If you want to find out more about the latest release from Yamaha, you landed in the right place. In this article we review the Yamaha P125, the newer and updated version of the highly successful Yamaha P115. This is the latest entry in the already well-known and established P-series of Yamaha.
P in P-series stands for portable. But does the newest addition to the family bring other advantages besides portability? And, more important, is it a true upgrade to beloved P115? Read further as we try to find out the answer to these questions in our in-depth review of the Yamaha P125.
Highly Portable and Lightweight
As we’re already accustomed to by Yamaha, their digital pianos in the P series are very lightweight and designed to be easily moved from one place to the next. With this in mind, it seems as if Yamaha has designed the P125 specially to fit the needs of gigging artists who are constantly on the move.
Although a full 88 key digital piano, the Yamaha P125 only weighs 26 lbs. Its compact dimensions of 52 in. wide, 11.6 in. deep and a height of 6.5 in. make it a breeze to lift it up and hit the road. Carrying it on your back, after you safely place it into a case, will feel a lot less difficult than with other digital pianos that have similar features.
The size is an advantage from another point of view as well. Most of us lead urban lives and have little space to accommodate big pieces of furniture or technology. The Yamaha P125 will surely fit in any apartment without blocking half the living space. It will find its place nicely in various types of interior decors.
What’s included in the package?
After receiving the box from Amazon, when opening it you might be surprised to find that the stand is missing. It’s actually not missing. The stand is an optional accessory that you have to order separately, if you need it. In the box you will find the piano, obviously, the music rest to put your sheet music or tablet, one sustain pedal and of course, the power adapter. You will also receive an instructional manual where you can find all the information you need.
The Yamaha P125 is very user friendly
If you ask me about one lasting impression that the Yamaha P125 makes on someone getting in contact with it, it would have to be the ease of use. See, when we talk about a highly developed musical instrument packed with the latest technology, making it easy to use is not easy at all. You would have to start backwards, from the piano beginner, who doesn’t know a great deal about digital pianos. It’s really hard to simplify some actually complicated things. More so to a degree that their easy and fast to pick up by someone just starting out. Some models are not thought out to be used by beginners. But if you can produce an instrument appreciated by professionals but also easy to use by beginners, then you have something pretty great in front of you. And the Yamaha P125 falls under this category.
The Yamaha P125 lacks an LCD screen. This is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. Its design is cleaner but if you are used to navigating a digital piano only by using a screen, then you might consider this aspect as a disadvantage.
The lack of a screen is not such a big disadvantage. Even without having a screen, navigating the menu is very easy.
You can adjust the volume from a Master switch in the top left side of the dashboard. For more convenience the piano also has 2 headphone jacks. These will come in really handy when you don’t want to bother the rest of the household with your practice. Because there are 2 headphone jacks, you and your teacher can use this feature at the same time.
Yamaha P125 Review of Features
Without being a digital piano packed with bells and whistles, the Yamaha P125 offers beginners everything they need to start on their piano journey.
One of the features that we found to be very interesting is the recording function as well as the play/stop function. This allows you to record yourself while playing so that you can listen to it later and hear any mistakes that you made. But the truly interesting thing is the following. You can put on a duet with yourself by playing back a song that you recorded previously while playing a different song at the same time.
There are also further buttons that correspond to helpful features like the one that is responsible for turning the metronome on and off. This is helpful especially for beginners that are not sure their tempo is right or wrong. Further buttons that you can find on the dashboard are the Demo button and the Rhythm button. When pushed, the Rhythm button will activate, as the word says, a rhythm, like drums, to accompany you.
One of the features that some of you might think of as a weakness is the low number of voices that this piano has, namely 24. At the price range the Yamaha P125 can be found in this shouldn’t come as a surprise. An advantage in the midst of this aspect is that there are around 3 variations of each voice. This is a nice thing to have if you want to variate your training sessions a bit.
