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Yamaha P series (P105, P35, P95, P85)


Dana.

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Two questions for those who are familiar with and like the recent crop of P digital pianos:

 

1. Is there any discernable difference in AP sounds between the P105, P35, P95, and P85? Particuarly, is the Pure CF in the P105 significantly better than the AWM used in the others?

 

2. Subtle differences in GHS action aside, from a purely playing perspective, do you prefer the matte finish of the black keys on the P105/P35/P95 to the non-matte finish on the P85?

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I used to have a P95 that I picked up used. I now have the P105. In my local GC, they have a P105 and P35 set up next to each other for easy comparison.

 

It's been awhile since I thought about this, but I remember when I bought the 105 thinking it was quite a bit better than the 95 soundwise, and slightly better action-wise. I played the 105 and the 35 back to back and definitely felt the 105 was worth the extra jack.

 

Thinking of actually buying a keyboard?

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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They all sound fine to me. I would probably take the 35 over the 105 because it has midi ports, but you should play test them through an amp to be sure. Internal speakers don't Inform piano sound quality very well.

 

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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There's a review blog run by a longtime piano teacher that is quite excellent. This link is for the p105, check out also his review of the Casio PX-350, which is cheaper and he likes better.

P105 review

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Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

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There's a review blog run by a longtime piano teacher that is quite excellent. This link is for the p105, check out also his review of the Casio PX-350, which is cheaper and he likes better.

P105 review

Yeah, I've seen this site, but I can't take the guy seriously when he thinks polyphony is the amount of sample memory. :facepalm:

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I'm on my second P-105 (should have kept the first, as the current one has an occasional sticky key). I sent the first one back in order to get the Roland FP-50. However, I've found that the 105 is extremely useful as a lightweight tool.

 

I compared the P35 and P-105 alongside each other. To me, the P-105's main piano sound is significantly better. It does not have the body and dynamic range of Roland SN or Yamaha CP, but it's very playable, and in some ways sounds better than the P-155.

 

As for the keys, I prefer matte finish to help with grip. With regard to the action, I'm not one of those who believes that Yamaha physically adjusts their GHS action in different boards, but I do think they tailor velocity curves to suit the characteristics of the different pianos installed in these units.

 

If you don't need bells and whistles, the P-105 represents real value for money, IMO.

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I'm pretty sure they have more than one set of key tops -- and slight mass differences could in theory act as action adjustments.

 

Interesting comment re grip. That explains why matte keys exist, I guess. I like 'em slippery, but I haven't played matte enough to know where the advantages are. Real old ivory would be a bit grippy. I wonder what Yamaha's new synthetic ivory is like...

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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PS - re bells and whistles, if you need a few more but not a MOX, the DGX 650 is worth checking out. Some of the patches sound really good, they are playing stereo games with some of the instruments (I noticed right away on strings) that make them sound really big and full.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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I don't know why, but I seem to prefer the P 35 to the P 105.

 

Sorry to potentially insult any 105 owners.

 

The 35 to me sounds more similar to the CP33 sample that I am used to , that's all

 

I have done most of my demos through phones, and I have been seriously tempted by the P-35. Plus the price is under 400 dollars on sale. Could the price have something to do with it?

 

I could use a stand alone for so many things. It woulkd be great to have one to take back to a motel room when I am away from home for one.

 

Another thing to try is miking one of these instead of trying to run into stereo amps. I got good results when I tried this once. I could hear the stereo feed of the internal speakers ( which are loud on most of these units now) but miking gave it body and enough volume for a mid volume jazz gig.

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I don't know why, but I seem to prefer the P 35 to the P 105.

 

Sorry to potentially insult any 105 owners.

 

The 35 to me sounds more similar to the CP33 sample that I am used to , that's all

 

I have done most of my demos through phones, and I have been seriously tempted by the P-35. Plus the price is under 400 dollars on sale. Could the price have something to do with it?

 

I could use a stand alone for so many things. It woulkd be great to have one to take back to a motel room when I am away from home for one.

 

Another thing to try is miking one of these instead of trying to run into stereo amps. I got good results when I tried this once. I could hear the stereo feed of the internal speakers ( which are loud on most of these units now) but miking gave it body and enough volume for a mid volume jazz gig.

OK.. I'm glad it's not just me.. I prefer the P35 sound over the 105 also.. even thru the speakers. Wierd cuz I thought they ran the same sample. The MIDI ports are a must for me also which the P35 facilitates. 32 notes of polyphony is just fine also. I currently have the np30. Thing is easy to bring anywhere.. and it goes most places with me.

