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Just had this for a few days now and I thought I would share my thoughts.Yamaha describe this as the best stage piano they have ever made.I have not played all their pianos but I am familiar with their professional range CP1. CP5,etc, and I think they might be right.
These are all great pianos but where the CP4 might score more highly is in it's ease of use.
My main keyboard for the last few years has been a Roland 700sx
another great keyboard. To get the best out of this however one has to go into the editing side of things and adjust the sound to achieve a desired result. This is not so with the Yamaha CP4.
There are 45 acoustic piano sounds sampled from three pianos, more than enough for me. The eq,5 sliders, works really well at adjusting these to suit the room,stage, set up and amplification you are using.One touch of a button gives you compression to bring you higher in the mix when its your turn to solo.There are the usual effects and two tone wheels,one of which can change the speed of the rotary effect on the organs for example.
There are many more features which I will not go into now but the main thing is all adjustments are very easy to do on the fly without going into the programmes and having to edit.
This makes the CP4 a performance piano, and it is true, possibly the best one Yamaha have made so far in this respect.
The action and the sound are exceptional in my view, my only
criticism might be that the plastic case is a bit light in construction, but I realise they have kept the weight down so you can't have your cake and eat it. (An English expression used in these parts).
( I did like the construction of the CP50 but Yamaha have moved away from this more towards their early CLP design)
A good flight case will be on order before I take this on the road for sure.
So far I am very pleased with this piano and it gets its first airing next Tuesday so I'll know how it performs on stage,looking forward to this, I'm sure its going to come up to its promise from my experience so far.
This is my first post here so I hope it might be useful and look forward to what others think about this particular piano.




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Thank you for the sharing. What does it mean by "45 acoustic piano sounds sampled from three pianos"? They are supposed to sample every keys from the 3 pianos and make one sample. By 45 samples it means on the average 15 samples were taken from each of the 3 pianos. Does that mean they sample it in 15 different conditions per piano? (such as lid open, half open, closed, etc)


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45 preset piano patches you can call up. 15 based on the CFIIIs samples, 15 based on the S6 samples, 15 based on the CFX samples.

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Thanks another scott you put it much better than I did.

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Are closed and open lid sounds combined into one sample and triggered by different key velocity? Or actually two different samples, one closed, the other open lid?

Also, how do they vary one sample to create 15 variations / patches? by effect processors mainly?


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I have not got into it that far yet but I'm sure there may be others on the forum that may know much more about this than I do. I play the piano and just respond to what I get back, I don't find the need to know how it all works, but I respect anyone else who might have an interest in this side of things. Thats not to say that I am not interested in the technology, I am but I just don't have enough space in my head to learn all the stuff I want to and therefore I have to keep it in its place so to speak.

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Originally Posted by SIG77
Are closed and open lid sounds combined into one sample and triggered by different key velocity? Or actually two different samples, one closed, the other open lid?

Also, how do they vary one sample to create 15 variations / patches? by effect processors mainly?


I've had some time to play the CP4 and I'm up in the air as to get a CP5 at a Kraft Music's closeout price or deal with some of the short comings of the CP4. There are no closed or open lid piano sounds as there is no insert effect for this. However, the indicated +/- AP sounds are probably what the CP5 let the user adjust in terms of hammer hardness. It seems that a lot of the SCM customizing features were omitted in the CP4 and thats a slight problem for me. I actually got used to and understood the UI of the CP5 and appreciated the direct accessibility of the hammer hardness, strike position, and even speed and depth of the auto pan effect for the Rhodes sounds. The CP4 does let you adjust strike position for the EP's and you have to go through one of the effect pages to have access to the amp simulator parameters including the speed and depth of the auto pan. However, the hammer hardness parameter for both the AP's and EP's is gone and that sucks because I liked using that parameter on the fly with the CP5 when I owned it 2 years ago.

I do like the heavier action of the CP4 and the lighter weight, but thats about it. I actually slightly prefer the ability to customize the parameters I previously mentioned on the CP5. I'm not sure what I really want to do. I can get a brand new CP5 for $1699, but have to deal with the lighter action and heavier weight (not too big of a deal because I would keep it in the studio most of the time) or go with the heavier action and lighter weight of the CP4.

Ultimately, it will come down to my preference, but are there any other suggestions from you guys?


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Originally Posted by SIG77
Are closed and open lid sounds combined into one sample and triggered by different key velocity?

You would want a closed lid sound at low velocity and an open lid sound when playing harder? I guess it could be an interesting effect, but not if your goal is realism. I've never seen a piano where the lid opens and closes as you play!

I doubt anyone ever samples a closed lid piano. I would think it would be simulated mostly with EQ. (I'm not actually sure why people would even find that sound particularly desirable.)

