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Yamaha YPG-535 88-key Portable Grand Graded-Action Review 

 December 7, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Whether you are a beginner or advanced piano player, you know the importance of having a reliable instrument to practice and perform your music on. If you are in the market for a digital grand piano that can match your level of skill and help you improve your style, the Yamaha YPG 535 Portable Grand Piano is what you are looking for.

In this post, we'll discuss the features, specifications, and functions of this digital piano. In addition, we'll discuss what makes an excellent digital piano to help you understand how to choose a great model.

Enjoy

Overview of the Yamaha YPG 535 Portable Grand Piano

Yamaha YPG535 Portable Grand Piano Package
  • Your purchase includes One Yamaha Portable Grand Piano, YPG535 model | Music...
  • Piano dimensions (with stand) – 53-1/3” W x 30-1/2” H x 19-1/8” | Weight...
  • Specifications: Headphones – 1 | Sustain Pedal – 1 | USB to device | USB to...
  • Yamaha Portable Grand comes with 30 built-in songs plus 70 more on an included...
  • Keyboard is not weighted. Easy-to-use panel, a wealth of piano-centric features...

The Yamaha YPG-535 features 88 keys and a portable graded-action USB keyboard with a matching stand and a sustain pedal. This piano features a variety of sounds, recording virtuoso performances with a built-in recorder, the Yamaha education suite and the USB connectivity to add the functionality of the digital piano. The piano also features Graded Soft Touch (GST) action with different levels of resistance, high-resolution stereo piano sample and comes with an Optional PA-150 energy-saving power adapter. We'll look at the specifics of these features in the next section.

Features of the Yamaha YPG 535 Acoustic Piano

Let's look at why the Yamaha YPG 535 is an excellent grand piano for music beginners and professionals.

1. Design

The build of this digital grand piano is quite convenient since it's compact. That makes it an excellent choice for people with small apartments with limited space. While it's not the most compact model on the market, the reason it's an excellent pick is the numerous functions it offers.

It runs about 53 inches wide and has 88 keys allowing you to play a wide range of chords. Since it weighs 24 pounds, you won't have a hard time carrying it from place to place. The stand weighs 13 pounds which are also light compared to other stands for digital pianos. It's also sturdy and can hold the entire keyboard without wiggling.

2. Keyboard

This digital piano comes with 88 keys giving you a full range of octaves for playing simple and complex songs without hassle. The keys are the same size as the ones we find in an acoustic piano. However, you won't have the hammer action of an acoustic piano on this electric keyboard, thanks to the GST (Graded Soft Touch) function.

The GST works thanks to the spring mechanism below each key to deliver enough resistance for semi-weighted action as you play. If you want something that sounds exactly like an acoustic model, you should look for a digital piano with a weighted hammer action keyboard. The keyboard is graded, which means that the low keys are heavier than the high-end keys, much like on a real piano.

You'll also be glad that the keyboard is touch-sensitive, meaning that the sound volume will reflect the strength of your playing. Unlike fully weighted actions, the semi-weighted action of this digital piano doesn't provide a lot of dynamic control.

3. Sound Quality

Like the YAMAHA P-45 digital piano, the YPG-535 features AWM stereo technology for enhanced studio applications. The force you strike the keys will determine how loud they sound because of the multi-layered volume levels. It also offers 500 different sounds, including multiple instruments allowing you to create complex songs in various styles.

The ten drum kits, 2 SFX kits, 127-panel sounds, and 361 XGlite sounds allow you to make impressive recorded tracks. You'll be happy about the customizable playing experience this portable grand piano provides.

4. Polyphone

Polyphony is the ability of portable keyboards to produce multiple melodic tones at the same time as opposed to just one sound as in traditional pianos. The Yamaha YPG 535 offers 32-note polyphony, which is way less than other portable keyboards. This will feel limiting for advanced players during music-making.

For instance, if you play a complex piece or layer multiple sounds on each other, the notes you played first will drop out because the memory quickly runs outs. That's why this portable grand piano is a great pick for beginners and those with limited experience.

