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#1279525 - 10/02/09 05:14 PM Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
Hi!

Currently I can choose between (within my budget):

CLP-880 Used 6,800DKK ( 1,332 USD )
P-140 Used 6,000DKK (1,175 USD)
P85 New 6,000DKK (1,175 USD)

Choosing between these three, price is not a concern (the CLP-880 is just below my max. ceiling).

The only concern is which will give me the best piano sound and experience.


The used items are both in, not mint, but near perfect condition according to the sellers (private folks)

I've only tried the new P-85 and I did like it, but trying it out in a busy music-shop is not the best of test-conditions.

I have yet to try the other two (trying the CLP-880 tomorrow)

I'd like to ask you guys which you think would be the best choice (remember, money is not an object within these three options)?

Thanks in advance!

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#1279561 - 10/02/09 06:12 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: acebone]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
The CLP-880 is a console, while the other two are what Larry Fine calls "slab" keyboards. Does that matter to you? Do the P-series units include a stand?

The CLP-880 and P-140 have the much-better GH/GHE keyboard. I'd rule out the P-85 on that basis alone (especially since it's price is the same as the P-140).

The CLP-880 has a much better sound system, according to the specs, 60 watts per channel. The other two have 12 and 6, respectively. The CLP-880 has separate woofer/midrange speaker and tweeter speaker for each channel. The others don't. These specs don't paint a complete picture, but there's a big difference between the CLP and the other two.

The CLP-880 was first manufactured in 1999. I believe the other two are newer than that.

On the whole, I'd spend the extra $162 on the CLP-880. (But first be sure that the condition of the unit is acceptable.)

That said, I don't know if these stated prices are "normal" for the market. Are they too high, or too low? I surely don't know.

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#1279626 - 10/02/09 08:55 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: MacMacMac]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
In spec, the CLP-880 (which is the oldest) is still the best. It has a 4-level sample, GH keyboard, 64 polyphony, 24 different sounds and the best amp/speaker system. Just be sure that it's still in good condition, and plays and sounds well.

If you're nervous about buying a 10-year old DP, than the P-140 is a good second choice, with a very similar spec. It may even sound better than the older instrument.

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#1279818 - 10/03/09 07:46 AM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: Geoffk]
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
Thanks guys!

I do not care too much about specs.

The soundsystem in the CLP-880 is not relevant - I'll be playing in headphones most of the time, and I can always connect the piano to my Hi-Fi (which is a better soundsystem than what the CLP has)

The only thing I care about is - how close are the DP to a real and good piano.

How does it 'feel'?
How close to real hammer action is the keyboard?
How does it sound?

So imagine that we take all three keyboards and hook them up to the same soundsystem.

Which piano would be the most joyful to play?
Which piano would sound the most delicious?
Which piano would prepare me the best for playing on a real piano?

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#1279822 - 10/03/09 07:58 AM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: acebone]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
To a certain extent all DPs are disappointing. None of them will probably sound or feel exactly like a real acoustic. However, given your your specifics, the P-140 is probably the safest choice. It's fairly recent, has a decent action (Yamaha GHE), and a decent piano sample. Nothing new would be a major improvement, even for several times the price. And it should be very reliable, if it hasn't been abused somehow.

I'd go P-140.

PS. Specs are important. If you were asking "which car is fastest", you'd want to know about engines, drivetrains, weight, etc. You can't ask "which is most realistic and expressive DP" without asking about the action, the samples, etc. And the age of it is nice to know too, if you're considering whether or not it will break soon.

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#1280014 - 10/03/09 02:10 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: Geoffk]
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
Well - I went an bought the CLP smile Without listening to the P-140 even.

I just got that 'muuust-haaave' craving when I saw it. I'm not that good at buying things. The key-action is the best I've ever tried, and it sounds very good.

Now reading Geoffs recommendation of the P-140, I think I might have acted a little rushed - but on the other hand, I think the CLP will serve me well, so even if I didn't get the best buy, I am pretty certain that I got a good buy.

About Specs - I didn't want to dismiss the importance of specs in all aspects of evaluating a piano (or a car), just wanted to emphasize that my PRIME objective was sound and feel. And yes these are very subjective and cannot be discussed in absolute terms.

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#1280034 - 10/03/09 02:55 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: acebone]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Ok, well the CLP had the best specs of the bunch in spite of its age (4-level vs a 3-level sample and the same GHE action). My biggest concern with it was long-term reliability, but if it's in good condition, it should be ok. Yamaha is built very well and people are still using 25 year-old CLPs.

Anyway, if you like it, than that's the most important thing.

Congratulations!

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#1280062 - 10/03/09 03:55 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: Geoffk]
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
thanks! it seems to be in perfect working order :-)
t
i read that the Clp-880 has one sample per key, rather than fever samples stretched over several keys. is that true?

what does 4 layers of samples mean?

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#1280064 - 10/03/09 03:58 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: acebone]
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
typing on my phone is a nightmare smile

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#1280151 - 10/03/09 06:43 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: acebone]
Geoffk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 757
Loc: Tokyo, Japan
Here's a link to the page with the features and specs:

http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/ModelSeriesDetail.html?CNTID=2765&CTID=203500

There are two concepts that you noted. One is what Yamaha calls "sample banks", i.e. how many individual keys are sampled. It is typically about 30 or 50 notes for their new instruments (although Roland and Kawai sample all 88 keys individually). Unsampled keys are pitch-shifted slightly from the original sample, in order to use. Unfortunately, I can't tell from the spec how many individual samples are used on the CLP-880. This isn't a big deal. It's hard to hear the difference. Some older Yamahas did sample all 88 keys individually, so it's possible that the CLP-880 may do this. That would be good.

The second concept is "dynamic sample layers". A piano note played loudly isn't just louder than a soft note. The attack is sharper, it's brighter and the overall tone is very different. To replicate this, each note is sampled three or four times at different volume levels. There are 127 possible different volumes. The "soft" sample is used for low volumes, the "regular" sample(s) are used for middle volumes and the "loud" sample is used for forte. This makes the piano feel much more expressive and realistic.

The P-85 has only 1-layer, so it doesn't have this (a reason to avoid it!). The P-140 has three layers and the CLP-880 has 4-layers. More is better.

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#1280522 - 10/04/09 12:44 PM Re: Yamaha CLP 880 vs P85 vs P140 [Re: Geoffk]
acebone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 32
Loc: Denmark
Thanks for the enlightenment!

I stated that I did not care for all the 'extras', but now I must admit that I get warm fuzzies over the whole FEEL of the CLP. This is not a 'keyboard' with piano-features, this is a PIANO.

The keys are fantastic to the touch, and the dynamic range is impressive!

I've recently learned Chopin's raindrop prelude (on my old Ensoniq KS-32), and playing on the CLP I realize that I've been playing the whole thing too loud - I can't make the FFF section sound FFF on the CLP, unless I boost the overall volume and play the more quiet parts 'more quiet'. It's like I've been sitting in a small box and all of a sudden I have room to stand up and stretch smile

I am VERY VERY VERY happy, although I ended up having to pay movers and whatnot (the seller had a real piano-bench that I bought as well) - exceeding my budget quite a bit smile Ah well - who needs food when there's a piano in the house?

Thanks for your kindness in answering my questions, and all the best to you!

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