Yamaha has announced the launch of two new models in its low-cost, ultra-portable NP line of digital piano-style keyboards, namely the NP-15 and NP-35. The numbering suggests a direct upgrade, or possibly replacement, for the NP-12 and NP-32 models.
So far it only appears to have been announced for the UK Yamaha market, although we’d be surprised if this doesn’t roll out very soon elsewhere.
As Yamaha has tended to do with all the models in this range, these are compact, light touch keyboards designed for those just getting into piano playing or who need something with less keyboard weight than other digital pianos.
The NP-15 comes with just 61 keys, which at 5 octaves we’d suggest is a little too restrictive for anything but simpler piano music, particularly classical, while the NP-35 has a more generous 76 keys, making it smaller than a full-size digital piano range but seating it nicely with a lot of other more compact keyboards.
We’re not sure exactly what the touch profile is like, but the NP-35 does have Graded Soft Touch, which is a Yamaha system presumably lighter, but still graded from low to high notes, than the Graded Hammer System and other more realistic piano feels. The company suggests this is great for those with dexterity issues for whom the strength required in heavier key weights would be problematic.
Polyphony is also fairly restrictive, at just 64 notes for both, but this is ample for beginning musicians. Yamaha’s tried-and-tested AWM Stereo Sampling system will ensure a decent level of sound realism, while both keyboards feature 15 distinct voices, including a piano sample based on the Yamaha full concert grand CFIIIS. In all there are three pianos, three electric pianos, three organs, their harpsichord/vibraphones, and three string-based voices. These can be layered if desired.
A basic set of effects include six reverb types, and a “sound boost” which “switches to a punchy and powerful sound” and is apparently designed for use when playing with other musicians, although it may well provide a different sound the user likes.
Speaking of output, the NP-35 has a bigger 6Wx2 amplifier, with the NP-12 at just 2.5Wx2, but both have the same 12cmx2 and 8cmx2 speakers on board.
A half-damper compatible or regular sustain pedal can be used on both models, while there’s a USB to host for MIDI and audio, and a standard headphone jack which could also be used as audio out. There’s also a single recording track on board.
Both models require a stand or other surface to be placed on. Power is via AC adapter or batteries.
Available in both black and white finish, UK prices are £321 for the NP-15 and somewhere in the £400+ price mark for the NP-35.