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Best Piano Keyboards Reviews

best-piano-keyboardsYamaha has been in the business of making music for well over a century, and today the company is as well known for their sophisticated acoustic instruments as they are for their groundbreaking developments in the world of digital audio.

With the release of the Yamaha P-255 88-Key Digital Piano – the latest addition to Yamaha’s bestselling P-Series line of digital pianos – the best of both worlds are packed into a high-quality, lightweight, and extremely capable instrument.

Yamaha P-255

Advanced Keyboard Design

The Yamaha P-255 features 88 synthetic ivory keys which utilize Yamaha’s realistic Graded Hammer action to replicate the feel of a traditional acoustic piano. Each key’s weight corresponds to the gradually increasing weight of the hammers from the higher keys to the lower ones. Finished with a synthetic ivory surface that’s designed to absorb moisture and prevent glide during play, you can extend your practice or performance without sacrificing accuracy.

Premiere Sound Quality

The P-255 utilizes the Pure CF Sound Engine to emulate the famous acoustic sound of Yamaha’s world-class concert grand pianos. Along with an advanced 256 note polyphony, the P-255 is the only P-Series digital piano to offer Key-off Samples, Sustain Sampling, and String Resonance features together in one instrument.

These three features combine to create in-depth simulation of an acoustic experience that is simply unmatched. Take Key-off Samples, for instance – when you’re playing an acoustic piano, the sound of the note changes when your finger is removed from the key. The P-255’s Key-off sampling feature accurately reproduces this effect, even capturing the variation in key-off sounds between staccato and legato play.

The Sustain Sampling feature adds more unique samples to embody the range of effects conveyed by the damper pedal, including the proper variations in resonance associated with the depth of pedal depression. Further enhancing the characteristics of an acoustic instrument’s resonance, the String Resonance feature recreates the effect that a hammer strike has upon the strings surrounding the one that is played.

The Sounds and the Voices

The P-255 is a truly fine piano, but it offers even more. A selection of 24 high-quality voices let you transform your digital piano into a variety of other instruments. Whether you want to produce a concert-hall experience with the Live Grand, a modern sound with the Synth Piano, or even play around with the sounds of the Wood Bass or Vibraphone, all it takes is the touch of a button.

You can even customize the P-255’s keyboard layout for a dynamic live event. Dual mode allows you to layer two voices, playing them simultaneously to create a unique new sound, while Split Mode splits the keyboard into two sections, each section expressing a different voice.

To fill out your sound, the P-255 includes 10 rhythm patterns that offer the experience and sound of playing with a professional backing band. Chosen to work hand-in-hand with the piano’s voices while offering a dynamic range of genres to suit virtually any style of play, you can play along with perfectly timed rhythms ranging from pop and jazz rhythms to bossa nova and more, all complete with intros and endings.

Crystal Clear Output

Acoustic environments vary widely from location to location, making control over the frequencies of your sound an absolute necessity. The P-255’s easily accessible EQ slider lets you adjust the output of your piano’s low, mid, and high frequencies ranges on the fly, giving you the ability to make your sound stand out anywhere.

This control is even more important when you’re presenting your sound with the incredible clarity of the two meticulously constructed 15W speakers that are built into the P-255. These circular speakers create a more natural sound than traditional oval speakers, especially in its deep, rich low ranges.

In addition to its two main speakers, the P-255 contains two built-in tweeters that direct their sound directly at the musician playing the instrument. The bright sounds expressed by the tweeters gives you a perfect feel for the subtleties in higher tones, helping to hear even the most delicate aspects of your performance.

Convenient Control

Yamaha’s P-255 Controller App (downloadable from the Apple App Store) gives you an even more convenient method of controlling the many various functions of your instrument. Using your familiar touchscreen device, you can graphically adjust the split point of the keyboard, control the layering of voices, and even manage songs that you’ve recorded to a USB device using the P-255’s built-in recording studio.

Conclusion

The Yamaha P-255 88-key Digital Piano is a true leader in Yamaha’s bestselling line of P-Series digital pianos. Accessible yet capable, this digital piano demonstrates superior sound quality in every possible way, perfectly emulating the effects of a world-class acoustic instrument and allowing you to develop and demonstrate the nuances of play that establish style and mastery.

Kawai KDP90

While Kawai has long maintained an outstanding reputation concerning the acoustic pianos that they produce, their standing as a trusted name for digital keyboards is increasing as well. The latest instrument to contribute to their stature in this musical department is the Kawai KDP90. This model excels when it comes to the characteristics that are most important to musicians. Namely, it has the ability to look and feel like the real thing. In addition to crafting an instrument that is beautiful aesthetically, this piano provides you with tones and additional instrumentation that are resoundingly similar to the genuine article.

