Yamaha P515 Review – Amazing and Portable

Hello everybody! Welcome to another digital piano review here at EzMusicBox.com. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Yamaha P515, the flagship of the P series.

The P-515 really hit the market with a very big splash five years ago when it was released. It has gained a lot of attention and interest. Therefore, we’re excited to do a review on it.

Yamaha P515 Specifications

P-515 Specifications
  • Keyboard: NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard
  • Touch Response: 5 levels plus Off
  • Effects: 6 reverb, 3 chorus
  • Sound: Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, Bösendorfer Imperial, CFX Binaural Sampling
  • 256-note polyphony
  • Voices: 40 Voices + 18 Drum/SFX Kits + 480 XG Voices
  • Build-in recorder: 250 songs
  • Mode: Dual (layer); Split, Duo (Duet)
  • Pedals: a sustain pedal FC4A included. An optional tri-pedal unit ( LP-1B or LP-1WH) can also be connected.
  • Speakers: 4 speakers with a total of 40 W output
  • Connections:  2 headphone jacks (1/4″), USB-to_Host, USB-to-Device, AUX IN (stereo mini jack), LINE OUT, Wireless Bluetooth Audio
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 52 5/8″ x 5 11/16″ x 14 13/16″ (1336 mm x 145 mm x 376 mm)
  • Weight: 48.5 lbs 3 oz (22 kg)
  • Release Date: September 2018
  • Owner’s Manual on Yamaha’s official site

Design

The Yamaha P515 digital piano is the flagship model in the portable series. The beautiful design makes it an attractive instrument. With the optional matching stand, the P515 is truly an aesthetic piece of furniture that fits into any contemporary decor.

The Body

p515 colors

The Yamaha P-515 looks quite splendid. The faux wood is on the top with polished accents on the sides. Interestingly, a solid metal bar in the front of the instrument offers a very durable feeling. I believe this piano will be a long-lasting one.

The build quality is premium, and the instrument’s top is well resistant to fingerprints, especially the area around the user interface.

The clear music rest is larger than most digital pianos, even those more expensive ones.

The User Interface

control penal left

control penal right

The user interface of the P515 is really awesome. The buttons and controls are all functional and intuitive and you can easily control any setting you ever want.

From the left side, you have the power switch, volume slider, controls for song recording or playback, and buttons for metronome and built-in rhythms.

In the middle is the LCD screen with a function button on the left and function arrows on the right.

When you press the function button, it opens up the function menu within the display screen so you can adjust all sorts of different settings and use the arrow keys to easily cycle through the options.

By holding down the right and left arrow keys, it will set the function back to default.

On the right side, there are voice buttons allowing you to choose a voice by using the six voice categories. The selections are shown on the LCD screen which offers a visual presentation of your choices.

The Optional Matching Stand

Should you need to have your P515 piano as a stationary piano at home, school, or worship house, Yamaha offers a matching stand to convert the portable instrument into a console-style piano.

The stand and tri-pedal unit are sold separately.

P-515 with matching stand

Pedal

pedal-with-half-pedal-control

The P-515 has a solid FC4A pedal to serve as a Sustain pedal. This pedal closely mimics the acoustic piano sustain pedal expression, including the half pedal function.

If you purchase the matching stand, you may consider purchasing a tri-pedal unit (LP1B for black and LP1WH for white) to complete the consol-style piano look. The three pedals operate the same as those in an acoustic grand piano.

Sound

yamaha P515 sound

The P-515 includes piano tones crafted using recordings from the renowned Yamaha CFX flagship concert grand piano and the celebrated Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. These piano sounds allow you to access the exceptional quality of two of the most distinguished and renowned concert grand pianos globally.

  • The CFX Grand sound is really bright and vibrant sound. It is great for all different styles of music.
  • On the other hand, the Bösendorfer Imperial grand sounds slightly more mellow, rounded, and more delicate. It is a wonderful sound to play, especially for classical music.

Besides these two concert grand piano voices, there are a total of ten different piano voices plus e-piano, organ, and other voice categories.

Piano Room

As we mentioned, the P515 has ten different acoustic piano sounds. The Piano Room enables you to take each piano voice and modify it to your own taste.

Various parameters allow you to change the sound, including the sound’s tone, the amount of damper resonance, etc. You can change all sorts of parameters to your heart’s content.

Polyphony

The Yamaha P-515 is equipped with an advanced tone engine. Additionally, it brings to the table 256 maximum note polyphony, representing the maximum number of individual tones that can be played simultaneously without dropping notes.

256 polyphony is enough for you to hold the pedal down, sweep the piano up and down, and turn on the layer mode.

Layer and Split

It is a wonderful musical experience to layer two sounds. For example, when layering Bösendorfer grand with String Orchestral voice, the P515 produces a nice combination of tones that is perfect for slow ballads.

Furthermore, when you use the Split feature, you get different voices on each side and layer in another voice on the right side. Therefore, you can get three voices that really make your playing more fun.

Speakers

The Yamaha P515 has an excellent and powerful speaker system with four speakers, two on each side, and The total output power is 40 watts.

