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CP5 update


Aidan

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Due to being away from home for one reason or another, I've not yet had the chance to put my CP5 on eBay. I needed to rehearse a piece for a wedding tomorrow, so decided that this was the perfect chance to get the Yammie out of its case, apply the OS update and (some trepidation here) decide once and for all whether I really wanted to sell.

 

Here are Yamaha's notes on what the OS update 1.20 does:

 

- The current Performance can be now changed while playing a Preset Drum Pattern as a backing track. In this case, playback of the backing track will be stopped automatically.

- The CF Grand, S6 Grand, 69Wr, and 77Wr preset Voices have been newly organized for greater dynamic and expressive response by improving the Voice tunings.

- The A.Ba+Cym and the E.Ba+Cym Voices have now been added to numbers 33 and 34 of the Bass Voice Category.

- The Voices assigned to "off" parts of the preprogrammed Performances have been newly changed.

- The function which indicates the current firmware version on the display has been newly added.

- The USB flash memory initialized as a Mac OS extended format other than the FAT can be now formatted on the CP5 so that the memory can be used on the CP5.

 

Obviously, the main attraction for many will be the Wurli fix. The CP5 came out of the factory with a Wurli sound whose dynamic level didn't go below mf no matter how softly one played.

 

I can confirm this is now well and truly fixed - the dynamic range of both Wurli samples is now on a par with the pianos; which is to say, impressive.

 

I must admit I could hear little or no difference in the acoustic piano samples, though I fancy the S6 sounded a little less "boxy" than of old, but that may have been down to lack of acquaintance over the past couple of months.

 

The acoustic bass+ride cymbal voice was a mysterious omission on the original CP series, as it's been a Yamaha staple on their DPs for many years and is handy for playing jazz/swing numbers etc solo. The voice is of the high quality we've come to expect and the electric + ride is a nice variation to have.

 

So basically, if you have a CP5 and haven't applied this update yet, you should do so asap.

 

Get it here - there's a similar one for the CP50, though seemingly not the CP1 (yet, at least).

 

Now the big question - to sell or not? I have to say, the answer is yes. Coming back to the CP5 after a lot of time on my Nord, I was once more struck by how artificial the Yamaha can sound, even when well tweaked. The lack of clarity in the bass register remains an issue for these ears. The EPs, while strong, are eclipsed by the Nord too. Added to all this, the Nord is 8kg lighter, more compact and sums to mono elegantly to boot.

 

All IMHO of course, but I was honestly surprised how little seller's remorse I experienced - albeit, it isn't out the door yet!

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Aidan, can you be more specific about what you mean by "lack of clarity" in the bass register? Also, does this pertain to the CF, the S6, or both?

 

For me, there's something about the connection between the CF sample and the action that just seems right. It's the best connection I've yet experienced in a digital piano. Unfortunately, I don't experience that same connection with the EP sounds -- like you, I prefer the Nord EPs, which sound more organic and less sterile to me.

 

 

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Dana, to try to explain the difference, when I play a dense(ish) chord in the middle to bottom end of the sample, I hear the overall impression of the chord whereas on the Nord (and the RD700GX before it) you can also easily pick out the constituent component notes. The bottom end of the Nord and Roland samples appears to have more "cut" and sounds "cleaner" somehow.

 

If you're in a jazz trio and comping LH mostly above C3 it's not going to be so much of a problem but playing solo, I tend to use the LH more proactively to drive songs along and that's where I think the CP5 is lacking, at least for me.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I just traded in my Nord Piano for a CP5. The main impetus for doing so is the near term arrival of NEHP, which I'm quite confident will work for my gigging needs.

 

But I also need a DP for late night practicing through headphones, which, unfortunately, is how about 80% of my practicing has to happen. For that purpose, for my ears and fingers, the Nord Piano is not the equal of the CP5. Given how much time I spend on it, and the importance of enjoying it and feeling connected to the instrument, I just wasn't happy with a compromise. The CP5 is the best I've found for this, within a reaonable price range.

 

But if I were Aiden, I'd be doing exactly the same thing. For gigging, what the NP offers is fantastic. The difference between 55 and 40 lbs is immense, if you're moving somethign 3-4 times a week. And personally, I was able to connect to the NP more easily when hearing it through speakers than through headphones.

 

I feel the only risk I'm taking with his move is that the action and connectivity of NEHP won't be good. But I'm not worried. For the gigs I do, the action doesn't have to be stellar. I have faith the NEHP will be good enough. I've gigged with 73-keys and I know that I have no problem with it.

 

With the CP5 ensconsed in my 3rd floor music room and the NEHP on the ground floor, packed and ready to move, the future looks good.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Aidan, can you be more specific about what you mean by "lack of clarity" in the bass register? Also, does this pertain to the CF, the S6, or both?

