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Why I bought the CP88 (my long-winded review/statement)

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For my history, I have previously owned a Roland A90 Piano/Midi controller and a Yamaha Clavinova PF-100 (circa 1994) and I got incredible amount of use from both but due to personal changes in my life I thought it was time to upgrade since I haven’t had anything new for almost 25 years.
Just so everyone knows, I am not biased with any company whatsoever.

Fast forward to Nov/2018 where I purchased a Nord Piano 4. Absolutely LOVED the sound however, there was a huge issue with the keybed as it was making more noise than it should. To the point upon release of the keys the noise would resonate through my mic and through my L1 compact. Not acceptable.

After many views Youtube comparison videos and personal demoing in my local music stores I was undecided between the Korg Grandstage, Korg Kronos, Roland RD 2000, Yamaha CP4, Korg Krome nd the Roland FA-08.
All great pianos/workstations so it was a matter of sound, versatility and of course the keybed.

So, back in April I my local store had a CP88 so I jumped on. They had it running through a small Fender amp and even with that I got soooo sooo excited ….just as I did my Nord. So, when that excitement hits, instinctively I go with it. Plus, the keybed/action was just so soooo amazing that the decision was made there and then. So, traded in my Nord Piano 4 it in for my new love, the CP88. Unfortunately they only had the floor model so they gave me their floor model as a loaner until the new one came in.

So, as far as sound. I will admit I am not as happy with the piano sounds themselves compared to the Nord but with some tweaking with the EQ I have got 3 amazing piano sounds that I am very very happy with. The CFX has this sort of tinny sound to it and I will admit I thought the CFX on the CP4 was a bit better. However, the Imperial, S700 and the upright U1 are truly amazing. A little tweaking and you can basically get a great sound out of it.
The CP80/70 sample is definitely comparable to the Nord (which I use quite a bit in my set) so apart from the bug that’s going to b fixed this coming September it sounds absolutely incredible.
The Wurlitzer (especially with April’s update) totally blows the Nord away. I am just so so happy with it as it really helps with my Supertramp/10cc tunes that I use in my setlist.

The keybed, Well, it truly came down to the CP4, the RD2000 and the CP88. The CP4 was great for sure as was the RD2000 but after a number of jumps between the CP88 and the RD 2000 I found the RD was a little heavier than the CP88 and the CP4 was a little lighter so the CP88 was the perfect balance between the two. As weird as it sounds (no pun) I feel my playing has actually improved on the CP88. Songs that I had a hard time playing before (Tony Banks’ Lamb intro and Firth Of Fifth plus some blues scales for example) are coming much more easier. Weird how that works.

Yes, there are only 57 sounds with the CP88 as opposed to the NP4 and yes you can load samples into the NP4 but I had to be practical within myself. I use Logic Pro X for a trillion sounds that I can trigger so for home use/editing/sequencing for backing tracks the limitation of the sounds in the CP88 is not limiting to me at all. Plus, one has to ask themselves……or myself…how many sounds does one actually need? I mean seriously…these are stage pianos. I usually get between 3-5 gigs per month and I do not use more than 4-5 sounds within my 40 song setlist. So it’s basically, Acoustic Piano, CP80, Wurli, Rhodes and a AP with a combined Ample Acoustic Guitar (triggered through my laptop) /Piano sounds. The rest are just icing on the cake.
Ok, the other pianos may give you way more sounds but in all honesty, many of them are just different variations of the same sample, Don't let 1000 sounds fool you into thinking you're getting 1000 samples because you're not.

Now, that’s just me and I can’t speak for anyone else’s needs as everyone has different needs and requirements.

I also love the fact that I do not have to use my M-Audio interface anymore as the CP88 has a USB audio interface built in so with that and my upcoming purchase of a Yamaha MG10XU mixer (USB audio interface) going through my Bose L1 Compact system will be the perfect match for me.

So this whole notion that CP88 blows this out of the water…or The RD2000 feels better or the Nord Pianos sound so much better is total nonsense. It is ALL down to personal taste for personal needs.

I will say for price, keybed, versatility (again depending on your needs), sound and weight (yes I can actually carry the piano in my gig bag with one hand) the CP88 is hard to beat….but that’s just me.

Finally, I will say buying a piano is actually worse than buying a house or a car. Very stressful at times and we always want to make the "right" purchase. Yes, you can watch a trillion Youtube videos, read all of their comments, jump on the forums, get a a thousand different opinions and yes it helps but many times it can actually confuse you even more and also cause ulcers...LOL.
It’s best to think of your own needs and try not to let anyone’s opinions (comments) sway you but your own.

Cost/price aside there will ALWAYS be pluses and minuses to any of these pianos and if I had to do it all over again I would have waited until April this year before purchasing the Nord and maybe taken more time to study as it’s been 9-10 months to land to where I am now.

I hope my experience/review will resonate with anyone who is undecided in purchasing the CP88 or any other piano for that matter.

Now get out there and get a CP88!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You won’t regret it….LOL!!!

Posted : 24/06/2019 1:25 pm

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