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#1703554 - 06/28/11 11:26 AM Yamaha P120 Question
rebiii Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 5
Hi,

This is my first post, although I've lurked here for a while.

I'm an adult who took a few lessons as a kid, then gave it up for 30+ years. I am starting to play again, in part because there was a piano in the house that my wife and I have rented for the past year.

Now we are moving, and I want to buy a keyboard. I have been reading up on them, and I have a chance to buy a Yamaha P120 at a good price tonight through Craigslist. Believe it or not, my wife wants me to spend more money for something new. If I went that route, I would be in the Casio PX-300 price range, with an outside shot at something like a Yamaha P155 or Yamaha m08, if the price were right.

So here is my question about the P120. The seller has admitted to me that at least one key sticks, and he also says that he lost the power adapter, but that the P120 was working fine last winter when his kids were playing it. I am showing up tonight with a power adapter, so I can find out whether or not the keyboard works. What else should I look for with this instrument? Is the stuck key a deal breaker? Are there any I/O ports that people have had problems with? Anything else? Should I listen to my wife's advice and buy something new? If so, what?

Thanks in advance, Bob

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#1703577 - 06/28/11 12:31 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
We owned a P120 for quite a while, if it is in good shape I'd say go for it over a Casio, though "kids playing on it" and the missing adapter are rather ominous signs.

Spend a lot of time with the keys - play each one light, medium, & heavy. Do this both with the power on and the power off. Look at the keys closely for signs of abuse.

Look at the case everywhere - it is plastic and could have been dropped. Look at the bottom for scratches. Pick it up and rotate it, and listen for sounds of loose plastic.

Look at the power and headphone jacks for signs of stress.

Press every button and make sure they all work - most have LEDs associated with their activity.

Turn up the volume all the way and play a bass chord hard - listen for rattling / buzzing of the speakers or loose plastic.

Make sure you get the pedal and music rest. The pedal is pretty nice and supports half-pedaling. The music rest is mostly Plexiglas and probably scratches easily.

Box, packing, and manuals are a huge plus for later resale.
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THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1703581 - 06/28/11 12:40 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Oh, and read the manual before you go:

http://download.yamaha.com/search/produc...oduct_id=106697

Shouldn't take much time, it's not a super-complicated DP.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1703582 - 06/28/11 12:42 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 851
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Rebiii,
The P-120 is 5 to 6 years old. It has been replaced by the P-155 which gets high praise from people who own them. Regarding the Casio, I assume you're talking about the PX-330 as the PX-300 is discontinued and no longer made? If you're spending $600 or more for a used P-120, I would think it makes more sense to go for the P-155. Guitar Center is running a 15 percent off sale right now so you could buy one for around $849. The PX-330 would be even cheaper than that. If I'm not mistaken some P-120's had defective keybeds.

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#1703748 - 06/28/11 06:24 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
rebiii Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 5
Hi All,

Thank you again for the advice. It turned out that the stuck key was a deal breaker, at least temporarily. I still may get the keyboard, but only if that can be fixed. I went over everything carefully, as Dewster suggested, before deciding not to buy it, and Galaxy4T, yes, I did mean the Casio PX-330.

I think that that P-155 or the PX-330 are my most likely options now. I need to think about it a little bit more.

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#1703754 - 06/28/11 06:46 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: rebiii
It turned out that the stuck key was a deal breaker, at least temporarily. I still may get the keyboard, but only if that can be fixed.

A stuck key might just be dislocated, or have some crap lodged in there. It could also be broken, and a sign of abuse / poor manufacturing.

How did the rest of it look? If OK: you might want to try a really low-ball price, based on the trouble you would have to go to (dissemble, diagnose, repair) to fix it and see how the seller responds. They must know the stuck key is a huge selling deterrent. If not OK: I'd definitely move on to something else.

FIY, we sold our P120 last year, in near mint condition and with box, packing, and manual for $400 USD. It was sold to one of my wife's students, so the price was kept as reasonable as we could reasonably make it. IMO, old DPs aren't worth nearly as much as sellers tend to think they are.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1703758 - 06/28/11 07:01 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: dewster]
rebiii Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 5
We shone a flashlight down into the cracks on either side of the key, but didn't see any obvious crud there.

Then I tried to take off the gray front panel to get a better look at the key. There were five screws underneath that I took out, but the panel wouldn't come free. I am generally a take-it-apart-and-fix-it kind of guy, but since it wasn't my piano, I didn't want to tug at the panel to see if I could free it, thinking I might break something. And the owner didn't seem to want to tug at it either.

