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#2112552 - 07/04/13 01:56 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: MacMacMac]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
@MacMacMac,

I am currently only interested in the smaller flagship upright styled digitals and stage pianos since they take up the least amount of space and I am at my limit with three flagship digitals at this time. I can interchange one of them at a time (the one which is least desirable or if a new model should arrive) as the current setup will soon be:

1) Roland V-Piano
2) CLP-990M
3) CLP-480R ... [Kawai CA95 trade-in]*
4) Kawai EP3

*Extra note:

Only one of the above three flagships will be considered for either trade-in towards a new model or to exchange for something else. As for now I am not partial to the quality of the piano sounds in the CA95 as it is being exchanged for a new CLP-480R (rosewood finish). The reason for having two flagship Clavinova's is very simple as the CLP-990M has the best piano sound of any digital I have played on to date and the new CLP-480 will be equally good.

The fourth digital I have (Kawai EP3) will be kept as it is a decent portable keyboard (that I could easily move into an underground shelter if necessary) with good sounds and action although since it is not a flagship model I don't count it as one of the main "three."

Please note that I am not interested in buying an acoustic as they require a lot of extra maintenance and tunings as I am buying digitals that don't need any service. All of the upright models have the same size and dimensions as I can easily swap one for another.

I can always own several digitals this way and in the event that anything goes wrong with one of them there is always another one to play, or, I can turn it in for perhaps a new model if one should appear.

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#2112597 - 07/04/13 04:12 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: pv88
It is just my personal and subjective opinion although I am now sure that I would have liked the CP300....


Yes, it is good enough for The Rolling Stones. I saw their keyboard man getting a very decent rock piano sound out of one at Glastonbury the other night - so you'd have been in good company!

Good luck with the CLP-480 Richard.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#2112698 - 07/04/13 09:25 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
I used to think that acoustics were expensive and a hassle to maintain. As I get better at playing, my technical and emotional demands increase. The thought of paying a couple hundred a year in tech work now seems trivial. My limitation is floor space, otherwise, I think I would have a baby grand by now instead of tolerating digital pianos.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha CLP-440

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#2115037 - 07/09/13 06:12 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Clayman]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
Originally Posted By: Clayman
1) There's no escapement/let-off (aka the click at the bottom of a white key's trajectory) on any CLP piano.

2) It's also a known fact that the "wooden" keys in the CLP pianos are not really made of wood, there's only a thin bar at the sides of the white keys, the black ones are completely plastic.


CLP-990:

1) The CLP-990 does have escapement simulation and not only does it have the subtle click-feel towards the bottom of the keystroke but you also can sound a soft tone from the escapement point just like on a grand piano. Here's a video which demonstrates it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D62G49_Rws

2) In the photos below you can see that both the white and black keys are made from solid wood.

White key:

http://imgur.com/bVqIT5R

Black key:

http://imgur.com/1Ar7gRe

So, with the CLP-990 you have:

1) Escapement simulation with the click feel as one can play "off of the jack" (or, softly) from the escapement point.

2) Solid wood keys for all 88 notes both white and black.

3) 88-key sampling with 5 layer samples.

4) 8-step graded hammer action.

I do count four features that the CLP-480 does not have!

Will be very interesting to compare the 480 to the 990.
(After the 480 has arrived and it's now on order.)

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#2115059 - 07/09/13 07:44 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
I think I'm right in saying the CLP-480 has continuous grading (each key is graded differently) to simulate the very slight difference in the size/weight of hammers in an acoustic as you go along the keyboard. So in this respect the CLP-480 is superior (in theory!).
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#2115095 - 07/09/13 09:57 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: EssBrace]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
The CLP470 has an identical keyboard and pedal. The difference lies in the amp and speaker system, as well as general MIDI support and a ridiculous number of sound banks.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha CLP-440

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#2115102 - 07/09/13 10:17 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Daniel Corban]
EssBrace Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Suffolk, United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Daniel Corban
The CLP470 has an identical keyboard and pedal.


Yes I know that. I meant that feature is superior to the CLP-990, not superior to everything! Do not under-estimate the sound system on the CLP-480 - it will blow any other standard range console DP into the weeds. Whether the additional expense is worth it is a judgement for each individual buyer of course.
_________________________
Yamaha CP1

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#2115255 - 07/09/13 05:05 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: EssBrace]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Do not under-estimate the sound system on the CLP-480 - it will blow any other standard range console DP into the weeds. Whether the additional expense is worth it is a judgement for each individual buyer of course.


Steve,

It is my subjective view that one really needs at least a 100+ watt speaker system to do a digital justice. This means that a fair amount of power is needed to reproduce the bass range with solid resonance you can feel and to bring out the treble range with distinct clarity and realism.

