The Yamaha P-125 - which follows on from the highly popular P-115 - is a compact digital piano that combines realistic piano performance with a user-friendly minimalistic design. It’s designed to be portable and very accessible - in other words, you’re not bogged down in complicated menus just to find a sound, so it’s a great choice not only for those who need a digital piano for themselves, but also for situations where many people might be using the same instrument: piano teachers, schools, bars with open mic nights, that sort of thing.
Given how solid and piano-like it feels, the P-125 is surprisingly affordable at an RRP of $999.99, which means you’ll be able to find one for a lot less than that in stores. Everything about it shouts ‘quality,’ from its weighted keys to the three-dimensionality of its newly-improved two-way speaker system, which sends the sound both upward and downward for a very realistic acoustic piano feel. Yamaha uses a Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) 88-key piano keyboard which provides a heavier touch in the low end and lighter touch in the high end, similar to an acoustic piano.
Among the other upgrades from the 115 are the choice of three sound variations in addition to each base sound (piano, electric piano, organ, clv/vib, strings, bass). The most fun of these is the bass option that adds a hi-hat to every note you play for instant jazz maverick moments. But each of the sounds is very well-voiced - which is handy since you can’t tweak them the way you could on a full-featured synth. There’s a Table EQ feature which gives you optimal acoustics even if you’re playing on a hard, flat surface, but Yamaha offers plenty of accessories to get the most out of the P-125 including a matching stand, a variety of pedal options and a soft but durable carry case.
Another big addition is the use of intelligent bass parts in the 20 on board bass-and-drum tracks, which follow your left hand to construct a backing that moves with you. The tracks sound great and they cover styles from pop and rock to jazz, Latin, kids’ music and Christmas. The sheer sonic versatility and ease of use means the P-125 evokes the feeling of having an actual piano in the room, except you never have to tune it, and unlike a synth workstation you’re safe from the risk of little kids thinking it’s the console of the Millennium Falcon and obliterating all your presets while they try to beat Han’s Kessel Run record.
Oh, and at the time of writing there’s a very handy additional feature about to be announced which we can’t talk about because it won’t be made public until after the magazine hits the streets, but make sure you visit Yamaha Australia’s website to find out more. You’ll know it when you see it!
Hits and Misses
Great sound projection
No pedals included