Yamaha Clavinova CSP150 vs CSP170: What Are The Differences?
The Yamaha CSP Clavinovas were announced a little earlier this year. They’re nothing like any other digital piano that we’ve seen before. The CSPs are controlled almost entirely through your smart device (currently only iOS, but they’re working on Android) and boast a multitude of features. They’re ideal for players that want to learn, but perhaps don’t want to take the traditional route of lessons or doing the ABRSM grades. If you want to read more about the Yamaha CSP Clavinovas and what they can do, click here.
The CSP Clavinova range consists of two models – the CSP150 and the CSP170. Both the pianos are available in black, white and polished ebony (this finish is a little more expensive) and both actually use the same cabinet so they’re the same size. The two models are at different prices so you’d think that the more expensive one has upgrades to justify that – and you’d be right.
The Differences Between The Yamaha CSP150 and the CSP170
The first, and arguably most important difference between the two CSP models is the action. This is what we call the feel and the movement of the keys. With a digital piano, you want the action to feel as much like an acoustic piano as possible. You also want the keys to provide a range of different responses, so that if you press a key softly, you hear a quiter note and vice versa.
The CSP150 has Yamaha’s GH3X (Graded Hammer 3X) action, and the CSP170 has NWX (Natural Wood X). As the NWX name suggests, the keys on the CSP170 are made using real wood – like on an acoustic piano, making it feel more authentic. The better action on the CSP170 means that you can play with more expression – what you play is better represented by the sound that comes out of the speakers. The GH3X action is very good – it’s weighted, like an acoustic piano and it reacts well to your playing. However, the NWX with it’s authentic wooden keys is better. It’s more expensive to manufacture, hence part of the price gap between the CSP150 and CSP170.
The other difference between the two models is the speakers; the CSP170 has a more powerful speaker system. It’s also got four speakers, instead of the two that are on the 150. The speakers in the CSP170 are carefully positioned to give you a more authentic playing experience. When playing an acoustic piano, you’ll get certain noises and frequencies coming from certain parts of the instrument. The two-way sound system on the CSP170 helps recreate this by producing certain frequencies through the speakers that are set just above the keyboard, and others through the speakers on the underside of the instrument.
The CSP170 has more powerful amplifiers too. This means that you can turn the 170 up louder than the 150, which is ideal for bigger spaces. Not only that, but a more powerful speaker system means that you’ve got more headroom, so even when you’re playing at quieter volumes, you get a slightly clearer sound. Also you’ll get more dynamics i.e. it will allow you to play with more defined shades of quiet and loud.
That’s pretty much it. The differences between the CSP150 and CSP170 Clavinovas are the keyboard action and the speakers. Whilst there may only be two points on which they differ; these are big points. For me, the most important things with a digital piano are the sound and the feel. The sound on both CSPs come from the same sound engine and is controlled through the same app. The feel however is different. Wooden keys on the CSP170 provide an extra layer of authenticity. Also, having an upgraded two-way speaker system means that what you put into the piano with your fingers is better represented by the sound that comes out of it – it’s also handy having more volume in big spaces.
We’ve been really impressed by what we’ve seen of the Yamaha CSP Clavinovas and the Smart Pianist app that goes alongside it. The CSP170 is the better instrument, but it might not the right choice for everyone – for someone just starting out that wants to play at home, the CSP150 will do the job wonderfully. If you need any more help choosing the right instrument for you – please do get in touch!