This is certainly one of the primary reasons I am buying the CLP-480 as it has the most powerful speaker system of any console/upright digital currently available. Here are the total speaker wattage specs for all of the top flagship models:

1) 20 watts: Williams Overture
2) 50 watts: Kurzweil MP20
3) 60 watts: Casio AP-650
4) 135 watts: Kawai CA95
5) 135 watts: Kawai CS10
6) 140 watts: Kurzweil CUP2
7) 140 watts: Roland HP-507
8) 160 watts: Roland LX-15
9) 160 watts: Yamaha NU1

The CLP-480 is rated at 200 watts which can only be bettered by going to an AvantGrand which is not a console/upright model.

The CLP-990M that I have has 120 watts (60 watts per side in the upper front facing cabinet) which is truly more than sufficient.*

*Extra note:

Front facing speakers are quite rare in a digital and that is why the CLP-990M sounds very powerful with less volume being required.

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#2115325 - 07/09/13 08:11 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3803
Loc: North Carolina
Your understanding is not correct.

Why? Among other things:
Amplifier power ratings are inconsistent.
Speaker efficiencies vary tremendously.

You can blow out the windows with a 10 watt amp and the right speakers.

Specs are often just fairy tales disguised as science.

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#2115349 - 07/09/13 08:58 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1674
Loc: Portugal
macmacmac makes a good point, which I'd illustrate with this example:

i compared a clavinova cdp 220, which is rated 40* watts against a roland hp302, rated 24* watts.

the louder, more powerful sounding piano, on full volume, was the hp302. but if you were to go on wattage ratings alone, it should have been 40 percent quieter and 40 percent less powerful. of course, this is twaddle.

*this is presuming rms ratings, which i think we can.

(excuse my capital letters - they're not working)


Edited by toddy (07/09/13 08:58 PM)
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2115396 - 07/09/13 10:28 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: MacMacMac]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Amplifier power ratings are inconsistent.
Speaker efficiencies vary tremendously.

You can blow out the windows with a 10 watt amp and the right speakers.

Specs are often just fairy tales disguised as science.


Yes, I do agree that there are many differences between speakers regarding their efficiency and quality as these factors do not depend upon power (or, wattage) alone.

This is why (as has been mentioned before) that I actually prefer the quality of the projected sound from the the top facing speakers in the small Kawai EP3 (which I own) over the more powerful Kawai CA95.

A mere 26 watts (top facing speakers) - EP3
135 watts - (soundboard in back) - CA95

Even though the CA95 has four times the wattage of the EP3 the CA95's sounds are not as clear and defined as the EP3's sounds projected from the top of the piano. The reverb effects and 3-dimensional effect of being surrounded with sound is evident with the EP3 where it is somewhat muddled in the CA95. The crisp clarity of the sounds is there in the EP3 but I do not hear this in the CA95. This is the reason I am trading in the CA95 for a CLP-480 which has samples that have far better clarity and don't sound muddled and fuzzy. Again, this is a subjective comparison as others may not agree on this.

How can an $1,100 digital (EP3) sound better than a $4,000 CA95?

It does to me and it all has to do with the perceived quality of the projected sounds from the speakers.

Extra note:

Also, it has been said here by another forum member that their Clavinova CLP-990 sounds better to them than an AvantGrand (as it was played on in a local store) as both pianos have the same CFIIIS samples with the only difference being the power of the speaker setups and the actions.

Note that the CLP-990 has a set of four front facing speakers in the upper cabinet on either side of the music desk with 120 watts of sound whereas the AvantGrand N3 has 500 watts. So, does the N3 sound better than the CLP-990 just on account of the louder sounds due to the available power?

With the sound samples being equal the answer is ... no.

Sound is always subjective to the player's perceptions.

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#2115404 - 07/09/13 10:52 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9070
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Richard, with the greatest respect, I believe you're the only person in the world who perceives an EP3 to sound better than a CA95.

Kind regards,
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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#2115431 - 07/09/13 11:40 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
Let me clarify by adding that I am not referring to just the quality of the samples themselves, i.e., EP3 vs. CA95, but the perceived quality of the projected sounds from the speakers which makes for an authentic 3-dimensional effect especially with the reverb settings. I still prefer the clarity of the EP3 over the CA95 due to the clear sounds with no metallic fuzziness. Like I have said before it is my own perception of the sounds as I hear them.

I can't live with the raspy/metallic and unclear tones in the CA95, hence the trade-in for a CLP-480, however, the EP3 fares much better with decent clarity as does the CLP-990M. In the end I will have the Roland V-Piano, CLP-480, and CLP-990M, along with one portable stage piano - EP3.

Also, from the above the Clavinova's will have the best sounds - the V-Piano has the best action in regards to dynamic levels and touch - and, the EP3 stands on its own with excellent speaker projection.

