Yamaha P-35 Review
If money is no issue, the P-35 is absolutely insane. It allows you to adjust nearly every aspect of a real piano and uses modeling technology compared to simple samples. The Yamaha P-series has 88 weighted keys, sustain pedal, and excellent piano sounds. May be played via headphones (some have TWO headphone jacks) or external amp, like a stereo. The P35 also has decent speakers in the case.
In the Yamaha P-series, you will probably find some of Yamaha’s best digital pianos. From the P-155, P-125, and the P-255 to the DGX-650, many pianists were already happy if they could play on such a piano for five minutes. I am very impressed by several pianos from this series, but I have just dropped my eye on the beautiful Yamaha P35. This digital piano really surprised me. Since the last time I saw one I am considering buying one for myself very soon.
I was looking for a specific Yamaha model that scores well on price, type, design, and quality. I have no doubt that the Yamaha P 35 even exceeds my expectations. I saw this piano at my local music store, and from the moment I found out, I had the feeling that I would not be able to stand up anymore.
Usually I start my reviews with a description of the design and style of the piano, but in this case I have to start with something that totally surprised me: the sound quality. I realized that sometimes you do not get the best sound from a piano, because you just do not know well enough how to play the piano. Sometimes I did something!
When I was in the store, one of the vendors played on the Yamaha P35 and it sounded like he was making love with the piano. It sounded so good. I always thought that I could play piano myself, but it really seemed to the seller whether the piano was singing. He used the second electric piano tone and it sounded like he was playing a real Fender Rhodes.
Sounds of the Yamaha P35
The Yamaha P 35 has 10 timbres and it was not just the electric piano that impressed me. The first wing sound is fantastic. It sounds exactly like an acoustic piano and is composed by Yamaha based on recordings of concertos. The Yamaha P 35 still has a wing sound, with a brighter and more modern hearing.
The first electronic piano has a modern FM synthesis structure, and the second one I heard in the store has a metal vintage sound. There are two beautiful pipe organs, two harpsichords, and a vibraphone.
The piano is not delivered with many bells and whistles, but does have some interesting effects. There are four types of reverb – unfortunately no chorus effects – with a two-layer system, transposition function, and metronome. I had a lot of fun when I was playing with the different layers. I felt – very briefly.For a moment…
The sounds are supported by Yamaha’s own Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Stereo Sampling technology. Yamaha’s AWM brings three layers of samples of concert pianos to life, at your disposal with the touch of a button. Whoever plays on the piano and whether you play pianissimo or fortissimo, the AWM system responds to your keystrokes and delivers the best possible sound quality. The Yamaha P 35 has only 32-tuned polyphony, but when I played on it, I did not suffer from it.
Sound colors, key bed, and other specifications
The simple timbres of the Yamaha P 35 are straightforward, which suits the sleek design of the piano.
This piano has a minimalist design, in the sense that it does not have many buttons. You control the piano with a function button and a small number of other buttons. On top of the piano you will find the on / off button, a volume button, a concert piano button, the Yamaha logo and two slots for the speakers. That may not be enough for some, but I think it fits perfectly with this piano.
The key bed of the P-35 is supported by Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action system, allowing you to play with a natural keystroke without compromising on sound quality.
Although GHS is not Yamaha’s most advanced system (that is, the GH3), this system succeeds in mimicking the keystroke of an acoustic piano. The lower tones have, like an acoustic piano, a heavier keystroke than the higher notes.
The P-35 has the standard 88-key dimensions. P-35 also has standard, 88-key digital piano size to it. It is 132.6 cm long and has a depth of 29.5 cm. The piano weighs 11.5 kg, so it should not be a problem to find a place in your home for the P-35, or to travel with it.
You can buy some accessories with the Yamaha P-35, some of which add something to the design of the piano. The P-35 is beautifully finished in black, so the Yamaha L-85 standard would fit perfectly.
