Yamaha P-121 vs P-125: Finding the Best Portable Yamaha Piano

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Learn the pros and cons of both pianos and which is the best pick in this Yamaha P-121 vs P-125 review.

The Yamaha “P” line is one of the most popular digital piano collections for beginners. The pianos are affordable but come with rich tones and various features that would make them great for any novice and beginner pianist.

And a common debate with this collection is the Yamaha P-121 vs Yamaha P-125 debate. These are some of the most affordable options in Yamaha’s portable digital piano collection. And while they have a similar feature set, I found that the Yamaha P-125 is the better option after many tests and a ton of research.

But even if I prefer the Yamaha P-125, the Yamaha P-121 still comes with certain pros that would make it the better pick for some pianists. And in this Yamaha P-121 vs P-125 comparison, I’ll go over the good and bad of both pianos.

That way, it will be much easier for you to figure out which piano is the best option for you!

Yamaha P-121 vs P-125: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
The Runner-Up (#2)
Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Action Compact Digital Piano, Black
Model
Yamaha P125
Yamaha P121
Number of Keys
88
73
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
GHS
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Touch Generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
Pure CF Sound Engine
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Reverb, Sound Boost, Intelligent Acoustic Control, Damper Resonance
Polyphony
192
192
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of Voices
24
24
Duo-Mode
Headphone Input
Recording
Yes, 2 tracks
Pedal included
What I like
Price
Price not available
$629.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
Model
Yamaha P125
Number of Keys
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Touch Generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Polyphony
192
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of Voices
24
Duo-Mode
Headphone Input
Recording
Yes, 2 tracks
Pedal included
What I like
Price
Price not available
More Infor
The Runner-Up (#2)
Image
Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Action Compact Digital Piano, Black
Model
Yamaha P121
Number of Keys
73
Hammer Action
GHS
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Touch Generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
Effects
Reverb, Sound Boost, Intelligent Acoustic Control, Damper Resonance
Polyphony
192
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of Voices
24
Duo-Mode
Headphone Input
Recording
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$629.99
More Infor

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha P-121 vs P-125: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Since these pianos come from the same brand and collection, I figured the best way to compare the two would be to put their features up against each other. And after testing the feel, tone, and piano features of both instruments, the Yamaha P-125 came out on top. The final score in this comparison was 3-1 in favor of the P-125.

I chose the P-125 as the winner because it had a better feel and came with a more versatile feature set. But let’s take a closer look at both pianos so you can figure out which one serves your needs the best.

Feel

The winner: P-125

The first feature I looked at with these two pianos was the feel. When buying a digital piano, it’s ideal to find one with a realistic feel close to that of an acoustic piano. The P-125 came out on top in this comparison because it has 88 keys, which means you have the full piano range when playing this instrument.

Besides the number of keys, both pianos have the same feeling due to the identical hammer action system. So, if you don’t mind the smaller range on the P-121, it could be a great option because the keys still have a realistic weight to them.

+Number of Keys

This is the only difference between the two pianos in terms of feel. The Yamaha P-125 is Yamaha’s most affordable full-key portable digital piano. So, you’ll find 88 keys on this piano, which is exactly the same number of keys you’ll find on any grand piano.

This gives you a full range of notes when playing the P-125. The P-125 is great for beginners and novice pianists as you have all the notes you’d expect from an acoustic piano. That way, you won’t have to worry about running out of keys when playing certain pieces.

The Yamaha P-121 only comes with 73 keys, which means you won’t have as full a range. This isn’t that big of a deal for beginners, as you won’t need all the notes when starting. However, there’s no doubt that the P-121’s range is limited.

Yamaha P-121: Layering Splitting
Yamaha P-121: Layering Splitting

+Hammer Action

Both of these pianos have the same hammer action system. I was happy to discover that they both have the Graded Hammer Standard or GHS system, that’s a staple of many Yamaha pianos. So, both of these pianos have a realistic weight to them and do a great job of emulating the weight of an acoustic piano’s keys.

This is because the GHS system accounts for the subtle weight differences you’ll find on an acoustic piano. Both the P-125 and the P-121 have slightly heavier keys on the lower end and lighter keys on the higher end, which is a great feature to have, especially considering that both of these pianos are fairly affordable.

+Key Texture

One letdown I had with both pianos was the key texture. Both of these Yamaha pianos use glossy plastic keys. This means that the keys feel a bit slippery, especially if you’re used to the texture on an acoustic piano.

It would have been great to see wooden or textured keys on these pianos. But considering their price, it’s easy to see why Yamaha decided to keep the keys glossy.

