Yamaha Design “Synapses” YDP-S51



Compact Digital Piano Delivers Realistic Touch, Genuine Tone.


At first glance, the YDP-S51 resembles an upright piano without the frame and case, yet its compact figure contains the very elements that make a piano. The familiar lid and music stand, and the delicate touch of the keys give it the authentic feel of an upright piano.


Featuring minimal use of curves to join the surfaces together, the linear, angular structure of the case exudes control, while the silver area at the rear of the lid serves as a visual accent that brings to mind the hinges on the lid of an upright piano.


When the lid is open, the YDP-S51 looks like a piano. When it is closed, the piano takes on a neutral look that goes well with modern interior designs. Its simple, straight lines allow it to subtly and quietly blend into living rooms and other relaxation spaces.


The YDP-S51 faithfully recreates the playing conditions of an upright piano. The size and angle of the lid and music stand, and their spatial relationship are unmistakably familiar. Horizontal brackets surround the keyboard, with switches and buttons placed along the outside of the keyboard so that they remain out of sight and out of mind during performances.

Sunao Okamura
Sunao Okamura
Yamaha Design Laboratory

An Electric Piano That Feels Like a Piano.

The YDP-S51 is a digital piano that delivers genuine tone and provides for realistic performance in a compact size. The designs of many compact digital pianos on the market today sacrifice the feel of the piano in favor of what makes sense in terms of cost and size. We strove to make the YDP-S51 project the elements of a piano when the lid is open but assume the appearance of a simple, modern piece of furniture when the lid is closed.
The most important part of the design process was creating a high-quality performance environment for pianists. We paid close attention to the many factors that go into creating such an environment and captured the natural piano feel so that pianists can concentrate and play naturally. We considered how pianists handle piano lids and the shape and spatial relationships created when the lid is open, and we kept only the vital elements of the piano. By doing that, we were able to recreate the performance environment of an upright piano in a digital instrument just 30 inches deep.
We also pondered the piano’s appearance when it not in use, employing a straightforward, linear design unlike any before it. The piano goes well with other furniture and takes on a subdued presence when the lid is closed. This creates a contrast: the nobler functions are hidden in favor of meshing with the pianist’s everyday persona, yet provides glamour and evokes a special feeling when it is time for the pianist to play.
We think more about what makes a genuine piano than about the convenience and rationality of a digital piano. This is consistent with the way we make Yamaha pianos — pianos that are the real deal, whether they are acoustic or digital.

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