Yamaha DGX-505 vs 660: Why the DGX-660 Is the Better Pick

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The Yamaha DGX-660 is miles ahead of its predecessors. Find out why it’s one of the best digital pianos on the market in this Yamaha DGX-505 vs 660 comparison.

Upon its release, the Yamaha DGX-505 was considered one of the best digital pianos available. However, a lot of time has passed since then, and Yamaha has released a range of highly functional modern keyboards that may offer some more value for the money.

A great example of this is the DGX-660. While it’s part of the same product line, the DGX-660 is very different from the DGX-505. It comes with better tones, feels more like an acoustic piano, and is arguably one of the top digital pianos on the market today.

But what exactly did Yamaha add to the DGX-660?

Well, the brand added tons of features to this model. And in this Yamaha DGX-505 vs DGX-660 comparison, I’ll explain all of the new features you’ll find on the DGX-660 and what makes it one of the best digital pianos for the money today.

And by the end of the article, you’ll know exactly which digital piano to buy to satisfy your needs.

Yamaha DGX-505 vs 660: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
The Runner Up (#2)
Yamaha DGX505-AD DGX505 88-key Electronic Piano Keyboard
Model
Yamaha DGX-660
Yamaha DGX-505
Product line
DGX
DGX
Product type
Portable Grand Piano
Portable Grand Piano
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer action
GHS
Graded Soft Touch
Split mode
Polyphony
192
32
Effects
Reverb, Chorus, DSP
Reverb, Chorus
Duo mode
Pedal
Number of voices
151 + 15 Drum/SFX Kits + 388 XGlite
494 XGlite/GM voices: 5 Sweet!, 3 Live! & 4 Cool
Auto recording
Tone generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
AWM Stereo Sampling
What I like
Price
$999.99
Price not available
The Winner (#1)
Image
YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
Model
Yamaha DGX-660
Product line
DGX
Product type
Portable Grand Piano
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
GHS
Split mode
Polyphony
192
Effects
Reverb, Chorus, DSP
Duo mode
Pedal
Number of voices
151 + 15 Drum/SFX Kits + 388 XGlite
Auto recording
Tone generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
What I like
Price
$999.99
More infor
The Runner Up (#2)
Image
Yamaha DGX505-AD DGX505 88-key Electronic Piano Keyboard
Model
Yamaha DGX-505
Product line
DGX
Product type
Portable Grand Piano
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
Graded Soft Touch
Split mode
Polyphony
32
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Duo mode
Pedal
Number of voices
494 XGlite/GM voices: 5 Sweet!, 3 Live! & 4 Cool
Auto recording
Tone generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
What I like
Price
Price not available
More infor

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha DGX-505 vs 660: A Head-to-Head Comparison

While the DGX-660 and DGX-505 are very different from each other, I chose to look at three qualities to really illustrate how much better the DGX-660 is. I compared these pianos based on their tone, feel, and polyphony, which is some of the most important characteristics of any digital piano.

And after rigorous testing, the DGX-660 won every category with a final score of 3-0. Below, I’ll get into the details of both pianos so you can see how much better the DGX-660 is compared to the DGX-505.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

The very first feature I considered was the tone. Before you judge the feel and other qualities of a digital piano, you have to hear how they sound. And when I put these two pianos up against each other, the DGX-505 had no chance. The Yamaha DGX-660 not only has a better tone engine, but it has a superior sound library, so it won the point for the tone comparison.

The Yamaha DGX-660 offers a wider range of tones
The Yamaha DGX-660 offers a wider range of tones

+Tone Generation

The Yamaha DGX-505 uses AWM Stereo Sampling. Back then, this was considered one of the top tone engines available. This is because this tone engine actually plays two samples whenever you press a key. These stereo samples recorded from real instruments added more detail and character to the notes.

So, when compared to other sample-based tone generators of the time, the Yamaha DGX-505 was a great pick. This piano used to give you some of the most realistic and detailed piano tones you’d find on a digital piano.

But again, Yamaha has developed many great tone engines that exceed the AWM Stereo Sampling method.

For example, the DGX-660 uses the Pure CF Sound Engine. This tone generator gets its sound from recordings of Yamaha CF Grand Pianos. The brand used the best recording equipment available to record these samples, which is why the DGX-660 has incredible detail that you won’t find in most pianos.

The Pure CF Sound Engine isn’t Yamaha’s newest engine. However, it’s still one of the best options available today. This tone engine produces very rich, realistic, and bright tones that are almost identical to the sound of an acoustic CF Grand Piano.

This is why I would highly recommend investing in the DGX-660 for its tones, even if it’s the more expensive pick.

