Yamaha P515 Review

The Yamaha P515 is a digital piano ideal for the experienced and skilled pianist looking to upgrade to a quality stage piano. 

I’m a fan of Yamaha digital pianos since they are durable and quality keyboards. So I tested the p515 model to see if it was worth the investment. 

As a stage piano, it is much lighter than acoustic pianos and still gives you a great feel and sound. Let’s read my Yamaha P515 review below to see more.

Yamaha P515 Review 

Design

When I ordered the Yamaha P-515, it came in a big cardboard box you’ll most likely need assistance carrying. It weighs slightly over 60 pounds, making it an awkward thing to carry alone.

After unboxing, you will get the keyboard, a sheet music holder, and a sustain pedal. This keyboard is available in two colors: black and white. Although the white one looks crisp and sleek, I like the black option more.

This keyboard is relatively lightweight, weighing about 48.5 pounds. I have toured with persistent keyboards, so I believe it is not a heavy model.

It will look better on the L515 keyboard stand with the LP1 pedal unit, giving the impression of the complete package that looks so great. But it will be just as functional on a desk, a table, or an X-frame stand. The design is functional and contemporary.

Assembly

Assembly is not necessary. All you need to do is unbox this piano from the large cardboard box, put it on a keyboard stand or table, then plug in power, and you will be good to go. It couldn’t be easier!

But if you choose the bespoke L515 stand, it will require assembling, but everything will be easy thanks to clear instructions in the box. It isn’t more complicated than assembling other console digital pianos of Yamaha.

Connectivity

The connectivity of this model leaves no stone unturned, as you will have all the plugs and connections you could ever hope for:

  • Aux Pedal (for the LP1 pedal unit).
  • Aux Sustain (for the included footswitch).
  • MIDI In and Out.
  • 2x standard stereo headphone jacks.
  • 16V DC In.
  • USB-to Host & USB-to-Device (for connecting to a PC and USB device).
  • Aux Out (for amplification).
  • Aux In (for playing external sound through in-built speakers).

Controls and Buttons

The Yamaha P515 is so easy to use. You will get a clear LCD screen, which will help you control anything on the piano that does not have a self-explanatory dedicated button.

There are four arrow keys to the right and a function button to the left, which allows you to control everything necessary. 

What’s more, I love the Yamaha Smart Pianist app, allowing you to connect the P515 to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth. 

It also lets you control the piano’s sounds through this app, making it easier to select and control the effects and sounds you want.

Pedals

The P515 offers two options for the pedal. You can utilize the included FC4A sustain footswitch or buy the dedicated LP1 pedal board, providing three pedals as you can see on high-end concert grand pianos.

The footswitch is included in most of the portable keyboard range from Yamaha. 

It is simply a switch for the sustain. It is probably okay for beginners. Yet, advanced musicians will want a better sustain switch or a dedicated pedal set.

Piano Sound

This piano has 2 phenomenal sounds from two different pianos: the flagship Bösendorfer 290 and the incredible Yamaha CFX grand.

I have played both of those models in concert halls, and I’d like to say that the Yamaha P515 gets both of these models spot on. 

If you close your eyes and enjoy, it will be almost indistinguishable from the real thing regarding the sound’s clarity, richness, and full-bondedness.

The Bösendorfer will give a mellower, richer sound, ideal for more modern and romantic music. It is perfect for Debussy, Ravel, and Chopin.

Meanwhile, the CFX is more rounded and will suit almost any kind of music, including pop, classical, jazz, and rock. Whichever one you choose, I am sure you will agree that the Yamaha P515 sounds incredible.

The manufacturer has also included a third sound: The Yamaha CFX with binaural sampling, designed for users wearing headphones.

It also uses the Stereophonic Optimiser technology of Yamaha to bring sound even further while utilizing headphones.

Let’s talk about the additional sounds, which are as essential as the piano sounds. The P515 has nine classic Yamaha piano sounds, including a honky-tonk piano and other grand and upright pianos. If you have played a digital piano from Yamaha, you may be familiar with these sounds.

What is also available is an electric piano, harpsichord, organ, and vibraphone sounds. While they are not the same quality as the two flagship piano sounds, they are pretty close.

Here is a list of sounds you will get with this piano:

  • Two Flagship Piano Sounds.including Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer 290.
  • Nine other piano sounds (including honky-tonk, rock, jazz, and bright piano).
  • Six organ sounds.
  • Vibraphone.
  • Four bass sounds.
  • Electronic Clavichord.
  • Two harpsichord sounds.
  • Seven strings sounds.

It has key-off samples, allowing you to change the sound based on how quickly your fingers leave the keys. It will make for an organic, compelling, and realistic piano experience. 

Speakers

The P515 has two speakers on both sides. Each speaker includes a 5W tweeter and a 15W driver, ensuring sound clarity.

The P515’S built-in speakers are of exceptionally high quality, so I did not notice any crackling and distortion at higher volumes.

Despite excellent sound quality across all sound ranges, including extremes in treble and bass, I felt those speakers were a bit weak to be utilized in concert environments.

They need a little more power if they want to be used in large spaces. But it is not a problem as most gig and concert spaces have amplification.

Effects and Reverb

This model has various kinds of chorus and reverb effects. They will let you change the character of the sound, making it like you were playing in a cathedral, recital hall, studio, and more.

Piano Room is one of my favorite functions on this model when trying it out. It has allowed you to adjust many effects of the piano sounds, including half-pedal point, hammer noise, tone, damper resonance, and even whether the piano’s lid is up or down.

On the other hand, Sound Boost will allow you to edit the EQ (graphic equalizer) and edit and customize the character of the sound to suit the environment or room you’re in.

Keyboard

Fortunately, the keyboard of the P515 didn’t let me down. This piano features one of the best actions I have ever played on digital pianos. It is unbelievably natural and accurate, simulating the proper acoustic pianos like never before.

Keys

This model has nearly 90 weighted keys that are super-high quality and made of plastic and wood. The black keys are also textured. This will lead to a very authentic experience, with synthetic ivory and ebony on the keytops.

Generally, the keys of this model are fantastic. If you close your eyes, it will be extremely hard to determine the difference between the keys on the P515 and those on real Yamaha pianos.

Touch Sensitivity

The producer has included six levels of touch sensitivity with the P515. You can turn it off if you wish, but honestly, the default touch sensitivity will provide such a great experience that I loathed to begin playing around with that setting.

Included Features and Accessories

The manufacturer has included the standard set of accessories in the box with this digital piano, including:

  • Music Rest.
  • Sustain Switch.
  • 16V DC In Adapter.
  • Owner’s Manual.

To get a complete playing experience, I recommend investing in the following:

  • Yamaha L515 Keyboard Stand.
  • Yamaha LP1 Three Pedal Set.
  • Best Headphones for a Digital Piano.

Pros and Cons Of Yamaha P515

Pros

  • Well-crafted natural wood keys with synthetic ivory/ebon.
  •  Incredible sounding.
  •  A variety of preset tones (538).
  •  CFX Binaural Samples.
  • Powerful onboard sound system (4 speakers, 40W).
  •  Record MIDI or Audio.
  •   16-Track Sequencer.
  •  Built-in USB Audio Interface.

Cons

  •  No Mic In port.
  •  Quite heavy to transport.
  •  Bluetooth does not support MIDI.
  •  No registration memory for saving your current performance settings.

Wrapping It Up

I think Yamaha P515 is a fantastic digital piano for the price. The top things to look at with digital pianos are the key bed and the quality of the acoustic samples. And Yamaha has done well with this model.

Thank you for your interest in the article!

Leave a Comment