Yamaha Stage Keyboards Comparison: YC and CP Series


Yamaha’s varied line of stage keyboards, designed to make it easy for those in performance situations to access the sounds and transitions they require with ease, offer a range of features. Here we compare the current line of instruments, including the YC and CP series.

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Yamaha YC Series

Yamaha YC61
Yamaha YC73
Yamaha YC88

Yamaha says theYC series, which currently contains three models with varying number of keys, is designed for performance, featuring Virtual Circuitry Modeling organ technology with physical drawbars, intuitive control, authentic acoustic and electric piano and FM synths.

Overview

Each of the three keyboards is designed to appeal to a slightly different musician. The 61 key YC61 version features ‘waterfall’ style non-weighted keys best suited for those used to playing organs and synths. The 73 key YC73 version has a light weighted action akin to electric pianos, while the 88 key YC88 model has a fully weighted and graded action like a grand piano.

Sounds include authentic pianos, electric pianos and organs, and Yamaha’s Virtual Circuitry Modelling is designed to produce realistic sounds which are highly customisable as required. The drawbars offer immediate access to shaping organ and other sounds. The keyboards have all been designed to be easily transportable.

Specifications


YC61

YC73

YC88

Control Interface

Keyboard

Number of Keys

61

73

88

Type

Semi-weighted Waterfall keyboard, initial touch

BHS (Balanced Hammer Standard) keyboard: matte black keytops

NW-GH3 (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops

Voices

Tone Generation

Tone Generating Technology

VCM Organ, AWM2, FM

Polyphony

Number of Polyphony (Max.)

[VCM Organ + AWM2]:128 *Total of VCM Organ and AWM2, [FM]:128

Number of Live Set Sound

160 (Preset Live Set Sounds:80)

160 (Preset Live Set Sounds:104)

Number of Voices

145 (Organ:6 / Keys:139)

152 (Organ:9 / Keys:143)

Effects

Types

Insertion Effect

Organ 1 systems (Pre Drive) / Key A 2 systems (1: 32 types, 2: 32 types) / Key B 2 systems (1: 32 types, 2: 32 types)

Organ 1 systems (Pre Drive) / Key A 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types) / Key B 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types)

Effect

32 types

35 types

Speaker/Amp

6 types (Rotary Speaker: 2 types, Amp: 4 types)

7 types (Rotary Speaker: 3 types, Amp: 4 types)

Reverb

1 type

Master EQ

3 band (with sweepable Mid)

Connectivity

Connectors

Line Out

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED)

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED), OUTPUT [L]/[R] (XLR jacks, BALANCED)

Headphones

[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)

Foot Controller

FOOT CONTROLLER [1]/[2], FOOT SWITCH [SUSTAIN]/[ASSIGNABLE]

MIDI

MIDI [IN]/[OUT]

USB

USB [TO HOST]/[TO DEVICE]

AUX

INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

Other

Connectors

[AC IN]

Display

Full Dot LCD (128 x 64 dots)

Additional package contents

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1, Foot pedal (FC3A) x 1

Size/Weight

Dimensions

Width

35-1/4″ (896 mm)

1086 mm (42-3/4″)

1298 mm (51-1/8″)

Height

4-1/4″ (108 mm)

145 mm (5-11/16″)

142 mm (5-9/16″)

Depth

12-3/16″ (309 mm)

355 mm (14″)

364 mm (14-5/16″)

Weight

Weight

15 lb (7.1 kg, 10 oz)

13.4 kg (29 lb, 9 oz)

18.6 kg (41 lb, 0 oz)

RRP

$2499

$2999

$3499

Release Date

2020

2021

2021

Yamaha CP Series

The Yamaha CP series of stage pianos features nine models which Yamaha is still publicising, with a range of specifications and abilities.

Yamaha CP1
Yamaha CP300
Yamaha CP33
Yamaha CP5
Yamaha CP50
Yamaha CP73
Yamaha CP88

Overview

Yamaha has really pushed its stage pianos over the years, claiming them to be of very high quality and combining state of the art piano and real world sounds with portability and ease of use in a live performance setting.

All feature 88 full sized graded hammer weighted keys (except for the CP73 which has 73 keys) and a good range of connectivity for pedals and audio. No speakers on board as gigging musicians often prefer a lightweight instrument and connect up to on-stage PA/speakers.

