Yamaha P255 Review – Is The P 255 A Good Choice?

The Yamaha P255 is a top-of-the-line digital piano, and for good reason

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
$1299.99
  • 90%

  • Yamaha P255
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: March 4, 2016
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 100%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 82%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 93%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 100%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 85%
  • Price
    Editor: 58%


Pros

  • Outstanding 256 notes of polyphony
  • Every type of connectivity port you'll need - two of most of them
  • Robust 15-watt speakers
  • Sports just about every feature you could want


Cons

  • More expensive than other models
  • Decreased portability at 39 pounds
  • No LCD screen


If you are in the market for a high-end digital piano, there is a good chance you have considered getting the Yamaha P255. Before you dive in and make the purchase, though, you’ll probably want to read the following Yamaha P255 review, since it’s always a good idea to go over the features before buying a new musical instrument.

Who Should Be Interested In The Yamaha P255?

The Yamaha P 255, which comes in either a black or white finish (like another in the Yamaha line, the DGX 650), is for serious musicians. Yamaha designed this with performers in mind. This keyboard excels at hard practice sessions and live performances and includes several customization options that make it the only keyboard a professional musician needs when on the road.  Boasting a whopping 256 notes of polyphony (only the Casio PX850 can match that), this is one digital piano that is hard to beat.

The piano sound produced by the P255 is the best possible.  Yamaha chose its top line concert grand piano to sample from, because its tonal and acoustic characteristics are second-to-none in the musical world.  The Pure CF Sound Engine was utilized to painstakingly record the complete spectrum of each note.

What Voice Packages Come With This Piano?

Like a lot of other digital pianos, the Yamaha P 255 gives you 24 different voices (essentially instruments) that you can use the keyboard to play as.  In addition to the default grand piano voice, you can also try your hand at Live Grand, Synth Piano, Vibraphone, or Wood Bass to name just a few.  There is a demo song for each voice so that you can listen to how each voice sounds before you try it out.

Dual mode can be activated to allow the layering of two different voices.  This allows them to be played together, essentially creating an entirely new voice with more richness and scope.

Turning on split mode will separate the keyboard into two parts, left and right side.  This allows you to play two different voices at the same time (not layered), with each voice controlled by one of the two sections of the keyboard.

What Sound Effect Options Does It Have?

Besides using the included sustain pedal, the P255 allows you different options to digitally enhance the way your music sounds.  This allows you to make it sound as if you are playing in larger venues, and not just the small room you actually may be stuck in at the moment.

The Reverb option adds a reverberation effect to each voice as it is played.  You can make it appear as if you’re playing at a small or large concert hall, or on stage.  Talk about playing outside of yourself 🙂

The Effects function can be used to add audio effects to each voice as well.  These different effects include chorus (thicker and broader), phaser (sweeping), tremolo (shudder effect), and rotary speaker (vibrato).

Finally, if you find yourself playing out of key to another instrument or a singer, you can use Transpose to change the pitch of the piano to match the desired key without having to actually change the way you’re playing the keyboard.  For example, you could still play in C major, but transpose this to the F major key.

Here’s A Video Of The P255 In Action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UKGWFwO9aU

What Features Enhance Your On-Stage Performances?

It is a big rush when the audience cheers, but it can also make it hard to hear the keyboard. You can avoid this problem with the Sound Boost button that is available with the Yamaha P255.  This feature increases the sound that comes from the keyboard’s own speakers, as well as the sound that comes from external amplification.

And just to be sure you don’t bomb on stage, the piano’s Panel Lock feature locks out all buttons on the piano so you don’t accidentally press them while performing.

Yamaha certainly didn’t skimp on those built-in speakers either.  They are definitely a cut above the competition.  While most other digital pianos top at 6-8 watts per amp, the P255 speaker system throws out an incredible 15 watts per channel!  Can you hear me now?

Does It Have The Feel Of A True Piano?

If it were practical, you might take your full-sized piano on stage with you. That is an awful lot of work though, which is why you need a keyboard. Fortunately, the Yamaha P 255 gives players the feel of a piano and the size of a keyboard.

The keyboard’s full set of 88 synthetic ivory keys employ graded hammer weighting (the Yamaha P35 also employs the graded hammer standard), which requires a heavier touch on the lower notes and a lighter touch on the higher notes, just like a real piano.  The touch sensitivity of the keys can be changed to match how hard or soft you tend to strike the notes.

How Does The P255 Compare To Other Top-Level Pianos?

