I’m happy to report that I’ve finally been able to put my hands on the latest models of Yamaha’s Arius line.
And today we’ll be taking a closer look at a mid-range Arius digital piano, the Yamaha YDP-143, which has replaced the previous YDP-142 model.
I know it’s been a while since it was released in April 2016. BUT
The YDP-143 remains one of the most popular choices in its price range, and I don’t think Yamaha will be replacing it with a newer model any time soon.
As for today, the Arius family consists of 4 models with a traditional style cabinet:
and 2 models with a modern slim cabinet:
- YDP-S34 (slim, modern-design version of the YDP-144)
- YDP-S54 (slim, modern-design version of the YDP-164)
I’ve already shared my thoughts on the entry-level Yamaha YDP-103, which you can read here.
The YDP-143 is the next model up in the line, and, together with the YDP-163, they are currently the best-selling Arius digital pianos.
The YDP-143 comes with a number of important upgrades over the YDP-103, which makes it a more attractive instrument for experienced players.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the review and see exactly what the piano has to offer.
Yamaha YDP-143 Specs
- 88-key fully weighted keyboard with matte black keytops
- Graded Hammer Standard action
- Touch Sensitivity (Hard, Medium, Soft, Fixed)
- Sound: Pure CF Sound Engine
- 192-note polyphony
- 10 instrument sounds (3 pianos)
- 50 preset piano songs + 10 demo songs
- Modes: Duo, Dual
- Lesson Function (ability to practice each hand’s part separately)
- 2-track MIDI recorder
- Metronome, Transpose, Fine-tuning
- Intelligent Acoustic Control, Stereophonic Optimizer, Acoustic Optimizer
- Speakers: 6W + 6W (oval 12cm x 6cm speakers)
- Connectors: USB to Host, Headphone jacks (2)
- 135 x 42 x 81 cm (53.4” x 16.6” x 32”)
- 38 kg (83 lbs. 12 oz.)
Check the availability and current price of the Yamaha YDP-143 in your region:
The Yamaha YDP-143 is housed in a traditional looking cabinet designed to enhance the décor of any room without taking up too much space.
The sliding cover will keep the keyboard away from dust and dirt when you don’t play it.
Compared to an acoustic piano, the YDP-143 is much easier to move around, which is a big plus for those who need to transport it occasionally.
The pianos is 53.4″ wide and 16.6″ deep, which is pretty standard for instruments of such a design.
Digital pianos with a more modern look (e.g. Yamama YDP-S, Casio Privia line) are usually a few inches slimmer and even easier fit into smaller rooms.
Take a look at the comparison table below to see how the YDP-143 compares to other popular digital pianos in terms of size:
Yamaha is known for its excellent quality control. There have been very few issues with their digital pianos, and it’s a fact.
Their built quality is always great, and the instruments usually last for years.
The YDP-143 is no exception. Although the YDP-143 is a mid-range model, I was very pleased with the quality of this piano.
Add to this a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, and you get a pretty good value here.
The piano arrives unassembled in a big well-packaged box.
In the box, you’ll find the keyboard itself, 3-pedal bar, bench, and all the parts that you’ll need to assemble into the base.
Keep in mind that the piano weighs around 83 lbs and the box you get is over 100 lbs, so bear in mind that you may need another person to help you with unpacking and assembling.
With that said, the assembly is not too complicated, and the instructions are very clear.
You basically need to assemble the base, and then screw it to the keyboard itself using a Phillips-head screwdriver.
The YDP-143 comes with 3 piano pedals that operate just like sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals on an acoustic piano.
The sustain pedal also supports half-pedal function.
The piano is made of particleboard, but it’s of very good quality and doesn’t feel cheap at all.
The piano is covered with a grain wood finish and available in two colors: Dark Rosewood (YDP-143R) and Black Walnut (YDP-143B).
Both colors look nice and elegant, so you can’t really go wrong with either. It’s worth noting that Dark Rosewood is so dark that it seems almost black when you look at it from a distance.
There is also a White matte finish, but, unfortunately, it’s not available in the US.
The control panel is pretty standard. There are 7 buttons on the left side of the keyboard and a Volume knob + a Power button on the right.
The YDP-143 doesn’t have a display, so it’s not always easy to figure out what setting is being used.
