Yamaha DGX-205 Portable Grand Review
by Sebastian McGee
(St Louis, MO, USA)
A DGX-205 is a home electric piano designed for simple, easy use, and it creates an enjoyable experience. The DGX-205 is my first keyboard instrument, and is satisfying for the moment. In the future, I intend to purchase a more sophisticated keyboard such as a professional synthesizer or workstation. For now, I am getting by fine in terms of minimalistic composing and good performing.
I am a bit too disappointed with the DGX-205 Portable Grands' sounds, from the organ sounds to the piano sounds, I am just not greatly "into" or "with the flow" in terms of sound. For a good grand piano sound, I setup two instruments, in layered or dual mode: Acoustic Grand Piano, and another Acoustic Grand Piano, but the second grand piano is at a higher octave. Having two grand pianos, one which is at a higher octave, allows me to have a more realistic -- a more in depth -- sound.
For organs, it supplies you with about 30 (going off what I can remember without looking at the manual) organ sounds. Combining these organs much like I did with the piano sound in the previous paragraph, allows you to create quality organ sounds. However, it still does not amount to a traditional pipe organ or Hammond B3, et cetera.
To further continue sound discussion of the Yamaha DGX-205, I must say that layering voices (instruments) is a quality feature. If you purchase a DGX-205, you must remember that it is not a complete synthesizer or traditional piano/organ. It is much more of a learning tool, as I will now discuss.
Learning With the DGX-205
The DGX-205 comes with around 30 classical songs, over 100 styles, and over 400 instruments/voices, as I recall. In addition, you can learn from these songs as soon as you plug in your instrument or provide it with batteries (as it is portable, it takes batteries as well). Using the Performance Assistant, the Auto-Accompaniment feature, and the visual display, you can learn songs quickly and easily, if you feel uncomfortable reading musical sheets.
If you feel like there is a song you like, you can even look for a MIDI file, put it onto your DGX-205 using the Musicsoft Music Downloader tool, and learn from it using these learning features.
Personally, I find the features useful, but not necessary. But, perhaps this is because I am no longer entirely satisfied with a home electric piano and would like to purchase a full-featured synthesizer. A keyboard such as the DGX-205 is probably intended for younger audiences who may not stay interested in music. But, this does, however, make it an affordable option for young children and small entertainment groups.
And you will also find, that although the DGX-205 sports two stereo speakers, you may wish to seek out a piano amplifier so that you can have a clarified sound to listen to -- or so a small group of people can be sure to hear you play.
Although this was my first keyboard -- the Yamaha DGX-205 Portable Grand --, I am not going to quit playing and performing for my friends and family because I am upset over the fact that I had purchased the DGX-205 electric piano rather than a synthesizer with all the settings and interfaces, knobs and buttons that I like. In general, the most upsetting thing about the DGX-205 is the sound realism.
A couple of other notes... The DGX-205 is very light-weighted, not too attractive, but easy-to-use. And just a pointer -- if you intend to purchase a DGX-205 keyboard, do not be upset over what I have stated about sound; it can still serve as a fantastic and quick learning tool, as well as an affordable way to perform for family.
Enjoy the Yamaha DGX-205!