Players will also find that there are no lack of features on-board either. This wealth of ability puts this instrument on par with many other digital keyboards that would normally be in a much higher price range. The basics include an on-board stereo speaker system, the Grand Feel Pedal system, and audio outputs. Advanced players will also be happy with the kind of action that they find in the keys. It uses an Advanced Hammer Action, IV-F system. The features built in for agility and sharing music include two jacks for headphones and a MIDI in/out port.

Beginners will also feel comfortable with sitting down in front of the keys. It features built-in, Alfred piano lessons to get the ball rolling quickly in the right direction. As your musical abilities increase, there will be plenty of features to grow with you. These features include 88-key piano sampling, dual and four-hands mode, and 15 different instrument sounds that are incredibly lifelike. There is little doubt that this 192-Note Polyphony is designed to impress players of all standings. It is complete with a rosewood finish and a sliding key cover.

The advanced key action on this piano is built to mirror that of their acoustic counterparts that Kawai designs. The bass-note keys have a heavy weight while the the higher notes make use of a gradual increase in lightness. The graded action is authentic, making the transition between the digital and acoustic formats one that is anything but a struggle. The resonance of the sound is one of the primary advantages of this piano, however. There are three different piano sounds that echo beautifully throughout any size room thanks to the sophistication of the speaker system. These settings include the Studio Grand, the Concert Grand, and the Pop Piano. Each of the settings offers rich tonality and a depth that almost catches listeners off guard for a digital keyboard. On the side of electric piano settings, players have access to organs, harpsichords, a vibraphone, and strings. They top off the piano options with a few synth pads, a choir, and some conventional electric key sounds as well.

This piano keeps its caliber high by coming equipped with three pedals. The sustain pedal perfectly emulates the abilities that you would expect to have with any acoustic piano while the weight of all three is designed to exactly mirror the ones used in their EX Concert Grand, a very popular model. In all, this keyboard is equipped with a wealth of strengths for musicians who want to expand their playing at any level.

Casio PX860

Casio continues to be a strong producer of electronic pianos by building on their history of improving already outstanding products. Such is the case with the PX860 Digital Piano. This instrument takes the successes of the 850, one of their biggest sellers over recent years, and makes them even bigger and better sounding. While Casio did make some noticeable improvements in this latest model, they knew what elements to keep the same as well. Among these design successes is the cabinetry at work. The colors are the same, the internal sound system remains intact in all the important ways, and the open-sound projection lid is still keeping players excited.

The first major upgrade to strike the ears of players is the increased attention given to the reality of the sound. The acoustic realness of each note is miles above where it has been in the past for this model of Casio digital pianos. The acoustic sound is actually inspired by the same technology that they poured into the vastly-popular line of professional pianos going under the name PX5. The changes that were inspired by this digital technology were also used to increase the realistic quality of non-acoustic instruments that are included on board this keyboard. The instruments to receive digital upgrades include string instrumentation and various electric piano settings.

The control panel and various features have remain unchanged from the previous model as well. However, Casio has tweaked many of the vital effects that players rely on for the fullest possible sound. Leading the renewed sound is the change in the reverb settings. Players now have access to “Hall Simulation.” This reverb increases the apparent spaciousness that applies to the sound and the evident resonance of the music being played. It simulates a natural echo that one would expect to hear when playing in large cathedrals or orchestral settings. This new feature has the ability to give notes an increased strength when it comes to their raw, sonic presence.

Casio has also raised their offerings to players by expanding the included musical library. There are now 10 select classical and orchestral pieces included with the hardware to which players can add accompaniment. They are actual recordings of live performances that are stored as an audio wav. file. The piano is also outfitted with the ability to incorporate countless other pieces from online sources or other kinds of compatible Apps. For a piano of this quality, there are also some surprising features that grab players in terms of versatility and manipulation. It is equipped with multidimensional morphing AiR, key simulators, a transposer, and USB outputs. The musical possibilities for both practice and performance are also addressed through recording and playback capabilities for over 60 songs.

The advanced digital sound of this piano enables it to give you a big sound without having a proportionately large budget. The digital power is made possible thanks to the 256-note polyphony processing center. Additionally, the technology is extended to enhance the experience that users have with the keys and pedals. Despite the synthetic keyboard design, playing this instrument gives you a sensation that is incredibly close to putting your hands on the real ivory and ebony. The action is dynamic and easy to control. The scaled hammer action relies on tri-sensor technology in order to emulate the real acoustic thing. Players of all calibers can count on the ease of the user interface as well. There is no struggle when it comes to the barrier between the music you are capable of producing and the technology that is making it possible.

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