Yamaha YDP-144 Digital Piano Review: Should You Buy?

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Yamaha Arius YDP-144 Digital Piano

Yamaha is a household name in the field of pianos, be it digital or acoustic. It has released a number of piano series, even one of them competing with each other in terms of their features and specifications. We should admit that all the piano series from Yamaha are the best bet for their cost and a must-have instrument in every person’s home who is interested in Music. Let us discuss the features and the specifications of the flagship model of Yamaha, the YDP 144 here.

Best Specs of the Yamaha YDP 144

Number of Keys88
Piano SoundYamaha CFX Sampling
Number of Polyphony192
Keyboard TypeGraded Hammer Standard keyboard
Touch SensitivityHard/Medium/Soft/Fixed
Number of Voices10
  • Excellent digital piano with great sound and build quality
  • The excellent and upgraded sound engine
  • Black keys with matte key tops
  • More than 50 present songs
  • MIDI recorder
  • Intelligent acoustic control
  • Loudspeakers
  • Lesson mode to help with self-learning.

Pros

  • Amazing looks with a sturdy body and a classic pedal system.
  • Excellent sounds that mimic CFX concert grand
  • GHS keyboard action for the professional pianist
  • Features a 192 polyphony note
  • MIDI song recorder with 50 preset songs
  • USB audio interface to connect with smart devices

Cons

  • The piano has limited controls
  • It lacks a screen and specific indicators for some functions.
  • The YDP 143 lacks tweaking options
  • No scope for Bluetooth connectivity

Yamaha YDP 144 Review: The First Look

The Yamaha YDP 144 model looks a lot more like its predecessor, the YDP 143 and has imported a number of specs from it. The overall looks seem the same and it comes with a complete fully weighed 88-keys keyboard, good enough for home practice.

The piano is pretty heavy, about 38 kg, so forget about shifting it between rooms frequently. You may also not be able to get this out of your room to the stage, without assistance. It’s better to fix it at one fixed place in your room and practice there every time.

The piano comes partly assembled and you have to complete the rest by yourself, of course with some assistance and a screwdriver. You can get this piano in three different colors, rosewood, black and white.

There is a light matte finish over the keys to avoiding slipping and there are pedals built into the body. You can enjoy a realistic playing experience as its damper pedal supports half-pedaling. Unlike other pianos, the YDP 144 has its controls assembled on its left and right sides and not at the top.

There are a limited number of controls, and thus it is mandatory that the pianist has to be proficient with a number of key combinations to access definite functions. There is no screen and special indications, just a volume knob and few controls, which is classic of a budget piano.

But every time you change a setting, you get a confirmation sound. The piano has a sliding key cover and a music rest. Overall the piano has an excellent build quality and an excellent cabinet void of many controls.

Related Reading:- List of Best Yamaha Digital Pianos 2020

The Keys – their look and feel

The keyboard is the soul of a digital piano. The YDP 144 features a full weighted 88-keys keyboard with a glide cover. The keys function with a graded hammer action, which is ideal for that pianist who is looking to upgrade from an entry-level piano to a much-advanced instrument.

The keys of this piano don’t fails to emulate the original acoustic feel of a grand piano. The keys at the lower end feature a heavier touch, adding to the realistic feel of the piano keyboard. The keys feature four-grade touch sensitivity grading from soft to hard. The default setting at the piano’s keyboard is the ‘medium’ setting.

The keys are made of high-grade plastic and the black keys have a matte finish on them to avoid the fingers getting slipped off while playing. The keys lack synthetic ivory or ebony finish on their tops.

Check Out:- Top 5 Best Digital Pianos Under $2000

How this keyboard sounds and its effects

Though we can have a one-liner here stating that all of the pianos from Yamaha sound great, we need to note how distinct the Yamaha YDP144 sounds compared with the other pianos of this range.

Like the other flagship models of Yamaha, the YDP 144 has also exported its sound from the CFX concert grand piano and no doubt it features an expensive and unique tone. You will also love its brilliant and high-end resonant bass, which will help you at large when you plan to play at a concert.

