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Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys #2947007 02/15/20 12:26 AM
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abcxyz Offline OP
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My newly purchased Yamaha Clavinova CLP-635 sounded great and then I played a song that used the E, E-flat, and F keys that are 12 or 13 keys from the highest note on the right end. I jumped off the seat. Shrill and loud! Unlike the rest of the keys. The volume was set at about 1/2 (in the middle) and I was using Boze headphones. Lower than 1/2, no shrillness, but that is too soft for me to hear in headphones. I even switched to a different pair of Boze, same thing.

I experimented and investigated and found:

All Yamaha CLP models (not just 635) that I tried in showrooms of 2 stores exhibited this shrillness/harshness at either E, E-flat, and/or F, 12 to 13 keys from the highest note when headphones are used and volume is 1/2 or higher.

All Yamaha CLP models (not just 635) that I tried in showrooms of 2 stores exhibited this harshness at either E, E-flat, and/or F, 12 to 13 keys from the highest note without headphones at 3/4 volume or higher. While 3/4 of the volume is a little high, I use that level sometimes and want that option available with good sound from all keys. At 100% volume, which is really blasting, I would not complain about abnormalities. But 3/4 volume is a level I use often and will encounter those problem keys in my playing.

The Yamaha keyboards (not full piano) that I tried in the showrooms of 2 stores did not have this harsh sound on these keys (or other keys) at full volume with or without headphones.

I have an 8-year old Yamaha P-35 keyboard that I have been using the past 8 years that does not have the harsh sound on these keys (or other keys) full volume with or without headphones.

3 other pianos of a different brand in one showroom did not have this harsh sound on these keys (or other keys) at full volume with or without headphones.

On the piano in my home, I asked 4 males if they heard the shrillness/harshness of these particular keys. None of them detected it. At a showroom I asked one male sales clerk if he heard the harshness of these particular keys and he heard it on the $5000 Yamaha Clavinova CLP model, whichever # that is. That is the only model I asked him about.

On the piano in my home I asked 7 females if they heard the shrillness/harshness of these particular keys. One did not. The other 6 did hear the shrillness/harshness and made comments such as: "Ouch!" "That's a problem." "I definitely hear that." "Ewwwww!" "Yikes!" "You need to get a repairman out here."

At a showroom I asked one female sales clerk if she heard the harshness of these particular keys and she heard it on the CLP-635. In fact, she provided me with the descriptive term of "harsh" that I am now using.

I tried different piano settings such as Classic and Upright; different reverb settings; different brightness and it made no difference in these particular keys.

The problem is severe enough that I am returning the piano and I am not someone with a highly trained ear or exceptional musical talent so that I hear things the average person does not. I also am not a problematic, finicky customer.

I have searched this forum and online for a similar problem but have not found anything. I am thinking that the original piano used for the samples inputted into the Clavinovas had a flaw. Since 4 of 5 males I asked could not hear the flaw, IF the engineers who created these Clavinovas were mostly male, maybe they did not hear it. Just a hypothesis.

Your thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thank you and happy playing.



Last edited by abcxyz; 02/15/20 12:32 AM.
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Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947015 02/15/20 01:16 AM
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johnstaf Offline
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This is around the break above which there are no dampers. Pianos can sound harsh around here, depending on what is being played. However, I assume you're using CFX samples, which would have dampers higher than the e-flat. 🤔

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947019 02/15/20 01:40 AM
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peterws Offline
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It's the VRM. Maybe you set it to max, or something. It resonates at around those values. But then, anything that resonates will do the same at whatever value it has. I had an o;d clav which only had reverb; it did it on that if I overset it.
You can turn it off, or turn it down.


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Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947029 02/15/20 02:25 AM
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I had a similar problem with the second E key above middle C. I turned off the VRM and the issue is resolved. But I didn’t get this problem on headphones, just when played out loud. I have the CLP 675.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947030 02/15/20 02:30 AM
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Learux Offline
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This is normal piano behavior. How many songs do you play with these high of notes. Not having a damper is very hard for a DP to emulate.


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Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: Pathetique1] #2947259 02/15/20 01:58 PM
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abcxyz Offline OP
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Thank you all for replying with suggestions.

Originally Posted by johnstaf
This is around the break above which there are no dampers. Pianos can sound harsh around here, depending on what is being played. However, I assume you're using CFX samples, which would have dampers higher than the e-flat. 🤔


Pardon my ignorance of the digital piano lingo. For CFX samples, I was using the CFX Grand option, which even has its own button. I believe that is what is meant by CFX samples. Most interesting comment on the break level.


Originally Posted by peterws
It's the VRM. Maybe you set it to max, or something. It resonates at around those values. But then, anything that resonates will do the same at whatever value it has. I had an o;d clav which only had reverb; it did it on that if I overset it.
You can turn it off, or turn it down.


Very helpful. I did not know about VRM options. I did turn it off per your suggestion but the problem keys remained a problem.



Originally Posted by Pathetique1
I had a similar problem with the second E key above middle C. I turned off the VRM and the issue is resolved. But I didn’t get this problem on headphones, just when played out loud. I have the CLP 675.


