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Yamaha at NAMM: two new CP-series stage pianos

CP73 & CP88 offer classic acoustic and electric piano tones, plus strings, pads, organs & percussion

Yamaha's new CP73 stage piano, officially launched alongside its 88-note sibling at NAMM 2019.Yamaha's new CP73 stage piano, officially launched alongside its 88-note sibling at NAMM 2019.

Yamaha are showing two new CP-series stage pianos for gigging keyboard players at NAMM during January: the 73‑key balanced-hammer-action CP73 and the 88-note ‘Natural Wood’ triple‑sensor‑action CP88. Apart from the number of keys and keyboard actions, the only difference between the two new CPs is that the 88-noter features synthetic ebony and ivory key tops to improve finger grip.

Both new keyboards feature three main sound-generating sections, which may be mapped across the keyboard as needed: Piano, Electric Piano and Sub. The first of these contains sounds created from sampling a Yamaha CFX concert grand and a Bösendorfer Imperial, plus a Yamaha U1 upright and a CP80 electric grand. Clavi and brighter and darker Wurlitzer sounds make up the Electric Piano section, together with an appropriate selection of effects including wah and a phaser. Finally, the Sub section offers the sounds of strings, pads, organs and tuned percussion, complemented by a rotary speaker simulation and real‑time attack and release controls for sound‑shaping. Completing the sound engine are an overall three-band EQ with sweepable mid-range, plus tempo‑sync’able delay and reverb master effects. According to Yamaha, further sounds will be added to both keyboards in future updates.

The user interface has been designed with live performance in mind; all the parameters players would want to access whilst working, including currently active sound, volume, tone, keyboard-split and octave-shift settings, are given discrete controls on the top panel, not buried in menu options. Song-specific keyboard setups can also be saved as a Live Set, instantly accessible via eight dedicated top-panel buttons. The rear panel features gig‑friendly XLRs as well as quarter‑inch jack outs, and there are additional quarter‑inch jack inputs with an independent gain control, allowing players to patch a second keyboard through the CP’s outputs without the need for a submixer.

SOS Features Editor Sam Inglis dropped by the Yamaha stand at NAMM, and was given a detailed demonstration of the CP88. Scroll down for the video!

The CP73 will retail in the UKUS for £1774$2499, while the CP88 is priced at £2218$3149. Both keyboards will be available later in the year.

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