Yamaha and Korg are some of the biggest names in the digital piano market today. And in this Yamaha P71 vs Korg B2 comparison, I put two of their best beginner pianos up against each other.
When testing out these pianos, I found it incredibly hard to choose a winner. Both coming from reputable brands, both the P71 and B2 came with great features ideal for beginners learning the instrument. However, because of a wider voice library and sound system, the Korg B2 narrowly came out on top.
The Yamaha P71 put up a very good fight though, with very bright tones, great feel and playability, and a wide variety of playing modes, it’s still one of the best entry-level options out there. The P71 was just lacking in the variety of tones and the sound system isn’t the best, which is why it couldn’t edge out the Korg B2.
Yamaha P71 vs Korg B2: Comparison Chart
Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Yamaha P71 vs Korg B2: Differences
I figured the best way to find a winner between these two is to compare their features. Since both are beginner digital pianos, they come with a wide set of features that can help the learning process. And by the end of the comparison, I found that the Korg B2 was the winner by a slim 3-2 victory because of its tone and sound system.
Feel & Playability
The winner: Tie
In terms of feel, I put both of these pianos on the same level. For a digital piano for beginners, it offers great hammer action and weight. Both of these instruments feel similar to acoustic pianos, though when testing them out, I did find some areas that need improvement, which is normal for pianos in this price range.
Both of these keyboards have a form of progressive hammer action. To mimic the feel of an acoustic piano, the brands made the keys on the left side slightly heavier than the ones on the right side. So, as you go up the notes of the keyboard, the hammer action becomes slightly lighter.
In their price range, I couldn’t find pianos with better hammer action. Both have a pretty hefty weight to it, which makes the keys really feel like an acoustic piano. Admittedly, the Korg B2 has slightly heavier hammer action, but not by a lot.
In terms of key texture, both of these pianos are lacking. Both the Yamaha P71 and Korg B2 have plastic keys without any coating on top. That means that when you play these pianos, it will feel like pressing down on plastic. While the B2 has a matte finish on the black keys, it still isn’t enough to feel like real wooden keys on an acoustic piano.
While it was disappointing that the keys had a plastic feel, that’s very normal in this price range. If either Korg or Yamaha added textured or wooden keys to these pianos, that would have jacked up the price significantly, making them out of reach for a lot of beginners.
Another feature I enjoyed on both these pianos is the touch sensitivity variations. Both of the pianos have hard, medium, and soft sensitivities. That means that when you play either of these pianos, pressing harder will result in a louder and more aggressive tone than pressing softer.
The only difference between these two pianos is that the Yamaha P71 has fixed sensitivity. If you’re looking to play expressively, you probably won’t use this feature, however, for practicing and getting the notes right, it does come in handy.
The winner: Korg B2
Comparing the tones of these two pianos was very hard since tone is a very subjective topic for musicians. However, in the end, the Korg B2 was the winner. While I personally preferred the tones on the Korg B2, I wouldn’t say they were that much better than the P71, they were just different. The main reason the Korg B2 was the narrow winner in this regard was because of the wider sound library.
The Korg B2 uses PCM Stereo Sampling. This is a common method used by most entry-level Korg pianos, and it makes for a very nice sound. This technology works by playing multiple samples every time you press a key on the piano. The result is a more realistic and well-rounded tone that sounds very similar to the instrument it’s trying to mimic.
When listening to the tones, I found that the Korg B2 had very warm piano sounds. This is great for students and makes for a very mellow sound. This is a great contrast to the Yamaha P71, which is known for its bright and crisp tones. I personally preferred the sound of the Korg B2, but there are definitely pianists out there who would prefer the tone on the Yamaha P71.
The Yamaha P71 uses the AWM Sampling Method. This works by sampling real Yamaha pianos with natural decay and putting a digital filter to make it sound more realistic. The result is a very distinct tone that’s reminiscent of most Yamaha pianos.
The main reason the Korg B2 got the point over the Yamaha P71 when it came to tone is the sound library. Granted, both of these pianos have relatively small sound libraries, but they are more than enough for a beginner to familiarize themselves with the instrument.
The Korg B2 hosts 12 different voices while the Yamaha P71 has 10. This isn’t a large difference, but it gives the B2 a slight edge. With the Korg B2, pianists have access to a wider range of voices, which is what makes it the more versatile option. However, if you’re starting out as a pianist, the Yamaha P71 is more than what you’ll need.
The winner: Yamaha P71
This area was another very close battle, but in the end, the Yamaha P71 was the one that came up on top. With better polyphony and a wider variety of playing modes, it was easy to see why the Yamaha P71 remains the favorite beginner’s piano for many pianists out there.
At first glance, it might seem like the Korg B2 has better maximum polyphony as it’s listed that the instrument has 120-note maximum polyphony. Don’t be deceived as that only goes for specific voices and most of the other sounds only have 64-note maximum polyphony.
