Yamaha Arius YDP: Top class console (upright) home pianos

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yamaha ydp pianoYamaha 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.This series includes console type digital pianos with authentic piano quality. Models avalable for aspiring pianists as well as the accomplished pianists. Skip to the best Yamaha Arius YDP on Amazon.

Best Yamaha Arius YDP Upright Digital Pianos

Arius YDP Line: Introduction

The Arius YDP line is the premier instrument in the Yamaha line of entry-level console digital pianos, and comes equipped with the sound of the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano. It offers an authentic Graded Hammer acoustic piano playability and comfort; recording and playback capabilities; attractive wood cabinetry, and the signature piano craftsmanship for which Yamaha is renowned.

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 rich/authentic tones and the graded hammer keyboards make these perfect for practice and performance.

The Arius pianos have a nice trimline design that makes it perfect for compact space requirements. There are several more features that you can expect from a quality digital keyboard instrument.

YDP pianos are also great for music teachers as its gives them access to a high quality piano with a very good quality keyboard action, at a price that makes sense to most music educators (they all work within limited budgets).

Best Yamaha Arius YDP Upright Digital Pianos

Here are the popular digital piano models from this series. In general, as you go higher up in the YDP series, you get powerful speakers, sturdy build quality, more features like more sounds, more ins and outs, and so on.

Best Expensive (YDP-184R)
Best Mid Range (YDP-S34)
Best Inexpensive (YDP-103R)

Here are all the pianos in this series.

Yamaha YDP-184 Digital Piano

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-184
GH3 action keyboard (synthetic ebony and ivory keytops), polyphony-256, three-pedal unit, Yamaha CFX concert grand piano sample, built-in 2-track recorder, Dot LCD Display. Perfect for any piano player.

Dimensions: 57.5 x 18.1 x 36.5 inches. Weight: 195 pounds

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-163
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-163

GH3 action (synthetic ivory key tops), polyphony-192,10 rich & expressive voices, 3-pedals, Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano, 2-track song recorder.

Dimensions: 56.5 x 23 x 18.5 inches. Weight: 115 pounds

The YDP-163 is 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 YDPS52 Digital Piano

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-S52
Graded Hammer (GH) action, synthetic ivory keytops, polyphony-192, compact size, 3-pedals, 2-track song recorder. PureCF sound engine. Simple operation using the free Digital Piano Controller app!

Dimensions: 57.6 x 16.7 x 20.6 inches. Weight: 108.8 pounds

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-143
Yamaha ARIUS YDP-143

GHS action (matte black key tops), polyphony-192, compact piano, great as practice tool. Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano sounds. 3-pedals, 2-track recorder.

Dimensions: 57 x 19 x 16 inches. Weight: 111.2 pounds

The YDP-143 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 YDP-103R

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-103R
Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Keyboard (matte black key tops), Polyphony-64, Half-damper pedal, layer sounds. Quick and easy access to your favorite features by using the “Digital Piano Controller” app.

Dimensions: 56 x 18 x 16 inches. Weight: 101 pounds

Yamaha YDP-S34

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-S34
GHS weighted action, polyphony-192, Yamaha CFX concert grand piano, three-pedal unit. Uses sound of Yamaha CFX concert grand piano. String Resonance.

Dimensions: 53.3 x 11.7 x 30 inches. Weight: 80.5 pounds

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181

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.

Yamaha Arius YDP (Yamaha Home Digital Pianos): Guide

About the ARIUS Line

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.


yamaha arius pianos

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.

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.

yamaha ydp pianoThe 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?

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.

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. If you need a console piano, then these pianos are good (but they are more expensive than most keyboards).

Beginner piano players can opt for the YDP-143 as it’s priced lower, and comes with the Graded Hammer Standard keyboard, which is okay to get started and for learning. Its great 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. Its an excellent product for a first digital piano.

yamaha ydp pianos

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).

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.

Serious pianists should opt for the higher models, such as the YDP-184 or the YDP-163, these are perfect for those who want a better sound and more polyphony. The ARIUS ydp-184 is a much better product for the the experienced player, it provides true piano sound and feel, along with half-damper effect for more control.

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.

Overall, these pianos are ideal for the more demanding students and even the experienced piano players.

Features of Arius YDP Pianos

So what do these pianos offer?

These are upright digital pianos, but most of these models come without accompaniments. They do however give you an authentic piano playing experience. The top products in this series however come with all the features (that a digital piano could have),provides half-pedaling, comes with multi-track recording feature, and more.

The built-in speakers are good enough for most purposes (though the ones on the higher models are more powerful). Besides, it doesn’t matter much if you are going to use headphones most of the time, and for studio work you’ll most probably use external amps/speakers.

Keyboard touch: The touch response/feel is a bit subjective; there are several pianos which are revered by players (for their nice keyboard touch), but some musicians still find the 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).

You can read here for more on the various graded hammer actions found on Yamaha pianos.

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.

Here’s a brief explanation of the various technologies involved:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Damper Resonance
    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).

  • Polyphony
    If you’re an accomplished player and play complex chords, hit the damper pedal, and like to use the accompaniments, then you need the piano to have more polyphony. With Yamaha Arius pianos, Polyphony should not be an issue. 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.

Here’s a comparison of the various products in this series.


yamaha arius ydp piano comparison

Competition Check

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.

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).

Connoisseurs want their pianos to be as close to the real thing. So they’ll usually have the following expectations:

  • They want to be able to play repeated notes as fast as possible
  • They want the keys to be quieter.
  • They want ivory-feel keys (some Arius models don’t have it).
  • They want better samples & powerful speakers
  • Some may also want a large LCD screen
  • 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).

    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.

    More Options
    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.The higher models do come with powerful speakers and LCD display! Overall, these are a great substitute to acoustic pianos.

    To Conclude

    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-163/YDP-184/YDP-S52.

    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.

    Older YDP Arius Models

    Yamaha ARIUS YDP-V240
    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…

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