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Yamaha DGX-660 Review – Your Personal Band

The Yamaha DGX-660 is fun to play with.

In the digital piano industry, the Yamaha Portable Grand series stands out to be very different from others. The name of this product line is very misleading. It gives the impression that it is all about piano, but in fact, the models have tons of features that go beyond just piano. If I were hired by Yamaha to name this product line, I would probably call it Portable Band. In this Yamaha DGX-660 review, I will show you the details about this flagship model and why I consider it to be more than just a piano.

DESIGN


  • The look

The DGX-660 comes with two colors, black and white. While it certainly is not ugly, there isn’t much to be amazed about how it looks. It’s a straightforward design with functionality as the main focus. The side panels have a wooden texture surface but only on the black version.

The stand comes included in the package. Assembly is required but it’s easier than an IKEA table. So it should take you no time to have it set up and running. Once assembled, it’s quite sturdy and feels well-built. Unfortunately, the stand looks like an old fashioned office desk.

  • Music rest

The included music rest is made from plastic. It has a simplistic style and is big enough to display any score book you have.

It is a detachable music rest that you can take it off and put it away. There’s a Yamaha logo in the middle and it’s subtle. I’m glad they didn’t make the logo gold.

One potential issue you might encounter is that the music rest is attached at the very back end of the instrument. With the substantial depth of the DGX-660, it could be difficult to read the sheet music. Especially if you don’t have perfect eyesight.The music rest of Yamaha DGX-660

  • Control

The control panel on the DGX-660 can be intimidating at first. There are tons of buttons and dials and knobs. You will need to spend some significant time to get familiar with them.

The good news is, once you are familiar with the panel, these controls allow for quick access to the tons of features that the DGX-660 is packed with.

One thing you will definitely notice is the display. The DGX-660 has a 320×240 LCD display. It is a very useful addition to the control panel. Not only can you see your settings and features on the screen, you can also switch it to display sheet music and/or lyrics. There are also lesson function built in that you can play along and it will show you what note you are currently playing.

The screen is clear to read. However, it’s not a colored display and it’s a bit small. I don’t see myself actually using the screen for reading sheet music. Compare to what you can find on the market nowadays, the LCD display looks outdated.

Besides the control panel, there is a pitch bend control wheel to the left of the keyboard. This is something you would mostly only find on synthesizers. It is used to change the pitch of a note and thus create interesting effects, like a vibrato.

The Yamaha DGX-660 control panel

  • Keys

The Yamaha DGX-660 has a full 88 keyboard. The white keys have a glossy surface while the black ones have a matte finish. There is red velvet at the back end of the keyboard to give the DGX-660 a premium look.

  • Size & Weight

This is another area that the name Portable Grand is misleading. The DGX-660 is actually quite large and heavy. You certainly would not want to move it often. If you are a gigging musician and needs to move the instrument from venue to venue, the DGX-660 is probably not a good choice for you.

It weighs about 21 kg (46 lbs) alone and 28 kg (62 lbs) with stand.

After assemble, it has the dimensions of 140 x 45 x 76 cm (55” x 17” x 30”)

KEY ACTION


The keyboard on the Yamaha DGX-660 has 88 keys. It uses the Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) technology. The keys are weighted with actual hammer and the weights are graded. They are heavier on the base side of the piano and gradually get lighter towards the treble side.

The GHS action is currently the entry level key action from Yamaha. There are two sensors to measure the movement of the keys. Unlike triple sensor keyboards, fast repetition could be a challenge on the GHS.

The matte finish on the black keys are supposed to help absorb moisture and improve grip for long practicing sessions. However, the key tops are still too smooth to make any significant difference. Combined with glossy finish on the white keys, I find the GHS a bit difficult to control after couple hours of play.

Touch sensitivity can be adjusted in the settings and each level does provide significant difference.

The keys are noticeably noisy when pressed. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that. It is not going to distract you from playing and certainly wouldn’t wake anyone in the middle of the night.

Overall, the GHS keyboard on the DGX-660 is adequate for beginning pianist. But if you are already experienced, especially with acoustic pianos, this key board would require some time to get used to. It is not the most realistic key action on the market.

