Prior review of the CLP430, CLP440, CLP470, CLP480 - Recommended - For many years I have enjoyed playing and performing on Yamaha acoustic & digital pianos (I have two of them in my music studio incl one acoustic Yamaha - left pic). The Yamaha Clavinova CLP400 series digital pianos are excellent instruments overall with fairly realistic key action and piano sound. The newer 400 series models came out in early 2011 so they are older in technology now as compared with some newer digital pianos in other famous brands including Kawai, Roland, & Casio, but they're still popular with their nice furniture cabinet styles. The Yamaha 400 series models include the CLP430 (approx $2999 retail US), CLP440 ($3899 retail US), CLP470 (approx $4799 retail US), & CLP480 (approx $6999 retail US). Polished ebony cabinets are available in all models and are priced about $500+ higher (in many Yamaha stores) than non-polished ebony. You can figure the store discount prices on Clavinova's in general should be about 25% off retail prices (give or take) depending on the dealer, model, and availability. These instruments get better as you go up the line with better piano tone, better piano touch (plastic keys/wood keys), more features, better internal audio system, and nicer cabinets. Also, be aware that there are new improved CLP500 series pianos just coming out in the US now which will likely make the CLP400 series become discontinued in the near future. Because of that, the CLP400 series may be at lower discount prices than normal in local US Yamaha piano stores. If you live in the US and want more info on that, please contact me.
|CLP430 dark rosewood|
|New CLP440 satin white|
I did notice something on the CLP430 & CLP440 (left pic) which bothered me a bit. The plastic GH3 key actions in the CLP430 & CLP440 (the number 3 stands for a 3rd key sensor key which is a good thing) is overly stiff or resistant in my opinion when you play the keys lightly or softly across the keyboard. However, the CLP470 (lower left pic) & 480 wood key action seems to be better and I didn't notice that issue quite as much based on my experiences with them. However, as good as the CLP470 & 480 are, the wood keys on those models are installed and designed differently than the Kawai CA series wood key digital pianos (Yamaha's wood key competitor). Based on my considerable acoustic piano experience, the Kawai wood key action is more authentic in the way it moves and the way in which it is installed into their pianos. Yamaha, like all good digital piano manufacturers, try to design and manufacturer their key actions to emulate an acoustic piano, but when you play a real acoustic upright piano, the keys should be easy to press down when playing lightly and then get slightly easier to push down as you across the keys. The CLP series keyboard actions are graded in weight and do get progressively easier to play when pushing the keys (it is subtle) as you move up the keyboard. But the overall heaviness and resistance of the keys when pressing down from key resting position (called static touch weight) on the CLP430 & CLP440 is noticeable to me. This may not be apparent to the average person who may not have much acoustic piano playing experience, but if you played a good Yamaha (or other good brands) acoustic upright piano and compared it with these specific CLP digital pianos, you would likely notice the difference. To me, the Yamaha CLP430 & 440 have key actions that feel less like an acoustic piano as compared with Kawai & Roland digital pianos in similar price ranges, but that's just my opinion and you may feel differently.
|CLP480 polished ebony|
|CLP480 w/key cover closed|
The lowest priced Clavinova model is the CLP430 which sells on average for somewhere between $2000-$2300US at Yamaha piano stores. However, the well known Kawai piano company has a newer digital piano available in the US called the CE220 at $1899US internet discount price (left pic), which in my opinion, outperforms the Yamaha CLP430, and for less money and is an amazing instrument. The Kawai CE220 uses actual acoustic piano full length wooden keys installed over solid metal pins that creates a very stable key action with no lateral movement (lower left pic) along with graduated weighted hammer key action, 192-notes of polyphony (as opposed to 128 in the Yamaha CLP430), 3 traditional functioning pedals with half-damper control, 100 drum rhythm patterns for rhythm & timing training, 22 impressive instrument sounds including stereo grand pianos, 4-hand duet play function, and comes in an attractive satin black furniture style cabinet with bench. I have played and listened extensively to the Kawai CE220 and it is really impressive for
Kawai CE220 Piano Review.
As I mentioned a bit before, for the higher amount of money these pianos cost, the Yamaha Clavinova 400 series pianos also have a noticeable lack of instruments on three of the CLP models as compared with other brands at similar prices, which may or may not be important to you. There are just 14 of instrument tones in the CLP430, 28 in the CLP440, 28 in the CLP470, and over 500 instruments in the CLP480. The models with 14-28 instrument tones do have good quality instrument sounds and are quite enjoyable to play such as electric pianos, harpsichord, acoustic guitar, organs, etc. However, Roland offers 337 quality instruments on its HP line of pianos and even their less expensive RP401R ($1999) has many more instrument selections, assuming that would be an important feature to you. The Kawai company also offers many more instrument tones & features on their pianos priced at above $2300.
|CLP440 polished ebony|
|CLP470 dark rosewood|
If you want a furniture cabinet model in a lower price range, then you should also look at the new Yamaha Arius YDP162 ($1499US internet discount price with basic cabinet finish), the Casio Privia PX860 ($1099US internet discount price - left pic), or the new Roland RP401R which are very nice pianos too. The Casio PX860 compact home cabinet model in satin black has the synthetic ivory & ebony feel keys, 256-note polyphony (very high polyphony in that price range), a wav file audio recorder/player using USB flashdrive (just like on the CLP's), fairly realistic acoustic piano tone and convincing acoustic piano key action (3 sensor key action for smoother play with 4-level stereo samples) and other cool things all in a contemporary compact cabinet. I have reviewed the Casio PX860 on my blog with the link here: Casio PX860 Review. As digital technology progresses and advances, it allows for better products at lower prices in many product categories (such as cell phones, tablets, TV's, digital pianos, etc), and such would seem to be the case in this new Casio PX860. I would also recommend in the higher price range (over $3000) the new Kawai CA67 & CA97 which are quite impressive with their grand piano let-off key action and also Roland's newer HP506 & HP08 which offer more sounds and the let-off grand key action like Kawai. Those models compare very favorably to the Yamaha CLP470 & CLP480.
|Roland HP508 polished ebony|
|CLP470 w/key cover closed|
If you want more info on these and other pianos and lower prices than internet discounts, please email me at email@example.com or call direct at 602-571-1864
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