Yamaha P 515 Review: Your next investment?
Updated: Feb 18
In this article we've been reviewing Yamaha's flagship piano within the P-series. It's called the Yamaha P 515.
This piano is also a replacement for the Yamaha P-255, with many more new improvements than the predecessor.
As we now, the P in the P-series stands for portable. Which means that this Yamaha digital piano is a good option for gig musicians. Tho of all the features and quality, this piano will for sure suit the most part.
The p515 is also a very well known piano within the pros.
This one is a bit more expensive than the other previous models in the P-series. Since the P45 and the P125 go for about 500 and 700 dollars. The Yamaha p 515 price is up to 1,500 dollars, but in this Yamaha P 515 review we will try to convince you why it's worth it.
But, there is of course a reason for the more expensive price.
We've covered 19 sections about why this piano is worth it's money. I'll just recommend you keep reading and start pondering if this may be your next investment, anyway let's dive into the review.
As we already know, this piano is made to be portable. However, it's very heavy, comes in 22 kg so you will maybe need someone to help you with it when the delivery is at your house.
I'll recommend using a stand on this one, from amazon you will not get one included. Then keep in mind that you probably will need a stand that is capable to carry this digital piano.
If just buying some random stand, it could result in tragedy.
I really like the overlook on the P-515, I think it has a very professional look. Has the required buttons to do this and that and provides a natural modern feeling.
Of course 88 full sized keys made in woods, no plastic keys on this one.
It's kinda similar to other digital pianos in size. 133 x 37 x 14 cm (52.3” x 14.5” x 5.5”) weight, depth and high.
OBS: The picture above does not illustrate the Yamaha P 515.
With 23 different buttons with different functions, you will be allowed to switch to any sound and use every function.
When you press the buttons, a little blue light will occur. Feels very profesional.
Let's not forget the little intergrated blue screen that will show what you're doing at the moment. It's a really nice touch to the piano with an integrated screen.
You can also take control over the piano via the smart piano app. You just use your portable device and connect it to the piano.
The material they used for the P-515 is cut from wood that has been carefully dried, and been chosen specifically for use in making musical instruments.
They only take the best wood from the finest part of the tree, doing this results in a keyboard that is more resistant to buckling and warping than common laminated wood keyboards.
KEYS AND KEY ACTION
The keys are made in real high quality wood, carefully selected from the best part of the wood.
They tried to replicate the real feeling of an acoustic piano with these synthetic ebony and ivory keys, with texture on the black keys.
The key action in P-515 is made with real quality, you will play with 88 keys, fully weighted with the NWX action (Natural Wood X). The NWX is equipped with an escapement mechanism that will recreate the authentic feeling of an acoustic piano.
When you play smoothly on this piano, you will feel the response provide your needs.
They have never used this NWX action in a P-series before, this is the first time ever, this could be one of the reasons why this digital piano is a bit more expensive.
You will have the ability to play in 5 different levels with touch response. Like many other pianos, you can adjust the touch response after your own playing.
You'll also be able to shut it off, which means that it is going to be like a cheap keyboard that doesn't include any touch response.
Some players would prefer a lighter touch, mostly beginners and childrens. But, some real musicians actually think the NWX is a bit too heavy sometimes, It really depends how and what type of music you play to suit the touch response.
Remember, a heavier touch will provide the most accurate finger technique in the long term.
You will take advantage of this piano if you later on, will be playing on an acoustic piano.
Me myself and many others would enjoy having the ability to adjust the response, it gives more of a freedom feeling when playing.
Now we probably came to the most important chunk of this article, the sound. Especially for this piano that is a bit expensive, we really have big expectations.
They use something called VRM (Virtual Resonance Modeling), whose task is to estimate the strings of every 88 notes of the piano. Also, the timing and depth of pedals to recreate the authentic sound from an acoustic piano.
They actually used samples from the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer to make 2 different grand piano sounds to the p515. The CFX is a very well known concert grand piano all over the world, and the Bösendorfer is an imperial grand piano. Both provide powerful sounds with a touch of richness.
The CFX will suit mostly every playing style like pop, jazz and rock for example. It's a more pliant piano sound, and while the Bösendorfer is more like classical style.
Which means that you will be able to experience both these grand piano sounds in the Yamaha P-515.
But how do they actually do to get the sounds of an acoustic piano into a digital piano? Well, they use 2 very advanced sampling technologies called binaural sampling and stereophonic optimizer.
The binaural sampling sound provides a three dimensional sound, which is meant to recreate the player positions perspective through using headphones.
While the stereophonic optimizer task is to create the sensation sound that comes directly from the piano speaker.
There is also something called aliquote resonance in this piano, which is a method used in pianos that have unstruck strings on the right upper half of the piano. It is used to make a richer sound on the upper octaves we could say.
In acoustic pianos, these strings vibrate sympathetically. Because of the no damper feature in the acoustic pianos. it will continue sounding a while after you released your fingers from the keys.
Of course there are a bit more than only 2 sounds in this piano, I made a list of all of them under this chunk.
2 Quality Piano Sounds.
9 other piano sounds.
7 strings sounds.
4 bass sounds.
6 organ sounds.
2 harpsichord sounds.
1 Electronic Clavichord.
The speakers provide a total amount of 40 watt, 15W 12x6 cm on each side, and two 5W tweeters on the list.
These speakers are 100 percent enough to play for friends and family, and of course for yourself.
They provide crystal clear sound without any distortion. Something we all request on our pianos.
They're using something called twisted flare port technology, which purpose is to make the sound clear and accurate with a low frequency reproduction. With this technology they can reduce unwanted noise and turbulence throughout the piano.
