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Piano live sound: S90ES and CP300. I need to choose the best!!


medicalpiano

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Hello friends.

 

I just played a CP300 in a Piano Store. I need the best piano sound in a portable stage piano. I usually gig with it, but i have dissapointed with my Motif8´s piano sound.

 

I enjoyed CP300, more than some Clavinovas. I enjoyed the weighted keys and action. But there was not a S90ES.

 

CP300 has about 40 MB ROM piano sample. I just read S90ES has about 50 MB or more piano sample. So, is there any difference between MB piano sample and theirs sounds with CP300 vrs S90ES???

i haven´t played S90ES, but i would like to know if its S700 "new" piano sounds better or worse than CP300.

 

Please, i need your help. I wanna buy it in this week. At this moment, i would buy CP300 because i supposse that is the best (last yamaha stage piano, newer than S90ES). I usually play classical, romantic and sacred music. Live.

 

thanks

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RD-700SX for live.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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Originally posted by mate_stubb:

We are not going to tell you which one to buy. Piano sounds are endlessly debated and which one is "best" is the one you like the most.

 

Both of your choices are great in most people's opinions - find a way to try the S90ES.

+ :thu:

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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I was also deciding between these two at one point.

 

Both have very, very good piano voices, and as I couldn't easily tell which was "better" I based my decision on other factors.

 

1. I wanted built-in speakers

 

2. I wanted some sequencing capability

 

3. I was a little nervous about the complexity of the S90ES as I really want to sit and play lots, not spent my time learning a new computer (I spend all day on computers, I don't want to spend my nights too).

 

Therefore, obviously, I chose the CP300. I'm not saying you should, I'm just telling my story.

 

Cheers,

 

Damian

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Seems to me that S90ES has a sequencer too. At least, I was sitting at one in the shop Sunday, and it had buttons labeled "track" and stop/play/record buttons. IIRC.

 

But frankly, the only way to get the best piano for you is to pick the one you play the best. Both are excellent, especially in comparison to what we had not too many years ago.

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Posted By Mate_Stubb:

We are not going to tell you which one to buy. Piano sounds are endlessly debated and which one is "best" is the one you like the most.

Both of your choices are great in most people's opinions - find a way to try the S90ES.

 

:thu: +2

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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I spoke to Yamaha recently about the different piano samples that are on their KB's. The piano sample on the CP300 and the S90 are indeed, different samples.

 

Something else to keep in mind, the S90ES has the Motif ES soundset, which is GREAT. It DOES have a sequencer, so you should be able to playback SMF on it, as well as record your own performances. The Sequencer shouldn't be much of an issue on either board if that's what you are going to do with it.

 

Besides the piano samples being different, one thing to consider is that the CP300 is basically a portable Clavinova. It's focus is on being a piano first, the other sounds are a "bonus".

 

The S90ES is a synthesizer, not a digital piano in that sense. You can half pedal with the S90ES which is something new for that product line. You can edit the sounds extensively on the S90ES, there are less options available for that purpose on the CP300. However, Yamaha made some improvements in this area over the previous model, the P250.

 

It's still best to try both keyboards to be sure what you like best, but that's not always an option. A lot of stores just stock what sells best for them and special orders other KB's.

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I really believe the Resonence layer on the CP300 and P250 vs the S90ES makes a difference in terms of it sounding and responding like a real piano.

 

The ES soundset does kick-a$$, I bought the ES rack and use a CP33 / CP300...best of both if you like the Yamaha stage pianos!

 

 

lb

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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The sequencer in the S90ES is playback only. SMFs can be loaded into it, however, they cannot be created on the board itself.

 

+3 :thu: on the choice being intimately yours. ;)

 

Have you tried any outboard processing with the Motif?

 

Just curious. I see quite a few Motifs on stage when it comes to TV performances.

 

Both the CP300 and S90ES are fine instruments. Good luck in your decision. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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ProfD:

 

That's a good tip about the sequencer on the S90ES, playback only. I didn't mean to mislead anybody, but I know you can record on the P250, and I ASSUME you can on the CP300.

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Mike,

yes, though they increased the events on the CP300 sequencer by quit a bit I think over the P250. . . .

 

I used my old P250's sequencer a lot..... it's useful! It's not a Motif ES though. . .

lb

 CP-50, YC 73,  FP-80, PX5-S, NE-5d61, Kurzweil SP6, XK-3, CX-3, Hammond XK-3, Yamaha YUX Upright, '66 B3/Leslie 145/122

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Originally posted by mate_stubb:

We are not going to tell you which one to buy.

I will... ;)

 

Get the KURZWEIL. :thu:

 

Some people really go bonkers over the C4 on the piano programs. :D

 

As for me, I'll just have another beer and keep on playing. :rolleyes::)

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Mike, it's all good. You are correct about the sequencing capabilities of the CP300. Like Prego, it's in there.

