Yamaha P125 vs YDP S34 Comparison: Does the Portable P125 Hold Up Against a Console Digital Piano?

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Find out which piano is worth your money in this Yamaha P125 vs YDP S34 comparison.

There’s no doubt that Yamaha is one of the most popular digital piano brands today. And two models that make for a great comparison are the P-125 and the YDP-S34.

These pianos are in the same price range and come from the same brand but they couldn’t be more different. That said, which one is the better investment for pianists?

Well, after a bunch of tests and research, I found that the YDP-S34 offers a bit more value for the money. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but it comes with top-tier tones, a realistic feel, and a versatile set of piano features.

While I really liked the versatility of the P-125, the YDP-S34 came out as the more premium piano. So, if you’re looking for a piano that offers the most value for the money, I would recommend the YDP-S34.

That said, the P-125 still comes with a bunch of great features that any pianist would love.

And if you’re looking for the full details of why I prefer the YDP-S34, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll be comparing both of these pianos in this Yamaha P-125 vs YDP-S34 head-to-head matchup, so you’ll learn the pros and cons of both pianos.

That way, you can easily find the best fit for your needs.

Yamaha P125 vs YDP S34: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Yamaha YDP-S34 Arius Series Slim Digital Console Piano, Black Walnut
The Runner-Up (#2)
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
Model
Yamaha YDP S34
Yamaha P125
Product Type
Console Digital Piano
Portable Digital Piano
Number of Keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Yamaha GHS (Graded Hammer Standard)
GHS Weighted Action
Tone Generation
Yamaha CFX
Pure CF Sound
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Stereophonic Optimizer
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Polyphony
192
192
Number of Voices
10
24
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Duo-Mode
Audio Recording
Headphone input
MIDI
Pedal included
Speakers
Two 8W Speakers
2 x 4.7" woofer, 2 x 1.5" tweeter
What I like
Price
$1,499.00
Price not available
The Winner (#1)
Image
Yamaha YDP-S34 Arius Series Slim Digital Console Piano, Black Walnut
Model
Yamaha YDP S34
Product Type
Console Digital Piano
Number of Keys
88
Hammer Action
Yamaha GHS (Graded Hammer Standard)
Tone Generation
Yamaha CFX
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Stereophonic Optimizer
Polyphony
192
Number of Voices
10
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Duo-Mode
Audio Recording
Headphone input
MIDI
Pedal included
Speakers
Two 8W Speakers
What I like
Price
$1,499.00
More info
The Runner-Up (#2)
Image
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
Model
Yamaha P125
Product Type
Portable Digital Piano
Number of Keys
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Tone Generation
Pure CF Sound
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Polyphony
192
Number of Voices
24
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Duo-Mode
Audio Recording
Headphone input
MIDI
Pedal included
Speakers
2 x 4.7" woofer, 2 x 1.5" tweeter
What I like
Price
Price not available
More info

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

Yamaha P125 vs YDP S34: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Comparing two digital pianos is no easy task. But since these two pianos are so different from each other, I had a lot of fun comparing the different features to find out the better option. And after all the tests, the Yamaha YDP-S34 came out on top with a score of 3-2.

So, even if the YDP-S34 eventually won this comparison, it was a close fight. Keep reading to learn more details about why the Yamaha YDP-S34 is the better option compared to the Yamaha P-125.

Feel & Playability

The winner: Yamaha YDP S34

One of the most important features I consider when buying a digital piano is the feel. A good digital piano is one that can perfectly replicate the feel of a real acoustic piano. And between these two models, I found that the YDP-S34 does a better job.

Even if they use the same hammer action system, the YDP-S34 comes with matted keytops, which gives it a slight edge over the Yamaha P-125.

+Hammer Action

Let’s start by talking about the hammer action. Luckily, both of these pianos use the Graded Hammer Standard or GHS system from Yamaha. This is one of the best hammer action systems in this price range as it almost perfectly replicates the subtle weight differences in an acoustic piano’s keys.

Regardless of which of these pianos you choose, you can expect realistic hammer action. Both pianos have heavier keys on the lower end and lighter keys on the higher end. This is how acoustic pianos are set up as well and the reason both pianos are great options for anyone that needs a realistic weight when playing.

When trying out the pianos myself, I could barely tell the difference in terms of weight. However, since the Yamaha YDP-S34 had matted keytops, it admittedly felts more realistic than the P-125.

Yamaha YDP S34 supports the smart pianist app
Yamaha YDP S34 supports the smart pianist app

+Key Texture

This is the main reason I ended up going for the YDP-S34 over the P-125. The one complaint I had with the P-125 was the key texture. Since this piano uses glossy plastic keys, I could instantly tell that I wasn’t playing a real acoustic piano. This is the main reason I ended up going for the YDP-S34 over the P-125. The one complaint I had with the P-125 was the key texture. Since this piano uses glossy plastic keys, I could instantly tell that I wasn’t playing a real acoustic piano.

If you’re a beginner, this won’t be that big of a deal. However, once you have experience playing on different pianos, you’ll notice the weird texture of the glossy keys. So, the P-125 doesn’t offer as realistic a feel as I would like.

On the flip side, the YDP-S34 comes with textured keys. While they are made of plastic, Yamaha added a coating on top of the keys to better replicate the texture of real wooden keys. And when you play the YDP-S34, you’ll find that it’s much closer to the feel of an acoustic piano compared to the P-125.

So, when it came down to the feel and playability of the pianos, I found that the YDP-S34 did a much better job.

Tone

The winner: Tie

Another crucial factor to consider when shopping for a digital piano is the tone. You always want a piano that produces a high-quality realistic tone. And when I tested out these pianos, I learned that the YDP-S34 has a slightly more realistic piano tone.

