Piano World Home Page
Posted By: JimB1 A beginner’s review of the Yamaha P125 - 01/13/19 01:18 PM
I know this is one of the options most of us beginners ask about so I figured I’d give my review after owning it for 3 weeks and having been in classes for two weeks. I have no previous knowledge of piano prior to this so hopefully this will give an absolute beginner an idea of what to expect...

First, the piano I am using in class is a Young Chang grand (don’t know what the model number is for this one) so I can compare the Yamaha to that piano for things like keyboard feel.

Build:
Seems like a solid build as expected from Yamaha. The key tolerances are tight (no wiggling to speak of) and the switches seem sturdy. Seems a well built DP overall.

The included foot pedal works but isn’t so good on carpet and flips around a lot on me. I understand it’s small and portable but I may have to buy the larger, more realistic shaped sustain when I get a little further along.

Connectivity:
Ports are; single sustain foot pedal, 3 pedal, USB, 2 headset jacks, aux out.
As a beginner I don’t need any more than these, advanced players may miss a dedicated Midi out.

Controls:
I did go out and get the connector so I can use my iPad and the Smart Pianist app which is kind of neat but I find it’s faster most of the time to use the keystrokes to make normal changes.

The Rhythm and Metronome controls took me about a minute to memorize and changing instruments and layering was maybe 2 minutes more. I do like the app for recording though. I haven’t used any or the advanced features of the app like getting chord charts from music in iTunes or transposing music. Maybe at some point I will use those.

Generally I’d say the piano features in the app are convienances but so far all the things I need as a beginner are easily accessible using the buttons and keys as well.

Sound:
The P125 has a 4 speaker setup with 2 on top and 2 underneath. In a household setting the volume is decent. It doesn’t seem exceptionally loud but does sound pretty good. In a large room or someplace moderately noisy I’d say external amplification is needed. For practice at home the volume is fine.

The piano sampling is good overall but I have noticed the left and right most octaves have more of an electric piano tone to them, not as acoustic sounding as the middle octaves. Also when doing left hand chords there is some sort of odd harmonic going on that also sounds false to my ear. Overall it’s not bad but it’s got some flaws. Initially I didn’t like the live piano option but it’s growing on me. I haven’t messed with the other instruments much other than layering some strings on the grand piano and playing with the electric piano just for kicks. Fun to mess with but kind of a distraction at the moment. I’m pretty much sticking with the piano for now so I don’t have an opinion on the other instrument features yet.

Feel:
This is the toughest and is the most subjective, I also don’t have a really good feel for the acoustic yet so I’ll do my best. smile

The Yamaha has the GHS keyboard with plastic keys. The black keys have a little texture to them but the white keys are pretty smooth. You can slip some after playing a while. The funny part for me is that the keys on the Young Chang texture-wise don’t feel all that much different. Maybe a little more grip to them but very minor. The keys on the Casio PX160 or the Roland seem to be a lot more agressive on the texture then the keys on the Young Chang.

The Yamaha keys feel lighter then the Young Chang on the push with less resistance on the release. It definately feels like the acoustic keys pivot much further back then the Yamaha GHS and on the acoustic there is more of a pendulum feel to the key stroke and release cycle.

That said the Yamaha for its light weight and small size isn’t a bad approximation. Definately good enough for practice in a portable.

Final thoughts:
Overall I like it and feel it is a good first DP. Some of the piano tones could use improvement and maybe a minor amount of texture on the white keys would be appreciated but I don’t think any beginner would be disappointed in this one as their first DP. I don’t feel any great need to run out and get something else at this point in time. Ask me again next year and maybe I’ll decide I need a better keyboard feel or more realistic sound but for now it really does have all the bases covered to get my foundations solid and that’s all I’m really asking of this one.

Hope this helps someone..
-Jim
Thank you for the info. Very interesting and orderly review.
I had one for three or four months. It was OK, a little dry but nothing really anomalous about the tonal range. Slightly different to the P45 I previously had...not sure it was much better, though. May have been a memory issue.
Swapped it out for a Roland, which had a slightly better set of keys for my (apparent) sausages, as I suddenly took it upon myself to try and stop avoiding the black gaps (which, I decided, was both awkward and cheating).

The P125 was fine. Damn annoying though, that the well-hyped Smart Pianist is STILL not available on Android! (slated now for June this year). Bought a tablet for it, and everything! (Least it now has a use...tapping this in).
Jim - great review.

WRT the pedal moving around (even on carpet), it's a common problem.
When I gig with my P-120, I always carry some gaffers tape with me.
https://www.stagespot.com/pro-gaffers-tape.html
One strip across the front of the pedal is minimal to holding it in place.
One front & back works best.
Gaffers tape is different than duct tape.
It doesn't leave (much) residue when you pull it up which is why they use it on stage.
Hope this helps you.
Decent assessment imo. You don't need all the best stuff to put in a decent performance. My DGX could handle everything I threw at it, except Fantasie impromptu.
I couldn't play those quadruple notes one encounters early on in that piece.
My Roland will.
When somebody else plays it . . . . . . . . .
A more realistic sustain pedal is easily available and not overly expensive. For example: https://www.kraftmusic.com/on-stage-ksp350-sustain-pedal.html . This type of pedal seems to hold it's position well on carpet. I found that the small foot switch sustain that the entry level Yamaha's come with were too easy to accidentally kick around and move. If you have wood or tile floors a small piece of carpet or a small rug under your piano will help. Enjoy!
Good review, JimB1!

Re. the above recommendation, do note that the On-Stage KSP350 does not support half-pedaling; i.e., it does not allow a range of sustain effects. So, while it certainly has a better shape than the gray plastic foot switch that comes standard with the Yamaha P-125, it is functionally a similar on/off switch.

I recommend the Yamaha FC3A pedal instead: https://www.kraftmusic.com/yamaha-fc3-dual-zone-piano-style-sustain-pedal.html
It is about twice the price of the On-Stage KSP350, but worth every penny.

If you bought your piano with the optional Yamaha L-125 wooden stand, you might consider the optional Yamaha LP-1 triple-pedal unit instead, though the other two pedals are rarely used.
The pedal unit on the P115 was horrendous and I think they already made a significant improvement on the P125.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums