Yamaha YDP-103 Review – Affordable Digital Piano In 2021

The Yamaha YDP-103 is the junior in the Yamaha Arius series, and it is the most affordable so far, with similarities to older Arius series pianos such as YDP-143 and YDP-163. In this Yamaha YDP-103 Review, we’ll be unpacking all you need to know about the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 piano. If you ready, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

DESIGN


The Look

The Yamaha Arius YDP-103 piano comes in a fine wooden cover. The synthetic wood-grain finish, combined with the bright rosewood color, gives the piano the subtlest of looks.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - The Look

The sliding cover is sleek on the hands, making it easy to open and close. The color of the piano bench matches the piano’s color, giving you that perfectly synchronized look.

The sliding key cover helps protect the keys from dust, ensuring dirt and dust don’t accumulate.  

Music Rest

The Yamaha Arius YDP-103 comes with an adjustable music rest. The music rest is similar to that of the YDP-144 and can be flattened at choice.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - Music Rest

With the music rest, you can flatten it so much that a laptop will comfortably rest on the piano.

Control

The Yamaha YDP-103 comes with a beautiful and easy-to-understand control panel that makes learning to play easy.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - Controls

Thanks to the OLED graphic display, changing from one built-in sound to the next is made relatively easy. With two buttons for multiple features, controlling the piano is easy for beginners. And there is also a volume knob you can use to adjust the volume whenever you want.

However, the controls do not allow for recording any sound you play. This could be a bummer for someone looking to record while they play. Nonetheless, with the app, you can record your performances.

Keys

What makes the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 piano one of the best for a beginner is the fully weighted and Graded Hammer standard 88-keys it has. With a Graded Hammer Standard Key, your playing experience is smooth, and you can easily transition from high to low key.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - Keys

Although the keys are plastic, it doesn’t mean they become heavy or tiring on the fingers when you play.

The Graded Hammer Standard gives you the feel of the CF-IIIs nine-foot concert grand piano.

Also, when you’re playing, the weight of the keys makes you feel as though you’re playing an acoustic piano which is pretty incredible for a piano of that price.

Size & Weight

The weight of the Yamaha YDP-103 is 82 pounds(37.5kg).

It has the dimensions of 135.2 x 42.2 x 81.5cm (53.4” x 16.6” x 32.1”) making it a good fit for your living room or studio space.

KEY ACTION


The Graded Hammer standard of the Yamaha YDP-103 is the lowest end key action technology from Yamaha, and as you would expect, it is only good enough for beginners.

The GHS actually uses little hammers to stimulate the action of an acoustic piano but this cannot be compared to the action of more expensive digital pianos.

The YDP-103 has graded effect which means the left keys are heavier than the right keys. So, as you move from left to right, the weight of the keys reduces.

You would easily notice key stroke noise. However, for an entry level piano, it is manageable.

The key action uses just two sensors. Hence, it is harder to play fast repeated notes and even much harder to control the sound while doing so.

The keys are sensitive to touch. So, the lighter you press the keys, the lower the sound and vice versa.

With the Yamaha Arius YDP-103, you can customize the key’s sensitivity to fit what you like. The different key-sensitivity customizations you can choose from include: FIXED, SOFT, HARD, AND MEDIUM.

SOUND


One of the major features of a digital piano is sound.

At the heart of the Yamaha YDP-103 is the AWM Stereo sampling technology. This is the sound technology Yamaha uses for its budget digital pianos.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - Sound

It is lowest end in all of Yamaha’s three tone generator. The others are Pure CF Sound Engine, and CFX Sampling.

The piano has just 64-note polyphony which cannot be good enough for professional use.

Although the YDP-103 doesn’t have the half-damper feature, it still produces fairly good string sounds and a wide variety of realistic acoustic sounds.

One major disadvantage of the YDP-103 when it comes to sound are the two harpsichord patches. They don’t sound as great as the grand piano or electric sounds the piano produces. However, if you want a fairly good vibraphone patch, the YDP-103 should be good for you.

Making these sound choices, especially for a beginner, might be hard. But with the help of a professional, you are good to go.

The piano has two speakers that produce a maximum output of 12W. This obviously isn’t the most powerful sound but it should be okay for a small room.

FEATURES


For one of the lowest-priced digital pianos in the market, the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 comes with some amazing features. Yes, you won’t be getting the grandest sound quality; still, you’ll be getting a great bargain.

You can connect the YDP-103 to the Digital controller app on an iPad to make the control and use of the piano easier and even fun. With the app, you can choose from various sounds, adjust settings and record your performances.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - App

Some of the features of the YDP-103 include:

PEDALS: Three

  • Damper
  • Sostenuto
  • Soft.

SOUNDS: Eight

  • Vibraphone
  • Strings
  • Two harpsichords
  • Two pipe organs
  • Two electric pianos
  • Two grand pianos (Concert and bright)

POLYPHONY: There are 64 different polyphonies

KEY SENSITIVITY:

  • Fixed
  • Hard
  • Soft
  • Medium

REVERB: Four levels.

  • Room
  • Hall
  • Hall2
  • Stage reverb

MODES:  Two

  • dual-mode: You can layer two instrument sounds on top each other with the dual-mode
  • Duo mode: You can divide the keyboard into two halves with this mode.

