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Joined: Jun 2022
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Hello, I am looking for digital piano and my only experience is old Yamaha CLP-411 which stayed for many years in my home. I am wondering how much the technology moved on since then and how it is connected to the prices.

I would like to know, which currently produced piano has at least the quality of CLP-411 in terms of:
– sound (quality and loudness)
– keyboard quality
– build quality (and failure-free)
– MIDI connectivity (ideally MIDI ports)
– other ports (heapdhones, AUX, etc.)

My guess is technology has moved on, so in one hand it could be possible to find something affordable in the CLP-411 or better quality. But from the other hand there is a lot of crap nowadays and good pianos are still expensive.

I checked the specs of Yamaha models and the cheaper ones (eg. YDP line) have much weaker loudspeakers than old CLP-411, so I suspect, that other specs could be worse too.

To conclude. Should I find used cheap CLP-411 or it is possible to find something similar with affordable price? Or should I invest more to have same quality but new piano, which lasts longer than used CLP-411?

Thank you.

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Sound (loudness)… 2x20W is the power of low-end CLP. Then it depends of which nowadays CLP you compare.

Sound (quality) You also have a better sound generator. CLP-411 typically adjust each nuances with a lowpass filter where nowadays, there are multiple samples which are blended.

Keyboard quality… the CLP-411 is unspecified. Then it is difficult to answer, but , some have even some wood inside and are better balanced (because of the wood? Who knows?) but they are far more expensive than YDP. Some YDP keyboards (GHS) are known to be light.

Connectivity : nowadays CLP have a USB which permits you to exchange MIDI and audio. You also have a USB port for a Flash Memory drive. YDP have only the MIDI over USB however. (YDP184 has also a Flash memory drive port and Aux in/out)

Last edited by Frédéric L; 06/19/22 10:44 AM.

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Originally Posted by Del_Gesu
Hello, I am looking for digital piano and my only experience is old Yamaha CLP-411 which stayed for many years in my home. I am wondering how much the technology moved on since then and how it is connected to the prices.

I would like to know, which currently produced piano has at least the quality of CLP-411 in terms of:
– sound (quality and loudness)
– keyboard quality
– build quality (and failure-free)
– MIDI connectivity (ideally MIDI ports)
– other ports (heapdhones, AUX, etc.)

My guess is technology has moved on, so in one hand it could be possible to find something affordable in the CLP-411 or better quality. But from the other hand there is a lot of crap nowadays and good pianos are still expensive.

I checked the specs of Yamaha models and the cheaper ones (eg. YDP line) have much weaker loudspeakers than old CLP-411, so I suspect, that other specs could be worse too.

To conclude. Should I find used cheap CLP-411 or it is possible to find something similar with affordable price? Or should I invest more to have same quality but new piano, which lasts longer than used CLP-411?

Thank you.

What's your budget?


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I guess I'd take a a look at brand new models like:
- Yamaha Arius YDP-164
- Yamaha Arius YDP-S54 (mainly just a different form factor from the above)
- Kawai KDP-120
- Roland RP-701
- Roland F-701 (mainly just a different form factor from the above)
- Maybe Casio Privia PX and Celviano AP models
- Korg LP-380, C1 and G1

They are all somewhat affordable models from reputable manufacturers. Some may have the old school MIDI connectors, but the trend has been to have USB instead.

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Some of those old old digitals had a sweet sounding tone which will now be lacking in the new models. Yamaha used AWM processing for the sound, which might still be present in the P45, their cheapest digital, which, too, sounds good recorded.
I think you'll be surprised by the newer digitals. I imagine if you have little experience of them, that you might not like them.
I wish you well on your search. After playing different ones, you'll get the feel and sound of that which suits you best.


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Originally Posted by Del_Gesu
Hello, I am looking for digital piano and my only experience is old Yamaha CLP-411 which stayed for many years in my home. I am wondering how much the technology moved on since then and how it is connected to the prices.

I would like to know, which currently produced piano has at least the quality of CLP-411 in terms of:
– sound (quality and loudness)
– keyboard quality
– build quality (and failure-free)
– MIDI connectivity (ideally MIDI ports)
– other ports (heapdhones, AUX, etc.)

I think that the main thing is ----- if your CLP is still working properly, then are you happy with it? That is - if you're happy with the sounds already, and the key-mechanism (feel/touch/texture/response etc) --- then that's great.

People can certainly mention some nice new features --- current trends in digital pianos. This includes adding acoustic effects such as 'simulating' acoustic energy from one struck string ---- that gets transmits to unstruck strings (such as when the damper pedal is being pressed, or even not pressed) --- and at least some unstruck strings vibrate, to get some more sound activity, sort of like what will happen with actual acoustic pianos.

