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Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano #2397104
03/12/15 08:57 AM
03/12/15 08:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 3
England
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emmie_lou1107 Offline OP
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emmie_lou1107  Offline OP
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England
Good afternoon all

I have found this forum and am very pleased to see it is really busy. I am hoping that this means that there are a lot of experts lurking around and some that may want to share some advice with me.

At the moment I have got two in mind. The Yamaha YDP162 (new @£755) or I have seen a second hand Yamaha Clavinova 430 (@£850).

With all the specs and then the sales pitches I have had in stores, my head is full and I now don't know what is really important to focus on.

Any comments would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks
Emma

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Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397107
03/12/15 09:12 AM
03/12/15 09:12 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Have you had a chance to play both of them? The Clavinova has a GH3 action and the YDP162 has a GH. (Among other things, the big difference is three sensors versus two in the action.) If the Clavinova is in good shape it might be a better deal and more satisfying to play in the long run, particularly if you ever want to use it as a controller for a software piano (like Pianoteq). Beyond that I don't know too much about either model.

Not exactly the same models, but someone was comparing a YDP161 to a Clavinova 430 in an older discussion. You might find this of interest.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1832007/Re:_Yamaha_Clavinova_CLP_430_v.html

Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397112
03/12/15 09:33 AM
03/12/15 09:33 AM
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Posts: 3
England
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emmie_lou1107 Offline OP
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emmie_lou1107  Offline OP
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Hi David, thank you for such a quick response. I appreciate your comments and am looking for something that will be more of a long term investment rather than the need to upgrade in a year or two.

I am also open to suggestions of other models or makes if you or anyone has thoughts.

Thank you again
Emma

Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397133
03/12/15 10:32 AM
03/12/15 10:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,625
ElmerJFudd Offline
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ElmerJFudd  Offline
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Generally speaking, you'll always pick a Clavinova over a YDP (Arius) because the range always offers their better specs in a same year comparison. In this case, the Clavinova 430 is a discontinued model and (again, generally speaking) year after year they tweak this or that spec or feature with something better to offer.

The current line up of Clavinova has the
CLP-585 in the flagship spot.
Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM) allows for vivid and richly-varied expression
NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard with synthetic ivory keytops and escapement
Key counterweights for smooth playing even at the back of a key and at pianissimo playing volume
88-key Linear Graded Hammer action where each key has a unique weight
GP Response Damper Pedal convinces your feet you're sitting at a concert grand
303 lesson songs from popular piano methods
20 rhythms are your personal percussionist
16-track recording & USB audio recording lets you share your music
Stereophonic Optimizer when using headphones
3-way speaker system for true full-range of tone
Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC) provides optimum tone at any volume level
Acoustic Optimizer complements cabinetry for a fuller tone
48 Voices plus 480 XG Voices

It's a very fully featured CLP with many things that are highly desirable but perhaps a few things that are overkill depending on your aspirations and desires.

Bottom of the line right now is the CLP-440 . It does not have their latest tech and in many ways is more similar to the Arius Line.

In between you might consider something like the CLP-535 which really is somewhere in the middle. Although there is also the 575 which is a decent drop in price from the 585 but still has many of the latest features. And above the
535 is the 545 .

In general the most important things are a keyboard action you like the feel of, a good sample set, and amplifier/speaker specifications. Virtual Sympathetic Resonance is a newer feature on these pianos and is nice, but you should see if you can play them and see if you hear the difference.

If cost is an issue, and you are looking second hand - see if you can find a 500 series.


Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397137
03/12/15 10:48 AM
03/12/15 10:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,137
France
Frédéric L Offline
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Frédéric L  Offline
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France
One major differnce between Clavinova CLP and Arius YDP is the tone generator. On CLP, the timbre evolve continuously with the velocity. On YDP, I suppose there are some velocity layers (Yamaha does not claim continous evolution of the timbre).


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397428
03/13/15 05:03 AM
03/13/15 05:03 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 100
Italy
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Paolo70 Offline
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Hi Frederic,

Your comment does not apply to the older Clavinovas (which include the 430, I suppose).

But, at least in my experience, the absence of a continuous timbre variation does not significantly hamper piano practice (a digital piano is quite far from an acoustic one in terms of expressivity anyway).

Ciao!
Paolo


Yamaha CLP-970
Roland JV-1080
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397433
03/13/15 05:28 AM
03/13/15 05:28 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,809
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Northern England.
The YDP 162 is a very solid option, and a lovely sounding piano in every way. My bro in law has one. GH action is a bit heavy, mind. For less money you`d get a YDP 142 which will still sound good, though with reduced power and a lighter action, along with the guarantees that come from a new purchase.

They don`t look as good as the CLP range. That is their biggest let down. But they do hold their price better than most.

