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Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' #2224674 02/02/14 02:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 380
Aidan Offline OP
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I've discussed this at more length on the Keyboard Corner forum, but I thought I'd better put something up here too as something of a caveat...

I bought a CP4 a couple of weeks ago and was initially very pleased with my purchase. However, after the first afternoon of playing it, I did notice that it felt like my hands had been in a bit of a fight. I put this down to the heavier weight of the action compared with my Nord Stage 2.

However, the next day the backs of my hands were still store and I noticed slight pins and needles in one fingertip in particular.

I then had to go away for a few days on business, during which I didn't play any keyboard, and my hands felt fine when I returned home. On beginning to play the CP4 again, though, I found the pain and soreness begin to return, as well as the pins and needles.

In the end, I could only put it down to how hard the CP4 bottoms out compared with a lot of other DPs. Fortunately, the store let me take it back and after playing quite a few pianos for most of the morning, I ended up returning with a CP40 - the GH keybed has a slightly softer landing, which appeared to make a difference.

So far, so good, although my right hand appears in need of long-term TLC. I think carpal tunnel is probably at the heart of it, and I do work a lot with mouse and keyboard for the other half of my business. Nevertheless, I'd recommend anyone considering the CP4 who has any existing hand issues to approach with care, and play a good hour on one before you decide.

I should say that I'm very happy with the CP40. It only has the CFIIIS sample but Yamaha have IMO improved that from the CP5 version (a bit more detailed and visceral at the bottom end) and it was the piano sample I was using most on the CP4 anyway. You do have to live with the dreaded wall wart power supply but you do drop a kilo on the already fairly modest weight.



Live: Casio PX-5S | Hammond SK1
Studio: Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Kurzweil PC361 | Moog Sub 37
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Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224686 02/02/14 02:56 PM
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Psychonaut Offline
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Interesting post, thanks, and I'm glad you found a DP that works better for you.

Do your hands bother you when playing acoustic pianos? I'm asking because the CP4 is at the top of my current wish list, and I'm trying to get a sense of how common this reaction to the hard bottoming out might be.


Yamaha P120, MO6, Steinberg MR816, Galaxy Vintage D, Komplete 8 & various other VIs, Reaper
Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224692 02/02/14 03:09 PM
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maurus Offline
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Interesting report - and take care of your valuable hands, Aidan!

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224706 02/02/14 03:39 PM
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It's an informative post to me because I am thinking of letting go of my Roland FP-4 (I love the action but hate the sound) and had the CP-4 on my mind but can't find one to play with. The non hard-bottoming out of the FP-4 is why I have kept it but if the CP-4 is really as you described I'll have to think twice about considering it as a replacement.

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224712 02/02/14 03:52 PM
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ando Offline
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I've played all the actions being discussed here and never had a problem. This leads me to question whether technique is a factor in this? Some of you may have bad habits in your technique which is causing the injuries you describe. If that's the case, a change of technique, perhaps with the help of a good teacher, is what's needed, rather than just trying to find a "soft" action.

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224715 02/02/14 03:57 PM
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Dave Horne Offline
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It's been my experience that lighter actions cause more problems than heavier actions since the lighter actions (especially those extremely light actions) are difficult to control.

Aidan, if you regularly experience pain when playing, are you so sure that the problem is the keyboard? If you experience pain, tightness, soreness, whatever, in your top forearm muscles, you're playing using the wrong set of muscles.

Playing with the least amount of effort also applies to the computer keyboard as well.

Whether you're typing or playing, someone should be able to walk up behind you and flip your wrists (and arms) upward from the keyboard in one swift action using no effort and feeling no resistance from you. If your hands are locked to the keyboard, indicating the wrong set of muscles being used, that won't happen.

This was written with the best of intentions. Take care.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224755 02/02/14 05:14 PM
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Aidan Offline OP
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Thanks guys. The pain is something I've never experienced before in 30-odd years of playing acoustic pianos and keyboards of all descriptions. I'm classicslly trained to degree standard and none of my teachers has ever suggested my technique is faulty, and I don't believe it has changed over the years to any significant degree.


