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(sorry for the double thread, I've just seen this digital piano section and I think it's more suitable for my post)

Hi everyone!
Today I've just bought my first digital piano: Yamaha 515P.
I am a self taught keyboard player from Italy, and my previous keyboard was a Yamaha PSR S900.

Unfortunately, I couldn't be able to try Yamaha 515P before buying it because none of the stores in my region had it.
So, I've watched tons of videos and reviews online, and finally decided to buy it online.

It arrived today, and it's superb from every point of view, but... I find the general sound to be really muffled! I mean, it's not limpid, vivid, it's like very dark and hollow... I really can't understand if it's normal or not.
If I compare the sound to what I heard from every video online (even amateur videos), I can notice a huge difference.

I also tried to register a wav example and I notice this huge difference even in the recording.
I can't understand how the simple grand piano sound of my Yamaha Psr S900 can sound a lot more vivid and limpid than all the pianos in Yamaha 515-P!

I am really confused guys, so I definitely need your expert opinions... please help!

Here I'm posting some examples that may be useful for you:

AUDIO:
PSR S900:

515P:


VIDEO:
PSR S900:

515P:

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None of those explanations or comparisons or opinions from others matters.

If you don't like it .... that's it send it back.


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Some ideas:

(a) If you still have the PSR-S900, make a recording _of your own playing_, and compare it to the P-515.

. .. You don't know what processing was applied, to a recording
. . . on YouTube, to "improve" the sound of the piano.

(b) The PSR-S900 has a "synth action"; the P-515 has a "weighted action". They are quite different, to play:

. . . If you don't have any experience playing a weighted action (e.g.,
. . . an acoustic piano), you can't judge the
. . . sound of the P-515 until you adjust _your playing_ to the new action.

(c) Try setting the P-515 "Touch" (inside the "Piano Room") to "Soft1" or
"Soft2":

. . . Is it better, that way?

If so, you will probably have to adjust your playing to get a good sound out of the weighted action of the P-515.

(d) If you're using the "default" piano sound of the P-515, you may have to adjust Reverb and EQ settings, to get the sound of the PSR-S900.

(e) What "volume" setting are you using on the P-515 ? If you're playing it at lower volume than the PSR-S900, it will not sound as good:

. . . Set the volume up to about 3/4 of "full volume".

THanks --


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The P-515's claim to fame is its binaural CFX sound when listening through the headphones. Have you tried listening to it through a good pair of headphones?

If yes and it sounds good through the headphones, you're probably just not happy with its speaker system compared to your PSR-S900.

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Based on your demos, the 515 sounds so much better than the 900 it’s not even close

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The PSR-S900 has been in production for 14 years. There has been a lot of progress in digital piano sound, in that time. Now, digital pianos are closer to acoustic pianos, than they were 14 years ago.

Maybe what happened is that your ears have gotten used to the sound of the PSR-S900, and that's what your brain expects. So you are hearing the sound of the P-515 as "worse" than the S900, when it's really _different_.


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Hello Riccardo92, welcome!

To be honest, I find the sound of the p515 better in the videos. I don't know how long you have owned the PSR S900. My own experience is that with new instruments you have to get used to the sound first, as long as you only have one instrument available in direct comparison and have had it in use for a longer period of time. I am sure that with further use, the love for the P515 will grow. Good luck and many enjoyable hours with the P515.

Kind regards, MBiG


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The PSR-900 is what Clavinovas sounded like in the 90's and what entry level PSR keyboards sound like today.

Some people like "that Yamaha sound".

(I'm talking about the piano sound.)


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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
The PSR-900 is what Clavinovas sounded like in the 90's and what entry level PSR keyboards sound like today.

Some people like "that Yamaha sound".

This.

The PSR has a derivation of the old Yamaha 'Power Grand' sound. Extremely direct and articulate and cuts through better than any other Digital Piano sound. But unsophisticated and very basic by today's standards. The P515 is far far superior. But that doesn't mean to say every single person would prefer it if they were used to the old Yamaha sound.

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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Some ideas:

(a) If you still have the PSR-S900, make a recording _of your own playing_, and compare it to the P-515.

. .. You don't know what processing was applied, to a recording
. . . on YouTube, to "improve" the sound of the piano.

