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#1686110 - 05/28/11 02:43 PM Clavinova CLP 480 Review
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
Dear Forumites, I hope you find this useful.

Background: I'm a professional pianist/teacher. There is no doubt that in an ideal world we'd all like to live in a grand mansion with a room big and tall enough to house a Steinway grand. But we don't. Hence we all need to compromise. With baby grands, uprights, digitals. I am constantly asked by parents what digital they should buy. Often they live in flats, have uncompromising neighbours and digitals are the only option.

So... I'm on the never ending quest to find a digital piano which will provide a budding pianist with an instrument which will help them develop as far as possible as a pianist.

How do the new CLP480 and CLP 470 fit the bill?


CLP 480:

- Keyboard: ok, nothing special, basically the same keyboard as the 380. I'm disappointed that Yamaha hasn't used the same keyboard they use for the N1-3, given that the AvantGrand is now old technology. The only reason I can think of for not doing this is to keep up sales of the N3.

- Sound: for all the buhaaa about the Real Grand Expression sound engine I didn't notice any difference compared to the CLP 380. The sound is still very artificial (but not as artificial as Roland sounds) and very far from the sound on the AvantGrand N3. What they have done is add a really annoying vibration (through the soundboard speaker) which accompanies each key press. I think this is supposed to simulate the vibrations on a "real" piano. As far as I can tell it's no more than a gymmick, and incredibly annoying if you're used to playing a "real" piano and know what tipe of vibrations to expect.

String resonance: very important if you're playing 20th century pieces. All but absent. Yes it's there in theory (barely audible) but does not act as you would expect on a real piano and even with the setting at the maximum is barely perceptible. Not as good even as Roland's mathematically modelled resonance.

CLP 470:

Basically a crippled 480. Has an old-fashioned and ugly looking digital watch-like display reminiscent of something from the 70s, very obviously put there to encourace the consumer to splash out for the almost identical but prettier more expensive model. Soundwise identical except the speakers are less powerful and doesn't have the soundboard speakers.

Conclusion:

Recommendation to piano students as a practice instrument: I would recommend the CLP 470 to my pupils who cannot, for practical reasons like unsupportive neighbors/family, play an acoustic instrument. The 480 does not warrant the price premium. The bigger speakers are pointless: it still does not sound anything like a real instrument being far from even the semi-realism of the AvantGrand. If you're getting a digital to practice, you should be practicing with headphones. If you're practicing without headphones and no-one is complaining, you should be getting an acoustic instrument.

On a separate note, I'm annoyed at Yamaha for not just dumping the N3 and transferring the AvantGrand technology to the top of the range CLP series given that AvantGrand technology is no longer new. This would have made a huge difference and given them serious competitive advantage. At the moment the N3 is far too expensive for a piano student (if parents can afford it they don't live in the sort of house which would have problem neighbours if they bought a baby grand piano instead), while the CLP 480 is nothing special compared to the CLP 380. And I wish companies would price their top-of the range models correctly instead of issuing crippled "next-in-range" models such as the 470.

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#1686115 - 05/28/11 02:54 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Qbert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 328
Loc: Italy
Nice and interesting review. Thank you very much.

I've already read other comments on 470/480 and they all don't encourage the purchase.

I hope that CLP 380 will be sold with some discount now and it would become a more interesting deal.
_________________________
GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m

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#1686183 - 05/28/11 05:33 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
When did you see and play these models in the UK?
_________________________
"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally supported by but not beholden to various musical instrument manufactures including Yamaha

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#1686513 - 05/29/11 11:20 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Dr Popper]
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
Forsyths in Manchester last week. They have the 480, 470 and also a N3 currently on display.

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#1686578 - 05/29/11 02:15 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: mdb2303
Dear Forumites, I hope you find this useful.

Background: I'm a professional pianist/teacher. There is no doubt that in an ideal world we'd all like to live in a grand mansion with a room big and tall enough to house a Steinway grand. But we don't. Hence we all need to compromise. With baby grands, uprights, digitals. I am constantly asked by parents what digital they should buy. Often they live in flats, have uncompromising neighbours and digitals are the only option.

So... I'm on the never ending quest to find a digital piano which will provide a budding pianist with an instrument which will help them develop as far as possible as a pianist.

How do the new CLP480 and CLP 470 fit the bill?....


I'd be interested to hear your take on how the $999 Yamaha P155 compares to the mid range CLP series. My opinion is that is's basically the same thing but at 1/3rd the price. Which says that Yamaha, for the price charged should be using some different technology in the CLPs.

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#1693542 - 06/10/11 01:03 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
flangad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
hi! thx for this long review.... seams those new DP don't really match your expectations for such product.

But the question is: how does it compare with DP from other brands AT THE SAME PRICE?

I'm probably have to choose a piano for my wife this year.... my budget is arround the price of the CLP470.

I'll probably choose a DP, because it will be very difficult to enter an acoustic piano into my house (pass the door or window...because of the configuration of my house), and a few other reasons (allow my wife to practice with headset....), even if this is not sure. Moreover, for such limited budget, i'm affraid you cannot expect anything great amoug acoustic pianos.

So the question is more: Yam CLP470 or other DP for the same price range (Kawai CA63, Roland, kurlweiz....)?

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#1696095 - 06/15/11 01:32 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: flangad]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: flangad
hi! thx for this long review.... seams those new DP don't really match your expectations for such product.

But the question is: how does it compare with DP from other brands AT THE SAME PRICE?

I'm probably have to choose a piano for my wife this year.... my budget is arround the price of the CLP470.



Isn't it odd how consummers shop. It applies to everything, pianos, cameras,... First hey set a budget then, determined to spend every bit of that money look for the best gadget in that price class.

You think a better plan would be to write down what you need and then look for the lowest priced gadget that just meets those stated needs.

What would happen if engineers and architects did the same. You get a phone call like "Hey good news we found a way to use up the entire budget. Nothing left over."

If yu take apart almost any mid-rang bit of consumer electronics what you find is that within a range of (say) DVD players they will all use the same "guts" but you see on the lower end models they simply have not install the switches on the circuit board so the cheaper unit has no way to access the high end functions. Obviously it costs only the price of a buton to enable the feature. Why? Because Sony and others know that a consumer walks into a store with a price in mind and will only buy if he finds a product at that price point. It's silly to shop that way but everyone does it.

Mostly the best deal is to buy the lowest priced product in a series. These will have the lowest margin for the seller and are the best deal unless you really need one of the features to be enabled then move up the line but only that far.

Apply this to Yamaha digital pianos. Don't start with a price. Start with a list of "must have" features. Which keys do you want? GH or GH3 or maybe you like GHS. Pick the kind of sound and so on. then move up the line until you get all of them.

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#1696154 - 06/15/11 02:51 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
whats the sound like on the CLP 470? is it anywhere near the standard of the excellent 380 sound? Does it go loud and the sound envelop you etc..?
_________________________
www.youtube.com/ukpiano

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#1696528 - 06/16/11 04:12 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
mwf - I wouldn't say the 380 has an "excellent" sound. It sounds more piano-like than the Rolands but is far from excellent. The 470/480 sound very similar to the 380, and like the 380 have noticeable distortions and "wrong" sounding regions. As I said before, To me the best available sound is currently in the AvantGrand N3, the 470/480 falls way behind compared to the AvantGrand.

