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Recently purchased CP4 - key noise/newbie paranoia


DecentJam

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After several weeks of research (much of it on this great forum) and numerous Guitar Center visits I finally made my first foray into professional keyboards and settled on a CP4! I got a great Black Friday price on a lightly used one from a reputable online dealer with insurance, return policy, the works.

 

It arrived yesterday and I'm happy to report it looked to be in great shape. It was well packed and I wasn't able to find a single ding or scratch anywhere on the instrument. The keys were not shiny or discolored and looked unused. It even smelled new when I pulled it out of the box.

 

Then I sat down to play it with the power off first and while the action felt great as expected, I immediately noticed a "click" noise that I didn't hear when auditioning the board last week. It is not the sound of the key bottoming out - which I would describe as more of a "thunk". The velocity required to reproduce the "click" seems to vary slightly from key to key and it seems a bit louder in some. I'm confident that in a gig setting I would not notice it, but playing at home with headphones on it was definitely noticeable. I'm pretty sure it's the same mechanical noise that this guy demonstrates in his video, but mine is not as loud, although it is hard to tell from a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZcPQmy-VBs

The creator of that video posted in another piano music forum (not sure if links are allowed) and someone suggested the felt under/above the keys needed replacing.

 

Now, I realize that the conditions are quite different with me alone in my quiet studio versus the ambient noise in GC with like 6 guys in the distance playing "Smoke on the Water" and failing every 2 notes. Regardless, shortly after receiving my board I headed back to GC (I live about 1 mile away) and put my ear a couple inches away from the CP4's keybed. Sure enough I could hear the same clicking noise. Like the madman I've become, I quickly made the rounds and pressed my ear up against all the weighted actions I could find in the store. I noticed similar noises in every board I tried. They all seemed about as loud or worse (Kronos, MOXF, FA), with the only exception being Yamaha's own P255 which was the quietest to my ear.

 

Have you noticed anything similar with your boards? Have you noticed something similar develop over time with use? Any maintenance required? I have this gut feeling that it was a defective unit that nobody wanted which is why I got it for a sweet price and it looks in pristine condition! Am I just being a paranoid newbie?

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I'm no expert, just someone who has played various digital pianos for 20+ years (but not a CP4): it's normal for the action to sound pretty noisy when the sound's off. None of the sounds I've experienced have gotten noticeably worse over time. My naive inclination would be to ignore it unless there's some other sign of a problem.

 

But, I'll defer to anyone with more expertise here.

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Are all these boards sitting on a metal stand or a solid table? It could be coupling through the metal stand although strange that all these different models would do the same thing. Is it an X stand by any chance? :D

 

The click in the video doesn't seem like normal keybed "bottom-out" noise to me. But maybe the click sound is a somewhat enhanced artifact of the recording? :idk My weighted Kurzweil PCX3 doesn't make a click like that. It sits on a heavy desk.

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That CP4 in the video should be returned to the factory in L.A. for a complimentary rebuild. Clearly an unacceptable unit.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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A couple of thoughts, Mario:

 

1) Yes, all of these digital keyboards have some level of unnatural artifacts compared to real pianos. The cheaper you go, the more you compromise. The units that provide a full length key (e.g., the new Casio Grand Hybrids with the Bluthner action) don't, but those aren't intended for mobile use.

 

2) Yes, your video sounds louder than what I experience with my CP4 (which I purchased brand new).

 

3) The only thing you're going to get here on this forum are binary response: A) It's normal, or, B) It's not normal. And at the end of the day, we're going off a video instead of playing the unit in question

 

4) You have some options. Return it to GC immediately (if that's an option). Contact your local Yamaha service center so they can at least look at it. I've found my local Yamaha Authorized service center (Third Ear Sound in Fremont for anyone in the Bay Area) to be excellent, knowledgeable, and the Yamaha warranty is liberal and has saved my bacon more than once. But all my Yamaha units were purchased new and I'm the original owner.

