Yep, I finally did it – I fulfilled one of my biggest childhood dreams and bought myself a digital piano!
It’s a Yamaha YDP-143 bundle and…it’s white! As Yamaha state, the instrument makes use of the world-famous Yamaha Pure CF Sound Engine and features 88 graded hammer down keys.
This whole lot comes at a price of around 650 euros, which actually is quite a bargain for a real grand piano alternative with natural-feeling keys. The bundle consists of the keyboard itself and a set of three pedals (damper, sostenuto and soft), both neatly fitted in a finely-finished wooden frame, which is supplied with a notebook stand. What’s missing from the package is a piano chair with adjustable height, but who cares – I can play standing on my feet as well (just kidding)!
In terms of features, the digital piano can reproduce several instrument voices, most of which are piano-based plus, in addition, church organ and string ensemble. You can record up to around 900 kb of music on two tracks (meaning you can play one hand and then lay down the other hand on top of the record one) and the keyboard can be easily connected to a PC or tablet via USB, so that you can edit your creations with some magical software.
First impressions? Firstly, the piano is really nicely crafted – all surfaces have a high-quality finish and there are no crackles when you touch the instrument. The keys are very responsive, do not make nasty noise when touching the keyboard’s bottom (which can normally drive me crazy) and really deliver the real acoustic piano feeling. Same can be said about the pedals as well.
So, in terms of build quality and key feel, the YDP-143 is perfect for its price class. What about sound then?
As mentioned, the keyboard exploits Yamaha’s Pure CF Sound Engine, which is fitted to many other (higher priced) Yamaha keyboards as well. All in all, to my non-professional (but quite accurate) ear, the sound is quite good – there no distortions and false tones, you are even given the opportunity to manually finely tune each tone (which I personally prefer not to do – I believe in software and its ability to reproduce a sound better than I can tell it to).
All in all then, what’s amazing about the YDP-143 bundle is that it’s a great value for money. You pay a really low amount (compared to most of the other Yamaha and other manufacturer’s digital pianos) and you get everything you need – 88 graded hammer-down keys, pure sound and nice look and finish. While at the musical instrument store, I tried playing on really pricey Yamaha digital pianos, the most expensive of which was around 3500 euros and, to be honest, could not find any significant difference in the sound or key feel whatsoever (which makes me think that the price gap comes from the high-quality materials used to build the costly keyboards). I don’t know if I am correct about this, but in anyway – I am really happy with my digital piano!
On top of everything else, together with the piano you get the song book “50 Greats for the Piano” which, as the name states, is a collection of 50 classic musical pieces that every piano person should (at least try to) play. I haven’t tried so far…
So, I am now going to play some music then! See you!