Yamaha P71 vs DGX-660: Can the Amazon Exclusive Beat Out the Premium Model?

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The Amazon exclusive Yamaha P71 put up a pretty good fight in this Yamaha P71 vs DGX-660 comparison. But after comparing their features head to head, I found the DGX-660 to be the better option, which is about expected considering its steep price tag.

The Yamaha DGX-660 has an incredibly wide sound library, with Yamaha PureCF Sound Engine voices, drum and SFX packs, and even a Glite pack with over 380 different tones. On top of that, it has great hammer action and a ton of different piano features that make it the clear winner.

With that said, the Yamaha P71 put up a fair fight for a budget-friendly, beginners piano with a decent set of features. It has great piano tones, a couple of effects, and it even has dual and duo mode for added versatility. While this piano isn’t as good as the DGX-660, it’s a great option for any beginner to novice pianist out there.

Yamaha P71 vs DGX-660: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
The Runner-up (#2)
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Model
Yamaha DGX-660
Yamaha 71
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Progressive Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
PureCF Sound Engine
AWM Stereo Sampling
Duo Mode
Pitch Bend
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
151 + 15 Drum/SFX Kits + 388 XGlite
10
Effects
Reverb, Master EQ, IAC, Chorus
Reverb
Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
One Touch Settings
MIDI
Music Rest Included
Display
Full Dot LCD
None
What I like
Price
Price not available
$479.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
Model
Yamaha DGX-660
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed
Tone Generation
PureCF Sound Engine
Duo Mode
Pitch Bend
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
151 + 15 Drum/SFX Kits + 388 XGlite
Effects
Reverb, Master EQ, IAC, Chorus
Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
One Touch Settings
MIDI
Music Rest Included
Display
Full Dot LCD
What I like
Price
Price not available
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
Pitch Bend
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Effects
Reverb
Speakers
Two 6W Speakers
One Touch Settings
MIDI
Music Rest Included
Display
None
What I like
Price
$479.99
More info

Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha P71 vs DGX-660: Differences

To find out the better option between the two, I decided to test out their features and compare them with each other. And by the end of the comparison, the Yamaha DGX-660 beat out the Yamaha P71 by 4-1, which isn’t a surprise, considering the P71 is an entry-level option and the DGX-660 is a premium model. On the DGX-660, you get better voices, a wider sound library, and an array of playing modes and effects that make it the better overall instrument.

Feel

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

The Yamaha DGX-660 has a flat out better feel than the Yamaha P71. The DGX-660 feels very close to an acoustic piano while the Yamaha P71 is lacking in some areas. However, the Yamaha P71 put up a pretty good fight as the progressive hammer action does give a realistic weight.

The Yamaha DGX-660 has a flat out better feel than the Yamaha P71
The Yamaha DGX-660 has a flat out better feel than the Yamaha P71

Hammer Action

The Yamaha DGX-660 is equipped with the Yamaha Graded Hammer System (GHS). This is a system designed to properly mimic the feel of an acoustic piano. When you play the DGX-660, you’ll probably notice that the keys on the left side of the piano are significantly heavier than the right side. This is intentional as it’s similar to how the weight is distributed on an acoustic or grand piano.

The Yamaha P71 has a similar hammer action, but it doesn’t use GHS. Instead, it uses a more generic hammer action system. With that said, the Yamaha P71 still has progressive hammer action that mimics an acoustic piano very well, just not as good as the DGX-660.

Key Texture

While the DGX-660 has better hammer action than the P71, both pianos have pretty disappointing keys. While they have full, 88-key keyboards, the keys are made of plastic and don’t have any coating on them to mimic ebony and ivory keys you’ll find on acoustic instruments.

The key texture is a common complaint that many people have about both pianos, and it’s a slight letdown that the DGX-660 doesn’t have wooden or textured keys considering its price.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

In terms of tone, the Yamaha DGX-660 is a clear winner. This is because it has a better tone generation system and sound library. If you’re a novice or professional pianist looking for an instrument for your performances, the DGX-660 beats out the Yamaha P71’s tone and sound library by miles.

Tone Generation

The Yamaha DGX-660 uses the PureCF Sound Engine for its piano tones. This is a Yamaha innovation where real piano sounds are recorded from the Yamaha CFIII Concert Grand Piano, which is known for its bright and crisp tone. The samples are recorded fully, with natural decay and a digital filter is added on top to create more realistic stereo sounds. On top of that, it also has Glite sounds and SFX voices, but more on that later.

The Yamaha P71 uses a simpler AWM system. AWM stands for “Advanced Wave Memory”, this is a Yamaha innovation that puts a modern twist on the standard sampling method. It still records samples from real Yamaha pianos with natural decay, however, the tones don’t come out as crisp or bright as the Yamaha DGX-660. With that said, the Yamaha P71 has some of the most realistic piano tones in its price range, which is why it’s such a popular beginners piano, it just isn’t as good as what you’ll find on the DGX-660.

Sound Library

The DGX-660 comes with over 400 different voices from different sound engines
The DGX-660 comes with over 400 different voices from different sound engines

When it comes to the sound library, the Yamaha P71 doesn’t put up much of a fight. The Yamaha P71 has 10 different voices. These include a couple of piano, electric piano, bass, synth, and string voices. For beginners, this is more than enough for most songs and genres, and also allows you to experiment with a wide array of sounds. For most digital pianos, 10 voices is actually a lot, however, it doesn’t compare to what the Yamaha DGX-660 has to offer.

