Yamaha is always at the top of its game when it comes to integrating acoustic to digital. Its digital pianos have become best sellers since they were introduced in the 1980s. In this Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano review, I’ll list its features and specs to help you see if it’s right for you.
The Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano is an exquisitely crafted musical instrument that is the product of more than a century of Yamaha Corp.’s advanced research, tech, and expertise. Its sound quality is superb, and its key action is top-notch. The sound it produces is very similar to that of an actual acoustic piano.
Its keyboard underwent a significant upgrade giving it a GH3 action that is top in its class. So you will get the feel and the sound of a high-quality acoustic piano when you play its keys. But that’s just one of the reasons why this Yamaha digital piano is worth considering.
Read on to learn more about the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano, its features and specs, and other important things that you need to know to determine if it will satisfy your needs.
About the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
Like a Real Acoustic Piano
The sound quality of the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 digital piano is just like what you will hear from a real acoustic piano. It comes with the GH3 action that imparts the feeling and experience that you are playing an acoustic piano and not a digital piano.
Result of More than a Century of Research and Development
By itself, the Yamaha Arius series of digital pianos is already a line of exquisitely crafted musical instruments. They are the result of more than a century of research and development, using high tech and the expertise of Yamaha design engineers.
One of its amazing features is the GH3 keyboard action giving it the feel and the sound of an actual acoustic piano. Its 20-watt speakers and two amplifiers can also produce sounds that could fill an average-sized room. A very convenient accessory is its music braces. They can support music sheets and even music books while you are playing its keys.
Designed for Beginners and Intermediate Pianists
This digital piano is designed for beginners and intermediate pianists. It has most of the things that these levels of players need in a digital piano. The YDP-164 might not have all the bells and whistles, but it certainly delivers as much bang for your buck.
Launched in Early 2019
The Yamaha YDP-164 was launched in early 2019, along with Yamaha’s other digital pianos, such as the YDP-144 and the YDP-S54. They are the updated versions of Yamaha’s YDP lineup and are the more modern and slimmer types of digital pianos.
Enhanced Player Experience
The sound engine of their previous iterations was overhauled, and some minor tweaks to enhance player experience were also implemented in these updated versions.
Key Features of the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
We will now focus on the key features of the YDP-164 digital piano. If we took up all its features, we would have to spend a lot of time discussing them. What’s more important is for you to understand why this digital piano is a good buy:
1. Top Quality Sound
One of the updates given to the YDB-164 is the integration of Yamaha’s CFX sound sampling. This was a hallmark of the Yamaha Clavinova series or the CLP digital pianos. Yamaha injected the same sounds of this series into the more affordable YDP lines.
This CFX sound sampling features a version of the iconic 9 feet CFX concert grand. It is a type of sound featured in hundreds of records and concert stages because of its outstanding quality. The CFX concert grand is known for its brilliant highs and resonant basses.
In the YDP-164, the types of sounds you will enjoy are the following:
- Three versions of the CFX Concert Grand namely normal, pop, and mellow
- Two organs, namely jazz and pipe
- Two electric pianos, namely the DX-7 FM synthesizer, and the Samples Fender Rhodes
- Orchestral String Ensemble
2. Smooth Release
There is a neat and very functional feature in the YDP-164. They call it ‘smooth release.’ What this does is it makes a very subtle difference when you release a piano key. Theoretically, this feature takes charge of the interlacing between the sound samples. In reality, it is a minor feature. However, it enhances the pianist’s experience and improves the sounds produced.
3. Two Different Modes
Every YDP digital piano comes with two modes:
- Duo Mode
- Layer Mode
The Duo mode will enable two pianists to play the YDP-164 simultaneously. One of the pianists plays on the left side of the piano, and the other on the right side.
If you are a piano teacher, this feature is convenient. You can play along with your student and help them learn piano playing faster. The same thing goes with the student if they own a YDP-164.
If you put the YDP-164 in the Layer mode, you will be able to play two sounds simultaneously. Each key pressed will trigger two sounds at the same time. Most digital pianists use layering while they play ballads. The YDP-164 has more than enough variations in its Layer mode.
4. Recording and Playback
Every Yamaha YDP-164 has 50 classical pieces in its system and ten voice demo songs. In addition, you can record your songs. To record a song, press the record button located on the leftmost side of the keyboard.
The YDP-164 allows you to record up to two parts for each song. This is great for recording separate left-hand or right-hand parts for practices. If you use certain key combinations, you can even mute the separately recorded parts.
After recording a song, you can even vary the following:
- Volume balance,
- Reverb algorithm,
- Damper resonance, and
- Reverb depth.
This is possible because the type of recording done by the YDP-164 is MIDI, not audio. Your recorded songs are saved as MIDI files using the recommended app or through your laptop.