5. Modes

This digital grand piano features dual-mode, allowing the piano player to layer multiple sounds to create complex songs. So, if you want to experiment with playing pieces with the sound of more than one instrument, getting this electric piano is a step in the right direction.

Additionally, you can play two different instruments on the right side and left side of the portable grand piano using Split Mode. You can change the section dividing the keyboard sounds from the F#2 function.

6. Yamaha Education Suite

One of the reasons the Yamaha YPG 535 is among the best digital pianos on the market is the extensive music database it features. It has 30 internal songs and 70 more on CD-ROM, allowing you to learn how to play different songs in the Lesson Mode.

The performance assistant feature offers interactive lessons that help you improve your piano playing without a teacher. You can use the Yamaha Education Suite to train each hand to lay your favorite songs. At the same time, you can add MIDI songs and learn how to play them on this digital piano.

So, if you have some MIDI files you think can help you enhance your skills, you can add them to the database and use them to practice. With regular practice, beginners can use Yamaha's education suite to learn new techniques and develop a unique style.

7. Connectivity

There are five ports on the Yamaha YPG 535, allowing you to link the piano to various external devices. You can find them on the rear panel of the piano.

The headphone jack is compatible with your headphones, allowing you to play the digital piano without the sound coming from the speakers. This makes it ideal for silent playing if you don't want to disturb your family or neighbors. You can also use it to connect a line output to an amplifier when you want to perform for a small audience.

You can also use your USB flash drive to transfer MIDI files to your computer. After connecting the keyboard to your PC, you can operate it using a MIDI controller. The sustain pedal jack port connects the sustain pedal to the digital piano to achieve your intended sound.

8. Accessories

You'll get various accessories in the package, like a matching stand that saves you from having to buy a stand separately. Unfortunately, the size and weight of the stand make it inconvenient to carry if you are using the digital piano for gigs. If you need a stand for on-the-go performances, you should get an X-type stand.

Since the digital grand piano has a sustain pedal jack, you'll be glad to know it also includes a Yamaha sustain pedal. If you are a beginner, the sustain pedal will be sufficient, but if you are an advanced piano player, you'll probably want another sustain pedal of higher quality.

9. Expandable Music Database

The piano consists of an expandable music database that includes complete keyboard setups by song title. The keyboard chooses the right voice for the right-hand melody, the correct style, and the tempo.

10. One-Touch Setting (OTS)

The one-touch setting present in the Yamaha YPG-535 digital piano provides you with the recommended voice and effects for each song style.

11. Registration Memory

The registration memory saves up to 16 registrations to user memory to one of the registration buttons located above the keyboard.

12. Performance Assistant Technology

The performance assistant technology is a feature present in most Yamaha digital pianos that ensures that you do not play a wrong melody note or chord. When you select a song, press the performance assistant technology button and play any notes on the keyboard; the notes you play match the music playing with the upper part of the keyboard providing a higher pitch and the lower part of the keyboard providing a lower pitch. This makes it easier for you to concentrate on one hand at a time while learning to play the piano.

13. 6-track sequencer

The YPG-535 digital piano has an equivalent of a built-in multi-track recorder to enable you to record one or multiple instrument parts at a time and assign each part to a different track. Six tracks are provided to allow sophisticated melodies, chord accompaniment and rhythm parts.

14. Built-In Speakers

The Yamaha YPG 535 comes with a 2-way speaker system that consists of separate woofers and tweeters that provide more lifelike instrument voices. Each speaker has a unique port that adds a powerful impact to bass sound reproduction. The stereo sound present in all Yamaha digital pianos provides a realistic character and spatial depth to the sound produced by the piano.

Thanks to the split sound spectrum, you'll get powerful bass and clear treble from this digital piano, and the 12-watt power output will fill the sound in your room effortlessly. The onboard speakers are great for monitoring your attention to detail since every note will be crystal clear.

15. Digital Signal Processing (DSP)

Digital signal processing helps to enhance the sound quality that has complicated digital effects such as harmony, reverb and chorus.

16. Advanced Wave Memory (AWM)

The Yamaha Advanced Wave Memory technology provides a realistic sound that is of high quality. This works well with the pure CF sound engine to ensure every note is well detailed.

