Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action

Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 02/20/13 09:19 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm new on this forum, and sorry for my english, I'm French.

I've just found a Yamaha CLP-990M (mahogany) after a longtime searching everywhere. It's in like new condition.

There's something I'd like to share about the CLP-990:

- Natural Keyboard: found ONLY on 3 Clavinova models: CLP-990, CLP-175 and CVP-900. It's far better than GH, GH3 or even Natural Wood (which is GH3 itself). After a key depth regulation, the CLP-990 rocks like my Yamaha grand.











I've scanned this pic from a flyer brochure or the CLP-175. The total length of this action is quite impressed! (in comparing with Kawai's RM3 wooden action)



YAMAHA's GH3/Natural Wood:




- 88 Stereo Sampling: found ONLY on the CLP-990. When playing with the Yamaha HPE-170 headphone, I can tell that the CLP-990 is the best DP I ever played. However, its amplification system is not very good, so i've tried to add some speaker systems above and behide the Clavinova, and it sounds much more like a real grand now.



IMO, I can say that the CLP-990 is a real flagship CLP Clavinova ever made. As a huge fan of Yamaha, I tried and played all the Clavinova CLP and CVP models (I really mean ALL) through the years, but only the CLP-990 gives me the touch nearest which of a grand piano. AvantGrand and GranTouch are somethingelses, but ofcourse, they're not Clavinova.

Thanks to all the conversations I've read about the CLP-990 on this forum, I found now a very fine instrument that I will keep it for a longtime, maybe forever thumb
Posted by: peterws

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 10:29 AM

That looks seriously impresssive. But I would have thought the pivot would be rather further back. No matter. It has a sloping front, so it must be good!
Posted by: adak

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 10:33 AM

I think it is quite sad to see that this older model Clavinova had 88 key sampling. It would mean that current digital pianos have regressed in the last couple of years, as most do not have 88 key sampling. All the sampling and the research and development has been done on the matter years ago but Yamaha would not let the results trickle down to their current low to mid line digital pianos. It would cost them nothing to do so, so what other reasons would they have to hold back?
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 10:48 AM

I've read these conversations long time ago, but I still think it's very interested:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...%20than%20.html
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 10:57 AM

Wow. Thanks for sharing!

If I didn't know better I would say that given the history of models since this DP up through the Avantgrand that marketing in big companies such as Yamaha seems to be more about keeping good products off of the market to milk markets for all they are worth with inferior product and then to overcharge for advances year by year.
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 11:36 AM

I knew that the CLP990 was the best Yamaha ever made, but I did not know its action was so different from the current GH3. Thanks for the pix.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 12:21 PM

Yeah, I played one of these actions before and liked it very well. Rather similar in design to Kawai's wood action. This is the first time I've seen one open, though.

On the topic of key length, as far as I know, the important element of key length is the distance from the front of the key to the fulcrum, not from the fulcrum to the back side of the key (or hammer). It seems like relative to Kawai's actions it is this latter portion that is longer in this action. Just eyeballing it, it appears to me that this action has a greater distance between key and fulcrum than Kawai RM3, but less than Kawai GF.

Thanks for posting these pictures! I think Dewster actually has a thread for this type of picture. Search for "nekkid DP" or some such.


edit:Actually, the picture of GF I was looking at was a black key. Maybe this is as long as GF or longer. Can you get a measurement?
Posted by: dewster

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 12:44 PM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
I think Dewster actually has a thread for this type of picture. Search for "nekkid DP" or some such.

Indeed I do! And I added this thread to it.

Beautiful keys trandinhnamanh! I'm trying to figure out how the hammers work? And any measurements you could supply re. front key length (playing end to pivot point) would be interesting.
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 12:46 PM

I'll try to measure it this week-end smile
Posted by: dewster

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 12:57 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
If I didn't know better I would say that given the history of models since this DP up through the Avantgrand that marketing in big companies such as Yamaha seems to be more about keeping good products off of the market to milk markets for all they are worth with inferior product and then to overcharge for advances year by year.

Yep. Kawai had a real beaut that was reportedly unlooped, but for some reason decided to scrap it. Something about how no one would buy it or something.

I guess if they spend their time purposely burying specs, refusing to answer technology related questions, and generally muddying the waters with market speak gobbledegook, the buying public is not being educated, so they don't know what to buy and go for the cheapest shiny thing they stumble across with the biggest name.
Posted by: EssBrace

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 03:20 PM

Excellent pictures. Whilst it is not a grand action anything like the AvantGrand's or GranTouch it is certainly (visually at least) far beyond any other Clavinova before or since. I think it had 88 note sampling too - again, unlike all other Clavinovas.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action with pics - 02/20/13 05:02 PM

@trandinhnamanh,

Question:

Very nice find indeed, as where or whom did you purchase the CLP990 from, in Europe?

Looks like the wooden keys may be nearly as long as the "GF" action in the Kawai CA95, as this is something not to be found in many digitals.
Posted by: ando

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action with pics - 02/20/13 06:19 PM

Key length aside, it's an odd looking hammer mechanism. Seems almost too simple. By all reports it's an effective action though. I would like to see this action in motion.

