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 North American, European, Asian, Canadian, Brazilian, and Oceania markets. This article is the fourth in a series of four which will review these amazing CLP 300 series digital pianos.
The CLP 380 is the flagship model in the CLP 300 series. The CLP 380 features a 5-velocity level grand piano with synthetic ivory keytops and natural wood white keys (if you've read our other CLP 300 series articles, we are a fan of the synth ivory and wood keys). It also comes with a tri-amp system with 8 speakers and more voices than the CLP 370.
5-level Velocity Piano
Yamaha announced that the Clavinova CLP 380 features a five level velocity grand. Day dreaming about how spectacular this piano must sound, we went to our local Yamaha dealer to hear the CLP 380 for ourselves. Unfortunately, they did not have a CLP 380 for us to try. We are optimistic, however, that the five level velocity piano with key off and string resonance samples sounds absolutely amazing and won't disappoint.
The CLP 380 comes with 38 voices, 480 XG voices, and 12 drum kits to stir up your creative juices. Some of these voices include pianos, electric pianos, clavichords, vibraphones, strings, and bass. Judging from the effort Yamaha put into their new five level flagship piano voice, we're sure nothing was spared in the making of these voices too.
Like previous high-end Clavinova CLP models (see our Sept. '08 CLP 270/280 review), the CLP 380 has a 16-track sequencer to fulfill your arranging and orchestrating needs. We want to point out that with the Clavinova, Yamaha refers to tracks as "parts" but the industry standard terminology is "track". The CLP 380 also allows you to edit your tracks by either replacing or punching out MIDI data.
The 24 character x 2 line LCD display reveals much more information than the 7 segment LED style displays and makes life a whole lot easier when recording and editing your compositions. The CLP 380 has 1.47MB of song memory enough to hold 250 songs which is way more than the other CLP 300 models out there.
The CLP 380 has an effects processing system that includes features like delay panning effects from left, center, right, cross delay, echo, rotary speaker, vibrato for vibraphone, phaser, AutoWah, and more.
The on board metronome allows the user to set the time signature, metronome volume, metronome voice, which can vary from a bell sound to a voice counting 1, 2, 3, 4 in five different languages!
Lastly, you can also set split points and layer voices over each other to create thick sounding textures, and you can adjust your usual features such as temperament and touch sensitivity and, oh yeah, you can also connect to the internet too.
The Clavinova CLP 380 is what a CLP should be: a stunning piano, great touch, lots of voices, 16-track sequencer with a well-rounded effects processor. All of these features, however, probably won't come at a cheap price. Plus, the line between CLP and CVP models starts to get a little blurry in this price range.
Nevertheless, the CLP 380 is Yamaha's most technologically advanced and full-featured Clavinova CLP to date and it's wonderful—it's no surprise that the Clavinova is the world's most popular digital piano.