Welcome to our Yamaha P71 review. In this article we’re going to take a comprehensive look at this Amazon exclusive digital piano model. Along the Yamaha P45 and the Yamaha P125, the P71 is the most cost efficient digital piano of Yamaha’s P line, which stands for portable.
Features of the Yamaha P71 Digital Piano
For starters, the Yamaha P71 is a full sized digital piano at a fraction of the cost of other portable keyboards. It’s comparable to the P45. Actually, it’s a version of the popular P45 sold exclusively through Amazon.
There are a number of characteristics that make the Yamaha P71 a very attractive option for most people who are at a beginner level.
The 88 keys that are provided on this digital piano are a pretty big advantage when compared to other digital pianos in this price range. Usually other comparable models have less than a full keyboard.
Another important advantage towards competing models is the key action. Yes, it’s Yamaha’s basic key action, the Graded Hammer Standard, but you can find the same technology on higher priced models from Yamaha. At the same time, the key action is of higher quality than that used by other manufacturers on comparable models.
The voices on the P71 are also very high quality. Actually, I declare myself pretty impressed by the level of quality, in respects to the sound of this digital piano, that Yamaha was able to pack in and offer at this price range.
And because we touched the subject of price, it’s important to note that the price in this case constitutes an advantage as well. The reason why is pretty obvious. The quality to price ratio seems to be one of the best in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, there are other digital piano models, from Yamaha as well, that have superior technology, but as an entry level, low cost model, the ratio is phenomenal. It’s hard not to ponder about how they profit on this item.
Another important point worth mentioning is the reduced weight and dimensions of the Yamaha P71. With a depth under 13 inches, this digital piano is extremely easy to stow away, to move from one place to another, even by children. This aspect contributes to the all around impression that the P71 is a great option for young children embarking on their musical journey. Being relatively inexpensive too, the risk of investing a big sum into an activity that your child might not hang on to is low.
Finally, one of the biggest trust factors is the fact that two big companies, with a great reputation have put their minds together to offer a product that is not only high quality but also very accessible.
The Yamaha P71 has a weight of 25 pounds, making it extremely easy to move around. The reduced dimensions, a depth of under 13 inches, underlines the easy portability.
The 88 key keyboard with the graded hammer standard key action mimics the behavior of an acoustic piano’s keyboard. The keys are lighter towards the high end notes and heavier towards the low end notes.
A very interesting feature is the ability to adjust the response of the keys between hard, medium or soft, or to disable the touch sensitivity altogether. If you practice with properly weighted keys, you develop the correct finger technique. It will be very easy for you to transition to playing on a acoustic piano.
A weakness of the keys is the finish. But, you probably wouldn’t expect ebony and ivory key surfaces on a low cost digital piano. The black keys have a matte finish, though, which acts as an anti-slippery surface allowing for extended play.
Advanced Sound Sampling
To offer a deeper, richer and more spacious sound, the sound is captured by installing two microphones, for right and left wave forms. Yamaha calls this technique Advanced Wave Memory sampling, and it’s Yamaha’s classic sound engine.
The Yamaha P71 has a library of 10 voices that you can layer in ways that only your own creativity and skills are boundaries to. Some of these voices are: grand piano, electric piano, harpsichord, strings, vibraphone, organ and others. Adding to the variety of sound effects are the four chorus and reverb options such as: Room, Stage, Hall1 and Hall2.
This function allows you to layer two sound in order to be able to play two instruments at the same time. For example if you want to play strings and a piano voice, the dual mode gives you the ability to do that easily. There is also a transpose function that allows you to accompany a vocalist by adjusting semitones.
A big advantage of digital pianos when compared to acoustic pianos is the lack of the need for fine tuning. This function, though, is very useful when you need to adjust the pitch of the entire instrument in order to play along recorded music or other instruments.
Compared to other models from Yamaha, a polyphony of 64 might not seem so impressive. But in most cases, especially for beginners, it more than enough. At this point, I feel as if a brief explanation of what polyphony actually is can bring us further. Polyphony is an indicator of a musical instruments ability to play multiple sounds at once. Some voices use, for example, more than 4 elements at the same time. If you layer complex sounds the number of elements used at once goes up. The problem at this point is that when the polyphony is exceeded, the sound may cut off at once or may decay sooner than expected. This may not be a problem for beginners, but as you progress, this aspect might become somewhat of an inconvenience.
This function is very useful for beginners as it allows for student and teacher to play at once. What it does is parting the keyboard in two identical 44 key areas with an own middle C. Together with the metronome function, this feature is a big advantage for beginners during piano lessons.
The USB connectivity allows you to easily hook your Yamaha P71 to your computer or mobile device to record your songs or use with mobile apps that are, of course, compatible.
After a period of idleness, the Yamaha P71 will shut off by itself in order to conserve electricity. You can always disable this function if it bothers you more than it helps you.
