YDP135R & YDP141 Review: Yamaha has a series of furniture style cabinet digital pianos priced under $2000 called Arius and they have been on the market for awhile. There is the Arius YDP135R, 141, 161 (now replaced by the YDP162), 181, and V240. However, Yamaha has not had an Arius furniture style piano selling for under $1000 in its current lineup of home digital pianos until now and those models are called the YDP135R (left pic - internet priced at $999) and the older YDP141 with a newly reduced internet price of $999. These two pianos are essentially the same instrument except the recording and data storage capacity on the 135R is smaller, but they are otherwise the same pianos including having half-damper gradual sustain pedaling. Half damper simply means that when you press the sustain pedal down, you get partial graduated sustain instead of just an on & off sustain like the off-brands such as Williams, Suzuki, Adagio, etc (which I do not recommend). On & off sustain is OK in many playing situations but not as desirable because regular acoustic pianos have half-damper ability and it's important to try to duplicate an acoustic piano touch & tone as closely as possible.
The biggest advantage that I see in the YDP141 is that is has two tracks for recording instead of one which is nice to have. That means you can record a left hand part and then play it back while playing the right hand part live along with it or record right hand part and play it back while playing left hand along with it. Or you can record and playback both parts. That can be useful when practicing with two hands and wanting separate parts. The newer YDP135R (upper left pic with cover closed and with bench) just records on one track for both hands at once or you can record one hand part and play it back while playing the other hand live. But you cannot record both hands independently and play them back together or store that song either. So as far as recording goes, the YDP141 is better. Both instruments sound good as a pianos but only have a total of 6 instrument sounds (which is not many), plays good (although the audio power at just 12 watts total could be better), and they come with a matching padded bench. The piano finish is attractive in a darker brown rosewood.
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