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Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: AlexBltn] #2747917
06/28/18 07:50 PM
06/28/18 07:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,492
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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AlexBltn, thanks sharing this info. The P-515 looks very promising.

Regarding this comment:

Originally Posted by AlexBltn
I thought this model was already known for a while. Personally, I first heard about it in April's Musikmesse 2018.


May I ask if you work for Yamaha, or have some kind of connection with the company?

As far as I am aware, information about this new model was shared with Yamaha dealers only very recently.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
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Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Kawai James] #2747978
06/29/18 02:56 AM
06/29/18 02:56 AM
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AlexBltn Offline OP
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Hello, Kawai James,
As you can see, this video is available since April.
This is quite good Russian-speaking YouTube channel about digital pianos.

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: AlexBltn] #2747981
06/29/18 03:11 AM
06/29/18 03:11 AM
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Thank you Alex. Yes, I've watched some videos on that channel before.

I do not understand Russian, but was able to interpret the automatically generated and then translated captions well enough to understand that the models the presenter refers to were not shown to the public. Despite this, I'm a little surprised that Yamaha allowed the video to be uploaded...assuming they were aware it was produced. I certainly do not recall seeing any English/German-language videos from Musikmesse 2018 referring to the P-515.

Kind regards,
James
x

Last edited by Kawai James; 06/29/18 03:53 AM.

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Kawai James] #2747985
06/29/18 03:31 AM
06/29/18 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I'm a little surprised that Yamaha allowed the video to be uploaded

This is the power of Slavic girls. )

Originally Posted by Kawai James
information about this new model was shared with Yamaha dealers only very recently.

Didn't know this fact 'cause I don't work for Yamaha. wink

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Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: anotherscott] #2747990
06/29/18 05:24 AM
06/29/18 05:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
This might finally be the long awaited CP-300 replacement. It would be nice to see a Yamaha slab wth beefy speakers that weighs less than 70 lbs.


No, the CP300 has a C at the start which makes all the difference: it is a stage piano with speakers. The P515 isn't built in any way for the stage - hence it's simplified GUI and lack of functionality. I doubt Yamaha will create another CP400 for a decade or so.

It's built to compete with the FP90 and ES8. Both these instruments are bare spec pianos with similar sounds etc.

This morning I listened to the P125 demos and the P515 demos. They sound almost identical piano sound wise when recorded through audio out.
The main improvement on the Yamaha P515 is the action: the NWX action is a better action than the Graded Hammer (GH) action on the P255. Also, Yamaha have added an extra 10 Watts of amplification. This puts it 10 Watts ahead of the Kawai ES8 and 20 Watts behind the FP90. With the FP90's superior dynamic control and Kawai's superb piano sampling, I still feel Yamaha's piano tone is batting down the order.

The fact remains that this action is still behind it's competitors on action; however, I imagine from Yamaha's POV, they think they're being really generous putting the NWX action in there.

How do I like the NWX action?

Digital Actions (not including real piano actions):
1) Grand Feel II
2) Grand Feel 1
3) RM3 Grand II
4) PHA50
5) RH3
6) GrandTouch
7) RH2
8) PHAIV professional
9) NWX
10) PHAIII

I think that's a fair ranking of digital actions. I put the NWX at 9 because of it's heavier weight and sluggishness remind me of the feel of the PHAIII action (just without the bottom squidginess). Yamaha really should take a leaf out of Roland's book and make one best effort digital action then put it in almost everything over £1000, that way they'd save on tooling and manufacturing duplication. If Yamaha had put the GrandTouch Keyboard in this and charged us for it, we'd still be thinking, no I'd rather have an MP11 and add some amplification.

For me, if you want a CFX on a portable piano, pick up the Roland and add the Garrritan CFX VSTi; or, if you love the Kawai ePianos and Piano sample sound, pick up the ES8, and the iLoud monitors to bring up the amplification and use the Garritan CFX VSTi.

