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Choice in Yamaha entry-level pianos

Posted: 23 Mar 2010, 00:10
by Jhyn

I am a French (some broken English to expect) beginner piano player. I began playing last year and I will have no longer access to the pianos in my university, so I am planning on buying a digital piano. Basically, this will be the piano for my home practice. My study is purely classical, so I am not interested in most fancy sounds and options. I will use it with headphones all the time, so amplification is not a matter. Portability is also not so important, provided that I can bring it home with the help of a friend or two (so <50 kilos should be ok).

My priorities are the feeling of the keyboard and the price, the sound coming only third (since I will play on a better piano for my lessons anyway). According to what I could read on the Web, I think my best buy should be in the entry-level Yamahas. Especially Clavinovas have been strongly recommended to me.

As a student, price is a quite important factor to me, so I can't help wondering how an entry-level Clavinova such as the CLP-320 would compare with another cheaper Yamaha I read good reviews about, the YDP-140. I guess I cannot expect to have the same quality for two thirds of the price, so my question would be: for a study piano, what differences can I expect between those two models, and do you think they are worth the price for my use ? Also, do you think that another brand could suit my needs best ?

Concerning the possibility of buying second hand, would you know a way to compare the old models (CLP 120, 121S, 360, etc.) to the newest ones ? And would you recommend it ?

Thank you for your time and answers. I'll try to go and take a look in a shop meanwhile, with the help of this thread: ... f=9&t=8136

Re: Choice in Yamaha entry-level pianos

Posted: 25 Mar 2010, 00:00
by markymark
The CLP220 and the YDP160 had more similarities between them than the YDP140.

One difference between the CLP320 and the YDP140 will be the sound quality. There is a better sampling in use on the CLP320 with the new CF pure sampling which was not used on the YDP140. As far as I can remember, the YDP140 has a smaller and less powerful set of speakers (6Wx2) than the more powerful CLP320 (20Wx2).

The keyboard actions will be different - the YDP140 has the GHS keyboard action whereas the CLP320 has the more realistic GH keyboard action.

I think that Yamaha is the best brand for digital pianos. You could look at the PX range from Privia but again, I don't like the sound and keyboard robustness has been a slight concern with the earlier PX200 range. The new 300 range may prove to be different. As yet I have not tried one.

Re: Choice in Yamaha entry-level pianos

Posted: 25 Mar 2010, 17:27
by Jhyn
Thank you very much for your answer. I went to the shop and tried some digital pianos, Casio, Privia & Yamaha. I did feel much more comfortable playing the Yamaha, but they only had some middle-level pianos, so I will come back in two weeks when they receive some entrey-level YDP and CDP (they only had CDP-340, if I remember correctly). The sound sampling is not that important to me, but the Yamaha felt definitely easier to play to me. I will give you some news when I try the other ones.

Re: Choice in Yamaha entry-level pianos

Posted: 02 May 2010, 22:22
by Jhyn
For your information, I eventually settled for a Yamaha, and I am as for now (three weeks of use) satisfied with it. The touch is a bit light and the sound sampling too cristalline (I don't know the exact term) in the high-pitched notes. Its direct concurrents weren't any better concerning the touch except for the Casio.

My biggest alternative was the Casio Celviano AP 200 (I think, might be +-20). The feeling was heavier and the sound sampling sounded more mellow, romantic-like. The drawbacks was that the sound didn't feel as natural as in the Yamaha (it's quite hard to explain, it's like when you play it, youh ear somebody playing the same thing as you, rather than playing it yourself... I guess they tried to give a more mechanical sound to the note), and it also felt quite hard to play, even compared to a accoustic piano. I think that this model has a better sound sampling than more expensive Celviano, which have a big lack of harmonics in low-pitched notes.

As far as I could tell, the difference with more expensive Yamaha was clear but not worth the price for a study piano in my opinion. However, you wouldn't want to play this model in public for the sound sampling problems are much more obvious without headphones. Actually, with my good-quality headphones (~60E Sennheiser), I got used to it quite easily.

Thank you for your advice, and sorry for my English.