Let’s take a look at the Yamaha P-45, a beginner’s style digital piano complete with a fully weighted keyboard, a sleek and compact design, and 10 built-in instrument sounds. We’re giving you our complete Yamaha P-45 review based on our personal experience with this keyboard and our thoughtful research.
When Casio came out with their Privia line, their budget-friendly and massively successful pianos, Yamaha responded with their “P,” or portable, line which was aimed at competing with Casio’s version.
The P-45 model is the most affordable option in the line, making it easily accessible by those who are looking to purchase a digital piano without breaking the bank.
Since its release, this piano has become widely popular among both beginner pianists as well as intermediate level players. This model is well-loved for its simplicity as well and low price point. And of course, the quality that’s synonymous with the Yamaha instrument brand.
Get ready to take an in-depth look at this digital piano so that you can decide if this model is the right choice for you.
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Case for 88-Key P-Series
Design of the Yamaha P45 Digital Piano
It’s important to note that the P-45 replaced the previous model, the P35, and includes some exciting new changes. The P-45 model has an increased amount of polyphony, a USB terminal, and improved piano samples. Although, you may not notice these changes when the two models are compared side to side because they look completely identical.
The Yamaha P-45 is an 88-key hammer action piano that features built-in speakers. It’s compact and lightweight which makes it perfect for small spaces and easy transportation.
In fact, the portability of this piano is one of our favorite features. It’s so easy to fit into small spaces and you can even stow it away when you aren’t using it. The only color choice for this model is black.
The measurements of the P-45 are as follows:
- 52.2 inches wide
- 11.6 inches deep
- 6 inches high
- 25 pounds
Thanks to the compact size and lightweight nature of this piano, it’s an awesome choice for musicians who are often on the go or even just for those who appreciate being able to move their piano around with ease. But keep in mind that although this is certainly a compact keyboard, it’s still a full-size, 88-key instrument.
Also, important to note: this piano does not come with an included stand. The lack of an attached stand is great if you have a surface in your home that you plan to put your piano on. Or, you can also easily grab a compatible X-type stand and set it up however you wish. We love how versatile this model is.
How Do the Buttons Work?
Next up, let’s talk about the functionality of this instrument. The control panel is simple and straightforward—just the way we like it. There are just two function buttons and volume control, that’s it.
The power button is what you’ll use to turn the power on and off. The function button is where you’ll choose from either grand piano sound of any one of the other sounds and features that are specific to the P-45.
To utilize one of the other included sound choices, all you need to do is press the function button and one of the labeled piano keys (labels are found above) at the same time to select the sound of your choice. You can repeat the same actions to adjust the touch-sensitivity, the metronome tempo, and more. Navigating the features is pretty simple and straightforward and is very similar to the functionality of other entry-level digital pianos.
Exploration of the Keyboard
As we mentioned, the P-45 includes a fully weighted, 88-key keyboard. Yamaha calls this keyboard a Graded Hammer Standard and it Yamaha’s most affordable hammer action. You can compare the feel and action of the keys on the P-45 to that of an acoustic piano.
There are actual little hammers inside the keyboard, as opposed to springs, that replicates the feel of the hammers that are inside of an acoustic instrument.
P-45’s keyboard is touch-sensitive, meaning that the volume changes based on how hard or how soft you hit the keys. This helps to reproduce the dynamic range that you’ll experience with a grand piano. And, you can adjust the level of touch-sensitivity based on your plating style. There are four options to choose from:
- Medium (default)
When you select the “fixed” option, the keyboard will disable the sensitivity to touch, which means that it will produce the same amount of volume regardless of how soft or hard you hit the keys. Alternatively, the “hard” setting will provide you with the most dynamic range. In this mode, you’ll have to strike the keys relatively hard to produce a loud sound.
We love that the keys on the P-45 have a matte finish. This helps to prevent finger-slippage should your fingers become moist while playing. That said, there are some other models that have moisture-absorbing keytops that really work to eliminate moisture. But it honestly shouldn’t be a problem and is likely not worth the massive price jump.
It’s also worth noting that Yamaha’s GHS (geared hammer actions) are slightly less noisy when compared to their Casio counterpart with the Tri-sensor hammer action. So, if less noise is important to you, the Yamaha definitely takes the cake in that category.
But, How’s The Sound?
Isn’t this the most important question when reviewing an electronic piano? Obviously, you’ll want to consider all the parts of the Yamaha P45 review, but the sound is certainly an important one.
Yamaha uses its AWM (advanced wave memory) dynamic sampling to perfectly capture the sound of an acoustic instrument and create high-quality sounds. The sound that you’ll hear radiating from a P45 is true stereo sounds that were recorded from a full concert grand piano, performed at different dynamic levels.
Since this piano features only a basic set of sounds, it’s probably not the best option for players who require a variety of sounds and effects to create their desired music. Rather, this is piano sticks to the basics—which is what most of us are looking for, anyway.
That said, there are four different reverb types available on the P45: Room, Hall 1, Hall 2, and stage. You can use these setting to make your sound deeper and more expressive. This is called the reverberation effect. Additionally, you can adjust the depth of the effect on a scale of 0 which is no effect, to 10 which is the maximum depth.
