The YPG625 and YPG225 arrived today, very late in the afternoon.
Upon taking the YPG625 out of the box the first thing I can say is "beautiful". The keyboard looks like $3000.00, not under $800.00. The wood all around the sides and top of the keybed is beautiful Maple with a really nice rich looking grain. The buttons are totally new for Yamaha. They are shaped like light switches, white in color and the 10 numeric buttons are small perfectly round white buttons. They will take some time getting used to compared to the larger differently shaped ones on the DGX505, but I really like the look of the front panel. Most all the buttons are similar to the DGX505 with the exception for a few new ones. There is now a button called fingering mode, which allows you to select multifingered or full keyboard mode for chord recognition. When using the full mode you can play 3 fingered chords anywhere on the keyboard to change chords but playing single or duo notes does not change the chord played.
Another new feature in found in the perfomance play mode. In the DGX models you had the choice of chord mode or melody mode. This allowed you to play any notes when playing a song with chord changes and you would never play a wrong note. The fun of this is is playing anything, chords or melody and only getting notes within the chord changes. The problem with this is you could never play anything that resembled the actual song. Now, with the YPG's, you can select a mode which splits the performance play mode so that you could play any thing in the left hand as chords and not get wrong notes while playing the correct notes for the melody of the song in the right hand section. A nice touch for having some fun.
As Yamaha always does, many of the sounds having the same names as the previous models and many of the styles having the same name as previous models, have suttle changes in the YPG625. Although I haven't spent enough time yet, I did here a new "live" orchestra voice and I saw some new names of styles and when I played some of the same names I could clearly hear better sounding voices then in the DGX models.
I also want to point out that I am amazed the speaker system is only rated at 6 watts per side. I actually called the product manager at Yamaha to varify this. These on board speakers are loud but mostly, they sound much fuller with more bass and more highs than the DGX505.
I plugged a thumb drive into the USB port with a couple of hundred midi files and in a second, songs beginning with the number 36 showed up and I could select and play midi files in a heartbeat. Now, finally, I don't have to worry about buying Smart Media Cards which are getting almost impossible to find. I went out tonight and bout a couple of 128, 256 and 512MB flash drives for between $14.00 and $25.00. I really have no need to buy 1 or 2 GB drives because standard midi files just don't take up very much memory. There is also a USB to computer (midi) port for sequencing, etc.
The action is just what I expected. A really nice weighed graded key action which Yamaha certainly knows how to do right.
So, I have this Casio Privia PX555 model which was a very good value at $799.00 with stand and pedal until Yamaha unvailed this new model. The Casio has a mic input, both have speakers built in, lyrics display, 32 note polyphony and 88 weighted keys. But the winner right now has shifted to Yamaha. Their sounds and styles do win in my opinion. The Casio Privia PX310 is still a really nice option for $599.00, but no stand, bench, 2 year warranty, headphones and not nearly enough buttons to do all the things as intuitivly as the Yamaha. Plus, the Yamaha really wins in the looks department.
The YPG225 is the first non weighted Yamaha keyboard with actual sized piano keys with boxed fronts like a real piano. Unlike the DGX305, these keys are not semi Weighted, but unlike other PSR's, they are full size piano keys. The front panel is laid out just like the bigger 88 key models, but there is no USB device port, only a USB to computer jack.
Tomorrow I will be able to play alot more with these new models. I excited to go into the store. It's been awhile since something new has come in that has got me jazzed to go into work tomorrow. I love when new, good products show up.
Kaye's Music Scene