Yamaha P71 vs Donner DEP-20: Which Is the Best Beginner Piano?

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When conducting this Yamaha P71 vs Donner DEP-20 comparison, I found that the choice was very easy. The Yamaha P71 sports great tones, playability, and extra features that are far beyond its price range. When trying this piano out, I found it to be the best in its price range, which is why it easily wins over the DEP-20.

With that said, the Donner DEP-20 still has some upside to it. It has a massive tone library, a surprisingly good sound system, and 128-note maximum polyphony. All of these are key features of a good piano. However, the tone quality and piano features of this instrument simply couldn’t compare to the Yamaha P71.

While the DEP-20 is slightly more affordable, the Yamaha P71 offers much more longevity and functionality for beginner and novice pianists, which is why it’s my favorite beginner piano on the market today.

Yamaha P71 vs Donner DEP-20: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
The Runner-up (#2)
Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply
Model
Yamaha P71
Donner DEP-20
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Progressive Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
N/A
Tone Generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Sampling
Effects
Reverb (4 different types)
Chorus and Reverb
Duo Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
238
Polyphony
64
128
Headphone input
Yes
N/A
AUX out
Yes, ¼’’
Yes
MIDI
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$499.99
$403.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive)
Model
Yamaha P71
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb (4 different types)
Duo Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Polyphony
64
Headphone input
Yes
AUX out
Yes, ¼’’
MIDI
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$499.99
More info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply
Model
Donner DEP-20
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Progressive Hammer Action
Touch Sensitivity
N/A
Tone Generation
Sampling
Effects
Chorus and Reverb
Duo Mode
Dual Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
238
Polyphony
128
Headphone input
N/A
AUX out
Yes
MIDI
Pedal included
What I like
Price
$403.99
More info

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

Yamaha P71 vs Donner DEP-20: Differences

To figure out which option was the better choice, I decided to directly compare the features of the Yamaha P71 against the Donner DEP-20. And in doing that, I found that the Yamaha P71 wins by 3-1. While both pianos offer a semi-realistic feel to the keys, the tone quality of the Yamaha P71 was way better than the Donner DEP-20.

Feel

The winner: Tie

There was barely a difference when it comes to the feel and playability
There was barely a difference when it comes to the feel and playability

Both of these pianos have full 88-key keyboards with a variation of progressive hammer action. When testing these pianos out, I found that there was barely a difference when it comes to the feel and playability. Both offered a very realistic feel that you won’t find in this price range too often.

Key Texture

This is an area where the Donner DEP-20 has a very slight advantage, but only because it’s the more affordable option. If I were to have one complain about the Yamaha P71, it would be that the keys felt very plastic-like. The same rings true with the Donner DEP-20, as none of these pianos have a coating on the keys to simulate the feel of real wooden piano keys. However, since the Yamaha P71 is the more expensive option, I was expecting it to have a better key texture than the Donner DEP-20, which it sadly didn’t.

Hammer Action

In terms of hammer action, these two pianos are tied as well. While the Yamaha P71 features a progressive hammer action, it doesn’t use the Yamaha GHS system. This is one of the key differences between this Amazon exclusive and other Yamaha models. While I expected the Yamaha P71’s hammer action to be inferior to other Yamaha models, I was quite surprised that it held its own pretty well against the GHS system.

The Donner DEP-20 also features a surprisingly good hammer action system. On both of these pianos, you get a very realistic weight where the lower keys are heavier and get progressively lighter as you climb up the fingerboard.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha P71

In terms of tone, the Yamaha P71 was the clear winner without a doubt. I found that the tone of the Donner DEP-20 sounded very generic and synthetic at times, especially with the piano tones. On the other hand, the Yamaha P71 offers very realistic and crisp piano tones that are very consistent with other digital pianos from the band. And while the Donner DEP-20 had a much wider sound library, the quality of the voices was simply not up to par with the Yamaha P71.

Sound Library

The Donner DEP-20 comes with a massive sound library. With over 238 different sounds and voices, this is a very versatile piano. One of the reasons this model stands out from the pack is its wide sound library, as in this price range, you usually only get a handful of different tones.

A perfect example of this is the Yamaha P71. This instrument comes with 10 different voices. For beginners, this is quite a lot and offers room for experimentation, it’s very small compared to the Donner DEP-20. However, as they say, quality usually wins over quantity, and the Yamaha P71 undoubtedly has better quality sounds.

Tone Generation

The Yamaha P71 features the AWM Sampling method
The Yamaha P71 features the AWM Sampling method

The Donner DEP-20 uses a very generic tone generator. While the weighted keys make it feel like a premium piano, the tones are comparable to ones on much cheaper options. This is a slight let down, however, the voices are still very workable and definitely good enough for a beginner. With that said, it won’t take an expert to hear the flaws in the Donner DEP-20’s tone.

The Yamaha P71, on the other hand, features the AWM Sampling method. This tone generation technique takes very high quality samples from real Yamaha pianos. From there, a digital filter is added to make it sound more crisp. On top of that, Yamaha made sure to record the natural decay of the samples, for even more realistic sounds. This is the main reason I found the Yamaha P71 to be the better option. With much brighter, crisper, and more realistic tones, it significantly beat out the Donner DEP-20.