Specifications

Model

CP1

CP300

CP33

CP4 STAGE

CP40 STAGE

CP5

CP50

CP73

CP88

Polyphony

128

128

64

128

128

128

128

128

128

Number of Keys

88

88

88

88

88

88

88

73

88

Number of voices

17

530

28

433

297

322

227

127

127

Sound generation

SCM

AWM

AWM

SCM/AWM2

SCM/AWM2

SCM/AWM2

SCM/AWM2

AWM2

AWM2

Key weight

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Fully weighted

Key size

Full

Full

Full

Full

Full

Full

Full

Full

Full

Touch sensitive

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Aftertouch

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Piano sounds

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Real world sounds

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Editable sounds

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Accompaniments

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

Recorder

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Tutorials

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

MIDI

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

USB

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Tablet

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Audio Out

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Audio In

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Y

Power Supply

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Battery

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Speakers

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Sustain pedal

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Soft pedal

N

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

Expression pedal

N

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

Y

Y

Year

2010

2010

2010

2013

2013

2010

2010

2019

2019

RRP

$6000

$2900

$1700

$2999

$2000

$2600

$1700

$2499

$3199

Comparing YC to CP

It’s quick to look at the specs for the two distinct groups of keyboards, but let’s take quick look at how the YC and CP models compare to one another.

For a start, the Yamaha CP series has been around for many more years, and is focused on a premium full-size piano experience in a portable unit. By contrast, the Yamaha YC series, although still categorised in the stage piano category, aims to cast its net a little wider to appeal to organ and electric piano players as well as straight pianists.

The high end YC88, featuring a full 88-key weighted keyboard, is the most comparable to the latest CP88, although it commands a higher price tag possibly because it is a couple of years newer and also includes more functionality for organ simulation.

Musicians after a lighter playing feel and overall size are catered for by the YC61 and YC73 instruments, which someone requiring a more authentic piano feel may become frustrated with. Both 73 key models feature slightly lighter weighting key action, somewhere between organ/synth style and fully weighted piano keys.

As always, it really depends what you’re planning to do. If you’re a gigging musician, focus on what your primary playing style and preference is. If you’re doing a lot of acoustic piano focused work, either the YC88 or one of the 88-key CP models will suit you very well. If you want really good organ as well, the YC88 probably wins out, although you pay more for the privilege and the CP is not completely lacking in this department either.

If you want a lighter touch for blazing organ solos and can get by with a five octave keyboard, the YC61 will do you well. The YC73 is a happy medium, with not overly heavy keys meaning you get a decent experience on both piano and organ (and synth, etc.) performances.

That is, of course, if you go for one of these at all. There are plenty of alternatives from other manufacturers, and indeed from Yamaha, if you are more into studio work, want the onboard speakers, need synth capability, and so on. That said, these are very capable and high quality instruments in their own right, packing in many of Yamaha’s renowned piano, EP and organ sounds.

Yamaha CP88 vs YC88

Let’s take a look at how the two newest 88-key stage pianos in these ranges compare to each other.

Sound: Acoustic Pianos

Both instruments feature outstanding acoustic pianos including the Yamaha CFX flagship 9′ concert grand, the S700, and C7 ‘most recorded piano in music history’.

The YC88 also feature the Nashville C3 grand piano and a live CF3 sound from the CP300 stage piano, while the CP88 has the Bösendorfer Imperial 290 grand piano, the U1 upright piano and the SU7 flagship upright piano.

Sound: Electric Pianos

Both CP88 and YC88 feature the Yamaha CP80, 75 Rd, 73 Rd and Wr. The YC88 has 78 Rd, 73 Rd Studio, and 74 Rd Studio. The CP88 has 76 Rd.

Sound: Organ

Both instruments feature Virtual Circuitry Modelling which emulates a range of classic organs and are highly editable.

Sound: Others

Both instruments feature a range of synthesised and string/pad sounds to add to performance possibilities.

