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#1787232 - 11/11/11 06:12 PM Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price?
eNathan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Chicago baby.
Hi all! I've been reading around this forum a lot now.. finally decided to register and give it a go.

So I am a beginner piano player, I've been playing for about 2 years, and I'm looking to finally upgrade from my non-weighted flimsy keyboard..

So I finally have saved up enough money to buy a digital piano and I want to get a good one. Originally, I was looking at a $500 price point and was going to get the Casio PX130, but after playing everything at guitar center I think I want something more piano-like, and the Yamaha ydp141 felt and sounded great.

The ydp161 was next to it, but my understanding is that the only difference is more amps for louder playing? However, I heard a few people say on this forum that the keys are better, but see no mention of this in the technical specs.

So my price point is really around $1200.. this is really the biggest purchase decision I've made in my life. So I just want to get a second opinion basically. I know there are many other digital pianos out there, but the only ones I can play in person are at guitar center. Is the YDP 141 a good choice for the price range, and is the only difference from the 161 the more powerful amp?

The most important things to me is really dynamics, realistic feel and sound. I find that some digital pianos basically sound like the sound is being muffled inside of the box they're in, but the 141 doesn't sound this way.

Thanks a lot everyone! I'll let you all know when I get it!

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#1787238 - 11/11/11 06:19 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
Kawai James Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8822
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
If you can afford the extra, I'd go for the YDP-161 - it's a much better piano in my opinion.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1787241 - 11/11/11 06:25 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1538
Loc: Portugal
They are both great pianos at that price, but the YDP 161 does have a better quality keyboard (GH) whereas the 141 has GHS, which is used on their cheapest pianos. And you're right - the 141 has very low power amplifiers - 6 watts. The 161 has 20 watts which gives a better quality of sound as well as being louder.

Also, the 161 has 128 note polyphony (it can play that many notes together which is good for using sustain & playing glissandos etc, as well as playing layered sounds) whereas the 141 has 64.

I'd go for the 161 - much better basic features. Although it really comes down to which you prefer in terms of keyboard feel and sound. Try them both together for an extended audition if possible.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#1787287 - 11/11/11 08:22 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
Gothri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 14
Hi Nathan,

There is a chart at the Yamaha website which you can use to compare features among the models in the Arius product line. The link to this chart is http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/Multimedia/CHP_SpecChart_REV7.swf

To summarize:

The YDP-141 uses the Graded Hammer Standard keyboard action, which is their low/entry-level keyboard action. Nominally, it does not offer Damper Resonance and it supports 64 note polyphony.

The YDP-161 uses the Graded Hammer (or sometimes GHE) keyboard action, which is their next level action. Some people say GH is stiffer than GHS; others say that GHS is lighter and noisier than GH/GHE. Nominally, the 161 does offer Damper resonance (more on this) and it supports 128 note polyphony.

The YDP-181 also has the GH action. It nominally also offers Damper Resonance (though Yamahas don't seem to fare well in sympathetic resonance tests in the DPBSD Project analyses) as well as 128 note polyphony. The chief advantage of the 181 appears to be that it offers USB to device and USB to host connectivity that the 161 lacks.

In his DPBSD project thread, Dewster has analyzed the piano voices of several Yamaha models, although there is no analysis of any models in the Arius line-up (that I can recall). You'll want to check out this thread because, in my opinion, Yamaha does not fare well compared to other digital pianos. In particular, pitches have short attack samples, are found to be audibly looped, and samples are stretched to cover more than one pitch.

I had also been considering a Yamaha model in the Arius line (the 161 vs. the 181) when I encountered this analysis. As a direct result of the analysis contained in the DPBSD Project, I have expanded my consideration to models by Kawai and Roland, at least until I have an opportunity to closely compare my experiences with the DPs. I am now much more circumspect about Yamaha digital pianos and have discontinued my consideration of offerings in their Clavinova line altogether.

I don't mean to discourage you from selecting an Arius model if it suits your needs. For my part, however, I am much less inclined to favor Yamaha than I had been formerly.

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#1787301 - 11/11/11 08:50 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3761
Loc: North Carolina
Those Yamahas still sound better then the even more expensive Rolands. But I'd stay away from the 141. Get the 161 (or 181) if you can afford one.

The electrical tests cited don't tell you much. Trust your ears. Try LOTS of pianos. Then try some more. Your fingers and ears are the best judges.

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#1787394 - 11/12/11 01:20 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: eNathan
...
The ydp161 was next to it, but my understanding is that the only difference is more amps for louder playing? However, I heard a few people say on this forum that the keys are better, but see no mention of this in the technical specs.

So my price point is really around $1200.. this is really the biggest purchase decision I've made in my life. So I just want to get a second opinion basically....


The 141 uses Yamaha's cheaper key action they call GHS. The 161 uses their better GH keys. You should be able to tell the difference is about 30 seconds. The GH as quite a bit more firm. I think the 141 to the 161 is a good size jump. If you like the 141 get the P95 and pocket the change.

