I doubt there is any other company that can begin to match the achievements of the Yamaha Corporation. They have become one of the largest conglomerates in existence and can realistically lay claim to an impressive array of triumphs:
- Multiple times winner of the motorcycle world championships.
- Competitors have used their equipment to win Olympic Gold in Archery.
- Winner of the Dakar Rally nine times in their cars.
- Guitars are used by top musicians and well-known professionals.
- Their Concert Grand Pianos are used in the great classical music auditoriums of the world.
They have achieved all this by striving, firstly, to achieve excellence in their products. And secondly, to make sure they produce quality at all levels.
And this applies especially to musical instruments. In particular, their digital pianos. So, I am going to make a comparison of the Yamaha P45 vs P71.
They weren’t formed like some organizations by investors throwing billions at an idea that must make dividends from day one. They were founded in humble beginnings in 1887, making reeds for organs.
Their logo had three tuning forks that were intertwined, emphasizing their musical background. It still does.
Today, Yamaha is the largest manufacturer of pianos, acoustic and digital, in the world. Furthermore, they are the largest producer of musical instruments anywhere on the planet. But, it is the pianos we are interested in here.
Every Ability Level
They design and then manufacture pianos for every level of player, from the complete beginner to the professional concert pianist. Often the technology used in the more expensive models is also used in the starter instruments.
Such is the quality of their pianos that even Yamaha starter pianos, similar to the ones we are going to look at, are appreciated by professional musicians. The ‘P’ series are known for being excellent pianos right across the range.
Let’s take a look at both in greater detail with this Yamaha P45 vs P71 head-to-head.
Is There A Difference At All?
The P45 and the P71 from Yamaha are both designed for the beginner and are excellent instruments. But, if you are looking for physical or technological differences between them, you won’t find any. They are identical to each other in every way. So, is there a difference at all?
The Retail P45
The difference is that they are made for very different target markets. The P45 you are going to find in most good quality instrument shops that sell digital pianos. It is made for the retail market.
Go into a shop talking about a digital piano for a beginner, and they will probably show you the P45. Ask to see the P71, and they won’t have one. Why?
The Online P71
The Yamaha P71 is a digital piano for online sales only. Let’s be more specific – for Amazon customers only. The features are the same, they look the same, and they sound the same. The first difference is that you can only buy it through Amazon and not in a retail shop.
And The Second?
The P71 is slightly cheaper when you buy online compared to the price of the P45 in the shops. And, the options you have when you purchase either are given alternate terminologies to describe the various packages available for each.
It is interesting that whilst you cannot buy the P71 in a retail music shop, you can buy both P71 and P45 online at Amazon. I have enclosed the information towards the end of this article.
But, this ‘online P71’ version is not available at other online retail stores, just Amazon. An Amazon exclusive, you might call it.
Yamaha P45 vs P71 – Features and Bundles
Taking a look at the features of the Yamaha P45 and P71 digital pianos, this will include:
- How they are sold and what is included, or the various bundles.
- Design and build.
- Connectivity and other features.
- The Sound.
Both the P45 and the P71 versions are bought in what is known as ‘bundles.’ This means that they come with various extras. Each piano has three bundle levels, so let’s take a look and see what is included. First the Yamaha P45.
The P45 is sold with the option of three bundles. Therefore, you can choose one to suit your budget or what extras you want to include. The bundles are:
- Digital Piano Bundle.
- Starter Bundle.
- Home Bundle.
This is what is included in each…
Digital Piano Bundle
This is the most basic of the options and is, therefore, the cheapest. You will get:
- Standard power supply.
- Sustain pedal.
If all you want is a simple digital piano that you are going to use at a table with your own chair, then this is ideal.
Slightly more expensive because there are some more extras included. With this option, you get:
- Standard power supply.
- Sustain pedal.
- Foldable, portable padded bench.
- Double-braced foldable, portable piano stand.
This bundle is the most expensive. One of the reasons for this is the piano resembles a piece of furniture rather than a stand-alone digital piano. Yamaha is very good at making aesthetically pleasing digital pianos, and this is a good example. Included in this bundle are:
- Standard power supply.
- Sustain pedal.
- Piano bench (a higher spec, not the same as the Starter bundle)
- Fitted piano stand.
This package is aimed at creating a professional-looking instrument that will enhance the home visually.
The P71 also comes in three separate bundles similar to the P45. But, two of the bundles on the P71 are given different names. The three options are:
- Digital Piano Bundle.
- Basic Bundle.
- Deluxe Bundle.
The Digital Piano Bundle and Basic Bundle have the same features and inclusions as the corresponding Digital Piano Bundle and Starter Bundle for the P45. There is a slight difference with the third of the bundles, the Deluxe.
The same features are included, namely the mains unit and the sustain pedal. The bench is the same as is included in the Basic Bundle. That is an upgraded version compared with the bench for the P45. The stand for the piano, though, is colored black in the lower area and white at the top.
