Yamaha P-series keyboards are some of the most popular digital pianos on the market. The Yamaha P71 is a powerful Amazon-exclusive keyboard that delivers excellent piano playing experiences. Since its release in 2016, the P71 has been a widely popular option for all types of pianists. Its rich sound, convenient features, and portability set it apart from lots of the competition. This Yamaha P71 review will cover everything you need to know about the well-known keyboard.
Even with a minimalistic design, the P71 has a wide array of features. This 88-key keyboard has 88 fully-weighted action keys with GHA, or Graded Hammer Action. GHA is one of Yamaha’s premium weighted actions, and it’s suitable for pianists of all levels. It replicates the feel of a real piano by making the lower keys slightly heavier than the rest. This weighted aspect allows pianists to transition from the keyboard to a real piano seamlessly.
This keyboard has 10 sounds, including a concert piano, bright piano, 2 electric pianos, 2 organs, 2 harpsichords, and 2 vibraphones. Lots of keyboards boast hundreds of sounds. However, those keyboards don’t always strive to produce the best sound quality for pianists. Keyboards like the P71 put a higher focus on sound quality over quantity. The piano sounds on the Yamaha P71 really do sound like real acoustic pianos.
There are also 4 different settings for touch sensitivity, which is nice. These settings are hard, medium, soft, and fixed. Touch sensitivity is how well a keyboard responds to different pressures that you put on the keys. For example, the P71 gives you lots of room to play loud and soft notes on the hard sensitivity. However, the fixed option makes every note the same volume, regardless of how hard you play it. This setting might be better if you’re playing electronic music.
The piano keys are held to Yamaha’s entry-level Graded Hammer Standard which means that they are of higher quality than many other beginner piano keys.
The P71 features AWM, or Advanced Wave Memory sampling. This is an advanced type of sampling that allows the keyboard to produce distinctively rich sounds. You also get 64 notes of polyphony, which is plenty for most pianists. The polyphony determines how many notes you can play at the same time. “Why does the number need to be so high?” you might ask. There’s one main reason. This keyboard gives you the option to layer two sounds together in the dual-mode. By layering sounds, you’re doubling the polyphony. So, if you play a layered chord with 8 notes, that’s 16 notes of polyphony. However, a 64-note polyphony should be more than enough to play even the hardest pieces. It’s only the keyboards with 32 notes of polyphony and under that might run into problems.
There are two main modes on this keyboard: Dual and Duo. The Duo mode is convenient because it allows two people to play simultaneously on each side of the piano. This extra person could be a friend, or even a student or teacher. Normally, playing at the same time isn’t possible, since the lower register sounds muddy if you’re playing melodies. This mode is an excellent alternative to having two separate pianos in a piano lesson. On the other hand, the dual-mode lets you play two sounds at once. For example, you can create a piano-vibraphone hybrid on the P71, which is a unique sound. You can experiment with combining each of the 10 tones.
Some other features are the metronome and transposition tuning. Practicing with a metronome is an excellent way to build your internal rhythm. This practice method helps you play smoother and with more rhythmic accuracy. Since many genres are rhythmic-based, you can benefit a lot by practicing with a metronome.
Transposition tuning is a feature that lets you change the key centers of the notes to help you accompany a vocalist by adjusting semitones. For example, let’s say you learn a song in the key of C but want to play it in D. You can easily accomplish this with 2 clicks. The option to transpose gives keyboardists a slight advantage over real pianos. However, if you’re serious about improving your skills, you may want to learn songs in different keys. The transposition option is highly convenient but not necessarily a crutch.
The P71 has several ports for accessories including a USB port (for MIDI devices), a sustain jack, and a headphone jack. You can even connect an amplifier to the headphone jack for jamming out.
The P71 weighs only 25 pounds, making it very easy to move around. Gigging musicians would enjoy this keyboard because of its lightweight nature. This keyboard is also great for people with limited space in their house. It’s 52 inches wide and only a depth of 11.5 inches.
You can access many of the features with the Grand Piano/Function button. Some of those features are the voices, metronome, and demo songs. For metronome practice, you can set the tempo anywhere from 32 to 280 beats per minute. If you want to detune the keyboard, the range is 414.8 to 440 to 446.6 Hz.