SOUND


The DGX-660 is equipped with Yamaha’s Pure CF sound engine. This is currently the mid range sound engine from Yamaha.

It uses samples from Yamaha’s 9 foot concert grand acoustic piano, the CFIIIS. Enhanced with computer modeling for resonances, the DGX-660 sounds pretty authentic and detailed.

There are two sets of speakers next to each side of the control panel. Each set consists of one main 12 cm drive and one 5 cm tweeter. With two 6 watt amplifiers, the DGX-660 is not the most powerful digital piano on the market. But it does sound loud enough to fill your living room.

Sound quality through the speakers is nothing to complain about. The bass and mid range are rich and the tweeters produce clear high frequency notes.

Yamaha Pure CF sound engine samples its CFIIIS concert grand

FEATURES


Oh where should I start? The DGX-660 is packed with features and you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun with it.

Start with the sound, you have access to 10 different pianos sounds as well as hundreds of other instrument voices. It will take you hours just to listen to each one of them.

You can then add effects to the sounds you like and there are tons of effects to choose from. Some will simulate a certain venue, some will add other virtual players to play along with you and other effects would supplement your play with harmony notes. The combinations are endless.

There are also 100 internal songs under the lesson function. You can call up the sheet music on the display and play along with it. Three different ways you can learn. The lessons can pause and wait for your action, play at normal speed or isolate a certain part of the piece for you to practice.

Another interesting feature that you won’t find on many digital pianos is the microphone jack. You can plug a microphone into the DGX-660 to sing while playing. There is even a dedicated volume control only for the microphone input.

Here are some other features that you might find useful.

  • Sounds: 554 total
  • Polyphony: 192
  • Key sensitivity:
    • Soft
    • Medium
    • Hard
    • Fixed
  • Reverb settings: 41
  • Chorus settings: 44
  • Digital Signal Processing: 237
  • Modes:
    • Dual mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Split mode: split the keyboard to two different instruments
  • Internal recording:
    • MIDI: up to 5 songs, each up to 6 tracks
    • WAV: to USB
  • Connectivity:
    • Microphone jack
    • USB to Host
    • USB to Device
    • AUX in
    • Pedal jack
    • Headphones x 1

ACCESSORIES


The Yamaha DGX-660 comes with a music rest, matching stand and a foot switch.

The foot switch serves the function of a sustain pedal. However, it does not support half pedaling. It’s a binary on/off switch. I would recommend a proper sustain pedal or Yamaha’s three pedal unit. Once your piano skill reach a certain point, pedaling becomes crucial to your performance.

If you are not purchasing bundle offer from Amazon, a bench will be needed as well.

Due to the weak built in amplifiers, external speaker/monitor might be needed.

A good pair of headphones is always recommended for a digital piano.

One more thing that’s missing in the package, depending on your region, is the adapter for the headphone. You’ll need a 6.35 mm male to 3.5 mm female adapter for most headphones.

WHO IT’S FOR


The Yamaha DGX-660 is best suited for beginners and music enthusiasts who like to compose and mix their own music. It is also a great instrument for family and friends. You can play and sing together and really have tons of fun at parties.

However, if you are only interested in piano play, all those features on the DGX-660 would be useless to you. And you can better spend your money for something more dedicated on piano performance.

CONCLUSION


Being solid on almost all aspects, the DGX-660 is a great all round instrument.

You can learn to play piano with the adequate GHS key action and the great Yamaha sound. Meanwhile, all the features can make your time fun and keep you motivated.

If you like karaoke, the DGX-660 is the perfect instrument for a night full of joy and laughter.

Overall, if you will utilize all the features on the DGX-660, I highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, if your main focus is to practice piano, the Kawai ES110 might be a better choice.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY



Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Yamaha DGX-660, please share with us in the comment below.

Yamaha DGX-660

7

Design

6.0/10

Key Action

5.0/10

Sound

8.0/10

Features

9.0/10

Accessories

5.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Hundreds of voices
  • Hundreds of effects
  • Microphone jack
  • Display
  • Pitch bend wheel

Cons

  • Key action can be better at this price range
  • Not really portable
  • Binary foot switch
  • No headphone adapter
  • Bluetooth would be nice

24 thoughts on “Yamaha DGX-660 Review – Your Personal Band”

  1. Although this keyboard has a big learning curve, it’s worth it. Most keyboards are limited in that they don’t have as many keys as a piano and you can only play a small number of keys simultaneously. This keyboard also sounds like a real piano, as the notes don’t have an electronic sound. It even offers a variety of pianos, not to mention all of the other Instrument voices it has.

