Can a Clavinova be even better than it already is? Yes, much better. In July 2008, Yamaha introduced the brand new CLP 300 series to the European, Asian, Canadian, Brazilian, and Oceania markets. This article is the third in a series of four which will review these amazing CLP 300 series digital pianos.
The Clavinova CLP 340 and CLP 370 take the CLP 300 series to yet higher levels of realism and sophistication with the addition of a 4-level velocity stereo grand piano with stereo sustain and key-off samples.
The great feeling GH3 keyboard feels even better thanks to Yamaha. Also, both these models have twice as many voices (28 voices over 14 in the CLP 330/320), a LAN port for internet direct connect to download new songs, twice as powerful amps (40W x 2, 4 speakers), 3 USB ports, and split effects.
The CLP 340 adds synthetic ivory keytops to its GH3 keyboard while the CLP 370 has both the synthetic ivory keytops and natural wood keys (wood is only used for the white keys). We really liked the synthetic keytops because they were porous and had a much better grip over plastic coated keytops. The wood keys, on the other hand, are a nice touch but we really didn't notice that much of a difference in feel and besides why didn't Yamaha make all 88 keys out of wood for the CLP 370?
The Clavinova CLP 340/370's 28 voices were identical to the CLP 230/240 voices except many more of the CLP 340/370's voices included more stereo and dynamic sampling and key off samples which resulted in far better expression and realism over the CLP 230/240's voices. Some of the CLP 340/370's voices included acoustic and electric pianos, vibraphones, organs, strings, choirs, guitars and bass. We loved the pianos, strings, and, guitars.
Like other CLP models, recording with the Clavinova CLP 340/370 is very straightforward. Choose your voices and set your metronome, then press the REC button and choose your track (RIGHT/LEFT) and start playing. The CLP 340/370 comes with a two track recorder (named RIGHT and LEFT) and allows the user to save up to 3 songs to memory. You can also transfer your MIDI recordings to a USB device if you exceed the 3 song limit for more room.
The Clavinova CLP 340/370 both come with 50 preset songs and the "50 Greats for the Piano" score collection. What's great is that you can practice to any of these songs. You can mute either the left or right hand parts, adjust the tempo and set start and stop points allowing you to practice any part of any preset song you wish to.
The CLP 340/370's effects processors come with damper resonance, reverb, brilliance, chorus, phaser, and tremolo settings. These effects can even be used in both dual and split modes and you can set the depth for each voice.
Lastly, the Clavinova CLP 340/370 both come in a choice of three wood finishes: dark rosewood, mahogany, and cherry to suit your taste.
The Clavinova CLP 340/370 both are enjoyable digital pianos to have in the home. What's great about these two models is the new ultra realistic 4-level velocity grand piano with key off samples, the synthetic ivory and natural wood keys, and the LAN port for connecting directly to the internet to download the latest songs for practicing or enjoyment. Unfortunately as of this writing (10/21/08), these Clavinovas aren't available to the U.S. markets, but we hope that they'll make their debut next year in time for Christmas.