on April 27, 2012
I love this digital piano! After some research, I decided to purchase the Arius YDP-161, and I'm so glad I did. The keys are weighted so you get the feel of a real piano. The tone is great and there are options for other instrument sounds, as well as a built-in metronome. Also has double stereo headphone jacks- really helpful if you have neighbors close-by.
As a beginner, this is great for me, and it is the same model used at the studio where I take lessons, so it is also good for those much more advanced. I was able to put it together by myself in a little over an hour (the actual keyboard unit is pretty heavy so be careful or have someone help you lift it). Mine came with a bench that was even easier to assemble (just screwed on the legs). Also, I ordered the rosewood version and it blends in with the rest of the furniture well and is actually quite attractive and very compact depth-wise. When the keyboard cover is closed, it almost looks like a table.
Summary: great quality, reasonable price (given the high-quality), easy assembly and unobtrusive look & feel. There are so many choices, but you won't go wrong with the Arius.
on January 7, 2013
This piano is amazing. We knew it would be, after trying it at a local store. It meets every expectation. It was really easy (took me less than 45mins total) to assemble, and it sounds absolutely breathtaking. It sounds just like a concert grand. When my wife and I were shopping the piano galleries, we decided on this beauty because of the price, and the fact that it sounds and feels just like a concert piano. This piano well deserves the title of "Digital Piano" rather than keyboard, it truly earns it.
The rosewood finish is a very nice dark color, which matches the room it is in (black shelving units and burgundy curtains)
The sound quality on this piano surpasses the YDP-141 by a lot, but doesn't have all the (unnecessary in my opinion) bells and whistles of the YDP-181 or the Clavinova line. If you want a straightforward, simple piano that is small enough to fit in tight spaces, yet still sounds just like a grand, this is the piano for you. We are looking forward to years of enjoying this wonderful instrument.
One note however: Do not buy this expecting portability, it weighs well over 100lbs, and while the legs and back are quite sturdy, I don't think this piano would like moving around very much.
Also, the bench does not have a compartment for music (as previously mentioned) but we knew that going in, so we were not disappointed.
Also, Amazon is great. We were originally planning on buying this at a local merchant (local meaning 150 miles away) but because of the deal Amazon had going, we saved over $300 off the SALE price.
I would highly recommend this piano to anyone who is looking.
on April 30, 2012
I've had this for about a month now and I'm very satisfied with it. Assembly was easy. If you can put together a bookcase from Ikea you can put together this piano. The sound is fantastic, and it sounds really good with headphones too. The action on the keys is also pretty good, I'd be surprised if you could tell you're not playing on a real piano (disclaimer: I'm not a professional pianist). At any rate, considering the price, savings in space, ability to play with headphones, etc, this piano is a really good deal.
on May 21, 2012
At the beginging I would like to say that I have been played piano several years while I was school student and my original piano was acoustic upright "Primor'e"(russian brand). I never realize that I will able to find equval digital piece. I did huge research just because I have experience as
musical instrument salesperson. I try to play full line of Roland, which is pretty good; ap seria from Casio, ydp seria from Yamaha, all keyboard from Casio, Yamaha and Roland with weighted keys.
I was looking for digital piano close as much as possible to my old one, which was left by me. I mean keytouch, special kind of felling of keyweight+ trully respond. I do not need all fansy features(split, transpose, reverb, brilliance, piano designer and so on) unless headphone capability , control volume and avoiding tunning are ehough for my piano dream.
Of course, now we are limited in space in our apartment, but any way I would like to get nice piace of furniture. Most of the furniture style pianos are with more watts in speakers.
And finally I have decided about YDP161. It is ideal piano for all my needs.
I hope it will work for my son also. From my experience I know that Yamaha staffs always well made. Plus great price for value.
on June 25, 2012
Original review with one star: I really would have liked to rate it as 4 or 5 start. We received the product from UPS today and were so happy. However, just when we finished the assembly, we found a broken key on the far left. There is a big hole on the front side of the first white key! We can't believe this is happening! We were very gentle and didn't even open the key cover when we assembled it. And it did not look like a shipping damage either. Maybe this is a return? Or it's damaged at the factory?
This is a large item that takes effort to put together. I am still not sure how to repackage it and send it back. I really want to keep it but I can't keep a damaged digital piano! Very dissapointed. All the hassles. I will see if I can replace it or order a different model. If all works out, I will update this comment.
