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Dear Sirs,

Question/ Some advice please. I've had my Clavinova now for nearly 15 years and wonder whether it needs a service after all this time?! It is used a lot but recently I find the G above middle C rattles slightly, especially if playing a trill, and its position is slightly below the level of the other keys. I would love to update it to a newer model but, unfortunately, that's not possible. Your help would be much appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Betty Malyan (Mrs)
Answer/ Hi Betty
A 15 year old Clavinova is almost certainly in desperate need of a service. I am actually amazed there is only one rattly key after all this time.
I am not a qualified Clavinova repairer but it does sound like the rattly key is worn and needs a part replacing inside.

I recommend to call in a digital piano repairer. The only one I know is Dave Wiseman. I can't publish his phone number, but if you give us a call on 020 8367 2080 we will pass you his number.

Graham Howard

Further Comments/

Dear Graham,
Your answer has caused much laughter. In previous years with a normal piano I had it tuned regularly of course but no mention is ever made of a digital piano needing servicing!! Never even thought about it! I have now obtained the telephone number of Dave Wiseman, but understand it was not possible to speak to you direct – so, in response to your request, yes I am quite happy for you to print my question & your reply on your website.
One quick question whilst writing – is there a lot of improvement in newer models? I know I said in my email that I would not wish to purchase a newer model but I am amazed at the prices now. Mine cost me £1500 in 1992 – it just shows how prices reduce as technology advances. This Clavinova has done me well over the years. I also have a DOM (Yamaha Disc Orchestra Module) which I connect to the Clavinova for recording on to floppies. If (!!) I were to buy a modern Clavinova would the floppies be useable with a newer model because, of course, this facility is now integral.
Thanks again for your prompt reply.
Yours sincerely,
Betty Malyan

Answer/ Hi Betty

Each new Clavinova model that comes out has slight improvements over the previous models be it in sound, touch, or functions.


The improvement in newer Clavinovas over a 15 year period is INCREDIBLE!

If you pop down to your local piano shop and try these new models out, you will be amazed.

My background is with acoustic pianos and struggle to keep up with technological advances. I am not sure if your floppy discs will work with newer Clavs as they now come with in-built smart media or DVD's/CD players. Your local piano shop will know (should know!) the answer.

Graham Howard

Morning Graham, I am buying a piano to celebrate my 60th birthday. I learned to play as a child and plan to start again. I have skimmed through your guide and note that your favourites are the Yamaha  CP range , do you have a view on the Yamaha NU1 and the Roland DP 90?
Thank you
Elaine Tamkin

Reply/ Hi Elaine

Yes, my favourites certainly are the Yamaha CLP range.
I find them to have the firmest, most realistic key touch.
I also like their pure tone. Especially the CLP440 and above.

The NU1 is also very nice. This has the advantage of a
real acoustic piano mechanism inside. So the feeling
is even more accurate than the CLP range.

The DP90 lacks in tone quality. But its key touch is
nice and responsive.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

Question/ Dear Graham,
First of all can I say thanks for all the advice and information on your website- it has been a great source of really useful information.
I am currently shopping around for my first digital piano; I've been playing on an upright for years and am looking for some guidance as to which digital model you might recommend.
Having always played an upright, my key priority is the authenticity of the sound and the feel of the keyboard, with features such as digital connectivity of little importance for my needs.
Further, as a recent graduate living in a small London flat, compactness and affordability (my absolute top budget is around £700, although ideally I'm looking to spend as little as possible!) are also really important, although portability is not a concern.
From the Yamaha range, the only clavinova that is really small enough for my needs is the CLP-F01 which is unfortunately way out of my price range so I have been considering the models in the P-range as well as the YDP models (notably the YDP S-30 and the NP-30 from the 'portable grand' series.
From the Casio models I have been looking at the Privia range (which seems to represent great value for money, with loads of deals available from Internet suppliers and local retailers alike)
I have also been considering the Roland F-50 and FP-4.
Naturally, with such a limited budget and restrictions on size I appreciate that I cannot expect too much; I'm basically looking for something to use until I can afford (and accommodate!) an upright.
Any advice you could give would be hugely appreciated!
With Regards,
Jonathan Yong

Answer/ Hi Jonathan
If your key priority is the authenticity of the sound and the feel of the keyboard and your budget is up to £700, then I recommend the Yamaha CLP220.
Although it is not as compact as the Casio Privia pianos the sound quality is MILES better and the touch is 'almost' the same as an acoustic piano.

