Yamaha Clavinova: Digital Piano With The Traditional Looks. Perfect blend of authentic sound & natural grandeur! The best digital pianos with the traditional looks, from Yamaha!
Looking for a piano that combines the grandeur & elegance of a traditional piano, with the best in digital technology? Have a look at the Yamaha Clavinova Piano! It has everything that a purist needs.
Table of Contents
- The Digital Clavinova Series
- Yamaha CLP Pianos
- Yamaha CVP Pianos
- Why Own A Digital Clavinova Piano?
- Wooden GH3 Keys
- Using the Half-Pedal Function
- More Benefits & Features of a Yamaha Clavinova Piano
- Earlier Clavinova Models
- Used Clavinova Pianos
- Accessories for Clavinova Pianos
- Yamaha Clavinova: Tips to Record Great Performances
- Yamaha Clavinova Digital Pianos – Record Amazing Performances
- Final Thoughts
The Digital Clavinova Series
In general, the Yamaha Clavinova piano comes in these series – the CLP and the CVP series. Of these, the Yamaha CVP Clavinova series is the most feature rich series, in terms of accompaniment and other digital effects. Unlike the Yamaha CLP Clavinova series, the Yamaha CVP series contains accompaniments and other advanced musical features. The Yamaha CLP Clavinova piano, on the other hand, is basically for the piano purist. It has Yamaha’s signature piano touch and tone, without the accompaniments.
Yamaha CLP Pianos
There are very few brands that offer digital pianos ranging from the portable ones to those with the traditional upright looks. The Yamaha CLP Clavinovas are upright pianos meant for the serious pianists and advanced learners. These have Yamaha’s signature piano keyboard touch and tone, minus the accompaniments. The Yamaha CLP is a great combination of authentic piano grandeur & feel, and digital technology..which will surely impress the serious pianists who are not looking for a lot of bells and whistles on their piano. The CLP pianos can be used for both learning as well as for piano practice & performance!
Before we go into the technicalities and the specs, it’s important to remember a few points.
If you are more of a pianist, then you could be more interested in the dynamic range and the expressive abilities the piano, and not necessarily the lots of sounds and features that the piano may have.
And that is why Yamaha has created a separate CLP series, from the CVP ones.
Though it does have different sounds, besides the pianos, such as harpsichords, organs, guitars etc., but if you are looking for more features, styles, and broader capabilities, then you may need to consider the CVP range of pianos, which can be a bit more expensive.
But the fact is that if you own a keyboard currently, then you are definitely going to get mesmerised with these pianos.
Don’t forget to check-out the video demos of the CLP digital pianos!
Yamaha has been producing acoustic pianos for more than 100 years and digital pianos for more than 25 years. Yamaha is also a major producer of commercial audio products like digital mixers and sound processors. With so much experience, yamaha is able to record and edit the best piano samples in the CLP series using the latest audio music recording technology, taking full advantage of their experience in this field. The sound of the Yamaha CLP pianos is based on Yamaha’s highly acclaimed CF3S concert grand piano. It basically means the piano samples for the CLP piano are taken from a Yamaha CF3S acoustic grand, which is perfectly tuned to the best condition by Yamaha’s most experienced musicians and tuners.
Yamaha Clavinova CLP Piano Review
The piano sound on the CLP is very responsive and gives a solid tone which makes the piano playing experience much better. On the CLP series pianos, the wide dynamic range of the CF3S is fully captured using Yamaha’s dynamic stereo sampling technology. With this technology, not only the volume changes when you play different dynamic levels but also the piano tone changes depending on the expression of your performances. Additional stereo sustain samples, key-off samples and string resonance effect contribute to a very realistic acoustic feeling of the piano sounds. Overall, the sound is as close as possible to a concert grand piano.
Authentic Keyboard Action
To control the wide dynamic sound range, the Yamaha CLP pianos come with GH (graded hammer) action keyboard. The CLP pianos have a natural wood keyboard with synthetic ivory key tops, which offers an authentic natural piano touch and feel. The keyboard on these pianos includes Yamahas GH3 (graded hammer) system, where every key has 3 sensors to get that perfect touch and the best possible repetitiveness of the keys.
The video here demonstrates the amazing sounds of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP. It talks about the Graded Hammer keyboard and also takes you through the major functions of the Yamaha Clavinova CLP.
