Yamaha P71 vs P45 – Why Can’t I Tell the Difference Between These Pianos?

If you are looking at a product listing for the Yamaha P71 and a product listing for the Yamaha P45 and wondering what the difference is, rest assured that you are definitely not alone. Lots of people take to google, or the Yamaha product website, trying to work out the difference between the two products, and we’re here to tell you that there basically isn’t a difference!

The Yamaha P71 is an Amazon exclusive, meaning you can only buy it new from Amazon. Of course, there is always a second-hand market for these sorts of instruments and you can potentially find it on eBay or elsewhere, but generally speaking it is just an Amazon exclusive.

Everywhere else, this Yamaha piano is sold as the P45. Is this a bit silly and confusing? We’ll let you decide, but the truth is that it is a very good digital piano nonetheless and in this guide, while we can’t compare the differences of P71 vs P45, we can tell you exactly what is on offer and advise on whether or not this could be the ideal digital piano for you.

Which Should You Buy?

When you are comparing two keyboards and wondering which one you should buy, it’s usually pretty hard for an online review like this to tell you the answer. Luckily, in the case of the Yamaha P45 vs P71, it’s easy; go for whichever is cheapest. The two have all the same features, so it will boil down to the price. At times, strangely, they are priced differently as different manufacturers offer sales and promotions. It makes no difference which of the two arrives at your doorstep, so you might as well save some money on your piano purchase.

The other possible consideration is the delivery time. A lot of people utilize Amazon prime and can get products faster this way, so if you are desperate for your digital piano or keyboard in a hurry then you might go for the Amazon model, the Yamaha P71. Some products might also be bundled with different accessories and stands, so this might be the only other consideration of which to buy.

Reviewing the Yamaha P45 / P71

Why is this even a model for you to consider? What are the good and bad things about this Yamaha and how does it stack up against other models in their range, or within competing ranges like Casio.

Product Specifications:

  • Comes with an 88 Key, fully-weighted keyboard, offering a graded hammer action.
  • Adjutabe touch sensitivity. Hard, Medium, Soft and Fixed options.
  • Has a 64 note polyphony.
  • Comes with 10 instrument sounds.
  • Uses the advanced Yamaha AWM stereo sampling.
  • 10 dem songs.
  • Dual and duo practice modes.
  • Connects via USB to Host
  • Headphone output and Sustain pedal jack.
  • Weighs just 11.5 kg.
  • Includes metronome, fine-tuning and transpose options.
  • 12W speaker system with 2 x 12 cm cones.
  • 52.2” x 11.6” x 6.0” dimensions.

Those who are familiar with the history of Yamaha digital pianos may spot a lot of similarities with the P35, this is the Yamaha model that the P45/71 has superseded, it has a few more modern features.

Design and Weight

The design is relatively simple. Once again, those who are familiar with the P-35 model from days gone by will notice the similarities.

The Yamaha P45 model has a lightweight design of 11.5kg. This is very similar to a lot of the portable “stage piano” models out there. Models like the Casio PS-X1000 are really similar in terms of weight, and a lot of these keyboards sit at the 10-14kg weight.

In terms of design, at a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a keyboard rather than a digital piano. It has that sort of simplistic look to it, this is very deliberate as the P-45 has a simple look that helps it stay portable. This means you can get a padded bag and take your piano out and about with you.

The fact that this is 11.6 inches deep and 6 inches high also means that it’s possible to store away in a bedroom with a portable stand, too. It doesn’t have to take up much space and might even fit in a cupboard. This makes it a good choice for musicians who want the full, 88-key range of a digital piano but don’t have a huge amount of space in their apartment or house.

It doesn’t come with a stand, and if you do want to go the other way and have your digital piano permanently on display, you can get a console-style stand that will work equally well with the P45 or P71.

Keys

This is one of the most vital aspects of buying a digital piano. When you buy a keyboard you might not care as much if the keys are a bit flimsy or don’t feel realistic, but you’re probably buying a digital piano because you want it to feel and play like an acoustic piano. This means that as well as having the full range of 88-keys, you will also want it to have the sensitivity of an acoustic.

This means weighted keys. Fortunately, the Yamaha P71/P45 is one of the cheapest digital pianos to offer high-quality graded hammer standard keys. This means that the keys not only respond to how hard they are pressed (in terms of volume and resistance), they also have the bonus of being lighter in the high end and heavier in the low end, just like a real acoustic piano. This manner standard is not something that all of the entry level digital pianos offer, so the P45 really does stand out in terms of how well it performs in terms of giving you an expressive piano to use.

