CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view

Posted by: Stefano1200

CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 01:11 PM

Dear all, after reading so many valuable reflections about those DPs, some days ago I went to a store in Belgium to try them and make a decision about my next purchase. They all cost 2000 € (euro). Intentionally, I played with headphones, because this is what I will most often do in my flat. Only three "beginner" reactions here, my apologies for the low quality of my English. CLP 340: a very high quality "real piano" sound in terms of colours, nice touch, but too 'light' for me. CA 63: good quality sound, nice touch. HP 305: the less "digital" impression in terms of "grand piano sound", and an impressive realistic feeling in terms of touch. Given that I will mainly play "piano" sound, the HP 305 seems the most attractive choice. Let me thank all poster of this forum for their so interesting contributions. I will keep on reading them with pleasure.
Posted by: pall66

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 01:49 PM

I owne the 305 because it's the only of the three with true natural piano sound. In the mean time I bought The Grand 3 and Quantum Leap Piano's to enhance the fun.
Posted by: dewster

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 02:13 PM

I vote for HP-305. Technically the Roland SuperNATURAL piano kills most other DP sound engines.
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 05:03 PM

Technically for sure, but do you like the sound signature, that's for me the more important question. As you have already tried all three DPs I guess you have already taken your choice. All the best with the HP-305!
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 05:27 PM

Originally Posted By: dewster
Technically the Roland SuperNATURAL piano kills most other DP sound engines.

Actually, that is exactly what I also thought about the HP307 initially (by reading about the technical specs.), but I was very disappointed after testdriving the real thing.
Posted by: choleric

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/19/10 10:36 PM

hp305, no question, among those choices.
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 02:16 AM

choleric, any rationale?
Posted by: Stefano1200

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 02:55 AM

Dear all,
Yesterday I went through the comments in the following thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1405341/1.html
I found them very interesting, despite the fact that the focus was the 'triplet' Roland HP 307 - Kawai CA93 - Yamaha CLP 380.
Now, these DPs are sold - in Belgium stores - at around 2800 €, which exceeds my max budget of 2000 €. This is the reason I was focussing on HP 305 - Kawai CA63 - Yamaha 340.
Now, all the posters seem to agree that a 'good choice' is a delicate decision-making process, where a number of parameters come into play:
USE: mainly headphones ? Mainly grand piano ?
SOUND preferences: the solid, traditional, 'classical' sound signature of Yamaha CLP 340, or the warm, round, 'less-digital' sound colour of Roland HP 305 ?
TOUCH: mainly looking for THE perfect simulation of an acoustic piano (because you do want to play that nice song at a party in a real piano after practising it digitally at home) ?
An - added to that - would it be better to pay that 800 € difference to jump into the upper level HP 307 - CA93 - CLP 380, considering the fact that I am not going to use other sound & voices than grand piano?
And no, I didn't make my mind yet smile
Stefano
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 04:32 AM

Oh, I thought your decision was set... Then... I (personally!) would go for the CA63... smile

No, seriously.

Regarding your question whether additional 800 Euro is worth it:

HP-305/307: I would say yes, because the keyboard is significantly improved (escapement, third sensor), and there are much more custom settings of the sound possible.

CA63/CA93: I'm not sure. Sound quality is identical, some more sounds on CA93, a "fake" escapement in CA93, and, most importantly, a unique wooden resonance board. If you often play with loudspeakers, I would go with the CA93, in any other case CA63 would be more then sufficient. I love it, especially the keyboard action!

CLP340/CLP380: Well, keyboard action is identical, the little fake wooden keys are no real improvement. Compared with headphones the sound of CLP380 sounds better to me. Because of iAFC the loudspeaker system of CLP380 is preferrable over CLP340, but again: It depends on whether you often use loudspeakers or not. Due to the better sound quality I would lean to CLP380, but AFAIK it's way out of the price range, it's (in Germany) roundabout 4.200 Euro (CLP380) compared to 2.000 Euro (CLP340). That's not acceptable.
Posted by: Stefano1200

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 05:11 AM

Good points, Mucci, they help me make some progress ...
And I agree with them all.