Don`t worry about the technicalities you hear about so often here. We just like to make the water very muddy . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397435
03/13/15 05:43 AM
03/13/15 05:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,137
France
Frédéric L Offline
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Frédéric L  Offline
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France
@Paolo, the "new" tone generator (RGE), is available in the CLP4xx , see http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/digitalpianos/clp_series/clp430/


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397442
03/13/15 06:06 AM
03/13/15 06:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 916
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Hendrik42  Offline
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Hi Emma, please share a few more details: have you played/owned digital pianos before? You have stated that you want to buy something long term. What is your budget? Is 850 quid already stretching it and you feel more like 800? Or would 900 also still fit?

Most important are:
- feel of the action to _you_. If you like a certain action better, that is significant. You can't ever change the action without buying different.
- sound/tone. Some people do not so much like the Yamaha signature sound. CLP 535 (I think) for example also has Boesendorfer samples. Kawai and Roland DPs also sound different.
- looks, at least to the extend that if you want/need to put it where visitors see it, I maybe must look the part :-)
- technical things. It was a must-have for me to be able to record to USB stick. Not all DPs can do that. Do you have any requirements in this regard?


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397444
03/13/15 06:10 AM
03/13/15 06:10 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 100
Italy
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Paolo70 Offline
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Paolo70  Offline
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Italy
Hi Frederic,

Thank you for the correction.

I have read the web page but I'm not 100% sure I understand what it means in terms of timbre variation.
However I do acknowledge that the RGE sound engine seems to provide interesting articualtion improvements.

Ciao,
Paolo


Yamaha CLP-970
Roland JV-1080
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397455
03/13/15 06:29 AM
03/13/15 06:29 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,137
France
Frédéric L Offline
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Frédéric L  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,137
France
I have an old CLP - no continuous timbre variation - and some virtual piano where I do hear timbre variation between pp and mf. I suppose the RGE could be like these virtual pianos, but I havn't tried.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: Frédéric L] #2397467
03/13/15 07:24 AM
03/13/15 07:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 267
Czech Republic
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PtJaa Offline
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PtJaa  Offline
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Czech Republic
Originally Posted by Fr�d�ric L
One major differnce between Clavinova CLP and Arius YDP is the tone generator. On CLP, the timbre evolve continuously with the velocity. On YDP, I suppose there are some velocity layers (Yamaha does not claim continous evolution of the timbre)

Originally Posted by Fr�d�ric L
I have an old CLP - no continuous timbre variation - and some virtual piano where I do hear timbre variation between pp and mf.

All modern Yamahas have continous timbre change with velocity, of course, including Yamaha YDP162. The PureCF sound in YDP162 is IMHO relatively very similar to RGE in CLP440 (YDP162 is newer than CLP440).
Frankly, I have never seen a Yamaha without continuous timbre change - it must be very old (the previous generations of tone generators listed as AWM and Dynamic AWM still provide continuous timbre change (see DPBSD), though IMHO the quality of timbre change was clearly inferior to current generation)



Kawai CA65 :: Galaxy: Vintage D, Vienna Grand, Giant :: Pianoteq 5 :: Kontakt 5 :: Reaper :: True Keys pianos
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397666
03/13/15 05:50 PM
03/13/15 05:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 3
England
E
emmie_lou1107 Offline OP
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emmie_lou1107  Offline OP
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England
Wow, thank you everyone for your comments I really appreciate the help and advice.

Hendrik42 - I haven't given myself a particular cap in cost but can't go too crazy. I would spend £900 if it would give me longevity with the piano.

I haven't played for many years (33 now and the last time I properly played was 15) and that was on acoustic pianos but in recent years a couple of friends with children have purchased digital pianos and I have really enjoyed playing again and helping the teach.

My most important things for me are the sound followed by the feel. When I went into the store I could hear the differences between the models that the sales person played but he showed me so many and bamboozled me with letters and numbers that didn't make sense to me that I got a tad confused, i.e. GH v GH3 - what physical difference would I notice for example.

This all is probably so basic for you guys but I am only just looking into it.

If I could have USB for future use, especially when I have children, then that would be great but the looks definitely aren't the most important. Although I wouldn't want something to ugly in my house wink

Some of the abbreviations in the comments I don't fully understand so if anyone feels that they can give further information on what they actually mean, that would be really good.

Thank you again
Emma

Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397706
03/13/15 08:31 PM
03/13/15 08:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,063
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,063
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by emmie_lou1107
. . .
My most important things for me are the sound followed by the feel. When I went into the store I could hear the differences between the models that the sales person played but he showed me so many and bamboozled me with letters and numbers that didn't make sense to me that I got a tad confused, i.e. GH v GH3 - what physical difference would I notice for example.

This all is probably so basic for you guys but I am only just looking into it.

If I could have USB for future use, especially when I have children, then that would be great but the looks definitely aren't the most important. Although I wouldn't want something to ugly in my house wink

Some of the abbreviations in the comments I don't fully understand so if anyone feels that they can give further information on what they actually mean, that would be really good.

