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#700999 - 05/13/03 12:45 PM Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
Razvan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/03
Posts: 4
Hello everyone,

I am considering getting a digital piano, and I am torn between the Yamaha P120 vs. the CLP120.

I went and tried both of them at a store the other day, and their keyboards feel very similar to me.

I like the fact that the CLP120 looks more like a piano than the P120, but I don't think it is worth the extra almost $1000! I prefer the sustain pedal to be attached to the piano (CLP120) as opposed to just sitting on the floor (P120), but, again, that does not seem worth the extra price.

How sturdy is the stand for the P120? It seemed pretty sturdy to me, but I did not try playing a more energetic passage on it. The CLP120, naturally, seems very sturdy.

I know that the P120 has slightly weaker speakers, but that is not a huge consideration for me.

Are there other notable feature differences between these two models that I am missing? Does one have better PC connectivity than the other?

Thanks a lot in advance! \:\)

Razvan.

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#701000 - 05/13/03 06:05 PM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
Razvan,

I may be simplifying things too much, but I think the answer to your question depends on one major issue: is portability important?

I own the CLP-150, but I played around with several Yamaha models while shopping. I tried out the CLP-130, the CLP-120, the P-120, as well as various Rolands.

The P-120 gives you portability, something that's important if you perform on stage or if you like to take your keyboard with you. The CLP-120--although much, much lighter than a real piano--ain't going anywhere. It's a piece of furniture that will stay in your home.

I remember being impressed with the P-120, and you can easily improve the sound quality by playing it through a decent stereo stystem/amplifier. The P-120 gives you essentially the same Clavinova quality piano in a portable version; sure, you may need to help out a bit in the speaker department, but otherwise it's a solid performer.

Is the CLP-120 really $1000 more than the P-120? I'm an American living in Spain, and although prices here tend to be cheaper than in the U.S., both products sell for around the same price.

I'm not sure if my response helps you or not, but try imagining how/where you'll be using your piano. For instance, I was looking for a piano replacement because I can't afford a real piano right now; thus, I was looking for a permanent, furniture-like piece that I'll be happy with until I can afford a quality upright. My decision was based on my needs. What are your needs, Razvan?

Good luck with your shopping.

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#701001 - 05/13/03 06:13 PM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
One more issue! I reviewed my Yamaha spec sheets, and the P-120 actually houses a stronger piano. The P-120 uses dynamic stereo sampling, but the CLP-120 doesn't. The CLP-130 models and higher have the dynamic sampling. Is there really a difference? You betcha. I remember playing the CLP-120 and finding it weak in comparison to the CLP-130 (and then I played the CLP-150 and liked that one even more).

Yes, the P-120 has a weaker internal speaker system, but as I said in my last post, there are remedies for this. The P-120 also seems to come with more recording space. I'm now leaning very hard toward your buying the P-120. You get a better overall piano, which is portable, moreover!

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#701002 - 05/13/03 07:16 PM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
The CLP-130 models and higher have the dynamic sampling
OK, I'll bite. What exactly is "dynamic sampling"?
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701003 - 05/13/03 08:17 PM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
franzooey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 95
From the Yamaha folks, "Dynamic stereo sampling, consisting of four separate layers of stereo samples at different velocities, provides realistic reproduction of volume and harmonics."

True, I'm not one to get to hyped about a manufacturer's spec sheets, and I certainly don't base my decisions solely on specs (which can be misleading (as with over-emphasis on polyphony, for example), but I didn't imagine the huge difference between the CLP-120 (no DSS) and the models that come after.

In fact, I was seriously looking at the CVP-203 (CVP is Yamaha's bells-and-whistles line) for $2600, but the piano default sounded not so hot. I wondered why the CVP line (considered Yamaha's more costly line; the CLP's are primarily pianos, sans bells and whistles) sounded so poor if they cost more. Then I realized that the lower-end CVPs didn't have DSS and string resonance (an imitation of the brief, humming, string vibration that occurs when one strikes a single key, even without using the pedal).

Admittedly, these terms may sound lofty, but it basically boils down to Yamaha using stronger samples. In short, the P-120 uses a stronger sample than the CLP-120. I have no idea, however, how large the sample of the P-120 is. The CLP-120 uses a 5 MB piano sample.

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#701004 - 05/13/03 10:22 PM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
From the Yamaha folks, "Dynamic stereo sampling, consisting of four separate layers of stereo samples at different velocities, provides realistic reproduction of volume and harmonics."
Hi Franzooey -- what Yamaha is doing here is a bit misleading. What they're calling "dynamic sampling" is called "velocity switching". It's not a proprietary technology for Yamaha. Just about every manufacturer uses it. I would bet that the CLP120 does indeed utilize velocity switching. But it is possible that the orginal samples were not taken in stereo. It's also possible that it uses less than four samples.

But specs are not always helpful (sounds like you already know this). What good is a four layer stereo sample of a mediocre piano when a two layer mono sample of a great piano sounds better? Also, what was the sampling rate? bit depth? You'd be surprised how many keyboards contain samples that are recorded at 32k or even lower. The one thing that stuck out in your post is that you said the P120 sounds better. Now that's a spec that matters!!!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#701005 - 05/14/03 10:28 AM Re: Yamaha P120(s) vs. CLP120
Razvan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/11/03
Posts: 4
Hi everyone,

Thank you for the helpful responses thus far! Although I think the "furniture" aspect of the CLP120 looks nice, I think I prefer the practicality of the P120 more. Also, I will pay closer attention to the difference in sound (DSS) when I go try them next at a local music store.

Razvan.

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