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Piano Sounds on CP88 & YC88

10 Posts
6 Users
Posts: 0
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Topic starter


I have two quick questions:

One: Is the sonic quality of the individual sounds found in both the Cp88 as well as the YC88 identical or are there differences in sample size, effects ect?

And secondly, I'm mostly interested in the piano sounds and remember earlier statements about the Cp88 dealing with very short samples and lack of string resonances? Is this different now in the YC88?

Thank you very much for answers,


Posted : 19/01/2021 8:30 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

Oliver, re your first question, I can't say for sure but looking at the relative size of the firmware packages for the two boards, I suspect that the pianos are identical in sample size. As to effects, the YC has a different, broader set of effects than the CP...although there is some overlap.

Re string, the pianos do not have this. They have an effect called "damper resonance" that sounds to me to be a essentially a specially EQ'd reverb to approximate the effect of depressing the damper pedal on a real piano. In spite of this, I still find the pianos samples to be of high quality and pleasing in sound and variety. I might feel differently if I was planning to use this for say high level jazz or solo piano...but I'm just a rock and roll guy so string resonance just gets lost in the kerfuffle anyway. If I need it for some reason, I've hung on to my Nord E4 just in case or I can always go the software route with Keyscape, Ivory, etc....which you can do to with a streamlined set-up due to the internal USB Audio in the YC. Hope this helps.

Posted : 19/01/2021 10:26 pm
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Trusted Member
Topic starter

Thanks for the answer.
I am indeed looking for a usable piano sound for acoustic jazz. It's just not enough if the sound only sounds good in the kerfuffle and otherwise has no solo qualities.

It's a shame that here again only the Nord piano sounds seem to be a real alternative. The Yamaha keybeds are still the best on the market. I'm still waiting for Yamaha to make a big splash.

Posted : 20/01/2021 9:54 am
Posts: 0
New Member

Just my 2 cents as a CP88 owner since 9/20. I replaced my Yamaha G1 baby grand with it since the G1 wasn't practical where I was living. Especially with the current additional libraries of piano sounds (v.1.40 firmware), I can't imagine even the most demanding pianist couldn't find an acceptable patch amongst the C7, CF3, S700, CFX, Bosendorfer Imperial. The U1 and SU8 uprights are nice for a more informal sound. In terms of short samples if there is any looping before about 20 seconds on any key I have never been able to hear it.
The firmware upgrades are very large, about 1.5 GB.
But equally important to me is the keyboard action on this unit. It's the best I ever played outside of an acoustic grand piano. It does make a tiny bit of mechanical noise when you're using headphones.
The voice structure and non-piano patches have caused some consternation amongst posters. I find the preset menu and control panel setup very easy.
I hope you can find a way to actually try one. That's really the only way to decide.

Posted : 25/04/2021 6:47 pm
Bad Mister
Posts: 12303

Excellent points... when trying to decide which piano sound is best for you, Tim is absolutely spot-on when he says, “... hope you can find a way to actually try one. That's really the only way to decide.”

Additional recommended reading: Blake’s Take

__ Gives a great perspective on what the differences are between the two series of products.

Posted : 25/04/2021 8:02 pm
Posts: 0
Active Member

Hi Oliver,

I’ve got a YC61 over my Yamaha CP4 in my keyboard rack.

I play the YC61 piano sounds from the CP4 keyboard, so I can compare the internal YC61 and CP4 sounds directly with no variation in terms of keybed.

I find the YC61 sounds are great for rock and pop, as Tim said. They are brighter and more “present” in a mix.

For my classical playing, the CP4 is dramatically better. It’s a discontinued board, but I won’t be upgrading to the replacing CP88 model.

The CP4’s acoustic pianos are voiced on an older technology called “SCM.” SCM stands for Spectral Component Modeling, and is based on samples that Yamaha engineers number crunched and turned into modeled piano patches as opposed to the more pure sampling approach of the AWM2 sounds on the newer boards. Under my “aspiring classical student” hands, the SCM sounds are much more controllable for classical music. I find I can vary tone much more effectively with playing style and to my ears, the SCM sounds are voiced much more appropriately for classical. I have heard similar comments from jazz players.

In other words, some classical and jazz players prefer the Yamaha stage pianos based on SCM over the newer boards that use AWM2.

You may be able to find CP4’s used and in good condition. The alternative, if you’re looking for a new board, is Yamaha’s CP1. It’s crazy expensive, has a very limited voice selection and is quite heavy, but has it’s passionate promoters. And, Yamaha still makes it, even though it’s a much older board. Personally, I LOVE my CP4!


Posted : 28/04/2021 9:42 am
Posts: 811
Prominent Member

Interesting perspective, Dov. Though since you tested the YC, it might also be worth considering that the CP also has a Bosendorfer Imperial piano sample than is not in the YC.

Posted : 28/04/2021 11:00 am
Bad Mister
Posts: 12303

Point of order: AWM2 dates back to the late 1980s. It is Yamaha proprietary method of storing and recalling sampled audio.
The SY77 (1989) combined AWM2 and FM.
SCM (Spectral Component Modeling) was introduced with the Yamaha CP1 Stage Piano (2010)
A variation (combined with AWM2) of it is found in both the CP5 and later the CP4 Stage

The CP1 Stage Piano remains the top-of-the-line Stage Piano from Yamaha.

Posted : 28/04/2021 1:05 pm
Posts: 0
Active Member

So Bad Mister, if the CP1 is still the top-of-the-line Yamaha Stage Piano, when can we expect another model using SCM technology?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my YC61 (I do wish you would fix the rotary simulation). I use the YC61 AP’s, played from my CP4 keybed, for rock.

When I want sensitive control over a really natural sounding grand AP, it’s my CP4’s SCM voices all the way. No competition at all.

Posted : 29/04/2021 10:00 am
Bad Mister
Posts: 12303

The CP1 is the top-of-the-line, it uses only SCM to recreate its tones.

The CP4 Stage is the cost down, lighter weight version of the technology. SCM + AWM2 are used (part of how the cost is kept lower).
In between was the CP5 (for the player/singer - as it featured SCM + AWM2, plus a dedicated channel for a microphone).

We cannot ever talk about future products... but just know that in Yamaha’s corporate DNA is to push the envelope when it comes to musical technology.

I agree about your CP4 experience— it really plays well. If you ever get a chance to play a CP1 - it’s that and more! Playing the E. Pianos are equal to the feeling you have when playing that SCM Acoustic Piano! With the right sound system you can total forget it is electronic.

Posted : 29/04/2021 3:39 pm

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