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Hello, thank you very much indeed for reply!


I have to underline that some settings above are closely connected to the playback equipment used which quality is high...

Now you can play not only with the piano hammers, but also with its "dampers"...
It's a quite revealing environment.


Apart from that, I think that the output stage, the power supply and the microelectronics inside have a rather variable quality standard:

the previous P-515 distorted, the Clavinova in the store even more, but this P-515 does not distort (if used properly...).

It's a matter of fact... I'm not accustomed to those noises...


When I played, for example, Chopin Etude op.25 No.1, all the right hand arpeggios were distorted, with strange "electric guitar feedback" effects on some singing notes that were very annoying.

Now, even with a Beethoven Hammerklavier sonata outburst, the P-515 responds very well.


In any case, I guess that unfortunately these "defects" are just factory "production tolerances"...


So we have "to choose our instrument" just like any other acoustic instrument...



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Interesting read, Davide. I can relate to that: For each audio output chain you need to adapt your instrument's settings carefully if you aim at the most "natural" sound.

I go back and forth between digital and acoustic setups regularly, so I know rather well what kind of sound I want to get in my headphones. Even when I just change headphones the digital setup requires a slight adjustment (in particular, in EQ).

Also, finding the right combination of sound parameters is crucial. Keep the reverb at a low level....


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Davide82,
Thanks for your detailed information on the P515.
I just picked up the P515 and only had a chance to quickly turn it on and play for about 15 minutes.

I quickly set it on a counter in my kitchen to test it. This certainly was not the best place to check out the sound. The kitchen is probably rather live, but the sounds even listening with headphones sounded distant. At first I thought it was just the kitchen, but the sounds (even the electric pianos) were the same way. I quickly turned down the reverb, but I still heard what seemed like a small room reponse was always present.

I did not get a chance to turn off the Binaural Sampling and Stereophonic Optimizer. I believe you can -based on the manual. I realize when the headset is plugged in, the CFX uses the binaural samples. I wonder if the Stereo optimizer is what I'm hearing on all the other sounds.

Also, I'm using highend headphones and they sound excellent with Keyscape, and all my other keyboards. Right off, without taking the line outs to my studio mixer, I'd say the headhpone amp is no good on the P515. It seems to roll-off the high end. I'll know more when I get a chance to drag it into my studio. I bought this keyboard for my wife. Also, I'm starting to think this was an open box purcahse. The seller threw their cleaning cloth and instructional book with DVD in the box. It makes me a bit worried this was a return. Where did you return yours, LOL? The first thing I plan on doing is a factory reset. The distant sound, even in the headset was concerning. Have you seen or heard anything like this?

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I think that sound, headphones and action/keyboard perception are each other closely related.

I've noticed too that the P-515 headphones output has a roll-off at high frequencies.

However I have to say that with low impedance high-end Sennheisers, output works quite right...
(but personally I don't like at all Sennheiser sound for this purpose)

About the CFX sound, I use only it with the binaural sample: the other sounds on P-515 are strangely unpleasant.

they seem to me just like "MONO" sounds...

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Switch the binaural effect off. It will also switch off "stereophonic optimizer". The sound will appear more direct, not distant. Headphone output is quite low-power, when using my AKG K271 MkII which are 55 Ohms, I need to set up the volume not lower than 85%, even all the way up.

Originally Posted by Davide82
I think that sound, headphones and action/keyboard perception are each other closely related.

I've noticed too that the P-515 headphones output has a roll-off at high frequencies.

However I have to say that with low impedance high-end Sennheisers, output works quite right...
(but personally I don't like at all Sennheiser sound for this purpose)

About the CFX sound, I use only it with the binaural sample: the other sounds on P-515 are strangely unpleasant.

they seem to me just like "MONO" sounds...


How did you notice the roll-off? Did you compare output of built-in headphone amp with sound from line-outs through another external headphone amp? What impedance are your headphones (those Sennheisers?)?
Did you try to increase the brightness parameter? I guess it's just a cutoff filter. For me, the default 5 setting is a bit low for most of the pianos, I usually set this at 8 in piano room (which is 14 in the Voice Edit menu). You can also try adjusting the EQ, setting it to bright or create your own EQ settings.



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I'm sorry, but I know what I'm talking about...

Anyway, in my opinion:

1) Except for bass increase, any equalization on P-515 upsets the piano timbre and eventually adds noise.

2) Binaural CFX sound is the only one that is right for a concert classical music sound on headphones

3) The light roll-off of the integrated headphones outputs, is due to the output stage topology itself
(switching power supply, microelectronics, low current output... etc. etc...): it's a classic.

4) If there is the need to add brightness, not only it messes up the timbre, but it also means that the headphones have an high frequency roll-off themselves

5) Akg k271 are good studio headphones, but not audiophile quality and probably they have more distortion than the intermodulations I can listen to if I increase the volume more than 50%. (distortions hide each other)

That's why I amplify P-515 with external amplifier thru line-outs.

It could be even better if Yamaha provided a true bypass line-outs, but unfortunately they don't...


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Originally Posted by Davide82
It could be even better if Yamaha provided a true bypass line-outs, but unfortunately they don't...

They did: USB Audio Out: all digital, no analog amplifier circuits involved.


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Thank you, Joe!

Has USB Audio Out to be sent to a personal computer or to an external DAC?

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(I suppose that we have to sent the USB Out to PC, then to Dac and last to amplifier...
this means that there is the need of a good DAC, otherwise the result could be even worse than the P-515 analogic line out...)

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There are quality DACs available at reasonable prices. Or - depending upon how happy you are with your current headphone amp - combination DAC/headphone amps. Schiit Audio is one brand that has a reputation for good sound at down-to-earth prices and they offer a variety of products.

