options will open up to along with the accompaniment options already onboard.
There are different packages this piano can be purchased in, and it all depends on the store or company you’re dealing with. Many of the bundles I’ve seen come with high quality studio headphones, a heavy duty keyboard stand, a trusty foot pedal, and other piano material. Some may not come with the power cord and adapter because the YPT-230 can be battery powered by six AA batteries for up to six hours.
Overall, the Yamaha YPT-230 is a really wonderful machine, and it comes at a very affordable price. For everything that it offers, from the number of sounds, to the portability, to the quality, you really shouldn’t be able to find a better deal for its price range of $90-$125.
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