Piano Features

The winner: Yamaha P71

This is yet another area where I found the Donner DEP-20 to be lacking. When testing out the Donner DEP-20, I was let down by the very narrow selection of playing modes and other features. The Yamaha P71, while it doesn’t have the most features out there, still includes some of the most important ones for beginner and novice pianists.

Playing Modes

The Donner DEP-20 comes with dual mode. This playing mode blends two different voices so that when you press one key on the piano, you play two separate and distinct tones. This is a great feature for experimentation and allows for some really unique and memorable sounds. The Yamaha P71 also has this feature, but this is the only extra piano feature shared between the two.

Aside from dual mode, the Donner DEP-20 doesn’t have any other playing modes. On the flip side, the Yamaha P71 has duo mode, which can come in handy during piano lessons. This playing mode splits the keyboard into two mini pianos with the exact same tuning and timbre. That way, students and teachers can play along with each other and it will be like two musicians playing on separate pianos. On top of that, it also allows for easier technique demonstration without having to crossover to each other’s side.

App Integration & Connectivity

In terms of app integration and connectivity, the Yamaha P71 is the easy winner. While the Donner DEP-20 supports MIDI connectivity, there aren’t any partner apps you can use along with the piano. Instead, you’re going to have to find separate virtual instrument plugins compatible with the piano, which can be pretty hard for beginners.

While the P71 lacks MIDI connectivity, it does have great app integration. This piano comes with a bunch of different partner apps that you can use with the piano to learn new songs, make adjustments to the sound, and much more. This is a much more versatile piano that will last beginners much longer than the Donner DEP-20.

Effects

The Yamaha P71 iss beat out the Donner DEP-20  because of the quality of the effects
The Yamaha P71 iss beat out the Donner DEP-20 because of the quality of the effects

In terms of effects, the Donner DEP-20 actually has more presets than the Yamaha. The reason I still chose the Yamaha as the winner, however, is because of the quality of the effects. The Donner DEP-120 comes with reverb and chorus, which offers pianists unique control over their tone and is a great way to create unique sounds with the piano. With that said, these aren’t the best-quality effects out there and it definitely leaves a lot to be desired.

The Yamaha P71, on the other hand, only comes with reverb. However, it’s equipped with four different types of reverb that all have their own special charm and aesthetic. The reverb on the Yamaha P71 is more than enough for beginner pianists to add more depth to their tone, and is one of the best built-in reverb effects in this piano’s price range.

Yamaha P71 vs Donner DEP-20: The Similarities

The Yamaha P71 and the Donner DEP-20 are two pianos designed for beginner pianists. This is the first similarity between the two and it’s also the most glaring. While the P71 is slightly more expensive, they are still within the same price range, which is a great range for beginners. In this range you’ll find a bunch of great pianos on a budget, and the Yamaha P71 and Donner DEP-20 are both great examples of that.

They both feature 88-key keyboards with progressive hammer action, offer a realistic feel, and both come with decent speakers for practicing and jamming with other musicians. Between the two, the Yamaha P71 is the clear choice as you’ll be paying for some great features that are unique to the Yamaha P71.

The Donner DEP-20 is great if you’re on a tight budget. But if you have a few extra dollars to spare, you won’t regret investing it in the Yamaha P71 instead.

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
  • One of the best beginner pianos in its price range
  • Realistic progressive hammer action
  • Top-quality tones from the AWM sampling technology
  • Offers a bunch of different playing modes
  • The reverb effects are a great extra feature
Cons
  • The keys have a plastic feel

Quick Rundown of the Donner DEP-20

Sale
Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply
  • 🎹 【Full-Weighted 88 key keyboard】The digital electric piano is constructed by 88 full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response. This 88-key weighted keyboard allows to adjust your desired playing style.
  • 🎹 【238 Tones & 128 Polyphony】 The 88-key weighted keyboard loaded with 238 types of tone like Ukulele, drum, bass, etc. vividly presenting voices of different instruments, arousing your keen to learn music. The digital electric piano with 128-note max polyphony, players could distinguish tone clearly in Chorus & Reverb under various occasions.
  • 🎹【Double Keyboard & Control Panel】This 88 key weighted keyboard provides dual-tone mode for combining two voices together, like piano and drum, inspiring to make a new creation. Panel includes sustain pedal, triangle pedal and audio inputs & outputs, perfectly used for music arrangement and an ensemble.Eludes sustain pedal, triangle pedal and audio inputs & outputs, perfectly used for music arrangement and an ensemble.
  • 🎹 【Multi-Media Settings】This digital piano features with a backlit LCD screen for clearly showing chords names and notation and adjusting wanted tones, recording mode-MIDI, MP3 Player and two 25W amplifiers, bringing you richer and better experience of practice and performance.
  • 🎹【Multi-Purpose 88 key keyboard】This streamlined 88-key piano is designed for rehearsing, learning and creating, practice or performance.

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

Pros
  • One of the best beginner digital pianos on a budget
  • Offers a massive sound library
  • MIDI connectivity
  • Great sound system for the price
  • Realistic hammer action
Cons
  • The piano tones could be better
  • The keys have a plastic feel

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