The Yamaha DGX 660 is our keyboard on review today. This is an amazing instrument in Yamaha’s DGX series. And there’s no doubt that there are lots of hidden treasures locked in this awesome model.
The DGX series is actually Yamaha’s line of portable grand pianos. So, you know what that means. It hardly gets closer to the grand piano than with the DGX pianos, people.
But hey what exactly has the DGX 660 got to offer? And why does it deserve a spot in our review?
Keep reading, to find out…
An Overview Of The DGX 660
The DGX 660 is the upgrade to the DGX 650 model.
As an upgrade, you should expect a lot of improvements here and there, and there are. You’ll find that Yamaha upped its game in areas like the polyphony, the effects, sound, features, and lots more.
But, there’s something we skipped, and that is the nature of this keyboard. What’s at the heart of the DGX 660?
Well, this is what you’d call a hybrid piano. That is to say, that it is the union between an arranger keyboard and a digital keyboard.
Now, what does this mean to you?
Well, with this union, Yamaha was able to create a hybrid piano that now features loads of songs, sounds, rhythms, and styles.
So, when you get the DGX 660, you won’t just be getting an everyday miniature grand. This is because you’re getting an awesome keyboard great for playing, learning, and making good music.
We got your appetite wet, yeah? Well, keep reading to get the full scoop…
Specs And Features Of The Yamaha DGX 660
- 88 fully weighted keys, matte finish.
- Touch sensitive keys (soft, hard, medium, fixed).
- 192 note polyphony.
- LCD display (320 x 420): displays score and lyrics.
- 554 sounds: 15 drum kits, 151 panel, 388 XGlite.
- 100 songs.
- 205 styles (full keyboard, multi-finger, Al fingered).
- Effects: 44 chorus types, 41 reverb types, 237 DSP types, 26 harmony types, 5 Master EQ types.
- MIDI recorder (up to 5 songs).
- Sound: Pure CF Sound Engine.
- Connectivity: USB to host/device, Aux In, headphone jack, sustain jack, mic in.
- Dimensions: 55 x 17.5 x 5.7 inches.
- Weight: 46 pounds (without stand); 61 pounds (with stand).
- Piano lessons: Yamaha Education Suite (Y.E.S).
Is the DGX 660 very portable? Absolutely not. We don’t really understand why Yamaha calls this a portable grand. Because at 46 pounds without a stand, this baby certainly isn’t portable.
Compared to the P series also from Yamaha, this keyboard weighs in at almost twice, if not more, than the weight of most keyboards. However, it would simply be overkill to compare the sound and features of the DGX 660 to any keyboard in the P series.
In dimensions, this takes the regular measurements of a standard 88 key keyboard. It measures 55 inches in width and 5.7 inches in height. As for depth, this measures 17.5 inches, which is the main reason for its added bulk.
So, if you’re hoping to get this with the intention of moving it around every so often, then squelch that idea. This isn’t the one. Consider getting something else.
However, if you can’t compromise on the sound, then just accept that this isn’t going to move around easily.
Design And Layout
Okay, the control panel isn’t simple and straightforward at all. And considering the many features this keyboard brings to you, you shouldn’t be at all surprised.
There are loads of buttons and knobs everywhere. However, the interface looks far from cluttered. Accessing functions and settings are also relatively easier since, most often, each function/setting has its own button.
One of the most exciting things about the layout of the DGX 660 is the LCD screen. It takes the user-friendliness of the DGX 660 up a notch.
The display shows a lot of stuff like your current setting, lyrics, score, as well as the notes you’re playing and need to play when in lesson mode.
Piano players will also be excited to find that there is a “piano room” button. This button enables the keyboard to deliver a piano performance despite whatever setting they’ve previously selected.
The keys of the DGX 660 are actually quite basic, and there’s nothing entirely intriguing about them. The black keytops are finished in matte. And the white ones have a gloss finish.
The keys are also fully weighted, of course, with Yamaha’s patented Graded Hammer Standard action. So, by using little hammers, Yamaha does its best to imitate the feel of an acoustic piano on the DGX 660.
Pretty much like almost all Yamaha keyboards, the DGX 660 is touch sensitive with four settings – hard, medium, soft, and fixed.
Yamaha outdid itself with the DGX 660, because the sound is fantastic, thanks to Yamaha’s patented Pure CF sound engine. Furthermore, you’ll find this sound engine in Yamaha’s Arius keyboards, and the P115 as well as the P255.
