Yamaha P45 vs P125: Why the Yamaha P125 Is the Better Pick for Pianists

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Yamaha is one of the most well-known instrument brands out there, that’s why I was very happy to make a Yamaha P45 vs P125 comparison where I test out all the features of these two instruments. And after much consideration, I found that the Yamaha P125 is the better option.

On the Yamaha P125, you get more voices, a better tone, effects, and extra features that make for a very versatile piano. This is a great piano for beginners that they’ll use well into their journey into music, since it has more than enough features to satisfy novice pianists.

The Yamaha P45, on the other hand, is a great beginner piano you can get on a budget. While it doesn’t offer as much versatility as the P125, it has fully-weighted keys, a couple of premium piano voices, and a couple of effects you can use to personalize your tone.

Yamaha P45 vs P125: 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 P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
Model
Yamaha P125
Yamaha P45
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
AMW Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Reverb (4 different types)
Polyphony
192
64
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
24
10
Recording
Yes, 2-track
No
Headphone input
Preset Songs
21 Demo Songs, 50 Piano Songs
10 Demo Songs, 10 Piano Songs
MIDI
No
Yes (USB)
Speakers
Two 7W Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$879.99
$549.99
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
Tone Generation
Pure CF Sound Engine
Effects
Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, Sound Boost
Polyphony
192
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
24
Recording
Yes, 2-track
Headphone input
Preset Songs
21 Demo Songs, 50 Piano Songs
MIDI
No
Speakers
Two 7W Speakers
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$879.99
More info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
Model
Yamaha P45
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
AMW Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb (4 different types)
Polyphony
64
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Recording
No
Headphone input
Preset Songs
10 Demo Songs, 10 Piano Songs
MIDI
Yes (USB)
Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$549.99
More info

Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Yamaha P45 vs P125: Differences

Since the Yamaha P125 is the better piano, I found that it beat out the P45 by 3-2 when comparing their differences. While the Yamaha P125 is the more expensive option, it does come with more premium features such as sophisticated tone generation, more voices, presets, and a bunch of other things that justify the steeper price tag.

Feel

The winner: Tie

This is arguably the only area where the Yamaha P45 and P125 are tied. Since they have the same type of hammer action and key texture, they both simulate the feel of an acoustic piano. With that said, both models leave a lot to be desired when it comes to this feature.

Hammer Action

Both of the pianos have GHS
Both of the pianos have GHS

Both of the pianos have GHS, which stands for Graded Hammer Standard. This is a signature feature of many Yamaha keyboards that’s designed to better simulate the hammer action of acoustic pianos. These keyboards both have fully-weighted keys that are heavier towards the left side and lighter towards the right side. This is similar to how acoustic pianos are set up, so if you’re looking for a similar hammer action to acoustic pianos, this is about as close as you can get.

This is a great feature for piano students and pianists alike as it teaches you how to get used to the feel of heavier hammer action, which will make it easier to transition to acoustic pianos. On top of that, as you get better at the instrument, you might find that fully-weighted keys even help you play better!

Key Texture

When it comes to key texture, both of these options are fairly lackluster. While the Yamaha P45 and P125 did a great job with hammer action, their keys have a very plastic-like feel and shine to them. This means that the texture is fairly different from real acoustic pianos. And while this isn’t a glaring flaw, the more you play an acoustic piano, the more  you’ll feel the difference with these plastic keys.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha P125

The Yamaha P125 was the clear winner in this regard. It offers better tone generation, a wider sound library, and more robust effects that give pianists more control over their tone.

Tone Generation

ound Engine
The Yamaha P125 is equipped with the Pure CF Sound Engine

The Yamaha P125 is equipped with the Pure CF Sound Engine while the P45 uses AWM stereo sampling. Both of these tone generation techniques are variations on the standard sampling method. However, after hearing both of the pianos, you’ll find that these variations make a huge difference when it comes to tone.

Let’s start with the P45. AWM stereo sampling captures the full sound of some of Yamaha’s best pianos. When recording the samples, they made sure to capture the natural decay of the piano instead of using artificial decay to preserve memory. This makes for a much more accurate piano tone that’s hard to match in its price range.

While AWM stereo sampling is great, it simply doesn’t compare to the Pure CF Sound Engine. The Pure CF Sound Engine consists of samples recorded from real Yamaha CFIIIS Concert Grand Piano. After listening to the piano tones of both instruments, I found that the P125 reproduced a crisper, clearer, and better piano tone overall.

Sound Library

The Yamaha P125 knocks the P45 out of the park with its robust sound library. It contains up to 24 different voices. THis includes some of Yamaha’s most popular grand pianos, upright pianos, and even includes strings, organ, and electric piano sounds. This gives you a lot of versatility when playing and allows you to play a wide variety of music. In fact, the Yamaha P125 even has a couple of bass sounds to choose from to be the backbone of your band’s music.

Since the Yamaha P45 is best for beginners only, it focuses more on the basic tones and voices you’ll need to start playing. This includes a couple of piano tones, some bass, organ, synth, and strings voices. However, you don’t get as much variety as the Yamaha P125. With that said, the quality of the voices are top-quality with the P45 and are more than enough for beginners to start experimenting.

Effects

The P125 has Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, and Sound Boost effects
The P125 has Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, and Sound Boost effects

With the P125, you get Reverb, IAC, Damper Resonance, and Sound Boost effects. These can make a significant difference when playing music. Not only does it give you more control over your piano’s final tone, it can be a whole lot of fun. With that said, navigating through all these effects is kind of difficult, but after some practice, you’ll eventually get used to it.