Tran, Is there any chance you could make a video of this action and post it on Youtube?
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action with pics - 02/20/13 06:29 PM

trandinhnamanh, thank you for posting these great pictures.

There are indeed many similarities with Kawai's wooden key actions. After achieving what by many accounts was a highly realistic keyboard touch, I wonder why Yamaha decided to revert back to the plastic key actions? Perhaps it was just too expensive (or not profitable enough) to produce?

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted by: KLSinCT

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/20/13 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow. Thanks for sharing!

If I didn't know better I would say that given the history of models since this DP up through the Avantgrand that marketing in big companies such as Yamaha seems to be more about keeping good products off of the market to milk markets for all they are worth with inferior product and then to overcharge for advances year by year.


+100!

K.
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action with pics - 02/21/13 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By: pv88
@trandinhnamanh,

Question:

Very nice find indeed, as where or whom did you purchase the CLP990 from, in Europe?

Looks like the wooden keys may be nearly as long as the "GF" action in the Kawai CA95, as this is something not to be found in many digitals.

Not very likely that a CLP990 (in good condition) would pop up for sale somewhere in the US except for eBay or craigslist, etc.


I've found it on leboncoin.fr , a well-known website for selling manythings between particulars in France. It's in new condition, because the family who owned it haven't got anyone who play piano. It was just a decor furniture. They asked for 1000€, I bargained down to 800€, and finally, after a few little performances of mine to the lady of the family, I got it for 600€ wink

Thanks everyone. I'll re-open up the piano this week-end to mesure the key length, and I'll make a Youtube video of the action movement. The feel of escapement quite impress me thumb
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Excellent pictures. Whilst it is not a grand action anything like the AvantGrand's or GranTouch it is certainly (visually at least) far beyond any other Clavinova before or since. I think it had 88 note sampling too - again, unlike all other Clavinovas.


It does have 88 Stereo Sampling in 5 levels
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 12:17 AM

600 Euros is a fantastic price - congrats!
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: gvfarns
Yeah, I played one of these actions before and liked it very well. Rather similar in design to Kawai's wood action. This is the first time I've seen one open, though.

On the topic of key length, as far as I know, the important element of key length is the distance from the front of the key to the fulcrum, not from the fulcrum to the back side of the key (or hammer). It seems like relative to Kawai's actions it is this latter portion that is longer in this action. Just eyeballing it, it appears to me that this action has a greater distance between key and fulcrum than Kawai RM3, but less than Kawai GF.


edit:Actually, the picture of GF I was looking at was a black key. Maybe this is as long as GF or longer. Can you get a measurement?


IMO, the key length of Kawai GF is better, but I don't like Kawai's wooden actions and Yamaha's GH3, NW because of their after-touch. Just too soft and unstable.
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 12:27 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow. Thanks for sharing!

If I didn't know better I would say that given the history of models since this DP up through the Avantgrand that marketing in big companies such as Yamaha seems to be more about keeping good products off of the market to milk markets for all they are worth with inferior product and then to overcharge for advances year by year.


+100000000!
Posted by: Kos

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 05:49 AM

Originally Posted By: theJourney
big companies such as Yamaha seems to be more about keeping good products off of the market to milk markets for all they are worth with inferior product and then to overcharge for advances year by year.

It's called capitalism, dude smile
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 08:04 AM

That's a bargain .... That's the best DP yamaha have ever made.
Posted by: JFP

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action - 02/21/13 05:04 PM

[/quote] ..., but I don't like Kawai's wooden actions and Yamaha's GH3, NW because of their after-touch. Just too soft and unstable. [/quote]

Finally Aftertouch on my DP action !

(I know - cheap , but couldn't help it...)

Nice pics by the way. When was this beauty first introduced ? I wonder how old it is and how 'far' we've come since then.
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Yamaha flagship CLP-990 Natural Keyboard action with pics - 02/22/13 02:04 AM

Originally Posted By: trandinhnamanh
Originally Posted By: pv88
@trandinhnamanh,

Question:

Very nice find indeed, as where or whom did you purchase the CLP990 from, in Europe?

Looks like the wooden keys may be nearly as long as the "GF" action in the Kawai CA95, as this is something not to be found in many digitals.

Not very likely that a CLP990 (in good condition) would pop up for sale somewhere in the US except for eBay or craigslist, etc.


I've found it on leboncoin.fr , a well-known website for selling manythings between particulars in France. It's in new condition, because the family who owned it haven't got anyone who play piano. It was just a decor furniture. They asked for 1000€, I bargained down to 800€, and finally, after a few little performances of mine to the lady of the family, I got it for 600€ wink

Thanks everyone. I'll re-open up the piano this week-end to mesure the key length, and I'll make a Youtube video of the action movement. The feel of escapement quite impress me thumb


Good job.
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 02/24/13 07:34 AM

Hi everyone,

As promised, I've re-opened up my CLP-990 and mesured the keys of the Natural Keyboard action:

Black key:



White key:



I can say that the key length (key front to pivot center) is less than Kawai GF but a little more than Kawai RM3.

