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Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 #2729529
04/17/18 12:14 AM
04/17/18 12:14 AM
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Posts: 9
Oregon
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OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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OutOfNameIdeas  Offline OP
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Oregon
This is primarily for home use. I understand the Stage models are meant for portability and don't come with speakers but the CP4 seems well priced and gets lots of praise for it's action, real wood keys and piano sound quality. Besides needing external monitors, music stand and bench, is there much disadvantage of a CP4 vs a YDP-184 (or other digital piano) ? I admit the cabinets are quite compact.

For the Piano side, has anyone played both the Casio AP-470 and any of the Yamaha YDP Arius models ? I'm curious how they compare.

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Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729547
04/17/18 03:00 AM
04/17/18 03:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 327
Just outside London UK
akc42 Online content
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akc42  Online Content
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Posts: 327
Just outside London UK
I haven't played these latest models - but I did play and compare the Casio AP-460 and the Yamaha Arius 183. To me the actions were identical - the difference was how the controls were laid out and in the end I prefered the Casio.

(In the interests of full disclosure - after about 6 weeks I traded in the Casio for a Kawai CA 67, because I was looking for a nicer action. I would have been similarly disappointed with the Yamaha. It was after playing our family acoustic at my daughters house - that I realised that the actions were very heavy, and difficult to play near the back of the keys).

Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729549
04/17/18 03:21 AM
04/17/18 03:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 907
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
500 Post Club Member
Doug M.  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 907
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Originally Posted by OutOfNameIdeas
This is primarily for home use. I understand the Stage models are meant for portability and don't come with speakers but the CP4 seems well priced and gets lots of praise for it's action, real wood keys and piano sound quality. Besides needing external monitors, music stand and bench, is there much disadvantage of a CP4 vs a YDP-184 (or other digital piano) ? I admit the cabinets are quite compact.

For the Piano side, has anyone played both the Casio AP-470 and any of the Yamaha YDP Arius models ? I'm curious how they compare.


The CP4 is many years old now, out of date for it's sound, behind in technology for its action, and many other stage pianos are newer, cheaper and better. Anybody advising you buy a CP4 is essentially either living in 2013 or on a Yamaha commission. The only time I'd recommend the CP4 is for a gigging musician who wants something especially light weight but insists on a half decent action (many of the stage pianos with much better actions are heavier).

For the home, the best bet is a cabinet model or a portable model. The main difference between portable and cabinet pianos is that portable (whilst not being especially light due to their on board speakers) can be detached from the stand and moved about the house without 6 strong people to do the lifting. Also, you get better specs in a portable than in a cabinet (for the same money) because when you buy a cabinet piano, you're paying for the nice furniture it comes clothed in. If you can afford a CP4, then consider the following portable pianos:

Kawai ES8
Roland FP-90.

With regard to Cabinet pianos (something to look nice in the home), at the cheaper and medium priced end, I would advise you consider Kawai first (you get a better action for the pennies), then Casio (similar quality action than Yamaha, but cheaper), and then Roland (Roland put a great action in some quite reasonably priced pianos). Yamaha only really start to approach competitiveness in the Cabinet piano market when you get into the £3,000-4,000 category ($4000--6000). Even then, Yamaha only really out-compete other models in the Avant Grand Series; however, unfortunately, they've just lost that crown to Kawai's new Novus piano. In short, at the lower end of the digital piano market, Yamaha are over expensive for inferior sound sampling quality and piano action specifications. Yamaha do have a distinctive tone (the difference between sound quality vs tone needs to be appreciated)! Tone depends on what acoustic piano instrument is sampled; sound quality depends upon the technology and sampling rate.

Whilst Yamaha's come with good speakers, there sound sampling technology across the board is mediocre (Kawai's is better) and Yamaha actions---especially at the cheaper end---are (given the fact Yamaha is a huge corporation) in 3rd place behind Kawai and Roland. One of the only reason Yamaha sell lots of digital pianos is that they have a larger distribution network, and give nice commissions to store salesmen. Don't be taken in by sales people pushing Yamaha! Play everything, then listen and decide based upon what you hear and feel...

Cabinet pianos...
Cheap:
Kawai KDP 110
Roland HP601

Medium:
Kawai CN27
Kawai CN37
Kawai CA17
Kawai CA48

Roland HP603
Casio: AP-470BK

Yamaha: CLP625, 635, 645

Last edited by Doug M.; 04/17/18 03:23 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: Doug M.] #2729614
04/17/18 12:43 PM
04/17/18 12:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Oregon
O
OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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OutOfNameIdeas  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Oregon
Thanks, that's super helpful. I wish there were more dealers nearby but I have plenty of time. The ES-8 looks like a great option. For the CA and CN models, I wish they had a guided comparison table to help navigate the differences. I have some cost flexibility. Are there any features as you climb up the model range that are important enough to save a bit extra for ? (i.e. more than just incremental upgrades). I'm certainly prone to feature creep in my purchases so perhaps I shouldn't even ask.

I made the mistake of listening to that Novus NV10. Wow. Not sure that's in the budget but even the sound is amazing. I wonder if you can get an upgraded monitor for one of the portable keyboards to make up some of the difference.

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Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729630
04/17/18 01:43 PM
04/17/18 01:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,501
Germany
JoBert Offline
1000 Post Club Member
JoBert  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,501
Germany
Originally Posted by OutOfNameIdeas
I made the mistake of listening to that Novus NV10. Wow. Not sure that's in the budget but even the sound is amazing. I wonder if you can get an upgraded monitor for one of the portable keyboards to make up some of the difference.

