Yamaha P-45 Review: Best Beginners Piano in 2020

In the spirit of callback to the age of handmade instruments, Yamaha matches the dynamic range and feel like an acoustic with the array of features in the digital piano, like recording, setting to play it as transposing ability, hammer action,  etc. 

This Yamaha digital piano is loud enough to play in a performance and small enough to move single handedly.

It is one of the best Yamaha models available in this price range. It has a great sound quality and tone and the perfectly weighted action keys - graded, heavier in the low end and then lighter in the high, add to the beautiful feel.

Yamaha P-45 has a 88 weighted keys, 64 Note polyphony, a metronome, graded hammer standard (GHS), etc. This action digital piano is best in its class for its sound and features. Below is a more detailed Yamaha P45 review:

Features

Modes

Dual Mode
With this mode, you don't need to limit yourself with a single sound on a note. You can layer the sounds of two instruments simultaneously throughout the keyboard.

Split Mode
If dual mode can cause incoherence for you, then the split setting allows the keyboard to be separated between two sections with the keys in each section playing a different sort of instrument. Now, depending upon the instrument the sound is based on, you can decide the ratio of this split. This mode is not available in the Yamaha P-45, unfortunately.

Duo Mode
In this setting, the Yamaha keyboard can be divided into two halves. The pitch range of both of these halves is identical. For teaching purposes, this particular feature is a boon.

Transpose and Fine Tuning Ranges

Being a digital keyboard, there is no need for the Yamaha P-45 to be tuned. One only needs to adjust the pitch using transpose and fine-tuning functions. To alter the pitch in semitones, you can use transpose, and the fine-tuning allows you to change the pitch in steps of 0.2 Hertz.

Tuning Ranges: The tuning capability is quite good with the tempo range having a range of capability from 32 – 280. The transposing function is available as well and can be done from -6 to 0 and 0 to +6.

The tuning can be done to a range of 414.8 - 440.0 - 446.8 Hz, which is quite good and comparable to a high quality piano used for outdoor playing. 

Playback and Recording

An instrument can record your music in an SMF format (MIDI). Once recorded, you can opt to make some modifications with the record right on the keyboard.  However, Yamaha P-45 doesn't come with built-in MIDI or audio recording features, probably because it's a entry level model and with lower price tag. 

Metronome

If you want to develop some fundamental skills like sensing the rhythm properly, then Yamaha P-45 is also equipped with an onboard Metronome features. This utility sports 14 built-in rhythms that range from Disco to Jazz.

What's in the box?

Apart from the keyboard, The box comes with a manual, a stand, a PA150 power supply adapter, and a sustain pedal.

(Note: Some of the accessories comes only in the bundle package and some are sold separately.)

PA-150B Power Adapter: With AC input of 120 V at 60 Hz an output DC 12V, 1.0A, this adapter is perfectly suitable & environment-friendly.

Sustain Pedal: The out of the box FC3 is as close as we can get to the natural sustain pedal. 

Manual: The manual is extremely important and must always be handy. It has a complete description of all the functions and how to tune, transposes.

Piano Stand: A standard-issue stand. It is black and complements the look and feel of the keyboard very well.

Design

The keyboard looks majestic, accentuating the production and aesthetics. Looks wise, the Yamaha P-45 closely match the beauty of a stage performance piano, they have the same appeal. They are a delight to play on, with the 88 weighted hammer action keys having a black matte finish. 

The P45 weighs 11.5 kilograms, with its built-in speaker, hence it is slightly heavy but can still be carried by hand. It is slim with a depth of around 30 cms. Its dimensions are 133*30*30, and therefore it is easily portable. The body of the keyboard itself is quite sturdy, with a smooth finish and a stylish exterior.

Yamaha P-45 keyboard comes in 1 color: Black (P-45B)

Keyboard

The Yamaha P45 complies to the implementation of the GHS (Graded hammer Standard) which is a great hammer action found in entry-level Yamaha model. The idea is to produce the same sound and feel of the Yamaha’s high end CF-IIIs nine-foot concert grand piano. When played upon, one can feel heavy, giving it the same vibes like a real acoustic piano, as the weighting is done similarly.