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#1696558 - 06/16/11 04:58 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
My teahcer has a grand and a high end clavinova that i play if the grand is out of tune (a few times per year). It is better than the out of tune grand but I agree the resonance is not there. At home my CP 33 hooked to Synthogy Ivory puts it to shame, though the CLP action is better. Why Yahama does not place a high end processor with resinance modeling and a multigig sound bank in their higher end Clavinovas mystifies me.


Edited by AlphaTerminus (06/16/11 04:59 PM)
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1696622 - 06/16/11 06:56 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
Yeah well a lot of people dont have that kind of money to get an Avantgrand, I say the CLP380 does indeed have excellent sound, I think you are way over critical if I may say and very negative towards any piano apart from a really expensive digital or a real acoustic. I can tell you now the CLP380 was hands down a better piano than a lot of acoustic uprights I have played on over the years, better action, tone and sound. I read everything you wrote above and I just dont understand how anyone can be so negative and hyper critical towards the more affordable digital pianos. I really dont like what you have put, not contributing anymore to your thread, had enough to be honest.
_________________________
www.youtube.com/ukpiano

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#1696636 - 06/16/11 07:28 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Cohenfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 80
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mdb2303
mwf - I wouldn't say the 380 has an "excellent" sound. It sounds more piano-like than the Rolands but is far from excellent. The 470/480 sound very similar to the 380, and like the 380 have noticeable distortions and "wrong" sounding regions. As I said before, To me the best available sound is currently in the AvantGrand N3, the 470/480 falls way behind compared to the AvantGrand.


Which Roland did you try to say the CLP-380 sounds more piano-like ??? confused

The sound of the CLP-380 is far from excellent... ??? shocked

I think that in your mind, everything that is not an AvantGrand N3 is not worth it, so why bother ?
_________________________
Self taught adult beginner since September 2009 ( Man, I REALLY need a teacher ... )
Roland HP-305

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#1696640 - 06/16/11 07:40 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: AlphaTerminus]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4345
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: AlphaTerminus
Why Yahama does not place a high end processor with resinance modeling and a multigig sound bank in their higher end Clavinovas mystifies me.

Add me to the ranks of the mystified. Top dollar should get top sound generation technology, particularly when that's supposedly their business.
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
DPs Exposed! (nekid pichures!)

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#1697171 - 06/17/11 05:20 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Cohenfan]
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
mwf - ever heared of someone having an opinion different from yours???

cohenfan - I'm not saying "it's not worth it", it depends why you are buying a digital: in the case of many of my students, they are practicing to eventually perform in public on a high-end acoustic instrument but for practical reasons cannot have an acoustic in the house, and cannot afford an AvantGrand; in this case a 470 is "worth it" to them; for others an Arius is "worth it".

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#1697208 - 06/17/11 06:52 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
I dont like your attitude thats all, one does not have to spend a fortune on a piano to progress and develop as a musician, its does not matter what piano they learn on, a Yamaha P85 worth £400 or whatever would do, wouldnt like to know what you think of something that cheap for your students, I cant imagine for a second you would let them learn on one of them. wouldnt be good enough would it? All I am saying is there is no point coming on a digital forum and acting like your an anti-digital player, you are only interested in hugely expensive digital pianos or acoustic. Whats your idea of a high end acoustic instrument I wonder, as if it makes a world of difference to a players talents smile
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www.youtube.com/ukpiano

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#1697216 - 06/17/11 07:17 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
I must add, that is the most pointless review for anyone interested in a CLP400 series piano, namely the 470/480 - tell me what you expect anyone to gain from your ridiculously over the top cynical review you have wrote above... there is not one positive aspect about the pianos, they are complete rubbish, the 470 will do, its a last resort, dont get the 480 as its rubbish also and does not sound like a piano anyway, even though its over £3000 it does not sound like a piano smile...ok.

So again I ask what the heck was the point in your review, what has anyone gained from your highly respectable and professional opinion, you sound like a sales rep from Kawai to be honest the way youre talking.

you could at least try to be helpful in a digital piano forum, not just come here to tell everyone how awful digital pianos are.
_________________________
www.youtube.com/ukpiano

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#1697224 - 06/17/11 07:41 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9201
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Well, I would argue that mdb2303 is entitled to his or her opinion. I have yet to play the new CLP-400 range, however the CLP-370/CLP-380 were very good instruments, so I expect the improvements made to the new Clavinova models will be appreciated by consumers.

Whether or not the flagship Clavinova is as good as the AvantGrand is a moot point. There's a large price differential between the two product ranges, which obviously affects the keyboard and sound technology used. This is simple economics.

That being said, if mdb2303 was not overly impress by the CLP-470/CLP-480, I'm also somewhat curious as to which digital pianos he/she would recommend to pupils' parents?

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

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1697228 - 06/17/11 07:46 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
mwf: I see nothing odd about the OP's review. It was far from comprehensive, but it was hardly "over-the-top cynical".

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#1697343 - 06/18/11 04:33 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
James Q Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/10
Posts: 54
Loc: Vancouver Canada
Clavinova upgrade, from my view, it's just like the automobile manufactures perform upgrade for their product lines every year.
You can't expect every year's upgrade can bring a completely new design, and technology. For example, it's not possible to see BMW bring the F1 engines on to M3, or Porsche implement the 2006 Carrera GT's V10 into the next year Boxster.

The new model doesn't bring a surprise to the market doesn't equal to the product line is bad.

The transformation of technology is not a few paper work, think about blutooth, I saw this technology long long time ago, but it took a long long time for this technology to become popular (practical on the technology side). I believe the curves for the digital piano are same.


Edited by James Q (06/18/11 04:45 AM)
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Let's enjoy playing the piano.
Yamaha Avant-grand N2
Galaxy Vintage D + Vienna Grand

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#1697354 - 06/18/11 05:26 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
flangad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
mdb2303, have you try some other DP in the same pricerange as CLP 470 or 480, to compare comparable products? If yes, what can you tell us about this?

Of course, it would be fantastic to get the quality of an Avantgrand in the Clavinova CLP series, but i'm affraid this can only be a dream, because the price range is not the same at all.

Second question: as you seams to particulary appreciate the quality of real acoustic Grand Pianos, can you detail your opinion about this choise: a CLP 470 is around 2200 euros, and is presented by Yamaha as a relatively high end DP (not very high end as Avantgrand, but not a 500$ toy). For the same price, in the "acoustic" world, you can only expect to get a very low-end, and probably-second hand piano. So, in such situation, what product can you advice and why?

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#1697549 - 06/18/11 03:48 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: flangad]
mdb2303 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Birmingham - UK
Depending on parents' budgets I either recommend they get either

a) the bottom of range Yamaha Arius (YPD 141)/Casio Celviano (AP220)/ or Kawai CN23

or

b) the clp 470/480 or Roland HP307/305. I don't recommend the mid-range models as they don't provide any significant improvement on the YPD 141/AP220 etc. As far as sounding like an acoustic I personally do not like the sound of Rolands, but this is a personal preference which I let my students know about, but which doesn't stop me from recommending the hp305/307 (the "supernatural" sound is quite good and a big improvement on the previous system), especially as the string resonance in the Rolands is far superior to the string resonance in the Yamaha pianos.