Live: Casio PX-5S | Hammond SK1
Studio: Yamaha CP4 | Hammond SK2 | Kurzweil PC361 | Moog Sub 37
Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2224861 02/02/14 08:56 PM
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funkycornwall Offline
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Sorry to hear about your problems here and hope they are now resolved with the CP40. I too am surprised at your findings and just wanted to ask do you regularly play an acoustic piano? If so does this cause any similar problems? I think it is quite likely that the damage has been caused more by computer mouse and keyboard usage and these problems have been revealed when playing the CP4. However you obviously have to resolve issues. It might also be interesting to discuss the issues directly with Yamaha as experienced professional feedback like this should be invaluable to the company.

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2226881 02/06/14 10:37 AM
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sunrisemusic Offline
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Sorry to read about your problems, that kind of thing usually originates somewhere from the mid-upper spine, I agree that it's come perhaps from all the computer/mousework, and probably triggered by your natural way of playing the CP4. If it returns I would highly recommend some sessions with a good Feldenkrais or Alexander technique practitioner, or a good osteopath (sans bone-crunching) or some kind of deep tissue massage. Working on those areas in the mid-upper spine and shoulders (as well as the painful areas) will help immensely and way better than surgery! Feldenkrais and Alexander techniques are good because they will also help teach your body better ways of movement so that the problem needn't recur in the future.

As for the action on the CPs - I'm wanting to upgrade my old P200 and am still tossing up with the new CP series - I do like the softer, 'slower' springy release of the P40 action, though even the lightest setting may still be a little heavier than I'd prefer.

Though the CP4 isn't quite as cushiony as the 40, (I was surprised how light the action felt to me), I think it would only feel like it's bottoming out if you tend to be more of a heavy-handed player, or if there was a particular way that you're hitting the keys, perhaps from your synth technique. (this isn't a criticism, everyone has a different type of touch, so needs a different type of action). I felt that for me to play the CP4, I have to play it 'lighter' and somehow more sensitively than I would the 40, if that makes any sense. Personally, the heaviest setting on the CP4 may still be a little lighter than I'd prefer, but I could live with it, though price is high (but faux ivory is nice, too!). And action somewhere between the two boards would probably be my ideal.
I'm playing grand pianos all the time at gigs, mainly Yamahas and I'm pretty used to those actions (which differ as well, depending on their age/condition, etc)... I'm not playing the P200 so much, needing something that inspires me more (plus the keys are uber noisy, though could be from dust hiding inside over the years...). I played a CP4 and 40 together with sound off and the CP40 keys were louder, though I only compared one of each.... (thus also curious to try the P-255 once it's available where I am, as main use will be at home and as controller, with occasional options at rare gigs).

Anyway, the CP40 feels nice, so enjoy and hopefully the symptoms won't recur!

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2226951 02/06/14 12:25 PM
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David Farley Offline
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I've played quite a bit on both the CP4 and CP40 - mostly early/intermediate classical stuff. I've found the CP40 to be quieter than the CP4. The keys have a solid consistent "thump" if I play something with the volume off. The CP4, on the other hand, although it feels noticeably more responsive that the CP40 (gee, I would hope so...), is kind of all over the place when the volume is turned way down. Some keys, particularly the black ones, make more noise than any key on the CP40, and I hear all sorts of odd little noises like things are flying around loose inside. But all this noise doesn't translate into anything that makes me feel the actual playing is being affected.

With the volume turned up to an AP level or headphones, you'd never hear much of anything from either. They both feel solid, although I like the CP4 better.

Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2226981 02/06/14 01:19 PM
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Qbert Offline
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Originally Posted by Aidan
Fortunately, the store let me take it back

It sounds unbelievable here!


GEM Promega 3 (sold) - Yamaha CLP 170 (sold) - Acuna88 (sold) - Kawai VPC1 + BK7m
Re: Bought a CP4 - and had to 'downgrade' [Re: Aidan] #2227430 02/07/14 12:27 PM
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sunrisemusic Offline
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Good to know, David Farley. Sounds like it varies then.


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