Thank you again
Emma


Suggestion:

Get yourself a good set of headphones, or borrow some. "Good", here, means about 70 GBP and up.

Go into the store during a quiet period (not Saturday afternoon), and play some DP's, with headphones plugged in so nobody can hear you. If you were able to play at age 15, you'll hear and feel the differences among them, even after 15 years.

Use a few acoustic pianos as a reference. If you can find a DP that feels and sounds reasonably close to an acoustic piano, in your price range, add it to your list of candidates.

It's pretty well useless to hear _someone else_ play a piano.

. Charles

PS -- edit:

As well as playing DP's within your price range, try a few that are above it. That will give you a sense of what is possible if you're willing to spend more money. It's a dangerous game, though.<g>

PPS -- edit:

General opinion here is that it's unwise to buy a DP that you haven't played yourself. Some people do it, and are happy when their DP arrives and they play it. Others are disappointed -- _their_ taste is different from whomever recommended that particular DP.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 03/13/15 08:40 PM.

. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397724
03/13/15 09:34 PM
03/13/15 09:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted by emmie_lou1107
Wow, thank you everyone for your comments I really appreciate the help and advice.

Hendrik42 - I haven't given myself a particular cap in cost but can't go too crazy. I would spend £900 if it would give me longevity with the piano.

I haven't played for many years (33 now and the last time I properly played was 15) and that was on acoustic pianos but in recent years a couple of friends with children have purchased digital pianos and I have really enjoyed playing again and helping the teach.

My most important things for me are the sound followed by the feel. When I went into the store I could hear the differences between the models that the sales person played but he showed me so many and bamboozled me with letters and numbers that didn't make sense to me that I got a tad confused, i.e. GH v GH3 - what physical difference would I notice for example.

This all is probably so basic for you guys but I am only just looking into it.

If I could have USB for future use, especially when I have children, then that would be great but the looks definitely aren't the most important. Although I wouldn't want something to ugly in my house wink

Some of the abbreviations in the comments I don't fully understand so if anyone feels that they can give further information on what they actually mean, that would be really good.

Thank you again
Emma


Yamaha's graded hammer actions have a counterweighted mechanism that varies in response across the range of the keyboard to imitate the experience of playing an acoustic piano. But Yamaha also makes these actions in various qualities and prices them accordingly (GHS, Graded Hammer Standard; GH, Graded Hammer; and GH3, Graded Hammer 3. GHS and GH have two sensors for each key and GH3 has three. The third sensor allows for quick repeated strikes that the two-sensor actions can't quite handle. Some here actually prefer the GHS and GH actions over the GH3. It's a matter of taste, to some degree, so you need to try them. Other than the sensors, the build quality and parts used from GHS to GH to GH3 varies in quality. Yamaha has used the same terminology for years and some think they've changed these actions over time without changing the names.

There's a lot of other choices if you aren't limiting yourself to these two particular models or Yamaha in particular.

Re: Advice Please - Want to buy my first digital piano [Re: emmie_lou1107] #2397817
03/14/15 06:54 AM
03/14/15 06:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 916
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Hendrik42  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
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Germany
Emma, when you say sound is important, do you mean the "voice"/tone of the piano as in Yamaha "voice" vs. Kawai vs. Boesendorfer vs. Roland etc. or do you mean sound as in sound-system?

Probably depends on if you plan to play mostly with headphones on or mostly in a large or small room.

The "voice" you can easily judge by playing with headphones in the store. This also helps judging the action/keys, which is (I think) slightly more important than the voice. Sound as in sound system is harder to judge in the store, as the acoustic of the room is different from your home.

Checking Thomann for 700-900 gives this:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/search.htm...p&price-first=700&price-last=900

With the usual suspects: Casio, Yamaha, Kawai, Roland, Korg. So you need to form an opinion on their "voices". I liked the Kawai voice better than Yamaha, but not significantly.

Next "easy" differentiator is maybe looks. Should is resemble a piano as much as possible or are the looks of the keyboard on a wooden frame good enough? Better looks cost more.

Then, of course, the action/keyboard. This requires a visit to a store, with good headphones as stated by others. Take the best you have or can borrow. We here talk a lot about the technicalities of actions, but individual taste while playing differs a lot. I liked Yamaha, Kawai, Roland. Better action cost more.

See if you can form an opinion on the sound-system in the store. Is the piano loud enough for you? Does it still sound good in the very high and very low tones?

Then you're probably down to 2-3 models and need to compare price and features like 4 hand/duett option for playing with a child, additional sounds and whatnot.

Just looking at whats between 700 to 900, it looks like feature-wise, Casio seems to be on top. I have, however, no idea on their voice, action and quality and the first two are very much defined by individual taste.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)

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