Yamaha Arius YDP-143 Review

Yamaha Arius YDP-143 Review – Still A Solid Choice In 2019?

Yamaha YDP-143

7.3

Design

7.0/10

Key Action

7.0/10

Sound

7.0/10

Features

7.0/10

Accessories

7.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Solid do-it-all
  • Pure CF sound Engine
  • Good looking
  • 3 pedals with half pedaling
  • Internal recorder

Cons

  • Key action can be better at this price range
  • Weak speakers
  • Small music rest
  • No Bluetooth
  • Included bench not height adjustable

The Yamaha Arius YDP-143 was launched way back in 2016. It has since been a popular digital piano in the market. With all the new technologies and innovations in the industry, is the YDP-143 still worth its price in 2019? Spend a few minutes and find out in this Yamaha Arius YDP-143 review.

DESIGN


  • The Look

The Yamaha YDP-143 looks sleek. With straight lines at every edge, it gives a modern aura to the room.

It’s also not trying to fool you into thinking that it might be an acoustic upright. The thin cabinet makes it clear that this is a digital piano.

The key cover slides in and out.

You get to choose between Black and Rosewood, both have simulated wooden texture on the surface.

There is also a white version. However for some reason, its availability depends on your region.

  • Music Rest

The music rest of Yamaha YDP-143 is fold-able, which gives it a clean look when I’m not using it.

There is a tinny slide at the bottom to hold the pages. However, with the tilted back angle, the slide is often too small to hold any page from a book. It is nice to keep a single page in place though.

The Music Rest of Yamaha YDP-143

I would love to have the rest a bit wider. What’s more annoying is that the rest is not tall enough.

If you print your sheet music on A4 papers; as I sometimes do; the top half of the sheet will quite often fold itself over the rest.

One last complaint about the music rest is the curvy top side of it. I feel like that curve just ruins the whole style of the piano. However, that’s totally personal.

  • ControlYamaha YDP-143 control panel right sideYamaha YDP-143 control panel left side

There are a few buttons on the left side. I like the single line of these buttons and the  choice Yamaha made for the collection of these buttons. I find these to be the most often used functions.

There are a lot more functions that you can change through a combination of buttons and keys. These will require the user manual.

On the right side, there’s the power button and a volume knob. I honestly hate that knob. Would much prefer a volume slide. I find it difficult to control the knob precisely and it looks ugly there.

Overall, the controls are clean and function. They are well-labeled too.

  • Keys

The Yamaha Arius YDP-143 comes with a full 88 keyboard. The keys are plastic with a glossy surface. The black keys do have a matte surface.

This could be annoying to some people as the keys can get slippery after a long play session.

I do like the red velvet at the end of the keys, which gives the piano a premium feel.

  • Size & Weight

The Yamaha YDP-143 weighs around 38 kg (84 lbs).

After assemble, the dimensions are 136 x 42 x 81 cm (53″ x 17″ x 32″).

The package that you would receive is around 152 x 56 x 47 cm (60″ x 22″ x 19″).

KEY ACTION


The Yamaha YDP-143 is equipped with 88 keys with Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard GHS technology.

It is identical to the keys you would find in the Yamaha P45 as well as the YDP-103. They are weighted and graded with actual hammers in the system to mimic the feeling of an acoustic piano.

As I said in my Yamaha P45 review, this key action is very good for en entry level digital piano.

Bear in mind that the P45 costs less than $400 and the YDP-143 goes over a thousand. For this price, there are simply better key action elsewhere in the market.

SOUND


The overall sound quality offered by Yamaha Arius YDP-143 is pretty good.

This is where it starts to differ itself from cheaper choices like the YDP-103 or the P45.

It uses the Pure CF Sound Engine for the sampling and there is damper resonance as well. This is the sampling technology you will find in more expensive pianos like the YDP-163.

Yamaha Pure CF sound sampling

It does a good job of re-producing the sound experience of the Yamaha CFIIIS 9 foot concert grand.

Yamaha used something called ‘Stereophonic Optimizer‘ to enhance the sound quality with headphones. It works pretty well however the Binaural Sampling used in modern high end models is much superior!

