The CLP-320 combines the pleasant playability of the GH keyboard with the expressive power of Pure CF Sampling and 3-level Dynamic Stereo Sampling. With 128-note polyphony and three foot pedals that include the damper half pedal effect, the instrument delivers the full nuance of an acoustic instrument. The CLP-320 is an introductory model with meticulous attention to piano fundamentals.
NEW! Pure CF Sampling for superb tonality
Yamaha technicians selected a Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand with the best sound quality and finely tuned it under the best conditions. Then, they used our unique Pure CF Sampling * technique to sample all of its sounds in order to create the new CLP30...
NEW! Pure CF Sampling for superb tonality
Yamaha technicians selected a Yamaha CFIIIS full concert grand with the best sound quality and finely tuned it under the best conditions. Then, they used our unique Pure CF Sampling * technique to sample all of its sounds in order to create the new CLP300 Series piano sound. As a result, you enjoy the same natural tonal variety as a Yamaha acoustic concert grand piano.
* CLP380, CLP370, CLP340, CLP330, CLP320, CLPS308, CLPS306.
From pianissimo to fortissimo
The voice of an acoustic grand piano changes according to how it is played. Yamaha's sounds are sampled according to keystroke strength for each key at 10 levels or more. The Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) Dynamic Stereo Sampling technology analyzes these samples. Then, it selects three to five levels* that best match your subtle touch on the keyboard. This enables you to directly transmit the delicate movements of your fingertips into expressive sound.
* CLP380 uses five levels.
All the subtle capabilities of a grand piano
Key-Off samples provide the delicate sound keys make when they are released. Stereo Sustain samples recreate the resonances of strings and soundboard when the damper pedal is pressed. String Resonance samples provided the rich tones produced when one hammered string causes related strings to ring out in harmony. Using these comprehensive gradations, CLP300 Series models can realistically reproduce the complex sounds of a grand piano.
* Key-Off and Stereo Sustain: CLP380, CLP370, CLP340. String Resonance: CLP380.
NEW! Yamaha's unique Tri-Amp System
This proprietary Tri-Amp System improves sound quality by using three separate amplifiers for the high, middle and low frequency ranges. Yamaha audio professionals, with their expertise of Yamaha acoustic equipment in studios and halls, extensively explored the optimal balance of the 3-system amplifier to reproduce the natural tones of the piano. The result is greater amp efficiency, lower distortion and better frequency response across the entire sound spectrum. It also maximizes the benefits of Pure CF Sampling.
* CLP380 only.
NEW! Direct Internet access for CLP models
Experience Yamaha's exclusive Internet Direct Connection (IDC)* service on the new CLP300 Series for the first time. Tap into the Radio Service for Piano and listen to uninterrupted streaming of music on your instrument. Listen as your instrument performs jazz, classical, pop and more. The CLP300 Series models have a LAN port * for easy access and simple connection to the Internet.
* CLP380, CLP370, CLP340, CLPS308, CLPS306. This is a subscription service.
Headphone jacks let you enjoy your instrument in private
Here's a convenient extra: connectors for optional headphones, so you can practice without worrying about how loud you're playing. The two headphone jacks let you and a friend enjoy private duets.
USB connectivity* for storing and playing music
Insert an optional USB storage device into the USB port to save and transfer your performances.
* Not available on CLP320.
The music book "50 Greats for the Piano" contains the printed music for the built-in songs and is included with all new CLP300 Series models.
Other Great Features
- Dark Rosewood / Cherry / Mahogany / Polished Ebony
- 88-key GH (Graded Hammer) keyboard
- Pure CF Sampling
- 3-step AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) Dynamic Stereo Sampling tone generation
- 10 Voices
- 128-note polyphony
- Digital Effects (Reverb)
- 1-track recording
- Internal Flash ROM for song memory
- 7 temperaments
- Amplifier 20W x 2
- Speaker System - (Oval (4 3/4" x 2 3/8") x 2
- Three foot pedals
- MIDI IN / OUT
- Sliding key cover
- Dual headphone jacks
- Headphone hanger
- 50 built-in demonstration piano songs with sheet music
Specifications subject to change without notice.
Audio & Video
Makoto Kuriya Meets Clavinova ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - This piano arouses one’s motivation to play music. Makoto Kuriya, a jazz pianist and composer, talks about the feeling of playing a Clavinova. Please enjoy it along with a performance overflowing with expressiveness. [Model used: CLP-380PE]
PROFILE : Makoto Kuriya [Jazz pianist / Composer]
Born in Kobe, Japan, graduated from West Virginia University with a linguistics major, and later studied and performed with Nathan Davis at the University of Pittsburgh. He spent most of 80’s in the States and toured with Grammy winning Chuck Mangione in the late 80’s. Back to Japan in 1990, he produced a series of CD’s resulting in many awards, and was also much in demand for commercial recording work. In the mid 90’, he performed the soundtrack for the platinum winning “Neo Genesis Evangelion” which became a global success. Since 2001, Kuriya has been writing and producing songs for best selling pop artist, Ken Hirai. In 2002, he completed the movie soundtrack for “Nitaboh” performed by the Warsaw Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004, Kuriya performed with his own group and with Herbie Hancock at “Tokyo Jazz”, the largest jazz festival in Japan, and in Paris for the “International Music Day” organised by UNESCO, with such greats as Billy Cobham, John Faddis, and Jonny Griffin. In 2005, the first European tour ended in great success. The year 2006 went with the second European tour including performances at “the City of London Festival”. In 2006, Kuriya also produced a Japan-Australia joint project and toured with the mixture unit in both countries. The year 2007 went with the third European tour including performances at “TanJazz” in Morocco.
Yuko Mifune Meets Clavinova ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - A piano that expands your enjoyment of music. We asked the internationally famous pianist Yuko Mifune to play a Clavinova and give us her impressions. Listen to her playing, and to her thoughts about music and the Clavinova. [Model used: CLP-380PE]
PROFILE : Yuko Mifune [Pianist]
In 1988, she took first place in the prestigious Japan Music Competition. In 1990-91, she attended The Julliard School. She made her U.S. debut in 1991, and that same year won the Frinna Awerbach International Piano Competition.
