If you have ever looked at buying a Yamaha piano but felt overwhelmed with the variety of models and styles, here’s a guide to help you crack the code! When looking at lists of complicated letters and numbers, it can be easy to feel like only an expert musician or private investigator has the skills to figure out what the acronyms mean.
But no need to feel frustrated or confused! There is a pattern to deciphering the secret code, and Dickerson’s Tri-City Pianos is here to make it even easier. Let’s walk through each one so you can confidently know and understand the lingo!
Understanding the C Series
Yamaha has several different models of grand pianos currently in production. The flagship model is called the CFX and was first released in 2010. Constantly working to perfect and refine the well-known C series model, Yamaha has created the CFX using all the expertise and knowledge gained from a long history of being a leader in the piano industry.
This piano is built with the finest products and techniques that Yamaha has perfected after over a century of expertise in the piano crafting business. The CFX model is handcrafted by Yamaha master builders in Kakegawa, Japan and has three size options: 9’, 7’, and 6’3”. Yamaha also uses the innovations of the CFX design for many of their other piano models.
What makes the CFX piano distinct from other grands is that it is designed specifically to be used for concerts and performances and structured with the audience in mind. This grand piano can powerfully project its sound, able to reach even the farthest corners of a concert hall with the smallest pianissimo nuances of touch.
Understanding the CX Series
Next in the line is the CX series, which is another core Yamaha piano model that was released in 2012 in response to the success of the CFX. While designed to work well in a variety of situations, this piano is intended to be used by families, in conservatories, or small concerts because it has been constructed with the point of view of the pianist in mind.
Much of the innovations of the CFX are also reflected in the CX series, such as the special kind of hammer felt, a thickened back frame, and modern design elements. The CX piano can “transform any space into a concert hall”.
The Yamaha C7 is the most recorded piano in history. The CX series is built for the versatility of spaces and purposes, with 5 different sizes that range from 5’3” to 7’6”.
Understanding the SX Series
The Yamaha SX series also shares many of the same features of the CFX flagship model but built for slightly more intimate concert venues, such as a conservatory or recital hall.
This model uses the best innovations from its S series forerunner and adds a number of improvements, such as using 30% thicker wood and seasoning the rims with a special treatment called Acoustic Resonance Enhancement that helps create a sweeter richness of tone. There are four different SX sizes, ranging from 6’1” to 7’6”.
Understanding the GC & GB Series
As the most compact style of grands, the Yamaha GC and GB1K series are built to preserve the expressive tones and dynamics of a concert grand in a smaller structure.
The GC grands come in either 5’8” or 5’3”, while the GB1K is the smallest grand piano at 5’, so all of these pianos are excellent choices when space is a concern. The GC model combines the duplex scaling and rich tonal character of the C series with the materials and production of a highly affordable piano.
The GB1K grands also have several more traditional design options, such as the elegant French Provincial or Georgian styles, that are designed to enhance your home’s decor.
Understanding the YUS Series
The top-of-the-line in Yamaha uprights is the YUS series. This model ranges from 48” to 52”, and features hand-wound German strings and concert quality hammers. Yamaha hand-selects materials from the best solid spruce from around the world to create these pianos’ soundboards.
The YUS5 model features a true sostenuto pedal.
The feel of the keys on a YUS5 are the closest possible to the action of a Yamaha grand in the form of an upright.
Understanding the U Series – Yamaha’s Most Popular Upright Series
The most popular upright series is Yamaha’s U series, which has two options in height: 48” or 52”. This model is entirely manufactured in Japan, and has the soft-close fallboard feature as well as a fallboard lock, which are perfect options for families with young children. The U1 in particular is well-known for its top-notch quality. It comes in a wide variety of color options: Ebony, American Walnut, White, and Mahogany.
Understanding the B Series
The B series is also a great opportunity in the Yamaha upright model options. This model is designed in Japan and the woods are seasoned in the same facilities as the U series. Assembly is in Indonesia to allow you to enjoy the quality of the U series at a more affordable cost. Another price enhancement is the standard-close fallboard. The B series has three size options, ranging from 43” to 48”.
Understanding the P Series
Another great upright piano is the Yamaha P-22. This wonderful model is built with high-end sturdy quality and design that is perfect for schools and rehearsal areas. The P-22 has double casters, making it easier to move around and the upright has three finish options: Satin Ebony, Dark Oak, and Satin Walnut.
Yamaha Digital Pianos
While the Yamaha digital pianos have complex-looking model names at first glance, it is not as complicated as you might think. The digital pianos are divided into three major categories: Clavinova, Arius, and Portables.
Understanding the Clavinova Categories
Yamaha has taken great strides in the digital piano world by taking everything they know about crafting pianos to create a digital piano with the sound and touch of an acoustic piano, and this is embodied in the Clavinova series. Since the first Clavinova release in 1983, Yamaha has further sophisticated this model over the years into three different series options.
First is the CLP series, which simply stands for Clavinova Piano, a digital piano that has authentic grand piano touch, tone, and power. The 700 series is the newest version to date and includes a number of options, ranging from CLP-725 to CLP-795. The higher the number, the more features and capabilities the piano offers.
