Yamaha P125 Review

Yamaha P125 Review – Kinda Hard To Recommend In 2019

Yamaha P-125

6.8

Design

7.0/10

Key Action

5.0/10

Sound

8.0/10

Features

7.0/10

Accessories

5.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Good looking
  • Rich and natural sound engine
  • Upgraded speaker system
  • Small and lightweight
  • 192 polyphony

Cons

  • Key action can be better
  • Binary foot switch
  • Bluetooth would be nice

Yamaha introduced the P125 as a replacement for the popular P115 in 2018. It was well received and many people liked this portable digital piano. In this Yamaha P125 review, I want to show you why I can’t honestly recommend it any more in 2019.

DESIGN


  • The Look

The Yamaha P125 has a modern minimalist design. It is clean and sleek. This instrument would fit most modern decor style and you can use the P125 as a focal point of the room.

Compare to the entry level model P45, the P125 looks much more premium and well-built. Yamaha has also put some good details on this model. Unlike its predecessor, the control panel on the P125 no longer has that concave curve. Instead, two straight lines from end to end wraps the buttons.

The Yamaha P-125 has a modern minimalist design.

  • Music Rest

The included music rest of the P125 is a solid piece of plastic. It is quite wide to display any music book you have and is quite tall as well to properly support any printed sheet music.

The music rest is identical to its predecessor the P115, but a big improvement compares to the entry level P45.

The music rest of the Yamaha P-125

Like many of its competitors, the music rest of the P125 sits at the very back end of the instrument. Due to its sloped angel, you can not have the piano back against a wall.

  • Control

The control panel on the Yamaha P125 is clean and straightforward. There is the power button, volume slider and some quick access buttons.

Much like its predecessor and other models of the same price range, many settings and features require a combination of buttons and piano keys.

The buttons and keys are well labeled. You can get to the most commonly used settings and features without consulting the user Manuel.

There are LED indicators on some of the buttons to highlight which setting/feature you are currently using.

The control panel of the Yamaha P-125

  • Keys

The Yamaha P125 comes with a full 88 keyboard. The keys are plastic. There is red velvet at the back end of the keyboard and it looks premium and adds a nice accent to this sleek instrument.

This keyboard is well-built and the gap between keys are minimum and even.

There have been several reports that some of the keys are stuck or doesn’t produce a sound. Usually having a replacement unit would fix that issue. If you purchase the Yamaha P125, I would encourage you to try every key immediately after unboxing.

  • Size & Weight

Being the mid range model of the Portable series from Yamaha, the P125 is small and lightweight. You can comfortably move it around between gigs.

It weighs about 11.8 kg (26 lbs).

Without stand and music rest, it has the dimensions of 132 x 31 x 17 cm (52” x 12” x 7”)

KEY ACTION


The P125 uses Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) key action. It is the entry level action from Yamaha.

Each key is weighted with actual hammers and the weight is graded. You get that authentic acoustic key feeling that it’s heavy on the bass side and gets lighter towards the treble side.

Touch sensitivity of the keys can be adjusted with 3 levels or turn it off completely. This is the setting that determines how loud the sound would be produced in relation to the force you put to press the key.

These 88 keys are made of plastic. The white keys have a glossy finish while the black ones have a matte finish. It is supposed to help with grip and absorb moisture for long playing session. Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed any real improvement from that matte finish.

The GHS is a dual sensor key action. There are only two sensors under the keys and this puts the P125 at a weaker position compares to its competitors on the market. Many of the current generation models from other manufactures are using three sensors for better responsiveness and faster repetition.

Overall, the GHS on the P125 is a good key action for any beginners. However, if you are experienced with piano play, especially with an acoustic piano, it will take you a little time to get used to the GHS action. At the same time, I fell the key actions from Kawai, Casio and Roland at this price range are much better than the GHS.

SOUND


The Yamaha P125 uses the Pure CF sound engine. Unlike the key action, this sound engine is currently the mid range engine from Yamaha.

It contains a 4 layer sampling of Yamaha’s famous 9 foot concert grand CFIIIS. Compare to the 3 layer sample from its predecessor, the P125 sounds a lot more detailed and rich.

Yamaha Pure CF sound engine samples its CFIIIS concert grand

Another significant advantage of the P125, compares to the entry level P45, is that the Pure CF sound engine uses computer modeling to simulate resonance that would occur in an acoustic piano. These include damper resonance, string resonance, and key-off simulation. They add a significant layer of realism to the piano sound.