Unfortunately, the pretty good sound sampling is somewhat undermined by the speakers equipped in the YDP-143.

There are only two 6 watt speakers. And again, that’s identical to the much cheaper P45 at $400.

They are loud enough to fill a room but the sound quality is a bit lacking.

This is actually my biggest complaint against the YDP-143. It is one thing to use a pair of monitors/speakers for a portable digital piano like the P45. It is very different for a piano like the YDP-143. Because that would ruin the whole furniture design concept and that leaves you with a compromise.

Either you compromise on the sound quality or you compromise the aesthetics.

FEATURES


Pure CF sound engine is what I would consider the most outstanding feature that comes along with Yamaha Arius YDP-143. Even though there are now newer sound sampling from Yamaha, the Pure CF still sounds impressive and realistic.

Another feature that was a big deal back in 2016 is that the YDP-143 can connect to your iPad with USB and you can access all the features through their APP.

Unfortunately, we have seen some wireless connections via Bluetooth being used on digital pianos nowadays. This is where the YDP-143 doesn’t age well.

Here are some useful features built in the Yamaha Arius YDP-143. Most of them though require combinations of buttons and/or keys or through their APP with a USB connection.

  • Sound:
    • Grand pianos × 3
    • Electric pianos × 2
    • Organs × 2
    • Harpsichords
    • Strings
    • Vibraphone
  • Polyphony: 192
  • Key sensitivity:
    • Fixed: turns off key sensitivity
    • Soft
    • Medium (default)
    • Hard
  • Reverb settings (each with 10 levels):
    • Recital Hall
    • Concert Hall
    • Chamber
    • Club
  • Modes:
    • Dual mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
    • Duo mode: split the keyboard to identical halfs
  • Recording:
    • 1 song with 2 tracks
  • 10 Demo songs and 50 piano songs
  • Headphone jack × 2
  • USB to Host port

 

ACCESSORIES


Typically, you will have your Yamaha Arius YDP-143 delivered with a bench (depends on region), three pedals and a song book ’50 Greats for the Piano’.

But there are many different bundles offered by different vendors. You should definitely check them out in your regional vendors before making a purchase.

The sustain pedal supports half pedaling, which is good news.

The bench however is not height adjustable and many people complain that it’s too narrow.

A good pair of headphone is still highly recommended.

As for monitors/speakers, I guess it depends on if you want to compromise on sound quality or aesthetics.

WHO IT’S FOR


The Yamaha Arius YDP-143 is an all rounder! It is solid in very aspect although there’s nothing really amazing about it.

I think it is ideal for beginners and casual piano players, who also want their piano to fit in a room and look good. Could also be a good choice for a secondary piano.

If you are somewhat advanced or if you are dead serious about your music, there are better options out there for the price.

CONCLUSION


In this Yamaha Arius YDP-143 review, I showed you that this digital piano is designed as an all rounder.

It has very good sound, decent key actions, adequate speakers, many useful features and good looks.

If you are looking for a piano for your living room that looks good and performs well, you can’t go wrong choosing the Yamaha YDP-143 for its price. I guess that’s what makes it one of the most popular digital piano in the market.

However, the Yamaha YDP-143 is after all quite old and technology in the digital piano industry has been moving forward every year. There are quite some competitions out there that make the YDP-143 less attractive.


>> Click here to check price and availability! <<


OTHER OPTIONS

Yamaha YDP-143 vs. Kawai KDP 110

These two are similarly priced, with the YDP-143 a hundred dollars cheaper.

The RHCII key action on the KDP 110 is significantly better than the GHS on the Yamaha. The RHCII is a triple sensor action and the GHS is dual sensor. It is also better in terms of responsiveness, expression and timing.

The sound engine on both models are both very good. However, the KDP 110 does have an edge that each note is individually sampled. It has also a much powerful speaker system than the YDP-143. The KDP 110 packs 40 watt speaker while the YDP-143 has 12 watt.

They have the same polyphony number. But the KDP 110 wins again with Bluetooth.

