Yamaha YDP-103 Vs 143: Which Is The Better Arius Model?

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The Yamaha YDP-103 vs 143 debate is one that rings on in many piano circles. This is because they come from the same product line, but they are very different pianos.

To start, the Yamaha YDP-103 is the entry-level model in the collection. So, it comes with a couple of premium features, but it lacks some of the more sought-after features of more expensive models. However, it’s fairly inexpensive, which means it offers a lot of value for the money.

On the flip side, the Yamaha YDP-143 is more expensive but comes with a wider range of features.

But at the end of the day, I didn’t think the features justified the price difference. So, even if the Yamaha YDP-143 featured better voices and polyphony than the YDP-103, I found that the YDP-103 offered more benefits at a lower price.

Yamaha YDP-103 vs 143: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano with Bench, Black Walnut
The Runner-Up (#2)
Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Dark Rosewood
Model
Yamaha YDP-103
Yamaha YDP-143
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer action
Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
Split mode
Polyphony
64
192
Effects
Reverb
Reverb
Speakers
Two 6W Amplifiers
Two 12 cm x 5 cm speakers
Pedal
Three-pedal unit
Three-pedal unit
Dual Mode
USB
Yes
Number of voices
10
10
Touch reponse
None
Hard, Medium, Soft, Fixed
Weight
82.86 lbs
83 lbs
Audio recording
No
Yes, 2-track
Headphone input
Yes
Standard stereo phone jack
Lesson mode
Tone generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
CF Sound Engine
What I like
Price
$999.99
$1,499.00
The Winner (#1)
Image
Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano with Bench, Black Walnut
Model
Yamaha YDP-103
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
Yamaha Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
Split mode
Polyphony
64
Effects
Reverb
Speakers
Two 6W Amplifiers
Pedal
Three-pedal unit
Dual Mode
USB
Number of voices
10
Touch reponse
None
Weight
82.86 lbs
Audio recording
No
Headphone input
Yes
Lesson mode
Tone generation
AWM Stereo Sampling
What I like
Price
$999.99
More info
The Runner-Up (#2)
Image
Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Dark Rosewood
Model
Yamaha YDP-143
Number of keys
88
Hammer action
Graded Hammer Standard (GHS)
Split mode
Polyphony
192
Effects
Reverb
Speakers
Two 12 cm x 5 cm speakers
Pedal
Three-pedal unit
Dual Mode
Yes
Number of voices
10
Touch reponse
Hard, Medium, Soft, Fixed
Weight
83 lbs
Audio recording
Yes, 2-track
Headphone input
Standard stereo phone jack
Lesson mode
Tone generation
CF Sound Engine
What I like
Price
$1,499.00
More info

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yamaha YDP-103 vs 143: The Features

To find the winner in this comparison, I put the features up head to head. And while the Yamaha YDP-143 offered better tones and had the same feel as the Yamaha YDP-103, the YDP-103 simply offered more value for the money. So, at the end of it all, the score was 2-1 in favor of the YDP-103.

Tone

The winner: Yamaha YDP-143

Both the YDP-143 and YDP-103 feature the same voices. However, the difference is in the actual tone generator, and the YDP-143s tone generator is far better than the YDP-103. So, if you’re looking for superior tone quality, the YDP-143 is the better option.

+Tone Engine

The main reason the Yamaha YDP-143 is more expensive is that it uses the Pure CF Sound Engine. This is a Yamaha innovation that results in much better and realistic piano tones compared to other models. The reason for this is that the Pure CF Sound Engine’s samples come directly from the Yamaha CF Concert Grand Pianos, some of the most popular grand pianos in the industry.

So, whenever you choose a piano tone on the YDP-143, you get some of the most realistic piano tones available.

On the flip side, the Yamaha YDP-103 uses the AWM Sampling Method. This makes for much more realistic sounds than other models in its price range. However, it couldn’t compete with Yamaha’s own Pure CF Sound Engine.

Yamaha YDP 143 has a realistic piano tones
Yamaha YDP 143 has realistic piano tones

+Sound Library

While the tone engine of the Yamaha YDP-143 is much better, it has a very similar library to the YDP-103. In fact, both pianos only come with 10 voices. This is fairly limiting, but considering that all of the voices are top-quality on both pianos, this isn’t too bad.

In the world of digital pianos, quality is much more important than quantity. So, while you don’t have as many voice selections on these pianos, the voices are crisp and realistic, which is more important for most pianists.

Feel

The winner: Yamaha YDP-103

Both the Yamaha YDP-103 and 143 have the same hammer action system and key texture. However, the reason I gave the point to the YDP-103 is that you’re getting the exact same feel for a much lower price.

+Hammer Action

Both of the pianos use the Yamaha GHS or Graded Hammer Standard. In the world of digital pianos, this is one of the best hammer action systems available. This is because each of the keys has a slightly different weight than the others. So, for example, the lower keys will be a bit heavier than the higher keys, which is exactly how acoustic pianos are set up.

