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Yamaha CP4 - first impressions


dazzjazz
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I've had the new CP4 only two days now, with very little time to really dig deep yet.

However, I thought I'd share that this is one really special stage piano.

 

The action is fabulous. You have to "work for it", which is something I like. It's firm yet responsive, and seems calibrated for the APs. The wooden keys with faux ivory tops are really nice. I've owned a Yamaha acoustic grand for 20 years now and the CP sound and action is very familiar to me. I also gigged with a CP33 a lot and this board has that familiar feel but is also a significant upgrade. The EPs play less well from this action, but the finger-to-sound connection is acceptable. My NS2 felt best playing the EPs and I will miss that. The CP4 won't be the same funky experience.

 

The acoustic pianos are very finely detailed. I prefer the CFIII sample, which is balanced well between the fundamental and harmonics. There's plenty of wood sound and coupled with the action you can really hear and feel the key hitting the bottom of the keybed, something I find reassuring and necessary as part of the digital piano experience.

 

The EPs are very good, but one sample has a little noise on it that sounds like aliasing to me, something most yamaha EPs have had for a while now. That aside, they aren't all like that and there's a fabulous patch that sounds exactly like the Rhodes Herbie uses on "Butterfly", which is truly inspirational.

 

I have a gig on it tomorrow night so I'm looking forward to see how well it runs in mono and how it sits in the mix.

 

The user interface fixes all the issues that stopped me from buying a CP5. Very intuitive and easy to navigate, set up splits and change sounds.

 

I am amazed at how light and well balanced this board is. On paper it's 1kg lighter than my NS2 but somehow it feels lighter. This has been achieved by the plastic casing, which seems firm enough, but I'm not sure how it would stand up to a hard knock, such as a mic stand falling over on it.

 

I will write more when I've got a few more kilometers on it, including some manual diving. In the meantime here are some unboxing photos.

 

Darren

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff506/dazzjazz1/be89488dc24993aa883987ee7ea9e942_zps4d50d9bb.jpg

 

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff506/dazzjazz1/d7e16f60367b6f6d920a8dc519f9a7e5_zpsbe7490ba.jpg

 

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff506/dazzjazz1/3d35f4df52b635155a0526d1378fcf83_zpsde025a2f.jpg

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Viscount Legend Live.

 

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I am amazed at how light and well balanced this board is. On paper it's 1kg lighter than my NS2 but somehow it feels lighter.

Funny how that mirrors what I reported recently, in comparing a NS2-73 and the Numa Organ. On paper, they are about the same weight, but somehow the Numa feels a lot lighter to me! It's not even like the NS2 feels unbalanced or difficult to grip. I can't figure out what makes the Nord feel heavier than it is. (Or the Numa lighter, depending how you look at it.)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Very nice review. Nothing like having a premium piano AND a premium organ (in separate boxes) in your arsenal, especially if you're a jazz player. Enjoy.

 

BTW, I thought good, intelligent, user reviews of new equipment was a big part of what this board was about, so I don't quite understand the sarcasm. Am I missing something?

 

chas

 

 

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Thanks for that. You might not be interested, but perhaps others are.

You saw the wink, yes? Just some light teasing because you seem to have been struggling to find a digital piano that you're happy with for a while. If you saw my post in the main CP4 thread, you'd know that I've played the CP4 and liked it. Glad you do too. :cool:

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I don't understand disrespecting a good review either.

 

Possibly this had something to do with comments about playing the Nord Stage as being a "funky experience"....?? That's an awfully expensive experience by the way.

 

Hearing news about the CP-4 is of great interest to me, as I am not sure how long its going to be before I get to play one.

 

It's interesting to hear about which of the piano samples seems to be most effective though. If I am not mistaken the CFIII sample has been out on other boards, but perhaps not with this combination of electric pianos.

 

I would also be curios to hear about what they have given us for organ sounds, and particularly if there is something that could be used for lower manual bass. Darren would know that.

 

Thank you for the helpful review , and please continue to let us know more.

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Hi Darren,

 

Thank you for the post!

 

I'm thinking about selling my CP50 and buying the CP4. I love the CP50 action because it's very close to a grand piano action (I usually play in a Kawai baby grand and a Yamaha CFIII in my school). The main reason to exchange is the weight and the new CFX piano sample. Maybe it will cut through the mix better then the CFIII sample. What do you think?

