Yamaha P515 Digital Piano Review: Worth The Money?

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Yamaha P515 Digital Piano

The Yamaha P515 is the flagship model of the P series of the brand. It also belongs to the portable range of pianos from Yamaha and is one of the best pianos to replicate the acoustic sound and feel. Nevertheless, it is considered one of the best pianos by both amateurs and professionals and the best that one can get for this price range. 

The best feature, what we liked the best is this piano is its best-sampled acoustics which is a combination of two of the best Yamaha concert series the Bosendorfer Imperial grand and the CFX concert grand. And its 16 track MIDI recorder renders the freedom for the pianist to create the best of melodies right on the piano. Thus, this can be the best piano for professional music composers and lyricists. 

Important Specifications of the Yamaha P515 Piano

  • Build: Natural wood with escapement
  • 5 types of touch sensitivity
  • 16 track MIDI recorder
  • 88 fully weighted keys with simulated keytops
  • 256 polyphony notes
  • Dual, split and duo modes
  • 40 instrument sounds which include 11 acoustic pianos
  • Excellent USB connectivity
  • Intelligent acoustic control and sound boost technology

Yamaha P515 Piano Review: The First Look

Yamaha P515 Piano

When you order for this piano, you will be surprised that the entire unit gets delivered in a single cardboard box that includes the piano, music rest and a sustain pedal. Its sleek and contemporary design makes it easily portable though it is not very light to carry by hand. It can rest calmly in both the console stand and the keyboard stand and stays steady as you play. 

The piano is available in black or white colors and comes with a footswitch and an optional three-pedal unit. Professional players would choose the three-pedal units to sustain, sostenuto and soft playing. The pedal unit has an anti-slip bottom to stay in its place for a good leg reach. 

There is an LCD screen display to partner with your music gesture and the console has about 23 keys for selecting various functions. These keys light up with a blue color indicating that they are in function. Overall this is a stylish piano with a neat and clean design with a smooth finish.

The Yamaha P515 Piano Keys

A feature that is native to the Clavinova series, is found in this P515 model. Though made of wood, the keys feature a synthetic ebony and ivory matte finish. The keys glide pretty smooth as that of an acoustic piano and are pretty responsive throughout their length, thanks to the escapement action of the keys.

They carry a definitive weight, much preferred by professional pianists. They drop out of the string point in a pattern that mimics the acoustic pianos. The keys feel smooth and consistent across the piano and enable speed while playing difficult chords. 

You can choose to play the keys in five different touch responses or turn it off completely as well according to your convenience.  The adjusting touch responsiveness feature ensures that the pianist can alter the touch sensitivity of the keys depending on the type of music. 

As far as the keys are concerned, we can conclude that this piano is a perfect assortment of the digital and acoustic pianos, helping the pianist with the best of both the worlds. 

Yamaha P515 Sound Features

The best sound feature that you can brag about the Yamaha P515 model is that it has over 500 high-quality sounds that have been recorded from the Yama CFX, Bosendorfer Imperial and other hybrid pianos. These sounds will definitely diversify your playing skills as they are from different genres.

The VRM technology incorporated in these sounds will add more life to the music when played along with the reverbs and the choruses. The piano sounds magical with the headphone as it is enhanced by the stereophonic optimizer technology. 

The piano encompasses nine acoustic piano sounds, all different from each other, 7 electric pianos and other organs like the guitar, drum, saxophone, flute, and jazz. There are also beautiful sounds of the strings, choir, and vibraphone. Apart from these sounds, the ‘others’ button in the piano gives access to 450+ instruments and their sound effects, all with just those 88 keys on the piano. 

The VRM or the Virtual resonance modeling technique of the P515 helps with quality sounds and realistic tones, as it creates the best interaction between the strings and the organs. Thus the pianist is able to bring in a lot of freedom and preference to his music for a grant and magical concert.

Related Reading:- List of Best Yamaha Digital Pianos 2020

Sound Quality and Polyphony

The piano offers freedom for the pianist to do several things within the piano room. Open the piano lid better for better sound, adjust the volume and brightness of the sound, alter the touch on the keys between soft and hard, create a master tune by combining with other instruments, etc. 

And within the piano room, the pianist can select between six types of reverb, starting from recital hall to concert hall to chamber, cathedral, club, and plate reverbs. 

As we discussed earlier, this piano is capable of mimicking a number of different instruments and carries a 256 note polyphony, good enough for a grand concert by any pianist at any skill level. 

There are two speakers located on either side of the piano, each with 15-watt amp drivers. Additionally, there are 5W tweeters as well to maintain and ensure the high-frequency response of the keys accurately. The unique feature of these speakers is that it’s subwoofers flares and twists to reduce turbulence and to ensure clear notes emit from the piano.

Alternatively, the pianist can also make use of the sound boost technology to get the piano louder, without losing speaker quality. 

Three Different Play Modes

This piano just like its predecessors, allows the player to create two sounds at a time and you can choose to play them either layered or blended across the keyboard. 

In split-mode, you can split the keyboard into two sounds and choose where exactly to split the keyboard by choosing the split point. (hold the split button and hit the key where you need the split). 

In Duo Mode, you can divide the keyboard into two equal portions and two people can play it side by side simultaneously. In dual-mode, you get to play two different instruments at the same time. Both the sounds play blended and layered on top of each other.

Recording and Playback Feature

The piano comes with 21 preset songs in different instrument notes. There are also more than 50 classics recorded in the piano from the best composers. You can use them as a background for your tune and also practice them as you play along.

This digital piano has a 16 track sequencer and a good internal memory that helps you to record and store up to 250 songs in the MIDI format. You can also export the songs to the computer with the help of a USB flash drive. Later you can share your music on social media or burn it into a CD.

Alternatively, you can import audio files from the internet to the piano and use them for practicing. You can also record your tunes in the audio format and save it to a flash drive. 

Yamaha P515 Connectivity Features

  • There are two standard headphone jacks at the left side of the keyboard, below the key bed.
  • The USB to device port lies at the top of the unit. USB type A is used to transfer files from the piano to the computer.
  • The USB to host post connect the piano with a computer or other smart device
  • The USB audio interface transfers audio data to the computer and vice versa.
  • The AUX out port helps in plugging to other sound equipment like amplifiers, mixers, PA systems, etc.
  • The AUX-in feature helps to play audio from the computer through the speakers of the piano.
  • There is also Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from the phone or computer without mandating any cables. 

Other Features

  1. Metronome: Helps the pianist to practice with adjusting speed.
  2. Transpose: This feature helps to play the keys at half steps with semitone increments from -12 to +12.
  3. Tuning: This piano has six temperaments besides the default tone starting from pure major to kirnberger. 
  4. The smart pianist app helps you to connect your keyboard with an iOS device and download thousands of music for practicing.

Pros

  • Wooden keyboard with ebony finish
  • More than 538 preset tunes
  • Ability to transport music in audio format apart from MIDI format
  • Powerful speaker system
  • Built-in USB audio interface

Cons

  • For children and beginners, the NWX action of the keyboard seems tiring as it is heavy and effort-intensive.
  • Bluetooth feature doesn’t support media in MIDI format.

Check Out:- Top 5 Best Digital Pianos Under $2000

Wrapping up

The Yamaha P515 is one of the high-end pianos in this series with some of the best features helping you with some magical performances for a concert. A little time and ample practice is all that takes to help you perform magic at your fingertips.

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