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Posted By: dje31 Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/14/12 02:17 AM
So, in retrospect, which of the old Yamaha slabs are / were the best of its day? The P-80 always seemed to get good reviews...then there was the P-90, the 120. How do these stack up against those of today? Not just Yamaha. If you could get one cheap and MIDI a modern sound source, how would they stand up?

Or would you get a modern controller (Numa? ) instead? What if the Yamaha were NOS?

Just thinking out loud. I'm finding a lot of consumer items the MFRs nailed it a few years ago, and haven't really improved the breed significantly since.

Thoughts?
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/14/12 02:24 AM
This was spurred from the thread about the Nord vs. the CP5. If Nord had a rack / table mount module of the NP, folks wouldn't be so down on the action if they could pick and use their favorite.
Going backward is always a mixed bag. Most fond memories of older DP's are based on just that, memories...or a signature sound/feature. But if you find a higher series DP from the last 6-8 years or less, the depreciation in price may gain you a better action or better secondary sounds/features vs. an entry level today. An example I might make would be the comparison of P155 vs P120 vs P95 ... especially considering the price you might find a P120 for today. Otherwise, your best option is often catching a recently discontinued model. You may have a long wait before Yamaha discontinues the current P-series models.

If you have the time and energy to find something like that, it might save you money.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/14/12 03:07 AM
True enough. I remember how the P-80 was The Go-To slab of its day, with the best compromise of "great" action, above average or better / more usable sounds, light weight and low cost of entry.

Interesting to look back through the fog of faded memories ...
Posted By: jazzonebyone Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/14/12 01:21 PM
I still use a P-250 regularly, though often it's controlling the Nord. Sometimes I need the extra sounds.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/14/12 09:02 PM
That P-250 isn't exactly a lightweight slab...guess I should have qualified in my title. Still, I know I pined for a 250 for quite a while when it was new.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/15/12 02:26 PM
Just to follow-up...I hadn't done much research prior to posting this (like I normally would) and didn't even realize that Yamaha still made various Pxx slabs still. I thought they were all supplanted by the CP series.

That being said, probably a good alternative would be a CP33 slaved to a Stage 2 Compact (semi-weighted 73), driving the Nord Piano sounds, plus all the other options of synths & organs, which I find horrible to play with a weighted bed.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/15/12 02:31 PM
While I'm on the subject, both the CP33 and CP300 came out in April '06, while the 1 / 5 / 50 in Dec '09. Are the 33 / 300 due for upgrade this April?

That's a mighty long product cycle, and conventional wisdom says they're getting long in the tooth...could it be:

a. With the global economy in the tank still, R&D has slowed, along with sales of new units in general?

b. Any changes / updates / upgrades would be marginal / minimal, so they don't negatively impact sales of the upper three CPs?

c. They "got it right" with these for their intended market, and feel no compulsion to change them?

I'm guessing it's a combination of all three, to some extent.
Posted By: gvfarns Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/15/12 04:06 PM
The CP33 and CP300 are very long in the tooth and have been overdue for some time.

The only thing I can think about these is that Yamaha has decided to not continue to move in this direction. That is, they won't make any more stage pianos with speakers like the CP300. The CP33 I'm not sure about. Someone was saying the CP50 is the intended replacement for it. They may only be selling it now in order to get rid of extra stock or something. I don't know.
Posted By: YourGuide Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/16/12 11:13 AM
Have not heard or seen anything from Yamaha concerning the replacement for CP33 and the CP300 pianos.

I doubt they will launch anything new in April. If that were the case they would surely have showcased the new ones in the NAMM 2012 winter event. I could be wrong but that's what I think.

NAMM 2012 winter highlights...
Posted By: Dr Popper Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/16/12 11:44 AM
Quote
While I'm on the subject, both the CP33 and CP300 came out in April '06, while the 1 / 5 / 50 in Dec '09. Are the 33 / 300 due for upgrade this April?


Quote
The CP33 and CP300 are very long in the tooth and have been overdue for some time.


Quote
Have not heard or seen anything from Yamaha concerning the replacement for CP33 and the CP300 pianos.


Yamaha replaced the CP33/CP300 two years ago with the CP1,CP5 and CP50.
Yamaha have not been making CP33's and CP300's for a while and the only reason they are not discontinued is that there are still stocks around from the old production line and they are happy to let them dribble out.
I would not expect any updates to Yamaha's CP line until late 2012 or early 2013 at the earliest.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/16/12 03:23 PM
Originally Posted by Dr Popper

Yamaha replaced the CP33/CP300 two years ago with the CP1,CP5 and CP50.


