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Joined: Nov 2021
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I'll be traveling for a couple of months and away from my digital piano. I have an ancient Kawai 61- key keyboard I'll bring along but it just feels (and sounds) like a toy compared to my real piano. Plastic keys, "touch-sensitive" but not weighted at all, etc. I found a used P-121 for a good price and while it is a bit larger at 73 keys it could be lugged along. But no one has a P-121 or a P-125 in stock around here for me to try and this one is a hundred miles away

For the people that have tried or a P-121 (or P-125), does the action feel and sound close-ish to a real digital piano? Yes, I know it's all subjective. Thanks for any opinion you can offer.

Last edited by NXR; 12/15/21 06:56 PM.

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You wrote ". . . to a real digital piano?"

My response:

. . . Yes, it's close to a real digital piano.

The P121 / P125 "GHS" action has been used in a whole bunch of real Yamaha digital pianos -- there's nothing new about it, AFAIK. It's fully-weighted (rather than "synth action"), and will give you reasonable dynamic control.

It's "on par" with a bunch of other "entry-level" DP actions, IMHO.

Whether it's close to a real _acoustic_ piano -- you know the problems with answering that one!<G>


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Whether it's close to a real _acoustic_ piano -- you know the problems with answering that one!<G>

Haha, yeah, thanks for the opinion. smile

I haven't touched a real acoustic piano in maybe a decade so that difference does not trouble me.

Ray


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I'm lovin' mine and it really ticks a lot of boxes when moving about. Its only 10kg and don't forget that all important inbuilt USB interface - you can plug in an iPhone with just a USB cord and Camera Connection Kit and you can play virtual instruments or just play along with backing tracks or a YouTube clip. Plus as a bonus I have put together some tailored soundfonts that work with the instrument select buttons (both P121 and P125) to expand your available instruments (all for free of course) https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/

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Based on your signature: if your main piano is a Kawai CA99 and that's what you're accustomed to, you might be very critical of the P125. I think it's fine and feels pretty good for a portable piano. My perception of the GHS action (my sis in law owns a Yamaha Arius YDP142) is that it's a little light - I'm much more used to the much heavier GH action on Yamahas.

If you have a chance to try it before committing to buy, set the sensitivity level on the P121/125 to hard - it makes a huge difference in perceived feel. Also, try setting the reverb to stage or room.

My general advice is to try to play lots of different pianos so that your fingers/brain don't go into complete shock if you ever need to perform on a lesser set up than what you own (yeah, if you have an CA99, there aren't a lot of DP's that are better than that and a new CA99 would put most non-new/unserviced older traditional pianos to shame).

I've found that by periodically playing "recital" pieces on different set ups (uprights, spinets, baby grands, various digital pianos of different vintages), I'm now better capable of making adjustments and have become more reasonable/less picky on what's playable.

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Originally Posted by technomaster
Based on your signature: if your main piano is a Kawai CA99 and that's what you're accustomed to, you might be very critical of the P125. I think it's fine and feels pretty good for a portable piano. My perception of the GHS action (my sis in law owns a Yamaha Arius YDP142) is that it's a little light - I'm much more used to the much heavier GH action on Yamahas.

As a rank beginner I have the advantage of not really knowing or caring much about the differences unless they are very obvious. smile

Quote
If you have a chance to try it before committing to buy, set the sensitivity level on the P121/125 to hard - it makes a huge difference in perceived feel. Also, try setting the reverb to stage or room.

I'd have to drive a hundred miles one way so yes, I could try it out. If it's still available.

Quote
My general advice is to try to play lots of different pianos so that your fingers/brain don't go into complete shock if you ever need to perform on a lesser set up than what you own (yeah, if you have an CA99, there aren't a lot of DP's that are better than that and a new CA99 would put most non-new/unserviced older traditional pianos to shame).

I understand and agree with the advice on using different instruments. In fact, I've been a bit confused by people who take the "Acoustic or die!" position. From what little I know there seem to be variations even between instruments of the same model and age due to whether they were taken care of or not. You kind of reinforced that thought so that's good. Unless people are trucking their own acoustic around and getting it tuned up upon arrival, what do they do? Not play at all until they get back to theirs?

I dunno but fortunately I'm years away from being that discriminating, if ever. I'm in this to learn something new and have some fun.

Thanks again,

Ray


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I had an old Yamaha DP that broke down a few months ago. The store I bought the keyboard had not reopened completely and only allowed curbside pickup. Unable to compare similar keyboards including Roland FP-30 & Casio Privia PX-S1000, I settled for a P-125 since it was the closest to my old keyboard.

