So, there’s a new Yamaha DGX on the block, the Yamaha DGX670. A singer-songwriter’s dream, and it's streets ahead of its predecessor, the DGX660.
This instrument lets you plug in a microphone and hear yourself sing through the speakers- Then you can record your voice along with your playing onto a USB flash drive and export the file to your editing software -or simply upload your performance and share over the internet for the world to appreciate.
The DGX series has been improving through the years, they started off without weighted keys with the DGX500 back in 2002, and every few years an improved version has hit the shops, giving you a better key action, better speakers, and each time giving you far more features.
The DGX670 has inherited many features from the more elaborate SX series keyboard models, and many of its sounds and styles from the more expensive Yamaha Clavinova CVP series. But much more is on offer now as technology has risen to a much higher caliber.
No stand included
The first change from the earlier models is that you don’t “have to have” the stand now- you used to just get a package all neatly boxed together which included the stand and the single sustain pedal. Now you can choose if you want to add the wooden stand or use it on a desk or on a folding xx stand
Dimensions are very similar, only 5mm deeper, so shouldn’t cause too many issues, and only 400g heavier than the DGX660.
And it now has a much better and clearer colour TFT 4.3-inch screen, the old model had an LCD one – so much clearer and easier to see what’s being displayed.
Better Piano sound and feel
Some new features from the main Clavinova CLP piano series too and these enhance the “piano” part of this instrument. You now get “ Virtual Resonance Modelling” (VRM) which gives you the impression you really are playing a real piano.
It includes “sympathetic resonance”- this is the sounds and harmonics of nearby strings to the ones of the notes you are playing- and the tones of the soundboard resonating just like on a real piano (total genius) and there are other features like “key-off samples” and “smooth release” which give you more realism even when you let go of a key.
These are nuances of a piano that we just take for granted- but make the overall experience so much more realistic.
You get an extra 62 voices too- giving you 601 in total- and all of these are of a much higher calibre. Sampled into a larger memory to catch the whole sample. 58 more “live” voices- these are ensemble acoustic instruments that have been recorded in stereo with more atmosphere and ambiance.
An extra 46 “cool” voices These are Voices that use sophisticated programming to capture the dynamic textures and subtle nuances of electric instruments- recorded through an amplifier. Then there’s an extra 10 “Sweet” voices which feature finely detailed and natural sounds, with built-in delayed Vibrato.
Finally, there are another 10 “Natural” voices which are acoustic classical instruments sampled with a modern focus and natural ambiance.
More effects in each section give you a far more varied choice and enhance all the voices, these include extra Choruses, Reverbs, and DSP effects.
And there are some extra effects ( more like speaker tricks) inherited from Yamaha’s CLP Piano series, these include Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC) which adjusts the treble and bass of the sound to ensure it’s balanced- and they’ve cracked it so that even at low volumes it sounds balanced- and another feature now included on the DGX670 is “Stereophonic Optimizer” which leads you to believe that the sound is coming from the body of the instrument- even when wearing headphones.
When wearing headphones it really doesn’t feel like you are- the sound seems to be coming from the heart of the instrument
Great Styles and backings
The DGX series is essentially a portable keyboard/ workstation married up with a full piano to give you the feel of a piano’s keys, the range of a piano (88 keys) and all the fun features that a modern keyboard will give you -so on the DGX670, you get 263 backing styles – all now with 4 backing variations and each with 4 suggested voice set-ups compared to two of each on the previous DGX660 model.
These extras will help ensure you find a good overall balanced sound. And there’s a new feature where you can strip them down to just drums and bass called “Simple”, which is much easier than having to take out all the parts separately on older models – and a really useful feature if you want a simple backing to sing over or show off your playing skills.
58 more styles than the DGX660, so far more fun to be had – and all newly styled and orchestrated to offer a better overall sound quality.
New Adaptive styles
There are 50 new styles of a new breed in the DGX670 that will analyse your playing in real-time and change the accompanying backing to suit the mood of your music. It will adapt to a mellower mood if you play softer and mellower, and it will ramp up the style if you play with more intensity.
Unison and Accent
This is a new innovative feature on Yamaha Keyboards which offers you additional phrases in the style section that matches your melody- triggered when you hold down the footswitch. It enables you to emulate “licks” and “riffs” from your favorite track, which play from the sounds in the styles section
Improved song section allowing you to play one of the 100 songs back and join in, you can even get it to wait whilst you play to the correct notes from the score on the screen, and it will move on to the next passage as soon as you play the correct notes in the melody or a left-hand section.
Become a recording artist
If you want to record your own songs, you can record up to 16 tracks and they will all playback simultaneously, or you can have the automatic accompaniment and another 8 tracks. This compares to only 6 tracks altogether in the previous model DGX660. You can even plug in a microphone and include vocal tracks with your recordings.
USB Audio Player
This feature has only been available on expensive instruments up until now. It allows you to playback pre-recorded files from your favorite artist or band- but cancel out the vocal track – or change the key-(digitally, without altering the speed) or simply adjust the tempo- without altering the key.
A powerful tool for any singer or instrumentalist who wants to use a commercial track as a backing facility.
Keep your sound combinations saved
DGX670 has 4 buttons where you can save your favorite settings, and these will be available to come back to when you want to find that elusive setting that has taken you ages to find, each batch of 4 can be named and you can even freeze parts of it so that it will hold the bits you like, whilst you select alternatives to the selection.
And just like your Apple playlist or Spotify playlist, you can put all the settings for songs that you like to group together in a custom playlist so that they can be played in succession in any order you want
The New DGX is a leap forward, using many of the latest features from higher models like the latest CVP piano series, the CLP piano series and the SX keyboard series. This model range has always been a great value for money- and for those people looking for a versatile piano you need look no further
And all this for just £835 without the stand or £944 including the stand it truly offers more bang for your buck