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#1959775 - 09/16/12 05:07 PM Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?!
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Hello All,

After doing some research, I have nailed down to 3 pianos to buy for my wife and 8 year old daughter. I wanted a compact and authentic sounding digital piano that is not too expensive. At this point in time, I am planning to buy one of the following pianos.

Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51. They are all in the same price range. I do not want to spend more money on it.

I live in the UK and Yamaha YDP-S51 is not out until next month but it looks really sexy and I am assuming that it is as good as the YDP-161. It appears that both Yamahas have better speakers than F-120. YDP 161 has longer depth.

I am looking for the most authentic sound and feel. Which model would you recommend. We went to a piano shop and tested F-120 and YDP-141. F-120 was so much better than YDP-141 in terms of sound and feel. We did like the ivory-ish keyboard on the F-120. We were thinking of buying the YDP-141 at first as it is very affordable but for a bit more money, F-120 sounded and felt much better.

It would be awesome if you can help me make the right decision.

Thank you.

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#1959777 - 09/16/12 05:19 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8427
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
I've yet to try the new Yamaha, however the Roland F-120 is pretty good.

The following thread may be of interest to you, as the poster has similar requirements:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1954151/all
_________________________
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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#1959783 - 09/16/12 05:31 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Thank you Kawai James-san!

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#1959791 - 09/16/12 05:43 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Did you play the 161? What were your impressions? The 161 action is a lot better than the 141 action, but between the 161 & F120, the decision is more difficult.

It's come up recently with another poster. If you search for "YDP-S51" on the forum, you will probably find the thread.

An X-factor here is the "Pure CF sound engine" that is still unknown. The 161 has a good but older 3-layer AWM sound engine. Pure CF seems to come in multiple versions like the AWM, so it could be a big upgrade or maybe just different. It may be the same sound engine expected on the new P105 portable.

You really cannot use specs to compare the speakers of Roland F120 vs. Yamaha 161. The Roland has less wattage but much more volume. Volume doesn't equate to quality, but it does dispel the idea that wattage = output. I think the speakers in the larger 181 are clearly better, but fairly close again in the 161 vs. F120.

As someone who sells both, my personal review of F120 vs 161 is this:
Cabinet/Styling - 161
Piano Sound - F120
Features/Other Sounds - F120
Action - close, edge 161
Speakers - tie
I prefer the textured keytops of the F120 but that's hardly a tie breaker. In the US market, the Roland warranty is significantly better, and that is a tie-breaker for many of my customers. Yesterday, we had a customer make exactly these comparisons...141, 161, F120 and they decided on the F120.

I don't know what my review is worth to you. I'm pleased for our customers when they choose either one and satisfied that they got good value. My favorite horserace to watch in my store is RP-301 vs. YDP-181.

In your shoes, I would play the 161 to try to compare its action vs. F120 action. If you still prefer the F120, you have your answer. If you're not sure, you can wait for the S51 to see what the Pure CF sound does for you. It's not an entirely new sound engine but a trickle down from the higher level Clavinovas.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1959798 - 09/16/12 05:58 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Thank you PianoWorksATL. Unfortunately, my local shop did not have the 161 out frown

- The warranty for Roland is 3 years in the UK, Yamaha is only 2 years. Does the warranty make a big difference?
- Also, I felt that the Yamaha's veneer wood is not as tough as the F-120's satin. I can see the surface of the veneer might get damages easier than the satin.

I did like the F-120's textured keyboard. 161's keyboard feels cheap. I guess I should not be expecting too much from a low/mid range digital pianos...

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#1959799 - 09/16/12 06:02 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8427
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: yotes
Thank you Kawai James-san!


Dou itashimashite!
_________________________
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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#1959810 - 09/16/12 06:22 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 593
This is the first time i heard of the S51; i was really impressed by the demo. Similar attributes to the pX830- 20 watt speakers; lid; slimline cabinet case.

-it did sound a little more authentic than the P105 demo- due to better speakers? Or are the demos recorded via lineouts?