The DGX-660 comes with over 400 different voices from different sound engines. The PureCF Sound Engine offers a wide range of different piano tones. On top of that, it comes with 150 piano, electric piano, synth, and bass voices. But it doesn’t end there as it’s also equipped with different drums, SFX, and a 388-voice Glite pack.

The Yamaha DGX-660 offers more voices than most people will need, especially when starting their piano journey. However, as you get better and start performing in different venues, the wide range of voices allows for a whole lot of versatility.

Piano Features

The winner: Yamaha DGX-660

Both of these pianos come with a fair amount of different piano features. The Yamaha P71 actually comes with more than enough features for a beginner, which is why it’s a great option for a first piano. However, as the premium option, the Yamaha DGX-660 comes with tons of different features that you can use in performing, recording, and rehearsing.

Playing Modes

One pleasant surprise I found with the Yamaha P71 is the different playing modes. This piano comes with dual mode and duo mode, two key features of any digital piano. Dual mode allows you to blend two different voices and play them at the same time. The result is a unique tone that you won’t find on most regular pianos. On top of that, the duo mode splits the piano into two tiny “twin” pianos. That way, students and teachers can play together without having to cross over to other sides of the instrument. This mode also allows you to play beautiful piano duets with other musicians.

The Yamaha DGX-660 also comes with all the features we mentioned above. However, the difference is that it also comes with split mode and the Yamaha Educational Suite (Y.E.S.). With split mode, you can load one voice to each side of the piano. For example, you can load a bass tone on the left side and a piano tone on the right side, giving the illusion that you’re playing two instruments.

The Y.E.S. program isn’t something most pianists will use often. However, it offers a unique way for people to learn the basics of piano which is still a neat feature to have.

Effects

The DGX-660 comes with chorus, IAC, and a master EQ
The DGX-660 comes with chorus, IAC, and a master EQ

Most entry level pianos for beginners don’t come with effects, which is what makes the Yamaha P71 special. While it’s a basic entry-level digital piano, it comes with four different types of reverb. You can use this to add a lot of body and realism to the piano tones, and can also be used to add depth to your sound. This is a very useful effect and one of the first effects a pianist should learn how to use.

While the Yamaha P71 offers reverb effects, the DGX-660 takes it to another level. On top of reverb, the DGX-660 comes with chorus, IAC, and a master EQ. These are fairly advanced effects that pianists can use to take full control over their tone. This definitely beats out the Yamaha P71 and allows the DGX-660 to become a truly professional instrument ready for performing and recording.

Polyphony

The Yamaha P71 has 64-note maximum polyphony. For a lot of basic music pieces, this is more than enough. In fact, 64-note polyphony is decent enough for most piano music. However, if you plan to play multiple wide chords with the sustain pedal on, you might run into some trouble with 64-note polyphony.

The Yamaha DGX-660 comes with 192-note maximum polyphony. This is more than enough to handle wide chords and complex piano music. In terms of digital pianos, the polyphony on the DGX-660 is very good and can play just about any form of music out there.

Sound System

The winner: Tie

It may come as a surprise, but these two options come with the same sound system. Both of them are equipped with two 6-watt speakers that are great for rehearsing alone. However, if you’re playing with a band and other musicians, it may not be loud enough and you might need to plug into an external amplifier or sound system.

Both of the pianos offer ways to plug in to an external sound system, which is great for when you really need to be heard. Since the Yamaha DGX-660 is more expensive than the P71, it might have been nice if they added better and louder speakers. However, the speakers are fairly high-quality and still produce a beautiful and accurate sound.

Yamaha P71 vs DGX-660: The Similarities

Since they come from the same brand, the Yamaha P71 and the DGX-660 share some similarities. While they aren’t from the same product line, they are both portable digital pianos that are relatively easy to bring around to gigs and other musical events. However, the DGX-660 is a bit heavier, which is important to remember.

On top of that, they are both full 88-key keyboards with some sort of progressive hammer action. While they use different hammer action systems, they are used to accomplish the same goals, which is to replicate the feel of an acoustic piano. Another similarity between these two are their lackluster keys. The keys are made of plastic with no additional coating whatsoever, which can be a huge flaw for most experienced pianists.

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha DGX-660

YAMAHA DGX660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano With Furniture Stand, Black
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled and highly acclaimed Yamaha concert grand piano
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low register and lighter in the high, just like an acoustic piano
  • Score display puts music notation of MIDI songs on the screen, helping you play your favorites by following the bouncing ball
  • The Piano room lets you choose from a variety of pianos and acoustic settings to create your own personal piano environment
  • The 6 track recorder allows you to capture your performances and song ideas, then add additional layers to spice up your pieces

Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Exquisite piano tones from the PureCF Sound Engine
  • Great hammer action from the Yamaha GHS
  • A wide sound library with over 400 different tones
  • Comes with chorus, reverb, IAC, and master EQ effects
  • Built-in Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S.)
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • The keys and sound system could be better

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 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Comes with great piano tones
  • A great beginner piano
  • Comes with a variety of playing modes
  • Built-in reverb effects
  • Comes with a music rest and pedal
Cons
  • No Bluetooth or MIDI connection options
  • Only has 64 note maximum polyphony

Product Video

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