Yamaha P125 Review 2021: Is It The Best Piano You Can Buy For…
For a long time, Yamaha P115 was one of the best digital pianos on the market. The arrival of the Yamaha P125 was supposed to change this. After all, it was marketed as a revamped version of the P115.
The operative word is supposed to.
Many waited for the P125’s release, expecting a better piano than the P115. However, this was not exactly the case. While the P125 has its own unique and exciting features that were previously absent on the P115, many claims that a majority of the features are the same.
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This is not to say there were no improvements at all. Upon trying out the P125, you can definitely see and feel quite a few improvements right off the bat. Unfortunately, a large number of Yamaha’s consumer base does not feel like it is worth the hype.
This article aims to go through every feature–both good and bad–of the P125 to help you determine if this one is the piano you are searching for. Let us begin!
Depending on what you want to use the P125 for, the design is one of the most important factors you must consider before buying. Of course, no matter what level of pianist you are, you want a striking piano that is not only beautiful in the eyes but feels great as well.
One thing that differentiates the P125 from the P115 is its modern design. It is made sleek with a minimalist touch to it that makes it perfect for any modern home. Most important of all, being in Yamaha’s P series, the P125 is made to be lightweight and easy to carry around which makes it perfect for touring musicians as well.
Although the Yamaha P125 is made of plastic, there is no denying that it is built fairly well. Knowing the type of brand Yamaha is, you can rest assured that this piano is durable enough to last you for the next couple of years.
The design for the P125 is sleek and slender so this piano would not appear out of place in a home with a modern setting. It is also a great choice for those who live in smaller spaces or those who like to go around with their pianos. Despite being fully weighted with Yamaha’s signature Graded Hammer System (GHS), it is still considered fairly lightweight.
The console is matte, which helps prevent fingerprints from sticking to it. For me, this type of design is the most ideal because one of my pet peeves is looking at my instruments and seeing them littered with my own fingerprints. If you are someone like me, then you will love the P125’s finish.
The keys on this instrument feel premium. I adore the red velvet ribbon that gives it that little elegant touch.
When you play on a concert grand, and you take a close look at the keys, you will immediately notice that they are not smooth at all. The keys of a concert grand have a matte finish because they came from ebony and ivory. Unfortunately, the P125’s keys are not simulated ebony/ivory despite this feature being extremely popular even on affordable pianos. However, the black keys of the P125 are coated with a matte finish.
This matte finish provides each key with a rougher texture than it would if it were made purely of glossy plastic. This type of keytop is great, especially if you have sweaty hands. The rough surface provides traction for your fingers to not slip, therefore improving your accuracy.
Yamaha’s previous models only used to have black finishes for their pianos. However, the P125 provides you with a white option as well. I personally prefer the black one because it takes a lot to make it dirty.
1.2 Feel & Sensitivity
Given its price, you cannot expect the P125 to have the same feel as a premium stage piano. However, despite not having the same exquisite feel of an overpriced piano, the P125 is still pretty high-quality, especially when compared to other pianos in the same price range. It is still able to simulate a close resemblance to how it feels like to play a concert grand piano.
Even the keys of the P125 are made to simulate real hammer-action. The reason for this is because the Graded Hammer System (GHS) that is often found in Yamaha keyboards under $1000 does not just simulate the resistance of hammers underneath the keys. Yamaha actually installs tiny hammers under the keys for the perfect resistance.
That is not all though. Aside from these features, it is important to remember that these keys are Graded. This means that they have more resistance when you press on the lower notes and less when you press on higher notes. The device also has 4 Different Settings for the dynamic touch feature of their keyboards. You can choose from Soft, Medium, Hard, and Fixed.
As for the controls, they are very easy to navigate through and fairly straightforward as well. The buttons feel sturdy enough and there are LED indicators atop each one to help you remember which settings are on or off. There is also a slider for the volume instead of a wheel.
Compared to entry-level keyboards from Yamaha, the P125 has a lot more buttons on the console. However, there are even more functions to it so some of the buttons have double functions that you can access by pressing the Shift Key on the console and then the corresponding button.
Sound is the most important aspect of any piano-or instrument for that matter-ever. Of course, this is the very reason we buy them, and this section of the article is dedicated exactly to this.