The problem here for me is that as others have pointed out: this is CLP645 technology being put into the P series and it's just not that impressive: it's a C+ effort from my point of view. You get a CFX sample and a Bosendorfer sample: both of which sound almost identical to the same sounds in the P125, the CLP6XX series etc. I'm not sure I can hear any evolution of the Yamaha CFX sample from the 6 series CLP range, which for me is a pleasant sound but nothing to get over excited about---it still has some characteristics of the old AWM piano sound, which I feel is too dated. Yamaha have evolved their AWM engine, first into the SCM (Spectral Component Modeling) + AWM2, then this became rebranded into the Pure CF Sound Engine (exactly the same sampling technology but used to sample the CFX grand), which has now evolved in marketing speak into the Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer Imperial, "CFX Binaural Sampling" with resonance modelling (basically SCM). Now for those who notice the word Binaural, this only works with headphones on i.e., with both ears isolated from the other sound source, so no benefit when played through speakers.

Put another way: this isn't great innovation from Yamaha
The small boys are working hard: Nord has a gigabyte of piano memory. Korg's GrandStage piano sound has bridged some of the gap with VSTi makers by increasing to 10 velocity layers. Dexibell has pushed the boat out further with 24-bit and 48-KHz technology and no polyphony limit. Roland reinvented piano modelling. Pianoteq have developed a whole gamut of impressive instrument models, not only piano.

Don't get me wrong, I like the sound, it's ok, but it feels like evolution not revolution and it seems like all the actual technological improvements are being conducted by all the other manufacturers, with Yamaha being always slightly behind the technology curve. That's why when they released this yesterday, I was listening to the Bonners music demo without a single positive emotion crossing into my consciousness.

Last edited by Doug M.; 06/29/18 05:26 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Doug M.] #2748000
06/29/18 06:40 AM
06/29/18 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.

it's a C+ effort from my point of view.

Really? While I agree that "this isn't great innovation from Yamaha", I think that rating it a C+ effort is pretty harsh. It is a huge improvement over the P-255, which it replaces, e.g., going from a 2-sensor plastic GH action to a 3-sensor wood/plastic + escapement NWX action. I bet there was a battle within Yamaha whether to use GH3X or even GH3 instead. Also, the metal 3-pedal option is significantly better than the dreadful plastic 3-pedal option on the P-255.

Originally Posted by Doug M.

Yamaha really should take a leaf out of Roland's book and make one best effort digital action then put it in almost everything over £1000, that way they'd save on tooling and manufacturing duplication.


There is no chance that Yamaha will standardize on one action, as their philosophy is to differentiate between pianos based first on action, then on other features. Most piano players prioritize, and are willing to pay for, better actions, so standardizing actions makes little sense. And as a much larger company than Roland, I expect that Yamaha has greater cost efficiencies.

Originally Posted by Doug M.

You get a CFX sample and a Bosendorfer sample: both of which sound almost identical to the same sounds in the P125, the CLP6XX series etc. ... Yamaha have evolved their AWM engine, first into the SCM (Spectral Component Modeling) + AWM2, then this became rebranded into the Pure CF Sound Engine (exactly the same sampling technology but used to sample the CFX grand)


Note that the Pure CF sound engine, used in the P-125 and DGX-660, does not have CFX or Bosendorfer samples. It samples the older CFIIIS grand piano. I don't know what Yamaha calls the sound engine in the P-515, but it has VRM, string resonance, key off, etc., that its lower priced pianos do not have.

Originally Posted by Doug M.

It's built to compete with the FP90 and ES8. Both these instruments are bare spec pianos with similar sounds etc.


The P-515 includes 480 XG voices and 18 drum kits, so it is no bare bones piano. The connectivity and app options are excellent, and it is priced lower than the Roland FP-90 and Kawai ES8. Count me impressed (and a bit surprised) with this product from Yamaha.

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: AlexBltn] #2748004
06/29/18 06:51 AM
06/29/18 06:51 AM
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Suffolk, United Kingdom
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EssBrace Online content
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Lotus1 - fully agree. Doug's post was more of the usual (often inaccurate) Yamaha bashing.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7 | Yamaha CLP 645
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: EssBrace] #2748006
06/29/18 06:56 AM
06/29/18 06:56 AM
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I think it’s a great piano, I can’t wait to try it.


P155
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Doug M.] #2748039
06/29/18 08:47 AM
06/29/18 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.


