Essential Gigging Gear from the Team at Yamaha
When it comes to manufacturing high quality instruments, Yamaha know a thing or two about a thing or two. They are no strangers when it comes to the piano market either, with their CP (combo piano) models making their debut way back in 1976. That being said, others have been hot on their heels with regard to the high-end stage piano market. However, the announcement of the Yamaha stage pianos, CP73 and CP88, at NAMM 2019 saw them impose their authority once again. A pair of performers that sound quite exceptional, as well as being dutiful workhorses for gigging keys players on the road, the latest Yamaha CP stage pianos lead the way in style.
The single most important part of any musical instrument is its sound. With this in mind, Yamaha equip both the CP73 and CP88 with an outstanding set of grand piano, upright piano, electric piano, and keyboards sounds. With such a generous arsenal to draw from, you can traverse musical styles with the greatest of ease.
Premium Acoustic Grands
A trio of premium concert grand pianos feature on the CP73 and CP88 including: the Yamaha CFX, Yamaha S700 and the Bosendorfer Imperial 290. As one would expect, all have been captured and reproduced with impeccable precision to offer expressive dynamics and well-defined nuance across the keyboard.
Yamaha’s CFX is their flagship concert grand piano, boasting a covetous timbre and the ability to project over a full symphony orchestra.
You don’t need to be a pianist to have heard the name Bosendorfer. Founded in 1828 and becoming part of the Yamaha family in 2008, Bosendorfer remains unique in that they still adhere to the Viennese handcrafted design tradition. The eight-octave Imperial 290 offers an extended range across the bass notes, with a huge soundboard that maximises projection across an enormous frequency range.
Yamaha’s S700 is a sought after handcrafted favourite the world over, with this particular voice featuring on the S90ES and S90 Stage Synthesizer.
At your disposal are the U1 and SU7 voices, taken from the most popular upright piano in the world and Yamaha’s flagship acoustic upright respectively. From vintage character to breath-taking resonance, both deliver sounds with the utmost clarity.
Electric Pianos & Keyboards
Borrowing from their classic CP80 and CP70 models of the late ’70s, Yamaha pack a range of vintage-style electric pianos into the CP73 and CP88 that are perfect for lavishing upon any musical arrangement. From jazz to funk and everywhere in between, the breadth of options at your fingertips is quite astonishing.
On top of that there are Organs, Clavi, and Keyboards with tonewheel, transistor, pipe organs and FM pianos that allow you to push your creativity to new heights.
Synths, Strings and so much more
Both the CP73 and CP88 feature a range of synth sounds to play with, with a raft of options to suit any and every session. Settings include the ability to split, layer or solo warm pads, add depth with lush strings, infuse deep synth bass, create focus with synth leads, punchy brass stabs and more besides. Yamaha remove any obstacles from your path thanks to the highly intuitive control interface, allowing you to make rapid adjustments on the fly.
Integrated effects allow you to elevate performances without the need for outboard gear. Each one of three sections (Piano, Electric Piano, and Sub) has their own dedicated effects for you to control. As well as this, there are master effects including delay, reverb, and Master EQ, all of which feature dedicated buttons and dials for seamless real-time attenuation.
Yamaha’s VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modelling) works dutifully to ensure match the behaviour of old school hardware to the original analog component level for flawless sound reproduction.
Interaction between performer and instrument is of paramount importance, which is why Yamaha endow the CP73 and CP88 with highly responsive keyboards.
Yamaha’s freshly developed; 73-key balanced action offers an authentic electric piano feel. The ‘E-to-E’ keyboard is great for those performing with guitar and bass player, whilst the balanced action allows you to cruise through jam sessions with ease.
Boasting an 88-key Natural Wood, Graded Hammer, triple sensor keyboard with Synthetic Ebony and Ivory tops for as close a feel to the real thing as you could get. Matching the action you would expect from an acoustic piano, graded hammer action guarantees fuss-free transition over to the CP88. Thanks to the third sensor you can mirror the piano-like key repetition you’d expect from a concert grand, allowing you to play at lightning speeds with absolute accuracy.
Whether you’re at home, in the studio or on the road, both the CP73 and CP88 include a selection of connectivity options such as MIDI, Footswitch inputs, Foot Controller inputs, Mono/Stereo Jack inputs, Stereo XLR outputs, Stereo Jack outputs, and headphone connectivity for silent practise.
Another important factor for gigging musicians is being able to get from A to B with your instrument as easily as possible. The CP73 weighs in at 13.1 kg and the CP88 at 18.6 kg. Both can be carried with relative ease, but Yamaha recognise that not everyone wants to lug around a stage piano. Therefore, you can purchase optional cases for each one, which features wheels to make them even easier to get out and about with.
We were very privileged to shoot a masterful playthrough video of the Yamaha CP88 with Luke Juby, which you can check out below.
Get in touch
Head to the Dawsons website if you would like to check out our extensive range of Yamaha Pianos & Keyboards. Alternatively, head to your nearest Dawsons Music store where our instore specialists will be more than happy to help you out.
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Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.