Overall, the Kawai KDP 110 is much better than the Yamaha YDP-143. You do get charged a lot premium for the Yamaha brand.

For more details about the Kawai KDP 110, click here for my full review.


Yamaha YDP-143 vs. Roland F-140R

Another similarly priced model is the Roland F-140R. It is a very popular entry level digital piano from Roland.

The F-140R has much more features than the YDP-143. Not only does it also have Bluetooth, the F-140R has 300 more sounds to choose from. It also has a USB to device port and can record more songs internally.

Both instruments sound excellent. However, the GHS key action on the Yamaha is a bit lacking compare to the PHA-4 action on the Roland. Even though I’m not a fan of the simulated escapement on the PHA-4, it does feel more responsive and expressive than the GHS.

I would recommend the Roland F-140R over the Yamaha YDP-143 for its superior key action and more advanced features.

For more details about the Roland F-140R, click here for my full review.


Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Yamaha YDP-143, please share with us in the comment below.

Posted in Digital Piano Reviews and tagged .

6 Comments

  1. After 10 years with the excellent Yamaha PSR E403, I would like to buy my wife a new keyboard. This time though, I would like to give her a surprise, so I am looking for a digital piano.
    I am glad I ran into your website. Yours is a very honest, comprehensive review, thank you very much. I had heard some positive comments about the Yamaha Arius YDP 143, but you perfectly highlighted both pro and cons.
    I know for a fact that my wife does not like weak speakers as she likes to hear the sound of her music in the proper way (she is a perfectionist).
    On such grounds I am afraid the Arius would not sit well with her, but given that I am going to buy her a digital piano anyway, would you be so kind to recommend me some other products?
    I have a 1000 – 1500 $ budget.
    Please note that Yamaha is always my first choice.
    Thank you very much in advance for your time and reply.

    • Hi Andrew, thanks for dropping by and your kind comment. What a sweet idea to surprise your wife with a digital piano! I have to admit, I’m not that bold. The fair that she doesn’t like it would cause me much anxiety. Anyway, for your budget, I can recommend two things. First is the Yamaha YDP-143 with a pair of monitors. The iLoud Micro is great for that and it’s small. Other options would be a different digital piano. If you are on team Yamaha, I would recommend the YDP-163, which has a 3 sensor key action and it’s equipped with two 20 watt speakers, more than 3 time more powerful than the YDP-143. You can find the YDP-163 on amazon for $1,499. Hope that helps!

  2. I taught myself to read music and play piano when i was 8. It later came in handy when I started playing percussion in band as i got older. What I want to know is the feel of the keys. On traditional ivory keys they almost feel “soft” to the touch and a well maintained one will have impeccable bounce back after tapping the keys. I’ve played on electric keyboards before (I know a bit different than an electric piano) but I’ve noticed there’s not the same “bounce” to the keys. If you know what im talking about lol, would you be able to tell me if when playing this piano, does it feel more like a traditional piano or an electric keyboard?

    • Hi Ash, would love to hear your story as how you taught yourself piano when you were 8. Must be an amazing story. As for key actions, I know exactly what you mean. An electric keyboard is quite different from digital piano. The manufactures do everything they can in their digital pianos to mimic the feeling of grand acoustic pianos. Some users would swear that they never come close to the ‘real’ thing. But I happen to believe that they are pretty close now a days. Especially when they push out new technology every year with new product launch. Sometime in the future, we might see digital pianos replacing acoustic ones more and more often in the home environment.

  3. Hi Wei, thanks for the great and detailed review. Just curious though, what was the price when it originally came out, since it’s a few years old? Has the price come down since then?
    Also what is the equivalent competition in other models for me to compare in terms of performances vs price? Thanks again!

    • Hi Ferhat, thanks for your comment and questions. I actually had to do a little digging for the price history. From what I can find, the YDP-143 was announced for $1,499. So the price has drop quite a lot in the past. At similar price range, there’s the Roland F-140R and the Casio PX870, both have some newer technology that the YDP-143 doesn’t have. Come back for my review of these two.

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