 

Cheers

 

Fábio

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I am amazed at how light and well balanced this board is. On paper it's 1kg lighter than my NS2 but somehow it feels lighter.

Funny how that mirrors what I reported recently, in comparing a NS2-73 and the Numa Organ. On paper, they are about the same weight, but somehow the Numa feels a lot lighter to me! It's not even like the NS2 feels unbalanced or difficult to grip. I can't figure out what makes the Nord feel heavier than it is. (Or the Numa lighter, depending how you look at it.)

 

It's the adrenalin rush you experience when you pick up your new baby. :)

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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I'm interested in reading all CP4 reviews, and particularly from someone like Darren. But it's better when they're all in one thread. Maybe you could paste a copy into the pre-existing "CP4" thread.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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Coolness Darren. :cool: Good review too.

 

I was able to play the CP4 again for the first time since my sneak peak back in August. There was a CP5 right next to it. I still think the CP4 is a no brainer for a gigging player, especially one that's coming more from an acoustic background, but I still might prefer the lighter action on the 5. That older NW action still feels awfully darn responsive and just basically how I like things to feel for single note jazz lines. I'd probably appreciate the CP4 as much after doing a few gigs with it though I'm guessing.

 

Personally, I'd still like to have the CP5, at least for home use. Maybe in our office by the computer, as I don't have a keyboard in the house. It's always a drag having to run out to the detached studio from the house to check a key of a song or quick harmonic idea that pops into my head. And I still like playing with the "modern jazz" drum program on the CP5...it swings better then some drummers I know. :laugh:

 

Briefly OT-I downloaded that new OS for the Nord Piano 2 that supposedly improves the touch. It does but very incrementally, at least through phones. Maybe I'll have a more positive report after using it on a gig through speakers this weekend.

 

In the meantime, yes the CP4 is definitely on my *to get list*, hopefully sooner then later. :cool:

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking forward to your report from the live playing experience...

+1, especially the mono thing, which seems to have been a major issue with the CP5. Thanks for your review and the gear porn!

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Thanks for that. You might not be interested, but perhaps others are.

You saw the wink, yes? Just some light teasing because you seem to have been struggling to find a digital piano that you're happy with for a while. If you saw my post in the main CP4 thread, you'd know that I've played the CP4 and liked it. Glad you do too. :cool:

 

No problem then...

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Viscount Legend Live.

 

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That older NW action still feels awfully darn responsive and just basically how I like things to feel for single note jazz lines. I'd probably appreciate the CP4 as much after doing a few gigs with it though.

 

It's always a drag having to run out to the detached studio from the house to check a key of a song or quick harmonic idea that pops into my head.

 

Thanks Dave,

My memory of the NW action in the CP5 is that the Rhodes sounds felt good to play. You could 'slap' the keys ( for want of a better expression) to get that funky edge and vibe, just like a real Rhodes. I expect that the new CP4 action won't be the same experience, but hopefully I'm wrong about that. Perhaps it's possible to change the keyboard response curve per Performance patch.

 

I think the CP4 will actually be a good workout for my chops.

 

I too have a detached studio, and I feel silly complaining about having to run outside for small tasks, but it doesn't stop me from feeling inconvenienced!

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Viscount Legend Live.

 

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Still waiting for mine to arrive as well...thanks for the review and pics.

 

I have been messing around on a Kronos 73 for the past couple of weeks and its a great board lot of fun but the cp5 feels like a real instrument if you know what I mean. I, and my chiropractor have high hopes for the cp4.

 

Ps iPad auto complete does some weird things: I and my chiropractor have HIV? Really iPad?

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I agree, it does make you "work for it". Well said. I love the response to the Rhodes. Hit that "comp" button, it helps. The black keys seem to be a little sharper on the edges than on the CP-5. It's taken a bit to get used to that feel. The more time I spend on the CP-4 the better it feels and my playing is getting more precise so to speak. There is something special about the player/keybed connection on the CP-5.
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I guess I'm going to have to give the CP4 a shot, based on all the love that's flowing freely here ...

 

Right now, I'm pretty happy with my Nord Piano 2. My CP5 doesn't get a lot of use due to weight and being a royal bitch to program realtime during a gig.

 

Anyone got any head-to-head comments with the NP2?

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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