Moreover, most functions and settings are accessed by using “button + button” or “button + key” combinations, which are not necessarily intuitive.
So initially you’ll have to look them up in the manual until you memorize the combinations you use most often.
To make things easier, the piano will produce a confirmation sound whenever you change a setting (can be disabled).
There is also an option to connect your iPhone or iPad to the piano and use the Yamaha controller app with an intuitive interface to navigate the YDP-143.
We’ll talk about that in more detail in the ‘Connectivity’ section of the review.
The Yamaha YDP-143 comes with a full set of 88 fully weighted keys, which feel similar to real piano keys.
It’s the same Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard that we saw on the YDP-103 as well as on the P-45 and P-115 (portable models).
I’ve said a lot about the GHS in previous reviews, so I’ll be short here.
As I said in the YDP-103 review, to my taste, there are more realistic keyboard actions on the market today, including ones from Kawai and Roland.
That said, the GHS is still a solid, reliable action, which feels good enough for most beginner and intermediate players.
Another advantage of the GHS keyboard is that it’s pretty quiet, and doesn’t make loud clicking noises when you play it.
The keys are weighted with a heavier touch in the lower end and a lighter touch in the upper end, just like an acoustic piano.
The touch sensitivity of the keys can be adjusted according to your playing preferences.
Depending on how much force you want to apply in order to produce the loudest sound you can choose a softer or harder touch.
There are 4 preset settings available: Soft, Medium (default), Hard, Off.
The GSH doesn’t offer synthetic ivory keytops found on some more expensive models like the YDP-163.
The white keys on the YDP-143 are made of smooth plastic, the black ones have a matte black finish on them, which enhances playing control and prevents mistakes.
The main distinction between the YDP-143 and its smaller brother (YDP-103) is tone generator.
The YDP-143 is equipped with the Pure CF sound engine, which is a big step forward from the AWM sampling technology.
The Pure CF sound engine is also used on higher-priced pianos such as the YDP-163 and P-255 .
The Pure CF provides a rich natural piano tone sampled from the Yamaha CFIIIS 9′ concert grand piano.
Each note was recorded several times at different velocity levels to recreate a wide dynamic range found on a grand piano.
There are 3 different piano tones available on the YDP-143.
The first one is a Concert Grand tone, which, in my opinion, sounds the most full and realistic.
It has Yamaha’s somewhat mellow character and offers a pretty good dynamic range with deep reverberation.
When listening through headphones, the sound becomes even more detailed and beautiful. Just have a listen!
I was a bit disappointed that the main Grand Piano tone didn’t have string resonance and key-off simulation, which would certainly make it sound more natural and “live”.
The 3rd Grand Piano tone has a brighter and sharper character, which helps cut through a mix in a live environment.
To add extra depth and ambiance to the sound, you can use 4 different reverb types.
There are Recital Hall, Concert Hall, Chamber, and Club.
For each reverb type, you can additionally adjust the depth to make the effect more or less pronounced.
I tried the Concert Hall and Recital Hall settings, and I really liked how spacious and true-to-life the sound becomes, especially when playing fast dynamic music.
There are two new features available on the YDP-143, which are designed to improve the sound in various situations.
Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC) feature adjusts the quality and controls the sound in low volume situations to make both bass and treble notes clearly audible.
I didn’t really notice that much of a difference when playing with the IAC turned on.
Some might notice some change, but still, it’s quite subtle. Either way, the instrument sounds great with or without IAC.
Stereophonic Optimizer is a really cool feature that’s used when you’re playing and listening to the piano through headphones.
To make the sound more natural and spacious, the Stereophonic Optimizer adjusts the spacing and the separation of the sound, which results in a more realistic and immersive experience.
The speaker system of the YDP-143 consists of two oval speakers (12 cm x 6 cm) located on each side of the piano.
The total power output is 12W (6W per side), which doesn’t seem like a lot, but in practice, it’s more than enough for playing at home and even for small performances in front of your family and friends.
The quality of the sound is very decent for 12W and enhanced by Yamaha’s proprietary Acoustic Optimizer.
The sound is full and well-balanced over the whole frequency range.
I didn’t notice any distortion at the max volume, but in most cases, you won’t probably use it at full volume at home, especially if you have close neighbors.
With the YDP-143, polyphony is not something you should be worried about.