Not calling BS on this or anything, just trying to noodle out Yamaha's strategy. I can see killing off the CP300, which is an evolution of the 200 / 250.

If they're saying the CP50 is a direct replacement for the CP33, there's a big jump in MSRP (2200 vs 1500)...not that anyone in their right mind pays MSRP for instruments.

Seems like a void for a bare bones slab, though the 50 adds what appears to be a fair bit of GM / XG-type add'l non-piano sounds.

Maybe they figure, when the 33 / 300 run out, folks will go back to the P-series (which I thought the CP line replaced), or go up in price to the 50.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/16/12 09:14 PM
Originally Posted by Dr Popper
...there are still stocks around from the old production line...


Just curious, did they shift production to / from a different factory / country / location between vintages?
Posted By: Dr Popper Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/16/12 11:48 PM

Originally Posted by dje31
[quote=Dr Popper]
Yamaha replaced the CP33/CP300 two years ago with the CP1,CP5 and CP50.

Nope ...same factories as far as I know.


Quote
If they're saying the CP50 is a direct replacement for the CP33, there's a big jump in MSRP (2200 vs 1500)...not that anyone in their right mind pays MSRP for instruments.

Seems like a void for a bare bones slab, though the 50 adds what appears to be a fair bit of GM / XG-type add'l non-piano sounds.

Maybe they figure, when the 33 / 300 run out, folks will go back to the P-series (which I thought the CP line replaced), or go up in price to the 50.


The P series (P155, P95) is now a consumer portable line
CP series are professional stage pianos

You will still be able to find new CP33/300's in the distribution channel for quite some time. They are still a viable AWM2 piano solution.
Posted By: RDW Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/17/12 12:37 AM
Originally Posted by Dr Popper
The P series (P155, P95) is now a consumer portable line CP series are professional stage pianos


Although these are surely the intended markets, Yamaha has at least stopped playing games like limiting the specs of the home models so they don't compete direcly with the stage pianos. The P140 (unlike the P120) only had fixed level RCA outputs - they expected you to buy the CP33 if you wanted controllable 1/4" jack outputs. Yamaha restored 1/4" variable outputs with the P155, making it a more practical instrument for public performance.

Maybe this is one reason why the CP50 is still 50% more expensive than the CP33 - the P155 overlaps more with the CP33 market than the P140 did, so there's less need for a direct successor to the CP33 (though CP50 prices may drop when CP33 stocks are finally exhausted).
Posted By: Dr Popper Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/17/12 12:59 AM
Yeah look don't forget Yamaha has the S70/90XS line as well which makes a great stage piano and contains all of the CP33/300 waveforms plus about another 1000. If you like the Yamaha sound which a huge number of people particularly in rock and jazz do, and your a live performer that needs a live sounding piano the s series is without a doubt one of the best choices. It's a forgotten board on these forums but in fact is that its in the top three best selling weighted professional keyboards in the world and you see a LOT of them out on the road.
Posted By: dje31 Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/17/12 11:05 PM
So, I'm looking at the CP33 pretty hard right now...believe it or not, to replace my RD700SX. Seems to be a solid keybed---if a bit heavier (action-wise) by comparison---reasonable MIDI functionality, nice form factor and weight (though it'll probably never leave my home studio). Haven't read any reliability issues that some controllers seem to suffer.

Ultimately, I'll probably MIDI something else's voices---the Stage 2 Compact, as of this writing---but that's down the road a ways.

Hard to believe that, for all Yamaha's marketing fluff about the CP series dating back to '76, the 33 doesn't even have an electric grand on-board, if I'm reading the manual correctly.

Am I the only one left on Earth who likes / craves / uses that voice? And Nord has one of the better examples I've come across. It beats the snot out of that DX-EP that every board has. Granted, they're both throwbacks to the 80s, but I'll take an electric grand over a DX EP any day of the week. That's a voice I'll never use, just taking up memory.

So you can see why the Nord's ability to pick-and-choose, upload-and-unload, voices at will appeals to me.
Posted By: RDW Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/17/12 11:53 PM
Originally Posted by dje31
Hard to believe that, for all Yamaha's marketing fluff about the CP series dating back to '76, the 33 doesn't even have an electric grand on-board, if I'm reading the manual correctly.


No it doesn't - I guess the marketing guys didn't actually speak to the engineers before they slapped the CP badge on it...
Posted By: Dr Popper Re: Yamaha P-series: best of the breed? - 02/18/12 03:08 AM
Originally Posted by dje31


Am I the only one left on Earth who likes / craves / uses that voice?


No its got a few fans here, I've got three of them.
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