Yamaha P71 vs Casio CDP-S150: Which Is the Best Beginner Piano On the Market?

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When I tested out these two pianos for this Yamaha P71 vs Casio CDP-S150 comparison, it was hard to decide on a winner. Both pianos offered great features and tones that would be great for any beginner pianist. However, after a close battle, the Casio CDP-S150 narrowly edged out the Yamaha P71.

The Casio CDP-S150 was the better piano in my eyes because of a superior feel, portability, and a bunch of extra piano features that would be great for any beginner. The Casio CDP-S150 offers everything you’ll need when learning the instrument, though it was lacking when it came to tone.

And while the Yamaha P71 doesn’t have as good a feel or a varied set of features like the CDP-S150, it does have an incredible tone and decent sound system which could be the difference maker for some pianists.

Yamaha P71 vs Casio CDP-S150: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Casio, 88-Key Digital Pianos-Home (CDP-S150)
The Runner-up (#2)
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Model
Casio CDP-S150
Yamaha 71
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Scaled Hammer Action
Progressive Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
3 Types
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
N/A
AWM Stereo Sampling
Duo Mode
Recorder
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
10
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Reverb
Speakers
Two, 4.7W Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
Pedal Included
3-Pedal Support
Music Rest Included
Weight
23.1 lbs
25 lbs
What I like
Price
$479.00
$499.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
Casio, 88-Key Digital Pianos-Home (CDP-S150)
Model
Casio CDP-S150
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Scaled Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
3 Types
Tone Generation
N/A
Duo Mode
Recorder
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Speakers
Two, 4.7W Speakers
Pedal Included
3-Pedal Support
Music Rest Included
Weight
23.1 lbs
What I like
Price
$479.00
More info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Model
Yamaha 71
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Progressive Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Duo Mode
Recorder
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Effects
Reverb
Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
Pedal Included
3-Pedal Support
Music Rest Included
Weight
25 lbs
What I like
Price
$499.99
More info

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha P71 vs Casio CDP-S150: Differences

When trying to find the better option between the two, I figured the best way was to compare their features with each other. Both of these pianos come with great features, especially for beginners, but in the end, the Casio CDP-S150 narrowly edged out the Yamaha P71 by 3-2. It was a very close fight as both pianos have a lot to offer, which is why they are largely considered the best entry-level options in the game.

Feel

The winner: Casio CDP-S150

The Casio CDP-S150 has a better key texture
The Casio CDP-S150 has a better key texture

The first aspect where I found the Casio CDP-S150 to be the superior option is in the feel. Both pianos share similar hammer action, and the Yamaha P71’s is actually a bit heavier. However, the Casio CDP-S150 has a better key texture, which is why it was the clear winner in this regard.

Hammer Action

Both the Casio CDP-S150 and the Yamaha P71 use a variation of scaled hammer action. This is a process of making the lower keys on the left side heavier and the action gets progressively lighter as you move higher on the keyboard. This is used to simulate the feel of an actual acoustic piano, and both options do a fairly good job, especially considering their price.

And while the scaling of both pianos feels very accurate, it should be said that I noticed the CDP-S150 has slightly lighter action than the P71. This could be a good thing or bad thing, as different pianists have different hammer action preferences, but it’s still important to keep in mind.

Key Texture

This is the area where the CDP-S150 is a clear winner. This model sports plastic keys with a special coating to simulate the texture of ebony and ivory piano keys. This adds to the realism of the piano and can make a huge difference for experienced pianists playing more complicated pieces. Granted, this isn’t as important for beginner pianists, but as you get better at the instrument, it becomes more significant.

The Yamaha P71 sports plastic keys as well, however, they don’t have any coating at all. This is a major letdown as the keys really feel and look like plastic. Again, if you’re a beginner this is completely fine. However, as your pieces get more complicated and fast, you can feel the difference more and it could get in the way of your playing.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha P71

 The Yamaha P71 has a superior tone
The Yamaha P71 has a superior tone

In terms of tone, the Yamaha P71 is a clear winner. The piano voices that come out of this instrument are very realistic, and many people claim that it’s the most realistic in its price range. When comparing the tone of these two pianos, I found the Yamaha P71 to have superior tone, though the Casio CDP-S150 was close behind.

Tone Generation

When doing my research, I couldn’t find any information on the exact tone generation method that the Casio CDP-S150 uses. The Yamaha P71 uses the AWM sampling method, and by the ear test, it was much crisper, brighter, and clearer than the CDP-S150.

Don’t get me wrong, the CDP-S150 has great piano tones that rival a lot of the best options in this price range. However, I found that the low end of the piano had pretty muddy tones, which can get in the way when playing fast pieces that use the entire keyboard. Additionally, the extra tones such as electric piano and harpsichord were lackluster, to say the least.

On the flip side, the Yamaha P71 had much crisper and clearer tones all throughout. Whether you use the grand piano, electric piano, or organ sounds, you’re ensured of very beautiful piano tones that give you a lot of versatility.

Sound Library

Both of these pianos have relatively simple sound libraries with 10 different tones each. This is far from a lot, but it’s about what is expected from a digital piano in this price range. Usually, with these pianos, you pay for the quality of the voice and not the quantity.

With that said, both pianos offer great ones that give you a lot of versatility. You have the freedom to experiment with a variety of acoustic piano, electric piano, bass, and even synth tones with these instruments, which is more than enough for a beginner.

