Digital pianos have long been a popular instrument, and with their build becoming ever more portable and compact while still enveloping pure, high-quality sound, it is hardly a surprise. For over a century, Yamaha has been a leader in the digital piano technology industry, developing state-of-the-art technology and classic pianos that can be enjoyed in every home.
The P-125 took over from its predecessor, the P-115; however, now Yamaha has introduced a brand new update to their excellent P-125 which makes it ideal for home and concert use.
Not only does this piano have 88 weighted keys, it has an acoustic piano feel, allowing you to enjoy playing a compact instrument that is comparable with a real acoustic piano.
This Yamaha P-125 review will take a look at what it has to offer, starting with the newly updated features.
We will discuss the comparison between the P-125 and P-115 later in this review but we encourage you to compare the P-125 with other best selling digital pianos:
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New P-125 Features
This piano has a variety of accompaniment styles pre-programmed into it.
These styles include everything from Jazz to Rock and Roll, and it also lets you use a full orchestra accompaniment. This is not a common feature in digital pianos with weighted keys – a big plus for this new update.
The P-125 has its own Yamaha Smart Pianist application that lets you control the voices and rhythms. It can also save your settings so you don’t have to re-set them the next time you play. Plus, you can also learn the chords for your favorite songs using your iPad or iPhone.
Yamaha P-125 Review of Key Features
- 88-key weighted keys
- Touch sensitivity (soft, medium, hard, and fixed)
- Graded hammer standard action
- 192-note polyphony
- 50 preset songs and 21 demo songs
- 24 instrument voices (4 grand pianos)
- Pure CF sound engine
- Dual, Split, and duo modes
- 20 rhythm accompaniments (drums and bass)
- 2-track MIDI recording
- Lesson function
- Fine-tuning, Transpose, and Metronome
- Two 7-watt speaker
- Table EQ, Stereophonic Optimizer, Intelligent Acoustic Control, and Sound Boost
- Sustain jack, line outs, 2 headphone jacks, USB to host connection
- Lightweight at just 26 pounds
- Compact size: 52.2 x 11.6 x 6.5 inches
- 3-year warranty
- Very reasonably priced (less than $600 new)
Whether you plan to use this piano at home or for live gigs, the portability of this unit will be a big plus. The P-125’s size is easy to fit into most homes thanks to its very light, slim size, so if you are short on space, you do not have to worry about a large, bulky unit.
The P-125 has 88 weighted keys, yet weighs only 26 pounds, which is very lightweight for a piano this size.
This piano is also just 52.2 x 11.6 x 6.5 inches in size, allowing you to easily carry it under your arm or on your back in the handy carry case – perfect for any pianist who wants to share their playing with others.
If you would like to write songs or compose music, you will love the USB to host connectivity that helps you play your music directly into your computer where you can record it.
This piano does have built-in speakers and two standard headphone inputs that are great when you need to practice in a common area in your home or if you are in a public area where you don’t want to disturb those around you. The speakers produce a big, expansive sound, both downward and upward.
While the P-125 doesn’t have an LCD screen, which is the same as its predecessor the P-115 as well as the P-45 (read our Yamaha P-45 review), using the functions of this unit is very simple, even without the screen confirming your selections. The piano has a master volume button located on the top left of the unit, as well as other simply laid out buttons.
There is a demo button and a rhythm button that allows you to add things like bass lines, a drum beat, and 18 other rhythmic patterns.
There is also a play/stop button and a record button. This means that you can record yourself playing and then later play it back for review or enjoyment, all by simply pushing these buttons. This is helpful because you can monitor how you are progressing with various pieces of music by recording yourself at various points throughout your practice session. Plus, you can record yourself playing one part of a duet then play it back as you play the other part in real-time.
P-125 Available Voices
Besides the play/stop button is the various voices offered by the P-125. There are 24 preset voices included with this unit. This is fewer than many digital pianos. But, it is important to note that all of the voices – including organ, electric piano, piano, bass, and strings – have a standard and three different variations that you can play with, keeping your practice sessions fresh and exciting. The preset voices are:
• Piano Section: bright grand, ballad grand, live grand, grand piano
• Electric Piano Section: synth piano, vintage electric piano, FM electric piano, stage electric piano
• Organ Section: organ tutti, organ principal, rock organ, jazz organ
• Clavichord/Vibraphone Section: vibraphone, clavichord, harpsichord 8’, harpsichord 8+4’
• Strings Section: synth pad, choir, slow strings, strings
• Bass Section: fretless bass, bass & cymbal, electric bass, acoustic bass
The piano also has a sound boost, damper resonance, and four different types of reverb. This piano has been designed to be used both at home for practicing as well as for live event playing, such as concerts and gigs. If you are going to position it permanently in a spot, the pedal unit and wooden stand can be fixed to the unit to further enhance the experience.