Many prefer Yamaha’s piano sounds due to its warmth and clarity compared to other brands. So what exactly makes Yamaha’s pianos the way they are? Does the P125 have the same qualities and what sets them apart?
First, we will go over the speakers on the P125.
It comes with two pairs of speakers that are rather unusual (if not a welcome) addition considering its price range. These are two full-range speakers located on the console of the piano and two tweeters located at the bottom. When played, the P125 produces sound from the top and bottom of the piano which surrounds the pianist and helps with immersion.
Combined, the speakers on the Yamaha P125 have 14W of power, which is enough to fill a medium-sized room of piano tunes without the help of external amplifiers or sound systems. Additionally, the P125 has even more options that allow it to adapt to different environments. We will touch more on this later!
These fairly powerful speakers plus Yamaha’s Intelligence Acoustic Control (IAC) creates a formidable sound system. The IAC is something that patrons have already seen in P115 and it is something that many loved. The reason behind this is its ability to consistently adjust the frequency of the sound to create a balance between high and low notes. The IAC also allows these notes to be heard even at low volumes. This beloved sound system is also transferred to the P125 with some improvements.
The P125 barely has any sound effects. In fact, the only effects on this piano are the basic Reverb Effects that you can find on pretty much every other piano in the market. Still, we must remember that the P125 is marketed as a mid-range piano. Most intermediate to advanced pianists do not really need a lot of effects outside Reverb.
Despite being the lone effect on the P125, it is executed well. You can choose from 4 different settings–Chamber, Recital Hall, Concert Hall, and Club. Additionally, you can also adjust the depth of each Reverb effect from 0 to 20.
What the P125 lacks in effects, it more than makes up for in piano voices. The Yamaha P125 has 24 voices installed, which is 10 more voices than the P115 and, considering its price range, is a hefty amount that is perfect for intermediate piano players. These voices are divided into 6 different sections with four voices under each section.
The first section is the Piano Section with voices of a Grand Piano, Live Grand, Ballad Grand, and Bright Grand. These voices are ideal for playing classical music.
If you are more of a modern keyboardist, the Electric Piano Section is there for you. The voices under this section are Stage Electric Piano, FM Electric Piano, Vintage Electric Piano, and Synth Electric Piano.
The P125 also has an Organ Section with voices of Jazz Organ, Rock Organ, Organ Principal, and Organ Tutti.
A Clavichord/Vibraphone Section is also included. The voices under this section are Harpsichord 8’, Harpsichord 8’ + 4’, Clavichord, and Vibraphone.
Lastly, it has the String Section with voices such as Strings, Slow Strings, Choir, and Synth Pad, and a Bass Section with Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Bass and Cymbal, and Fretless Bass voices. There is definitely a little bit of everything for everyone on the P125.
A piano’s polyphony is its ability to play several tunes at once. When it comes to this quality, the more the merrier! Basically, if your piano is capable of more polyphony, transitions between notes are more fluid and cut-offs in the sound become unnoticeable.
Most pianos on the P125’s price range are around 125 notes. This is already a decent amount that allows pianists to play complex classical music with little to no cut-offs in the notes. The P125 takes this a step further however by giving their electric piano a 192-note polyphony. Compared to others, notes are sustained far longer on the P125 before fading which makes sound even more fluid and flexible.
With a good amount of notes in its polyphony, you would expect the P125 to have at least a decent sound system to accompany it. In this case, the P125 does not disappoint either. Its sound system is one of the best among pianos in its price range. It is extremely similar to the one installed in the P115, and is one of the reasons why many loved the older model, but with some improvements.
The P125 uses Pure CF Sound Engine that uses high-quality recordings of the world-renowned Yamaha CFIIIS 9’ Concert Grand Piano. With this type of engine, the sound of the grand piano is recorded at different velocities. This helps replicate the sound as close as possible to the real thing. Here is the kicker: on the P115, the sound engine uses 3-layer sampling. The P125, on the other hand, uses a 4-layer sampling to create the rich, dynamic range of the Yamaha Concert Grand.
The Yamaha P125 is marketed as a midrange piano. This piano is not just to be enjoyed by beginners but intermediate to advanced pianists as well.
It is no secret that the P125 is criticized to be too much like the P115. However, this section will take a deep dive into the P125’s features–especially its new unique features that were not on any previous models beforehand. Whether or not the P125 is a carbon copy of the P115, will be your decision after reading through this section.
