The last time I got to have a spin on a DGX portable grand piano from Yamaha, they were building them with a light woodgrain finish and satin silver detail. Well, that was a number of years back now and moving on from a couple of models, I have just had the joy of unboxing the new DGX-660B that was released at the NAMM show in late January this year. So, as it has been a while, there were plenty of features on this unit that were new to me, making it quite an exciting test run. Even for those who have been using the DGX-650, there are some helpful new additions to the DGX-660 that are well worth a look at.
SING IT LOUD
Whilst the most noticeable difference to begin with was the fact that the DGX-660 is now all black and quite a stylish looking unit at that, it is what is going on around the back and under the hood that is really exciting. It’s almost as if Yamaha were actually listening to so many people I have spoken to, and delivered on what the people wanted. The DGX-660 now comes with a 6.5mm microphone input to accommodate singing along with any of the tracks played from its library. And it is not just an afterthought; a simple addition of a connection that doesn’t deliver properly. No, with this new model you get vocal effects in built and the ability to record both vocal and instrument to USB, so you can capture you performances. This makes the DGX a very powerful songwriting tool, and brings what you create at home one step closer to being heard be the world.
THE RIGHT TOUCH
Not needing to worry about size or weight so much, as these are more often than not set up in one location, Yamaha have again delivered a graded hammer standard action to the DGX-660 with a realistic piano-like feel to how the 88 keys operate. They have a nice weight to them in both their depression and release, setting this up as not only a great beginner’s tool, but also as an instrument an accomplished pianist will enjoy playing. And with the feel of a piano comes the sound too, with a great selection of instruments in the memory and a range of rooms that can be selected for your piano sound to sit into. So, your living room can sound like a concert hall with a grand piano in it at the touch of a button, or the swipe of a nger with an iOS device and the new wireless control option that is available with the DGX-660. In all, this is a great stalwart of the Yamaha range that has had some very clever updates to bring it well into the future.
Hits and Misses
Sleek look and feel
Wireless iOS control
Microphone input and USB audio recording
Great Yamaha concert grand piano sound
It’s taken too long for this model to get to where it is now