Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Digital Piano Review

Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 Digital Piano Review, 4.0 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
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Rating: 4.0/5 (7 votes cast)

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 is a substantial digital piano with excellent sound quality and keyboard feel. The price suggests that it is not an entry-level piano. Rather, this model is for pianists who demand a lot from a digital piano.



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The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 is ideal for serious students and more experienced musicians. Of course, beginners will also enjoy playing this instrument. But there is no point in spending the money on such a good piano if you're not certain you will get a lot of use out of it.

Yamaha's Graded Hammer keyboard mimics the weighted keys of an acoustic piano keyboard. Keys at the lower end respond to a heavier touch, while keys at the top end need a lighter touch. In addition, there is an extra key sensor that allows for fast repetitive playing of a single note. Keyboard touch sensitivity can be adjusted for greater playing comfort or for different playing styles. Select the hard, medium, or soft setting with the press of a button, or turn the feature off for a fixed touch response.

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Pros:
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Realistic keyboard feel
Cons:
  • Rather large and heavy
  • Limited voices and effects

The excellent sound quality is the result of Yamaha's Advanced Wave Memory sampling system. The piano sound is sampled from Yamaha's acclaimed CFIIIS Full Concert Grand Piano, with each note recorded from strike to fadeout. Multiple samples of varying playing strengths are taken, from pianissimo to fortissimo. Damper resonance samples reflect the broadening tones that come from pedal action.

Yamaha's detailed samples and digital filter technology allow for dynamic, expressive sound that reflects the way that you actually play the keyboard. The YDP-181 offers 128-note polyphony, which prevents the unnatural cutoff of sustained notes, even when you are playing fast, dense passages of music.

There are 14 different instrument sounds to choose from, including multiple pianos, and you can layer two sounds to create beautiful and interesting effects. The ARIUS YDP-181 doesn't have the multitude of voices and accompaniments that you might find in other digital pianos. The keyboard can't be split, either. But the piano still offers plenty of features and versatility for musicians.

The YDP-181 has an LED display, a 3-song recorder, MIDI connectivity, 2 headphone outlets, and 50 preset songs. The large, built-in, 16 cm stereo speakers give you full, balanced sound with more bass response.

The YDP-181 looks good, too, with an attractive, dark rosewood finish and matte black keys. The sliding keyboard cover keeps the keys clean and enhances the look of the piano.

The Yamaha ARIUS YDP-181 is a fine digital piano for more advanced pianists or for students who are serious about their desire to play. It offers realistic keyboard feel and excellent piano sound that is sure to live up to high expectations.

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