If you play piano or keyboard, the chances are you’ve more than likely heard of Yamaha. Indeed, Yamaha are one of the biggest names in the digital keyboard and piano world, and they make some exceptional instruments for both beginners and advanced players alike.
Since emerging into the keyboard market in 2004, the Yamaha YPG-535 has made a name for itself for piano players. This keyboard is by far one of the most favored digital keyboards with 88-keys in the price range of $500.
The YPG-535 has added some stellar enhancements to the previous model in the series, the YPG-235. It comes with a host of extra features that really take this keyboard to the next level.
The keyboard comes with a range of things that are unique to a grand piano, making it stand out a lot in the market in comparison to other keyboards out there.
For around $500, a keyboard that has so many components like a grand piano is a bargain and an instrument you can really use to your advantage wherever you are in your piano playing journey.
Likewise with any instrument, you’ll find some flaws in the Yamaha YPG-535 that may not make it the best fit for every piano player.
We’re here to guide you through what’s on offer with the Yamaha YPG-535 so that you have all the information you need to make the decision about whether this instrument is going to be your new best friend.
Yamaha YPG 535 Specifications
This is a portable instrument, ideal for those with low amounts of space. If you’re trying to play your instrument from somewhere the size of Harry Potter’s closet bedroom, you needn’t worry too much. With a small size of 52.75” x 16.6” x 5.6” it should fit comfortably into most any space.
The keyboard comes along with a stand designed for the keyboard to slot into and built in speakers. The stand will help to ensure that the keyboard doesn’t move around too much, and it’s also fairly durable.
It’s easy to put together, you’ll only need to devote about 15-20 minutes of your time to getting the instrument assembled.
If you’re out on the road, you can use this easily with an X-Stand that you can easily transport around with you on gigs and you won’t need to take the time for any extra assembly.
The keyboard is fairly lightweight, weighing only 24lbs so you can carry it around with one person without much trouble. This is also a pretty impressive weight for a keyboard with 88 keys.
There’s a pretty impressive range of buttons on the control panel, with a whopping 40 of them to play around with! This may be a little bit much to take in if you’re a newbie to keyboards, but it’s not too tricky to get the hang of. The buttons are easy and accessible to navigate, and they give you a lot of extra help with the added education features too.
The keyboard only comes in one color, which is the gold Champaign version. The black lining around the keyboard also brings a little bit of extra finesse to the design. You don’t really need to worry about any daily use marks like finger marks becoming obvious with the black finish either.
Authenticity and Key Action
The authentic and realistic piano sound is what really makes the Yamaha YPG 535 take the limelight as far as keyboards are concerned. The specifications are fantastic in this respect, and are a real show stealer.
The keyboard comes with 88 keys which come in the same size that you would get with an acoustic piano. The keys are also sensitive due to its mechanism that features graded soft touch action which doesn’t mimic the weighted keys of an acoustic piano.
The keyboard comes with semi-weighted action. The keyboard keys have spring mechanisms under them that will resist the touch when pressed.
Its feeling isn’t as heavy as you would find in an authentic acoustic piano, which can be both a blessing and a curse if you are used to playing an acoustic, but it also feels a whole lot better than what you would find on an entry level keyboard that you can get for a cheap price.
The keys do, however, have some qualities that replicate that of an acoustic piano action.
The graded-key action feels much heavier in the lower end than they do in the higher end, and they’re also touch sensitive. If you’ve ever played a low quality keyboard, you’ll know as well as we do that not having touch sensitive keys can really take away from the experience of playing your keyboard.
The touch sensitive keys really help to create proper dynamics, making that crescendo all the more satisfying when you play.
This touch sensitivity can also be modified to your liking, with 3 different presets to choose from.
With this being said, the keys don’t have quite as much control as you would find in a fully weighted keyboard.
Given that they’re made of plastic, the keys do not quite have the same feels as top end models that have ebony and ivory keys. You can also expect to hear a clicking type of noise when you’re playing on lower volume settings. They’re significantly noisier than their competitors in this regard too.
The keyboard also does not light up like many other entry level options out there, which may or may not be important to you.
