Yamaha YDP 141 review
The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-141 digital piano is an instrument that attempts to bring you the best aspects of traditional acoustic pianos along with the best aspects of digital keyboards. Granted, the YDP-141 is an entry-level instrument, so it lacks some of the bells and whistles that Yamaha includes with its more advanced comparable models. However, the fact remains that this would be a great instrument for someone with very basic piano needs.
As with most instruments, the YDP-141 will not be for everyone, but there’s no denying it’s a solid, reliable model. If you’re looking for a more acoustic piano experience but don’t have the space or finances to make that a reality, then I believe that the YDP-141 is an instrument you may want to look into.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the specifics of this model and see how it compares to other produced by Yamaha.
Our Piano Guide
Below, enjoy our interactive piano buying guide. Here, you will be able to see how the affordable Yamaha YDP 141 stacks up against other excellent digital pianos on today’s market:
Yamaha YDP 141: Weighted Hammer Action
The YDP-141 comes with all 88 keys found on a traditional acoustic piano, and, unlike other digital piano models, comes with realistic hammer action. This means that the keys towards the top of the keyboard are lighter than the lower keys and require less “oomph” to produce a sound.
Similarly, the keys of the YDP-141 can detect the amount of pressure you use to press a key, which in turn will affect the dynamic level of a note, just like with an acoustic piano. You also have three sensitivity options to choose from, so that you can sound your best regardless of personal playing style or finger strength.
Keep in mind that all of this should be taken with a grain of salt, though—many users of this model have voiced concerns that while the hammer action and sensitivity of the YDP-141 is close to the acoustic piano experience, it’s not a perfect match. However, for the price, the simulation will probably close enough to the real thing for most buyers.
Below, take a look at some of the best selling upright digital pianos online, and see how they stack up against the YDP-141:
|1) Casio PX-770|
|2) Yamaha YDP-145|
|3) Roland RP-701|
|4) Yamaha YDP-165|
|5) Casio PX-870|
Authentic Acoustic Piano Sound
Yamaha is well known for their ability to create digital instruments that can very accurately replicate the sounds of an acoustic instrument, and the YDP-141 is no exception. Using their Advanced Wave Memory technology, Yamaha is able to make the YDP-141 sound realistic in every range and register—from the quietest pianissimo to the loudest fortissimo.
Plus, the YDP-141 offers you a range of authentic sounds to choose from. Aside from the traditional grand piano voice, it also includes instruments such as the vibraphone, electric piano, harpsichord, strings, and church organ. And with the dual voice option you can combine voices to create your own authentic-sounding but completely digital ensemble!
64 Note Polyphony
If you’re looking for a near-acoustic experience on a digital piano, a high polyphony level is a must. A keyboard’s internal memory can only do so much, and after a certain number of notes are played simultaneously it begins to drop the oldest notes to make room for the newer ones. However, with 64 note polyphony, you are all but ensured that you won’t have to deal with dropped notes—even when you have the damper pedal pressed.
Built In Damper Pedal
Unlike many digital keyboards, the YDP-141 does not treat the damper pedal as an accessory that’s sold-separately—it’s built right into the body of the instrument, like with an acoustic model.
And, like an authentic acoustic piano, the YDP-141’s damper pedal is sensitive to the amount of pressure being applied to it. With this useful feature, you can control the amount of note sustain you want for a particular passage—it’s not an all or nothing affair, as with some brands of digital piano.
Two-Track Song Recording
Another great feature of the YDP-141 is its song recording software that allows you to record up to two tracks at a time. This tool is perfect for piano students attempting to practice difficult passages—you can pre-record the part for one hand and practice the other live.
On top of this recording technology, the YDP-141 also offers you the ability to change the voice and tempo settings of tracks that you have recorded. These features make this model perfect for someone who needs to do some serious and intensive practicing on the piano.
And for those who are tech savvy, the YDP-141 also allows you to transfer recorded tracks from the piano to your computer via its USB Midi interface.
50 Preset Songs
Let’s be honest, it’s nearly a universal fact that the preset songs you find on most digital pianos are dated, public domain pieces that nobody really wants to hear. And unfortunately, the selections offered by the YDP-141 are no different.
However, these are often used for learning purposes, and this fits in well the YDP-141’s use as a tool for educators and students, so they’re at least worth mentioning.
Comparison to Similar Pianos
Yamaha has a number of similar pianos in its YDP series, and while this group of instruments shares a lot of the same features, there are some key differences between the YDP-141 and its cousins.
The YDP-140 was the model Yamaha released immediately before the YDP-141. While most of the changes between these models were minor, there are some worth noting:
- The YPD-141 introduced two-track recording. With the YDP-140, users only have the option of recording one track at a time.
- The internal memory of the YDP-141 was increased from 337KB in the YDP-140 to 845KB. This allows users to record longer tracks.
- The YDP-140 weighs 11 pounds more than the YDP-141.
Since the release of the YDP-141 in 2010, Yamaha has brought out several new models in the YDP line, including the 161, 181, and most recently, the V240. In terms of construction, the YDP-141 and V240 are quite similar. However, I mentioned earlier that the YDP-141 is missing some non-essential “bells and whistles”, which is definitely not the case with the Yamaha V240. Some differences between these models include:
- The price tag. The V240 clocks in almost one thousand dollars above the YDP-141 at $1,999.99.
- Extra voices. The YDP-141 comes with only six voice options for the keyboard. This pales in comparison to the V240’s monumental 130+.
- Several extra voice effects come with the V240 as well, such as reverb and distortion.
- Performance Assistant Technology. Personally, I feel that this concept is antithetical to everything I believe about music, but for those of you who are interested, the V240 offers technology that will allow you to play a song correctly without actually hitting the right keys.
- Extra recording tracks. The V240 bumps up the YDP-141’s two track recording technology all the way up to six tracks.
So, is the YDP-141 worth it? Well, let’s get to our final section.
If you decide to go with the YDP-141, you can rest assured that it will get the job done. However, don’t expect it to go above and beyond the call of duty because you will be left bitterly disappointed.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a great, affordable digital piano for an entry-level or intermediate player looking for a more traditional acoustic piano experience. It includes enough realism and plenty of educational tools to help a pianist succeed in the earliest stages of their development. But, don’t expect much more than that. This is not the piano you’re looking for if you need lots of extra editing and voice options.
Thankfully, most of what you need is built right into this model, which means that you won’t have to spend lots of money on accessories. The only thing I would recommend is a portable USB device to move MIDI tracks from the YDP-141 to your personal computer for editing.
Below, watch a musical demonstration on the Yamaha 141. And for more helpful reviews, both from the Yamaha brand and other manufacturers, please visit our homepage Digital Piano Review Guide. Also, you can purchase the newer version of the 141–the Yamaha Arius YDP 142–online for under $1,100.
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