Yamaha YDP-103 Digital Piano Review 2020

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Yamaha is a known name in the field of pianos and has been creating them for over a century to satisfy the needs of the prestigious concert halls of the world. The Yamaha YDP-103, which is in our discussion today compounds the sound of the CFX concert grand and the touch of the acoustic piano to fill your minds and your music hall with some magical tunes. Its paramount features and intuitive specifications are all packed in its sleek design and compact structure, making it one of the best buy pianos at this price.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review

Yamaha Arius Series YDP103 Digital Piano

Pros

  • Excellent design with three pedals
  • The piano comes with a stand
  • Excellent build quality and wood finish
  • 88 wood hammer action keyboard
  • Emits excellent grand piano sounds
  • AWM stereo sampling technology
  • The matte finish on the black keys
  • Sliding key cover to cover the keys

Cons

  • There is no MIDI recorder functionality
  • There is no lesson mode available

Check out: Top 5 Best Digital Pianos Under $1000

Top Specifications of the Yamaha YDP-103

  • Known for a powerful grand piano tone
  • Authentic touch as that of traditional acoustic pianos
  • Excellent virtual vibrations with every note
  • Dual headphone jacks’ compatible with audio devices
  • Special matte on keys to avoid slipping.
  • Compatible with iOS apps
  • Dual-mode that helps to combine two voices together
Number of Keys88
Piano SoundAWM Stereo Sampling
Number of Polyphony64
Keyboard TypeGraded Hammer Standard keyboard
Touch SensitivityHard/Medium/Soft/Fixed
Number of Voices10

First looks of The Yamaha YDP 103

The Yamaha YDP comes as the complete musical unit with the pedals and stands shipped with the keyboard. It does require minimal assembling, but you will be able to do it without much assistance and tools, you may require a screwdriver and 30 minutes of your time on the whole. It could be a little heavy to handle, but you should be fine in handling and shifting it with some help.

The piano is compact and lightweight as it weighs only 37.5 kg. You can transport it from one room to another and carry it comfortably for your stage shows as well.

This piano comes with a three-pedal unit, just like other regular pianos. You can half-pedal the damper pedal, so as to alter the amount of sustain that you would wish to apply. The piano is of high-quality materials and doesn’t wobble even when the player pounds hard on the keys.

The sliding key cover of this piano helps in protecting its keys from dirt and dust. You will have to navigate the entire piano by pressing on the function key and accessing other keys in the instrument. The piano has a dark rosewood finish, and does not come in other colors.

The Keyboard

The piano features 88 fully weighted keys and the keys of the board resonate simple hammer actions so as to simulate the Graded hammer standard of real acoustic pianos. The keys are more than good for an entry-level piano like the Yamaha YDP-103, and it renders a realistic touch and feels similar to the acoustic pianos.

Its keyboard enjoys a graded effect, the keys at the lower register feel heavier than the keys on the higher register. The keys are extremely sensitive to touch and the volume of the keys varies extensively depending on how hard you press a key. Alternatively, you can also choose the ‘fixed’ setting to ensure that all the keys sound the same, irrespective of the quantum of force applied to them.

The black keys have a matte finish on them so that you don’t slip off the keys when playing the instrument at hot and humid conditions. The white keys are of smooth and high-quality plastic material but lack ivory or ebony simulation on them.

Sound Quality of YDP-103 Piano

The sound quality in this keyboard is exceptionally good but does not feature the pure CF sound engine technology of Yamaha, that is available with the other models and the rest of the YDP series (Yamaha YDP-144, YDP-164 and YDP-184). The AWM stereo sampling is the soul of the YDP-103, which is its basic tone generator.

The AWM makes use of the sounds of a grand acoustic piano and the tones are recorded at different velocities so as to recreate a grand acoustic instrument for grand concerts. Apart from resonating a grand piano, it also encompasses eight other instrument sounds such as strings, E.Pianos, vibraphone, strings, pipe organs, etc.