The piano has 192-note polyphony, which will allow you to implement the most complex and sophisticated sound effects and use multi-layered backing tracks without running out of notes.
Just so you know, for simple piano playing you won’t need more than 64 notes of polyphony to hear all the sound nuances without sudden cutoffs, even when you play fast and use the sustain pedal a lot.
The YDP-143 is a quite straightforward digital piano, nothing too fancy but it has enough features to learn and master a variety of sounds, styles, and songs.
Along with the main full-keyboard mode, there are two modes you can use to play multiple instrument sounds at the same time and to practice piano duets.
Dual Mode allows you choose two different instruments that you want to layer, and then when you play the keyboard, you’ll hear these two sounds layered on top of each other creating a rich, beautiful tone.
You can layer any of the 10 built-in sounds. Moreover, the mix balance of the two sounds can be easily adjusted.
Duo Mode is perfect for those who want to practice four-hand or play two-piano repertoire.
It’s also a very useful tool for teachers, which can be used in classes with their students.
A teacher can play some notes on one side of the keyboard and a student sitting right next to him or her can play the exact same notes on the other side of the keyboard, which is very convenient.
Duo Mode will split the keyboard into two identical parts with the same pitch ranges so that each half gets its own middle C.
The YDP-143 comes with 10 Demo and 50 piano songs that you can use for your listening enjoyment as well as for practice.
For each of the 50 songs, you can turn off the right- or left-hand part and practice it while the other part is playing back.
Moreover, you can load up to 10 User Songs into the instrument using your computer.
In other words, you can find your favorite songs in MIDI format (SMF) on websites like YamahaMusic, MIDIworld, etc., transfer them to the piano, and use in the same way as preset songs, which gives you much more freedom in choosing what to learn and to play.
Recording & Playback
Another useful feature the YDP-143 has is a 2-track MIDI-sequencer that you can use to record and play back your performances right onboard without using any additional devices/software.
Each song consists of two tracks, which you can record separately and play them together as a single song.
For example, you can record the left-part on track 1 and the right-hand part on track 2, or you can record multiple instrument parts on separate tracks to create more complex multi-layered pieces.
Basic features like metronome, transpose and tuning functions are also available on the YDP-143.
Metronome, as you probably know, is a learning and training tool that helps a lot in determining if you’re playing accurately.
Do you tend to play slower? Faster? Do you slow down when you play more quietly? Do you play faster on loud notes?
Not only will you be able to answer these questions but also improve your rhythm and time-keeping skills, which will make your playing more accurate and sharp.
Transpose function can be used to shift the pitch of the entire keyboard up and down in semitone steps.
Some people use it to facilitate playing songs written in difficult keys, others use it to play a song in a different key without changing their fingering.
Tuning function allows you to change the pitch of the instrument in 0.2Hz steps.
On the bottom of the YDP-143, you’ll find two 1/4” stereo jacks, which can be used for connecting some headphones.
You can also use these jacks as an alternative to Line Outs to plug in external amplifiers, PA systems, audio interfaces, etc.
To connect the YDP-143 to a computer or an iOS device, you’ll need to use the USB to Host port located on the bottom of the piano.
An A to B USB cable you’ll need to connect to the computer is sold separately from the piano.
After connecting to the computer, you’ll also need to download the Yamaha USB-MIDI driver.
After that, you’ll be able to exchange files and MIDI data with your computer and use various music-making and educational apps (e.g., Flowkey, GarageBand) to enhance your playing and learning.
The YDP-143 is also compatible with the various free app that Yamaha offers for iOS devices.
For example, the Digital Piano Controller app provides a graphic, easy-to-use interface to control different parameters and functions of the piano, which partly makes up for the lack of a display.
Unfortunately, Yamaha doesn’t offer any apps for Android users, which is kind of frustrating since it’s the second most popular mobile operating system in the world and I believe for some it might be an issue.
To connect to an iPhone or iPad you can either use the Lightning to USB Camera adapter, or the Yamaha Wireless MIDI adapter, which will allow your Apple device to connect to the YDP-143 via Bluetooth.
But be prepared that latency times will be higher compared to the wired connection via the Lightning to USB Camera adapter.
Since the YDP-143 is a console digital piano, there are actually not many accessories you’d need to buy separately.
For example, you don’t need to spend extra money on a stand or pedals because they already come with the piano.
