If you’re like most serious musicians, you want the absolute best instrument you can get, and from a manufacturer that you can trust.
This is why so many musicians depend on their Yamaha keyboards - because they know that they’re getting quality, backed by the Yamaha name.
But with a bunch of high-end Yamaha models to choose from, how do you know which is the best Yamaha keyboard for your particular needs?
That’s what we're going to do in this Yamaha P45B digital piano review - give you the low-down on one of Yamaha’s top models!
Yamaha P45B: A Quick Overview
The P series is part of Yamaha’s line of contemporary keyboard pianos, and they cost less than $1,000. The most affordable of the P line is the P-35, an 88-key, weighted keyboard that was very popular.
Now, there is the P45B, which is the next incarnation of the P-35, with new features that may just make it even better than the popular P-35. The P45B is smaller and even more portable than the P-35, and it has an upgraded, 64-note polyphony for awesome musical quality.
The P45B has the latest in Advanced Wave Memory technology (AWM), which means that the instrument sounds are as close as possible to the real thing. The acoustic piano sound is very authentic, and the AWM stereo sampling helps to create a sound that is richer and deeper.
The sounds can be played at many volumes and timbres. Every key has been sampled with AWM single key sampling technology. For a relatively inexpensive keyboard, you will be very impressed with the sound quality.
One of the best things about the P45B is the key action. Each key is weighted, so it is heavier in the low notes and lighter in the high notes.
This means that this is a keyboard that is the next best thing to playing an acoustic piano, at least when it comes to how it feels, and there are four settings for the key sensitivity.
The keys have a matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about your fingers slipping off, even if you are playing hard and sweating.
You can get the P45B in a bundle package that comes with an X keyboard stand, headphones, and a sustain pedal.
This is a great way to save money rather than having to buy each of these items separately, which can start to add up after a while.
Who is this Keyboard For?
It is reasonably priced, with bundle packages costing less than $500 on Amazon, and it has plenty of features to offer players of all levels.
If you are looking for a good stage piano that is portable, sounds like the real thing, and isn’t going to cost $1,000 or more, the P45B is definitely an option to consider.
If you are looking for a keyboard for a child, this may not be the best option. Since it is in the $500 range, it is not something that you want to see treated as a toy, or have them lose interest in. If you have a child who is learning how to play the piano, something like this would be an excellent one for them to move up to when they show that they have an interest to continue learning. In fact, it could be used as an incentive to keep on practicing and getting better.
Depending on the seller, you can buy the P45B by itself, or you can get it in a bundle package. What is inside the bundle package again depends on the seller. Look for a bundle package that includes the Yamaha P45B keyboard, an X keyboard stand, a padded piano bench, headphones, dust cover, and a sustain pedal.
Even though this is a keyboard designed for professionals, some of the bundle packages even come with instructional books for beginner and intermediate players.
If you were to purchase the keyboard separately from all of these accessories, you would pay around $450. For an additional $50, you get at least $200 worth of accessories.
Also, when you get a bundle package, you have everything you need to sit down and start playing as soon as you take it all out of the box.
See one person’s impression of their new P45B on this YouTube video
Overview of Features
This is a keyboard piano that is made for professionals, but it is also a good model for beginner and intermediate players.
First there was the P35. Then, there was the P45 with upgraded features. Now we have the P45B, which has even more upgrades. Of course, it has GHS weighted action, so you get the heaviness in the low keys and the lightness in the high keys.
The sensitivity of the keyboard can be adjusted, depending on your own personal playing style. As we mentioned, this can be a good keyboard for beginners, and the GHS weighted action is one of the reasons why, because they will be learning on something that feels like a real piano. Some of our favorite features of the P45B include:
One of the best upgrades from the P35 is the 64-note polyphony. This is going to allow you to be able to perform some pretty complicated musical passages, even when you are using a lot of sustain, and you won’t have to worry about any dropped notes.
In fact, you could play 64 notes at once, and hear each one as clear as a bell. It’s not likely that you are ever going to actually want to do this, but with this keyboard, it is an option.
