For most pianists from all over the world, including myself, Yamaha is the go-to name. Yamaha has two very popular lines of digital keyboards in the market—the Clavinova series and the Arius series. I haven’t been much of a fan of Arius models. In fact, I haven’t paid much attention to them because they are not designed to be portable. I stumbled upon and had the liberty of trying out a Yamaha YDP 142 in a local church when I was asked to fill in for a friend who plays for a kids’ choir.
YDP 142 is one of the latest Arius models, along with models that I’ve tried before: YPD 141, YDP 162 and YDPS51. It is priced at $999. For an averagely-priced model, it has its perks and charm. Some people appreciate YDP’s upright, cabinet-style design and the complementary bench that comes along with it. This style is a definite hit for people who are used to the ‘boxy’ look of acoustic traditional pianos and are transitioning from such to digital pianos. With a really good model, they might not be able to tell the difference. I, on the other hand, personally prefer digital keyboards that are lighter and less bulky on the eyes. This mode has a hefty 83-pound weight. I do admit, however, that the model has a classy look once it is assembled. This model, however, doesn’t have the ivory top keys of YDP 162, and instead has plastic-looking keys, which might be a turn-off, given the ‘classic’ vibe of its cabinet design. The model can be purchased either in Dark Rosewood or Black Walnut finish. Aesthetically, I would say the model looks great.
Compared to its predecessor, 141, Arius YDP142 has a lot of upgrades and improvements that are impressive since the price difference is not too high. However, its shine shies away once you compare with the two other models that have better features. This model has the full spectrum of 88 keys. 142 has a maximum of 128 notes of polyphony, doubling the YDP 141’s 64 notes. It carries with it ten different voices, as opposed to just six, including the concert grand piano as its default voice, strings, organ, harpsichord, and more. 142 has a 12-watt audio power for its speakers, which was more than enough for a middle-sized chapel. Pianists who are looking for variations with much bigger audio power should opt for the 162 and S51 since both models carry 40 watts. The difference is quite obvious to a trained ear, since the amplified sound from 12-watt audio speakers in 142 tend to be thinner in the bass. 142uses the standard GHS action for its key weight mechanism, and although this isn’t particularly terrible, it is a far cry from the GH action in 162 and S51. In my opinion, the key weight action in these two latter models is much more stable, quiet and accurate than 142’s. The GHS action in 142, on the other, tends to be too heavy that you need to put a little more pressure and effort than usual to press the lower range keys. But since the 142 is much cheaper, it’s understandable.
If there’s one thing this model takes seriously, it would definitely be the sound quality. Just like the 162 and S51, it uses Yamaha’s CF Sound Engine for its sampling. The grand piano voices are sampled from Yamaha’s pride, CFIIIS. 142 also has Yamaha’s so-called ‘acoustic optimizer’ like all the latest Arius models. This feature supposedly enhances the sound coming from the piano, making it sound more realistic and closer to an acoustic piano. Unfortunately, I haven’t been paying much attention to the Arius line to be able to tell the difference or detect the improvement (compared to earlier models). Still, the piano DOES, in fact, sound great and it’s nice to know Yamaha is putting an effort to make their products more satisfying. The model lives by ‘quality not quantity’ and it certainly delivers on its promise.
There are other features to have fun with, including a 2-track recorder. Again, this is not the best of the best, but is a generous offer considering the price. It also has the layer and split option to enable users to play two different voices at the same time. In addition, it has transpose and tuning options. A metronome feature will help players stay in rhythm, and its internal memory carries a good selection of 50 songs in the song bank. You can connect up to two headphones on the instrument for conducting lessons or practicing. The model also supports USB and MIDI connectivity. All in all, the Arius YDP 142 may be modest and simple, but it lives up to the brand’s superb performance when it comes to realistic and beautiful sounds.
Visit the Yamaha Digital Piano page for more info and recommendations: http://digitalpianoreviewssite.com/yamaha/