This is a premium portable model. Also known as “Portable Grand”, the DGX comes with 88 keys and a great quality piano sound, along with a lot of functions for learning, playing and entertaining.
In this review, I will concentrate on the physical aspects and connectivity, how does an experienced player feel the touch of the keys, the sounding and richness of its instrument voices, and the operability and function of its several features.
Beside a 9ft, 1000Lbs acoustic piano, the DGX is very mobile. With the stand it comes with, it’s about 30” tall, 55” wide, 18” deep, and weighs 61Lbs. Ok, it’s not light as a feather and a bit bulky. But with a little help of a friend or a relative, you can move it.
It has a classy black finish and a wood-like stand.
Yamaha DGX-660 Review
When you buy it and unbox it, you must set it up. Assembling it can be a bit tricky, so you better check the manual before setting the keyboard up.
The floor version is proven to be quite solid when getting a little bump, it can definitely withstand a non-extreme trip on something like a band camp.
It also includes a music rest that fits in the grooves on the upper side of the piano.
Keep in mind that this product is listed as a portable keyboard and not a stage-piano. That means that it’s not made for carrying around all of the time.
Connectivity and ports
The DGX is a dynamic piano, also because it has several connection options.
It has the standard DC power input, a ¼ inch stereo output and earphone port, sustain pedal port, AUX input, and a ¼ inch mic input.
The cords of the microphone are XLR as usual, so it’s suitable for only ¼ inch male plug or adapter.
You can use a single damper pedal on the DGX, but an advanced option is to use a three-pedal equipment that can be linked to it just like on the LP7A. This is more comfortable for people acquainted with acoustic piano pedals.
The LP7A pedal includes a half-damper feature that modulates the clearness of the piano sounding according to how deep you tread the pedal. It’s an awesome addition.
The feel of the keys
The DGX is listed as a “portable keyboard”, so it’s no wonder it doesn’t meet the requirements to be a “Portable Grand.”
It has plastic keys but their touch still feels like quality keys. The Keys are laid on a Graded Hammer standard bed that kind of simulates the graduation from low to high that you can feel on an acoustic piano.
When I first tested this piano, its quality was remarkable to me and I could feel it. But it still can’t compete with the first-class weighted keyboards.
What I felt was that the recoil from the middle to the high-mid part sounded abnormal. It drew me back to something like a semi-weighted keyboard. This is a drawback for repetitive fast movements or fast fingering.
In general, the feel is quite alright. It is preferable for people who are not rigorous students and play as a hobby or for entertaining. This could also be a good choice for starters for their first learning.
Yamaha may not be a proper choice for those who want to feel a realistic touch, because of its difference between stage keyboards and electronic grand keyboards.
High-class keyboards like the Yamaha’s Arius series or the Clavinova offer more to the user in terms of key beds.
Options & Quality
The DGX comes with 554 voices. One of them is an exclusive piano suite named “Piano Room” which is quite different from any other piano’s music storage. It even has a “Piano Room” button to turn this feature on.
Yamaha offers more advanced options on customizing for more experienced players. These options are available on the “environment” features that include concert, recital, stage, room, or none.
It has basic options of reverbs from big to small. You have four piano styles to choose from, which are Grand, Pop, Warm Grand, and Honky Tonk. Then the cap position can be turned from open to closed in all piano options except the Honky.
With all this, you have much to choose from in the Piano Room, but the brand offers a little more customization with a “Detail” option where you can set the keyboard’s general tuning, the degree of touch sensitivity, and the pedal resonance.
Yamaha DGX-660 keyboard
Check the Yamaha DGX-660 Keyboard on Amazon
Now, there are many different voices in this configuration. The quality is in general quite high. I personally find the Warm Grand as the most realistic tuning to it. The reverbs are acceptable, since they are the slight changes of tonality of the lid setting and the pedal resonance.
I think the Pop piano is a bit too shiny. But this kind of sound is meant to be as a part of a band, cause this piano can break through the other voices and be audible.