As regards similarly priced acoustics I would not recommend any acoustic instrument in that price range (although occasionally there are some surprising deals on second-hand yamaha U-series) and in fact recommend that if they do not have an appropriate budget they should buy a digital as the digitals are in fact better than the cheaper uprights in terms of learning. The main reason is that parents who complain about the price of a good upright will not be willing to pay for tuning every 6 months and will not be willing to pay for the small repairs which a cheap second-hand acoustic will surely need (e.g. new hammer felt/new strings). And there is nothing more distressing and demotivating for a student with a good ear than an out-of-tune instrument with uneven keys..

However, for students who want to progress to the higher levels it is imperative they get a good acoustic upright, and eventually a small (not tiny, but neither a performance instrument) grand. And it is essential that if they are playing 3/4 hours a day the piano will have to be tuned every 4/6 months. And parents need to understand that they need to invest to get the returns. What I would like to stress is that for the advanced player this is not just about "sound" but also things like touch/feel/resonance/the ability to play experimental music (including prepared piano/extended techniques).

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#1697569 - 06/18/11 04:48 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
flangad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
thx for all those advices.
The piano is not for me or my child, but for my wife, who is a beginner student (she started piano lessons only a few months ago, one lesson/week).
For the moment, she practice at my parent's house (on a about 100 years old very beautifull and originaly high quality, but now very tired, Gaveau Piano), but it would be much better if she can work at home.
She work about 30 minutes/day and her teacher says she progress fast and have good abilities

In fact, i have 2 problems:
1- i'm affraid that it would be very difficult for an heavy acoustic piano to pass the door of my house... to be confirmed, but the space near the entry door of the house is clearly small, and windows are very high (like a second floor in fact)... so the piano transport will probably be very expensive, or maybe just impossible.
2- we clearly have a limited budget. many things to pay/do/buy in the next months and years... so we cannot spend thousands of euros for the piano... i would say we can reasonably spend 2000/2500 euros but not more.

For those 2 reasons, we think about choosing a digital piano rather than acoustic, even if my wife's teacher (a very good and very "classical culture" teacher) strongly advice to buy an acoustic piano. We were looking formerly at CLP 340, now more CLP470 or other products (kawai, roland) in the same pricerange... but we were just affraid about doing a mistake and choosing an instrument that would not fit any more my wife's expectations after juste 2 or 3 years.

Anyway, your former comment seams to confirm our position, even if of course, we should keep in mind we cannot expect the quality of a very good acoustic piano or Avantgrand with such products... no miracle... but if such DP is good enough for my wife to enjoy learning and progress for the few next years, that's ok!

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#1697691 - 06/18/11 08:34 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9201
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: mdp2303
I don't recommend the mid-range models as they don't provide any significant improvement on the YPD 141/AP220 etc.


While this may be true of the Casio instruments, I don't believe it's the case with other brands.

The Yamaha YDP-161 offers a superior keyboard action to the YDP-141, while heading in the opposite direction, the less expensive Kawai CL-25/CL-35 features an older keyboard action than the CN23. Elsewhere in the Kawai line-up, the CA13 features a highly respected wooden-key action, so there's actually quite a large differentiation throughout the product range. Roland also offer a three tiered approach, with entry-level models using the PHAII alpha action, mid-range instruments the PHAII action, and the higher-specification models using the PHAIII action.

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

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1698835 - 06/20/11 06:37 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Originally Posted By: mwf
Yeah well a lot of people dont have that kind of money to get an Avantgrand, I say the CLP380 does indeed have excellent sound, I think you are way over critical if I may say and very negative towards any piano apart from a really expensive digital or a real acoustic. I can tell you now the CLP380 was hands down a better piano than a lot of acoustic uprights I have played on over the years, better action, tone and sound. I read everything you wrote above and I just dont understand how anyone can be so negative and hyper critical towards the more affordable digital pianos. I really dont like what you have put, not contributing anymore to your thread, had enough to be honest.


I think people are emotionally invested in a major purchase and react like is. For instance I get irritated when people bash Yamaha grands when I am am head over heals with my C6. I hate the Clavinova sound, yet I own 2 Yamaha digits (pf 500 and cp33) and hate their sound as well, but they are bothh hooked up to a software piano, Synthogy Ivory, and I love them.

I don't think the author had an agenda... I agree with the Original post actually. Yamaha needs to upgrade their soundbanks at least to the level of the best software pianos out there.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1698838 - 06/20/11 06:39 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: AlphaTerminus]
AlphaTerminus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 549
Loc: Iowa, USA
Sorry for the typos. Typing on a tablet and cannot go back and scroll through the text box to edit the post.
_________________________
Lessons since September 2009
Yamaha C6

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#1699208 - 06/21/11 08:47 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
I strongly believe that the real ultra high-end DP's like the Avantgrands which cost a massive amount, are purely luxury items for the more affluent amongst us, nothing more, there is no evidence that something so expensive is required for the more advanced pianist like OP claims, you can develop just the same on a Yamaha P95 in my opinion. The same goes for a Steinway D worth £100,000, I can see the benefit for a concert pianist in performance wise say to an audience on stage, and perhaps more importantly in the recording studio. But in terms of practicing on your own in your house, I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key, although the amount of samples etc.. does not matter that much.
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#1699527 - 06/21/11 07:16 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: mwf
But in terms of practicing on your own in your house, I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key


uhm - Gyro? Is it you? Did you change your nick?
eek
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<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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#1699575 - 06/21/11 08:45 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mucci]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Originally Posted By: mucci
Originally Posted By: mwf
But in terms of practicing on your own in your house, I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key


uhm - Gyro? Is it you? Did you change your nick?
eek


Hi mucci,

No, I don't think that mwf's post could be Gyro, since Gyro never has any contact info (or, anything else for that matter) in his "View profile" information, if you click on the member name.

On the other hand, mwf offers quite a bit of info about himself (including a YouTube link), if you want to check it out.

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#1699608 - 06/21/11 09:55 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
azandj Offline
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Registered: 12/24/10
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Loc: Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: mwf
I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key


At home, I practice on a Yamaha P2. My piano teacher has a Yamaha baby grand (not sure which model). There is a very noticeable difference between the way I can play on these two pianos. On the P2 (which has pretty crappy action), I can not play with much expression. I could learn to play with flawless technicality, but to play with the emotion the music requires I need a more sophisticated action, such as my teacher's.
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#1699679 - 06/22/11 02:19 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
10fingers Offline
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Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: mwf
But in terms of practicing on your own in your house, I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key, although the amount of samples etc.. does not matter that much.


I could not disagree more, mwf. Practicing playing on an instrument that does not reflect the degree of expression you put into your playing, will help you no more than painting in black and white would prepare you to paint in colour. It is a pallid experience, and if you value your ability to express your feelings with nuance, you'll buy the best instrument you can afford.

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#1699683 - 06/22/11 02:44 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
flangad Offline
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Registered: 06/10/11
Posts: 4
maybe the right question is: "how many years (or more precisely hours) of lessons/practicing do you need to realy feel an require the difference?"