Her beautiful sound and dynamic performances have always inspired audiences, and she has garnered critical acclaim for her broad repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music. She served as the emcee of NHK-BS2’s Weekly Book Review before.
Bill Sharpe ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - Up to now and from now on, it’s Clavinova. Bill Sharpe, a member of the popular British band Shakatak, plays a Clavinova. He gives us a performance which fully drew out the expressive power of the Clavinova. [Model used: CLP-380PM]
PROFILE : Bill Sharpe [Pianist / Composer]
Bill Sharpe is pianist, composer and founder member of the pop / funk super group Shakatak. The band scored many chart hits which introduced their unique instrumental-unison vocal sound to a global audience. The band are a major international act, have released a number of high profile albums including a number one jazz album slot in Japan, and have performed many concerts across Europe, America and the Far East.
The outstanding piano / keyboard playing of Bill Sharpe, whos melodic and clean solos are full of energy, has become a unique signature’ of the band. His solos have become iconic lines for other keyboard players to study and emulate. Bill has also written, along with other members of the group, many of Shakatak’s most popular songs. He has also enjoyed solo success, composing and recording with many high profile musicians, including Gary Numan and Don Grusin. In addition Bill has composed for TV shows and released several successful solo albums.
PAUL HARRY HARRIS ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - Its resonance reminds me of a grand piano. Paul Harry Harris is often described as being able to do anything with a piano. He treats us to a splendid performance showing the mastery of his technique with a Clavinova.[CLP-380PM]
PROFILE : Paul 'Harry' Harris [Pianist / Entertainer]
Since starting to play at the age of four pianist Paul 'Harry' Harris has set about proving that he can do 'absolutely anything on piano'. Quite simply, he does things with the instrument that you've never heard before, moving seamlessly between jazz, cabaret and classical in a manner that hasn't been seen in the UK for many years.
Very few artists can command respect in such differing fields, but Harry has such an extraordinary talent that as well as running a 20 piece dance band by the age of nineteen and appearing with a host of British jazz musicians culminating with a night at Ronnie Scotts last year, he has also accompanied just about everybody in the business from Charlotte Church to David Bowie and James Belushi via Elvis Costello and opera star Sir Willard White.
LAURIE HOLLOWAY ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - My piano always plays precisely and beautifully. Multi-talented musician Laurie Holloway has composed the theme music of many TV shows. He conveys the appeal of the Clavinova through his words and performance. [Model used: CLP-380PM]
PROFILE : Laurie Holloway [Pianist / Conductor / Arranger / Composer]
Laurie is one of the most respected and talented pianists / musicians in the UK, with a career spanning more than 50 years. He has played with many greats from the world of music including such names as the celebrated jazz violinist Stefan Grapelli, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine and a 5 year world tour with Engelbert Humperdinck.
Laurie has written many TV and film themes and worked extensively on TV as a Musical Director, most recently on the 'Parkinson' chat show, where he accompanied many famous musicians, and the BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Laurie is still a regular Musical Director on various TV shows, performing with both his trio and big band, but still finds time to practice his favorite past time — trying to reduce his golf handicap!
The Cann Twins ARTISTS ON CLAVINOVA - It captures the essential qualities of a grand piano. A unique piano duo, The Cann Twins inspire us with a classical duet. Enjoy the mutual resonance and beautiful harmony of two Clavinovas. [Model used: CLP-295GP]
PROFILE : The Cann Twins [Classical Duo Pianists]
The Cann Twins’ career on the recital and concerto platform has taken them to prestigious venues across the world. They have performed in Europe, the Middle East, the U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand and Japan, including many TV and radio broadcasts. They have performed with many high profile orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Mozart Players. The Cann Twins have also performed many times on Yamaha instruments including a tour of Japan launching a new grand piano model.
- PLANNING / Eriko Bito
- SOUND / Shinji Tajima
- SOUND EFFECT / Fusako Ishimura
- EXTERIOR / Toshiyuki Aiba
- TOUCH / Ichiro Osuga
- DESIGN / Marianne Bailey
— Clavinova is nearing its 25th Anniversary. What was the original concept behind the creation of the Clavinova?
Clavinova means “new keyboard instrument.” As the name implies, it was conceived as an instrument approximating the sound and touch of an acoustic piano, that is, as a brand new type of electronic piano. In fact, at that time, I was learning the Electone in a Yamaha music school (laughs). When I saw a Clavinova for the first time, I felt that it was neither an Electone nor an electric piano, nor an organ, but rather something completely new, and this impression remains strong. I thought that since it did not require tuning, it was easier to use, and that it was a classy result of the most advanced technologies of the time, and was also a gorgeous musical instrument.
— What kind of work is product planning?
I play a role called “Producer”, but the work begins with planning what kind of musical instrument to make for specific types of customers. First, I collect information. This means not only obtaining the view of sales staff and the desires of customers, but also personally visiting stores to hear the views of their personnel, and viewing the reactions of customers who visit the stores. Based on this information, I decide what kind of musical instrument to produce, and then designers plan the sound, keyboards, design and functions that will achieve this instrument. This is the most difficult part, but each manager is fully committed to a particular type of technology, so we sift through these and discuss which technologies will be incorporated and to what degree.
— In what areas do their obsessive commitment to the new CLP-300 Series appear?
We put highest priority on the questions: What kind of impression will players receive from the overall piano? and Can the players express what they want to? The pleasant feeling experienced when playing a grand piano is the major goal of our development. Because it is not something that is visible, it is extremely difficult to express it, but we are obsessed with the internal issue of, if such and such is done, will the sound be heard properly? And what can we do to make the sound emerge beautifully? We put top priority on the playing comfort we want to achieve, and the approach we use to do this is to ask experts what technologies there are to achieve it. One advantage is that in our company, there are people who have built grand pianos and know which approach will create playing comfort similar to that of a grand piano. And since we have many professionals play it over and over, we make a series of gradual adjustments to create a musical instrument. This obsessive care has achieved, for example, the new piano sound called Pure CF Sampling and the acoustic Tri-Amp System.