The onboard memory of the YDP-164 only allows for the recording of one song at a time. If you want to save your additional songs, you need to load them into a USB flash drive as MIDI files. You can also playback up to 10 songs by loading them up through a USB to this digital piano. They have to be MIDI files, though.
There are several effects inside a Yamaha YDP-164. These effects make piano playing more pleasant and enjoyable:
There are four different reverb forms in the YDP-164. And you can control each of them with the function keys. These four reverb algorithms include:
- Concert Hall,
- Recital Hall,
- Club Reverb, and
- Chamber Reverb.
The default of the YDP-164 is Hall Reverb, while the Club Reverb is what you will need if you are in a more intimate situation.
This effect simulates the space and distance (from the piano) that a piano player experiences when playing a real piano. But you can only activate this effect if you are using a headphone set.
Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC)
This neat feature dynamically adjusts or modifies the quality of the sound based on the overall sound volume. It ensures that the pianist will always hear the important details of every sound. You will notice this effect when you play dynamic or energetic piano pieces with a broad range of octaves.
Acts as a Compressor
This IAC acts as a compressor during high-intensity playing. It ensures that the overall sound volume is consistent throughout the music piece. Overall, this feature makes your piano playing cleaner.
Again, what does the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano offer? Due to Yamaha’s more than a century’s research, tech, and expertise, they crafted the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano. Its sound quality is superb. Plus, its key action is top-notch, making it very similar to a real acoustic piano.
Available Functions in a Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
You should also consider how many functions are available in a digital piano so you can maximize its use. These functions are there to enhance your enjoyment while playing the piano. What are the available functions of this digital piano?
1. Master Tuning
This feature allows you to change the central tuning of the YDP-164 keyboard in steps of 0.2 Hz. The YDP-164 has its default key set at the standard 440.0 Hz for Middle A.
2. Transpose Function
The Arius YDP-164 allows you to change the note of the played key easily. You can transpose a key from -6 to +6 semitones. Each increment is one semitone.
3. Damper Resonance
This feature allows you to set the damper response simulation of the piano sounds on or off.
A YDP-164 comes with a built-in metronome. You can activate it if you push the metronome button. You can modify the time signature, volume, and tempo of this metronome according to your wishes.
5. Auto Power Off
This feature is activated by default. If you have not played a single key of this piano for 30 minutes, it will automatically turn off.
6. Speaker On/Off
The YDP-164is allows you to set its speakers to on or off. Whatever position you select will be activated whether you wear headphones or not.
Key Specs of the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
Knowing the key specs of a digital piano will tell you right away if it is right for your requirements or not. Here are the key specs of the Arius YDP-164:
- Number of Keys – 88 keys, fully weighted with GH3 hammer action
- Width – 53.4 inches
- Depth – 16.6 inches
- Height – 33.4 inches
- Weight – 92.6 pounds
- Piano Sampling – Yamaha CFX
- Polyphony – 192 notes
- Songs – over 50 preset songs
Important Specs of the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
To help you make an informed and intelligent decision, I will now give you the important specifications of the YDP-164. The below table gives them in detail:
|Number of Keys||88 keys, fully weighted with simulated Ivory and Ebony keys|
|Key Action||Graded Hammer 3|
|Simulated Sound Nuances||Damper|
|Instrument Sounds||Three pianos and ten instruments|
|Presets||Ten demo songs and 50 preset piano songs|
|Modes||Duo and Layer|
Reverb or Acoustic Optimizer
Intelligent Acoustic Control
|Lesson Function||Ability to practice each hand’s part separately|
Auto Power Off
USB Audio Interface function
|Recording||Two-track MIDI recorder|
|Speakers||20W + 20W (2 x 12cm or 2 x 4.72 in.)|
|Connectivity||Headphone jacks (2), USB to Host,|
|MSRP||Starts at $1,999.00|
Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
My review of this digital piano will not be complete without discussing its pros and cons. As with every digital piano, the YDP-164 also has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Has the top quality CFX piano samplings
- It comes with very realistic ivory and ebony keys
- Its design and build is top notch
- It comes with 192-note polyphony
- It has 50 preset songs
- There is a two track MIDI recorder
- This digital piano has no Bluetooth connectivity
- Its control systems are not enough
- Its recording capability is limited
Conclusion: Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano
The Yamaha Arius YDP-164 Digital Piano results from more than a century of research and development. Also, it can produce the sound quality of a real acoustic piano, among other things. There are scores of musical instruments in its arsenal.
Yamaha’s design engineers used advanced tech and their expertise in crafting this top-quality digital piano. Among its amazing features is the GH3, which gives it an essential action similar to what you will feel when you play an actual acoustic piano. This instrument has tons of features that make it worth considering.