Jay

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Lx88, milking it should n make a difference...the jack take off is right where the speakers get their signal. Make your mike was coloring the sound In a way you like? Were you using an sm58 par chance? Anyway, it sounds like a bit of EQ tweaking might get you where you want to go,

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Good to hear that someone besides me likes the P-35.

 

And what's up with no midi ports in the first place? At least the P-35 has those.

 

I swear that I got a more natural sound out of a standalone Yamaha ( P-95 in this case) by MIKING it. The P.A. provided enough " oomph" to carry it, but I still get to hear the stereo spread of the internal speakers.

 

I used one SM 58 close miked. It went through mains and monitors.

 

Don't get me started on the difficulties of running DP's through P.A. speakers direct. Although I have always thought that an array type speaker with no horn driver made more sense for most keyboard sounds, including organ.

 

I don't need all that high end. If you notice, those full range speakers in standalone Yamahas sound pretty good.

 

Anybody want to start a keyboard speaker product???

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I compared the 35 and 105 yesterday. Though the AP sound is more refined on the 105, I found I enjoyed playing the 35 more. I *think* the actions are identical, but the way the sound is mapped to the action on the 35 (or maybe it's the sample itself) makes it easier to play more expressively.

 

I also compared both to the Casio PX-350 and man, the midrange is just not happening on those AP sounds. The lower and higher octaves are decent, but the middle is "plinky," with a weird digital tone, has no body, and the decay is too quick. The midrange really gives the Casios away.

 

The 35 to me sounds more similar to the CP33 sample that I am used to , that's all

That's because they both use AWM.

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Two questions for those who are familiar with and like the recent crop of P digital pianos:

 

1. Is there any discernable difference in AP sounds between the P105, P35, P95, and P85? Particuarly, is the Pure CF in the P105 significantly better than the AWM used in the others?

 

2. Subtle differences in GHS action aside, from a purely playing perspective, do you prefer the matte finish of the black keys on the P105/P35/P95 to the non-matte finish on the P85?

 

Yes, much better sound on P105, and Yes, better matte finish. :)

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I got tired of lugging my P120 and bought a P105 a couple weeks ago. The P120 now stays in the house on it's Monolith stand. The schlep factor is far more favorable using the 105 in a soft case and stacking organ over piano on two X stands.

 

Three gigs with the 105 so far, and very satisfied. In my view, the main piano sounds and playing experience are very good. The other sounds are better on the P120, but the 105 voices are "good enough." I don't use MIDI much anymore, so the lack of those connections is not a big deal.

 

 

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I just played the P35 and P105 through their own speakers at the Guitar Center in Manhattan. Something about the P35 was just far more satisfying to play. I'm not comparing the sound itself, just the overall pleasure of playing the instruments.

 

I wish the P35 had line out and line in, but it's obviously engineered down to the minimum. I wonder if a savvy keboard tech could add line out and line in at reasonable cost.

 

I would never buy a P105 simply because it has no standard MIDI jacks. The fact that I actually enjoyed playing the P35 more would then be a kind of happy coincidence.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Yamaha's non-pro gear usually has the headphones jack labelled "phones/aux out". For some reason, the P35 is not labelled like that. WIERD.

 

I bet the headphone jack will work anyhow. Worst case scenario you might need to pad it. This guy is plugging into a Yorkville KB amp --

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Yamaha's non-pro gear usually has the headphones jack labelled "phones/aux out". For some reason, the P35 is not labelled like that. WIERD.

 

I bet the headphone jack will work anyhow. Worst case scenario you might need to pad it.

The issue for me is that I want to keep using the speakers, too. Using the headphone jacks turns off the speakers, a line-out wouldn't.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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OH. There is still gear like that?? That's one of my favourite features from my old PF-85. Losing internal speakers because I want to plug into a PA drives me crazy.

 

I have been tempted MANY times to fix that on my current boards....one issue that can make it tricky is that the same amplifier is used for both the phones and speakers, but the EQ profiles may be different.

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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  • 6 months later...

I've owned a P85, P95 amongst others and currently gig with a P105.

 

The P105 is a significant upgrade IMO. The CF grand piano is miles better, this is particularly noticeable on a decent set of cans or through external amplification.

 

The connection from the keys to the piano sound is spot on as well.

 

The line outs mean the internal speakers are still on when amplified, this is another advantage and feels great when you feel the sound resonating.

 

The draw back with the P105 is the lack of midi, however I use a Kenton USB-midi box to remedy this which you can get in the UK for under £100

 

I need a light weight piano for gigs and having been through a lot of boards to settle on something, I'm very happy with my P105.

 

Here's a helpful comparison chart from yamaha:

 

http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/musical-instruments/keyboards/digitalpianos/p_series/p-105/10324/7263

 

Anyway that's my opinion, but I recommend you try before you by as this is a subjective thing.

 

 

 

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