Reviews Yamaha

Yamaha NP12 Review -The Right Portable Keyboard for You?

September 2, 2019

Yamaha is one of the top instrument manufacturers we all know. The brand enjoys a well-earned reputation for producing high-quality keyboards, digital pianos, and other instruments. They never sacrifice the quality of the piano playing experience for being cheap. Then, one piano keyboard comes to our sight: Yamaha NP12.

As a 61-key touch-sensitive keyboard, Yamaha NP12 has been very popular among entry-level players for its great-sounding voices and simplicity. Together with other useful features, this keyboard is considered to be one of the best Yamaha’s worthwhile portable keyboards.

In this article, we’re going to review Yamaha NP12 piano keyboard, taking its highlighted features, price, sound quality, portability into consideration and also compare to other alternatives on the market. Then you can find out if it’s the right keyboard for your needs and make your decision!

yamaha np12 review

 

 

An Overview of Yamaha NP12 Piano Keyboard

Yamaha NP12 Specs

  • A 61-key portable piano keyboard with touch-sensitive keys
  • Sound: AWM Stereo Sampling (Advanced Wave Memory)
  • Touch sensitivity: 3 levels and off (Fixed, Soft, Medium, Hard)
  • Polyphony: 64 notes
  • Voices: 10 instrument sounds
  • Modes: Dual Mode for layering two voices
  • Sound effects: 4 types of Reverb
  • Metronome: Built-in Metronome
  • Recording: 1-track recorder
  • Connections: USB to Host, Sustain jack, headphone jack, DC in
  • Speakers: (12cm x 6cm) x 2
  • Amplifiers: 2.5 W + 2.5 W
  • Weight: 9 lbs (4.5kg)
  • Dimensions: 40.8″ wide x 4″ high x 10.1″ deep
  • Accessories: A sustain pedal, Music Rest, Owner’s manual

If you need, you can check the manual here.

 

General Review of Yamaha NP12

To summary, Yamaha NP12 is a portable entry-level piano keyboard with 61 touch-sensitive keys, which is design for beginners.

The main attribute of Yamaha NP12 is it’s designed for you to be fully concentrated on playing and practicing without other unnecessary features and controls to distract you. It’s quite like Yamaha P71, an entry-level digital piano with weighted keys.

Upon the first inspection, a few different areas stand out about the Yamaha NP12.

Yamaha NP12 keyboard features a very elegant and simple appearance, giving this keyboard a minimalist look. Because of its portable design, you can take it wherever you go and play it wherever you want, even in the cars. Weighing only 9 lbs, a young kid can even carry it.

The price of the Yamaha NP12 is not much higher than other Yamaha’s electronic keyboards, such as Yamaha PSR E-263, Yamaha YPT-260. But you can even get some features you would associate to advanced digital pianos.

Yamaha NP12 comes with 10 high-quality voices. The original piano sound is rich and bright. With its 64-note polyphony, you can enjoy playing without losing notes.

There are also a bunch of features and functions designed to improve your playing and practice experiences, including a built-in metronome, 1-track recorder, and responsive key, etc.

yamaha np12 specs

Check the latest price on Amazon

 

Important Features of Yamaha NP12 Piano Keyboard

In the following content, we’ll be taking a closer look at the features of Yamaha NP12 piano keyboard which are mentioned above in detail. We’ll share what we really like about the NP12 and what may make you struggle with.

 

Design

From the first look, Yamaha NP12 gives us a simple feel with only ten buttons on the face. It’s a really inexpensive model yet delivers a very premium and delicate build quality. Compared with other portable keyboards in this price range, Yamaha NP12 is the one that wins over in build quality.

The layout is very clean and sleek, offering players a simple user interface without confusing. Therefore, you won’t be lost among endless buttons, which is great for beginners.

Plus, it’s very easy to set up, so that you can immediately sit down and begin to play

 

Yamaha NP12 Color

Yamaha NP12 piano keyboard is available in black and white finish.

The keyboard in black delivers a traditional piano-look appearance. The Yamaha NP12 in white looks stylish and amazing to place in your room.

You can choose either of them that suits your taste. Plus, the piano could be a really amazing focal point in your house if you choose the right color matching the décor and surroundings in your room.

yamaha np12 reviewyamaha np12 white

 

Portable and Compact Design

Portable and compact size are valuable features for those who are always on the road and those who concern about room space.