(b) The PSR-S900 has a "synth action"; the P-515 has a "weighted action". They are quite different, to play:

. . . If you don't have any experience playing a weighted action (e.g.,
. . . an acoustic piano), you can't judge the
. . . sound of the P-515 until you adjust _your playing_ to the new action.

(c) Try setting the P-515 "Touch" (inside the "Piano Room") to "Soft1" or
"Soft2":

. . . Is it better, that way?

If so, you will probably have to adjust your playing to get a good sound out of the weighted action of the P-515.

(d) If you're using the "default" piano sound of the P-515, you may have to adjust Reverb and EQ settings, to get the sound of the PSR-S900.

(e) What "volume" setting are you using on the P-515 ? If you're playing it at lower volume than the PSR-S900, it will not sound as good:

. . . Set the volume up to about 3/4 of "full volume".

THanks --
First of all, thanks for your reply.
a) I've already tried and the difference is huge!
b) that's true, but I still think the difference is too big regardless to my confidence with the weighted keys!
c) I tried... it goes slightly better but the sound is still a lot "muffled" if compared to S900...
d) I tried to remove reverb because it seems to make the sound even darker... but as you can hear, it's still a lot muffled. I've also tried to adjust a lot more options, but I didn't find anything which could make the sound vivid and light. Adjusting brightness to the max makes the sound a bit more vivid but also less realistic... so I'm afraid it's not a solution. Maybe there's still more EQ options that I didn't found in the settings???
e) I've tried both with 3/4 and maximum volume... but nothing changes

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Originally Posted by Volusiano
The P-515's claim to fame is its binaural CFX sound when listening through the headphones. Have you tried listening to it through a good pair of headphones?

If yes and it sounds good through the headphones, you're probably just not happy with its speaker system compared to your PSR-S900.
Yes, I've tried also with headphones, but nothing changes! The sound is still better in S900, even with headphones!! frown

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Since the forum doesn't allow me to reply directly to all of you in a short time, I'll make a single reply.

First of all, thanks for all of your replies.
I'm a bit reassured from your comments, they make me think that maybe it's just my ears that need to be in confidence with this new sound after 14 years of a different piano sound. I'm happy to see in a lot of your comments that you find the 515P sound much better, this makes me think that it's just me.
I never bought a €1500 worth instrument online and of course I know it was a bit risky... but seriously, I've searched it in over 20 shops in my Region and didn't found, so I was a bit tired. And also, last Saturday I had a serious scooter accident so I needed something to put a smile on my mouth ahaha! And so I decided not to wait anymore and buy it online...

Or maybe I need to adjust some other options to make the sound better? I've tried to adjust brightness, lid position, reverb, etc... every setting in the "piano room" section. But nothing makes the sound vivid as I'd want. Does anyone of you own this piano? Do you know some other settings that I may adjust in order to make the sound more vivid?

Look at this for example, it's just me or the sound is way more vivid and bright than in my video/audio examples? (except that the guy is more and more talented than me, of course, ahahaha!)

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One more thing, the P515 has a lot of old sounds in a semi-hidden library that is accessible by pressing function+others this will put at your disposal some old piano samples that you may like. It is worth checking it.

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Originally Posted by ejlamas
One more thing, the P515 has a lot of old sounds in a semi-hidden library that is accessible by pressing function+others this will put at your disposal some old piano samples that you may like. It is worth checking it.
Oh, thanks a lot! I didn't know about this... I will definitely give a check!

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I thought they both sounded good. I did like the PSR too.

I had some work to putin before I got the P515 sounding how I loked it. There's a load of ways to do this. Hope i goes well for you.


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I don’t have the p515 but could give some general suggestions

Select the bright grand piano voice

In the piano room set the lid to fully open and brilliance to max

Also you should try turning virtual resonance modeling VRM to off

I thought the suggestion to try the general midi piano voices was a good one. I believe the above settings don’t apply to the general midi GM2 pianos.

Good luck!


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Hello,

I don't own a P-515, but I have its predecessor, and the sound is fantastic IMO. It's a CF sample, not a CFX like on the P-515. But that should be fantastic too. Different models of Yamaha DPs use different speaker positions. If any speakers are pointing at soft surfaces, that could make a huge difference. Some pianos for example, require a hard surface beneath them - not carpet. Mine has good speakers which point in good directions for home studio use, but I still hook the piano up to my studio monitors too, for a fuller, richer sound.

