on April 5, 2012
The Yamaha DGX-230 / YPG-235 is a great keyboard! I travel and do concerts, shows, church services and live recordings in many countries and am so pleased with this keyboard that over the past few years I have purchased ten, leaving one in each region so it's available when I return. Let me tell you why.
(Note, the DGX-230 and YPG-235 are exactly the same keyboard. DGX is silver, YPG is 'champagne gold', the DGX includes the sustain pedal and adapter, YPG does not.)
The DGX-230/YPG-235 sounds great, is simple, versatile, durable, loud enough to lead a sing-along for a room of 15-20 people without needing added amplification, and can even run on batteries (great for the beach or campfire). It can sequence up to 10,000 notes (5,000 chord changes if you're running the arranger). It has 76 keys--a HUGE advantage--with three levels of touch-sensitivity, which is a big plus if you are taking piano lessons and need the range and feel of a real piano. Also, if you play music that ranges from quiet, sensitive and light (requiring a delicate touch and nuance) to loud and aggressive requiring heavy pounding, the DGX/YPG can adjust the touch-sensitivity three levels across the entire keyboard as easily as flicking a switch! In this price range that is amazing.
I love the weight of this keyboard (18.4 lbs)! It's so portable and light you can take it on an airplane in a padded bag with weight to spare (even in Europe where the max is 20 kilos). It's durable and light enough to carry 'around town' without a road case. In fact my wife (who weighs all of 100 pounds and zips around busily on her 5" heels) carts this thing around, up and down stairs, in and out of the car, as easily as carrying a second purse under her arm!
The Yamaha DGX230/YPG235 is simple to use and does its job VERY well! It has a LOT of capability, tons of sounds and great styles, and believe it or not shares about 90% in common with the more expensive models (DGX 530/630 and YPG 535/635). Granted, a little more effort is needed to access some of the various submenus, such as octave function, volume levels of sections, sound parameters, etc. but it's not overly difficult to access these functions, and user registrations can be set up to help out.
On a personal note, this little Yamaha wonder even seems to have a spiritual side built in. Hear me out on this. For my use as a worship leader, it's important I don't get too distracted and caught up thinking and worrying about operating the keyboard. Rather I need to focus on sensing God and being inspired. This Yamaha keyboard (to use a church term) is really anointed--its sounds and styles actually help create an overall spiritual sense of inspiration. I'm not kidding when I say this.
In my work I perform with a lot of different arranger keyboards, from little toys (I've had to do entire concerts in remote places, once near the north pole, with a 24-note 'toy' with 1/2"-wide keys!) to the big boys (PSR 2000, Ketron, Tyros, Korg, etc). Whether I'm doing a concert for thousands of people, a home meeting with 20 folks, recording inspirational worship videos for YouTube, or just worshiping on my own at home...when I really need to get into God's presence and be inspired, this is the keyboard I usually use. I have three or four other arranger keyboards at home, including a very specialized $4,000 Italian Ketron SD-1, a classic Roland E-86 (also made in Italy), both top-of-the-line arranger keyboards with amazing sophistication and capabilities, plus a few others...BUT I usually choose this little Yamaha wonder, the DGX230/YPG-235. Why? Because it's easy to use, sounds great, and (for whatever the intangible intrinsic reasons) really helps me get into God's presence and be inspired. Plain and simple.
I could say lots more, but in my opinion, to get all this, for $250-300 is really a GREAT deal!! You can't lose! Whether you're a beginner, or intermediate, look no further.
If you're a church looking for an economical alternative, do yourself a favor...BUY one of these! Buy two! I can't tell you how many churches I've gone into with huge expensive keyboard workstations (a la Motif, etc) which they've spent two or three thousand dollars on...yet with nobody who knows how to access 99% of the functions! If the truth be told, they have no need to. What they really need is a Yamaha DGX230/YPG235. It can function as a grand piano, a synthesizer, a church organ, a bass guitar, or whatever is needed! It's simple enough to not intimidate average musicians. BUT it can also be a GREAT arranger keyboard that supplies the sound of an entire band! --creating and playing songs 'on the fly'--no sequencing necessary!
Get this 'basic' Yamaha, take an hour or two to learn the functions, then blow away the audience/pastor/board/congregation/mom/dad/family/school-mates with what you can do and how powerfully you can positively affect and inspire an entire audience or congregation in such a big useful way!