Digital Actions (not including real piano actions):
1) Grand Feel II
2) Grand Feel 1
3) RM3 Grand II
4) PHA50
5) RH3
6) GrandTouch
7) RH2
8) PHAIV professional
9) NWX
10) PHAIII

I think that's a fair ranking...


Perceptions are subjective. You put PHA50 fourth in the ranking and PHA III last. But aren't they basically the same model with some incremental changes? Certainly, they seem similar in touch to me, except that they've improved the noisy action problem with the newer action. And both those Roland actions are snappy and responsive compared to Kawai RH, which I found sluggish and gloopy. (however, I can't speak for RH II and III)

Regarding Yamaha DP s in general, I think I agree with essbrace: they may be slow to innovate but they do make agreeable-sounding, well built and reliable instruments. They are widely used professionally and in education. Surely those customers are not mistaken.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Lotus1] #2748044
06/29/18 09:04 AM
06/29/18 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotus1
This looks like a great product, with similar specs to the CLP-645, but in slab form. I hope Yamaha brings it to the US and prices it right.

Here are some details from Bonners:
NWX action (wood + synthetic ivory/ebony)
40 voices built-in including CFX and Bosendorfer pianos, plus 480 XG voices available (through the Smart Pianist app?)
VRM, string resonance, half pedal adjustment, etc.
40 rhythms
30W x 4 speakers
MIDI in/out, USB to host and device, Bluetooth, etc.
Optional integrated stand and 3-pedal unit

The only negative I noticed is that they bundle the FC4 on/off pedal with it, not the FC3A continuous pedal -- just as they do with the P-255. I guess they want you to spring for the optional 3-pedal unit, the damper pedal of which is continuous.


According to Bonners music the P515 is the mobile version of the CLP-645

But in opposite to the 645 it fully supports the Smart Pianist APP

Which allows you to do almost everything you would do on the high end CVP series..
With a superb graphical screen.
Graphical piano edditing
Arranger features
Sheet music reading
Song mode

Roland has something simmular
And i think this is what sells piano’s to the youth..
They turn it into a fullfledged musical workstation, yet still a piano at its chore..
I guess we know what the future holds for us
Kawai missed the boat on this so far it seems(unless i am mistaken)
Which makes this instrument the direct competitor to the Roland FP-90 in many european music stores.

For me, if they ever release a CP4 replacement with this app, i might feel an urge to buy it to replace my Kronos and pa4x...

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Doug M.] #2748046
06/29/18 09:10 AM
06/29/18 09:10 AM
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EssBrace Online content
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Originally Posted by Doug M.


Digital Actions (not including real piano actions):
1) Grand Feel II
2) Grand Feel 1
3) RM3 Grand II
4) PHA50
5) RH3
6) GrandTouch
7) RH2
8) PHAIV professional
9) NWX
10) PHAIII

I think that's a fair ranking of digital actions. I put the NWX at 9 because of it's heavier weight and sluggishness remind me of the feel of the PHAIII action (just without the bottom squidginess).


Doug, I have to wonder if you've played these pianos, or whether you are trying to put together a composite view of these actions for reference. That could be helpful in certain circumstances, but only if it's based on accuracy. In any event the preference for action feel is almost as subjective as preference for piano sound. You think your ranking is fair. Quite right; fair for YOU, not necessarily for anyone else.

I do question the last statement I have quoted from you. The PHA-III was criticised by some for bottoming out too hard. Many people made that observation. So to talk about squidginess in relation to PHA-III is nonsense. It was/is an extremely crisp and agile action. And, as toddy points out, all subsequent premium Roland actions have shared the same basic underlying action architecture.

Some DPs are the sum of their parts, some don't even live up to that promise. But some, quite often Yamahas, are more than the sum of their parts, as if there's a synergy between each component that makes for a decent musical experience. I don't possess a Yamaha but have owned a few. The new P515 just has the vibe of a very well resolved product that may not blindingly excel in any particular area but could just hang together very nicely in any musical setting. Tony from Bonners makes a comment along those lines and he is playing these things from every manufacturer every day of his working life; it's not a comment he had to make after all, but he chose to do so.