We’ve sung their praises, and these are some very nice keys for an affordable stage piano, but they still don’t feel quite as nice as some of the high-end models of digital piano. Still, we’d give them a solid 7.5/10!

Sounds, Speakers and Sound Engine

Naturally, the sounds of the keyboard or digital piano you plan to buy play a big part and can swing your decision one way or the other.

One of the best things about the Yamaha P 45/ P 71 is the fact that it includes the AWM sound engine. Yamaha has spent a lot of time and money developing this sound engine in order to get the sound quality to a high level, and it is the same engine that is in place within some of their far more expensive models.

There are 10 different inbuilt sounds in total, and two of these are designed to replicate acoustic piano models in the Yamaha range. You will find that digital pianos never get it totally right, but this is a very good option considering the price. With the P45, Yamaha has managed to make something that is cheap but also feels like a real piano with 88 keys and a reliable sound.

There are 8 sounds to play with that aren’t pianos. This means that you can layer up strings and other interesting sounds, using dual mode, you can also control multiple sounds at once. When you hit a key in dual mode it will play both of the sounds together. A piano can be layered with bass, strings, or just about anything else for an interesting new sound.

Unfortunately, there is no split mode. Split mode can usually allow you to play two different sounds on the same keyboard, so you could put a bass on the low end and then a different sound such as an organ on the high end.

The speakers are pretty good, too. Okay, they aren’t worldbeating, but for the price tag this isn’t really to be expected. There are 2 x 12cm cones which project pretty well, though the bass frequencies can go missing a little.

People who want to get more out of their Yamaha P71 often use the fact that it can be utilized as a MIDI controller. USB to host means you can plug this into a laptop and use it to control a variety of different virtual instruments or link it up to your DAW for even more control of sounds. There is a lot you can do with the Yamaha P45 if you know what you are doing with music tech and it is popular among people who want a graded hammer action on a full-sized, 88-key MIDI controller.

Controls and Other Functions

There are other controls such as a metronome and transpose option. In some ways, the control panel is incredibly simple but in other ways people might find it frustrating. You have to use a shift control and then use the keyboard itself to access some of the modes. Okay, so this is hardly the end of the world, but some people would prefer everything to be laid out in buttons along the top of the keyboard.

Those functions are pretty useful, though. The reliable metronome allows you to stay in time, and transpose can come in pretty handy if there is a song that you find awkward to play in a specific key.

Connectivity

The connectivity of this is pretty good, we’ve already covered the fact that it can connect via USB to your laptop and be used in conjunction with other software, but it can also potentially connect to other devices and, importantly, headphones.

The headphone output allows for private practice, and if you have a great set of cans you may even get better sound quality out of listening via headphones to the output of your Yamaha P71 or P45 digital piano.

The Yamaha P71/P45 also has an input for a sustain pedal and an included footswitch. To say this is basic would be an understatement. It’s a pretty flimsy piece of kit and to get the most out of your Yamaha we recommend upgrading this straight away.

There is an audio output that can also be used if you want to plug into an amplifier or hook up to a PA system using the Yamaha P 45, too, so you do have options for sending the audio to other speakers if the inbuilt ones just don’t do it for you.

Pros and Cons of the Yamaha P71 and P45

What are the pros and cons? There are always good points and bad points to any digital piano, none are perfect and some are far better suited to an individual’s needs. If you are looking for something concert-grade then the Yamaha P71 might not be for you, but for entry level it certainly has a lot to like.

Pros:

  • Relatively portable and lightweight, it is possible to use this for gigs.
  • Includes graded hammer standard piano keys that are expressive and easy to play.
  • Represents really good value for money.
  • Includes the AWM Sampling that is often reserved for the more expensive models within the Yamaha range.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have any record function inbuilt. This can be annoying for some people who want to record their ideas.
  • Controls could be a little more simple. We’d like a few more buttons so you know exactly what you are changing, and can easily make alterations while playing.
  • The included footswitch for the sustain really does leave a lot to be desired.
  • Could do with a few more sounds in an ideal world.

Yamaha P71 vs P45…Exactly the Same Thing

Struggling to find differences between these two models? Well, that’s probably because there are no differences! What we have here is a high quality digital piano that, in spite of being relatively affordable manages to include some great samples and plenty of features for beginner and intermediate players. We’d be lying if we said that the Yamaha P71 wasn’t simple, but simplicity might be exactly what you are looking for.

When it comes to knowing which one to buy, you can opt for whichever is cheapest, or whichever comes bundled with the best accessories! You don’t get additional warranties or anything buying the Yamaha P45 instead of the amazon exclusive Yamaha P71. If one of them is on a special promotional offer…go for it.

A reliable, affordable and relatively lightweight option for those who want a graded hammer standard action.

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