Additional comment added on 7/4/12: Thanks to Amazon's fast return service! We ordered another one. So far, we are very happy with it. This one didn't have any broken parts. However, there were two spare screws laying on the key board when we opened it. They didn't belong to anywhere, which was a mystery to us. We hope to use this piano for years to come.
on September 29, 2012
Bought one recently after reading other people's review with high expectation. I was very satisfied with the protection of packing. After I opened the box for installation, I found that there was a clear crack on the board with pedals. Apparently not due to shipping. It didn't bother me at beginning, I thought that I could to ask a replacement of this piece. But, it is not that easy. I had to repack all items up and ship back, just like refund. The problem is the repacking is really hard. Never thought of returning, too fast unboxing to remember how each piece exactly stays together in box. I don't want to repack them in a wrong way that may damage the items, it is not a cheap stuff. For a "huge" Piano, why no choice of a replacement of the broken piece instead of the whole item? There is no other flexible choice, refund or replacement of whole item, either way need to repack everything. It made me kind of disappointed. The manufacturer should also show how to repack the piece after unboxing if their product is not always 100% perfect. have to re-order another one or other model. As to the quality of the piano, no chance to know yet. I will update it late.
2012/10/11/ After returning the crack one, we ordered another. This time, I was very disappointed to the packing. Both the box and the inside support are broken. Some pieces were held with tapes in a way looks so cheap, indicating that the set we received is not a brand new one! At least some devices of them are not. It seemed to be not OK for me to buy a "used one" with a full price. But I am tired of thinking if i should return again although AMAZON provides a very convenient return procedure. I gave one star temporarily and will update later based on what will happen.
2012/11/24 I am pretty satisfied with both the piano and packing except for the late deliver, which however was due to Fedex. So, I would like to use 4 stars this time to replace the previous one star.
on January 27, 2013
We tried every model of digital piano we could get our hands on in and around the price range of the YDP-161, from Yamaha to Korg to Kawai and Williams. We also tried a number of real pianos, both uprights and grands, for comparison. It was tough deciding between the YDP-181 and 161 models - but in the end, the YDP-161 was, in our opinion, the best piano for the price. First, a bit of background to put this review into context. As far as piano goes, I'm a beginner. I have, however, played a number of other instruments in my time, including the guitar for 20 years. I've owned a variety of amplifiers and recorded twice in studios. That said, here's my review on the YDP-161. I'll include comparisons to some other models we tried along the way.
Looks and build quality: The piano itself feels very well built, sturdy, and assembles quite easily. Once assembled properly, it's like a rock, and does not sway around in any way. The footpedal bar has a simple mechanism to support it from below so that it does not bend (I recall one review I read complained about this bar bending -- this mechanism was clearly not set up properly). Please keep in mind the keyboard itself does weigh around 90+ lbs, so you likely want two people to do the setup together. The entire box for the piano is quite large, barely fit into our car, and weighs around 130 lbs. The rosewood finish is quite beautiful, and the piano itself is a welcome addition to any room with matching color scheme as a nice piece of furniture. The piano includes a great slide-out cover for the keys to keep them clean when not in use.
Action and playability: Again, keep in mind that I'm not a piano expert. That being said, in my opinion, the YDP-161 has excellent action, feeling quite close to the real thing. Of course, it's not exactly the same as feeling a hammer hit a string as on a real piano, but the keys have a very firm and satisfying feeling to them, not flimsy at all. Compared to the Yamaha YDP-141, the only major difference is the higher quality action on the 161, which is quite noticeable. The 161 is by far among the best digital pianos we tried. The Korg and Williams models we tried were nowhere near as good. The 181 and 161 theoretically have identical action.
Sound: This piano sounds remarkably good, and has very rich tones. There are times when you momentarily forget it's an electric piano (but again, in the end it's of course not a real piano). I believe it has 3 sampled sounds per key, in the sense that depending on how hard you hit the key, there are 3 different tones that same key can make, allowing for quite expressive playing. Perhaps my only slight gripes about this piano are that it doesn't go VERY loud (although it's loud enough for playing in the house), and that the bass on the 181 model is slightly better. I imagine this is due to the fact that the 181 has larger and better speakers than the 161. Again, highlighting the importance of the speakers, the Yamaha P155 in comparison, which on paper has better specs than the 161 (such as 4-level sampling instead of 3 like the YDP-161), has much crappier speakers than the 161, and hence sounds very tinny. For this reason, I suspect the P155 was more built for the serious portable pianist who'll hook up to better quality external speakers when he/she gets to a gig venue. Going back to the 141 vs 161, both have the same sampled sounds, but the 161's amplifier has slightly more watts -- note that this does NOT mean the 161 is realistically louder. Rather, the loudness of the instrument will depend primarily on the amount of air its speakers are able to move around, and both the 141 and 161 share the same speakers. As an aside, the key reason you might want an amp with more watts (at least when it comes to guitar amps) is because more watts mean the amplifier can be turned up louder before the sound begins to distort.