 

If you can, I'd see what Yamaha says about it. I know you're not the original owner, but I'm betting the unit is fairly new and I'd think Yamaha would stand behind their product.

 

Just my 0.02.

 

Good luck on it and let us know what happens.

 

Tim

..
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On mine I'd call it more of a thunk then a click. It's at a very audible level with the sound off. But I don't hear it while playing (through speakers or with phones) , so it doesn't bother me.

 

I did notice that when I was in STL for a week and borrowing my friend's CP4 - and practicing an hour to 90 minutes a day- that his action, in places, had some clunky feeling keys , which slowed down the keyboard response. His action wasn't nearly as smooth as mine. Not sure if it's a result of the keyboard itself or the fact he does have more of a band/rock guy's touch - heavy. So maybe he's knocked a few keys out of whack.

 

And another friend in Florida was considering the CP4 but said a friend of his had problems with the wood keys warping in the humidity. First time I'd ever heard of that.

 

My point of view on this is - in today's disposable era and questionable quality control seemingly at every turn - everything is suspect till you have it in your hands and have used it in your studio or on the gig for at least a month.

 

I've had my CP4 since May of 2014 and transport it in an old Yamaha YBS881 bag designed for the CP33. Really minimal protection but I've not had one issue. So either I'm one of the lucky ones, or maybe it's my lighter touch and being very easy moving it around. Or it could be I just have less gigs. :laugh:

 

Edit- watching the video, mine doesn't click like that. Again more of a thunk .

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the replies, guys.

 

Are all these boards sitting on a metal stand or a solid table?

Mine is on a heavy-duty Z stand. At the store they are on either X stands or the wall-mounted ones where they stack 3 boards above one another.

 

2) Yes, your video sounds louder than what I experience with my CP4 (which I purchased brand new).

 

3) The only thing you're going to get here on this forum are binary response: A) It's normal, or, B) It's not normal. And at the end of the day, we're going off a video instead of playing the unit in question

 

4) You have some options. Return it to GC immediately (if that's an option). Contact your local Yamaha service center so they can at least look at it. I've found my local Yamaha Authorized service center (Third Ear Sound in Fremont for anyone in the Bay Area) to be excellent, knowledgeable, and the Yamaha warranty is liberal and has saved my bacon more than once.

Well, that's not actually my video, but rather one that I found when googling the issue. My board is making that same noise, but not as loud. I was just wondering if any presence of that noise at all is normal. I did not purchase from GC, but just auditioned products there. I actually happen to be in the Bay Area! I'm thinking taking it to the service center is a great idea. Thanks a ton!

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Another CP4 owner here - I bought mine new, but it had been a store demonstrator. No issues at all, I'm happy to say. My keys have a definite thump if you listen for it, but I never notice it when gigging, or even practicing. My old Yamaha P120 had a "sound" to the keyboard too - the weighted keyboards I have played all did. I always figured that if there is some kind of action to simulate a real piano feel, there will be some mechanical noise associated with it. That said, it would be useful to find another CP4 to do a side by side comparison with.
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Have you noticed anything similar with your boards? Have you noticed something similar develop over time with use?

I haven't noticed anything myself with my CP4 but my hearing isn't as good as it used to be either. I won't be anywhere it until tomorrow morning, I'll check it out and report back tomorrow afternoon.

 

:nopity:
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All the DPs thunk, and it gets louder over time. It's the odd clackers that show up after awhile that are annoying and usually repairable.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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I got a CP4 because it was the quietest keyboard I've played in

a very long time.

There is no click and the thunk is very muted.

It feels nicely felted in all the right places.

On a solid stand it's very quiet.

 

I was able to headphone practice in the living room while the family was in there

doing anything. TV, studying, reading, whatever. Zero bothersome noise.

 

It almost sounds like a loose glue or tape joint.

It could even be the plastic key covers not being glued to the wood

properly.

Maybe the key is glancing off another part of the mechanism.