— Can you tell us about the Internet Direct Connection function, which is a feature of the CLP Series?
This is a function that allows the access of music data on the Web by directly connecting a musical instrument to the Internet, and has been offered on Clavinovas since the CVP-300 Series. When we have asked our customers how they use their Clavinova, many answered that they use it for lessons or for playing along with songs. So we considered what kind of function would be the most useful for this type of use. Until now it was assumed that people began by buying a score and learning to play it, but it is now more convenient to hear playback of the lesson pieces and then to play the pieces to match the playback. In addition, our challenge was to make a musical instrument that could be listened to for reasons other than lessons, because we wanted people to also use the CLP Series to listen to music, so we made it possible for them to use it for background music. Both of these are ideas for new kinds of enjoyment created by Yamaha.
— You have introduced two slim models, the CLP-S308PE and S306PE. What led to their creation?
There was already a demand for thin pianos suitable for home use. And in fact, there were a large number of compact and portable pianos. However, we wanted to offer cabinet type pianos suitable for genuine piano performance. We wanted to make pianos that would provide a beautiful presence in a living room. To achieve this, we made design innovations allowing the placement of circuits and speakers in a slim cabinet. For the finish, we applied woodworking technologies nurtured through our piano-building.
— Going from the CLP-200 Series to the 300 Series, what was the most difficult part of completely switching the lineup?
The CLP-200 Series models were very well received. The challenge was in finding ways to improve them. Rather than trying to surpass them based on identical concepts, we wanted to create a new type of electronic piano, but with a different character, which was a hard thing to do. Taking sound as an example, a strong point of the CLP-200 Series was that not only the player, but also the people listening to it experienced sound that reverberated gorgeously, but in this new series, we put top priority on achieving a pleasant playing feel. Therefore, musical instrument stores want people to sit on a chair and play it to genuinely sense its good qualities. We want people to feel the high quality of its sound and of its touch for themselves; not only listening to it or seeing it from a distance.
[ Interview took place in July 2008. ]
— What special efforts did you make concerning the sound of the new CLP Series?
We took particular care to create the satisfaction of playing a grand piano and the actual feeling when playing. When a person plays a grand piano, the sound reverberates as if it is overflowing. To achieve such a sound, we went back to the basics, beginning with an analysis of what kinds of elements were necessary. When we did, we realized that, as we expected, without the special feature — the essentials of sound, or in other words the instruments recorded — as our goal, we could not create good sound. So we prepared Yamaha's top piano, the CFIIIS full concert grand, which is played at concerts and music competitions around the world, for sampling. Of course, we realized that simply using a CFIIIS was not enough; we searched for the single piano that would satisfy the requirements suitable for sampling. These requirements, which cannot be expressed simply, are that it be a piano that plays sound that is straightforward without mannerisms and is a little bright, and produces the best possible sound while seated on the bench, rather than when heard from a distant location. At any rate, because we were right beside a piano factory, we assembled choice instruments that we had carefully selected so our acoustic piano technicians could pick out the best one. One special feature of this process was that we obtained an unprecedented level of cooperation between the piano technicians and piano tuners. We named the sound which was achieved Pure CF Sampling, with the CF referring to the name of the CFIIIS.
— What was the most difficult part of the process in creating Pure CF Sampling?
It was maintaining to the greatest possible degree, the true natural nuance of the original sound that was recorded. Generally, the slight noises included with recorded sound seem natural when produced by an acoustic piano, but sound more conspicuous when output from the speaker of an electronic instrument. It is necessary to process this noise, but the processing tends to change the sound. This processing task may be compared to the processing of a diamond. If the original stone is skillfully cut, it glows beautifully, but if it is polished unskillfully, it will be useless. Another point is matching the acoustics. It is extremely difficult to express the sound of a piano with speakers. For this reason, we created the sound we wanted by working closely with and exchanging views with our own acoustic development team. The speaker is the exit point for the sound. No matter how splendid the sound is that was recorded, the sound that reaches the listeners is determined by the speaker.
— Did you make other innovations to approximate a grand piano?
One important point was viewing the sound balance from a variety of angles. For example, in order to make a long recording of each sound and improve the blending during harmony to obtain sound with expressive power, we obtained samples that differed according to how strongly the keys were struck. This is an element that helps shape the sound of a grand piano. We created grand piano-like sounds by skillfully combining these samples. Judging what kind of sounds should be sampled in order to express the sound of a grand piano in this way was possible thanks to the piano-making expertise that Yamaha has accumulated over many decades. Yamaha makes pianos, so we gathered many opinions from piano technicians. Personally I don't want to base the appeal of the CLP Series on discussions of techniques, or on specifications. Specifications are nothing more than one method of evaluating a grand piano. We want to use them skillfully so that our customers will hear only the results.
— Do you have any other thoughts that you are eager to communicate?
We definitely want people to play the Clavinova themselves, not simply hear sound played by another person. This is because we aimed for the natural satisfaction of playing a piano and the actual feeling of playing one. We think that if people play it, they will understand that it has a great deal of expressive power. A particularly light touch results in more mellow and beautiful tone than before. Because it includes acoustic effects, its expansive feeling can be sensed and it is free of mannerisms, so players will never become satiated, no matter how long they play it. Please enjoy this sound that we have developed and that has been approved by the ears of many Yamaha technicians trained in acoustic piano work.
[ Interview took place in July 2008. ]
— What innovations did you make to recreate the sound of a grand piano with a digital piano?
Yamaha is a manufacturer of acoustic pianos, so our sampling sounds are extremely high quality. We are determined to produce this high quality sound from speakers with as little change as possible. It is best if it emerges naturally simply by physically installing speakers, but because this is dependent on the size and design of each model, the speakers may have to face straight down or diagonally down. In these cases, of course the sound will change. So we make adjustments, but in order to not lose the benefits of the materials, the sound is developed by repeatedly holding listening trials with the sound source development team that performed the sampling. A Clavinova is not an audio device, so the sensation of an instrument that plays sound is more important than the speakers' production of sound.
