Welcome to my Yamaha DGX 230 review. This keyboard is easy to set up and use, is lightweight for its size, and has some great sounds on it such as strings, guitars, organs, and of course, piano! It has weighted keys which make it feel like you are playing a traditional acoustic piano. However, don’t think that it is a professional keyboard because it’s not. It is a beginner keyboard, but it does that well. Those looking to learn how to play the piano will find the built-in lessons very useful.
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- Pros & Cons
- Demonstration Video
- Who is it Designed For?
- Pros & Cons in Depth
- What Do Other People Say?
PROS & CONS
- Easy to set up and use.
- Lightweight for its size.
- Weighted keys feel like playing a real piano.
- Good sounds – organs, strings, guitars, etc.
- Teaching feature helps you learn to play.
- Good value for money.
- It’s not a professional keyboard.
- Grand piano and bass sounds could be better.
Recommended? Yes (for beginners)
Sorry for the bad quality video, but I wanted to find a video of someone playing the Yamaha DGX 230, but there aren’t any super quality videos out there. But as you can hear from this video, it is capable of producing more than just piano sounds, as it produces a reasonable quality saxophone sound here.
Here is another demonstration video:
As you heard there, it does a nice piano + strings combination, which is ideal for the kind of music played here.
Who is the Yamaha DGX 230 Designed For?
This keyboard is ideal for beginners. The affordable price, combined with its built-in teaching capabilities, the realistic piano-like keys, and the ease of use, make this a great starter keyboard. More advanced keyboard players will also get a lot out of this, considering the price. It could be a good option for someone looking to play keyboard for an amateur live band, or for someone who just wants to enjoy playing piano at home. It’s a good quality non-professional level keyboard, so if you are looking for something a bit more high-end then you might want to look elsewhere…but you will probably have to pay more money.
Yamaha Educational Suite
There are 30 built-in songs and another 70 more on a CD that comes with it. Each of these songs has parts for left and right hands, giving you 7 levels of lessons and also a useful chord dictionary which displays the chord you are playing on the LCD screen. It is very clever in how it teaches you, in that it will stop the song if you stop playing, or it will slow down if you play a wrong note. You can also keep repeating part of a song until you have mastered it. As you progress, it grades you so you can monitor how you are doing.
The USB port enables you to plug the keyboard into your computer. You can then expand on the supplied songs by downloading more from the internet, which then get stored on the internal Flash ROM. You can even do all this just by pressing the PC button, rather than having to navigate through complicated menus. You can also upload your own recorded songs to the web to share with your friends.
XGlite: Realistic Voices
In addition to the 116 standard panel voices and 12 drum/SFX kits, you also have 361 XGlite voices. XG stands for eXtended General MIDI and builds upon the General MIDI standard of sounds to provide even more. The GXlite range of sounds includes trumpet, flute, pan flute, various saxophone sounds, and a wide range of piano and organ sounds. These sounds are sampled in such a way as to realistically represent the instruments.
Polyphonic and Multi Timbrel, with Dual and Split Modes
It has 32 note polyphony, which means you can play up to 32 notes at the same time. Of course, you cannot play 32 notes at the same time with just 10 fingers, but it comes in useful when you consider that it is 16-part multi-timbrel. This means you can have up to 16 different sounds playing simultaneous, so actually it works out at only 2 notes per sound if you were to use every one of the 16 sounds. Also, consider that there is a Dual mode, which enables you to layer two sounds together, such as piano and strings. In addition to this, you can use Split mode, where you play different sounds with your left and right hands.
The DGX 230 has 9 different versions of reverb alone, simulating various spacious environments and rooms. There are also four chorus effects, which are particularly good for making the guitar sounds fatter. There are even 26 different harmony effects so that you can have harmony automatically added when you play a melody.
A very clever thing that this keyboard is able to do is to have the built-in accompaniment follow your playing. All you do is choose a particular style of music from 160 different styles, then play away. You will then be accompanied by various backing instruments such as drums, bass, guitar, strings, etc, which will follow along with what you are playing.
PROS & CONS IN DEPTH
Easy to set up and use
If you are buying your first keyboard, you don’t want something that is a complicated hassle to set up and learn how to use. That’s why it’s great that this keyboard is so easy to set up and use. You pretty much just put the stand together, put some batteries in the keyboard, switch it on, and start playing. You can easily switch between the onboard sounds and just play. No complications.
Lightweight for its size
When I think of the term “grand piano”, I think of something heavy, but this keyboard seems to be quite light for its size. This makes it ideal for children and also for taking with you to other places, for example if you wanted to perform at a friend’s wedding.
Weighted keys feel like playing a real piano
If you are learning to play piano, it’s no good practicing on poor quality synth keys. You want weighted, sensitive piano-style keys, and that’s exactly what you get on this keyboard. I’m sure that if you close your eyes you could even pretend you are playing a proper piano.
Teaching feature helps you learn to play
Piano students will find the teacher function very useful. Being able to learn songs in gradable lessons means that you can keep practicing and monitor your progress. Of course, you can have real lessons too, because nothing truly beats 1-on-1 in-person training; but having the teaching feature is a great bonus.
Good value for money
For the price, you get quite a lot here. You would probably struggle to get something as good as this for this price anywhere else. No, it’s not as good as some high-end keyboards like the Korg Kross 61, but it is still good value. It just depends on what you are looking for and what money you are prepared to pay. Of course, one thing that this keyboard has that the Kross 61 doesn’t have is the teaching mode.
Not a professional keyboard
As I said above, this is good value for money. However, just be aware that this is not a professional keyboard. If you are looking for a professional keyboard, the Korg Kross 61 is a better choice. But many people who buy this keyboard will not be looking for a professional keyboard. They will just be looking for a pretty good keyboard that they can play at home and which can help them learn to play better.
Piano and bass sounds could be better
Some users commented that the grand piano sound is not quite as good as they were expecting it to be. That’s a bit of a shame in a keyboard that bills itself as a “portable grand piano”. Also, one user said that the bass sounds could be better. Again, it really depends on what you are looking for, what your expectations are, and how much money you are prepared to spend.
So, in summary, it all boils down to what you are looking for. If you want a professional keyboard, this might not be quite what you are after. If you want a synthesizer, this is nowhere near what you are looking for. But if you have limited money to spend and you want a great beginner portable piano with some other great sounds, this is a good choice.
I hope you found my Yamaha DGX 230 review helpful, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will reply as soon as I can.
All the best,