Originally Posted by SIG77
Also, how do they vary one sample to create 15 variations / patches? by effect processors mainly?

There are effect versions (like honky tonk), mono versions, the + and - versions which I believe are pitch shifted (if you shift samples up or down, they take on a slightly different character), versions with different EQ, compression, possibly different velocity curves... there's are plenty of ways to get different piano sounds out of the same set of samples. It is very common for a DP to have only a single piano sample, but they almost all have a variety of presets derived from that sample.

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Thanks for the review.

There are lots more first impressions on the musicplayer forum good and bad. The (lack of) some effects for solo or studio piano get some stick. Also in the thread Yamaha have posted an explanation of the UI design which may help further.

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Let me preface this by saying that I think the CP4 is a good stage piano that will meet the needs of many players. What follows is based on my very brief experience with it and is colored by what I have owned before, and my personal needs. I posted some initial impressions on Keyboard Corner, and ruffled a few feathers by expressing reservations concerning the technical implementation of the piano sounds.

Being impetuous, but also needing funds for the CP4, I sold my Nord Piano in the (some might say foolish) belief that the CP's three-sensor wooden action coupled with the three grands and multiple EPs would make for a much more satisfying playing experience. When it arrived, I thought the action was indeed much better than the Nord's.

My overall impression of the sound was that it was quite nice - nothing special, and a little more synthetic than the Nord, but OK. However, on delving a bit further, I noticed that the sample stretching was quite obvious, with fast chromatic runs revealing it, most noticeably in the bottom octave; it sounds a bit like you are using the pitch bend wheel rather than playing individual notes a semitone apart. The Nord allows for the installation of XL samples which involve no stretching, and Kawai, Roland and Korg all utilize 88-note sample sets in most of their "pro" boards.

I also found that, compared to these other manufacturers' pianos, the dynamics were just a touch more limited. On the other hand, it was nice to have access to three distinctive AP sounds, of which I preferred the older CF sample. Attack samples were reasonably long, but the ultimate decay was static and not as realistic as in the Roland SN boards.

What surprised me was that there was no sympathetic resonance. Even the $999 Casio PX-5S has that - and in my opinion it's not a gimmick, but does actually contribute to the realism and sense of immersion. So, overall, I was not blown away by the acoustic piano implementation.

EPs were well done (modeled), and I particularly liked the '77 Wurlitzer - one of the best out there, IMO. Other sounds were good to mediocre - nothing really stood out from my brief whizz through them, apart from the acoustic bass, which is awesome!

Operationally, for basic functions it seemed very well laid out and easy to navigate. I didn't like the aesthetics, but that's a minor gripe. The plastic case has brought the weight down, but it's only around a pound lighter than the NP88, and the Nord has a solid metal case that stands up to road use well.

I decided after only a few hours to return it. I'll say again that this was a very personal decision, and others may, and will, have a very different take on the CP4. The action is among the best currently available, and that might have been enough. However, I just couldn't get over the fact that in 2013 with other manufacturers making some (albeit slow) strides toward greater AP authenticity, Yamaha still seems to be stuck in the '90s with their technical implementation. I have a P-105, and the $529 I spent on that was well worth it. I was content to accept stretching, the lack of sympathetic resonance, limited dynamics and a bit of static decay in a board at that price. I don't expect it in a $2k+ board that also feels somewhat cheaply constructed. Others are already using this board successfully in their bands, and see it as a significant step up from what they were using before. Having come from the Nord, I was just a tad disappointed.

YMMV!!!!!!!


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Originally Posted by voxpops
I posted some initial impressions on Keyboard Corner, and ruffled a few feathers by expressing reservations concerning the technical implementation of the piano sounds.

I didn't leave the boat, but I love it how when one points out to a "pro" that his/her latest emperor is running around rather scantily clad, they get mad at you like you had something to do with it. How dare you hurt their tender little tough-guy fee fees. Some fora seem to consist of 99% gloating over the latest shiny acquisition, where never is heard a discouraging word. I very much appreciate the folks here at PW who are keeping it real.

Originally Posted by voxpops
However, I just couldn't get over the fact that in 2013 with other manufacturers making some (albeit slow) strides toward greater AP authenticity, Yamaha still seems to be stuck in the '90s with their technical implementation. I have a P-105, and the $529 I spent on that was well worth it. I was content to accept stretching, the lack of sympathetic resonance, limited dynamics and a bit of static decay in a board at that price. I don't expect it in a $2k+ board that also feels somewhat cheaply constructed.

The P105 is quite interesting. Yamaha's low end offerings are super stretched, with just enough otherwise inaudible sympathetic resonance to somewhat smear out the quivering of those quick bland loops, but at least you can pick 'em up cheap, and expectations are kind of low anyway. No excuses for their brand spankin' new stage piano (which should be a kitchen sink model with only the best of the best).

