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Joined: Jan 2012
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About two weeks ago I bought a Yamaha Arius YDP 161. I am a complete beginner and the purpose of getting a digital piano is to allow me to practise in silence while learning. Some time in the future, when my technique and progress become constrained by a digital piano, I would like to get an acoustic piano.

At the time I was not aware of the GH3 action of the Clavinova but having since found out about it I am contemplating upgrading the Arius to a Clavinova CLP 430 which uses the GH3 action. The Arius uses a GH action. The store has offered to sell me their demonstration model Clavinova CLP 430 for a good price and I will simply pay them the difference in cost. Even though it is a demonstration model I don't think it has been played much.

Converted to US dollars, I paid the equivalent of $ 1,675 for the Arius and they are offering me the Clavinova for the equivalent of $ 2,375 (discounted from a sticker price of $ 3,125).

Having compared the Arius and the Clavinova, here are my observations:

  • I was able to play repeated notes slightly faster on the Clavinova than on the Arius.
  • I was able to play repeated notes much more quietly on the Clavinova than on the Arius. This may be the biggest advantage for me.
  • I was able to play trills fractionally better on the Clavinova than on the Arius although it may have been coincidence (sometimes I just have a good run).
  • The Clavinova has ivory-feel keys which the Arius does not.
  • The Clavinova seems to have a better sound than the Arius.
  • The Clavinova has two 30W speakers while the Arius has two 20W speakers.
  • The Clavinova has four (beautiful) piano voices while the Arius only has two (also beautiful).
  • The Clavinova has additional settings for the timbre of the sound, for example you can set the sound to "bright".
  • The Clavinova has a much easier interface with various buttons to directly enable or disable features and also an LED display showing you the tempo of the metronome. The Arius has only a few basic buttons and after that you have to enable and disable functions using specific button and key combinations for which I often have to refer to the manual.
  • The Clavinova has front support legs.
  • The Clavinova has a slightly bigger footprint and slightly greater height and probably weighs a bit more.


Do you think I should stick to the Arius or upgrade to the Clavinova?

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I think you should buy the Clavinova if you truly feel that it is worth the money.

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Since the price for the CLP-430 is for a demo unit, I think the price should be lower.


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i vote for the nicer one.


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That price should get you a new-in-box CLP-430, at least in the US.
You don't mention your location, though.
It would be useful to know that.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
That price should get you a new-in-box CLP-430, at least in the US.
You don't mention your location, though.
It would be useful to know that.


I live in South Africa. In dollar terms I think instruments here are relatively expensive.

The price for the Clavinova CLP 430 in the Yamaha booklet I got (presumably this is Yamaha's official price in South Africa) is equivalent to $ 3,125 so the store is offering me a 24 % discount on their demonstration model.

Another curious thing about Yamaha digital pianos in South Africa is that, even though the instruments here come from the same factories as the ones in the USA, both the Arius and the Clavinova come with only a one year warranty in South Africa whereas in the USA the Arius has a three year warranty and I believe the Clavinova has an even longer warranty.

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I'm guessing that your official price ($3125) is about the same here in the US.

If I were buying NEW, I'd try to get 35% off.
For USED, even more.

The 24% discount for a used unit is not attractive.

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Ordinarily I'd say stick with the Arius because the differences between the actions are very small and that difference will not affect you for many years, until you are a much more experienced player. If ever. There are lots of quite advanced pianists on this board using the GH action happily. Also the better speakers don't matter if you are using it for silent practice. When you get an acoustic, it will be better than either set of speakers at projecting sound.

However, you tested it and it seems like you can tell the difference between the actions now, so I guess you are in the best place to judge whether it's worth it. Personally I wouldn't upgrade, but it sounds like you really want to and can afford to, so you should make yourself happy.

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What would you say is the longevity of a new Arius and a demonstration model Clavinova?

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The actions are mechanically nearly identical and will wear at the same rate. That's the important part.

Cabinetry quality differs, and one type *may* be more subject to damage than another. Or it may not.

Resale value also differs, but I'm not sure which piano is favored by that.

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Is it possible to play trills with a GH action?

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Sure. It's like playing an upright. You can't play the super-fast trills that are possible on a Grand, but you can do decently fast ones (say, each note five or six times per second, total of 10-12 notes per second...very fast). Not a problem for most people.

Last edited by gvfarns; 01/27/12 10:01 AM.
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Hi if I were you I would stick with your current piano until you get more exPerienced at playing. Then it you feel you are missing something from your current piano you can go try lots of different brands and models and see what you prefer. You will likely find that your preferences will change over time.

You need to like the feel of the piano under your hands and the sound in your ears. Just because the specifications are better doesn't mean it is necessarily right for you.

For instance many folks on this forum highly value the action on the Roland fp7f pianos. But I personally found it slow and sluggish. Also people often rave about the sound and I didn't like it that much. My point is that it is a personal thing. Make sure you like to play it and like the sound or any deal you get won't be worth it for you. You got a good piano already. I think it won't detract from your learning for a very long time.

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I got a new yamaha clp 440 the sound from it is great and i like the key action, The only thing that bugs me a bit is i would have liked more volume from the piano ,


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