How they succeeded with this, is that they have something built-in inside the speakers that will twist the air flow. And that will reduce the sounds you don't want to hear through out your speakers
You may be starting to wonder about the polyphony, first of i will shortly explain what it is.
The Polyphony is the maximum amount of notes that a keyboard or sound module can produce at one time. Easy as that.
And luckily, in our P-515 we are at the top of the polyphony rate, which is 256. This is more than enough for every pianist.
Usually, 128 also is enough. But we do not complain about a high polyphony rate.
In many other digital pianos you will see numbers from 16, 32, 64, and 128. I wouldn't recommend anything under 64 polyphony, but everything above will for sure suit your needs.
REVERB AND PIANO ROOM
They have something special on this piano called ''piano room'', with this feature you can do many things, but let's start with the reverb.
As many other digital pianos, you have the option to choose between 6 different types of reverb.
Recital Hall, Concert Hall, Chamber, Cathedral, Club and plate. This gives you the freedom to play in any kind of way.
What does the reverb actually do for us? When a sound hits a hard area, it reflects back to the listener, and the listener will hear a big echo (briefly). That's what a sustain pedal is made for. Tho the reverberation in a sustain pedal is very excessive.
So what other things will the piano room provide with? It's simply made for you so you can easily change the brightness of the sounds, reverb, key resistance, metronome, damper and kind of every other effect. Also, the lid position.
Like any other digital piano, there are some features that need to be covered, this piano comes with the basic features as we expect. We covered the most accurate ones below.
First off, the Yamaha P 515 comes with 3 different modes. Layer mode, Duo mode and split mode.
The layer mode is the most basic one, kinda every digital piano nowadays has this mode function. What it does is that you can layer 2 sounds together and play them at the same time. Funny and easy as that.
The other one is duo mode, and with this mode you split the piano into two equal halves, on left and one half, with this function you can play with your piano teacher or with a friend. It's also called LESSON MODE on many other digital pianos and could really help your piano exercise.
The third one is called the split mode, my favourite actually. Anyway, this one allows you to, for example play the piano sound on the left part of the piano and the harpsi on the upper right. You just press the split button and the sound you want to play.
I really enjoy playing in this mode, because then I can play melodies with a more pluck sound on the upper right, and with the lower part play the bass.
Nowadays, the metronome is something we're getting used to having in our digital pianos.
And for sure the Yamaha P515 has an in built metronome, adjustable from anything between 5 and 500 bpm.
You control it via the piano room.
The P 515 is equipped with a 16 track sequencer, which is nowadays not so normal on many digital pianos.
More commonly in a music making workstation.
You can use the internal memory to record midi, a maximum of 250 songs, after that you can easily transfer these recordings to your computer with the USB host.
if that's wanted of course.
You can also record audio data, which means that it comes in a wave file, and you can transfer it to your computer via USB and do whatever you want with it.
If you enjoy listening to classical music, you then have the ability to listen to built-in preset songs in the P 515.
It comes with 50 different well known classical pieces. So instead of playing the piano all the time, you now can enjoy someone else playing.
You will also have the ability to teach yourself these songs, these songs are divided into right and left columns. You'll just practice one hand at the time while hearing the other part.
This is a very cool and helpful feature for the pianist. With the transpose you can change the key which the song is played in.
Then why is this so helpful? because, if you play along to a recorded song and the pitch might be too high or low, you can just change the key instead of re-learning the entire song.
You don't need to play in a physical different key, just change the key with a button, easy as that.
One of the benefits of having a digital piano instead of an acoustic piano, is that it won't need to be tuned once every year, actually never.
Because it's already ''pre tuned'' with something called ''Equal Temperament'', which is very commonly used in every digital piano.
Tho, pianos with a higher standard likes to include an option to change the tuning in different ways, for example the Yamaha P 515 have 6 different temperaments (except the standard) which is called, Pure Major, Pure Minor, Pythagorean, Meantone, Werckmeister, and Kirnberger.
There are plenty of different connections you need to know about, if buying this piano. Let's start with the headphone jack, actually 2 headphone jacks on the left side, so you and your teacher can listen at the same time with different headphones.
The other one's is MIDI In and Out, USB to Host, USB to Device, Headphone jacks (2 of them), Line Out (Right and left), Line In, Pedal Unit, Bluetooth 4.1 (Audio only).
The yamaha p-515 comes in a basic shape of accessories.
- Sustain pedal.
- Music rest.
- Owner's manual.
- AC power adapts.
No piano stand, but you can easily find someone that suits you on Amazon.
PROS AND CONS.
+ Can choose between many sounds, including two high quality sounds.
+ 256 note polyphony.
+ Real natural wood keys.
+ Powerful speakers.
+ High quality key action.
- Bluethoot does not support MIDI.
WHO IS THIS PIANO FOR?
My opinion is that this piano is literally for everybody, only if you want a piano with high quality in every aspect.
I think it will suit most of the pianists, though I think there are more advanced player's that buy this piano. A big reason could be the expensive price.
Many beginners don't want to spend too much on their first piano, which is totally okay with me.
However, this piano is also marketed to pianists that need a portable high quality piano. But will for sure suit everybody's needs.
If you want more pianos to choose between in the same price range and the same amount of keys, I would recommend you reading our TOP 10 CASIO PIANOS.
Everything from 61 to 88 keys pianos so it suits everybody. Unfortunately, no Yamaha pianos are in the Casio top list. But for sure you can find something that suits you.
Or do you maybe consider starting out with a 61 key piano? Or maybe buy a starting piano for your children, then take a look at our Best 61 key keyboard top list review.
Do you want to teach yourself piano? Then I would highly recommend you taking a look at our flowkey review. We took an in-depth look in the popular piano learning app/program and covered the most important aspects for you. Check it out!