Yamaha is the Rolls Royce of digital pianos. With both being more than a century old companies, Yamaha has an equally impressive line up of products consisting of digital pianos (numbering around 250 odd models now), which are nothing short of classic. Yamaha divides its various models into different categories based on the built in technology and features they have to offer (and Price, of course).
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Yamaha classifies its range of Contemporary Pianos as P, N and NP-series. These models are placed at the back end of Yamaha’s digital piano spectrum and range between $500-$1,000. Yamaha had launched P-35 as the most affordable 88-key, weighted keyboard digital piano and it proved out to be a major success, especially among beginners and college goers. This was because it allowed people to experience the quality of a real acoustic piano, at a very affordable price in the form of a portable digital piano. Yamaha has now launched the new Yamaha P45B digital piano, as a replacement for the P35. So what are the new features that the P-45B has to offer? Is it really better than the major hit, the P-35? Find out in our review below…
The latest model in the Contemporary Piano range of Yamaha’s P-series is the P45B, which is aimed as a replacement and a successor of the previous P-35 model. The new model has a contemporary design with a small footprint which allows for better portability and storage at home and outdoors. It is an 88-key weighted action digital piano, which uses Yamaha’s Stereo AWM (Advance Wave Management) to create its rich music library. Enhancing the successful tradition of P-35, the new Yamaha P45B boasts of an upgraded 64-note polyphony for a rich, deep quality of music.
Key Features of the Yamaha P45B
1. Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Technology – The P45B uses the latest AWM with a digital technology to record the most authentic sound of an acoustic piano and the AWM stereo sampling then creates a deeper, richer and more spacious sound by combining pairs of waveforms (L and R) as captured by the microphone. The P-45B uses this AWM recorded sound to then play at varying volume and timbre levels.
2. Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) weighted action – The GHS weighted action provides heavy touch in the low end keys and a much lighter touch in the high end keys, like a real acoustic piano. You can also adjust the keyboard’s sensitivity according to your playing style. It serves as a perfect learning instrument for beginners, as they get to perfect their finger technique with the GHS action and be ready for when the time comes to play an acoustic piano. No other digital piano offers a GHS action at this price range, making it a great value for money instrument for beginners, students, small bands or for casual home usage.
3. 64-note Polyphony – This is an upgraded feature from the P-35, which had a 32-note polyphony. A 64-not polyphony allows the player to perform moderately dense musical passages even while using heavy sustain pedal, without cutting off any dropped notes.
4. Dual/Split Mode – The Dual Mode feature allows you to combine two of the ten built-in voices in the P45B, like piano and strings, for a more versatile and creative performance. While the Split mode allows two different sounds in the lower and higher end of the keyboard. Thus, you can play say, a bass guitar in the lower half while piano on the upper half of the keyboard.
5. USB connectivity – The USB-to-Host port allows you to connect with computers and mobile phones, using the various educational, music creation or entertainment software applications. There is an option of MIDI in and out, as well as a 1/4″ headphone output to enable you to practice in silence without any background noise.
6. Reverb and Chorus Effect – Another USP of the P45B is the additional feature of Chorus along with the Reverb effect, which you do not find at this price range in other digital pianos of various brands. The Chorus effect allows for that warm sound quality and much richer sound effects.
7. Single Button Function – The P45B has a unique Single Button feature which allows you to change various settings in the piano at the touch of a single button. It allows you to change voices, play demo sources, configure the metronome, all by pressing a single button labeled “Grand Piano/Function” on its body.
8. Additional Features – Metronome, ECO Operation (shuts off the piano after a period of inactivity, thus saving energy)
9. Additional Accessories – Music Rest, Sustain Pedal, Power Adapter
Comparison with the P-35
The Yamaha P45B has been launched as a successor to the very successful P-35, and it contains various upgrades from its predecessor. The P45B has the same 88-key weighted action as the P-35, but along with an improved piano sound quality and the upgrade to 64-note polyphony, it edges out its predecessor in performance terms. Yamaha has also done away with the old 5-pin MIDI and introduced an USB-to-Port connectivity option, which allows the P45B to connect with a host of electronic devices such as computers, smartphones and laptops. However, like the P-35, the new P45B does not have any recording option either, which if added to the P45B would have made it a much better package.
Two of the comparable alternatives for the P45 are the Korg B1 and the Casio PX-160. Click on each link to read our full review of that model.
The latest Yamaha P45B is an ideal musical instrument for beginners who want to be able to experience the quality of a real, acoustic piano at an affordable price. It also boasts of a compact, lightweight design which allows for better portability and makes it ideal for using at home as well as outdoors. All in all, it is another successful addition to Yamaha’s legendary repertoire of digital pianos and not just carries forward the tradition of the P-35, but enhances it (in some cases at least).