The P-515 also includes the Twisted Flare Port, a Yamaha innovation that delivers distinct and accurate bass audio. Unlike traditional ports, the uniquely designed flared and twisted structure evenly disperses air through the port, leading to diminished air turbulence noise and ultimately delivering a clear and precise representation of low frequencies.

Accompaniment and Rhythms

Besides the onboard metronome, P515 features 40 rhythm patterns, from Pop and Rock to Kids and Holidays.

When you are playing any simple piece of music, you can press the Rhythm button to turn on the accompaniment. The rhythm does not just give you drums; and it also plays an automatic bass line, which you can turn on or off.

When the auto bass is on, the instrument plays an appropriate bass pattern corresponding to what you are playing. It totally enriches your playing experience.

Key Action

yamaha p515 keyboard

One of the really important aspects of any piano is its keyboard. The key action is the feel of the keyboard. The P515 equips the NWX (Natural Wood with Escapement) wooden action keyboard. It extends a greater feeling that you are on an acoustic piano.

The white keys are true wood keys with plastic covers, and the black keys use synthetic ebony. Both black and white keys have a slightly textured finish. This offers better control for pianists when playing intricate music.

The escapement of a digital piano is the simulation of a keystroke sensation on an acoustic piano; hence, it makes you feel like you are playing an acoustic piano. The Yamaha P515 has subtle escapement; you may not even feel it.

The key action comes with triple sensor technology, giving you a nice, accurate MIDI output.

Weighted Keys

Regarding the weight of the keys, the P515 has heavy keys. You probably feel at home if you come from the acoustic piano world. Otherwise, it may take some time and finger exercises to get used to it.

The feel of the keys is a personal matter. For people looking for a lot of depth to the key, and maybe they’re harder players to begin with, perhaps the P515 is a great fit. Just be aware the keys are on the heavy side.

Connectivity

The P515 has a very impressive set of connectivity options.

Two standard stereo headphone (1/4″) ports are on the front. Moreover, the front-located USB flash drive port offers easy access to audio wave files and MIDI recordings on the USB flash drive.

back connections

On the back, you get –

  • A 1/8″ auxiliary input to stream external audio from a device like an iPad
  • Left and right line out ports for connecting to external audio equipment like mixers, PAs, etc.
  • A USB-to-host: This great feature offers another option for streaming audio into the piano and, more importantly, allows you to create a high-quality audio recording on an external device just using a USB cable instead of an additional audio interface.
  • MIDI DIN IN and OUT ports: These ports can be used with another keyboard to trigger sounds within the P515. These ports seem to be disappearing from most digital pianos nowadays.

Bluetooth Audio

The P515 features Bluetooth Audio function.

You have the option to transmit the audio content stored on a Bluetooth-enabled device, like a smartphone or digital audio player, to this instrument’s system. Subsequently, you can enjoy playback through the instrument’s built-in speakers.

Smart Pianist App

A very powerful feature of the Yamaha P-515 digital piano is the ability to connect to an iPad or smartphone to use the Yamaha Smart Pianist app.

Once you connect your P515 to the Smart Pianist app, you can manage all the features and menus the instrument offers using the touchscreen of your smart device. Additionally, the Smart Pianist app gives you access to hundreds and hundreds more sounds than what you get from the onboard control panel.

To take advantage of what the Smart Pianist app can offer, all you need is a USB cable to connect your device to the P515.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
256-note polyphony A weighty portable instrument with 48.5 lbs
Outstanding Yamaha CFX concert grand and Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand sounds Mono-color LCD screen
Intuitive user interface  
Portable design with optional matching stand  
Bluetooth Audio wireless connectivity  
Front-located headphone jacks and USB flash drive port  
Nice sound output with four speakers  
High-quality and nice-looking instrument  

Is Yamaha P-515 Worth It? Our Verdict

4.8 out of 5.0

The P515 costs over double the price of the mid-range model, the P125. As a matter of fact, for the price of the P-515, you can buy both Yamaha P125 and Yamaha DGX-670. Is the P515 worth it?

One of the biggest reasons for the cost difference between the P515 and P125 or DGX-670 is the key action. The Yamaha P515 features Yamaha’s triple sensor NWX (Natural Wood X) action with six levels of touch sensitivity. The NWX action is used in higher-priced Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos.

Overall, the Yamaha P-515 digital piano is an absolutely fabulous instrument with amazing sounds, outstanding connectivity, and a super intuitive user interface. The wooden key action is fantastic, especially for pianists who used to play acoustic pianos since the keys are on the heavier side.

If you have a budget for a high-quality portable digital piano, we would highly recommend the P515. While it is still a portable digital piano, it weighs about 50 lbs which is heavier than most portable digital pianos.

Alternate

While the P-515 is a wonderful mid-range digital piano, you may want to save some money or opt for a lightweight piano; the P125 or P125a is still a very good option.

If you are looking for a piano with more advanced arranger features and more advanced recording functions, the DGX-670 is an excellent choice.

To conclude this Yamaha P515 review, I would say that the P-515 is a worthy choice for piano players at all levels. The P515 is a product that looks great, sounds fantastic, and plays incredibly.

You may also like to read Casio vs. Yamaha Keyboards.

Happy piano shopping! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

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