The Yamaha NP12 is an upgrade to slightly older Yamaha NP11 and comes as a 61-key digital piano.
In this review, we explore whether this piano is worth considering, keeping in mind that this is an entry-level keyboard, so it’s targeted at the beginner.
So, let’s find out more about the Yamaha NP12…
Yamaha NP12 Specs
- 61 piano style keys with touch response.
- Tone Generation Technology: AWM Stereo Sampling.
- Max Polyphony: 64 notes.
- 10 Piano voices: 2 Pianos, 2 Electric Pianos, 2 Organs, Strings, Vibraphones, 2 Harpsichords.
- Sound Effects: 4 Reverb types.
- Dual and Layer mode available.
- 10 Voice Demo Songs.
- 10 Piano Preset Songs.
- 1-track recording.
- Metronome function.
- Transpose and tuning functions.
- Connectivity: DC IN, headphones jack, sustain pedal jack, USB to Host.
- 2 Speakers: 12 x 6 centimeters – 2.5W + 2.5W.
- Operates with AC adaptor as well as 6 AA batteries.
- Dimension: 40.81 x 4.13 x 10.19 inches.
- Weight: 9 pounds.
Features of The Yamaha NP12
Build Quality Of The Yamaha NP12
The Yamaha NP12 is well built, especially considering it’s quite an inexpensive unit. You don’t readily find cheaper, entry-level keyboards that come with this build quality.
The layout is very simple and clean, giving this Yamaha a minimalist look.
This means that beginners are not burdened or discouraged by a complex interface. With this keyboards simple layout, beginners can immediately sit down and begin to play.
The interface only features ten buttons, thankfully for beginners, it’s a far cry from most other workstation synths.
There are only 61 keys on the Yamaha NP12.
The keys feel pretty good. They obviously can’t be compared to the keys on some more high end keyboards. But at this price point, they are more than acceptable.
As you would expect from a keyboard in this price range, the keys are not fully weighted. Piano players might therefore not enjoy their playing experience on this keyboard. But for synth players, this shouldn’t cause any problems.
What’s very impressive is not only Yamaha NP12’s portability but how it manages to feel so sturdy, despite its light weight.
Many portable keyboards are made of cheap plastic, so you have to be careful when carrying them around. But this piano is quite sturdy and can take a beating, although we obviously don’t recommend you doing that.
Weighing in at 9 pounds, this is one of the lightest keyboards Yamaha has ever produced. And its compact size, also means that you can set up this piano virtually anywhere, even if you’re tight on space.
Now, size and portability aren’t the only reasons this keyboard qualifies as a travel buddy. It can be operated with batteries. So, this means that whether you’re close to a power outlet or not, you can still enjoy making music.
The Yamaha NP12 is a flexible and versatile instrument, that will give you the power to make music anywhere.
Now, Yamaha didn’t include a stand when you get the NP12. But this can comfortably sit on any table. There are tiny rubber feet on the bottom of the keyboard which will keep the keyboard from sliding around and protect the surface it is placed on.
You can, of course, always buy a keyboard stand if you prefer.
We’ve come to expect quality with regards to sound from Yamaha keyboards, and the NP12 doesn’t disappoint. It features ten sounds in all.
The grand piano sounds really authentic and it’s not surprising, considering it was obtained from a Yamaha Grand. You might think that it sounds a little bright, but that’s to be expected since Yamaha Grands are known for their brightness.
There are two organ sounds. One sounds smaller, like a reed organ. The other sounds more like the churchy sound of a pipe organ.
Next, we’ll check out the two electric pianos. Both of these producing high-quality sounds. The first is our favorite and has a complex feel, similar to a Wurlitzer, or a Rhodes.
Okay, if you don’t know what they sound like, don’t worry, just imagine a warm, vintage electric piano sound in any 60s song. That’s it!
The second electric piano has more of the glitz of the 80s, on the other hand.
As for the stings, they give a very balanced, orchestral sound. They do however sound a little digital. But if you play the velocity-sensitive keys in a certain way, you will be able to achieve that orchestral sound more authentically.
And yeah, on to the vibraphone… On the Yamaha NP12, it sounds very clean and remains in tune whatever octave you’re playing.
This is more than we can said, for most entry-level keyboards. You’ll especially come to appreciate this feature when playing with a singer.
Altogether, the sound quality of this keyboard is rocking.
The Yamaha NP12 also comes with a layering mode. This allows you to layer two different voices at the same time. And can help you create really unique and amazing tones that sound very impressive.
For instance, you can try layering an electric piano or Grand piano sound on top of the strings sound. This will really beef up the individual sounds, giving them a thick, rich tone.
The Yamaha NP12 also comes with the ability to record your performances. And this can be very beneficial for learning. You can hear yourself play, then spot the mistakes and correct them the next time you play.
And yeah, you can also add an accompaniment to your own recording, which is pretty awesome.
Another feature worth mentioning is that it comes with 10 demo songs. These demo songs can be a source of entertainment or you can also use them to brush up on your skills.
Alright, to the speakers… which are pretty decent. So, for home practice, they will suffice. However, if you wish to use this on stage for a live performance, then consider getting an amplifier or running through a PA.
It also comes with a headphones jack allowing quiet practice sessions.
Lastly, let’s talk about how this keyboard can be easily integrated with almost any Digital Audio Workstation. Using the USB MIDI port, you can effortlessly hook up the keyboard to your computer and integrate it with most programs.
Whether they are apps, educational programs, or music production software, this keyboard will give you a seamless connection every time.
Pros Of Yamaha NP12
- Lightweight, compact, and portable.
- Clean and simple layout.
- Comes with quality sounds.
- Seamless integration with apps, and DAWs.
Cons Of Yamaha NP12
- Comes with only 61 keys.
- Only a few sound options available.
- Keys are not weighted.
Can the Yamaha NP12 be compared to a Clavinova? Definitely not. But that’s not to say that it is not a great keyboard in its own rights.
Beginners will definitely enjoy using this, at least until they need something with more features.
This keyboard isn’t a life-changer. But for its purpose as an entry-level keyboard, this sure delivers well and is recommended.