Customer Reviews: Yamaha Piaggero NP31 76-Key Lightweight Compact Portable Keyboard
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on June 22, 2012
Saw the negative comments made toward one reviewer above and that convinced me to get one. I am annoyed by purist snobs. I had been looking for a portable keyboard just to practice with and for my church youth choir to use. I have played on several very beautiful grand pianos over the years in the Boston area. Keyboard arrived today and I give it high marks for portability and appearance. The tone is superb, BUT the on-board speakers do not do it justice. Very thin sounding, lacking bass and some midrange. So, I played it through my Peavey keyboard amp, closed my eyes (had the amp facing away from me, slightly in front of the keyboard), and you could not convince me that I was not sitting back at a grand piano. Bottom line: before you judge any digital sound product, consider the equipment you are using for output. Any digital keyboard will sound better with better equipment if the samples it has are good. In this case a $150 keyboard amp allows for the beautiful sampling to come through. I am sure when I patch it through our new church sound system, either directly or by miking the amp it will be amazing.

So, does this sound like a real grand piano? Not out of the box. But it does with a decent keyboard amp or good headphones. I recommend the Peavey KB1 for at home, but not less than the KB2 for performance or larger spaces. Very rich sound, and of course then the responsiveness is enhanced as well. I did see someone comment on other keyboards of this type that their fingers can stick to the plastic keys. Easy solution for this: furniture polish on the keys. Just wipe it down once or twice and the keys will feel and play much better without sticking to you. Plus it makes the keyboard smell nice, like lemons.

The keys are not weighted, but rather are of varied resistance. I prefer weighted keys, but these are not bad. Close enough to be much, much better than non-resistive keys.

I would highly recommend this product for those looking for a very realistic piano sound but are willing to use at least a basic keyboard amp or high quality headphones to get that sound. It is much more enjoyable to play with a small amp. I personally do not think you get good speakers on these keyboards until you get close to the thousand dollar range, so another $150 bucks for a KB1 (or a used keyboard amp for probably less than $100 at a local music store) is not too bad. I'd say this sounds better with a cheap amp than ones costing more than twice as much with just speakers.

As always, whenever you can, go to your local music store and try out different keyboards and keyboard-amp combinations.

Addendum: we just used this keyboard and the small Peavey amp for our church talent show in a hall that seats 400, with about 250 in attendance. I had to turn the amp and keyboard down to half because it projected so well. There was no need to connect it to the PA system. This was an impressive test and judging by the applause after the various piano acts, people were pleased. I stood in various places during the show, and the piano was crystal clear with some nice bottom. I could see that a larger space would need a larger amp to get more of the bottom out, but here it is fine.
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on November 8, 2012
Here's what I need:
-A lightweight keyboard that I can carry 7 blocks on my way to church.
-Something that doesn't have "marshmallow" keys that just pop back up when you press them.
-Something that will sound ok hooked up to a cheap sound system.
-Bass notes to fill out the sound.
-Target price of $300

Here's what I really want:
-Weighted, full-sized keys (these are neither, though they have some resistance).
-A rich, full-bodied acoustic sound (get real, this is a keyboard)
-The closest I could possibly get to a piano in keyboard form without spending all of my savings (I'm a recent college grad, cut me a break).

I realized what I needed would trump what I wanted, since my budget was so low.

So, I read a lot of reviews last night and decided to purchase this from Guitar Center today. My sales guy was helpful and got me a $30 discount.

-It is lightweight, although carrying it 7 blocks will still be a challenge for little ol' me.
-Has a decent feel to the keys. It's better than some cheaper yamaha's I've played where you just keep hitting wrong notes because the keys are so tiny and flimsy.
-The touch-sensitivity (quiet when pressed lighter, louder when pressed harder) is nicer than I've experienced in some other keyboards. I've played others where this feature was a nightmare when you are used to playing on an acoustic piano.
-I read in other reviews that this product does well hooked up to a sound system. Our church's sound system is not great, so I'm not sure what to expect. I'll try to update after Sunday.
-Guitar center's 30-day return policy.
-Battery powered (AA), which I think is pretty cool.

-The plastic has a pretty fragile (read: cheap) feel to it, and that makes me nervous when I think about transporting it.
-Doesn't come with the AC adapter, which I think is a money-hungry business move. Apparently it doesn't work with the same adapter as some of the older Yamaha's that I have.
-I don't really care about the extra sounds it offers besides Grand Piano/Electric Piano, but I wish that since there are only 5 (plus a variation of each, so really, 10), that they would have traded the harpsichord for more electric piano sounds.
-It doesn't fit in the case I was planning to use (although that doesn't apply to you guys...)
-I'm not thrilled about the "auto-off" feature, and I wish it could be disabled. I would like the keyboard to stay on the setting I've put it on while I play at church. We play one song and then the second set of songs is 45 minutes later, meaning I'll have to turn it back on and make sure it's set to whatever sound/variation I would like to use.
-The power button is tricky. It's hard to tell how long to hold it to turn it on/off

Overall, if you have to go cheap and still want a decent feel/sound, this is the way to go.
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on April 3, 2013
This keyboard is great! I've been playing piano for years and wanted a keyboard and this thing satisfies all my needs. It is extremely light-weight, especially compared to other keyboards out there.