CONNECTIVITY:

  • Two Headphone jacks
  • USB to Host Port
  • Pedals

APP:

  • Digital controller app

ACCESSORIES:

  • Bench
  • music rest
  • AC power adapter

OTHER FEATURES:

  • Power saver
  • Fine-tuning and transpose
  • Metronome
  • Has two dedicated onboard speakers

ACCESSORIES


The first obvious accessory of the YDP-103 is the music rest. It also comes with a bench, so you don’t have to spend some extra bucks buying a seat.

Note, the bench is not comfortable for everyone. If it isn’t good enough for you, you would have to buy a better one.

The speakers aren’t so great so you might have to consider buying an external speaker or a quality pair of headphones.

It has a three pedal system that are identical to what you will find on an acoustic piano.

Yamaha YDP-103 Review - Accessories

WHO IT’S FOR?


For someone who is still trying to get the hang of playing the piano, especially those starting with digital pianos, the YDP-103 is good for them.

If you are not sure about your decision to play the piano, the YDP-103 is a perfect digital piano to give piano-playing a try.

It is easy to use, assemble, and more importantly, it wouldn’t tear a whole in your pocket.

CONCLUSION


Beginners who want to try their hands on an affordable digital piano before moving up the scale can trust the quality of the Yamaha Arius YDP-103.

Yamaha has always given us the best digital pianos, and the YDP-103 is no different looking at the price.

It does have some downsides, but for the price it goes for, the Yamaha Arius YDP-103 is a good buy and one of the best affordable digital pianos in the market.

Hopefully, this Yamaha YDP-103 Review has served as a good buying guide for you.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY


OTHER OPTION


If you want other digital pianos aside from the YDP-103, there are some good ones in the market. One of such is the YAMAHA YDP-144.

Yamaha YDP-103 Vs Yamaha YDP-144

One of the major differences between the YDP-103 and the YDP-144 is the quality of sound produced. The YDP-144 produces better sounds than the YDP-103.

While the YDP-103 uses the AWM engine for sounds, the YDP-144 uses CFX sampling technology which is better than the AWM.

The 64 polyphones in the YDP-103 can be limiting, especially when placed side by side with the YDP-144, with 192 polyphones.

No doubt, the YDP-103 has good speakers, but in comparison with the YDP-144’s 16W speakers, the 12W speakers of the YDP-103 fall flat on its face.  

Although the price of the YDP-144 is higher than YDP-103, it is a good alternative for someone looking to spend a bit more on a new digital piano.


Feel free to leave a comment, I would love to know what you think about the YDP-103. If you have some experience with the instrument, I would love to hear that too.

Yamaha YDP-103

6.3

DESIGN

6.0/10

KEY ACTION

5.0/10

SOUND

7.0/10

FEATURES

6.0/10

ACCESSORIES

5.0/10

VALUE

9.0/10

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Very Affordable
  • Natural Grand Piano Sound
  • Has three pedals

Cons

  • Limited Sound selection
  • No lesson Mode
  • Not enough Connectivity Ports
  • No MIDI Recorder
  • GHS Key Action
  • Only 64 Polyphony

4 thoughts on “Yamaha YDP-103 Review – Affordable Digital Piano In 2021”

  1. Nice Post!
    It was really unbiased but still, I don’t think the YDP-103 is good enough for beginners.

    My advise to beginners is to get the best DP their money can buy. However, like you said, if a beginner is on a tight budget, the YDP-103 isn’t a bad choice.

    I recenty bought the YDP-181 and I think it’s such an amazing instrument. I can’t wait to see your review of it.

    1. Hi Eva,

      I have different thoughts about beginners. Many people, especially adults, are giving piano a try. Usually they are not sure if this new hobby would persist. There’s always a good chance that their passion for piano fades away.

      It is for that reason, I advice for cheaper models for beginners.

      Obviously, if you already decided that you’ll play the piano for the long run, bet the best model your budget can afford.

  2. I read through your last review on the Kawai CA49. That was great but this is explains even more about the Yamaha YDP-103.

    I’m piano teacher and your reviews really help me give buying guides to my students who can afford a digital piano.

    I would love your expert opinion on this – What would you say is the best digital piano that cost less than $1000.

    I anticipate your response.
    And cheers to more amazing reviews this year.

    1. Hi Iggy,

      Thanks for dropping by and your kind comment. I promised myself to pump out more digital piano reviews in 2021. Very glad to know that it has helped people like you.

      The digital piano industry has been pulling resources into mid-range market segment. We have now quite a few awesome models below/around $1000. I’ll list a few here:

      Yamaha YDP 144/S34 – Classic Yamaha, great sound and solid key action. The 144 and S34 are basically the same model with different design style.

      Kawai ES110 – Very good key action and a very popular choice among pianists. Had some key noise issue but Kawai has fixed that. There’s a new model launched last year, the ES520. I’m working on the review of that and should be out in a few days. I like it very much, although it costs $1,200.

      Roland FP-10 – Cut down in features but you get the same sound and key action as Roland’s premium models. If I have a tight budget, this model would definitely be on my list.

      Casio PX870 – I personally bought this for my mother. That tells you how much I like this piano.

      Cassio PX-S1000 – Very capable piano with almost futuristic design.

      Hope this helps.

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