For example, a CLP-745 or higher features Bluetooth capabilities as well as wooden keys to create the feel of an acoustic piano, while a CLP-735 or lower uses a USB cord to connect to a device and features GrandTouch action. The CLP design has a more traditional look than other digitals, designed to be similar in style to acoustic upright pianos. Models that end with the tag GP, the CLP-765GP, or CLP-795GP, mean they are designed to provide a stylish grand piano look.
CVP stands for Clavinova Versatile Piano, and this option by far has the most technological possibilities. The controls are accessed by a touchscreen, as well as a panel of buttons to move easily to specific settings. With hundreds of voice options and accompaniment styles, this digital piano seriously has endless fun possibilities.
Whatever style you choose, the ensemble will harmonize with the notes you play. CVP pianos also include a wide variety of song options that are synced with a guide lamp strip located above the keys, making it possible to play along and teach yourself the notes of the song, as well as the capacity to pull up the lyrics or score on the screen as you play.
Additionally, the CVP allows you to connect a microphone and use a variety of vocal harmonizing settings for singing karaoke or other performances.
The third Clavinova option is the CSP series, which stands for Clavinova Smart Piano. This model is like having a piano teacher inside the piano because it integrates perfectly with the Smart Pianist App.
The CSP, like the CVPs, has hundreds of different instruments available and almost 500 accompaniment styles. The CSP differs from other Clavinova pianos in that all the controls are accessed through a tablet or smartphone, giving the piano a cleaner, more modern look. The Smart Pianist App can analyze the songs in your library and display the chords so you can play along with any of your favorite songs.
The CSP has this seamless integration with technology while also including the same digital advantages of other Clavinova models.
Understanding the Digital Piano Arius (YDP) Series
Next in the Yamaha digital piano world is the Arius series, which goes by the acronym YDP, short for Yamaha Digital Piano. This series of digital pianos are known for their sleek design. They are built to fit into smaller spaces, but still have the stylish look that will gracefully accentuate the other furniture in your home.
YDP pianos are simplified digital pianos compared to the Clavinovas, but they are easy to use, and you can still attach headphones or connect to a smart device using a USB cord. YDP pianos are lightweight, easy to move, and they have the advantage of a built-in 3-pedal unit and weighted keys.
Understanding the Portable Digital Piano Series
Finally, Yamaha’s Portable digital pianos offer a wide variety of options but all with the mobility of easily transporting the keyboard from place to place. These pianos also have the option of attaching to sturdier sides and a 3-pedal unit, which can be purchased separately from the keyboard itself.
These models will either begin with a P- or DGX- prefix. All of these keyboards have MIDI capability and weighted keys, but there is some variety in the features and options. The DGX keyboard is perfect for the performing artist or band on the road as it allows you to connect to smart devices, microphones, and other equipment. This model is packed with options, which makes the keyboard slightly heavier than the P series. It is basically the compact and mobile form of the CVP series. The P series keyboards vary in features and capabilities. The P-45 is the most affordable, 88-key digital keyboard that Yamaha offers. The P-125a has a slightly larger variety of instrument voices and the ability to connect a 3-pedal unit. The P-515 is a step up from both of those, with wooden keys, touch sensitivity settings, and greater recording capacity.
Yamaha Hybrid Piano Options Paired with Existing Models & Series
The dream behind the various Yamaha hybrid models is to create an acoustic piano that can record, communicate with a smart device, and seamlessly merge with technology in many other ways to give the pianist endless possibilities. These instruments can be paired with a variety of technological options.
One is the Disklavier, which is basically the modern version of a player piano. This style of piano uses two integrated systems to recreate and play the subtle movements and sounds of keys and pedals, along with many other digital features. These pianos are distinguished by the added D- prefix before the model name.
Other options are the Silent or TransAcoustic pianos, which allows the pianist to easily switch an acoustic piano into silent mode and use the instrument with headphones. A piano with one of these options will still have the same model label, but with an added SC2, SH2, or TA2 tagged onto the end.
Another hybrid model is the Yamaha AvantGrand series, which always begins with N- in the model name: N3X, N1X, NU1X, or N2. These pianos are known for their unrivaled touch, with no strings attached. AvantGrand pianos are digital pianos that never need to be tuned, however, they are built with true action mechanisms paired with the Optical Sensor System to create the exact feel of an acoustic piano. Plus, the four-point speaker system on these pianos are designed to deliver the natural sound and resonance of the original instrument.
Yamaha Provides The Highest Quality & a Wide Variety of Pianos for You to Find Your Dream Piano
As you can see, Yamaha has a vast collection of pianos, and hopefully, this guide has helped you understand a basic overview of what makes each Yamaha piano different.
At Dickerson’s Tri-City Pianos, we are an authorized Yamaha dealer so we can help pianists find the perfect piano to meet their needs. If you need more information, we are happy to answer your questions. You can reach out to us by email at email@example.com or phone at 509-713-7288, or stop by the store any time here at the Uptown in Richland, and let us help guide you to the perfect instrument for you.