Much like the one used in the Yamaha P-45, the Yamaha YPG-535 also has AWM Stereo Sampling Technology built into it that makes it sound a lot like an acoustic piano recorded using varying volume layers. This really makes it have a unique sounds when you press the keys with a certain level of pressure.
The keyboard comes with a bunch of different sounds, 500 in total, including a nine electric piano, an eight piano, ten guitars, eight bass guitar, fourteen organs, nine trumpets, thirteen saxophones, thirteen strings and four different choirs.
They all have a great sound to them, and it’s pretty awesome that you can get all of this in just one instrument.
Not only this, but you can even make extra sounds by layering the existing sounds over each other and customizing them all as needed. The keyboard even comes with an equalizer and pitch bend wheel which will help with tweaking the notes. This aids in making different sounds like a guitar vibrato.
Yamaha YPG-535 comes with a 32-note polyphony, this being one of the keyboard’s main limitations. It’s not ideal for when you’re layering sounds and run out of memory. With that being said, it’s sufficient for a beginner keyboard player, but if you’re a little more advanced then this may feel a little limiting.
This keyboard comes with a two-way speaker system. This will divide the sound spectrum into two completely separate parts which helps to make the treble sound more clear and add extra power to the bass.
The front face design aids in creating a clear sound, and the sound is consistent throughout both the high and low register. It’s a powerful system, with a 6 watt output in each speaker that can fill a small room comfortably. It can be connected to an amplifier to increase the sound.
The Yamaha YPG-535 comes with a dual mode which will help to combine two instruments to layer whenever you press the keys, which can be exhilarating when you utilise this with the 500 instrument sounds.
It comes with a split keyboard mode that allows you to play different instrument sounds on either side of the keyboard which provides a lot of versatility. You can change the split parts to different keys too.
The keyboard is quite strong when it comes to learning. It comes with 30 songs built in, and 70 additional songs that come on a CD-ROM that can be played back when you practice. With this you can also see the lyrics and score to make the playing much more easy.
The keyboard comes with the Yamaha Education Suit. This provides the player with help for practising using the external and internal song on the right-hand left-hand or on the both hands lesson. It offers three different types of lesson, from Waiting, Your Tempo and Minus One.
It also comes with a performance assistant, which will provide you with extra help to correct any incorrect notes you make when performing.
Playback and Recording
The YPG-535 comes with a MIDI recorder. This helps with storing and recording songs in the flash memory on the instrument, and these can then be converted and saved to a flash drive afterwards. You can even record up to 6 different recordings and they can be played all as one song. This is very helpful for multi-layered recordings.
You can listen to these recordings and create new ones while you listen. You’re able to alter various aspects of the recording too, since it’s not an audio recording.
You can connect the YPG-535 to five different ports. They’re all located on the rear panel, and this will allow you to connect to different devices.
USB - You plug the USB flash drive into this port so you can save any MIDI files, and you can then load the songs you’ve downloaded, and this will aid with performance.
USB to Host - using this port you can transfer any MIDI files recorded onto the computer by using an A to B USB cable
Sustain Jack - this is what you use to plug in the sustain pedal
Phone Jack - this ¼” jack will be used to plug in any headphone sets and this will shut off the internal speakers
If you’re practicing in a room with other people such as in a school practice room, this is particularly useful as you won’t disturb anyone else. You can use the output to connect to an amplification device for a louder sound.
The keyboard comes with a range of extra accessories, including:
- Owner’s manual
- Matching stand
- AC power adapter
- Sustain pedal
- CD-ROM with Drivers and Software
Yamaha YPG 535 Pros
- Easy to use
- Touch sensitive keys
- Easy to carry
- Educational tools
- Over 500 voices
- 88 keys
- Responds well
Yamaha YPG 535 Cons
- Small screen
- Doesn’t come with hammer action keys
- 32 note polyphony
Our Final Thoughts
So that’s our thoughts on the YPG-535. Before buying, you should check what’s important to you in a keyboard, and consider both the advantages and disadvantages.
If you want it to feel like a real piano, this may not be the best choice for you, but if you want a keyboard that sounds authentic and has a bunch of cool features this may well be the choice for you.
It’s also super helpful for beginners, so what are you waiting for if this applies to you? This is a good choice if you’re looking for a budget option that still provides good quality.