When you are using the dual mode feature, you are able to combine two of the built-in voices (instrument sounds) for better creativity in your work. The split mode lets you have two sounds in the higher and lower ends of the keyboard.
This means that you can have the sound of one instrument in the lower half of the keyboard, and the sound of a different instrument in the upper half.
There are tons of great music apps out there, and you can use them with this keyboard. It has a USB to Host port that lets you connect it to other devices, including computers, laptops, and mobile phones.
This is going to let you use the various music education, entertainment, and creation software packages. You can choose to use the MIDI in and out, and there is also a ¼” headphone output jack.
Here is a feature that is perfect for professionals and beginners. You can change the various settings using a single button, including changing voices, setting up the built-in metronome, playing demo sources, and more.
All you have to do is press the “Grand Piano/Function” button, and making changes is simple. This is going to speed things up if you are playing on stage, and beginners won’t have to worry about fiddling with a bunch of buttons.
You won’t find many keyboards in this price range that have chorus and reverb effects. This is going to allow you to create sounds that have much warmer sound quality.
There is also a sustain pedal included with your purchase, so you will have this effect as well. These are just a few of the effects that set this keyboard piano apart from comparable models by other brands.
This 88-key keyboard has something that many electronic keyboards, particularly those in this price range, has: eight octaves. This is a full-size piano, with a full eight octaves, which is going to let you play those really complex pieces.
This is because unlike other keyboards that are small, this one, even though it is lightweight and portable, is going to give you plenty of room to play with both hands.
There are 10 instrument voices you can use on the P45B, so you can get just the sound you want every time you play.
Sure, there are other keyboards that have hundreds of voices, but when you come right down to it, you will never need more than a handful, and the rest are likely never going to be used anyway (except maybe when you first get the keyboard and you want to play around with it).
Here is one more reason why we like this keyboard for beginners. There are 10 pre-set songs, along with 10 demos that you can use to play along with.
This is great for beginners, because they can learn with songs and actually be playing something. You can also slow down the songs, which is going to help beginners to get the feel for playing at their own speed, and building up as they get better.
This keyboard weighs just under 35 pounds and measures 58.2” X 16.1” X 11.8”, making it fairly lightweight, and very portable. The accessories (included when you buy a bundle package) are also lightweight, so they are quite portable as well.
Of course, you can always connect the keyboard to the Internet and do your recording through music recording software. It would just be a whole lot easier if you didn’t have to go through any extra steps to record what you are playing.
Pros and Cons
How to Use the Yamaha P45B
One great thing is that you can start using the P45B right out of the box. It is even easier if you order a bundle package so you have a stand and a bench. If you want to play undisturbed, the headphones will come in quite handy.
Using this keyboard is relatively simple for the most part, thanks to that one-button function we were talking about earlier. Also, if this is for a beginner, make sure that you get the bundle package that offers instructional books that can be used alongside regular piano lessons.
Yamaha P45 vs P45B
We occasionally get emails asking us "how does the P45B compare to the P45?" Well, we've been trying to figure that out, but we can’t seem to come up with any major differences. They are pretty much the exact same product.
Now, if you were comparing the P35 and the P45B, you would see some differences. (Note that, at the time of this review, the P35 was not available for purchase, for some reason).
For instance, the biggest difference is the 64-note polyphony. The P35 only has 32-note polyphony. Also, the P45B has a much better sound quality than the P35.
The other main difference is the USB connection. On the P45B, there is a USB to Host port. On the P35, it is a 5-pin din MIDI. All in all, as for the answer to the Yamaha P45 vs P45B, it doesn’t really matter. If you want to know if the P45B is better than the P35, we recommend the P45B.
Whether you're looking for a stage piano, or one that is ideal for learning on, the Yamaha P45B is an excellent choice. It has plenty of features, without being too overwhelming for the beginner, or too complicated for stage use.
It has a full keyboard with weighted keys that have a matte finish, for that real piano feel. At a price of less than $500, you really can’t go wrong, especially when you consider all of the extra goodies that come along with the keyboard.
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