Two of the best selling digital pianos these days, the Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P71 is a battle that is destined to last for many rounds. Both these pianos are very affordable and offer a lot of value for their price. If you are a beginner, and don’t feel like making a big financial commitment at this point, one of these two are your best option. But, which one? This is the question we decided to answer by testing these two models and comparing them honestly.
Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P71 Comparison Chart
|Model||Alesis Recital Pro||Yamaha P71|
|Key Action||Fully Weighted||Fully Weighted|
|Key touch/weight||Plastic feel, 3 levels||Plastic feel, 3 levels|
|Speakers||2 x 10W||2 x 6W|
|Check Price||Check Price|
Besides the fact that both pianos have full 88-key keyboards, the difference in matters of design is pretty big. Surely there’s absolutely no way you could mistake one for the other, by simply looking at them.
The Yamaha P71 has a very simple design with a control panel that is reduced to a few discreet buttons on the left hand side of the dashboard. It has a fairly reduced footprint, with very compact dimensions and reduced weight. With a depth of only 12 inches and a total weight of 25 pounds, it’s safe to say that it’s a digital piano fit for any space. You can also carry it easily to gigs, if it’s the case, or rather to piano lessons, as it’s best suited for beginners.
The Alesis Recital Pro isn’t as compact as the Yamaha P71, although the difference in weight is minor, only 1 pound. The big difference is in the layout of the dashboard. It’s not so minimalist, having multiple buttons on situated around a center LCD screen. It’s also more complex than the “lighter” version, the Alesis Recital. It’s also wider than the P71, making it a bit more difficult to carry.
In the sound department, the Yamaha P71 vs Alesis Recital Pro comparison is pretty even, according to my opinion.
From a technical point of view, there are certain differences, though. Both the Recital Pro and P71 have sampled sounds. Yamaha used their own acoustic grand pianos for the samples, just like with higher priced models. The sound of both digital pianos is very realistic.
There’s a small difference in voices. The Yamaha P71 has 10 voices. The Alesis Recital Pro has 6 voices with 2 variations for each, which equals a total of 12 voices. I don’t know how big of a difference this constitutes for you, as most beginners are rather focused on the main piano voice before adventuring into different territories.
The polyphony, the limited of tones which the instrument can render at the same time is different between the two pianos. The P71 has a maximum of 64 tone polyphony, whereas the Recital Pro has a maximum of 128. This, again, is a characteristic that will probably not make much of a difference in the beginning, because even 64 is well enough while learning to play the piano. Higher limits are something to be desired when playing more complex musical pieces, especially when combining two voices.
These certain technical differences between the Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P71 are because the first one is a slightly more evolved version of the very basic Recital, whereas the P71 is the basic model of the Yamaha line. The difference between them is not huge, but this is a fact that has to be taken into account.
The type of speakers that are installed on these digital pianos are pretty different, at least in power.
The Yamaha P71 has two 6W speakers, which are far from impressive, but still enough for an average sized room. If you are a beginner, you will probably use headphones while practicing most of the time anyway, so the output of the speakers is most likely not a critical deciding factor. Especially if you are a beginner, your practice sessions will not be concert level for some time, so louder is not necessarily better at this stage.
The Alesis Recital Pro has two 10 W speakers, which is almost double the power output of those on the P71. It’s kind of a big difference considering the fact that both are in comparable price ranges and target audiences. The speakers of the Recital Pro are some of the most powerful of its category, easily being enough for even those who are intermediate pianists. With these speakers going to gig or enchanting a gathering in a larger space is perfectly possible.
Both digital pianos have full 88 keyboards with weighted keys. These days, weighted keys are beginning to be a standard even at these beginner piano levels. The difference between higher priced models and the beginner ones is the refinement of the technology behind the weighted keys.
The P71 uses the Graded Hammer Standard, which is Yamaha’s basic technology. This is a fairly nice quality, the keys, although plastic, behaving very authentically when played. I can say they really sell the authentic acoustic piano feel. Of course, this feeling gets closer and closer to the acoustic piano feeling on higher end models. But still, the feeling is there, and especially for beginners it’s important to learn the proper finger technique. This way they can easily translate their skill to an acoustic piano, if necessary.
The 88 keys of the Alesis Recital Pro are also fully weighted. I was honestly very pleased with the feeling they rendered. It’s close to the real thing and it also has that certain sensitivity. You can adjust the level of sensitivity according to your personal taste. For such an affordable digital piano, it’s amazing how far the technology has come in matters of offering that authentic feeling. There are certain differences that you feel even when playing the keys harder or softer. The level of detail, in this price range, for both the Yamaha P71 and the Alesis Recital Pro is surprisingly fine.
Although these are both beginner digital pianos, there are a number of functions that might be useful or at least fun.
One of the fun but also useful features of the Yamaha P71 is the Dual Mode. By using this function, you can play to voices (instrument sounds) at the same time. For example, you can play piano on the right half of the keyboard and strings on the left half. Yes, I know, this is a classic combination that sounds well, but you can experiment with any two voices.
Another useful function of the P71 is the recording feature. You’re able to record a piece you’re playing which will later help you in your practice sessions. Or you can also create a duet with your own recording, which is even more interesting.
The Alesis Recital Pro also has a number of functions that can be found on higher priced digital pianos as well. These functions start to be something like an industry standard. The layer mode lets you overlay two different voices in order to create a new unique sound. The limit to what sounds you can create is only your imagination and creativity. The Recital Pro also has the feature that lets you play two voices at the same time, one on each half of the keyboard, just like the P71. It’s called Split mode.
There’s also a feature called Lesson mode. This is a very useful feature for beginners. What it does is splitting the keyboard into two equal parts. This way you can play the piano with a piano teacher by mimicking what he’s doing without the need of a second keyboard.
Overall, in the Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P71 battle, this round is pretty even, because both have useful functions that enhance the playing experience a lot.
A differentiating factor between acoustic pianos and digital pianos are the connectivity possibilities, which is a characteristic of the latter. As any modern digital piano, the Yamaha P71 and the Alesis Recital Pro have certain connectivity capabilities.
You can save your recordings on a computer from any one of these two digital pianos through the USB connections.
Another helpful connectivity capability of both instruments are the headphone jacks. Because they are designed for beginner pianists, who have to practice a lot, these will come in handy. Of course, that is if you don’t have the most understanding neighbors in the world who don’t mind listening to the same passages over and over again.
As you can see by now, in matters of connectivity, the Yamaha P71 vs Alesis Recital Pro battle is still even.
What both lack, but can be found on more evolved models is the Bluetooth connectivity. You don’t really need it, having USB, but in an era where most of our user electronics migrate towards wireless operation, this would have been a nice addition.
Overall, I can say that both digital pianos offer a very good value for their price. They’re certainly a lot more evolved than beginner digital pianos a few years ago in the same price range.
As for a winner in the Alesis Recital Pro vs Yamaha P71 comparison, I am not as sure which one to choose because, honestly speaking I think both are very good beginner digital pianos. But as far as my recommendation on which one you should buy, I will formulate my answer like this. If you want to most compact and lightweight digital piano of the two, and trust the Yamaha brand name more, then go with the Yamaha P71. If not, the Alesis Recital Pro has slightly better features in some aspects leading to a slightly better value for money ratio.