The Yamaha P125 is a mid range 88key Yamaha piano keyboard. This model replaced the very popular P115 model in 2018 and has proved to be just as popular as its predecessor.
Note: P stands for portable in the Yamaha P Range.
The Yamaha P125 is an 88-key weighted keyboard and has some fantastic features and functions that make it a great all rounder. Read on to gain a full understanding of the ins and outs.
As per all reviews on Piano Cave I have focused on what I feel are the most important 5 areas when deciding to purchase a piano keyboard.
For those looking for a quick overview I created a quick summary scored* against the above areas. For those looking for a more in depth analysis read on for a more detailed Yamaha P125 review.
YAMAHA P125 REVIEW-SUMMARY
- 24 instrument voices
- Feels like an acoustic Piano
- Great for a gigging musician
- The Smart Pianist App provides some fantastic functions
- Internal speakers sound could be more powerful
- Apple/Android device with smart pianist app plus connector is required to unlock full functionality
* All scoring is relative to the price range that the keyboard is within.
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As for most of the Yamaha P collection the P125 comes with Yamahas Graded hammer action which imitates the feel of an acoustic piano. As per any acoustic piano the harder you press a key on the P125 the louder the sound and the softer you press the quieter the sound. The sensitivity of this can be altered to the players preference..
To give an authentic weight to the Yamaha P125 it utilizes Yamaha’s tried and tested GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) technology. You will feel low notes are heaviest to the touch high notes are lighter. The benefit of this is you will then feel comfortable transitioning to a fully acoustic piano when the time comes.
The Yamaha p125 has glossy white keys and matte black keys. They may not be the ivory and ebony of the top end Yamaha keyboards but they function well. The only negative point is the glossy white keys which can become slippery over excessive gig playing. This however is no different to any other keyboard in this price range.
Yamaha’s renowned CFIIIS 9′ concert grand piano provides the Grand piano voice sample. At the heart of this sound is Yamaha’s Pure CF Sound Engine which allows for incredible dynamics and expressiveness. The sound you get with the Yamaha P125 is simply top of the class in it’s price range.
The Yamaha P125 onboard speaker system consists of 2x 4-1/2”(12cm) and 2x 1-1/2” (4 cm) speakers (7W + 7W amplifiers). This is enough to fill a room for small performances and you always have the option to connect external speakers to enhance the sound.
A nice addition to the Yamaha P125 over its predecessor P115 is the Table EQ function. This balances the speaker’s output to remove any interference when the piano is placed directly on a table.
The Yamaha p125 can be fine tuned which is useful when playing along with other instruments or recordings.
Polyphony is the number of notes that can be played by the instrument at the same time. This primarlery comes in to effect when using the sustain pedal. The Yamaha P125 provides 192 notes of polyphony. This is sufficient for 99% of performance unless you are after perfection. The best way to think about polyphony as colors available to an artist, the more that are available the deeper and more expressive the masterpiece can be. But 192 is a lot of colours.
There are 4 reverb options: Recital Hall, Concert Hall, Chamber, and Club to allow you to imitate different acoustics. These can be altered on a range of 0-20 to suit your requirements.
Compared with the P115 the P125 is even slicker looks wise. In hindsight the P115 was quite blocky with lots of straight edges. Where as the Yamaha P125 now has larger radiuses added to smooth areas such likethe ends of the piano, round the speakers and the transition from the keys to the interface panel. The buttons om the P125 also have the LED lights inbuilt to the button rather than alongside which again gives it a more modern and sleeker finish. As per the P115 the P125 comes in both black and white models. I still prefer the black traditional version but thats not to say the white option wouldnt be for those looking to standout a little more.
The P125 provides little distraction from the task at hand- Playing music. Other keyboards feature large control panels which can often look out of place or non-traditional and personally I think Yamaha have got the balance right on the Yamaha P125. There are very few distractions on the main area of the keyboard which keep you focused on the performance.
The keyboard does not come with a stand so this will need to be added if required. There is however the option to buy the specially designed L-125 stand for the keyboard which turns the portable looking piano into an upright design. This is a great addition if you want the keyboard to be a permanent fixture in your household. If you are more of the gigging type or space is of a premium then opting for a cross frame stand is probably the way to go.