As for the rest of the piano, the speakers seemed OK (I crashed a few bass chords through them), and I got three levels of sound out of each of the keys I checked, although I didn't go through them one by one, because the stuck key trumped that level of examination. My power adapter worked too.

The piano wasn't in terrible cosmetic condition, but it was in the guy's basement and a little dusty. It would probably clean up pretty well. I think I'm going to take your advice and see how low of a price he can leave it to me in. I liked it except for the stuck key.

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#1703786 - 06/28/11 07:42 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: rebiii
Then I tried to take off the gray front panel to get a better look at the key. There were five screws underneath that I took out, but the panel wouldn't come free. I am generally a take-it-apart-and-fix-it kind of guy, but since it wasn't my piano, I didn't want to tug at the panel to see if I could free it, thinking I might break something. And the owner didn't seem to want to tug at it either.

Here is a link to a photo teardown of our P120.

IIRC, flipping it over, you only need to remove the screws nearest the back, not the sides or front - though nothing terrible will happen if you do, just more things will come free. If you are handy it isn't a big deal at all. And if you are handy repairing a broken key probably isn't a big deal either.

Going by what you are saying I don't think I'd spend more than maybe $250 for it. IMO it's better than most current Casios. A new P155 @ $850 is something of a no-brainer. And an FP-7F would be a considerable step up from there. If you can find any Kawais near you to demo that might be something to look into as well if you want to stay on the low end of new DP prices.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1703861 - 06/28/11 10:19 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
jazzonebyone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 76
Loc: sc
The stuck key (white, right ?) most likely has a small piece of plastic broken off. This is a common P120 problem. If you call Yamaha they will probably send you a free key. Replacement requires a bit of work with a Philips screwdriver, but is not difficult. Or, I can mail you one, I've got a stash !
An authorized servicer (sorry, I just retired !) can get an entire keyboard free, but will charge labor for installation (probably $65 or so).
_________________________
Baldwin L - Rhodes 73
Yamaha P250 - Nord NP88

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#1703882 - 06/28/11 10:45 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
rebiii Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 5
OK, I made him a lower offer for it. We'll see what he says.

I'm going to figure in at least $100 for repairs. If I can do the repairs myself, then it will be a pleasant surprise.

The diagram of the P120 open is much appreciated. I'll revisit this topic if I score the keyboard and need help disassembling it.

I am pretty handy, but not with electrical stuff, just mechanical stuff. But the key sounds like it is a mechanical job.

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#1704240 - 06/29/11 12:14 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
P120 started over 10 years ago. It has a clunky action and a clangy piano sound. But its still beats a Casio Privia, imo.
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1718687 - 07/22/11 01:00 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
rebiii Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 5
Hi, I just wanted to update everyone on how this turned out.

First of all, you are all awesome! The story has a nice ending, since I followed your advice.

I offered the seller $175 and he accepted it. The P120 had two stuck keys. It was in a cellar and was dirty. This was more than dust. It was some kind of sticky stuff, almost like dried tree sap, that had fallen all over the instrument. It looked like it would come off, though. It came with the pedal and the music stand, but the stand for the piano itself was broken. It seemed that the piano had obviously taken a fall down the cellar stairs. There was no power supply either, but I had a universal power supply at home that worked. The two stuck keys were the C three octaves above middle C and the B below it, and since everything worked below that, I figured I would just use the keyboard as a 75 key instrument or so if I couldn't fix it.

Cleaned it up (with a lot of help from my wife) and brought it down to Florida with us on summer vacation. I looked into getting the keys fixed, and was told that it would be $70+ per key. Then I reread Dewster's comment and gave Yamaha a call. They called me back within a couple of days and wanted to know the serial number of the instrument. I told them, and they offered me a brand new keyboard! All I had to do was pay for labor. I just had the work done today. It cost me $60. The new keyboard is GH88. It is a little noisy in certain spots, but the action is really nice and NEW. I am hoping that it will break in with a little use.

So I have a really decent instrument, for a total cost of $235 and a little elbow grease. I need a stand for it too, but something will come along.

I got a serious case of piano envy at the service shop. They had all of the latest Yamaha models, electric and acoustic, and well, wow, I'm sure you know what they're like. But this P120 that I have is good enough for someone at my level (think Bach Minuet in G, Mozart Sonata Facile, Chopin Prelude in C Minor). If I ever do have to upgrade, it will definitely be a Yamaha. In me they have a customer for life. Thanks for your advice in this thread.