— Did you encounter any problems when adopting the new piano sound source, Pure CF Sampling?
Pure CF Sampling is a sound source obtained by sampling all sounds from a single top-class piano that the sound source team selected from among Yamaha's finest CFIIIS concert grand pianos. Because it is a sound source having the high density of acoustic piano sound, it is extremely difficult to achieve it from the speakers of an electronic instrument. If we over use filters or equalizers, it becomes artificial "beautiful music." To avoid this and take advantage of the acoustic piano qualities, we processed it to express the excellence of the sound attack and sound with soul. We carefully selected speakers suited to the sound source. According to the shape of the model, we adjusted the positions and angles of the speakers to seek the optimum speaker for each model. While actually building speakers into test products and repeatedly exchanging views with the acoustic team, we used sound absorbing materials or opened holes inside and performed other detailed adjustments. There are also models with speakers that have themselves been customized. In this way, we refined Pure CF Sampling for each model not only as a sound source, but as a musical instrument called the Clavinova.
— What were the goals and desired effectiveness of the Tri-Amp System, which is used for the first time in the CLP-380?
The Tri-Amp System is an acoustic system that independently controls the high, medium and low range speakers with amplifiers. Installing amplifiers for each sound range lets each speaker accurately and beautifully produce sound. An additional benefit is that it provides a good feeling of sound separation without interference between the different sound ranges. In a digital piano, because of its shape, the speakers are not installed in a row, so the ability to adjust them by connecting each one to a different amplifier according to the angles and positions they are installed provides great benefits. This system lets players enjoy performances with solid key response that fully realizes even the delicate nuances of Pure CF Sampling.
— Turning to another acoustic system featured in Clavinova, iAFC, what type of technology is used to achieve this kind of acoustic effect?
A characteristic of iAFC is that on the back of the Clavinova, there is a speaker that faces backwards as seen by the performer. The system uses this speaker to create the sensation that the entire length of a grand piano is vibrating or the feeling of expansion that creates the sensation of playing in a concert hall. For example, the sound of the strings resonating when the damper is pressed during a performance is produced from the rear speaker, providing the feeling of depth felt when playing a grand piano. To achieve this feeling of expansion we use a microphone on the front of the piano, in addition to the rear speaker. An interior microphone picks up the sound produced by the performer, which is output from the rear speaker as reverberant sound. When using this function, be sure to use the automatic adjustment function called Calibration. It is set so that it adjusts the volume of the speakers to match the shape of the room, for optimum effectiveness. And because with iAFC, sound is heard from behind the piano, we recommend that a space be left between the Clavinova and the wall. If you pay attention to these small details, you will get greater enjoyment of the grand piano-like sound and acoustic effects.
— Do you have anything else you wish to say?
The CLP-300 Series Clavinovas are created by giving primary consideration to ensure the sound is best at the player's position, and that the sound is of the highest quality as it is played. To achieve this kind of sound, they have been developed with scrupulous attention to setting the speakers and to all elements related to sound. Please sit down in front of a Clavinova and play it yourself. I believe you will actually feel its true strength as a piano: its capacity to produce nuances of sound with delicate differences according to the quality of the sound attack and the touch. These are qualities you do not notice when simply hearing others play.
[ Interview took place in December 2008. ]
— What do you consider important when designing the exterior of a Clavinova?
Generally when we say "exterior," people probably imagine the characteristics of an exterior appearance, the surface finish, for example. Of course, matching the product with the interior and making sure it will be the right size for use in a room are important, but first, a major premise is that a Clavinova is a musical instrument. Therefore, above all, consideration must be given to qualities that enable customers to use it reliably for a long time. One example is its performance characteristics. This is because the basic structure of a piano, the relationship of its keyboard and pedals for example, is subject to definite rules, and if the design deviates from these, it is difficult to play. Then there is also the perspective of safety. One of our important roles is to ensure safety by imagining all possible situations: preventing the danger of the piano being tipped over or the player's fingers being jammed in the keyboard cover. In addition, we respond to opinions we receive from other departments in order to create better pianos. There are desires which cannot be achieved simultaneously: a slim exterior appearance and a high capacity speaker box for example, but with finding ways to provide a higher degree of satisfaction to customers while they are using it as our first consideration, we seek the best possible answer to the question of how to achieve these and to what degree. We are totally committed to this quest.
— What kinds of issues gave you the biggest challenges and what innovations did you introduce in the design of the CLP-300 Series?
We made refined innovations to change the shape and specifications of the body. For example, how to incorporate the Internet Direct Connection function or the Tri-Amp System, and other newly added functions inside the interior without changing the body size. No matter how wonderful its functions, if it is too big to place in a room, it's useless. And when we set the position of the music rest, we consider points such as how to keep it from hiding the buttons on the operating panel from the player seated on the piano bench, and how to place it so it is easy to operate the piano. And the CLP-300 Series features a revised assembly method, but we made it so that while it remains as easy to assemble as previous models, anyone can accomplish it without difficulty. From start to finish, we resolved problems one at a time from the customer's point of view to complete the design drawings.
— When designing the CLP-S308PE and S306PE models, were there any special obstacles you faced simply because they are slim types?
Of course, including the parts required by a digital piano, and also achieving a quality design so the slimness is apparent at a glance, while maintaining the standard positions of the keyboard and pedals. The design image that the designers had at the beginning was certainly slim, but that alone would have prevented them from setting the pedal unit at the standard location. So they devised a design that would expand the front surface. In this way, we installed the pedals in the standard position while keeping it slim. Then when we considered the placement of parts, it seemed that we would be unable to accommodate the speaker, amplifier, and so on. The innovation we made to create this space concerned the key cover; we improved its movement to reduce the space required to place it inside the piano. We used experience and expertise accumulated through 25 years of building Clavinovas to be able to realize this while facing new challenges.
— What are the strong points of Yamaha's lustrous finish, which has been brought to perfection in these new Clavinovas?