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#1699855 - 06/22/11 11:10 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: pv88]
mucci Offline
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Originally Posted By: pv88
Originally Posted By: mucci
Originally Posted By: mwf
But in terms of practicing on your own in your house, I believe almost anything will do, as long as it has fully weighted keys, 88 of them and at least some change in tone/timbre with regards to how hard you press the key


uhm - Gyro? Is it you? Did you change your nick?
eek


Hi mucci,

No, I don't think that mwf's post could be Gyro, since Gyro never has any contact info (or, anything else for that matter) in his "View profile" information, if you click on the member name.

On the other hand, mwf offers quite a bit of info about himself (including a YouTube link), if you want to check it out.


Yeah I know that mwf is not Gyro - It was just that his post sounded so similar... smirk
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#1701448 - 06/24/11 07:32 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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Loc: Peterborough, England
for a pracitce instrument you dont need anything that good, unless youre not a very good musician, if you have the passion for playing and can play a piano well, you will play whatever you can on whatever instrument you can play on, no need to be fussy, lifes too short, get on with it...deal with it, just play smile bye.
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#1701646 - 06/25/11 04:40 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mucci Offline
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Okay then, lets close down this forum, its useless, just get the next Classenti style piano (or lets get a roll-up) and you're done. No need to discuss pros and cons. Just play...
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#1701679 - 06/25/11 07:43 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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Everyone is asking the OP as if they are the expert and know more than anyone else about pianos/music, some of the things he/she has come out with are ridiculous. Like:

'If you're getting a digital to practice, you should be practicing with headphones. If you're practicing without headphones and no-one is complaining, you should be getting an acoustic instrument.'

rrrrrrright. That told us.

Just because they say they're a professional pianist/teacher does not mean they know what they are talking about. I would strongly advise anyone against listening to OP's advice, its too strict overall and negative towards the more affordable DP's. You must remember that you dont need a really expensive DP or an acoutic piano to progress as a pianist.
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#1702408 - 06/26/11 01:39 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mdb2303 Offline
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mwf - you are clearly incapable of debate: the whole point of forums and debate is to present and discuss opinions which differ from your own. All you seem to do is stamp your feet and cry out that what is written is wrong. Saying "I don't agree" does not constitute a debate: you need to justify your assertions.

So:

1) why don't you get yourself to a shop, try out the new yamahas and give us all a review; I promise I will make my students read your review (or indeed any other review) as well as my own.

2) if you really want to start a discussion on the pros and cons of students practicing on a digital piano, why don't you start a thread on the teacher's forum?

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#1702427 - 06/26/11 02:22 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
bennevis Offline
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I'm no expert on DPs, but I've certainly had a wide experience of acoustic pianos. And I can categorically say that you won't be able to develop a full range of tone and sonority and technical skill on a cheap console-type vertical piano: I learnt on a cheap Yamaha of this type (until Grade 5 ABRSM) and it wasn't until I went to boarding school and continued my piano lessons on the big Yamaha uprights there that I developed what I'd call a proper keyboard technique. The little Yamaha I learnt on at home had a tinny, very bright sound which barely changed from p to ff, and its keys were far too light (and had a habit of not sounding/sticking on repeated notes, despite the piano being brand new), and its bass sounds were just amorphous thuds.

I'd have been better off with a DP in the same price range, which would have a far better and reliable action, and far bigger range of tone and far easier to control (though of course at the time DPs didn't exist...).

As for DPs today, most of the time you get what you pay for - including all the bells and whistles. As a classical pianist, I'd be looking out for a good piano action, fast repetition of keys, and wide range of tone, and no unnecessary flashing lights and knobs and levers (otherwise I suspect that's where the money is going on). And I'd be using my own headphones to compare the sounds between different DPs, not the DPs' own speakers (I think you'd find that using headphones, there's no difference in sound between the AvantGrands and the CLPs - thay all seem to be sampled from the same CF-IIIS) - after all that's one of the main reasons to buy a DP rather than an acoustic.
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#1702463 - 06/26/11 03:35 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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You cant say anything 100% bennevis, there is no definate answer, and youre not right saying someone cant develop a full range of tone and sonority and technical skill on a cheap console piano, how do you know that for certain, to me thats nonsense, and anything is possible, people seem to be judging what they can or cannot do rather than what others may be capable of, how do you know what someone is capable of?
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#1702597 - 06/26/11 09:04 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
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Loc: North Carolina
mwf: The limitations he speaks of are those of the digital piano. There's no disputing that the digital cannot match an acoustic piano's full range of expression.

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#1702768 - 06/27/11 05:26 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
kippesc Offline
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Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 407
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: mdb2303
At the moment the N3 is far too expensive for a piano student (if parents can afford it they don't live in the sort of house which would have problem neighbours if they bought a baby grand piano instead), while the CLP 480 is nothing special compared to the CLP 380.


If I were recommending a digital piano to a cost conscious purchaser, I'd recommend the Roland RD-700NX with a pair of Sennheiser HD-600 headphones. The acoustic pianos sound very good. The SuperNatural features are a vast improvement over the 5 velocity layers of the CLP-380. The action, while a little light, is very responsive. And the internal amp is powerful enough to drive the low impedance Sennheisers with the volume slider at 50 percent. You can get a lot of fruitful practicing done on this sort of set up. I'd also recommend having some version of Pianoteq available because -- artificial as it sometimes sounds -- it provides a palette of nuance that is very useful. I've been practicing Mozart with it lately, and it allows for subtleties that many digitals and software pianos obscure. Also, the Pianoteq interface is really good. One favorite feature: You can record and playback very easily, which I find to be a helpful practice aid.

I provide the above recommendation, having owned and "tested" the following products: (i) a Steinway B, (ii) a CLP-380, (iii) an AvantGrand N2, (iv) Pianoteq, (v) Garritan Steinway D, (vi) Steinberg Grand 3, (vii) Ivory II, (viii) Galaxy Vintage D.

A couple years ago -- before the AvantGrand was in stores -- I purchased a CLP-380. I think I paid more than $6k, but less than $7k. I found that model disappointing for several reasons.

First, the tuning. Through high quality headphones (Sennheiser HD 580 and HD 600), it was clear that the tuning of some individual notes on the CLP-380 was off. I specifically remember that playing the first note of La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin just made my teeth gnash. (This would be 2 d-flats above middle c, at the lowest velocity layer -- through headphones, mind you.)

Second, the keyboard had an odd quality to it that made its touch unrealistic compared to an acoustic. The initial touch weight of the key was too heavy, so that in quiet chordal passages, it was not possible to play all notes cleanly. These types of quiet block cords are all over Debussy's music. (Employing my hazy recollection of high school physics, I think I could say -- by way of analogy or metaphor -- that the touch of the CLP-380 is as though the ratio of the coefficient of static friction to the coefficient of kinetic friction was too high, compared to a decent acoustic grand. Compared to a typical properly-regulated grand action, you have to apply too much pressure on the CLP-380 to get the key to start travelling which means the key is sometimes travelling too fast once it starts moving. The keys on the CLP-380 thus don't "fall" under the weight of your fingers; rather, you have to give them a little push to get them going.)

I found these two factors kind of depressing. The "off" tuning meant I had to turn to software pianos, but the "off" touch made the software pianos difficult to play.

