Yamaha makes great digital pianos, so I had a lot to expect when I got the P-85. However, after using it for a while, some interesting but fixable problems came up. But for around 500 bucks, this piano certainly is a steal, because usually Yamaha pianos would set you back from 700 bucks to beyond 1000. If you are thinking about buying this instrument, or if you are thinking about buying a digital piano at all, this is a great buy, but there are just some things that you might need to know before deciding to buy this piano and not looking elsewhere.
First, the good. Yamaha has incredible sound samples making the piano sound pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s just like a acoustic, the sound is still kind of grainy and electronic, but it’s good enough. It has two piano sounds, and the second one is really useful for playing rock stuff or anything else that doesn’t demand an authentic sound from the piano. Also, the two electric piano sounds included with it are incredibly authentic, and it’s a lot of fun to mess around on those sounds. The piano also comes preloaded with more than 50 songs, so you can just sit back and let the piano do the playing. Also included is a metronome and a recorder, so you can record your own playing and play it back, which is a pretty nice feature for those who want to listen to what they sound like. The design is nice and streamlined, and there isn’t a giant control panel of instruments, which I like. You can also combine instruments, which is kinda nice, but I rarely ever use it. The piano responds to how hard you press on the keys, so you have a good dynamic range.
Now, the bad. The most notable thing is that the speakers are TERRIBLE. Even if you turn the volume up all the way, you can barely hear the piano and it just feels weird playing a very quiet piano. However, this is easily fixed by buying earphones and plugging it in. However, make sure you buy headphones with the giant plug, not the ones that can plug into ipods. With earphones, the piano sounds incredible and you can practice without bothering anyone else. I still wish the speakers were better though. The action of the piano is also not authentic. It’s kinda hard to describe, but the action is a bit soft, and it’s not like a real piano. Beginners probably won’t mind this, but if you are experienced with real pianos, you’ll definitely notice a difference. The bass part of the piano seems to be quite unrealistically loud. It’s a lot louder then the rest of the piano, which isn’t realistic. The sustain pedal that comes with the piano probably won’t do in the long run, but you can get a good one for around 20 bucks and that shouldn’t be a problem. Finally, you must buy the stand for the piano separately. The piano cannot support itself because the bottom is not flat. However, the stand looks good and it’s around 100 bucks from what I remember.
Overall, I think this piano is definitely worth the money. I got used to the weird action and playing the piano is almost natural for me now. All you need to do is get some extra stuff for your piano and you should be good to go. There are also many neat features that you can use in your spare time. However, if you have some extra cash, I would recommend looking at some higher end pianos. If you are on a budget and are a beginner looking for a nice piano to start on or you are an experienced pianist looking for a side piano to use instead of your actual piano, I would definitely recommend this piano.