Tone

The winner: Tie

I found that these pianos have some of the richest and brightest piano tones in their price range. I was honestly surprised at the quality of the piano and other tones on these instruments. Since they use the same tone engine and have the exact same sound library, I couldn’t pick a winner in this category and decided to award the point to both pianos.

+Tone Generator

To start, both of these pianos use the Pure CF Sound Engine. This is not the newest Yamaha tone engine available, but it’s still one of their best. Even if both pianos rely on samples that you trigger whenever you press a key, the sound quality from the tone engines far exceeds their price range.

The reason the Pure CF Sound Engine produces such great tones is the quality of its samples. When recording the samples, Yamaha used the most advanced equipment to capture the true sound of the pianos. On top of that, Yamaha recorded sounds from their CF Grand Pianos, some of the industry’s most popular options.

So, if you want a piano that has high-quality voices, both the P-121 and the P-125 do the job.

+Sound Library

Digital pianos are known for a fairly limited sound library. That’s why I was happy to learn that both of these pianos have a sound library with 24 different voices. Aside from the various piano tones on the piano, you can try out the electric piano, bass, and strings voices. That way, you get a fair amount of variety in your tones.

Yamaha P125: Features
Yamaha P125: Features

Piano Features

The winner: Yamaha P-125

The last comparison point I had for these two pianos was the piano features. And again, the Yamaha P-125 came out on top. This is because the P-125 comes with more playing modes than the P-121, making it the more versatile option.

+Playing Modes

When you use these pianos, you’ll find that they both have split and duo modes. This is a really cool feature, as it allows you to use the pianos in various ways. For example, you can use split mode to divide the piano into two zones that each has its own voice. So, you can load a bass voice on the left hand and an organ voice on the right hand, which makes it much easier to play the accompaniment for a vocalist or fill up sonic space in a band.

With duo mode, you can easily do piano lessons or play duets. This is because the mode divides the piano into two separate mini pianos with the same voice and timbre. That way, you and another pianist can play together without worrying about playing the wrong notes.

That said, since the Yamaha P-121 has fewer keys, split and duo modes don’t work as well. On top of that, the P-121 lacks one very important mode, which you can find on the P-125: dual or layering mode.

This mode allows you to blend two voices together. This means you can experiment with various combinations until you find the one that suits your playing style and tastes. So, the Yamaha P-125 is by far the more versatile option between the two and would be a better pick for pianists who play a lot and enjoy experimenting.

Yamaha P125 vs P-121: The Similarities

It should come as no surprise that these pianos share many similarities. You can see that P-125 as the exact same piano as the P-121, except with more keys. This is because the P-121 is the entry-level model in the portable line, while the P-125 is one step above the P-121 in the hierarchy.

So, you can expect the same tones, feel, and even effects on both pianos. In fact, both pianos have the same maximum polyphony of 192. That means you won’t have trouble playing wide and spread-out chords, even if you’re blending multiple voices together.

Note that the 192-note maximum polyphony means a bit more on the P-121 because it has fewer keys. However, this doesn’t really make a difference in the piano’s performance.

If you’re on a tight-budget and don’t mind a limited range of notes, then the Yamaha P-121 is a great option. It has some of the best sounds in its price range, offers a realistic feel, and comes with a fair amount of piano features.

But if you want the full piano range when practicing or performing, the P-121 won’t be a good option. Instead, you might be better off taking a step up and getting the P-125. Even if it’s more expensive, it offers a lot of value for the money and is by-far one of my favorite picks in this price range.

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P-121

Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Action Compact Digital Piano, Black
  • A lighter and more portable version of the Yamaha P125
  • A fully weighted digital piano with 73 full-sized piano-style keys
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • The pure CF sound engine faithfully reproduces the tone of the acclaimed Yamaha 9' CFIIIS Concert Grand piano
  • USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need one Cable to connect to your music-making software

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a decent set of piano features
  • Top-quality Yamaha tones
  • Realistic weight and piano feel
  • Very portable
Cons
  • Only has 73 keys
  • The key texture could be better

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P-125

Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
  • Includes P125B digital piano, L125B furniture stand, BB1 wooden bench
  • A fully weighted digital piano with 88 full sized piano style keys
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • The pure CF sound engine faithfully reproduces the tone of the acclaimed Yamaha 9' CFIIIS Concert Grand piano
  • USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need 1 Cable to connect to your music making software

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Top-quality piano voices
  • Realistic piano feel
  • Has a full set of keys
  • Comes with great effects
  • Various playing modes
Cons
  • More expensive than the P-121
  • Key texture could be better

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