Yamaha P120 and P140 comparison 57


Since this article was first written, both the P-120 and P-140 have been superseded. See the Yamaha P Series digital piano comparison article for more details.

Be sure to read the comments section at the end of this article for some excellent additional information and opinion.

I’ve noticed a few people searching for more information on the differences between Yamaha’s P120 and P140 contemporary digital pianos.

Yamaha P140: What’s New?

Update: Do look at the comments section at the end of this article for some interesting insights into several user perspectives on quality and playability issues.

The P140 and P140S are Yamaha’s newest digital pianos in what they call the Contemporary range. By this I presume they are referring more to the aesthetics and look of the instruments rather than their features.

Comparison without actually playing the keyboards is difficult because Yamaha’s website offers different information for each model.

Nevertheless, there won’t be major differences in functionality, because the P140/P140S is simply the newest member of the ‘P’ series.

Here’s what’s the same:

  • Keyboard: both implement Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Effect mechanism – though several people have noted that the P140’s keyboard action is better and more reliable than the P120s
  • Polyphony: both can handle up to 64 notes (a moderate amount for a modern digital piano)
  • Sound system / quality: both use AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling, which is Yamaha’s most up-to-date acoustic piano synthesis system to date.
  • Voices: Both models have 14 voices, plus some method of variation. Though I couldn’t find a list for the newer P140 model, I doubt the voices are any different. Update: The P140 has dropped the “Rhodes” sound, the sounds aren’t identical, but similar.

And here’s what’s different:

  • Casing: all four models have different wood effect and metallic casings.
  • Effects: there are minor differences in the effect capabilities of the machines.

I’ve discovered that the P140/P140S are upgraded replacements for the P120. In other words, Yamaha will phase out the P120/P120S over the next few months as the newer models are shipped.

That’s probably why I’m seeing similar prices (of around US$1200) for both models, even though the P120s are about to be phased out.

I would suspect that in the next few months, dealers will be selling off P120/P120S at a slightly reduced price. After all, you don’t sell an old and new model at exactly the same price.

So, it seems that there is very little difference. The newer model may have improved internal electronics (the operating system, and so on) but effectively the models are the same.

The best thing to do is to try out both, and see which you like the look, feel and sound of, and go for that. You may also find some good deals on end-of-stock and second-hand P120s.

If you know of any significant differences that I’ve missed, do leave a comment below.

Buy Yamaha P140 88-key Digital Stage Piano at Amazon
Buy Yamaha P140S 88-key Digital Stage Piano at Amazon


57 thoughts on “Yamaha P120 and P140 comparison

  • Jon

    I have a P120 and have owned it for 5 years or so. It has been a great keyboard with good sounds. However, recently there has been one niggling thing that I would be interested in hearing if others have experienced the same. When plugging the p120 into PA systems (at rehearsal studios such as a Peavy Deca 424/400w system + 16-2 Studiomaster mixer) or Keyboard Amps (decent ones such as Roland KC-150), the Grand Piano 1 (or variation setting) is always disappointing. The Rhodes and Hammond sounds great, but the Grand Piano sounds woolly/electronicy. When practicing with headphones from a mixer or from the keyboard, it sounds just great. Is it more geared up as a home keyboard rather than a pro keyboard? I am experiencing this now that I am in band and wondering if the P120 is not quite as good as I originally thought… Any helpful comments appreciated. I am outputting using the standard two 1/4 jacks L/R+R. Thanks.

  • Andy Post author

    @polar: ahh that’s cool. wanna send me a tenori-on? 😉

    @jon: not quite sure. I think Yamaha intended the P series instruments to be semi-pro digital pianos. Seems odd that the piano sound wouldn’t be so good from the outputs. My P140 sounds fairly good through a Roland KC amp. Maybe it’s distorting slightly, or try other cables (I’m sure you’ve already thought of this).

    I suppose at the end of the day it’s still a digital reproduction of the sound, and it’s not the most advanced DP sound/technology Yamaha has developed, but even so, it should be good enough for most.

    If it sounds woolly, maybe try pushing the “dry” sound through (ie no effects) and add anything you want externally. I’ve found that the Hall settings can add a bit too much echo/reverb etc. when outputting the audio.

    Hopefully others might have more experience of this, and a workaround.

  • Polar

    @Andy: Haha, wish I could send you a tenori-on, but unfortunately we don’t distrubute them from YMGF (Yamaha Music Gulf Freezone). I could only get one if I send a special order to YCJ (Yamaha Corporation Japan).

    @Jon: If your P120 sounds great through headphones and the built-in speakers, but doesn’t sound good through PA’s or Keyboard Amplifiers then this is probably because you have the gain to high on the mixer. Also, the sound has improved alot since the P120. First the P140, and very soon the P155 will surpass the sound quality of the P120. My suggestion is: if you want to play on stage, then get a stage piano. See link.

    http://music.yamaha.com/products/main.html?productId=105242&hierarchy_id=16365_16277

  • Jon

    Thanks Polar and Andy for your helpful comments. The combination of what you said and some other changes I have made has enabled me to get closer to the sound I was after. The best result was using Grand Piano 2 (no variation) which sounds much better amplified (with tweaks on the mixing desk too) than the two Grand Piano 1 settings. I wouldn’t use Grand Piano 2 when practising with headphones but it is ideal in a live setting because of its brightness (although I turned the keyboard’s brightness quite low). We had a rehearsal today and it was all sounding great now. Thanks again. Jon.

  • Perry

    I know for a fact that the 120 has many more options of “outs” then the 140. The 140 dosn’t have quarter inch out capability at all. Just RCA outs. This is somewhat dissapointing for those of us that gig quite a bit. The only reason I purshased the 120 ( a few years ago) was because of all the options on the side… speakers off, PC1, PC2, line out options, etc… Anyway, we’re giving our 120 to our son for college and I’d like to upgrade. I’ve looked at the p155 that’s out now… Any chance you could update your column and include the “new” 155? by the way… this keyboard is certainly in my price range… if I had the bucks… the CP300 is so sweet… be a bit heavy to lug around. 🙂 Also… what’s your take on the difference between the CP33 and the P155?

    Other then that… thanks man for the insightful update.

    Perry

  • Andy Post author

    Hi Perry,

    Here’s the article I wrote announcing the P155 replacing the P140 and here’s the complete specifications for the P155 which hopefully will make comparing them easier. I’ll try to update this post to compare all three in due course.

    The CP-300 is certainly a big beast compared to the P140 or P155. It has the same polyphony as the P155 (128 notes) plus a load more voices, better EQ and such like. Well suited for live performance but with a price tag matching the extra features. The CP33 is more in line with the P series, with 64 note polyphony. You’d probably want to test them out side by side to see which you prefer. I’d personally plump for greater polyphony if good reproduction of acoustic piano is important to you.

  • Greg

    Andy,

    I’m looking into buying the p140. It’s discounted quite a bit at the local music store, I’m sure becuase of the p155. My question is how were you connecting the P140 to your amp? I would assume you would use the headphone jacks to retain volume control, but how do you convert the stereo to mono? I gig out quite a lot and it’s crucial that I have a robust connection to my amp.

    Thanks

    Greg

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