Bob

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#1718703 - 07/22/11 01:28 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4339
Loc: Northern NJ
Congrats Bob! Sounds like you did really good for $235 + some effort.

I wouldn't be too envious of modern DPs. Tragically, most haven't progressed much past the P120.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1718707 - 07/22/11 01:33 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I agree - P120 has the same piano voice as the Modus H-01 which is still retailed for over £7,000 in the UK.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1718759 - 07/22/11 02:49 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: EssBrace]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
I agree - P120 has the same piano voice as the Modus H-01 which is still retailed for over £7,000 in the UK.


That's appalling really. I thought the Modus Series used the SCM like the new CP series but then I realized the Modus has been out a while.

Bob, congrats on the piano. I've played a P120 several times and played the P155, never back to back, but as far as my fingers and ears could tell, they are pretty close. You did good for $235.
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1718981 - 07/22/11 08:37 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: dewster]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1728
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
To echo everyone else, for $235 you did well Bob.

Originally Posted By: dewster
I wouldn't be too envious of modern DPs. Tragically, most haven't progressed much past the P120.


On intial playing this doesn't seem to be the case, however the longer you really live with these things, I'll have to agree with that statement 100%. wink
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
RCF TT08A & TT22A speakers


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#1719169 - 07/23/11 08:22 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
Dave I see that you're selling your CP5, did it just get to be too much of a PIA to move around? What are your plans for a replacement board?
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1719244 - 07/23/11 11:29 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
It's gotta be a Nord Piano, surely? wink
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1719616 - 07/23/11 10:22 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: PianoZac]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1728
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: ZacharyForbes
Dave I see that you're selling your CP5, did it just get to be too much of a PIA to move around? What are your plans for a replacement board?


Originally Posted By: Kawai James
It's gotta be a Nord Piano, surely? wink


grin

Busted ! laugh

After this outside gig yesterday afternoon, I decided I just wasn't digging the sound as much as I was. It was the first gig where I tried the CP5 using my new 12" two way RCF, the TT22A.

The weight/pia to overall enjoyment factor just aren't tipping the scales to justify the schlep for me. I thought the new speaker would make a big difference but the CP5 just sounded like it had a blanket over it. I realize outside is not the place to judge anything but I think I want to change things up with a lighter DP.

So that basically leaves either the NP again or something like the FP4-F or 300NX. I'm just not confident that I'd be happy with the SN sound, live, on either of those Roland DPs. I'm not 100% sold on the new Nord samples either but at least with that, I don't feel it's a one trick pony because of its EPs. With the Rolands I don't feel the EPs are strong enough to warrant bringing either of those to supplement the sound if I'm playing straight acoustic piano.

I might be making a mistake dumping the CP5 but basically I'm tired of schlepping it around to tell the truth.

I'm also getting really impatient of waiting for the Kronos 73 or 88 to appear. The more I think about it, all of those synth-workstation features that you're paying for, are just not appealing to me .

So that basically leaves the Nord... wink If I can sell the Yamaha locally on CL or through one of these forums I'm on that would be close to covering the NP88.
So I guess I'll wait and see. Luckily most of my gigs are on acoustic and this is not something I have to do tomorrow. cool
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
RCF TT08A & TT22A speakers


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#1719623 - 07/23/11 10:32 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Best of luck selling your Yammie Dave - I'm sure you will grow to appreciate the flexibility of the Nords once you start playing the NP88.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1719649 - 07/23/11 11:00 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: Kawai James]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1728
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
James---oh I know about it having used it for almost 3 months last fall. Looking back I probably should have kept it although I'm not losing any dough getting it again.

The EPs and the fact it sounded good in mono were strong points too.

It doesn't record half bad as well . wink For that matter the CP5 is no slouch either.

http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris/in-your-own-sweet-way-nord
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris/in-your-own-sweet-way-cp-5
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP5, CP4, Nord Piano 2
RCF TT08A & TT22A speakers


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#1719659 - 07/23/11 11:15 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8866
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Ah, that's right, I was trying to recall whether or not you had previously owned a Nord...

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1719679 - 07/24/11 12:09 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
I think you know what to expect Dave from the NP88, so that's kind of a low risk, known option for you. I think you'll find the new Bright Grand (with some EQing) very useful for what you're doing. It's full top to bottom, even, and has some real meat in it. It's become my favorite sample along with the Studio Grand C7s.