Yamaha CLP Clavinova Digital Pianos Demo
It demonstrates the use of the sequencer by recording a beautiful jazz progression and playing it back. It also talks about the two headphone connectors that are available on the Yamaha Clavinova CLP, which can help to play with another piano player. Easy interface to a computer and the option of using a memory stick to save data are some of the other features on the Yamaha Clavinova CLP Pianos.
The Yamaha CLP is meant for the serious pianists and learners, who do not care much for features like accompaniments and effects. What they care for is an authentic piano sound, look and feel. Though features like song recording, and internet direct connection (for online lessons) are available on the CP series pianos. The Yamaha CLP digital pianos are a perfect combination of grandeur and digital technology, sure to impress the piano purists.
Yamaha CVP Pianos
Yamaha Clavinova has been producing superb range of digital pianos for more than over 20 years now. If you are looking for state of the art sounds, accompaniments and functions, then the Clavinova CVP definitely stands out from most of its peers. Yamaha’s latest technologies including 4 level dynamic sound, key-off sampling & string resonance give the CVP series pianos authentic and dynamic grand piano sound, like an acoustic grand piano sound. Yamaha CVP are ensemble pianos with state-of-the-art sounds, accompaniments and functions.
There are many who start learning on Yamaha keyboard instruments, but then there comes a stage where you have to upgrade to a really good digital piano.
Yamaha does have a range of 88-key keyboards but if you are really looking for a serious digital piano that gives you the best of both worlds – digital as well as acoustic, then the Clavinovas are right up there.
Usually the price is an indication of what you can expect from a musical instrument. And because they are the best, you have to pay for it; these ones are in the range of a few thousand dollars. If you pay that much for a digital piano, you’re going to get a good product. Some of the terminologies that the big brands use, especially in the case of their high end products, do help them to market their products better and makes you feel that the products are really high-end. However, it’s always a good idea to trust your eyes and ears.
Yamaha uses words such as Intelligent Acoustic Control (IAC), GRE, Smooth Release, Linear Graded Hammers (Roland has SuperNATURAL Piano, Kawai says Progressive Harmonic Imaging, and Kurzweil says Triple Strike Piano), Soundboard Speakers, and so on, what they are trying to do is build a digital piano that can sound and feel as good as the concert pianos.
So you need to try out these pianos and ask yourself:
These are questions that you really need to ask, especially when you’re purchasing such a high-end piano. You should judge a piano by its own merit, using your judgement and listening experiences, and ignore all the jargons used to describe it.
The CVPs are fully featured, ensemble pianos that you can use for learning, practicing and for performing. When it comes to traditional upright digital pianos, there are very few brands that gives you the perfect combinations of looks and performance. The Yamaha Clavinova CVP pianos are one of them. It comes with the best digital technologies integrated in their pianos.
The top models in this series include the Yamaha CVP501, Yamaha CVP503 and the Yamaha CVP505 pianos.
Authentic Key Touch
The CVP pianos come with superb grand piano sounds and to control this dynamic range of piano sound, these pianos use a natural wood graded hammer keyboard. The wooden keys help in reproducing the right weight and feel that is available on a concert grand. And to get that perfect authentic piano touch, the CVP pianos offer synthetic ivory key tops for natural friction and improved playing ease.
Here you get the best of everything!
You get several authentic accompaniment styles which makes you feel as if you are plying in a pop band or big band or a classic orchestra. You will find styles from all over the world. Choose whatever style you want. If you want you can be the pianist in a big band, or maybe you prefer to play classical music so select classical style and play together with an orchestra.
Several voices are available with yamaha’s super-articulation voices which behave like original (native) instruments. This helps you to get the best sounds, especially from instruments like concert guitar, saxophone.
Some models in the CVP series have the vocoder feature which lets you create backing harmonies from your own voice, when you hum, sing or whistle.
The video here demonstrates the amazing sounds of the Yamaha Clavinova CVP and then takes you through the major functions of the Clavinova CVP. All the sounds are just too good… Impressive, I must say!
Some of the various functions on the Yamaha CVP Clavinova include the karaoke and the vocoder. You can just sing along with the lyrics which appear on display. Another feature is the score function which also appears on the display. Just record your own song and you can see the score on the display. This is a great feature to have if you possess a collection of MIDI files. You also have multiple options of storing your data on the Yamaha Clavinova CVP. You can save your data not just on the floppy disk drive but you also have the option of saving the data on a smart media card and memory stick.
