Yamaha P45 vs P45B: What’s the Real Difference?

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Many P-Series variants underwent revamps over the years. Which between Yamaha P45 vs P45B, presumed by most as an example of an upgrade, is the better buy? 

With over a hundred years under its belt, Yamaha is arguably the world’s most famous digital piano manufacturer. And the P-Series, the brand’s entry level, is a huge favorite among beginners. 

The P45 is highly acclaimed for numerous reasons – it has full keys, satisfactory functionalities, and is quite inexpensive. The P45B, as anyone would correctly surmise, is pretty much the same. But unlike the usual misconception, the designation “B” does not mean that it is an upgrade. It actually stands for ‘black’, the color of the device. 

The Yamaha P45 vs P45B match-up is not a significant head-to-head. But if you’d like to find out which of the two is preferable, continue reading below.

Yamaha P45 vs P45B: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
The Runner - up (#2)
YAMAHA Digital Piano (P-45B)
Model
Yamaha P45
Yamaha P45B
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
AWM Stereo Sampling
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb
Reverb
Lesson mode
Dual mode
Split mode
Number of voices
10
10
Amplifier
2 6W
2 6W
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Yes, USB
Yes, USB
Polyphony
64
64
Pedal
What I like
Price
$599.99
Price not available
The Winner (#1)
Image
Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
Model
Yamaha P45
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch sensitivity
Hard / Medium / Soft / Fixed
Tone generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb
Lesson mode
Dual mode
Split mode
Number of voices
10
Amplifier
2 6W
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Yes, USB
Polyphony
64
Pedal
What I like
Price
$599.99
More infor
The Runner - up (#2)
Image
YAMAHA Digital Piano (P-45B)
Model
Yamaha P45B
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch sensitivity
Hard / Medium / Soft / Fixed
Tone generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb
Lesson mode
Dual mode
Split mode
Number of voices
10
Amplifier
2 6W
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Yes, USB
Polyphony
64
Pedal
What I like
Price
Price not available
More infor

Last update on 2024-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha P45 vs P45B: Head-to-Head Comparison

As aforementioned, the Yamaha P45 vs P45B match up is not exactly consequential considering the only real difference between the two, other than the additional letter in the variant name, is the finish. The former comes in a few colors while the latter is just black, hence the “B” in the model’s name. Do note though that even the basic one comes in black as well. 

It’s quite amusing that Yamaha had to make this specific distinction, but it does seem like it’s a smart marketing method to re-release an old product. Whatever the actual reason for this is, the verdict comes easy. These two are on equal footing. 

Feel and Playability

The Winner: Tie

Piano P45B is perfect for beginner
Piano P45B is perfect for beginner

Although the P45 is just the second model designed under the P-Series right after the P35, Yamaha has given it a lot of thought, especially in terms of feel and playability. Again, our featured variants are exactly the same so this, and the following chapters, would just be a straightforward description.

+Hammer Action

Yamaha equipped both the P45 and the P45B with the proprietary Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) hammer action. “Graded” is almost identical to “weighted” in the sense that the keys are heavy under the fingertips. The main difference is that the left side has a lot more give than the right most side. The two were also provided with escapement, adding to the realism of the sound. 

+Touch Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to the fullness of sound generated based on the pressure applied to the keys. Slow, soft presses give mellow tones while hard, forceful ones create booming resonance. This attribute is very much apparent in acoustic pianos because of the mechanism under the keys. Many digital versions fail in this because they lack or have very little weightedness. Fortunately, the two P-series have four levels: Soft, Medium (standard), Hard, and Fixed. 

+Key Texture

The keys on grands and uprights are either crafted from real ivory or polished hardwood. Some high end digital ones are furnished with high-quality plastic with ivory-like veneer over it, to achieve realism. The P45 and the P45B, unfortunately, are just made of plastic. 

Tone

The Winner: Tie

Piano P45 has a great keyboard touch
Piano P45 has a great keyboard touch

Equally as important as the feel, the tone is another feature most musicians look for when buying digital pianos. The closer it sounds to a grand, the better it is. Our featured P-series models, identical in practically everything, are on a par in this section as well.   

