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Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? #2550892
06/20/16 08:32 PM
06/20/16 08:32 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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I've spent the past quarter practicing piano at the local college, at least twice a week, every week, and I think I'd like a digital piano to practice on, as I've graduated and no longer have access to the pianos at school.

How much better is the 163 than its sibling models? Has anyone here had a chance to play/own one?

I've been looking at the Arius models because I really enjoy the sound from Youtube videos that demonstrate them, and I've liked the Yamaha acoustic pianos I've played.

Unfortunately, the Arius models aren't available to try near me. I'd love to be able to find the difference between 2x6W and 2x20W speakers and GHS, GH, and GH3 myself. There also aren't many reviews on the 163.

Thanks!

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Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2550943
06/21/16 01:35 AM
06/21/16 01:35 AM
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johan d Offline
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I have owned an Arius 142, but was tired of the sound after 1/2 year. Maybe that is the case with all digitals, but I became tired of hearing always the same version/variation of a note. The middle C always sounded the same and it became zo boring (no resonation, dead, artifficial,...).

Youtube is really no place to have an idea of a real sound. Go check some stores that have acoustics as well.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551046
06/21/16 11:58 AM
06/21/16 11:58 AM
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You really have to go play the models you're interested in purchasing. When I went through this process, I started out by doing some online research (including videos), which helped me get the list down to a manageable size. Then I went in person to a couple of dealers to sit down and really experience the different pianos before making a decision.

It's tough, I know, when you don't live really close to dealers that stock a certain brand, but if you're going to shell out $1500US or so for something that you intend to use for a good long time, you really owe it to yourself. There are lots of opinions out there, and many of them are good, but they don't necessarily reflect your own ear and your own preferences.

That said: The YDP163 seems to fill a sweet spot in the Arius line. It has the best available keyboard in the YDP series, a decent amount of polyphony, and some other nice features. The YDP181 has been around for a while and doesn't seem worth the extra money at this point, and the 143 is also nice but lacks the upgraded action (among other things). If you're shopping in that price range, it's a very good instrument, but you really need to experience it for yourself.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551066
06/21/16 01:11 PM
06/21/16 01:11 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice. I went to Yamaha's website and looked through about 40 dealers (the 20 closest to me in Washington and 20 near Portland) and I can't find anyone that has the 163.

Would a CLP-525 be comparable in sound to the 163? I'm able to afford this from a couple of quarters to sellbacks of my textbooks to Amazon, so I couldn't actually buy a Clavinova, but it appears to have the same action and keytops. A six hour trek to play 'not quite the piano I'm considering buying' sucks, though.

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Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551081
06/21/16 01:38 PM
06/21/16 01:38 PM
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divedoc Offline
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Wow, I'm surprised that you couldn't find an Arius dealer near you. The Arius line is available through music retailers, while Clavinovas are restricted specifically to piano dealers. Might be because the 163 is so new; it was announced in April, IIRC, and perhaps it takes some time for stock to arrive. You might at least be able to walk into a music store and see how you like the other Arius models.

The CLP-525 and the 163 are very similar to each other on paper, but I must admit that I haven't played the 163 myself. I have tried the 143, 162, 181, and the CLP-525, 535, 545, and 575 (among others). Without trying the 163 directly I couldn't say how close it sounds and feels, but it should be quite close. If you end up at a Yamaha dealer with a few different Clavinovas, I'm sure you will notice the differences between the models pretty easily. The action on the 525 should, in theory, very closely resemble the 163's.


Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551117
06/21/16 04:46 PM
06/21/16 04:46 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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I couldn't find any Arius models near me. I have played on a Motif XS (balanced hammer action, which was fine) and there's a DGX660 about an hour away (GHS), so that sounds like it might be worth the trip.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551439
06/23/16 12:43 AM
06/23/16 12:43 AM
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I would be interested to know what has changed in the 143/163 compared to the 142/162. The latter are available at a good discount now that they've been superseded.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551444
06/23/16 01:45 AM
06/23/16 01:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
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France
Frédéric L Offline
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I have found mainly the polyphony (128 vs. 192 voices), and the keyboard (GH in the YDP162, GH3 for the YDP163). I may miss other points.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551470
06/23/16 06:51 AM
06/23/16 06:51 AM
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Posts: 381
Rille Stark Offline
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Sterephonic optimizer for headphones and Ipad connectivity is two other upgrades for the YDP-163. smile


Peace

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2551855
06/24/16 07:37 PM
06/24/16 07:37 PM
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Posts: 151
Germany
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Stephano Offline
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Hi lithedreamer,

I received the YDP-163 last week and love it. Posted my thoughts here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2551852.html#Post2551852

I also heard that Chris Hammond of epianos.co.uk plans on doing a review on YouTube soon.


Yamaha Arius YDP-163
Korg Triton Studio 61
Korg Pa800
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2552554
06/27/16 10:16 PM
06/27/16 10:16 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Hi Stephano,

I read through the threads you made (the one you linked to, as well as the five page thread on polyphony) and checked out the DGX 660. It was definitely better than the synth action keyboards but still rather mushy and it sounded okay. I think the 163 will suit me just fine, thanks for sharing!

I also saw Chris Hammond's comment, but I think it's been a couple of weeks, so who knows when that will happen.

Now I just have to save for a little while longer.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2553134
06/30/16 12:25 PM
06/30/16 12:25 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Just an update.