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Originally Posted by dewster
I love it how when one points out to a "pro" that his/her latest emperor is running around rather scantily clad, they get mad at you like you had something to do with it. How dare you hurt their tender little tough-guy fee fees.

Unfortunately, I get the impression that, perhaps because of financial ties to certain manufacturers, the mods on the forum in question seem to discourage even mildly negative views about those manufacturers' products. The debacle over the leaked launch of the CP4 also elicited a reactionary standpoint. It's understandable, up to a point, but somewhat of a conflict of interests, IMO.


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Originally Posted by voxpops
Unfortunately, I get the impression that, perhaps because of financial ties to certain manufacturers, the mods on the forum in question seem to discourage even mildly negative views about those manufacturers' products. The debacle over the leaked launch of the CP4 also elicited a reactionary standpoint. It's understandable, up to a point, but somewhat of a conflict of interests, IMO.

It's sad that it's actually kind of unusual that we can let our hair down here at PW without being modded into oblivion.

The electronic music equipment industry is pretty small potatoes to be pushing people around - the pushees must be really low on the totem pole.

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Honestly, I didn't see any ruffled feathers over there. And the one moderator who participated seemed perfectly respectful of your take on it (though he did suggest that the choice of speakers could have been more of a variable than accounted for).

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Honestly, I didn't see any ruffled feathers over there.

Could you point me to the thread? I don't go there much so it's like searching for an ego needle in a veritable haystack of egos.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Honestly, I didn't see any ruffled feathers over there. And the one moderator who participated seemed perfectly respectful of your take on it (though he did suggest that the choice of speakers could have been more of a variable than accounted for).


Being an oversensitive keyboard geek who spends too much time in his own company, Scott, you may be right, and I may be misreading things. However, I'm not the only one who has come to that conclusion. One contributor wrote this in the same CP4 thread:
"Perhaps I'm wrong Dave but I feel like you're trying to shut down any less than positive views."

As for my own posts and the responses thereto, I certainly didn't feel disrespected - just a vague sense that I was somehow less qualified to comment than "the Yamaha engineers, the people who they had beta test it, and more than a few folks on the forum who also pride themselves on their ability to evaluate piano sounds."

It can sometimes be very difficult to determine the emotion behind a web post, or the subtext - if any - and I may have read the situation totally wrongly.


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Originally Posted by dewster
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Honestly, I didn't see any ruffled feathers over there.

Could you point me to the thread? I don't go there much so it's like searching for an ego needle in a veritable haystack of egos.

Yamaha CP4 - first impressions

A number of the statements that helped give me the impression I mentioned were edited very shortly after posting. I doubt that a casual viewer would pick up on the sentiment - it's a very subtle thing, and as I said to Scott, I may be completely wrong. Also, this is derailing the thread here. Sorry chaps - nothing to see here - back to the topic at hand!


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Interesting stuff!

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Originally Posted by voxpops
"the Yamaha engineers, the people who they had beta test it, and more than a few folks on the forum who also pride themselves on their ability to evaluate piano sounds."

You obviously hit a nerve, and this person's autonomic system managed to type out the equivalent of an involuntary reflex response.

Developers aren't always the most objective people, and beta testers sometimes work in a dull echo chamber. That products end up like they do can't entirely be chalked up to infinite wisdom and the like, no matter what impression the glossy promotional materials give.

[EDIT] I should add: engineers, much less beta testers, usually have little to no say about basic things like looping & stretching. These are fixed beforehand by the product feature team - which probably has its hands tied by the product tiering specialists currently running rampant in modern industry.

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Originally Posted by voxpops
Let me preface this by saying that I think the CP4 is a good stage piano that will meet the needs of many players....

...Having come from the Nord, I was just a tad disappointed.

YMMV!!!!!!!


Really interesting and enlightening review, thanks. I'm saving pennies now for an upgrade from the P120, and the CP4 (which I haven't physically seen in the 3D world) has been tops on my preliminary wish list, mainly because of the NWGH, the lightweight frame & the wooden/faux ivory-topped keys. I get what you mean by the stretching, and agree that in a >$2000 DP this isn't attractive.

The CP4 is still on my list, but you've certainly given me some points to keep in mind when I have the $$$ and as I pursue models to test from both Yamaha and Kawai.

If your review ruffled feathers over there (I took a look), that's their problem, not yours. It's possible, for all I know, that I will find a CP4 to play, decide that it's perfect, and disagree with your assessment totally. But this wouldn't mean that I don't appreciate your honest opinion. So thanks again!

Last edited by Psychonaut; 11/17/13 11:46 PM.

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