Yamaha has developed excellent finishing technology for its acoustic pianos, which can also be used for digital pianos. Our finishing staff has extensive expertise, so they will not compromise, and they are committed to the Yamaha brand above all else. In fact, when the finish is applied very thickly and polished so it shines, the beauty of the wood is brought out to a certain degree. But even if this is done, after a certain amount of time, irregularities appear on the surface, it loses its luster, and its quality deteriorates. At Yamaha, from the panel processing stage (which is the foundation), we are determined to find ways to create a beautiful surface. The final surface quality is improved by continually managing the quality of the finishing during every step of the process. The key to the lustrous quality of Yamaha's finishes is how committed we are to beautifully finishing places which might otherwise be poorly done.
— Do you have anything else you wish to say?
Our first concern is how to satisfy our customers, and how they can use their Clavinova for a long time. There are interior qualities and design qualities, but we also design Clavinovas so we can provide comprehensive satisfaction that includes their sound, playability, safety, durability and other elements as a musical instrument. Not only those involved in development, but also our actual production staff build pianos with great care. Therefore, each Clavinova provides quality that will satisfy the customer. We are determined that anyone who buys a Clavinova can use it forever.
[ Interview took place in December 2008. ]
— How does Yamaha define a "good keyboard" and "good touch?"
Each note has a switch that produces the sound. This switch has to be built with great reliability because producing sound is the basic function of the instrument. We also build and delicately adjust the switches to provide the proper "touch" for each key. We are careful to create a touch with no idiosyncrasies and which does not cause fatigue by having many people try out the keyboard, both amateurs and professional pianists. The challenge is that a musical instrument is actually a tool for expressing what the performer wants to convey through music. A player is truly delighted by not having to worry about the "physical" musical instrument, and even the keyboard. The ideal touch is one that allows players to manipulate the sound as they like, while being fully involved in creating the music.
— How have Clavinova keyboards evolved?
The GH* keyboard, which is the foundation of all the keboards in the current models, was developed in 1996. Therefore, the present lineup is the result of repeated evolution: the new GH3 keyboard is equipped with damper sensors that permit continuous playing of the same note at high speed, while the NW* keyboard features wooden white keys, and synthetic ivory keytops.The difficult part is that the basic keyboard functions that fully incorporate past evolution must be built into the GH keyboard. The basis of the GH keyboard has been created by thoroughly discovering the characteristics of an acoustic grand piano keyboard, which Yamaha has been making for over one hundred years. This has enabled us to accurately reproduce the heavy touch in the bass sounds, the light touch in the treble sounds, and resulted in a heavy keyboard with a feeling of solidity. The keyboards have evolved as improvements were added with the GH keyboard as the base, but this did not mean merely adding sensors or using wood as the keyboard material. A series of challenging tasks were overcome: changing the materials of everything from the frame supporting the keyboard to its small components, revising the switches and a number of other settings, and finding the best combination of these. At the end of an extensive development process we can look back with pride having created the keyboard touch we were seeking. This steady development process, which we also express as "breathing life into" the keyboard, does not mean just better specifications; its goal is to produce a piano keyboard with touch that is united with the player's fingertips.
* GH : Graded Hammer NW : Natural Wood
— What kind of concept was behind the birth of the GH3 keyboard, which is equipped with damper sensors?
As Yamaha is a major piano manufacturer it was natural for our development division to come up with the idea: "Wouldn't it be good to equip a digital piano with dampers to stop the vibration of the strings, just like an acoustic piano?" This was a very big challenge, because at the time it was technically impossible. In order that the strength of the sound is constantly expressed according to the action of the keyboard, two sensors were installed inside the keyboard. To achieve this damper effect a third sensor was required, hence the "3" in GH3. In order to try and add one more sensor, each sensor had to be smaller, but at that time, no technology existed to make such tiny parts. By developing this technology over a period of time we finally produced the GH3 keyboard with its additional sensor and realistic damper effect. A number of manufacturers produce digital pianos and have devised a variety of ways to create piano-like sound, but only Yamaha has an innovation that stops the sound. Installing damper sensors is one more answer from Yamaha to the question, "How can we give our customers a true sensation of piano-like playing characteristics?"
— What points were particularly difficult in developing the NW keyboard and the synthetic ivory key tops?
The NW keyboard has wooden white keys just like a grand piano. Wooden parts can become deformed by humidity, so we worked hard to find ways to develop keys that do not warp and to establish selection systems to ensure only quality materials are used. Solid wood cut from good quality lumber is used, and the keyboards are allowed to stand for a while after they are completed. In the case of synthetic ivory keytops it takes a long time for the moisture absorbency or touch to approach those of an ivory keyboard, and the most difficult aspect of this is achieving the proper touch. We developed a process of trial and error using many test units to ensure the selection of materials that will provide consistent touch while retaining the texture of ivory. In order that it not only appears clean, but also that it hold up under constant playing, materials resistant to soiling and which can be easily cleaned were selected.
— If you have anything else to add, please do so.
What Yamaha considers important is paying careful attention to everything, even minor parts. And looking at the creative work of various sections — not only the keyboard section, but the sound and design sections — we feel that they seriously consider the fact that it is a musical instrument. Customers, even those who are not piano experts, who are able to touch and play a Clavinova in a store will surely sense the overall excellence. Because people have long relationships with their musical instruments, we want to be sure that they will remain fully satisfied.
[ Interview took place in December 2008. ]
— What do you consider important when designing a Clavinova?
In the design of any musical instrument, observation of human behavior, ergonomics and sound quality are very important. Clavinova are basically instruments used in peoples' homes, so they should have a simple, natural, elegant design suitable for daily life. Yamaha applies quality regulations governing the positional relationships between the keyboard, pedals, music rest, and so on, to ensure good ergonomics and playability which are important to observe. In addition, to ensure that it can produce beautiful sound, we have to give consideration to ensuring sufficient space for the speaker box capacity and other parts of the acoustic system. This and close attention to detail are the fundamental elements in the design of a Clavinova.
