DP Limitations

General discussion about digital pianos

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PianoNewby
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DP Limitations

Post by PianoNewby » 07 Sep 2010, 06:20

Hi folks, I'm planning to buy a digital piano (struggling between YDP-161 and Clavinova CLP-320). Basically it's for practicing at home, I haven't played for many years so I'll have to probably start from the beginning. I know that the digital piano is suitable for beginners and since I'm too old to even consider becoming a pro the DP seems a better choice for me over an acoustic. What I was wondering is are DPs suitable for playing some 'advanced' pieces once I get some skills ? I mean something like Rachmaninoff Op. 3 No. 2 In C Sharp Minor or Chopin "Fantaisie" Impromptu, Op. 66 or even something as tough as Rachmaninoff Etude Op. 39 No. 6 "Little Red Riding Hood" ? Will the DP struggle to handle such fast passages, is the keyboard going to respond properly to such fast playing, also will the performance sound right (at least remotely close to one on acoustic piano) ? I suppose that the best Clavinovas can handle them but what about the more budget models like the above-mentioned ?

joseph
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by joseph » 07 Sep 2010, 12:19

You know, I think you'll be OK with a decent Clavinova. Remember, if you feel you outgrow it you can always trade up. A CLP-340 or a Roland HP-207 will suit you I think.

PianoNewby
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by PianoNewby » 07 Sep 2010, 19:45

@Dave, there is no chance of me being Karen, considering I'm a man :D
@Joseph, thanks for your tip but the CLP-340 is really too expensive for me. To be honest I'm an amateur and I doubt I can outgrow the Clavinova anytime soon. From what I've seen on youtube the Clavinovas are a decent imitation of a real piano and suitable for novice players, but how far can you go with them or the high-end Arius ? I really prefer to say to myself 'I don't have the technique and skills to play this piece' instead of 'I can't progress past page 2 because the piece is too complex for the DP to process'. Maybe I would never be able to play those complicated examples I have given but at least I would give them a try at some point and I certainly wouldn't want the digital piano to be limiting factor. So can those pieces or similar be played on a digital piano with a decent quality or at all ?

Edit: And another interesting question: Can a player that has learned how to play on a DP build the necessary skills for the advanced pieces ?

joseph
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by joseph » 07 Sep 2010, 21:24

I think that the Arius is a good instrument in its range. It doesn't have some of the upper end features like the GH3 action, but to be honest I think you're gonna be fine with one. You will be able to learn most things you want to on it, and you will get enjoyment from the fact that you have a decent instrument to learn on, even if its not top of the range. Remember that people have been buying digital pianos as an alternative to acoustic pianos for over 20 years, and the Arius is much better than anything that was available 20 years ago. If buying one means you'll have the piano in your life as opposed to not having it, then go for it! ENJOY! :piano;

markymark
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by markymark » 08 Sep 2010, 17:22

I remember when the CLP220 and the YDP-160 came out that a few people on this forum started asking what the difference really was. I looked into the specifications on the models myself and noticed that almost all the features were the same. When I contacted Yamaha, the person who replied to my e-mail said that they were practically the same instrument but that was due to product overlaps as a new range came in and another one was due to be upgraded.

The reason I mention this is that history is repeating itself again with the new YDP-161 (particularly in the YDP-181) and the CLP-320. Both have three dyamic levels of AWM sampling, same speaker size/output and both have the 128 note polyphony with GH keyboard action. Those, to me, are the most important details for me. I have not come across the new YDP-161 yet but unless the "Pure C Sampling" on the CLP model makes a dramatic difference to the sound quality (which I doubt given that the piano samples in the CLP-X20 models tend to be basic enough when compared to the mid and upper range models) I would say that the instrument share the practically the same basic DNA.

Other differences include:
The CLP-320 has 14 voices against the YDP-161's 10 voices;
The YDP-161 has brilliance control;
The CLP-320 allows for 4 types of reverb whereas the YDP-161 appears to have only 1 generic setting for reverb.

Because the keyboard share so many similarities I would encourage you to try them yourself. You can also read the specifications on the Yamaha website:

YDP-161:
http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musica ... mode=model

CLP-320:
http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musica ... mode=model

PianoNewby
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by PianoNewby » 09 Sep 2010, 17:51

Thanks again to joseph for encouraging me and to markymark for the technical overview, it really seems that the ydp161 an the clp-320 are almost the same. I will try to revise my budget and maybe try to get the clp-330 since it has some nice features such as the GH3 keyboard. But only after I visit my local music shop and see how the different models feel. Although there are rumors that yamaha will release new clavinova series by the end of the year, do you think it's worth to wait a month or two before actually buying one ? I presume the new models will lower the prices on the old ones but again I haven't really been monitoring the piano market so I can't be certain...

markymark
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Re: DP Limitations

Post by markymark » 11 Sep 2010, 15:57

I'm not a dealer so I don't know anything about the imminent release of a CLP-400 range - have you heard something? Typically, Yamaha models run their range through a four year period (or at least that is what I was told) before replacing them with an upgraded model - I think a CLP-400 would be premature given that pattern.

As far as pricing regarding the CLP-300 range WHEN the CLP-400 range comes, the predecessing model will devalue. However, I do remember when the CLP-300 range came out that their upgraded equivalents to the CLP-200 range were INITIALLY cheaper - obviously part of a promotion but again, you can't guarantee that history will repeat itself given the present international economic state.

You could alternatively look at the CLP-270 (with GH3 hammer action keyboard) or the CLP-280 (with natural wood hammer action keyboard) which sat at the top of the range in the CLP-200 range. Both models have the four level dynamic sampling which is standard on the CLP-340 but also has the added iAFC (Instrumental Active Field Control) which is only included now in the CLP-380. The speaker system is also much more powerful which will also enhance the sound quality also. The CLP-270 and CLP-280 are arguably better instruments than the CLP-340. Despite the updates and upgraded from the CLP-240, the CLP-340 did not reach the maxim of the CLP-270 or moreso in the case of the CLP-280. Again, it's another option but again, you're going to have to look into the secondhand market here unless some local stores perchance still have one hanging about.

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