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#694302 - 05/13/04 06:10 PM The problem with the Yamah P120
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
Besides having an action that is too heavy and a piano that sounds digital to the point of being harsh at times, you can't really get a good legato phrasing with the P120 piano when playing fast single note runs without pedal. When playing fast jazz runs and the phrasing will sound choppy like "tack-ah- tack-ah- tack-ah--tack-a-tack", the notes do not connect together smoothly like the legato on a good piano.
If you don't know what I'm talking about then listen to the Piano 1 and the Piano 2 demos on the P120. Those fast single note right hand melody line runs come out as staccato. No matter how hard you try, a player can't play fast runs on the P120 without the pedal and produce a really legato type of connected phrasing where the notes blend into each other in a slurred manner. It's because Yamaha sampled the attack portion when the hammer first strikes the string louder than the sustain tone after the hammer strikes. In other words they over emphasized the attack of each piano note. It's good for rock, blues and funk styles when you want a lot of punch with each note. But for classical and jazz it is inapropriate. The agressive sound of the P120's hammer strike was what bothered many classical and jazz pianists about the P120 when it first came out. They were used to the P80 which did not emphasize the attack portion of each note in such an overly dramatic way.

Another thing that I have noticed is that the P90, which has a duller piano sound, and the P250 with its excellant clearer piano sound, do not suffer as much as the P120 does with the problem of overly emphasized hammer strikes. Somehow the P250 and P90 were improved in order to enable a smoother connection between individual notes.
Gear owned: Yamaha P250, P120 and P90. Stand: Quik-Lok WS-550
EV SXa360 powered speakers

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#694303 - 05/13/04 06:15 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
Another thing that I have noticed since the day I bought my P120, P250 and P90 is that the P90 with its duller piano sound and the P250 with its finer piano sound do not suffer from such serious lack of legato problems. Somehow Yamaha improved the samples or behavior of their piano notes in order to enable a more legato phrasing between individual notes. A number of players have noticed that the piano notes blend and integrate better on the P250 and the P90. Somehow the P250 and the P90 piano notes blend and connect together better. I do not know technically why it is, just that they do.
Gear owned: Yamaha P250, P120 and P90. Stand: Quik-Lok WS-550
EV SXa360 powered speakers

#694304 - 05/13/04 06:17 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
All P120 units have an over emphasis on the attack portion of their piano notes with an under-emphasis on the sustain portion of the note.

Here is a link to another demo of the P120 piano playing a samba and exhibiting its staccato quality note runs. The notes emphasize the attack portion of their sound. The sustain portions of the notes are so softly sample that the note practicaly vanish after each attack. You can't really get flowing runs on the P120 where the notes blend smoothly into each other like on a good Yamaha grand. I have been trying for over two years to get smooth flowing bebop lines out of the P120 and its always choppy sounding.


Also check out that fast upward run in the first 5 seconds of the P120 demo at Purgatory Creek and that's with the sustain pedal on... and the P120 gets even more staccato without the pedal such as when playing fast bebop lines.

Go to Piano Shootout at:
Gear owned: Yamaha P250, P120 and P90. Stand: Quik-Lok WS-550
EV SXa360 powered speakers

#694305 - 05/13/04 10:49 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
OK, I'll bite...
Why did you buy them?
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

#694306 - 05/13/04 11:04 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Heh. I agree, the P250 is an audibly superior instrument, at least through it's own speakers. I have no idea what it would sound like in a live situation. You should get a Motif ES, half a Gig of RAM, and the Bolder (or Coakley) Steinway libraries - then you would have something \:\)


#694307 - 05/16/04 09:15 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
Buy the following. It will give you what you want.

"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!

#694308 - 05/26/04 08:40 PM Re: The problem with the Yamah P120
petros Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/12/04
Posts: 17
I already have an excellent acoustic piano and I never liked those old CP70 electric pianos. They sound weird to me and I wouldn't think of moving them around to gigs.
Gear owned: Yamaha P250, P120 and P90. Stand: Quik-Lok WS-550
EV SXa360 powered speakers


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