The Design and Build
Both the P45 and P71 are the same size, measuring 58.2 inches in width and 11.7 inches in depth by 16.1 inches. They weigh an easily transportable 25 pounds.
They are therefore built with a slimline design that is very compact and lightweight. So, if one of your priorities is being able to carry it around with you, either version could be the piano for you.
The bundles are designed to give you options. Do you want a piece of furniture for the house? If so, either the P45 and its Home Bundle or the P71 with its Deluxe version offer that feature. But, if you are on the move, then either of the other bundles will suffice.
Both have easy-to-use playing designs. The style is minimalistic and gives even these most basic of digital pianos an elegant look.
The Black Keys
One inclusion in the design of this keyboard to note is the black keys. As per more expensive Yamaha designs, the black keys on the Yamaha P45 and P71 digital pianos have been given a special matte finish.
Plastic keys can be a little slippery at times, especially with extended use. This coating prevents this and makes the playing action relaxed and sure.
Conveniently located on the front is the control panel. From here, you can make your choices from any of the ten ‘voices’ that are built-in. Easy-to-see buttons and controls give you more than enough sound options.
There is also a function button that allows you to create your own shortcuts to settings you need to access quickly.
The master volume control allows you to set the volume when using the built-in amplifier and speakers. Although, I should say that the volume level is not what you would call loud. Even when set at full-on.
Connections are on the rear of the piano. As these are pianos designed for the beginner, there aren’t too many to worry about. There is a jack socket for the sustain pedal and a stereo output to an external speaker system if you want to use one.
There is also a USB port so that you connect up to an iPhone or iPad, and a headphone jack. I should mention both these digital pianos are MIDI compatible.
I mentioned earlier that Yamaha does tend to use technologies from their higher-level digital pianos in the starter instruments. Here is the case in question.
The piano is full-sized with 88 keys. The keys feature Yamaha’s GHS, or “graded hammer standard,” key weighted action. The reason for this is that it gives the user a more authentic feel of playing the piano. If they eventually progress to an acoustic piano, playing will feel very similar.
The Graded Hammer Standard
As I have just said, it recreates the feel of a ‘real’ piano. It does this by having an action that is heavier at the left-hand end and lighter at the right-hand end. That copies the feel of the hammer action in an acoustic piano.
Therefore, this is a great digital piano for practicing and is a good learning tool for someone hoping to progress to an acoustic piano at a later date.
I have already mentioned built-in amplification and speakers. As I said, this is only for basic practice at home and has a maximum output of just 6 watts. Should you need extra volume, then you would need to connect up to an external system using the connections on the rear.
The built-in system has been designed for home practice, so you won’t be able to push the volume too high.
Advanced Wave Memory
Yamaha has incorporated their AWM or “Advanced Wave Memory” sound engine into both P45 and P71 models. This gives both authentic, deep, rich, and spacious piano sounds that sound impressively like the real thing.
Both instruments have ten different voices you will have full access to. They are:
- Two Grand Pianos.
- Two Electric Pianos.
- Two Pipe Organs.
- Two Harpsichords.
Added to these sounds are some basic Reverb effects that you can add if you choose. All of the voices have a layering option, so you can combine any two of them at any time.
The pianos both have a Split/Duo mode. This effectively cuts the keyboard in half and lets two people play at the same time using the same octaves. Great for lessons with a tutor.
What Have We Learned?
We have seen that there is very little difference between the P45 and the P71. But, we have also learned that this is a quality instrument at a competitive price whenever you buy it.
Here are some examples of what we have been looking at:
- Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano
- YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply
Or, if you prefer the Deluxe version of the P71:
Looking for a Great Digital Piano?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Digital Piano With Weighted Keys, the Best 88-Key Keyboards, the Best Portable Keyboard Pianos, the Best Digital Pianos For Beginners, and the Best Cheap Keyboard Piano you can buy in 2023.
Or how about our detailed reviews of the Best Yamaha Digital Pianos, the Best Digital Pianos For Under $1000, the Best Digital Grand Piano, the Best Digital Pianos, the Best Digital Pianos for Under $500 currently on the market.
Yamaha P45 vs P71 – Conclusion
By now, you will have seen that there is very little difference between the Yamaha P45 and P71. Just a little bit of cosmetics in the P71 high-end bundle on Amazon. They play the same, they are the same size, and they sound the same.
However, it ought to be said that the piano is a little cheaper from Amazon than what you might find at a retail store. So, if you want the cheapest option, then Amazon will usually be the best place to shop.
The real difference…
You can go and buy the P45 in any musical store that stocks them, which is probably most of them. On the other hand, the P71 is a model that is solely for Amazon customers.
While you can buy the P45 from Amazon if you want to, you can’t buy the P71 from a retail outlet. You can buy the P45 from other online retailers. But, those online retailers won’t have the P71. That is an Amazon-only product from Yamaha.
So the difference? The P45 and P71 are intended for different retail markets. And that is it. However, they are both excellent digital pianos for the beginner, wherever you get yours from.
Until next time, let your music play.