The keyboard weighs only 9lbs, which means you can take it anywhere without much trouble. The dimension of Yamaha NP12 is 40.8″ wide x 4″ high x 10.1″ deep, which means it’s fairly compact. You can always practice it on the go, even in the cars while going somewhere.

Additionally, although Yamaha NP12 is an entry-level keyboard, intermediate and advanced players can also use it to practice while on the road because of its very portable and compact design.

It also can be operated with batteries. So, you can still enjoy playing when you’re at places where you can’t find power outlets.

Yamaha NP12 does not come with a stand in the package, you may need one if you want an appropriate height. Getting an X-shaped stand wouldn’t cost a lot and you can play the keyboard in a sturdier state. Nevertheless, you can also put it on a table or a desk, the dimension of Yamaha NP12 ensures it to fit.

Yamaha piaggero np12 keyboard

 

Sound

The Sound Yamaha NP12 is one of the main areas that make it shines in this price range.

Sound Quality

From the first touch, I was amazed by its rich tones. We know that the sound of this keyboard couldn’t compete with acoustic pianos, but it can still win over most keyboards in this price range.

Yamaha brand always put the highest priority on the piano essentials, including the sound quality and the keyboard feel. And Yamaha NP12 won’t let you down.

Yamaha NP12 piano keyboard is equipped with AWM Stereo Sampling. The grand piano sound was recorded from one of the finest Yamaha grand pianos. It delivers a bright and authentic sound in contrast with the synthetic sound of other portable keyboards.

The polyphony number contributes to the quality of the sound as well.

What is polyphony number?

Polyphony number means the maximum number of notes a digital piano can produce simultaneously. It usually works with sustain pedal and sound effects. When you use sustain pedal, the notes need enough polyphony number to keep all the notes sounding as you continually add more notes. Additionally, sometimes a digital piano needs two notes for one key to generate sound because of the use of stereo samples.

Most keyboards in this price range have 32-note polyphony as opposed to 64-note polyphony of Yamaha NP12. It’s even the same as one of the very popular Yamaha piano keyboards Yamaha P45, which costs more than twice as much as the NP12.

Enough polyphony can keep the sound rich and spacious. Importantly, it allows you to become a more sensitive pianist. The more polyphony number the piano keyboard has, the more expressiveness you can get in your performance.

64-note polyphony is an appropriate number for entry-level players in the initial stage and gives you extra room for growth and improvement as well. Though it might be a hindrance for intermediate or advanced pianists playing very complex classical pieces, it’s definitely enough for beginners to play songs and some complex classical tunes.

yamaha np12 black

 

The number of Sounds

There are 10 voices available on Yamaha NP12 61-key piano keyboard.

  • 2 Piano voices
  • 2 Electronic piano voices
  • Vibraphone
  • 2 Organs
  • Strings
  • 2 Harpsichord voices

Every voice expresses different musical styles, including pop music, rock music, and classical music, etc. It allows you to explore various sounds, encouraging you to try different playing experiences.

At the same time, you can combine 2 voices together by using with Dual Mode. For example, the most classic one is strings and pianos. You can play the piano part by your right hand and play the string part by your left hand. It gives you some sort of feeling of a concerto. Apart from it, trying other combinations is always an interesting thing to do.

Plus, you can these voices for entertainment, allowing you to keep exploring the music world.

Check the video to listen to the different voice demo and review:

 

 

Keys

Yamaha NP12 is equipped with 61 touch-sensitive keys.

Touch-sensitive Keys

The touch-sensitive keys can be adjusted to two levels or you can turn it off.

What are the touch-sensitive keys?

A touch-sensitive keyboard means the volume is not controlled. The harder you press the keys, the louder sound you’ll get.

By using the touch-sensitive keyboard, you are able to feel responsive keys. It’s a feature to imitate the feel of playing on an acoustic piano, adding more to the realistic piano feel. Touch-sensitive keys allow you to express yourself naturally as well as play musical pieces with massive expressiveness and dynamics.

Anyway, it’s a great feature for beginners as many students struggle with how to control the dynamics in the initial stage. To be specific, they have difficulty to control their figures for generating tones with different levels of dynamics. In this case, a touch-sensitive keyboard can help you to practice this part. You are able to feel melodies going up and down instead of feeling the same volume of every note.

 

The Number of Keys

As it has been mentioned that Yamaha NP12 is a 61-key keyboard, which includes 5 octaves.

It can’t compare with a standard piano with 88 keys, but it’s more than suffice for entry-level players at the beginning. Plus, 61 keys add more portability to the Yamaha NP12 because of its smaller size.