In any case it's not your responsibility to buy a defective keyboard

and wait for it to be repaired.

Yamaha's QC is generally better than most.

This board should be replaced and they can sort out what's done with

the bad one.

 

John

 

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While Yamaha likely has no obligation to fix this (probably out of warranty and you are not the original owner), they did pay for replacing the entire keybed on my S90 because of a problem with keys breaking with normal use. Similar situation: out of warranty and not the original owner. Kudos to Yamaha.

 

It can't hurt to ask. Good luck.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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While Yamaha likely has no obligation to fix this (probably out of warranty and you are not the original owner), they did pay for replacing the entire keybed on my S90 because of a problem with keys breaking with normal use. Similar situation: out of warranty and not the original owner. Kudos to Yamaha.

 

It can't hurt to ask. Good luck.

 

It's not as though I had loaned it to the jackass in the Budos Band!

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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Have you noticed anything similar with your boards? Have you noticed something similar develop over time with use?

 

I've had my CP4 about a year and a half. Thunks, but no clicks.

 

Finally had a chance to get near mine and had the same results as Mjazz.

:nopity:
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After several weeks of research (much of it on this great forum) and numerous Guitar Center visits I finally made my first foray into professional keyboards and settled on a CP4! I got a great Black Friday price on a lightly used one from a reputable online dealer with insurance, return policy, the works.

 

I'm sure the guys you've been chatting with at GC are thankful you showroomed them and bought from an online store.

 

Some would call this karma. :snax:

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The click noise ain't right, it needs to get sorted by dealer.

 

The lower frequency thump is normal and one of the suckiest things about most slab digital pianos in general. They are a lousy alternative to an acoustic piano for performing or recording live (amplified not direct) solo or with singer, trio etc. at acoustic/room volume. Thump thump thumpity thump thump thump thump. Going direct, or through PA - non issue.

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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After several weeks of research (much of it on this great forum) and numerous Guitar Center visits I finally made my first foray into professional keyboards and settled on a CP4! I got a great Black Friday price on a lightly used one from a reputable online dealer with insurance, return policy, the works.

 

I'm sure the guys you've been chatting with at GC are thankful you showroomed them and bought from an online store.

 

Some would call this karma. :snax:

 

I didn't notice this statement initially. How do you expect the brick and mortar music stores to be there if you don't support them?

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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I was told by the Yamaha tech all the Yamaha actions are pretty much the same on their weighted keyboards.

 

 

I have had to repair clicking keys my CP1 action several times. Several keys got very noisy and had side to side motion. There is a little plastic guide that is covered in silicon grease under the key.This guide comes off the action and lodges inside the hollow key. The repair means opening up the keyboard and moving the action back far enough to take the keys out and clicking the key guide back into place. Its about a 2 hour job. So far it happened twice under warranty repair and 3 or 4 times since warranty expired. Leave the job to a tech if your keyboard is under warranty!

 

You will need a repair guide from Yamaha if you decide to open up your keyboard. There are a lot of screws to undo and you will need to label them carefully.

There are several how to videos on youtube that show you how to remove bad keys once you get that deep in your keyboard.

 

Yamaha Canada tech support has been very helpful in helping resolve issues.

 

The first series of Motifs had clicking keys because the plastic got brittle and the keys cracked. Yamaha sent me a new keyboard free of charge even though my warranty had expired.

Yamaha CP1 UHL X3-2 QSC K10's
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Thanks for the encouraging replies, folks. I'm convinced there is something wrong with my keyboard and I'll be taking it to a service center to see what they have to say before returning.

 

 

I'm sure the guys you've been chatting with at GC are thankful you showroomed them and bought from an online store.

 

Some would call this karma. :snax:

Others would call it resourcefulness :) I was in the market for a used CP4, which GC did not have available. I really didn't talk to any of their employees at all. They didn't strike me as the most knowledgeable and I prefer to get most of my info online or from friends/colleagues.

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