So, if you’re a beginner, novice, or even a professional pianist, you will appreciate the weight on either of these pianos. With that said, I was slightly let down that the Yamaha YDP-143 didn’t come with GH3.

Yamaha YDP 103 connects to an iOS device by using the Lightning to USB adapter
Yamaha YDP 103 connects to an iOS device by using the Lightning to USB adapter

This is another hammer action system from Yamaha that’s even more realistic than GHS. This is because the GH3 system offers much more spring back than GHS. This makes it feel even more like an acoustic piano, and is a feature that would have been really nice on a premium piano like the YDP-143.

And since the YDP-103 is much cheaper than the 143, getting GHS is actually a great bargain.

+Key Texture

In terms of key texture, both these pianos perform fairly well. Granted, they have plastic keys, but most digital pianos on the market today use plastic keys anyway. But the reason these keys feel more realistic than other digital pianos is the coated black keys.

The black keys on both pianos are matted. That means they have a slightly different texture than the white keys, which is something that most experienced pianists need in a digital piano. While it doesn’t feel exactly the same as an acoustic piano, it does a fairly good job.

With that said, the Yamaha YDP-143 costs more than $1,000, so it would have been nice to see wooden keys. Or, at the very least, both the white and black keys should have been coated to simulate ebony and ivory, which is a feature you can find on other digital pianos in the same price range.

Value for the Money

The winner: Yamaha YDP-103

The main reason the Yamaha YDP-103 was the winner in this comparison was the value for the money. Yes, it is true that the Yamaha YDP-143 has more features. For example, the YDP-143 has better polyphony, more playing modes, and has a better tone engine.

However, the Yamaha YDP-103 can compete with the YDP-143 and put up a fair fight in almost all categories. In fact, the YDP-103 even gets the point for feel since it has the exact same hammer action as the YDP-143 at a lower price.

So, if you’re looking for a piano that offers the best features at a good price, the Yamaha YDP-103 is the best pick for you. If you’re very particular about tone and need the additional features on the Yamaha YDP-143, there’s nothing wrong with opting for that model.

But after researching the pianos and trying them out myself, I didn’t feel like the Yamaha YDP-143 was worth the higher price. There are many better options with more features at the Yamaha YDP-143’s price point while the YDP-103 is by far the best option in its price range.

Yamaha YDP-103 vs 143: The Similarities

Yamaha YDP-143 in another color
Yamaha YDP-143 in another color

These pianos come from the same product line and brand. So, they naturally have a fair amount of similarities between them. To start, they have the same type of sounds loaded. Granted, the samples come from different sources, but you still have the same choices on either piano.

Additionally, both pianos come with a three-pedal unit. This allows you to take full control of your dynamics and expression when playing different pieces, which becomes more important as you learn more techniques and pieces.

On top of that, the pianos even have the same hammer action and key texture. These are very similar pianos despite being sold at very different prices.

Since they share a lot of similarities, I found that you get a better deal with the Yamaha YDP-103. But while I prefer the YDP-103, the Yamaha YDP-143 is still a great piano that would serve you really well!

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha YDP-103

Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Piano with Bench, Black Walnut
  • Your purchase includes One Yamaha Arius Series, YDP103 model | Bench, Owner’s manual & Quick Operation Guide
  • Piano dimensions – 53-7/16” W x 32-1/16” H x 16-5/8” | Weight – 82 lbs. | Number of pedals – 3 | Max polyphony – 64 | Number of voices – 10 | Headphones – (2) Standard Stereo phone jack | No recording nor playback capabilities
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • The special matte black key tops are designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile after extended use without becoming slippery
  • The controller app for iOS devices adds a rich graphical user interface, allowing for quick and easy navigation and configuration

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Offers a lot of value for the money
  • AWM Stereo Sampling
  • Comes with a three-pedal unit
  • Matte coating on the black keys to provide more realism
  • Has reverb effects
Cons
  • Doesn’t use the CF Sound Engine
  • Doesn’t come with that many playing modes

Quick Rundown of the Yamaha YDP-143

Yamaha YDP143R Arius Series Console Digital Piano with Bench, Dark Rosewood
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled, acclaimed Yamaha 9 feet CFIIIS concert grand piano, allowing for incredibly dynamic and expressive playing
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • 50 classic piano songs are provided in the built in song memory as well as in a music book, "50 Greats for the Piano"
  • The Controller App for iOS devices adds a rich graphical user interface, allowing for quick and easy navigation and configuration
  • The 2 track song recorder allows players to practice one hand at a time, or record their next hit single. Half damper pedal control creates more detailed nuance and subtlety when playing, similar to pedaling on a grand piano.Data Capacity:100 KB/Song (Approx. 11,000 notes)

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • A great premium piano at a premium price
  • Realistic and crisp tones from the CF Sound Engine
  • Comes with built-in reverb
  • Comes with a 3-pedal unit
  • Features a recording mode
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Has a fairly limited range of tones for the price

Product Videos

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  3. Casio PX-770 Vs Yamaha YDP-143: Which Is The Better Piano For The Money?

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