The Yamaha YDP103 is able to create about 64 different notes layered over each other, a concept termed as polyphony. This feature is the best attribute of this piano, that lacks in the other pianos of this series. There are also four different types of reverb that can get adjusted from 0 to 20. And it is good to note here that reverberation is the only sound effect available in this piano.

By making use of onboard speakers, it will be possible to unfold the best music out of this piano with keen detailing. The instrument has two 12 x 6 cm oval speakers on either side of the piano with a total volume output of 12W. Though these are not the best speakers that you can find in a piano, they are good enough to fill a medium-sized room with some quality music. As the speakers are inside the cabinet, the sound resonates from them at a richer depth and bigger volume.

How does the piano play in different modes?

The Yamaha YDP103 plays in two different modes, namely the dual-mode and the duo mode. Though this is a basic model of the Yamaha series, this feature of the instrument doesn’t fail to impress its users. 

In the dual-mode, the pianist can layer two different sounds so as to get a richer and a complex tone. In this mode, whenever you press a key, the piano plays the sounds of two different instruments at the same time.  It is up to your imagination to experiment and combine ten built-in tones of the different instruments.

In the Duo mode, the keyboard is divided into two sections with an equal pitch range. Thus it is possible for two people to play within the same range and they can also perform piano duets as well. This feature helps students and teachers to play side by side and help the teacher train the student efficiently.

Teaching Mode

The Yamaha YDP 103 features about ten demo songs and 10 present piano songs. The amateur pianist can playback the songs to learn and also play along, by adjusting the tempo of the original songs.

This piano lacks the MIDI recorder functionality and thus you cannot record songs or import them from external devices. Lesson mode is also not available with the piano.

Check out: Top 7 Best Digital Pianos & Keyboards for Beginners

Yamaha YDP103 Connectivity Features

The piano enjoys standard connectivity features, and it is equipped with two headphone jacks and a USB to host port. This jack is located underneath the keyboard and it is important that you look for it to connect the headphone. 

Its USB to host port helps to connect the piano with a computer or an iOS device so that the pianist can take advantage of the different educational and music-making apps. Connecting with the apps helps the pianist to a wide arena of music learning, music creation, and entertainment.

Users have to buy an A-B USB cable to connect the piano with the PC, maybe from an electronics store. If you wish to connect the piano with an iPhone or iPad, then you have to buy lightning to USB camera adapter. Yamaha associates with a free app for iOS devices, the digital piano controller app that helps the pianist to navigate the different features of the YDP 103 with the help of an intuitive on-screen interface.

There is no Bluetooth connectivity and thus you have to buy the accessories cable to connect with smart devices. Alternatively, you can make use of the Yamaha Wireless MIDI adapter.

Related Reading:- List of Best Yamaha Digital Pianos 2020

Miscellaneous Features

There are a few important functions available with this piano that helps you in creating the best music of exceptional clarity. The YDP 103 has a metronome, that is an excellent tool that helps amateur pianist to develop the best music rhythm and time sense. Make use of the ‘function + key’ combination to play the best music with great tempo and beat. You can use the tuning or transpose function to adjust the pitch of the sound.

Transpose function helps to raise or lower the pitch in semitone steps. This function can be used to play the song with a different key without changing the position of the hand. Beginners can use this function to transpose a song that has to be played with a difficult key to be replaced by an easier key.

You can make use of the tuning function to fine-tune the instrument’s pitch so that it matches the pitch of another instrument or music in a CD.

Final Words

The Yamaha YDP103 is an entry-level piano for beginners who are looking for a low-cost piano to learn their lessons and to participate in concerts. There are few limitations on this piano but it is still a good bet for its cost. It comes with the Yamaha’s basic sound engine and hammer action keyboard, which is preferred by professional pianists. In short, it is an excellent piano with a traditional look and a portable design.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hey,

    I am Sharon, a beginner pianist. After learning some quick lessons I am now thinking to buy a good compact and portable piano and after reading some reviews online of various pianos of Yamaha, I think YDP103 suits my needs. Thanks for this amazing review.

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