The sound samples are recorded from the Yamaha CFIII Concert Grand Piano. And the Pure CF sound engine faithfully reproduces this in the DGX 660. The sound is more than convincing, to say the least.
If you read through the spec and features of the DGX 660 earlier in this review, you’ll find that it comes with a massive 554 sounds in total.
Here are some of the sounds you can choose from:
- 12 Electric pianos.
- 10 Pianos (Warm Grand, Grand, Live!, Grand. Studio Grand, Natural!).
- 5 Accordions.
- 14 Organs.
- 9 bass guitars.
- 14 guitars.
- 14 saxophones.
- 9 trumpets.
- Plus others including flutes, brass, drum kits, synths, and lots more.
This is another truly impressive feature of the DGX 660. This comes with a massive library of sound effects. Therefore, it unleashes creativity in any pianist and keeps play super interesting.
Check it out:
- 41 reverb types which can simulate the acoustics of many kinds of environments from concert halls, to stages, to even a basement or a canyon!
- 44 types of chorus which helps you to produce a thick and rich sound like you have several others playing with you in unison.
- 26 harmony types to add some harmonious effects to your play.
But wait, there’s more…
- The pitch bend wheel will help you to achieve some pretty interesting effects when you bend some notes here and there while playing. Some effects you can achieve include choking, or a guitar vibrato.
- Master Equalizer: However you like your sound, the DGX 660 matches your tastes. And there are 5 types you can choose from: soft, powerful, bright, piano, and normal (which is the default setting).
- DSP (which is the long name for Digital Signal Processing): With this feature, you can customize your sound even further with over 230 sound effects that are available to you.
The DGX 660 comes with a 192 note polyphony. This is an upgrade from the earlier 650, which only came with 128 note.
So, no need to have any fear of dropping notes. This allows you to layer, use accompaniment styles, as well as backing tracks as much as you want.
The DGX 660 comes with excellent speakers that would work quite well for small audiences. But what really intrigues us about them is the Intelligent Acoustic Control function.
The 660 intelligently adjusts sound frequencies by using this feature. And by doing this, the speakers are able to always deliver a sound that’s clearer and much more balanced, even at low volumes.
First of all, for the modes, you have – layering and split.
The layering feature allows you to combine the sounds of different instruments in any way you like, to create brand new sounds. Now, since there are more than 550 sounds for you to play with. The options are limitless and what it’s up to your imagination how far you go with this feature.
As for the split, it allows you to divide the keyboard into two halves. And then you can assign any instrument you want to each sound. So, you can have brass playing on the left hand while a piano plays on the right side of the keyboard.
There’s also another mode, we know – the duo mode. But, this mode, unfortunately, isn’t available on the DGX 660.
Recording And Playback
You can do more in this department because the recording feature of the DGX 660 allows you to record and playback your recording in two formats: audio (WAV) and MIDI (SMF).
Other features you’d find on the DGX 660 are piano lessons from the excellent Yamaha Educational Suite, transpose, tuning, and much more.
What’s In The Box
- The Keyboard.
- Piano stand.
- Music rest.
- Sustain footswitch.
- Data list.
- AC power adapter.
- Owner’s manual.
Pros Of Yamaha DGX 660
- Comes with an LCD display.
- Close to the feel of a regular acoustic piano because of its 88 fully weighted keys with Graded Hammer Standard action.
- Great sound due to the Pure CF sound engine with sound samples obtained from the Yamaha CFIIIS Concert Grand.
- Gives a lot of options because of its massive song, style, sound effects, and rhythm library.
- Capable of recording both audio and MIDI.
- A plethora of connectivity options.
- Great for beginners because it comes with piano lessons for learners.
- Sturdy piano stand included.
Cons Of Yamaha DGX 660
- Not very portable because of its bulk and weight.
- The sustain pedal could have been better.
- The headphone jack isn’t easily accessible because it is located on the back panel.
Certainly, you must have noticed that the Yamaha DGX 660 is more than your everyday, regular keyboard. It is so much more. Yamaha really put a lot of hard work into making this such a wonderful instrument.
It might not be as portable as you imagine from the advertising, but one thing is for sure, it does a lot more than most portable pianos out there. Because, for the price, this keyboard offers you three instruments in one package – a digital keyboard, a mini studio, and an entertainment hub!