A measure of the enormity of the CP300 was soon evident. A huffing and puffing courier staggered to AT’s threshold buckling under the 40kg weight of this monster stage piano. I assessed that it was a tad heavier than the stringy, Coke and dim-sim ravaged frame of the delivery dude.
Cracking open the CP300’s box soon makes a few things obvious. On board is a pair of powered 13cm speakers. Also, out of the box and minus the weight of the foot pedal, things drop to a slightly more manageable 32.5kg. Regardless, the CP300 is no lightweight.
Although a feature of certain Yamaha stage pianos for a while, many will still blanche at the sight of onboard speakers. But these aren’t of the tinny, home keyboard variety. They’re high-quality units, individually powered by 30W amps. And the speakers sound good – clear and loud, with good bass response – certainly good enough and loud enough to set the CP in the corner of a bar/café, for example, and play in the exact same way as you would an acoustic piano
Much of the enhancements lie in connectivity and control. By way of example, you can plug four foot pedals into the CP300 (Sustain, Sostenuto, Soft, and ‘Aux’). Also pivotal, is a Master mode which allows you to independently control up to four tone generators. Other welcome back panel inclusions include a set of outputs on XLRs and a USB port that can be used in place of Midi DIN cables.
Internally, the CP300 packs an XG sound module (along with a selection of original voices), 16-track sequencer, and pro effects section.
There are no real changes to the Yamaha keyboard action and the piano samples, yet this remains another strong offering from Yamaha. As mentioned, the main drawcard of this new iteration is in the control – the ability to mix and match zoned sounds (internal and external) across the keyboard, each with its own level slider.
The onboard speakers ensure the CP300 isn’t the cheapest stage piano on the market, but it shows all the signs of being a worthy long-term investment. – Christopher Holder
Yamaha Music Australia: 1800 805 413 or www.yamahamusic.com.au