The Yamaha CVP Clavinovas are ensemble pianos with a wide range of interactive musical features. With the built-in accompaniments and styles, Yamaha CVP Clavinovas will make you the conductor of your own virtual orchestra/band and practicing the piano is also a pleasure with the CVP. If you are looking for a digital piano with the best combination of traditional looks, digital keyboard features, and affordability, then Yamaha CVP Clavinova is the one for you. Available with a wide range of interactive musical features, the Yamaha CVP Clavinova digital piano is a great combination of elegance and digital technology and will also add to the aesthetics of your house.
The top models in this range of pianos include the Clavinova CVP-609, CVP-605 and CVP-601 digital pianos. Other pianos include Yamaha CVP501, Yamaha CVP503, the Yamaha CVP505 and the Yamaha CVP509, with the CVP-509 being their flaship product.
Why Own A Digital Clavinova Piano?
Why does anybody like a piano, or get attracted to it when they see it the first time? It is always because of its sound and the dignified & grand looks. And if you are looking for all these things in a piano then the digital Clavinova piano is your best bet. The Yamaha Clavinova piano is the best digital piano, with the traditional looks, from Yamaha!
If looks is not much of a concern then probably you can have a look at the stage pianos from Yamaha. But if not, then take a look at the Yamaha Clavinova Piano. Yamaha has used all its experience and expertise in making acoustic pianos to build the digital Clavinova.
Wooden GH3 Keys
The Keys is one of the first thing that a piano player checks in a piano. And though, there’s always a big debate about whether a digital piano feels as good as an acoustic one (the concert pianists would never agree), the fact is that most of these pianos come with weighted wooden keys with synthetic ivory key-top.
Together with Yamaha’s famed Graded Hammer 3 (GH3) keyboard, it does give a feel that is close to a vintage piano touch. The top models in this series do come very close to the sound and feel of an acoustic grand.
In most cases, if you have to perform on an acoustic piano, it makes sense to visit the venue and get a feel of the piano by having a few practice sessions as most pianos differ a bit when it comes to the feel. If you have a piano with heavier keys at home, you’ll find it easier to play on a real grand. However, if you have a piano with lighter keys, your hands can get tired playing a real acoustic piano.
With Clavino pianos however, it should just be a matter of slight adjustment as the keys are quite good.
Using the Half-Pedal Function
This is another feature that is found in most good digital pianos, and is a feature that many pianists use while playing. What they basically want is more control over the amount of sustain.
On most pianos, if you press the damper pedal completely and play all notes, they sustain (sound murky). Now, you cannot control the amount of sustain by raising/pressing the pedal half-way.
The Half-Pedal Function that is available on most pianos nowadays, sorts this problem. It allows the sustain length to vary depending on how far the pedal is pressed.
The more / farther you press the pedal, the more the sound sustains! If you don’t want too much sustain, just release the pedal half way and you can to subdue the sustain.
More Benefits & Features of a Yamaha Clavinova Piano
Here are the important features that you can expect to find on Yamaha Clavinova pianos. As mentioned earlier, only the yamaha CVP has features like accompaniments, which you find on digital keyboards.
Large LCDs – The CVP models feature extra large color LCD’s so you get a view of all the settings at one glance. The settings can be customized to your liking and the size is of great help when you have to look at the notations or the lyrics for any particular song.
Authentic Piano feel – The keyboard on the Clavinova uses the graded hammer effect technology to emulate the action of a grand piano. You will find that the keys are heavier in the bass and lighter in the treble areas. This is what exactly happens on a grand piano, the hammers get thicker as you move to the bass side from the treble. The new CVP models also features a sleek fallboard which covers the keys and the panel controls when not in use. So you do not have to spend much time cleaning your piano keys.
MegaVoices – The Clavinova incorporates the ground breaking megavoice technology. This simply means that for ever instrument you will have its fundamental tone and in addition to that you will also have the various playing techniques such as finger slides for a guitar.
Karaoke – Connect an optional microphone, play back your favorite song and you are ready to sing along. The lyrics can be displayed on the LCD or an external monitor.
Accompaniment, Playback, Recording – You will find a large number of dynamic music styles, practically for every musical genre. You will get several intros, fill-ins, and endings to make you sound like a pro. For the creative minded, you get a 16-track recording studio. You can build complex arrangements using the built-in sounds and styles.