However, the YDP-S34 also has a limited sound library. The P-125, however, had a much wider sound library that gave me more options when it came to the sounds I could play. So, by the end of it, I figured that these two pianos were tied in terms of tone, so they both came out with a point.

+Tone Generation

The tone generator on the Yamaha P-125 isn’t as good as the one on the YDP-S34. The YDP-S34 uses the more modern Yamaha tone engine, which is why the piano tones are much brighter and richer on the YDP-S34.

The P-125 uses the Pure CF Sound Engine. This tone engine uses high-quality samples recorded from real Yamaha CF pianos. So, you can expect this piano to replicate the rich tones of certain Yamaha Grand Pianos.

The YDP-S34 uses a similar tone engine, but it uses a newer version. The CFX Sound Engine on the YDP-S34 also uses samples from Yamaha CF grand pianos, but the technology and techniques used to record the samples are more advanced.

That way, the sounds from the YDP-S34 sound way closer to a real grand piano compared to the P-125. Again, you won’t really be able to tell the difference if you aren’t an experienced pianist, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the YDP-S34 comes with much richer tones than the P-125.

+Sound Library

While the Yamaha YDP-S34 wins when it comes to sound quality, the P-125 wins when it comes to sound variety. The P-125 comes with 24 different voices, which gives you a lot of versatility and makes this the more flexible option overall.

The 24 voices include various acoustic and electric piano sounds, along with various strings, bass, and synth voices. That way, you can find the right voice to use for any song or style of music.

The YDP-S34, on the other hand, only has 10 voices. This is because this piano is designed for home use and isn’t supposed to be as flexible as the P-125. So, even if the voices on the YDP-S34 are top-quality, they are also limited.

And at the end of this tone comparison, no piano came out on top. That’s why they both received a point when I decided to make a tone comparison.

The Yamaha YDP S34 Digital Piano is designed to fit into your life
The Yamaha YDP S34 Digital Piano is designed to fit into your life

Piano Features

The winner: Tie

To wrap up this comparison, I decided to compare the extra piano features of both pianos. Specifically, I decided to look at the effects and playing modes. And even if the P-125 comes with more playing modes, the YDP-S34 has more useful effects, so they were tied in this category.

+Playing Modes

The Yamaha P-125 comes with split, dual, and duo modes. These are very useful playing modes and make for a very versatile instrument.

With split mode, you can divide the piano into two sections, with each section having its own voice. This is great for live settings as you can put one voice on the left side and another on the right side, giving the illusion that you’re playing two instruments.

Dual mode blends two different voices. This allows you to experiment with different combinations and create unique tones that fit your needs and preferences.

Lastly, the duo mode is great for piano lessons. This mode splits the keyboard into two smaller pianos that have the same pitch and timbre. That way, the teacher and student can play along with each other without worrying about pitch differences.

The Yamaha YDP-S34, on the other hand, only has two of these playing modes. While it has dual and duo modes, it doesn’t come with split mode. So, while you get a couple of different playing modes to experiment with, your options are a bit limited on the YDP-S34.

+Effects

When it comes to effects. Both pianos come with very useful and versatile effects sets. The P-125 comes with reverb, damper resonance, sound boost, and IAC. These are all great as they give you full control over your tone and allow you to make subtle tweaks to make the piano sound exactly how you want.

The YDP-S34 comes with all of those effects except a sound boost. Instead of a sound boost, it comes with stereophonic optimization, which does wonders to sound quality. Personally, I found the effects on the YDP-S34 to be more useful as it gave me more control over the nuance of the piano tones.

However, there are also many pianists who might find the P-125’s effects more useful as it’s all a matter of preference.

Yamaha P125 sound is so close to a real acoustic piano
Yamaha P125 sound is so close to a real acoustic piano

Yamaha P125 vs Yamaha YDP S34: The Similarities

As I said at the start of this comparison, these are very different pianos. Aside from the fact that they are made by the same brand, these pianos have very different features. They have their own tone engines, sound libraries, and even effects sets. So, comparing the two was a very fun experience.

That said, there are still some similarities worth noting.

The biggest of these similarities is the polyphony. Both of these pianos have 192-note maximum polyphony which allows you to play wide and dense chords with absolute clarity. This also comes in handy when using the dual or duo modes as it gives the piano more power to clearly play all those samples at the same time.

But that’s where the similarities end. If you’re looking for a versatile piano to bring around with you, the P-125 might be the better option. But if you want top-tier piano tones, a great set of effects, and a realistic feel, the Yamaha YDP-S34 is the better option.

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P125

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
  • Has 24 voices to choose from
  • High-quality piano sounds
  • Realistic hammer action
  • Very versatile
  • Portable and easy to bring around
Cons
  • The keys have a plastic feel
  • Piano voices aren’t as high-quality as the YDP S34

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha YDP S34

Yamaha YDP-S34 Arius Series Slim Digital Console Piano, Black Walnut
  • The Arius YDP-S34 digital piano helps you express that creativity through a stylish, compact design that brings elegance to any room
  • Features the sound of the flagship Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, and renowned GHS keyboard action, bringing the most important elements of a piano together - touch and tone
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • String Resonance recreates the sympathetic sounds of other strings resonating, just like the behavior of acoustic pianos.
  • Acoustic Optimizer physically adjusts the acoustic flow by using a special design and position within the instrument to control resonance and enrich the overall sound.

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

Pros
  • Very high-quality piano tones
  • Great set of effects
  • Realistic hammer action and key texture
  • Great value for the money
  • Ideal for serious piano students
Cons
  • Limited sound library

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