Hidden options: This keyboard doesn't have a big LCD display to show your options, but it does have most of the options you are looking for! You can change octaves, transpose +/- 6, run 2 sounds at once, theres a metronome, change velocity response, change reverb type and depth, and change Voice 1 vs Voice 2 volumes and octaves. The manual that comes with it explains how to do all these things. It involves commands like, hold the Variation button and press the C4 key.

Sounds: The built in sounds are very usable and decent quality. The sounds are: 2 Pianos, 2 Electric Pianos, 2 Harpsichords, 1 Strings, 1 Vibraphone, 2 Organs. The pianos, electric pianos (EP's), strings, and vibraphone are good. The harpsichords and organs aren't really. You can run 2 sounds at once (piano and strings, EP 1 and vibraphone, etc).
I got this keyboard because I wanted to use midi to get all the sounds from VST's and libraries on my laptop. Therefore, I didn't want to pay for a keyboard that had a bunch of extra stuff that I wasn't going to use. It has a midi in and midi out built in (not usb midi).

Feel: The keys feel very decent. You can get different velocities. Not as heavy as keyboards that try to simulate the weighted keys of a piano, which is good in my opinion. I have a upright piano and the weighted/semi-weighted keys of some keyboards I've tried are actually much harder and more difficult to play than my actual piano. These keys are normal size and light.

Speakers/Headphones: It has 2 built in speakers, but they are only 6 watts each. Its fine for personal practice, but If you want to play with others, use external speakers or an amp. It has a 1/4 inch headphone input. The built in speakers will go out on you if you try to consistently play it past 70% volume. Again, if you want volume, just plug into an external speaker or amp.

Power: This keyboard can run off of 6 AA batteries (I've never tried it) or can use a regular AC power adapter (not included). NOTE: This keyboard does not turn off when plugged in/ on batteries! It will either be in ON or Standby mode. Meaning if you leave it plugged in, it will draw power and can potentially die (or kill the power adapter) quicker. If you don't pull out a battery when not in use, it will drain the batteries. Just unplug it or pull a battery out of it when not in use. If you get an AC adapter, make sure all the numbers are correct, so you don't over or under power the keyboard.

Verdict: For a practice keyboard or a midi controller, this keyboard is great! If you want comping and hundreds of quality sounds and other things, aka looking for a cheap Yamaha Motif, this isn't it. I like it and would recommend it to beginners and to anyone who would use their computers for sounds (use this as a midi controller).
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on April 6, 2014
I played on an acoustic upright all my life and last year donated it and purchased the YPG-235 as my first keyboard. It served me well, but travelling was difficult being under 5 ft. I needed something basic, but high quality for open mics and teaching. This was it. The keys have resistance similar to the YPG-235, no its not hammer action (add 25 lbs for that folks) but its enough for someone who is use to pianos to play comfortably. The sounds are exactly enough variation to play gigs, though a guitar/flute sound would have been a bonus. The built in demos songs are all familiar favorites from bach, mozart, beethoven, schumann and even a rag time scott joplin! It has reverb, dual sound, metronome. It has midi in/out, sustain and power outlets, can also take 6 AA. the bag for the Piaggero (sold separately) is also amazing, making it the perfect travelling keyboard. I'd give it 6 stars if possible.
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on July 7, 2012
I absolutely love this keyboard. I've had it for about a week now, and it is so much better than my old one. I am not a musician who plays out or anything. I'm just a novice who enjoys learning songs, so this piano is perfect for me. I have played on many real pianos, and this is a very satisfying substitute. I highly reccomend it!
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on May 22, 2013
We move around a lot and our last place did not have room for a traditional piano. We sold our old piano and I got myself this as a replacement. I love, love it! With our old upright, we were always spending upwards of $200 to have it tuned all the time. With this, I don't have to worry about it, I can play anytime and it's in tune everytime. I love how it plays louder if you press the keys harder. Perfect size and portability for sound.
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on October 3, 2012
Owned a piano for the last 30 years but now we don't have space for a piano at the condo. Have been looking for a compact but more grown-up version of a keyboard to practice. The Yamaha Piaggero NP31 has been perfect. It of course doesn't sound as good as a real piano but it's light weight and functional. I am not looking for a ton of effects so sound and size are determining factors. The keyboard has a nice tone and 76 keys offer just enough range unless you're a master pianist. The only drawback is that because of the plastic keys, when fingers strike them there tends to be a clicking noise. The keys are not weighed which isn't a big deal unless you're trained classically. Great product for the price. Would highly recommend.
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on November 24, 2013
We live in a small condo, and I decided I wanted to learn to play the piano. This keyboard does not take up much space, but the keyboard feel is good, and the "grand piano" setting sounds good. I have not used the various other settings (except to try out the harpsichord and organ settings). I always use it with headphones so that my wife does not need to suffer through my scales and exercises. As a beginner's piano for small spaces it works very well.
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on February 3, 2013
I bought this Yamaha after buying a Roland and finding the latter problematic. The Roland kept breaking down. Every time a hair gets inside the keyboard, some of the keys stop playing. It kept happening and I'd have to take it to the shop. I've had the Yamaha for a few years and that has never happened. It never happened with the Yamaha keyboards I owned earlier. The Piaggero NP31 also has a great piano sound and I've used it to record music videos.
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on May 13, 2013
The only thing that I do not like it is beacuse the batteries discharge very quickly, and when they do, the piano still works but the speakers sound like the speakers don't work fine. After send it to warranty they told us everything was ok, in the meanwhile we recived the AC Power Adapter and since then everything is perfect.
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