When the AvantGrands came out, I decided to trade up, because the dealer would credit my original purchase price of the CLP-380 towards the AvantGrand. I purchased an N2. The cost of the upgrade was about $4k, which I thought was a pretty good deal for the following reasons: (1) The tuning of the N2 is fabulous. I've had piano tuners, curious about the Avant, comment that the Avant's tuning is very impressive. Evidently, the ascending beat rates of sixths work exactly as they should; this is not something I, myself, can discern. By contrast, the tuning on some of the software pianos is evidently not as accurate. (Pianoteq, however, is evidently a perfectly in-tune piano. The Avant, I am told, rivals Pianoteq in terms of the quality of its tuning.) (2) The action of the N2 is fabulous. It plays like a grand -- a GOOD grand.

Having said all the above, I'm writing this post to pass on my own experience. If I were starting from scratch, I'd get the Roland RD-700NX with the stand recommended by Roland and the Sennheiser headphones recommended above. I'd consider Pianoteq too, for the reasons mentioned. And I'd then start figuring out how to get access to a good acoustic from time to time in order to make sure that I was creating music and not unwittingly pounding out dictation.
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#1702773 - 06/27/11 05:46 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
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Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: mwf
and youre not right saying someone cant develop a full range of tone and sonority and technical skill on a cheap console piano, how do you know that for certain


You cannot develop skills for something you cannot reproduce. So if your DP is not able to reproduce specific subtle tone differences you can't develop the skills to reproduce them. It's that easy.
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#1702785 - 06/27/11 06:14 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: kippesc]
Moomintroll Offline
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Registered: 06/24/11
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: kippesc

Second, the keyboard had an odd quality to it that made its touch unrealistic compared to an acoustic. The initial touch weight of the key was too heavy, so that in quiet chordal passages, it was not possible to play all notes cleanly. These types of quiet block cords are all over Debussy's music.
The Clavinova CLP-340 suffers from the same problem. This is such a ridiculous problem concerning the so-called high-end keyboard actions by Yamaha, I actually find the GHS and the GH far more playable than the GH3 and GH3+NW regardless what the advertising departments may say. It's a double win, actually, because keyboards with GH and GHS are far cheaper than those with GH3 and GH3+NW

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#1702789 - 06/27/11 06:31 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mucci]
mwf Offline
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I give up, after the last comment by Mucci, thats it from me, you think what you want.
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#1702809 - 06/27/11 07:39 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
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Originally Posted By: mwf
I give up, after the last comment by Mucci, thats it from me, you think what you want.


- hint - hint - hint -

You could reply:

Most of todays affordable DPs have enough capabilities to reproduce most if not all required skills for a beginner to intermediate player. So if you have budget constraints you could be able to maker considerable progress in learning playing the piano. There is no need to have a N3 to learn playing the piano.

And I would then reply: You're absolutely right!

smile
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#1703042 - 06/27/11 02:59 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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Loc: Peterborough, England
Most of todays affordable DPs have enough capabilities to reproduce most if not all required skills for a beginner to Expert player. So if you have budget constraints you could be able to make considerable progress in learning playing the piano. There is no need to have a N3 to learn playing the piano, or to play at an advanced level.

laugh
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#1703053 - 06/27/11 03:15 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Moomintroll]
Qbert Offline
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Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Moomintroll
I actually find the GHS and the GH far more playable than the GH3 and GH3+NW regardless what the advertising departments may say.


confused

Are you serious?!

I've GH3 and there's no way to compare with GH or GHS regarding expressiveness or fast notes repeating
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#1703089 - 06/27/11 04:21 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Qbert]
Moomintroll Offline
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Registered: 06/24/11
Posts: 13
Originally Posted By: Qbert
Originally Posted By: Moomintroll
I actually find the GHS and the GH far more playable than the GH3 and GH3+NW regardless what the advertising departments may say.


confused

Are you serious?!

I've GH3 and there's no way to compare with GH or GHS regarding expressiveness or fast notes repeating
I've tried several CLP-340s and all of them showed the same keyboard action insufficiency, so yes, I am absolutely serious. I'll also be far happier if in the future you find more polite ways to react to my opinion.

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#1703114 - 06/27/11 05:04 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Kawai James Online   content
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Registered: 09/06/07
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Moomintroll,

GH3 is technically superior to GH/GHS. However, if you prefer to play the latter, that's absolutely fine - each to their own, etc.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1703115 - 06/27/11 05:05 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
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I, too, find that to be odd. The GH3 is mechanically identical to the GH.

If you feel a difference (GH vs. GH3), then perhaps it's related to sample variation?

I've noticed differences between the "same" GH3 keyboard on a CLP330 and that on a CLP240. Both were new pianos (three years ago).

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#1703131 - 06/27/11 05:30 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
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Registered: 01/29/10
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Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: mwf
Most of todays affordable DPs have enough capabilities to reproduce most if not all required skills for a beginner to Expert player. So if you have budget constraints you could be able to make considerable progress in learning playing the piano. There is no need to have a N3 to learn playing the piano, or to play at an advanced level.

laugh


You're... oh wait...

You almost got me! wink thumb
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#1703156 - 06/27/11 05:59 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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wink

I think the GHS had amazing fast repetition of same keys compared to the GH3. dont know if anyone else found this.
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#1703409 - 06/28/11 05:19 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
Qbert Offline
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Originally Posted By: mwf
wink

I think the GHS had amazing fast repetition of same keys compared to the GH3. dont know if anyone else found this.


Ok, I give up!

I can't understand why Yammy spends money in developping new keybeds, adding 3rd sensors and so on.... if people don't realize any differences with older models.
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#1703432 - 06/28/11 06:43 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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the repetition of a key is a tricky one though, you have to remember that GH3 was marketed as an 'enhanced' repetition and smoother repetition of notes that blend better or whatever. At no point, I am pretty sure of this, did they mention you could strike the key quicker many times to achieve more notes per second on the same key, they just marketed it so you thought that was included in the GH3.
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#1703454 - 06/28/11 08:04 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
Qbert Offline
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The 3rd sensor allows the player to re-press the key before it comes back completely, as a real piano does.
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#1704348 - 06/29/11 03:03 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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no thats incorrect, the third sensor is a sensor and only allows you to play/hear the notes smoother in repetition, its only a sensor and not an actual mechanism to allow faster reptetition of the same key. The key repetition on GH3 is rubbish, you should try the PHAIII I have on my Roland HP307 - far better!
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#1704426 - 06/29/11 04:57 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
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Registered: 01/29/10
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Originally Posted By: mwf
no thats incorrect, the third sensor is a sensor and only allows you to play/hear the notes smoother in repetition, its only a sensor and not an actual mechanism to allow faster reptetition of the same key. The key repetition on GH3 is rubbish, you should try the PHAIII I have on my Roland HP307 - far better!


Sorry but you're talking rubbish. I'm not a fan of Yamaha, but it's exactly as stated before: The third sensor is about halfway down the full keypress. So the sensor can detect when the key has moved up about halfway. It doesn't stop playing the note then, but if you repress the key, it plays a new note. Without that sensor this wouldn't happen...

Understood?
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#1704485 - 06/29/11 06:28 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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no, the GH3 keyboard lets you play the same note repeatedly with perfect articulation, they claim, they dont say this third sensor helps you play same notes faster, dont you understand what a sensor is? do you understand that a sensor detects your playing, does not mean it changes the whole mechanism of the keyboard when you suddenly decide to play the same key more rapidy, its a senor not a device.
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#1704525 - 06/29/11 07:48 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
MacMacMac Offline
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mwf: D'oh! Are you trying to become our new Gyro?