That E-key on your piano would be used even more than the E that is 13 from the top. Interesting that VRM off resolved it for you. The issue is only noticeable when I play loudly. Should have mentioned that initially. But loudly is NOT me pounding the keys with my fist or something extreme. The level of loudness is forte, which is common for many songs. But in mp or less, the issue is not noticeable. But I don't want my range/options limited in a brand new piano.


I will be interested if anyone else with a new Clavinova has a similar experience. If they do hear what I heard in those problem keys--and what the vast majority of other females heard--when the volume was at least half and the keys were struck "forte" and they search for something about it on the net, then maybe they'll find this.

Thanks again for commenting and offering those suggestion to me and future lurkers. More ideas always welcome.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: Learux] #2947262 02/15/20 02:09 PM
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abcxyz Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Learux
This is normal piano behavior. How many songs do you play with these high of notes. Not having a damper is very hard for a DP to emulate.



Good point. There are at least 3 songs now that use those keys. One of those songs is the reason I wanted to learn to play the piano, so I don't want that song compromised. I have grand aspirations of vastly increasing my repertoire and anticipate those shrill/harsh keys might be part of at least some of the songs I hope to learn. If it had been 5 or less keys down from the highest, I'd figure that those keys would never be used. So what. But these keys are in my range of playing.

Last edited by abcxyz; 02/15/20 02:10 PM.
Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947295 02/15/20 03:37 PM
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MacMacMac Offline
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What's with all the text colors? Is black not adequate? smile

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947332 02/15/20 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by abcxyz


I will be interested if anyone else with a new Clavinova has a similar experience. If they do hear what I heard in those problem keys--and what the vast majority of other females heard--when the volume was at least half and the keys were struck "forte" and they search for something about it on the net, then maybe they'll find this.

Thanks again for commenting and offering those suggestion to me and future lurkers. More ideas always welcome.



Is this essentially a female issue? My head is screwed up enough without this . . .


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

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Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947601 02/16/20 11:36 AM
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Yes it’s on the CFX grand voice and mainly when I hit it quite loud. But all it takes is a forte note to bring up that effect.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2947866 02/17/20 03:24 AM
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Alright, I checked the issue on my Clav and indeed sound of these keys on forte is harsher than sound from other keys. But:
1) It doesn't necessarily mean that there is something wrong with samples or piano, it's quite possible that real CFX grand makes similar sound, at least in acoustic environment where the samples were recorded. Even on real piano, some notes may not sound very pleasant.
2) I might never noticed it unless I've stumbled upon this topic.
3) This new knowledge doesn't change my perception of the piano even a bit. Sound just can't be ideal, and I personally can certainly live with this issue.


Casio PX-160 (Previous), Yamaha CLP-645 (Current), Superlux HD-681
Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: Darkwasp] #2948038 02/17/20 12:26 PM
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abcxyz Offline OP
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[/i]
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
What's with all the text colors? Is black not adequate? smile

While black and white on the piano is grand, for website communication I prefer a little color.

Ok, that was excessive, my apologies.

[i]
Originally Posted by Pathetique1
Yes it’s on the CFX grand voice and mainly when I hit it quite loud. But all it takes is a forte note to bring up that effect.

Thank you for verifying and I'm sure it has not diminished your satisfaction with your piano, if it took this post for you to notice.


Originally Posted by Darkwasp
Alright, I checked the issue on my Clav and indeed sound of these keys on forte is harsher than sound from other keys. But:
1) It doesn't necessarily mean that there is something wrong with samples or piano, it's quite possible that real CFX grand makes similar sound, at least in acoustic environment where the samples were recorded. Even on real piano, some notes may not sound very pleasant.
2) I might never noticed it unless I've stumbled upon this topic.
3) This new knowledge doesn't change my perception of the piano even a bit. Sound just can't be ideal, and I personally can certainly live with this issue.

Thanks for that thorough explanation.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: peterws] #2948043 02/17/20 12:41 PM
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abcxyz Offline OP
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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by abcxyz


I will be interested if anyone else with a new Clavinova has a similar experience. If they do hear what I heard in those problem keys--and what the vast majority of other females heard--when the volume was at least half and the keys were struck "forte" and they search for something about it on the net, then maybe they'll find this.

Thanks again for commenting and offering those suggestion to me and future lurkers. More ideas always welcome.



Is this essentially a female issue? My head is screwed up enough without this . . .


Not sure about a female issue. I am a gay man, perhaps explaining the penchant for rainbow colors. I do appreciate the responses and sorry for any brain injuries this back and forth may have caused. That signature of yours, Peterws, caused my head to spin a bit. Very clever.

I look forward to any other comments that forum members wish to share about the Clavinova, etc. and appreciate that there is a forum like this to reach out to other piano players.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: abcxyz] #2948052 02/17/20 12:57 PM
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sleutelbos Online Content
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Women, on average, have better high-freq auditory acuity than men. Whether that is relevant here or whether that is just due to your small sample size I can't tell.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova, 3 shrill/harsh keys [Re: sleutelbos] #2948291 02/17/20 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sleutelbos
Women, on average, have better high-freq auditory acuity than men. Whether that is relevant here or whether that is just due to your small sample size I can't tell.


True, more women heard the problem keys than men. But I can hear it very clearly and the first time I heard it while playing, I was startled and flinched. I am hoping to increase that sample size with comments others make here, though I realize this is not a random sample.


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