Yamaha YDP-164 Review 2020: Arius Series Digital Piano

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Yamaha-YDP164B-Arius-Digital-Piano

The Yamaha YDP 164 is one of the best pianos for students, hobbyists, and pianists who are at the start of their professional carriers. This piano is known for its keyboard action and sounds like the flagship Yamaha CFX concert grand for an expressive and impressive piano experience. Its ability to select voices, record performances and connect with mobile phone applications make it one of the most preferred pianos of all time. let us discuss the features and the specifications of this piano in detail here.

Yamaha YDP-164 Key Specifications

  • Dimensions: 54.2 x 17.8 x 34.2 inches
  • Weight: 42 kg
  • 88- key full weighted keyboard with graded hammer action
  • CFX sampling sound
  • Best sound nuances with 192 note polyphony
  • More than 50 present songs with lesson mode
  • Excellent features including intelligent acoustic control, transpose and acoustic optimizer
  • Two 20W speakers
  • Excellent connectivity options

Pros

  • Excellent design and built
  • Realistic keys with ivory and ebony simulation
  • Renders the original stereo sound of the CFX concert grand piano
  • 192 note polyphony
  • Powerful speaker system with amplification
  • 50 present songs with 2 track MIDI recorder

Cons

  • The control systems of the piano are not adequate
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Limited recording capability

Yamaha YDP164 Review: The First Look

Yamaha YDP 164B Digital Piano

At first glance, the piano looks grand, elegant and an artistic musical instrument. It looks huge with its 88 full-size keys. There are also a pair of speakers that are built into the chassis. It makes an excellent unit for home practice and its primitive focus is on enhancing playability.

The piano comes with its stand and cabinet speakers and is undoubtedly bulky, weighing 92.5 pounds. This piano is not recommended for stage use, as you cannot carry it that easily. But its sturdy design ensures its durability and it will surely stand the test of time.

The piano is built from particle body and feels solid. Its matte coating ensures that you don’t leave your mark after playing and the fingers do not slip off the keys even while playing in hot and humid conditions.

You can buy this piano in four different colors, namely black, rosewood, white and unique ash color. The triple pedal setup of classic pianos is built right into the body of the piano. The pedals are solid and the damper pedal allows half-pedaling to allow a more realistic playing experience.

The piano has very fewer control buttons, just a volume knob and a basic control scheme scattered between the left and the right side of the piano. You will have to use a number of control key combinations to achieve the desired settings.

You will need assistance from the user manual initially but will soon learn to remember the controls you use most commonly, as there are just a few control keys available. The buttons carry a clear click function to ensure that they have been selected but do not expect any notification tones. The keys of the keyboard are covered with a sliding key cover and a music rest.

Related Reading:- List of Best Yamaha Digital Pianos 2020

The Yamaha YDP-164 Arius Keys

One important aspect to check in a piano, be it a digital or an acoustic one is its keyboard. The Yamaha YDP 164 comes with sturdy keys made of plastic with graded hammer action technology. The black keys of the keyboard feature a synthetic ebony coating which is a significant upgrade from the plastic keys found in the other pianos of this series.

There are four different preset options to define the touch sensitivity of the keyboard. The ‘Medium’ setting is the default option and sounds extremely realistic, mimicking the real acoustic piano.

Though the keys are of plastic, they have an ivory and ebony finish, ensuring that the fingers won’t slip off the board. The special three-sensor configuration of the keyboard ensures that it senses keyboard behavior and renders an output that mimics the experience of playing a real piano, especially when the notes are played in quick concession.

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

How the Yamaha YDP 164 sound?

Yamaha always strives to get its acoustic instruments sound great and of exceptional quality. The CFX sound sampling of this piano mimics the g’ CFX concert grand magnificent enough to fill the concert hall with some extraordinary music.

The piano emits different sounds in a number of variations. On the whole, we can get ten different sounds that include 2 organs, 2 electric pianos, vibraphone, harpsichord, variations of the CFX concert grand and the string ensemble.

The ‘smooth release’ technology of the YDP 164, ensures a smooth transition between every single keystroke enhancing the sound quality of the instrument. The digital piano also allows the pianist to alter the individual volumes of keys and the intensity of the resonance. 

As far as the sound effects are concerned, the reverb facility of the piano comes in four different forms, namely the chamber reverb, concert hall, recital hall, and the club reverb. The hall reverb function is considered the default to offer realistic tunes for the audience. You can easily switch between the effects based on the control buttons.

The intelligent acoustic control technology of this piano helps in adjusting the low and the high ranges, creating a proper balance in all the tone ranges and helping the audience to listen to all details of an individual sound.

The stereophonic optimizer effect helps in simulating the space while one gets the feeling of playing a real piano. It places individual tones in a digital space away from the pianist, getting the entire experience more realistic.

The YDP164 comes with a polyphony of 192 notes, which is good enough to cover any song across all genres. A very high polyphony like this prevents phenomena like sample cut off during the music play.

This piano comes with dual 20W speakers with amplifiers. This is an extremely powerful system that sounds clear and crisp at all volume settings. The narrow speaker grills spread across the keyboard allows the sound from the speakers to escape from different parts of the instrument for an immersive and realistic listening experience.

Also Check Out:- Yamaha P515 Digital Piano Review

Unique Functions of the Piano:

The YDP 164 comes with layer mode and duo mode but lacks split mode operation. In the layer mode, the keyboard tones played layered over a string instrument for a splendid time. The duo mode allows the keyboard to be split into two independent instruments for individual training, perhaps between a teacher and a student.

The damper resonance feature of the piano helps you to on or off the function to get the piano sounds very clear. And you can also alter the tempo, volume and time signature of the piano with the help of its metronome feature.

The master tuning of the keyboard helps the central tuning to be altered in steps of 0.2 Hz. You can also decide to switch on or off the speaker according to your preference. Also, the auto power-off feature of the piano allows the instrument to switch off automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity.

One important feature that pianist love about the YDP 164 is its song recording and playback feature. The piano comes with ten demo songs and 50 other classic tones. The pianist can also record their own song with the help of the record button present at the left side of the piano. The piano supports song recording in MIDI format only. Thus it is possible to change the volume balance, reverb depth, voice, tempo, and reverb algorithm after recording the tunes.

Users can get to save the songs in the MIDI format to a connected smart device. This feature is particularly important as it is possible to save only one song on the onboard memory of the piano at a time.

Check out: List of Best Digital Pianos in the Market

Yamaha YDP-164 Connectivity Features

There are two stereo jacks to connect with the headphones. The same jack can be used to plug the keys with an external amplifier. The USB to host port allows the piano to connect the piano with all supported devices with the help of a MIDI controller. The pedal jack helps in connecting the three-pedal setup with the piano.

The USB audio interface helps in transferring both the audio data and the MIDI data from the piano to an external device. Users can record the actual sound of the piano without the need for a separate audio interface. Thus you can create the original stereo CFX concert grand without any audio degradation with this YDP 164.

The smart Pianist app enhances the overall experience of the piano by connecting with iOS and Android devices. You can control the keyboard through the highly intuitive graphical interface of this app.

Wrapping up

In a nutshell, the YDP 164 is an excellent and a grand digital piano with minimal controls. It sounds great, functions excellent and is pretty simple to use and navigate. The GH3 action of the keyboard is considered its best feature, which sets it apart from the rest of the pianos in this price range. It is an ideal piano for beginners and students and has done complete justice to its price.

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