Oh, I almost forgot, the Yamaha BC-100DR bench is also included, so you don’t have to worry about that either.
What you’ll still want to buy separately is headphones, especially if you prefer to practice in private or simply want to experience a more immersive and higher-quality sound.
Headphones come in very handy when you want to practice in private, focusing solely on your playing and not disturbing others nearby.
Moreover, a good pair of headphones will provide a clearer and more detailed sound compared to the onboard speakers.
Check out this guide to learn how to choose the best-sounding headphones for your digital piano.
Now it’s time to wrap everything up and here are my final thoughts.
I do believe that the piano is a worthy successor to the previous YDP-142 model.
Even though only a few things were improved, the Yamaha YDP-143 continues to be a solid choice in its price category, no questions about it.
With that said, the market of digital pianos today is more competitive than ever.
Other leading brands such as Roland, Casio, Kawai are constantly improving their technology and releasing new models, which creates healthy competition and pushes giants like Yamaha to further improve their instruments and make them more realistic.
So I wouldn’t say the YDP-143 is a unique or irreplaceable piano on the market today, but it’s still a nice, reliable instrument that will serve you and your family for years to come.
When it comes to making digital pianos, Yamaha know their business.
It’s one of the oldest and most reputable brands of musical instruments, so you can be confident when buying their instruments.
The YDP-143 has a solid construction, great build quality, and provides an authentic piano playing experience that anyone will appreciate.
The piano would be a perfect choice for a beginner as well as intermediate pianists.
It also would be a fine choice for those who are seeking a compact and affordable family piano that several people of different levels can play and learn on every day.
There are still a number of things that could be improved in my opinion. It would be great to see more built-in tones and more options for adjusting sound parameters and effects.
Onboard Bluetooth connectivity is also something Yamaha should look into, considering that many of its competitors already have it.
Moreover, it was a bit of a surprise that the YDP-143 doesn’t have a String Resonance and Key Off simulation that more advanced pianists would very much appreciate.
Check the availability and current price of the Yamaha YDP-143 in your region:
Yamaha YDP-143 vs Yamaha YDP-163 (Full Review)
The question I hear very often is whether to buy the YDP-143 or spend a bit more and go for the YDP-163 , which is the next model up in the Arius family.
Well, first of all, there aren’t too many differences between these pianos.
But chances are those differences will carry the most weight when you’ll be making your final decision. The YDP-163’s biggest upgrade over its smaller borther is the keyboard itself.
The YDP-163 comes with Yamaha’s premium keyboard called the GH3. It’s a big step up from the YDP-143’s GHS action and a great choice for seasoned pianists.
The GH3 uses graded hammer action, which provides an authentic and accurate feel very similar to that of an acoustic piano.
Unlike the GHS, which uses 2-sensor detection system, the GH3 implements 3-sensor technology that allows for faster note repetition and more accuracy.
The keys are covered with synthetic ivory which helps absorb moisture from your fingers, enhances control, and just feels nicer to the touch.
Some people don’t quite like the GH3, calling it stiff and hard to play.
Luckily, I was able to test and compare the two actions side by side, and I really enjoyed playing the GH3.
Yes, the keyboard is certainly on the heavy side and feels heavier than some acoustic piano actions. I’ve been playing acoustics for most of my life, so I didn’t have any discomfort playing the GH3.
In fact, I liked it much more than the GHS action of the YDP-143, which doesn’t feel quite as solid and realistic to me.
This proves one more time that there’s no “perfect” or “best” action and it all comes down to one’s personal preferences in the end.
There’s no universal standard to determining what’s the best keyboard. It’s all very subjective.
Another difference is that along with the new action, the YDP-163 has become heavier and weighs 9 lbs more than the YDP-143.
Last but not least, the YDP-163 has two oval speakers with a total output of 40W.
The size and the quality of speakers are the same, the only difference is the power output. While, the difference may seem huge on the paper (40W vs 12W), in practice, it’s not that big.
Yes, the YDP-163’s speakers perform better in bigger/noisier environments and have a more rounded, deeper sound.
But you’ll still need external speakers if you want to perform live on stage. For home use, either piano will suffice, no questions asked.
Let’s quickly sum up the differences:
That’s pretty much it when it comes to differences between the YDP-143 and YDP-163.
In terms of sounds, features, and functions they are completely identical.