The P-515 has the latest version of the CFX sample, and to any Yamaha fan, this should be the best sample on any digital piano in the world. Listen to the Youtube video with Stu at Merriam Pianos reviewing/demonstrating the VSL Synchron library with the CFX sound. I nearly fell of my seat. You should at least be able to determine that the problem is not the CFX piano that your piano main patch is sampled from.

Someone suggested that you may have PSR-S900 ears, and this may be true. Take it kindly. I think you need a control for your tests - that is to say a third instrument. Take some time out with one or two nice acoustic pianos, to give your ears another perspective. And the comment about correct technique for a weighted action may be important too. You may have lost or never have acquired that groping action with the fingers. I see how cutting the reverb would make things worse. You've got a four band equaliser. Try augmenting the upper mids or increasing the string resonance and sustain pedal levels. And hook up to some great monitors.

Good luck.


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Originally Posted by peterws
I thought they both sounded good. I did like the PSR too.

I had some work to putin before I got the P515 sounding how I loked it. There's a load of ways to do this. Hope i goes well for you.
So you do own a P515 and had the same issue as mine? And worked it out by adjusting voices in a certain way?

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Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Hello,

I don't own a P-515, but I have its predecessor, and the sound is fantastic IMO. It's a CF sample, not a CFX like on the P-515. But that should be fantastic too. Different models of Yamaha DPs use different speaker positions. If any speakers are pointing at soft surfaces, that could make a huge difference. Some pianos for example, require a hard surface beneath them - not carpet. Mine has good speakers which point in good directions for home studio use, but I still hook the piano up to my studio monitors too, for a fuller, richer sound.

The P-515 has the latest version of the CFX sample, and to any Yamaha fan, this should be the best sample on any digital piano in the world. Listen to the Youtube video with Stu at Merriam Pianos reviewing/demonstrating the VSL Synchron library with the CFX sound. I nearly fell of my seat. You should at least be able to determine that the problem is not the CFX piano that your piano main patch is sampled from.

Someone suggested that you may have PSR-S900 ears, and this may be true. Take it kindly. I think you need a control for your tests - that is to say a third instrument. Take some time out with one or two nice acoustic pianos, to give your ears another perspective. And the comment about correct technique for a weighted action may be important too. You may have lost or never have acquired that groping action with the fingers. I see how cutting the reverb would make things worse. You've got a four band equaliser. Try augmenting the upper mids or increasing the string resonance and sustain pedal levels. And hook up to some great monitors.

Good luck.
Thank you so much for your detailed reply and suggestions! I will try everything.
About the surface, it's standing on a wooden desk which is about 3-4cm thick.
About the speakers, I am just using the built-in speakers of the keyboard... do you think I should buy separate speakers instead of using the built-in ones?

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You just like synthetic piano sounds more. Then look for them in the section "Electric pianos" etc.

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I think it's very much a case of what you're used to.

I owned a P515 (in fact it's still sat boxed in the hall if anybody wants one !), and loved the sound of the CFX. I was just getting back into playing keyboards having taken a break for a while (because I'm some sort of idiot), and it really rekindled my enthusiasm for piano playing. Because I was enjoying playing so much I came down with a nasty case of Upgraditis. Tried some console pianos, a VPC1 and then drove some distance to a store to try a MP11SE. Because of my setup a stage piano made sense and I fell in love with the keybed and some of the layered sounds of the MP11SE. However I thought the main piano sound was, well, ok.

A year on and that main piano sound on the MP11SE sounds wonderful to me, and the CFX on the P515 less so. I've just got used to the new sound I guess.

In terms of the OP, I guess it comes down to why he did the upgrade. For sure I believe the P515 provides a much more compelling piano experience both in terms of action and sound, and that's what most here use as the test - how close to a 'real' piano is it.

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Excuse me for veering off course for a second. I never played P515, but I did own a FP4 and my take on CFX was it was too bright. I always used CFIII, but that is not what I'm here to debate.

I actually thought, as I read this thread, that you should try Pianotec (I never played it, but is certainly a bright sound for all the videos I've watched.) it might be a different solution since its allure, I think, is that the notes react sympathetically to each other, more like a real acoustic.