On top of that, since the Korg B2 plays multiple samples whenever you press a key, it evens out to somewhere between 14-16 note maximum polyphony. This is very small, but it’s a sacrifice you have to make for the great piano tones on this instrument. The polyphony is enough to handle wide chords even with the sustain pedal, but you might run into some trouble playing the more complicated pieces.
The Yamaha P71 has a true 64-note maximum polyphony. That means it can handle wider chords much better than the Korg B2, which is something a lot of people notice when testing out these instruments.
In terms of the different playing modes, the Yamaha P71 is also the winner. The Korg B2 comes with Duo mode and nothing else. With that said, duo mode is still a very useful feature, especially for beginners.
With duo mode, you can divide the piano into two smaller mini pianos with the same tuning. That way, the right side of the piano will sound exactly the same as the left side. This is a great feature for piano lessons as teachers can demonstrate different techniques and passages without needing to cross-over to the other side.
The Yamaha P71 also has a duo mode feature. However, on top of that, it comes with a dual playing mode. With this mode, every time you press down on a note, you will play two different voices. For example, you can combine the string and piano voices for richer accompaniment. Or you can even combine the piano and bass tones for a unique sound.
Because of this extra playing mode, the Yamaha P71 has more versatile piano features, which is what puts it on top in this category.
This is the one area where the Korg B2 wins in terms of piano features. The Yamaha P71 doesn’t offer that many connectivity options and can’t connect to Yamaha apps like other models in the “P” range. The Korg B2, on the other hand, offers MIDI connectivity via a type 2 USB.
This allows you to use the piano as a MIDI controller for virtual instruments or piano learning apps on your phone or computer!
The winner: Korg B2
The tie-breaker between these two pianos was the sound system. And after taking a close look, the Korg B2 is the winner. The speakers on the B2 aren’t exactly professional-level, but they are fairly loud. With two 9W speakers, you get some pretty loud and rich tones that make it easier for you to hear yourself when rehearsing or jamming.
On top of that, it has an output at the back where you can plug in headphones or external speakers. You can also plug in your phone or music device to play a backing track through the speakers to jam along to! However, it only has a single output at the back, which is slightly disappointing.
With the Yamaha P71, you only get two 7W speakers. Now, for their size, these are some pretty loud and high-quality speakers. However, it can’t beat out the speakers on the Korg B2. Like its Korg counterpart, the Yamaha P71 also has outputs at the back that you can use to connect external audio devices if you need to practice privately or make the sound louder.
Yamaha P71 vs Korg B2: The Similarities
Both pianos shared some similarities at the end of the day. The reason for this is that they’re both designed for beginners and do a great job at it. For starters, you have fully-weighted 88-key keyboards on both pianos, which gives you a very realistic feel which is very important when learning the instrument. Additionally, they both come with all the tones you’ll need to start learning to play and experiment with the piano.
Another similarity is that these are both lightweight and portable pianos. You can easily bring either the Yamaha P71 or Korg B2 with you to gigs, jams, or even piano lessons. You can find bags designed for these pianos, which allows you to easily carry it around with you during your musical journey.
Quick Rundown of the Korg B2
- Bundle Includes: KORG B2SP 88-Key Natural Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano with Stand and Three-Pedal Unit, Furniture Style Flip-Top Piano Bench (Black), Rechargeable Music Light (Black), and Piano Learning and Playing Book (with CD)
- Sound Engine: The B2 provides a total of 12 sounds that cover a diverse range of genres, starting with five pristine piano sounds from its new piano engine, and also providing richly distinctive electric piano, organ, harpsichord, and strings. In addition to capturing the enormous tonal range of a grand piano, the meticulously-sampled sounds created for the B2 Digital Piano also reproduce the sympathetic string vibrations and damper resonances that give the piano its character
- German Piano Sounds: This world-famous German-made piano is beloved by countless pianists for its diverse range of expressive power. With stunning sonic dynamism and vibrance, its palette ranges from brilliant highs to chillingly detailed lows. The provided sounds include the majestic German concert piano and a Classic piano noted for its delicate and complex tone
- Italian Piano Sounds: An Italian-made piano with beautifully bright expression and satisfying sustain. Pianists around the world are enraptured by its rich resonance and sensitive responsiveness. The sounds provided are Italian concert piano, a bright-toned Jazz piano, and a beautifully resonant Ballad piano
- Electric Piano Sounds: An e-piano reproduces the differences in tone that arise from your playing dynamics and even simulates the sound of a key-off. Conjure electric piano sounds that are instantly recognizable from decades of great music
Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P71
- 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 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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- B2 digital piano: https://www.korg.com/ph/products/digitalpianos/b2/specifications.php
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