Features: You can plug in two headphones (you'll need to purchase 1/4" adapter for this if you don't have one), and there are a number of voices etc that the 161 has. I won't go into detail on these, as I do not use them extensively, and moreover everyone else has already discussed them. One downside about the 161 vs the 181 is that the latter has a much better control panel. For example, on the 161 you have to press certain key combinations to get functions to work, such as setting the metronome to the correct tempo, or playing a pre-recorded song. It's not the end of the world, but it is annoying to a certain extent. I believe the 181 also has a USB port, unlike the 161. Keep in mind that the 181 does, however, weight at least 20 lbs more than the 161 for these reasons.
Conclusion: Realistically, I would give this piano 4.5 stars if I could; it's excellent in just about every respect; the only room for improvement is slightly for the bass and in the control panel -- but then again, if you want that, you can upgrade to the 181. It would have been nice, though, given the price difference between the 141 and 161, if the speakers on the 161 had also been upgraded from the 141. All in all, for the price, great instrument, I love it.
on March 19, 2013
We gave away the Steinway Studio grand to our daughter who is a profissional violinist and I bought this for my wife's birthday as she missed the vintage Steinway. I hooked the output of the Yamaha to a Lepai amp (reviewed separately) to drive a pair of 20+ yr old Yamaha speakers. The sound is almost as good as the Steinway and she is happy as a clam. To me a seldom commented added benefit is the collection of demonstration pieces which are those our kids played (Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven) when they were growing up. Now that they are thousands of miles away, the collection excites powerful, nostalgic moments. Turned this on, and it is as though they are still living in the house, beats just looking at the childhood pictures on the wall. Priceless.
on March 6, 2013
I purchased this digital piano from a local store that matched Amazon's price but offered delivery and assembly. It *is* heavy so that was a great help. This piano stood out to me a good choice for a serious beginner (very into classical music and have played another instrument). I didn't want to spend too much on a new hobby, but I wouldn't have been happy with a $200 black plastic keyboard.
It's been six months since I got it, and I'm definitely pleased with this choice. The keys feel realistic enough that I can switch between it and my teacher's amazing grand piano without noticeably adjusting my touch. I love that I can practice with headphones, which makes me less self-conscious as a beginner. It wouldn't pass for a real upright piano on close inspection, but the wood-style case is very tasteful which was important to me as an apartment-dweller with no rec room to stash it in. Also, over the holidays, I was staying with relatives and playing various out of tune upright pianos, which really highlighted for me how valuable it is not to have to worry about tuning.
- I find the bells and whistles difficult to use because there is no display screen or visual feedback. You can connect any computer with MIDI cables, but the program required to transfer files *onto* the piano is PC-only. In theory, I could load up a MIDI file of the left-hand part of a song I'm learning, but (a) I have a Mac and (b) I tried it with a borrowed PC and it was still a lackluster user experience. Also, as I was learning a piece that comes with the piano (Bach Invention), I wanted to turn off the left hand part and play slowly with the right hand. By the time you fiddle with the controls to turn off one part and adjust the speed, half the piece is over! And I still have no idea how to set the metronome to a specific speed. My point is that these bells and whistles are just so hard to use that it's not worth it. If they're important to you, check out the 181 which I believe has an LCD screen.
- I've had the opportunity to try out the higher-end Clavinova, and I do think its sound and touch were more piano-like (it's hard to describe, but it feels more like you're actually striking something and the sound and action feel more closely allied). I would not have wanted to spend that much at the outset of my hobby, but if I found myself still playing a few years from now and/or were moving, I would probably sell the 161 and try for a Clavinova rather than moving the 161.
Overall, I'm very happy with the convenience and quality I got for my level of investment.
on December 29, 2012
Got this as a gift for my nephew who studied classical piano in college. He's a very gifted pianist. So when he moved away from home for his job, he didn't have access to a piano. Had him look, touch, and check out electric pianos like this and this is the one he selected. He thinks its great. Has the touch and feel of a real piano keyboard.