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
Originally Posted by Volusiano
The P-515's claim to fame is its binaural CFX sound when listening through the headphones. Have you tried listening to it through a good pair of headphones?

If yes and it sounds good through the headphones, you're probably just not happy with its speaker system compared to your PSR-S900.
Yes, I've tried also with headphones, but nothing changes! The sound is still better in S900, even with headphones!! frown

In the recordings you posted, the P-515 is closer to an acoustic piano, and has a more sonorous, less percussive tone. The PSR-S900 has a brighter, more percussive tone. There are types of music that benefit from each style of tone, although the PSR-S900 still isn't competitive with today's digital piano sounds. You may want to explore the different pianos in the P-515.

It is very difficult to select a piano sight unseen without playing it. Youtube videos that are well done were mastered and may have had equalization or other post-processing done after the recording was captured.


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
Originally Posted by peterws
I thought they both sounded good. I did like the PSR too.

I had some work to putin before I got the P515 sounding how I loked it. There's a load of ways to do this. Hope i goes well for you.
So you do own a P515 and had the same issue as mine? And worked it out by adjusting voices in a certain way?

Yes. You can make them brighter, more dynamic, more resonant, more reverb, and other stuff on the app which I don't have!


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
(sorry for the double thread, I've just seen this digital piano section and I think it's more suitable for my post)

Hi everyone!
Today I've just bought my first digital piano: Yamaha 515P.
I am a self taught keyboard player from Italy, and my previous keyboard was a Yamaha PSR S900.

Unfortunately, I couldn't be able to try Yamaha 515P before buying it because none of the stores in my region had it.
So, I've watched tons of videos and reviews online, and finally decided to buy it online.

It arrived today, and it's superb from every point of view, but... I find the general sound to be really muffled! I mean, it's not limpid, vivid, it's like very dark and hollow... I really can't understand if it's normal or not.
If I compare the sound to what I heard from every video online (even amateur videos), I can notice a huge difference.

I also tried to register a wav example and I notice this huge difference even in the recording.
I can't understand how the simple grand piano sound of my Yamaha Psr S900 can sound a lot more vivid and limpid than all the pianos in Yamaha 515-P!

I am really confused guys, so I definitely need your expert opinions... please help!

Here I'm posting some examples that may be useful for you:

AUDIO:
PSR S900:

515P:


VIDEO:
PSR S900:

515P:

I have the p155 and p515 , I think p515 is more realistic but not necessarily much better, but has much better speakers and action, one thing you could do which I did is change touch settings to soft1 and brilliance to 8, and it’s pretty good.

Or you could send it back and get Kawai es 920, do note though lot of people don’t like es920 compared to the old es 8, so it’s really hard to get a digital instrument and truly be satisfied 100%


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
. . .
About the surface, it's standing on a wooden desk which is about 3-4cm thick.
About the speakers, I am just using the built-in speakers of the keyboard... do you think I should buy separate speakers instead of using the built-in ones?

The P-515 is solid on the bottom, the speakers are on top. The guy in the video turns it upside-down during his talk:



You can put it on a desk or table.

The video above, talks about the Yamaha SW-100 loudspeaker. It is a "subwoofer" (bass only), not a full-range speaker.

Many people, here, think that the P-515 has pretty good built-in loudspeakers. Try it out, see if it works OK for you. If the PSR-S900 is loud enough, you should get similar volume from the P-515.

The P-515 speakers should be somewhat better than the PSR-S900. The amp power is similar.

. . . The two P-515 main speakers are 12 cm x 6 cm, and it has 2.5 cm tweeters.

. . . The PSR-S900 only has two 12 cm x 4 cm speakers.

So the P515 ought to have better bass, and better treble.

(These are comparisons based on specifications, and have many hidden assumptions. Your ears may tell you something different.)

Live with it for a while, see what you can do with it to adjust the sound to your liking. Don't be afraid to use the 4-band EQ, or the other "effects".


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
Since the forum doesn't allow me to reply directly to all of you in a short time, I'll make a single reply.