Here’s a video demonstrating the various styles available on the high-end Yamaha Clavinova CVP pianos
Get Online with IDC – You can get online by connecting your Clavinova directly to the internet using the Internet Direct Connection (IDC). You do not need a computer! Once on the internet, you can download your favorite songs directly on your clavinova which can be played back later.
Use Smartcard – You can download your favorite songs to your computer and load them to a Smartmedia card. The card can then be connected to a slot on the clavinova for uploading the songs to the clavinova.
Digital Music Notebook (DMN) – It is a library of popular songs which can be downloaded and played back with the Clavinova. You can even view the songs as musical notations on the LCD screen.
Earlier Clavinova Models
If you have seen the music space for long, you would know that a few decades back a Clavinova meant an electric piano, with the same range, which produced the sounds using a different mechanism.
However these models are more of digital pianos. So if you are wondering what is the difference between a clavinova and a piano, the answer is that these are same as digital pianos with some of them having built-in accompaniments.
Used Clavinova Pianos
You can always consider used pianos if those are available for reasonable price, is well-maintained and plays well. These are some of the checks that you should carry out when looking for a used piano.
However, certain pianos (especially those belonging to certain series of pianos) can have a common fault across all the pianos in that range. Most common example being that of sticky keys, which was seen in some of the older Clavinova pianos, and even in some of Suzuki pianos. However, Yamaha support was good in this case, and they provided free spare parts for all their affected pianos.
The problem with sticky keys is that you just cannot replace the affected keys, it usually doesn’t solve the problem totally as some other key could start sticking. Putting a complete new keyboard assembly is the best option if you want to solve the problem once and for all.
So if you are thinking of buying a second-hand one, you should try to find out if there was problem of sticking keys and how the owner of the piano fixed that problem.
Over a period of time, some models may give out a distorted sound when the volume is high or even if you play a few keys together, especially in the higher octaves. In that case, you should also check the sound through a good pair of headphones; it is best to carry a pair of headphones when you go to evaluate a digital piano for sale. If it sounds okay, it could probably sound right from your home stereo speakers as well, and so if the offer is good, you may consider going for it.
Accessories for Clavinova Pianos
The good thing about buying a yamaha clavinova-piano is that you get almost all the required accessories bundled with the clavinova electric piano. Since the clavinova is among the more expensive digital pianos, you can also expect to get free accessories like the piano bench, depending on where you are located.
The Clavinova Piano comes with some useful bundled accessories when you buy it. Here is what you can expect with your Yamaha Clavinova electric piano!
50 Greats for the Piano
This songbook comes along with your clavinova so that you can refer to the music notes of the songs anytime you like. These songs are also included as built-in Preset Songs in your piano, so you can hear them as well.
This manual contains complete instructions on how to use and operate your Clavinova piano. Refer to the user manual as often as you can, to help you understand your instrument better.
Since the Clavinova is one of the more expensive models, you can expect a piano bench to be included. But, depending on your locale, this could be optional too.
Key Cover & Music Rest
A Key cover is provided for the keys of your piano. It is part of the cabinet and can be opened or closed. A Music Rest is also provided along with your clavinova piano.
Headphones are optional! There is provision to connect two sets of standard stereo headphones. If you are using only one pair of headphones, you can plug them into either
A headphone hanger is also provided so that you can hang the headphones on the Clavinova.
Maintaining A Clavinova Piano
You can regularly clean your Yamaha clavinova electric piano with a dry or slightly damp soft cloth! Do NOT use any chemically-treated cloth for cleaning else the panel or keys may become discolored or degraded. Unlike an acoustic piano, the Clavinova pianos does not need to be tuned. It always stays perfectly in tune because it is a digital piano and uses piano samples. If you moving to another location, you can transport the piano unit as it is (assembled) or you can disassemble the unit and then transport. Just bear in mind to transport the keyboard horizontally. And as always, Do not subject the keyboard instrument to excessive vibration or shock.
Yamaha Clavinova: Tips to Record Great Performances
Amazingly valuable facts about the Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano that many users are not aware of! Now you can record some great performances using these tips on Clavinova Pianos.
Here is one digital piano that can make you sound like Elton John, even if you are a decent singer and a piano player.
The Yamaha Clavinova pianos have a lot of functions, which if used correctly can help you to get the maximum value out of it.
