Over time, Williams has worked hard to earn itself a name among the forces to reckon with in the piano market. Contending with the market giants like Casio and Yamaha hasn’t been easy. But Williams is slowly gaining its place among affordable piano brands.
How does this keyboard fare in the industry and what are our honest opinions about its features? Well, there sure is a lot to talk about on this keyboard.
Being a less popular brand, we are pretty sure you’re going to be wondering what this guy’s story is. We have a lot to share, no doubt. And when we’re done, the decision will be up to you.
But first, let’s start with a quick overview.
Williams Allegro 2 Overview
As the name has probably already hinted, this is the second Allegro keyboard that Williams is releasing into the market. The first, which is the Allegro 88-key Hammer Action Digital Piano, wasn’t such a hit with most customers and the response was quite poor.
But with a great entrepreneurial spirit, Williams didn’t give up. Instead, the brand went back to the drawing board and began to make some upgrades. And that was how the Allegro 2 came about.
Some of the major complaints customers had about the first Allegro was the sound and key responsiveness. Many found both features poor, hence the reason sales dropped.
Based on this feedback, the manufacturers decided to do some upgrade. In fact, they reengineered the entire piano from the start.
Adding more interesting features (like USB connectivity, and improved sound engine), Williams is now proud to introduce the Allegro 2.
It was first announced 3 years back in 2015, March at a sub-$300 price tag. And even though it still skimps on some features, it is still a great instrument and a major improvement from the premier Allegro.
For one, Williams outdid themselves in the key department of this piano. We would have been perfectly content to find semi-weighted keys on such an affordable instrument. However, these keys come fully weighted.
And that’s just one aspect. There’s so much more awesomeness to take in from the Allegro 2.
PS: Keep in mind that this is a sub-$500 piano. If you do that, it would be easy to be impressed by the Allegro 2.
Features Of The Williams Allegro 2
- 88 fully weighted keys with hammer action.
- Pressure and velocity sensitive keys.
- 10 instrument voices including Digital Piano, Classic Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, and more.
- 64 count polyphony.
- Connectivity: USB/MIDI port, headphones jack, and a jack for the sustain pedal.
- Free trials for online piano tutorial with purchase, but no demo tracks.
- Built-in speakers.
- Sound effects: Reverb and chorus.
- Functions: Split and layer.
- Dimensions: 57.9 x 16.3 x 9.4 inches.
- Weight: 29.8 pounds.
Improved Design And Layout
The Allegro 2 comes with a major improvement over the Allegro. And it’s in almost every aspect of the piano beginning with the looks. Williams chooses a completely novel design for the Allegro 2, pretty similar to what it uses on the Legato piano.
The Allegro 2 looks more sophisticated than the Allegro, looks really solid and is pretty lightweight too. Plus, it looks really elegant as well with its beautiful matte finish.
Thanks to its light weight, this piano is a good choice if you need a piano for home use. It can be placed just about anywhere. And you can also easily move this around, whether from room to room, or from practice to gig, or practice to home.
Interface, Controls, And Coonectivity
The interface is quite simple too and you’d find it just right on a panel on top of the piano. The controls include:
- Volume knob.
- Power switch.
- Octave and function.
All these controls are pretty straightforward and intuitive even for a beginner.
Another really impressive feature is that the Allegro 2 actually comes with an LCD display. This is a function you don’t really find in cheap keyboards. Yamaha’s P45 and P71, for instance, do not have any display.
You also get 6 buttons which help you navigate the ten instrument sounds available. A button for the Record and Sound modes, Split/Layer modes, and something for effects too.
By the way, the effects include chorus, modulations, and reverb.
Now there’s a back panel behind the keyboard which contains the ports for connectivity.
There’s a port for USB connectivity and MIDI too.
There’s also another port for a sustain pedal. This jack also detects polarity automatically as well. And you can equally use it to connect an expression pedal if you want to create organ sounds.
Of course you’ll also find a jack for headphones and stereo outputs. And let’s not forget the jack for connecting the adaptor.
Okay, what would an upgrade be without an improved sound, right? Well, William makes the sound from the Allegro 2 an improvement to the sound from the Allegro.
So, what are the upgrades?
For one, the Allegro 2 comes with a more robust library so it contains 10 high quality instrument sounds. This give an amazing sound experience, something that was almost absent in the Allegro 2’s predecessor.
There’s a concert grand piano sound which was sampled using 3 different layers of velocity. And beyond that, the piano sound comes with a really brilliant tone as well.
Besides the grand piano, this keyboard also features other instrument sounds such as:
- 2 Electric pianos.
- 2 organs.
- Strings and Synth.
- And two basses – one acoustic and one electric.
The Allegro 2 allows you to layer 2 different sounds at once while you manage balance. And if you don’t want to layer, you can also split the keyboard into two halves and play two instruments at once.
For instance, you can play bass on the left half, while you play piano on the other half. Pretty neat, huh?
The polyphony count on the Allegro 2 is 64. So generally, you shouldn’t have issues with dropped notes. Even though pianos within this price range usually come with a 32 note polyphony, we still feel that a 64 count is a bit low.
But, it’s all good, though.
The Allegro 2 comes with 88 keys, fully weighted. This is truly impressive but there’s a small catch.
Well, it doesn’t come with a proper hammer action. So, it might not offer the best experience ever. But altogether, the Allegro 2 still offers a pretty decent keybed when compared with other keyboards of its category.
If an amazing feel on the keys is of utmost importance to you, then the Casio PX 160 remains your best bet at this price range. If you want something much better than what the PX 160, you’d simply have to work with a bigger budget — there’s simply no way around that.
There are many ways to edit your sound on the Allegro 2. Let’s take a quick look at a couple or so…
You could add the reverb which comes in 8 separate types. And to make things more interesting, you can even change the depth of reverb you select.
There’s also a chorus effect with 8 different variations to help you alter the amount of effect you get. If you want, you can also add a modulation like a vibrato, a rotary speaker emulation, or even a vibrato.
And after developing your custom tone with all these effects, there’s a record/playback feature for you to record it and play it back.
And then there’s the metronome if you need to keep time. The metronome goes all the way from twenty to 280 beats per minute.
Lastly, you can use the Allegro 2 as an MIDI interface using the USB port. Furthermore, you can also connect this piano to your personal computer, iOS device or Macbook. This is thanks to the class-compliant drivers installed in this piano.
- Organ players will find it easy to transition to a digital piano using this keyboard. Well, it’s because the keys are differentially weighted.
- Quality sound and tones.
- This is a super affordable instrument.
- 88 fully weighted keys with complete sensitivity, ideal for a beginner.
- Lightweight and portable.
- You can’t connect soft pedals or sostenuto to this keyboard. The only pedal you can use with this keyboard is what’s called a damper pedal.
- This piano does not save metronome settings. So, once the piano goes off and comes on, you’d have to reconfigure the piano all over again.
- The headphone jack isn’t ideal for a beginner. For one, it’s 6.65 millimeters and it is also located on the back panel. For something that should be for a noob, this isn’t the best idea.
- The reverb is great but as you begin to hit middle C, it tends to die down. If you experiment with tuning the piano, though, it could help.
- If you’re more used to acoustic pianos, transitioning to this might be a bit tough.
It might not be like the Yamahas and Casios but the Allegro 2 makes a worthy contender anyway. 88 weighted keys, decent speakers, and great control features make this really affordable piano really wonderful… especially for the beginner.
Is it true that the Allegro 2 could have been better? Yes, it is. But at this price, Williams did a rad job on the upgrade from the Allegro to the Allegro 2.