The P125 comes with a standard set of modes pianists can use to fully enjoy and utilize their electric piano.
First, we have the Dual Mode. With the Dual Mode, you can layer two different voices so pressing a single key makes two instrument sounds. For example, you can set Concert Grand for the first voice and Vibraphone for the second. Pressing a key creates the same note from different instruments.
However, you cannot simply put any voice on the P125. The piano does not allow you to put two voices in the same section. This means you cannot set Grand Piano for the first voice and Live Grand for the second. The second voice needs to come from a completely different section. Another useful feature for this mode is that you can adjust the volume of each voice separately.
The second mode on the P125 is the Split Mode. You can split the keys of the piano into two sections and set a different voice for each. The default splitting point is F#2 but you can change this as well as the volume on each voice.
Last but not least, is the Duet Mode. This mode is extremely useful for those who are taking lessons or simply want to play with another person on the same piano. When in Duet Mode, the piano is split into two sections much like the Split Mode. However, the same voice is used for each section and the placement of keys is the same on both sides.
There are 50 preset piano pieces on the P125. While many of these are similar to the ones in the P115, there are new ones for you to enjoy. You can use these songs for practice, turn on either hand so you can play one part while the other half plays in the background.
The functions on the P125 are extremely useful. If you ask me, they are everything you will need as an intermediate to the advanced pianist with a few added bonuses.
The Transpose Function allows you to shift the tune of the keys one semitone higher or lower than the default. This is especially effective if you want to play fewer black keys so it is a fairly popular feature.
The Tuning Function is useful if you need to match the pitch of another instrument or a vocalist. This function on the P125 allows you to change the pitch of the entire piano in 0.2Hz steps.
A useful tool for practice sessions is the Metronome installed in the P125. This is useful for pianists of all skill levels as it helps them practice or keep their timing and rhythm. The Metronome on the P125 is highly adjustable. It allows you to adjust the beat, tempo, and even the volume of its ticks and tocks.
Aside from these standard features, the P125 comes with an amazing Rhythm Section. This section is full of a decent amount of rhythmic accompaniments which, when activated along with your playing, makes you sound like a full band.
On top of all of these extra features, the P125 is also capable of on-board MIDI Recording which can then later be transferred to your computer via the USB to Host connection option.
The connection options on the P125 is the same as the P115. You still get two headphone jacks which are thankfully located at the front left side of the piano. This, for me, is the ideal placement of headphone jacks as you do not need to reach towards the very back of the device to plug or unplug your headphones.
Other than the headphone jacks, every other connection option is located at the back of the piano. You get an AUX Out which allows you to plug your keyboard into an external amp or sound system. This is ideal for gigging musicians who need to amplify the sounds of their keyboards.
The most useful connection option on the device is the USB to Host Port which is also located at the back of the instrument. This allows pianists to do 4 things:
- Transfer recorded samples to your computer.
- Easier connection to learning apps such as Flowkey or Playground Sessions.
- Use the P125 as a MIDI controller.
- Connect the P125 to your phone or tablet.
While the P125 does not have a Bluetooth connection on its own, you can easily remedy this by buying a Bluetooth adaptor.
3.4 Smart Pianist
The P125 is fully integrated into the Smart Pianist app. Personally, I believe that this is the biggest update on the P125 as it allows you to do so many more things with the help of Smart Pianist.
You can control the P125’s sound settings on the Smart Pianist app and even use it to navigate through the huge library of songs pre-installed on the P125. Furthermore, the Registration Memory on the app allows musicians to save and load custom settings for their keyboard. This is especially useful for gigging musicians who might need to switch between settings in a flash.
Aside from this, there are also other cool things you can do with the app. You can select any song on your phone and the Smart Pianist app will provide you with chords so you can play along with it. You can also use this app to create high-quality CD-level recordings not only in MIDI but in ACC or WAV.
The Smart Pianist app simply makes the P125 easier to navigate. With its simple user interface, learning your way around the app should be hassle-free as well.
3.5 Table EQ, Sound Boost, Intelligent Acoustic Control
The P125 is also loaded with a couple of extra sound enhancement settings that I am absolutely sure many pianists will appreciate.