— What were the concept and other points you were particularly committed to concerning the design of the CLP-300 Series?
The design concept of the new CLP-300 Series is "modern classic." "Modern" means it is a design suited to today's lifestyles. For people who live in apartment buildings, for instance, finding space for a piano is difficult, so we are determined to make our pianos easy for people to play, including ease of assembly and a beautiful appearance once assembled. The word "classic" on the other hand, incorporates an image of a strong design that is simple and immune to the effects of fads. We wanted to provide them with a strong, elegant, timeless presence. Combining two key words in this way resulted in the CLP-300 Series, which has the beauty of an upright piano.
— Which aspects of the former CLP-200 Series did you change to createthe CLP-300 Series?
First, we wanted to create a design that is as pure as possible. What I mean by pure is unshakeable strength achieved by thoroughly eliminating everything superfluous and just leaving the simple, distilled, elegant essence of a piano. An analogy would be distilling wine to increase its purity and maturing it so it becomes brandy, which has a rich, mellow fragrance and flavor and a deep color. By designing Clavinovas with "distillation" in mind, we have created a powerful design that will over time retain its value and relevance to modern living. We want Yamaha products to have high quality and to be enjoyed and played for many years. Second, in all my designs I consider the modernist architect Mies Van Der Rohe's famous words, "God is in the details." I take this to mean that the power of the "whole" is the sum of the quality, beauty and exquisiteness of the "small parts" — the details. The front legs of the CLP-200 Series and many other electronic pianos are on the inside of the keyboard. On the CLP-300 Series, the front legs are installed so that their surfaces are aligned with the front surface of the keyboard, to create a continuous, flowing silhouette. This structure and other carefully considered junctions are technically more difficult to manufacture, and demonstrate Yamaha's woodworking quality and skill.
— When creating the slim type designs for the CLP-S308PE and S306PE, what aspects were difficult to handle and what aspects were you strongly committed to?
We faced many challenges in creating a new, surprisingly slim electronic piano, such as retaining the ergonomic rules of the positional relationships of the keyboard, pedals and music rest, and maintaining speaker box capacity to ensure sound quality and yet create a new form. We were able to do this by developing an innovative one action keyboard cover that delightfully retracts into the main body; its soft landing mechanism satisfies in the same way as the sound, movement and solid resistance of a luxury car door. We stressed this type of elegant feeling in every detail. When I designed Clavinova Slim I asked myself what kind of piano I would give to a family member or close friend as a present, so customers who have bought a Clavinova feel as if they are playing a special piano.
— Is there anything else you would like to add?
The design of musical instruments is different from that of most other products. Few products can be used as long as a piano, so they often feature a design that is in vogue when they are developed. As a result, the value of the design can often decrease over time. As a player spends time with their piano for many, many years, numerous memories of the joy experienced when playing new compositions or happy times shared with family or friends are engraved in the piano. As this happens, the piano steadily becomes more and more valuable over time. In order for the Clavinova to fulfill this role from a design point of view, I try to understand the pure, simple long-lasting essence of an object.
[ Interview took place in December 2008. ]
— How may one enjoy a "Style", which is a distinctive function of the CVP Series?
Style is a function that automatically provides accompaniment by a variety of musical instruments according to the chord played by the left hand. Our top model, the CVP-509, is equipped with 442 accompaniment Styles such as rock, pop and jazz. The player can change the Style to enjoy a variety of ensembles in a single song. In addition to one person enjoying this function while playing alone, another way to use it is for a child to play a melody while their mother or teacher adds an accompaniment by playing a chord in the left hand area. There is another slightly more creative way of using it. Styles may contain up to eight instrument parts and each part can be independently turned on or off. If, for example, the player’s guitarist friend is visiting, the player can enjoy a session with the friend playing the guitar by turning off only the guitar part of an accompaniment Style. Or by turning off all parts other than the bass, the player can create a melody according to the bass line. We’ve done our best to allow each player to enjoy “Styles” in many versatile and unique ways.
— What originally motivated you to add Style to the CVP Series?
The Style function was offered by the earliest CVP models, and was developed to let an individual player easily enjoy an ensemble performance. Players can not only play the piano skillfully following the score, they can also enjoy playing with drums, guitar, bass and other instruments. By using Style, accompaniment by a variety of instruments is added according to the chord progression, letting players feel as if they are playing with their own backup band. I think that this function, exclusive to the CVP, gives each player a deeper enjoyment of music.
— Have any aspects of Style been upgraded in the CVP-500 Series?
The Style data provided in the CVP-500 Series can be more elaborately crafted than the former CVP-400 models, contributing to more realistic accompaniment. Take the guitar, for example. The voicings and playing methods of guitars and pianos are fundamentally different. There are cases where chords that can easily be played on the keyboard of a Clavinova cannot be played with guitar fingering. With the Style data in the CVP-500 Series, no matter what kind of chord is played, it is replaced with realistic guitar voicings, achieving a natural guitar performance without it sounding like a keyboard version of a guitar. The CVP-509 can add effects to each instrument making up the accompaniment, such as distortion to the guitar and rotary speakers to the organ. This lets players enjoy accompaniments that take greater advantage of the distinctive features of each instrument. Furthermore, a new Style, Free Play Style, never offered before, is provided on the CVP-509 and 505. This is a special Style without a rhythm part. It allows for more expression without the restrictions of tempo.
— Please tell us about Music Finder and Music Finder+, which are functions related to Style.
With the Music Finder function, when a player selects the piece they want to play, it automatically sets a combination of accompaniment Style, voice and effect suited to the piece, which is called a Record. It includes a Search function, which can be used to search for the name of a piece, and also for a Style name or even genre. This function is convenient because when the player wants to play a certain piece, it eliminates the process of selecting one of hundreds of accompaniment Styles, setting the voice, and adding effects. Players can perform a Style immediately after they have decided to play a piece. Music Finder+ is a service that lets players directly access the internet from their Clavinova. For example, it downloads Records. This means that players can add new combinations of accompaniment Styles, voices and effects to their own Clavinova. There are more than 4,000 of these Records, and all can be used free of charge. Players can also download Collections, which are groups of Records of various pieces by various artists. They can also download a Performance Guide that lets them hear samples of each Style performance. If players use this data, they can, in addition to the score and chord progression, also confirm the melody to practice a Style performance. More than 1,000 are available at a price of $1.99 per piece. Of course, players can listen to them before purchasing them. We hope that people will use Music Finder and Music Finder+ to make it easier to use and enjoy Style performances.