Lot of users are happy to hear the superb collection of built-in preset songs that the Clavinovas have, more to appreciate its sound capabilities.
But the fact is that you can record some amazing performances on this piano and play them back, either through the Clavinovas speakers or through externally connected headphones.
But before we go further, here are some amazing tips on how to make the best of your Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano!
Yamaha Clavinova Digital Pianos – Record Amazing Performances
Using the Vocoder
One of the coolest features on the high end Clavinovas is the Vocoder!
With the vocoder enabled, you just have to play a chord…and with the keys pressed sing through the microphone. The piano will now play your voices as a three part harmony (basically split into several background voices).
This gives the impression that there are many singers backing you up!
And the coolest thing is that you can set the vocoder in such a way that you can enable or disable it through the pedal.
For instance, by pressing the left foot pedal, the vocoder effect will be ON, and pressing it again will turn it off (you need to set up your Clavinova to detect this; it’s sort of your personal, customized setup).
How can you use it?
Here is one way to use the vocoder using your foot. While playing the Verse part you can turn off the vocoder effect and play solo. And wherever you want the background vocal effect to turn in, you just have to press the pedal and the vocoder feature will come into force.
Isn’t that cool!
There are many songs that will sound amazing if you bring into effect the vocoder part as part of the background effect.
Best part is you can be even more creative. You can even use whistling instead of singing or humming and it will sound just as fine.
Connect to an External Monitor/Screen
The Clavinova pianos themselves are quite self-sufficient, but the experience of seeing the notations and the lyrics on a bigger screen is unbeatable.
So get one for your Clavinova today!
Clavinova pianos have a Lyrics/text button which can read lyrics of a song and display it on the monitor.
You just have to get the lyrics of the song (you can find them on the internet) and store it on a pen-drive. You can easily connect a thumb-drive to the Clavinova through a USB port.
Once your Pen drive is connected to the Clavinova, just hit the Lyrics/text button. Once ready to read from the pen-drive your Clavinova will say that the device is connected.
You are now ready to see the lyrics on the big monitor/screen.
Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano – Recording & Vocoder Feature
Recording Your Performance
All Yamaha clavinova digital pianos have good recording abilities, which can be useful for various reasons. The recorded performance can be played back easily and you can even play the keyboard along with the playback.
If a nice musical idea hits your head, you can quickly record what is going on your mind, before you forget about it. You can record it and always come back later to build upon it.
You can even use the ability to record and playback what you have played on the yamaha clavinova digital piano as an effective practice aid. For example, you can record just the left-hand part, and then practice the right-hand part while playing back the recorded left-hand part.
But the best part is that, with the pen drive ON and connected to the clavinova, you can start recording your performance on the pen-drive.
It’s as easy as pressing the USB button (USB audio recorder) after which you need to press the Record button (indicates its ready to record). Once you are done playing your performance just hit the save button and it will save the performance as a wave file on the thumb-drive. It’s that easy!
Once on the pen-drive, you can do various things with it.
You can take it to your computer and enhance it further using a music software program, or just send it as an attachment on an email to your friends, or send it to someone who wants a demo of your piano playing/singing capabilities.
Synchro Start Option
Here’s another tip to improve your piano playing, while playing with the accompaniments on your Clavinova piano. Want to start playback as soon as you hit any key on the keyboard? Use the Synchro Start function.
There is an option to Start Playback automatically as soon as you start playing the keyboard. This is known as the Synchro Start function. This function is useful when you want to match the timing of the beginning of the playback sound and the start of your own performance. You can even use the Left Pedal to Start/Stop a song. For this, you will need to configure the Pedal Start / Stop function. This is also a convenient way of starting playback of the recorded part anytime after you have started playing.
Listen to the Preset Songs
To hear any of the preset songs through the built-in stereo speakers, you need to switch on the Speaker Switch. This speaker-switch turns the internal speakers on or off. The speakers will produce sound as long as a pair of headphones is not connected. The moment you connect headphones, the speakers will stop producing sound. You can simply listen to these preset songs or you can even use them for your piano practice. A song book is provided if you want to refer to the music notations for these songs.
The Clavinova piano is the most versatile range from Yamaha as it combines all the good features of an acoustic piano and a digital keyboard, contains expandable features, is technically upto date and has that sophisticated and grand looks.