Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

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dmahon
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Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by dmahon » 24 Feb 2009, 22:39

I'm new to digital pianos - and new to pianos full stop. As is commonly heard, I suspect, my daughter (almost 8) wants to learn an instrument and I suggested either the piano or the guitar, as those are the two I wished I had learned when younger - well, I'd have liked the drums too but I'm NOT suggesting that to her! She's gone for the piano (probably too young for a guitar anyway) and has been having lessons at school. She's stuck at it for a month or two and shows all intention of continuing, so we need to get her something to practice on to replace her "Barbie" organ which can only hold two notes simultaneously. I'm quite keen to learn too and my wife would probably have a go as well.

We recently moved house (work) and I'm renting somewhere at the moment. This means another house move in the next year or so when we find a place to buy - and a digital piano will be much easier to move. I'm also quite keen on the ability to turn the volume down and even use headphones. Room isn't too much of a problem, although I wouldn't really like a grand.

After looking at the brochures, and remembering a Clavinova that a friend had almost 20 years ago (which sounded great even back then), I thought I'd go for one of those. My question really comes down to: CLP 330/340/370? The wife insists on Polished Ebony, which of course means a bit extra. There seems to be a £250 step up at each level - are the extra features, and specifically the keyboard, really worth the extra money each time? I haven't had the opportunity to play them side by side and anyway, as an absolute beginner, what would I know, even if I did?

I'm hoping that whatever I buy will last for many years.

markymark
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Re: Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by markymark » 25 Feb 2009, 18:18

For specific details about comparisons through the CLP range, check out this link to another thread: http://www.uk-piano.org/piano-forums/vi ... f=9&t=6870

The main difference between the CLP340 and CLP370 is that the CLP370 has the NW keyboard action which makes quite a big difference in my opinion.

Joseph and I were talking about this on another thread. See if this gets your started: http://www.uk-piano.org/piano-forums/vi ... f=9&t=6877

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ukpianos
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Re: Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by ukpianos » 07 Mar 2009, 13:45

You needn't go higher than the Yamaha CLP320. The difference between the models is only slight and a beginner wouldn't notice it anyway. The CLP320 is easily good enough to get you up to around grade 6 or even 7. After that you will probably want to consider an upright or grand piano.
Graham Howard, author of The Digital Piano Buyer's Guide (http://www.ukpianos.co.uk/7-things-you- ... piano.html) and Piano Advisor for www.ukpianos.co.uk - The place to go for piano reviews, questions, advice and lessons.

markymark
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Re: Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by markymark » 07 Mar 2009, 14:03

I suppose it really depends on what you want the instrument for. When I buy digital, I'm usually thinking of longevity - at least 5/6 years. The longest I owned a digital piano for was 10 years and it was frightening how soon out of date some of the cheaper models go and to an extent, the more expensive ones.

While the CLP320 would certainly pass you up to Grade 4/5 - I really wouldn't encourage a digital for post Grade 5 and definitely not post-Grade 6 - the sound of the CLP320 is not as good as say a CLP340. A CLP370 may have the longevity in hand, but it depends on what you want to get out of your instrument. As mentioned already, it will hit limitations eventually for classical piano training and study but would be fine for a long time for popular music playing, recording, production, computer interaction, MIDI....

You have two views here that differ in opinion slightly but as I always say, get out and try the models yourself. ukpianos and I do seem to agree that a Clavinova is a good choice, but balance out the best for you by trying the CLP320 (little difference between this and the 330), 330, 340 and 370 (if you want to spend that much) and your budget.

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ukpianos
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Re: Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by ukpianos » 07 Mar 2009, 14:11

I did my grade 8 piano (20 years ago) and practiced 2 hours a day for 18 months on an old Yamaha Clavinova. My teacher said she was sure I would get a distinction. I took my exam at the Royal Academy of Music on an upright piano and REALLY STRUGGLED.

I only just passed!

The reason for this was because I was not used to playing on a real piano. All my practice was done on the Clavinova.

So what Mark is saying about up to grade 5 on a digital is really correct. But you can probably squeeze a couple more grades out of it if you have no choice, no space, un-musical neighbours etc. :-)
Graham Howard, author of The Digital Piano Buyer's Guide (http://www.ukpianos.co.uk/7-things-you- ... piano.html) and Piano Advisor for www.ukpianos.co.uk - The place to go for piano reviews, questions, advice and lessons.

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Re: Clavinova for a beginner - 330 / 340 / 370?

Post by bernardmarx » 10 Mar 2009, 10:30

I think that it is fair to say that digital pianos have come a long way in 20 years.

@OP
You say "I'm hoping that whatever I buy will last for many years." With that in mind, you need to consider the 340 or 370. Get yourself down to a music store and try the various different models. Even as a complete beginner, you will notice a difference in the action between a 320 and a 340. The difference between the 340 and 370 is more subtle. As well as the action, there are other benefits that kick in at 340 (e.g. stereo sustain samples, dynamic damper effect, key-off sampling). I understand the wife's insistence on the PE. The other cabinets just look terrible. As well as having NW keys, the 370 has a different style cabinet. Perhaps you should get the wife's opinion on which cabinet she prefers. That would then take the decision out of your hands. :D

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