If you want the sound quality of a Yamaha grand piano, but you have no budget nor space at home, then consider getting a Yamaha Arius Digital Piano instead. In this Yamaha Arius Digital Piano review, I’ll list all the important specs and features to help you decide if this is the right piano for you.
The Arius recreates the sound and feel of Yamaha’s flagship CFX concert grand piano but in a compact form. This makes the piano fit your home and life. It boasts of a sleek design and the kind of advanced technology that you would expect from a Yamaha. With that, expect the Arius line of digital pianos to provide you with years of musical enjoyment.
Read on to learn more about the Yamaha Arius Digital Piano and its most significant details.
About the Yamaha Arius Digital Piano
Entry-level Digital Pianos
The Yamaha Arius is one of the company’s model lineups of entry-level digital pianos. To call these pianos “entry-level” is somewhat inaccurate because you are getting quite a good deal with them.
Great Sound Quality
You will get great sound quality as they are sampled using Yamaha’s top-of-the-line grand pianos. They also come with modern features, like digital recording, headphone jacks, and more.
Set up Like Upright Pianos
In addition, the Arius series of digital pianos are set up like upright pianos, so you do not have to worry about space. This can easily fit even in a small apartment.
Yamaha Arius Models
Currently, the Yamaha Arius has six different models:
All of these models come with their own sets of benefits. You can also see most of these benefits shared between all models.
Yamaha Arius Digital Piano Features
Speaking of the features, here are some of the notable features that you can expect from any piano from the Arius line:
1. 64-note Polyphony
Polyphony means that an instrument can play several sounds at the same time. A couple of decades ago, when digital music was still in its infancy, digital pianos could only play up to three or four sounds simultaneously.
Yamaha has undoubtedly come a long way since then. The Arius base model is now capable of 64-note polyphony (the higher models can even go up to 128).
2. Dual Headphone Jacks
With these jacks, you can practice playing any time you want, even in the middle of the night. Just plug in your favorite pair of headphones, and you can tickle the ivories as much as you can. The second jack is for plugging into external speakers if and when you will be performing on stage. You can still use the other jack as a monitor.
3. Weighted Keys
Unlike the old digital keyboards whose keys work like a computer, these new digital pianos have accurately weighted keys. A real piano’s keys need to move a hammer to hit the strings. The weight of these hammers varies depending on the note they play. The Yamaha Arius digital pianos have weighted keys, which simulate the feel of real piano keys.
Weighted keys develop finger strength in those who are still learning to play the piano. When they switch over to the real thing, they can adjust quickly.
Yamaha Arius Digital Piano Models
Let us now take a look at some of the current models in the Yamaha Arius lineup more in-depth:
Cross Between Clavinova Series and the Digital Piano Line
The YDP-184 looks and feels like a cross between the Clavinova series and the digital piano line. It even looks almost exactly like it would fit right in with the Clavinovas, looks-wise, including the classy faux wooden finish.
The YDP-184’s predecessor, the YDP-181, used the same control layout as the Clavinova line. This layout is where you can see the buttons above the keys. The YDP-184, on the other hand, went with a more modern layout.
A Bit Wider
Here, you can see the control buttons and LCD screen on the left side of the keyboard. This is why this is a bit wider but almost a quarter less deep than the YDP-181.
Having the controls on the left side of the keys meant that you would begin every session by setting up your sounds. You can then proceed to practice. Because the buttons are out of sight, you will have fewer distractions to deal with while practicing.
Bright Monochrome LCD
Having so few buttons used for controls makes it a bit difficult to set up the digital piano. However, the bright monochrome LCD above the control buttons makes navigation and operation a whole lot easier.
CFX Sound Engine
Regarding sounds, Yamaha uses its relatively new CFX sound engine. This is a significant improvement to the dated AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling system used by the YDP-181. As its name implies, the CFX sampled the CFX Concert Grand Piano, a modern classic, and the C7 grand. It will constantly feel like you are playing in a packed-house auditorium.