 

If DH decides to upgrade or keep his P250 or fire his band and become a PS, the replacements are already on board. :P

 

Shhh....surely he would NEVER do that. ;)

 

:wave: Dave :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Yes, sound is subjective, but IMO, you may get some useful info by asking for feedback when comparing KBs. (Such as the fact that the SEQ on the S90es is playback only.)

 

FWIW I use them both. The S90es is useful for certain venues. My CP33/Motif ES Rack for others (especially when I have no muscle-help).

 

And I don't think the S90es is complex or hard to get deep into. Its a sensible topography to me and lets me do all sorts of neat sounds quickly.

 

Something else not mentioned yet is that there is a wealth of aftermarket sounds for the S90es. That might be important.

 

My $0.02 is to dispassionately analyze just what you need it for, as well as analyze how it sounds.

 

No matter how good it sounds, if it doesn't fit in your car, or breaks your back every time you lift it, then its not going to give you onstage warm fuzzies too often.

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Just for your knowledge, the S90ES has lighter keys than the CP300. Just as it is a tough call with an S90ES vs. P250 to compare sounds, it will be the same with the CP300. The CP300 will have a basic sequencer, the S90ES does not have a sequencer but does have MIDI playback.

 

Piano sound aside, depending on the purpose used, the S90ES is a more flexible machine, having more sound options and arpeggios (which are great for practice such as drum arpeggios). CP300 is strongly piano focused only so if you never intend to use other sounds, then it will probably be ok.

 

The S90ES is significantly lighter (which isn't saying much since both are heavy). And the CP300 has speakers, which feels good on the fingers as it feels like a real piano.

 

I'm not sold on this graded hammer (CP) vs. balanced hammer (S90ES) business. As far as I can feel, the pressing down weight of my acoustic Yamaha is even across all keys. However the highest octaves have no damper, which explains the lighter keys there. I do feel that the S90ES is lighter than an acoustic Yamaha, but equal to the undampered top keys. This may be important to some people to have some heavier weight to maintain a little finger strength.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Quote by Legatoboy:

---------------------------------------------

I used my old P250's sequencer a lot..... it's useful! It's not a Motif ES though. . .lb

----------------------------------------------

 

True. A few years ago, I had set out to get a new "digital piano". My DP was 12 years old. After listening to demos on line, I found that ALL the new KB's were so much better than the old axe I had, I went with a Motif ES8 instead of a DP, I really needed a 16 track sequencer as well as a good quality digital piano sound. The ES sound set is great, so I got a lot more than I thought I was getting at the time. The UI is a pain, especially in the beginnning, but there's a lot of power under the hood.

 

Often times, we overlook what else is in a new KB, and where we might go after we get a good piano sound. The Motif ES piano sound is certainly good for me, and the new samples are ever better. :)

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Ok Guys tnanks for your opinions!!!

 

Im considering what Jazzwee says about lightier keys with S90ES. I want to feel realistic piano keys. Im thinking about to buy also an ES Rack.

 

My main question was about piano voice quality. I know about sequencer capabilities; ive got a Motif8 along 2 years!! But now, i prefer sequencing in my computer, not in a keyboard. So, i prefer buy a Rack or Sampled Voice.

 

But i dont know if resonance strings, harmonics, are included in S90ES piano sample. My question is: S90ES has a larger ROM memory for piano (50 MB). CP300 has a little less. How does it impact in piano sound quality????

I think that MORE MB ROM more Quality sound (talking specifically about Piano sound). But is it right with S90ES vrs CP300?

 

Even tough i can edit piano voice in S90ES like my MOTIF, Can i reach same quality sound as CP300 piano voice?? (harmonics, string resonance??)

Anybody knows which piano Yamaha sampled in CP300 (CFIII just like P250???) and S90ES?? (S700 right??).

 

Thanks.

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Originally posted by MikeT156:

ProfD:

 

That's a good tip about the sequencer on the S90ES, playback only. I didn't mean to mislead anybody, but I know you can record on the P250, and I ASSUME you can on the CP300.

 

Mike T.

Last night I recorded the left hand of a song. To keep in time I used the "click" (metronome). I then recorded the right hand on track 2. I then put down some strings on track 3.

 

To everyone in this forum it would've sounded utterly crap. To me it was wonderful - first time I've mucked around with stuff like that and I loved it.

 

Damian

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Originally posted by medicalpiano:

Ok Guys tnanks for your opinions!!!

 

Im considering what Jazzwee says about lightier keys with S90ES. I want to feel realistic piano keys. Im thinking about to buy also an ES Rack.

 

My main question was about piano voice quality. I know about sequencer capabilities; ive got a Motif8 along 2 years!! But now, i prefer sequencing in my computer, not in a keyboard. So, i prefer buy a Rack or Sampled Voice.

 

But i dont know if resonance strings, harmonics, are included in S90ES piano sample. My question is: S90ES has a larger ROM memory for piano (50 MB). CP300 has a little less. How does it impact in piano sound quality????

I think that MORE MB ROM more Quality sound (talking specifically about Piano sound). But is it right with S90ES vrs CP300?