Casio PX-850Yamaha DGX 650Casio PX-750Yamaha P255
RatingRated 4.5 starsRated 4.5 starsRated 4.5 starsRated 4.5 stars
Price$949.00$699.99$679.00$1299.99
Criteria
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 100%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 76%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 100%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 95%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 58%
  • Price
    Editor: 65%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 85%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 94%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 80%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 75%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 60%
  • Price
    Editor: 75%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 85%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 76%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 70%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 80%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 58%
  • Price
    Editor: 75%
  • Polyphony
    Editor: 100%
  • Keys
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 82%
  • Speakers
    Editor: 93%
  • Jacks/Ports
    Editor: 100%
  • Weight/Size
    Editor: 85%
  • Price
    Editor: 58%

What Are Some Of The P255’s Advanced Options?

Backing Tracks

10 different rhythm tracks come standard with this piano keyboard.  Each can be used as a backing track for voices as you play.  Some of these rhythm sections include 8 Beat, 12/8, Shuffle, and Bossanova.

The actual tempo of the tracks can be adjusted as well (a feature also found on the Yamaha PSR E343).  The default tempo is 120 beats per minute, but it can be changed to as low as 5 bpm and to as high as 500!  Stretch your fingers before going that high 🙂

The P255 has a tremendous 256-note polyphony

Tone Adjustment

Tone is important for professional musicians. Whether you are practicing with the band or playing on stage, you need your tone to be perfect. The Yamaha P255 incorporates an acoustic design which creates well-balanced tone and produces bright high notes.

The overall tone itself can be adjusted via the piano’s Equalizer settings. Three separate sliders – Low, Mid, and High – can be increased or decreased in each of the different frequencies. This will adjust the volume of each specific tone frequency.

What Are The Recording Options?

The P255 actually boasts TWO different ways to record your musical performances – a lot of digital pianos don’t offer any recording options at ALL, let alone two.

Firstly, there is MIDI recording. Unlike most new digital pianos, this Yamaha model still offers standard in/out MIDI ports. Two separate musical parts can be recorded via MIDI. This allows you to change one part while still leaving the other intact. One part can be re-recorded, tempo can be altered, or a different voice substituted. Up to 10 different MIDI songs can be saved to the piano’s 1 MB of internal memory.

The other recording option is direct audio. This requires the use of a USB flash drive plugged into the standard USB port. The format for these types of recordings are WAV files in 16-bit stereo. The piano itself supoorts audio recordings up to 80 minutes in length. These can then, of course, be transferred to a computer or portable audio player for play or further manipulation.

Can Your iOS Device Interface With The Yamaha P255?

The digital age has taken over live music, and you won’t be left behind if you go with this keyboard. Yamaha has a free Controller app for iOS devices (the Yamaha E343 also can connect to Apple devices), which allows you to configure many of the piano’s features, all from a graphical touch screen:

  • Choose voices to layer
  • Adjust the split point
  • Manage songs
  • Store settings
  • Recall settings

This is just a small sampling of what the application can offer. It gives musicians unprecedented control over this keyboard.  More details on this feature can be found here at Yamaha’s site.

What Do Owners Of The P255 Have To Say?

“I’ve been playing for over 30 years…owned many digital keyboards…and cried when my latest keyboard died. I carried it out to the trash like a pallbearer….wanting to give my old friend the respect it deserved. It wasn’t until I then set up the yamaha P255B and hit the first keys that my reverence for my old friend disappeared and I had the thought that I should have just chucked it over the side of the deck.”

“the Yamaha sounds and feels fantastic. Key action is phenomenal….on board speaker quality and volume is unbelievable (don’t even need my amp for home play)…and the tone quality of the piano is gorgeous.”
– Source: dewsy (Amazon.com review)

“I wanted a piano Im going to keep. Not just practice on and than up grade. This is it.”
– Source: Timothy Baer (Amazon.com review)

“The surface feel of the P255 keys feels EXACTLY like the Yamaha Grands I’ve touched.”

“I’d hands down say, it might not be what everyone is looking for but, the Yamaha was the “most serious” sounding Grand piano doppelganger. I thoroughly LOVE my P255. It is a Grand Piano TO ME. I play several hours a day because I love the music and the device.”
– Source: Merrell O’Brian (Amazon.com review)

Weighted keys, recorder, Touch Response, and more – the P255 has it all.

Is The P255 Worth Its Price Tag?

Some people balk at the keyboard’s high price. However, they quickly realize the high price is justified due to all of the features. In fact, it is hard to find a review of this piano that has anything negative to say because the keyboard is such a high value for the money. It might come with a higher price than some others, but it also comes with a lot more features.

