Clavinova is Yamaha’s brand name for their very best line of digital pianos.
The Yamaha Clavinova is recognized as the leading digital piano make in the world. Clavinova digital pianos have been around for about 30 years. Yamaha bring out new models every 2-3 years.
This digital piano range always seem to get better and could challenge acoustic pianos one day.
Latest Digital Piano Video Review
(Broadway BW1 – Rated number 1 digital piano under £1,000 in the Piano Bible)
Latest Yamaha CLP Clavinova
Latest Yamaha CVP Clavinova
The keyboard is designed to feel as much like a regular piano as possible. On a standard acoustic piano, pressing a key removes the damper from the strings and causes a hammer to strike the strings. The harder the key is pressed the harder the hammer hits the strings. Holding the key down allows the note to continue. Letting the key up causes the damper to silence the note. This mechanical action produces a certain feel to the keys which pianists are used to.
High quality Clavinova digital pianos have a mechanical structure designed to simulate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. Instead of a hammer and damper, they have electronic sensors that determine when a key is pressed or released, and how hard the key is pressed. This information can then be sent to the synthesizer or recorded digitally in a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file to be played back later. These digital pianos have the full 88 keys that a standard piano has.
Digital pianos are not limited to only piano sounds. Many models of Clavinova have hundreds of voices to choose from. These usually include several types of pianos and organs, brass and woodwind instruments, drums, etc.
The Yamaha Clavinova has a very high quality audio system which can often outperform a PC.
The Yamaha Clavinova is capable of playing up to 256 notes at the same time (on high end pianos). Playing multiple notes at the same time is known as “polyphony.” A complicated piece of music can have many notes at once. A note struck on a piano can continue to sound for quite a while when the sustain pedal is used, even after the key is released.
Do you have a question about Yamaha Clavinovas?
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Questions and Comments
On reading your very interesting information I keep coming across the word Clavinova. I always thought it was an instrument in itself and had a different sound to a piano or digital piano. Could you clarify the meaning of a Clavinova and explain the difference between what I think of as an ordinary digital piano.
Reply/ Hi Rosemarie
A Clavinova is a particular range of digital pianos
that Yamaha produce.
It is just a brand name. It’s no different to the
digital pianos from Roland, Classenti, Kawai etc.
I’m very happy with my piano Yamaha clavinova.
I like the sound and the touch of the keys. And also can record my songs.
Miguel, 10 years old.
I have a CVP98 clavinova which must be 15-20 years old, which I bought a few years ago.
It has seen better days as the keyboard now clatters and sticks and it also buzzes due to a loose connection when playing. There is a constant high pitched hiss from the speakers probably due to old capacitors in the power supply or audio circuits…
I have been thinking of upgrading.
I have had the opportunity to try aYamaha clp 430 and a clp440.
The GH3 action is quite nice and a def improvement on my CVP 98. However, I think the sound on both 430 and 440 is awful. The 440 probably is slightly better but I wouldn’t pay the money asked for either of them.
The Youtube videos that demo both pianos just don’t sound the same in real life.
Reply/ Hi Tim
This is a problem with nearly all digital pianos.
The original sound source is always very good.
You can hear this when playing with headphones
or listening to Youtube videos.
But once this has been fed through the internal
speakers, then bounced around inside the piano’s
cabinet, it sounds quite thin and a million miles
away from its original form.
However, there are two digital pianos I’d like to
recommend you that do a much better job of
replicating this original sound source:
Yamaha CLP480 and Yamaha NU1.
We have the CLP480 and NU1 on display in our showroom,
if you’d like to come and try them out.
“I am looking for something akin to the Yamaha Clavinova cvp 403”
Thank you for the email – copyright information and all other info duly noted.
THANK YOU, as said so often by all your other readers, for the Bible, which is really really useful, clear, and technically well-pitched. Thank you. I am looking for something akin to the Yamaha Clavinova cvp 403 (i.e. fantastic sound on the instrument voices). I don’t necessarily need all that technological wizardry, however, though it would be very useful to be able to record compositions and perhaps export to computer as I haven’t found it at all easy to do that using keyboard/interface/computer and software eg Sibelius.
BUT I have very little money at the moment, and so I am biding my time!
Meanwhile, I am a piano teacher and at least 3 of my pupils need better pianos, and so I shall certainly survey your stock, if I may, and eventually will probably buy my own clavinova from you!
Reply/ Hi Sally
I recommend the Yamaha CLP430 Clavinova.
This is the first model in their range.
It doesn’t have the vast functionality of the CVP,
but it has a really good piano sound and a realistic
The CLP430 also has USB, so you can easily record
compositions to your computer.
The CLP430 would also be a good piano for your
students to learn and practice on. I recommend it
You can see the CLP430 here:
Let me know if you need more info.
“Which Clavinova offers better value for money?”
I have a question on the CLP Clavinova series of Yamaha pianos.
Which offers better value for money?
CLP S406B at GBP1570 (the CLP 440R is going at GBP1367)
CLP 470R at GBP1849
Which Clavinova would you buy ? Or is there another digital piano not quoted above that you would recommend ?
My priorities are touch & sound (as close to acoustic as possible), value for money and reliability.
Reply/ Hi JC
You can get the latest copy here:
If you save this link to your favourites then
you can always get access to the latest updates.
I can surely say the CLP470 Clavinova offers
the best value for money.
It costs a bit more than the CLP440, but the
wooden keys, firmer key touch and richer
piano tone is certainly worth it.
With the CLP-S406 you’re paying a lot more
for the cabinet and design without getting
any improvement in sound that’s worth noting.