The CA78 and CA98 have the same sound engine as the NV10. With headphones they sound essentially the same. So if you liked that sound, the CA78 is currently the cheapest option to get it. Of course the touch is different (but the CAs still have the very good GFII action) and the sound via speakers is different too, obviously.

Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729695
04/17/18 05:46 PM
04/17/18 05:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Oregon
O
OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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OutOfNameIdeas  Offline OP
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Oregon
I found the one local dealer and went for a quick look. They the CA78, CA98, CN37, CN27 and ES8 so a pretty good selection. They all felt and sounded great albeit the speaker differences were distinct. The ES8 has a distinct speaker sound and the CN27 with it's perhaps lower fidelity didn't sound as good to me but there's a pretty hefty price difference. It did make me wonder what a decent studio monitor might do to even the score. The salesman said with his back turned he's mistaken some of the units for grand pianos (and vice versa) that the teachers played in practice rooms. The 98 supposedly has a real soundboard along with a transducer to make it that much more like a real piano but you're certainly paying plenty for that soundboard.

Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729717
04/17/18 07:35 PM
04/17/18 07:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,452
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,452
Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote
. . . It did make me wonder what a decent studio monitor might do to even the score. . . .



It (or "they") will do a lot. If you want to know what a DP will sound like, through studio monitors, try playing it while wearing a good pair of headphones. Good headphones will have flatter, wider-range frequency response, and more realistic ("live piano") volume, than most DP speakers.

There are some problems -- too-fast decay, for example -- which studio monitors (or other add-ons) can't fix. There are others -- for example, weak bass -- that they can cure.

Depending on the store, there might be some monitors around -- ask to connect them. I admit to bias on this question. My EV ZXA1 happened because I wanted better sound than my PX-350 could deliver, on its own. It helped a lot.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729731
04/17/18 09:23 PM
04/17/18 09:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,199
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,199
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by OutOfNameIdeas
For the CA and CN models, I wish they had a guided comparison table to help navigate the differences.


Generally speaking, the CA models utilise fully wooden key keyboard actions, while the CN models use plastic key keyboard actions. Moreover, the CA models (with the exception of the CA48) offer higher specification sound technology. For a side-by-side specification comparison of each model, please use the DP comparison feature of the Kawai Global website:

http://www.kawai-global.com/product_comparison/?c=36

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2729863
04/18/18 11:44 AM
04/18/18 11:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Oregon
O
OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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Oregon
Any thoughts on the Kawai MP7SE (MP11SE) ? Or perhaps even lower end with one of the Casio PX560 for an option with my own monitors ?

Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: akc42] #2729914
04/18/18 02:40 PM
04/18/18 02:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,289
UK
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Alexander Borro  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2014
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UK
Originally Posted by akc42
I haven't played these latest models - but I did play and compare the Casio AP-460 and the Yamaha Arius 183. To me the actions were identical - the difference was how the controls were laid out and in the end I prefered the Casio.

(In the interests of full disclosure - after about 6 weeks I traded in the Casio for a Kawai CA 67, because I was looking for a nicer action. I would have been similarly disappointed with the Yamaha. It was after playing our family acoustic at my daughters house - that I realised that the actions were very heavy, and difficult to play near the back of the keys).


I don't find the Casio feels heavy at all, not the fastest responsive action, like a roland with PHA-50 I found very effortless at the back of the keys and just in general very supple action, just as an example, and sure, the shorter pivot is noticeable at the back where it does become harder to play but it is manageable I find.

I suppose it depends on ones level. but even a Casio action can go long way, IMHO it is more down to skill ... I think anyway. Pretty much all intermediate repertoire I can sort of half play well anyway these days, I don't feel it is holding me back thus far, you get used to the shorter pivot. When I encounter a piano with a much longer pivot I find it a luxury, but some uprights got a really short pivot too and I've seen people do grade 8 pieces on them without issue, and for that matter I heard some play repertoire on the same Casio action with pianoteq or other VSTs ( the way in which I use it) and play some really advance repertoire without trouble on that action also.

Now I don't mean to say one shouldn't necessarily buy the better action as a learning pianist, after all, it is something I am considering myself ( upgrading). All the same there is so much talk about actions being the be end and end all around around here, as if it were a limiting factor. Practice is more important getting used to the tools one does have instead of pointing the finger, at least that is often what I say to myself.

Depending on budget and experience level ( I don't know the OP situation ) using a Casio action wouldn't be the end of the world to get going with at all, it has now almost given my 4 years of pleasure, and only because I can afford an upgrade and fancy it for various reasons, if were broke I am sure another 3 years wouldn't kill me with it either to keep progressing. Now Lang Lang may have the bragging rights to complain a GF 2 keyboard is not fast enough, fair enough, for most of us I doubt that would ever be an issue and more a question of technique.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 04/18/18 02:44 PM.

Selftaught since June 2014.
Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various...
Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos.
[Linked Image] 12x ABF recitals.
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Re: Yamaha CP4 Stage vs YDP-184 or Casio AP-470 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2730009
04/18/18 08:38 PM
04/18/18 08:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,199
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Kawai James  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,199
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by OutOfNameIdeas
Any thoughts on the Kawai MP7SE (MP11SE) ? Or perhaps even lower end with one of the Casio PX560 for an option with my own monitors ?


A stage piano (Kawai MP7SE/MP11SE, Yamaha CP4, Roland RD-2000, or indeed a Casio PX560 etc.) plus a set of good quality monitor speakers would make for a great setup. I believe a lot of players would take this option, however sometimes a 'studio look' appearance is not appreciated, and a home-oriented console piano becomes the only option.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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