Kawai RM3:



Kawai GF:




I've tried the Kawai CA 95 yesterday. I like the touch GF very much, but not the sound, neither the cabinet's look.

I've captured a short clip of the key movement too:

Natural Keyboard action movement




Posted by: Temperament

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 02/24/13 10:14 AM

Compared to the MP10 nekids it seems to me of about the same length as RM3, not longer.

Above all was this not a real all wooden keyboard, not only with a flimsy wooden layer glued on the side of plastic keys as a fake on later "Natural" Wood keyboards of Yamaha?
Posted by: pv88

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 02/24/13 10:05 PM

@trandinhnamanh,

Thanks for the great photos of the keys and action along with the video clip that demonstrates the escapement simulation, below:

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

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 02/26/13 03:27 PM

Thanks for the details! Interesting piano.

Unless I'm mistake those are sensors under the keys as well as under the hammers, similar to what's done in the AvantGrands. Cool stuff.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 03/12/13 11:05 AM

Does the Yamaha action have escapement?
Posted by: Orz

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 03/12/13 11:20 AM

The Hybrids do
Posted by: trandinhnamanh

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 03/12/13 03:52 PM

It does have the escapement, as I've made the test in the video clip.
Posted by: NYC Piano

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 03/16/13 11:57 AM

Have a Clavinova CLP-990 for sale, if you'd like.
Posted by: lonesomerider

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 08/29/13 09:50 AM

Hi - I'm new here because I've searched infos to my own CLP990 which I've bought here in Germany in 2001.
Please excuse my rosty school-english - I'm an older man.
Still today I think this CLP-990 is the best digital keyboard YAMAHA has ever produced. And my enthusiasmn playing on this piano is still the same as in the first days when I got it.
I'm only an amatuer-player and the most I play without sheetMusic only from what I've heard.
My rage starts with JSBACH and end in Jazz and Blues.
The CLP-990 itself is a rudimental toy-box - nothing for people which want to get complete music only with one-finger tip. No - the CLP-990 is a real piano with only few sound. But for me its enough. Mostly in softer Music I use the grandpiano mixed with soft-stings (here an improvisation about an old german pop-song. Recorded via Headphone-connector to an iKEY-MP3-Recorder - sorry in between I've switched down the gain a little - but what you can listen to is the REAL sound of the CLP-990):
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzQwpPH9AlUgV1R2X0R2SVFlSUU/edit?usp=sharing

So far to the sound. My intention here is another one: - Thanx 4 the very interesting pictures und youtube-link. But what I'm looking for is a replacement of the Floppy-Drive in the front to something with USB.
So I ask you: has someone experiances in replacing this floppy-drive to a Floppe-Emulator???
All I can find are floppy-emulators for PC like this: http://www.ipcas.de/produkte/usb-disketten-emulation.html
I dont know if those boxes can work with my CLP-990.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 08/30/13 04:42 PM

@trandinhnamanh,

Yes, the CLP-990M that I now own does have a subtle escapement simulation as you mention which also allows you to play softer "pp" notes from the escapement point, or, "off of the jack" - just like an acoustic grand piano.

Also, here is my review and a few recordings, here:

Premier recording & CLP-990M review
Posted by: Kona_V-Piano

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/25/13 08:27 PM

It's amazing that a DP I bought brand new over a decade ago that I play everyday is still the talk of the town all these years later, and still plays like new.
Posted by: Pete14

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/25/13 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
It's amazing that a DP I bought brand new over a decade ago that I play everyday is still the talk of the town all these years later, and still plays like new.
A decade since the CLP990. Today's Clavinovas use a folded action, do not feature 88-note sampling, and remain at 5 velocities. No physical modeling whatsoever, and no soundboard (a la Kawai).
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/25/13 09:50 PM

Yamaha had something here .... they need to ask themselves WTF happened ...
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/26/13 12:08 AM

I would imagine they wouldn't want it competing with the NU1 and N1.

It couldn't have been cheap and if they were to have this model instead of, say, the NU1, they would have to explain why it's better than Kawai's CA or CS line. That's harder than explaining why the NU1 might be better.
Posted by: pv88

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/26/13 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Kona_V-Piano
It's amazing that a DP I bought brand new over a decade ago that I play everyday is still the talk of the town all these years later, and still plays like new.


How very true - which speaks volumes for the quality of the CLP-990M.

And, to think that I was actually able to locate and buy a 12 year old piano (i.e., CLP-990M) and get it shipped well over 750 miles to my place with a long distance piano mover. Not an inexpensive venture - if you do this.

It was worth every penny to own one, though!
Posted by: peterws

Re: Yamaha flagship Clavinova CLP-990's Natural Keyboard Action - 09/26/13 06:43 AM

I reckon to be an old man by the time one comes on Ebay . . . Good grief, I just looked in the mirror . . .! frown