Red Dot Product Design Award Honors Yamaha Clavinova CLP-585
The internationally juried Red Dot Product Design Award in the Musical Instruments category has been presented to Yamaha’s digital piano Clavinova CLP-585, introduced last June.
The 585 is the top of the line in the six-model CLP-500 series. Like all but the most basic of these models, it offers the grand-piano voices of both the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial in addition to electric pianos, an upright piano voice, and several organs. The choice of tones from two superb and quite different grands, the dynamically impressive voice of Yamaha’s flagship nine-foot grand and the warm Viennese sound of Bösendorfer’s preeminent Imperial, expands the player’s expressive options. Fine cabinetry, wooden keys, and simulated ivory keytops enhance the visual presentation and playing experience.
Dynamic stereo sampling is a given; to replicate the dynamic range of an acoustic grand piano, each key on each of the sampled pianos is recorded stereophonically at mezzo-piano, mezzo-forte, and forte strikes. Both the volume and the tone of these three strikes are available for each key according to the player’s expression. But beyond this sampling, the digital Yamaha pianos also includes key-off sampling, incorporating the subtle effect of the damper coming to rest on the string when the key is released. Sampling again goes further with the effect of the CLP’s sustain pedal, which causes the virtual equivalent of all dampers being raised, generating resonance of played notes with all open strings.
Most impressive in CLP-585 and other high-end 500 models in Virtual Resonance Modeling, which emulates the resonance qualities of an acoustic piano’s lower strings with dampers and upper strings without. Upper, undamped strings will resonate harmonically with lower keys. Depressed keys in any part of the range, even when pressed so softly there is no “hammer strike” and no note played, unmute the strings just as on an acoustic Yamaha piano, allowing those strings to resonate with other played notes.
The CLP-585 takes advantage of opportunities to do what an acoustic piano doesn’t; its LCD screen displays not only scores, but Hanon, Bayer, Czerny and Burgmüller practice aids and other educational materials. With USB and wireless connectivity, recordings and MIDI files can be made and played back. The piano’s software can integrate with iOS devices, enabling such options as iPad display of the lesson scores. These electronic enhancements, while adding convenience, take a back seat to the piano’s playability and sound quality.
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