TL;DR: After jamming on both the Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120, I gotta say, hands down, Yamaha P125 takes the cake for me. Why? Well, it's got that killer sound quality (seriously, like I'm at a concert), way more versatile features (hello, split mode and duo mode!), and that sleek design just speaks to my inner rock star. Plus, my wallet is happier with the lower price tag. So there you have it, folks - Yamaha P125 for the win! 🎹🤘
Yamaha P125 vs Kawai ES120
What We Like
- A fully weighted digital piano with 88 full sized piano style keys
- GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
- The pure CF sound engine faithfully reproduces the tone of the acclaimed Yamaha 9 feet CFIIIS Concert grand piano; Tempo range: 5 to 280
- Split mode lets you play a different voice with each hand; Tuning: 414.8 440.0 to 446.8 hertz
- USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need 1 cable to connect to your music making software
What We Don't Like
- • Offers a great compromise at an affordable price.
- • Features an 88-key fully weighted keyboard with matte black keytops and Graded Hammer Standard action.
- • Provides touch sensitivity (hard, medium, soft, fixed).
- • Has a Pure CF Sound Engine and 192-note polyphony.
- • Comes with 24 instrument sounds, including 4 grand pianos.
- • Has a compact and lightweight design.
- • Provides a slightly more streamlined and minimalist experience without sacrificing features.
- • Offers a smart app for beginners.
- • Has a very good onboard user interface, and most common settings and voice selections are very easy to use.
- • Has a USB to host for MIDI and Audio.
- • The P125 doesn't come with a furniture style stand or a triple pedal unit, which are available optionally.
- • Yamaha hasn't improved this model by very much compared to its predecessor, the P115.
- • It lacks an LCD screen, which can be an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time.
- • The P125A only offers MIDI through its USB to host port, not audio.
- • It is not a revolutionary upgrade, but an evolutionary one.
What We Like
- 88-key Digital Piano with Responsive Hammer Compact Action
- Spatial Headphone Sound
- Bluetooth Audio/MIDI
- USB-MIDI - Black
- 25 Sounds
What We Don't Like
- • Responsive Hammer Compact (RHC) technology for a realistic piano feel
- • 88 weighted keys with hammer action
- • 25 sounds and 100 drum rhythms
- • Beautiful design and high-quality sound
- • Suitable for classical pianists
- • Only 2x10w speakers
- • Limited number of sounds compared to some other digital pianos
- • Not as well-known or widely used as some other brands
- Overview of Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120
- History and Predecessors: Kawai ES110 and Yamaha P Series
- Price Comparison: Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120
Overview of Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120
When it comes to choosing the perfect digital piano, there's a lot to consider. Two popular options that come up time and time again are the Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120.
Both of these instruments offer incredible value under the $1,000 price point, but they each have their own unique features and characteristics.
In this in-depth comparison, we'll take a closer look at these two digital pianos to help you determine which one is best suited for your musical needs.
History and Predecessors: Kawai ES110 and Yamaha P Series
The Kawai ES120 is the successor of the highly praised Kawai ES110, which was known for its natural sound and excellent key action.
The Yamaha P125, on the other hand, is part of the renowned Yamaha P Series of digital pianos that have been delighting musicians for years.
By the way, it's worth mentioning that in order to prevent the price of the P125 from rising during times of rapid inflation, Yamaha has had to cut back on some of its functionality.
Meanwhile, Kawai made several changes when moving from the ES110 to the newer ES120 model.
Price Comparison: Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120
Both instruments offer great features for their respective price points. They're typically priced under $1,000 each, making them accessible options for musicians looking to invest in a quality digital piano without breaking the bank.
Design and Aesthetics: Traditional vs Contemporary
One difference between these two models lies in their visual appearance. The Kawai ES120 sports a more conventional design with a traditional look that many pianists will appreciate.
On the other hand, the Yamaha P125 offers a more contemporary appearance that may be more appealing to those who prefer a modern aesthetic.
Sound Quality and Tonal Differences
In a video comparison and essay by Merriam Pianos, Stu Harrison noted that the Yamaha P125 has a brighter tone compared to the warmer sound of the Kawai ES120.
Depending on your personal preference and playing style, you may find one of these tones more appealing than the other.
Number of Sounds Offered by Each Model
The Yamaha P125 boasts 24 different sounds, offering a wider range of sonic possibilities compared to the Kawai ES120.
If having an extensive selection of sounds is important to you, the Yamaha P125 might be your winner in this category.
Key Action: Natural Motion vs Responsive Action
Key action plays a significant role in any piano playing experience. The Kawai ES120 offers a more natural motion, while the Yamaha P125 has a more responsive action.
Which is better? Well, that ultimately depends on your preferences as a pianist; you may find yourself gravitating towards either natural or responsive key action.
Additional Features and Functionalities
Both digital pianos come with additional features that can enhance your playing experience. For example, they each include built-in metronomes and various modes for layering or splitting sounds across the keyboard.
You'll want to consider which instrument's features align best with your specific needs as a musician.
Portability and Weight Comparison
These two digital pianos are comparable in terms of portability and weight. If you plan on moving your instrument frequently or need something compact for small living spaces, either option could work well for you.
Connectivity Options: MIDI, USB, Audio Outputs
Both models offer multiple connectivity options such as MIDI capabilities, USB ports for computer connections, and audio outputs for external speakers or headphones.
This ensures that you have plenty of room to expand your setup and experiment with new gear as you progress in your piano journey.
Pedal Systems for Both Models
When it comes to pedal systems, both the Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120 offer support for sustain, sostenuto, and soft pedals. You'll want to invest in a pedal system that suits your needs as a pianist since it can greatly enhance your playing experience.
The Role of Personal Preference in Choosing the Right Digital Piano
As we've seen throughout this comparison, the decision between the Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120 largely comes down to personal preference and playing style.
Each instrument offers its own unique features, so it's essential to consider which ones are most important to you before making a decision.
Maintenance Tips for Both Models
Digital pianos require less maintenance than their acoustic counterparts, but there are still steps you can take to keep your instrument in top shape.
Regularly dusting your piano, keeping it away from extreme temperatures or humidity, and handling it with care will ensure its longevity.
Warranty, Customer Support, and After-Sales Services
Both Yamaha and Kawai have excellent reputations when it comes to customer support and after-sales services. Make sure you understand the warranty coverage provided by each manufacturer before making a purchase so that you're protected should any issues arise with your instrument.
Upgradability Options for Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120
When investing in a digital piano under $1,000 like the P125 or ES120, you may eventually find yourself wanting to upgrade as your skills grow.
Consider whether either model has upgradability options that will allow you to enhance or expand upon its features without having to replace the entire instrument down the line.
All things considered, the Yamaha P125 and Kawai ES120 are both exceptional digital pianos for their price range.