    1. The DGX-660 has been a round for white a while. And it still holds itself pretty well in the market. I guess that’s why Yamaha hasn’t release a newer model to replace it.

  2. Hi Wei, I am looking for my daughter (10), she has a great interest in music & singing. As I am out of the time were Stratocaster & Hammond was the choice for Kids, with short scale guitar and casio simple Keyboard. However my daughter uses this all intuitive, she’s asking for Piano. I saw kids getting there piano, than never touched it again. So I consider stage piano’s, which entertain and engage (all my assumption). In our region not all model easy to get (almost Far East Asia). Kawai ES110 is good, Kawai ES9 (did try them during travel) I feel is just great, both not to get on my market place. Yamaha is on the market, so P 125 and P 525 to consider. My wish, take the best out of both ES9 and P 525, plus microphone option from DGX 660, this would be perfect for my kid. Quality, Sound, Feel and fun stuff like arranger & mic. This my thoughts, now the question. Any idea if a follow up DGX 660 (670) is coming up where I would look for a better display, menu and feel of the keys? On the other hand, if piano teacher would recommend a ES110 or P 125 for the first 2 to 3 years, a DGX 660 should be as good, just with more fun elements which might motivate or also distract. Looking forward to hear from you on my take and question. Thank you, Cheers, Armin

    1. Hi Armin,

      First you need to decide all the fun features are extra motivation or distraction. This is based on your observation of your daughter and no one knows her better than you.

      If we want to focus on piano, than the key action on the DGX-660 is not the best given the price. The ES110 would be a much better choice. Or check out the Roland FP-30 and Casio PX-S1000.

      If you do need the extra fun factors, the DGX-660 is pretty much the one. It’s been around for a while. But there’s no rumor for an updated model from Yamaha.

      Hope this helps and do come back and share with us which one you get for your daughter.

  3. Good afternoon Wei,

    This is a great review of the Yamaha DGX-660. I am really impressed with this music instrument. When I was small I did play some piano but that was on a “normal” one.

    You call this piano a portable band and reading about all the special features it has I can only agree. That you can create the impression of being in a concert hall or just in a big room is quite amazing. I listened to the video and was impressed.

    Features like Jazz or Samba, really fun to have that possibility. To also be able to change the pitch of a note is great. 

    Further on in your post you say that having this digital piano you actually have access to 10 different piano sounds, what a great instrument. Thank you for all this information.

    Regards, Taetske.

  4. Well, this DGX-660 seems to be a well equipped machine which can be used by different people. When I look at the features they seem be way more advanced than those of an acoustic piano. 

    Some years back I had bought Yamaha PSR 2100 for my local church and it seemed very advanced and fit for any occasion. I don’t easlily find the PSR these days and I wonder what happened. Can you try to tell me the difference between the Yamaha DGX and PSR series? Again which is your recommendation piano for an audio recording studio.

    1. Thanks for your comment and questions. They are really good questions. The DGX-660 does have many features that are similar to the PSR series. The main difference is that the DGX-660 is a digital piano, which means it has full 88 keys and they are weighted and graded with touch sensitivity. The keys are suppose to work and feel just like an acoustic piano. On the other hand, the keys on the PSR series are just simple switchers. 

      As for audio recording studio, it really depends on your need and the music you are making. One of the questions you need to ask yourself is whether you need the keys to be sensitive to how hard you press them. 

      I hope my answers are helpful to you and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have further questions.

  5. Although this keyboard has a big learning curve, it’s worth it. Most keyboards are limited in that they don’t have as many keys as a piano and you can only play a small number of keys simultaneously. This keyboard also sounds like a real piano, as the notes don’t have an electronic sound. It even offers a variety of pianos, not to mention all of the other Instrument voices it has.    

    1. Hi there, thanks for dropping by. As a digital piano, the DGX-660 has full 88 keys. It does sound very nice and have tons of instruments voices. 

