Yamaha YPD-S51 Review

Yamaha YPD-S51 Review
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Yamaha has been in the piano business for over a century, and while they’ve grown to become a hugely diverse corporation in the years since, the exceptionally high quality of their musical instruments is well known in the music world. The Yamaha Arius YPS-S51 is no exception, and it’s widely considered to be the best new release in the Arius line.

Natural Key Action

The YPD-S51 is the very first slim-line piano in the Arius line to utilize Yamaha’s Graded Hammer (GH) key action. The Yamaha GH is famous for its dynamic simulation of the natural feel in an acoustic piano’s keys. Just as each acoustic key has a unique weight, or resistance, depending on the size of its corresponding hammer, each of the YPD-S51’s 88 keys feels exactly like its acoustic counterpart. This natural feel is vital to the development of proper touch and technique when practicing.

Precision Control

The three built-in foot pedals feature half-pedalling capability that allows for effective control over the length of the sustain, and their Damper Resonance function offers a level of advanced play that’s not available in many digital pianos. Instead of a simple on-or-off damper, the YPD-S51 allows the player to replicate an acoustic piano’s nuanced resonance control.

Professional Piano Sound

The YPD-S51 utilizes Yamaha’s “Pure CF Sound Engine” to express the sounds of a full-size Yamaha concert grand piano. It’s the same technology that’s included in their Clavinova line of premium digital pianos. Multiple recordings of every note provide a range of sounds far beyond simple samples.

The force that’s applied to the keys of the YPD-S51 is accurately reflected in the sounds produced. Playing a note gently doesn’t simply reduce the volume, it results in a subtly gentler note. Likewise, an aggressive keystroke produces a more forceful, more present sound.

10 Distinct Voices

Yamaha focuses on quality, not quantity, and each of the YPD-S51’s 10 distinct voices is a pure representation its instrument. Two grand piano and two electric piano voices are included, as are two organ voices, a harpsichord, a vibraphone, and a full string ensemble. A dual-voice layering feature allows you to play two voices at once, and you can even add reverb to enhance the depth and richness of the sound.

High-Quality Speakers with Acoustic Optimization

The YPD-S51’s 40-watt stereo sound system is capable of producing a full range of textured sound that clearly conveys all the subtlety and nuance of both the piano and your play. This sound is enhanced by Yamaha’s innovative, intelligent acoustic optimizer that works in real time to create a smooth balance in the resonance. As you adjust the volume, this system physically adjusts the sound waves to enhance the quality and clarity of high and low sounds.

Convenient Features

The YPD-S51 includes a built-in metronome that’s capable of tempos ranging from 5 to 280 bpm. In addition, the on-board two-track recording system serves as an incredibly helpful tool for training. Using standard MIDI format, you can record, evaluate, and improve upon your own performances without any additional equipment.

Pitch Transitioning

Conveniently, you can transpose your YPD-S51 through six semitones in each direction. This feature can be incredibly helpful when you’re accompanying a singer, or when you’re trying to play along with a particularly challenging track.

Practice with the Greats

50 songs come pre-loaded, pairing with the included “50 Greats for the Piano” music book to provide a range of opportunities to practice and play along with professional performances. These songs, as well as the 10 included demo songs, superbly display the impressive capabilities of the YPD-S51 digital piano.


The Yamaha Arius YPD-S51 offers the sound and feel of a high-quality acoustic instrument, and combines it with digital advantages like pitch transposition, multiple voices, and the ability to play silently using its dual headphone jacks. If you’re considering a new digital piano for your home or practice space, the YPD-S51 is one of the most affordable and appealing digital pianos made by a worldwide leader in music.

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