CLP 380 = too expensive for my budget ...
CA63 = a very attractive option, I shoud play it again this week to better grasp the quality of the keyboard response ...
HP 307 = yes, escapement is a real "plus" for a classical piano player like me.
If I decide to pay the extra 800 €, I would go for HP 307 instead of CA93, and again, here the decision would be very 'personal', based on my perception of the 'better' expressiveness of the Roland Supernatural sound generator ...
Thank you again for your helpful reaction smile
Stefano
Posted by: AndyT

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 05:30 AM

I couldn't stand the thumpy keyboard of the Hp305. And so went for the CA63.


Andy T
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 06:00 AM

Here's another reference thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1407580/1.html
Posted by: Stefano1200

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 07:08 AM

TADutchman, thank you for identifying that thread: the contributions of mezzo-poor and other posters make it very helpful.
Posted by: TADutchman

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/20/10 08:40 AM

You're welcome!
By the way, Andrée (also) bought a CA63 after all ;-)
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/21/10 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: AndyT
I couldn't stand the thumpy keyboard of the Hp305. And so went for the CA63.


Andy T

I've played a HP305/307 in a store, also some other Yamaha and Korg DP's. They all make some sort of noise when the key is depressed and yes it's a clunk with the HP305/307, but I wouldn't say it's not loud or intrusive. That just my opinion.

Unfortunately I've not yet found a store near me where I can try a Kawai CA63/93 - are you really saying the key action is totally silent, or just very quiet? Thanks
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/21/10 05:37 PM

It's not totally silent, that's not possible, but it's much less annoying in my opinion. The noise usually doesn't bother me as a player, but maybe the others that are in the same room when I'm practising with headphones on.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/21/10 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: mucci
It's not totally silent, that's not possible, but it's much less annoying in my opinion. The noise usually doesn't bother me as a player, but maybe the others that are in the same room when I'm practising with headphones on.

Thanks. I think we need some You Tube videos of playing different models with the sound/volume turned off :-)
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/21/10 06:29 PM

Even that is difficult if recorded by different people with different equipment from different locations and a different playing style...
Posted by: AndyT

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 09:17 AM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha


Unfortunately I've not yet found a store near me where I can try a Kawai CA63/93 - are you really saying the key action is totally silent, or just very quiet? Thanks


It is not totally quiet, but thanks to the speaker placement I do not notice the sound of the keys.

Andy T
Posted by: SmokestackLightnin

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 09:30 AM

Im really confused by these three DPs. They all seem pretty good to me. I like the 5 level sampling on the 380 (4 level on the 340) but I love the SuperNatural engine on the 305.

Dont know much about the CA63 except the owner of my local piano store said they have the most realistic action of any DP (he happens to be a Kawai dealer of course)

Ive seen the 340 for under £2000 GBP but the 380 jumps up to over £3000k.

is there any general consensus here ? what do we think is the best DP for the money ?
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 09:53 AM

There is general consensus that there is no general consensus on this matter... You have to test drive all the pianos and take your own decision.

I prefer the CA63 because of the best compromise regarding keyboard action and sound (IMHO it really has the best keyboard action), but that's just my 2 cent... There are lots of threads dealing with different DPs and there pros and cons, you can read them to have a rough idea what DPs to try.

Good luck!
Posted by: Stefano1200

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 11:29 AM

Smoke(..)'s question is legitimate, and mucci's reply is the correct attitude to take. "Compromise" based on your specific needs is the key word. CA63 is really a GOOD choice for the money it costs. But yesterday at the showromm - again - I could NOT make a decision between HP 307, Y 340, and of course CA 63 ... All three have peculiarities, colours, shortocmings that will maybe appear "later" in your music lifetime .. At some moment we will need to take the "risk" of making a final decision smile
Posted by: Andree

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 11:33 AM

Stefano1200,

I think you should consider the noise created by the different keyboards as AndyT mentioned, before you make any final decision. This is a very important aspect and trust me, you can become mad with a noisy keyboard. Kawai CA93/63 is the quietest keyboard of the keyboards you mentioned and you don't get that feeling of hitting granite either.

