Thinking about laying down north of $700 for the Yamaha DGX650B? There are some things you should know before slapping down that kind of cash!
In this Yamaha DGX 650B review, we cover:
- Quick overview of this model
- Who this model is ideal for
- What's included
- Comparison with a similar product
Yamaha DGX-650: A Quick Overview
If you’re truly serious about learning how to play the piano, but you can’t afford or don’t have the space for a traditional acoustic piano, you may want to consider the Yamaha DGX-650B.
This keyboard costs less than $800, and it comes with all of the accessories that you need to be able to start playing as soon as you take everything out of the box and get it set up.
This is an 88-key keyboard with weighted GHS action, so it is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like a regular piano.
Because this is a Yamaha instrument, you know that you are getting a quality product. This keyboard has PureCF-sampled piano voices, including from the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand. This is a sound quality that you are not going to find in many other digital keyboards in this price range.
It has 128-note polyphony, so you can play many notes at once without dropping any. You can layer voices, and play two-handed, and sustained chords.
This is a keyboard that is loaded with features, including 147 pre-set voices, 15 drum and sound effects, and 381 G-lite pre-set voices. Other great features include 36 reverb channels, 44 chorus, 237 DSP’s, 5 master EQ’s, and a whole lot more. If you want a keyboard that you can have all kinds of fun creating sounds with, you need to check this out.
Most keyboards are available in one color – black. The DGX-650B is an attractive keyboard that is available in both black and white. If you want this to use as a home piano, and didn’t want something black with a lighter décor, the white may be the ideal option for you.
Both look great, and the design is compact enough that you can keep it in smaller rooms without it being in the way. Priced at less than $800, this is a great value.
Who is this Keyboard For?
This is a great digital piano for players of all levels, from beginner to professional. It has awesome learning features for beginners, as well as the features that pros need for recording and performing.
This is a great portable, digital piano from Yamaha, and it has a great song file catalog with XG song files. You will be able to play along with some of today’s most popular songs, which is going to make learning how to play the piano a lot of fun.
There are also many professionals who like the DGX-660. It is portable enough to be used as a stage piano, and it has a lot of features that you won’t find in many models that are more expensive. The scaled, graded hammer action in all 88 keys gives you the feel of playing on a traditional acoustic piano, and there are four settings of sensitivity: soft, medium, hard, and off.
There is also built-in Smart Chord technology that lets you play chords on a single key. The accompaniment feature lets you have other instruments back your songs, which will sound great when recorded.
Not only is this a keyboard that is loaded with fun features, if you buy it in a bundle package, you will get all kinds of cool accessories to go with it as well. Some bundles include the keyboard, a furniture keyboard stand, a padded piano bench, a power cord, a music stand, headphones, an instructional book and DVD, and a dust cover.
When you can get all of this for under $800, including a high-quality Yamaha keyboard, you know you are getting a great deal.
Here is a video that gives you a better look at what you are going to get. This bundle is a bit different, with a pedal unit. But, it gives you a closer view of the DGX-650B and some of the accessories you can get in a bundle package.
Overview of Features
The Yamaha DGX-650B has an impressive sound bank, with more than 500 pre-set sounds including brass, woodwind, strings, percussion, and more.
The Yamaha DGX-650B has an impressive sound bank, with more than 500 pre-set sounds including brass, woodwind, strings, percussion, and more. Unlike other keyboards that have knobs and buttons that let you adjust the sounds, you can find everything you need in the list of pre-sets.
There is also a huge song file catalog, so you will be able to play along with a lot of your favorite songs, including classics and today’s biggest hits. Other features you will like about this keyboard include:
You can connect this keyboard to a variety of devices. There is a USB slot for a flash drive, so you can store and transfer MIDI audio files that you record with the DGX-650B. You can also use this port to transfer and play WAV files.
There is also the ability to transfer files to other devices, including iPads and computers. Connect an external speaker using the headphone jack, so you have both the external speaker and the built-in speakers playing sounds for added volume and depth.
Most Yamaha keyboards, including the DGX-650B, have GHS weighted keys that have the feel of a real acoustic piano. The lower keys are heavier and the higher keys are lighter, and you can adjust the sensitivity for your own particular playing style. This keyboard also has harmonic action.
