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  1. Peter
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  4. Monday, 21 January 2019
Hi,
The CP88 looks and sounds (on the demo videos) like a great stage piano with an excellent layout and I am afraid I will have to replace my CP4 with the CP88 as soon as possible.
I have a question about the keybed in CP88. When comparing the specifications stated on the Yamaha homepages the following appears
- CP4 has keybed NW-GH
- CP88 has keybed NW-GH
- P515 has keybed NWX
From this it seems the keybed on CP88 is the same as on CP4. However, one demonstrator on a video (don't remember who) stated that the keybed on CP88 is the same as on the P515 - so a bit confusing. It also seems from the pictures that the keys on the CP88 (and P515) are textured whereas they are smooth on the CP4.
I would be glad if someone can clarify the differences on the keybeds in the 3 pianos listed above.
Thank you very much in advance.
Responses (12)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
NWX is different from NW-GH

NWX has escapement...
“The NWX keyboard also features an escapement mechanism that reproduces the feel of an acoustic piano as it goes through the let-off and drop of the hammer when a key is played very softly. The action has been designed in such a way that the escapement is discernible only on the lightest keystrokes, similar to the keyboard of a grand piano.”

The new CP88 has NW-GH and the same triple sensors as in the CP4 STAGE, but the CP88 has textured keys (“Synthetic Ebony and Ivory Key Tops are lightly porous which adds grip to the keys.“)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I would like to have a follow up question on the post Peter initiated. Is it true that the P-515 has NWX with escapement feature while CP88 has NW-GH ?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Your second question was directly answered. BM writes "... the new CP88 has NW-GH".

Your first question about the P-515 is answered here:

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/pianos/p_series/p-515/specs.html

Control Interface
Keyboard - Number of Keys - 88
Keyboard - Type - NWX (Natural Wood X) keyboard: wooden keys (white only), synthetic ebony and ivory keytops, escapement


The CP's NW-GH lacks escapement that the P-515's NWX keybed provides.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Jason for the info... then it triggers my next question why P-515 has a better keybed vs. CP88, which is supposed be the other way around (I assume the NWX with escapement should provide better touch than NW-GH though I have not played any digital piano with escapement feature). Please enlighten me if you have experience playing the 2 keybeds. Thanks.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
(I assume the NWX with escapement should provide better touch than NW-GH though I have not played any digital piano with escapement feature). Please enlighten me if you have experience playing the 2 keybeds. Thanks.
Assume nothing, particularly if you don’t really know what escapement is, and especially if you don’t know how, when or what it does. The actions will play differently —they are slightly different. To be sure, escapement costs more to do, but you may decide that it is not for you. To ask the question tells me that you are not quite sure what escapement does. It’s okay, 99 out of 100 players don’t know exactly... unless they are a piano technician’s kid.

The best thing I can encourage anyone to do is please go and play these tremendous instruments. Yamaha has 131 years of being an instrument manufacturer, 118 years as a piano manufacturer, and is the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments... and they’ve done a lot of market research about exactly which features to include in which products. What you have to seriously ask yourself, “Does Yamaha know something I don’t?” Just maybe, stage performers prefer an action without escapement.

Please just go play the P515, and very shortly, the CP88 will be in stores, then (even without knowing what escapement is) you can decide which is the right instrument for you. And you can make that decision WITHOUT knowing what it is, you really only need to know what YOU, personally, like.

If you happen to like the CP88 action over the P515, you’ll know why because you now know there is a difference. But no one, and I mean no one, can decide this for you. Sorry, but you’lll need to play them. You may play them both for hours and never ever feel this difference.

If all the other clear differences between these two products is not enough to decide, then please don’t make the decision based on an assumption that you think because it has some perceived extra value. The products come from two different segments of the company and there is no: “which is supposed to be the other way around” — where did you get that from? They fall generally into the same price range, targeting the stage / studio and the home, as two separate targets.

With or without Sprinkles
Oooo this Raspberry Vanilla Swirl Chocolate Chip ice cream has sprinkles and this one doesn’t ... but say, you don’t like sprinkles... it’s an additional feature! But what if you don’t like sprinkles? See... you’re still going to need to make the decision yourself.