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#2115502 - 07/10/13 04:17 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3803
Loc: North Carolina
pv: I think we all know that you're (perhaps) the world's most prolific piano buyer. We also know that you're thrilled (initially) with a new piano purchase. But that thrill fades as you quickly become disappointed with it, and you start the quest for another piano. And the cycle repeats.

You've previously mentioned some sort of hearing problem. Perhaps that's what drives your dissatisfaction. But given your buying pattern, I find it hard to rely on your judgment as a gauge of any piano's sound quality.

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#2115515 - 07/10/13 05:32 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: MacMacMac]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
@Mac,

Looks like you've hit the nail on the head as for my quest of acquiring and trying out new things and then eventually exchanging them for something else. The truth is that there will never be just one perfect instrument you can buy that will satisfy every requirement as for tone, touch, aesthetics, etc. We live in an imperfect world, unfortunately.

As for now I plan on keeping both the V-Piano and CLP-990M (as my personal favorites) as I am only trading in the CA95 for the CLP-480 as I wasn't happy with the fuzzy piano tones. The CLP-990M was a great find as it has the best piano sound of any digital I have played to date and it will remain as a keeper due to the fact it is now a difficult to locate model.

I have no interest in splurging on an AvantGrand or an acoustic as the smaller upright digitals are easiest to manage in my current space which is only one medium sized room. I don't intend to go back to an acoustic which requires plenty of maintenance and tuning.

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#2115547 - 07/10/13 07:05 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: pv88]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Well, what is there left to say? It's good that you understand that no piano is perfect but I still find it mind-boggling that you keep exchanging pianos like socks (well, almost). The usual modus operandi is to carefully research the current alternatives, pick one and stick with it.

How many pianos does one need? I could perfectly understand having one cabinet-style piano for home/evening playing, one slab for gigging and possibly one acoustic to play on when circumstances allow it or to finalize a performance if you're a professional player. But you have no fewer than 3 (!) top-tier digital pianos (+1 lower-end, the EP3), with each of the three being predominant in a certain area (touch, tone, speaker power etc.). Collecting pianos is an expensive hobby, I imagine.

How often do you actually play all of them?
_________________________
-- 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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#2115549 - 07/10/13 07:18 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Clayman]
pv88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2625
If I had more space to spare then perhaps I could add a few more digitals to the collection although the three flagships I have keep me busy enough. I am primarily concerned with the quality of the piano sounds in the best digitals available and not how many I own.

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#2115565 - 07/10/13 08:20 AM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Clayman]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Clayman
Well, what is there left to say? It's good that you understand that no piano is perfect but I still find it mind-boggling that you keep exchanging pianos like socks (well, almost). The usual modus operandi is to carefully research the current alternatives, pick one and stick with it.

How many pianos does one need? I could perfectly understand having one cabinet-style piano for home/evening playing, one slab for gigging and possibly one acoustic to play on when circumstances allow it or to finalize a performance if you're a professional player. But you have no fewer than 3 (!) top-tier digital pianos (+1 lower-end, the EP3), with each of the three being predominant in a certain area (touch, tone, speaker power etc.). Collecting pianos is an expensive hobby, I imagine.

How often do you actually play all of them?


On the other hand, it's his money, his hobby and his prerogative. Why not own lots of DPs? He's stimulating the US economy at the very least!

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#2115694 - 07/10/13 02:26 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: ando]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Yeah, I guess I'll have to leave it at that. After all, it's not written anywhere that I must understand everything.
_________________________
-- 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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#2115706 - 07/10/13 02:49 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Clayman]
Daniel Corban Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/13
Posts: 215
Loc: Canada
I am reminded of discussions related to my other hobby: video games. There are people who strive to collect a complete set of all published games for a system. This can number over 1000 unique games, many of which are not worth the time to play, let alone purchase. These people undoubtedly do not play every game, or even a majority of them. Some collectors admit to not playing any of them at all!

I understand why he owns some of those pianos, but the others puzzle me. The CLP-990 was a novelty purchase that turned out to be superior in many ways to current offerings. The V-Piano is supposedly the end-all to realistic sound, if you believe what certain people evangelize here. So why have the other two? If what he says about the 990 is true, and what Roland fans speak of the V-Piano is true, then the other two are literally a waste of time and money.
_________________________
Playing: Yamaha CLP-440

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#2115723 - 07/10/13 03:29 PM Re: Yamaha Clavinova CLP-480 [Re: Clayman]
Hookxs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/13
Posts: 247
Loc: Czech Republic
Originally Posted By: Clayman
How many pianos does one need?


Seemingly trivial question and yet my girlfriend and I fail to reach an agreement:-) I, for one, am starting to think that I would be 99% satisfied with an acoustic (good upright) for "regular" playing and a stage DP for silent practice and recording (ideally combined with a software library). Sadly it's a rather expansive setup, yet probably still way cheaper than for example AvantGrands.


Edited by Hookxs (07/10/13 03:30 PM)

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