+Tone Generator

While real acoustic pianos have convoluted mechanisms under the hood to create sound, digital versions basically rely on recording that sound, storing it in a computer box, and playing it back when the keys are pressed. 

Companies have different names for their sound engines, although the system is practically the same. Yamaha makes use of the AMW (Advanced Wave Memory) Stereo Sampling for most of their P-Series models. But because Yamaha has very nearly perfected this, you can expect brilliance, resonance, melodiousness, and complexity when playing. 

+Sound Library

Aside from capturing acoustic piano sounds, digital versions can also play other instruments. This is especially useful for musicians who compose or perform. 

The P45 and its twin are furnished with 10 different voices: two grands, two electrics, two pipe organs, two harpsichords, a vibraphone, and a set of strings. 

Piano Functions and Features

The Winner: Tie

Pardon the repetitiveness, but the P45 and the P45B are perfectly matched in this chapter. They are truly one and the same as evidenced by the feel and tone as mentioned above and what will be detailed below. 

+Polyphony

Yamaha P45 vs P45B is too close to call
Yamaha P45 vs P45B is too close to call

The P45 is the second model designed, marketed, and circulated under the P-Series. Its predecessor, the P35, is not a bad piece. However, its 32-count polyphony left a whole lot of people – even beginners – wanting. Both the P45 and the P45B satisfied that deficiency since its polyphony was boosted to 64. 

Many will argue that good digital pianos should have at least 100. In this day and age, and with so many new competitors coming up with comparably great pieces, I may agree. But beginners will still benefit from a 64-count polyphony Yamaha.   

+Playing Modes

Often overlooked, this feature is incredibly important for beginners. The Lesson mode splits the digital piano in two 44-keys with the same octave so student and teacher can play side by side. Split does the same except each 44-key plays a different voice. Dual allows two voices to be played at the same time. Both the P45 and the P45B have Lesson and Dual modes. 

+Speaker System

The P-series models, quite unfortunately, only have two 6W power. This pales in comparison with its contemporaries. Worse, the speaker cones are downward facing. 

+Connectivity and Recording Capability

Aside from the headphone connections which is a must-have in any modern digital piano, both the P45 and the P45B have a USB port which allows users to connect to computers. While the instruments can’t capture practice sessions on the spot, adding the USB enables recording music and saving it to your PC or mobile phone.  

One of the functionalities many hope this would have is an AUX out for better amplification because the speaker is not as amazing as it should be. 

Piano P45 was absolutely fantastic
Piano P45 was absolutely fantastic

Yamaha P45 vs P45B: The Similarities

From the feel and tone to the various features and functionalities, the featured P-series variants in this review are the same. The “B” (which stands for black) does not make a significant change, that is why this head to head between Yamaha P45 vs P45B is too close to call. 

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
1,447 Reviews
Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
  • 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 2024-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Graded Hammer System gives real acoustic piano feel
  • AWM Stereo Sampling is a simple yet effective sound engine
  • Split and dual modes are great for beginners
  • USB to host connection allows for various functionalities with the app
Cons
  • Under 100 polyphony is much too low
  • White plastic keys made of plastic
  • Quite pricey compared to other digital pianos in the market

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P45B

YAMAHA Digital Piano (P-45B)
  • Authenticity and portability in one: Authentic acoustic piano sound in a compact and portable package - P-45 offers great sound in a light and simple design
  • This full size piano offers a graded hammer standard (GSH) 88-key piano keyboard and 10 quality Voices - Play it like an acoustic piano or like a sweet electric one and have fun while practicing
  • Lightweight and compact design for ideal portability: It's slim and light design, makes P-45B your companion everywhere you go - Take your music with you
  • Improved advanced wave memory (AWM) tone generator technology helps you experience a realistic grand piano sound / simple one-button operation let's you configure your piano easily, wherever you are
  • Items delivered: Yamaha P-45B digital piano in black - Portable piano with pedal included and USB TO HOST connectivity / AC adaptor, owner’s manual

Last update on 2024-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Equipped with the Graded Hammer System
  • Equipped with AWM Stereo Sampling
  • Has split and dual modes
  • Has USB to host connectivity
Cons
  • 64-count polyphony
  • White plastic keys feel fake
  • A bit expensive for an entry-level piece
  • No significant difference with the Yamaha P45

Product Video

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