Yamaha P71 Specifications
- 88 keys;
- Graded Hammer Standard key action;
- Hard/medium/soft/fixed touch sensitivity;
- AMW Stereo Sampling;
- 64 maximum polyphony;
- 10 voices;
- Fine Tuning;
Reverb: Adjustable reverb effect with 4 reverb types
- Includes Auto Power Off;
- 25 pounds;
Yamaha P71 vs Yamaha P-45
The Yamaha P-45 is a digital piano that is comparable to the Yamaha P71. They both are entry level digital pianos that are fairly inexpensive when compared to other models. As a matter of fact, the Yamaha P-45 and the Yamaha P71 have more or less the same features. They both have the same 88 key weighted action keyboard. They also have almost the same sound effects and styles.
There are some differences between the two, though. The Yamaha P71 is an exclusive Amazon product, whereas the Yamaha P-45 can be found at other stores too. And there would be another difference, the price. The P45 is somewhat more expensive than the P71. If you want, you can read our Yamaha P-45 review to find out more about this digital piano model.
Yamaha P71 vs Yamaha P125
The Yamaha P125 is the next step up the ladder. The keys have a matte finish, which helps in reducing the slippery effect of sweaty fingers after prolonged periods of exercising on the piano. The key action is still the Graded Hammer Standard, as on the P71, but the key responsiveness seems to be a bit more sensitive on the P125.
A big difference can be noticed in polyphony. As mentioned earlier, the P71 has 64 polyphony, whereas the P125 has 192; a significant difference in the complexity of the music than the latter can produce. There are further differences as well, but if you want to find out more about it, you can read our full Yamaha P125 review, to better understand why it’s a higher quality instrument.
Yamaha P71 vs Casio PX-160
Yamaha is one of the world’s biggest piano manufacturers, both acoustic and digital. But in the category of digital pianos, there are a number of contenders that are worthy of competing with Yamaha. One of the most important of these contenders is Casio.
Casio is producing digital pianos for a while now. The digital pianos they produce are very high quality, rivaling Yamaha at every level. One of the models that could represent a comparable option for the P71 is the Casio PX-160. Actually it’s a bit over the P71 as far as capabilities are concerned.
Just like the Yamaha P125 mentioned above, the Casio PX-160 has greater polyphony than the P71, namely 128. Casio also developed a technology that they call AiR Sound, which is also found on the PX-160. It greatly enhances the quality of sound produced by its digital pianos, both in clearness and complexity.
Another advantage of the Casio PX-160 is the fact that it comes with a library of 60 songs that can make playing the piano that much more fun.
If you want to find out more information about this digital piano, you can read our Casio PX-160 review.
There’s a further alternative. If you want, you can check out my Yamaha P71 vs Alesis Recital Pro comparison review.
Accessories for your Yamaha P71
This Yamaha P71 review wouldn’t be complete without suggesting a few accessories that complete your piano playing experience. Of course, you can just buy the digital piano without any of these accessories, but they can be of great help.
When you embark on your journey of learning to play the piano, you will not get too far if you don’t practice a lot. And by a lot I mean daily for a few hours. Especially in the beginning, when your practice will not sound all that harmonious, using a pair of good quality headphones will maintain the relationship between you, the rest of the household and the neighbors in good terms.
A suggestion for a pair of good quality headphones, which deserve your attention, are the Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones.
They are lightweight, so you can use them comfortably for long practice sessions, and they also can be folded, for easy portability. The noise cancellation ability helps you stay focused on playing the piano without being distracted by outside noises. It also has a long cord, of just under 10 feet which reaches the headphone jack at the back of the Yamaha P71, and gives you enough room for comfort.
As with weighted keys, using a foot pedal that behaves like that of an acoustic piano’s makes all the difference. Especially if you’re learning how to play the piano, practicing with a keyboard and foot pedal that offer a close experience to that of playing on an acoustic piano helps you a lot with developing the right finger technique.
A good foot pedal that I recommend at this point is the M-Audio SP-2 Universal Sustain Pedal. It responds comparably to the real thing. It’s very sturdy and the rubber bottoms keeps it from slipping while in use.
Because the Yamaha P71 is designed as a portable digital piano, you probably will need a carrying case in order to safely take advantage of its portability.
Some may recommend cheaper carrying cases, but in my opinion, if you decide to buy one, then you should go for a carrying case that offers the needed protection.
A good choice is the Gator Cases Padded Keyboard Gig Bag. The padding found in this case is holding your digital piano in place and protecting it against hits that may appear during transportation. It’s made of heavy-duty ballistic nylon, so you know it’s made to last. Definitely worth every penny.
The Yamaha P71 is a very good digital piano for beginners. The graded hammer standard key action is great for beginners because they learn the proper technique. After a while they can easily translate that on an acoustic piano because of the similar weighted key experience. They also build finger strength and stamina, which is very important if you ever want to be able to play on an acoustic piano.
The Duo mode that is a very helpful feature on the P71 is great for piano lessons. Teachers can use this setting to play along their students, making lessons more interactive, and thus more efficient.
The reduced weight and dimensions make it a good choice for musicians that constantly need to carry their instrument from one place to another. You would probably need a more complex digital piano if you’re a professional musician. But that depends a lot on what kind of music you’re playing. More polyphony is an aspect that many musicians would probably need from a digital piano, but at the price of the P71 there’s not much more you can expect.
Overall, the Yamaha P71 is best recommended for beginners. And that is based a lot on the value for money ratio.