Yamaha YDP-144 Review

The 2016 release of the Yamaha YDP-143. Three years ago, in January 2019, we lastly see an upgraded version of Yamaha. The 143 is replaced by the YDP-144. Unfortunately, it hasn’t altered much. They are identical with each other in many things. With this fresh Yamaha model, I’m frankly quite disappointed. In this overview of Yamaha YDP-144, I’ll demonstrate you all aspects of this latest Yamaha digital piano. More importantly, I would like to show the distinction between the new YDP-144 and the YDP-143, 3 years old.

DESIGN

The Look

The Yamaha YDP-144 has the same YDP-143 design. It’s an electronic piano keyboard design with a smooth, elegant design. In most house furnishings, it should fit comfortably. You can actually see the impact of the fresh YDP-144 in various home scenarios on the Yamaha website.

The 3 finishes of Yamaha YDP-144

You can choose between Rosewood, Black and White finishes depending on your area. They all have on the ground a simulated wooden texture. Like the one on the YDP-143, the key cover drops in and out of the cabinet.

Music Rest

The music is collapsible on the YDP-144. This is again the same as the YDP-143 music rest.

It is disappointing to see that there is no upgrade on the page holder beneath the music rest. It is still very small and does not hold pages effectively.

Foldable Music Rest of Yamaha YDP-163

Because it’s identical to the YDP-143 music rest, I have the same complaint that it’s neither broad enough nor high enough. This music rest is only efficient in supporting a book of score. If you are using printed sheet music on A4 paper, the rest of the music would quite frequently collapse on itself.

Control

The control panel does not upgrade either. The checks on the YDP-144 are divided into two components. You’d discover the power button and the volume knob on the right side of the keyboard. There is a single row of 7 buttons on the left side composed of the most frequently used features and configurations. I discovered it to be a good selection to use quite conveniently.

It needs a combination of buttons and piano keys to access more sophisticated characteristics and configurations. Alternatively, you can tweak and customize the Yamaha YDP-144 using the Smart Pianist app on your iOS device.

Keys

The Yamaha YDP-144 keyboard is made up of 88 piano keys. The keys are made of plastic. The white keys have a brilliant finish while the black ones have a matte finish. This is compatible with contemporary acoustic pianos.

The Keys on the Yamaha YDP-144

The keys seem to be well constructed and spaced uniformly. There is a single row of red velvet at the deep end of the keyboard, which gives a pleasant accent and a premium feel to the instrument.

Size & Weight

The Yamaha YDP-144 weighs around 38 kg (84 lbs). Without music rest, it has the dimensions of 136(W) x 42(D) x 81(H) cm (53″ x 17″ x 32″).

KEY ACTION

I was expecting a more advanced key action on the YDP-144. It’s been three years since Yamaha introduced its YDP-143 predecessor after all.

The new YDP-144 has the same GHS intervention on the YDP-143 to my displeasure. It is the most basic key action from Yamaha.

Each key is weighed and graded separately. It features a real hammer to generate a genuine feeling behind each key.

The keys in the bass area feel heavier like an acoustic piano and gradually become easier towards the tremble part.

While the GHS is not bad, opposed to other business activities, it is quite fundamental, particularly in 2019. It is a duel-sensored action with no sophisticated characteristics like synthetic Ivory key tops, counterweights, triple detectors, etc.

The Yamaha YDP-144 keyboard is made up of 88 piano keys. The keys are made of plastic.

The white keys have a brilliant finish while the black ones have a matte finish. This is compatible with contemporary pianos of acoustics.

SOUND

The Yamaha YDP-144’s big upgrade is in the sound engine. Unlike its predecessor, this new model features the CFX sound engine from Yamaha that you’d discover on the more sophisticated YDP-184 and many Clavinova designs.

The Yamaha flagship CFX concert grand

It samples the flagship 9-foot grand piano CFX latest of Yamaha. The outcome is a really enjoyable ear experience.

Also featuring Damper resonance, String resonance and key-off samples, the CFX sound engine on the YDP-144. These are significant nuances for creating an acoustic piano’s genuine sound.

The CFX is a considerably superior engine compared to the Pure CF on the YDP-143. With much more detail, it sounds light and natural.

On the other side, the sound scheme is another large loss of the fresh YDP-144. While it’s mildly stronger than the YDP-143, it’s still not nearly nice enough.

The Yamaha YDP-144 has two speakers of 8 watts. They’re definitely better than the YDP-143 6 watt amplifiers. But it’s way too soft for a console-style electronic piano. This is a more suitable speaker scheme for digital portable pianos.

They’re definitely better than the YDP-143 6 watt amplifiers. But it’s way too soft for a console-style electronic piano. This is a more suitable speaker scheme for digital portable pianos. But that would spoil the instrument’s smooth, elegant design.

FEATURES

There is no feature-related upgrade from the YDP-143. The YDP-144 has the same amounts of polyphony, the same number of speakers to choose from and the same choices for communication.

Yamaha is making its Smart Pianist app on iOS devices a large selling point. And yet, on the latest YDP-144, there is no Bluetooth. To attach your smart device, you still need a USB cable and a dongle. In 2019, this is so obsolete!

No Bluetooth yet on the 2019 YDP-144 version.

Here’s a list of features on the brand new Yamaha YDP-144:

  • Sound:
  • Grand pianos × 3
  • Electric pianos × 2
  • Organs × 2
  • Harpsichords
  • Strings
  • Vibraphone
  • Polyphony: 192
  • Key sensitivity:
  • Fixed: turns off key sensitivity
  • Soft
  • Medium (default)
  • Hard
  • Reverb settings (each with 10 levels):
  • Recital Hall
  • Concert Hall
  • Chamber
  • Club
  • Modes:
  • Dual mode: two instrument sound simultaneously
  • Duo mode: split the keyboard to identical halves
  • Recording:
  • 1 song with 2 tracks
  • 10 Demo songs and 50 piano songs
  • Headphone jack × 2
  • USB to Host port

ACCESSORIES

The Yamaha YDP-144 comes with three piano pedals as a console-style digital piano. They are the same as the pedals on an acoustic piano.

Pedals on the Yamaha YDP-163

The pedals support half pedaling, which for many classical works is a significant characteristic. It may also come with a Yamaha branded seat depending on the package you choose. That’s not a very nice bench, though. It is not flexible in height and is not the most convenient seat I have ever used.

A nice couple of headphones is always suggested, as with any digital piano. A nice couple of headphones is always suggested, as with any digital piano.

You might want to consider a couple of internal screens because of the fragile speaker scheme on the YDP-144. It’s not a must, but it would greatly improve the noise.

WHO IT’S FOR

Because of its fundamental GHS main intervention, the Yamaha YDP-144 is best suited for beginners. It can also be used as an informal or secondary piano practice tool.

CONCLUSION

Overall, the fresh Yamaha YDP-144 makes me quite disappointed. It looks like a Yamaha lazy upgrade. The sound engine is the only significant distinction from its predecessor. It still displays many years ago ancient GHS main intervention and 2019’s absence of Bluetooth in a brand new system is just embarrassing. On the industry, there are many other designs far inferior to the YDP-144. I would encourage you to look at other alternatives unless you’ve already decided on the CFX sound.

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