To be fair I can think of five negatives. But for most people they won't matter a bit:
1) the stylistic variations are limited, each style having only an "A" and "B" variation together with corresponding intro and ending.
2) The stereo headphone output functions as the line out. This means that when you adjust the volume knob, the signal coming out of the keyboard is similarly affected. (note that since the headphone output level is louder than a typical 'line out' level, be careful so as not to overload the amp or soundboard with the high level, especially if the volume knob is up full.)
3) There's no midi-out, so if you want to run another keyboard via midi (for example if you need more than 32-notes polyphony) you'll have to hook up this Yamaha to a computer (via the USB A-type jack), and from there connect another keyboard. I don't know of any way to control another keyboard without using a computer to go-between. (If someone knows, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
4) On this keyboard you can't save to a flash-drive, nor load from a flash drive, because there is no "USB to Device" functionality (unlike the higher-level models). However you still have 'USB to Host' capability, which means you can connect the 230/235 to a computer (the host) and transfer songs, styles, etc back and forth, as well as record performance data while you play to a sequencer application running on your computer.
5) While the internal sequencer can record up to 10,000 melody notes (or 5,000 'chords'), there doesn't appear to be a way to transfer a song that you sequenced (or a performance that you 'recorded') on this keyboard to your computer as a standard midi file (smf) for further editing and manipulation in your sequencer application on your computer. However I am still looking into this.
But regarding these 'negatives', it's worth noting that even the top-of-the-line electric grand in this series has only two variations, and no midi outs. So, if your application needs more variations or a midi out, then you'll need to consider the PSR series, or Tyros, etc.--but be aware that you WILL lose the extra octave, and it will cost you considerably more money. I've settled for less, and in so doing have been very pleasantly surprised. I can't be happier with my choice of the Yamaha DGX230/YPG235 electric grand, and I recommend it to everyone!
on December 27, 2010
My husband bought this for me for Christmas as a surprise. He did a lot of research and certainly Yamaha digital pianos are very well made, and preferable as a rule. However he did see one comment that concerned him, but purchased it anyway. Turns out his concern was valid. The keyboard, while very good quality, is not the same bed as the upper end models (DGX 640) and when I played more classical pieces, the clicking noise of the keys was quite evident, and became annoying. This wouldn't be a concern to someone playing rock or jazz at a louder volume, or when listening thru headphones, or recording. But I play all kinds of music and it just wasn't acceptable. We went to a store and I played on various keyboards and this is when it became evident that the more expensive models, while still having a muted sound when depressed, was nowhere near as loud. I recommend that you try out the keyboard of any digital piano before buying online. It's a personal preference. We upgraded to the Yamaha DGX model (about $300.00) more and given the cost of these pianos, it's worth getting exactly what you want.
on December 28, 2011
My wife is a member of an informal trio with her as the pianist and two friends with violins. They have a wonderful time playing together and want to be able to share their joy with others, even if a piano is not present. She asked for a keyboard for Christmas and I complied.
This is a wonderful keyboard, and certainly does not have any clicking keys as one reviewer noted. While it cannot compare with her handmade Kawaii 6 foot 5 inch grand piano, it certainly is not a disappointment. Even her piano teacher, who is probably the best pianist on the island, is impressed with the quality of the keyboard, and of the music produced. The physical size of the keyboard matches that of the grand piano, so be warned that transporting it requires care and a larger vehicle than her small one. But I will be happy to carry it for her and I did buy a matching carrying bag.
There are many "voices" to the keyboard, and my wife loves to experiment with ones such as the clavicord. The built in metronome is also a very nice feature. The instruction manual is extensive, and she has been reading it with gusto. In fact, she spends as much time on the keyboard as on the piano these days.
It also provides the option to practice at other locations that do not have a piano. One of the violinists is in this category and is thrilled that practices can now sometimes be held in her home. Having the keyboard has opened up many new possibilities.
While the keyboard is certainly not in the same bracket as a good grand piano, you should not be disappointed with owning one. For the money, this is a wonderful value and we both highly recommend it. And by the way, while it was a Christmas present, it was rather obvious when it arrived and I was not able to keep it away from her using it. She has now been using it for 4 weeks, and finds out new features every day. She continues to love it.
on October 13, 2009
First, let me say that this is a solid product for a very good price. It's highly portable, even once you set it up. I'm not sure how much it weighs, but I'm a 5'3", 95lbs person, and I can lift and carry this piano with a medium amount of effort. It's got a full keyboard, and has hundreds of different sounds effects, as well as a pretty good volume range and a jack that you can plug your headphones into if you want a little bit of privacy (although, you have to buy an adapter for your headphone jack).