— Do you have any other comments?
Our Style data is in effect, a synergy of the skills of many craftsmen. It has been refined by our voice and effects creators, our software, MIDI and Style programmers, and the people who check all of these complex processes. Therefore, all of the Style data and recommended accompaniment Styles are creations important to us. We want Clavinova players to have fun performing with as many Styles as possible so they may fully enjoy playing their CVP model for many years to come.
[ Interview took place in March 2010. ]
— The top Clavinova model, the CVP-509, provides 1,582 different voices. Why so many?
So that players can get the most enjoyment from Style, the automatic accompaniment function available only with the CVP Series. For example, assume someone plays a pops number with one Style. In this case, guitar, bass, electric piano, drum kit, synth pad and percussion voices for the accompaniment are necessary in addition to the melody voice. No player continuously plays one song in a single genre. We imagined how players will most likely play a song, and will use it with many voices suitable when played with a Style accompaniment. Therefore, just for guitars, we provide many kinds of guitar voices. We also do this for other instruments such as piano and strings. This is why is the CVP-509 is equipped with so many voices that people are amazed when they see the specifications. So while enjoying a Style performance, players unconsciously and skillfully use a rich variety of voices.
— What kinds of voices are Super Articulation and Super Articulation 2?
Super Articulation, offered on the CVP-509 and 505, is a voice that allows the expression of articulation. In other words, richly expressive sounds of musical instruments. In the case of a guitar for example, the scratching sound of the strings. For saxophone or trumpet, the Clavinova keyboard can express the performance styles of actual instruments, such as legato without taking a breath or a smooth pitch bend. The timing or playing ease to reproduce the distinctive playing techniques of these instruments are smoothly integrated, so the player can perform these with ease. Voices that require a year of practice to play are meaningless (laughs). The CVP-509’s Super Articulation 2 has even more musical instrument-like natural expressiveness. It divides a single sound into the start-up of the sound the instant a key is pressed, the sound that is extended when the key is held, and the sound the instant the key is released, and instantaneously combines these according to the performance. This means that the expression of legato and staccato, which are vital for wind instrument performances, becomes very natural. When performance methods such as vibrato or glissando are added, there is no end, but I think this ensures that high levels of reality and musicality can be felt, even when playing only do re mi fa so la ti do.
— Please tell us about your dedication to creating the sound of the Organ Flutes and their distinctive playing method.
My focus in sound creation is harmonizing noises. An organ is an analog instrument, so when it is played, subtle noises are mixed in. But this is also a strong point of organs. The degree of retention of these noises was decided after considering the balance with other instruments usable for Style performance, through an exchange of views with organ experts. And it is now possible to simulate the organ sound harmonization method on the display. The CVP-509 is equipped with 20 kinds of Organ Flutes such as Gospel and Jazz, but it is possible to harmonize the sounds from these voices by raising or lowering the flute footage bar or by changing the switches. Because it’s possible to operate it while playing, it’s fun to search for the preferred sound.
— What voices do you recommend? And is there a trick to choosing voices?
The voice I most highly recommend is, as you might expect, the Super Articulation 2 voice for saxophones and so on. Its major attraction is that it permits realistic performance of other instruments with the Clavinova keyboard. After that, the voice that I personally like is piano. I also like the sounds of the flute and drum kit. As to how to select a voice, I think it is naturally decided depending on the song, but it may be fun to try and quickly listen to the intros of the Styles that are provided. This is because you can hear almost all the internally stored voices, and for each voice, not only its degree of completeness as a single voice, but also how it is finished so that it can be played easily by performing a Style that uses multiple voices. By listening to the Style data you may discover a piece you want to play, or if you are a composer, you may receive an inspiration for a melody.
— Do you have any other comments?
I have considered the question of why people try to make music. I think it is definitely because people enjoy imagining. For example, images or stories related to the five senses or to certain emotions. Musical instruments give us the ability to express these things. You can let people hear what you imagine, transmitting it to them as sound. And when a piece that a person has composed in order to transmit his or her own imaginings is performed, the person’s thoughts can be sensed. Because it is musical instruments that can artfully express such imaginings, we create sounds and have provided the Clavinova with a rich selection of voices.
[ Interview took place in March 2010. ]
The first Clavinova was created in 1983 to allow people to more conveniently enjoy the pleasure of playing a piano. From the first stages of development, Yamaha exercised its ingenuity to reproduce the sound and touch of a grand piano by developing a proprietary FM (Frequency Modulation) Sound Source, new keyboard mechanisms and other innovations. The YP-40 featured not only piano sound, but also the tone colors of 16 instruments including harpsichord, clavichord and guitar. It also provided the Stereo Symphonic Effect, allowing it to offer the power and feeling of depth of a performance in a concert hall or music club.
The CVP-7 was equipped with the piano Auto Bass Chord (ABC) function, the archetype of the highly regarded automatic accompaniment functions of today’s CVP Series. At the time, it was a revolutionary function that allowed a player to add an accompaniment simply by holding down chords with the left hand. It also had a ROM Music function that let players call up songs that they liked and play them like an orchestra or ensemble, expanding the fun of playing music. The Guide function, which uses guide lamps to indicate the next key to be struck, also made its debut in this model.
This model marked the first use of the Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) sampling method, which used data obtained by digitally recording the sound of actual musical instruments and processing them with proprietary technologies. This new sound source technology permitted the faithful reproduction of rich textures and beautiful lingering tones, beginning with the delicate sound startup at the moment the key of a grand piano is struck until the sound naturally attenuates.