In the Yamaha line the lowest price piano with GH keys is the CP33 and P155 and then the YDP161. I liked the P155 better. It is a step up all around. It has a few more features then the 161, better controls, I think too and a lower price. I didn't like the plastic laminate finish on the YDP series, looked to my like Ikea. To get a good console case/stand from Yamaha you have to go for the CDP series.


Do test out the controls. Give yourself an assignment to make some setting like say to set the metronome to exactly 119 or to play string bass with left hand and e-piano in right. I'd be full-on stumped on some pianos without resorting to the user manual. On others it is obvious just by looking. If you care about features like this you don't want to have to keep the manual open.



Edited by ChrisA (11/12/11 01:26 AM)

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#1787469 - 11/12/11 08:23 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: MacMacMac]
shokz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 457
Loc: Sheffield, England
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Those Yamahas still sound better then the even more expensive Rolands. But I'd stay away from the 141. Get the 161 (or 181) if you can afford one.

The electrical tests cited don't tell you much. Trust your ears. Try LOTS of pianos. Then try some more. Your fingers and ears are the best judges.


Are you being for real@they even sound better than more expensive rolands, I haven't played any rolands but is that true what you say? Which rolands were you referring to?
_________________________
Piano; YDP161

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#1787476 - 11/12/11 08:37 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I've only played a handful of digital pianos but did happen to play a YDP141 and P95 in the Yamaha lineup immediately after a F110, FP-7F and HP30x? (can't recall exactly) in the Roland range.

The two Yamahas played/felt and sounded pretty similar. Probably a bit better sound through the speakers on the '141 but the keyboard feel was identical. About a two-to-one price difference which I suppose represents cabinet cost.

Either Yamaha was clearly better than the Roland F-110. By "clearly" I mean it's hard for me to believe anyone would have preferred the feel of the Roland keys. The F-110 sounded somewhat similar to the YDP141 and I suppose it would come down to taste which sound (through the built-in speakers) a person prefers. The '141 probably a fuller, rounder sound and the F-110 a little more cutting and apparently louder.

But none of the above were even in the same category with the two $2,000+ Roland pianos. Keyboard action far, far better on the FP-7F or HP30x. The sound from built-in speakers on the FP-7F was very nice to my ears, maybe a bit less so on the HP300-series but I didn't actually listen closely to that one.

If I were shopping in this range (and couldn't afford $2K for one of the "nice" Rolands) I'd try to find one of the YDP161 and check out the upgraded keyboard action. The '141 is perhaps acceptable on a low-end DP but not IMO in the price range you'll pay for that one. A lot easier to swallow that kind of feel for $500 than $1,000+ (cabinet aside). And it isn't like the cabinets are really anything you'd call "fine furniture" anyway.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1787479 - 11/12/11 08:43 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: Brent H]
shokz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 457
Loc: Sheffield, England
Originally Posted By: Brent H
I've only played a handful of digital pianos but did happen to play a YDP141 and P95 in the Yamaha lineup immediately after a F110, FP-7F and HP30x? (can't recall exactly) in the Roland range.

The two Yamahas played/felt and sounded pretty similar. Probably a bit better sound through the speakers on the '141 but the keyboard feel was identical. About a two-to-one price difference which I suppose represents cabinet cost.

Either Yamaha was clearly better than the Roland F-110. By "clearly" I mean it's hard for me to believe anyone would have preferred the feel of the Roland keys. The F-110 sounded somewhat similar to the YDP141 and I suppose it would come down to taste which sound (through the built-in speakers) a person prefers. The '141 probably a fuller, rounder sound and the F-110 a little more cutting and apparently louder.

But none of the above were even in the same category with the two $2,000+ Roland pianos. Keyboard action far, far better on the FP-7F or HP30x. The sound from built-in speakers on the FP-7F was very nice to my ears, maybe a bit less so on the HP300-series but I didn't actually listen closely to that one.

If I were shopping in this range (and couldn't afford $2K for one of the "nice" Rolands) I'd try to find one of the YDP161 and check out the upgraded keyboard action. The '141 is perhaps acceptable on a low-end DP but not IMO in the price range you'll pay for that one. A lot easier to swallow that kind of feel for $500 than $1,000+ (cabinet aside). And it isn't like the cabinets are really anything you'd call "fine furniture" anyway.


Thank you brent, this is useful. I thought it wouldn't be able to match the upper end Roland's, FP7F is actually one of the ones I am considering to buy. And where do you put the Kawai mp6 in between this? Have you played it before? Would you purchase a Kawai system?
_________________________
Piano; YDP161

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#1787489 - 11/12/11 08:58 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I put the MP6 in the category of "Wish I'd been able to play one", alas! Unfortunately the local Kawai dealer does not currently stock the MP6/MP10.

P.S. Keep in mind I'm a near beginner and can barely play at all. So I'm basing my impressions on a combination of having the sales rep play them for me and then doing just some scales and little simple chord progressions on my own.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1787490 - 11/12/11 09:03 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: Brent H]
shokz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/23/11
Posts: 457
Loc: Sheffield, England
Originally Posted By: Brent H
I put the MP6 in the category of "Wish I'd been able to play one", alas! Unfortunately the local Kawai dealer does not currently stock the MP6/MP10.