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#1704676 - 06/30/11 12:21 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
James Q Offline
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Registered: 07/07/10
Posts: 54
Loc: Vancouver Canada
GH3 Keyboard





Edited by James Q (06/30/11 12:50 AM)
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#1704717 - 06/30/11 03:18 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: James Q]
mucci Offline
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Thanks James Q, that illustrates it perfectly. I hope mwf now understands and stops being ignorant.
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#1704755 - 06/30/11 06:23 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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Loc: Peterborough, England
look at the above diagram and tell me where it explains anything about faster key repetition, why are you showing me a diagram that does not tell you anything? it shows the simple concept of the mechanism and then a picture with 3 sensors, that told me.

My original comment was that I found the GHS to be a faster key stroke keyboard on same key, there is no evidence the GH3 is faster, only an improvement in articulation/smoothness/accuracy and the way the notes sound to your hears through use of sensors, there is no keyboard technology that allows for faster key repetition in the GH3, thus the reason why you will find quicker repetition strokes on other keyboards old and new.

The GH3 is still slow anyway compared to an acoustic key repetition, I found it a struggle to play la campanella/toccata d minor on it for example, not with my PHAIII though, far better repetition rate.
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#1704760 - 06/30/11 06:43 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
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Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: mwf
there is no keyboard technology that allows for faster key repetition in the GH3


Yes, there is.

It is a big difference if you have to fully release a key and then press it down again or if you just have to travel halfway up and then press the key again. It's

1. shorter travel length --> quicker
2. although pedal not pressed down it's a continuous play rather than note off / note on (staccato like)
3. (maybe) more possibilities for expression because you have two sensors to calculate the velocity of a key (when did you reach the first sensor / when second sensor)

Sorry for my maybe clumsy explanation because I don't know the technically correct English words for some expressions.


I understand you like the PHAIII keyboard more, that's fine, but you should at least accept what the GH3 is and that it indeed helps to manage faster repetitions.
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#1704782 - 06/30/11 07:40 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Qbert Offline
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In my understanding, that's the same concept for Yamaha, Roland PHAIII and Casio. While Kawai RM3 should adopt a different approach. It allows the same behaviour (halfway travel) but with only 2 sensors, doesn' it?
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#1704787 - 06/30/11 08:16 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mucci Offline
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Loc: Munich, Germany
The "3" in RM3 has nothing to do with 3 sensors. It just has 2 sensors. Nevertheless the travel length for release before repetition will work is shorter than a full key release (since I have this keyboard, I would guess about 60-65%).
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#1704904 - 06/30/11 12:26 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
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Loc: Peterborough, England
used to own 2 different clavinovas - CLP270 and CLP380, both with GH3/the latter was NWGH3, they didnt allow very fast repetition, I was not impressed. Think what you like then... I dont agree with your further explanation, sorry. The sensors dont make a difference, although Yamaha will claim they do, its just marketing speak.
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#1704934 - 06/30/11 01:01 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mwf]
mucci Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/10
Posts: 1070
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: mwf
used to own 2 different clavinovas - CLP270 and CLP380, both with GH3/the latter was NWGH3, they didnt allow very fast repetition, I was not impressed. Think what you like then... I dont agree with your further explanation, sorry. The sensors dont make a difference, although Yamaha will claim they do, its just marketing speak.


uhm... I don't know what to say to that... That's the way how it should work and the technical explanation should be correct.

I don't own both GH3 and PHAIII, I just test did drive both at my local dealer. To be honest I'm not impressed with both keyboards for various reasons, but at least I could detect the slightly quicker repetition on both keyboards compared to the CA63 I own. I personally prefer the Kawai keyboard action, its very much like the "real" (what is that?) thing. I think there is lots of personal taste in keyboard action, so lets keep it that way...
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#1705020 - 06/30/11 03:16 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
On an acoustic piano ... when a key is struck the escapement disengages the key from the hammer, which allows the hammer to rebound from the string even if the key is held down. This rebound is necessary to produce good tone.

This means that the key must be partially released to allow the mechanism to re-engage ... before you can strike that note again. The distance the key must rise before the action re-engages is much less than the full 10 mm (approx.) key dip. The required rise is significant (several millimeters) on an upright. On a grand, with its superior action mechanism, the required rise is less.

The time "lost" allowing the key to rise before re-engagement limits your repetition speed. So the shorter the required rise, the faster the achievable repetition rate.

Digital pianos neither have nor need an escapement mechanism. But the key must still rise before you can re-strike the note. The third sensor on the GH3 keyboard (and other three-sensor actions from other makers) allows the piano to sense the release sooner, and allows it to sense a re-strike after a shorter key rise. As with an acoustic, the shorter key rise reduces the time lost before a re-strike. Simple.

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#1705091 - 06/30/11 05:15 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
mwf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/06
Posts: 419
Loc: Peterborough, England
I played on a P-85 a while back for a wedding gig and the key repetition was amazing! I thought it was faster than GH3 models and the P-80 is GHS, thats all I am saying about it, not trying to argue with everyone, just my opinion, I was wondering if anyone else felt this?
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#1705106 - 06/30/11 05:33 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9201
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Just agree to disagree guys...

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

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1984757 - 11/09/12 07:24 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
BKr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 8
Of course sound and key touch is subjective so we all are coming from different directions when addressing these kinds of questions. My reference is a Mason & Hamlin Model BB 7 foot grand so I am particular in choosing a digital piano. I also personally tune and voice my piano to obtain the sound that I am looking for. My need for a digital is to play when my wife is sleeping or doesn't want to hear constant repetitive practicing.

The newer CLP serios (440, 470, 480) with its RGE (Real Grand Expression) is a sound that is getting closer to an acoustic piano. It IS better than the previous serious and so far the only digital piano that I would consider. The first time I played the CLP 440 I immediately noticed a more realistic acoustical sound and less of the typical digital, electronic sound that most other keyboards produce. Is is not what my M&H sounds like but it was the first digital piano that I would consider.

Key and pedal feel again is much different from my grand but then again given the price difference I wouldn't expect it to be equal but it is acceptable. The increase in amplification as you go up the series (440, 470, 480) will help reproduce the complete range of sounds. Dedicated speakers to the various frequency ranges will always produce better sounds than when one or two speakers are used for the entire range. All top end stereo systems utilize multiple speakers. More power will produce the deep base sounds when using speakers IF you are playing at normal stage volume levels. If not then power doesn't buy you too much. If you use headphones then this increase in power doesn't buy you anything.

All in all the 440, 470, and 480 in my opinion are worth the investment as they ARE better than the previous series. Comparing the 440 to the 480 the 480 has better/more speakers, wooden (more natural) keys, speakers for each frequency range, more amplification power, and linear graded key weights as you go up the scale. This is an attempt to be similar to a grand piano. The pedal also has a more realistic feel (force profile) compared to the standard digital piano which is pretty much linear in feel. And if you are into recording the 480 has 16 channels to record on as compared to 2 channels on the 440 or 470. This is important if you want to record and play with multiple instruments. Finally the 480 has a much greater amount of songs (instruments) than does the 440 or 470. Again, this is only important if you are into recording group sessions.