Yamaha Smart Pianist App
One of the greatest advantages of digital pianos, besides the lack of the need to be tuned regularly, is the fact that they usually can be connected to your smart devices through dedicated app.
The new generations of Yamaha digital pianos, like the Yamaha P125 reviewed today, connect to your phone or tablet through the Yamaha Smart Pianist App. This app from Yamaha is pretty great. And we’re not saying that without good reason. It offers a series of extraordinary functions that will make your piano playing experience so much more interesting.
The connection between the P125 and your iOs device is brilliant. Any change in the settings you make on your iOs device is registered by the piano as well as the other way around. For instance, if you change the voice on your piano it’s automatically changed in the app as well. And this is only one aspect.
A more interesting thing to mention about the app is that it lets you play your piano along your favorite music found in your mobile devices music library. Very similar to Shazam, the music recognition app, the Yamaha app will recognize any song you start playing on your piano and present the chord symbols for that song on the screen. If you come to think about it, the app renders a built in LCD screen needless. Taking is easy to use interface into account, it’s a lot better than many built-in screens. It just offers a superior experience.
It also lets you establish preset voices so that you can easily switch back to your original settings anytime. This is very useful especially if you change voices often while playing. You can also easily record your songs through the app.
Yamaha P125 Connectivity
This might not seem as important for all of you reading this review. But for those of you that compose new music pieces its very important to be able to save your songs on a computer. This can be easily done through the USB connection.
Graded Hammer Standard is the name of the weighted keyboard on the P125. It simulates pretty well real acoustic grand piano keyboard feel. If you’re used to playing on acoustic pianos, then you will find that it’s not much different on this digital piano. The responsiveness is very good, maybe even better so on the black keys. What they could have improved is the texture of the keys. It seems though that they left that for the higher end models.
The speakers are one of the most important components of digital pianos. They made a great job with the placement of the speakers on the Yamaha P125. The sound wave emitted by these speakers are directed towards the performer. This is a detail that makes a difference. It’s just not the same when the sound goes up or any other direction. You can’t enjoy your performance the same way.
Another interesting feature of the sound system is very similar with modern generation televisions. It’s able to determine if it’s placed on a hard surface, like a table, rather than a stand and change the way it emits sound. This way you will get the most of it, no matter what kind of support you use your P125 with.
When it comes to the sound engine, the specifications set it clearly apart from most of the similar choices, price range wise. The polyphony of 192 voices is a lot higher than the majority, which are at 128.
Comparison between the Yamaha P125 and the P115
Last but not least, how does the Yamaha P125 compare to the former model, the very popular P115. And more important, is there any evolution that justifies choosing the P125?
At a first glance, the two models are very similar. They both have 88 keys and the same Graded Hammer Standard weighted key technology by Yamaha. So, judging by this aspect, there is no difference.
The difference though can be rather heard than felt. The speaker system is much improved on the new P125. This is something you can notice right from the start if you compare the two models. With the former model, you have needed the stand as well. With the latter, you can use a table and it will sound even better than the P115. The sound is a lot richer on the latest model. It’s a lot richer when compared to other Yamaha models as well, like the P45 for instance.
An alternative digital piano that’s comparable to the P125 is the Roland FP-30. If you want to see how it compares to this piano, read our full review of the Roland FP-30, or the Yamaha P125 vs Roland FP-30 comparison.
If you want to see how it compares to a beginner level console digital piano, check out my Yamaha P125 vs Yamaha YDP-144 comparison review.
Another alternative is the Casio PX-770. We’ve written a head to head comparison between the two within our review of the Casio PX-770.
So, is the Yamaha P125 worth considering? You could probably find the predecessor, the P115 at a bit lower price. Or you might even find the P45 to be a good option. But the P125 has a number of clear advantages over these older models that cannot be overseen. And these advantages make the Yamaha P125 a great option especially for beginners but also for intermediate and more advanced pianists.