 

For me, there's something about the connection between the CF sample and the action that just seems right. It's the best connection I've yet experienced in a digital piano. Unfortunately, I don't experience that same connection with the EP sounds -- like you, I prefer the Nord EPs, which sound more organic and less sterile to me.

 

I agree about the EPs. When I practice, I'm really just using piano. EPs are for playing out.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Do you feel like you can really dig in on the NP action, especially having come from actions that are more substantial (RD, CP)?

 

I've been pleasantly surprised. I think the string resonance and pedal noises help, as well as the three-pedal unit, but I've found the Nord to be more of an organic-feeling instrument than the action (on paper) would have any right to suggest.

 

It's not without it's faults (what is?) - I do wish there was one more velocity curve up in terms of weight (or that Nord would adjust what they have), the Bosendorfer sounds great in stereo but is boxy in mono, the Yamaha C7 sample is sweet but sounds thin in the top register. But as a gigging solution, it works for me.

 

I'll be interested to play the Electro HP but I do too much solo stuff to be happy with 73 keys.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Hey Aidan, how do you apply an update? I have the 50, and lo n behold, I am going to sell it to get the CP5..Ive been thru a lottsa dp's the past 2 years, n the 5 just does it 4 me.

So if youre saying to do the update, I was wondering how u guys do that...Thanks for the info by the way..

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But I also need a DP for late night practicing through headphones, which, unfortunately, is how about 80% of my practicing has to happen. For that purpose, for my ears and fingers, the Nord Piano is not the equal of the CP5. Given how much time I spend on it, and the importance of enjoying it and feeling connected to the instrument, I just wasn't happy with a compromise. The CP5 is the best I've found for this, within a reaonable price range..

 

I have all too not fond memories of the gigs in Nov. and Dec. where I was using the Nord Piano in a trio and quartet setting. I can't think of one instance where, by my second chorus, my thought process wasn't---"why am I sucking here ?!"

 

I also remember pulling out the CP5 with the same rhythm section/sax guys, on different gigs for comparison sake, and feeling--" aw that's more like it, that's how I play and sound". :):cool:

 

I'm the opposite, I found the NP most inspiring when doing solo home recordings; through a pair of speakers or mono, the dreaded "harpsichordy vibe" always came into play for me. The NP, like the SV1, worked best for me when I was on straight acoustic and brought either keyboard for the rhodes and wurli. More as a compliment or different color to the acoustic piano sound/vibe.

 

The last few months I've been playing almost strictly acoustic jobs and maybe only have had to schlep the CP5 once or twice a week at the most. If that were not the case and I was schlepping 3 times a week or more, I'm sure I'd have a different outlook.

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ADino, there are full instructions on the download. Basically you copy a file to a USB drive and follow the instructions!

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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This thread contains three consecutive responses from Aidan, Adan, and ADino, respectively. :freak:

 

Carry on....

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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lol..3 ?? snot bad..

I wouldnt have known about the update actually..

On a side note, I had to setup early today for a show, sat w/my 50, then after sc went to a shop n played the 5 again for about an hour..the 50 is a very nice board and its done very well on the things Ive used it for, but Im doing the 5..I used the 50 1 nite this week, and have done 3 nites on various accoustics..that may have something to do w/my decision.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I'm in Nashville for a few days. I got into town this morning, and had a couple of hours to kill before my hotel room would be ready, so I went and got a double espresso, followed by a bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys, followed by a trip to Guitar Center to check out the CP5.

 

First off, I was pleasantly surprised to find a comparatively well stocked store. I walked into the keyboard room and right as you enter is a Roland V-Piano.....on clearance. Still over $4k, but a much more reasonable price for sure. Nord Electro 3, Stage 2, Slim Phatty, Mopho, etc.... No clonewheels, but they did have a B-3 in there for $10k.

 

I got around to the back wall where the CP5 was, and saw the CP50 sitting over it, played the 50 for a few seconds, didn't dig the sound very much, so I moved to the CP5.....

 

The acoustic pianos were great as I remembered, the Rhodes were better than I remembered, and lo and behold, surprise surprise, be still my heart, the CP5 had either shipped with the update, or someone had performed the update on it. The Wurly is KILLER. Sick. So far beyond the Electro IMO that it's not even funny. Exceedingly full dynamic range, very detailed sound, the amplified models and vibrato are top notch, etc.... I'm going to have to go back tomorrow and maybe Tuesday to give it another go.

 

I was toying with the idea of getting a Leslie 3300 this summer, but I may have to put that back on hold. I'm GASsing hard. If they made a module from the CP5, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat.

 

They had the new Roland RD700whateverX. It was very nice. Didn't like the action, but it would be a very tempting competitor to the CP5, kind of a taste issue which one someone is going to like - same level of sonic quality. I'd give a slight edge to the CP5, but the Roland interface is infinitely simpler to navigate.

