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Yamaha P-225 review: CFX sound makes all the difference

The Yamaha P-225 is the latest addition to the incredibly popular P-series portable digital piano range. However, it’s far from just another model in the range; it’s the sign of a new generation of P-series instruments.

The P-225 marks an extensive redesign of previous releases, with some significant upgrades. In this review, I’ll discuss what’s new, what’s not, and if the P-225 lives up to early promise.

Yamaha P-225 review
Image: Yamaha

Final verdict on the Yamaha P-225 4.7

The already popular P-series just got better. Including the flagship CFX concert grand piano sound is a game changer at this price range. The P-225 looks and sounds stunning, and you’d struggle to find much better for the same price.

What I like

  • Stunning CFX concert grand sound.
  • VRM and IAC technologies.
  • Two-way speaker system.
  • Matte finish keys.
  • Sleek new design.
  • Lightweight.
  • Bluetooth.

What I don’t like

  • Slightly light keys.
Buy Yamaha P-225 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Why you should trust me

James Nugent, author and contributor at Higher Hz

I’m a producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. As a professional pianist, I’ve played and tested everything from a Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano to budget-friendly beginner keyboards.

Contents

Use these jump links to navigate to the desired section of the review.

Sound quality 4.8

The first of several significant upgrades to discuss is the inclusion of Yamaha’s flagship piano sample, the CFX concert grand, which was previously reserved for more expensive models.

The CFX concert grand sound is one of the most realistic available at any price. This sound is so special because it captures much of the resonance and richness of the monstrous nine-foot CFX concert piano. It’s beautiful all across the keyboard range, but it’s in the bass range that you hear and feel how powerful it can be.

The main piano voice is just one of 24 presets, including multiple grand piano variations, electric pianos, strings, organs, and more.

With instruments in this price range, we often find one or two great voices, and the rest are lagging behind. I’m so pleased that Yamaha has raised the bar; almost every voice is incredibly impressive, with the Stage E. Piano and Harpsichord being standouts.

The P-225 has a max polyphony of 192 notes, and with the new grand piano sound, some players might just put it to the test.

Built-in speakers 4.7

The built-in speaker system has also been redesigned to fit the new sleek chassis. You’ll find a pair of 4.7-inch speakers powered by two 7-watt amplifiers on the back panel. The speaker grills sit flush against the panel to maintain the slimline image.

Another small but interesting new feature is the addition of some vents just above the keys. The vents allow the sound to project outwards towards the player, creating an almost 3D sound projection.

Keyboard feel 4.7

Since the chassis is now smaller, slimmer, and lighter, Yamaha upgraded the keyboard to match. The P-225 has Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Compact (GHC) keyboard.

Yamaha P-225 - new GHC keyboard
Image: Yamaha

The important thing is that you still have 88 full-size, fully-weighted keys. Of course, the action has changed under the hood, and the result is perhaps slightly lighter keys, but not by much. The action is fast and responsive, and the keys are graded, meaning they get progressively heavier from top to bottom.

The black keys have a lovely matte finish, which is one of several premium touches that you’ll find across the P-225.

Features 4.6

Yamaha’s P-series pianos were never big on features; they have always been about doing the basics well. But, the P-225 might be a sign of that trend changing.

Virtual Resonance Modeling

I could have discussed Yamaha’s VRM Lite technology under sound quality because it adds so much to the realism of the instrument. Virtual resonance modeling mimics the small details that give an acoustic grand piano its character.

The P-225 even has key-off samples that emulate the sound of a hammer coming off the string. These seemingly small details add up to create an exceptionally realistic piano.

Sleek interface

Minimalist would be the ideal word to describe the design of the Yamaha P-225, and that includes the interface. The P-225 has new, slim buttons at the heart of a very user-friendly interface.

Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC)

IAC adjusts the sound when you are using headphones to ensure the best quality at any volume.

Built-in recorder and effects

Yamaha’s P-225 includes a built-in two-track recorder. Recording your practice sessions is always a good idea, and since you have two tracks, you can use it for composition and arrangement ideas, too, maybe some piano and bass.

Four reverb types are available.

Rhythms and demo songs

Twenty-one voice demo songs, 50 classic demos, and 20 accompaniment rhythms are included.

Keyboard modes

Split mode and Layer mode allow you to play with a different sound in each hand or layer two to create something new.

In use 4.9

Students and performers love Yamaha’s P-series because it virtually guarantees a great sound with minimal fuss. The P-225 is no exception. The simple button interface makes it easy to use whether practicing at home or changing sounds quickly on stage.

In true P-series fashion, this digital piano is a perfect choice for beginners or professionals who want a lightweight stage setup.

If you are a beginner considering the P-225 or something cheaper, I assure you that you won’t outgrow the P-225 quickly; it sounds and feels too good, so it’s worth the investment.

The small premium touches, like the matte finish keys, the two-way speaker system, and, of course, the CFX concert grand sound, make the P-225 a pleasure to play.

Build quality 4.3

The P-225 is slimmer and lighter than previous models like the P-125, but I don’t think there’s a significant change in the build quality.

If you’re worried about using it on stage, don’t be; it won’t fall apart at the first bump, the fifth, and so on; it’s robust enough for life on the road. Likewise, you’ll have no issues at home, even with younger kids who might be a touch heavy-handed.

Yamaha P-225 at home with stand
Image: Yamaha

If you have any concerns, you can always purchase the matching wooden stand (not included) that screws into the base for a more authentic digital piano look.

The one notable difference is that the P-225 feels more like a premium instrument than the older models.

Connectivity 4.5

The big news in this department is the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth lets you stream music through the piano speakers, a great way to practice jamming to your favorite tracks.

The P-225 has a pair of 1/4-inch audio outputs, which is ideal for gigging. It also has a pair of 1/4-inch headphone jacks, which is ideal for student/teacher practice sessions.

In addition, you get a single 1/4-inch pedal input (compatible with Yamaha’s three-pedal unit – not supplied) and one USB Type-B connection.

Compared to other stage pianos

The Yamaha P-225 is a worthy entry to the P-series range, but if you’re not yet convinced, here are a few alternatives.

Yamaha P-225 vs P-125

I love the Yamaha P-125, but with so many upgrades, and only a slight increase in price, I’ll buy the P-225 every time.

Yamaha P-225 vs Roland FP-30X

Roland FP pianos have been around for a long time and have a well-earned reputation for quality. I think CFX sound is the difference; go with Yamaha.

Yamaha P-225 vs Casio PX-S1100

The PX-S1100 is a sleek, slimline stage piano that sounds great. The P-225 looks every bit as good but sounds even better.

Yamaha P-225 vs Korg B2

Korg pianos have a distinctive sound, and if you prefer Korg, the B2 is an excellent option. It’s also cheaper than the Yamaha P-225.

Who is the Yamaha P-225 best suited for?

The Yamaha P-225 suits players of any skill level who want a portable digital piano on a relatively small budget.

Buy Yamaha P-225 at: SweetwaterAmazon
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