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7 | Yamaha CLP 645
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: AlexBltn] #2748055
06/29/18 10:14 AM
06/29/18 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotus1
It is a huge improvement over the P-255, which it replaces, e.g., going from a 2-sensor plastic GH action to a 3-sensor wood/plastic + escapement NWX action. I bet there was a battle within Yamaha whether to use GH3X or even GH3 instead. Also, the metal 3-pedal option is significantly better than the dreadful plastic 3-pedal option on the P-255.


Yes, it is harsh but I want Yamaha to do better.

This output is way below the standard of the Montage of Genos/Tyros series. Yamaha used to be amazing innovators (e.g., Yamaha HX1).

Whilst you are correct that the P515 is superior to the P255 it replaces, I give it a C+ because this offering merely drags the Yamaha portable along-side technology released 4 years ago by other brands (triple sensor, proper 3 pedal options etc). Yamaha's product cycle for the P series flagship is long, therefore, each output needs to push the boat, not merely hit par. Like Microsoft, Yamaha have a legacy in terms of distribution, finance and customer base from which they can benefit despite lack of innovation. Why should they get a B or B+ when not a single main attribute on this piano (sound, action, amplification) is industry leading at it's release? I'll give a product an A or A* when it's so far ahead in every department, and a B or B+ if it has some good innovations over its competitors.

Originally Posted by Lotus1

Originally Posted by Doug M.

Yamaha really should take a leaf out of Roland's book and make one best effort digital action then put it in almost everything over £1000, that way they'd save on tooling and manufacturing duplication.


There is no chance that Yamaha will standardise on one action, as their philosophy is to differentiate between pianos based first on action, then on other features. Most piano players prioritize, and are willing to pay for, better actions, so standardising actions makes little sense. And as a much larger company than Roland, I expect that Yamaha has greater cost efficiencies.


This would be true if it were sensible, which it is not. In order to generate a series of different actions, you need R&D diversification, different production (tooling, resources, factories), and as the action makes a large impact on the digital piano chassis design, it means that the number of standardised components is reduced directly due to having a different action assembly. Roland (with the PHA50) can use standard parts to connect to the action, standard software programming to interface with the action etc. Not only that, you can sell an upgraded Roland to someone who already uses Roland, and they will instantly be familiar and happy with the action. Therefore, there are sound financial and commercial reasons. Money saved on having one action across many products can be instead put into R&D for sound design for example. Also, I'm not sure you can class Yamaha as a much larger company---the musical division has great distribution relationships. I suppose I should give them an A* for that. Both companies are huge corporations. Hasn't stopped Roland from being smart about its action.

Originally Posted by Lotus1

Originally Posted by Doug M.

You get a CFX sample and a Bosendorfer sample: both of which sound almost identical to the same sounds in the P125, the CLP6XX series etc. ... Yamaha have evolved their AWM engine, first into the SCM (Spectral Component Modeling) + AWM2, then this became rebranded into the Pure CF Sound Engine (exactly the same sampling technology but used to sample the CFX grand)


Note that the Pure CF sound engine, used in the P-125 and DGX-660, does not have CFX or Bosendorfer samples. It samples the older CFIIIS grand piano. I don't know what Yamaha calls the sound engine in the P-515, but it has VRM, string resonance, key off, etc., that its lower priced pianos do not have.


Yes, but I was showing the evolution of their piano sound synthesis rather than focusing on instruments sampled. I also forgot to mention the RGE (Real Grand Expression) sound engine in the CLP4XX series.

My understanding is that virtual resonance modelling (VRM) uses math algorithms (software) to model resonance characteristics: string, damper, soundboard etc. It's not new for Yamaha, the CLP5XX series had VRM. As far as I'm aware, resonance modelling was used first in the Roland RD series when they used hybrid modelling/sampling. KJ may be able to correct me if I'm wrong, but Kawai use modelling to augment their sampling which includes resonance modelling?

Anyhow: effectively, Yamaha's current sound generation is a mixture of PCM and modelling. Although Yamaha use marketing terms that differ (AWM, AWM2, RGE, CF sound engine, CFX Binaural Sampling with VRM etc) and always more syllables lol... Point is, evolution, not revolution. The basic quality of the Yamaha sampled piano seems to course through all the models going back to the mid 1990's----all the CLP and P instruments have a similar aspect to the sound even though many aspects of sampling quality have improved. Perhaps it is due to the compression used in the sampling... I didn't mind this aspect 20 years ago, now there is a thin over-bright quality to Yamaha sampling in comparison to Kawai and Roland. Some music even suits this character.

