The Yamaha Arius YDP144 and YDP164 models, and how they compare to Clavinova CLP625.

 In Yamaha Digital Piano

If you’re looking for a digital piano for your home, you might like to look past portable digital pianos and consider a cabinet-style piano. These pianos offer the same features as most digital pianos, look more integrated with the rest of your home furniture. There’s also the benefit of not having to buy the stand and pedals & bench separately–they’re already included in the package! In this blog post, we’ll be looking at the entry level Yamaha cabinet-style pianos and the differences between the Yamaha Arius YDP144 and YDP164, and how these two compare to the starting model of the CLP series, the CLP625. 

The Arius YDP models are a popular choice for affordability while offering a sleek design and weighted action. But there are several differences between the YDP144 and YDP164 that you might need to consider when choosing your piano. 

In terms of sound, both pianos offer 10 different voices and 3 grand piano sounds: the Yamaha CFX grand piano, the mellow piano, and the pop grand piano. The CFX sound is a newer addition to the Arius series, allowing the pianos to have a much richer, more expressive sound. The 192-note polyphony adds to the resonance as well. But the defining factor in the different sounds between the pianos is the speaker size and power–the YDP144 has an 8 watt power system and two speakers overall at 12cm each, making it 16 watts of power overall. Alternatively, the YDP164 features a 20 wattage speaker system for a total of 40 watts. This makes a huge difference in the quality and depth of sound, especially if your piano is going in a larger living room space. 

Another key factor to consider is the difference in touch between the pianos. The YDP144 offers the Graded Hammer Standard action. While this is a fully weighted keyboard and is quite pleasant to play, it is the same as the action in the P125, a portable, entry-level digital piano. The YDP164 has the Graded Hammer 3 key action, which has a 3 sensor setup. This means you have far more range of expression in your playing, as opposed to the 2 sensor set up of the YDP144. A realistic, sensitive key action is essential to learning to play the piano with correct technique and expression, and will be far more satisfying to an experienced player. The YDP164 also comes with simulated ebony and ivory keytops, providing extra grip to your fingers as you practise. 

Both of these excellent pianos are compatible with the Yamaha Smart Pianist app, where you can further explore ways to customise your piano sound and space, as well as playing along to backing tracks, chord sheets, and musical scores. 

If you’re looking for something better yet, the Clavinova CLP series might interest you for even greater longevity and enjoyment. While a beginning player might not notice subtleties in touch, an experienced player is likely to pick this up quickly. This is the key difference between the Arius and Clavinova series. A good piano action helps with the development of proper piano technique, especially important for sound production on an acoustic piano and reducing risk of injury. If your digital piano is your main practise instrument, you want there to be as little discrepancy as possible for when you play on an acoustic. The CLP625 has the Graded Hammer 3X action, far more authentic feeling than any of the pianos in the Arius range.
The CLP625 also includes the CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano sounds. The Bösendorfer has a powerful but mellow sound, making it perfect for playing Romantic music such as Debussy or Chopin. The CLP625 has the same wattage power as the YDP164, but there’s added resonance with the improved 256-note polyphony. 

Choosing a cabinet-style digital piano tends to require more consideration since it is a more permanent part of your home space. Also they are closer to acoustic pianos in sound, quality, feel and set up, so authenticity of tone and touch is crucial in the decision making process. 

GRACE JOHNSON
Australian Piano Warehouse | SYDNEY

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