The P125 is equipped with two 7 watt amplifiers. While these are not very powerful amplifiers, they do drive four speakers facing different directions. This creates an envelope effect and adds immersion to the player. The 4 cm tweeters produce clear high frequency notes, that suits the Yamaha’s bright tonal characteristics.

The speakers system on the Yamaha P-125

The speaker system is not the most powerful on the market but it’s loud enough to fill a medium-sized living room or a small venue. For gigs at larger places, external speaker/monitor would be needed.

FEATURES


The P125 is a simple mid range digital piano from Yamaha. It does not have many features besides excellent sound quality.

There is the Rhythm function that intellectually adds matching drum or bass part to your play. It’s fun to play around but I don’t find myself using it much often.

Here are some other features that you might find useful.

  • Sound (24 total):
    • Pianos × 4
    • Electric pianos × 4
    • Pipe organs × 4
    • Strings × 4
    • Vibraphone × 4
    • Bass × 4
  • Polyphony: 192
  • Key sensitivity:
    • Soft
    • Medium
    • Hard
    • Fixed (off)
  • Reverb settings 0-20:
    • Recital Hall
    • Concert Hall
    • Chamber
    • Club
  • Modes:
    • Dual mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Split mode: split the keyboard to two different instruments
    • Duet mode: divide the keyboard into two identical halfs
  • Internal recording:
    • MIDI: 1 song with up to 2 tracks
  • Connectivity:
    • USB to Host
    • AUX OUT
    • Sustain pedal
    • Pedal unit
    • Headphones x 2

ACCESSORIES


The P125 comes with a music rest and a foot switch. There are many bundle deals you can find that includes a stand, bench and an upgraded pedal unit.

The included foot switch is the same one you would get from the entry level P45. It is just terrible. You need to upgrade it immediately. This foot switch is a simple binary switch that can only detect on vs. off. It does not support half pedaling.

If you are gigging with the P125, you will need to invest in a travel bag. Not only is it easier to carry the instrument, but the bag also serves as a protection for the piano.

Depends on the size of your home or the venue of your gigs, you might want to use an external speaker/monitor system to enhance the sound quality of the P125.

Last but probably the most important, a good pair of headphone is essential for any digital piano.


WHO IT’S FOR


The Yamaha P125 is designed for beginners to explore the instrument and start their learning journey of piano. It is also a good choice as a secondary practicing instrument for any pianist.

As for gigging musicians, if you have the budget, there are better options on the market. But the P125 for its price is a solid option.

If you are interested in tons of instrument voices, mixing and composing your own music or the most authentic touch and sound of an acoustic grand piano, the P125 is not for you. There are other models on the market that serves those purposes.

CONCLUSION


The Yamaha P125 is a solid mid range portable digital piano.

It’s good-looking, small and lightweight. The sound is natural and rich in details.

The key action, though not the best on the market, is adequate for any beginners.

Unfortunately, there are several new models in 2019 that are better in many ways.

The P125 was a popular choice in 2018 but I can’t recommend it in 2019.


>> Click here to check price and availability! <<


 

OTHER OPTIONS

Yamaha P-125 vs. P45

Besides the same key action they use and same terrible foot switch, the P-125 is superior in almost every way to the P45.

It has a much more advance sound engine. The speaker system on the P-125 is also much better. The output power are similar but the P-125 has 4 speakers facing two different directions. The P45 has only 2 speakers.

If you play them side by side, you would be surprised how much better the P-125 sounds.

The P-125 also has a much larger polyphony number of 192 compares to the 65 notes on the P45.

Although you can only record one song up to two tracks on the P-125, the P45 simply does not have an internal recording capability. This could be a deal breaker for many since it really is a convenient function to have on a digital piano.

However, the P45 is couple hundred dollars cheaper than the P-125. Many would say the P-125 is worth the extra money and I would agree on that.

For more details about the Yamaha P45, click here for my full review.

Yamaha P-125 vs. Kawai ES110

These two comes head in head on the market. They cost nearly the same price.

The sound from both instruments are really convincing. Each has its own characteristics but both are natural, rich and dynamic.

The RHC key action on the Kawai ES110 is in my opinion the best key action at this price range. It feels more authentic and expressive to the GHS on the Yamaha P-125.

Recording wise, the P-125 can record only one song but can mix two tracks. While the ES110 can record 3 songs but doesn’t have the ability to mix tracks.

