Clavinova or Real Piano ?

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Otto
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Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Otto » 01 Apr 2009, 13:34

I've been asked to find a replacement instrument for the church hall with a budget of £500-£700. The accompanist would like a proper piano (sensible girl) and the MD wants a Clavinova because he believes that's the only way the accompanist is going to be able to see him performing his gyrations at all times. It'll be used twice a week for 2 hours and for the rest of the time will have its keyboard to the wall in an attempt to stop the pre-schoolers, and the brownies, and the Mother's Union and the Silver Threads from putting their sticky fingers all over the thing.

As a pianist myself, I'm rather reluctant to go down the Clavinova route, probably because I've never played one seriously.

What does the panel think ?
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 01 Apr 2009, 20:24

The big advantage for Clavinova is no tuning and damp you get in churches is not as big a problem plus its simple to hook up to the PA

£700 is not going to get you much of a real piano However, depending on which god you look up to and if your church has a social side you can approach the Lottery for funds for a C5 grand and have concerts as well

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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by markymark » 02 Apr 2009, 21:20

If it's a church hall with the typical variable temperature differences - extreme cold at night and dry central or convection heating - then it has to be digital. An acoustic wouldn't hold up to the climatical abuse. It would be a crime to put a grand piano into a building that has this standard environment. I have recently heard of a church (with a 20 year old building) reporting that the word work on their baby grand and antique Hammon A model organ is starting to split with the temperature changes occurring in their main sanctuary.

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athomik
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by athomik » 03 Apr 2009, 09:26

Or put a barn door on the vestry, install a sophisticated environmental control system in there, be prepared to get a tuner in every time you wheel it out and buy a concert grand (you might have to add a '0' or two to your budget) :wink:
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Openwood » 03 Apr 2009, 22:31

If they could find a secondhand Yam P114 or something of similar height, the accompanist could see the conductor perfectly well. Unfortunately the chances of finding a good one for 700 squid are not great. I hate to say it but digital might be the answer in this case. Make sure they get one with a pull-down keyboard cover though; I've seen several digital pianos in schools ruined because a basket ball bounced off the keyboard and wrecked one or more keys.

It's a good point about the visibility actually; we upgraded from a P114 to a YUS1 in the music room at school last year and although the new piano is a big improvement in sound it's a pain in the arsular region in terms of not being able to see over the top. Why didn't I think of that beforehand? Because I'm really very silly, that's why.
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Otto » 20 Apr 2009, 07:42

I'm getting close to finding the Clavinova I want - a CLP280 second hand 4/5yrs old for around £600.

Before I commit to it, I notice that it's around 200lbs weight (16 stone!), and we need to move it across the rather uneven wooden floor each rehearsal. Has anyone experience of shifting this sort of beast around on a regular basis? In the past we've found that small piano castors just dig into the pine flooring.

Many thanks for advice in anticipation.

(Incidentally athomic our church hall doesn't have a vestry, but we do have access to a Steinway 'D' as and when for free. That weighs around half a ton - literally. The problem Is the transport, insurance and tuning for it costs us a fortune so we make do with the Yamaha G3 in the church except for 'specials' - e.g. when they did Rach. 2)
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Openwood » 20 Apr 2009, 10:37

Otto,

Maybe these would be suitable?

http://www.uk-piano.org/piano-accessori ... tail&p=176
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Descombes » 20 Apr 2009, 10:58

I have found that 3 or 4 hefty "volunteers" can easily lift a Clavinova - especially if no stairs are involved! (certainly MUCH easier to shift than pianos.)

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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Otto » 20 Apr 2009, 12:09

I think I'll have to make something myself along the lines of that digital piano pair of trolleys. The society can't possibly afford another £180 on top. Thanks for the help, I'll let you know how I got on.
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by mindbender » 22 Apr 2009, 00:45

Otto wrote:I'm getting close to finding the Clavinova I want - a CLP280 second hand 4/5yrs old for around £600.
You must be joking - or at least the person selling it is! Old digitals can be picked up for peanuts! You can buy a new one for that price!

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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by joseph » 22 Apr 2009, 06:31

. . . . . you can buy a new digital at that price yes, but not one as good as a CLP-280.

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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Otto » 21 Jul 2009, 18:40

I missed the CLP280, which I later found would have been a superb bargain at £600. Most are going for nearer £1200.

In the end I found a CLP170, which is said to be around 4 years old. I paid £820 for it, which is about the going rate apparently. I've been playing it off and on for the last couple of weeks as it's still in my music room. (I'll take it down to the church hall at the beginning of next term). It's the first one they ever did with their fancy iAFC, and as a player this one single feature transforms it from a hack electronic instrument to a very eminently playable piano substitute.

My main criticism is that it's very bright (what do you expect from Yamaha ?) and has a disconnect betweeen the superb over-amplified bass and the weak shrillness in the treble. The sound is really pretty convincing, particularly when you turn on the ambient iAFC. (Why do you have the option to turn it off ?)

However, there is one fascinating by-product from all this (well, as a self-confessed nerd, I find it fascinating). That is that my practice sessions are very, very, very, very, very, very much more productive on the Clavinova than they are on my grand (a Steinway). So in September I shall have to make a decision, do I buy a clavinova for myself as a purely practice instrument ?

This was about the last thing I expected to report back to you folks! So am I impressed by the Clavinova ? If you get an up-market model, I think the answer has to be a resounding yes.
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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by Model V » 24 Aug 2009, 19:00

Otto wrote:...my practice sessions are very, very, very, very, very, very much more productive on the Clavinova than they are on my grand (a Steinway)...
Fascinating. Could you elaborate for us, please?

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Re: Clavinova or Real Piano ?

Post by markymark » 24 Aug 2009, 23:36

Otto wrote:I missed the CLP280, which I later found would have been a superb bargain at £600. Most are going for nearer £1200.

In the end I found a CLP170, which is said to be around 4 years old. I paid £820 for it, which is about the going rate apparently. I've been playing it off and on for the last couple of weeks as it's still in my music room. (I'll take it down to the church hall at the beginning of next term). It's the first one they ever did with their fancy iAFC, and as a player this one single feature transforms it from a hack electronic instrument to a very eminently playable piano substitute.

My main criticism is that it's very bright (what do you expect from Yamaha ?) and has a disconnect betweeen the superb over-amplified bass and the weak shrillness in the treble. The sound is really pretty convincing, particularly when you turn on the ambient iAFC. (Why do you have the option to turn it off ?)
Otto!!!

Why didn't you post on the forum before you paid out on a second-hand instrument, particularly a CLP-170? You could have gotten a YDP-160 for less (brand new) and the piano samples and keyboard action would have been so much better. I'm not sure about the seller saying that is "around 4 years old" because I'm almost certain they came out around 2003 in the UK - is it in polished ebony? But at the end of the day, if you're happy with it, to the extent it surpasses your Steinway ( :shock: ) that's the main thing!

The iAFC is optional because it is really according to personal taste/preference. It may sound great with the Grand Piano but perhaps not so much with one of your E.Piano samples. Of course the downside is that the iAFC does not transmit through amplifiers or PA systems.

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