Originally Posted by Lotus1

Originally Posted by Doug M.

It's built to compete with the FP90 and ES8. Both these instruments are bare spec pianos with similar sounds etc.


The P-515 includes 480 XG voices and 18 drum kits, so it is no bare bones piano. The connectivity and app options are excellent, and it is priced lower than the Roland FP-90 and Kawai ES8. Count me impressed (and a bit surprised) with this product from Yamaha.


I've looked at the prices: when you include stand and accessory bundles, the p515 is very similar in price to the ES8. The Roland FP90 is more money (for the better amplification). Connectivity isn't a main feature on a portable---nice to have, but bluetooth isn't something I think about being much of an advantage. Has the P515 got USB midi?

The Kawai ES8 has 34 voices, and they are quality voices. Low for a stage piano, perfect for a portable; also, the ES8 has 100 Rhythm styles (x 2 variations), a 4-part accompaniment select, and 100 preset chord sequences. One thing I noticed about Kawai sounds: the quality is good, the quantity is lacking. The FP90 has--- Piano: 15 tones; E.Piano: 16 tones; Strings: 11 tones; Organ: 15 tones; Pad: 15 tones; Other: 278 tones (including 8 drum sets, 1 SFX set)

Ergo, I concede the p515 has more voices, fewer Rhythm styles than the ES8 and no fully modelled piano like the Roland. Also, what makes XG voices sound great on the Tyros and Genos is the articulation features i.e., controlled by two buttons near the modulation wheel on the Tyros. These features are not listed in the P515 spec.

The main point to a portable piano is to play piano

I'd want quality sound presets (not necessarily quantity), quality action and quality amplification (and enough Rhythms to cover the main bases).

On comparison, the Kawai sampling is fuller, darker and richer than the Yamaha sampling---especially noticeable on top models like the CA98 vs CLP685. The Roland piano is difficult to judge because set-up plays a huge part on getting it to sound great. I really liked playing the LX17 which has brilliant amplification, and found the LX7 disappointing comparatively. Roland modelling sometimes sounds good in youtube performances, sometimes cack. In pieces with dynamic variation, the Roland modelling does very well. I don't think more than 200 sounds on a portable is necessary. The user interface on these portables isn't as easy to navigate (sometimes you scroll through sounds with arrows, other times, knobs). Wouldn't want to scroll through 100 string sounds for instance---that would be tedious.

A Bonners video clip comparing the ES8 vs FP90 vs P255 showed that the FP90's amplification (60W over the 30 W of the ES8) makes quite a difference (if you use a microphone to record the instruments instead of direct line out. I'm going to test this p515 in the store in Manchester when next in the city. I'm not excited though, as I've played the NWX action (didn't like it) and there is nothing (except headphone bineural effects) that I'm curious about.

I'm not bashing Yamaha for the product itself; rather, I'm bashing it for complacency and lack of innovation. If someone offered me a free p515, I'd be quite happy to have one. In a year or two, Kawai and Roland will probably bring out replacements for the ES8 and FP90. I expect the piano modelling to have improved at least as much again (to compete with Pianoteq advancements). I expect the Kawai to come with more amplification (Onkyo) and the same sound engine as the CA98's. Both replacement instruments will probably get an action upgrade. I'm bashing Yamaha for not future proofing this model by putting out something cool. You know this is probably it now for Yamaha in the top end portable market for 5 years, maybe 10.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: EssBrace] #2748056
06/29/18 11:01 AM
06/29/18 11:01 AM
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Posts: 1,104
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Doug M. Offline
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I have thought about what you said: Yamaha bashing.

Its hard for me: I really liked Yamaha products. Now I'm into piano more, I am less impressed than 20 years ago.