On the back, there’s a standard headphone and sustain pedal jack. Both of them are 1/4th inch jacks, so you’ll need a 1/4th-inch headphone adaptor if your headphones don’t already have that type of connection. Though there isn’t a direct MIDI connection, there’s a USB-B on the back. You can use this to connect the keyboard to a computer and record directly into a DAW. A DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, is a powerful software that lets you record and create music. So, it’s convenient that the P71 has this connectivity.
The P71 also has excellent reverb controls. You can choose between a room, hall 1, hall 2, and stage reverb. For the price, all of these reverb options are a great value.
In The Box
In the box, you get a music rest, sustain pedal, and the power adaptor. These are the basic accessories to get you started right away. You might benefit from buying an external stand since the keyboard doesn’t come with one. You’ll also need a bench. Amazon recommends both of these products along with the purchase of the P71.
The P71 currently retails at $479.99 on Amazon. Considering that it’s a full-sized, fully-weighted keyboard with high-quality sounds and features, this price is very affordable. Lots of full-sized keyboards of this caliber cost in the $500-$1000 range.
There are a number of piano keyboards that can be called competitors to the Yamaha P71. We’ll cover some of the main competitors (including Yamaha’s own) below.
What’s the Difference Between Yamaha P71 vs P45?
The Yamaha P71 is an Amazon-exclusive keyboard meaning that Yamaha only sells this laptop on Amazon. Because that’s the case, they can actually offer it at a lower price since they have less distribution and inventory costs associated with it. It’s safe to say that the Yamaha P45 is the bigger brother of the P71, but the specs are virtually the same. Really the main difference is the price. The P71 costs $479.99 while the P45 costs $483.78. You can watch a demo video of the P45 below:
Yamaha P71 vs P125
The Yamaha P125 is geared more towards intermediate players. Not only is it more expensive, but it’s designed to be more of a permanent fixture in your home. It comes with a Yamaha L125 piano stand, piano bench, and three pedals. It comes with 192 polyphony and better keys than the P71, but is more than twice as expensive.
Yamaha P71 vs Casio PX-160
Casio is one of Yamaha’s fiercest competitors in the low-end and high-end piano market. Like the P71, the Casio PX-160 features a full-size 88-key keyboard. The Casio is a great alternative to the P71 when it’s available. It, too, features multiple ports for accessories, multiple voices and tones, and excellent hammer action keys. You can even get beginner bundles that include many accessories like a keyboard stand and bench.
Yamaha P71 vs Alesis Recital Pro
The Yamaha P71 is comparable to the Alesis Recital Pro piano, albeit with a lower price tag and not made with the same quality as the P71.
Does the Yamaha P71 have MIDI?
The Yamaha P71 does not have MIDI, but the USB support will be able to support MIDI inputs.
Does the Yamaha P71 have weighted keys?
Yes, the P71 has 88 fully weighted keys. It is our overall favorite weighted keyboard.
Does the Yamaha P71 have bluetooth?
No, the P71 does not have Bluetooth support so you will not be able to hook up Bluetooth headphones. Generally, Bluetooth results in sound delays anyway, so this isn’t a major con.
Is It Worth It?
The short answer is yes! However, this question depends on what you desire from a keyboard. The Yamaha P71 offers 10 highly-accurate instrument sounds to satisfy nearly every musician. If you’re someone who likes hundreds of sounds, the P71 might not be for you. Even though huge-soundbank keyboards can have excellent sounds, they generally aren’t made with sound quality as the top priority.
But, if you’re someone who fancies the idea of quality over quantity, the P71 may align with your values. The AWM Stereo Sampling sound engine delivers rich and spacious sounding instruments. With Graded Hammer Action, this keyboard also feels very authentic to a real grand piano. The action isn’t too heavy or too light, which is nice. Rather than being a vast workstation, the P71 closer resembles a mini grand piano. It’s excellent for students and teachers alike and anyone who wants to learn the piano.
Overall, this Yamaha P71 review deems the keyboard as an excellent choice for beginners and advanced pianists. So, if you want a rich-sounding full-sized keyboard at an affordable price, the Yamaha P71 might be your best choice.