Today's article continues our 5-part review series on the Clavinova CLP line at YamahaMusician.com. We'll be covering the CLP 270/280.
The Yamaha Clavinova CLP 270 picks up where the CLP 240 left off. The CLP 270 packs in more polyphony, more voices, a bigger speaker system with iFAC, better effects, an LCD display with an improved user interface, and a 16-track sequencer. The additional feature the CLP 280 adds to the CLP 270 is the natural wood keys (only the white keys are wood) and is worth looking at if you want the best feeling keyboard.
If you loved that amazing piano voice from the CLP 240, the Clavinova CLP 270/280 takes it even further. Nothing was spared when Yamaha recorded the CLP 270/280's piano. It is so rich and smooth we think the Clavinova really does have strings and hammers inside! Both the CLP 270 and 280 come with a generous 128 voices of polyphony and 8 speakers in all (and two headphone jacks)!
The CLP 270/280 both have 38 voices—10 more than the CLP 240 and hundreds of XG voices (voices that are only used during MIDI playback). Thanks to the newly added LCD display, Yamaha finally did away with the dreaded VARIATION voice selection button (found on the CLP 220/230/240) letting you choose your voices through the LCD display.
As we mentioned earlier, the grand piano voices are spectacular (play the imbedded video to hear it for yourself!) and totally embodies what a Clavinova is meant to be—a superb home digital piano! There are also many other voices worth considering from organs, strings, and guitars to choirs, harpsichords, and electric pianos.
Recording: 16-Track Sequencer
The Clavinova CLP 270/280 features an onboard 16-track sequencer. This is great because you'll usually find a feature like this on the Clavinova CVP models and professional synthesizers. The sequencer is straight forward to use and the manual does a great job explaining all its features.
A new effect added to the CLP 270/280 is Instrumental Active Field Control (iAFC) effect borrowed from the higher-end CVP 300 series models. Essentially, iAFC uses the built-in microphone and speakers and measures the amount of reverberation that is present in the room. This data is then fed back to effectively recreate a virtual soundboard within the Clavinova. You can actually feel the resonance in the cabinetry just like in a real piano! To get the most out of this feature, Yamaha recommends you calibrate the iFAC the first time you power up and when ever the Clavinova is moved. Yamaha obviously went all out creating this subtlety and we really loved this feature.
We really enjoyed evaluating the Clavinova CLP 270/280. From the variety of voices, 8-speaker onboard sound system to the 16-track sequencer, USB/MIDI connections, superb pianos, and professional feeling keyboard—it's everything you would want from a quality home digital piano and some more. If you're really serious about your playing, you should consider the CLP 280 for its great feeling real wood keys.