Ultimate Buyer's Guide:
Yamaha Clavinova Digital Pianos
If you’re considering a Clavinova purchase to explore your musical potential, read on to learn everything you need to make an informed decision, including what defines a Clavinova, the benefits of owning one, what each Clavinova series offers, how to find the right match, and where you can begin your search.
Did you know?
The name “Clavinova” is a blend of two words: Clavier (“keyboard instrument”), and nova (“new”).
What is a Clavinova?
Known as the “piano that changed everything,” Yamaha’s commitment to innovation and quality is unsurpassed and evident in its Clavinova digital pianos. Even TIME magazine named it one of the most influential technologies of the last fifty years. First introduced in 1983, the Clavinova enjoys broad appeal because:
- It makes the piano more accessible for people to play, thanks to its affordable price and low maintenance needs.
- It allows musicians to recreate a concert grand’s power and performance using a compact electric keyboard.
Forty years later, it’s as popular as ever.
Benefits of a Clavinova
Yamaha now offers three different Clavinova series, the CLP, CSP and CVP models, each with unique options and capabilities that enhance the playing experience for both new and experienced pianists. Each model boasts an impressive set of basic features:
Designed to feel like a traditional acoustic instrument, all Clavinova pianos are housed in wooden cabinets (in various colors and finishes) and include a full 88-note keyboard with weighted keys. A few models even replicate the look of an acoustic grand piano.
Clavinova pianos use a sample-based tone generator that replicates the sound of acoustic instruments from actual recordings. Imagine playing a Clavinova and hearing the tone of a Yamaha CFX or Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand piano (or dozens of other instruments)! It can also produce a range of electronic sounds (also known as voices) from string, percussion, brass, and woodwind instruments.
Interested in innovation? The Clavinova sets the standard in impressive digital features:
- Headphone jacks for silent practice: Have a beginning pianist in your home? Headphone compatibility makes it possible for your budding musician to practice privately.
- Built-in speakers and recording capabilities: Onboard, multi-track recording means you can record your performances (even record each hand separately!) and dub over the track with vocals. Learn more about Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app here.
Clavinova pianos require no tuning or regulation and are easy to maintain. When dirt and dust accumulate, simply wipe the finish and keyboard periodically with a soft, dry cloth. (Pro tip: Keep liquids away from your instrument and never use alcohol-based cleaners!)
Meet the Clavinova CLP, CSP, and CVP Series
Ready to forget you’re playing a digital instrument? The CLP Series first premiered in 1985 and is the most established of the Clavinova’s. This collection of pianos offers an authentic grand piano touch, tone, and power, not to mention intuitive controls — great for any player looking for the feel of a traditional acoustic with the benefits of some digital features.
Perhaps the most beginner-friendly series, the CSP series hosts many features created to improve your skills. Its most unique feature is what Yamaha calls Stream Lights, which illuminate above each piano key in sync with music to indicate when to play it.
CSP models also include a mic input, so you can sing along to any tune you play. A Vocal Harmony engine even pairs your voice with harmonies and corrects your pitch.
If the CSP series seems interesting, check out the new CSP 200 models, which feature improved sound capabilities and are Yamaha’s smartest pianos to date.
The most robust of the Clavinovas, the CVP series offers the broadest range of voices and styles. It’s also accompanied by a built-in touch screen, from which you can select to replicate the sounds of a variety of pianos. You can even digitally raise or lower the piano’s lid to modify the brightness or select a different venue the piano is playing in to emulate the change in reverb and ambiance.
Most CVP models come with additional features that affect the keys’ and pedals’ touch and feel, in addition to features mentioned in other series.
The right Clavinova for you
Now that you know what each Clavinova series offers, it’s time to decide which series and model may be the best fit. While there may be no wrong choice, there are some factors that you should consider when shopping.
- Skill level: If you’re inexperienced or still trying to learn a lot of new material, then a CSP is a great place to start. But if you possess considerable experience or are more interested in the sound your piano produces, the CVP series may be best for you.
- Budget: In an ideal situation, budget wouldn’t be a factor, but that’s rarely the case. Although Clavinovas are reasonably priced, purchasing any piano is an investment. The CLP series offers fantastic models for those looking to spend less.
- Space: Again, ideally, this isn’t a factor, but in most homes, space is a consideration. The models that imitate the look of a grand piano are beautiful and can be the centerpiece of a room. Meanwhile, smaller models will still provide stellar sound and can accommodate smaller spaces.
- Features: Certain features can elevate your playing experience. Whether you’re looking to learn, sing while you play, entertain, or all of the above, knowing the features you want most could determine which Clavinova is for you.
How to get started
Ready to try a Clavinova for yourself? As Yamaha’s Top U.S. piano dealership, Classic Pianos offers a great selection of instruments to see, hear, and play at our showrooms nationwide. Our piano experts take a no-pressure approach designed to empower an educated purchase, and our competitive pricing and financing offers can help you get the most out of your budget.
Ready to buy now from the comfort of your home? You can complete your purchase online to receive:
- FREE Shipping
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To avoid post-sale support issues and fraud concerns, regardless of where you buy, ensure it’s from a Yamaha Authorized Dealer. When in doubt, let due diligence prevail by reviewing a dealership’s reviews (such as our many five-star reviews from satisfied customers) before purchasing.
We are honored to be North America’s #1 Yamaha Piano dealership. We encourage you to visit our showroom today to see, hear, and play these extraordinary instruments side-by-side to find a piano you love.