With that said, the main reason I didn't give this product a full 5 stars is that when you press the keys, it's much more difficult to press the keys closer to the top than the bottom of the keys. This probably has something to do with how the spring mechanism for the keys were designed, and I'm not sure if this is a problem with all keyboards on electronic pianos. It has taken some getting used to and sometimes, I miss notes because of the pressure differential. Also, the keys are a little too easy to press for my taste, although some might like it. Lastly, when you turn the volume all the way up, there seems to be a little bit of distortion in the sound as if the speakers can't handle all the noise, and it's hard to hear individual notes. Of course, just turn the volume down to medium-high or lower, and you don't have that problem anymore.
on February 3, 2011
I received this keyboard on 2/2/11. As always, I was impressed with how quickly I received my order from Amazon.com. However, within minutes of setting up the keyboard, I noticed that two keys on the right side of the keyboard didn't work. One key simply didn't work AT ALL, and one key seemed to have a short and would only play after pressing it like 3 or 4 times in a row. Amazon is making it easy to return/exchange this keyboard, so I'm hopeful that the replacement is decent. However, after this experience and reading other reviews online of this exact problem, I am very concerned about the build quality of this keyboard, despite having heard good things over the years about Yamaha.
I'll update this review after I receive the replacement in a week or so. Hopefully I won't have to switch to another brand, but Casio maybe the next one I look at (need to keep this purchase affordable).
UPDATE: I received a replacement keyboard in record time: less than 2 days! I was at first bummed that I wouldn't be able to test the new keyboard over the weekend, but Amazon got the replacement out immediately and it was here early Friday afternoon (I had only submitted the return early Wednesday evening). Amazon did create some confusion, however, by on the one hand telling me that UPS would be picking up the defective keyboard from my house, and then e-mailing me a label and instructions for dropping the keyboard off at a local UPS center. Then UPS added to the confusion when I called to confirm the pick-up at my house: they said that one hadn't been arranged. So then I bring the keyboard to a UPS center, and then find a UPS pick-up attempt label on my door. Whatever...I got the defective keyboard to UPS and back to Amazon.
As for the keyboard: it sounds great. I've only just begun to play around with it, but the keys feel good, and the variety of quality sounds is incredible. I'll be combining this keyboard with Ableton Live Intro to create music. I spent several hours after receiving the keyboard testing the keys (I was concerned after the defective unit) and checking out the various functions. I haven't even scratched the surface yet, but I am giving the keyboard a decent rating. I'll report back if my opinion changes over time.
The headphones that were included with this package deal are ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. It's not worth my time to return them, especially since I already went through the hassle of returning the entire first keyboard package. The right channel of the headphones didn't work AT ALL right out of the package. These no-name, god-awful headphones are already in the trash. I ordered the package to get the power adapter and the stand anyway, so it's not a big lose. Still, you don't like to feel ripped off in any way.
The stand that came with this package is quite sturdy. It certainly isn't anything fancy, but it was easy to put together and it seems strong enough to last years.
on March 6, 2012
I purchased this item from Amazon a few days ago. In general the keyboard should suit my needs. However, the entry for this item on Amazon's site is highly misleading. For the stand in particular, the image on top shows a single-X stand, and I almost didn't buy the package because I was afraid so flimsy a stand wouldn't support so hefty a keyboard (76 keys). However, when I read further down in the actual description (toward the bottom), it said that the package included a Yamaha PKBX2 Double X Portable Keyboard Stand, and even linked to the specific product. That struck me as an excellent deal, and I ordered it, assuming that the specifics of the product description were correct and the photo at the top was in error.
When I received the package, however, not only did it include a single-X stand rather than the promised, sturdier double-X version, but the stand wasn't even a Yamaha product -- it was from a company called "World Tour".
Of course I could return the package and demand my money back, but I happen to need the keyboard now, and of course returning anything mail order is a hassle. So I am kind of stuck using this inferior stand; the keyboard is a bit unsteady on it, but I'm not Franz Liszt and it will probably be all right.
But the experience has left kind of a bad taste in my mouth with respect to Amazon. They shouldn't specify one product and then deliver an inferior one.