Yamaha YDP-143 vs Casio PX-870 (Full Review)
Casio have recently updated their Privia line with a new flagship model – the PX-870.
There are a lot of things that were improved compared to the previous PX-860 model.
Overall the PX-870 turned out to be a wonderful instrument, which comes with lots of features that other digital pianos in this price range don’t offer.
Some of the main features of the Casio include:
- Incredible 4-layer piano sound with a simulation of string resonance, key-off, damper, hammer response, lid, action noise and more.
- Tri-sensor Hammer Action II with Ivory and Ebony simulation
- 256-note polyphony
- 40W projection speaker system (4 speakers)
- Onboard Audio & MIDI recorder
Yamaha YDP-143 vs Yamaha P-115 (Full Review)
You didn’t expect to see the Yamaha P-115 here, did you?
Well, although this digital piano is in a slightly different category, I’ve been asked a lot about what is a better choice, the YDP-143 or the portable P-115.
And in this particular case, I recommend focussing merely on the design, because otherwise, they are practically the same pianos.
The P-115 would suit you better if you appreciate mobility and plan to use your digital piano at concerts and events.
Thanks to its portable design, the P-115 opens up a lot of possibilities for traveling and performing live without having to worry about how to transport a big instrument such as the YDP-143.
For that reason, the P-115 is a perfect choice for gigging musicians and those on the road.
At the same time, if you’re only going to use a digital piano at home, I’d go for the YDP-143, which is design exactly for home use.
Despite the fact that they’re almost identical in terms of sounds and features, with the YDP-143, you’re getting an elegant console cabinet with 3 pedals and a fuller, more resonant sound.
The P-115, on the other hand, has more built-in sounds (14 vs 10), dedicated line out jacks, and 10 pianist styles (accompaniment).
From the price perspective, the P-115 is obviously a winner here, so if you have a tight budget, the P-115 would probably be a more reasonable choice for you.
Keep in mind, that with the P-115 you will have to buy a stand and a bench separately. The 3-pedal bar is also sold separately.
Yamaha YDP-143 vs Kawai KDP110 (Full Review)
I was looking for a piano to learn together my daughter, not easy to choose the right one
Thank you very much for this detailed advises comparison etc
what a nice work , high level explanations.
one of the best I read
Hi Deleilah, I’m glad it has been helpful to you! It’s always a pleasure to recieve comments like yours.
How would you compare it to a p115? They’re about the same price here, but I’m not sure if one sounds better/has more features. The slightly higher amount of sounds to pick from on the p115 isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but that’s the only thing I can notice is different between them (except for the appearance, of course.) Also, portability isn’t that important for me (the ydp143 being fixed, while p115 more portable). Any other differences I’m missing? Which one would you recommend? Any other DP’s I should consider?
Thank you for your time.
Hi, it seems that you’ve overlooked the YDP-143 vs P-115 comparison in this review. Check out the last alternative, which is the P-115, to learn about all the differences between them.
Yeah, there are actually a lot of great instruments in this price range. Take a look at the Kawai ES-110, Casio PX-870, Roland RP-102.
Good luck with your search!
What’s your opinion about P-125 versus YDP143?
Pretty much the same as the P-115 versus YDP-143.
I want to buy YDP-143 or YDP-163 or dgx 660. The same budget for these three models.
The goal is to start learning to play on the piano for my daughter (8 y.o) to be like a professional in a future and me(previously played in the musical school) to play as a hobby for playing rock songs.
What do you suggest here?
I’d go for the YDP-163 if the budget allows. It has the best key action and best speakers out of the three.
Wow! Finally an excellent review 😀
I’ve been looking for something like this that really explains how the piano works, the advantages and the limitations of the piano itself.
I have one question. I don’t really know how MIDI files work. I want to buy this piano for 2 reasons. First I want to be able to practice at night without disturbing anyone.
And second of all, I want it to compose. So my question is, if i record what i play in the piano, will i be able to download it to my computer and make it an mp3 file???
Also if i download the apps that you suggest or some other softwares will i be able to automatically “write the score” while i am playing the piano??
thanks in advance.
Keep up the great work 😉
First of all, this is a great article that actually goes in depth about the piano.
I just have one questions. If I record a sing in the piano, can i download it later to my computer as an mp3 file?
