The Yamaha CLP-775 comes with the GrandTouch keyboard, featuring wooden keys that showcase Yamaha’s expertise with wood for pianos. Just as with grand piano keyboards, the solid wood is cut from the very best parts of well-dried lumber, making the keys more resistant to warping than keyboards made of laminated wood. The wooden texture and structure of the keys create a more grand piano-like feel.
When playing a digital piano, the back area of the keys may prove to be a challenge to full musical expression. This is because the back of the key is closest to the fulcrum of the action. The closer to this pivot point that you strike the key, the less leverage you have and the more strength you need to apply. The greater length of GrandTouch keys give the player MORE leverage, allowing for better expressive control, even at the backs of the keys. This is the same support length found on the Yamaha S3X premium grand piano (as of July 2020), and is the longest support length used on any digital piano.
Every single key on a grand piano keyboard is weighted differently. This is because the strings for each note are slightly thinner and shorter in the treble register, becoming thicker and longer towards the bass register. The 88-key Linear Graded Hammers of the Clavinova is the first-of-its-kind to faithfully duplicate this graded touch with differing weights and key return on each one of its keys. This results in a feel and response that is astonishingly like that of a grand piano, and allows players to gain an appreciation of a more authentic touch.
The escapement mechanism in a grand piano moves the hammers away from the strings quickly after they strike them, in order to prevent any interference with string vibration. This mechanism produces a slight clicking sensation when the keys are pressed gently.
The Clavinova keyboards feature an escapement mechanism that reproduces this sensation near the bottom of the key dip. They have been designed in such a way that the click is discernible only on the lightest keystrokes, similar to the keyboard of a grand piano. These keyboards have been adjusted to provide additional friction that balances key repetition and response without impeding performance.
Using the damper pedal subtly alters the nature of a piano’s sound and is essential to providing the pianist with all the necessary expressive tools to convey their musical vision.
Clavinova digital pianos feature a damper pedal that continually detects depression depth and allows halfpedaling, which lets players make minute adjustments to pedal depression and return, changing the depth and character of their piano sound.
The GP Response Damper Pedal offers a grand piano-style resistance curve, starting out light to the touch and growing heavier as the pedal is depressed further. This allows players to become accustomed to the nuances of delicate pedaling.
The interaction and interplay of the hammers, dampers, and strings inside a grand piano respond to the subtlest nuances of the pianist’s touch, creating a limitless range of tonal expression. Touch refers to the pianist’s control, not only of intensity (softness/loudness) in playing and releasing the keys, but also of the speed and depth with which the keys are pressed. The Grand Expression Modeling introduced in the CLP-700 Series translates the widely varied input from the pianist’s fingers into the same limitless tonal variation of a grand piano.
This makes it possible to vary the output by playing the keys to different depths and with different speeds, even when using techniques such as trills or legato or emphasizing the melody over the accompaniment. Grand Expression Modeling excels at faithfully reproducing the output expected of these techniques in many well-known songs. In Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” a loose touch creates the faint tone that makes the melody stand out more crisply. In Liszt’s “Un Sospiro,” the accompanying arpeggios accent the melody without overwhelming it, and varied expression of the melody gives it the same quality as vocals. In the last of the Chopin nocturnes, trills, legato, and other delicate techniques where fingers seem to float over the keys deliver the airy, smooth tonal expression required. Playing such pieces on a highly expressive piano helps the pianist learn various techniques and experience the same joy of expression as a painter, but through sound.
Clavinova grand piano sounds are recorded from several world-renowned concert grand pianos. One of them is the CFX, Yamaha’s top-flight concert grand piano. Pianists around the world are enamored with the impressive, dazzling, richly expressive sound of the CFX in concert halls. Another sampled concert grand is the Imperial, the flagship model of Bösendorfer, a time-honored Viennese piano brand with an ardent following. The Imperial is known for its abundance of color and natural, warm feeling. Yamaha faithfully reproduces the idiosyncrasies of these concert grand pianos by carefully recording the entire tonal range of each of the 88 keys, making minute adjustments to capture the most harmonious tones each piano has to offer.
One of the allures of the grand piano is the sympathetic resonance created by the vibration of the entire instrument. Clavinova pianos elaborately reproduce this rich sympathetic resonance through a groundbreaking technology called Virtual Resonance Modeling (VRM). VRM creates a richly varied sound by simulating the complex sympathetic tones created when the vibrations of the strings are propagated to the soundboard and other strings, corresponding to the timing and intensity of key playing and pedaling. CLP-700 Series pianos even replicate the sounds the dampers make when they are raised off the strings, in addition to the resonance of the duplex scaling, strings, soundboard, and case. Clavinova pianos allow you to enjoy the same momentary dynamics and deep sympathetic sounds that are produced by the entire body of a grand piano.