Yamaha P515 – read our review here
The P515 takes a major leap forward from it’s predecessor, the Yamaha P255, and delivers flagship Clavinova quality to the P series.
Unlike the other models within the P series, the P45 and P125, the Yamaha P515 / P-515 provides a sharp, clear LCD screen display to help you navigate the simple and intuitive menu system within the instrument.
You can expand your control of the instrument further with the use of Yamaha’s FREE Smart Pianist app, for iOS and Android, opening up the vast array of features inside the P-515 to detailed, touch-screen control – even providing the means to generate chords from the songs in your iTunes music library, in real time!
Yamaha P515 Sound
The P-515’s built-in speakers provide plenty of power for smaller performances, and there is always scope for extending coverage by connecting external speakers, or plugging into a house PA. Lows are warm and rich, the treble range is crisp without being shrill, and the midrange is balanced and tight – a signature of the Yamaha P series.
The Yamaha P515 features binaural sampling, which ensures the delivery of sound to the relevant earpiece (when playing with headphones), depending on which side of the keyboard is being played – just like you would experience if sat at an acoustic piano, where high notes emanate from your right, and low notes from your left.
To mitigate the usual fatigue one can experience whilst playing through headphones, where the proximity of the sound starts to ‘wear’ on the ear, Yamaha has introduced a ‘Stereophonic Optimiser’ feature, whereby the player feels like they are playing in a room, and not through the headphones they are actually wearing.
For the first time in Yamaha’s P Series, the P-515 features Yamaha’s NWX key action, delivering spruce wood white keys, topped with synthetic ivory, and an escapement mechanism, replicating the very real action of an acoustic piano in which the hammers pull away quickly from the strings after they are struck, to avoid any interference with any successive notes being played.
Enhanced Virtual Resonance Modelling (VRM)
Using incredibly-sophisticated algorithms, the Yamaha P515 is able to determine which unplayed notes, if any, should be resonating in sympathy with notes being purposefully played.
Virtual Resonance Modelling or ‘VRM’ provides Aliquot reproduction – where the tone of a played note is enhanced or augmented by sympathetically-resonating ‘strings’ – and is even able to reproduce the impact and effect of resonance within the frame, soundboard and rim of an acoustic piano, delivering a vividly-realistic playing experience.
P-515 Speaker System
The P-515 features a 2 x 15w + 5w 2-way speaker assembly, with a patented ‘Twisted Flare’ bass port to reduce turbulent air noise and deliver clear and accurate low end frequency reproduction.
The net result is a huge, tight sound at any playing volume, with the kind of high-end speaker design we’ve come to expect from Yamaha, makers of the revered Yamaha NS10 studio monitor.
With the internal ‘brains’ of the instrument delivering basically the same performance as a Yamaha Clavinova CLP635 digital upright, you’ll discover a selection of forty different percussion and bass patters to practice along to, all designed to enhance your playing experience.
You’ll also be able to connect the P-515 to your music using Bluetooth, transforming the instrument into a (very) high-end speaker system, and allowing you to play along with your favourite artists!
The Yamaha P515 – Our Verdict
The Yamaha P515 is a huge (we mean huuuge) leap forward from it’s predecessor, the Yamaha P255. The P255 was, effectively, just a beefed-up version of the more basic P115, but the lineage is far more distinctive with the P-515.
Wooden keys; fantastic speakers; a Clavinova brain; these are no small feats for what is still a portable stage piano, and the Yamaha P515 exudes build quality in spades, giving gigging players the confidence to cart it to and fro without having to baby it.
For at-home players, the P-515 exists as a great space-saving subsitute for a Clavinova, delivering total portability as well as static elegance courtesy of the optional L515 and Lp1 stand and pedal units, and the Yamaha Smart Pianist app is an additional advantage for those wanting to get stuck in to what the P-515 has to offer.