Piano Features

The winner: Casio CDP-S150

The Casio CDP-S150 comes with the superior app integration and effects
The Casio CDP-S150 comes with the superior app integration and effects

This area saw a very close battle between the two pianos, but the superior app integration and effects on the Casio CDP-S150 was the difference maker and the main reason I found it to be the better option between the two.

App Integration

While the Yamaha P71 is a very modern piano, it doesn’t integrate that well with apps, which is a feature you can find on other Yamaha pianos. On the other hand, the Casio CDP-S150 connects with the Cordana Play v2, which is available for iOS and Android phones. With the software, you can access tons of different features and playing modes that can supplement your learning.

Effects

Another reason I found the Casio CDP-S150 to be the better option is the wider range of effects. To start, you have 10 different reverb presets to play around with. You can give a lot of body and fullness to the piano tones, which can sometimes make up for the muddiness in the tone. However, it doesn’t stop there.

On top of the reverb effects, you also have access to a variety of chorus effects. You probably won’t use this effect too much for traditional classical music. However, chorus is a widely used piano effect in a lot of other genres such as pop, rock, blues, and even jazz!

With the Yamaha P71, you only have one effect: reverb. Granted, you can choose from 4 different types of reverb, which is better than most of the other options in this price range. With that said, it still can’t beat out the effects on the CDP-S150, which is why it lost in terms of the extra piano features.

Sound System

The winner: Yamaha P71

The sound system on the Casio CDP-S150 is a slight let down. It only has two 4.7W speakers which aren’t that loud. These speakers will be great for practicing alone, but you might find yourself having a hard time hearing the piano when jamming with other musicians. On top of that, these are rear-facing speakers, so it’s best to position this piano in front of a wall to get its full sonic potential.

The Yamaha P71 doesn’t have great speakers either, but they are arguably better than that on the CDP-S150. The Yamaha P71 has two, front-facing 6W speakers. These throws sound much better, especially towards the direction of the pianist, making it easier to hear yourself. While you won’t be able to use the speakers as monitors when playing with other musicians in front of a crowd, it’s definitely louder and crisper than the CDP-S150.

Portability

The winner: Casio CDP-S150

The Casio CDP-S150 has one of the thinnest profiles and smallest carbon footprints among digital pianos
The Casio CDP-S150 has one of the thinnest profiles and smallest carbon footprints among digital pianos

In terms of portability, the Casio CDP-S150 is the winner. This piano has one of the thinnest profiles and smallest carbon footprints among digital pianos. Not only does this help you live more sustainably, but it also results in a slim profile and a very light piano.

The CDP-S150 weighs around 23lbs, which makes it very easy to carry around. However, the main reason it’s such a portable instrument is because of its incredibly thin profile which allows it to easily fit in a car or bag. The Yamaha P71, on the other hand, is much thicker and heavier than the CDP-S150, weighing in at 25 lbs.

While it’s much easier to bring around the Casio CDP-S150, the Yamaha P71 is also a very portable option. Though if you get the Yamaha P71, expect it to be a bit heavier and bulkier than the Casio CDP-S150.

Yamaha P71 vs Casio CDP-S150: The Similarities

The Yamaha P71 and the Casio CDP-S150 both share a fair amount of similarities. For starters, they are both designed for the same type of pianist. Since these pianos lack some of the more premium features and are on the more affordable side, they are great beginner pianos. They both contain all the features you need when starting to learn an instrument, though as you get better, you might need to upgrade.

Both of these pianos have 64-note maximum polyphony. This is far from the most on the market, but it does give you enough freedom to play a lot of different music. Since it can play up to 64 notes at the same time, you won’t have a problem with wide and spread out chords. Though if you play multiple chords with the sustain pedal on a lot, then you might run into some trouble, which isn’t something beginners will find themselves doing too much, anyway.

Additionally, both these pianos have the same playing modes. You can access duo and dual mode on both instruments. Duo mode splits the piano into two evenly tuned mini-pianos. This feature is ideal for piano lessons as it allows the student and teacher to play along at the same time without needing to cross over their hands.

Dual mode is a unique feature. It blends the sound of two different voices, which makes for a very unique tone. This playing mode works great if you’re an accompanist or even playing solo. It offers a lot of versatility and room for experimentation, which are two important characteristics of a good beginner’s piano.

Quick Rundown of the Casio CDP-S150

Casio, 88-Key Digital Pianos-Home (CDP-S150)
  • 88-key Scaled Hammer Action
  • 64 notes polyphony
  • 10 built-in tones
  • Class Compliant USB MIDI
  • Chordana Play App for Piano

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Great feel and texture on the keys
  • Comes with all the voices a beginner needs
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Integrates with the Cordana v2 app on Android and iOS
  • Comes with reverb and chorus effects
Cons
  • The sound system could be better
  • Only has 64 note maximum polyphony

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P71

YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
  • Amazon exclusive model includes power adapter and sustain pedal
  • 88 fully weighted piano style keys simulate the feel of an acoustic piano and provide a quality playing experience
  • 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
  • Slim and stylish design with a depth of less than 12 inches, the P71 requires little space and weighs only 25 pounds

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Great piano tones from real Yamaha pianos
  • Built-in progressive hammer action
  • Decent range of tones and voices
  • Ideal for beginner pianists
  • Comes with a great sound system and speakers
Cons
  • No MIDI connection available
  • The keys have a plastic-feel

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