You will need to purchase a separate damper pedal to use this feature. When you use this pedal and strike a key, you will hear the vibrations of each note in a series of harmonics, another feature that gives this keyboard a real piano feel.
This keyboard has an internal memory of 1.7 megabytes. This is going to let you record as many as five songs that are 30,000 notes in length. You can save the songs to an external flash drive, and then start all over again. There are six recording tracks, as well as all of the pre-set voices to work with.
This is a great feature for beginners, because it allows you to be able to record what you are practicing, and then play it back to see where you are having problems. It is also great for professionals, because there is no need to always go to the recording studio or set up a lot of recording equipment at home.
There are several tools that help beginners learn how to play. The DGX-650B is also great for students and teachers together, because there are split and dual modes so you can play together.
There is a full screen LCD display that brings up scores and music for quick and easy sight reading. You can set up the built-in metronome to help you learn how to keep time, and of course, there are the pre-set songs that you can play along with.
This keyboard comes with the Yamaha Education Suite, which is one of the best available learning programs, and something that makes this a good keyboard for beginners.
You will be able to isolate specific parts of songs to be able to learn them perfectly, and then put everything all together once you have learned each of the parts. You can practice left- or right-hand parts, and use the waiting mode to pause tracks until you get everything right and are ready to move on.
We have mentioned the songbook that is loaded with popular songs that you will enjoy playing along with while you are learning. The selection includes hits by some of the most famous artists, including Elton John, Coldplay, Adele, and many others.
Each song is arranged professionally in a way that lets beginners play along with a backup accompaniment. You can also play pretty much any song that is in the Hal Leonard publishing library after you have downloaded them and transferred the to the keyboard.
This keyboard comes with a variety of accessories when you buy it in a bundle package, and some of these accessories are necessary, such as the stand and padded piano bench. You can also buy additional accessories.
For instance, if you are trying to learn how to play the piano, you can get loads of song files from the Hal Leonard “You are the Artist” songbooks. You may also want to purchase a separate damper pedal, at least it you are serious about learning how to play.
One of the things that we don’t care for about this keyboard are the piano voices. They have a decent quality since they are from Yamaha, but they are not as good as some of the piano sounds that are available in other Yamaha keyboards. Another thing we were a bit disappointed in is the action.
Yes, it is hyped up to be just like a piano, but it is actually a bit on the spongy side. But, for the price, you would be hard pressed to find a better keyboard than the DGX-650B.
How to Use the Yamaha DGX-650
If you order a bundle package, you will get the Yamaha DGX-650B, along with a few important accessories. You may have to get a stand separately, but you can find them for less than $100 at any music store.
You can start playing this keyboard right out of the box. If you are a beginner, you will enjoy using the Yamaha Education Suite which is a great companion to regular piano lessons, or it can be used to make self-teaching a whole lot easier. Watch this YouTube video to see just how easy it is to use the controls on the DGX-650.
Yamaha DGX 650B vs 660
The next step up from the DGX-650B is the DGX-660. But are there really all that many differences between the two keyboards? To begin with, they are both in pretty much the same price range, with a difference of about $50.
If you are a beginner, you may be more interested in the DGX-650B, because it has the “You are the Artist” series song books from Hal Leonard. On the other hand, the DGX-660 has a higher polyphony, 192 notes compared to the 128-note polyphony of the DGX-650B.
One advantage of the DGX-660 is that it has an integrated microphone, so you can sing along while you play. This is a great feature for professionals, and it is another feature to help beginners because it makes learning a lot more fun when you can sing with the songs you are playing.
When it comes to the challenge of the Yamaha DGX-650B vs 660, both are excellent options, and neither is better than the other. But, if you want a keyboard that has the best learning tools, you may want to stick with the 650B.
If you are ready to start learning how to play the piano, it isn’t necessary to go out and buy a regular acoustic piano, which is going to cost a lot of money and take up a lot of space. All you really need is a good quality keyboard piano, such as the Yamaha DGX-650B.
Sure, it has a lot of features that you won’t need in the beginning, but you will end up growing into them as you learn and grow more proficient in your piano playing skills. This is a keyboard that you are going to be using for many years to come, and if you reach professional status, you can take it on the road with you.
If you'd like to learn more about the Yamaha DGX 650B, please click here.