There are two significant advantages of the Kawai ES110. First, the sustain pedal included is much better than the foot switch of the P-125. It is a proper piano pedal with half pedaling support. Second, the Kawai ES110 has Bluetooth. You need an adapter and some cables to connect the P-125 with a smart device. This in 2018 seems a bit outdated.

Overall, they are both excellent digital pianos. But you do pay a bit premium for the Yamaha brand. In my opinion, the Kawai ES110 offers better value than the Yamaha P-125.

For more details about the Kawai ES110, click here for my full review.

Yamaha P-125 vs. Casio PX-160

The key action on the Casio PX-160 is slightly better than the GHS on the P-125. The PX-160 uses three sensors and the keys have synthetic Ivory/Ebony key tops. These are much better materials than the matte finish on the P-125.

They both sound pretty good and it really comes down to personal preference. I myself prefer slightly toward the Yamaha for it’s brighter tone.

They have the same binary foot switch and same internal recording capability. But the Yamaha P-125 has a larger polyphony number of 192 compares to 128 on the Casio PX-160.

Currently the P-125 is about $200 more expensive than the Casio PX-160. They are equally good and you can choose between them based on your personal preference in terms of sound and touch.

For more details about the Casio PX-160, click here for my full review.

Yamaha P-125 vs. Yamaha DGX-660

The DGX-660 is aimed at different audience of the market. But since they cost about the same price, I think it’s a good idea to put them together and see which is a better choice.

The P-125 and the DGX-660 have many similarities. They use the same key action, same sound engine, same terrible foot switch and both have the same 192 polyphony number.

However, the DGX-660 has many features. It has 530 more instrument voices than the P-125 and about 40 more settings to tweak the sound.

The DGX-660 can record up to 5 songs each with 6 tracks compares to P-125’s one song two tracks. There is also a USB to device port on the DGX-660 and you can record unlimited WAV files to a USB stick.

You can even karaoke on the DGX-660, thanks to its microphone jack.

All these features comes with some costs. First, the DGX-600 is about $100 more expensive than the P-125. Second, it almost weights twice as heavy as the P-125 and is almost twice as big.

If you are a gigging musician, the P-125 is a better instrument to carry around. Otherwise, the features and functions of the DGX-660 more than covers the extra $100. I would choose the DGX-660 over the P-125.

For more details about the Yamaha DGX-660, click here for my full review.


Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Yamaha P-125, please share with us in the comment below.

 

Posted in Digital Piano Reviews and tagged .

25 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I really enjoyed your review. I was just able to purchase the P-125 online for $535.95. This amount includes tax and shipping. It also includes a Double-X Keyboard Stand with Pull Lock, a Three-Position Padded X-Style Keyboard Bench, and a KSP100 Sustain Pedal. I don’t think a better value exists in this price range.

  2. Hi Wei, after study the review of Yamaha P-125, I really like it but up set with the key action. I used to played acoustic piano in past, now I’m going to restart so I really concern about the key action responsive. Do you think that the weakness of key action would be the deal breaker for me or is it still acceptable to you.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Lynthia,

      Key action is always a subjective matter. That’s why I always recommend my readers to find a physical shop where you can try the actions yourself.

      That being said, the GHS on the P125 is in my opinion pretty bad. If you are new to piano, it might be fine. But if you already has experience with acoustic piano, the GHS can really be a deal breaker. Not only does it feel less authentic, but I really have trouble in terms of control and expressiveness with this action.

      If you are only looking for portable digital piano, I would recommend you check out the Kawai ES110, the Roland FP-10 and the new Casio PX S1000. The actions on all of these models are significantly better than the Yamaha.

      Hope this helps!

      • Dear Wei, Thank you so much for your explanation over yamaha p-125 on key action. It really helpful to me.
        Thank you.

        • Hi Lynthia,

          You are always welcome! Do comeback and let me know which piano you bought and how you like it.

          Best wishes to you!

  3. Hello Wei. Thank you for sharing your review of the Yamaha P-125. I’m actually going to do music as a major carrier. Everything I do is geared to that direction. I bought a piano Course and needed a Piano to study the course. I was told weighted keys piano would be great to get started.

    I think this piano is suitable for me and the price is not bad at all. I love it.

    We’ll, adding Bluetooth to it would have been superb anyways. But I think it’s not a major necessity.

    • Hi Barry, thanks for dropping by. The P-125 is indeed a very solid instrument to begin with. It will grow with you for the next couple of years and you will be happy with it. Another option, with Bluetooth would be the Kawai ES110.

      They are both really good and it comes down to your personal preference about the sound and key action.