Let us start the list off with the Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC). This is not new, by all means, as we have already seen it on the P115, but it is a welcome feature nonetheless. The IAC helps you balance the tones of your playing, ensuring that all tones whether on the higher or lower registers of the instrument can be heard clearly.
The P125 also has a Sound Boost feature that improves the sound output. It produces sharper and clearer sounds than the default.
Being marketed as a portable piano (and belonging to Yamaha’s portable series), the Yamaha P125 has something called a Table EQ. As I have mentioned previously, the way the speakers are positioned on the P125 makes it so the sound surrounds the player. This is especially effective if the P125 is on a stand, which does not come with the package.
If you are the type of pianist who moves around a lot, chances are, you would not be taking your piano stand everywhere you go. That is where this feature becomes extremely important. The Table EQ feature makes it so that the sound quality of the P125 is still the same even when placed on a flat surface.
3.6 P125 vs P115
The P125 is supposed to be a better version of the P115. However, many claims that it is essentially the same piano with very minor improvements. Let us check what makes the two similar or unique.
|Tones||14 Built-in Tones||24 Built-in Tones|
|Smart Pianist Compatibility||No||Yes|
|Sound Layering||3 Layers||4 Layers|
|Rhythms||14 Rhythms||20 Rhythms|
|Notable Features||–||Table EQ|
As you can see, there are definitely a few improvements from the P115. With the way it is marketed, however, you would think that the P125 is a revolutionary new piano compared to the already amazing P115. Still, I understand that implementing changes on an older design could be difficult, which is likely the reason why a new version is created instead.
The accessories that come with the P125 are the standard set you would find on almost every electric piano set. It comes with a music rest, power adaptor, a manual, and a footswitch.
I am not going to lie, the pedal or footswitch that comes with the P125 is pretty bad. It feels cheap and does not feel anywhere near an actual piano pedal. This is to be expected as Yamaha is trying to cut costs to make sure that their pianos remain affordable. My advice is to simply get your own pedal. There are plenty out there that are not only affordable but much closer to the real thing than the one that comes with the P125.
The P125 also does not come with a stand, or a stool so you should spare a little bit of extra cash to get one of those too. Although with its Table EQ feature, I would not say it is extremely urgent that you get one.
Let us be honest. Price is one of the biggest factors that come in when choosing the piano that you will be using for a long time. Of course, we want a feature-rich piano that is durable enough to last us years and a sound quality that sounds like an angel song. However, we also still want to be able to afford other things after spending money on a new instrument.
Yamaha P125 might have some features that interest you. However, is its value worth it for its price? This section will compare the P125 with other pianos along with its price range so you can see for yourself if the P125 has the best value for your money.
|Yamaha P125 (1)||$649.99|
|Roland FP-10 (2)||$499|
|Kawai ES110 (3)||$999|
|Korg D1 (4)||$669.99|
Judging by the price and features of these pianos, we can see that while all of them have their merits, the Yamaha P125 is a pretty decent contender when it comes to the value you get for your money. At its price, the P125 can even compete with pianos marketed as stage pianos with prices that are placed at a higher level.
Here are some written and video reviews from users who have had the Yamaha P125. Hopefully, these will help you determine if the Yamaha P125 is the perfect digital piano for you.
6.1 Unbiased Text Reviews
According to a Reddit User from this thread (5).
Says a Reddit User from this thread (6).
These Reddit Users from this thread (7) are thrilled about another’s P125 purchase.
Finally, here is what a Reddit User from this thread (8) thinks about the P125 compared to Roland FP10.
6.2 Helpful Video Reviews
I am giving the Yamaha P125 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Modeled after the famous Yamaha P115, the Yamaha P125 is an incredible keyboard within its price range. It has a lot of features that are often seen on keyboards that are a lot more expensive than the P125. It also has a lot of features that make it versatile like the Table EQ setting that helps users who do not have a stand immerse themselves into their playing.
However, the Yamaha P125 is still very similar to the P115 almost to the point where it seems like it should not warrant a new model. Plenty of the things we see on the P125 are things we have already seen on the P115. I had hoped there were more exciting changes but the changes implemented seem a bit lackluster.
Despite this, the P115 is a great piano which makes the P125 an amazing contender. Some aspects are improved such as more voices and additional features like the Smart Pianist App integration, all of which makes things so much easier for the modern pianist.
Frequently Asked Questions