Yamaha Arius YDP Pianos: Here is an opportunity for you to own a top class upright piano that not just sounds and feels great, but also looks like an expensive piano that will suit the decor of the surrounding.
Serious beginner students and experienced players looking for an elegant piano in a classic upright design, and a true piano sound and feel can look forward to this series. The advanced stereo sampling ensures that the voice sound remarkably authentic and the graded hammer keyboards make these perfect for practice and performance. There are several more features that you can expect from a quality digital keyboard instrument.
Yamaha Arius YDP Upright Digital Pianos
Here are the popular digital piano models from this series.
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-V240
Price Range: $1800 to $2200
The YDP-V240 is the best piano in this category, and just short of being a Clavinova. It is even better than some of the inexensive acoustic pianos. Overall, a great home digital piano for the price. Features include 64-note polyphony, 131 Voices + 361 XGlite Voices + 12 Kits; 160 styles; 30 preset songs, 6-track recorder, USB connectivity for storing data or interfacing with computer. Read more…
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-142
Price Range: $1000 to $1100
The YDP-142 is ideal for the beginning students and for experienced players who want an affordable upright piano. It is an elegant upright piano with a nice piano sound and feel. It comes with 88-key GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) weighted action keyboard. Available in an upright design, it has several features for students as well as teachers. Read more…
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-162
Price Range: $1400 to $1600
Better sound and touch than the earlier model, the YDP-162 comes with an 88-key GH(Graded Hammer) weighted action keyboard with
Dynamic Stereo Sampling AWM piano and 128-note polyphony. It also comes with a 2-track recorder with Flash-ROM song storage. A polished gold-colored Damper, Soft and Sostenuto pedals are provided along with damper resonance for richer piano sustain tones. Read more…
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181
Price Range: $1600 to $1800
Ideal for the more demanding students and experienced players, has half-damper effect, the Graded Hammer (GH) keyboard offers quality and a natural playing feel. The touch sensitivity can be varied, polyphony of 128 notes, 14 Demo Songs, 50 Preset Piano Songs. Read more…
Yamaha Home Digital Pianos
There is no doubt that digital pianos are easier to maintain, and are practical considering most of us have limited space at home.
But then the charm of an upright piano, including its elegance and the sound, is something that most keyboard owners miss.
But with the YDP series of digital upright pianos from Yamaha, you can get a top class upright piano, that is almost like the real thing, but much more affordable.
More about ARIUS
There are several beginners as well as experienced musicians who are not really into the synth thing, and would ideally want a digital piano that not only plays well, but also looks great.
And though the best ones out there (such as the Clavinovas) can easily cost you in excess of at least 5 thousand dollars, you still have a good alternative in the form of the ARIUS.
The ARIUS / YDP series pianos are perfect for the beginning students (on a limited budget), and the experienced players who are looking for that perfect combination of true piano sound and feel but don’t want to maintain an acoustic piano. The Graded Hammer keyboards of these pianos make them a joy to play, be it while learning, practicing or in performance.
Watch this video demo to learn more about the Yamaha YDP Digital Pianos:
Suitable for Whom?
This is suitable for anyone who wants to own a digital piano with the Traditional Classic Looks .
These look like console pianos and come with an attractive wood cabinetry. If you’ve always longed for a classic upright console piano, this is something that you should seriously consider.
Beginner piano players can opt for the YDP-142 as it’s priced lower, and comes with the Graded Hammer Standard keyboard, which is okay to get started and for learning.
Intermediate & Experienced players will prefer the Graded Hammer keyboards of the higher models in this series. This is something you need to bear in mind if the key action really matters to you. This sort of action closely mimics that on a real piano, but then they cost more.
The speakers (of the entry level models) are decent and sufficient for personal use, but if you want to perform in a larger room, it may not be sufficient and will need amplification.
However, most of these pianos are good enough for small rehearsals and general music accompaniment, and can be moved around on a cart if required (school or church).
If you are a piano teacher, you can also buy a few of them for your studio, where you can teach serious piano students. These are also sturdily built so they should easily weather the daily wear and tear which they will be subjected to in the teaching studio.
The lower models don’t come with an LCD display, which means you may have to keep the user manual nearby, at least during the initial stages. It also means you will have to scroll through the several built-in songs to select the one you are after.
These are minor issues; however the higher models do come with powerful speakers and LCD display! Overall, these are a great substitute to acoustic pianos.
What Does it Offer?
These are upright digital pianos, but without any accompaniments. They do however give you an authentic piano playing experience.
The top products in this series come with 128-note polyphony, provides half-pedaling, and comes with multi-track recording feature.
The Graded Hammer (GH) keyboard offers quality and a natural playing feel whereas the Advanced Wave Memory technology provides the best sampled sounds.
You can read here for more on the various graded hammer actions found on Yamaha pianos.
Here’s a brief explanation of the various technologies involved:
Dynamic Stereo Sampling (DSS)
A piano can play a note louder if you hit the key harder and softer if you hit the key softly. But then there are not just two levels of sound for every key. The degrees of softness or loudness can vary and accordingly the sound has to be produced.
That is where this technology helps you to get a more natural tone compared to simply raising and lowering the volume. The piano use soft recordings when you play softly, medium recordings when you play recording and so on.
This is another technology that tries to recreate the sound on an acoustic piano. On acoustic pianos, when pedaling the dampers are all raised that allows complex overtones to wash over your performance.
The damper resonance features tries to recreate that feeling digitally, and adds additional piano realism when you use the damper (sustain pedal).