The Casio Privias – at first glance – do look like a wonderful deal, but, in my opinion, their sound is a little weak and the touch a little spongy.

The equivalent Roland models are FAR to expensive in my opinion and the Yamaha YDP range doesn't have the same sound output of the CLP range — this is mainly due to the speaker quality and wattage output.

If compactness outweighs sound and touch then go for the Casio PX700. Otherwise, there really isn't any other digital piano on the market that comes close to the Yamaha CLP220.

Graham Howard

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Hi Mr. Howard,

I recently came across UK pianos website, and have also read your e-book. I am interested in getting a decent digital piano with good sound and touch, and based on your e-book, I've short listed a couple of models and brands, and would like your expertise in helping me make my choice.

I have never taken any formal music lessons before. Two years ago I decided to give it a go, and started off with a PSR E-313. The built-in music database of the 61-key keyboard was a huge help. Since then i've purchased a couple of books to make some progress, which I'm happy to say I have. Then I upgraded to a CDP 100 which seemed very attractive back then. Have had it for only 8 months and couldn't help but to be disappointed in the quality of sound produced by the speakers of the CDP100. Have managed to sell it and now looking for a better replacement.

I am most interested in learning classical music, and as I make progress I wish to learn complex classical pieces in the future. I've been learning to sight-read music, and I've had much pleasure in learning classical pieces like Chopin's Nocturne Op.55-1 and Valse Op. 64-1 on my own, with the help of YouTube to fine-tune my playing. (any music teacher reading this would think it's the silliest thing to do!)

I also have a 4-yr old child who has just started her junior music course with the Yamaha school of music. So having a good digital piano to facilitate her learning is important, as well as fitting my budget.

I am intrigued by Classenti's range of digital pianos. I have never even heard or this brand before. I was, however, disappointed to find out that Classenti is currently not shipped to Malaysia. (I wrote to, and got a reply saying that I should go to a local music store near me and ask them to write in to Classenti, and maybe they can send it to me via the store.) Before I do that, I'd like some clarification on the following:

1. Does the CDP1 have a built-in transformer that converts voltage automatically, like the model P1 does? FYI, Voltage input in Malaysia is the same as UK's (220 – 240 V). So it shouldn't be a problem?

2. I've owned a PSR E-313 and Casio CDP100 in the past, and they sounded dull through the speakers, but much clearer through headphones. Why is that? Does it have to do with speaker wattage? My sister-in-law has a Celviano (AP420 i think), with relatively higher speaker wattage, and yet they sounded not that much better than the CDP100 i had, which I find confusing. How much better is CDP1's clarity of sound through their 2 x 15 Watt speakers?

3. I don't recall having read anything about a USB port, or SD card slot, or any means by which I can connect to a computer?

4. Does the CDP1 have Stereo LINE OUT?

Apart from CDP1, I've also read about CDP2, but not sure if I can afford it though. Apart from that, I've also looked at CN23 (have not tried it out) which is quite pricy in Malaysia. For your info, Yamaha and Casio are big here. Limited models of Kawai, as well as Roland and Kurzweil stage keyboards are also available.

In the unfortunate event I can't get hold of a Classenti, what other models in Yamaha or Kawai would you recommend?

The only criteria I look to fulfill are:
– good, crisp sound from the speakers
– keys that feel the closest to the real thing
– a simple recording facility with connection to computer
– enough polyphony to play the not-so-complex classical pieces. (Will not be using any other voices, effects, layering, etc.)
– a good piano for a child taking junior music course

Hope the email's not taken up too much of your time. Thank you in advance.

Best regards, Nasrin, Malaysia

Reply/ Hi Nasrin

I apologise if my reply is short. I have hundreds
of emails to get through this morning before the
phones start ringing.

The CDP1 has a built-in transformer that converts
voltage automatically.

The CDP1 has a clearer tone than the CDP100. This
is to do with the larger cabinet size and higher
wattage output.

The CDP1 has a LINE OUT and MIDI IN/OUT. This allows
you to connect to external speakers or a computer.

Some alternatives to the Classenti CDP1 I recommend
are the Kawai CN23 and Yamaha YDP161.

Yours pianistically,

Graham Howard

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"Excellent service! You were kind enough to telephone on the Monday, the piano arrived at nine o'clock the following morning, as promised.

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