Yamaha P71 vs P45: Why the Amazon Exclusive P71 is the Better Digital Piano

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While many people confuse these two models because of all the similarities they share, I found that the P71 is the much better option, especially for beginners. The Yamaha P71 is exclusive to Amazon, so you can’t find it anywhere else. This model offers great sound quality, weighted keys, and is a lightweight and portable digital piano that’s perfect for beginners. And because it offers great functions at an affordable price, the P71 was the easy winner in this Yamaha P71 vs P45 comparison.

And while the P45 has a steeper price tag, it comes with a couple of premium features that make it ideal for novice and advanced students. The P45 has Yamaha’s GHS hammer action system and comes with a bunch of great accessories that can make it much easier to play and practice music.

Yamaha P71 vs P45: 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)
Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
Model
Yamaha P71
Yamaha P45
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Fully-weighted keys
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
Reverb (4 different types)
-
Layering mode
Duo Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
10
Recording
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Music rest
Pedal included
What I Like
Price
$479.99
$549.99
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)
Layering mode
Duo Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Recording
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Music rest
Pedal included
What I Like
Price
$479.99
More info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
Model
Yamaha P45
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
GHS Weighted Action
Touch Sensitivity
Hard/medium/soft/fixed
Tone Generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
Effects
-
Layering mode
Duo Mode
Split Mode
Number of voices
10
Recording
Headphone input
AUX out
MIDI
Music rest
Pedal included
What I Like
Price
$549.99
More info

Last update on 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Related Article:

  1. Yamaha P71 vs P125: Why the Yamaha P125 Is the Better Investment

Yamaha P71 vs P45: Differences

Since these two models share a lot of similarities, comparing them was a very close fight. But in the end, the Yamaha P71 won the comparison by 3-2 because of its superior features and better portability.

Hammer Action

The Winner: Yamaha P45

The Yamaha P71 comes with a GHS system
The Yamaha P71 comes with a GHS system

The one area where the Yamaha P45 was the clear winner between the two is the hammer action. While both keyboards are equipped with weighted keys, I found that the Yamaha P45’s keys felt closer to a real acoustic piano compared to the P71. The reason for this is that the P45 is equipped with a GHS system while the P71 has normal weighted keys.

The GHS hammer action system is exclusive to Yamaha digital pianos. This system uses graded hammer action, which means the lower keys will feel slightly heavier than the higher keys. The reason this system works is that it accurately mimics the feel of using a real acoustic piano, which could be a great help for students and professional performers alike.

When using the P71, I found the hammer action to be great and much better than other models in its price range. However, when stacked up against the GHS hammer action of the Yamaha P45, the P71 definitely falls short.

Tone Quality

The Winner: Tie

Since both of these digital pianos use similar techniques to generate tone, they were tied in this aspect. In fact, many customers seem to share the same opinion that the P71 and the P45 both have very similar tones that are hard to distinguish.

Tone Generation

Both of these models use AWM stereo sampling for their piano tones. This involves loading the piano with high-quality samples and recording of real instruments. These sounds are then triggered whenever the player presses on a key. In this price range, sampling is the go-to technique for tone generation as it can provide a very accurate and rich tone while also keeping production costs down.

Both of these models use AWM stereo sampling
Both of these models use AWM stereo sampling

What sets the tone of these two pianos apart from others in their price range, however, is the “AWM” part. AWM stands for “Advanced Wave Memory”. This is a system that recreates the sound of a real instrument with great accuracy. It works by using high-end equipment and technology to record the sound of an instrument and then using advanced digital filters to enhance the audio samples.

The result of AMW stereo sampling is very accurate instrument tones that are great for practicing at home and even performing at certain venues!

Sound Library

Both of these models are equipped with 10 different voices. This is about standard for the price range and contains very high-quality samples. On both the P45 and P71, you can get grand piano sounds, acoustic piano sounds, and even organ and string tones for more variety. And while these pianos provide decent tone variety in their library, more advanced players and students might find it fairly limiting since it only contains 10 different voices.

Effects

Both pianos come with the built-in reverb effects
Both pianos come with the built-in reverb effects

A great feature of both pianos is the built-in reverb effects. The reverb has four different settings, which all provide a different feel. Having built-in reverb allows you to customize your tone when playing piano, providing more versatility. However, while you can tweak certain aspects of the reverb, you cannot save your settings which can get in the way when trying to achieve a specific tone in a short amount of time.

Extra Features

The Winner: Yamaha P71

Since both of these pianos are designed for beginners, they don’t have that many extra features. However, when comparing the few extra features of both models, the Yamaha P71 was the better option. For one, many customers, including myself, noticed that the timbre of the P71 was slightly better than the P45, however, keep in mind that tone is very subjective so the answer may vary depending on who you ask.

However, one feature that really stood out was the dual mode. While both pianos have dual mode, users have had better experiences with the Yamaha P71. With dual mode, you can load two different sounds into the piano at the same time to create a surreal experience.

With that said, one downside to the dual mode is that you cannot split the voices. This can limit the applications of the mode, which is a slight let down. 

Portability

The Winner: Yamaha P71

Yamaha P71 is lighter than P45
Yamaha P71 is lighter than P45

One of the major differences between these two models is the weight. The Yamaha P45 weighs around 11 pounds more than the P71. While this makes for a stronger build, it also makes it tough to bring the P45 around to practice and performances. Since the P71 is the lighter option, it makes it easier to load in a car or carry around with you when going about your day.

Additionally, the P45 has the option to come with a furniture stand. The downside to getting the furniture stand is that it makes it much harder to bring around with you when going to gigs or rehearsals. The P71, on the other hand, doesn’t have the furniture stand option and you can use standard lightweight piano stands that are much easier to move to different places and load into a car.

Yamaha P71 vs P45: The Similarities

When stripped down to the bare basics, both of these models may seem like the same piano. After all, they share a fair amount of similarities such as the way they generate tones, the effects, and the sound library. Both of the options also come with sustain pedals that make it easier for people to play their music just the way they like, adding sustain to certain movements and parts of the piece.

These pianos share so many similarities that many people confuse them as the same model. They aren’t. The P71 is a lighter, more affordable option that is only available on Amazon. And since it can provide the same tone as the P45 with a slight sacrifice when it comes to hammer action, the P71 was my top pick when comparing the two models.

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 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Affordable and ideal for beginners
  • Equipped with fully-weighted keys
  • 10 great presets with AMW sampling
  • Comes with a sustain pedal and music stand
  • Headphone input for silent practicing
Cons
  • No split mode
  • Doesn’t have GHS hammer action

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha P45

Yamaha P45, 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano (P45B)
  • 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 2021-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Comes with the option for a furniture stand
  • Fully-weighted keys with GHS hammer action
  • Built-in reverb effects
  • Sustain pedal and power adapter included
  • Equipped with dual mode
Cons
  • More expensive than the P71
  • Heavy build makes it harder to move around

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