You know every time I schlep my NP88 to a gig, I'm so relieved it's only 39lbs...it makes a difference. Plus, there's no unnecessary length. The NP88, IMHO, for strictly AP/EP playing, is the king of gigging DPs. Let me know what you choose. For what it's worth, I'm pulling for the NP88. smile
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1764820 - 10/04/11 09:28 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
billmc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Texas, USA
Hi folks! Newbie here! Looks like a great forum!

I recently purchased a used (of course) Yamaha P120. It is in great shape cosmetically and functionally. All keys play and buttons work, etc. But in looking at the reviews on this model, I've seen the problem with broken keys surfacing time and again. I called Yamaha with my serial number and the lady there told me that, no, my keyboard has not had the upgrade for faulty keys and that it is indeed covered under warranty (except for labor)...provided that the keys are broken.

So my problem is that no keys are broken at this time, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. And who knows how long Yamaha will cover this "obsolete" model. Of course, I'd like to get the keybed replaced as I just shelled out $400 for the keyboard and I'd like it to last a long time. But it seems that Yamaha will not do this warranty work as "preventative measure", even though my serial number falls in the range of defective keys.

Any thoughts on my dilemma? I wouldn't feel right breaking a key just so Yamaha will replace the keybed. But I'm sure that sooner or later they will tell me that parts are no longer available and seeing as this keyboard "qualifies", I would like them to take care of the defect BEFORE it breaks and leaves me hanging. Anyone else been in this situation with a "qualifying" Yammie?


Regards,
billmc

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#1764838 - 10/04/11 10:03 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: billmc]
mitzysman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 283
i had that done to my p250 a few months ago. I can tell you that the new one feels differently. My board was made in 2002. I don't think there is a time limit.
_________________________
Yamaha P-250 | Galaxy II Pianos | Galaxy Vintage D | The GIANT

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#1764843 - 10/04/11 10:09 PM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
mitzysman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 283
PS - Yamaha hasn't changed the GH action much in the last 10 years - I'm pretty sure that there will be a part available for quite some time. But you might have one that was from the 2nd batch of p120s - They had 2 slightly different feeling actions. I used to know the serial number of the new ones but lost that info. What year was yours made ?
_________________________
Yamaha P-250 | Galaxy II Pianos | Galaxy Vintage D | The GIANT

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#1765017 - 10/05/11 07:05 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: mitzysman]
billmc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Texas, USA
Mitzyman, mine was made in 2002 according to the sticker. The serial number is 010465.

I know that every pianist is a bit different in likes and dislikes, but the feel of this keyboard is wonderful to me, even if just a bit heavy. And it sounds wonderful. I tried the new P155 at GC, but liked this old P120 better for some reason. Maybe the cost influenced me. grin

I'd just like to keep it functioning as long as possible and wondered if anyone here had Yamaha replace the keybed without the keys being broken. Was yours broken when they replaced it?

Regards,
billmc


Edited by billmc (10/05/11 07:12 AM)

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#1765043 - 10/05/11 08:57 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: billmc]
mitzysman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/10
Posts: 283
Originally Posted By: billmc
Mitzyman, mine was made in 2002 according to the sticker. The serial number is 010465.
... Was yours broken when they replaced it?


that is definitely the same key bed I had. I had one key go out and then I called Yamaha on how to fix. I doubt they will do anything until then. In hindsight I wish I would have just fixed the one key. In the process now of breaking my new key bed in - and it definitely has a different velocity curve. I bought my piano in the March - I paid more than I prob should have but I always wanted one of those when they came out many years ago.

I hear you, I think these samples are better in some ways
_________________________
Yamaha P-250 | Galaxy II Pianos | Galaxy Vintage D | The GIANT

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#1765080 - 10/05/11 10:07 AM Re: Yamaha P120 Question [Re: rebiii]
billmc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Texas, USA
Thanks for the info, Mitzyman. I guess unless something changes, I'll just enjoy and play this keyboard until it breaks. I toyed with the idea of opening it up and putting non-corrosive grease on the key pivots, but I suppose that after all these years, the damage is either done or it is not. We'll see.

This is not my first Yammie keyboard and probably won't be my last. I sold my YPG-535 in order to get this one. The YPG felt too much like a Casio to me (no offense to Casio owners - they make a good keyboard for the money). And though this P120 is not a new P155 with USB and all, it still sounds great, plays good, and looks good - at least to me...and at least until I retire and can finally get that Steinway I've always wanted. laugh

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07/29/14 07:02 PM
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