Yamaha YDP-S52 review

Yamaha, for quite some time now, has been a massive manufacturer of keyboards and digital pianos since the late 1800’s. They have provided thousands of hard working musicians with everything they need to pursue their passions of creativity.

One of these genius creations is known as the Yamaha YDP-S52. This machine is incredibly stylish and yet so compact that you can place it in just about any style of living space. It offers the practical design with authentic piano sound.

In this article, we’re going to review the Yamaha YDP-S52 to see if it’s a digital worth your hard-earned money.  We’ll also take a look to see how well it stacks up to its peers and competitors in the digital piano field. 

In fact, below, please take a moment to use our interactive table to compare the Yamaha Arius YDP-S52 against the YDP-103, the YDP-143, the YDP-163 and other noteworthy upright digital pianos.

Yamaha YDP-145

Yamaha YDP-165
Casio PX-870
Casio AP-460Casio AP-470
Yamaha YDP-184

Looks, Design, and Speakers

What impressed us upon first inspection of the S52 was its stylish body and design. This piano has a sleek and smooth look, which makes for quite an attractive instrument right off the bat. It comes is two colors, black walnut and a white wood finish. This makes it easy to match whatever furnishings you have inside your home.

With Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard key action, the 88-key keyboard was hand crafted to emulate an actual grand piano with a smooth user interface. The keyboard is also equipped with three pedals, from left to right, the soft pedal, the sostenuto pedal, and the sustaining pedal. This control interface will provide you with all of the fantastic effects of the real thing.

The Yamaha-S52, unlike many other high-end pianos, supports full 192 Polyphony. It’s no surprise that Yamaha would create a machine so competent for any musician to learn. For the more experienced artist, it is great to have a professional sounding instrument. This keyboard is a win-win for everyone. The quality for what you are getting is something everyone looks at. With the S52, you are getting a keyboard that was built with incredible quality and value. Meaning it will last you in the long run.

For so many when they purchase an instrument, they are making an investment. They are looking for what is going to last them in the long run. While the S52 isn’t necessarily future proof (what piece of technology is?), this is a digital piano that is robust enough to last you for several years into the future (or until you’re ready to upgrade).

The speaker system includes two 20W amplifiers accompanied by two oval shaped speakers 12cm by 6cm in size. More times than not, you find yourself stuck with a built in sound system that does not quite live up to your needs when you are talking quality. With the S52, that just simply is not the case. It provides your audience with a rich low end dipped in soothing reverb, followed by a crisp treble that any song needs to sound its best.

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best-selling digital pianos currently on sale:

1) Casio PX-770
2) Yamaha YDP-145
3) Roland RP-701
4) Yamaha YDP-165
5) Casio PX-870

In Use

The S52’s playability is hard to beat with the heavy touch of those graded hammer keys. This gives the effect of playing a genuine grand piano. The lower notes on the keyboard feel heavier in weight, and as the notes change and begin to increase, the weight of the keys become much lighter.

The actual key tops themselves have been crafted with a synthetic Ivory that keeps sweaty fingers at bay for those long practice hours. It is quite a comfortable feel for any style musician on any level of talent. Many artists in the market for a digital grand piano are looking for something that gives them the similar feel of an acoustic piano. Weight distribution and the feel of it are so crucial to satisfy the buyer’s interest. The S52 measures up to those standards that the other digital pianos cannot seem to reach.

The Yamaha YDP-S52 also has a surprising feature that many users seem to enjoy, which is the touch sensitivity setting. You will be able to adjust the sensitivity to Hard, Medium, or Soft—it just depends what your preference for sensitivity is on any given day.  Considering the cost of this piano (over $1,000), it’s always nice to purchase an instrument that’s willing to adjust to your needs.


One of the more incredible features of the S52 would be its ease of connectivity between the keyboard and all of your devices. Connect your keyboard to an iPad or iPhone with the Digital Piano Controller App. It gives you vastly increased performance options and really increases your overall enjoyment of the S52.

You have total control over your sound and effects right in the palm of your hand. There are also many other Apps compatible with this keyboard allowing you to write, record, and sample your music for any genre you are working in.

The Yamaha YDP-S52 comes stock with 900 KB of internal memory allowing the user to upload up to 10 songs onto their computer with total ease. It also comes with two standard stereo phone jacks to output your sound to any preferred speaker system. Fully equipped with USB TO HOST connectivity. The keyboard only uses up to 14W of electricity when using a PA-300C AC adapter.


The Yamaha YDP-S52 comes totally equipped with three beautiful piano sounds and seven different instruments for a complete 10 voices. This gives the player a decent variety of sounds and tones to choose from.

The sound you are getting is wide and balanced extremely well. With a keyboard pushing 40W of power through the speaker system, you are going to be blown away by the clarity. It’s delivered with professional sufficiency across the board so that you never miss that perfect note. Its soaked in deep rich bass with wide low end and beautiful high end for that clean treble.

For the price, you are getting incredible sound wrapped in a modern package that is suitable for any level of player. Whether you are learning at home or playing local gigs, this is one instrument I wouldn’t mind having in my arsenal!

The Competition

There is no doubt that the S52 is going to have a good amount of competition. Yamaha has been a leader in the world of digital pianos for quite some time, so making a keyboard this good for any level of musician was bound to turn a few heads.

With that said, let’s talk a little about some of the competition that the S52 has.  Let’s first begin with the Casio PX-860.

Yamaha YDP-S52 vs Casio PX-860

The Casio PX-860, by far, has one major selling point: its price. It sits online for an average total of about $800 compared to the S52, which is currently priced at $1349.99 on most major online music retailers.

The body style of the PX-860 is much bulkier, which means moving it around is harder to do. It also makes it a little harder to store in your living space due to its sheer size.

You are still getting a good quality sound here, but compared to the Yamaha YDP-S52, it might be worth spending a little more for the extra quality and style.

Yamaha YDP-S52 vs Yamaha YDP-143

One of biggest drawbacks of the YDP-143 compared to the S52 would be the lack of touch sensitivity. The two pianos are similar in many ways, but the S52 provides more control when it comes to touch and feel.

However, the YDP-143 is fantastic for connectivity. If you are a producer trying to record MIDI data live, this keyboard will record directly into any digital audio workstation of your choice via USB.

Yamaha YDP-S52 vs Yamaha YDP-163

This piano is one of the higher rated competitors to the S52—even though they are both housed with the Arius lineup.  The biggest difference between the two would be total weight. The YDP-163 weighs 92.5 lbs., where the S52 weighs roughly 10 pounds less.

The YDP-163 also has an impressive body style. It is referred to as an upright piano because it emulates the harp standing upright instead of flat like the grand piano.

Yamaha YDP-S52 vs Yamaha YDP-181

The YDP-181 is another fantastic digital piano. It has a beautiful rosewood finish, making it an excellent piece to add to your home in any room. The major difference with this particular digital piano is that it only supports a 128-note polyphony, but as far as digital pianos go, it is great for practical use.


The Yamaha YDP-S52 is a great purchase for anyone looking for a beautifully sounding digital piano without having to spend a ton of money on more expensive digital pianos (let alone thousands more on an acoustic piano that must be regularly tuned).

This piano comes in a very big box, so be prepared.  It also requires a little bit of assembly.  But, once that’s complete, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be satisfied with your choice.

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