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Thank you.

P-515 + external amplifier is very, very good indeed.
It's so transparent that you hear the dampers and the hammers voicing differences.
You just have to take care of the "Master Volume" level...

However, since I already have a good audiophile Dac, I buy the Usb cable tomorrow and I'll report about the differences.



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Looking forward to your report! (Btw, which DAC do you have?)

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Originally Posted by Davide82
Has USB Audio Out to be sent to a personal computer or to an external DAC?

The P-515 itself is an USB "device", so it needs an class-compliant USB host (like a computer or a tablet with camera adapter etc.). If your DAC is also an USB device, they won't connect directly. Though it would take not much effort for a manufacturer to build a DAC with an USB A port providing a host.

These complications are the reason, why we see still see analog audio (TS plugs) everywhere.


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Originally Posted by Davide82
Thank you, Joe!

Has USB Audio Out to be sent to a personal computer or to an external DAC?


The USB Audio Interface already has all the necessary ADC/DACs it needs built-in. You connect it directly to the PC. No DAC needed.

the USB audio interface integrated into the Yamaha P-125/P-515/CP88 and others is basically a sound card integrated into the digital piano. When you connect a USB cable between the PC and the digital piano, the PC will see a new sound card device and a USB MIDI device. Yes two different devices over the same USB connection.

With this sound card you can:
- Send audio (PC->DP ...OUT); say from a VST software or even youtube on the PC to the digital piano and have it play through the digital piano's internal speakers, attached headphones or external speakers attached to the piano.
- Receive audio (DP->PC ...IN); from the digital piano (while you are playing it) to the PC to be recorded.

If you are interested in using VSTs you only need one USB cable between PC and DP. You can route the MIDI data from the digital piano to a VST software running on the PC, and route the VST audio data (sound) from the PC directly to the digital piano's internal (or externally attached) speakers at the same time over this same USB cable with negligible latency.



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Originally Posted by halherta
The USB Audio Interface already has all the necessary ADC/DACs it needs built-in.

There are no Analog-Digital-Converters, because USB audio is already digital and a digital piano's tone generator works entirely digital as well.

A DAC is inside the digital piano to drive the amplifier driving the speakers (and headphones) and an ADC is only there for the analog 3.5 mm LINE input. The latter features a noise gate in the P-515, so there is no noise, when nothing is connected there.

All sound processing and mixing inside the P-515 is completely digital and that digital audio (16 bit stereo, 44100 Hz) then gets transmitted to the USB host, to be recorded, played back to a DAC or whatever. The analog circuits inside the P-515 are never involved in that process, that's why I made the suggestion to try USB audio.


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Thank you very much indeed for your interesting suggestions.

I guess that the drawback in the use of a mid-price pc (like mine) as Dac (keyboard - usb cable - pc - amplifier - headphones),
is quite similar to the use of the integrated P-515 headphones outputs: cheap power supply, microelectronics, intermodulations...

Since the use of the Usb cable means more devices involved than the simple use of the keyboard line-outs, I think that a good audiophile Dac (or a PC specifically built around the keyboard...) has more sense than the use of a mid-price PC as host-dac-preamplifier...


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OK,
I got a chance to finally check out the P515. It's now setup in my living room. By turning off binarual and Stereo optimizer it does sound a bit more direct.
I'm a bit unimpressed with the electric keyboard sounds. I thought the demos of the e. Piano Soft sounded better than what I'm hearing. Is there something I need to do to this patch to bring out attack and clarity? It's a bit muddy and not that useable. My old Yamaha ES8 has better electric piano voices.

Also Davide82,
You mentioned you like the CFX binarual samples opposed to the normal CFX samples. When I listen with my headphones, when shutting off the binarual samples, it does seen a bit more focused, but not necessarily better. So I can certainly understand why you may like it better on. It definately adds some- I'm in a room near the real thing. Have you tried leaving a spare set of phones plugged in to have the P515 use the binarual samples, but monitor through reference nearfield monitors and/ or headphones on your outboard gear? I know you mentioned the better audio quality using outboard gear to monitor. I just don't recall if you were listening to the binarual samples with your external equipment.

I will experiment with these options myself. I have an RME UFX and Midas M32R console. Both of these are excellent audio solutions. I also have a pair of Mackie HR824 or Yamaha HS8 w/sub speakers which I can run it though.

My studio main go-to-piano is Keyscape, but I believe the Yamaha P515 has more real piano organics that's missing from Keyscape. Without sympathetic and internal reverberant sounds, keyscape can tend to sound a bit sterile. (if you ask me). One plus for Keyscape is that the samples are pretty damn dry; therefore, in the studio, I can always add IR room reponses. I'd like to see Spectrasonics step it up and improve their Yamaha C7 samples and offer controls to add and bring out these sympathetic responses adjustable to the user.

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I bought a yamaha p 515 and i kept it for about 5 days. Very bad sound in all ways ( internal speakers,through monitors,through headphones,with or without vrm and binaural sample) I really like the keybed and the whole piano at all but the sound was bad.

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Originally Posted by anpan23
I bought a yamaha p 515 and i kept it for about 5 days. Very bad sound in all ways

So you bought it blind and didn't test it beforehand in a showroom?


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I had only the opportunity to test it through not so good headphones. I also believe that you cant always understand a piano in the 20 minutes that you test it in a store. I ve heard the review videos on youtube and i felt that its a good sounding piano. To be honest im not familliar to digital piano sounds so thats also a reason i bought it and dont understand the problem. Generally im a yamaha fun at all (from speaker monitors,alto sax,u1 piano,yamaha psr).

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