You’re welcome, Andante, since the YDP-143 doesn’t have a Mic In port, in order to record your singing you’ll have to connect the piano to a computer and use some recording software for that. I’m gonna make an article exactly on how to do that.
Thanks Lucas! This site is super helpful to me. I was looking for a piano for myself and figured out even the normal upright one is too expensive for me :(… then I searched on Google and came here! Articles here are so detailed and well-organized, and I believed they are reliable too!
Based on what you said and what I need, I compared several types of digital piano and finally brought a YAMAHA p125. Your website just save me lots of time! Many thanks!
You’re very welcome Christina! I’m glad my articles have been of help to you. Comments like this only make me go harder and do better, thanks for that 🙂
Hi, I’m thinking of buying either a Roland RP 102 or Yamaha YDP 134 so that my wife can start to learn to play the piano again…she once played when she was younger. I’m also hoping it will inspire our younger children to play. My wife really likes accustic pianos but are out of our price range. Which piano out of two above would you recommend and why? Thanks
Hi Mark, by Yamaha YDP-134 you mean YDP-143? If so, I’d probably go for the Roland. It has a better, more realistic keyboard (arguably the best in this price range), and a very good piano sound with string resonance and key off simulation.
Their Piano Partner 2 app is also a joy to play around with. You can easily connect to the app via Bluetooth (no cables needed) and access all of the RP-102’s functions via a user-friendly graphic interface as well as expand the RP-102’s internal tones library from 15 to 319 different tones.
The YDP-143 is also a very good instrument but somewhat limiting (fairly basic keyboard, fewer tones, no bluetooth, etc.) compared to the RP-102.
Hi Lucas, many thanks for getting back to me so quickly. It’s really great being able to get some expert I mpartial advice. I can purchase a Rolan RP 102 for £679 – does this sound like good value? My only concern with the Roland RP 102 is will it look and play too much like a fancy keyboard – as I mentioned before my wife loves the idea of an accustic piano, but it’s just out of our price range. Would you recommend any other makes/models as a good beginner digital piano i.e with good keys and authentic piano sound or would you recommend I stick with the RP102?…Is it worth the extra money and making the jump to the Roland RP501R? I need to commit to buying a particular piano really soon so a speedy response would be really appreciated. I just want to make sure I get my wife the best possible prezzie within the budget I can afford.
Mark, £679 sounds like a great deal to me. It’s even cheaper than in the US. The RP501R is actually not that different from the RP-102. Yes, it has a few extra features like an onboard MIDI recorder, more built-in tones, a small display, Headphones 3D Ambience effect and more powerful speakers (12W vs 24W) but when it comes to the sound and feel themselves, the RP-501R is very similar to the RP-102.
They share the same sound engine and have identical keyboards. So, ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you want to pay 1.5x more for the extra features.
P.S. Even though on paper the RP-501R has a lot more instrument sounds than the RP-102 (316 vs 15). If you connect the RP-102 to the Piano Partner 2 app, you’ll get even more sounds than the RP-501R has internally.
Plus, although the RP-102 doesn’t have an onboard MIDI recorder, the app will solve that problem as well. So the only real advantages of the RP-501R are more powerful speakers, a display, and the Headphones 3D Ambience feature.
I hope it helps. But whatever you decide, either of these instruments would be a solid choice.
That’s brilliant. Thank you for putting my mind at rest.
I was just worried that the RP102 would look too much like glorified keyboard because the stand is Matt plastic versus the RP501 which has a wood grained finish and tgerefore look more like a piano? Which would you go for? I can purchase a RP501 for £939? Sorry to ask do many questions- you’ve been great!
Hi Lucas, sorry to keep messaging you, but I’ve also been offered a HP504 (second hand) for c£600 – which one would you recommend between a new RP102, RP501 or a second hand HP504?
The HP504 is an older but still a very capable model from a slightly different price range I’d say. It has an improved keyboard over the other two models (RP-102 and RP-501), plus it offers a lot of settings to adjust the sound as well as offers some other extra features (audio recorder, 3-track MIDI recorder, selectable temperament key, etc. ). I’d, however, be very careful when buying a used digital piano, and would only consider buying it in a nearly new condition. It would also be a good idea to personally examine it before buying. So, out of the three options you provided, I’d probably choose the HP504 (if it’s in a perfect, almost new condition) as my first option, then I’d pick the RP-102 (optimal price/value ratio), and then RP501. But again these are just my thoughts on this.
