Compare: How Much Better is Yamaha P-125 versus Yamaha P-45 (P-71)?
Today I will be telling a few important key differences between two very popular and affordable piano keyboards. both of these very similarly priced keyboards, which cost only about $150 price difference. I will be making an in-depth comparison of the features and functionality of both these keyboards to help you make an informed purchase and make it value your money
Both the P-45 and the P-125 are 88 keys with graded hammer action. This means the keys are progressively weighted, starting off heavier on the lower register and getting lighter as you reach the higher registers, just like a traditional acoustic piano.
Both these keyboards use Yamaha’s decade-old but tried and tested GHS key action which is definitely one of the better ones in the industry. While both key actions, with 4 velocity curves, are identical, the keys on the P-125 are noticeably quieter and better dampened, most likely due to the red felt liner near the pivots of the keys.
A big difference between the P-45, also known as the P71, and the P-125 is the sound engine. The P-45 uses a pretty dated Advanced Wave Modelling sound engine, whereas the P-125 has Yamaha’s more recent and better Pure CF sound engine.
With the upgraded sound engine, the P-125 has string resonance, damper resonance, and key-off samples allowing it to better simulate the harmonics of an acoustic piano. It is no surprise the tones on the P-125 sound warmer, are more detailed, and have more depth in comparison with the lower-priced P-45.
The P-125 allows you to sound and sustain more notes at the same time with 192 notes of polyphony versus just 64 notes of polyphony on the P-45. The P-125 supports a triple-pedal system, essential for intermediate piano repertoire requiring the use of soft and sostenuto pedals whereas the P-45 only supports a damper pedal.
One of the things you get for an extra $150 is more voices. 14 more to be exact. The more affordable P-45 comes with 10 tones while the P-125 comes with 24 tones. Most of the additional tones on the P-125 are not radically different from those on the P-45.
Many are just variations of the usual acoustic & electric pianos as well as a couple of organ voices, strings & pads.
You can layer two voices on both these digital pianos but the P-125 gives you the option of splitting voices across the keyboard. Both these keyboards allow you to fine-tune and transpose the pitch, useful if you are playing with other musicians.
Personally, If you are a beginner or predominantly a piano player, I doubt you will use any voice other than the default grand piano tone. So paying for more voices is not necessarily better if you do not use it.
However, if you want a digital piano with more than 700 voices for about the same price. You can check out my beginner piano app as well as some beginners video courses and course materials available for you. At the same time, you can check out this free 25 Piano lesson I have as well
Rhythms and Metronome
Practicing with a metronome is essential to improving your musical timing and both these digital pianos come with a metronome. However, the P-125 takes it one step higher by including 20 rhythms. These rhythms, encompassing various genres such as pop, rock, jazz, Latin and Christmas beats, help a pop pianist feel the groove of a tune way better than a boring metronome.
If you prefer playing along with rhythm accompaniments, I recommend a digital piano with almost 300 groovy rhythms so check that out as well.
However, the P-125 has 2 headphone jacks so not only can you practice quietly, but you can also have your piano lessons with your teacher using headphones.
If you want to play to an audience, both keyboards have in-built monitor speakers.
The amplification system on the P-125 is noticeably clearer and louder as it has a 14 watts amplifier driving 4 speakers versus just a 12 watts amplifier driving 2 speakers on the P-45. For larger venues, you can hook up a pair of powerful external loudspeakers to the P-125 using stereo ¼” connectors that are not on the P-45.
MIDI, Audio Interface & Smart Pianist App
With the built-in audio interface, you don’t need an expensive external audio interface to transmit digital audio to your iPad or laptop. It also allows you to record an unlimited number of digital audio recordings onto your mobile devices using the free Smart Pianist App. The P-45 does not support connections to the Smart Pianist App, which is a shame.
When connected to the Smart Pianist App, the Yamaha P-125 is transformed into a supercharged powerhouse. You can easily select, mix, layer, and split voices, trigger rhythms, and record both MIDI & audio songs effortlessly. It is a pity that both these keyboards don’t support wireless Bluetooth MIDI or audio.
Weight & Portability
Unfortunately, both these digital pianos are chunky, at around 26 lbs, and do not run on batteries which hampers true portability. You would think the P-125 should be much heavier than the P-45 because it can do so much more, but that is not the case. The P-125 is more capable but weighs a mere 300 grams more than the P-45
If you are an absolute beginner who has no idea what the black and white keys of the keyboard are. If you do not know where middle-C is, and you do not know where A,B,C,D,E,F,G is on the keyboard, the Yamaha P-45 is more than sufficient for you to use for quite a number of years.
Even more so if you are not sure if your enthusiasm to learn to play the piano will last. Most beginners will not be able to tell the subtleties of damper and string resonance. For those who know how to play a couple of tunes on the piano, the P-125 will be a better choice. It has the features to be a great practice piano as well as for those who prefer a better sound. The keybed is also better dampened.
I hope you found my comparison of the Yamaha P-125 and YAMAHA P-71 useful. Do check out the links provided in this article for the latest and most updated information and prices of Yamaha P-125 and YAMAHA P-71. Do also take a look at my other articles to find the best and most suited instrument for your personal need. Also, check out my Piano App and beginner keyboard course available for you.