Yamaha YDP181 Electronic Piano
Fast, Responsive and Rich Tonal Sound with Graded Hammer

If you have played a YDP223 and loved it then the Yamaha YDP181 electronic piano is for you. It is an upgraded version of the YDP 223. It has a GH (Graded Hammer) keyboard that plays and feels like an acoustic piano where the lower keys are heavier to play than the upper register keys.

The GH includes an extra sensor that makes it possible for fast and repetitive playing of a single note without missing a single tone. The rich and full tonal sound of the YDP181 is due to the three-level AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) system which is evident in all newer generation Yamaha electronic pianos.

Advantages of Yamaha YDP181 Electronic Pianos

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In older Yamaha electric pianos, playing successive notes in legato was not possible. The sustained notes are often cut because the instrument has to skip notes in order to play new ones. The pros of the Yamaha YDP181 is that it can actually sustain more notes during a fast and dense legato passage due to its 128-polyphony feature.

Some older version Yamaha electric organs equipped with sostenuto sometimes sound overwhelming as one single note or chord overlaps in reverb. This is well and good if the passage is legato. But, when rests or staccato is in the musical passage, then the resulting tone over tone is not acceptable.

Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Sound Demo Video

The YDP181 electronic piano features a half-damper or pedal that can regulate the length of the sustained notes. The more you press, the more the notes are sustained. If not pressed, the notes remain as is with slight reverb just like a real acoustic grand piano.

This Rosewood Yamaha piano is a great-looking piece. It is not merely a keyboard set on a stand, but an 88-note keyboard housed in a cabinet. The good thing is that it splits, records, has connectivity features and plays 50 built-in songs in case you get tired of playing the instrument. What more can you ask for?

Cons of The YDP181

The Yamaha YDP181 electric piano is new as it was released only around 2010. Few customer reviews and feedbacks exist. One site rates the piano an 8 out of 10 but offers no review. A product that is new in the market takes some time to get a credible review as people have to buy and use the instrument first before they can write a review.

The YDP181 is quite light at 149 pounds. Setting it down on a carpeted floor might not be a good idea. Light at it is, the design is not for the gigging musician. The lowest online price for the US is just over $1,500, available at Amazon.com with free shipping.

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Updated March 2011
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