Although sound tone is subjective, sound quality isn't. I think the quality of some aspect of the Yamaha sampling is creating a tonal quality in the Yamaha sound I dislike. You don't hear the same aspect in the Garritan CFX sample. I like bright pianos but they benefit from having a richness to the sound: both in top and bottom frequencies. The Yamaha sound is resonant and is in that way rich, but it sounds compressed compared to the Kawai. This comes across as sounding a bit thin in comparison. The Casio sound suffers from the same problem, but their piano sound is not as resonant and complex, so I prefer the Yamaha piano sampling to the Casio's. The other aspects of Yamaha's tone are nice. When the left-hand hits the bottom notes, it's powerful and creates a nice bass sound...Still, the Kawai bass sound is thicker, darker, less compressed. The Roland bass sound is it's crown (less convinced about the mids and highs). I have to admit these are my personal assessments: meant more as constructive criticism than stylistic critique.

Originally Posted by EssBrace

Some DPs are the sum of their parts, some don't even live up to that promise. But some, quite often Yamahas, are more than the sum of their parts, as if there's a synergy between each component that makes for a decent musical experience. I don't possess a Yamaha but have owned a few. The new P515 just has the vibe of a very well resolved product that may not blindingly excel in any particular area but could just hang together very nicely in any musical setting. Tony from Bonners makes a comment along those lines and he is playing these things from every manufacturer every day of his working life; it's not a comment he had to make after all, but he chose to do so.


Tony also mentions in other videos that the NWX action is heavy compared to Kawai actions (see clp585 vs cs11) and that this might be an issue for some people.

I agree that some DPs are the sum of their parts. I think the problem here is that the FP90 and the ES8 are both very resolved products also. They just happen to have better actions and piano sounds (and in the Roland's case, amplification). I'm not saying that the P515 is poor. I'm saying that it is not innovative on any of its main features: amplification, sound, action. I don't see it stacking up in a few years time.

When Kawai brought out the ES8, I wondered how Roland would respond. I knew they would. I knew they would come out fighting. They did. Both these are superb instruments as a whole and taking their key features to new levels. For some reason, I didn't expect Yamaha to come out fighting by offering competitive advantage in one of the 3 main features. In this market, they haven't in the past. The P515 appears to have come late to the ball with last seasons action.

Putting aside my bias against the sound. Just looking at the amplification and action: it's a bit disappointing they didn't create an action that beats the RHIII. Kawai won't be quacking in their boots and putting their thinking caps on with regard to how to match Yamaha's challenge. Yamaha know how to make a better action, they just didn't. Also, they skimped on the amplification despite knowing Roland already provides 60 watts. Maybe like some people, the P515's character fit's its style and I'll forgive it's shortcomings when playing it.

Originally Posted by EssBrace
The PHA-III was criticised by some for bottoming out too hard. Many people made that observation. So to talk about squidginess in relation to PHA-III is nonsense. It was/is an extremely crisp and agile action. And, as toddy points out, all subsequent premium Roland actions have shared the same basic underlying action architecture.


I originally tested the PHAIII action on the RD300NX and RD700NX. I felt the actions were a tad heavy and I did feel squidginess at the bottom of the action---quite sure of that. Again later I tested a V-piano down in Bristol. Didn't notice the same squidiness in that. The PHAIV on the RD800 seemed to have less squidiness at the bottom, but still I preferred the Grand Feel action at the bottom than the PHAIV. This quality was absent on the PHA50. Now, I don't mean by squidy that there was a marshmellow feeling when the key bottoms out, but it wasn't as nice as the Kawai RHII on the ES7 for instance. In general, I liked the V-piano and it's action. For some reason, the RD instruments weren't as nice to play using the same action.




Last edited by Doug M.; 06/29/18 11:04 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Doug M.] #2748067
06/29/18 11:58 AM
06/29/18 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
How do I like the NWX action?

Digital Actions (not including real piano actions):
1) Grand Feel II
2) Grand Feel 1
3) RM3 Grand II
4) PHA50
5) RH3
6) GrandTouch
7) RH2
8) PHAIV professional
9) NWX
10) PHAIII

I never remember what many of these are without brand and model references. But one thing I'll mention is that I don't think you can always lump all of a type together. My ranking of RH3 would be much higher playing on an SV1 than on a Kronos.

One of my favorite actions was whatever was on the Yamaha CP1 and CP5. I don't think that's on your list. I also liked the older Roland FP7 and FP7F better than the current RD800 and RD2000.