 

Anyway, that new CP5 OS update really has me thinking about taking the plunge.

 

Hey Yamaha - make me a freaking CP5 module. Please?

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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You didn't notice the hard bottoming on the 700NX? I know you're particularly sensitive to that sort of thing, that's why I ask here (there was a recent thread about this issue with Rolands if you want to go into detail there instead).

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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You didn't notice the hard bottoming on the 700NX? I know you're particularly sensitive to that sort of thing, that's why I ask here (there was a recent thread about this issue with Rolands if you want to go into detail there instead).
Like I said - didn't like the action ;)
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I got that much. :P;)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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The wurlys are fixed, and they're nice.

 

Seems like no one is make digital piano modules these days, but maybe the CP5 sounds will make their way into a future Motif rack.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Good update but note, still no mono pianos Kevin. :)
Yeah, I may do a little manual diving to see what I can mess with next time I visit the store. I muted each speaker it was hooked up to individually and that seemed to work ok, so perhaps some judicious tweaking could be effective.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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There is a Nord 88 for sale used in my area , and I was thinking of trying it. I have never heard one, but CP5's and Roland RD 700NX are in Guitar Center stores most of the time near me .

 

I don't quite "get" what is going on with the new Roland EP's. Sorry to offend anyone who has them...I am hoping they can be edited or something.

 

But I agree.... I am wishing for someone to make a small and good sounding module. I was even tempted to check out a GEM RP-X because of the size and because some people have very good things to say about them.

 

But the CP-5 is my overall favorite. I really like the Rhodes in it, and am glad to hear they updated the Wurli, which I wasn't sold on before.

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Went back to the GC. The salesman was nice enough to hook it up to a K10. GAS is gone. The thing sounds like crap mono. I kinda knew it already, but the confirmation was disappointing. The EP's sounded absolutely killer mono. Yamaha needs to get it together. What's the point of having a stage piano that sounds like bad through a mono FOH? All it does is make the instrument in question look like a bad piece of kit.....
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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The thing sounds like crap mono.

You're referring specifically to the APs? Because you continue by saying the EPs sound killer in mono. :confused:

 

Why not just use it for the EPs and your Electro Rack for AP? Considering that your MP8II is heavier than the CP5 and you don't use the internal sounds, the benefits seem to outweigh your mono issue, no? And in a few years, you ditch the Electro for a piano on your iPhone. BAM. Problem solved.

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The thing sounds like crap mono.

You're referring specifically to the APs? Because you continue by saying the EPs sound killer in mono. :confused:

 

Why not just use it for the EPs and your Electro Rack for AP? Considering that your MP8II is heavier than the CP5 and you don't use the internal sounds, the benefits seem to outweigh your mono issue, no? And in a few years, you ditch the Electro for a piano on your iPhone. BAM. Problem solved.

Yeah, the AP's blow mono.

 

I'm not sure I can justify dropping that kind of coin on a Wurly or a Rhodes when I already have a Wurly and a Rhodes.... ;)

 

I can't wait to have my iPhone/soundmodule dream come true. Any devs who want a serious beta guy, get in touch.

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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. The salesman was nice enough to hook it up to a K10. GAS is gone. The thing sounds like crap mono.

 

Would it be the QSC ? Or maybe the acoustics of the store ? The Sherman Oaks GC's keyboard room has very low ceilings, everything played through speakers or an amp in that room sounds like you're inside a shoebox.

 

On the other hand, I'm guessing by now you know the QSC's sound pretty well from the best and worst of rooms you play in-- and you generally dig your other gear's sound through the K10 .

 

When I play in non-Jazz or acoustic settings I tend to use the "Rock Bright" variation (default #3 in the presets) of the CF Grand .

Most of that time I'm in mono and it's fine for that ( prefer stereo) coming through my RCF. Of course it's a louder (R&R/ R&B ) context that does tend to lend itself to the mono vibe better. My speakers are pretty defining and airy sounding, so that probably helps things along. Again the acoustics of the room have to always be considered.....

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Something to try when a piano sounds bad in mono is to use the right jack, rather than the "left/mono" jack. Usually, left is summed; right is right. Many pianos that sound bad in summed sound fine when taking one side. Also, if it's player perspective, where higher notes tend to the right, the right side is the one you'd want anyway.

 

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Something to try when a piano sounds bad in mono is to use the right jack, rather than the "left/mono" jack. Usually, left is summed; right is right. Many pianos that sound bad in summed sound fine when taking one side. Also, if it's player perspective, where higher notes tend to the right, the right side is the one you'd want anyway.

Yeah, but when you're playing rock and roll or boogie woogie type stuff, the bottom end disappears. Maybe there's a way to program a performance or split or whatever that pans the lower half of the split to the right. Still, it's a stupid problem that manufacturers create for themselves and for their potential customers. It's a stage piano. It should work in mono. Period.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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