Many thanks again for getting back to me so quickly.
You’re welcome, Mark.
Hey Lucas, does it have MIDI out? I’ve been looking for something with weighted keys to use as a controller. This a bit big, but could be good for family use as well.
If not what would you suggest?
Thanks in advance
Hi there, the YDP-143 doesn’t have MIDI In/Out ports, but it has a USB type B port, which you can use in the same way as MIDI In/Out ports. All you need is a A to B USB adapter, and you’ll be able to use the YDP-143 as a MIDI-controller.
So sorry for the late reply. I didn’t have ‘notify me of comments selected. I just wanted you to know that A to B adapter did the trick. Thank you so much!
Thank You so very much for the in depth comparison of digital pianos. I have read your in depth article regarding learning to play piano. I am 80 years old and a complete novice. I purchased a Yamaha Arius YDP-S52. I enrolled with a local music company that teaches using the Lowrey system. First they want me to trade in the digital piano I have an buy a Lowrey EZ1 or EZ2 for an additional $2000.00, which I consider way too much of an increase. Reading the above article I find no comparison of any Lowrey, nor do I find any Lowrey comparisons on the internet. Further I find no comparison of the S52 with any other Yamaha. 1. Is there any need for me to upgrade? 2. Is the S52 I have adequate for my learning at this time? 3. Can I connect a computer to the S52 to produce the chords and melodies the Lowrey does?
Next topic. After my second 10 weeks session with Lowrey is finished, I am seriously considering a private instructor and purchasing the online Flowkey system. Is this a better option?
The reason for me to learn piano, is for my own enjoyment and social activities. I am not interested in being an expert or an instructor.
It seems most of the vendors all they want is to sell lessons and sell a piano!
Your comments will be greatly appreciated
Hey James, I’d think twice before going ahead with the exchange. As far as I know, Lowrey is known for making organs rather than digital pianos and their teaching system is probably geared more towards organ playing rather than piano.
The Lowrey models you mentioned don’t even have fully-weighted keys (and have 61 keys rather than 88). Technically they are not evevn digital pianos, so if you want to focus on playing piano it wouldn’t be an ideal option. The instrument you own, on the other hand, is a very decent mid-range digital piano from a well-know piano manufacturer. It’s absolutely adequate not only for beginners but also for experienced players, so I don’t see the necessity to upgrade, at least for now.
Until recently the YDP-S52 was a current model in the Yamaha Arius line (it was replaced by the YDP-S54 a few month ago). I don’t think that the deal they offer you makes much sense, considering that for less than $1500 you can buy either of these Lowrey instruments online (though it was difficult to find a store who stocks them, maybe they have been discontinued) and keep your Yamaha! But, to be honest, I doubt that Lowrey keyboards would be a good fit for learning piano.
You can connect your YDP-S52 to the computer to connect with various music apps (refer to this guide to see how to connect).
A private instructor is a solid approach to learn piano properly, so I’d definitely recommend that.
The Flowkey app is great for its purpose, but I wouldn’t rely on it too much when it comes to learning music theory, articulations, different styles of playing, etc.
This app is best suited for those who just want to learn their favorite songs without necessarily knowing how to read music or wanting to take a holistic approach to learning piano (starting with the basics). But of course you can use Flowkey in combination with your private lessons, as the app really a lot of fun to play around with.
Thank You very much. Since I wrote you the original message two other people who are no professionals, rather casual piano player have in a round about way stated the same opinion. You are the only real professional in the business that has spoken as openly and frank as you have. It is all starting to make sense. Again THANKS
I’m so glad I was able to help, James. Good luck with your musical pursuits!
Thanks for these reviews – they really helped me make my mind up about which piano to buy! I love the look of the YDP143 (in white) and have seen them (used) for as little as 499.00GBP on ebay – I was very tempted! However, in the end I went for a Roland F140R – which just seemed to offer more (bought new as a package for 898GBP including bench and Roland headphones). Yes – I did by a white one,,, For connectivity and use with apps such as simply piano or Yousician it seemed like a no-brainer… What do you think?
I think you made the right choice, the YDP-143 is although a good instrument, it pales in comparison to the F-140R, in my opinion. Enjoy your new piano!