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MESSE06: Roadworthy Pianos Stage A Comeback
Yamaha launches new CP series stage pianos 30 years on from the original 30/03/06
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In 1976, Yamaha launched the first of the CP series stage pianos. The CP70 and CP80 became instant classics
known as much for road-worthiness as they were acoustic pianist-playability. Finally performers had a portable
electric piano that faithfully reproduced the touch and tone of an acoustic grand piano and the CP packed
enough sonic power to cut through a live concert mix and have the same stage presence as the guitar, bass
Some of us at Sonicstate remember the CPs being awkward buggers to move around (try carrying one up a flight of stairs!) and would have loved something with the same sound but much lighter - unfortunately no one had invented digital pianos back then. Now, to answer the specific need for road-ready professional pianos, Yamaha has used the Frankfurt show as the venue for reviving the CP name and unveiling the new CP300 and CP33
Here's what Yamaha have to say about the new range...
Like the original CPs, they're natural concert stars and road
warriors. They give live performers all the sound and expressiveness of a superbly-mic'd grand piano with all he
portability and versatility of a modern digital musical instrument.
With over 100 years of experience of piano construction the Yamaha understanding of piano keyboard mechanisms
is unrivaled. Using the acclaimed Yamaha Graded Hammer Effect (GHE) action the mechanical resistance
of different sized hammers found inside a real grand piano is perfectly replicated within the CP series.
GHE brings the expressive playing experience into the digital realm as key weight increases gradually from top
Crafting the piano sound of the new CP series involved just as much attention to detail as its touch. Advanced
Wave Memory (AWM) uses Dynamic Stereo Sampling (3 piano recordings per key) to provide expressiveness of
tone. Other subtle elements like String Resonance (harmonic overtones), Stereo Sustain (open strings while pedaling),
and even Key-Off Samples (recordings of felt dampers coming to rest on vibrating piano strings) are all
occurring during piano performance. The end result is simpleâ€¦ it just sounds real.
With 128 note polyphony in
the flagship CP300 and 64 note polyphony in the CP33, the tone generation engine will keep going, without
note-stealing, even during the most demanding of musical passages.
As a master keyboard controller, CP series stage pianos easily take command of external synthesizers and tone
generators during a performance. There are four instrument zones on the CP300 and two zones on the CP33,
with dedicated zone sliders on the panel that allow easy control of the volume of each part. The freely assignable
sliders and wheels can go way beyond mere mixing thoughâ€”these sliders and wheels can even control
the sonic characteristics of the connected MIDI instruments such as attack, decay, and filter cutoff.
The flagship CP300 has a feature set to answer the most demanding of situations. Its 30w internal speaker
system is perfect for on-stage monitoring or smaller gigs. A rare addition to stage pianos are its XLR outputsâ€”
a dream for any professional performer. The CP300 also boasts a full set of 480 XG instrumental voices and 12
drum kits allowing for full musical composition and arrangements to be created internally using its internal 16-
track sequencer. USB connectivity also allows for easy connection to a computer for more intricate MIDI sequencing
of all internal voices.
The smaller CP33 has no internal speakers system and is therefore physically smaller and lighter. With its 14
high quality AWM voices each with a variation, USB MIDI connection and pitch bend/modulation wheels it is
the most controllable stage piano in its price point that Yamaha has ever created.
The new CP series of pianos have been specifically designed with the serious player in mind.
Price and Availability
CP300 will be available in the UK from June 06 with a target retail price including VAT of Â£1799 GBP
follows in July 06 with a target price of Â£949 GBP