Yamaha PSR353 vs Nektar Impact GX61 (keyboard playability comparison)

Dec 3, 2018
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I want to buy a 61-key keyboard with full-size, velocity sensitive keys. Due to my small budget, weighted keys are not an option. It doesn't matter too much if it's a keyboard with built-in speakers or a midi controller keyboard that I can use with my laptop.

I'd like to know if anyone could tell me how the keys (from a playing perspective) compare on the following two models (both of which seem to be fairly popular):

Yamaha PSR353 (or 363, etc) - a keyboard with speakers.
Nektar Impact GX61 (or GX49, etc) - a midi controller keyboard.

I know that an inexpensive, non-weighted keyboard is not going to be like playing a real piano, but I'm looking for something to learn basic piano (rather than synth-type) stuff on, and am specifically interested in the comparison between the two models mentioned above.

I found these videos on Youtube where piano parts are played on each model:

Yamaha PSR353:
Nektar Impact GX61:

Thanks for any advice.


I meant to play that note!
Jun 6, 2014
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I have no experience with Nektar keyboards, so I can't offer a personal comparison. The action on the PSR-E353 is definitely synth-like. Are there any stores near you that have one or both of these models? There's nothing as good as being able to put your hands on them in person to see how the keys feel. Otherwise, if you have to order one of them without having been able to try it first, be sure that you check out the store's return policy in case you find that the one you ordered just doesn't suit you. But also be careful with returns, because if you order through Amazon and end up returning the item, Amazon may cancel your Amazon Prime membership.
Sep 6, 2017
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Lancashire, UK.

Are you serious about learning to play a keyboard or do you want to produce DJ stuff on a PC?

Totally different suggestions from me depending upon what your longer term plans are.

As it is I would say avoid the Yamaha 3 series, I have played one, it is very much a budget item where quality is not that great. The next model up is the 463 which is vastly superior to the 353/363 and well worth saving up some more if you want this type of Arranger keyboard.

I have played a Nektar in a music store and it was impressive but only as a MIDI controller, I am not sure that I could suggest this is a good idea for learning.

In either case 61 keys should be the minimum if you want to learn to play a keyboard.

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