For people who are learning, this keyboard is highly recommended, as the heaviness of the weighted action keys helps you develop a proper finger strength needed to be able to play a grand piano. Therefore, from a beginner’s perspective, the graded hammer standard (GHS) are the best features of the keyboard and more than they can hope for this reasonable price range.

There are 4 preset settings which you can choose based on your playing style: Fixed, Soft, Medium (Default) and Hard.

Now, the graded hammer action due to the weighted action keys concept is heaviest on the left-most side and lightest on the rightmost (as shown in the above image).

The keyboard replicates the complete feel of the hammers inside an acoustic instrument, using real, tiny hammers inside the keyboard rather than springs (semi weighted action).

Sound

Thanks to the weight action keys, Yamaha P45 sound quality great. In P45, Yamaha uses its patented AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) sampling technology which helps to recreate the sound like a acoustic pianos.

AWM stereo sampling is one of the best Yamaha's technology which records the sound of an grand piano and applies the digital filter to the recorded audio samples.

The P45, much like every other Yamaha action digital piano, is equipped with the CF Engine. The pure CF sampling method was used here to sample the grand piano sound of the CFIIIs 9-foot Concert Grand Piano. The same sound was integrated into the Yamaha P-45 through recording sounds at multiple volumes for each note.

To make the sounds deeper, more resonating, and expressive, the reverberation effect must be used. There are 4 reverb options available on the Yamaha P45. They are - Room, Hall 1, Hall 2, Stages.

Below is the 10 voices that the Yamaha P-45 can produce:
  • 2 Grand pianos (Concert, Bright)
  • 2 Electric pianos
  • 2 Pipe organs
  • 2 Harpsichords
  • Strings
  • Vibraphone

Polyphony

First of all, what is polyphony? Polyphony is the number of notes digital pianos can produce at the same time. Most of the present day real piano are equipped with the 64, 128, 192 or 256-note polyphony.

The use of sustain pedal, the available sound effects like the Reverb, Chorus and even the metronome tic sound, are counted as polyphonic sounds and take up additional notes of polyphony. Yamaha P-45 has a 64-note polyphony which results in a much better and richer sounds.

Speakers

Yamaha P45 is retrofitted with a couple of good built-in speakers that can fill up the room with its sound. Boasting the dimensions of 2x12cm +2x4cm, they are surprisingly powerful and good to listen to. Even though the speakers are not the most powerful sound system, but they can highlight and bring out the internal architectural beauty and construction of the device through the sounds produced.

Connectivity

Headphones Jack
For those of you who want to practice silently, the Yamaha is equipped with two quarter inches headphones jacks. That means two pairs of headphones and silent surroundings. One minor problem is that the headphones jack is on the back of the digital piano.

Ports
The USB, type-B port is available with this action digital piano, you can connect your keyboard with your system. You would need an A to B USB cable to connect your PC. It is widely available online and in other stores. With the connection established, you can use it to exchange MIDI files. For the Apple devices like iPhone and iPad, you are going to need lightning to USB camera adapter. 

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable price range
  • Easy ​​​​to use
  • Realistic Acoustic Piano Sound
  • Suited for students and beginner players
  • Weighted Action
  • Weak sustain footswitch
  • Speakers aren't loud
  • No Recorder

Conclusion

The Yamaha P-45 digital piano with its superior look and feel, weighted keys, hammer action is worth it, considering it's price range. It has the amazing sound quality, and its emulation of a grand real piano is effective and amazing. It is one of the ideal model for beginner and hobbyists. Furthermore, its additional utilities are not something to feign it.

While it would have been nice to have some additional features, at its price range, we can't complain because it accomplishes what it set out to do: Being a low price range model that even professionals can sometimes depend upon. 

P45 is ideal for a transition from a plastic to a hammer action digital piano for better sound quality, ease of composition and a brand that people can trust.

Happy playing.

About the Author Wendell A Wiese

I'm the lead researcher and content manager at PianoNadu. I test various different digital pianos and share our unbiased reviews here. We test them on various different aspects and make sure it passes our quality criteria. During my college years, I was a part of my college band known as DMT. I was the Pianist in our band. My love for playing the piano grew during middle school. Read more about me here

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