 

Even tough i can edit piano voice in S90ES like my MOTIF, Can i reach same quality sound as CP300 piano voice?? (harmonics, string resonance??)

Anybody knows which piano Yamaha sampled in CP300 (CFIII just like P250???) and S90ES?? (S700 right??).

 

Thanks.

medicalpiano, the S700 piano is equivalent to the CFIIIS piano so that's the same. But they are different pianos and pianos do differ even if they are the same model.

 

I certainly don't know why the S90ES has a larger ROM for piano. I have no idea if it makes any difference. I did not listen to the CP300 side by side against an S90ES so I cannot draw conclusions about minute differences. The string resonance, half damper support are the same.

 

However, one thing to note about the S90ES, it is a real synth so you can actually tweak certain behaviors to better emulate a real piano that cannot be done on a non-synth. For example, you could tweak the piano so that there's no sound at lower MIDI velocities (currently there's always a sound). You could probably tweak velocities of different octaves to emulate the graded hammer action (you would do this by layering let's say 4 Natural S piano sounds in a performance and then tweaking each). In other words, you can negate the issue regarding graded hammers.

 

You cannot modify the piano in CP300. Being a real synth, there are many parameters that are tweakable outside of what I mentioned above.

 

Thus, in spite of the apparent differences between the two, maybe there's not really a significant difference in the piano part (after tweaking is performed).

 

To me the real differences between the two are:

 

1. One has speakers included, the other you have to buy (thus a price issue).

2. One is lighter, one is heavier

3. One has a simple sequencer, the other is intended for use with a sophisticated sequencer on a computer (S90ES) which may be inconvenient for casual sequencer use.

4. One has a very large sound pallette, the other one a more specialized and minimal set.

5. One has arpeggios (both for sounds and drums).

 

The other issues (balanced hammer, piano sound, etc. are too close to actually be a real cause for comparative concern). I'd make the choice based on the above differences.

 

Disclosure: I have an S90ES. So I'm trying to balance my responses to allow you to make your own choices. BTW - I haven't found the need to tweak anything. I still like to practice more on the real piano.

 

Also, just to make sure this is not an issue, yes the S90ES has a lot more controls and gadgets than the CP300. But unless you need to use them, they will not in any way intimidate someone who does not use these features. Most of the main controls are very very simple. It only gets complicated when you actually need to do "synth" changes.

 

So score your issues according to the 5 items I've listed above.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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This is a response from Yamaha:

 

"So onto the S90ES vs CP300 - it is subjective....but also technical. The S90ES features some additional features in terms of the control you can have over the sample using different pedals and playing styles, and in order to facilitate that at a technical level it requires additional layers of sampling. From that perspective - it is a superior sound. Also, my personal (and subjective) opinion is that the S90ES is a more useful and better sounding instrument on the whole - it is my favourite keyboard in our current product range, bridging the gap between stage piano and synth perfectly. They are really designed to perform slightly different roles, the lack of speakers on the S90ES for example is quite a significant difference. Its lighter, but you always have to have a PA or monitoring system of some sort with you - an advantage and a disadvantage for different applications.

 

As I usually play in bands or record in a studio, I always have a monitoring system and/ or a PA - so the speakers and extra weight in the CP300 are a disadvantage for my application. If I played a lot at home or in wine bars and so forth, I would probably really appreciate the speakers. So it depends if that is significant for you of course. Sound wise, I still prefer the S90ES - not just for piano but also for the great Wurlitzers and so on.

 

One of our artists, Tim Freedman, uses an S90ES when on tour (in addition to a MOTIFES8) whereas John Foreman from Aus Idol has previously used P250's for the Audition shows - for the portability and ease of set up. So its really a question of application, as well as the quality of samples."

 

Given that, the S90ES sounds better, so I bought the CP300 just to be contrary ;-)

 

 

Damian

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Originally posted by BonsoWonderDog:

Given that, the S90ES sounds better, so I bought the CP300 just to be contrary ;-)

I like your way of thinking Bonso! :)

 

I'm much the same, if people say one is better than the other, I can't help but dig deeper and find something I can appreciate in "the other". It also means it gives you an edge in being a little different to what other people perceive as the better sound... no point in sounding the same as everyone else.

 

And likewise, I also deal with computers all day, and my music-making frame of mind hates to deal with anything computery (or it starts thinking logically, in an engineering way)... so the less menus and sythesizing features the better.

 

It's also interesting what some people pointed out in the other CP300 thread, about how the onboard speakers might actually cause some resonant vibrations, and make the 'feel' a bit sweeter or more immediate, even when you're also playing out of a PA/amp...

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At home I would prefer the CP300 Piano 1 sound. Playing live I would not know without testing it. Pianos sounds behave very differently when played live and with other instruments.

 

One other point, if you are a jazz player, the S90ES has a much better Fender Rhodes sound than the CP300.

 Find 600 of my jazz piano arrangements and tutorials for educational purposes at patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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