Yamaha CLP 240 -> 340

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altanner
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Yamaha CLP 240 -> 340

Post by altanner » 19 Dec 2008, 23:12

Hi everyone.

I've been playing piano now for about a year, learning on a CLP240. On researching getting my own I went to a few showrooms and played different manufacturers, but I still liked the feel and sound of the Yamahas. With the 240 being obsolete naturally I ordered a CLP340, which arrived today.

I'm sorry to be saying this but it sounds very different from the 240. When I say "different", I mean "worse". The piano sounds muddy and when plenty is going on it hard to identify individual notes- the two octaves above middle C sound particularly harsh. The speakers sound muffled compared to the 240.

Has anyone else directly compared these two? Have I got a lemon? Have they installed the speakers backwards? Do I need to play the speakers in by letting it play the demo tunes on repeat for 48 hours? Or do I just need to let my ears adjust after hundreds of hours on the 240? (I remember when I started on the 240 I thought the "grand piano 2" voice to be superior to "grand piano 1", which now is clearly an absurd point of view). The 240 was made of ebony but the 340 is made of mahogany... is that what my ears are being offended by?

Anyway, thanks for any insights or points of view on this matter.

Cheers.

Al.

markymark
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Post by markymark » 20 Dec 2008, 16:50

No, you shouldn't be having a muffled sound from your speakers.

There have been some big improvements to the sound quality and voice tone in the CLP3XX range. Have you tried the CLP340 in a showroom? Has it been ordered via a local retailer or off your own bat online?

Digital pianos do not need breaking in like acoustics so there is no need to let demos or things run to get the speakers going. There is a very slim chance that the keyboard may have gotten a bang during transit which could affect the speakers' output.

I'd recommend you go down to a local dealer with a CLP340 and see if you can try it just to be sure about the sound quality. If there is a discrepancy between the two instruments, then consider ordering from the local dealer. Perhaps explaining your situation to them may also help you get a deal too?

altanner
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Post by altanner » 20 Dec 2008, 18:37

Thanks for your reply Mark

Yes I tried the 340 in a showroom, and there was a 240 there as well. I couldn't tell the difference - the sales guy, who was clearly an accomplished pianist, said that he could hear the difference, but only when he knew what to listen for. Which is why I am so surprised that the 340 I have is not only obviously different, but obviously worse. It doesn't sound broken, it sounds cheap.

I say muffled but it is quite a subtle muffling (not like they are playing though a wall) - when playing treble notes and bass notes together I am having to hit the treble notes considerably harder than I did on the 240 in order for them to be separated from the bass notes. It certainly sounds piano-like, but nowhere near as piano-like as the 240. The sound is clearly coming from speakers, whereas the 240 has a very convincing and open tone - I've had non-musicians thinking the 240 was a real piano ("where are the strings?"), but I can't imagine the 340 will convince anyone.

I ordered it online (sorry showroom guys for using you), unfortunately they couldn't come close to matching the online price. I wouldn't mind paying 10% more to go through a shop, but 40% more and I will always go online.

Have you directly compared a 240 and a 340?

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Post by markymark » 21 Dec 2008, 14:49

No I haven't played one beside the other.

If you prefer the CLP240, then return the CLP340. Most online dealers have a cooling off period during which you can return the item with only the postage to pay. After your comparison then with the showroom model, does your CLP340 sound different?

altanner
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Post by altanner » 23 Dec 2008, 01:08

Hmm I think I will just deal with it and buy some external monitors to give it clearer sound.

I know I can return it but that means (a) quibbling about why I want to return it, (b) dismantling it and trying to get it back into complicated and heavy packing, and (c) collection and postage of a 110kg object, which would probably cost over £100.

I'm just really disappointed that from my reckoning the 340 is a corner-cutting exercise and sounds like it.

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Post by markymark » 23 Dec 2008, 18:31

I was planning to go to a music shop today to try a recent CLP340 again but with Christmas traffic.....urgh!

I know that some of the users on this forum have used hi-fi/amped speakers with their CLP2XX range digitals because they weren't happy enough with the tone they were getting and were blown away by the sound quality. I have often played Clavinovas through a sound system on a stage set up and I have to say, I personally prefer the output to the speakers anyway!

Sometimes you can get a preview of this output by connecting headphones to the keyboard and listening through that. Have you tried that yet to see how it compares?

I'm still concerned that your CLP sounds so bad yet you couldn't tell the difference between the 240 and 340 when played together in the showroom. I'm taking from your post that your CLP340 sounds worse than the one in the shop in which case, your supplier needs to get his finger out and organise a pick-up and replacement for you! Why should you have to pay for the uplift of what seems to be a faulty instrument?

altanner
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Post by altanner » 29 Dec 2008, 01:49

Yes I like the sound through headphones, and as I play a great deal through headphones (I don't like to irritate my family with constant repetitions and scales and mistakes!) this is a good thing.

The showroom was a warehouse-like space, and there were sounds from people playing other instruments, so it is hardly surprising that I couldn't tell the difference. But just today I had a second opinion from a more experienced musician who agrees that it just sounds.... tacky, compared to the 240. Lower register are nice, but the two octaves above middle C are muddy. Though he agrees that it isn't in any way broken.

The cabinet for the 340 must cause some horrible reverberations, or maybe their speakers are cheaper. I noticed that on the 340 the "Clavinova" plaque is a stick on piece of metal - on the 240 it is embedded in the wood. On the 240 wood is used beside the control panel -this area is all plastic on the 340, and when playing the 340 hard the buttons rattle. These external corner-cuttings only hint at what they have done inside.

Sorry to slate this digipiano, I like the Clavinovas, but this is the kind of review I wish I had read before I went for the 340 on the back of how I loved the 240. I'm not saying it sounds awful... it just sounds a step backwards.

PS I do prefer the feel of the keyboard on the 340 than the 240. Very slightly. Oh and the wood finish is nice too.

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