How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

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Openwood
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How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by Openwood » 03 Feb 2012, 13:19

I need to get a digital piano for a practice room. I've tried a Yam CLP 430 and 440 and liked them both but a few people have told me they like the Kawai CE220 better. Does anyone have experience of both and if so, what are your thoughts?

Cheers now!

James
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Solon (c. 630 - c. 500 B.C.), Greek Statesman and Reformer

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 03 Feb 2012, 14:05

The golden rule is: if you like it, buy it... ignore everyone else :)
Yamaha Pianos for sale (usually 50+ in stock)
email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by Openwood » 03 Feb 2012, 15:08

Agreed. The thing is that I haven't yet found anyone who stocks the Kawais. Yamahas are all over the place like a rash so it's easy to try them out. Anyone know where I can get my hands on a Kawai CE220?
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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by joseph » 03 Feb 2012, 17:51

I have no idea, but in the past (up until very recently anyway) Yamaha have had the edge on sound. Much more realistic than Kawai. Although I think Kawai have a pretty good action.

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by SirTK » 05 Feb 2012, 09:30

I recently changed out my Yammy acoustic for a digital as my house move requires that I now play silently. I had picked out the CLP series and decided not to pay too much as I am no kind of pianist.

So I tried a few, including the 440 which seemed fine. Then I tried the 470 standing next to it. Just for comparison, you understand.

So of course the 470 is now standing in my room, resplendent in Polished Ebony, and it's wonderful. I play all the time now as I enjoy the beast so much. The action is as close to an acoustic as you can get, and the sound through (fairly costly) Sennheisers is very realistic. Not quite so good through the speakers but that doesn't matter to me.

My advice? - don't go near a 470 unless you are prepared to buy one as you'll never be able to go back to the 440.

FWIW
Terry

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by Openwood » 06 Feb 2012, 00:46

Thank you for your replies. I was especially interested to hear about Terry's experience because, as well as getting one for the practice room, I'm also wondering about getting a digital piano for myself at home.

I might be about to ask a really daft question, but here goes; has Yamaha designed them so that the piano sound on a CLP470 is better than on the 440/430 or is it just that the 470 has more voices and functions? I've never been quite clear about this!

Thanks in advance :-)
James
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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by SirTK » 07 Feb 2012, 11:31

James, I don't really know how the sound "live" compares as I played them all through 'phones (I'd be too embarrassed to let everyone in Chappells know how bad my playing is :oops: ).

I was mainly comparing the action, and the wooden keys (with fake ivory) tops of the 470 was just so much a better feel than the 440 - much more like my acoustic, to the point where it was well worth the extra money.

The 470 doesn't have much in the way of "features", which was a big pull for me as most of the stuff I simply wouldn't use. Which is why I didn't go near the 480 nor the CVP series.

I might as an experiment hook up the piano to my Ruark hi-fi speakers for the odd occasions when I want to play out loud, which should make the sound as good as through the headset.

cheers
Terry

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by markymark » 08 Feb 2012, 18:44

Kawai is very rare over here so I can't really comment but I have heard the sound samples from Kawai over the years. I often find that there is a "chorus" like undertone with the upper register which undermines the organic sound. As I said, I can't speak from experience but I've often found the Kawai tone lacking somewhat!

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by joseph » 14 Mar 2012, 19:14

For the record, I use my Yamaha CP-300 for a great deal of heavy repetitive practice. The keyboard touch is heavy enough, and while it's not as smooth or as fast as my grand, that doesn't really matter given the work I'm doing on it. I enjoy practising on it, and I don't notice any difference in the key weight between that and my grand.

It doesn't have the GH3 keyboard, synthetic ivory or wooden keys, but it has an amazing piano sample on it and I've been thankful for Yamaha's outstanding digital pianos in recent weeks as I've had to practise all the hours without disturbing my neighbour's sleep! :piano;

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by Openwood » 14 Mar 2012, 21:53

Thanks for this, Joseph. I have a humble Yamaha CLP 220 at home right now and even this makes a fairly good practice instrument, albeit it in a kind of 'last resort' sort of way!

We went for a Yamaha CLP 430 for the school music room in the end and, well, to be honest I'm a little disappointed. The key weighting is very good but the default piano sound is (to my ears) mellow to the point of lacking in character. I actually prefer the sample on my 220. I realise you can use the 'brighter' setting to adjust the sound, but I don't find the overall tone of that very satisfactory either! Perhaps I was just expecting too much from this new product.

Having said all that, I've been using the CLP in preference to the acoustic YUS1 (which is in the same room) for accompanying instrumentalists, simply because the damn thing is always in tune. Obviously, the YUS1 sounds miles better than the digital when in it's in tune, but that seems to last for about a week and then off it goes. The 430 sounds fine on recordings in an accompanying role and for an assessed performance I'd rather accompany an instrumentalist with a digital piano which is perfectly in tune than an acoustic upright which is all over the place.

Cheers now,
James
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Solon (c. 630 - c. 500 B.C.), Greek Statesman and Reformer

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by joseph » 14 Mar 2012, 23:36

:D I agree with that in many ways. We pianists aren't renowned for praising digital pianos but Yamaha really have produced a viable practice piano in their Clavinovas and stage pianos.

I sometimes record with the CP, even some classical music, just to get an idea of what I sound like. I put it on a CD using a tascam and forgot that I had done it. Anyway I was listening to it back and I was thinking to myself 'When did I record that on such a perfectly tuned concert grand? What piano is that I'm using?' and then about five minutes in it clicked! So the sample is as real as it's going to get.

What ISN'T as real is the playability of the keyboard, of course. Honestly though, I find myself able to do so much pure finger work on the CP, heavy technical work, and then I can finish it off and refine it on the grand piano. We're still not at the stage where we can do highly refined practice on digital pianos but I think that day may come. Also, 128 voice polyphony isn't enough by the time you use a stereo sample with key off and resonance! I still loose notes, but i don't mind so much because the quality is very good.

Perhaps you'll never get the sheer joy of playing from a digital in the way you do from an acoustic but remember what they sounded like in 1986 (Roland HP4500, Yamaha CLP 350 etc, no great shakes to be honest), then in 1996 (Roland HP330, Yamaha I dunno what - CLP 800?- convincing enough but still not close enough) and then in 2006 with the CP300, the CLP280, 380 and 480 last year, the Roland VPiano, the AvantGrand, we are living in an exciting time for pianists who use technology.

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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

Post by Openwood » 15 Mar 2012, 01:02

Yes, I've tried the Avant Grands and they're impressive, but I can't imagine a time when I would choose a digital over an acoustic as my 'first' piano (finances permitting!). I think I'll always be in love with 'proper' pianos, however good the alternatives are. The sound's the main thing, of course, but let's face it, you just can't beat the sight of a grand with the lid up :piano;

For solo recording, we always use the beautiful C7 in our school hall - I still get tingles from playing it after seven years - but for everyday accompaniment and practice when the hall isn't available (and sadly that's quite a lot of the time), the CLP 430 is really useful, despite that disappointing 'over-mellow' tone. And as you pointed out with your digital, when I listen back to recordings of the CLP I'm struck by how good it sounds. Basically, it's a very good 'back-up' when the real thing isn't available.
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Re: How does Kawai CE220 compare with Yamaha CLP440

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