Williams Legato Introduction
An affordable starter edition from Williams, this 88-Key Digital piano doesn’t pack too many features as it aims at keeping things simple from the beginning. Thankfully though the feel and build of the Williams Legato is top notch. In terms of voice options, it is limited to just five sounds that are screened through built-in speakers, but what sets this learners keyboard apart though is the use of decent semi-weighted keys in the $200 price range. Basically, Williams designed this piano to practice and perform as well.
The voices on the piano can obviously be used one at a time but if you wish to create your own voice then you can do so either by Layering two at a time or using the split mode to divide the 88 keys between two voices. As for the voices available, you get Organ, Bass, Synth, Piano and Electric Piano. In the split mode, you can independently control the volume for each voice. Additional options include the Chorus and Reverb buttons that are applied to each voice individually. Best of all, any customization you make to a voice is retained till the next time you switch the piano back on. This piano can run off batteries and a power supply, though neither ship as accessories with the Legato digital piano. Best, you purchased the Williams Legato with the complete Williams ESS1 Essentials Pack. Along with the power supply you get a pair of headphones and a sustain pedal.
- 88 semi-weighted keys, 5 rich sounds: piano, electric piano, organ, synth and bass. Battery operation: 6 x D-cell 1.5V batteries.
- Convenient, built-in metronome
- Built-in speakers, Stereo/mono line out jacks, USB MIDI connections.
Williams Legato Review & Experience
For someone with a limited budget and a variable experience playing pianos, the William Legato 88-key digital keyboard is a godsend. If you do a quick research online, you will find that the William Legato is a rare 88-key digital keyboard with semi-weighted keys that falls in the $200 price bracket. The keys on this beauty aren’t just semi-weighted but also velocity sensitive. This means that you can play the keys loud, soft and anything in-between and the subtle changes in the way you press keys registers in the music you make. We found the key construction to be better than competing brands. They don’t particularly feel flimsy or cheap plastic to the touch.
Yet another reason why the Legato is never a bad purchase is the voice quality. Play in the default piano setting and you find the sound to be close to a real wooden piano. Unfortunately, the speakers on this thing are tad underpowered and they lack individual tweeter and woofer components. Hence, to truly experience the wonderful sounds you would still need a decent pair of auxiliary speakers but that’s something you can purchase much later once you get seasoned enough playing a piano. This would be the right time to suggest purchasing the Williams Legato as a bundle pack along with the power adapter, sustain pedal and headphones. Until you get a decent set of speakers, if you don’t already have them, the headphones will serve you well. Moreover, power adapters and a sustain pedal are integral to becoming a pro with digital keyboards. By the way, for those who haven’t yet figured it out, this digital piano does not come bundled with the power adapter. It is part of the add-on bundle or you could always buy it individually.
Coming to the different sounds this piano makes, Bass, Synth, Organ, Piano and Electric Piano are the only options you have but the Layer and Split functionality do help a bit. For most beginners, these five voice profiles are more than sufficient. When you do get past the novice stage, you can always mix and match two voices together to create subtle variations with the Layer mode. And if you really want to start enjoying yourself, the Split mode lets you “split” the piano into two pianos each with half set of keys operating on a different voice. Control one with your left hand and the other with your right hand to make some pretty amazing music.
Since this is a digital piano targeting learners and occasional hobbyists, we felt obliged to compare it with the similarly priced Alesis Recital beginner’s digital piano. First off, both have solid sound quality and construction though the Legato has better feeling keys and more sensitivity. However, the one key area where the Legato truly loses out to the Recital is the Lesson Mode of the latter. The Alesis Recital series features a complete tutorial built into the instrument so the need for a tutor isn’t immediate. With the Legato though, if you aren’t yet comfortable playing a piano, you need an actual tutor or an internet subscription to any of the tutorial websites.
Williams Legato Conclusion
For folks who want a full-sized digital piano and yet not spend thousands of dollars, the Williams Legato is an excellent choice. If you have a tutor who teaches you the intricacies of a piano or the free time to learn on your own off the internet, then the five voices and semi-weighted sensitive 88-key setup will serve you well. For professionals or intermediate learners though, this may not be an obvious choice though it does well to stretch itself thanks to the add-on pack and connectivity features. Just don’t hold your breath if you plan on doing more than playing the piano as a hobby or in the confines of your home.