First of all, thanks for all of your replies.
I'm a bit reassured from your comments, they make me think that maybe it's just my ears that need to be in confidence with this new sound after 14 years of a different piano sound. I'm happy to see in a lot of your comments that you find the 515P sound much better, this makes me think that it's just me.
I never bought a €1500 worth instrument online and of course I know it was a bit risky... but seriously, I've searched it in over 20 shops in my Region and didn't found, so I was a bit tired. And also, last Saturday I had a serious scooter accident so I needed something to put a smile on my mouth ahaha! And so I decided not to wait anymore and buy it online...

Or maybe I need to adjust some other options to make the sound better? I've tried to adjust brightness, lid position, reverb, etc... every setting in the "piano room" section. But nothing makes the sound vivid as I'd want. Does anyone of you own this piano? Do you know some other settings that I may adjust in order to make the sound more vivid?

Look at this for example, it's just me or the sound is way more vivid and bright than in my video/audio examples? (except that the guy is more and more talented than me, of course, ahahaha!)

Hello again,

One thing that gives me hope that the P-515 will work for you is that you seem happy with the action, because that is the most contentious item on this instrument. I didn't say it's bad (I think I would enjoy the action too) but some people say it is exaggerated. The other obvious issue with the P-515 is its heavy weight (if and when you need to move or carry it) but you haven't mentioned the weight as being a problem.

In the video you appended to this message, the P-515 sounds harsh and constrained. Youtube streaming compression probably has a lot to do with it. Or it may be the mics or the built-in speakers. I had hoped that the P-515 would have amazing speakers, better than on most portable digital pianos. Well, it's only one video.

We can easily fall into the trap of obsessively seeking conformity with one single acoustic piano sound, or as its often described: "real piano" sound. Yuk! Let's encourage diversity, not uniformity. If samples come out a bit differently to the original sampled instrument, that can be a bonus. As I keep saying, "reality" is a nonsense. They are all pianos (acoustic and digital) and you either like a piano's sounds or you don't. If the P-515 never wins you over and you always prefer the PSR-S900, that is perfectly legitimate.


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Originally Posted by Riccardo92
Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Hello,

I don't own a P-515, but I have its predecessor, and the sound is fantastic IMO. It's a CF sample, not a CFX like on the P-515. But that should be fantastic too. Different models of Yamaha DPs use different speaker positions. If any speakers are pointing at soft surfaces, that could make a huge difference. Some pianos for example, require a hard surface beneath them - not carpet. Mine has good speakers which point in good directions for home studio use, but I still hook the piano up to my studio monitors too, for a fuller, richer sound............
Thank you so much for your detailed reply and suggestions! I will try everything.
About the surface, it's standing on a wooden desk which is about 3-4cm thick.
About the speakers, I am just using the built-in speakers of the keyboard... do you think I should buy separate speakers instead of using the built-in ones?

Hello again,

I have just responded to you after listening to the Kraft Music video. I listened a second time, but using headphones, instead of my studio monitors, and it was better. Now see my red face! Even so, I do think that adding monitors should help improve the sound for you. What one set of speakers misses, another may capture. My monitors are just some old Yamaha MSP5s, but added to my P-255's built-in speakers, I'm really happy with the totality of sound, here in my studio. Even one speaker could make a huge difference, so long as your built-in speakers are up loud enough to give you some of the stereo effect. The Yamaha HS8 nearfield monitor is supposed to be very good for digital pianos, but you might get good results with something more modest.


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Commenters in this thread before me gave you really helpful advice.
I'd say from my brief experience playing a P515 what I liked about it most was the CFX piano sample set. It's similiar to what Yamaha Montage has minus the piano modeling enhancements. It's a strong and poweful sample, and extremely versatile. In contrast the Bosendorfer piano didn't feel as balanced and I didn't like the character. Rest of the sounds were just bad. But I think if you only care about piano you'll have a lot of fun with your P515 and cosmetically it looks great! plus a HUGE bonus it has a built it interface, you can play any sound via VST and even use the internal speakers, such easy and joy... I miss this feature in my Kawai ES920

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Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Originally Posted by Riccardo92
Since the forum doesn't allow me to reply directly to all of you in a short time, I'll make a single reply.