Popular Accessories For The Yamaha P255

Yamaha L255B Electronic Keyboard Stand
$129.99
Rated 4.5 stars
Yamaha LP255B Electronic Keyboard Pedal or Footswitch
$89.99
Rated 3.5 stars

On Stage KT7800 Plus Padded Keyboard Bench
$47.95
Rated 4.5 stars

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
$69.00
Rated 4.5 stars

Alfred's Basic Adult All-In-One Course Level 2: Lesson-Theory-Solo
$12.35
Rated 4.5 stars

Interpro Dust Cover for 88 Keys Keyboard
$39.99
Rated 4.5 stars

Yamaha UX16 Midi To USB Interface Cable
$45.99
Rated 4 stars

Gator 88 Note Keyboard Gig Bag; Slim Design (GKB-88 SLIM)
$104.99
Rated 4.5 stars

Specs
Keys88
Weighted Keys
Touch Response
Polyphony256
SpeakersTwo 15-watt
Recorder2-track
Voices24
LCD Screen
Stand Included
Weight (lbs)39
Dimensions53 x 14 x 6
Preset Songs50
Phone/Out Jacks2
USB Ports2
MIDI PortsMIDI In/Out
AUX Jacks1 AUX In, 2 AUX Out (L/R)
Damper Pedals1
Auto Power-Off
Layering
Reverb
Split Mode
Transpose
Tempo Adjust
Metronome
Panel Sustain
Scale Types
Sound Boost
Duet
Damper Resonance
Chorus
Brilliance

Conclusion – Yamaha P255

Summary:

While your average hobbyist does not need all of the bells and whistles that come with the Yamaha P 255, this is an excellent keyboard for real musicians. While pricey, you won’t find another keyboard with all the high-end features the P255 has.

To get this top-notch piano at a great price, along with free shipping, click the button below:

$1299.99
Rating
Rated 4.5 stars

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • PianistAndre January 15, 2016, 10:49 am

    For over 13 years I played on a Yamaha P120 , which I loved . But the time came for parting and after many tries, different instruments ( Korg,Casio, Kurzweil), I bought a Yamaha P255 . This is a great instrument sound very professional on own speakers ( 15watt !), but especially when recording in the studio sound is brilliant Keyboard also very good demanding, very similar to the piano playing on it fantastically ! I recommend this wonderful instrument !

  • Mike Summers May 6, 2016, 7:47 am

    The P-255 has an impressive spec, but a daunting price, at more than double that of its cousin the P-115. Even so, I’m very tempted, because no other lightweight piano has this spec, but why oh why doesn’t it include balanced XLR outputs? Answer: It is not a whole-hearted stage piano. Many of us pianists need to get in and out of gigs quickly (so lightweight stage pianos are essential) but we also need professional connectivity.

  • Chris Davies November 1, 2016, 9:42 am

    Bought my P 255 to replace a Yamaha CP 300, which at 32kg was far to heavy for the gigs I was starting to undertake. I have been very impressed with the superb quality of the piano sound, quality of the action and general build quality. I have found the piano sound far superior to the CP 300, which is nearly twice the cost.

    An amazing instrument that I look forward to playing as much now as when I first purchased it.

  • Bill Petite November 6, 2016, 5:54 pm

    When was the P255B launched?
    Is the P255B been replaced? If so by what keyboard?
    Is there a better yahama keyboard of the same weight?

    • Rick Stallworth November 6, 2016, 6:49 pm

      Hi Bill – the P255 was launched around January 2014. It has not yet been replaced.

  • Bill Petite November 26, 2016, 2:21 am

    Does it have pipe organ features and sound?

    • Rick Stallworth November 26, 2016, 5:40 pm

      It has two pipe organ voices. One is called ‘pipe organ principal’, which is a typical pipe organ sound (8 feet + 4 feet + 2 feet).
      Good for sacred music from the Baroque period. The second is ‘pipe organ tutti’, which is the organ’s full coupler sound often associated with
      Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue.”

  • Bill Petite November 26, 2016, 11:46 pm

    Hi Rick, I was looking at the P255B today. The only organ features that I can find is organ 1-2 3 & 4. How do I find pipe organ principal and pipe organ tutti ? That’s the feature that I’m looking for. Thanks !

    • Rick Stallworth November 27, 2016, 11:03 pm

      Hi Bill – there are 4 organ voices on that come with the P255. Organ 1 is ‘Jazz Organ 1’, Organ 2 is ‘Jazz Organ 2’. Organ 3 is the ‘Pipe Organ Principal’ voice, and Organ 4 is the ‘Pipe Organ Tutti’. I don’t have an answer about the volume pedal.

  • Bill Petite November 28, 2016, 12:16 am

    Thanks so very much Rick!

  • Bill December 6, 2016, 2:33 am

    Does anyone know if you can use a foot pedal to control the volume on the organ on the P255

  • Robert Dueck January 5, 2017, 12:29 pm

    Questions about the Yamaha P255
    1) Where are the speakers located (top? front side?)
    2) Do you have a close up photo to better see the sound setting button options?

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