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Published on: 16 Sep 2017 by reviewexpress
The Yamaha YPG-635 is an excellent value. There are a few things I
think Yamaha could have done better, and thus the four star rating. In
summary: Good sound, great keyboard, great value.
This keyboard has excellent and realistic keyboard action. I played
on several at a music store to see which of the various brands felt
best. To my fingers at least, none of the keyboards in the price range
felt any better (and even many that cost more didn’t feel as real).
It’s easily within the normal variation of real piano keyboards. This
was the key deciding factor for picking this keyboard.
The Grand Piano voice is good, easily acceptable. There are better
sounding piano voices; typically found only in instruments at twice the
The general MIDI spread of voices is decent, and many are top
quality. The extended voices are very good as well, but are obviously
synthetic. Two of the deciding factors for me were the 64 note
polyphony and the general MIDI compatibility. I play a lot of MIDI
files and my old keyboard was not general MIDI compatible (it had the
voices on the wrong patches). Many songs overrun the 28 note polyphony
of my old synth; they do not on the YPG. I’m sure I could create
sequences that need more that 64 note polyphony, but for the most part,
64 is enough (128 would be great, though).To get best piano buying guide reviews...click the link:
For a complex keyboard, most of the functions are easy to use. For
the complex things, there is a menu selection system and scroll wheel
that I’ve found works fairly well. When I’m actually playing the
keyboard and not running MIDI files through it, I prefer to use the
“Grand Piano” button and have it simply be a piano. Easy.
The Value is amazing. There are cheaper keyboards with as many
voices. There are keyboards with as nice or nicer sounding voices. The
combination of price and voices, at least for me, meets in the middle
on this instrument.
The USB-to-HOST port and associated drivers work with Windows 7 (64
bit). I was worried as my previous MIDI interface doesn’t. I have
several MIDI capable devices and was planning to replace my
no-longer-compatible MIDI interface box (and still may since I still
have the other MIDI devices). See my note in the “the Bad” section
about the lack of standard MIDI ports.
The Neither Good nor Bad:
OK, the title for this section is a little humorous (I know, very
little). The points I want to make, though, fit in neither the good nor
bad, but are comments on advertising hype and expectations.
The advertising claims the Piano voice is the best… their words are:
“You’re never more than a button push away from the most realistic piano
sound in portable keyboards today.” I have to quibble with two parts.
This keyboard, at 70 pounds or so, isn’t all that portable (unless
you’re a professional musician with Roadies to move your stuff), and the
sound is good, but not the best since Yamaha’s pro-Line portable stage
piano’s have even better sound (along with much higher price tags).
The display isn’t big. They advertise playing songs from the score
display. You probably won’t. It’s big enough you could and small
enough you won’t want to.
The wood doesn’t seem to be real wood, but more like the particle
board with veneer like that of cheap furniture (well, it’s a fairly
cheap digital piano, so I guess that fits, huh?). However, it is solid
(and 70 pounds or so).
The auto-accompaniment isn’t as feature rich as I expected moving up
from my ancient PSR synth. There are more choices, but fewer controls
over them. Perhaps I just haven’t learned them yet.
As mentioned a few times in other reviews, the volume isn’t
impressive. A real piano would easily drown out the YPG audio output.
Not an issue if you listen on headphones or are in a small room – just
be aware, a large room, like a church or club, will swallow the sound of
the keyboard and not even burp. Of course, if you want, you could add
amplified speakers or feed it to a PA, but there will be a signal to
noise issue since you’re using a headphone jack as the keyboard does not
have Line-Out jacks. I realize the YPG isn’t a pro-line instrument and
Line-out is a pro-level feature.
Speaking of the headphone jack, it’s on the back side of the
keyboard, behind the music rest. A really awkward spot if you ask me.
On the front would be much better. This is a minor deficiency.
While we’re on the back of the instrument, the USB to Device (for
flash drives) is on the back of the keyboard and hard to get to if you
have the keyboard near a wall. I bought a 30 inch USB Extension cable
so I can plug and unplug my flash drive more easily. Not a show
stopper, and not an issue if you don’t use a flash drive, but how hard
would it have been to put it on the front.
The MIDI implementation is Yamaha’s USB to Host connection. You
can’t use a MIDI controller to use the sounds of the YPG, or use the YPG
to control an external tone module unless you have a computer handy –
it doesn’t have the standard 5 pin DIN MIDI ports. I thought long and
hard about this before deciding I could live without standard MIDI
ports. If you need the standard MIDI jacks, think about another
keyboard.To get best digital piano buying guide reviews...click the link:
The YPG-635 is an excellent value, you do get what you pay for and
there are a couple of compromises and quirks at this price level. The
combinations of features, though, are well worth the price. The sound
is good, the keyboard action very good, and the good points far
out-weigh the bad points.
It doesn’t come with a cover, but Amazon sells one that fits: Musician’s Gear 88 Key Stretchy Keyboard Cover.