As is the custom, when shopping we always go for the best quality that we can get our hands on. Of course, this means going for a brand or manufacturer that is reliable and trusted. This is the case when it comes to musicians and musical instruments.
A majority of pianists prefer using Yamaha keyboards and it’s not hard to see why. With Yamaha, you’re certain you are getting quality, not to mention the brand’s solid reputation. The brand, in a sense, is the Ferrari equivalent of pianos.
Yamaha groups its keyboard models into various categories based on their type, features, and even technology. The tricky party, however, is choosing the right piano from the bunch of Yamaha models in the market. In this article, we take an in-depth look at Yamaha’s P45B digital piano to show you what you can expect from it.
Yamaha P series
The P series, alongside the N and NP, represents Yamaha’s contemporary piano range. They are viewed as affordable costing anywhere between $500 and $1000. The first most affordable offering in this range was the P-35.
This 88-key weighted keyboard took the market by a storm when it was launched. Then came the P45B as the successor of the P-35 model and we’re here to see what it offers. Read on to find out its features, pros and cons, the sound quality, and if it is actually better than its predecessor.
Yamaha P-45B Overview
The Yamaha P45B is another gem from the Yamaha factory. It comes with several upgrades compared to the P-35. It has been very popular with beginners as well as experienced piano players looking for simplicity of features as well as a higher sound quality.
What are the advantages of getting a Yamaha P45B? Is it the right choice for you?
Let’s take a closer look at key features as well as this instrument pros and cons.
- GHS weighted action
- 64-note polyphony
- USB to HOST port
Yamaha P45B vs Yamaha P45
There is actually no difference between the Yamaha P45B and Yamaha P45. The B stands for “Black” and since all Yamaha P45 pianos come in black, you can’t find any true variation. This is a bit confusing and there really is no reason for doing it but that’s just the way that they sell it.
However, if you’re comparing the Yamaha P45-B to the Yamaha P-35, you’ll notice some differences between the two. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this view, the P-35 piano was no longer available in the Yamaha stores.
Even so, we’ll still highlight some of the differences between them, the biggest one being the polyphony.
|Feature||Yamaha P-45B||Yamaha P-35|
|Polyphony||64 – note polyphony||32 – note polyphony|
|USB to Host||Yes||No|
|MIDI (IN/OUT)||No||Yes (In/Out)|
|Power Consumption||6 W (using PA-150 power adapter)||10W|
Features of the Yamaha P-45B
The piano features the latest Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Technology that enables it to generate sounds close to the real ones. If you’re a professional pianist, you’ll notice that the P-45B produces an authentic acoustic sound.
Each key has be sampled and tested through AWM single key sampling technology, and this creates a deeper and richer sound from the piano.
With 64 notes of polyphony means the Yamaha P45B is capable playing 64 notes all at the same time, whilst still producing realistic and beautiful sound. So users are capable of playing any chord imaginable, and playing duets, without any of the notes being cut off or lost.
As well as the polyphony, the keys of the P45B are tuned with sound from an acoustic piano using ‘advanced wave memory stereo sampling’ technology, which keeps the sound crisp and clear throughout playing, and gives a more realistic feel to this digital piano’s sound.
A lot of digital pianos fall back on the sound of the piano, but this is an area where Yamaha has always excelled, and continues to do so with the Yamaha P54B.
The music rest is designed with efficiency needs in mind. Setting it up on the piano is simple as it taking it off. Once put in place, it remains steady with almost no teeter. It has a big real estate where you can set a sheet the size of two and half A4 papers. On the downside, it lacks clips to hold the sheets but that’s understandable for an entry level piano.
Key Action and Realism
Things get even better when it comes to the key action. The piano keys are Graded Hammer Standards (GHS) weighted such that the keys have a lighter touch in the high notes and a heavier touch in the low notes.
The GHS weighted action makes it feel like a real acoustic piano.
So, if you are transferring between the digital Yamaha P45B and a full sized acoustic piano, there will be no difference in play.
Seeing as no other keyboard in this range comes with GHS action, the P-45B is a perfect piano for a learner especially when practicing the finger technique.
We also like that the keyboard has a matte finish which allows your fingers to press on the keys firmly.
The matte finish to the keys ensure that here will be no risk of slipping when playing for a long period of time. Although the keys are not wooden, they are beautifully finished.
There are four settings of key sensitivity, so you can adjust the sensitivity to your own liking, allowing the player to decide exactly how they like to play.
Here you get a clean simple control panel with several control buttons including the power button, volume slide, and function button. However, not all the functions are labeled and at some point, you might need to use the user manual. For instance, if you want to change the chorus or reverb settings you’ll have to refer to the manual.
64- Note Polyphony
This is perhaps the most exciting upgrade feature of the P-45B that sets it apart from the P-35 that has a 32-note polyphony. The piano comes with 64-note polyphony which is great considering its price tag.
Dual & Split Modes
The keyboard comes with two different modes that you can switch to whenever you want. The dual mode lets you combine two of the built-in instruments sounds e.g. strings and piano while the split mode allows you to have the sounds in the lower and higher ends.
In other words, one instrument sound will be on the upper half while a second different instrument sound will be on the lower half. For instance, you could play the bass guitar and piano at either end.
Yamaha understands that several music applications can be integrated with the keyboard. To that end, the company provides a USB to Host port that allows you to link various devices such as mobile devices and laptops to the piano.