Specification Comparison


YC88

CP88

Number of Keys

88

88

Keyboard Type

NW-GH3 (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops

NW-GH (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops

Tone Generation

VCM Organ, AWM2, FM

AWM2

Polyphony

128

128

Number of voices

152

57

Number of live set sound

160

Insertion Effects

Organ 1 systems (Pre Drive) / Key A 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types) / Key B 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types)

Piano: 2 systems (1: Damper Resonance / 2: Compressor, Distortion, Drive, Chorus), E. Piano: 3 systems (1: Drive / 2: Auto Pan, Tremolo, Ring Modulator, Touch Wah, Pedal Wah, Compressor / 3: Chorus1, Chorus2, Flanger, Phaser1, Phaser2, Phaser3), Sub: 1 system (Chorus/Flanger, Rotary Speaker, Tremolo, Distortion)

Reverb

1 type

1 type

Master EQ

3 band (with sweepable mid)

3 band (with sweepable mid)

Line Out

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED), OUTPUT [L]/[R] (XLR jacks, BALANCED)

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED), OUTPUT [L]/[R] (XLR jacks, BALANCED)

Headphones

[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)

[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)

Foot Controller

FOOT CONTROLLER [1]/[2], FOOT SWITCH [SUSTAIN]/[ASSIGNABLE]

FOOT CONTROLLER [1]/[2], FOOT SWITCH [SUSTAIN]/[ASSIGNABLE]

MIDI

In/Out

In/Out

USB

USB [TO HOST]/[TO DEVICE]

USB [TO HOST]/[TO DEVICE]

AUX

INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

Connectors

AC In

AC In

Display

Full Dot LCD (128 x 64 dots)

Full Dot LCD (128 x 64 dots)

Accessories included

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1, Foot pedal (FC3A) x 1

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1, Foot pedal (FC3A) x 1

Dimensions

WxHxD 51.125”x5.5625”x14.3125” (1298x142x364mm)

WxHxD 51.125”x5.5625”x14.3125” (1298x141x364mm)

Weight

41lbs (18.6kg)

41lbs (18.6kg)

Yamaha CP73 vs YC73

The 73-key models of each range share the same specifications as their 88-key equivalents, with the exception that they both feature less weighted Balanced Hammer Standard key mechanisms rather than the Natural Wood Graded Hammer Action of the 88-key models.

Specification Comparison


YC73

CP73

Number of Keys

73

88

Keyboard Type

BHS (Balanced Hammer Standard) keyboard: matte black keytops

NW-GH (Natural Wood Graded Hammer) keyboard: synthetic ebony and ivory keytops

Tone Generation

VCM Organ, AWM2, FM

AWM2

Polyphony

128

128

Number of voices

152

57

Number of live set sound

160

Insertion Effects

Organ 1 systems (Pre Drive) / Key A 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types) / Key B 2 systems (1: 35 types, 2: 35 types)

Piano: 2 systems (1: Damper Resonance / 2: Compressor, Distortion, Drive, Chorus), E. Piano: 3 systems (1: Drive / 2: Auto Pan, Tremolo, Ring Modulator, Touch Wah, Pedal Wah, Compressor / 3: Chorus1, Chorus2, Flanger, Phaser1, Phaser2, Phaser3), Sub: 1 system (Chorus/Flanger, Rotary Speaker, Tremolo, Distortion)

Reverb

1 type

1 type

Master EQ

3 band (with sweepable mid)

3 band (with sweepable mid)

Line Out

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED), OUTPUT [L]/[R] (XLR jacks, BALANCED)

OUTPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks, UNBALANCED), OUTPUT [L]/[R] (XLR jacks, BALANCED)

Headphones

[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)

[PHONES] (6.3 mm, standard stereo phone jack)

Foot Controller

FOOT CONTROLLER [1]/[2], FOOT SWITCH [SUSTAIN]/[ASSIGNABLE]

FOOT CONTROLLER [1]/[2], FOOT SWITCH [SUSTAIN]/[ASSIGNABLE]

MIDI

In/Out

In/Out

USB

USB [TO HOST]/[TO DEVICE]

USB [TO HOST]/[TO DEVICE]

AUX

INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

INPUT [L/MONO]/[R] (6.3 mm, standard phone jacks)

Connectors

AC In

AC In

Display

Full Dot LCD (128 x 64 dots)

Full Dot LCD (128 x 64 dots)

Accessories included

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1, Foot pedal (FC3A) x 1

Owner’s Manual x 1, Power cord x 1, Foot pedal (FC3A) x 1

Dimensions

WxHxD 42.75”x5.6875”x14” (1086x145x355mm)

WxHxD 42.75”x5.6875”x14″ (1086x144x355mm)

Weight

29lb9oz (13.4kg)

28lb14oz (13.1kg)