What Yamaha have given us with the Yamaha P515 portable piano is two of the world’s finest concert grand pianos; their own CFX concert grand and the Bösendorfer Imperial grand.
It is so easy to use the Yamaha P515, the model which directly replaces the outgoing P255. You simply just plug it in, press the on button, and play. It resets to piano every time, and it is mercifully simple to use; if that’s how you want to use it, simply just turn it on and go.
Yamaha P515 | Key features
The Yamaha P515 has 88 keys, which is the same as a traditional piano. What’s more is that the keys are weighted; so they feel just like the real thing to play. The Yamaha P515 portable piano goes a step further in its authenticity because the white keys on here are actually made out of wood. Most of Yamaha’s competitors offer portable pianos that have have plastic keys; but the Yamaha P515 has a wooden keyboard with the white keys.
Why is this important? Well because that’s what traditional pianos have. This means it has a very authentic feel, which is great if you’re learning to play. If you’re an experienced player you’re going to get the real touch from this piano.
Now, lets talk about the controls on the front panel of the P515B; every button really does have a very practical purpose. Things like your metronome in there, and having simple buttons for changing the sound that you’re using, or turning the volume up and down. Yamaha keep it beautifully simple, and the P515 really is one of the easiest portable pianos to operate.
Sound and speakers
The speakers are built in with the P515. We’ve got four speakers here, which is perfectly adequate for playing at home, or even small gigs as well. The P515 gives you plenty of volume. You do also have the option to use headphones of course, there are two headphone sockets; so you could even play a duet. The Yamaha P515 is great for teaching. I need to also mention an important point about the headphones, a very fantastic feature! Yamaha have developed a special technology called Binaural sampling, which is just for playing with headphones.
The sound is usually very direct with most headphones on digital pianos. The sound is in both of your ears at the same time, and it can be a bit overwhelming. What you really want simulated when playing the piano with headphones is to have the real experience of playing in front of a concert grand piano. That’s what this technology does, and it is really effective. If you’re practicing in your in your room at home and you don’t want to disturb the neighbours, you can now use headphones and the experience is very authentic. It feels like you are just playing through the main speakers; the technology of the Binaural sampling is just amazing.
We have a 16 track recorder on the Yamaha P515 portable piano as well, which is fantastic if you write music, if you compose a songwriter, you can do it all onboard in the piano. You can record it as a midi file, or a WAV file, and when it comes to transferring it off the piano and putting it on your computer (or whatever you do with it), it has got a USB socket in the front. USB to host, USB to device, and again you can take your music off as a midi file or as a WAV file.
Rhythms & Connectivity
We also have Bluetooth audio streaming, which is great. It is very thoughtful of Yamaha to start designing stuff like this, that is integrated into modern technology. If you have music on your phone (whether it be IOS or Android), you can now stream it straight through the speakers of the piano. This also means it can be integrated with Yamaha’s brilliant smart pianist app. The app in simple terms has the ability to read the music in your music collection on your phone, and it will give you things like the chords on your Ipad or your iPhone so you can play along with it. The app even gives you a suggested notation for an accompaniment as well.
The Yamaha P515 offers 40 rhythm backings as well; this is really nice little feature. Rather than to just use a metronome to keep yourself in time, you have got 40 different types of rhythm that play along with you as well. It is not just drum beats that it does, it also plays a bass accompaniment. The piano is intelligent enough to read what you are playing, and give you the correct accompaniment. This is really great because it feels like you’re playing with a little trio. If you’re going out and you’re perhaps playing cafes and restaurants or whatever, it’ll give you a nice little accompaniment at the same time.
There are 40 different styles on the P515 as I say with lots of different genres, so there will definitely be something to suit your playing. We have got an excellent selection of voices, and different sounds that it will make on here as well. In fact we have 10 different pianos to start with, including the two great concert grands that I mentioned at the beginning.
There are 8 other pianos; things like a bright piano, or there’s like a saloon upright piano (which is a bit ‘honky tonk’, good for ragtime and things like that). We have got several different types of electric piano as well, great for stage use. As well as six organs(cathedral organs, Chapel organs, jazz organs too), and seven different types of strings in there as well; so fantastic for ballads or classical pieces.
We also have the XG selection, with about 480 different voices. If you’re playing a midi file through the piano that means the Yamaha P515 portable piano will have an appropriate selection of hundreds of different voices on there for MIDI playback. Inside the box of the P515 is of course the piano itself, the music rest, the power adapter, and it comes with an FC4 Sustain Pedal (that’s a nice one with the metal bit on the front as well)