Took it home and tried it. Besides getting a few extra instrument sounds, I don't find the newer keyboard that big of an improvement over the older model I had for over 5 years. The action is close enough to an acoustic piano. However, I don't always get a consistent sound. With an acoustic piano, you can hit the same key soft or loud and the only difference is the change in volume. When playing the P-125, sometimes when I hit the keys very loud I hear a short staccato sound like a hammer hitting a nail. Doesn't happen very often but I don't think should happen at all. And I find that the notes don't sustain as much as an acoustic that I have to use the pedal more. The sound is sufficient for playing to an intermediate level. If you want to tackle advanced pieces with more precise control, the P-125 is not something you'd take to a concert stage. The keyboard is very good for learning music but still lacking the realistic sound of the Yamaha acoustic piano it's trying to simulate.

I removed the back cover of the old keyboard and this is what you see inside. All the flimsy looking metal pieces are supposed to simulate the 88 hammers on an acoustic piano.

[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/63267331@N07/12025243174/[/img]

I do get into playing advanced pieces occasionally. For recording purposes I had access to the grand pianos at a local conservatory 2 years ago before the lockdown. For safety reasons, the grand pianos are not available for students who want to practice until further notice. This is a recent recording made with the Yamaha P-125 in November. I think the organ sound came out better than the piano sound. Listen to the piece and judge for yourself...


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I have the p125 for travel purposes and it is no comparison to my Yamaha C2X. However, if you can't travel with an acoustic piano, the p121 would be fine for the intended purpose. Keyboard stand Quik Lok WS421 breaks down into a suitcase. Also, Yamaha makes a carry case SC-KB750 specifically for the p121.

If I miss playing an acoustic while traveling, I stop in at local piano stores. Gives a reason to check out other pianos as well.


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Originally Posted by NXR
I'll be traveling for a couple of months and away from my digital piano. I have an ancient Kawai 61- key keyboard I'll bring along but it just feels (and sounds) like a toy compared to my real piano. Plastic keys, "touch-sensitive" but not weighted at all, etc. I found a used P-121 for a good price and while it is a bit larger at 73 keys it could be lugged along. But no one has a P-121 or a P-125 in stock around here for me to try and this one is a hundred miles away

For the people that have tried or a P-121 (or P-125), does the action feel and sound close-ish to a real digital piano? Yes, I know it's all subjective. Thanks for any opinion you can offer.

I don't think P-125 or 121 feel like toys. They don't feel premium and they lack some features but definitely not toy-like!


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Thanks to everyone who took the time to offer their perspective. The fellow with the used one a hundred miles away was no longer sure he wants to sell it and I was able to find a new one an hour away. Obviously more expensive but I picked it up today and also ordered the Yamaha case.

The music store said they got a truckload of keyboards in a month or so ago and they thought they'd never sell them all. Now they're down to just few left and I had to take the display unit. But at least I got to try out the one I bought. smile

Thanks again,

Ray


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The 121 form factor looks great for your needs - and the built in audio interface is an awesome feature. Enjoy and let us know how you get along with it.

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Dont even bother with P-125 if you want to feel kind of ‘heavy’ piano responsive keys. Overpriced toy

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The P-121 is a great travel piano. It's not going to replace an acoustic piano, but, unless you're riding around in a very large van, an acoustic piano wouldn't travel well, which... is why you're looking for a travel piano, right?

Look no further, the P-121 definitely fits the bill! smile


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Originally Posted by SeaDrive
The P-121 is a great travel piano. It's not going to replace an acoustic piano, but, unless you're riding around in a very large van, an acoustic piano wouldn't travel well, which... is why you're looking for a travel piano, right?

Look no further, the P-121 definitely fits the bill! smile

Close. It's a motorhome but there's no room for an upright digital unless I remove the two recliners. And my wife killed that idea. smile

I figured out that I can turn the front driver and passenger seats so they face rear while we're parked. One armrest on each seat will hold the keyboard like a stand. The armrests are about 30" apart. That keeps the piano out of the aisle and it can just stay there for the duration of our stay.

With that 61-key Kawai X-150D that's listed in my signature placed on the armrests, the top of the keys are about 29" off the floor, which is pretty close to perfect. I'll be able to place the P-121 on the armrests in the next few days but I think it's going to be about the same. And if it's not, well, at this point it doesn't really matter. thumb

Ray

Last edited by NXR; 12/19/21 09:01 PM.

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