The Yamaha p45 is in the most basic P-range model. However it still has its place in the piano keyboard world and in fact it is one of Yamahas top selling models among beginners and intermediates.
Note: P stands for portable in the Yamaha P Range.
The Yamaha p45 is an 88-key weighted keyboard including some basic functions and features
This review focuses on 5 key areas to consider when buying a piano these are;
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 detailed Yamaha p45 review .
YAMAHA P45 REVIEW-SUMMARY
- Great value for money
- Sound is great for typical use and quality increases when plugged in to external speakers/headphones
- Fantastic for beginners
- Only 10 voices to choose from
- Is not compatible with the Smart Pianist App
- No built in recording ability
- Awkwardly place headphone connection
- No connection for a traditional pedal set
* All scoring is relative to the price range that the keyboard is within.
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FEEL (4 stars)
As for all the Yamaha P collection, the Yamaha p45 comes with Yamahas Graded hammer action which imitates the feel of an acoustic piano. It gives the lower register notes a heavier feel and the higher notes a lighter touch.
Just like an acoustic piano the harder you press a key on the p45 the louder the sound and the softer you press the quieter the sound. However unlike an acoustic piano the sensitivity of this can be altered to the players preference with three modes fixed, soft, medium or hard.
The fixed mode negates any touch sensitivity and each key pressed will give the same volume regardless of how hard you press it. The soft and medium modes are useful if you find it physically difficult to play hard or perhaps you like to glide across the keys. Personally though, I find the hard setting gives the best dynamics between quiet and loud. It is also worth noting that touch sensitivity has little or no effect on certain voices like the pipe organ or harpsichord as these instruments do not normally respond to keyboard dynamics.
The finish on the Yamaha p45 keys is pretty typical of keyboards in this price bracket with glossy white keys and matte black keys. They are comfortable to play with the only downside being that they are not the real deal like the ebony/ivory of top range keyboards/pianos.
SOUND (3 stars)
The Yamaha P45 useds Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Dynamic Stereo Sampling. The sound you hear is a true stereo sound recorded from a yamaha concert grand piano.
The P45 comes with 2*6W amps with 2*12cm speakers. This is sufficient for home use and even small concerts. However for larger performances connecting external speakers will improve the sound and dynamics of the keyboard. Plugging in a quality set of headphones will also give the best sound experience and also provide great way to practice without disturbing others.
The Yamaha p45 can be fine tuned which is very useful when playing along with other instruments or recordings.
The Polyphony ability of a keyboard is important as it directly relates to the number of notes that can be played by the instrument at the same time. You may of experienced low levels of Polyphony if you have ever played with cheap children’s toy instruments, some of these will not even allow you to even play 2 notes at the same which would indicate a Polyphony of 1. The higher the polyphony number the deeper and more colorful the sound. This primarily comes into effect when using the sustain pedal.
The Yamaha p45 provides 64 notes of polyphony. As there are 88 keys this means you would not be able to play and hear all notes at once. However this is not an issue as 64 notes of polyphony will be suitable for 99% of performance especially as this keyboard is aimed at the beginners/intermediate level. A great way to think about polyphony is as colors available to an artist, the more that are available the deeper and more expressive the masterpiece can be.
There are 4 reverb options: Room, Hall1, Hall2 and Stage to allow you to imitate different acoustics. These can be altered on a range of 0-10 to suit your requirements.
LOOKS (3 stars)
The P45 has a very simplistic/sleek look with minimal buttons/controls. The majority of the functions are achieved by pressing the function button and following it up with the press of a specific key. The casing is made from plastic but does not feel or look cheap and keeps the keyboard lite for transportation. The plastic casing is also great when it comes to dusting down surfaces.
The Yamaha P45 comes in black only.
As standard the P45 does not come with a stand however the L-85 is a purpose built stand which is available to place the keyboard on top of.
FUNCTIONS (3 stars)
Unfortunately the Yamaha P45 is not compatible with Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app unlike the other P-models. Which is a bit of a down point as this app is a fantastic addition to the likes of the P125 etc.
- The P45 has 10 instrument voices which are:
- 2 Grand Pianos
- 2 Electric Pianos
- 2 Pipe Organs
- 2 Harpsichords
Dual mode provides an option to play two instruments at the same time while pressing one key. This layers two sounds creating depth and character while only pressing one key. A personal favourite of mine is Choir with strings but the options are endless and in fact there are 45 combinations of instruments in dual mode.
Top Tip- you can shift the octave for each voice by holding down the GRAND PIANO/FUNCTION button and pressing keys between F5-A5. You can change also change the balance between the voice by holding down the PIANO/FUNCTION button and pressing keys between B5-C6.
The ability to play two instruments using a split point is not available on the Yamaha P45 unlike the other more expensive models within the range (P125/P115).
Duo Mode provides the ability to duet on the same keyboard, 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 p45 comes with basic connection points
USB (Type B) to Host– For connection to a PC
Headphone Jack- unfortunately this is located at the rear so can make connecting and disconnecting your headphones a bit of an inconvenience as opposed to other models with the jack on the front panel.
Sustain Pedal jack– Connection of the supplied sustain pedal
12V Power connection
There are 10 in-built voice demo songs and 10 popular pieces to enjoy including classics like Bethovens “Fur Elise” or Joplin’s “The Entertainer”.
Unfortunately the Yamaha P45 does not support connection to the Smart pianist app meaning you cannot tap in to some of its fantastic features. Have a read of the P125 review to understand what the smart pianist app has to offer. For beginners this may not be an issue but for those intermediate players who are looking to develop and tinker with recordings/playing along with chords ect it is definitely something to consider paying the extra for.
There is no ability to record directly on to the Yamaha P45. If you want to record you will need to connect to a computer/device via the USB port.
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 p45 can be transposed up or down in semitones (See Piano Theory). The P45 can be transposed by +/-6 semitones. This is extremely handy when gigging and you want to align with other musicians.
No auto off function is available with the Yamaha P45 so you will have to remember to switch it off when not in use to save on energy.
VALUE (5 stars)
At the $550 mark the Yamaha p45 is a great introduction to portable keyboards for beginners. It looks sleek, has plenty of functions to keep you entertained and can be stored away when not being used . A very good all rounder and the fact that it is one of Yamaha’s best sellers is testament to itself.
The Yamaha p45 has the option for a made to measure stand (L-85). This turns the table top keyboard piano into an upright. The L-85 comes in at around $100 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 p45 comes with a Yamaha Footswitch which acts as a sustain pedal. There is no connection point for a traditional threeway pedal set.
This Yamaha p45 review highlights that overall it is a great all rounder and is perfect for beginners. If you are a more competent pianist it might be worth spending some extra cash on the higher end models (P125 etc) as they provide more functionality and the ability to interact with the Smart Pianist app.
However if you are just starting out and don’t want to break the bank the yamaha P45 is a fantastic option and continues to be a best seller within its price range.
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