In any case a nice looking dp
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#1959817 - 09/16/12 06:29 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: yotes
- The warranty for Roland is 3 years in the UK, Yamaha is only 2 years. Does the warranty make a big difference?
- Also, I felt that the Yamaha's veneer wood is not as tough as the F-120's satin. I can see the surface of the veneer might get damages easier than the satin.
Here in the US, Yamaha = 3 years; Roland = 5 years. But the kicker is Roland provides in-home service; with Yamaha and others, you have to drop the piano off at the shop to get looked at. On the second point, I disagree. I personally think Roland's satin is more attractive than the YDP surface, but it marks just as easily, maybe easier.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1959821 - 09/16/12 06:40 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 753
Just had a look at the YDP S51 on Yamaha Germany's internet site. Here is a copy & paste of what I read about "Yamahas neueste Klang Technologie 'Acoustic Optimizer'" [as far as I can tell that's nothing more than some EQ built in for the speakers in the cabinet]: "Tonal resonanse balance becomes more smoother." Oh well... confused

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#1959845 - 09/16/12 07:19 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 593
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted By: yotes
- The warranty for Roland is 3 years in the UK, Yamaha is only 2 years. Does the warranty make a big difference?
- Also, I felt that the Yamaha's veneer wood is not as tough as the F-120's satin. I can see the surface of the veneer might get damages easier than the satin.
Here in the US, Yamaha = 3 years; Roland = 5 years. But the kicker is Roland provides in-home service; with Yamaha and others, you have to drop the piano off at the shop to get looked at. On the second point, I disagree. I personally think Roland's satin is more attractive than the YDP surface, but it marks just as easily, maybe easier.


What happens in the event someone has a problem with something like a YDp161? Is there no home service available?
One of the reasons I buy slabs is that it would be more managable to UPS
_________________________
Roland Juno Gi
Casio PX-130
Korg Krome 61
Korg SP280

Rokit KRK 6 monitors
MXL V67G microphone

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#1959968 - 09/17/12 02:22 AM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
It seems like the US market always get a better deal frown The US warranty is so much better and I am sure the price of the pianos are cheaper too. The cheapest 161 and F120 is about 1,378.79 USD.

At this point in time, I am leaning towards the F-120. Thanks for all your comments.

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#1960093 - 09/17/12 11:05 AM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: PianoWorksATL]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4274
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Here in the US, Yamaha = 3 years; Roland = 5 years. But the kicker is Roland provides in-home service...

Just to clarify a bit, in the US Roland home pianos are 5/2 years parts/labor with in-home service.

Stage pianos are 3/2 with presumably no in-home service.

If you bought before 1/1/2012 these drop to 5/1 and 1/90days! (<= the reason I didn't freak too much opening up our NX)
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1960152 - 09/17/12 01:24 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: dewster]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Here in the US, Yamaha = 3 years; Roland = 5 years. But the kicker is Roland provides in-home service...

Just to clarify a bit, in the US Roland home pianos are 5/2 years parts/labor with in-home service.

Stage pianos are 3/2 with presumably no in-home service.

If you bought before 1/1/2012 these drop to 5/1 and 1/90days! (<= the reason I didn't freak too much opening up our NX)
That's a good simplification.
Roland US warranty info
Yamaha Clavinovas have a similar 5 year, in-home warranty here, but I don't know all the details. The Arius line does not have this service. From what I can see, upper-level Kawai's are similar in-home. The warranty on lower-level Kawais does not specifically mention in-home, but I'm not the expert on these.

With Roland, if it comes with legs, it gets the top level warranty. If legs are optional, it gets the stage warranty. smile And as dewster pointed out, the length of the warranties recently increased.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1960214 - 09/17/12 02:52 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
My mind was set on Roland F-120 but now my wife is considering Kawai CN-23 or Kawai CN-24? How do they compare against Roland F-120. As we do not live in a big house, the size of the Kawai is a big concern. Thank you.

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#1960237 - 09/17/12 03:34 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3675
Loc: North Carolina
The F120 is 12" deep. The CN23 is 16" deep. The CN24 is 15.6" deep.
Does that make a difference to you?

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#1960264 - 09/17/12 04:10 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: MacMacMac]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Yes, it make a big difference to me but my wife says that as Yamaha and Kawai also make acoustic pianos, she think they are better frown

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#1960304 - 09/17/12 05:16 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8427
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
yotes, if you're considering the Kawai CN23, but are concerned about the size, the CL36 offers the same keyboard action, sound technology, and features, but in a more compact cabinet (30 cm depth vs 40 cm).

There is also the smaller CL26 (27 cm depth), however this is a lower specification model.