Kawai has some excellent pianos but my opinion is that while the keyboard has a better touch/feel than does the Yamaha the sound is still too digital. So is the Kurzweil. Way too electronic in sound.

There are comments about going with an upright or spinet acoustical if you can afford one. I disagree. Until you get into some serious money or a medium or greater grand piano range the sound of these lower end acoustic pianos are honky tonk, twangy, and in no way sound like a piano should. They will however have a better key touch/feel than do any of the digitals. Several years ago I was making a decision between a lower ($5000 range) end acoustic and a better digital ($3000 range) for my grand daughter and it was an easy decision. The digitals won hands down every time. To me all of the acoustic pianos sounded like what you would hear in a saloon. And the key feel/touch of a digital is more than acceptable for the first four or five years of piano playing. For the more experienced pianist you learn to live with the differences. If a student gets serious after that move up to a good grand piano and skip the uprights, spinets, etc. Again, my opinion. Take it for what it is worth.


Edited by BKr (11/09/12 07:31 PM)

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#1984775 - 11/09/12 08:09 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
Some of that is true. But I don't share your excitement.

Don't kid yourself with the information from their promotional literature. The keys are not wood. They simply place wood shims on the sides of each key. They look like wooden keys, but they're mostly plastic.

As for the speakers: "Dedicated speakers to the various frequency ranges will always produce better sounds than when one or two speakers are used for the entire range." Well ... they still don't sound very good. I was not impressed.

"Linear graded key weights as you go up the scale". All but the cheapest pianos have this. Again, nothing special.

"The newer CLP series (440, 470, 480) with its RGE (Real Grand Expression) is a sound that is getting closer to an acoustic piano." But it's still not very impressive. It seems most people here prefer the sounds of the Roland V or of the various Kawai consoles. And I've found that most PC-based piano libraries are far better still. In the high-end range I think Yamaha's sound trails the pack.

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#1984839 - 11/10/12 12:07 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
rectina Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 1
Nice and interesting review. Thank you very much.

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#1984873 - 11/10/12 03:04 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: MacMacMac]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Some of that is true. But I don't share your excitement.

Don't kid yourself with the information from their promotional literature. The keys are not wood. They simply place wood shims on the sides of each key. They look like wooden keys, but they're mostly plastic.


Are you saying Yamaha is guilty of fraud when they say:

"the keys are made of solid wood that has undergone the long drying process required for use in a musical instrument. By selecting only the highest quality sections of each piece of wood, keys that are more resistant to warping and deforming than those of laminated wooden keyboards are created."
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1984912 - 11/10/12 05:28 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: MacMacMac]
CarloPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 169
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac

"Linear graded key weights as you go up the scale". All but the cheapest pianos have this. Again, nothing special.


True. Some time ago I discovered what the difference between GH3/NW and the "new" Linear Graded Hammer is. It's just that in GH/GH3/NW there are only four different weight zones (that is, for instance, A0 and C1 weight the same, when we reach the next zone, for instance, let's say, G2, then the counterweight is lighter and so on). On the new Linear Graded every single key has a different weight. That's in my opinion a very subtle improvement.

I think Yamaha Clavinova division has become comfortable with it's big name and sales and lost its real entrepreneur and innovator spirit. While Kawai, Roland and even Casio has evolved many times their actions over the last years, Yamaha still uses basically the same action they are using since mid 80's. AE (Action effect) was created in 1986/88 and it was used during many years, it was probably the best for its time. Then it was replaced by GH, Graded Hammer around 2000 (year more, year less...) and it's almost identical to AE, except for the graded weight keyboard. And this evolved to GH3, just the same with a third sensor. NW (Natural Wood) is the same GH3 with a slim wood decoration with, in my opinion, no real function. And now we have, on the most expensive models, a new variation of NW, Linnear Graded. More of the same, no significant improvement IMHO, except for the Avantgrands and NU1. That's the reason I chose a Yamaha Silent with a real action a few years ago instead of a Clavinova.

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#1984915 - 11/10/12 05:31 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Macy]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2401
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Some of that is true. But I don't share your excitement.

Don't kid yourself with the information from their promotional literature. The keys are not wood. They simply place wood shims on the sides of each key. They look like wooden keys, but they're mostly plastic.


Are you saying Yamaha is guilty of fraud when they say:

"the keys are made of solid wood that has undergone the long drying process required for use in a musical instrument. By selecting only the highest quality sections of each piece of wood, keys that are more resistant to warping and deforming than those of laminated wooden keyboards are created."



Courtesy of a previous thread on PW and pictures by member jve, we have this picture:


Now this is what Yamaha calls a wooden key. I'm afraid I don't agree!


Edited by EssBrace (11/10/12 05:42 AM)
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1984916 - 11/10/12 05:40 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: BKr]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2401
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: BKr
Until you get into some serious money or a medium or greater grand piano range the sound of these lower end acoustic pianos are honky tonk, twangy, and in no way sound like a piano should.


This is simply untrue. I used to share your view and would never have entertained the idea of an upright piano (any upright). I am now the very happy owner of a Kawai K3, having sold my AvantGrand N3. I can assure you my upright piano sounds very much like a piano should! I agree there are benefits to grands (good ones) and it is my long-term aspiration to be the owner of a Yamaha C3 or Kawai RX3 or similar when I have the space. But my 48" upright has a better bass than any grand I've ever heard up to about 5'5" and is a genuinely satisfying musical instrument to play - far more so than any digital I've ever owned (and I've owned them all!).
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1984925 - 11/10/12 06:16 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 806
Wow EssBrace - this is the first of your posts that I read where you tell us you DID it! Congratulations on your acoustic and welcome to the club of DP fans who know (and own) the real thing as well!

Enjoy!

PS. And be sure to let us know, in a while, how you re-evaluate the DP's that you play(ed).
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1984927 - 11/10/12 06:22 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Macy]
Kos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 77
Originally Posted By: Macy

Are you saying Yamaha is guilty of fraud when they say:

It's not fraud, it's called marketing.
_________________________
"There is nothing to piano playing besides producing the appropriate velocities on the appropriate keys at the appropriate time" (c) qvfarns

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#1984941 - 11/10/12 07:14 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Mark NM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/06/12
Posts: 24
I would like to point out that GH and GH3 are mechanically the same action. They share the same touch/feel.

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#1984975 - 11/10/12 09:34 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Mark NM]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2401
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Mark NM
I would like to point out that GH and GH3 are mechanically the same action. They share the same touch/feel.


And the NW action is GH3 with the wood strips.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1984976 - 11/10/12 09:37 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: maurus]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2401
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: maurus
Wow EssBrace - this is the first of your posts that I read where you tell us you DID it! Congratulations on your acoustic and welcome to the club of DP fans who know (and own) the real thing as well!

Enjoy!

PS. And be sure to let us know, in a while, how you re-evaluate the DP's that you play(ed).


Thanks. Yes, I did it! And no regrets either. In fact although I had a small Yamaha grand for a few weeks and it didn't work in my small room, I really regret not considering upright pianos before.