  4. I am personally not an electronic piano person when it comes to music but i am sure familiar with the Yamaha products. I understand that they have the top notch piano products out there and this particular P-125 seems to be packed full with lots of features. I particularly like the red velvet behind the keys, i thinks it looks quite fancy. I think the P-125 will be a great buy.

    • Hi Samson, welcome and thank you for our comment. The Yamaha P-125 has been a popular model on the market and it is a very solid instrument for many different uses. 

  5. Hi Wei, being a musician I loved reading about the Yamaha digital piano and I like its clean and sleek look. We have an old Yamaha here and an upright acoustic piano. I know the digital pianos have a lot of effects and works on electricity. But I am I right that the acoustic piano sounds better? 

    • Hi Juliet, welcome and thank you for your comment. Yes, acoustic piano does sound better than a digital piano. The sound produced by a digital piano is often limited by the samples and internal memories. An acoustic piano however can create limitless nuances. One disadvantage of an acoustic piano is that it’s sound deterriates over time. Hence the need for tuning.

  6. What a great review.  This is exactly what I have been looking for because my grand daughter has been asking for this.  She has a smaller one but it is time for her to upgrade.

    I love how detailed your review is.  The P-125 does seem a bit pricey but I believe we get what we pay for and after all it is for my grand daughter.

    Going to have to show this to my wife and see what she thinks.

    Once again thank you for the great info

    Dale

    • Hi Dale, welcome and thank you for your kind comment. The Yamaha P125 is a great digital piano for intermediate pianists. I think your grand daughter would really benefit from it. 

      If your wife want to check some alternatives to the Yamaha P125, check out my best digital piano review 2018.

      All the best to you and your family!

  7. Great review. The best elaborate one I have yet read. I used to play piano as a child but haven’t been practicing it at all so i get rusty. Plus living in the city, i find it is hard to have a piano at my place. Thank you for pointing out this model. The piano seems small, it has the nice heavy key like the classic piano and the sou d is good, those are all the plus. i might het one, hopefully they have a deal today for cyber Monday we will see.

    Thanks again.

    • Hi there, thanks for dropping by. The Yamaha P125 could be the perfect digital piano to get back to the piano. Let us know if you had any luck with the Cyber Monday.

      • Hi Wei,
        I have been looking at a Yamaha P125B and love the sound. However, when connecting to my Roland KB300 keyboard amplifier I find that the Yamaha piano sound disappears and the top keyboard is atrocious. On enquiring I was told that the 125B is meant to be connected to speakers similar to stereos. I was so disappointed to find that it just could not be used in a stage performance,. I have used a Roland EM2000 for years with no problems. Have you any experience with using the Kawai ES110 with normal keyboard amps? I am returning the Yamaha 125B as I feel it is excellent in a home situation so am looking at a different keyboard. Also I agree that the sustain pedal with the 125B is useless.

        • Hi Glenis,

          Sorry for the late response.

          I personally don’t have the experience with Kawai ES110 through a Roland keyboard amp. So I reached out to my local musical store. They don’t have the Roland KB300 in stock but they told me that the ES110 should work with any Roland keyboard amp.

          If you can find a piano store nearby, you can always take your amp with you and try it with the ES110 in the shop.

          Alternatively, check out some portable digital pianos from Roland, the new FP-10 or the FP-30. Being from the same brand might increase the chance to work with your Roland KB300.

          Hope it helps,

          Kind regards,

          Wei

  8. This seem like a pretty solid setup for anyone looking for a piano. I can’t say I’m a musician, but I’ve always expected electronic instruments to be more expensive than this, so for this price I’m actually surprised. 

    This seems like  great option for those starting out in the world of music, like myself. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play piano but I never have the time for that. 

    • Hi there, thanks for dropping by. The Yamaha P-125 is indeed a very solid instrument to start learning piano. It is hard to find the time to start the journey and many of us keep asking if we are already too old to learn it. 

      If you are really interested, I would advice you to just give it a try. Thanks for digital pianos, it’s now not a huge investment to begin. 

  9. What a good timing. I’m glad I found your article. My daughter wants a piano, and she is taking piano lessons, and I was in search for a good one. I’m that the model Yamaha P-125 is suited for beginners, you made my search very easy, and I decided to buy this model. Thank you for a detailed review of this model.

    • Hi Dany, thanks for dropping by. I’m so glad that my post has helped you to make a purchase decision. The Yamaha P-125 is indeed a very solid instrument for any beginners. I think your daughter would really like it and benefit from it. I wish her all the best with her musical journey!

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