For support, you can purchase the Yamaha FC4 piano-style pedal or the FC5 Foot Switch Style pedal. Both are, in my opinion, good choices. The piano has a standard headphone port, so for a better listening experience you could also consider buying professional headphones.
Unfortunately, the P-35 does not have a USB port. However, it does have MIDI ports, so you can connect the piano to any computer or tablet and even another MIDI device. With 16 different MIDI channels, you can also use the piano as an excellent MIDI controller.
In terms of connections, the P-35 is Spartan. On the back, you will find next to the socket for the external power supply a headphone output, which is also the only audio output of the piano. In view of the mentioned stage suitability, it is unfortunate that the separate stereo outputs of the larger P models have been saved on the P-35. There is also a connector for a sustain pedal, which in conjunction with a matching pedal (Yamaha FC-3) also detects the half-pedal play. Of course, you can also connect every popular on / off footswitch here. A pair of MIDI jacks completing. Unfortunately, the Yamaha P-35 does not have a USB port, so connecting to a computer relies on the traditional MIDI interface and a separate MIDI interface.
As a producer of acoustic pianos and digital pianos of all price ranges, Yamaha has some experience in keyboard making, which fortunately benefits even the most affordable entry-level model. The keyboard of the P-35 is a bright spot in the environment of the test marathon candidates. Despite the low price and low weight, the 88-key hammer mechanics score with a comparatively very good feel and a pleasant surface. With its pleasantly heavy and balanced weighting and the even stroke, the keyboard can be precisely controlled and is well suited for practicing. Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvement – the P-35 does not live up to the highest pianistic standards – but it easily wins the day in this price range. The velocity can be adjusted or deactivated in three steps, e.g. for organ or harpsichord sounds.
The speakers are on the P-35 behind plastic grids on the bottom and emit downward. This technique is popular with digital pianos to create the illusion that the sound comes from inside a virtual piano body. The two round speakers with 12 cm diameter are powered by an amplifier system with 2 x 6 watts of power. One should not be fooled by this low value, because the P-35 can be quite loud. The speakers of the P-35 are also at least on par with the other test candidates, although of course you should not expect miracles from such small speakers. With larger digital pianos, they cannot keep up, so they can cope with high volume only limited with the voluminous bass and low mid-pianos of a grand piano sound. However, for the price range you cannot really complain here.
The other features of the P-35 are straightforward: There is a dual mode (layer), with which you can put two sounds on top of each other. The balance of the two sounds is adjustable. In addition, the piano offers a duo mode that divides the keyboard into two halves with the same pitch. This is especially interesting for educational purposes. However, there is no split function to divide the keyboard into two different sounds.
The metronome can generate different time signatures and can be adjusted in volume. Transposition and fine-tuning are also adjustable. Then there are 20 internal songs (one demo for each sound and ten piano pieces). Something of a pity is the lack of a recording function that many competitors already offer in this price range.
The operating concept (function key in combination with the keyboard) of the P-35 is widespread with cheap digital pianos and can be a practicable compromise, since this reduces the number of operating elements to a minimum, with “design-sensitive” instruments such as digital pianos not to be underestimated factor.
However, with the P-35, many of the functions available in this manner are not printed on the case, so you should always have the manual handy. Only the different sounds and the function keys for the metronome can be found directly on the instrument. For everything else, you have to look at the tutorial repeatedly or have a good memory – even standards such as the layer mode and the reverb effect are “hidden”. This is impractical and brings the otherwise so straightforward P-35 a small minus in the operation.
Compact, lightweight and portable
Very good keyboard
Good wing sound
Conclusion of the Yamaha P35 review
This digital piano has great sounds, weighted 88 note keyboard, a sustain pedal, headphone jacks, and good quality internal speakers. It’s an obsolete model, not made any more, and you might find a great deal on one. I’ve played piano since I was a kid, and the Yamahas have excellent action and terrific grand piano tone. To be honest, even though this Yamaha P35 review convinces you, the price is from $600,00, which is quite expensive for a beginner piano of this quality, may even awaken the interest of the biggest skeptic.