P.S. Keep in mind I'm a near beginner and can barely play at all. So I'm basing my impressions on a combination of having the sales rep play them for me and then doing just some scales and little simple chord progressions on my own.


Yeah the MP6 is very limited in terms of where you can buy it from, It's only on some certain sites online, and many don't sell it. I would like to play it myself aswell. Ydp181 going for roughly 1050 quid, the rd7f roughly 1500 quid. and the mp6 about 1280 quid so roughly in between them both price wise. I myself am a beginner, as you probably have picked up lol, and will be able to make a better judgement once I have tried some DP's out for myself smile


Edited by shokz (11/12/11 09:04 AM)
_________________________
Piano; YDP161

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#1787531 - 11/12/11 11:09 AM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: ChrisA]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 615
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
[quote=eNathan]...

The 141 uses Yamaha's cheaper key action they call GHS. The 161 uses their better GH keys. You should be able to tell the difference is about 30 seconds. The GH as quite a bit more firm. I think the 141 to the 161 is a good size jump. If you like the 141 get the P95 and pocket the change.


As you can tell by my user name, I did what Chris mentioned smile

I sat down last summer at the 140 which was the predecessor and was blown away at what I saw, felt and heard for $800.
However, because I am moving this year I wanted a simpler solution and got the P95.
The P95 alone weighs only 25 pounds and you can get the customized pedals for $75 and customized stand (which is really just 3 pieces of wood plus 13 screws) for $99.

Add a bench and the whole combo can be done for around $700, which is a little less than a YDP141.

However, even though the specifications are the same, the YDP speakers could be fuller. The P95 has some additional sounds like a psuedo Rhodes but I don't use them.

I feel as though when I am sitting at the P95 I am indeed playing and instrument as opposed to a stage piano hooked up to monitors.

Also, are you planning on moving anytime soon? Consider if you would want to dissamble the unit and reassemble.
For me, the P95 is less of a hassle to rebuild than the YDP141.

However, I am definetly planning on getting a console after my move at some point.
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#1787552 - 11/12/11 12:03 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
thurisaz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 73
Loc: Finland
I was originally considering the 141, but after trying it and the 161 several times, I decided the upgrade was worth it. The keys certainly feel different and having 128-note polyphony and damper resonance (to whatever extent) makes me happy. I did also try out a similarly priced Casio Celviano (AP-220 or 200); it was very nice, but I somehow prefered the sound of the Yamaha. Unfortunately, all of the Rolands were out of my price range and there's isn't a Kawai dealer nearby.
_________________________
Yamaha Arius YDP-161

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Working on: Alfred's Adult Piano Level 2, Satie Gymnopedie N. 1

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#1787574 - 11/12/11 01:00 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
Gothri Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 14
I think that it is both useful and probably important for anyone in the market for a digital piano to be knowledgeable about the basics of sound engineering that are used to reproduce piano voices. Knowing something about this may help you to make more informed decisions about the products.

Fortunately, Roland has made a short video that introduces many of these concepts. Although the video is marketing for Roland's SuperNATURAL piano engine, the concepts introduced can help you to more knowledgeably compare the tonal reproductions of any make of digital piano. This video can be accessed through:

http://www.rolandus.com/go/supernatural_piano/ (there is a link to the video at the top of the page)

Interestingly, the topics that the video introduces are among those things that the DPBSD project analyzes. It is almost as if the Roland people were reading the thread and decided to make a marketing piece to respond to it.

In any case, I think this is a very useful video for beginners strongly interested in a digital piano solution.

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#1787598 - 11/12/11 01:30 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: Gothri]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3761
Loc: North Carolina
I doubt it. The SN was under development years ago. The concepts in the video are even older.
. . . It is almost as if the Roland people were reading the thread and decided to make a marketing piece to respond to it.

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#1787605 - 11/12/11 01:35 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: MacMacMac]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 615
I am curious as to why Roland chooses not to compete in the $500-800 slab piano market though. Does anyone else wonder this? The model they make that is 36 pounds with speaks costs as much as a Yamaha console.
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
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Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#1787624 - 11/12/11 02:05 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
i just bought one. not a bad price and very simplistic. it works for me. i have been enjoying it. grin
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#1787824 - 11/12/11 08:21 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: eNathan]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2682
Loc: Atlanta, GA
For most of the same features as the YDP-141 but for a lower price, compare the new model YDP-135R. It has the same action, cabinet & speakers as the 141, with only a few other differences (most notably the piano sample & that record is only 1 track). The 141 is nice, but I'd tend to go either way...up to the much nicer 161 or down to the only slightly less 135R.
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#1803445 - 12/09/11 07:39 PM Re: Yamaha ydp141, good choice for the price? [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 615
I just read the manual online and it seems that the 135r is a 141 with a rosewood finish like the 140 was. The manual/specs claim that it is a 3 level sample, like the 141 and 140.
Is there anything different besides the physical finish of the 2 pianos?
I do enjoy the experience of sitting at a 141/161-even though I have a similar item in the P95 i would not rule out a jump to a 161 in the future.
_________________________
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