If you read our October 2007 review of the YPG-625 / DGX-620, you'd know how much we love this digital piano. So when we heard that Yamaha stepped it up with the YPG-635 / DGX-630, we dropped everything to discover what this new model has to offer.
At first glance, the YPG-635 / DGX-630 looks just like the Yamaha YPG-625 / DGX-620. A closer look, however, reveals quite a few changes. The biggest change to the Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 is definitely the big jump in polyphony—from 32 to 64 notes of polyphony.
Changes Made to the YPG-635 / DGX-630
In addition to the increase in polyphony, there were some less noticeable changes made to this digital piano. The Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630's front panel did away with the (Chord Fingering) button and replaced it with the (DSP ON/OFF) button. Next, there’s a new Pedal Unit input jack at the rear of the instrument. This jack is for connecting the optional LP-7 three pedal unit which is great for having more control and expression especially while playing the piano. Also, added were 3 new voices, 10 new preset styles, 33 more songs in the Music Database, 20 new reverb effects, 20 new chorus effects and 182 DSP effects.
First for some clarity—the YPG-635 is the same instrument as the DGX-630. So why have two different names? Here's why: The YPG-635 name on the piano is for music stores and Yamaha dealers to carry while the DGX-630 name is for mass retailers (i.e. Walmart, Costco) to advertise under.
The Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 is an 88-key weighted Graded Hammer piano keyboard. The Graded Hammer feature mimics the feel of the heavier piano touch in the bass region and progresses with a lighter touch as you go up the keyboard—just like a real piano. We really liked the feel of the keys although the Graded Hammer feel wasn't really all that noticeable.
The YPG-635 / DGX-630 features a crisp and bright 320 x 240 blue back lit LCD, 130 panel voices, 160 preset styles, a 6 track sequencer (5 tracks + 1 style track), pitch bend wheel, and a music dictionary just to name a few features.
The 320 x 240 pixel LCD is great for viewing music scores, lyrics and chords. The keyboard will even show you the score for any music you record too! Also, we found the LCD to be very convenient for viewing voice information, settings, effects, track info, and for transferring data to your computer.
The Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 has 130 voice selections with nearly 500 total voices and 12 drum and special effects kits (including 361 XGlite voices). We really liked the variety of sounds this instrument had to offer. From pianos, organs, bass, strings to saxes, trumpets, synth pads, drum kits, the list goes on and on. Lots of these sounds were very expressive which is great for sparking song ideas. Like the YPG-625 / DGX-620, the Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 can operate in dual and split voice modes. And, you can even adjust the amounts of volume, panning, reverb, chorus, DSP, and octave settings relative to each voice in both dual and split voice modes.
The YPG-635 / DGX-630's onboard speakers were a bit small causing them to overdrive and distort when played loudly. However, this can be prevented by routing the YPG-635 / DGX-630 thru to an external sound system with more juice.
Ten new styles have been added to the Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 collection. Nearly every style that you need to accompany your playing is here. 8 and 16 beat, disco, ballad, dance, R&B, country, jazz, etc...its all here. You can also control the style's intro, fill and endings to add some variety while you are performing too.
DSP effects are a new feature to the YPG-635 / DGX-630. DSP is short for digital signal processing; so what does that mean for us? It means lots of cool and handy effects! There are lots of halls, rooms, stages, plates, delays, echos, flangers, phasers, distortions, compressors, overdrives, wah wahs, pitch effects, noise gates, rotary speakers, tremolo and panning effects! Wow! We were quite amazed by this impressive list of effects—lots and lots of possibilities for experimenting with new and cool ideas!
The Yamaha YPG-635 / DGX-630 is just amazing! This review mainly focused on the new features unique to this instrument—there were just to many other features that we couldn't cover so you may want to read our YPG-625 / DGX-620 October 2007 review for a complete review of this new digital piano.
Overall, we were just blown away with all the features, sounds, and effects added to the YPG-635 / DGX-630, however, the one thing we would have changed would have been the on-board speakers. At a measly 6W of power a piece, we weren't surprised at all that the on-board speakers had difficulty keeping up at times. Yamaha probably shouldn't have bothered with the on-board speakers—the YPG-635 / DGX-630 is just too good of a digital piano for them. Aside from that, with all the new features Yamaha put into the new YPG-635 while not raising the price tag, we would absolutely recommend the YPG-635 / DGX-630 to anyone wanting to learn the piano, compose and arrange music, and who appreciates a quality digital piano when they see one.