      The learning curve is indeed its biggest issue. It would certainly be worth it if you would eventually use all the features. 

  6. This is kind of what our grandson has been asking for Christmas.  He will be 8 soon so Im not sure if this is just a little too advanced for him.  However, kids these days continue to surprise me as to what they know and what they can do.  The review is great.  Now all I need is your opinion as to this is okay for an 8 year old or maybe you have a better recommendation.

    1. Hi Dale, welcome and thank you for the comment. I think the DGX-660 is great for your 8 years old grandson. Kids are easily distracted and one major challenge is to keep them focused and motivated. 

      With all the features on the DGX-660, he will have a lot fun playing and will keep coming back to practice. 

      Another advantage is that for kids, it’s important to explore different musical styles so that they can eventually find what they like. The Yamaha DGX-660 would be perfect for that.

  7. Hi Wei. Thanks for sharing this review: Yamaha DGX-660 Review – Your Personal Band. I think you’ve done well with the review. I like your simplicity and realness with the review. Like you said, I think this keyboard isn’t good enough for the price. It could have been better. But overall I think it’s a good pick for anyone looking to buy a digital piano.

    Awesome contents here. Keep sharing

    1. Hi there, thanks for dropping by. I didn’t say that the DGX-660 isn’t good enough for its price. What I meant is that it depends. If you can utilize all the features, then it’s a great buy with awesome value. However, if your only focus is piano play, then you are paying for tons of features that you would never use. In that sense, there are better options on the market.

      It really depends on your personal needs.

  8. Hi there, 

    I got a few questions regarding the Yamaha DGX-660…

    First off is the sound banks, or voice banks if you prefer – what type of quality are they? I only ask as most digital piano soundbanks these days pale in comparison with Kontakt MIDI samples, that can be controlled through a DAW. 

    Also, what is it’s compatibility like through Ableton and FL Studio? I only ask as I have had problems with MIDI controllers and digital pianos with these programs before. 

    1. Hi Chris, welcome and thanks for the comment. The sound source of the DGX-660 comes from sampling of Yamaha’s concert grand piano, the CFIIIS. It is a pretty decent re-production of the acoustic instrument. However, judging by the questions you asked, I suspect you would probably prefer something better. You can always link the DGX-660 to your computer and use it as a controller. 

      As for the Ableton and FL Studio, I do not have experience with either software. Let’s see if someone here can leave a comment and help with that. 

  9. Thank you for this awesome review on the Yamaha DGX-660, I really do believe this is the one I was looking for in the last 10 months, on and off, of course.

    I started playing in the late 70’s with one of the first electric Synthesizer for home use, also a Yamaha. I really loved it than, although, these were real heavy ones and we didn’t had much room for it in our apartment, but I loved it then.

    I do like all the details you are providing in your article and it makes it easier for me to get one, finally, after a very long time, picking up playing again.

    Saved your site too. 🙂 

  10. Yamaha products have made waves in the piano industry and I love this review.

    I don’t mind the cons in this review,  portability might not be a disadvantage  , at least for my kind of person,  I love good output moreso,  I always enjoy it in my music room.  

    Music is life,  it’s inspiring especially playing your piano at the cool of the day.  

    1. Yamaha has indeed made a big name in the digital piano industry. They also have a wide range of product lines to meet the need of different people. 

      The portability is a con because the DGX-660 is marketed as a portable grand piano. I want to make it clear to my readers that if you are looking for something portable, this might be your best choice. 

  11. Hey there! I’ve been wanting to get a digital keyboard for years now but they’ve been so far out of budget that I couldn’t get it. You know how it goes with life and bills. I’m so excited about this one because it is really decently priced and affordable! Thanks for sharing and I’m definitely bookmarking this for later! 

    Marlinda 

    1. Hi Marlinda, welcome and thank you for your comment. Do you have any experience with pianos? Are you interested in composing your piece or have a karaoke night with family and friends? The DGX-660 is great for these purposes. 

      However, if you are totally new to the instrument, all the features can be overwhelming and end up never being used. For that reason, I would recommend the Yamaha P45 or the Kawai ES110. Both are affordable and can help you with your learning without too many bells and whistles. 

      You can also check these best digital pianos of the year here!

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