Easy to Play
Yamaha instruments have always had the reputation of being extremely easy to play. The YDP-164 continues the tradition while still managing to keep it streamlined.
Just like most of the digital pianos coming from Yamaha, you will be getting the following:
- A full-sized 88-key keyboard,
- A pair of powerful stereo speakers built into the chassis, and
- Headphone jacks.
Those are the essentials you need for something that you will mostly be using at home for practicing.
Similar Set of Control Buttons and Knobs
However, the YDP-164 has a similar lackluster set of control buttons and knobs located at both ends of the piano. You are limited to a knob for the volume and a couple of buttons for navigating the piano’s features.
You might think that the only features you have access to are printed on the buttons. You can delve deeper into the settings using key combinations. However, since there is no LCD screen to help you navigate, you should often refer to the instruction manual. This is to ensure that you are doing the right thing.
On the other hand, once you get some practice on this digital piano, you will probably already memorize the button combinations.
The designers at Yamaha brainstormed to find a way to make the digital piano more compact. That way, it can fit into all kinds of living spaces. Since most people do not have unlimited space in their homes, the YDP-S54, with its compact form factor, is just the right size for any living space.
You will not have any problem finding space for the YD-S54. Unlike some of the other models in the Arius line, this can fit properly inside a small apartment. You may even find a proper place for it inside a child’s bedroom.
Comes with Ten Distinct Voices
When it comes to sound quality, the YDP-S54 is not a slouch. Although this digital piano comes with ten distinct voices, as the adage goes, “quality over quantity” is what’s important. Especially when it comes to piano voices, you will be getting three high-quality samplings.
Uses Pure CF Sound Engine
The Yamaha YDP-S52 makes use of the Pure CF Sound Engine. This is further improved upon in the S54. Despite its compact size, the YDP-54 packs a huge sound to the tune of the Yamaha CFX Grand Piano, no less.
Mellow Grand Piano and Bright Piano Sounds
Aside from the Grand Piano, you also get the voice of a Mellow Grand Piano. This is the perfect sound for playing classical music. You will also get a Bright piano sound, which is the perfect choice for jazz musicians.
Again, what does the Yamaha Arius Digital Piano offer? The Yamaha Arius Digital Piano enables you to experience Yamaha’s flagship CFX concert piano in a compact size. Plus, this piano comes in a sleek design and advanced features. So, expect this piano to give you satisfaction for years.
Yamaha Arius Digital Piano Mobile App
Although the minimalist controls in the Yamaha Arius digital pianos have their reasons, most folks enjoy more convenience with the simplicity involved in adjusting the settings.
Connects the Digital Piano to Your iOS or Android Smart Device
The Smart Pianist app lets you connect to the digital piano using your iOS or Android smart device. This easy-to-use app enables you to control almost all of the functions of the Arius digital piano. This is possible even without having to use complicated button combinations.
Enables You to Have a Visual Confirmation Regarding Settings
If you bought one of the Arius digital pianos without an LCD screen, you could use the Smart Pianist app to get a visual confirmation regarding the settings you make on the piano. For instance, if you were to change voices, the app will display a picture of the instrument. That way, you will know if you made the right choice.
You can also use the app instead of the buttons and knobs to tweak the settings to your liking.
Conclusion – Yamaha Arius Digital Piano Specs and Review
The Yamaha Arius digital piano can accurately reproduce the sound of the company’s flagship, the CFX Concert Grand Piano. In addition, it recreates the tactile sensation of playing an acoustic piano, thanks to its weighted keys.
Combine these benefits (and more) with a compact and sleek form-factor that can easily fit inside any home, and you’d get a musical instrument that you will get years of enjoyment from.
Even though many professional pianists consider the Yamaha Arius line of digital pianos as “entry-level,” that does not mean they are not good. It is quite the opposite.