I've found the Kawai CE220, and although it's an older model than the Yamaha, it has some extra features that appeal to me: line in, string resonance, wood keys and I think I like the piano samples more. Better, there's a Kawai dealer me, about 45 minutes away. They also do digital piano rentals, which might make sense for the price.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2553285
06/30/16 08:37 PM
06/30/16 08:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,822
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Online content
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lithedreamer, please note that the CE220 is largely sold by the larger musical instrument chain stores such as Sam Ash, Kraft, Musician's Friend etc. Independent Kawai piano dealers can still order and stock this model, however if you are visiting a store specifically to play-test the CE220, it may be worthwhile giving them a call to ensure the model is available.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2553293
06/30/16 09:28 PM
06/30/16 09:28 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Thanks for the heads-up James! Are there any other Kawai models in the ~$1500 price range I should check out while I'm there, assuming they're in stock?

Last edited by lithedreamer; 06/30/16 09:28 PM.
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2553295
06/30/16 09:43 PM
06/30/16 09:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Well, I would recommend trying everything, however the ES8 is my personal favourite at the moment.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2554989
07/07/16 05:49 PM
07/07/16 05:49 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Update:

I still haven't been able to get to a showroom, they're pretty far away. I really fell for the sound of the ES8, but my partner wanted something in more attractive cabinetry.

I discovered Thomann.de through the 'prices paid' thread and found that they shipped to the U.S. at prices cheaper than one could buy any mid-upper range digital piano. They appear to be legitimate and ship to the U.S. I placed an order for a CN35: great look and sound, appears to have decent action, and with the I/O I want and the looks my partner cares about.

Thomann emailed me the next day, cancelling my order because they don't have freight shipping available outside Europe for a product that large, leaving me longing for CN35, now $1000 more expensive, if I were to order through KawaiUS.

I emailed KawaiUS to see if there was any possibility of getting a discount (though likely not a price match), and received a fairly prompt response. The representative told me that the manufacturer's warranty wouldn't be honoured if I had purchased from Thomann, and to consult my local dealer.

Meanwhile, I had been trying to get a hold of my local Kawai dealer. My email to them has gone unanswered for six days, and the line goes dead when I try to call them. I replied to the Kawai representative's email, and received a mail server error that says I've been blocked from replying. Nice.

Anyway, I'm a little frustrated. I don't expect anything to come of this, but I needed to vent. Thanks for reading.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2555011
07/07/16 07:25 PM
07/07/16 07:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 7,772
Raleigh, North Carolina
MacMacMac Offline
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Asking for a discount remotely is pointless.
Originally Posted by lithedreamer
I emailed KawaiUS to see if there was any possibility of getting a discount (though likely not a price match), and received a fairly prompt response.
You need to visit a dealer. Give yourself the discount by making an offer you're happy with.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2555027
07/07/16 08:03 PM
07/07/16 08:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
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Hamamatsu, Japan
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Hello lithedreamer, thank you for the update, although I'm sorry that your shopping experience so far has been rather frustrating.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
The representative told me that the manufacturer's warranty wouldn't be honoured if I had purchased from Thomann, and to consult my local dealer.


Yes, this is absolutely correct.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
Meanwhile, I had been trying to get a hold of my local Kawai dealer. My email to them has gone unanswered for six days, and the line goes dead when I try to call them.


I'm sorry to hear that. If you're willing to send me a PM with information regarding your location and which dealers you have been in contact with, I can try to look into this matter for you.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
I replied to the Kawai representative's email, and received a mail server error that says I've been blocked from replying. Nice.


That obviously should not happen. I don't believe the Kawai America staff have any control over which emails are blocked. I wonder if this may also explain why your local dealer has yet to respond to your email - perhaps they have not received the message? Again, I can try to raise this matter with them if you're happy to pass on your details via a private message.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
Anyway, I'm a little frustrated. I don't expect anything to come of this, but I needed to vent.


I understand. I'll see what I can do to help.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2556062
07/11/16 11:09 PM
07/11/16 11:09 PM
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lithedreamer Offline OP
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Thanks to Kawai James, I got a working number for Prosser's. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but I wasn't terribly impressed by my quick phone call.

- Asked about digital piano rentals, insisted that they only had acoustics up for rent at the moment.

- I asked how much the CN35 was, he said that it was on discount at $2499.99 (same price as buying from KawaiUS.com, minus shipping and plus tax). When I said that was a little outside my price range he offered the CN25 at $1999.99 (higher than KawaiUS.com) and the Roland FP-30 at 699.99 (same price everywhere else for a new one). He added that the CN25 was similar and the Roland FP-30 had 88 graded hammer keys and you really needed to spend around $2000 to get anything decent.

- There wasn't any attempt to find out what I was looking for in a digital piano, what my price range was or anything else.

I might be down in Portland soon, so I'm going to see if I have a better experience with Portland Piano Company.

Re: Experiences with the Yamaha Arius 163? [Re: lithedreamer] #2556075
07/12/16 12:05 AM
07/12/16 12:05 AM
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I'm glad to hear that you were able to reach Prosser's.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
I asked how much the CN35 was, he said that it was on discount at $2499.99 (same price as buying from KawaiUS.com, minus shipping and plus tax). When I said that was a little outside my price range he offered the CN25 at $1999.99 (higher than KawaiUS.com) and the Roland FP-30 at 699.99 (same price everywhere else for a new one).


With the greatest respect, I don't necessarily see any problem with this information. Also, please bear in mind that piano dealers are restricted from offering 'deals' over the phone, and can therefore only quote the MSRP. It you are seeking a more competitive price, it's perhaps best to visit the store in person.

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
- There wasn't any attempt to find out what I was looking for in a digital piano, what my price range was or anything else.


It's possible that the sales person you spoke with assumed this information based on your initial question ("How much is the CN35?") and response ("$2500 is out of my price range").

Originally Posted by lithedreamer
I might be down in Portland soon, so I'm going to see if I have a better experience with Portland Piano Company.


I expect your experience may well be different, not because the Portland store is necessarily a better dealer, but because you will be visiting in person as opposed to calling on the phone.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck with your ongoing search.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
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