The Honky piano is simply not good. No reverb capacity or other feature can redeem this poor instrument segment.
Besides the Piano Room, there is a config of sounds that you see when you just turn on the machine. The inbuilt instrument voices have each a number from 000 to 151.
Some of these 152 options you have pianos, many keyboard styles, guitars, basses, strings, winds, and a lot more.
The acoustic sounds are all pretty good, but Warm Grand is simply the best. The electric keyboards are amazing just like most of the organ types.
It lacks most guitar segments, but has the classic guitar. Anyway, this is so in all keyboards only excepting the highest ones.
It has an impressive number of string ensembles with a good number of varieties. And these can be combined with each other to create an interesting composition.
The single strings are although some of the cheapest in the collection. They are vaguely involved and developed and give a squalid and depressing sound.
There’s a variety of voices for different expressions and other shocking musical effects. The vocals in fact are pretty good too and would combine well with the string and piano voices pleasantly. The winds and specially the sax is quite cheap too.
They sound abnormal and give low to null answer to a variation of speed. I could keep talking about the several instrument voices in the XGlite, but it would take me while.
XGlite is a bit out of it when it comes to MIDI functions and features, but some of the voices, specially idiophones such as the xylophone, glockenspiel and marimba are really good and stand out.
If what you want is some amazing high-quality instrument voices, leave the DGX behind. Many high-level keyboards and sound systems by Yamaha like the Motif series have more consistent instrumental voices that can make their way to a professional career.
In any case, the DGX has some handy functions. Some of the basic functions I already mentioned are the capacity to layer several voices, and also split the instrument for a differenced sound playing at each side of the keyboard.
Like many other keyboards, the DGX has a metronome, but this in particular adds some awesome dynamic features like tapping the tempo with the pedal, changing the timing, or changing its sound to a click or a bell. You can do these configurations without complications and read about them in the manual.
The DGX includes other nice functions seen on other digital pianos giving harmony and background accompaniment to improve your performance. But they really did it right by adding the Style Recommender that selects the proper accompaniment according to the rhythm you perform.
You can make recordings as either MIDI files or multi-track files.
Other thing you can do is improve your learning with the inbuilt songs the keyboard comes with, or load new songs via USB. The chords of the songs are displayed on the LCD screen, and three variations called Waiting, Your Tempo and Minus One give you different methods of learning.
Being honest, this function is basically a contraption. The screen is rather small and you will be staring at the keyboard all the time. That is not a practical way of learning.
But it can be interesting to see the notations of the DGX stored songs, though they’re not well displayed. You can also play Yamaha’s songs for karaoke or sing along, since the lyrics are displayed on the screen.
Staring at your keyboard could be a good way for learning songs, but it sure won’t look cool when playing live.
One of the greatest aspects that sets the DGX far ahead from the rest is the microphone input that allows you to sing along with your playing.
Link a dynamic mic to the piano before putting it on, and the volume will be mute. It has three vocal functions such as variable processing and eq, and can be configurated according to your vocal power and requirements. Yamaha’s wanting to impress us with these features.
Check the Yamaha DGX-660 on Amazon
I couldn’t check it out by myself, but the DGX is supposed to be able to link to wireless appliances like tablets and phones that can share MIDI files and data with the piano.
The Chord Tracker app works well for this. This app analyses the songs you store on your device and translates the song in notations specially for you to learn them. It’s an awesome learning method and at the same time you’re sharing your files with your keyboard.
The DGX is in general terms a very good choice. It can be literally put as one of the best electric keyboards for less than a thousand bucks. It’s good looking and quite solid. Has an important amount of functions, beautiful piano voices as good as other instrument voices and some advanced options for wireless connectivity.
Some of the disadvantages are the feel of the keys, some quite poor and cheap sounds on its storage, and the number of functions that are kind of burdensome to operate.
Users must keep in mind that this product is on an intermediate level between a stage keyboard and a digital keyboard with some exclusive additions, but still far from a high-class piano.