Yamaha has introduced another couple of models in its range of contemporary digital piano line.
Portable But Smaller
The Piaggero series is one we’ve not seen before: its name derives from ‘piano’ and ‘leggero’ — which is Italian for ‘light’. In other words, the new NP-V60 and NP-V80 are portable digital pianos that don’t skimp on features or, most importantly, the sound and feel of a real acoustic piano.
What first aids in portability is the fact that these are 76-note keyboards, rather than full 88-notes that you’d expect on a full digital piano. You will decide whether those extra 12 notes (essentially an octave) are important.
Equally worth considering, if the feel is of great importance, is that Yamaha has employed its Graded Soft Touch system here, rather than the more authentic Graded Hammer Effect found on many of its other digital pianos. This makes the whole instrument lighter, but at the expense of some resistance in the keys when playing.
While the NP-V80 is the high-end model, it’s worth noting that, in my opinion, both don’t offer nearly enough polyphony — just 32 notes. For some playing styles, this may be fine, but even 64-note polyphony comes unstuck on more complex, sustained passages of music. Given how far sound technology has moved on, this is a bit of a disappointment, particularly from Yamaha.
Plenty of Features
So, perhaps we should look instead at the other features that make these keyboards more about all-round versatility.
Those after alternative voices will not be disappointed, as even the lower-end NP-V60 has 489 of them (500 on the NP-V80).
Interestingly, given my previous comments on notes, polyphony and overall feel, Yamaha has still allowed pedals capable of half-pedalling to be used with the instrument. To me, this would seem to be the least important feature to maintain, but maybe it’s more about what different features cost to implement, and how they affect keyboard weight.
There are a range of styles and effects, akin to what you’d find on Yamaha’s home keyboards. Nicely, though, for more beginner pianists (where I suspect these instruments are aimed) are a range of music lessons and performance assistants, including waiting, ‘your tempo’, the minus one system which takes out from an arrangement the part the pianist needs to play, repeat and learn, and a chord dictionary (very useful to have on board).
Two six-watt amplifiers combined with several speakers mean the built-in audio output should be more than adequate.
At first look, these aren’t bad pianos, perhaps more suited to those on a budget, those looking for a performance instrument where the quality of the digital piano is important but not paramountly so, and where there are enough other features to make it a good all-rounder.