If you are looking for a compact instrument that will look beautiful in your home, this digital piano will fit in seamlessly.
Other Yamaha P-125 Features
No Yamaha P-125 review would be complete without a look at the other features. Of course, this piano does have the other standard features found in most pianos similar to the P-125.
The auto power off feature is especially good as it turns off the unit when you have not played for 30 minutes, so you don’t have to worry if you forget to turn it off.
There is also a button to turn the metronome on and off. This is especially handy for players who need some extra help with tempo and timing. You can easily adjust the tempo, volume, and beat of the metronome to suit your playing style and preferences.
Another popular function is the transpose feature that lets you shift the keyboard’s pitch in semitone steps.
This allows you to play songs in different pitches without having to change the position of your hands. It is also helpful if you want to transpose songs into a key that is easier to play.
You can use the tuning function any time you need to pitch match with a CD recording or another instrument. It allows you to shift the pitch in 0.2 Hertz (Hz) steps.
As well as the ‘whole’ keyboard mode, you can also choose from 3 other modes that are very common in modern digital pianos. It is no surprise that the P-125 has them all.
The 3 modes are dual, split, and duo:
Dual mode – this can be used when you want to layer two different instruments to create a richer, more atmospheric sound for when you perform. Each time you press down a key, you will hear the sound of two instruments playing together. The P-125 does not allow you to layer instruments that are already in the same section, i.e. you cannot layer two pianos or two organs. Plus, the volume balance can be adjusted between the two instruments.
Split mode – this mode works similarly to dual mode, but rather than layering two instruments, it splits the keyboard into two zones, with one instrument per zone. This essentially allows you to play one instrument with your left hand and another with your right hand. The P-125 lets you select any bass tone for the left-hand side and then any other instrument for the right-hand side. The split point is set by default to F#2, but this can easily be changed as well as the volume balance between the two sides.
Duo mode – this mode is often called twin piano or partner mode. Duo mode splits the keyboard into 2 identical sections which both have a middle C and the same octave range. In other words, you have two 44-key pianos side-by-side. This is a great mode for teaching as it means two people can sit together and play the same piece at the same time to monitor progress and check for mistakes.
Yamaha Smart Pianist App
There are many benefits to purchasing a digital piano instead of an acoustic one. However, one of the more major benefits is that you are able to integrate your iPhone or iPad with your digital piano. This feature is called the Yamaha Smart Pianist app.
The Yamaha Smart Pianist App provides you with a wide variety of great functions when you connect it to your Yamaha P-125 digital piano.
For example, you can control the voices on your digital piano using your iPad or iPhone.
You can switch the voice from organ to synth piano by simply clicking a button on your smart device with the app. If you manually change the voice you are using on the actual unit, you will see that the change is registered immediately on the Smart Pianist App too.
The smart app also lets you layer various voices then save them. This means that you can layer a piano voice with strings all through the app. You can play along with any songs you like using your iPad or iPhone’s library. With the smart app, when you start playing a song from your music library, the app analyzes the song and displays the chords for the song, letting you learn how to play it.
Yamaha P-125 vs Yamaha P-115
You may be debating between whether you should get the P-125 or if you should go for the cheaper P-115 (read our Yamaha p-115 review), especially if you are considering upgrading when you already have the P-115.
This is a good question as they both have many similarities that make them great pianos.
Both of the pianos have 88 keys with graded hammer standard weighted action, so they each have keys that have real-feel keys that are heavier to the touch when playing on the lower end and lighter to the touch when playing on the higher end of the keyboard.
Both of these keyboards are lightweight and portable, making a great compact option for beginners and intermediate players.
They do have some interesting differences though.
The P-125 has a much-improved speaker system that lets the sound move both downwards and upwards when you play, making it sound richer and livelier. While the P-115 has great sound, you can definitely tell the improvement from the P-115 to the P-125.
The P-125 also has a new Table EQ feature that is excellent for those who do not purchase a stand for this piano and would rather place it on a desk or table in your home. This feature prevents the sound from making circular movements and instead moves downwards and upwards.
As you can see from this Yamaha P-125 review, selecting which piano is the right one for you heavily depends on your personal preference. You need to consider which recording features and sounds matter to you as well as your ability to utilize the Yamaha Smart Pianist App. If you are looking for a feature packed piano that will not cost you an arm and leg, the new P-125 is worth solid consideration. The ability to intuitively use your iPad or iPhone in your practice sessions paired with the rich sound makes the P-125 a worthwhile and impressive piano for both beginner and intermediate players.
- 88 weighted keys
- Compact and portable unit
- Built-in speakers plus headphone inputs
- USB to host connectivity
- Fine tuning, metronome, and transpose
- Dual mode and split mode
- 192-key polyphony
- Lightweight at just 26 pounds
- No LCD screen
- Only 24 preset voices
- Does not come with a piano cover