17. Full Keyboard Mode

The full keyboard mode lets you play the chords with the right hand and the bass notes with the left hand. Most digital keyboards only allow you to chord on the left side of the keyboard in the bass section, but the YPG-535 digital piano allows you to use both methods while playing the piano.

18. Recording and Playback Capabilities

You'll find a 6-track MIDI recorder where you can record up to 5 different songs and save them and convert them to SMF formats to store them in your USB flash memory. Recording in MIDI allows you to change the dynamics of the song and add new audio effects even after you've finished recording.

Pros of Yamaha YPG-535 88-key Portable Grand Graded-Action USB Keyboard

  • Easy to operate
  • Quality sound
  • Non-weighted keys
  • 500 sounds, including percussion
  • Ability to split the keyboard to have two different sounds
  • Comes with a sustain pedal that is easy to use and works efficiently

Cons of Yamaha YPG-535 88-key Portable Digital Piano

  • Not portable
  • Bad screen resolution
  • Speakers don’t handle loud sounds well
  • The non-weighted keys make dynamics a little harder to pull off or go from soft to loud.

How to Choose the Best Digital Pianos

It can be hard to find the right digital grand piano for your needs. That's why we've assembled this buyer's guide to help you select the best pick for your practice sessions and performances.

1. Portability

The first thing to look for in a portable grand piano is the design. You should take a unit to quickly move from place to place for maximum convenience as you handle gigs. This will depend on whether it's built-in a compact way or appears bulky.

Additionally, you'll want to take a piano stand that's also light to carry and easy to store like an X-type stand. With a portable piano, you'll be in a position to go for piano practice without the hassle of transporting a bulky model. Plus, it's easier to drop a bulky, heavy digital piano than a lighter one.

2. Touch-Sensitive Keys

You can also look for graded soft-touch keys since these will allow you to perfect your craft without using a lot of force in your strokes.

Touch-sensitive keys are designed to produce a sound that matches the force you use to play the keys. This can help you achieve a dynamic form of playing since you can play some sections softly and others loudly.

So, there's no need to use a lot of force to produce soft sound since you can achieve the same effect by playing without much effort.

3. Polyphony

If you want to take your piano playing to the next level, you can benefit from digital pianos with polyphony. At the least, you should have a piano with 32-note polyphony to ensure you can play something that sounds complex.

An ideal polyphony reaches 64 notes, and it can help you make more songs sound complicated, and you'll seem like an advanced player if you use it correctly. There are some electronic pianos that offer up to 128 notes to let you reach maximum complexity in your playing.

4. Educational Components

Something else to check for in digital pianos is educational components that can help you learn new songs and improve your technique. In the YPG 535, there's the Yamaha education suite which is designed to provide useful lessons that help you enhance your piano playing.

The lessons could be organized in sequential order so that you can learn piano playing step by step even without a tutor. In addition, some learning tools are advanced enough to allow you to play your favorite songs by connecting them through the MIDI connection. As a result, you'll be in a position to understand the chords to your best MIDI songs.

5. Accompaniment Styles

You can make your playing sound more advanced using the accompaniment styles you usually find in digital pianos. These styles can help you add more instruments to the piano to make your songs sound more sophisticated. You'll be glad to find a digital acoustic piano with multiple styles to help you enhance your skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Yamaha YPG 525 have weighted keys?

Yes, they do. However, the keys are only lightly weighted to ensure they sound like a real piano.

2. How do I record on my Yamaha 535?

You can find a detailed explanation of how to record tracks on your Yamaha YPG 535 right here.

3. When did the Yamaha DGX 650 come out?

The Yamaha DGX 650 was released back in 2016.

4. What replaced the Yamaha YPG 235?

After getting discontinued, the Yamaha YPG 235 was replaced by the PSR EW-300 model.

Conclusion

The Yamaha YPG-535 88-key Portable Grand Graded-Action USB Keyboard is a great piano that makes it easier to make music on your computer. However, this piano might not be suitable for beginners due to the numerous features and sounds present in the piano, which might be confusing for a beginner pianist.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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