The Yamaha P45 doesn’t have as varied a list of effects. However, it does come with the most basic effect beginner pianists need: Reverb. In fact, it comes with four different types of reverb that you can tweak to your liking. For a beginner, this is more than enough when it comes to tone control. However, as you get better at the instrument, you might find that you need more versatile effects.

Piano Features

The winner: Yamaha P125

There are a lot of extra features on the Yamaha P125
There are a lot of extra features on the Yamaha P125

As the more premium option, the Yamaha P125 comes with a bunch of extra features that make it a great instrument. While the P45 comes with Dual mode, the P125 comes with split mode, duo mode, more preset songs, and better connectivity options that make it the better overall pick.

Duo Mode & Split Mode

Duo Mode and Split Mode are key features of the Yamaha P125. With Duo Mode, you can separate the piano into two separate tiny pianos. This is especially useful during piano lessons. With this mode, the student and teacher can play as if they have two different pianos, which can be a great help when it comes to demonstrating different techniques and musical pieces.

Another cool feature is split mode. In this mode, you can assign one side of the piano a specific voice and another voice on the other side of the piano. For example, you can have bass or piano as the voice on the left side and a synth and organ on the right side. This gives the illusion of playing two different instruments at once and offers a lot of functionality, especially for pianists who perform in front of an audience.

One extra feature that’s present on both the P125 and P45 is dual mode. This is also referred to as layering and shouldn’t be mistaken for duo mode. During dual or layering mode, you can assign to different voices at the same time, and each time you press the keys, the piano blends and layers the two sounds together. This is a great feature for beginners and novice players alike as it allows room for a lot of experimentation when it comes to piano tones. 

With that said, layering mode is the only extra piano mode available on the P45. While this does beat out a lot of the competition in its price range, it simply doesn’t compare with the robust features on the Yamaha P125.

Accompaniment

The P125 comes with 21 demo songs and 50 piano songs
The P125 comes with 21 demo songs and 50 piano songs

This is another area where the P125 wins by a significant amount. On the P125, you get 21 demo songs and 50 piano songs. This is great for learning new music and jamming out to songs with new techniques that you learn during lessons. The wide variety of demos and piano songs give you a lot of versatility and can make for hours of fun.

The Yamaha P45 also has an accompaniment function, but it isn’t as varied. On the P45, you only get 10 demo songs and 10 piano songs. Now, don’t get me wrong this is still a lot and can make for a lot of fun. But compared to the quantity of songs on the P45, it simply doesn’t stack up.

Connectivity

The P125 doesn’t have MIDI connectivity. So, that means you can’t connect it to your DAW and computer to control virtual instruments. Since this piano was designed for pianists and not producers, this isn’t too much of a drawback. However, the P45 does have USB connectivity which gives it a slight edge in this regard. So, if you want to test out virtual instruments or piano learning apps with the P45, MIDI connectivity allows you to do just that.

However, aside from MIDI, the connectivity options on the P45 are fairly limited. In fact, it doesn’t even have a ¼’’ output at the back for connecting to an external sound system, which the P125 has. On top of that, you can connect the Yamaha P125 to your phone via a wide range of different Yamaha apps. You can use these apps to tweak the tone, learn to play the piano, and much more. Admittedly, this isn’t a feature you’ll use too often, but it does allow for more versatility and control over your piano.

Yamaha P45 vs P125: The Similarities

Both of these instruments are full-key keyboards with GHS weighted keys. This makes both options great for beginners. However, since the P125 comes with more robust features, it’s the better option for those who are really striving to become great pianists. Another similarity between these two is that they are both portable, but if you get a furniture stand for either of these pianos, you can expect the portability to drop significantly.

When testing out these two pianos, I also found that the speakers were fairly similar. The P125’s speakers are slightly better since they are 7W compared to the P45’s 6W speakers, but this isn’t too large of a difference. In fact, I found that the speakers on both of these options are a slight letdown. While they are definitely loud enough for practicing, rehearsals, and playing alone, if you’re playing with other musicians, you’re going to need an external sound system.

Aside from that, and the fact that these two are both made by Yamaha, there aren’t too many similarities between the two options, which is why it was a whole lot of fun creating this comparison.

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P125

Sale
YAMAHA P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Power Supply and Sustain Pedal, Black
  • 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 feet CFIIIS Concert grand piano; Tempo range: 5 to 280
  • Split mode lets you play a different voice with each hand; Tuning: 414.8 440.0 to 446.8 hertz
  • 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 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Great for beginners and novice pianists alike
  • GHS fully-weighted hammer action keys
  • Comes with a wide range of voices and songs
  • Comes with dual, duo, and split mode
  • High-quality tones from the Pure CF Sound Engine
Cons
  • Keys have a plastic feel to them
  • No MIDI output

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
  • Includes the P45 Digital Piano, power adapter, sustain pedal and music rest
  • 88 fully weighted piano style keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano and provide a quality playing experience
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic piano
  • Contains 10 different voices, including digitally sampled tones from real Yamaha acoustic grand pianos
  • Dual mode lets you combine 2 voices together, like piano and strings, for an inspiring new playing experience. Tuning- 414.8 - 440.0 - 446.8 Hz

Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • GHS fully-weighted keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano
  • Sustain pedal and power adapter included in the package
  • Comes with dual mode and reverb
  • Great piano tones for its price range
  • Comes with MIDI connectivity (USB)
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a wide sound library
  • Keys have a plastic feel to them

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