The intelligent acoustic control of this piano, along with its stereophonic optimizer technique ensures that the pianist enjoys the best sound possible at all times. The inbuilt sounds of this piano include the sounds of two organs, two electric pianos, sounds of the orchestral string ensemble, different variations of the CFX concert grand, the sound of the vibraphone, etc.

Apart from these default sounds, the piano also has a Mellow Grand sound that is perfect for classic tunes. Thus there are ten different sounds that this piano possesses. Though some pianists may not be satisfied with this number, but will surely be satisfied with the quality of these sounds.

Talking about the sound effects of this piano, the Yamaha YDP 144 comes with three inbuilt effects and four reverbs such as chamber reverb, club reverb, recital hall and concert hall. The intelligent acoustic control technology of this piano ensures the pianist to modify the intensity or the effect of the sound, according to their preferences.

The YDP 144 features a 192 note polyphony, which is good enough to play a good number of songs with all types of notes. The piano comes with two 8W amplified speakers for an excellent stereo image.

Though the speakers face downward, the narrow speaker grills that are located right about the keys ensures that the sound from this piano comes from a different direction to create an excellent and immersive listening experience.

Yamaha YDP 144 Connectivity features:

As we mentioned before, there are minimal controls, and it is important that you have to memorize a number of control combinations. Some pianist also has their manuals by their side to use these controls efficiently. Alternatively, you can make use of the smart pianist app for iOS and android, to play the piano with a graphical user interface.

Apart from this, there are two stereo jacks to connect with headphones. The USB to host port can be used to connect the piano with other devices. There is a jack to connect the thee pedal system at the piano cabinet.

The YDP 144 has a rare option of data transfer and playback. You can directly play the audio files from the hardware or the computer without requiring any external audio interface.

Inbuilt songs and playback feature:

This piano from Yamaha is featured with about 10 demo songs and more than fifty classical tunes. Also, the pianist can load up to 10 songs for playback. For those who wish to record their own songs, the two-track MIDI recorder comes handy. You are also free to alter the individual notes of the songs once you load them in the piano. Changes could be pertaining to the volume, damper resonance, tempo, reverb, etc. You can connect with a smart device to save the songs as MIDI files too.

The Yamaha YDP 144 comes to play in two different modes, the layer mode, and the duo mode. In the layer mode or the dual-mode, the pianist can choose to play two different sounds of two different instruments at the same time. in this mode, no matter what key you press, two sounds are heard simultaneously.  You can definitely create a number of combinations with the combination of the piano+ string, which comes as a rescue for the otherwise limited number of sounds in the piano.

The Duo mode splits the keyboard into two small 44 keyed instruments and allows two people to play the instrument at the same time. This feature is taken advantage during piano lessons, when the teacher trains his pupil through personal demonstration.

Other Features of Yamaha YDP144

The YDP 144 carries a number of functions that can also be directly monitored and controlled through the smart pianist app. Those features are,

  • Damper resonance
  • Transposing – to change the tone from -6 to +6 by incrementing it by 1.
  • Master tuning – you can alter the central tuning of the piano in 0.2 Hz steps with this feature
  • Metronome – activates the build in tempo, and it helps you to play the chords at the right time
  • Speaker on and off feature
  • Auto power off after being idle for 30 minutes

Final Words

In a nutshell, we can credit the Yamaha YDP 144 is one of the best digital pianos in this series along with Yamaha YDP-184 & Yamaha YDP-164, except that it has some bad controls and satisfactory key action. But its CFX grand sounds come as a relief and its speakers help the sounds to resonate with the entire room. It is a worthy bet for its cost and is highly recommended for anybody who is wishing to upgrade from a basic piano to an upgraded one.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have been using Yamaha YDP-144 for a few months now and I can say it is one of the best Arius series digital pianos available. That’s why I am suggesting the same model to my friend as he is looking for a piano for his home. It’s the same reason I am here reading this post as he wanted to read an honest review and after reading a lot of reviews, I found this one very honest and up to the mark, so I decided to comment here and recommend the same model as I have used YDP144.

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