/Andrée
Posted by: Stefano1200

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/22/10 11:34 AM

Andrée, your advice on "noise" is important to me, I realize I've been too focussed on "piano sound & colours" ... I will try again CA next week (..) with your words in mind.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 05:58 AM

To comment on keyboard noise of my HP307 - I have some neighbours below me that complained about me practicing late at night. I was rather surprised since I always play with headphones on if it's late but further discussion revealed it sounded for them as if I was bashing on floor or a table practicing some rythms... That made me wonder and I remembered reading here that the roland's action is loud. I think what my neighbours are hearing is the keyboard action.
That really sucks tbh but Im not sure if they are exagerating or if it really can be so audible in the flat below me? Family in next room can't hear anything and I with headphones can't say the sound bothers me at all. The neighbours say differently frown
My solution was to stop practicing any loud parts of my music at night and just play some chilling soft pieces...
Posted by: bkmz

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 06:48 AM

zaba19

It's not only Roland issue. I had the same problems with Yamaha CLP330. Key noise was very annoying for my neighbors below when I played late at night.
Posted by: mucci

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 06:57 AM

There are some noise cancelling/damping mats that you can put underneath the piano. I don't have a link but maybe someone else can be of help.
Posted by: zaba19

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 08:19 AM

Noise cancelling/dampening mat is an awesome idea, I have to find something like this. Thanks for the tip smile
Posted by: Andree

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 08:52 AM

Originally Posted By: bkmz
zaba19

It's not only Roland issue. I had the same problems with Yamaha CLP330. Key noise was very annoying for my neighbors below when I played late at night.


This is exactly what I'm talking about, the Roland and Yamaha actions are constructed in a way where they create very annoying vibrations for those who live beneath or beside your apartment. It's a big problem and it doesn't help to put a mat below, believe me! With this in mind you can never be relaxed when playing, you will only think about your neighbors, which will affect your enjoyment negative.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 11:10 AM

What your neighbours are hearing is structurally borne noise, a direct result of the pressure you apply to the keys travelling down through the cabinet of the piano and through your floor coverings/joists/neighbour's ceiling etc. The noise that the keys seem to make to someone in the same room (with piano volume down) is an airborne noise.

Some key actions are noisier than others (airborne noise) and the Roland HP-307 (PHAIII) action is slightly noisier than Yamaha GH3 in my experience. But low airborne noise does not necessarily mean low structural noise for neighbours living below the piano...the two issues are completely different. The most significant factor in this case is how your building is constructed, not your piano action in my opinion. If you had concrete floors for instance there would be no issue with structural noise.

I think the main issue really is that all piano key actions are intrinsically noise generating. In an acoustic piano the volume cannot be turned down and you can't use headphones etc so this key noise goes largely unnoticed. If DPs were always played at the same volume as an acoustic then no one would ever discuss this issue. However, I accept that one of the main reasons why we buy DPs is the ability to play quietly or silently so in certain circumstances the key action noise obviously is significant.

As an aside, my old Yamaha GranTouch piano (with grand piano action) was noisier than my Clavinova (with GH3 action). My Kawai MP9000 created only a moderate level of airborne noise but when it was kept upstairs in a modern house with sprung floors it made a hell of a racket for anyone downstairs.

Cheers,

Steve
Posted by: MarcoM

Re: CLP 340 vs HP 305 vs CA 63: a beginner's view - 04/23/10 12:13 PM

Originally Posted By: zaba19
Noise cancelling/dampening mat is an awesome idea, I have to find something like this. Thanks for the tip smile


people with e-drum kits have to deal with this issue a lot, the best/most cost effective thing for this is a 'tennis ball platform', for example see

http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45889

for a DP you might need to figure out if you maybe need a few more tennis balls due to weight differences with an e-drum kit, but if you build something like this it should be pretty much guaranteed to decouple the instrument from the floor making it fine for your downstairs neighbours.