Using this connection, you can make the best out of a myriad of software and hardware, educational systems, and recording systems, to enhance user experience. The piano also has a MIDI connection and a ¼” headphone output jack.
The Yamaha P54B features a simple, single button operation to change the sound between different types of piano.
You can set up the metronome, change voices, or play demo sources all using a single button. Simply press the grand piano/function and select your preferred changes. This feature is very useful especially to learners who won’t need to worry about pressing the wrong button when playing or performing.
Reverb and Chorus
The P45B also comes with chorus and reverb effects (Room, Hall 1, Hall 2, and Stage) which is not an element you commonly see in keyboards at this price range. These effects come in handy when you want to create sounds with warmer sound quality. You also get the sustain effect from the sustain pedal.
As you’d expect, the piano has full 8 octaves like many other keyboards in this tier. It is smaller in size but it is no big deal as you can still comfortably play using both hands.
The Yamaha P45B also has 10 instrument ‘voices’ to choose from, so pianists can decide exactly how they want their music to sound like. Sure, other digital pianos can boast to more voices, but the Yamaha P45B has a great diversity for its price, and provides ample choice for the beginner piano player.
This is fair seeing as you will, at most, only need a handful of time when practicing or performing. The only time you might need them all is perhaps when you’re trying the piano for the first time.
Yamaha’s P-45B comes with two (2×12 cm.) 6W in built-in speakers. It produces just enough sound for a small room or a small audience if you are performing. For a bigger audience, you can boost the sound using an external amplifier. You can also choose to plug in headphones if you want a clear sound during practice sessions.
Transpose and Fine tuning
You don’t have to worry about tuning the piano since it is digital and comes already tuned at A-440 pitch. The fine tuning function lets you adjust the pitch of the keyboard either by increasing or decreasing it in steps of 0.2Hz.
It also comes with transpose function to alter the pitch of the keyboard in semitone steps. This comes in handy when you intend to play or practice a song that was written in a difficult key. All you have to do is shift the pitch and play in an easier key.
Beginners and those looking to learn how to play the piano will be particularly impressed by the P-45B. Along with 10 voices, there are 10 preset songs and 10 demos for your use and play along, so there is plenty of diversity in this little digital piano.
This is an essential feature for amateurs as it gives them a simple and much easier path to learn how to play songs on the piano. We also like that the piano has an option to slow down the pace of the songs so one can play at his/her own pace before they get the hang of it.
The Yamaha P-45B measures 132.6 cm × 29.5 cm × 15.4 cm so it won’t swallow a lot of real estate. Weighing only 34.4 pounds, the Yamaha P45B is compact and portable, fitting the needs of many piano players.
The piano comes with a foot pedal, a stand, and headphones, so the buyer is provided with everything they need to start playing. Its accessories are also light and don’t add much to the overall weight of the piano.
Here is what may be a buzzkill to some pianists. The piano lacks record and playback options so you have to find an alternative way to go about it. We don’t understand why Yamaha would exclude such as a crucial element seeing as most of the keyboards in this and the lower tier come equipped with this feature.
You can still record your music by connecting to the internet and using music recording applications. That said, we just wish Yamaha could have included the features to make it easier for users who, otherwise, have to go through the unnecessary steps to get it done.
Depending on the seller and your budget, you can get the Yamaha P-45B keyboard by itself or go for the whole bundle package that includes accessories.
Note that some of the bundle packages might include instructional books for beginners. However, that doesn’t mean that the piano isn’t designed for intermediate and professional pianists.
Yamaha P45B Review – Final Thoughts
The compact, easy to use, digital piano provides a great sound for aspiring pianists, without sacrificing a realistic and impressive sound.
If you are looking for a beginner piano, a compact piano, or just a piano to practice on, the Yamaha P45B is a great, versatile digital piano to invest in. Also, the Yamaha P45B case is well designed and the piano comes with a Yamaha P45B manual.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the keyboard come with a power adapter?
Yes. The Yamaha P45B comes with a PA150 power adapter (120V, 60 Hz adapter) to plugs into the standard outlet to power it up
What is half-pedaling?
Half pedaling is a playing technique that allows for a variation of sound by partially pressing the sustain pedal in a way that the dampers only but touch the strings.
Can I change the instrument the piano plays and what instrument voices does the piano come with?
Yes, you can change the sounds depending on what you want to play. The P-45B has 10 different instrument voices preset to it. These are:
- 2 grand pianos
- 2 electric pianos
- 2 organs
- 2 harpsichords
- 1 string
- 1 vibraphone
How can I change the touch sensitivity
Changing the touch sensitivity is simple. First, press and hold down the Grand piano/function button then press either of the following keys depending on the sensitivity you want:
- Press A2 (the A just below middle C-C3) if you want the fixed no touch sensitivity. In this setting, the volume won’t be affected at all no matter how you press your keys when playing.
- For soft touch sensitivity, press A#2 i.e. A#2 below middle C-C3. For this setting, the volume output will vary according to how you play.
- To set the sensitivity to medium which is the standard (default) piano setting, press B2 i.e. the B next TO C3- Middle C.
- If you want to change the sensitivity to the hard setting, press C3 i.e. middle C. In this setting, the volume of the piano will vary widely. For a loud sound, you have to press the key hard.