I know I shouldn’t answer a “which one’s better” question. You’re asking “Do these shoes fit my feet?” But I just want to impress upon you — the decision is not trivial. It was decided NOT to have “escapement” on the CP88. If it’s important to you, get it. If not, or, if you don’t really know how it will affect playing, or when it affects the way the instrument plays, then please, please just go to a music store and sit down and play it! You may not even be able to feel it... particularly if you don’t know *when* you might feel the difference.

If you go to a store that actually sells acoustic pianos, find a salesperson or technician and have a discussion about “escapement”... and why some players prefer it and others prefer to minimize its impact on their instrument. You are getting into an area that at least the piano technician would love to talk to you about. (They are used to piano players NOT KNOWING anything about what happens between the Key top and the String strike... in reality, most of us know very little! They will thank you for asking!) if you ask a sales person they will have a motive behind the answer... they, like the shoe salesperson, knows it doesn’t matter if it has escapement or not, it’s all about do YOU, Mr/Ms Customer, do YOU like it... does it fit. Will it fit your lifestyle.

Do you gig? They might ask. One of these instruments is built to travel to and from hundreds of gigs per year. The other of these instruments has more a furniture vibe once fully assembled w/Pedal board attached, and would not necessarily survive hundreds of assembly/disassembly/reassembly. One has built-in speakers and is designed to use the wall and floor to disperse the sound throughout the room, the other connects unbalanced to both a pair powered floor monitors and can simultaneously send a balanced stereo signal to the FOH mixer.

”Is this a weighted action?” Question
If you ever worked retail then you know this one: the customer is playing the keyboard and asks “Is this a weighted action?” How do you answer that... they don’t really want to know if it’s weighted... they want to talk, in general, about “piano simulation”. But that’s what they ask! The sharp sales person doesn’t say: “Duh! You tell me, Einstein, you’re playin it”, the sharp salesperson takes the hint and talks about things the customer might understand, in terms they might understand... they certainly don’t start sprouting technical jargon, like “it has escapement”... the customer doesn’t know if it’s “weighted”, no less it has “escapement”... what is escapement anyways?

“Is this a weighted action?”... It’s as weak a customer question as “Which one sounds better?” The correct answer to this one is “Duh! You tell me....” (the correct answer to which one ‘sounds better’ is always, the opinion of the customer, period.)

They’ll want to get a better idea of what you might understand... but like the shoe salesperson, they are just going to keep it on a level of “how does it feel to you?” “Which one do YOU think sounds better?”

Escapement, the piano technician will tell you, has to do with how a grand piano action, for example, is able to be ready for another keystroke/hammer strike... even before the key returns to the nominal start position. It is a complex set of works that ensures rapid-fire. This is handled electronically, in both P and CP-Series, by the “triple sensors”... these are able to reset and ready the tone engine for a new keystroke/hammer strike even before the key returns to nominal. This makes it virtually impossible to out speed the keyboard.

In an acoustic piano there are no triple sensors to chronicle the key-travel on its way down and back up. Acoustic pianos have escapement so that you can execute machine-gun like trills.

So what’s “escapement” mean in an electronic keyboard if the speed thing is handled by 3 sensors? Now we are down to the psychoacoustic level of the “piano experience” ... on a grand piano you can play so lightly that the key hardly strikes the string - it is then that you notice and can feel a thud from inside the box as the action resets/rearms... you are only aware of this subtle ‘thud’ through the tips of your fingers... (too much of this, you pick up the phone and call a technician). It’s a “thing” for some folks. You don’t mention it and you may not miss it (like the Key-Off noise... it’s an acquired taste. You really don’t miss it, until you become aware of it, then you take it away... it is very similar to that kind of “experience” ).

Hope that is helpful. Most online discussions about how an action feels or how an instruments sounds... go nowhere because it’s all subjective. Escapement is one of those things when someone says they like or dislike an action, just might come into play. But most players, as I mentioned, don’t know what it is exactly that they like or dislike... they just are SURE in their opinion... no one seeks or feels the need to justify their own opinion, they just have one.

Final note: the sharp salesperson is going to concentrate on your “lifestyle”... that is, ‘how you intend to use the instrument’... with that they can help you. Which one you’ll like — well, that’s going to be on you!