One of the best functions of the Yamaha P125 (hence why I started with this) is the ability to use the smart paints app when connected to an Apple or Android device. The device then acts as an interface panel to select voices, change modes, set tempos, record and save music, play along with your favourite songs.One of the stand out features is the ability to show you any songs chord composition. Pick any song and it knows the chords and will have them on screen for you to play along with. Don’t believe me… then watch this fantastic clip showcasing the app in all its glory..
- The P125 has 24 instrument voices which are:
- 4 Grand Pianos (including the CFIIIS 9′ concert grand sound)
- 4 Electric Pianos
- 4 Organs (Jazz, Rock, Priciple, Tutti)
- 4 Bass (Acoustic , Electric, Fretless, Bass+Cymbal)
- 2 Harpsichords
- 2 Strings
- Synth Pad 3
Dual mode provides an option to play two instruments at the same time while pressing one key. The layered sound provides the ability to create depth and character while only pressing one key. The combinations are endless, Choir with strings, Jazz Organ and Acoustic Bass in fact there are 276 combinations of instruments in dual mode.
Top Tip- you can shift the octave for each voice by holding down the metronome/rhythm button and pressing keys between F5-B5. You can change the volume of each voice- again holding down the metronome/rhythm button and pressing keys between C5-D5.
Split mode allows you to divide the piano in two, giving you a different instrument assigned to each section of the keyboard. The split point can be positioned wherever is best suited. Theoretically due to the 24 voices available there are 276 combinations of instruments available.
Top Tip- The split point can be changed by holding the +bass button down and selecting the key where you want the split to be located.
Fancy a piano duet using one keyboard? Welcome to Duo Mode, it splits the piano on key E3 and with each side having the same octave range. Only one voice can be selected when playing in Duo Mode.
Top Tip- Duo Modes split point cannot be adjusted from the E3 position
The Yamaha P125 comes with various connection points
¼” Headphone Jacks (2 off)
USB-USB to Host– For connection to a PC
Aux Out [R + L/L+R]– For connection to external speakers
Sustain Pedal jack– COnnection of the supplied sustain pedal
Pedal Unit jack– Option for additional pedal units
12V Power connection
There are 50 in-built songs which you can play along with. Using the smart pianist app improves the experience of playing along with these songs as chords and notes are displayed in a scrolling karaoke style format.
The Smart pianist app also means you can play along with your favourite songs stored on your devices iTunes account.
You can record and store 2 tracks on the keyboard itself which help aide learning and composing. Using Yamahas smart pianist app will allow multiple songs to be stored and loaded
Note- As the recordings are stored in midi format you can speed up/slow down them to aid learning or use when composing music.
The built in metronome will keep you in time playing any piece between the speeds 5 – 280bpm .
Note- Default tempo is always 120bpm.
The Yamaha P125 has a function which provides 20 different rhythm backing tracks. These range from 8 beat, Jazz, Samba or Christmas styles and are very useful for those gigging without additional rhythm band members.
Note- Default tempo is always 120bpm but this can be altered to match the musical piece.
The Yamaha p125 can be easily transposed up or down in semitones (See Piano Theory). For example, if you transpose by +7 semitones the key C will produce the pitch G. This would allow you to play a piece as if it was in the key of C but it would sound as if it was in the key of G.
To conserve power when the keyboard sits idle the Yamaha P125 will Auto power off. This length of time before it switches off can be customized for personal preference or simply disabled if not required.
At the $700 mark the Yamaha P125 gives you a lot for your hard earned cash. It looks slick, feels like the real deal, has a heap of functions and provides a fantastic option for all skill levels. Overall a 5 out of 5 on value. You won’t find many pianos in this price range that live up to the Yamaha P125.
The Yamaha P125 has the option for a made to measure stand (L-125). This turns the table top keyboard piano into an upright. The L-125 comes in at around $120 but provides a base where the piano can simply be lifted on/off as required. It also provides the ideal playing height for comfort and familiarity.
The Yamaha P125 comes with a Yamaha Footswitch which acts as a sustain pedal. However a traditional foot pedal or a threeway set can be added if preferred.
Pick your choice classic Black or modern White and it really is up to you.
Whether you are just starting out, looking for something a bit more portable, a gigging musician or looking for a living room centerpiece the Yamaha P125 ticks all boxes. This Yamaha P125 review also highlights that the addition of the smart pianist app will further enhance your experience providing multiple playing options which will keep you engaged and playing for hours on end. I hope you have enjoyed this Yamaha P125 review and feel free to contact Piano Cave with any questions.
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