Pure CF Sampling
Used in the high-end ARIUS pianos such as the YDP-V240, this is used to recreate the sound of a true concert grand piano.
Yamaha is one of the few manufacturers out there who have experience of building acoustic pianos, as well as expertise in making high-end electronics.
So they have taken the sounds from their finest concert grand pianos (the CFIIIS), captured the sound samples digitally, and reproduced them in their YDP-V240 digital piano.
How Much Can You Spend?
Though the YDP series is expensive than most series of keyboards from Yamaha, it really isn’t the most expensive digital pianos out there. Again, its also important to evaluate what you requirements are, you may not need a piano from the ARIUS series at all…probably.
So what are you looking for?
If you need a console piano, then these pianos are good. They are definitely more expensive than most keyboards. But for a similar price, you can get a better keyboard if looks are not that important, and if you’re okay with a portable option. You may also consider the Casio Privia pianos, if you’re on a budget, but many find the Yamaha YDP piano sounds to be more realistic.
However, if appearance is really important to you, if price is not a constraint, and if you’re looking for a digital piano, then you can even look at the higher priced Clavinovas, which look nicer than the YDPs. The Clavinova pianos come with the GH3 keyboard action which is a notch better than the GH-action available on most of the ARIUS pianos.
Another option, if you do have a budget, is to invest in a computer and/or external sound system. In which case, you could use a Yamaha P series piano or even a Yamaha YDP, hook it up with an amplifier/speakers and the end result would be a lot better.
But if that all seems messy to you, go with the Yamaha ARIUS YDP pianos.
Is Polyphony a Factor?
Should polyphony be a factor when buying a digital piano? If you’re an accomplished player and play complex chords, hit the damper pedal, and like to use the accompaniments, then you should definitely go for more polyphony.
Polyphony doesn’t noticeably change the realism of the sounds but a piano-keyboard with more polyphony can help you create realistic string dampening effects, without any notes cutting out.
What Models to Choose?
These pianos can be used by anybody who dreams of owning an upright piano.
The ydp-141 is perfect for beginning students who are serious about learning to play the piano, with plenty of built-in songs to learn and a 2-track recorder that can be used for creating songs or even to aid you in practicing.
This is an excellent product for a first digital piano; however serious pianists might prefer the other two models, such as the ydp-161 is perfect for those who want a better sound and more polyphony.
For the experienced players, and for those who want the best, the ARIUS ydp-181 is a much better product that provides true piano sound and feel, along with half-damper effect for more control.
The best of the lot is of-course the ydp-v240 with concert grand sound, LCD display, several accompaniment styles, and more.
Overall, these pianos are ideal for the more demanding students and even the experienced piano players.
Here’s a comparison of the various products in this series.
In terms of competition, you may consider the Roland FP series, the Casio Privia (in case you are opting for the entry level Arius) or perhaps a used Clavinova, or a new entry level CLP (Clavinova) piano.
Connoisseurs want their pianos to be as close to the real thing. So they’ll usually have the following expectations:
Now, at the same price point, most digital pianos (Roland, Kawai, Yamaha) may offer similar features, but the Clavinovas do have an advantage when it comes to the above point (you pay more for it though).
If you’re considering the entry level, ARIUS, you may also want to check-out the top models in the PRIVIA series (they are getting good reviews lately).
A little bit about keyboard touch now…
I know I have stated this before, but the touch response is a bit subjective and really matters (considering all of them are weighted) if you are an experienced player.
One such example is that of the Roland FP7f pianos, which is revered by many, but at the same time, there are musicians who find its action slow and sluggish. Most beginners (and even intermediate players) are usually unable to spot any differences though, and it shouldn’t affect them for several years. Lot of advanced-level pianists do use the GH action (on the Arius) and are quite happy playing them.
So if the keyboard action is only holding you back, then you just assume it’s good, considering you are paying at least $1500, or you just go to the store and try out each of them (if you are a pro).
As far as the construction goes, the actions are mechanically more or less identical, and they all should wear at the same rate. The Clavinovas however should offer better resale value, in case you decide to sell it later on.
Even the built-in speakers are good enough for most purposes (on all the digital pianos actually). It doesn’t matter if you are using headphones, and for studio work you’ll most probably use external amps/speakers. Besides, a real acoustic piano is going to sound better than most digital pianos (when heard through the speakers).
Yamaha YDP vs Casio PRIVIA
There are many who argue that Casio doesn’t make grand pianos and more in the business of making watches, so their privia pianos cannot be good. however, the fact is that they are good and are doing quite well in the digital piano segment. However, whatever you get is dependent on several factors, including the price.
If you consider the entry level pianos in the YDP series, maybe the PRIVIA’s can compete with those, but if you consider the top end models of the YDP ARIUS series, the piano sounds and keyboard action are more realistic.
There’s no brand out there today, besides Yamaha, that offers so much variety when it comes to keyboard instruments, be it the portable keyboards or the digital pianos.
And with Yamaha’s expertise in making acoustic pianos as well as studio recording equipment, you get the best of both the world in their digital pianos, and the ARIUS/YDP series is definitely a premier entry-level console digital piano.
Beginner piano players can opt for the YDP-142 (Graded Hammer Standard keyboard) for learning, and the more accomplished players can choose the Graded Hammer keyboards of the YDP-162/YDP-181/YDP-S51/YDP-C71PE.
These come with several more features such as half-damper effect, dual voice capability, built-in song recorder, several preset songs, and more.
So do checkout the Yamaha Arius / YDP pianos.