Thanks for the question.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Bad Mister for your response to my question and I get your point. Frankly speaking, if I had a chance to play P-515 or CP88 myself, I would not make any assumptions or i would not have raised the question. However, just to give you more context, P-515 or CP88 is not available in Vietnam market by far, i cannot find any dealers in Vietnam that have a P-515 or CP88 in their showrooms, I only can get the info about the keyboards via Yamaha website, forums and reviews on youtube. I have been longing for the next generation of CP4 for so long, and I think the CP88 worth my waiting. I am trying to see if my friend can help me buy a CP88 and ship to me from another country.

As a pianist, i always want to try the keyboard myself to check the touch & feeling of the keybed, but it is not possible for my case. So, I am sorry if my question makes you feel that i am lazy - not go to check the keyboards myself, but in fact it is just not possible for me. And as a customer, i am curious why P-515 is equiped with "escapement feature" as in the latest Clavinova CLP-6xx model but not in the CP88.

Btw, i am playing Clavinova CLP-465GP and Montage 8. I find Montage 8 is quite heavy for me to bring to my church every Sunday, and CP88 appears to be the best keyboard for me now.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 6
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The P515 just recently started shipping (I've yet to see one in a store myself, but they sold out very fast here in late Dec and Jan) and the CP88 has not yet shipped (it is not due to ship until some time in early Spring). It is not that unusual to NOT have seen either one of these in stores yet, whether in Vietnam or elsewhere... It has nothing to do with me thinking you are lazy ??? Lazy or not, the best way to determine if you like an action is to play it. That's going to be true whether or not, it is possible to get to one or not. I do appreciate that you must ask - but take note that most statements concerning how an action feels is a personal opinion.

The P-series and the Clavinova come from the same department within Yamaha.
The CP-series comes from the same department as the Synthesizers within Yamaha.

We do not make a keyboard with escapement in a mobile format. (As far as I know the P-515 is the first that is even remotely mobile).
Besides... the Master MIDI Keyboard Control implementation was more importing on the instrument designed to go to the gig!

"Do you gig?" I asked... Because moving the CP-series is within the design concept. Built to play thousands of gigs.
Not that you couldn't move a P-series or a Clavinova to your gigs, but just be aware of the design difference. If you have a CLP-465GP then you understand the difference between a keyboard that is mobile and not mobile. The MONTAGE 8 is about 64 pounds, the CP88 is going to be about 23 pounds lighter...
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks Bad Mister for your elaboration. As I checked with Yamaha dealers here in Vietnam, it seems P-515 is not in the roadmap for Vietnam at least in the near future, so I will find a CLP-6xx piano for checking the "escapement feature" instead, and CP88 will come to Vietnam only in Q2'19 the soonest. Anyway, considering my need, i will get a CP88.

For your question, yes, i do gig though it is not my main job. I mostly play piano in my church and for shows/events. I practise with my CLP-465 GP at home and perform with my Montage 8. I find CP88 is much better for me as Montage 8 is quite heavy as a mobile keyboard.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 8
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
For your question, yes, i do gig though it is not my main job. I mostly play piano in my church and for shows/events. I practise with my CLP-465 GP at home and perform with my Montage 8. I find CP88 is much better for me as Montage 8 is quite heavy as a mobile keyboard
Those are good reasons to buy... the logistical reasons. Not buying based on one has escapement and one doesn’t, (you will see what I mean when you compare) majority of customers don’t even feel the difference. But everyone feels the weight when they try to move the instrument. lol
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 9
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
You are right... Bad Mister. I must say Logistical reason justifies for 50% of my decision, 30% goes to the keybed NW-GH3, and 20% goes to the design of CP88 - especially the 1-to-1 UI concept with 3 distinct modules, which provides quick access and no more deep dive to the multilevel menu. Again, thanks for sharing your insights.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 10
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Yeah , the logistic reasons is why I gig with a nord stage 3. Must say the Nord copycat keyboard CP88 is quite nice though.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 11
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Nord did not invent this concept and there are many more possible sources for borrowing design ideas from outside of Nord which share this concept. Including previous Yamaha keyboards that predate Nord. All of that said - who knows. Maybe they did single out Nord as the sole source of inspiration for adopting this layout. It's highly speculative and perhaps disingenuous as much as perhaps spot on.

Glad it's an interface which works well for you, however. I think it's possible to be similar - or in the same class of interface and not be completely derivative or a copy.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. CP88-CP73 Stage Piano
  3. # 12
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