Its sound source was the AWM Stereo Sampling method based on stereo recording. Creating sound based on data recorded from the left and from the right, it achieved the wide, deep, elegant and realistic tones of a grand piano. The CLP-760 brought further improvements to the AE (Action Effect) keyboard that had first appeared in 1986, which applied the principle of the hammer action of an acoustic piano. As a result, its touch was even closer to that of a grand piano.
The CVP-79A offered 192 different voices (including GM sounds), exceeding the basic assumptions regarding the capabilities of digital pianos. It also came with 100 accompaniment Styles, greatly expanding its breadth of performance expressiveness, and provided an even easier to use Guide function, an LCD display that helped players to make skillful use of its many functions, and an on-board Help function. Great care was taken not only with its functionality, but with its ease of operation.
The feel of grand piano keys when they are struck differs slightly between the bass keys and the treble keys. By introducing the GH (Graded Hammer) keyboard, the CLP-811 was able to reproduce this subtle difference. It also featured AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling, which employs multi-sampling of the grand piano sound as it changes according to the force with which the keys are struck. This technology is also used by current Clavinova models. With enhanced sound and touch, the expressive force of the Clavinova advanced to a new level.
The CVP-98 was equipped with a large 320 by 240 dot LCD able to display voice, accompaniment Style and song names in a single convenient location. Since all of the important functions could be seen at a glance, the ease with which the instrument could be operated was significantly improved. It was also compatible with the XG format, a sound source standard advocated by Yamaha, and offered a richer choice of sounds, wider interchangeability and future expandability. It made truly dynamic play of music data possible.
As the first model in the CLP Series with a mini-grand piano cabinet, the CLP-555 gave Clavinova fans the authentic sound and touch of a grand piano, as well as a beautifully elegant shape. It also featured a craftsman-built cabinet with deluxe black lacquer finish. Along with the features and convenience of a digital piano, it brought the sound and elegance of the concert hall into owners' homes.
The CVP-600 built upon the success of the CLP-555 by also using a mini-grand piano cabinet. It gave players the genuine sound, touch and look of a grand piano, with a vast array of features that only a digital piano can offer. Proud owners appreciated the gleaming beauty of a traditional grand combined with the versatility of a leading-edge digital piano.
By combining sound sources such as Key-Off Sampling and String Resonance, which record changes in grand piano sound with the movement of the keys, the CVP-209 achieved the delicate change of sounds and sympathetic string resonances at the moment when a finger leaves the key. It also featured 870 sounds, including Premium Voices, which realistically reproduce the sounds of a variety of instruments. In addition, it was the first Clavinova to have a large color LCD with color icons and letters to clearly show notes, song names and accompaniment Styles.
The CLP-170 introduced the GH3 (Graded Hammer 3) keyboard, which was based on the GH keyboard but had three sensors, including Yamaha’s proprietary Damper Sensor. This enabled the player to use advanced grand piano techniques such as playing the same note repeatedly with perfect articulation. It was the first Clavinova with iAFC (instrumental Active Field Control), an advanced acoustic technology for reproducing sounds with breadth and depth, just like a stage performance, as well as the sympathetic string resonances that occur when the damper pedal is pressed.
The CVP-309 opened up new ways to enjoy an electronic piano by introducing Internet Direct Connection, for connecting the Clavinova directly to the Internet. This feature lets you select the piece you want to play from among the more than 4,000 pieces that are available, download the registration (sound, style, and effect settings) best suited to the piece, then listen to a sample performance or show the melody, chords or lyrics on the Clavinova display to enjoy playing or listening to the piece. This was also the first model to use the solid wood NW (Natural Wood) keyboard.
As the first Clavinova with a slim body, the CLP-F01 marked a new page in the history of the digital piano. It was not only a pleasure to play and look at, it was also easier to position in a room. With this emphasis on design, it was popular not only with individuals, but found widespread use in public facilities such as hotel lobbies.
In a cabinet finished so it appears to be a grand piano, you have all the diverse functions of the CVP Series. When you close the key cover, it encloses not only the keyboard, but the operating panel as well, providing the appearance of an acoustic piano. It also offers an actual piano soundboard along with state-of-the-art vibro-acoustic technology. Adding Yamaha’s highly effective iAFC technology, which delivers sound with the depth of a grand piano, the CGP-1000 achieves extremely realistic and richly resonant sound.
One of Yamaha’s finest CFIIIS full concert grand pianos was selected and tuned to the optimum condition. Pure CF Sampling uses all the sounds sampled from this single piano for the piano sound. The CLP-380 therefore produces sound with playing response highly faithful to the sound source. In addition, it is the first model in the CLP Series equipped with Internet Direct Connection, which lets you directly access a special website to select from a huge musical library. The CLP-380 was designed to combine the finest sound, touch and functions developed during the 25 years since the birth of the Clavinova.
|Dimensions||Width||1,387 mm (54-5/8")|
|Height||819 mm (32-1/4") With music rest: 972 mm (38-1/4")|
|Depth||424 mm (16-11/16")|
|Weight||Weight||45.5 kg (100lbs., 5oz.)|
|Keyboard||Number of Keys||88|
|Type||Graded Hammer (GH) Keyboard|
|Pedal||Number of Pedals||3|
|Functions||Damper (with half-pedal effect), Sostenuto, Soft|
|Key Cover||Key Cover Style||Sliding|
|Tone Generation||Tone Generating Technology||AWM Dynamic Stereo Sampling|
|Number of Dynamic Levels||3|
|Polyphony||Number of Polyphony (Max.)||128|
|Preset||Number of Voices||10|
|Preset||Number of Preset Songs||50|
|Recording||Number of Songs||1|
|Number of Tracks||1|
|Data Capacity||User song (100KB)|
|Compatible Data Format||Playback||SMF (Format 0 & 1)|
|Recording||SMF (Format 0)|
|Transpose||-6 to 0, 0 to +6|
Storage and Connectivity
Amplifiers and Speakers
|Amplifiers||20W x 2|
|Speakers||(12cm x 6cm) x 2|
|Included Accessories||Headphones Hanger||Yes|
|Song Book||"50 greats for the Piano"|