The way I recently described it to someone is that playing a DP is like seeing the world in ten colours, playing even a modest upright such as mine is like seeing the world in a thousand colours.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#1985035 - 11/10/12 12:45 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: EssBrace]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Mark NM
I would like to point out that GH and GH3 are mechanically the same action. They share the same touch/feel.


And the NW action is GH3 with the wood strips.


I'm not sure this is actually true. I spent some time demoing Yamahas the other day and the NW actions definitely felt different (and better) than the GH3 actions to me. I have heard people in this forum say that there is little or no difference between GH and NW, but my experience doesn't corroborate this. The use of wood does seem to be something of a gimmick to make people think it's more authentic in design than it is. It doesn't necessarily follow that it's not superior in other ways to GH. I definitely preferred it while I was demoing.

Whether this could be a psychological effect I can't say with certainty, but it at least cast doubt on your statement.

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#1985050 - 11/10/12 01:31 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
There may indeed be differences between GH3 and NW, other than just the wood strips. Moreover, I've found that two pianos with the SAME keyboard can feel very different. Is it manufacturing variation?

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#1985103 - 11/10/12 05:24 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: EssBrace]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 611
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Originally Posted By: Macy
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Some of that is true. But I don't share your excitement.

Don't kid yourself with the information from their promotional literature. The keys are not wood. They simply place wood shims on the sides of each key. They look like wooden keys, but they're mostly plastic.


Are you saying Yamaha is guilty of fraud when they say:

"the keys are made of solid wood that has undergone the long drying process required for use in a musical instrument. By selecting only the highest quality sections of each piece of wood, keys that are more resistant to warping and deforming than those of laminated wooden keyboards are created."



Courtesy of a previous thread on PW and pictures by member jve, we have this picture:


Now this is what Yamaha calls a wooden key. I'm afraid I don't agree!


Great, thanks for the picture. As an engineer that makes a lot of sense to me. The keys aren't 100% wood as in a acoustic piano so I'd say Yamaha is stretching a point by saying "the keys are made of solid wood". But they appear to use substantial solid wood around a plastic core rather than just putting a paper-thin veneer over plastic for looks. Certainly the wood serves a marketing purpose, but the construction also makes sense from a design point of view. The plastic core is a manufacturing advantage and the wood provides some damping and a little mass that affects the feel and sound of the keys as they are played. Had they only wanted a wood look entirely for marketing purposes they could have used a less expensive laminated process, so that part of their claim makes some sense to me. I can certainly tell the difference when playing my keyboards with the "Yamaha wood keys" compared to just plastic keys, although not all other variables are the same so that is not a definitive comparison.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1985329 - 11/11/12 11:33 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: MacMacMac]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 451
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I've found that two pianos with the SAME keyboard can feel very different. Is it manufacturing variation?


I found the same and strongly believe in manufacturing variation. I found variations for 'identical' Yamahas, and also for 'ídentical' Rolands. (I in my HP-505 review in one the paragraphs wrote in detail on my impressions on this.)
_________________________
learning Piano on my Roland HP-505
before playing Drums in adults bluesband on handpicked set; before crashing E-Guitar in kids garage band; raised on home entertainment Organ and Keyboard models Eminent Solina P240, Farfisa Maharani 259R, Technics KN800, and on Mouth Organ, Recorder and Accordion

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#2101300 - 06/12/13 02:26 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: EssBrace]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Don't kid yourself with the information from their promotional literature. The keys are not wood. They simply place wood shims on the sides of each key. They look like wooden keys, but they're mostly plastic.


Courtesy of a previous thread on PW and pictures by member jve, we have this picture:


Please note:

The later models have strips of wood covering the hollow plastic key shells as they are not solid wood keys and this is also true of the current models, i.e., CLP-470/480.

Only the CLP-990/990M dating from 2001 (in which I now have one) has solid spruce wood keys through and through and here are two photos to verify it:

1) White key:

http://imgur.com/Eln3EBy

2) Black key:

http://imgur.com/BxPhgHr

3) And, one other photo of the solid wood keys in the CLP-990 including the unique hammer action which also has a very realistic feeling escapement simulation:

http://imgur.com/Dt5TJhb

Also, the main "Grand Piano 1" preset in the CLP-990 is just as good as the "Grand Piano 1" preset in the AvantGrand N3 since they both have the same CFIIIS concert grand samples!

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#2101315 - 06/12/13 03:20 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Have you been digging in your CLP-990 again, pv88? wink Looking for imperfections, I presume. :p
_________________________
-- Zbynek N.

Learning to play the piano since 06/2013 on a Kawai CA-95.

Music is what feelings sound like. ~ Author Unknown

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#2101392 - 06/12/13 09:47 AM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
The use of the word "shim" is very misleading. It is clearly more substantial than "shim" or "veneer" dictates. A quick glance at the GH3 mechanism and I can see why the entire key is not wood. It would require a redesign to allow full wood, or alternatively, a great increase in overall manufacturing cost.

I really don't see how the wood could add to the feel, assuming they have designed their plastic keyboards appropriately. I assume they engineered their GH action to closely resemble a real piano as much as possible. The simple replacement of wood for plastic should have a minimal effect.

In my personal experience, I just couldn't convince myself that the $700 difference from the 440 was worth it. There are literally only three differences between the two models, and they are extremely minor. Partially wooden white keys (no effect, and black keys are not wood), linear grading (difficult if not impossible to notice over the other characteristics of the GH keyboard), and resistant sustain pedal (might be practical, but it simply a physical mechanism installed under the pedal, the sound is no different).

The 470 is in a bad place. It is too expensive for what it adds. The 480 adds features completely unnecessary, unless you want to record full audio tracks, or maybe to be used in advanced schools. For most people, the money would be better spent on a NU1 or N1. This means the 440 is really the only choice in the current Clavinova line, unless your budget is really tight, or maybe you will strictly use headphones, which bumps you down to the 430 model.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha GC2

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#2101570 - 06/12/13 04:08 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: Daniel Corban]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2630
Originally Posted By: Daniel Corban
The use of the word "shim" is very misleading. It is clearly more substantial than "shim" or "veneer" dictates. A quick glance at the GH3 mechanism and I can see why the entire key is not wood. It would require a redesign to allow full wood, or alternatively, a great increase in overall manufacturing cost.


@Daniel,

I changed my original description above and took out "shim" and "veneer" as you are right that there is enough wood on the sides of the white keys which probably add a little bit of extra weight to them. I find it very interesting that the CLP-990/990M (from 2001) was given solid wood keys (both white and black, i.e., all 88) and the later models were changed to the wood coverings. As you mentioned this was done in order to save on manufacturing costs. Even so, Yamaha hasn't come out with any other models that have solid wood keys aside from the AvantGrands.

I really do like the feel of the action in the CLP-990M and hope that you are enjoying your Clavinova, as well.

And, here's a recording that highlights the default "Grand Piano 1" preset with no alterations in the settings:

https://www.box.com/s/xyw872ct88099bw963vv

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#2101619 - 06/12/13 05:58 PM Re: Clavinova CLP 480 Review [Re: mdb2303]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: North Carolina
Yes, this saves on manufacturing costs. But they probably switched to plastic because the wood keys did not generate demand.

You sell whatever attracts people to buy. I'm guessing that the all-wood design was not adequate to attract customers, so they dropped it.

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