+Sound Library

Yamaha DGX-505 has around 400 different voices
Yamaha DGX-505 has around 400 different voices

Another benefit of buying the more expensive and newer DGX-660 is a better sound library. This model comes with over 550 great sounds that you can use in your playing. This allows you to play just about any genre of music you want and fit into any band.

On top of that, you can rely on this piano to produce great piano tones. It has a wide selection of piano tones derived from Yamaha CF Grand Pianos. This is a huge plus as you’ll be able to play piano pieces as if you had an acoustic instrument in your hands.

That said, many of the voices on the DGX-660 don’t come from the Pure CF Sound Engine. Most of the non-piano sounds on this instrument come from the XGLite Sound Pack, which contains cool sounds, but some of them aren’t realistic.

On the flip side, the DGX-505 only has around 400 different voices. Sadly, these voices come from the XGLite pack, so you don’t get the same realistic piano tones. That said, you still get a fair amount of variety which is very important for most pianists.

Feel

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

The next quality I considered was the feel. I tried out both of these pianos and tried to gauge which one felt closest to a real acoustic piano. The DGX-505 doesn’t have weighted keys, while the DGX-660 has graded hammer action keys, so the latter was the clear winner in this category. Again, since the DGX-660 is closer to the high-end models in the DGX line, this didn’t come as much of a surprise. 

+Hammer Action

Yamaha DGX-660 features a unique coating on the black keys
Yamaha DGX-660 features a unique coating on the black keys

The Yamaha DGX-505 features Graded Soft Touch. If you aren’t getting a piano with fully-weighted keys, this is a cool alternative. This hammer action is great for beginners as the bass keys are heavier than the treble keys, but they aren’t as heavy as an acoustic piano. While this takes away some realism, it makes the piano a bit easier to play, which is great for when you’re just learning the basics.

That said, the more advanced you get, the more you’ll look for fully-weighted keys. So, if you want an instrument that can serve your needs for longer, the DGX-505 may not be the best option.

The DGX–660, on the other hand, uses the Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS). This type of hammer action is considered one of the best ones on the market as it gives the full weight of the piano while also capturing the subtle weight differences in an acoustic piano’s keys.

This makes the piano feel very realistic and comfortable if you’re used to an acoustic piano. And while you don’t get the spring-back of premium hammer action systems, it’s a great balance between affordable and realistic.

On top of that, the Yamaha DGX-660 features a unique coating on the black keys. This gives a slight textural difference between each key that feels much closer to a real acoustic piano. So, when it comes to a realistic feel, the Yamaha DGX-660 is the clear winner.

Polyphony

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

The last feature I compared was the polyphony. The Yamaha DGX-505 is a beginner’s piano at this point, so don’t expect the best polyphony. In fact, this piano only has 32-note polyphony, which is only good enough for basic piano pieces. While you can play dense chords and stack notes on top of each other, the notes won’t ring out as long or be as crisp because of the limited polyphony.

The DGX-660 is designed for heavy and professional use, which is why it has 192-note polyphony. With this setup, you can play just about any piece you want and have the notes ring out for a very long time. This allows you more flexibility and versatility in your playing, which is why I highly recommend the DGX-660 over the DGX-505.

Yamaha DGX-505 is a beginner’s piano
Yamaha DGX-505 is a beginner’s piano

Yamaha DGX-505 vs 660: The Similarities

While the pianos have a lot of differences, they also share a few similarities. For example, they are both portable pianos that you can bring with your anywhere. So, if you have a gig, piano lessons, or a jam session with friends, you can load this piano into a gig bag and easily transport it.

Another feature these pianos share is the built-in reverb and chorus effects. These effects aren’t exactly the best ones you’ll find, but they do allow you to shape your tone a bit more. If you want to have full control over how your piano sounds, this is a very important feature.

That said, even with these similarities, the DGX-660 is still miles ahead of the DGX-505. So, if you’re looking to buy the best digital piano on the market, the DGX-660 will serve you much better.

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha DGX-505

Yamaha DGX505-AD DGX505 88-key Electronic Piano Keyboard
  • Notation display - USB connectivity - Large Wave ROM - Backlit LCD - Card slot

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • Wide sound library
  • Graded Soft Touch
  • Portable
Cons
  • Relatively Only has 32-note polyphony
  • Not the best hammer action system

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha DGX-660

YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled and highly acclaimed Yamaha concert grand piano
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low register and lighter in the high, just like an acoustic piano
  • Score display puts music notation of MIDI songs on the screen, helping you play your favorites by following the bouncing ball
  • The Piano room lets you choose from a variety of pianos and acoustic settings to create your own personal piano environment
  • The 6 track recorder allows you to capture your performances and song ideas, then add additional layers to spice up your pieces

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • A modern and flexible piano
  • Great hammer action system
  • Comes with 550 different voices
  • 192-note polyphony
  • Great piano tones
Cons
  • Relatively pricey

Product Video

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