Kind regards,
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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#1960308 - 09/17/12 05:20 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks James, what do you think about CN24? My wife wants this model. I think it is big. She cares about the sound quality, feel and brand name.

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#1960329 - 09/17/12 06:02 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8427
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
yotes, the CN24 is a brand new model which replaces the CN23.

The specifications of the CN24 are similar to the CN23, however the new model features an improved keyboard action with triple-sensor key detection. It also utilises a more powerful tone generator with higher polyphony (the number of sounds/notes that can be played simultaneously), and superior reverb/effects.

The CN24 cabinet is approximately the same size as the CN23, however the newer model adds front legs that give the instrument a more solid appearance.

Your wife is absolutely right to prioritise sound quality, keyboard feel, and brand name. However, in all honesty, all of the big digital piano manufacturers (Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, etc.) produce good quality instruments, with a strong reputation for customer support and reliability.

Regardless of which instrument you decide to purchase, I strongly recommend play-testing a wide range of models (at different shops, if necessary) in order to appreciate the qualities of each manufacturer.

Best of luck with your search.

Kind regards,
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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#1960364 - 09/17/12 07:28 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4274
Loc: Northern NJ
yotes, going on sound generation technology alone (which isn't the entire thing, but it's a big thing) the SuperNATURAL F120 completely trumps anything else you might be looking at (though the piano sound itself may or may not be entirely to your liking). The best incarnation of SN at the moment is the RD-700NX because it has three distinct SN pianos, Roland's best keys, their most intuitive user interface (IMO), and the most straightforward MIDI implementation. But it's a stage slab with no internal speakers.

When checking out DPs bring some decent headphones, play some slow pieces, and don't rely on the overly frenetic built-in demo songs (which seem designed specifically to mask problems with the internal sound source).

Yamaha and Kawai do indeed make acoustic pianos, but this may be something of a two edged sword, as it seems to limit them (vanity?) to sampling only their own acoustic pianos in their DPs. Yamaha's DP department seems a bit dead-in-the-water at this point and overpriced (IMO). Kawai seems praised widely for their key actions, and their recent sample sets are unstretched, but their firmware may be a bit buggy.

If it seems like you're having an extra difficult time deciding, it's not you, it's the crazy backward market you're shopping in. Good luck!
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1960478 - 09/18/12 02:13 AM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: dewster]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks Kawai James and dewster. I did not think it would be so hard to make a decision. All pianos are so similar.

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#1960487 - 09/18/12 02:48 AM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 148
I agree with Dewster: SuperNatural is, in my opinion, a very distinctive feature. You may like or not the generally mellower Roland tone and some other weird side effects like the brightless sound the speakers produce (maybe it's time to think of fixing this issue, Roland guys?). But although not perfect, SuperNatural is amazingly expressive. It really immerse you in your playing.

Regarding the Yamaha, it's of course a high quality instrument but I'm sorry but I can't stand with GH action. I never liked it. There is people who says that it is fine because it is heavy (as grand pianos usually are) but I feel it unauthentic and hard to control instead of feeling it as a grand like action. It is also one of the oldest actions (if not the oldest one) placed today in the market. Maybe it's time for Yamaha to renew it... It's a matter of taste but in my very humble opinion, between these ones I would choose the Roland, although its action, while very nice and playable, it's somewhat lightweight so your daughter could be a bit overwhelmed when playing on an acoustic grand. Last year I also chose Roland. I bought a Roland HP-305 (now replaced by HP-505).

You could add to your equation some of the new cabinet Casios that are close to appear such as AP450, AP650 or compacts Privia PX750, PX 850 and so on. I didn't try them yet but they are very promising and they enter into the price range F120 and YPT-160 are (some models are even cheaper, and the former AP-Privia line was pretty good).

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#1960960 - 09/19/12 02:10 AM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks again everyone.

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#1969522 - 10/06/12 05:07 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
yotes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: United Kingdom
We went to try the Yamaha YDP-S51 and both my daughter and wife love it so we bought it. Thanks everyone!

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#1969565 - 10/06/12 07:12 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2634
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Congrats! I wonder if we'll see that model over here any time soon?
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1992081 - 11/28/12 06:03 PM Re: Roland F-120, Yamaha YDP-161 or Yamaha YDP-S51?! [Re: yotes]
markalien Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/12
Posts: 2
I'll second that about the Yamaha YDP S51. I came to the same conclusion myself.

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