Do you love the feel and sound of acoustic pianos, but prefer to avoid shelling out thousands of dollars?
Do you feel your heart sink a bit at the prospect of getting an upright instrument that will take up a big chunk of floor space in your home?
Maybe you simply want digital audio capabilities, portability, and a manageable price tag without sacrificing an authentic-feeling touch.
If this sounds like you, then the Yamaha P71 might be just the thing!
Is Yamaha P71 good?
Let’s start with a quick overview of the product.
The Yamaha P71 is a quality, affordable, Amazon-exclusive digital piano that offers a wide range of features engineered to provide any musician with a satisfying experience.
For those who are already familiar with the Yamaha P45: This is the same instrument, but sold only on Amazon and often bundled with a couple of basic accessories.
If you’re determined to invest in quality but don’t want to worry about going broke as a result, then you’ll be delighted to hear that the Yamaha P71 is generally sold for around $479. The keyboard itself usually comes with a sheet holder and a sustain pedal alongside the essential AC power adapter and manual.
This high-quality digital piano has 88 keys and offers some pretty incredible sound options with a wide variety of voices to choose from and adjustable touch sensitivity for more complex musical expression. The instrument itself is nice and lightweight at only 25 pounds, and its depth of just under 12 inches gives it a very sleek, unobtrusive profile when backed against the wall of your practice room. The P71 will deliver a big sound without a big footprint–you won’t have to worry about having to dedicate over half the space in your room to a single instrument!
Don’t worry about losing all semblance of quality when you downsize from an upright piano to a digital one if you go with the Yamaha P71. This instrument’s weighted keys, versatile selection of voices, and streamlined build give you many of the advantages of a full-size piano–even without taking up such a big chunk of space.
The keyboard comes with two built-in speakers with 6-Watt amplifiers that will easily fill a room with clean, quality sound. The sound stays nice and clean even when you max out the volume, too–you won’t have to contend with any buzzing or rattling. You’ll also easily find the USB port along with jacks for headphones and the sustain pedal. This digital piano can connect to external amplifiers and speakers with minimal effort as well, which is ideal if you’d like to use it for live performances or jam sessions with other musicians where extra volume is a must.
The interface of this keyboard is also nice and minimalistic, so you’ll be able to adjust its various controls with ease. Tasks such as adjusting the metronome or switching between keyboard voices are performed with just a single button that’s easy to reach and positioned unobtrusively off to the side. Plenty of users enjoy the fact that the lack of extra buttons and controls make the instrument look more classic and elegant than many competitors that sport more cluttered interfaces.
Who is the Yamaha P71 ideal for?
At its heart, the Yamaha P71 is geared primarily towards musicians who want a nice-sounding, streamlined digital piano for their home studio. This keyboard is also excellent for beginners who are eager to learn on an instrument that feels and sounds realistic.
More experienced musicians who want something low-profile to play at home or take on the road will certainly find that the P71 is an ideal fit. This digital piano’s manageable size and weight deliver a surprisingly good punch in terms of volume, meaning that it can hold its own on a stage without being unwieldy or painful to set up before a gig.
The delightfully hassle-free controls on this instrument are not only quick to use on stage but ideal for beginners and younger pianists as well. If you’re just starting out then you’ll be relieved to find that the controls are simple to use and far from overwhelming. The realistic, natural feeling of the instrument will also do wonders to build up the strength in your fingers and get you used to playing the real thing.
While the Yamaha P71 is indeed a full length keyboard, its comparatively compact size and low profile also make it ideal for anyone living in a smaller home. The headphone jack makes it highly convenient if you cohabitate or live in an apartment, too, since it’ll enable you to practice without disturbing your neighbors.
What are some of Yamaha P71’s best features?
One of the best qualities of the Yamaha P71 is undoubtedly its fully-weighted set of 88 keys. The weight of the keys offers musicians a much more satisfying and authentic feel while they play than many competing models do. Cheaper digital pianos without this feature tend to feel extra plastic and springy, which creates a completely different feeling from that of a real piano. Many pianists find this difference very difficult to tolerate and feel like they’re playing something dinky or cheap without the weight that they’re used to.
This keyboard’s fully-weighted set of graded hammer standard keys offer the kind of resistance that you can expect to feel from actual piano keys. As the name suggests, the keys are built with actual hammers that provide noticeable resistance while you press down, just like an acoustic upright piano.
The “graded” part refers to the way that lower notes offer more resistance than higher notes do. In upright pianos, the hammers strike heavier strings in order to produce lower notes, requiring more effort to play keys that are lower on the scale. The higher up the scale you go, the thinner the strings are and the less force they take to hammer. The graded hammer standard keys found in the P71 do a superb job of mimicking this important detail, contributing to the authentic feeling of the action while you play. You won’t have to worry about feeling like you’re playing on a toy!
Overall, the realistic response of the keys is surprisingly good: Much better than you can expect from most competitors in the same price range, in fact. Most people who play the P71 are surprised by the quality and report that, if they hadn’t looked at the price tag before taking it for a spin, they’d have expected it to cost far more based on what it’s like to play.
The simple fact that this digital piano has the full set of 88 keys is also a huge selling point all on its own. For musicians who are used to a classical piano and crave the full set of octaves, even just the slight reduction to 76 keys can feel like it’s clipping their wings!
Another awesome quality of the Yamaha P71 is the adjustable touch sensitivity. There are four different sensitivity settings on this instrument: fixed, medium, hard, and soft.