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: anotherscott] #2748071
06/29/18 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Doug M.
How do I like the NWX action?

Digital Actions (not including real piano actions):
1) Grand Feel II
2) Grand Feel 1
3) RM3 Grand II
4) PHA50
5) RH3
6) GrandTouch
7) RH2
8) PHAIV professional
9) NWX
10) PHAIII

I never remember what many of these are without brand and model references. But one thing I'll mention is that I don't think you can always lump all of a type together. My ranking of RH3 would be much higher playing on an SV1 than on a Kronos.

One of my favorite actions was whatever was on the Yamaha CP1 and CP5. I don't think that's on your list. I also liked the older Roland FP7 and FP7F better than the current RD800 and RD2000.


I think Doug means Kawai's Responsive Hammer III (the ES8/MP7II action), and not Korg's? But he should of course speak for himself.

The CP1 and CP5 NW-Stage action that you mention is an interesting one, particularly in that it wasn't graded (but apparently it had a software-graded velocity curve to compensate).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: Doug M.] #2748090
06/29/18 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug M.


I originally tested the PHAIII action on the RD300NX and RD700NX. I felt the actions were a tad heavy and I did feel squidginess at the bottom of the action---quite sure of that. Again later I tested a V-piano down in Bristol. Didn't notice the same squidiness in that.


Yes you make some good points Doug.

But this touches upon another point I made about accuracy. RD300NX and RD700NX have different actions. RD700NX had PHA-III, yes (as does V-Piano). RD300NX had Ivory Feel-G, described by many as a bit sluggish. That action is not related to PHA-III in any way. You seem to base some of your statements on fundamentally untrue beliefs/assumptions. But you make some very valid points also, I don't want you to think I'm having a go!


Roland RD-1000 | Nord Piano 3 | Dexibell Vivo P7 | Yamaha CLP 645
Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: AlexBltn] #2748096
06/29/18 01:50 PM
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I really like the sound (even in white grin ) and assuming it plays as good or better then my CP4. At 10 lbs. heavier though it's definitely "for in the office". I also like the integrated stand, I'd certainly order that.

Speakers, speakers and more speakers -- no more phones in the office ! thumb yippie

Highly looking forward to trying it out.

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: anotherscott] #2748107
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
One of my favorite actions was whatever was on the Yamaha CP1 and CP5. I don't think that's on your list. I also liked the older Roland FP7 and FP7F better than the current RD800 and RD2000.


Yes. The action on the CP5 was really lovely. It was ungraded - but so what: grading the weights across the keyboard just because it's necessary to the mechanics of an acoustic strikes me as utterly pointless. In any case, the effect is slight on DPs so it frankly doesn't bother me whether it's implemented or not: it's just a marketing proposition.

The FP7 and FP7f had PHA ii and iii respectively, which were similar or identical in touch. They are smart and responsive according to most reviews - but they make a noise bottoming out. I think the PHA 50 has solved that problem but possibly at the expense of snappiness of response.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

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Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: toddy] #2748108
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Yes to all.

Re: Yamaha P-515 portable digital piano [Re: toddy] #2748114
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Originally Posted by toddy

Yes. The action on the CP5 was really lovely. It was ungraded - but so what: grading the weights across the keyboard just because it's necessary to the mechanics of an acoustic strikes me as utterly pointless. In any case, the effect is slight on DPs so it frankly doesn't bother me whether it's implemented or not: it's just a marketing proposition.


Well, I guess you could argue that weighted keys are only necessary due to the mechanics of an acoustic piano as well (hmm, that makes me wonder, does a harpsichord have weighted keys)? The same with keys that actually have to move in order to trigger a sound.

If we're going to discount any action feature that only amounts to a "necessary evil" on an archaic acoustic piano, should we be talking about Rolis instead, or completely non-mechanical, touch/pressure sensitive keys?

IMO, the whole point of a "digital piano" is to emulate to the best of its ability, real acoustic pianos. Warts and all. Mechanical necessities and all. Regardless of whether piano makers consider these details desirable. Once you do something else, you're on the road to creating a different instrument action that's not strictly a piano (and there's nothing wrong with that, it's just a question of where you draw the line).


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai NV-10, MP11
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