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What About The Speakers?
The Yamaha P45 features speakers that are perfect for practicing in a small room or performing in front of a small group, but nothing more. If you plan to play your P45 along with other instruments for a live performance or something of that nature, then you’d definitely want to add in an external amplifier.
As far as the size, this model features 2 x 12 cm built-in speakers, which is pretty standard for this size of electric piano. The sound quality is good considering the size of the piano. We love that the sound is crystal clear and even when the volume was turned up to the max, the sound didn’t distort.
If you prefer to play with headphones, the sound is awesome when you plug in a high-quality pair. In fact, the sound actually gets clearer and more detailed with the addition of headphones.
Let’s Talk Features
This piano has all the basic features you’d expect with a beginner instrument, with a few more that give it an edge on some of its competitors.
There are two different modes:
1. Dual Mode: This mode allows you to layer two different instrument sounds so that they play across the entire keyboard range at the same time. For example, you could layer strings with the piano if you should feel so inclined. You can mix and match however you like to get some interesting sound combinations.
2. Duo Mode: This mode allows you to split the keyboard into two sections that have the exact same pitch ranges. This mode is a favorite of piano teachers because they can sit right next to their student and play tunes while their student follows along on the other half of the keyboard.
Some electric pianos also feature a split mode which allows you to split the keyboard and play two different sounds, however, this is not available on the P45.
The P45 does not have a built-in audio recorder which would enable you to record and playback your performances. That said, you can use a USB MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) connection along with music recording software to capture your performance.
Transpose and Fine Tuning
You never need to tune a digital piano because they automatically come tuned out at the standard A440 pitch. You can, however, the fine-tuning function allows you to raise or lower the pitch of the keyboard in 0.2 Hz increments in order to match the pitch to another instrument or even a singer.
The transpose function allows you to change the pitch of the keyboard in semitone steps. This means that you can shift the pitch and play a song in a different key without ever changing your hand position. This feature comes in handy when you want to play a song in a difficult key; all you need to do is shift the pitch of the keyboard and then play the song in an easier key.
This piano is equipped with everything you need to connect it to all your favorite external devices like your headphones, external amplifiers, sustain pedals, and more. You’ll find all the connectors on the back of the instrument for easy access.
USB to Host Port
The biggest change in the P45 model over the previous model, the P35, is that instead of Midi In/Out Ports, the P45 has a USB to Host Port—this is a fantastic upgrade in our opinion because it adds a whole new level of convenience.
The USB to host port allows you to transmit your MIDI data to external devices like your computer. All you need to do is have an extra USB cable lying around or pick one up for cheap on Amazon.
Once your piano is successfully hooked up to your computer, you can then use the keyboard as the MIDI controller which allows you to take advantage of the various different music software that is available for use. What this really does is make your piano much more versatile—there are a ton of extra things you do with your computer that you wouldn’t be able to accomplish with your piano alone.
Some of us like to practice in private, which is A-OK because you get a more detailed and accurate sound. If this sounds like you, the P45 has an included stereo jack where you can easily plug in a pair of headphones and get jamming.
You can also use the headphone jack as a way to connect your P-45 to external speakers, amplifiers, and more. The port is located on the back of the piano, which is slightly inconvenient, but not a deal-breaker.
Time to Accessorize
Here’s what the Yamaha P45 comes standard with:
- AC Power Adapter
- Music Rest
- Sustain Footswitch
- Owner’s manual
In addition to these things, you may also want to consider the following extra accessories to make your piano exactly what you want it to be.
Your P45 doesn’t come with a stand, so unless you already have a place in mind in your home where you’d like to put your piano, buying a stand may be a good idea. The good news is that there are two different options to consider for the P-45.
1. A portable X-stand. You can buy one of these directly from Yamaha on Amazon, which ensures that you’ll get the right fit. In fact, this package deal includes a great X-stand along with the piano. You can also find other options on their own if you already have your P45. For instance, this piano stand for Xfinity is a very popular option that’s both durable and affordable.2. A stationary stand. The other option, if you don’t plan to move your piano around a lot, is to buy a stationary style stand. We recommend this stand from Yamaha if that’s the route you want to take.
Speaking of moving your piano around and taking it on the go, if that’s what you plan to do with yours, a case is a must to protect your keyboard. Yamaha offers its P-series case which is we highly recommend as far as cases go.
As we mentioned earlier, headphones can really come in handy when you want to practice privately or experience the best possible sound. A good pair of headphones can help you achieve this. These are our favorite headphones for Yamaha P45.
Headphones come in very handy when you want to practice in private, focusing solely on your playing and not disturbing others nearby.
Ok, let’s get down to the brass tacks: is the P-45 really worth the money? We say yes!
First of all, the price is very affordable when compared with other similar keyboards. And you aren’t getting a bottom of the line piano, you’re getting a very quality instrument with a realistic piano sound and a full-size, 88-key hammer-action keyboard.
We love this piano for beginners as it helps to build proper finger strength and technique which is needed should you want to move on to play an acoustic piano in the future. So, if you’re a beginner who’s on a budget and enjoys portability, this piano is a fantastic option.