Also, the quality of the sound samples will likely be higher (better quality) these days - due to improvements in electronics (digital electronics devices - memory etc) and the recording devices (and setup) for sampling actual pianos (for which the digital pianos use to generate the base sound).

The sensor pads in latest digital pianos come in three's, instead of a pair ----- that can help with faster note repetition rates (if needed that is) as compared with previous systems involving 2 sensors.

Blue tooth connectivity is seen in modern systems - that's if needed.

Also - onboard midi to wav audio converter system, which allows the onboard audio generator (and software) to convert your (at any future time you want) recorded piano's midi pieces to a .wav audio file, which avoids the hassles of noisy environment noise getting into your converted music.

I'm currently using P-515, and a lot of us users notice that the midi-to-audio converter will create a wav file that has relatively low audio levels, which is heard when we play the wav file on a computer audio system. So maybe yamaha just needs to work on that side of things a bit (if not already sorted). It's not a huge deal though, as we can always use a software application to 'normalise' the audio - or amplify the existing audio levels to levels we want, without any impacts ----- ie. audio isn't noisy after amplification, which is good. So for this bit of music that I made and played for everybody - done on the P-515, the audio in the original .wav file needed to be increased. I just do that in the free audacity software, such as normalise peak amplitude to -2 dB. That's what I use anyway. [LINK]

Build quality of the P-515 ----- very good. High quality at a very reasonable price.

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Also --- importantly, everybody should hop down to the music store to play the various sorts of digital pianos - to make sure that they're ok with the key-mechanism behaviour. And also play the keys when the piano volume is at zero level - to check out the key noise levels. Also release the keys abruptly to check for loud diving springboard noise effects heard in some digital pianos.

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Thank you for all information. What I want is to get an idea of what to expect from the digital pianos produced today in comparision to the one I know from my home (it’s not mine, that’s why I have to buy something else). Am I happy with the old Yamaha CLP-411? Let’s say, I certainly do not want to go down with the quality and I am looking for something affordable. So it should be the same or higher quality. CLP-411 still works after this years (however, it was once under repair). I don’t know if currently produced pianos will last as long, so this is my another concern.

20 years ago Yamaha CLP-411 costed my parents 5200 PLN (at the current PLN to EURO rate it is around 1150 Euro). Today I can find used CLP-411 for around 2000 PLN. Currently produced Yamaha YDP line is from 3700 PLN (YDP-144) to 6000 PLN (YDP-S55). CLP line starts from 6000 PLN (CLP-725).

Is the YDP line better than old CLP-411 or still I have to look for CLP line to match the level of that model? Or maybe I should look around for another brand?

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DG --- in general, the CLP has extra features over the YDP. And the only way to compare what is 'better' (or rather, what one has, or one hasn't got relative to another) is to list the features that you - or the person that is going to own and play the piano would like to have. And see if one has those features you would like, or expect. That is - whether it fulfils their expectations/needs or not. But even if one doesn't completely meet expectations, it's still possible to make do with what one has. People can still certainly play very beautiful music ---- beautiful sounding music on entry level digital pianos, that's for sure.

Basically - one just reads up as much as they can on the internet about what the latest features are ----- as in what's new, so that we're educated about those updates. And online sources show prices, or estimated prices. So it then becomes a matter of heading down to the stores to take a good listen, test drive etc ...... to get a better idea of whether it is workable for the particular application and purpose. This includes getting a personal experience of the sound, the features, and feel of the keys, plus those other aspects (such as keyboard noise when the volume is dialed down to zero), and whether the keys feel smooth and robust ----- not wobbly, with poor build/assembly quality and uneven gaps between keys etc -- even though we know that some of those 'superficial' features don't necessarily impact negatively the performance. Just be aware of it, that's all.

One popular topic is key-weight and behaviour - eg. heavy/ light, springy, bouncy --- so check it all out at the shop. It's nice if the person that plays the digital piano is comfortable and happy with the key mechanism. But sometimes, even if not fully satisfied, then that can be fine too. Sometimes just got to make do with what we got.

As for the new YDP models ----- compared with the CLP-411, you will likely find that the later model instruments will have 'improvements' over the CLP-411. Significant improvements in sound/features etc. But in the end, personal test drive and comparison is what really matters - aside from gathering online information about improvements seen in relatively new digital pianos over the relatively older ones.

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The YDP models have two different key actions, the GHS with quite short keys (short inside the piano cabinet) and the GH3 which might be closer to the CLP-411.

The main difference between very old and more modern digital pianos are the resonances as mentioned somewhere above. The old ones didn't have any. The new ones usually have at least some.

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Also - the polyphony number for the clp-411 is 32. And YPD ones could be around 192.


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