As for playing songs, if you mostly play pop or rock music, Yamaha NP12 with 61 keys is great for you. If you want to play complex classical pieces, then I don’t recommend a 61-key keyboard. You probably should go for a 76-key or 88-key piano keyboard.

Luckily, Yamaha offers a 76-key keyboard that is very similar to Yamaha NP12, which is Yamaha NP32. It’s equipped with 76 touch-sensitive keys and more powerful speakers. If you think you need more than 61 keys, go for the Yamaha NP32.

Yamaha NP12 vs Yamaha NP32

Check the Yamaha NP32 on Amazon

 

1-track Recorder

Yamaha NP12 features an onboard 1-track recorder. whether for practicing or sharing your performance, it’s always a great feature to have.

For practice, you can record your performance and playback to check where you get wrong or unsatisfying anytime without connecting to other devices. Additionally, it allows you to add an accompaniment while playing back your initial recording.

Plus, record your performance and playback to share with your friends or family can be a really enjoyable moment.

 

Yamaha NP12 MIDI

Yamaha NP12 can be used as a MIDI controller for producing or editing music. It’s loaded with MIDI port, allowing you to connect a computer for music work.

MIDI port opens up a world of music education, music editing and music production, etc. First of all, though Yamaha NP12 does not come with built-in tools for learning, you can expand this function further through your computer, tablets or other devices. Secondly, Yamaha NP12 is equipped with both USB and MIDI connectivity, which means you can control other sampled voices by using other audio devices and software.

Whether you want to use educational programs, DAWs, or music creation software, you can achieve it by using the MIDI connectivity on Yamaha NP12.

 

Yamaha NP12 Accessories

Stand  –Yamaha NP12 does not come with a stand that you need for stage performance or playing more stably. But there are some options available to purchase in a bundle or buy separately.

Yamaha NP12 is not compatible with a furniture stand. So, you can choose to buy an X-shape stand which is more affordable than furniture stands. Additionally, this is adjustable and easier to move around.

Bag  -As many players use Yamaha NP12 in stage or traveling situation, a bag is necessary in order to avoid the damage during frequent transportation. There are plenty of keyboard bags at different price ranges. Among all types of keyboard bag, padded bags are safer and more convenient. Here are some recommendations.

Bundle  –Yamaha NP12 offers a portable bundle on Amazon. You can get a power supply, an X-shape stand, and a bench included. The stand is adjustable so you can get a proper sitting position while playing.

Yamaha np12 bundle

View Yamaha NP12 bundle on Amazon

 

Special Tips before You Buy

Yamaha NP12 comes with loads of useful features and functions. But you should pay attention to some aspects you may struggle with.

  1. Non-weighted Keys

As it has been mentioned, the keys of Yamaha NP12 is not weighted. It’s a hindrance for those who have playing experiences on acoustic pianos because they may not get accustomed to unweighted feel. But for beginners, it shouldn’t cause problems.

Thought the keys are not weighted, Yamaha NP12 has keys with touch sensitivity. It gives you the feel of responsive keys but be aware that you won’t able to improve figure strength without weighted keys.

 

  1. No AC Power Adapter Included

There is no power adapter in the package, you should buy it as an extra. It’s not common to see on the selling of keyboards and digital pianos. Amazon offers a choice to buy keyboard and power supply together. It won’t cost you a lot. Make sure that you get a power supply along with your keyboard!

Buy a keyboard with power supply here.

 

Yamaha NP12 Review

Yamaha Piaggero np12

Brilliant features
  • 61 touch-sensitive keys
  • Built-in recording function
  • Controller App for easy navigation and configuration
  • Portable and compact
  • High-quality sound with 64-note polyphony
Watch out for
  • Non-weighted keys
  • No power apply included

 

Conclusion

Yamaha NP12 piano keyboard offers a great value in this price range. You can’t expect it to perform like a high-end digital piano but this keyboard provides enough features for beginners to learn on and some functions you can’t find on other keyboards at this price.

It’s a simple and easy-to-operate keyboard without loads of bells and whistles confusing you.  With 61 touch-sensitive keys, high-quality sounds, and recording function, Yamaha NP12 offers a solid foundation for proper learning and improvement. All bring an enjoyable and interesting playing experience.

If you’re a beginner looking for a keyboard to get started or you’re a stage performer looking for a portable keyboard, Yamaha NP12 is well worth investigating.

Check the latest price on Amazon