The fixed setting basically locks the sensitivity so that, no matter how gently or firmly you press the keys, it will sound the same. This setting will feel less like an acoustic piano, but some people prefer it while they practice–especially if they’re still working on building up the strength in their fingers.
Medium is the most commonly-used setting since it responds to how firmly you press the keys and most accurately mimics the responsiveness of a classical piano.
The hard and soft settings affect the dynamic range of the sound, with “hard” requiring the most effort in order to produce noticeably louder notes. These settings are often purely a matter of personal preference–and a matter of how hard you tend to strike the keys while you play.
All in all, the reviews of this Yamaha product are overwhelmingly positive in terms of how it feels from every angle. Just about every musician who plays it marvels at how close it feels to an acoustic piano, and some say that it feels even better and plays more smoothly than many classical pianos do!
After all these details about how the Yamaha P71 feels, you’re probably eager to know how it sounds. Well, while the common denominator between all modes is “wonderful,” there’s actually a lot of variation in this area for you to take advantage of! This digital piano comes with ten beautiful voices to choose from while you practice, all of which are touted for sounding authentic and lovely. After all, many of these digital voices are recorded using acoustic Yamaha instruments in order to create the most authentic possible sounds. Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) sound engine also does a superb job of preserving that initial sound quality so that you get only the best when you start playing.
Altogether, the voices of the Yamaha P71 are:
Grand pianos (2)
Electric pianos (2)
Pipe organs (2)
Among these ten great-sounding voice options, you’re sure to find several favorites!
Another nifty feature of the P71 is that it comes with the option to play in dual mode. Dual mode enables you to layer two different voices together with each note that you play, giving you all kinds of opportunities to get creative with your sound. For example, you can layer piano and string voices together or pair the harpsichord voice with the pipe organ to change up the mood of your song.
Additionally, more experienced piano players and budding pianists who hope to reach advanced levels will both be glad to hear that the P71 also has 64-note polyphony capabilities. Polyphony refers to the number of notes that your digital piano can produce at the same time, so this means that you’ll be able to hear a maximum of 64 different notes at once from the P71. Musicians who have a love for classical music and other genres that make use of complex chords are sure to appreciate this! Pianists who like to play particularly fast pieces will benefit from higher polyphony as well.
People who have purchased and played the Yamaha P71 have nothing but great things to say about its sound. The treble notes are clear and the bass notes are full, providing a richness that many people are surprised to get out of a digital piano–let alone one at this price. Many musicians who have played numerous other instruments, both acoustic and digital, report that the sound of the P71 is good enough to compete with instruments that cost hundreds more!
So far, so good. But are there any limitations I should be aware of before diving into this purchase?
This keyboard may be digital, but it lacks MIDI capabilities. That means that you won’t be able to pair it with older controllers or equipment that requires a MIDI connection. However, the Yamaha P71 does have USB connectivity, so you can still plug this keyboard into a computer and use it to control audio samples through a digital audio workstation, or DAW. Some people have vintage equipment that they want to be able to pair with their digital piano and, unfortunately, that wouldn’t work with the P71. But if you’ve sided with those who believe that USB connectivity is superior anyway, then you’re in luck and the Yamaha P71 won’t let you down!
Another detail to be aware of is that some people who play this digital piano aren’t a huge fan of how the surface of the keys feels on their fingertips. Some people who have purchased this keyboard state that, if there’s an area where the product’s budget price shows through a little bit, this is it. However, plenty of other musicians don’t mind the texture of the keys at all, especially since there are so many options to play around with the weight and touch sensitivity, and consider this detail to be a minor one. Regardless of personal preference in terms of texture, people who have played this digital piano do note that the finish of the keys is good about preventing slippage if your fingers get sweaty during longer, tougher playing sessions.
One odd quirk that you’ll definitely want to be aware of is that, if you want to register your digital piano with Yamaha, you’re bound to hit a wall if you try to register your P71 as a P71. Buyers have gotten this great instrument and gone to register it with Yamaha, only to find that they need to register it as the Yamaha P45 instead. This is the case because the P71 model number is simply used to delineate between the original P45 model and the exact same product that’s sold exclusively on Amazon and bundled a bit differently. You’re basically buying a Yamaha P45 that’s Amazon-exclusive. As a result, you’ll need to register it as a P45. Fortunately, that’s an easy hiccup to work around once you know about it.
An additional quirk that you might want to know about ahead of time is that some people have struggled with getting the sustain pedal to work, only to discover that it needs to be plugged in before the keyboard is turned on. An easy fix!
Just about anyone who’s even glanced towards the world of piano music knows that Yamaha is a great brand! The P71 is no exception and delivers an awesome level of quality without gutting your bank account.
Any instrument is bound to have its quirks, which some people will mind and others won’t. Fortunately, this keyboard’s pros vastly outnumber its cons! Its limitations are generally easy to work around and are completely overshadowed by its surprisingly good sound and excellent feel.
If you want something to learn or practice on at home that enables you to easily control your volume and doesn’t take up much space, then the P71 is a great option. If you’re looking for a digital piano that feels just about as solid and good as its upright counterpart then the P71 is downright perfect.
The 88 fully-weighted graded hammer standard keys feel just like the keys on an acoustic piano–or even better, depending on who you ask! The touch sensitivity is adjustable and wonderfully responsive, enabling you to tweak the settings to match your own personal preferences. The ten different voices, dual mode, and easily adjusted metronome function top off the P71 with everything you need to make the most of your next practice session.
All in all, the Yamaha P71 is an excellent buy for the money and delivers a level of quality that exceeds expectations!