First of all, thanks for all of your replies.
I'm a bit reassured from your comments, they make me think that maybe it's just my ears that need to be in confidence with this new sound after 14 years of a different piano sound. I'm happy to see in a lot of your comments that you find the 515P sound much better, this makes me think that it's just me.
I never bought a €1500 worth instrument online and of course I know it was a bit risky... but seriously, I've searched it in over 20 shops in my Region and didn't found, so I was a bit tired. And also, last Saturday I had a serious scooter accident so I needed something to put a smile on my mouth ahaha! And so I decided not to wait anymore and buy it online...

Or maybe I need to adjust some other options to make the sound better? I've tried to adjust brightness, lid position, reverb, etc... every setting in the "piano room" section. But nothing makes the sound vivid as I'd want. Does anyone of you own this piano? Do you know some other settings that I may adjust in order to make the sound more vivid?

Look at this for example, it's just me or the sound is way more vivid and bright than in my video/audio examples? (except that the guy is more and more talented than me, of course, ahahaha!)

Hello again,

One thing that gives me hope that the P-515 will work for you is that you seem happy with the action, because that is the most contentious item on this instrument. I didn't say it's bad (I think I would enjoy the action too) but some people say it is exaggerated. The other obvious issue with the P-515 is its heavy weight (if and when you need to move or carry it) but you haven't mentioned the weight as being a problem.

In the video you appended to this message, the P-515 sounds harsh and constrained. Youtube streaming compression probably has a lot to do with it. Or it may be the mics or the built-in speakers. I had hoped that the P-515 would have amazing speakers, better than on most portable digital pianos. Well, it's only one video.

We can easily fall into the trap of obsessively seeking conformity with one single acoustic piano sound, or as its often described: "real piano" sound. Yuk! Let's encourage diversity, not uniformity. If samples come out a bit differently to the original sampled instrument, that can be a bonus. As I keep saying, "reality" is a nonsense. They are all pianos (acoustic and digital) and you either like a piano's sounds or you don't. If the P-515 never wins you over and you always prefer the PSR-S900, that is perfectly legitimate.

Hello, thanks for your reply!

Actually, the weight could be a problem... but I was expected to that, because I knew it was 25kg.

About the recording, actually the sound you can hear in the youtube video is almost the same as the one I hear directly from the wav registration...

About the last paragraph, I think you're right... infact, at the end, I'm considerating to return it and go on for more testing before deciding what to buy. But I'm afraid they won't accept my returning demand... in that case, the only way will be to train my ears to this new piano sound!

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Riccado 92,

Just in case you haven't noticed already, the P-515 comes up in threads about amplification. Some members here seem very happy with the speakers, and others are very disappointed. (What can you expect from a portable piano though?) Seems I'm not the only one to suggest the HS8 speakers for it. Supposedly, a matching pair (yes they come specially matched/balanced to each other) is ideal.

Another member spoke of adding a sub woofer, saying that this helps a lot. I asked the question of why DPs don't have proper sub woofer connectors if they need subs so much. Yamaha does make a special sub woofer for its digital pianos, but the crossover aspect wouldn't work efficiently without a dedicated output from the piano. Also, I suspect that subs would produce exaggerated bass on a piano. I like the bass notes to sound tight and almost metallic, not thick or boomy. One day I'll try a sub woofer anyway.


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Originally Posted by anotherpianoplayer
Riccado 92,

Just in case you haven't noticed already, the P-515 comes up in threads about amplification. Some members here seem very happy with the speakers, and others are very disappointed. (What can you expect from a portable piano though?) Seems I'm not the only one to suggest the HS8 speakers for it. Supposedly, a matching pair (yes they come specially matched/balanced to each other) is ideal.

Another member spoke of adding a sub woofer, saying that this helps a lot. I asked the question of why DPs don't have proper sub woofer connectors if they need subs so much. Yamaha does make a special sub woofer for its digital pianos, but the crossover aspect wouldn't work efficiently without a dedicated output from the piano. Also, I suspect that subs would produce exaggerated bass on a piano. I like the bass notes to sound tight and almost metallic, not thick or boomy. One day I'll try a sub woofer anyway.
I'd really love to try those speakers, but I've checked and they are very expensive!
After risking by buying a 1500€ piano online, I don't think I can risk again...
Anyway, the speakers may be a problem, but if you hear my samples, you can notice that even in the WAV recordings the sound comes up unclear!

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